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|UESCTerm 802.11 (remote override)||Author: Yossarian|
Return to Waves: Sections 9-16
We found you
Like your (?newborn)
And (?christened) you an other
And now, in the doorway, She gazed upon a figure with eyes that should have stopped seeing long ago, a figure of a thing, a shape that had once visited her dreams, then intruded into nightmares, becoming more common and more deadly as She gazed them through more and more eyes, as they died a thousand times within her children as they fell before these five-fingered beasts. For millennia it had been her dreams that had been coming true, each one a beautiful fantasy that She could make real with the endless supply of resources and labor, living like a god, materializing dreams and becoming inebriated from the effects, a solid life prolonged by drugs and genetics, She was hideous and poisoned, a fossil of a body and a fossil of a soul, the remnants of the young Uh’Pfhor female of promise and love and hope all but disappeared, shriveled and dead as the rest of her. Among all this She sat now, draped in centuries old gowns that were nothing but rags around her, blowing in the soft cool breeze of the planet She had been born on so long ago, a place whose name She could no longer remember, as She had lost it from her own mind and withheld it from those of her minions. The names and faces of the past had been hers to cherish, once, her tools of power, now only faded relics, and She was losing more every moment, replaced only by dull sadness, the last emotion her soul could muster in any significant amounts. She could not remember her mother and father, memories that had once been warm embers in her heart had grown cold and indistinguishable as ashes, and She searched through them with her mind’s hands, hoping for a coal to burn and scorch an unfortunate finger, yet there was nothing, and whatever She had of the Uh’Pfhor that had begat her were gone forever, as were the faces and names of siblings, histories, entire cultures wiped from existence by her senility, centuries fluttered and disappeared into the breeze as depersonalization swallowed her, and yet, with what She held on to within her frail skull She used to ponder the thing before her, and She was sure now as She had been sure of anything, that for the first time in her life, by some cosmic coincidence or repulsive mistake, the inescapable had occurred: a nightmare had came to life, and over it She had no control.
Bringing his head up he sees, in the darkness, figures strange yet not unknown slither and slide within the blackness very soon illuminated by his muzzle blast as they shriek and fall, as they sway and die in the dark like the wretched, filthy animals they are, exoskeletons exploding and staffs smashing to the floor unable to cope with the hail of gunfire and blast of energy, the burning of flesh from the fire flowing furiously out of his hands, rocket death, grenade, body sailing the victims are numerous, the bodies are legion and smoking still as he exits, reloading another clip without incident, smile, or smirk.
The pistols, the very heaviness of them and the gleaming of their bullets, like the smiles on mad children, the guns exhaust them and burn them out in the name of death remorseless. To feel the cold weight is to feel the cold power. Heavy and strong and silent nearly always they steal warmth from his body while lying asleep in the holsters yet feed it back when he holsters them again still smoldering and empty, they are back in their homes on either side of he before the corpses can even hit the ground.
The assault rifle, deified distributor of deliberate death, its clumsiness and wastefulness is made up by the fact that besides those, it is strangely effective. With each crack from the muzzle he is empowered while the enemy is weakened, what sound but the repeating of the discharges can be more frightening to nearby fleshy opponents? They flee and scream as they desperately attempt to save their own lives from the spray of rounds, they are rarely successful in this as he cuts them down wave by wave, grenades peppering the poised and prepared alien platoons placed to destroy him specifically, occasionally the contact with a head or chest, exposing it and exploding for yards, decorating the walls and ceiling. The delivery is deliberate and effective. So used had these beasts been to humans falling before them that the though of a slaughter of their phalanxes on such a scale is unthinkable, yet pausing to consider such leaves them only more as delayed and slower targets.
Fusion. Disintegrating opponents with alarming speed and power, who can describe the madmen responsible for such a deadly invention, the madness of a bureaucracy willing to mandate its use among an untamable military? Regardless the implications, it wields to him. It is his beast, his slave, it is the sun in his hands and the power to melt and fuse flesh and burn it to vapor. To unhinge the horrendous hate in his heart, millennia of pain released in blinding white crystalline light as the bolts fly through the sky, the night, through vacuum and victims alike.
There is no sound more reassuring to the modern warrior than the -SHA-CLACK- of the bolt of a double-barreled shotgun as twelve gauge rounds lay in wait within their coffins readied for his command, the pull of the trigger. The recoil is climactic. No foe can fail from falling away from the blast, it dents and penetrates, paints his victims with their own blood and bile, boiling and bruising bringing the expected screams and wails, gurgling and falling. Exploding ribcages and dented breastplates. Distended ricochet pattern.
