The first time Rain had seen the conceptual entity he called Cerberus, he’d been dying. That tracked. Encountering a conceptual entity was usually the last thing one did. Cerberus hadn’t been the one killing him, though. Shattered machinery, Mirror exposure, and his own armour unit had been responsible for that. The metal stabbed through him hadn’t killed him quickly enough. It had begun fusing with his ravaged body while flesh and steel both unraveled into the ever-present glittering haze. He’d been lying on his back, drifting in and out of consciousness, struggling to hold himself together as his very self dissolved at the seams, when he heard it. A voice. A real one, not an echo.
Someone had been standing over him, looking down.
No. Something. A huge black dog made of storm clouds and lightning, eyes and mouths crackling with terrible light.