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Science Fiction Fantasy

*Here it is! This one gives my stomach butterflies. I hope ya'll like it!*

____

The smoke of hundreds of guns hung thick over the green valley, blocking out the sun. The cries of injured and the wailing of the grieved living rose into the sky, an eerie sound haunting all who heard it. But it was the silence of the dead that was the most terrifying.

Artemis sat defeated on the ground, tears washing the dirt and blood off his face. He wept for the men and women he’d lost; he wept with relief because the battle stopped, and especially, he wept for the young sarsh who sacrificed himself for not only Artemis, but all humans.

A sarsh neared the rebel leader, tears in his eyes. “We must take our wounded back to Zenith, we must honor our dead. What is this planet you spoke of?”

Artemis struggled to calm himself, and he stood on weak knees. “Tamaska,” He hiccuped. “We sent the location to Zenith when we spoke with Gallas a few months back. Will you allow us to honor our dead beside yours?”

The sarsh soldier dipped his head. “Of course.. I-I don’t understand why he did what he did, but he showed us Gallas’s deception, which I am thankful for.”

Artemis nodded. “The CSAR will be here soon to care for our wounded. The healthy of my soldiers will help you and accompany you to Tamaska.”

“Very well.”

__

Rebels and sarsh picked up their dead, carrying them to the vessels nearby. Two burly sarsh reverently lifted Rune’s body and laid him inside a sarsh vessel. Hours passed and the sun sunk low on the horizon, the sky shone a brilliant purple. Shadows lengthened, strips of darkness across the ground. The stars pricked holes in the black cloth of night and slowly, one by one, the ships lifted off the ground and disappeared. Then all was calm.

The battleground was like a scar on earth’s surface; the grass was torn up and exposing the soil beneath it. No one remained there, only a tragic story which would linger for years to come.

_

Clint and Keila clung to each other, still sitting on the cold ground hours later. Their tears had run out and words failed them. Tyrene, broke free from his trance. “We must go,” He whispered. “We must go. Get up! We are leaving!”

Clint raised his head. “Where?” He croaked.

“We are going to honor the passing of a great friend.”

__

The night wore on, and exhausted soldiers leaned on each other, even their enemies, and they slept, haunted by their own minds reliving the terrible war they had endured for a month and a half. No one spoke; those who lost someone cried, the very few who didn’t sat close by and stared, unsure of what to do.

Artemis’s eyes stung painfully. He couldn’t have cared less. He felt as if he’d just lost his entire family. He sat on the cold floor of the ship, staring blank-eyed at the bodies of the people who served and fought beside him for so long. Colden’s young face was among the pale, still bodies. Wolfe lay prone beside the young sniper. So many faces Artemis had grown to know and love, marred by war.

Finally, the journey ended. The light of the moon lit their way as the soldiers poured out of the ships, toting lights and creating a path to the woods.

Artemis stood on the ramp with the sarsh, First General Aspen. “We honor our soldiers by fire and water,” The sarsh said. “We will build rafts and burn their bodies on that lake over there.”

As the sarsh pointed it out, Artemis realized there was indeed a massive lake in the distance. The rebel leader nodded. “We will follow in your traditions; it will be a sign of our new unity.”

Aspen took a deep breath. “The women and children of Zenith will be here any minute; I have informed all other vessels all over Earth of our situation. They will join us over time. You are free.”

“Not without a price. Let’s get building.”

__

All over the world, as humans heard the news, they left their homes and celebrated as they watched the ships disappear into the night sky. Tears of joy streamed down cheeks and washed away the constant icy fear that held their hearts captive for so long.

The sarsh left the world in both chaos and peace and the rejoicing resonated long through the night.

__

The tears of the sarsh watered the soft grass, just sprouting in the beginnings of spring, as they toiled. The once uninhabited planet was suddenly teeming with life as more sarsh arrived. Cybersoldiers of the other vessels were surprised to hear the story of the youngest cybersoldier yet. As dawn came and went, Rune’s story spread to everyone and it awed all to hear of his sacrifice.

