Far into the black vacuum of space, through the empty abyss, a spaceship lands on a lonely planet, made of water, where an eternal typhoon rages on, and people live in fear. Two Cultists arrived on this planet, the planet of Ossieus, with one goal in mind : to kill a God.
“Wretched, Move forward and survey.” The Rohessian Hunter radioed as she left her spacecraft. She was wearing an all-black armored overcoat with a specialized mask that had four lenses, with three on the right side of the mask in a triangular pattern and the fourth one on the left side. The exterior was heavy body armor with gray pouches and an ensign, a white dove resting on a skull. As for the Wretched, it took off from the ship as rain began to pour heavily down upon the two.
Tripedal, standing on two sickle claws on the forearms with its hands dangling loosely, a third elbow to help with locomotion and a larger third spike protruding where it should have legs at the base of the torso parallel to the torso though curving slightly down to the ground, and covered with a litany of spikes, it was a sight to behold. Standing at almost five-foot-nine and weighing at least a ton if not more. Its head was triangular with a beak up front and a row of teeth, its eyes were triangular pointed at an angle, pointing both to the side and slightly wrapping around the front. From the base of the neck was a smaller spike, running the length of the spine the apex spike was at least a good foot in length, then getting smaller. The beast’s shoulders were covered in a thick mat of feathers, starting black, then fading to white though the tips were blood red. The same effect was noted on the spikes on its back, going from black to white with blood red tips.
The beast was fast, faster than a man could run, taking off in the rain with grace, heading off towards a coastal village crested against a mountain. A clap of thunder lit the sky as the Rohessian Hunter began to approach the desolate town, taking a long walk to meet a legend.
“All my life, I believed in you.” Roha muttered to herself, holding a small book, the spine read in gold letters, “The Book of the Chimera.”
“What Tunguska did to me, being told it was my fault, that I was to blame and to get forgiveness I must become one with Death. I spent my life cleaning up in your name, and now, it all leads here. To your home. To Conquest's home.” She sighed, opening the book as she looked to the town bitterly, with people leaving their homes to see who had arrived.
“And for when we walk we do so for you. And for when we hunt, we do so for you. For when we bring Retribution to the Atoned, we do so for you. For I am you, and yet, you are I. For you are the Chimera, God of All, Creator of All, Ruler of All. You are All, and I am you.”
She closed the book gracefully, sliding it into a pouch on her vest, raising her left arm to her mask to radio the Wretched.
“What are you seeing?” She asked as she began to walk towards the village, seeing people gather in the distance.
“I’m not seeing much, just old folks. There is a cave not too far from here, the village ends far before it though.” The creature said in a distinct voice that came off both masculine and yet feminine. Roha was already into town, keeping her hood up, though the orange glow of her lenses on her mask made her stick out.
“You’re here for the Chimera.” A man said, stepping out with a limp.
“Go back to your fishing. My business does not concern you.” She said with bitterness as the man looked at her without concern.
“Conquest comes here often. What brings you here? You’re Death, the Dove and Skull on your shoulder says so.” His voice was certain, he had no fear.
“I’m here for my own reasons. I’m here on behalf of Conquest.” Roha insisted. The man sighed, and set down his fishing rod as the rain poured against him, then said solemnly :
“You say you’re here for your own reasons, and yet say Conquest sent you. Time has come. Absolution has come. Death has come. And When Death marches upon my domain ; now Time has come to an end. What we have Atoned for will be relinquished. For our Sins know forgiveness, and Death will deliver us from our Suffering.”
Those words stuck with her as she walked through the winding village, the rank air of fish and sulfur, the humidity abysmal and the temperature so cold the rain felt like needles on the bare flesh. She felt him, felt him behind her, and yet, paid no mind to it. The people feared her, the bravest of them all was a preacher. A God lived not far from them and they lived their lives in fear. Fearful of what? What was to come? What they didn’t know? She knew what had to be done, it was why she was here. To kill a God. So, she kept walking, kept winding through the village as people looked at her with concern.
“Is it true? Is Absolution upon us?” A child asked her, approaching nervously.
