Genesis Reborn Finale
By Mainevent the Illustrious
The Death of Eden
Goranth stood rigidly before the monitor, taking in all of the data from the field. The battle was in no one's favor, it's tide as of yet undecided. His weary bones ached from exhaustion, but he dared not stray from the screen.
"Age was nothing." He had told himself many times before, but not this time. He was old, and there was no hiding it. He saw great potential in Elsrik, and wanted to expose it before parting.
General Ambrak paced across the room; making an irritating melody that accentuated the tension in the atmosphere. His presence in the room itself was more than an annoyance to the Monastor of several levels. He had never been particularly fond of the man; he was too arrogant, too self conceited. The fact that he promised to personally head the attack on the Index, but had not, was far greater reason.
"The way this is going, we'll never win. Their formations are weak here, and they haven't even encountered the Angastal yet." He roared with impatience.
"Well, if you had been a good leader you would have been with your troops, not hiding here like a coward."
"Excuse me Monastor? With all due respect, sir, I have far greater experience in handling warfare than a religious figure."
"You'd do well to watch your tongue, least it be removed." Goranth replied with a passion. This argument he wouldn't lose, he would make sure of it.
"I knew you could never be as good as Elsrik. You were never as pure. He's not poisoined with a convoluted ego, unlike some." A passing glance at the highly tempermental General was more than coincidence, and everyone in the room knew it.
"Elsrik will never be as good as I am!" He shouted in defiance.
"But he already is. Unlike some, he's actually fighting. Actually giving a damn. Actually making a difference in this war. Unlike some..." His words lingered for effect. An effect which was far greater than anyone had expected.
A barely audible thump ran eerily through the room; a smoking hole passing through the elder's chest. General Ambrak, still grasping the weapon that killed him, made a frantic dash for the exit. His feet were swept from under him, putting him on his back. The glancing flash of the overhead lights on metal coursed through his view before the weapon cut through his skull and into the floor.
"Hang on Monastor! Hang on! Help's on its way. Don't you die on me." A young guard pleaded with his lifeless body as he rocked it. It was somehow his fault, even though all of the more experienced guards had failed to catch the act as well. It was his fault in his mind, no one would blame him. The slight hand movement was impossible to detect in the darkness, but he'd never come to grasp that fact. It would follow him forever, until he avenged it or died. But he knew all to well that he would never avenge it, that he was giving away the prized position so many wished for.
His death was the death of Eden, and the seed at the core of the fruit was black with death at his loss. Death for which all would pay. The death, of a hero.
Elsrik's Journey-An Ends to a Means
The warmth of the bristling golden star Eden orbited was a welcomed one at that. The grass was no longer stiff and prickly. Dew covered the moist ground, giving back the life juices the construct's life needed to survive.
Elsrik's eyes slowly parted. The pain and anguish he'd been expecting was surprisingly devoid. In fact, he felt better than he had ever felt before. The constant aching pain from his disease was gone, but he knew it would be back.
The battlefield was quiet too, and everyone was gone. The scars he expected to see on the raped landscape had been filled in and grown over with grass. A lot of time had passed since his last battle. It still didn't make sense. Why had they left him? Alone. Injured. Left for dead. Had no one cared enough to pick his corpse up, simply discarding it as thought it were trash.
There were no other bodies, only him. Something was different though. The grove, which had been riddled with plasma scoring and pock-marks was littered with newly-grown trees and shrubs. The dirt was soft and dark, rich with nutrients; not the heavy dry clay from before.
He slowly eased himself onto his shaky feet. His legs were strong, but he wasn't. Mind-numbing information seeped into his porous brain like water to a sponge. Majestic birds glided unchallenged above, precariously hanging on invisible strings from the heavens. Their formation swerved sharply in an instant. A single united mass acting as one.
On the horizon was the answer to his unasked question. They had been spooked by an incoming Praiser. He hadn't been left after all, someone was coming for him. Anyone was better than no one, or so he thought. It's pinprick profile expanded into a behemoth mechanical falcon, soaring on false wings that dared defy the gods.
It passed him once to circle around, ducking behind a nearby mountain before returning to land.
It's engines ruffled the greens and reds of earth itself, violently crushing them beneath it's power. Shielding his eyes with his large open palm, he watched with peaking interest as the rear ramp opened lackidasically. The rear hatch dug into the soil with fervor, pushing up inches of dirt under it's weight.
His eyes could barely discern the figure exiting the vehicle against the bright sun behind it. Magnificent draping robes fell to the ground and trailed him. An ornate headpiece ladened with precious stones and metals draped his weary-looking frame, but his movements were fluid and crisp.
"Monastor Goranth." Elsrik said with open arms.