No one on Tamaska’s surface knew several other people heard the story and were traveling across worlds to honor their friend. Many of Tamaska’s occupants heard and saw as a shadow fell across them and descending from the clouds, came metal giant.

It touched down on the ground with a chorus of hisses and creaking. No one moved as the giant hummed and then three people stepped from the foot.

Artemis and Aspen stepped forward. “Who are you and what is your business here?” Aspen asked.

“Friends of Rune Samarvir,” Responded a male voice. “We heard of his passing.”

“How do you know him?”

“.. It’s a long story, are you sure you want to hear it all right now?”

“Can we trust you?”

“Yes.”

“Very well, But I’ll need to hear your story later."

“We won’t be staying for long.

__

Tearful and weary eyes made for sloppy work, but it did not hinder the people. Sounds of cracking trees and the murmur of voices filled the air. Zenith’s women and children arrived and Amarillius was the first off, searching for her brother. Artemis heard her calling Rune’s name and he touched her shoulder with a tear-filled gaze and the young woman knew. She was inconsolable. She lay in the dirt, turning it to mud with her tears. Sharn’s tears were quiet; he ran back into Zenith and threw himself of Rune’s bed. Tycho sat next to Amarillius with his legs sprawled out, tracing his teddy bear’s eyes with his little fingers. Lyris, upon hearing that both Orlan and Rune died in the battle, did her best to help the wounded sarsh, who were all in the sarsh vessels.

__

The second night on Tamaska wore on, and the area of people spread, the work when faster as more hands helped. That morning, when the sun had yet to rise, the soldiers carried their fallen comrades on small wooden rafts and everyone gathered at one side of the lake, the crowd vast across the sandy shore. Artemis stood at the front of the crowd, with a man who had introduced himself as Tyrene and two teenagers, Clint and Keila. Rune’s siblings sat beside Rune’s body. Tycho smiled at his big brother’s face and set his teddy bear on Rune’s still chest. “Love you,” The little sarsh whispered. Amarillius undid the clasp of her necklace and, holding her brother’s stiff hand in her tear-soaked fingers, she placed the little heart in his palm. Sharn placed a folded piece of paper beside the necklace. Then they moved away as Artemis and Aspen pushed Rune’s raft into the water, soon joined by hundreds more.

General Aspen had the funeral bows retrieved from Zenith’s storage, and the hundreds of soldiers, both sarsh and rebel, stepped forward and raised their bows to the sky, arrows burning like stars. The volley was a magnificent sight and the arrows rained down on the cluster of rafts. The fire grew as the sarsh lifted their voices to the sky in a melodic chant.

Farewell, loved ones.

Though you may have faded away, we will remember you with each passing day.

Even now, as tears fall, we recall the joy you have brought us all.

Farewell, dear friends.

Though your voice may have stilled, we will sing until we can laugh again.

Deep sorrow has broken; how can we look away as your family floats astray?

Into the dawn, you disappear.

In a haze of flame, you are gone.

And every day I remember you, a loved and dear friend, I will sing until I can smile again.

Until the end, I sing on.

Farewell, my kin; and listen, as we sing for a new beginning to dawn on this tear stained day, as you float away.

The sun rose, the new light spilling on the surface of the water and turning it to pure, glimmering gold. Slowly, the crowd dispersed, leaving behind a few who were unwilling to break away. The day continued, the flames turned to ashes and sunk to the bottom of the lake. Amarillius sat on the edge of the lake, blank eyes staring out across the water. Then something caught her eye. The sun, high in the sky, reflecting on something out on the water. She got to her feet, craning her neck; then she realized what it was. A lone raft, unharmed by the fire.

The young woman turned and ran to the nearest sarsh soldier. “There’s still a boat out there!” She exclaimed.

The soldier nodded. “It’s too far to set on fire now. The water will have to take that soul.”

Amarillius gazed out across the water and slowly sat back down on the warm sand. Her eyes filled with tears and her head dropped into her knees; with no one to comfort her, she held herself and cried.

