Nightmare

<DiePotato> Artyom shifts a bit more in bed and closes his eyes. He sleeps on his side. And his breathing doesn't seem to change from his norm. Actually it's hard to tell if he's breathing. He's like a corpse
<gumbal1> Artyom, you wake up (or are you awake?) on a sparsley populated and dimly lit subway train. Sitting several feet to your left is an unmoving pale blond man with a swollen tongue and eyes packed with viscera, cradling a sleeping olive-skinned baby in his unmoving arms. Sitting across from you is an even pales man with platinum blond, almost white hair, sitting next to a violin case, staring into the distance. You cannot see outside the win
<gumbal1> dows of the car.
<gumbal1> *paler
<DiePotato> Artyom blinks once or twice in shock and looks down at what he's wearing.
<gumbal1> Blood-stained hospital scrubs.
<DiePotato> "…" Artyom's eyes widen more and he looks up at the guy across from him. "Where am I?"
<gumbal1> A faint droning echoes throught the subway car.
<gumbal1> The pale man with the violin case looks at Artyom. "Train 72. I wouldn't worry. What's done is done."
<DiePotato> "I… Have no idea what you are talking about."
<gumbal1> "Oh. Hard to forget, really. This was your best delivery yet. Shame about the parents, but birth doesn't come without risks."
<DiePotato> "…….." Artyom stands and quickly starts walking to a different end of the train.
<gumbal1> Walking is hard. Your legs feel more weighted than usual. Ultimately, however, you are able to walk to the end of the car, where the door to the other car awaits.
<DiePotato> Arty throws the door open and goes through it, using the frame as a support.
<gumbal1> This car is far more rusted than the last one. A few bald men in suits sit on the left side. A body bag is lying on the floor of the car.

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<DiePotato> "What the fuck?!"
<gumbal1> The bald men ignore you.
<DiePotato> Arty slowly makes his way over to the body bag and nudges it with his foot.
<gumbal1> The body bag shakes somewhat, before going still again.

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<DiePotato> "…" Arty's eyes are the size of dinner plates. He slowly kneels down and draws the bag open.

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<gumbal1> A pale blond woman lies in the bag. She has a swollen tongue and bandages over her eyes.
<gumbal1> The distant sound of twisting metal is heard.
<gumbal1> Very distant.
<DiePotato> Arty snaps his head up. And then looks back down. "All blonde…"
<DiePotato> He draws back up to his full height and doesn't pay the businessmen any mind. He keeps moving forward. Towards the next car.
<gumbal1> The next car isn't nearly as rusted. It is, however, visibly older model and much, much colder. A few foundation personnel lounge around the car, conversing silently with one another.

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<DiePotato> Arty walks quickly over to them. "Do you know where we are?"
<gumbal1> You can see out the windows now. Dim lights pass by in sparse quantities, revealing the catacombs the train runs through.
<gumbal1> One of the scientists looks up. "We're passing through to the other side now, I think."

<DiePotato> "Other side? You don't mean…"
<gumbal1> "The place you go after you do your defining thing."
<gumbal1> "I don't think we got good tickets. We aren't going fast enough."
<gumbal1> The sound of twisting metal is heard again, nearer, yet still distant.
<DiePotato> "I have not died yet. Or done anything defining."
<gumbal1> "They're coming, I think."
<DiePotato> "Who's they?" Was the sound coming from behind him in the previous cars or the next cars?
<gumbal1> "I'd go the other way. You seem to have earned a seat further front."
<gumbal1> The way you're going.
<DiePotato> "…" Arty nods and keeps moving forward. He steps cautiously
<gumbal1> The next car is even colder, and even more derilect. A few skeletons wearing various military uniforms sit on either side, along with a cying middle-aged woman.
<DiePotato> "…" Arty approaches the woman. "Are you alright?"
<gumbal1> "[I did my part for my country. Why me? Why me?]" The woman is speaking Czech.
<DiePotato> "…" Arty takes a step back. "[Who are you?]"
<gumbal1> The woman doesn"[
<gumbal1> 't look up.
<gumbal1> "[The Cold One shouldn't come for me. I did my part, I did!]"
<gumbal1> Another sound of twisted metal, closer still.
<DiePotato> Arty kneels down in front of her. "[Who is The Cold One?]"
<DiePotato> Arty looks over and then turns back to the woman
<gumbal1> "[They're going to deny me the other side. Why, why?]"
<DiePotato> Arty tries touching her shoulder. "[Who is this Cold One?]"
<gumbal1> The woman's skin sloughs off, revealing yet another skeleton.
<DiePotato> Artyom hops up to his feet and leaps back. "Jesus!"
<DiePotato> Arty quickly rushes for the next car.
<gumbal1> The next car is pitch black, and colder still. Occasionally, the lights illuminating the subway catacombs will illuminate the car, revealing dolls resembling various members of the task force.
<gumbal1> A deep voice sounds in your head.
<gumbal1> ~You know how this ends, don't you?~
<DiePotato> Arty flinches and grabs his head. "Get out."
<gumbal1> ~You always knew how this would end.~
<DiePotato> "I said get out."
<gumbal1> As the lights flicker, a doll disappears. Then another. Then another. Then another.
<gumbal1> All except your own doll.
<DiePotato> "…" Arty feels his way towards it whenever there's no light. When he's close enough he picks it up.
<gumbal1> It looks like the work of a passionate child.
<gumbal1> ~You're good at what you do. Don't let it lead you down the wrong path.~
<gumbal1> The sound of twisted metal is heard, directly above.
<DiePotato> "That is all it has do-" Artyom looks up and sprints for the next car.
<gumbal1> That door is locked, Artyom. It has been for some time.
<gumbal1> Something rips off the roof of the car. Directly above is void, with the exception of that thing.
<DiePotato> Arty doesn't look up or behind him. Just rams his shoulder into the door over and over. He's still clutching the doll.
<gumbal1> Pale blue skin, six arms, antlered head, and a face occupied by a single, large, closed eye.
<gumbal1> You can practically sense its presence, even without seeing it.
<DiePotato> Artyom stops ramming his shoulder into it and starts kicking it with the same intensity.
<gumbal1> The door doesn't budge, Artyom. You always knew you couldn't change the past.
<DiePotato> "No! I will fix this!" Arty slams his fists into the door. "I have to!"
<gumbal1> The thing gently picks you up with one of its cold, soft hands.
<DiePotato> "No! No. No…" Arty turns to face it, his expression filled with horror
<gumbal1> Perhaps you could have stopped this at one point.
<DiePotato> "I couldn't… I had to save them."
<gumbal1> ~Don't worry about the past. Worry about the present.~ The thing begin opening its eye.
<gumbal1> You wake up in a cold sweat.
<DiePotato> Artyom sits bolts up in bed, panting.
<DiePotato> *artyom bolts
<DiePotato> "…" He wipes his face and quietly lays back down.

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