Before a dragon crashed through a wall, Dragomir woke up with a splitting headache.
He did not, at first, know where he was. The world surrounding him consisted of, well, nothing: a floor, apparently, one he was seated upon, but nothing more than that. A grey abyss stretched in every direction around him, stark and featureless. It could not have been a more boring backdrop. Dragomir felt tired again just looking at the grey.
Gradually, though, the grey lightened, absorbing light from some unknowable force to become a pure, blinding white. At first Dragomir squinted; then he winced; then he shielded his eyes; then, overcome by the brilliance, he curled into a ball. The light overwhelmed him, burning his senses, and he yelled at it to go away, knowing that someone was probably behind it. Controlling it. There was always someone.
“Dragomir,” a voice whispered, half familiar. The voice of his first son, yet more than that. Grayson’s recognizable, petulant tone seemed overlapped with a monotone basso, something stronger - and far older.
“Oh, hells, not you again,” Dragomir groaned. “Kid, you’ve done enough, just fuck off and leave me - “
“We are not Grayson,” the voice whispered. “We are his father.”
Dragomir paused to consider that rather odd statement, odd mainly because it wasn’t odd at all. He got it at once, though he refused to uncurl. “Fuck. You guys. Could you turn it… agh, turn it down a bit…?”
They did. The world dulled to a mere white. It still hurt Dragomir’s eyes when he dared to peek through his fingers, but he could stand the light now. He uncurled and got to his feet, not sure what he was standing on and not particularly caring either.
“Gee, thanks.” Dragomir rubbed his head, scowling. “Can ya do somethin’ ‘bout this headache? Bet you can, considerin’ we’re in my mind and all.”
“How do you know we are in your mind?” Grayson’s half of the voice lifted in vague amusement. “We could be anywhere. Such is our power when we are one.”
“‘cause I’ve done this shit before,” Dragomir replied. “I know what it’s like. Gettin’ mighty tired of it, too. Among other things.”
The amusement grew. “Such as?”
Dragomir didn’t hesitate. “Such as you guys fucking with me. Constantly. I’m not stupid. You’ve been pulling shit since day one, haven’t you? Using me? Ever since I went down in that stupid rat farm, I bet…”
The background changed, though subtly. Now Dragomir was back in the rat farm, a system of tunnels beneath his old home, though this rat farm was slight and vaporous, formed of pale clouds and as fragile as a puff of breath. Taken aback for only a second, Dragomir moved his hand through a nearby fence. He was not surprised to see it explode into a dozen floating motes of white.
“Longer than that,” the voice said. “You have been ours since your birth, just as you were theirs. We have grappled over possession of you since your creation.”
The background shifted again. Now Dragomir was standing above an ethereal forest, his perspective skewed to stare directly at the ground. A pair of bodies, identical save for one missing eye, lay below him. Several rats darted back and forth in the trees over the bodies, silently consulting with one another.
“So you really did know,” Dragomir said, mostly to himself. “All that time, you fucking knew. And you kept your mouths shut.”
“You were not ready,” the voice commented. It sounded almost gleeful. “We did not wish to spoil your potential. The enemy selected you for breeding alone, yet what you can do is far beyond anything their myopic minds could have conceived.”
The white of Dragomir’s surroundings shifted ever so slightly. He didn’t notice it until he looked back to the bodies below, realizing that one of them now bore a faint, green aura. It tinged the body’s entire outline, yet the green seemed most focused, most potent, dancing around the body’s fingers.
Dragomir looked at his own fingers. They were black, sharpened claws. He supposed they had been since the beginning of the conversation.
“Yes,” said the voice. “Your Catastrophe. It is far more powerful than you ever could have imagined.”