Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Destruction of Time

Forever it had been the province of the one standing on the shores of the ruined coastline to protect his city, but now it had come to this. Destruction. Fire rained from the skies. Water boiled. Time had caught up with him at last. His brother had predicted it, in the way that was his gift. "The end will not come in the way we have always thought," he said once, waking from the prophetic dream that gave him his strength. "It won't be a person. It looks like..." This, he thought. Exactly this. He turned back, light glinting on what remained of the red lens in his shattered face. Not his face, something on his face...thinking was more difficult now. The assault had been the grandest trick of them all. No supervillain to fight. Global destruction occurring around him, the final chance they had to stop it lost in a blaze of power cause by the cracking of the planet. He'd watched them die for the third time in his life; after the second, he promised himself that it would not happen again. But he was wrong. This was the true end of his entire world, and his friends were gone, his family gone, and everything gone.
It had been seventeen years. Seventeen. Perhaps that was enough. But if his brother had still been there, at his side, he knew that a disagreement would be imminent. The internal argument hurt his mind. He felt powerless, both in physical strength, metaphysical ability, and mentally. The stunt at the ridge had drained him. Without his face...the mask...he would most likely be dead. Why now? Where was this coming from? Was it the way of things to always end? Perhaps.
At least there had been rainbows, and animals and love and delicious things to eat.
There was pain in his chest. It felt like time to give up. The sky itself cracked open, reminding him of the last time he had seen that happen. No glowing eyes greeted him this time, just the failure of the sky to continue to exist in the same form as it always had. Blue darkened, fading. Electricity crackled, dust moved. THIS WAS UNFAIR. Could this happen to him, he who manipulated the quantum bonds of this place like some type of mythical entity? Hadn't he sacrificed enough? But his body was failing - his memory could not obtain the details. One eye was dead inside his skull, unmoving. The other looked up, saw sealife surfacing already in the grip of death.
Buried deep inside was the anger, the great anger that he had felt on that day when he watched his first love die, the day when his friends died, and many other days. It surged over him, giving him temporary strength and clearing his mind, allowing the memories to flood him. This could not be the end. The great question was before him. How do you stop the end of the world?

And that was the answer. No battle to fight. Only a will to survive. He let the anger die down, calling upon his once-great intellect to think clearly. Death was not actually a place of darkness, or a greeting place of dead famous beings. It was nothingness. Once, he had come close, suffering a mortal wound. But the mask...and that was his answer. ONCE, and only once before, he had pulled off a major stunt with his powers, allowing the energies of the universe to flow through him, a living quantum gate to destroy what he thought was the ultimate evil. Around him, he saw the landscape coming apart as gravity itself was destroyed. His mind was starting to go again as his physical body failed. Was it localized to his planet, or the whole galaxy? There would be no point escaping the planet to be destroyed in space.
Time was short. There might only be minutes left, or seconds. He remembered back to that previous time, concentrated on the power. His hand flashed into energy in the standard expression of his strength. The spot of his former city disappeared into the ground, leaving nothing to witness that it had ever existed. Corporeal form snapped from reality, leaving only the mask with a vague energy shape in the form of a man. Cosmic senses took hold, atoms bonded together even through the destruction. There was forever.
The energy snapped into the mask, leaving only the silver piece of metal hanging in the ruined sky. It blasted into the atmosphere, piercing the fire and the clouds and the end of the planet. The metal was destroyed, misshapen by the journey. He had one last thought. Let me see them all again. Let this work. This cannot be the end...

The metal zoomed through space, no longer part of a man. Behind it, a planet quietly fell apart in the stars. It was a misshapen lump, the sentient who once commanded it burned away. The metal stopped, motionless in space. Around it, the stars began to flicker, destroyed. The energy that had once been a man flared up, engulfing the metal. Memory? In a blaze of power, it began to move at incredible speed, pieces of the metal burning away as the velocity increased. It blasted through the waves of destruction, gaining ever more velocity. Time and space distorted - from the metal or the destruction? A tear appeared, by provenance or intentional could not be said as no one was there to speak. Time and space rended before it. The metal slammed into the tear, energy quickly sealing the rift behind it.

The universe died. White calm replaced endless chaos. Nothingness. Then they came through the bonds of reality (such as it was currently), eyes dark with curiosity, a ring of color surrounding the darkness. Another dead universe. A large snout sniffed the space in front of the creature. A trail. Teeth bared over a thin pink lower lip, a row of daggers line one after another. Vocalizing the intentions, they tore through the nothingness, following the trail.

In the dingiest of hellholes, secreted on planet Metran, the three-eyed Slaurian awoke from his slumber. His forked tongue slithered out over his leathery mouth, a common occurrence as he gained consciousness again. Perhaps today would be a better day. He opened the blinds to his dwelling, his circular jade eyes becoming accustomed to the light outside his place. A tarp covered over something that had died in the streets outside his place. This was life in the big city? Light caught his eyes. It glittered from underneath the tarp, only viewable when a transport or wheeled vehicle kicked up wind enough to do so.
Braccane walked from his dwelling, his eyes firmly locked on the hidden object. Perhaps today would be a better day after all.

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