Hello internet peoples ^_^
I need a good dose of critique on a finale of a prequel I've been struggling with. The story is about the lengths mankind would go to ensure their own survival against an ancient extra-galactic threat...even
if that means using the forbidden knowledge of creating life to recreate God's divine aspects in their own image.
The main character is Kael.
Through a series of brutal trials by fire and the world as she knows it being deconstructed, Kael awakens and begins to accept her new life as the embodiment of omnipotence, and in the process begins losing her humanity--until the discovery of an old friend called Miranda, once thought long-dead, prompts her to the surface of a besieged world in an attempt to save her.
As the colony-world called Paradise S472-e falls to a virulent plague, a fleet of starships in orbit open fire to cleanse the infection.
I don't have much experience in writing on a grand scale, so I'm not sure I did this properly and need a bit of help in these areas:
-What do you like or not like about the description?
-Can you picture the scale of destruction.
-Does this scene match the kind of durability and blocking feats you'd expect from a character who is still quite new at, but is supposed to eventually become, virtually
-Whoever spots the Evangelion reference wins an internet hug :P
SCENE: early dawn, in a river valley after a brutal all-out battle that left only two survivors.
Miranda saw the count-down blink 00:00 in her visor and just laughed in defeat: "I think this is my stop."
"We have to keep going," Kael insisted, limping as she dragged the both of them onwards.
"I can't keep up with you anymore."
Fiery sunrise stole over the sky as the beam burned the world at their backs.
"No, " Kael wearily smiled through the emotional and physical anguish, left hand to heart; the force shield clothing her form flared and distorted like shattered glass as her fingers pierced its surface, gripping it like cloth, compressed it, wielded it in her left palm. "The truth is, I'm pathetic compared to you."
"They'll combine all the beams into one shot, and this time they'll keep the heat on."
"I couldn't do anything in the rain forest," Kael said as she knelt, gingerly set Miranda down, tears welling in her eyes. "Even with all the power in the world I still couldn't save one man; you've saved thousands of people with none of that, so I'll always walk in your footsteps."
White light obliterated the twilight stars, shattered the heavens.
Kael just knelt above her and tried to smile all the same, left hand shivering in her chest.
Miranda knew well the fear of loneliness in her friend's eyes, the desperate things it could drive a person to do to keep that last bond. Kael didn't care what happened to her, and she didn't care what happened to the world; she would cling to that one bond, and it was all Miranda could do to smile back and plead: "save yourself."
"I'll never catch up to who you are," Kael continued, voice trembling as she alloyed the strength of a veil divine with a very human fear of loss. "I'm nothing compared to what you'd become in my place. That's why, I can't let you die here—"
With a violent twist Kael spun—left arm extending out, palm flat—to face the wrath of mankind in all its fury. The force shield unfurled from her left palm in a flash; it carved through the valley like sharp glass to wet clay, sundering entire woodlands, reshaping all under heaven, finally decapitating cliffs on either side.
Braced and anchored low she stood alone, undaunted, before the mightiest force in the universe.
The spear of white light struck with pin-point precision.
Laser-focused sunlight swelled and blossomed against a field wrought of absolute terror, billowing and churning—then spilled across the surface, cooling from electric blue to fiery-orange at the very edge where it regained its fury once more, ignited the atmosphere into thunderous jets that shook the very oceans.
Fire the likes unseen blossomed around her valley and took entire mountains on either side—some blasted clear to rain across the continent as a hellishly incandescent meteor shower, while others peeled away and melted like candle wax meeting the breath of a blowtorch.
Yet Kael held.
As the heavens exploded above them, seared atmosphere churning in the relentless bolt's superheated wake detonated across the barrier with hurricane force wind—bowed Kael to a knee, forced her right hand to hold the force shield; the outer layers of her armor cracked and flew away in crackling embers.
Even behind the mightiest shield, over ten thousand degrees Fahrenheit splashed through Miranda's force shield; the internal temperature skyrocketed so quickly, so strongly that the rest of the harness shut down to power its cooling system.
The nearby river boiled away into a steaming furrow as the deflected heat pressed inwards, pushing Kael back; boiling field meds, steaming inertia-dampening gels, and charred skin violently erupted through her armor's emergency valves.
