The town was burning, but Alexei's pain wasn't from flame. It was an entirely different kind of pain that ran through him. His friend lay lifeless in front of him, her bruised and battered body motionless. He was strung up via two nooses; somebody was behind him, slicing into his backside, but the pain from behind was nothing compared to the pain in the front. Tears streamed down his face as he stared at his friend, his one true companion. His eyes slowly bend upwards, knowing what he'll find; this is a dream he's had many times.
Standing above Vivian, a putrid grin on his face, is the man. Alexei doesn't know his name, but he can't be mistaken for anybody else: He's six and a half feet tall, with wild and matted white hair, and a look of pure sadism. Plus, there's the left arm, made entirely of lacrima. He bends down to be even with Alexei, a gleeful grin on his face. "Isn't it amazing?" He says, laughing. "The feeling of pain, of loss, of tears? Cry it all out. It's music to my ears."
Alexei does what he does every time: He spits in the man's face and shouts, "Go to Hell!"
Usually, this prompts a more savage beating; this time, however, things are different. The man shudders, his eyes roll back in his head, and he screams at the top of his lungs as an impossibly bright light bursts from his torso. A man emerges from the hole, as Alexei's aggressor falls over dead; he pulls himself out, emerging from an impossible space. The man stands even taller than the previous one, and glows radiantly; he looks down at Alexei with pure white eyes and begins to talk. "Are you the one chosen by Blane?"
Realization hits Alexei suddenly: This is a dream. He's unconscious, in the bandit hideout, likely still under the influence of whatever Sinon had done to him. Still, he might as well play along with the dream, since he wasn't going to go anywhere. Looking up at the man before him, he manages a weak smile. "That's the book, right? He told me to open him; does that mean anything?"
The man's eyes flicker slightly, but he does not react. "I see," he mutters, although even a mutter is loud and clear to Alexei. "I am Rakoto, God of Light. You have been chosen by my subordinate to represent me in the mortal realm."
Alexei's eyes widen slightly when the man introduces himself, but other wise does not move. "Me? Subordinate of the God of Light?" He asks. "Are you sure this is a good idea?"
"That is was I intend to find out," Rakoto responds. "Tell me of your justice. Your perfect world."
Alexei is silent for a moment. "My perfect world..." He looks up at Rakoto, eyes burning with determination. "My perfect world is a world of absolute freedom. One where everybody is free to do whatever they please, regardless of what others tell them; there is no limit to anybody's potential, nothing that says, 'you can't do that'. No money, so people don't feel obligated to do their job unless they enjoy it; if possible, no hunger or thirst either, or sleep unless you want to solve one of those things. A world wherever everybody is free to pursue their deepest desires, without consequence."
The God of Light is silent, but snorts slightly when Alexei is finished. "Your end goal might be wrong, but your desires are true and your determination is unreal. You will likely not live long enough to see your goal come true; with that in mind, I shall make you my champion. My power is free to use, as long as you pursue your dreams and your justice."
Alexei looks up at his new patron, enjoying the refreshing, not-holding-back way of speech. "So how do I obtain this power?" Alexei asks.
"Like this." Rakoto reaches out and grips Alexei's forehead, his radiance nearly blinding Alexei at this distance. "I, God of Light, do proclaim this man my champion in the mortal realm. I bestow upon him the power to slay Gods, to be used in the pursuit of justice and dreams. Rakoto Mal Essandra." Light floods the area, as Alexei's entire body feels like it is set on fire...
...And he awakes, shaking and sweating.