“We were caught unawares – nevermore, never again. To show mercy to the Janub is to profane humanity.” – General Torgald, before the slaughter at Yirnam
What is it to die? Does some immortal part of us pass through the invisible veil of this material realm, to the great unknown – or is it just a simple cutting of the thread, an end of a story, a flat-line? What is it to commit suicide then, to consciously end the state of being of oneself?
The thoughts rushed through Bartholomew’s mind like a hurricane. Semi-coherent, unformed things that slashed at his psyche like razorblades. A tall, slender man of pale complexion, he sat on the unkempt bed of his one-room apartment staring at the small glass table with an empty glare. His eyes were light brown, but the spark of life in them was not present. If someone were to look at his expression of utter resignation illumined by streetlamps, would cause them a great discomfort. Clothed with simple jeans and a t-shirt, his ash-blonde hair disheveled, the sharp lines of his visage adorned by a several-day stubble, he resembled a grotesque statue of once-a-man. A man, who in all essential sense, was no more. An empty husk, devoid of that untouchable, immaterial thing which makes one human.
“Stay vigilant brothers and sisters! Keep the beacon of Amenel burning bright at all times, lest we fall to the darkness beyond the horizon! For more than 2.000 years it has been warding our shores from the Great Unknown, keeping our ships safe in the coldness of the misty seas…” – Arakil Icethorn, the Great Builder.
“It has been 30 years… 30 years since the people of Halrad learned that there are other sentient beings in the galaxy, and that they were anything but friendly…
For thousands of years the population of the planet of Halrad lived in blissful ignorance that they were the only sentient beings dwelling around the stars. As naturally proud beings they basked in their achievements, subduing the planet’s resources to their own needs. After 2.000 years of constant technological progress, they finally invented technology that would help them travel between stars. The planet of Halrad and its 4 continents prospered in peace, unmolested by the predations who lurked beyond their reach… It was only after the seventh expedition returned from the neighboring planet of Galit, that they brought with it what they were now referring to as “The Curse of the Gods”.
In the eerie soundless night, I find myself walking the endless halls of the grandiose palace. My footsteps echo dully and their sound is soon lost resounding from the magnificent walls restored to their former glory, when Kings and Queens far greater than myself walked these corridors. I feel my heart pounding at the prospect of meeting her, in this realm where time and space hold no meaning. I enter the lavish bedroom, greeted by a cold breeze coming from the slightly open window to the north. Even though I do not see her, I can feel her presence all around me. The intoxicating aroma, never before smelled, awakens sensations never before felt. However, I know all too well that this is just her ploy to entice me, a way for her to toy with her wayward plaything. The gentle sound of an old violin reaches my ears and I lose myself in that nondescript tune on a cold winter’s night for a time. The humming follows soon afterward, that infernal calling that stirs my soul and makes me shudder. I open my eyes and there she was, standing at the threshold of the room. I brace myself for what’s to come. I wait for her to come and play her wicked game upon my weary mind and soul. Tap, tap, tap, her graceful stride echoes lightly and I feel my body betraying my will. Even though I cannot discern any physical details due to the shining light emanating from her aura, I recognize that walk and feel the icy lump in my throat choking me softly. She giggles as she approaches amused by my discomfort her blinding aura receding with each consecutive step. I feel her mind-touch as she sifts through my thoughts, pains, lusts and desires with the carelessness of a child sifting through sand. I do not resist it, since she is the undisputed ruler of this non-space.