Wamdima mouths the words 'think about me' as she fades away. A bullet screams through the air where her mouth had been, tearing the air apart with supersonic speed. If she had still been there, then her face would not be.
I got her out in time, Hirashe thinks, as the battle continues around him. He wonders where she goes to when she disappears like that and realises that he's never actually thought about it before. It's always been one of those things he's just accepted and never given a second thought to until now. He knows she can't exist without him. What if he were to die right now? He starts to panic as reality settles in. Not only would he never see her again but neither would anyone else. All around him are the dead and the dying. Protectors who are fiercely loyal surround him. They have to be loyal. One bullet - one stray bullet - and it's over. If he dies they all die.
Hirashe is one of many thought provokers in this reality, and he is trying to protect it from other thought provokers. In many ways they are just like him, but unlike him they are full of greed and lust. As long as he is alive they cannot take his reality. He can replace the dead and dying, but it's not as simple as thinking about a name or a face; they actually have to have a life before they can live. Before they can breathe in this existence there must be a reason for them to exist. This takes time. Hirashe can't rush. If he does they will be flawed, or worse: they will fail to manifest. With each death his realm shrinks, while the reality of the other thought provokers grows, and eventually it could completely engulf this reality as though it had never existed. For this reason it is imperative that Hirashe keeps this reality populated.
Now it's time for some quick thinking. He has been losing ground and his realm is now half its normal size. Hirashe ponders some more. What does it take to truly kill a thought? Is it just one bullet, or is it just another thought? How many thoughts have been lost and ended up in the hands of my enemies? What truly happens to them when we don't think about them anymore? Are there only so many thoughts to go around?
He has always taken his status as a thought provoker for granted, but now with the enemy at the gates he has to think deeper than he ever has before. His mind swirls and labours under the weight of enormous thoughts. This is the hardest his brain has ever had to work, and as it works it starts to expand until he is reaching into areas previously untapped and unexplored. He wonders why it has taken the near collapse of this reality for him to discover that there was a lot more in his brain than he ever realised.
For some reason he is able to process creation information much quicker than he ever has before. All around him new people are taking solid shape, as soon as they emerge they are instantly into the fray because they are forming with weapons in hand. The soldiers now appearing are more focused, forceful and fierce than any he has produced in the past. They literally hit the ground running. They charge the front line without a single thought for their own protection, caring only for the safety of their designer and maker: Hirashe the thought provoker. It's not just their attitude that's different; their weapons also seem to have taken a quantum leap in their development. Even the landscape is changing; becoming more advantageous for the defending army; raising and moving, creating an undulating landscape that makes it much harder for the opposing force.
Everyone has become used to small changes happening around them, but these changes are significant and extraordinary in their manifestations. Hirashe notices that his army is not taking as many casualties as it was and realises that is because they're fading out when they're not pulling the trigger of their weapons. The bullets are passing through them until the moment they fire their own weapons; only at that point do they become tangible entities. And as soon as they release the trigger they fade back out again, making it almost impossible for the enemy to target them. They are only vulnerable in that instant when they pull the trigger. The tables have been turned the ground that had been lost is now being reclaimed and a wave of euphoria ripples through the troops on the front line. Everything is now to their advantage.
One bullet, one stray bullet, hits the mark. It sears the flesh and smashes the bone. It shatters the forehead and parts the brain down the middle, severing all connections that are responsible for life, before it exits the rear of the skull in a bright red explosion. Life can no longer be possible. Before Hirashe's body hits the ground, this reality blinks out of existance. Gone is the landscape, gone are the people, gone forever is that world, and it will never be seen or thought of again.
There is no noise. Everything is silent. A light pierces the darkness as Hirashe opens his eyes and looks around the room. Then he feels it: The soft gentle caress of fingers running through his hair.
"Where am I?" He asks hesitantly.
"You're with me," is the soothing response.
"Wandima? Is that really you?"
"Yes it really is me."
"How did I get here?"
"I thought about you."