__

Not far away, Keila sat near the lake, still as a stone. Her face was wet and tears fell from her stormy eyes like rain. “The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.” She murmured to herself. Her eyes hurt from the non-stop crying and her nose dripped constantly; salt water saturated the neckline of her shirt. Losing Rune felt like losing her brother all over again and it was too much for her to handle. Her body shook and felt too weak to even move. So she sat, statuesque like a rock on the shore, and stared over the water and wished she wasn’t there.

After a while, Clint joined his friend, holding her close as they wept until the sun sunk low below the mountains.

___

Tyrene left with Clint and Keila two days after they first arrived; Tyrene told General Aspen a devised version of how he knew Rune; the sarsh didn’t believe even the shortened story and, with all the other thoughts weighing heavy on his mind, he forgot about their strange visitors the moment they left.

_____

Artemis stood at the edge of the lake, deep in thought. The wavelets of the lake lapped softly against his bare feet. Three days had passed after the war; the guilt and pain still weighed immensely on Artemis’s heart. He lifted his eyes to the sky and whispered to the wind. “If you are truly the resurrection and the life, bring him back.”

_____

The voice of wind fell on twitching ears.

The sun glared down on half-opened eyes.

Get up,” A slightly exasperated voice called.

The half-opened eyes flickered open the rest of the way and fell on the owner of the annoyed voice. Suddenly, the eyes were very wide and the owner stumbled to his feet, nearly tipping over. He steadied himself and glanced around; his mouth fell open. “What the..?”

He turned his head, stopping as he realized there was someone lying at his feet on the wooden raft. He cursed. It was himself, his pale blue hair plastered to his wet forehead and his metal hand closed tightly around something and a teddy bear lying on his chest; Tycho’s teddy bear, stormy.

Rune glanced at the person who had spoken. It was a man, wearing casual clothing, his brown hair shone in the overhead sun; he was of normal height and build, but there was nothing regular about him. He seemed to glow with an internal light, and his eyes; they seemed to tell a thousand stories in their depths; they held a thousand joys, and a million reflections of the souls he’d touched. His eyes sparked with pride, joy, and even sadness. The most indescribable feeling overcame Rune and his knees gave out; Rune hid his face from the gaze of those fathomless eyes.

Do not be afraid!” The man exclaimed, touching Rune’s shoulder with a gentle hand.

Trembling, the sarsh lifted his face. “What is happening?”

I am here to give you a choice. As you saw, there lies your earthly body. You are an eternal soul, but the Father has granted you a decision. You can be reborn and continue your Father’s good work on earth or you can take your place in the kingdom and live in eternal peace.”

Rune glanced at his own body lying on the raft; the sarsh crouched and picked the two items from his palm.

A tiny heart dangling on a fragile chain.

A folded piece of paper; he unfolded it and smiled with tears in his eyes. It was a beautifully drawn picture of Rune and his siblings standing side by side, joy written on their faces.

Rune picked up Tycho’s teddy bear, tears spilling over his cheeks. Then his eyes fell on the ring on his finger, proudly bearing a promise which Rune had given. He lifted his head.

“I made a promise.”

The man smiled. “Come here.”

Rune realized for the first time that the man was not standing on the raft, but on the water. The sarsh shook his head. “I can’t.”

The man smiled. “Have faith. You will not fall.”

Rune focused his gaze on the man’s eyes, and the sarsh stepped forward. He swallowed, willing himself not to look down as the waves lapped over his bare feet. He moved within the man’s reach, and the man enveloped him in an embrace. It surprised rune stiff, but after a second, he relaxed; the worried creases in his forehead smoothed.

“Go with a blessing of peace.” The man gripped Rune’s hand. “You must be reborn through water and spirit. Do you trust me?”

“Wait!” The sarsh resisted. “What is your name?”

The man smiled a brilliant, warm smile. “You know that I AM.”

The sarsh’s brow furrowed. “I don’t understand.”

“You will, someday. Do you trust me?”

“What about the other people who died? Will they get the same chance?”

