Among the scorching flames that widened its jaws over the surroundings, shrouded by the rubble and debris from the buildings that were engulfed by the wrath of the explosions, the villain kneeled at the mercy of the hero, trembling before his might. The screams of the fallen accompanied the wails of the sirens, scattered among the ashy smog, carrying with it the stench of fresh rotting corpses. The torched city was filled with an orchestra of gunshots, reaching the final chorus of the battle, before coming to a rapturous silence to mark the end of the war. As the fires roared in applause at the gripping climax of the battle.
The hero clasped his white-knuckled grip around the handle of his weapon, poised and pointed between the withering, defeated eyes of the villain. He pierced into the villain’s empty gaze and beamed a heroic smile that beaconed through the darkness, brighter than the flames that glimmered through the broken city. He had fought relentlessly against the evil forces of the villain. He had lost countless of his comrades in this war in pursuit of victory, and his efforts would at last be reaped. The red flags waved victoriously alongside the embers that charred the yellow, as the yellow flags fell beneath the reds' shadows.
The hero kept his hatred gaze upon the defeated eyes of the villain. The villain, with his strength ebbing away alongside his will, lowered his head in loss and sorrow and as his vision slowly faded. The hero was enraged by the villain’s cowardice. His blood boiling through his veins in anger, he pulled back his leg and catapulted it at full force at the villain’s chin. The impact of his boot leaving a bug-crunching crack that shattered through the surroundings. But no voice was heard from the villain. Not a scream nor whimper, nor a sigh or a tear shed from his withered eyes. His gaze merely whipped up at the sky, and slowly descended to meet the hero’s gaze once more.
“Look me in the eye, you vile creature! I’ve not spent countless sleepless nights and sacrificed so much of my sanity hunting you, and your pathetic kin, just to have you cowardly avert your pathetic gaze. Have you no pride? No shame? No remaining self-respect? Or will you die like the insects I trample under my boot?” The villain remained silent, rendered lifeless like a corpse. “Have you nothing left to say?
“It didn’t have to be this way”, the villain finally spoke, his breaths as shattered as the dusted bones in his body, “we could have been brothers, you and I. Though my eyes are not red like yours, the blood I bleed is. It the same blood WE both bleed. And though our eyes differ in colour, we still see the same world around us, don’t we?”
“You’re wrong. Though it doesn’t surprise me, your yellow eyes reflect nothing but your idiocy. When I look into the red eyes of my brethren, I see wisdom, I see might, I see a majestic future. But when I look behind those stained yellow eyes of your kind, I see nothing but menace, devastation, evil…”
“Evil?” jeered the villain with a confused, yet angered tone, “I had no intention to even fight, my only choice was to kill for us to live! There was never even a war to fight, only a massacre, a genocide that needed to be stopped. And of the atrocities you’ve committed, you would still compare yourself to me and call me evil? You lied to your own people and used our kind as a scapegoat for all the wrong in the world. You shunned us away from society, leaving us with nothing but our starving families to fend for ourselves. You treated cattle better than you treated us…”
The hero spoke a soft shush to silence the villain’s ramble. “If anything I've cleansed the world of your suffering”, the hero replied in a gentle tone, taking pity on the villain, “it’s common knowledge that red-eyed people are superior in every way than your mud-stained yellow-eyed kind. You were always destined to suffer and fail. It’s scientific you see, as a great red-eyed scientist once theorised - survival of the fittest. Only those best adapted to their environment are able to spread their superior genes, leaving the weak to wither and die off. But why allow yourselves to suffer? Why fight back the inevitable? You should be thanking me for saving you from a fate of suffering. It was only mercy killing”.
“Mercy killing?” The villain's voice began to creak and break down, as a torrent of tears flooded his face. “Mercy killing? You enslaved my people to build your cities, your shops, the very weapons you used to against us were built over our own spilt blood! You tortured and executed us in public for entertainment! You didn’t even bury our bodies, even in death, our names were soiled. You fed us the bodies of our own dead to keep us alive and strong enough to continue to slave for you!”
