Genesis #43

Written in response to: Set your story in a nameless world.... view prompt

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Science Fiction Fantasy

“Clint?” Keila voiced aloud as they sat in the mess hall, eating with their Caregivers.

“Yeah?”

“I have a bad feeling about Rune.”

“.. What do you mean?”

“I-I don’t really know. What if he doesn’t survive the battle he’s going back to? What if-” Her voice caught. “I’ve only known him for such a short time, but I couldn’t bear if he died. He reminds me so much of my brother, it’s like having him back.”

“Well, once we separate, you won’t know what happens to him.”

“I know. That’s what I’m anxious about. How will I know if he survives?”

“Have you met Rune? He’s literally unstoppable.”

“I think it’s bigger than that. He’ll do anything for his siblings. What lengths will he go to protect his loved ones?”

“I don’t know. But let’s not think about that, okay? He’ll be fine.”

“Glad to see you care,” Came Rune’s voice from a few feet away; everyone at the table spun around in surprise, happy greetings bursting from their mouths.

“How long have you been standing there?” Elric asked, smiling widely.

“A minute or two.”

Loc grinned. “Your friends are worried about you.”

Rune’s amusement faded. “What you are saying is true. I will do anything for my family. Anything. Keila, Clint, we need to pack our things we are leaving soon.”

“Aren’t we going to see Wren’s Ignition?” Keila inquired, stacking her dirty dishes.

“I don’t have time. I need to go home.”

“Do you think we should stay here, Clint?”

“Yeah, our return is a little less time-pressing.”

The sarsh nodded. “Then I’ll go pack my things and get ready.”

Keila got to her feet. “I’ll help you.”

“Me too,” Clint called.

“I will as well.” Loc added.

___

Rune’s heart grew cold and heavy as he gathered the few belongings he had; determination and fear froze over the rest of his emotions. He set his jaw and his face remained blank as he moved about the barracks; no one spoke, but silently pretended to do something important to support their friend. He finished picking up and paused in the middle of the room, unsure of what to do. His friends also halted, standing in awkward silence.

Rune took a deep breath in and let it out slowly, his fingers tangled together as he gathered his courage. “I’d like to see Wren before I leave.” He voiced. Loc nodded.

“Of course, mate.”

__

“.. So you’re leaving? So soon?” Wren frowned, scooting up in his massive bed.

“I’ve been away from my people for a month now,” Rune replied in a steely voice. “I need to get back before there’s nothing left of them.”

“Alright. Will I see you again?”

“I don’t know; assume you won’t. I hope the future finds you well. Goodbye.”

“.. Bye.”

___

The sarsh lost himself in the black hole of his thoughts as the group walked reluctantly to find Tyrene; he moved in a haze, barely aware of his surroundings. Time seemed to slow, his breath and heartbeat deafening him. Flashes of war filled his mind; terrible images of the battlefield sped before his eyes, just blurs of red and silver. They were unshakable pictures, a frightening prediction of the future. Both of the sarsh’s friends hung close to him, but he barely even realized they were there. Keila touched Rune’s arm, calling his name. At first, the sarsh couldn’t even hear her; the young woman called his name again. He finally heard her and turned his head slowly, eyes glittering with fear and pain.

“What are you thinking about?” Keila asked softly. “What exactly are you afraid you will find when you go back?”

“.. War, and blood staining the dirt. I’m afraid of death.-” He paused, his breath shaky. “Not my death,” He whispered. “I’m afraid everyone I love will die and they will leave me behind to grieve. I do not fear my death.”

Keila swallowed. “The dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it,” She whispered.

“What did you say?” The soldier rasped.

“Ecclesiastes 12:7. It’s a bible verse.” She hesitated for a minute. “You will soar on wings like eagles, you will run and not grow weary, you will walk and not be faint. That’s Isaiah 40, verse 31. Maybe these verses can ease your fear.”

Rune studied the young woman’s face with wet eyes. “Thank you, Keila.”

She smiled, the joyful expression masking her sadness.

They continued on in deep silence and upon arriving at the Edendome, the mood grew ever darker. Tyrene was alone, standing in his regular stance with his vivid eyes full of thought. He offered only a nod as a greeting. Deep in his heart, he was just as afraid of the future as the Embers. Unsure and full of twists, the future is; and everyone knew it. Everyone in the room had a knot in their gut and a little voice of fear in their heads, a whisper they couldn’t ignore.

The founder of Project Ignite beckoned Rune forward. “Are you ready?” He asked. The sarsh drew in a deep breath, steadying himself. He nodded.

“I have to be,” He murmured.

Tyrene nodded. “Say your goodbyes.”

Rune swallowed and turned to his friends, unsure of how to say goodbye. Finally, he lifted his head and in a strong voice, he said; “A month and a half, we’ve known each other. We didn’t all get along at first, but under the pressure he were facing, we bonded quickly and none of us could have done this without the other. We have become like brothers and sister over this short amount of time and I’m sorry to be leaving you. I don’t know if I’ll ever see you again, but whether or not I do, I wish you peace and safety. Clint, I’m sorry for all the trouble I have caused you. Keila, thank you for helping me. You remind me so much of my little sister. Loc-” The soldier’s voice cracked and his eyes closed against the flood of tears threatening to break through. Arms wrapped around the sarsh, and he opened his eyes. Loc embraced him like a father would his son, gone was the jesting character.