“And are you Death?”
“I am Death. Clan Ornate Death.” She looked over her shoulder, seeing a familiar figure behind her, following her.
“Then where is Conquest?” The child looked at her with bewilderment.
“The Book of the Chimera states, ‘For Conquest and Death shall deliver us from our suffering. Our lives end in Absolution. For the loss of the Chimera is the freedom of our lives.’”
“Kid, Conquest won’t make it, Conquest is busy with…other matters. But I was ordered by Conquest to carry this out. Yet, I’m uncertain of what I’m told.”
She breathed the salty rank air, choking on her own breath as she did so, feeling the bitterness, the salinity. She felt the boards she walked on become slimy, feeling the moisture eat at it. Everything was so crude. The timbers from the mountain, the only source of wood, the only way to light their homes, their ragged and decaying houses, was with whale oil, and even then, that did little for them. She kept marching, looking at the moldy rank buildings, watching as the houses became more and more drab the further she went. She felt every eye in the village fall upon her as she made her way through, slowly winding until she would come to an end. The town just ended and before her a crude gravel path barely distinguishable from the mossy rocks, rain pelting her and the boardwalk she stood on. They knew why she was here, they lived their entire lives waiting for this moment. And yet, no one else in the Universe knew what was going to happen here.
The preacher who met her had followed her, maybe he wasn’t satisfied with their conversation, maybe he had parting wisdom. Whatever it was, whatever motivated him, was something Rohessian Hunter respected.
“Is it true that we all get to Vala?” He asked her.
“I—I—I don’t know. To be honest, I don’t know,” She admitted nervously, turning to him.
“I have had a crisis of conscience, I–I–-I don’t know why I’m even here.” Her voice cracked, her mechanical lenses lining up with the preacher.
“Conquest sent you. To make a choice. To do what the Chimera promised. And you, Rider Death, have a Choice : you can deliver us from sin, or you can let War tear this universe apart. The Harbingers and the Federation will continue to War, you know that. But Absolution, that solves it all, and we’ll have peace at last. Your entire life was to prove to the Universe that our beliefs, the Chimera, was all reality, that we are trying to save humanity. Well, Rider, prove yourself. Do what is asked of you.”
“But what if Absolution isn’t real? What if nothing changes? What if this is all wrong, and the Death of the Chimera solves nothing!” She asked bitterly, seeing the man chuckle.
“That is part of having Faith, you have Faith in what could be, and Faith in the best outcome. Sometimes you let life sort your actions out.”
She nodded, thanking the man, taking out the book of the Chimera one more time, flipping a few pages and taking a breath as more people gathered around.
“Vala, where we all go in the End of Times, awaits us all, those without and those with faith. Those who denied the Chimera and those who Defended the Chimera. For our lives are an anchor, an anchor to the afterlife. Where all Sin is washed away, and we are Atoned for what we have done. And though if we did wrong in life, all is forgiven. And though if we lived a saint to another God, all is forgiven. When the light is snuffed out, and all is dark, embrace it, and know, brighter horizons await you as you’re reborn in the Chimera’s image.” The people gathered around her as she spoke, their heads down, letting the rain run off of them, somber.
“For the Chimera cannot change the actions of our lives, for they are our actions. Our responsibility. And yet, he forgives us, forgives us for our wrongs, as he knows we are not perfect. The Chimera isn’t perfect, a Beast suffering for an eternity, awaiting Absolution. He cannot judge us for our flaws when He himself is flawed. Our imperfections are simply a part of him.”
And with the weight of the Village weighing on her, their lifeless eyes gazing upon her, Roha took a final step, stepping onto a gravel path, and made her way forward. Nervously she breathes in a breath of that bitter salty air and continues to walk forward, following the trail winding to the maw of the mountain. The Wretched met up with her as they ascended to the mountain cavern, carved out of the mossy limestone rock.
“You’re not religious, you’re just a warrior who joined me because you felt a level of respect. So why join me now, when this is about my faith?” Rohessian Hunter asked the Wretched with a somber tone to her voice.
