Even though Mako was gone the world went on. The sun continued to shine and the ship ripped through the water without a moments pause to mourn. And though Chihiko could still breath he felt empty and dead inside.

Drift sat at his side on the large upper-deck, but said nothing. He seemed now to understand what had happened, but didn't know what to do or say to make the boy feel better. None of the others had stayed around. They had vanished below in synchronized lines still chanting, almost singing, their newfound anthem.

"I'm really very sorry about your friend," Drift said at length, "But don't give up."

Chihiko did not react at all. His face remained stone sour and his lips did not so much as quiver in response.

"Once the shadows are gone everything will be better. Happy." Drift added, hoping to elicit something-anything-from the boy.

It worked, and Chihiko jerked his around towards the pillow, "Damn the shadows! Damn them to hell.. I don't care! I don't even know what they are!" He pulled at his hair and dug his unkempt nails into his scalp.

Drift regretted having said anything, but he moved close to Chihiko to try and comfort him, "They are the cause of all your sorrow. Your pain. They are the lock on the cell door to your happiness."

"But I was happy on the island."

"It wasn't real."

"What do you mean?" Chihiko had gained some measure of composure and now he sniffed several times and his mouth trembled with the last remnants of his sobs.

"The island was an escape. But not real. You must face the shadows to find your true place... your real happiness."

Chihiko did not understand Drifts words. Everything was moving too fast, and he wanted so badly to curl up in a corner somewhere and fall fast asleep for he had worn himself out with crying.

"But let's go down below for now. You need to sleep." Drift said as if reading the boy's mind. He hopped into the air and hovered there, waiting for Chihiko to follow. He got up too and began walking behind the pillow across the deck to an opening where stairs led down. It was dark in there.

Chihiko padded down the steps slowly groping at the walls to keep from falling, and Drift with his baby-blue color provided a dim beacon for him to follow. Finally he stepped off the last of the stairs and onto level ground again.

"Now then Chihiko. Just rest," Drift said dreamily.

That was what Mako had said the night before and now Chihiko was afraid to sleep. He feared that unknown. But then again he didn't care so much now. Maybe if he never woke up again it would be the best thing. His thoughts plummeted into oblivion and he found himself crawling onto the floor, not hard wood but a giant mound of soft pillows, and molding himself into a ball.

"Great he picked me to lay on again," The irritated voice of Snorie penetrated Chihiko's ears but was cast away from his mind. He registered nothing and felt nothing and soon all sensations evolved into one and became a velvet blackness where not even the agony of Mako's death could reach him.

Was this a dream? He was in the dark room again sitting on the bed. There was more cloth torn around him, shredded and ripped apart and skewn everywhere. And that boy-standing there in the corner watching him.

"If you don't kill the shadows soon you'll just keep on destroying everything else around you. And yourself," The boy laughed bitterly and began walking towards Chihiko, his body emerging from shadows. But he stopped, his face still enveloped by darkness.

"Who are you?" Chihiko asked in a quaking voice.

But before there was time for an answer the room was gone and Chihiko was back on the ship, sitting up, sweating. The pillows beneath him were gone, but he felt the tingling sensation of something all around him.


Only silence answered back. Chihiko pulled himself to his feet and began to pad across the floor, that soft, fluffy something squishing beneath his calloused soles. His ankles hit the first step of the stairwell and he nearly fell over on his face, but caught himself just in time. With his hands on the walls flanking the stairs he climbed up until he was facing the door to the deck. He pushed it out and a blinding light rushed in so that he had to turn away and cover his eyes.

After giving himself a few moments to adjust his eyes Chihiko stepped out. Then he choked and fell backwards, grabbing at his stomach in pain.

The deck was covered in tattered rags of fabric and clumps of white cotton and Chihiko knew that he was looking at hundreds of lifeless pillows. When he opened his mouth to scream nothing came out.

"'Why Chihiko... why?"

He whipped around and saw Drift standing there at a distance with a few other pillows behind him.

"What do you mean?" Chihiko took a step forward and the group of pillows shrieked and backed away.

"How could you do this?" Drift asked again in a tone so melancholy that it broke Chihiko's heart even more.

"Do what? I didn't do anything.. I was sleeping!"

Drift stared at him for a moment perplexed, "But you... you did this to everyone. Even Dozey. And Snorie."

His heart was beating rapidly now in his chest and the fear inside him had grown enormous and untamed, "Drift, I would never hurt anyone... I don't understand. I didn't do this!" He walked forward again and all the pillows fled except for Drift who stood there unmoved.

"But I saw you..."

"I... I don't remember..."

"I believe you Chihiko. Maybe the shadows have power over you, which makes it all the more urgent that you kill them soon."

Now knowing that he had the potential for such violence, Chihiko also felt the urgency of the matter pressing in on him and he nodded, "Then I have to go quickly..."

"We're nearly at the base of the Stairway Mountains. Then we'll go."

"We?" Chihiko asked.

"Yes. I'll go too. There is no place left for me here now..."

"I'm so sorry."

"It's... not your fault," Drift said, "It's the shadows, and that is why I must see with my own eyes that they are killed."

Chihiko did not ask how he saw when he had no eyes to see with, but he felt it was the wrong time and instead he just managed a meager smile, but when he turned his head and saw the carnage for a second time he felt sick once more. And even sicker when he realized that he was the one who had done it all. And then he collapsed to the deck when he thought of Mako. Had he done that too?