AGE 18 (07.18.01)

There are three undeniable facts about Seylah's birth: it happened during an eclipse, their mother died holding them for the first time, and no one else but a birthing assistant was present. Seylah had heard many versions of the myth of their being. How was such a perfect weapon constructed? The reality was much less fantastic and frightening. Take a Holy Tracker and a citizen and you get a perfect abomination. It's nothing new. How many children of the underground were abandoned malformations of society, born of sin and better left erased than embraced? But Seylah was special. Or so, everyone had always loved to say. The planets had aligned to make it so. Skin of all worlds, touch of all worlds, the ability to embrace it all and also, none of it.

Seylah knows there was no orphanage that could've taken them in. There's no timeline of what happened between the certain death of their mother and being swaddled in Lekkashur's arms. The blanks aren't so hard to fill in though. Take one woman murdered by a baby, a birthing assistant scarred and scared, and everyone's love to gossip and roll it all together. Lekkashur liked to call it fate. A little found family, that's who they all were. The world had drawn together four people and a prize in their image. All of them alike, all of them meant to be as she decreed it.

What Seylah does remember is the ship. Their life hadn't always been captivity. As a toddler, they were allowed to run down the corridors of the ship, as long as they were quiet and didn't get in the way. Either of those things would have consequences. Sometimes, Seylah would even go into the cities with them, sit at tables or on beds as things happened in other rooms. Their memory of what life was were incomplete snapshots of reality, warped and tainted by what was shown to them. Brisk walks down grimy alleys, skyrises overlooking the lights, the backdoor rooms of establishments that seemed like backdoors to life itself. Seylah had no childhood, no notion of family or love. Just curiosity, an eternal unfed hunger to learn. To connect as any attempts of connection were fiercly denied.

Speaking wasn't encouraged. Neither was any desire to grow outside of what was required of them. Seylah was meant to be nothing more than good. Good was nothing more than useful. Useful was nothing more than deadly. Seylah wasn't taught to read or write, but taught to fight until their body gave out. Day after day, until they grew powerful enough to make other bodies give out instead. People came and went, disposable to the four that saw Seylah as everything but that.

Seylah must've been no older than seven when they were allowed out into the world on their own. Which of course meant, with more minds inside of theirs than anyone should be able to remain sane with. They had been raised to be a good puppet, to not fight the voices telling them to walk over to the woman at the bar and press both hands against her face and do everything they could to just keep pressing. Just keep touching. This went against the usual rules. Do not touch. Do not touch anyone we don't tell you to. If you do, you'll be taken away. You'll be taken away and they'll kill you, because you're a monster, and we're the only people who think you aren't. At times, Seylah had to touch those who came to train them. Seylah watched their smirks turn to screams and the disdain in their eyes turn into undeniable horror. See, a monster, they would say, but such a good one, if you do what we say.

What they hadn't told Seylah is that this time around, the memories and the voices wouldn't go away. The woman at the bar might have eventually fallen limp to the floor, rippling screams through the tavern, but she roared in their mind so often. Lazily, Lizeh'Qol would sometimes help silence Miktala, if only to get Seylah to use everything they had gained to crush another rival, or steal something, or simply break someone because they could. Most other times, she would point out Seylah's naivity to them, the stupidity of being used and broken. Miktala taught them of the world, of its bleakness, of the need to defeat and surpass to survive. Encourage them to rebel, to get out, to conquer.

This was not met kindly. Whatever facade of domesticity they had built for Seylah's sake was broken. Bonds were made, a dark room found to keep them in until they promised to be kind once more. Seylah did their best to not kill with their hands, if at all, if only in an attempt to keep their mind their own. But between Miktala and the influence of the four, Seylah found themselves kneeling on the floor of a back alley, hands wrapped around a cyborg whose lights slowly went out beneath them. The surge of power was so different than Miktala's knowledge that wove itself bloody over reality. No, Pal'Kkot came with his own reality, his own world that never silenced, never turned off.

There were some blessings. Even locked and bound in a dark room, Seylah was able to slip away beyond even shadows. With access to technology, Seylah was able to learn to read and write, to learn beyond of the limitations of what was given to them. Of course, as often as they came about information, it was also taken from them. As they grew, it became increasingly evident that the little they managed to grasp in the dark was being ripped away. It wasn't until Ze'valah made in appearance in their life that they could really confirm what was happening.

Seylah woke up one day and there she was. Unbound but curled up in a corner of their confinement. It would take many lapses of dark and light to learn more of the strange girl who did not do much more than cry. As she observed Seylah be let out, prized, punished, watched Seylah docile and rabid, she somehow decided they were worth trusting. Suddenly, nights inside weren't fights against sleep or escapes into the digital. They were hushed conversations with Ze'valah who had a need to speak in ways Seylah had never known possible. She was kind, silly at times, told stories of memories that seemed so pure and fantastic that Seylah had a difficult time believing they were real.

Her family had died. She had been on a ship with them when a underground rebel group had attacked and everything had gone up in flames. Or rather. She went up in flames. Things she had no idea were possible up until the day it happened. No notion that she was adopted. Or maybe her father wasn't her father. Oh, her father. That would bring tears. Would make her shine shift into something awful, like wind through a fire that was either going to put it out or make the rest of the world burn with it. Seylah would never know what to do but listen. Sometimes, she'd hold their hand, even if it hurt her, just to share something with someone, she'd say. Seylah wasn't so sure. Wasn't so sure they even deserved that kindness. Or her trust.