“Because I trust you. I know what you have to do and I’m willing to go forward with it, I’ll always support you Roha. You know it.” The beast said as Roha nodded.
“You’ve always been there for me, you and Death. He’s gone now,” She paused, her voice cracking, holding back a somber tear, “He left me here, left me as Clan Ornate Death. I guess it is up to me now. To finish this. To end this war that has been going on for almost three-thousand years.”
“Hell of a responsibility to be on your shoulders. Hell of a responsibility to be put onto anyone's shoulders. And yet, you’re the only person who should have this responsibility” The two shared a laugh as they approached the mouth of the Cavern, heading inside.
She turned on a light mounted to one of her mechanical eyes and began to survey the cavern as they moved deeper within the limestone crevice.The rocks mossy, dripping and trickling streams of salty rain water that poured through the porous rock.
“I can see light ahead.” The Wretched stated pointedly, with its body stiffening aggressively.
“Alright, keep moving.” Roha said, raising her rifle in anticipation.
“You’re meeting your God and your idea is to raise your weapon.” Wretched chuckled, moving quickly and further in.
“I’m not sure what to expect here.” Roha tried to justify, but felt a lump in the back of her throat as she came to an opening.
“Anna Harth, Ornate Death, my Child, you’ve come. Time at last.” A voice boomed, rather righteously through the damp and rank limestone cavern.
“Who?” Roha said aloud, recoiling at the booming voice as she came into the Chimera’s chamber, moving carefully with her rifle drawn.
“Bozhe moi…” She muttered to herself, approaching her God.
There before her was the Chimera, at least fifty feet tall, with the body of a mule, the legs of a jackal, the head of a lion, the wings of an eagle, and the tail of a snake. It spoke in a boisterous, echoing voice, commanding one’s attention with a tone so righteous it can turn a sinner to a saint. The chamber was lit up from the clouded moon light as the roof above was pocked where the beast tried to escape. Trapped within this cavern, with no way to escape, a prisoner lost to eternity.
“Absolution has been a long time coming.” It boomed holy, before Roha and Wretched.
“T-t-th-that is Chimera?” Wretched said in horrified concern.
“Never been described before.” Roha was in disbelief, the beast before her towered over, stuck here since its creation and yet somehow was so calm.
“What is Absolution?” The Wretched asked as Roha only gawked.
“The end of my suffering. The end of all suffering. Man will have salvation for his sins.”
Roha wasn’t sure what to expect. She knew what she had to do. And in her hand was a Calt and Henri Boa, a big framed revolver in .44 raging magnum. Her hand was twitching nervously as she approached the Chimera.
“Why?” She asked bitterly, looking at her Creator.
“Because, you have faith, don’t you?” The beast said placidly, with Roha still shaking.
“I-I-I had my doubts. I doubted, always have, a-an-and now? I-I don-n-n’t know what to do!” Wretched looked at her companion with concern.
“You said you were here for Absolution, it is your duty, even if you’re without faith. Should this, the mere presence of your God, prove enough?” Wretched said tactfully while keeping a defensive posture.
“Yeah…” Roha said under her breath looking at her revolver, her hands shaking violently.
“I came here to kill God. It is in the book. ‘When Absolution comes, the Rider Death shall take the life of the Chimera, the lives of all Man, follower or not, shall be set free.’ And despite my disbelief, my lack of faith. Despite it all, here I am, before a living God.” Her voice was cracking, taking in heavy breaths as she looked up from her gun, shaking nervously.
She carefully approached as the Chimera relaxed, kneeling gently, resting on its shins and lowering its head, almost pushing it against her revolver.
“I know what I have to do.” She said as she raised her revolver carefully, the beast’s head moving into place.
“I know what I have to do.” She said one more time, her breathing rapid, fear gripping her. One exhale, her eyes flinching, as she pulled the hammer back, cocking it, taking in a final breath as her eyes locked with the Beast’s glassy eyes. Her breath didn’t want to come in, and it felt like it was stuck in her lungs as she quickly squeezed the trigger, and the hammer fell, the gun went off, the flash of the muzzle blinding her, and then, everything went black.