The Astral Plane

"Where am I?"

Ryker found himself in an odd place. It was plain white and he could not see the ceiling or walls.

"What is this place? Is it a dream?"

He walked around the place for what felt like an hour trying to reach the end. "Last thing I recalled was fighting that witch." He uttered clenching his fist. "And I lost."

"Argh!!!" He shouted from the bottom of his lungs. "It's so frustrating. I had her on my clutches and what did I do?"

He yanked his hair. "I toyed with her, I had the power to end her with a single strike, I knew I did."

He continued walking through the infinite space.

"Wait, what happened after she knocked me out? What if I died and this is the afterlife?" He plopped to his knees.

Ryker balls up his fist and slammed the floor making an odd "Thud" sound.

"I'm such a loser!"

He shouted feeling nothing but rage and regret. He continued slamming the floor.

"Only a loser will die like that..." Ryker paused. "What's the point? This has always been the law of the universe. There are only two kinds of people in the universe. Those who are strong and the rest. The rest do not matter. I'm part of the weak and as such, my life has been a shitty ride."

He bursts into a peel of uncontrollable laughter. It was as if he had lost his mind.

"What's the point in having regrets now?" He sits on the floor. "This is the fate of the weak. To suffer by the hands of the strong. To be on the receiving end of their oppression and in the end. To be met with an untimely death."

"What nonsense is this one spouting?" He heard a voice from behind.

Ryker jolts up and turns in the direction of the voice.

"Who are you?"

"Who am I? What do you think?"

Ryker took a step back. What he saw was no man. He did have the shape of a man, but his skin was completely black as night with multiple dark spots around his body.

"I've got nothing." Ryker casually replied making the man plop to the floor comically.

"You're a blunt one aren't you?"

"Well, what can I say? I've got nothing to lose now that I'm dead."

"Pfft, hahaha." The man laughs.

"Tck, what's so funny?"

"You actually think that you're dead?"

Ryker widened his eyes. "I'm not?"

"Where do you think we are?"

Ryker looked around him. "Once again, no idea man."

The man facepalmed. "You really don't know huh?" He had finally given up. "Be rest assured, you're not dead. Your soul might have been temporarily severed from your body, but you're alive."

He spreads his arms apart.

"And this is the astral plane."

"Ohh, okay," Ryker replied nonchalantly. 

"..." 

"What?" The man didn't have a face nor eyes yet Ryker could feel the man's glares. 

"Really? Nothing? Only one in a million get a chance to visit this place and you seem completely calm about it." 

Ryker scratches his head. "Well, you see... I've never heard of an astral plane before." He admits sheepishly. 

The man facepalmed again not believing how carefree Ryker was. 

"Alright buster," Said Ryker. "You answered the where. Now tell me, who in the cosmos are you!?" 

"Now you seem to show some interest?" The man sits on the floor with his legs crossed. 

"I figured you brought me here for a reason and I won't be able to leave until I get to the bottom of things. So," Ryker sits as well. "Start talking. Who or what are you and why did you bring me here?" 

"I am what you call an Etherian." 

Ryker gasped. 

"Finally some reaction from you!" He was amazed by how Ryker remained calm throughout their conversations until this point. 

"If I knew all it'll take to get a reaction from you was to reveal my identity, I would have started with that."

Ryker didn't pay heed to the man's comment. The name "Etherian" sent a chill running through his spine. 

"Etherian as in one of the 3 mythical races."

"Yup," The man nods his head.

"Here I am, thinking that the stories we were told as children about the three Mythical races were nothing but folklore. But here you are. And Etherian in the flesh." Ryker finished with glimmers in his eyes. 

"Well, technically us Etherians do not have a physical body, and as such you may even refer to us as spirits."

"What does an Etherian want with me?"

"And you're back to your usual demeanor." The man made a sighing sound. He gets up and stretches his hand out to Ryker. 

"I want you to become my Vessel."

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