Animus is watching TV, like every evening. Today, however, something seems off. Instead of lightening his mood, everything he sees enrages him. Is it because of the homeless man he met on the street earlier this day? When he walked past him the old fellow suddenly started yelling:” Take a look at this mad world! One day you will be in my place and then you will know the real face of society.” Stunned by the old fellow’s words, he gave him some change and moved on with a feeling of emptiness. Pictures of war, murder, insanity and rape are on repeat. Natural catastrophes wreck havoc among communities while religious leaders point their fingers to the infidels, stigmatizing them as the real cause of climate change. Has god ceased to love us? Every channel has something even more terrifying to offer; every scene - a portrayal of agony in its purest form. The soft sounding voices of the reporters drill into his mind and news of hate make his heart feel worn out. Has mankind finally become the epitome of insanity? Where is the sane human, manifested in the books of ages long gone? Animus is overwhelmed by the immense brutality of the world he lives in. With a dull head he puts the remote away and goes to bed.
Lying awake in his bed, unable to find sleep, Animus reflects upon existence itself. Questions surround his dragged down mind. Questions about his own life and its purpose. Questions concerning the true nature of this world. An endless stream of questions flooding his consciousness. Slowly a feeling of warm drowsiness begins to cloud his head. He imagines his mind being unleashed, gliding far off into space. As he wanders through the solar system in search of hope and answers he meets a bright source of energy, floating through space. The formless polychromatic wave penetrates all it strikes, either filling it with life force or draining its substance leaving only space dust. Closely observing the strange process, Animus feels like he is finally able to grasp a deeper understanding of the circle of life. While he moves closer to this source of energy, he drifts off into a restless sleep.
Animus opens his eyes in a completely different world. All of a sudden, he finds himself in the middle of a grotesque scenery. Everywhere rules terror and death. People massacre one another, rip out each other’s entrails, push their fingers into each other’s eyes. Infants get shot to pieces and a bulk of hanged men decorate the twilight horizon. Animus sees obese, hateful leaders sending their men into death without hesitation, laughing in manic joy. His peripatetic brain functions transport him from one slaughter into another. One time, he is right in the middle of a group of helpless creatures inside an automatic animal farm and almost gets ground to a pulp with the screaming chicks. In the next second, he witnesses a soldier tossing a grenade towards a kindergarden. A glimpse of a moment later, he finds himself in a laboratory where cruel scientists obduct mutilated chimpanzees. After travelling through a sheer endless sequence of inhumane scenarios he awakes in the Nothing. Again the feeling of dullness digs its claws into his mind. As he tries to shake it off, a gigantic female face appears and occupies all of Nowhere. Beautiful deep blue eyes send shivers down his spine and a calm benevolent voice begins its narration. “I love and care for mankind! You are my magnificent children! Glory to you, oh reasonable beings!” Words of affection are accompanied by pictures of the good doing of humanity. Yet steadily the lovely voice changes, slowly becoming more and more demonic. Meanwhile, the pictures start to combust and transform into effigies of humanity’s wrongdoing. The malignant spirit, her eyes now bloodshot and voice full of sharp hatred, announces that she will obliterate humanity and wipe it from the face of the earth. She opens her mouth wide and devours Animus.
Animus awakes on the bedroom floor, soaked in sweat, trembling. With a numb head and a heavy heart he makes his way into the kitchen and starts to prepare breakfast. Haltingly he takes the first bite. A pile of corpses. Eyes wide open, Animus stares at the spot where one glimpse ago the image appeared. What was that? The wrath filled face of the malignant spirit. Another image flashes before his eyes. Something must be damn wrong with him. While he drives to work, more remnants of his nightmare haunt Animus’ mind, gradually starting to take their toll on his concentration. It takes great effort not to let loose and surrender to insanity. This, however, would mean death. One way or another. Halfway to the office, Animus makes a decision. Driven by the flashbacks he goes out into town to find answers.
On his journey for truth, Animus wanders through the streets of Clock Town, asking himself: “Who might be able to give me answers?” In his slightly stressed out state of mind he decides to visit a priest. He has never been religious, but maybe a man of god knows what he does not. While he walks up the hill, he is suddenly surrounded by a group of small birds chirping vividly. Their lovely play eases his mind and the time goes by fast, until he eventually approaches the cathedral. Animus enters the building and sees a priest at the end of the corridor. The priest welcomes him with a friendly: “Hello my friend, what can I do for you?” And Animus starts asking his questions. “Father, I cannot sleep, the darkness has infested my soul, and it won’t let go. Why has this world become such a dark place?” The priest is silent. “Why do we destroy and murder all that surrounds us?” Still, the priest stays silent. “Why does it seem to me that we humans are the real evil? Is there any chance to save this world from falling apart?” After being hit by all these questions, the priest finally takes the word. “The ways of the almighty are a mystery to behold, my son. Do not question god’s creation. Everything has a purpose and we humans were created in his image. We cannot be the devil. The devil is the one who denies god and his powers, and neglects to serve him. Always remember: Humanity is good and to serve is divine!” All of a sudden, Animus feels a strong sense of anger. The images of his dream appear and drift by his eyes. Icons of a destroyed world, devastated by mankind and its imaginary god. Overwhelmed by his own wrath, Animus turns his back on the priest. Without uttering another syllable he leaves the church. He decides to go into the woods to find peace in nature.
6.Visions of the Void
As his strength starts to decrease, Animus feels more exhausted every second. He runs towards the woods to flee from his pursuers. Something has changed; but not just inside of his own mind. The townspeople have transformed into a raging horde. All of a sudden, they started hunting him down. “Traitor! He is not one of us! It’s these people’s fault! Always these outsiders!” People who he has known for years - friendly, good hearted folk - have decided that he who is differently dressed, whose features are foreign, whose tone of skin is not theirs, shall be stoned to death. As he finally enters the forest, the voices behind him slowly fade away. Finally, he has managed to evade them. He marches deeper into the dark of the trees. Completely drained, Animus leans on a tree and collapses.