“I am honored to have stood beside you on this amazing journey. I wish you good performance.”

A smile ghosted across Rune’s face. “I may need a bit of luck, too.”

The caregiver grinned up at the sarsh. “I’ll miss you, mate.” The big man stepped back with the other caregivers and Clint took his place.

“So will I. You and I fought at first, but you’ve become like the brother I’ve always wanted. I consider you family.” The young man’s eyes watered and he threw his arm around the sarsh’s enormous frame. “I’m scared, Rune.” He whispered, voice muffled in the material of Rune’s repaired and upgraded Uprising uniform.

“Of what?”

“Everything. I don’t know if I want to go back home to the fear there. I’ll never be able to just live in peace with my family.”

“.. Talk to Tyrene about it.”

Clint pulled back, frowning. “What do you mean?” He inquired, brushing away his tears.

“Ask Tyrene about bringing your family back here, it will be a good place for you all to live.”

Clint was silent. “Okay. Bye.”

“Goodbye, Clint.”

The young man moved back to Elric’s side, his breath hiccuping. Keila’s face was wet before she even stepped toward; she clenched her hands into tight fists.

“Keila,” Rune said softly. “Why are you crying?”

She shook her head, unable to find her voice; she stood in front of her friend, shoulders drooping as she wept. “W-why?” She sobbed. “Why i-is this happening?”

“Why is what happening?”

“E-everything,” She lifted her head, a sudden spark of fury lighting up her eyes. “My family disappeared before my eyes, my only friend nearly left me several times, I’ve been running for months from everything, now I’ve been forced to be part of some insane plan to bring peace to the universe. And you, you’ve become like my brother. My actual brother left me alone, but you stayed by me. Until now. Now you’re leaving like everyone else... Why?” Her sobs became uncontrollable, her body wracked with unshakable grief. Rune swallowed.

“I’m sorry, Keila. But I must. My family is out there, and they need me.” He knelt and wrapped his powerful arms around the grief-stricken girl; she laid her head on his shoulder like a young child and cried her heart out.

No one spoke for a long time.

Slowly, everyone’s tears dried and they leaned on each other, unease filled their hearts and their eyes held a dull, frightened light. Keila stepped away from Rune, looking up at him. “Promise you’ll come back to us.” She whispered.

Rune gazed into her eyes, filled with loss and pain. He smiled. “I promise.”

A watery smile transformed her face. She took Rune’s hand and placed something in it. “I want you to have this. It was my brother’s. Wear it to remember us.”

The sarsh gazed at the small object lying in his hand. It was a ring; silver, and with one word engraved on it. Peace. It gleamed in the light and Rune nodded, closing his hand around it. “I will. Goodbye, my friends.” The soldier turned to Tyrene. “I’m ready.”

The stout man nodded. He gestured to a small door in the back of the room. “This way, all of you.” The group moved after him, solemn silence engulfed them; they entered through the door, coming into a closed off control area overlooking a fortified room with thick metal walls. Tyrene pointed to the thick, almost vault-like door leading into the metal room. “Rune, you’ll go in there. Everyone else stay here.”

The Beacon pulled the heavy door open and entered, glancing around at his surroundings. Tyrene moved over to the control panel and flicked a series of switches and buttons. A square hole opened in the ground and a pedestal rose from the hole, stopping when it aligned with the edges of the hole. Rune got to his hands and knees to study it, then he sat up, frowning at Tyrene.

“What is it?”

Tyrene smiled. “This is Twilight, Genesis’s twin. Genesis was designed to bring you all here without any manual direction from me; while Twilight can bring you to any of the known Districts. I only know of seven districts right now, but I suspect there are many more. Twilight is your way out. I’m activating it, you might want to step back for a moment.”

Rune stepped back, against the far wall and watched the roof open. Then Twilight turned on; It flattened and glowed fiercely, the same color as Tyrene’s eyes. Energy shot from the small apparatus, past the top of the walls and into the sky. The light grew wider, brighter. Black sparks fell from the edges of it, bouncing on the ground. The sarsh’s eyes grew wide, his pupils slitted against the intense light. He glanced at his friends, smiling. The sarsh slid Keila’s ring onto his finger and stepping forward, disappeared into the beacon of orange and black light.

He tumbled through the darkness and no thoughts haunted him. His heartbeat thundered in his ears and his promise resonated through his heart. I will come back.

January 27, 2022 20:18

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4 comments

Wowwwwwwwww the power that goodbyes create. I nearly cried along with Keila. I mean, I wanna turn the pageeeeeee I wanna know what happensssssss suspenseeeeeee Hfbkifdvnkig Still, it’s a great series, and it feels like it’s coming to a close (although I hope not). Goodbyes are always hard, and this story just proved it. Great work :D (Excited for the next part :)))) )

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Endellion .
15:19 Jan 29, 2022

Thank you! I tried really hard to make this emotive.

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You definitely did a good job with the emotions!

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