There were a lot of things that Amara Cormac thought were possible when she was little, but the thing that she never thought about was at the age of thirty, she would be contacted by The Voice while she was having sex with her girlfriend at four in the morning. What was even more alarming was that The Voice did not contact her through e-mail or an old fashioned good old phone call. One minute she was in the throws covered in sweat and the next three seconds reality ripped just above her bed for a massive black eye to look through a slit that was eight feet long.
After her girlfriend, well, one night stand really, screamed and ran to who knows where, she rolled across the floor, with her always by her side service weapon and unloaded a full clip in the small section of the eye that stared down at her. When that didn’t work, she tried to run out of her own room, but the door shut, and the windows melted into the floor. There was no alternative escape or bullets left.
“Sit down,” a voice said from everywhere but mostly from right behind her belly button.
Amara moved to the bed, sat her gun down slowly to show this giant eye staring through a void that she was no longer hostile, then climbed up onto the bed and sat down. The eye looked down to her and she looked up to the eye.
“You don’t know who I am yet,” The Voice had said.
“You’re fucking right I don’t know,” Amara frowned. “But I bet you’re going to tell me.”
“No,” The Voice said. “That would take a longer than you have life.”
The eye shrunk down to a normal sized eye which didn’t make anything any better because now Amara could see beyond the eye to the multitude of vibrating white strings that seemed to stretch on forever. The noise, she could barely hear, but it was a mixture of what she imagined it would be to have one’s brains whisked.
This bright blue/green/red eye floated down and came close as it possibly could to Amara and she tried not to go for her gun though it was her instinct to do so. Spending years as once a mercenary and then private detective, she was used to violence and using it to ensure that she made it out on the other end. But there was a vibration that seemed to calm her. The muscles all loosened, and she could feel the thoughts that maybe everything was going to be okay, and that maybe if she would just sit still, there would be great things to come.
That’s when the eyeball launched forward at such a force that it disintegrated her own. There was a blinding flash of pain that would have been numbed by the shock, but the eye twisted in the socket until it was facing out, then started meticulously connecting all the nerve endings from the missing eye to its own.
Amara responded by screaming and holding her hand to her eye. There was the voice from The Voice that tried to calm her with phrases like This will be over soon or just think about something else or the one that she remembers most Your brown eyes are prettier than mine. That was the only compliment The Voice gave to Amara. Well, that was the last phrase she heard before she completely passed out from the overwhelming pain of merging a super being’s eye to her own.
When she woke, she was fully dressed in her riot gear laying on her bed. She sighed and chalked it up to a wild night and told herself that she would never take a pill from a stranger again, no matter how nice they smelled or how pretty they smiled. All of that, of course, disappeared when she looked up to see the rip of reality.
This time, she could see the strings individually and numbers coming off all of them. She could see how her own reality was vibrating ever so slightly and how thin the wall was between that and the black void. She could also see, through this thin veil, behind her, at some distance away, there was a golden string that did not vibrate.
“That’s where I’m from,” The Voice’s voice said.
“Why are you here and talking to me,” Amara said.
“Because I’m a woman, well was a woman, that did a lot of research and thorough investigation before I made decisions. I’m looking for someone with the mental fortitude to jump through time and realities to find women that are me but not me and bring them back.”
There were a lot of questions that Amara could have asked about God, Death, or whatever that small spec moving away from her across the strings were, but she knew that, in her old merc days, when the information was needed, it was usually given. So, she nodded and looked around her room, now looking like it, pictures held against a bright light and shrugged. Seek and retrieve.
“How will I know what these…yous look like,” she pointed to the strings. “And how am I to get to those.”
“You never asked my name,” The Voice said.
“You never said it,” Amara replied.
The Voice said who they were, and it meant nothing to Amara and they both knew that this was a lot bigger than she could ever process. But they both knew that she was the one for the job or there wouldn’t be a new eye fusing into her socket as she spoke. More and more things came into focus as time went on.
“That’s a very heavy name,” Amara said. “Can’t I just call you Miss or something.”
“No,” was the only reply.
The Voice told her to go downstairs, walk two blocks north, and go down a small street where a blue house with a red door would be. Amara didn’t ask any more questions but stood up, opened the door, and followed the directions while looking over all the things in front of her. If she thought about time, she could see it stretching before her in multiple layers atop one another stretching backward and forward.
If she thought about different realities, she could feel herself start to stretch across the vibrating lines and the numbers became relevant to show their number in creation. But she only did this the first block because she knew she had to find the person she was looking for. Anyone that she looked at looked like normal people, but as she neared the house, she could see that there was a figure on the inside that had a golden center blossoming from them.
“Is that who I’m looking for,” Amara said.
“Yes,” the voice replied. “But every time she’s going to look different, the gold you see will always be the same.”
“What do you need me to do,” Amara asked watching the woman lay a plate of food in front of two kids who were glued to their tablets.
“You’re going to gather her essence and return it to me in the Golden Line,” The Voice said.
“Kill her,” Amara said. “I thought this was a catch and return.”
“I am fractured beyond measure,” The Voice said. “I am dying, and when I die, this Golden Line dies and then everything dies.”
“You’re on a time limit,” Amara said.
“Somewhat,” The Voice said.
“What’s in it for me?” Amara asked.
“Do you want to know what it will be like if you don’t do this?” The Voice asked. “Do you want to see what will come for us all?”
Standing in the middle of the street with her guns holstered Amara looked up. If anyone would have looked at her, they would have seen a muscled African woman with a strong jaw. The sides of her head were shaved, and the top had a set of dreadlocks tied together that stopped at the middle of her back
“This might kill you,” The Voice said.
When Amara didn’t reply The Voice activated something from far away, a power that was so strong that every single seizure that has and will happened was the result of this. It was, The Voice thought, a necessity. For Amara had to see what was in store for them if the thing did happen that she was told would happen.
There wasn’t blackness, but an inky void that seemed to stick to her body. She watched in horror as her skin was peeled back layer by layer. No matter how much she screamed something skinned her molecularly until there was nothing but muscles and her organs. And then there was the embrace of something dark as she could feel it slip into the fibers and cells until she was it and it was her. Her brain, she could feel be removed from her body and merged with ten trillion trillion other brains all screaming out without a voice. The rattling of gray matter as it fought against the eternal.
When she came back to, Amara was on the ground weeping. She must have made a lot of noise because the woman with the golden center was crouched over her with her phone out, her other hand pressed on her chest.
“That was only the first two seconds of the eternity that is in store for all of us,” The Voice said. “There is no end.”
Amara blinked away a few of the tears sat up, pulled her gun free and sent a bullet through the woman’s head. Her brains and skull fragments were thrown up into the air and some of them landed on her children, Fredrick, and Margaret Trenton. Fredrick would kill himself in ten years and Margaret would, for the rest of her life, seek vengeance on Amara. Buts a much more violent and longer story than can be placed here.
While the kids screamed, Amara put away her gun and watched as the golden light moved around her tracing her body and then finally slipping into her new eye. There was this movement, not horrible but not enjoyable as something settled in her bones.
“One down,” the voice said. “Get to work.”
Amara grimaced at the feeling of something, or someone now with her, infusing inside her bones and organs. She knew that it wouldn’t always be like that, and she also knew that she might not come back from trying to accomplish the task, but it was better than whatever was waiting at the end.
The only thing she didn’t like was addressing The Voice in the name that she did. It reeked of ego and hubris. But most of her employers in the past were like that. The exception this time was that if The Voice failed, everything ever would suffer the consequence. But she said the name in her head to remember it, so if something went wrong, she’d know who to blame.