[Catharsis; A Prologue]

Still alive and thinking, Ameidjin was hopelessly wishing for a reset function she knew didn’t exist.

She, at first, had believed she was losing her sight. She thought her surroundings were beginning to fade to white. She had closed her eyes, her head had beginning to spin as her memories flashed behind her eyelids at an increasingly alarming rate. There had been a burst of color… But that had been followed by nothing but static… Black… White… Grey… Continuously rolling, never ending… Static.

Ameidjin shook her head… Tried opening her eyes again but nothing was helping her at all. Her surroundings hadn’t changed.

It couldn’t possibly be over already.

This wasn’t meant to be the end.  

Except standing in what had become a mass grave, she had a round view of the Mad Maestro’s extermination in all of its twisted, rotting beauty. An ironic display of morbid grotesqueries rendered live and in high definition under the cruel glare of their planets’ sun. All of which laid within what had once been a Sanctuary… What little of it now remained.

“It was a massacre,” didn’t begin to describe the true horror that had happened here. It was utter annihilation, “Complete and total domination.”

Ameidjin truly thought she was losing her sight. Yet clearly she could see how much death there had been in such a short time frame; blood still pooled from the piles and piles of putrefied, mummifying carcasses littering the ground. All of her brothers and sisters. All of them butchered, mangled, mutilated. They had been shot, skewered, crucified to the stone beneath them, stuffed into every crack, crag and crevice. They had all manner of weapon jutting out of ripped skin and broken bones… All of them… The warmth of their collective bodies still slowly rising into the atmosphere, dissipating into nothingness.

And the smell… The fetid scent of death and decay was threatening to engulf her whole. It had begun its assault on her senses long before she had made landfall. As she had moved up the shore, her bare feet had landing ankle deep in puddles of guts and gore, it had become all the more intolerable.

Now, it was nothing short of overwhelming. It made her failing eyes well up with tears, her nose and throat burn and her skin itch until her entire body felt wrapped up in dull, tingling sensations. It went along well with the growing fire searing a hole in her chest.

And she’d barely only arrived.

Unmoving, she could barely put her thoughts in order and yet, she was able to take it all in. She gave herself permission to feel what her brothers and sisters must have felt; the fear, the pain, the sadness. She allowed all of it in, let it crawl under her skin, let it climb its way through her nervous system until all she could feel anymore was her unbearable, insurmountable anger. At “THEM”.

It was all their fault she knew. Those life sucking leeches… insufferable, unkillable insects. Rumors had foretold of their arrival but there had been no warning. No indication of what was to come.

“Here”… On Cirxci… The small blue and yellow marble planet with one sun and two moons Ameidjin and her people called home. Left to its own devices, alone in a distant corner of the universe, it had developed, matured and flourished. Cirxci was separated into three major continents surrounded by countless islands and cradled by clear, emerald green waters. It had been primordial, exotic and teeming with life; a gentle nature befitting an equally gentle balance.

But that ‘THING’ had made their beautiful sky fall.

Even on her distant island they had all heard the whispers floating back from the mainland. ‘ITS’ arrival had coincided with one of their festivals and these sudden guests had been received as Greater Gods, finally returned from pilgrimage. A passive people, unaccustomed to confrontation and war, they had let their guard down. They had let their friendly curiosity get the best of them and welcomed ‘THEM’ with open arms.

Ameidjin sneered at herself in disgust as she remembered.

They had too easily accepted this newly arrived ‘Deity’ floating around by some kind of unexplainable, supernatural force. It was only when their Honored Ancestors had suddenly disappeared from their hallowed stone hallways had they understood not all was as it seemed.

And then it had gotten much worse.

No one knew exactly what had happened that day. They had woken up to their sky covered in thick black smoke; their ‘God’ had been badly damaged. Its systems had overloaded and a chunk of it’s hull had been blown clear off. ‘It’ hadn’t survived… Jolted, tilted precariously to its side and with dying engines, ‘It’ had ripped apart and crashed to the ground, forcing everyone to flee.

They hadn’t known how angry their ‘God’ was. Not until it was far too late.

Ameidjin balled her hands into tight fists, her claws drawing blood from her palms. The stories they had told… The rumors that had spread… The tales of how the floating mountain-sized craft had all but suddenly opened ‘ITS’ hatches and unleashed holy hell on doomed Cirxci and her defenseless people. How all those insects had suddenly appeared, swarming out by the millions. They had spread out like a plague, destroying everything in their path. With the help of their ‘God’ and their Maestro still aboard, the mindless ‘humans’ had run over villages and cities. They had killed who they could, and captured who they couldn’t. They had taken everything they were able to get their hands on until there was nothing left for them to take and had kept going, nearly razing Cirxci straight down to the ground.

It had been carnage. Everything and everyone had either been decimated or had simply vanished into thin air. Their waters had been contaminated; their ports reduced to ashes and their once great cities left smoldering shells of their former selves, spewing out smoke so thick, it had blotted out the lights in the sky. Not even their islands had been spared. Of course, there had been some survivors, but where some had died traversing the rough seas, most had extinguished from heat and starvation. The older generations, those who hadn’t fallen to diseases, had suffered shock and trauma at the overbearing sight of the newly warped landscape; their lush forests had been reduced to dry, barren deserts while their teeming wildlife had been nearly eradicated. There hadn’t bee a single bird in the sky, not a single movement on the ground or even a quiet breeze to keep them company for what had seemed like an eternity. Nothing at all but deafening silence on their increasingly desperate and lonely journey here.

Ameidjin sucked in a breath, her time growing short. Every moment gone was a moment closer to their inevitable demise. They were done. Her species had been rendered all but extinct and she knew the insects would come back to finish what they had started. The mothership wasn’t far from here. It kept looming in the background behind their sacred mountains waiting for their arrival. She could practically hear ‘ITS’ engines starting back up; the menacing, mechanical sounds of technological torture. The,“Black Machine of Death.”

And God could she ever feel it… All the pain… The suffering… All that misery and anguish. It was positively excruciating. It felt like hell. Or as close to hell as they could get, all the way out on their distant planet.

The insects were coming ever closer. She could hear them chittering nearby. It wouldn’t be much longer now.

With nothing left to look at but the same, morbidly red white and black, never ending static and the dry, death-filled landscape frozen in space and time, Ameidjin closed her eyes once more. It couldn’t be over… This couldn’t be the…

She closed her eyes tighter.

Flash. White. Blank.

“The End?”