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79 Path Through Chaos
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The Phantom School
Author :Strawberry_Pancake
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79 Path Through Chaos

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I was going to continue searching for Idil and a possible exit from this facility. The struggle between The Community and the scientists was a secondary objective. I thought that Cansu would be thinking otherwise, but perhaps she wasn't interested in arguing with me; picking a fight wouldn't serve anything good.

"If we go on like this, we will probably end up dead in no time." Cansu said.

"Aren't you already dead? Isn't this... more of an issue of mortals?" I said.

"I am not happy being trapped within you." she said. "Don't misunderstand, it is nothing personal. It is just... If you die, I will have no effect standing immobile."

"Don't get me wrong, but simply judging by your previous actions... It seems like you can, in fact, travel independently." I said. "You see... You can activate my cellphone and nearby intercom speakers from afar. Besides... members of The Community can do that as well, although with limited effectiveness."

"Say it once again, but slowly." she said.

"Say what?"

"Trying to travel afar from my 'cage'... greatly reduces effectiveness. But, moreover; it is REALLY painful." she said. "My words can not precisely describe what is happening in this dimension, but after all, you don't have to know everything. It is just... very painful."

"Can you still feel pain? Well, I know you can still feel emotions, but..."

"It is not physical pain like you feel..." she said.

"Eh?" I was getting a bit confused again.

"Look, the human language is not capable of transmitting what I want to tell you. If you were dead, you would understand; but your death would be a most unfortunate event. So, please, I beg you... You don't have to understand everything." she explained.

"Why does everyone keep telling me that?" I said. "I'm tired of hearing this very specific phrase over and over again..."

"Maybe because there is truth in that." she said. "If you keep getting stuck on such unnecessary details, I can guarantee that you will hear it again. Such a useless conversation anyway... Let's focus on what we are doing."

"You started the conversation." I said. "You said I would die if I kept going like that."

"Oh... yes." she said after a short pause.

"What do you suggest?" I asked her.

"I know you won't like the idea so much, but... Your first priority should be finding the scientists again. Stop looking for Idil first." I said.

"I HAVE TO find her." I objected. "We don't know her condition, we might be losing very precious time."

"I knew you would say that..." Cansu sighed.

"Also, by standing by the side of those scientists... We would have picked a side on this war. We should stay out of it as long as possible and try to make the most out of this chaos." I suggested. "Both parties are our enemies."


"And that's what the problem is!" Cansu said. "If we stand alone, we will be annihilated. One side has guns, and the other... well, you know The Community a lot better anyway. We have to pick a side, even though it is temporary... We are not powerful enough to play 'aggressive neutral'."

"But..."

"And let me tell you beforehand, I will NOT stand on the side of The Community." her voice changed. "Besides, by sharing our knowledge, we've already picked the side of the scientists. What do you expect, a formal five page invitation?"

"I never suggested that we pick the side of The Community." I sighed.

"Still, you are throwing my plans off-track already..." she said. "This is the only time in history that we can defeat The Community. We can not lose it."

"Fine. Maybe, for the sake of the protection we need..." I said. "I will search for the scientists."

Cansu suddenly went silent.

"Hey!" I said.

"Did you hear that too?" she whispered.

"Hear what?"

"That!"

"What!?" No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't hear anything.

Something tickled my right leg. I didn't react at first, but the feeling got more intense.

"Argh." I yelled. "Did I accidentally hit something?"

The 'feeling' was travelling up my leg. I used my left foot to scratch my leg. The feeling disappeared.

"Watch it." Cansu said. I looked around, but couldn't notice anything.

"What is going on?" I asked.

"They are near." she said. "The Community."

"I don't see anything." I said.

"You don't?" she asked. "Look closely."

The tickling appeared again. This time, I panicked immediately. What could be happening?

With my feet, I tried to scratch my leg again, but this time, the feeling didn't disappear. I looked down to my leg, and I noticed something weird. There was something strange on my leg; it was like a brown/red-ish, thin layer of a weird substance. I reached out with my hand to get it off, but just when I did it, the funny feeling appeared on my hand. I got my hand closer to my face to take a careful look. But just when I noticed what it was, I started shaking my hand around violently.

The 'substance' was a colony of tiny bugs, a type that I have never seen in my life before. I had no idea what they could do to me, but I was surely afraid. As the feeling got more intense, I began jumping around and rubbing my body against walls. As I looked more carefully into the corridor, I noticed a lot more of those bugs coming this way.

I immediately started running away from the bugs in order to prevent more of them from sticking on to my body. Meanwhile, the ones that had gathered on my hand began travelling up my arm, towards my shoulder. I tried pushing them away with my hands, but it didn't work. I kept running.

Suddenly, someone appeared in the hallway. He was one of the scientists I had seen earlier.

"Help!" I screamed. He didn't spend another second standing there, instead, he began running away. I started chasing him, still struggling to push the bugs away. When I looked back into the corridor, I noticed something even worse.

"They can fly!?"

The scientist had turned towards a single door at the end of the corridor. I kept pursuing him. Just when he got past the door, he stopped there.

"Stop! Help me!" I yelled.

After looking at me for a couple of seconds, he closed the door and locked it before I could reach him.

"What happened to the side we had picked?" I said. Cansu didn't even say a word back.

I looked behind me. I was cornered by those bugs. Maybe I could try running directly into them, but my whole body would be covered in those bugs. Although I haven't seen them doing any real damage on my body, I was afraid. Even if I could somehow get past them, I could end up running into something even worse.

Suddenly, I felt something on my right ear. They were climbing up... and inside.

I could now hear them moving around. I tilted my head and pressed against my shoulder to deal with the disturbing feelings, but I was unsuccessful.

With the pain I felt in my ear, I let out the loudest scream in my life.
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