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achilles, achilles, achilles, come down

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achilles, achilles, achilles, come down

won't you get up off, get up off the roof?

You are of many names. Some call you cursed, some call you warrior, some call you resilient and headstrong. You are young and small, but the stench of blood follows you. Some piglins stare at you like you're a monster, watching crimson trail behind you wherever you go. Is it because you're different? Is it because they instinctively know you're not one of them? You don't understand that a god's curse is the thing that makes them hold you at arm's length.

You are alone in the nether, a realm filled with burning hot lava and fierce heat, and yet you feel cold. So, so cold. You have power, but nobody to share it with. 

It is lonely at the top.

you're scarin' us, and all of us

some of us love you

achilles, it's not much but there's proof

Warmth appears in the form of a human. 

His hair is golden, soft, and shiny. You feel attracted to it immediately, stumbling over patches of soul sand and blocks of nether to grasp it, hold it in wonder in your hand. You're being picked up, but you don't notice. The gold is magnetizing. You've never felt any gold this smooth.

A kind sound reaches your ears. The human's shoulders are shaking, his mouth stretched wide in a smile. It's a rare sound, one that you have only heard once, back when you were but a small child. You think it was before your hair turned pink and before your ears turned sharp and before you heard the voices. You think you heard the sound when you were a human, sleeping soundly in a crib while the people that birthed you cooed. 

You remember enjoying the sound. The sound was warm. But the memory is always interrupted by the cackle of a god, one that you would only see again in your nightmares.

"You're a strange one, aren't you?"  The human with gold hair asks.

You ignore the human's speech. Instead you continue holding his hair and snuggle close to it. It is warm with the human. His speckled wings wrap around you.

The portal's radiant sparkles envelop you as you enter the Overworld.

you crazy-ass cosmonaut, remember your virtue,

redemption lies plainly in truth

You are just a bit older when you forget what the cold ever felt like. You're forever warm and comfortable with the gold-haired human and his smaller companion, who wears a yellow sweater and makes noises with a wooden object. The sounds are nice. You don't think you've ever heard them in the nether before, but you welcome them with open arms because yellow sweater boy smiles when you listen.

You learn that the man with the gold hair is named Phil, and yellow sweater boy's name is Wilbur. They ask you for your name.

Technoblade, the voices whisper, ringing through your head, your name is Technoblade.

Wilbur scrunches his nose when you give him your answer. "That's a weird name, Technoblade!"

Phil pats you on the head, shooting a look at Wilbur. "I think it's a wonderful name, Techno."

You feel yourself smile without your consent. That's the second time it's happened since you moved in with Phil and Wilbur. It is an odd feeling, but a nice one.

just humor us, achilles, achilles, achilles come down

won't you get up off, get up off the roof?

You are off honing your skills with a sword, one that Phil gave you as a gift. It's different than the gold ones you were used to in the nether, one geared for piglin hooves that you don't have. This sword is much easier to hold.

Wilbur runs out to grab you, an excited look of glee on his face. "Techno, Phil found another one. A little boy. He's only a baby, but we can't find his parents, so Phil might let him stay!"

You head back to the house with your twin. Neither of you know your actual birthdays, so Wilbur picked a random date- the one that looked the most interesting to him, November 16th ("Sixteen is a cool number, Techno! Let's have it on the 16th!") -and decided that would be both of your birthdays.

Phil is inside, holding a boy with blue eyes that are filled with fire. His hair is blonde and shiny; it's not as golden as Phil's, but you find yourself drawn to it anyways.

Protect, protect him, hold him close, the voices whisper. You look up and see Phil staring at the child with fondness, the same warmth in his smile present as the warmth he showed to you years earlier. You glance to the side and see Wilbur, peeking at the boy with quiet awe and wonder. 

Protect all of them, the voices order, don't let anyone hurt them. 

Keep the warmth close.

the self is not so weightless, nor whole and unbroken

remember the pact of our youth

You grow up and head to the lands of Hypixel to pursue more entertaining tournaments there. Phil smiles at you. He hugs you- an action that took you awhile to get used to -and bids you farewell. He gently hands you a pair of emerald earrings. 

"Something to remember me by."