Cowering high above the arena, the reservoir, the maze. Cowering not in fear but in anticipation, nearly uncontainable. A far away target treks treacherously toward total termination as from his shoulder shoots an instrument of immense power, and in less than a second there rises a faraway explosion of flesh and bone, stone and steel, dust and water. The basin is silent again as the second rocket enters the chamber, waiting to rain smoke and death and dust on the daylight as its brother had seconds before.
As it turned out, Durandal was right about Roland not breaking him. I hate him, more than he hated Strauss. I hate him and the Pfhor, but most of everything I hate the hand dealt to me by fate herself. I have seen the Holy Mother Crouching Behind the Throne, and for a moment, I could see inter her mind. I don’t deny my personality has taken a tint of evil, nor will I deny a certain twist towards sadism and moral apathy in recent times, yet to her this is nothing. I have seen into the heart of the empire and there is but darkness.
I have never seen such darkness.
The smell of cold, of air too clean and metal, sweat, and blood, the smells of bleach and clothing white and gun oil; the stenches of a star bound ship lugging its way through space, breathing this all in as lights flicker above, some hanging, others fallen and shattered, bullet holes in the bulkhead and smoking grenade craters among a peppering of scalded wall, where the fighter bolts struck and smeared, scarring the steal and burning the paint in neat black circles. It doesn’t matter the name of the ship, the human ones are most nearly all the same, the atmosphere is cold, but the architecture is warm and the layout is comfortable, and the companionship, though often times dead, or frightened, or returning fire, are preferable company to the disgusting and stupid Pfhor, and the insane ramblings of the rampant and synthetic, if only to join them, and fight for them, and love, and be among them in companionship.
Is it some form of curse or blessing that a man, so set aside from the world and those around him, isolated from the feelings and crimes of others, should find him longing for the touch of another? A single breath? Acknowledgement of another? A lover perhaps? In the small moments of silence and solitude, seconds that last for ages, he found himself wishing for such things. A caress from a stranger, someone so beautiful and rare, someone that, given the chance, he knew that he would never hurt, never offend, and always protect. Humans are interesting in this respect. In times of worry and times of woe, war and anger, bitterness and sadness, mirth, drunkenness, madness, merriment, and excitement, humans find it a priority to seek others with which to exchange to experience. So much in their nature it is and so comforting that many could not imagine an existence not constantly surrounded by others, and very few actually have. Yet such was his banner, he knew not if he wanted these things, if he needed them, though this is not to say it did not bother him on some level, as it did, on a level inaccessible to his psyche. It burned. It was in his nature.
And each time an emotion surfaced, unrecognizable, attempting to bleed through the adherence to the objective, creeping above the programming and the bypasses of his brain, encroaching unexpectedly, he would strive to kill, to drown and silence these needs, so abrupt and alien, to smash and maim and spill forth lead, to seek enemies, or just run, run harder and faster, smashing the ground with each step until there was little left to do, little left to do but jump.
Now, in the sunset of her reign was the dawn of the Empire’s glory to be truly felt; the Galaxy near conquered and the Jjaro puzzle nearly finalized. Only when the galaxy was purified and the pieces retrieved could She claim the prize She had forever longed for; a peace She had never known, as the desire to obtain and the desire to confiscate and to have and to ascend had been for her a obsession for years upon years, killing her slowly with want and withering her soul until there remained little left but the desire to fulfill her destiny.
He stood peering in, through the doorway, in the darkness, curious now, with weapons holstered and helmet at his side. The resistance to the tower had started stiff but soon the confusion of the collapsing empire had softened it, and soon there was no resistance at all.
The council was dead, the bureaucracy frozen as it stood, the mighty Pfhor Empire brought to its knees and finally pulled into its grave by something as simple as mere human nature, they had fought, and they had conquered, though the price was extremely high. They didn’t understand the implications of their victory, they had planned means of achieving it and executed them to the best of their ability and their technology, but though they had achieved much, they still understood little, and of what they knew the least was the most important; cosmic hands were guiding them through the maze of existence, meddling at times, murdering at others, but always there in one form or another, the Jjaro loved humanity for the reasons She hated them, and this was evidence enough of their incompatibility; She was powerful, yes, wise, even more so, but She was what She was; more importantly they knew who She was, and they were not deceived.
