The stars were shining, the birds were cooing. It was one of the nights you could sleep under the stars and not need anything to warm you up. The wind was gentle, the world was at peace, and the inhabitants were getting ready to go to sleep. All in all, it was perfect. It seemed like everything had finally changed, and there was more than a glimpse of hope, it was all anyone could see.
But then the night was shattered by a deafening explosion heard for thousands of miles. The light, which followed, could be seen far in space, for a planet roughly 5000 light years away, they took it as the gods being angry with them, but they had evolved from monkeys, so they were obviously going to make that mistake.
As the light faded, it became possible to tell where it came from. A tree line emerged. Fireflies hovered a couple of feet above it.
The echoes of the explosion had gone, and there was nothing, no sound at all, even the wind had stopped, almost like time had too. The only reason that it was obvious that it hadn’t was the fireflies moving, silently, like they weren’t even there.
Just as the silence started to burn ears, just like complete noise does. A piercing scream filled the air; a woman’s scream filled the air.
In a clearing, in the forest, there lay a figure of a beautiful young woman, no older than 19, not moving, in a pool, of what looked like her own blood.
A man, well, it was hard to say, because of the darkness under the trees, stepped forward, and fell to his knees, the tears that fell were mingled in with the blood dripping from him
He punched the ground and it shook. He looked up, his brilliant green eyes full of fury, and hate and an odd glint.
“You will pay for this” came his voice, shaking, but strong
“Ha, who will enact this vengeance brother?” came a voice from the shadows “You? Don’t make me laugh more, you can barely stand. I could kill you in an instant”
The man pulled himself from the ground, and stood, uneasily, ready to strike the hidden foe. Light finally hit him, what was left of his top was torn, and about to fall off, only held on by an empty sword case with a single shoulder strap, there were engravings on it, which were indecipherable, to us at least, his trousers were mainly intact, with only a few tears, his shoulder length jet black hair was flying free. Even with the blood glistening in this new light, the only thing that you couldn’t take you eyes off were his. Greener than envy itself, with the hate growing inside, and that spark twinkling in the corner.
“You stopped being my brother the moment you touched Ilana” he said
The other man stepped from the shadows, smoothly, eerily graceful. His face remained hidden by shadows, but the rest was on show; his cloak, his shoes, his royal robes… He floated off across the clearing, and stopped opposite the blood-ridden soldier, and pulled a sword from the ground, it had the same engravings as the case, still indecipherable, but meaning a great deal to both of them.
“This is a good sword, I must admit, but where is the one that father gave to you? Not worthy of your touch? You were always like that, high and mighty. Now look, you have failed your own friend, you have let the weak brother get the better of you” he swung the sword carelessly in the air “its well balanced, I take it that you make it, Mr perfection”
The other man stood there, not moving, not blinking, his mind in a frenzy
I am NOT weak, I will beat you
I will… I will…I…
The standing began to hurt; he fell, again, to his knees, the light remained on him, he felt light headed. He coughed blood out, making him weaker
Sorry father, I have failed… again… I… I…I can’t…
He started to black out… How long had it been? Five, ten, fifteen minutes, just looking at the ground and the world becoming darker around him?
When he couldn’t hold on anymore, he heard his last hope.
The girl, Ilana, started to move, the dark figure glided over to her, and grabbed her head, pulling her to her feet. He put the sword to her throat
“Here you go Ilana, your precious saviour, your friend, lies taking his last breaths, but you shall not see his death, he shall see yours”
He whispered in her ear “I hope this hurts”
She struggled in vain
Ilana stared not at the face of the man, but those striking green eyes.
The sword was pulled across her throat.
She did not blink, or flinch, she never took her eyes off his, until she saw no longer. Her arms stopped struggling, and fell to her sides. Again all was silent.
You were always stronger than me
I’m sorry I couldn’t save you
Slowly the fireflies descended from the trees, they covered the whole clearing swarming everywhere. The remaining two felt a strange familiarity with some of them. The figure tried to swat them. The man with the green eyes didn’t move, just stared at Ilana’s eyes, although lifeless, he refused to let go. They remained for a few minutes, his eyes fixated on hers. He started to admire them, realising her eyes, too, were green, but now empty. He felt the strength to stand, so he did, more steadily than before.
The firefly’s started to leave, with one more than when they came down; before it flew off it flew over to him, and hovered. He stared intently, and smiled, he knew who it was.
He whispered, “You were always stronger than me. I’m sorry I couldn’t save you.”