Wilbur rushes forward next, placing a small notebook in your hands. You open it and it's full of songs, beautiful melodies ranging from sad ballads to childish lullabies that Phil used to sing. Some songs are dedicated to you, others unfinished or drabbles. There are doodles from Tommy in the corner, including some of his crude swear words that he'd picked up from the older boys in the village- the "Business Boys", Tommy calls them.

"Thought you'd like to keep some part of me with you," Wilbur smiles, "not all of them are finished, but I know you like my songs, so I figured you can sing some of them to yourself while you're away."

Tommy is the last to appear, holding an object behind his back. He looks embarrassed, but you lean forward and ruffle his golden hair that you love so much. The action makes Tommy snap his head up and tightly hug you, almost knocking you over. The boy is crying into your chest.

"I'm gonna miss you."

In his hands are a makeshift necklace. On a golden chain is a glass pendant enclosing a messy drawing of him and you.

Phil helps you put on the necklace and steps back as you hold Tommy, burying your head into his hair.

"You'll see me again, Toms. Don't cry."

Don't cry, don't cry, don't cry, the voices repeat in his mind, you'll see us again, you'll see us again, you'll see us again.

You leave your home, facing the wilderness ahead of you. You're not afraid. The warmth they gave you while you were at home was enough to stay with you.

You don't think you'll ever be cold again.

where you go, i'm goin', so jump and i'm jumpin',

since there is no me without you

You are farming potatoes when you receive a message from your brothers. They haven't written back in a long time. You're curious to see what's inside of the envelope, hoping to be given some kind of explanation why every letter you sent has never been returned. You hope something good happened, that they're celebrating so much that they simply forgot.

That's not the case.

Tommy is the one who wrote the letter, which is strange, considering Wilbur was always the one to write back to you. His handwriting is worse than you remember it being, scrawly and messy, like his hand was shaking while he wrote it.

Techno, he writes, help, please. Wilbur's not-he's not the same anymore, he's crazy not thinking rationally, he- we've been exiled from our country by Schlatt, and Wilbur's going mad, he's yelling as we speak not handling it too well, please, Techno, please. There's nobody on our side anymore. Tubbo's been taken captive, he's our spy for now, but I can't bear to be separated from him, especially when he's in the hands of that TYRANT, and just-please. I need help. Wilbur needs help.

You don't hesitate. Your brothers need you. You know Phil is off protecting his hardcore worlds, so you're their only option. 

Quickly you put down your hoe and don your cape. Delicately you place your hard-earned crown on your head, the one with a bloody history behind it. Whoever is hurting your brothers- this man named Schlatt, apparently - best understand the warning that the crown's presence holds. 

You leave Hypixel for the first time in years and head towards the land known as the Dream SMP.

loathe the way the light candles in rome,  but love the sweet air of the votives

hurt and grieve but don't suffer alone, engage with the pain as a motive

You find Tommy and Wilbur alone in a ravine of all things. Tommy rushes over to hug you, shivering. He's chilly, skin cold. You grasp his fingers, trying to warm him up, but the cave is cold as well and there's little to no light to warm it up. Quietly, as a form of comfort, you ruffle his hair that has dulled significantly in color. It is no longer as shiny as it once was, but if you squint, you can still see flecks of gold.

You hear footsteps in front of you and you glance upwards, meeting your twin's eyes. They are dull, no longer filled with the playful music that once danced in his irises. He's wearing a brown trench coat- where is the yellow sweater he once wore? Everything about your beloved brother is dark, now.

You hug him. It does not feel the same as the goodbye hug he gave you when you left. He is cold, colder than you were in the nether.

You attempt to share some of your warmth with him when you hold him. The attempt is unsuccessful. 

Your hands start to feel cold.

today, of all days, see how the most dangerous thing is to love

how you will heal and you'll rise above

You didn't mean to. You didn't want to. But the voices- no, not the voices in your head this time, the jeering voices in the crowd and the one booming through the microphone -pressured you to do it. You stare at the spy- no, child in front of you, hands shaking, realizing that you killed a boy no older than your little golden brother. Schlatt's laughter rings through your ears, runs through your head. 

Slowly, you turn towards the president and his vice. The voices are screaming tonight, demanding blood.

They hurt you. They hurt your brothers. They hurt Tubbo.

Shoot it at them.

Hurt them.

