It had been a long time since they had spoken to her, and then it hadn’t exactly been what you could call a conversation. At least when they did she could give them a sentiment our two in return, not that it helped her cause any, but it certainly eased her mind about the whole affair. And helped her get over the fact that she living by the whims of a few cracked up old forces that hadn’t had the sense to end their little games with the coming of a new age. And it was a lot harder to convince herself to listen when all she had to go on was a vague little murmur and a few scanty images.
She knew her team thought she’d lost it, and there were days when she was inclined to agree with them. Three weeks they’d been stuck here, coasting through nowhere, after years of running faster than they could fly. Recuperation, she had told them. A break, a chance to actually enjoy that rare calm before the storm. That’s what they thought, that's what she told them. But she knew, they were not taking a “long overdue vacation time” as Sara had put it, they were waiting. But for what?
That question remained unanswered, despite her attempts to uncover it. For weeks she had got nothing but these little tidbits. It was excruciating.
Her bedroom door shut noiselessly behind as she made her way down the sleek, darkened hallway. Her boots echoed with equal soundlessness on the seemingly bottomless floor.
The fallen shall rise - that phrase could be applied to almost anything.
the lost one shall meet the end, and the end shall meet the middle- everything was lost, so that didn’t help anything.
the dark shall gather at the falling storm - Really? she never would have guessed.
the scattered will be called...
And should they not answer...yes, yes, yes, she’d been over this a dozen times
She pushed open the door that signaled the end of her walk, entering an even darker domed room.
She snapped her fingers, and instantly the room was lit, though no source was visible. She crossed the room, and stopped, turning.
There was a small ledge in the room, not quite large enough for a person to hide behind while lying down, unless said person was particularly short...
And that’s when her gaze rested on the object that had originally drawn her attention. One, small, back curl. The corners of her mouth twitched upward slightly, while at the same time she sucked in an impatient breath and stalked over.
There she was, her head resting on her arm like a pillow while the other hung loosely over a book she’d probably only intended to close her for a moment and shut her eyes when she fallen into sleep. Sarah’s expression softened. It always surprised her how Sara could fall asleep anywhere, at anytime. She looked younger when she slept, like an actual fifteen year old instead of the confusing timeless girl that was usually in her place. Her whole body was curled in on itself and her breath came out in soft, steady murmurs. She was smiling, softly, so it must have been a good part she’d stopped on, wherever it was.
Sarah extended one lithe limb towards the sleeping figure, flicking a stray lock out of the girl’s eyes.
“Sara,” she whispered, and then sharper, “Sara!” She strirred, mumbling something indistinct. Sarah tightened her jaw, another impatient gesture. “Rabbit!”
“What?” Sara shot up, gazing blearily at her surroundings, finally finding the person who’d awoken her.
“Sarah,” she said quickly, trying to sit up, but failing and grabbing the ledge for support.
“Sleep well?” Sarah said with a small cock of her heard, sarcasm dancing lightly across her words.
The other Sara had managed to stop blinking and squinting, she grabbed her book and stood up, slowly this time. Sarah rose with her.
“Umm...” she was trying to decide whether or not she was in trouble, and Sarah let her squirm. “Well, actually...”
“Isn’t there somewhere you’re supposed to be?” Sarah interrupted.
Sara gave her as defiant a expression as a girl who hadn’t even been awake for a minute could give her, which was surprisingly good, except that she couldn’t pull off defiant even when she was awake.
“I don’t know Sarah,” she said, matching her tone and head position, “Is there?”
“Yes.” The finality in her tone was enough to shut the other girl up—not a common occurrence—but something in Sarah’s voice had peaked her interest. Sara squinted, pressing her lips inward, trying to decipher whatever it was she’d thought she’d seen. Sarah tried to meet her gaze levelly, but she wasn’t really in the mood to waste more time and her eyes drifted away. She didn’t see how Sara could have got something from that, but apparently she did, or she was pretending too. Her lips spread into what was supposed to be a knowing smile—though that look never quite worked on Sara’s face—before shrugging and slipping past Sarah and out of the room.
Sarah looked after her for a moment, before sighing and turning back toward the other end of the room. She held up her hand, and after a moment, the air around the wall began to shimmer, until a gap appeared in the curved surface. She slipped through it, and the passage faded quickly behind her. Inside was a room that looked like it belong on the set of Star Trek. It was entirely black and covered with stars, a replica of the night sky. It gave the impression that one had stepped outside into the abyss of the universe, except that these stars were not from this universe, nor any universe that currently existed. They were older, much older, than that. Like everything else in this room, they belonged to the one before.