It got right up to his face; he started to think he saw its thoughts, he heard it say act, don’t waste time thinking of what to say and do, was it his own voice saying it? Or the cloaked figure’s? As she left, he felt someone whisper in his ear “its ok, things will be ok, I promise” it wasn’t her voice
He stopped looking at the fly.
He looked at his nemesis. His green eyes full of fury, and no spark remained.
“Neit! I am not going to let you leave this forest”
“Brother, I have killed your friend, and still you oppose me? If anything you still have spirit, at least you got one of the family traits”
“Our family is noble, and not of this world, our people became too peaceful, and people like you came along…”
He began to break down mentally
“…With all we had; the technology, the spirit, the years of knowledge…”
He regained his composure
“…It wasn’t enough to stop them. We could create life in the far reaches of the galaxy, up to 10000 light years away, but couldn’t defend ourselves from one of the races we helped create. Few were born with the warrior instincts, rarely one per family, but, you see…”
He trailed off, and stood up, and stretched, looked down, smiled and said
“…We are not twins, but we both have it, that spark, and born with the powers some say only gods can have, we could have saved our race, and brought peace back, but you always had to ruin it…”
Anger now filled his voice “…You made us leave when there was a chance”
He looked up, the eyes had the spark once again, and once again his mind was in frenzy
We all get one chance to redeem ourselves, he’s had and lost his, and here’s mine now… there’s too much at stake, no time for thoughts, I must act…
But he is right, I am too weak… I let my guard down… I can't beat him…
But I can slow him down… and give someone else a chance…
If anything, I owe it to the universe… after all he shares my blood… it should be me to deal with him…
He was awoken from this with:
“What’s wrong brother? Lost in your thoughts again? You always thought of actions and reactions, but never acted, good one of us did at the final point”
“You are the reason our sister didn’t make it off Home, and our father… we had a minute we could have waited, they were almost there”
“Our father was weak, and our sister did make it, onto a different ship”
“Why should I believe you?” he looked at Ilana and then up, he felt he strong enough to win.
He launched himself towards Neit, as he flew through the air, he pulled out a dagger. It got to Neit’s chest, barely, it pierced a small hole. And then everything stopped, all sound, all light. It was impossible to tell if time had, as the fireflies had disappeared
The green-eyed warrior suddenly flew backwards, and span himself in the air, landing on his feet, and one hand, the other arm was straight, at an angle to the ground with the dagger against his skin.
“Ha, you are still weak, you yourself said we have the powers of gods, so therefore we must be gods, but even gods get killed, or banished like you shall be…”
I’ve got it… I know what to do
“… And I can stop anything you throw at me, even yourself…”
But can I do it?
“…Hmm you are too immature still brother, but then, some things never change”
“You use fool’s logic can’t you now see why father chose me to succeed him”
“Our father was old and feeble, my ‘King’…”
“That’s right, old, feeble, but wiser than either of us will ever be, and he gave me some advice” he looked down
I have to, it’s all I can do
“If you can't win, don’t retreat, make your enemy pull back, then you can claim the day”
“And what relevance does that hold? In anything at all?”
The green-eyed warrior looked up once again
“He showed me how…”
He smiled, and pointed his arms at the ground. Wind started to rush towards them, the trees started to wilt.
“…To save the universe you must make sacrifices” he said
“Well you have sacrificed Ilana.”
“No, one life can't change anything, strength comes in numbers, and so I will sacrifice me, you and most of this land”
“You fear me that much?”
“You are out of control, you must be stopped, because you won’t stop yourself, you will destroy everything, and I cannot be the one to kill you, not this day…”
Trees started to collapse; the birds who nested there flew away. All life had left the area.
“… I can’t kill you, but the one thing I can do is slow you down… the only thing I can do is slow you down…”
Ilana’s body started to roll towards whatever it was that was pulling the world apart, Neit, too, started to slide towards the darkness in the trees, but it was not his doing.
The green-eyed warrior had closed his eyes, he was dying, but he knew what he was doing, he knew the consequences of his actions.
Neit closed his too, and threw the 14inch sword at his brother, in fear.
It struck him below his shoulder, barely missing his lungs.
He lost control.
Ilana disappeared into the tree line.
The powerful darkness became stronger, and now pulled both of them in, Neit disappeared into it.
The green eyes showed a mix of fear and triumph.
But he realised seconds before disappearing that this portal he opened had changed, he knew that it no longer would take them to an abyss, but he didn’t know where it would go, or what would happen.
When he had gone, the portal didn’t close, it kept going. All that was left was an empty space.
The planet was torn apart, and the inhabitants were lost forever. But no tears were shed.
The fireflies were nowhere to be seen.
The portal slowly started to run out of energy, as there was no life left to take. Until, it too, was nowhere.