The shield ill-wrought split and spread out the collimated beam like a prism, reshaping mankind's fury to weave cleansing fire and light over Paradise; hundreds of kilometers farther yet, tabled desert mesas cracked and crumbled beneath immense heat, fissuring fault lines and triggering cataclysmic quakes across the globe.
Entire city-states, built over centuries, were pounded to oblivion and turned to ash in an instant.
Only Kael held.
The barrier frayed and cracked at the edges, yet with a tortured scream Kael rose to her feet against the might of an entire fleet, boots crushing solid rock that glowed like hot coal, as if she held the weight of a small sun on her shoulders to keep it from burning what remained of Paradise.
The beam pressed and she buckled to a knee once more; slowly, but surely, she was faltering.
Miranda slid down a meter through liquid rock, then on shaky legs rose to try and tell her friend that it was okay—but the force shield cracked and shattered to hurricane force, and the inside of the barrier became a blast furnace; she stumbled and fell on all fours as the exoskeleton failed, ankle deep into a puddle of lava.
Kael stood as a lone silver beacon in a searing firestorm, glaring back over her shoulder, lips frantic and mouthing shouts and screams...but her desperate words were dashed and incinerated to silence in the blast furnace as the barrier violently rattled and shook, cracking and disintegrating.
The rattling force blew Kael to her knees. Risking instant vaporization, she turned and held a flat palm at Miranda to tell her to stop, to stay away. With her concentration torn, the barrier began to warp and bend inwards, narrowing the corridor of relative safety.
Miranda began to suffocate in the heat. Even as the cooling system failed, her own body shutting down Miranda still clawed and crawled her way towards Kael. Pain throbbed in every ligament, every bone, but she had one more mission to accomplish: deliver hope.
Miranda closed her eyes and crawled with her remaining strength put the right hand forward and crawled through the lava. When she opened her eyes there Kael was on her knees, the force shield disintegrating at her back, moments from defeat, shivering from the terror, helpless, those once fierce dark-red eyes more like a shade of drowned lavender. Strength left Miranda then.
She pitched forward, and with her final act opened the forgiving embrace.
Kael finally stopped shivering and closed the embrace, frozen in lock-down mode.
She held Miranda as the heat took her—at first with her armor's molten tiles that blistered and peeled away, borne away as crumbling ashes while exposed flesh and bone instantly carbonized and disintegrated, and therein the valley at the end of days a desperate puppet master lay her forge to smith the shield ill-wrought, for only beneath their shield's sanctity and perseverance could they exist in the years of darkness that follow.
Yet even as the flames took Miranda, this one mortal who would challenge omnipotence as wrought by mankind stood victorious in one final mission that not even the puppet master foresaw, for in her final moments she delivered hope, absolution, and closure to an instrument of war against righteous indignation.
And so the puppet master hammered and battered the forge upon a Paradise lost, a fiery forge that set entire oceans aboil, mountains crumbling. In so doing the last remnants of the plague burned, in so doing the last high-towers of city-states that remained burned, and in so doing the last of the brave burned.
When the puppet master descended in her craft to claim the demi-god she forged atop the ashen remains of Paradise, she found her weapon upon her knees, unconscious and still in lock-down, stripped clean by the fire, cleansed of imperfection, it's eyes a drowned lavender shade.
And as the giant wolf Fenris fettered the Norse god of combat and heroism in old myths, so too did Captain Wilkes seal her instrument's terrible might, for its joint-armor-and-weapon restraints were a vile creation hewn from the purest and dense of Therrite. Midnight black, streaked with crimson highlights, craft'd to painstaking measure, a blocky red font emblazoned across it's armored casket:
FENRIS ENTERPRISE J.A.W-1221 SERIES (TYPE-3 BIOWEAPON RESTRAINT/SPEC-OPS)
Constructed aboard Hijacked vessel Redemption, Code D9 (Pending Designation: NSC Solstice).
As her craft rose through clouds that hung like tattered rags above the colony-world, this puppet-master who wielded so many lives and shaped destinies across the galaxy to create this one masterpiece, now looked out to stars beyond. Captain Wilkes was ready to step out of the shadows...and she was ready to go to war.