What the Jjaro knew he cold only feel now, for he knew not his name either, nor his history, only that he had fought, had been fighting for days, years, centuries even, he passed though a doorway and it was a temple in Athens, the star-filled night spinning above him as it did once in Gaul, and he strode towards her, drawn, and the leaves of strange plants fluttered in the breeze as they had in the Amazon, spears thrown among them piercing flesh, and the wind was sour and he was in Belleau Wood, sand on the floor as it had been in Carthage, calm like the plains of Mongolia, Dien Bien Phu, evenings in the Ardennes, water-filled air like lungs drowning under the hull of the Arizona, a rebirth of sorts on Icarus and Thermopylae, each spinning farther away and in opposition to the sun, like the atmosphere rushing by strafing the scream of propellers deafening like the roar of an army 20,000 strong running, weapons raised, to engage the Hittites as he had the Persians and the Prussians, starving rebellions in the Martian ghettos, exhilaration at Waterloo and bewilderment and Guadalcanal, the boulder-wielding skull shot that downed the mammoth when they lived without words, blood on his hands as there had been at Hastings, and even more in Stalingrad, where it seemed the world was drenched in red, and all these places and more settled into view and flew away as his senses provoked a thousand memories per second; living through as many bodies until his face became a blur, changing with the features of each hero, cycling faster and faster, eye colors blending, hair became a cloud around his head as heroes he had been came to pass and came again, reaching out his hand to look at it and seeing nothing recognizable as he saw thousands of hands at once with as many eyes.
A window had opened, he remembered everything and nothing at all, too much to absorbed but one message was clear among the rest, a feeling so pure and indisputable, he embraced it, as it was him and it was his being, warm and bright, it was good, it was Manus Celer Dei, it was him, he was humanity, and humanity was the feeling unwavering, holy trinity, sacred and unbroken for millennia uncounted.
And yet in the room She was there still, and slowly upon him came the realization that this was not coincidence, this was occurring for a reason very distinct and very apparent. Gazing upon her and the feeling was undeniable, the attraction overwhelming; brought to her and forced to her by himself, by his nature, he could not stop himself any more than a magnet may be attracted to another, this was meant to be, these two forces in balance, ancient endless balance, brought together for a cause so important it was set in motion by the Jjaro billions of years ago, for their own survival, to prevent her ascension, her concept of order would have thrown their universe into disarray, releasing true chaos, chaos unimaginable and on a factor tenfold of anything She could experience in her worst nightmare, and for this their hands, their swift hands made the arrangements for his existence, his being here, sometimes speaking to him, trying to mimic his simple language, communicating through dream and emotion, and now they watched excitedly as their work came to a culmination, the centuries of waiting and worrying seconds away from resolution.
Though walking on a solid floor beneath him he could not help but feel weightless as he glided towards her on a thousand different feet, taking care not to startle her, looking upon her features so alien, and in a moment he recognized her, She looked nothing as She had then, has She had in her thousands of faces, as She took one now that was not human; though every good warrior knows there is no mistaking the presence of an enemy, as does every lover know that there is no mistaking the presence of a lover; he took his hand and ran it over her skin, leathery as it was, dry, disgusting, it was amazing to him, and he was glad, finally sure of where She was again, embracing her now, recognizing her, ancient lover, friend, enemy, the power within her, what the Jjaro most feared shining through, matter to anti-matter, light to darkness, positive to negative, night to day, yes to no, black to white, two forces in balance, ancient endless balance.
Go to her(!)
Go to her(!)
Two forces again in the garden at the end of the world, nearing in a final embrace. Then nothing.
The queen’s chamber was nothing like they had expected. Weapons drawn and advancing slowly the marines glided through room without resistance. It was a beautiful place; an alien mixture between a garden and a bedroom. Air warm and humid sailed over them creating a strong silence within the wailing of the wind, itself stirring the royal bed She occupied, causing the strange pale fabrics to stir and flutter, making it appear as though the bed was being consumed by some invisible flame, protecting Her from the intruders and devouring Her simultaneously.
Her frame was apparent, but She did not stir. Dead? Asleep? The questions were valid but the marines took no chance; humanity, it seems, had been lucky heretofore with dispatching sleeping gods, but that was no reason for them to let their guard down.
The marine captain made a twirling gesture with his finger, ordering his marines to surround create a perimeter around the room, securing all exits seen or otherwise. MA-75’s were trained on the still figure, as was a charged TOTZ-T just in case the bullets weren’t effective. Their orders were to secure the royal chambers and ensure that She was not to go anywhere until the U.E.S.C. collection team dropped planetside to extract her.
Though fingers remained stiff on triggers, no sound but the wind was heard, and no movement was seen save for the quiet burning of the queen’s bed.
Though her body present, none saw the two souls, chasing one another and burning bright in hues of blue and red, spiraling and twisting into the night, into the blackness beyond the stars.
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