Chrystix’ eyes shot open, his vision adjusting to the bright, clear blue sky above him. There were no clouds, barely a change in the sky’s hue as it stretched, endlessly around him. He felt his blue and white fur begin to stand on end, the slow, creeping fear already beginning to encroach upon him as he sat up to hesitantly confirm his suspicions.
The land around him was a stark white, so pristine and uniform one could easily mistake the landscape as having a fresh coat of snow. Chrystix knew better, however. The blinding ivory expanse around him was not snow, but rock, an unknown mineral that was smooth to the touch.
The only object of note besides Chrystix himself was the large, glowing aquamarine crystal directly in front of him. It stood tall, a blight upon the white void that surrounded it, its harsh glow accompanied by a deep, droning hum that Chrystix knew all too well. The hum would never truly leave his ears, always somehow acting as background noise that was on the edge of his consciousness, no matter how hard he tried to purge it from his ears. Chrystix had settled on the name “The Monolith,” and he could only look upon it for moments at a time before the rising anxiety and disgust forced him to turn away.
Chrystix began doing the only thing he knew would further along this familiar chain of events, and with a sense of foreboding that he was becoming all to accustomed to, he began to walk away from the Monolith, allowing his mind to wander as his body took over the menial task of putting one foot in front of the other.
Was this a dream? A vision? A hallucination? Or perhaps he truly was back on the seemingly infinite prison that seemed to close in around him despite the sheer lack of anything besides firm ground to walk on and endless sky above him. Chrystix was never sure, each occurrence felt different. Sometimes he was so groggy he would be certain the events were simply a nightmare, born out of his time on the planet. Other times everything felt so real he was certain that he had never left the planet at all.
A sudden scraping noise immediately broke him out of his thoughts, Chrystix knowing that the climax to these events was about to unfold. He forced himself to take a deep breath and turn, and despite the fact that he must have seen this play out a hundred times at least, he still found it almost impossible to exhale, the breath caught in his throat.
It was a monster, Chrystix found no better way to describe the horror in front of him. To say the entity was shaped like a Mobian would only be accurate in the loosest of terms, it’s arms, legs, torso and head seemingly running into each other, a garbled mess of vaguely recognizable proportions, the only concrete features being its eyes, emitting a blinding teal glow, and its jagged maw, stretched beyond what a normal mouth should be capable of, jagged rows of crystal lining the opening. The creature was crystalline in nature, something Chrystix chalked up to it being related to the Monolith, sharing its aquamarine hue that also adorned the crystal embedded within Chrystix’s chest.
It began to shamble towards Chrystix, making no sound other than the chorus of scraping and crunching of its crystal shell smashing against the ground in a crude attempt to close the distance between itself and its prey. It was by no means fast, but it was relentless, a lesson Chrystix had learned by way of multiple failed attempts to outrun it. Each one ended with Chrystix collapsing from exhaustion and waking to see the creature’s grim visage staring into his eyes.
Chrystix knew there was no escape from it, at least not during the time he was trapped within his own mind. His instincts screamed out for him to run, to fight, to scream, but instead he buried the feelings deep within and stood still, his heart beating faster with every step the creature took towards him. His eyes lowered to the creature’s outstretched arm; a jagged spire of crystal that ended in a spike that slowly inched its way towards the crystal on Chrystix’s chest. As it grew closer the infernal hum of the Monolith grew louder, deafening Chrystix, who could only close his eyes as the hum reached its crescendo.
Chrystix’s eyes shot open yet again, but this time greeted by a deep blue sky, with large puffy, grey clouds dotting the horizon. The breath that had caught in his throat finally released itself via his heavy sigh of relief, as he sat up to bask in the warm glow of the sun, and the lush green foliage around him.
The sound of chirping birds and the soft breeze through the trees greeted his ears, the sweet subtle smell of wildflowers gracing his nose, and the soft grass beneath him seemed to embrace him as he drank in the serene grace of the forest, he had made camp in.
After a short while of allowing himself to appreciate the world he had made his way to, he packed his belongings and set out for his next adventure. His experiences from the night before serving as extra motivation to find enough gemstones to keep his connection to the world he inhabited strong, to keep himself away from the stark, white planet he originated from, and to keep whatever was still there from finding its way anywhere else.