Pain was all I felt as I slowly came into consciousness.
It burned inside my chest, a hollow, empty loneliness that threatened to swallow me up. I felt cold. Disoriented. I felt lost.
I tried to focus my eyes, but they refused to obey me, my head spinning with the onset of His voice.
Give it time my son, your body will adjust to it's newfound strength. Listen closely. There is much to be done. You must follow my will, fight for m-
I somehow knew this was The Creator. I didn't really care. I cut him off with a mental gesture. He was distracting me. My eyes finally started to focus, the edges of things sliding together, and I looked around, taking in my surroundings.
I was in a burnt out husk of a building, one of the walls completely missing, the others bent, broken, and covered in scorched graffiti. My head was still spinning, and the vacuum in my chest got worse as I tried to sit up.
-in my honor. Your name was once Azrael, a nod to the angel of death. You shall honor that name as Pride, you shall break any who oppose you. I will guide you on your pa-
"Just shut up jackass." Good. My voice was finally working. I threw myself to my feet, swaying dangerously, but refusing to fall. Other voices were starting to crowd into my head, some railing on about God's will, others clamoring over lost loved ones, and still others listing cake recipes or droning on about space.
So many voices.
His voice rang clear over them.
It pissed me off. I started singing under my breath, my voice drowning out the others. The shape of the foundation gave me a clearer picture of the building I was in, the remnants of a large home. The three walls made up a room, a kitchen judging by the pipes coming from the ground.
Ashes swept over my bare feet as I stumbled forward, ignoring the pain of walking through shards of broken glass to the far wall.
The voices roared inside my head. I sang the song I couldn't remember to drown them out as they steadily got louder, growing as I approached something.
I bent down to pick it up. I brushed away the ashes to uncover, of all things, a picture frame. It was cracked down the middle, splitting a woman's face in half. As I looked at her indescribable beauty, the voices exploded inside my mind, the empty hollow in my chest swallowing me up.
I fell deeper and deeper, the voices ripping me apart as I was swallowed by nothing. I was dying. The pain was somehow actually killing me.
…… It seems I was wrong. What a shame. I've never seen one quite like you. Very well. Let your pain swallow you whole. Let this world burn on without yo-
This voice means nothing. This pain means nothing. I. AM. AZRAEL. No god or void will destroy me. Nor shall they take me so lightly.
I am Pride.
The darkness receded from the edges of my sight, the shadows that had somehow covered my body soaking into my skin.
I will break this world. I will become god. Fuck His desires, or plans, or whatever the hell I'm supposed to do. No one looks down on me.
At my first mental shout, booming inside my head, the voices had fallen silent. He tried to speak again, give me directions and praise, but I brushed Him aside like a fly. I went this alone.
As I walked away from the burnt wreckage of what I assumed had been my home, I smiled. There was an actual hole in my chest, I shouldn't even be breathing, but the pain was fading.
Somewhere inside me, I knew what was going on. Enough information leaked from that corner of my mind to tell me where to go next. I would need to find others like me.
Shadows flickering wherever my body created a seam, shifting my flesh, making it stronger, more perfect, I tucked something into my pocket.
Maybe not completely alone.