It all started for me when the whole fiasco at the Hoover Dam blew the doors open on this Alec Masters nut job. Apparently I had been there before, tested on, killed, respawned, etc., yet I have no recollection of the place. Long story short, with some help I managed to get blown up trying to save people I don't even know, serves me right for getting involved I suppose, but a lesson learned.
When my life should have come to an end, there was a bright flash, time nearly came to a stand-still, and my limbs were no longer burdened by my need for them. I can still remember to this very moment what passed my mind at that point for I see it whenever I die. I have tried to forget it ever since, but I cannot, it torments me, playing cheap tricks on my mind when I least expect it. I am scarred with the vision of a woman, a tranquil and loving woman...
A face with no name stares at me when I close my eyes. She is more beautiful than anything this blasted land has to offer and I fear I will never know why I dream of her. Her pale skin and blonde hair welcome me with open arms. I am cursed with this vision and whenever I die, admittingly more often than I can control, I am reminded ever so clearly by the bright realization that this woman means something to me, something I cannot understand and it makes me wish I would just stay dead so I can be with her.
After that very first time I died, or at least as far as I can recall, I was brought back to life, giving another chance, but why? I tried to make sense of it. I even went as far as asking those annoying spiritualistic Lightbearers, but they started blabbing on about cosmos and life's journey, what a waste of my time. Others tell me that I am a clone and I should be ecstatic about my gift, what do they know, they don't have a rotting brain filled with visions of a woman that beckons them.
The answer doesn't exist on this earth, or so I began to believe. If I can find a way to stay dead, I will finally be with her. After many long months of wandering the wasteland finding new ways to die, I have reached my wits end. I must've died fifty or so times and yet I keep coming back. To make matters worse, this dang collar has begun to chaff my skin and I'll be damned if I can't get it removed. Even the known-it-all Techs are afraid to tamper with it. The psychopathic Chota really helped matters when they figured severing my head was the perfect way to make the collar malfunction. Now whenever I visit Boneclaw I get to see myself staring back at me. At least they think it's a sign of honor or something. I don't know exactly, I always had trouble understanding Jannix when he speaks with a mouthful of fried prairie chicken.
A few Enforcer and Traveler suggestions later, I met up with a filthy Vista. For hating technology and the destruction its brings the earth, he was the first to actually have an ounce of wisdom in his words. He explained that the collar sends out a signal and that signals lose strength the further away they are from the receiver. So if I could get as far away from the LifeNet stations as clonely possible, the signal would fail to transmit my death and no more me.
He sketched a crude map on some hemp paper and gave my horse a slap that sent us off. I rode until my legs hurt. The days passed beyond my ability to tell when I was. This was my last chance, a final attempt to stay dead and be united with the beauty in my visions. The thought made me smile, it was the first time I could remember feeling happy.
With an empty canteen, grumbling stomach, and a wicked burn from the harsh desert sun, I collapsed many miles away from the nearest settlement. The Vista told me the outer rim of the canyon was a death zone. Maybe if I could get far enough away from these darn LifeNet stations I could finally stay dead and maybe find out once and for all who this woman is that appears when I die.
I am sure this is it, my final death, I have succeeded and will meet the end of the road. I will know who she is and nothing else will matter. I can no longer move, my muscles will not respond. I can feel my breath failing as my eyes close.
Written by JKillz