Nero's Origins

Nero Origins:

The darkness was suffocating... What was this feeling?

Perhaps it was death... But surely consciousness and death couldn't coexist. Nero reached out, feeling the debris shift around him. As he moved, the dirt and rubble loosened, and he felt liberated. It wasn't death... His memories were hazy, unclear. He remembered a blinding flash and excruciating pain as everything around him vaporized under the immense force of the great asteroid. How on Earth was he still alive?

With more movement, he experienced the sensation of fresh air on his skin – one of those things you never appreciate until it's taken away. His arm burst from the ground, followed by the other, and he managed to push himself up, bringing his entire body to the surface. He gasped for air, only to make a horrifying discovery. As he looked down, he saw only bone and charred flesh. He was a walking corpse, a wreck.

Around him, the ground was scorched black. Piles of stone and rubble towered above him, replacing the once thriving trees and plant life. He stood at the center of the massive crater formed by the meteor's impact. But if that were the case, shouldn't he be dead? How could anyone survive a meteor landing directly on top of them? Not even the strongest dinosaurs could, yet here was the most unassuming and frail of them all, scarred but alive. He had no lungs, no heart. What animated his skeleton? What sustained his life?

To his left, he noticed a large sphere – situated directly in the center of the crater. He felt foolish for not spotting it earlier. The sphere's form was obscured by black oil that continuously seeped from its top. The oil boiled and released steam as it flowed from the sphere to his feet, bubbling and hissing along the way. It was terrifying yet equally mesmerizing. Every bone in his body, or what remained of it, urged him to reach out – to touch the orb. But what was it? It undoubtedly came from another world.

Suddenly, his attention returned to his body, the wreck it had become. What was once a numb sensation had evolved into pain – as if his body had become aware of its own state of decay. Something kept him alive, though... Was it the orb before him? There was a certain energy, almost palpable, that seemed to radiate from it. He could feel it drawing him in. He reached out with his damaged claw, inching closer to touch the mysterious orb...

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