Sadness filled the man’s eyes. “No. The fire has already taken them. They are beside me now. Do you trust me?”

“... Yes.”

“Close your eyes.”

Rune obeyed; and his vision spun behind closed eyelids as the man lowered him into the water.

Then, there was no more light.

And no sound, only the muffled murmur of water in Rune’s ears. The sarsh soldier still felt the powerful, yet gentle hand in his own, and it brought him peace. It was the hand of the father Rune had missed for so long. The cold water swirled around him, seeming to wash away his thoughts. The sarsh felt a warm sensation in his chest and suddenly; he was inexplicably tired. Though he still floated in the water, he knew he was safe and he allowed sleep to take him.

__

Artemis lay on the sand, his hands crossed on his chest and his eyes open, gazing into the clear spring sky. Tears welled up in his eyes as the dead eyes haunted his mind. Dull purple eyes gazed out from the darkest parts of Artemis’s thoughts. The wind whispered through the rebel’s tousled silver hair, picking up speed quickly. Frowning, Artemis sat up. The wind howled in his ear, raising goosebumps on his bare arms. The rebel climbed to his feet and glanced around, watching the trees sway in the sudden gust of wind. Then, out of the corner of his eye, he saw something. A dark shape, a hundred-some meters down the sandy shore.

The rebel jogged towards it, and the closer he got, the faster his heart boomed in his ears. Within ten feet, Artemis stopped, unable to breathe. Blue hair, dark skin, metal arm and leg, tall and muscular. “What on Earth?” Artemis whispered, glancing around. He was afraid to go near, sure he was dreaming and the image would disappear as soon as he touched it. Then he came to his senses; word had spread that one boat didn’t burn. It must have been Rune’s, and his body washed ashore. Artemis knelt, and grunting with effort, rolled Rune over. Clenched tightly in the sarsh’s hands were three objects, the same ones Rune’s siblings laid with their brother. Artemis’s breath caught as his eyes fell on the sarsh’s chest, rising and falling regularly. The silver-haired rebel fell on his backside, his heart threatening to burst out; abruptly, he got to his feet and tore away, shouting at the top of his lungs.

__

Amarillius sat in the grass, dully watching Tycho play with the dirt; Sharn sat curled up with a book in his lap. A distant voice caught Amarillius’s ears and they twitched. She lifted her head, squinting in the early spring light. Seeing nothing, she stood up and, running full tilt, was the rebel leader; he was screaming at the top of his lungs and Amarillius caught only one word. Rune. Now she was running, and in less than a minute, they nearly collided. “What did you say?” The sarsh girl asked.

The human bent, gasping for breath, and looked up at the sarsh. “Your brother-” He wheezed. “He’s alive!”

February 05, 2022 19:49

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9 comments

Wowwwwwwww that’s amazing. Best part of the series BY FAR! I liked literally everything about this, especially how he was given a second chance, as we were. Very coolio, awesome, amazing, superb! Seriously loved it so much. And the way you showed being brought back from the dead (quite literally) was really cool cause we are made alive in Christ. Such a great job. Love it <3 Oh, and HAPPY 70 STORIESSSSSS! That’s a huge milestone :D

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Endellion .
16:30 Feb 07, 2022

Thank you! I'm so glad to hear you loved it! I had a great time writing it! Also, I didn't even realized I hit 70 stories! Lol.

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:DDD Lol it’s crazy how fast it goes by.

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Endellion .
19:38 Feb 11, 2022

Yup! (The next piece of Genesis is coming out now)

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Ack you are s p e e d lol I’ll check it out soon!

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Endellion .
20:05 Feb 11, 2022

nOt eXaCtLy, but thank you anyway! Cool!

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OH! MY! GOODNESS! Though I still think his body should need healing. You haven't yet said that it was miraculously healed . . . maybe the bullet missed his heart?

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Endellion .
16:29 Feb 07, 2022

Nope, he died and God brought him back to life and healed him completely. He was sick from the encounter with the heavenly being. (which often happens in the bible)

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