Black Sun: I Bring You Death 3
November 11, 2011 § 1 Comment
If you have not killed a world, it is difficult to understand.
He drifted in the void a few hundred thousand kilometers away from the planet and watched its methane ocean burn. Watched its atmosphere glow with the heat. The ‘holes’ he’d opened between the molten iron core and the basins that held the methane oceans were now closed. They weren’t necessary any longer: the jets of molten iron tunneling through otherspace, passing through dimensions to ignite the planet, had created the chain reaction and even now were seething columns of superheated slag floating to the surface. Quakes from the loss of stability, of matter below the surface sent surges of burning liquid in waves that drowned and burned the lattice cities of the metal spiders.
He forced himself to watch it all. To watch them, uncounted multitudes of them, burn. Their cities, the masses of them drifting in what to them was a birthing matrix, a liquid womb from which their species was born. The planet was a mother to their kind, and it was dying at his hands. So were they. They had other worlds, older worlds, younger worlds. There would still be Taklarsaza, not metal spiders, in the universe after this day. But there would be many, many dead ones on this world.
He was a killer on a scale few could possibly understand. He had never killed anything a few scant days ago, and now he was genocide’s handmaiden. So he made himself watch. He opened his senses to the electromagnetic spectrum, and he made himself hear their shrieking pulsations, flares of static, ululations of x-rays.
It took a very long time.
He did not leave until it was done.
His return to Throneworld was unheralded because he did not tell anyone he was coming back. He’d considered telling Rythe, but after he’d abandoned her on Klarakashton he felt empty yet ashamed of himself. He’d taken on this task with her as his second, played the showoff, his patience exhausted and his years of craft and guile abandoned in the frenzy he no longer felt. Several of his brothers and sisters had killed for the Dy’Tariex before.
He never had. It had been something he was proud of, and now he’d tossed it aside in the fury born of mind to mind contact with the Not Metal Spiders. As he spun through the thin atmosphere of the world he was born on, feeling the heat radiate back up from its massive rock barrens and sparsely populated deserts he couldn’t summon anything like fury. He looked down at the world’s empty expanse and saw the hundreds of thousands of tiny little settlements. People who would never see the Shining Mountains, never.
He looked down upon them and realized with a cold certainty what he’d read before as an abstract. Their lives, their deaths, so short and so fragile. Lives lived and over in a blink while he would endure, live on. It wasn’t at all the gift he’d thought it was.
He allowed himself to fall, grateful for the silence inside his skull. His armor, living metal that swaddled him as a baby, grew as he grew, drew its life from him, protected him and guided his steps and took whatever form was suitable. It also knew when not to talk. So in silence he descended to the scooped out bowl known as The End of Harra and landed, many many kilometers from any living things.
He walked the perfect glassy sides of the bowl crater, scooped out thousands upon thousands of years before he was born. Fused into the glass were the shadows cast by bodies when the explosion occurred. His black and gold metal skin hardened into plates, responding to pain it felt but could not protect him from as he turned and looked at every inch of it.
The Wrexxakt had done it. Before his people had even dreamed of space, when they fought on this ragged floating ball of radiation and rock and sand for a life free of the ancient presences. Legendary monsters, who grew ever more terrible in every telling. Magnified by how much the Tislath hated them. Kyrian could not know how valid the old stories, the old memories were, but he could do what all of his people could.
He could sit in the melted black glass and look at the shadows etched on it from the explosion, and know that they were at least this terrible. They had unleashed this, and blown a crater kilometers across unto the surface of the planet. It had killed many of the people who were not Tislath, not Qualsilath, nor Naratsilath yet. They were just the Silath then, and they died en masse here.
Today I have become Wrexxakt.
He felt his armor, his brother, as it recycled the liquid leaking from his eyes. He had learned the lesson his father had always held back from him, from Tatris, from Rythe and Arktiesh and Malan. His disdain for his birth siblings evaporated in that moment as he finally, truly understood what he and they were and why they were necessary.
He felt at last a small touch of a mind to his mind. It was his mother, Siharra, and for the first time in his life he could finally feel her without any mask or shield between them. Not hers, and not his. Her thoughts brushed across his like the wind that blew sand across the lip of the vast crater, sand scouring black glass.
Are you and then the thoughts stopped because she could not think of an appropriate thing for him to be, and he smiled despite almost choking on self pity.
I am. At last, yes. I am, finally.
He felt her embrace him as if she were there.
I would have spared you this. He leaned into her presence for the first time since she had given birth to him, remembering that moment of stark, sudden solitude, when before had been her surrounding him, always present, always thinking to him and around him. I had thought you would hide forever, and I will admit it was what I wanted for you, bodychild.
Together, they mourned what had been lost. He would return to his father, the Dy’Tariex, but not yet. First he and his mother had to bury what he had killed.