“It is only the way of the natural world. Even a monkey will use a tool to break open a coconut. Your people should rejoice, I gave their meaningless existence a purpose. But now that your use has been fulfilled, there is no longer any need for you. You no longer have a place left in this world. Not under my reign.”
Anger flared through the villain, yet he was left powerless, rendered broken on the blitzed battlefield. “Your reign will not last.” The villain weakly croaked, digging for the last remaining fight left in his diminishing strength. “Where I’ve failed, another will take my place and bring an end to your tyranny. Just you watch, justice will prevail! Justice will always prevail in the end!”. The hero’s triumphant expression suddenly contracted to a cold gaze. Before he let out a menacing uproar of laughter. “Justice will prevail you say? Justice will prevail?”
The hero could not help his wheezing laughter, left in hysterics by the absurdity of the villain’s words, words which would be his last. “Of course justice will prevail! Who do you think determines what justice is? Look around you” the hero raised his arms to gesture the to the flames torching the remnants of the burning ash and debris, “I am the one who has won this battle, I am the one who stands above all others, so I am the one who rewrites justice. MY justice indeed, will prevail”
“And you know what else?” he leaned down, whispering softly into the villain’s ear, as the villain trembled in terror before the haunting words of the hero. “None of your kind, none who’ve dared challenge my authority will live to spread the word of my atrocities. And when they retell the story of my glorious victory, they’ll tell tales of how I purified the world from the tainted blood of your impotent, pathetic race. They’ll praise me for cleansing humanity of their weakness, and the strong will thrive towards a grand utopia, one that is free from the pestilence of your kind…”
A final gunshot deafened the surrounding. The villain slumped on the ground; his terror petrified across his expression, as the red flow slowly trickled along his face. It was over. The war was won. A triumphant cry erupted from the hero, shooting an open hand towards the ember skies, holding high his victorious salute for his followers to bear witness his might. A cacophony of cheers, wails and rattling gunfire flooded across the charred city, as the red flags flickered among the flames.
“Wow grandfather!” cried the young boy in overwhelming excitement “so he single-handedly defeated the evil yellow-eyed empire?”
“You better believe it son!”, replied the old man sharing the same excitement, his heart erupting with honour and pride. The boy’s smile quickly faded to an uneasy expression. He questioned the hero’s harsh judgement on the yellow-eyed people and wondered what deed could have been so heinous as to lead to their destruction. He pondered at the thought of innocent souls that his grandfather’s hero could have wrongfully taken, and just how much torment and suffering were shed by the poor souls.
“What about the innocent people grandpa? Like the children?”
“My boy you see, among such a hate-filled, and villainous race like theirs, there was no such thing as an ‘innocent’ yellow-eye”. But the old man noticed his words had no effect on the boy, the confused and melancholic expression continued to remain. “What’s wrong my boy?” he asked with a comforting embrace.
“I…I don’t know grandpa. It’s just so sad. I know they were all evil and all, but still, I can’t help but feel sorry for them, now that they’re all just gone”
“You shouldn’t be. It was mercy killing. The yellow-eyed people were inferior. They were would have only suffered as the rest of the world evolved, they just never had the brains to realise. Trust me son, it was far kinder to eliminate them than let them fend on a world that had no place for them. A clash between us both would only be inevitable, and we’d only end up suffering alongside them, and fall prey to their malice.”
The boy looked uneasily at his grandfather, doubting his harsh words. He pondered at his grandfather's response. Still, he couldn't help but feel remorse for the poor souls. But he knew his grandfather to be a good man who fought valiantly for a good cause. He dismissed his own doubts as something that children perhaps were too young to understand; a situation where adults had the best understanding to take the right course of action.
The old man gazed up at the statue of his beloved hero. The statue which towered high above the city skyline, built among the rubble and ashes of the yellow-eyed bloodshed. He could not help the overwhelming pride that surged a wave of adrenaline through his veins. He straightened his back, unfurled his fingers and shot his hand up straight, holding his arm at an angle to his hero's gaze, mimicking the gesture of his hero’s salute.