There is something he's forgotten, isn't there. Isn't there? Darkness where there used to be light, nothing where there was
something, but now who's to say what it was. The sky is scarred but healed and quiet, and everyone is glad they are safe and you
helped and you should be happy, but there is that itch of forgetting, like before, when you forgot yourself.
Can't keep the thread of that now, slipping through your fingers like fine sands, like a dream. The Inquisitor is here. Your friend.
"There've been some reports of Fade rifts in the Hissing Wastes," he says. "Would you like to go with us?"
"I've never been to the Hissing Wastes," says Cole. "Do they actually hiss?"
"I don't know about that," says the Inquisitor with a little smile. Cole likes his smile. It's friendly, and isn't forced. "Harding called it the worst place in the world, but I don't know if I agree with her on that. It's all quiet desert. I thought it was rather nice, myself. You might like it."
He asks when he doesn't have to. He is the Inquisitor, he can make anyone go with him at a word, but he always asks. He is a good friend. Cole hopes he never forgets.
The Hissing Wastes do hiss a little, wind whistling woefully over the sand. Cole does like it there, dark and cool and mostly quiet, traveling with Varric and The Iron Bull, neither of whom call him 'it' or 'thing', or seem to mind what he is. When they come upon the Fade rift The Iron Bull laughs and Varric says something funny, in the wrong order, and Cole's mind is mired elsewhere because this one does not feel right
. The others don't notice, can't feel it, but this rift is two rifts, one inside the other, something else beyond, reaching and grasping.
He shouldn't, knows he shouldn't. Nobody should. But Cole reaches back.
It's what he does; he helps people. The others can't sense it, don't see that this rift wants more than to let demons out. It wants to pull them in
. He can't let that happen to his friends. He won't. There is no time to warn them and no time to stop it so Cole pushes forward and offers himself, gives up himself gladly, to save them all.
"Cole!" the Inquisitor cries out, startled, confused, why is he going, why is he doing this, but Cole can't answer him now, can't turn back; if he were more like a spirit he could fight it, but he's not, and so he can't. He lets it swallow him up, and he is afraid: he doesn't want to go to the Fade, he doesn't want to be alone.
It is over very quickly. But it is not the Fade where he finds himself. This place is real. Whole. But it is not the world he knows. It is something different.
He is sitting in grass, real grass but different grass, feels different, remembers hundreds of different years, and millions of lives, nothing Cole's ever felt before. This is somewhere new. Not Thedas and not the Fade.
He does not move, sitting in the middle of the grass, surrounded by people who ignore him, even though he is wearing his hat and he just appeared, no one sees him, nobody sees. He's like he was.
Afraid and alone, adrift, absent. Cole curls inward and tells himself to wake up. It will not work. It never works. This is no dream.
Wake up, please.[OOC: Please note Cole's permissions page and the abilities section of his app. It is possible that your character can meet him and then forget the encounter afterward, if you like. This means there could be multiple encounters. Feel free to tag in setting your character up as minding their own business, and Cole can approach them, as he is not easily noticed (not by the average person, anyway). Hit me up if you wanna run something by me.]