Suddenly he finds himself in a completely chaotic environment, like a painting of Hieronymus Bosch. Blood is raining from the sky as unidentifiable objects float around in space. Small deformed creatures laugh at him and hide every time he tries to grasp at them. Suddenly he has a knife in his hand and an army of faceless people draw in on him. Animus stabs and stabs at them. One after another they go down, spilling their colourless life juice all over the ground. Still they seem to be getting more not less. Just as the first creature manages to grab his throat they are all gone. Animus finds himself again in the endless white expanse from his last night. As he examines the area, the face of mother earth materializes and welcomes him with a grim smile and bloodshot eyes.
Animus is back on earth. The world around him burns and the immense suffering around him rapes his mind. Mother earth looks at him and says: “The day of humanity’s annihilation has finally come. I have watched your voracious play for far too long. Your are like spoiled children who disrespect their mother and her gifts. It’s time to feel her wrath upon you.” While she speaks, cataclysmic earthquakes divide the land and storms tear apart the sky. “Humanity has to be put in its place. My fire will incinerate your civilizations. My sea will devour your hopes and dreams. Snowstorms will freeze all of your hatred and abominable putridity, and my earth will crush your physical form. Yet this will not be the end of humanity as I will not be the one who brings the final hammer upon you. Mankind will obliterate itself, as it has always strived to do.” With these words mother earth disappears. All of a sudden humans crawl out of every corner. They load their guns and start to fire at each other. Animus’ mind drifts slowly away as he watches the scene.
He awakes - again - in nowhere. Yet this time it seems very different; kind of peaceful. As Animus lies on the floor a bird flies by, twittering. In this moment of what might be the archetype of peaceful existence, he thinks to himself: “Could a reboot really be the only way to restore?” As he listens to the bird’s soothing and beautiful sounds, Animus feels his consciousness return to the real world. He finally leaves the nowhere.
As he awakes Animus hears the bird from his dream twittering about. He opens his eyes and sees it flying around full of joy. As he examines his surroundings he notices that he is leaning against a tree in the middle of a field. His body hurts. Strenuously he tries to rise. He gives it all he has got, yet he fails. Animus decides to stay a little longer; at least he is finally able to enjoy a moment of peace. What has happened? As much as he tries to remember his strange dream, the only thing that he manages to grasp is the picture of the woman with bloodshot. A cold chill makes his hairs stand up. Just thinking about her seems to make his blood freeze. Animus stops and tries to enjoy the moment. A gunshot disturbs the tranquility. Animus witnesses a bullet hitting the lovely bird tearing it to pieces. Horrified he watches the unidentifiable little pile on the forest ground that was once a beautiful creature. Anger rises within him. Slowly he drags his wrecked body towards where the gunshot came from: Clock Town. As he approaches he perceives a dreadful scene: People slaughter each other before his eyes. Others kneel on the street weeping for help from their god. As he stumbles through main street he asks a young man: ”What has happened?” The guy turns to Animus. His face is completely covered in blood. “The world has collapsed,“ he stumbles.“ The two giants, Russia and USA, have declared war on one another! The nuclear missiles are already on their way. All is over!“ He screams and runs away shouting the last three words on and on full of despair. Animus looks towards the sky. He sees a sea of nukes flying towards Clock Town.
Desperation takes over the Animus’ mind. Is peace such an alien concept for mankind? Is there really no hope left for him and his brothers and sisters? All that he has ever wanted was to take part in making this world a better place for everyone. When he was a kid, his mother used to tell him to behave this way: To lighten up the paths of others. To live a good life. Yet, as he thinks back on his relatively short life he is hardly able to remember any such happy moments. Only the pain his fellow humans brought upon themselves and upon him; only that is real. As he beholds the grotesque scenario, his frustration transforms into grim schizophrenic happiness. Hasn’t he always told them what would happen if mankind would not finally stray from the path of greed? Wasn’t he always the one who sowed love and reaped pain? Overwhelmed by his emotions, Animus starts to laugh hysterically. A laughter which quickly yields to all-out crying. Struck by all the sadness and hate around him, Animus lies on the floor and weeps and screams in agony. Until he hears it. A rumbling sound, still far away, undeniably powerful. As he raises his head he sees a gigantic wave coming towards the town. It progresses fast, already devouring the first districts of Clock Town. Now it has reached the center. As it is only seconds away Animus thinks to himself. “At least the nightmare finally comes to an end.” The wave swallows Clock Town and Animus with it.
11.Flood of Ages
Animus awakes on a sandbank. Clouds wander above him and seagulls make their circles. As he lies in the sand, he feels at peace with the world. But still, there are questions not letting loose on his mind. Why did it have to come so far? Why has he never intervened in this destructive doing? Did he really try hard enough to save this world? And probably the most important question of all: Who and what is actually the real devil in this world? Is it mother nature trying to reclaim what was once hers? Is it humanity being unable to live in perfect harmony and balance to which we humans always felt destined? Or is evil just a matter of perspective, maybe even an illusion? Animus’ eyes hurt from the sunshine and he mobilizes all the power he has left to stand up. He might never get answers to these questions but maybe he can make his own existence the answer. Maybe there are others out there. Maybe there is a chance for a fresh start. Animus wanders off into the unknown. His body does not feel numb anymore. It feels light, like a great burden has been lifted off his shoulders. Now he has a new destiny. The establishment of a harmonious and peaceful world.
Concept by Phil Steiner