As best as I can remember...
One minute I am disarming a nuclear device. Then Mr. Antfarm's magic rucksack bites off my hand. Death came so fast I wondered how I survived the atomic fire. That is when I realized I did not. The sack, however, did. And part of my soul was still in there. This is what has survived. This is why I am here.
Where am I?
Nowhere. Where do you want to go now?"
Home. Just home...
I was swatted across time and space like shuttlecock in a game of cosmic badminton. A felt a moment of comfort on the carpet of my room in Miss Burton's barn. How long was I going to live like this? Another second or two? She burst in.
She thought Antfarm was me. She was the landlady. She declared it his home, not mine. The spell backfired.
Your previous home was New Erebus.
But it's gone!
Old Erebus, then!
The very damn center of what used to be the Empire. The Throne of Hades, shredded as it was. I grabbed the tail to keep from getting sat on. Marcus and the Vortex shoved me into a lead box. When it reopened I leaped and grabbed the first thing I could...
I couldn't let go. The rush of reanimation serum, a thousand times worse than when it warped my mind. Pain screaming through every nerve as stretched and knit around bone and organ and muscle and skin.
My body was complete...almost. My hair was a bit shorter. My nails as well. That means I didn't overdose at least. I look down at the body...a splitting image of myself.
"Darien? DARIEN! You had enough reanimation fluid in you to regrow me from just a hand? Damn Founder, boy! I was never crazy enough to...Darien?"
I heard the Vortex's voice from a glowing portal behind me.
"Ha! You killed him after all!"
I knelt over him, compressing his chest. My shouts of DAMMIT BOY LIVE drowning out that cat-demon's taunts. All my work seemed to do was drive him deeper into the swamp mud. Without warning he let out a sharp gasp, drawing in the stifling damp air.
"That's it, boy. Breathe. Just breathe."
His eyes opened, glowing so angry of crimson in the darkness I had to look away. I knew that glow. It was the last thing I saw in New Erebus. I fell back, too weak to fight. I collapsed in the mud, waiting for Bloodwing to smear blood over the last line of the tragedy of my life.