"My dear Elsrik. It truly has been too long." The old man replied as they embraced. He was strong for his age, and his hug was bear-like. Father-like. It had been so long since Elsrik had a father; so long since he had anyone. In truth, it had only been several days, but when it's someone you care about, every minute seems like an eternity.
"Why am I here?" The younger of the two asked. Not with anger or dissention, but with a general curiosity.
"Why are any of us here? It's hard to say. Surely someone knows, but I've yet to meet him."
"Always with the riddles. I never liked your riddles."
"You never were good with riddles. Ever since a child you've had a morbid hatred for them."
"How did you?"
"It will all be very clear soon. You have many, many questions you want to ask. I know, so did I. You most likely don't even know where you truly are. But there is something I can show. Something that will clear the fog of your mind."
"And you'll show me this when?"
"I'll show you it now if you wish." Goranth replied with a creeping smile, and his outstretched arm pivoted to point at the ramp he had descended from.
A heavy clank coursed through the ship's metals, the heavy boots of a Ceremonial Guard. Their dark purple hue was easily mistakable for black, but the gold inlay of set diamonds, sapphires, and rubies highlighted it's eccentric color. Elsrik had seen and even worn the coveted suit of armor, but never seen an armor so splended. His eyes followed the boots up the greaves and cuirass to the exposed head.
Elsrik gasped in astonisment and realization. The person walking towards him had cleared it all up for him. It was all clear; strange, but clear. It knocked the wind from his very being, but didn't hurt. Gasping for air, he found his lungs were empty. Lips struggled to form sounds to no avail before finally managing a weak word.
"Brother..." He whispered silently.
"Brother." The figure whispered silently back.
Elsrik's journey was over, but his life was just beginning.
Gelinoir manned the communications post with an effectiveness unrivaled by any. His orders were solid, and absolute. His head ached from the constant belittling from the heavy batteries and weapons fire. It was a mircale in itself that he could think in the chaos. A time when any lesser being would have been enveloped and lost in the fog of war.
"Requesting permission from Canol Shashev to relieve a sixty degree section of the hill. Angastal are approaching en masse." Sparked across the airwaves.
"Canol Shashev, there's a request to concentrate a portion of the circles' fire on the incoming Angastal."
"Denied, I need them to fight the Sentinels." Shashev's head stared undauntedly to the fight before him.
"With all due respect, I would strongly advise you accept their request." Gelinoir pleaded passionately, but his words fell on deaf ears.
"He's speaking to YOU sir." Helsith, the second in command interupted.
"I'm well aware of who he's speaking to. Now get back to your post before I demote you again. It's most unfortunate for both of us what happened to you last time, but I must enforce my authority. I won't have it challenged in practice, and I'll be damned if I'll have it challenged hear." He replied with a snarl. Helsith had been unfairly demoted from Vice Canol to Cammanda by Shashev, an experience for which he always harbored hidden hatred for.
"Requesting permission now! We need to know." Came through the lines once more.
"Tell them no, now! Get them off the line." Shashev barked.
"This is the bunker...your request has been," Gelinoir turned to Shashev, who had an icy stare in his eye, "approved. Fire at will!"
"What? What the hell are you doing?" Shashev made a motion towards the receivers, but they were riddled with weapons fire before he could get the order off. Rage burned in his eyes, and he leapt at Gelinoir. His shoulder caught the man's midrift and they were sent tumbling downthe back of the hill. An actionless region surrounded by thick trees.
Gelinoir landed on top, and brought his balled fist into Shashev's chin. He was uprooted and landed on his back. Pain split through his body as a knee impacted into his ribs, breaking several on contact. Blood bubbled on his lips as he coughed. A second blow connected with his chin, blurring his vision as his skull collided with the hardened clay.
Shashev struggled to his feet, and picked up the discarded pistol with shaky hands.
"No one disobeys an order. No one." He said as the sound of a weapon discharging echoed through the forest. Shashev's pistol rolled off of his finger and bounced off of the earth as it hit, a gaping hole in his stomach. Helsith was standing emotionlessly atop the hill; a cooling heavy rifle in his hands. He looked into Gelinoir's stunned eyes, and turned silently back to the battle at hand.
The wounded warrior rolled slowly onto his stomach, and finally back into the fray. Following the resulting victory at Calahos Grove, Hilseth and Gelinoir were both promoted. In an ironic twist, Gelinoir was given full command of Shashev's Shuro, which was quickly renamed after someone he strongly missed. Elsrik's Army was soon the most formidable group of fighters in the universe after the Ceremonial Guards, and would receive fame and reknowned for their achievements.
He dared to stare to the stars, and tell them no. That he made his own future, and they would not restrain him from what he must do. He would lead the galaxy, and answer to no one.