I quickly found myself a captive once more of the most powerful name I had stolen. Somehow- mostly through sheer willpower, I would imagine- I found the energy to twist the strands of time once more, and I appeared suddenly in Blogland. My legs gave out almost instantly and I stumbled forward, leaning heavily on a conveniently located chair for support. I could actually feel my body tearing itself apart, and I realized why that sadistic part of me would want me back just as I took control of myself again. Aretha was here- mere feet away from me, in fact- and it would kill her to see me finally come back only to die.
"I-" A violent fit of coughing interrupted my apology, but I had not the energy to speak in anyone's mind and it had to be said, so I tried again. "My apologies... For this..." I was immediately shaken by more coughing, rife with blood, and I lost my grip on the chair, collapsing on the ground.
"Oh, God, I... I was not expecting this at all... That- that's not Alastair..." Aretha's voice. I decided I was more fortunate than I had ever anticipated if her voice was the last thing I heard. But she was in pain. I tried to speak again- to say something, anything, if only to assure her that I could- but no sooner had I opened my mouth than I found myself hacking up even more blood. I felt as though I might drown between the voices in my head and the unrelenting onslaught of external activity.
"Ok, this is insane," Aretha spoke again, and I wondered how it could be that her voice was like some sort of balm when every other sound drove me mad, "But Alastair must have gone back in time and done exactly what he claimed he would never do. Which is completely mad, because going back in time is hard, but... This is Niccolo. Oh, God." Even though I had my eyes tightly shut against the colors and light of the outside world, I could practically see her digging her fingernails into her arm. "He knew it wouldn't bother us to watch him dying, so..."
More sounds assaulted my senses- people talking urgently, running about, yelling to one another... Someone helped me off of the ground and leaned me against a tree, and I could feel its life force pulsing under my back, its typically gentle aura amplified until I felt as though it was thrashing wildly. And then they gave me RedRays, and I lost all hope of coherent thought. I can barely remember anything beyond screaming, blurred intrusions from the outside world, and sharp, enduring, absolute agony.