Oliver's hand reached upward, grasping hopelessly as the last sliver of moonlight faded above. He struggled, trying in vain to force his limbs to swim as they had done for most of the night, but the water was cold, and his body was tired. Down he sank, his body growing numb from cold and from exhaustion. As the moonlight faded in the depths, he shut his eyes. He could feel a buzzing in his head, his body's last desperate plea for air, but it was over. Panic had left several hours ago, and hope not too long after that. Help was not coming, not out here. As he sank below the waves, a final thought passed through his mind. 'Well then, I guess this is how it ends...' As his consciousness faded, everything went dark. Not the earthly sort of dark, no, it was a cold, empty, pit. Oliver stared out into the blank nothingness that surrounded him, or at least he thought he did. He couldn't tell if his eyes were open or closed. Suddenly, a brilliant light cut through the void. The priest squinted, covering his eyes with his hands as the darkness around him seemed to crack and give way. As the light spread, Oliver uncovered his eyes, looking down to see his body seemingly disintegrating beneath him. For a moment he was in shock. Finally, he let out a scream, but there was no sound, still the deathly silence prevailed. Oliver jerked as he awoke. He coughed violently, gripping his chest. For a moment, he tasted salt. The former priest looked around confusedly. 'I should be dead... but then this place would be... you're kidding.' Oliver's gaze darted around the room. He found himself sitting against the wall within a large, ruined building. Both the walls and the floor seemed to have been hewn from granite, and various inscriptions and images he didn't recognize covered the room. At one end of the building was a great door, made primarily of some sort of blackened metal. On the other end, a simple, undecorated altar, made of carved white stone, had been erected. Behind the altar, a large chunk of the wall was missing, revealing a cliff's edge and a grey sea. Oliver rose to his feet, pacing around the room. He was surprised to find his hat on his head, as he had lost it years ago. At the moment, however, that was the least of his worries. He was curious what this place was, and why he was here. Outside, the sound of a storm could be heard, licking against the stone walls of the apparent temple. The wind howled in through the opening in the wall, and the gate rattled against the storm's wrath. “What the hell is going on here?” Oliver mumbled to himself, though he had a sinking feeling that he knew the answer. As he grappled with the strangeness of his circumstances, a series of lights began to fill the temple. Amongst them, the priest noticed human forms beginning to take shape. It seemed he would not be the only one in this new world. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- There was a moment's hesitation, and then the cruel bite of cold steel. The pain was excruciating, aching and throbbing as the life slipped away from her, but then there was peace. The darkness washed over her, and she took comfort in the all-encompassing silence that followed. The voices had finally stopped. Here, she could rest easily, forever. It was all she had wanted, an escape from the constant burden of her guilt. She spoke softly to the darkness. “Finally, it's over.” Her words echoed into the blackness for a moment... and then another, and another. The echo grew louder and louder. Eventually, the voice began to twist into one different from her own. Anabel tried to scream, but her own cries were drowned out by the cacophony of echoes that ravaged her ears. A crack of light bit through the darkness. As the blinding light washed everything away, Anabel heard the voice change again. “It's never over.” The young woman gasped, her eyes darting around the room. This wasn't right. She was supposed to be dead. No, she had to be dead. Her hand went to her throat. Nothing. She was fully intact. She shook her head, tears welling up in her eyes. 'This wasn't supposed to happen. Why?Why?!' Her eyes fell to the ground, and she saw it: The long, slender blade rested at her side. She stared at the weapon with bewildered eyes for a moment, before reaching out a hand, cautiously. Her fingers touched the hilt of the weapon softly, but her head was immediately flooded with a cacophony of voices. It was hard to make out what the voices were saying, but they seemed to be accusing her, cursing her. Anabel yanked her hand away from the weapon, her body shivering. She pulled her hood over her face, her hands still shaking, as tears rolled down from her eyes.