He looked closely, staring at himself from a disembodied position. A soul inspecting the body it was about to re-enter.
Coming to terms with what lay ahead prepared him for the impossible. He had spoken frankly, readying himself for what was to come. The gauntlet was getting tighter, sharper, with blows coming from every direction. Jabs. Snippets. A thousand cuts that sought to weaken him, many from angles he least expected.
It made him mad and excited. His skin had been hardened over time, rendered fit to deal with the blows, absorbing the pain just enough to protect him from serious damage. The fire in his belly flared up, his excitement rising with every blow. Algos, who had kept him docile for all this time, was now fading away. A host of Hysminai rushed through him, through his every cell, igniting his rage, urging him to summon his tempered constitution, turn on his assailants and charge through them. His eye glistened. Makhi was not far away, and neither was Ponos, Neikea and Ate.
His name was Neos. He had the soul of a poet and a murderer. The world would burn by his touch and a miracle would be born out of the remaining ashes.
From the upcoming novella Neos: When Anger Was Born