Part 41 - AntediluvialMature

In the old days, in the days when life in this galaxy was but a mere infant, a wise King proclaimed that light is precious. Baptized by the mortal coils of their primeval chronicles, light has long-since been a symbol of salvation to the human race.

For thousands of years they sought shelter in their caves and earthen dwellings, waiting for the sun to rise and fight back the shadows, screaming wraiths and cruel demons of the night. Light is precious.

Roth awoke in a haze of confusion. A vicious cough seized her lungs as a drifting dust cloud rolled past her. Blinking away at the dust and bright sunlight, she focused to the distance as someone's silhouette approached.

The third warrior emerged from the dust cloud. Lord Tyr appeared like an Angel of Light. She wore the finest silken white robes Roth had ever seen, with golden bracelets on her wrists and ankles.

In her left hand rested the legendary sword Tyrfing, and floating behind her right shoulder was the Gate of Eden, six golden prisms centered about a hexagonal node, each inscribed with arcane serpentine runes.

Lord Tyr's gaze slanted past Roth to survey the surroundings and then the sky. Her expression carried no particular hatred save for world-weariness. More than anything, what caught Roth's attention were her eyes--those odium filled eyes--dark and blood red.

The Sword of Mercy rose. She exchanged a brief glance with Lord Tyr, then they promptly disregarded one another. Whatever their silent feud was, they were wise not to fight only to instantly slay one-another.

Roth was never certain how she felt about the others. They were all alike in that they were created from the same human and shared memories, and yet they differed starkly in both personality and beliefs.

Roth briefly glimpsed into their minds. The Sword of Mercy fought for purely selfish reasons--like she had something to prove--while Lord Tyr fought because she felt she had no choice. And herself?

Roth fought because she believed it was her purpose. She believed it was her purpose because only she had the ability to bend the will of people. She believed she was blessed with this gift so she could wield humanity's mightiest Sword and Shield to defend life.

Elsewhere, Roth knew, a parasite that fancied itself a god committed all his might against her in panicked terror. He emerged from his ivory tower where he thought his foe hopelessly defeated and laid plans for the future, only to find that beneath his arrogance, a new threat rose to challenge him.

Roth followed Lord Tyr's skyward gaze. Seconds later, a black dot appeared over the sun. It grew into a starship and thundered overhead, and it was immediately apparent that the vessel's state was dire.

A roiling plume of pearl-white flame, debris and smoke trailed the NSC Vidar as it disintegrated over the desert. It shot out of sight beyond a mountain range behind the warriors and then rose above the peaks, breaking to a turn.

In the bright, clear blue sky behind the NSC Vidar, the first broods of evolved Locri bioships flew for them, electric shrouds sparking and pillars of plasma fire splitting the heavens. Upon the land and across the barren desert marched hordes of Cyclopes, marshalling thousands of Acolytes that swam in from the simmering horizons.

At range, the vessel listed as it finished its turn, nuclear propulsors bleeding a cataract of boiling coolant that ignited the dust below into a steaming furrow of shocked quartz and molten glass.

Lord Tyr stared right back at it. She caught the Vidar in her dark-red gaze, kept it, imprisoned it. The ten thousand ton vessel surrendered to her magnetic hold. It took a sudden dip toward the ground but did not quite crash.

Instead it glided toward the surface and then plowed into the sand, drawing the desert on either side of the craft. The NSC Vidar dragged its course--ten full kilometers of it--then slid to a gentle halt.

As the plague drew ever closer, our ancestors stood at the edge of the abyss.

They were faced with the choice to either cast aside their trepidation and leap forward into the abyss, or to remain and face the trials and tribulations of the Wrathful God.

The scene was set. This was where humanity would make its last stand. At the critical hour, would they stand fast and persevere, or would they falter and submit before the plague?

The End

18 comments about this story Feed