The Cynic Dysfunction

by Derek

Legal BS: Daria and all associated characters are property of MTV/Viacom.   The Night’s Dawn Trilogy is property of Peter F. Hamilton.  Both are used here without any permission whatsoever.  What are you going to do, sue me? (Just kidding!)


With a mental cry of joy, Daria rushed down the wormhole into her new body. She quickly took it over, forcing the whimpering soul that had previously owned the body into a small corner in the back of her mind. As she took control, she suddenly found herself in enormous pain. The young woman whose body she now possessed had been horribly tortured by the Possessed, but Daria relished the pain. Any sensation at all was an enormous relief after the sensory deprivation of the Beyond.

The moment she had died Daria's soul had flitted through a wormhole to the beyond. She had cursed every moment she had been in there, removed from all sensations except for dim views into the regular universe and whatever memories she could swipe from other souls. She had mind-raped countless souls, and been mind-raped herself just as often. She had no idea how long she had been in there; it could have been five minutes or five million years, it made no difference. But now she was free.

Almost. She still had a connection to the beyond. She could here the cries of the billions, perhaps trillions of souls still trapped in the beyond, begging her to find people for them to possess as well. The urge to possess others was irresistible.

"Hey there, amiga. Long time, no see." That voice sounded vaguely familiar. Daria opened her eyes. She was inside what appeared to be a warehouse. There was a woman and two men standing over her. She could sense that they were Possessed, like her. "Jane?" she asked.

"In the flesh," Jane replied, then laughed at her joke along with the men.

"Who are the other guys?"

"Trent and Jesse."

"Where are we? And what year is it?"

"Some planet called Nyvan, 58 light years from Earth. The year is 2611."

Daria thought about this for a moment. She had been dead for over 500 years, during which time humans had apparently developed faster-than-light travel and had established at least one colony world. A sudden jolt of additional pain pulled her out of her reverie.

"Is there any way of stopping this pain?" Daria asked.

"Sure. Just apply some energistic power to your wounds to heal them. You won't believe how fast we can heal ourselves that way," Jane replied.

Daria concentrated, and her wounds began to heal with incredible speed. Within a quarter hour she was completely healed, except for some blood loss.

She got up off the ground, where she had been lying the whole time. She looked at the others and said, "Come on. Let's get something to eat and some more people to possess."

"Right on," said Trent, and the foursome started walking towards the door, intent on adding to the hell raging across Nyvan's surface.