Reginald awoke to a long, brilliantly-lit white chamber. It was one of those rooms that he had seen before in Gallente-derived virtual reality holoreels. He was, himself, clothed in white garments, though the temperature was noticeably non-existent. He turned his head from side to side, reviewing the surfaces of the room, which appeared to be made up of one meter by one meter squares locked together like building blocks. One of the sides of the room was made up of an archway that stretched into a hallway that seemed to lead endlessly into the distance.
“I hope you don’t mind the cliche,” A little girl’s voice emanated from behind him.
He turned around to see Red, but unlike the ghostly projections from holodrones he had come to recognize her by, she looked like a normal little girl. Her hair had a slightly lighter hue than Shalee’s, though he attributed that to her younger age. Her eyes were of the same blue gaze, though they betrayed a penetrating intelligence well beyond the maturity of a five year-old. She wore a chaste red dress common among daughters of the nobility, trimmed in white, the sleeves running down to her wrists, complete with a collar that covered her neck.
She continued, glancing around the chamber, “It’s not very creative, but I didn’t want to overwhelm you.”
A moving walkway appeared beneath the archway, the conveyor belt moving in the direction towards infinity. It was at that moment that Reginald realized that this wasn’t merely a dream. He was living in Red’s world, in which she had absolute control.
“Don’t be scared,” She huffed, crossing her arms, noticing the fear flicker in his eyes, “If I wanted to hurt you, the shuttle would’ve exploded by now.”
Reginald managed to chuckle softly at the thought despite himself as he walked towards the conveyor, “All right. What is it that you wanted to show me?”
Red seemed mollified as she took his hand and led him onto the walkway, “I know why you want to go back to your earlier self.”
“Oh, have you been watching?”
“Mmmhmm. I was there for all of it,” Her hand twitched slightly, her voice hardly above a whisper, “Like when you had those Sani Sabik children killed.”
He frowned, “Red, you know that–”
She shook her head and cut him off, “She thought that you would’ve hurt her if she had been one of those children. Everyone was afraid of you. Katerina was mad.”
He looked away, “Oberyn wasn’t even born yet. I missed his birth.”
A glass window appeared in the hallway as the walkway came to a halt. On the other side was a scene of Katerina cradling Oberyn in a swaddling of blankets, smiling down at him as she sat upright in a very comfortable-looking bed. Sunlight from the Myyheran sun shone through the windows in a perfect display of radiance. Reginald could feel a lump begin to form in his throat at the scene, recognizing the room to be their bedchamber in his former Holding. His eyes widened as a version of him stepped into the picture, taking a seat by Katerina. He placed an arm over her shoulder before joining her in smiling at the newborn baby.
“What is this?” Reginald asked, raising his hand towards the glass.
Red smiled, “This is the life I can give you. What you really want. You don’t want to forget. You want things to be the way they were supposed to be.”
The walkway started moving once more, though Reginald kept his eyes glued on the scene for as long as he could. His mouth was dry, his heart beating erratically, as his mind raced with the possibilities Red was offering him. A new chance at life. The life that haunted his memories.
“Everything would be as it was supposed to be, and everything will be as it was meant to be,” Red smiled.
They stopped before another scene, this one in a courtyard that looked quite similar to one on the Terrace at Cerra Manor. Katerina wore her Holder attire rather than her Pandemic Legion uniform, Oberyn sitting on her lap, his eyes full of wonder at the tropical environment of Huola. Katerina was laughing brightly as Reginald went through fencing forms with Rebecca, teaching her how to parry, their practice sabers shimmering in the sunlight. Shalee sat at the same table with Katerina, leaning over to her from time to time, whispering gossip that caused the latter to giggle.
Reginald bit his lip to hold back the emotion welling in his eyes, “I… I could have all this?”
Red nodded, “Yes. You could be there for Oberyn’s birth, for his first steps, his first words. You’d see him grow up. Katerina would be your wife again, would help you rule fairly in Myyhera. All of the mistakes would be gone. You’d have your life back. And–”
“I can’t.” Reginald shook his head, “It wouldn’t be right.”
Red blinked, “What?”
“I don’t deserve any of this, Red. I’m the one who destroyed my marriage. I’m the one who ruined my life.”
“And yet you’re trying to run from the consequences.”
“You want to destroy yourself,” Her tone softened, “Let me help you.”
He shook his head again, “But it wouldn’t be real. It’d all be a lie. And I’d have to wake up eventually.”
She grinned mischievously, “Leave that part to me.”
Reginald opened his mouth to say something when he found himself inside of the shuttle. Red was gone. His glass of half-finished spiced wine sat undisturbed.
“Lord Reginald?” The pilot’s voice broke the silence, “Our docking request has been accepted.”