She'd make the world quiet, in ways no one else did because the four would just fill their head up with something else, something they found useful. Ze'valah knew of love, knew of peace, knew of a life without death or violence. She wasn't like Seylah. Which is why it was surprising when suddenly the asked to go and fight alongside them. More surprised by how much the thought of the fight haunted her afterwards. She hadn't meant to, she hadn't wanted to, she wasn't like that. Like them, Seylah understood, Seylah cherished her for it. Maybe it was thanks to her that Seylah started to wake up themselves. Maybe it was enough stray touches taken from violence and revolt. Maybe it was all of it. But soon enough Seylah started to realize what the four were doing, how they were playing tricks on their minds from every angle and chipping away to make sure they grew up to be the perfect weapon.

Knowing this didn't help stop it. Seylah knew better than to show all their cards thanks to Mitkala. Without a plan, revealing what they knew could mean the total loss of whatever freedom they had managed to retain and were slowly claiming back. Ze'valah admired Seylah, in all the ways they turned scraps into means of survival. Her admiration somehow felt like hope. Felt like encouragement. But as Seylah grew, Ze'valah seemed to be fading out. More often than not, Seylah would return to their shared confinement with her still trailing ashes behind her. Seylah knew how painful it was, felt it when she'd reach out for them in the middle of the night, wailing, begging for it all to stop.

Ze'valah eventually got what she wanted, as she often would with Seylah. The Ze'valah in their mind was nothing like the one who had lived in Seylah's cage the past few years. She was free, her fire more present than ever and fully hers, theirs. The worst of the voices were put out by the strength they made together. It didn't make things easier. In fact, living became so much harder for Seylah. Having loose ends of plans that didn't come together wasn't enough. Killing and fighting to survive wasn't enough. Seylah wouldn't deny the reality of their existance, but they refused to be a weapon at the hands of anyone but themselves. Ze'valah's death would not be the sole grim kindness to their name.

The solution was in the end, what it most often was. Death. Seylah wondered why they had thought it so impossible before. To weild what was within them for themselves and instead of others. Maybe all they had needed was clarity, just enough freedom to fully exist in their own mind for once. All it took was N'Shama taunting them with the future they had grown to fear. The snap was such an easy one. N'Shama died so quickly it was almost disappointing. Fed on the power, the rest stood no chance to surpress Seylah as they killed them one by one. Slow and purposefully. Refusing to let them pass out from the pain of being drained. All of them died looking Seylah in the eye, knowing they finally got what they had coming. Not riches and glory, but the weapon they made turned against them.

What Seylah hadn't anticipated was there being an aftermath. Seylah ran through the shadows and tried to find life in the underground, but there wasn't a place where their name wasn't known. Wasn't feared. Wasn't hated. News of Seylah's freedom sparked many things. Competitions of who would kill them first. Who would capture them first. Who could use them next. Seylah kept running, living more in darkness than out of it but soon there was a toll to pay for that too. Light eaters. If Seylah didn't face almost certain death from light, it would come from the dark. At times, both would meet and Seylah would get to see what would happen if they were caught or defeated. Not death, not a return to captivity, but absolute annihilation.

When running to the familiar isn't enough, you run further. Chased by their mind and reality, Seylah ran through the shadow realms to a place where the Light Eaters didn't seem to swarm. A place that still shined bright with stray pillars through the dark. Whispered in voices that sounded like alternatives to the lapsing screeches that still tried to take over their mind. This is how Seylah came to Earth. Outshining the brightest ads in Times Square that night. Seylah doesn't remember much. Some screams, some whispers, running away from police. What Seylah does remember is walking the streets and seeing the sun shine through the buildings, exhausted and alone and perhaps, even scared of what to do in a world without expectation.

They'd be told later that Cazerns were called after their apparation, that they eventually they had found Seylah and the result was less than pretty. No one dead. No one seriously injured. It took very long for Seylah to understand that these things did not mean failure. That none of it meant they had been captured, once again a weapon at the hand of others. Avery and Woohyun found ways to communicate with Seylah, would not punish them for lashing out, for their touch that had burnt them. Instead, they fought for understanding, fought to help in ways Seylah did not understand were that. Wouldn't be able to understand it until the voices were cleared from their mind, until days turned to months and almost years. They cared. They wanted better for Seylah not for any other reason but kindness. They saw in Seylah not the sin or the sinner but possibility. Slowly, Seylah began to see possibility too.


✔ Baking, gardening, animals

✔ Drumming

✔ Rock & Metal music

✔ Training

✗ Romance

✗ Silence

✗ Being touched

✗ Unaccompanied darkness

♥ favorite tv: black sails, legion, ghost in the shell, resident evil movies, john wick, a quiet place - generally enjoys anything with action.


in the dark, there is discovery. there is possibility. there is freedom in the dark once someone has illuminated it.
be the blood on their hands.
if I am anything, it is violence.
they wanted me to be an object. I am an object. An object dirty with blood. mechanisms make endless demands on my life. but I don't totally obey: if I have to be an object, let me be an object that screams.