Rubik was awake, gasping for breath, drowning in a plush lavender silk bed. He flung the covers off of his sweaty body and promptly fell onto the ground. Desert. The psychopathic, insane, death-dealing... Rubik wasn't going back to sleep. Hastily, he put back on his normal clothes (Cheng had put him in purple pajamas) and made his way quietly out of the room.

Sondz was sitting on a bench in the hallway outside, and Rubik thought from his face that Sondz hadn't noticed him. Rubik attempted to tiptoe past the sleeping king...

"I had three children, once," Sondz rumbled. His voice was tired. "Haw, the golden light of my life. Thoughtful Rex, always there for me. Shadow, the quiet peacekeeper.

"One day, Rex died. My wife then, Playful (it had been an arranged marriage, being a monarch isn't always fun) blamed Haw, who fled. Shadow... disappeared. Playful left to hunt down the son she thought had broken her. And I stayed here.

"Sometimes I think that I was wrong to let them all go. I could have kept them here, safe. We could have our wounds healed.

"Wounds never heal completely."

Rubik gulped, unsure of the correct response. "I... saw Haw, and Playful, if that helps you?"

In a flash, Rubik was pinned to a wall with Sondz' bare hand wrapped around Rubik's throat. "It doesn't, actually," Said Sondz with fake lightness. "You are welcome to leave at any time."

Sondz released Rubik, who crumpled to the floor, gasping for breath. Rubik glared up at the king, his clothes swept about him in a regal manner, his anger giving him all the more grace.

"Mother... Fucker..." Gasped Rubik, attempting to refill his lungs. "You'll get what you deserve, one day."

Rubik left the castle. He didn't see Cheng.

Wandering through the City, he found himself in a shop that sold glass. Rubik had gotten into a confrontation with the owner – being strangled by a king makes you a bit peeved – and the owner was gearing up for a fight.

"You dare insult the one and only Jallybwan's Glass Store?" The owner yelled. He was human for the most part, save four brilliant red feathery wings, two on either side. Jally was a burly man, muscles rippling across his body. Jally pulled back his arm, and landed a powerful punch on Rubik's face.

Rubik was flung backward, through the store window. Glass shattered. Rubik's body arced, his head hitting the pavement first with the power of the blow. Rubik got to his feet, fists ready. Jally frowned.

"Hey, I was feeling kinda guilty about that punch? And I kinda regretted such a powerful blow to a literal child? And then I realized... that should have killed you. Are you okay?"

Rubik looked down at his arms, felt his neck.

Not a drop of blood specked his striped shirt.

What the hell? How was he still alive>


An author wouldn't kill off a main character. Rubik wouldn't die so inconsequentially. There would at least be dram- Ghosty was right.

Damn it, Desert was right two, they both were! Rubik was being controlled! This entire universe was just a world for some puppet master to control. Everyone, everywhere... nothing was free.

Rubik would fix that.




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