“Where am I?”
A crimson orb was floating helplessly in the void.
“Is this… Did I die? Is this what death feels like?”
The ball of fire murmured to itself, slowly transforming into a sphere of bright blue water.
“Michael… I need to warn them. I can’t die like this… I still… I have to raise my children!”
In the eternal darkness, a message suddenly appeared: [You have been temporarily banished from Arcana. Please wait patiently to be automatically returned in 59 minutes and 59.9999 seconds.]
It was only an hour, but in the form of her Soul, it could pass by instantly… Or it could take what seemed like a millennia. As the orb was panicking, the abyss suddenly became a pure white cubic room. It was large enough for the three meter tall orange-scaled dragoness to stand upright and stretch her arms comfortably.
“What happened?” She was confused for a moment, then started to shiver and feel an intense craving. However, she was unable to summon any ‘sustenance’ or ‘medicine’ to calm her nerves or ease her suffering.
“Why do you do this to yourself?” A somewhat familiar voice appeared in her mind. Then she saw a woman standing only a few meters away. She had a fluffy black afro, dark brown skin and irises. She was wearing a puffy white outfit, designed to protect her from the cold, while also hiding her from potential enemies.
“Who are you?” Alice didn’t recognize what little of the woman’s face she could see, much less the telepathic voice. Yet, the moment that girl removed the snow-mask covering her nose and mouth, the enormous lizard gasped. In an instant, the dragoness shrunk down and transformed into a dark brown skinned human woman. Both her face and body size were very similar, though she was taller and skinnier, well… And naked.
“Hi Mom… I… I don’t understand why you keep doing this to yourself? I know this is the first time we’ve met, technically, but my name is Destiny King. I’m your daughter… From another life.” She spoke in her own voice this time, which was significantly deeper than the telepathic one. There was sad expression on her face, as she whispered: “Is it really so hard to just stay clean? I’ve met more than one of you over the years and every time, it hurts me to see you like this. So broken and helpless… You aren’t even physically addicted to any drugs right now. This is just your Soul. Are you just cursed? Or do you just hate being alive?”
“Destiny… Are you… Are you really here? I’m so fucking sorry.” Alice started crying as she rushed forward and hugged her daughter tightly. Of course, like most humans from Earth, Destiny felt awkward being hugged by her naked mother.
“It’s okay Mom, I don’t blame you for being murdered.” Destiny pushed her mother away, looked into her eyes and said: “I just want you to stop killing yourself with drugs. I’ve seen you literally explode from taking some really crazy ones. But what I’m more concerned about are the ones that affect your mind so much that even your Soul is messed up.”
“I don’t know why I’m like this.” Alice murmured, “It’s just the way I’ve always been. When I was just a simple Tyrannosaurus Tribe, I smoked a little Flame Grass every now and then, but it was never that serious… But now, it’s like I just keep craving more. I thought that the Fusion Potions would do the trick and finally fucking free me, but I was wrong. As a last resort, I sent myself into a coma and hoped that I would ‘detox’ in the process… Instead, I experienced a past life where I was a useless piece of shit who couldn’t even protect herself or her own daughter!”
“You don’t need to create some magical drug to fix everything. What you need is the will to resist the temptation of taking another pill or whatever. At the very least, you should take a vacation. Go out into the wilderness, maybe a desert or even another planet. Somewhere that you can’t even get high on Mana. But you shouldn’t go alone. You need someone who’s willing to stop you from hurting yourself. Who isn’t afraid that you’ll hate them and powerful enough to literally stop you if necessary. It could take years, but it’s something you need to do if you ever want to recover.” Destiny smiled wryly, “I already made a deal with Inari. If you agree, it’s as simple as that.”
“I’ll do it. But only if you come with me.” Alice finally stopped crying sniffled a bit, as her daughter giggled and grabbed her by the hand. Then the two of them suddenly appeared on a barren world. There was an atmosphere, nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide and argon. It was similar to Earth, but there was very little life of any kind. The naked human woman had returned to her ‘true’ form: A three meter tall, orange-scaled lizard-woman, with a bright blue feathery mane instead of hair, and glowing crimson irises. The color of her scales wasn’t as radiant as it used to be, but was much closer to the shade of sand that the two women were standing on.
Destiny explained, “This world is called Exlambda. It was once the eleventh planet in this solar system, before a war broke out between the people of Lambda and Alpha. At least, that’s what the Kitsune called them. I don’t even remember the original names. Anyway, most of the planets were destroyed completely, while others like Alpha and Lambda, were left barely habitable. It took a very long time, but most of the nuclear fallout has cleared up and the surface isn’t constantly threatened by asteroids anymore.”
Alice let out a breath of scaling hot air, while the air around her naked skin seemed to be on the verge of igniting. Destiny was powerful, but even she needed to wear a thick coat and other protective equipment to keep from freezing to death in the frigid climate. Yet the dragoness was completely comfortable due to her particular constitution.
The bundled up woman smiled and put her mask back on, before whispering into her mother’s mind: “I’m a Kitsune. Our job is generally to preserve and spread life throughout the universe… es… Universes. There are a lot of them. We also care about quality of life too, so it’s not like we go around forcing people to live in horrible places just for the sake of spreading life. Our job is to transform Exlambda into an Earth-like planet. A place where even humans could survive and thrive. It’ll take a really long time, but we can do it together… Mom.”
Alice glanced around the frozen tundra and let out a sigh, “I forgot to warn Michael. Noobageddon… It’s already begun.”