Spill 

their

blood

You don't realize until you're standing in a puddle of blood that you killed everyone in the crowd attending the festival that day. When you get back, Wilbur doesn't look at you. He sees through you only. He grins like a madman, the warm smiles he got from Phil far gone. He encourages you to fight with Tommy, who only looks at you with hatred and vengeance in his eyes.

You hold back in the pit fight, obviously. You could never hurt him. But even then, you are too powerful. Your baby brother is on the ground after just three punches. 

The coldness on your fingertips spread just a little further.

achilles, achilles, jump now

you are absent of cause or excuse

You try to make it up to Tommy. Defending yourself is useless- your brother is too stubborn to accept any form of reasoning. Instead, you stay quiet, and hope that the vault full of your items down under the lake is enough to make him look at you with the admiration he once held for you.

You think it works as his expression morphs from curiosity to shock to awe. He, along with the others, runs around, snatching the netherite from your armor stands and taking the potions you've worked so hard to create. Tubbo runs by with multiple blocks of emeralds in his hands. You refrain from slapping him in the back of your head and let him have it. He deserves it after everything you've done to him.

You charge into battle and come out victorious after Schlatt drops dead from a heart attack. A piteous death for a pitiful man, you suppose.

But as soon as you start to feel yourself relax, Tubbo is elected president.

The cycle continues.

No.

No.

You've seen what the government did to people. No. You need it gone, you need the system to be eradicated. Nobody will be free if the cycle continues.

But before you can do anything, a button is pressed.

The earth detonates from below you, dirt and rocks flying through the air. The once peaceful lands of L'manberg are forever scarred, the buildings being uprooted and knocked over. Tommy's shout of agony echoes through your ears. From your left, you think you hear Niki crying. 

You don't share the sadness your little brother feels. This is good for him, you decide, he needs this. It will hurt, but with the government out of the way, they can be free. No corrupted person in power can hurt him anymore.

But Tommy calls for Tubbo, and calls him the president.

Even after the land is wrecked and all evidence of it gone, the system remains. The damage wasn't enough. You feel anger seeping through your veins at the thought of the cycle continuing. You decide to break it. Tubbo will get hurt, and so will the others who support the government, but it is necessary for their eventual safety, for their eventual freedom. They need to understand that the government will only run them into the ground.

The soul sand falls delicately out of your hands.

"Do you want to be a hero, Tommy?"

The deathly shriek of a wither behind you makes your ears ring. 

"Then die like one."

Your limbs are so cold.

so self indulgent and self-referential

no audience

could ever

want you

Months have passed. You stand over yet another crater. You are not alone. The only person next to you is a fearsome speedrunner with an aura of danger. His smiley mask pierces holes into your soul. For as long as you have known him, he has never been warm.

The crater the two of you are above is much bigger, decimating the whole area. L'manberg- or any other country, for that matter -can never be rebuilt on the surface again. You've won. The government is gone.

So is Wilbur. His ghost floats around, offering pieces of blue dye to people. You cannot bear to look at him, your heart clenching every time he smiles at you. He's the coldest thing you've ever felt, and yet he continues to wear a smile on his face and a spring in his step. The yellow sweater he is wearing is no longer golden like it used to be, the color faded and murky.

Tommy is gone too, but not in the same way Wilbur is. He has cut all ties with you after what you've done to his nation. His eyes aren't blue anymore after what Dream did to him, and his hair is full of dirt and grime. There is no gold to be seen. He looks at you with intense hatred and rage, and clearly this time you will not be forgiven. You haven't held him in a long time. You don't know what he feels like anymore, but you suspect he is almost as cold as Wilbur.

Phil remains at your side, but he, in a way, is gone as well. He's not warm anymore either, heat only radiating when it's the early morning and he hasn't remembered his son is dead. The older is in constant pain, always off balance after his wings were clipped. His hair is still golden, though. Sometimes you run your hands through it to remember the days when it was just you, the man with golden hair, the yellow sweater boy, and the fiery blue eyed child.

Dream leaves your side to attend to other matters. You continue staring at the crater below.

One wither skull is on the ground from when you accidentally placed it on some stone. You stare into its sinister, hollow eyes.

You are freezing. The warmth protecting your heart disappears, leaving an icy ring of sadness.

throw yourself into the unknown  with pace and a fury defiant

clothe yourself in beauty untold  and see life as a means to triumph

today of all days, see

how the most dangerous thing 

is to love