“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.
The hulking giant walked inside the Sanctum where Cybel ministered to his blades, ‘Solace’ and ‘Absolution’. Her pale delicate hands cleaned and oiled the monomolecular edges with the attention a mother would give to her newborn children. Her Master, the supreme commander of the ship and the leader of The Covenant was mighty sight to behold. Clad in the crimson Heresy pattern Power Armor with his right arm and shoulder-pad painted in midnight black he strode with purpose. Behind him, a pair of black wings adorned his jump pack in remembrance of his long lost father. Marks of his former legion adorned his left shoulder-pad while the accursed mark of the Messiah of Blood was forged in bronze on his right shoulder-pad. Cybel had the misfortune to serve the followers of the Messiah of Blood and they were indeed terrifying but He was different. His visage resembled that of His father’s image painted on the murals of the Sanctum, his long golden hair gently falling over his unblemished face, and eyes as green as the jade visor lenses in his helm. A more naive soul would see innocence, beneficence even, in their depths.
‘Tap, tap, tap…’ droplets of water fall freely in the half-filled tub steaming with hot water. Helen sits in the next room on the couch they used to share staring on the floor upon which he took his first steps. Little Adrian… her son and life, now gone. Memories come unbidden to her mind of their lovely laughter. Adrian’s and Victor’s. Their home was once filled with warmth of family and pure joy of life itself. Now, its icy touch creeps upon her pale skin, freezing the blood in her veins, her heart waning in the colorless days which go by without notice. Only the color of despair and shades of emptiness are her entire world. Victor was gone now, taking their son with them – “because of your erratic behavior, I won’t let your destroy our son,” – it said in the letter which now burns in the fireplace.
Did he ever really know the struggle of being different? Did he ever truly know how it was to be afraid of one’s own mind? Did he ever truly believe she would put her light and soul in the form that lovely bundle of hands and feet and toes in danger? How could he even imagine such a heartless act?
Heartless, that is what she was now. The pain of losing them both overwhelmed her and it has become too much to bear. The undeniable truth of that complete and silent loneliness bores inside her skull, and she can almost hear the accusations and the mockery.
“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.