Fourth Genesis, Winter Solstice. Year 0.

Molten rock sluiced from the bleeding planet, where sulphurous jets rose to perilous heights and speared through clouds of volcanic ash churning high in the atmosphere. Across the planet, growing canyons drew paths through derelict homes, boulevards, and the stinking, brittle sinews of what was once human civilization.

The world was dying.

It was once said that those who were born of the True Gods, and wrought in their image a reflection of the True Gods' essence, become gods themselves--that, in fickle hands and fortitude, the gift of knowledge to humanity bore semblance with divine oversight against divine wisdom.

The Gate of Eden now blazed, casting its cleansing light far and wide. The passage was opening. In the distance, among the twisted canyons and across the broken valleys, the hive mind's endless hordes scrambled in desperation.

Roth knew the hive mind was right in that so long perspectives differed peace would remain a prelude to war, but she also knew not one entity had the right to elect itself the sole arbiter in that matter.

Roth also knew it was not in her place to decide. Like the Gate of Eden, her existence was the legacy of humankind's sanctity and perseverance. She was there to wield humanity's sword and shield to defend life against its antithesis. Roth looked to the Sword of Mercy and Lord Tyr, and instead of urging them to fight, she allowed them to rest.

In a way, she also despised the Gate of Eden. Powerful as the instrument was, those who created it did so in manic haste, for it required the power of a star to send merely one person across galaxies.

You all fought so well. I'm sorry.

Seconds later, a dark vortex erupted from the Gate of Eden. That was the day our ancestors and the plague disappeared. Temerity is vain, and life but a vicious cycle. Neither won, for both were forever doomed to continue the cycle of life.

The End

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