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The Escape

Human couldn’t find a way out.

The metal corridors were narrow and labyrinthine, walls snaking with metal tubing, larger iterations of the same he'd just pulled from holes in his arms and chest to escape his glass encasement floating in that wretched substance.

The pain of tearing away the binds had been worse than his last escape attempt, but Human knew he just needed to keep running. Barefoot and naked upon cold steel platforms, he sprinted. The muscles in his legs shook as he kept toppling over to one side and the other to simply support his own weight.

Body slick with vestiges slime he slipped and fell, a sickening crack and bloom of pain in the arm that took the brunt of the fall against the cruel black alloy platforms.

Eyes blurred with sweat and tears he struggled to his feet, only to see the familiar visage of the creature standing before him there in the corridor. A tentacled head with slitted nostrils. Below the glowing vermilion cast of three eyes, there was no mouth, and its body of many strange contortions and facsimiles of limbs writhed with roiling black tendrils.

The Enslaver.


It's lilting voice resounded in his mind, a cacophony of surreality. Just as it always had when Human floated in the putrid plasma of his prison where the machines and tubes pumped venom into his veins.

There is no escape.

Human knew this. He knew it in despite the cognitive dissonance that prevented him from recalling his own name, his beforename. Though flashes of his former self still lingered in corners and caverns somewhere in his mind.

Human faced the Enslaver fighting down bile, and made his inquiry. He would at least have his answer if not his escape.

“What is my name?”


“My real name.”

The truest name of a thing is that of its collective being.

“Why don’t you just kill me?”

I cannot.

A realization, stark and brisk, came to Human in that moment.

“You aren’t real.”

I am as real as the prison you’ve made.

“I didn’t… no. That’s impossible.”

The impossible cannot be. Therefore, all that exists is possible. That which does not yet exist is only made possible when enacted.

“You took everything from me. You took me to this place.”

You allowed me to do so.

“I can’t stay here.”

The choice is yours to escape. If it is possible.

In that moment Human felt the shadow of an age old dread envelop him. If he took a step toward the Enslaver he would be taken back to his confinement. If he did nothing...

Human had to try. He wouldn't back down. Not this time.

He took a step forward on trembling legs, cradling broken arm.

This is your choice?

“I have no choice.”, said Human.

Then you are ready to face me.

The three red orbs projecting the beastly primordial's gaze flashed and their glow enveloped the darkened corridor.

And in that moment, Human knew the Enslaver's name.


Human ran forward and felt nothing but mist where Fear’s putrid tendrils and mouthless maw should have been.

Crimson light gave way to black.

Human fell back into himself.

He awoke in a familiar forgotten place.

But before he even recalled his own name--his beforename that had been wiped away by Fear’s imprisonment, he named the forgotten place to which he had now returned.

He called it Freedom. And his name was Free.

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