“Well,” she said to the darkness, “I came.” Nothing happened, not that she expected it too. These forces could not be rushed, not that they had any problem forcing her to do so.
And then, suddenly, they were there. All around her, inside her, filling her with ideas impossible to describe with any spoken or unspoken words, either because the ones needed had long since faded away, or because they had never been there to begin with. She was inclined to think it was the latter, if not because it made a more impressive sentiment.
She sucked in a breath, her body arching as though experiencing a long forgotten pleasure. And she was, in a way. It was now, in these moments, that she felt the closest to what had been. Her lost heritage, the fate she more than rightly deserved and then one that could never be hers. It was ecstasy, but it was also agony. She breathed out, and the force retreated from her, somewhat. She closed her eyes. They had done their part and it was her turn. Slowly she sifted through the images, and the ones without images. The closest word she could find to describe these phenomena was, feeling, but such a simple, human word could never capture their true, intricate nature. A complex creation that was unreachable and tangible, comprehensive and unexplainable, beautiful and terrible.
She opened her eyes. They had given her—nothing—nothing new. A snarl escaped her lips.
“Is this your idea of a joke?” she called out, no longer caring that such words were pointless. They converged around her, like a swarm, engulfing her. If she was a true member of her race she would have been able to understand their message in its original form, but either she was not like them in that regard or years spent among other races had given her a habit of placing labels to things even if it was impossible. Like now. As far as she could tell, they had told her that they’d already told her everything she needed to know, not something that was going to improve her mood.
She clicked her tongue, and sparks flew, literally. She did not bother to find words to express herself now, her feelings and thoughts would do that part well enough. She could feel them again, hear them, like murmurs in her ears. her mind spun, finally resting on an image, if she dared called it that. An entire universe could not be compressed into a single picture, yet she could see the entirety of it in a heartbeat.
She blinked, her eyes widening. She recognized it, as she had been there before. But that had been ages, ages, surely he could not...But no he was there, she could feel him. He was weaker, perhaps, than the last time she’d seen him, but that had been so very long ago. And as for the other...
She stopped, closing her eyes and pulling back on a moment she had cast off as irrelevant. It came before her, the history after she had left. She saw it the invasion, the cold ones invading. Earth. Her precious Earth. The war, such a great war. the defeat. The changing of guards. A relic, ancient and powerful, so powerful. She paused, the following years passing over her like honey, until...
Her eyes snapped open. She had heard of the stirrings, but they had been one among so many, like two flies among a swarm of thousands. It seems she had been wrong to ignore them, however. Her eyes flashed over the faces, the words, the deeds. The lies, the betrayals, the anger and bitterness. The shadow, the fallen...
The lost, the gathering darkness, the end, could this really be there meaning? She extended her hand again, searching for the man that now clouded her thoughts. And she found him, standing amongst enemies she had once sworn were defeated. And he, he was farther than any of his kind had durst been before. The fallen, yes, he had fallen far indeed.
She swept through again, looking for another lost force, and she’d found it. Her hand clenched tightly, and she stumbled, almost. It was...yes...but how? She could see it now, the power of the gods, falling into the hands of mortals. Burning, fire, flame,a shadow covering the earth. But that battle was over, that threat diminished. It had been stopped, by another lost one, once frozen in the earth’s vast shell...
For now it seemed it was, stable, but how long that could last...
Another image. No, It couldn’t. But the exchange had been made, they were out of time. If it fell into their possession...
She stopped, a smile spreading across her lips; a terrible, humourless, tortured smile. At least now she knew why they had come. She knew enough, now, it was time to leave. She turned toward the door and stopped, no, she was missing something.
She turned back. The exchange, she knew one side, but no the other. And then she saw it, all of it. He would come, and he would bring with him...
The screams drowned out the rest of her thoughts. Her limbs felt heavier, but there was more, one more thing.
Her entire body froze, but whereas that implied all life evaporating from her limbs, this was quite the opposite. It was as if every tendon, every vein, every fiber in her body had been filled with unendurable force, uncontrollable fire, that must, must explode—but it was locked in place, unable to escape, but it could not remain...
She sank to her knees, her body screaming that no, this could not happen.
There would be war,and the Earth would burn, and death, so much death...
And she could do nothing.
She could see those who had been chosen.
the scattered must gather.
But if they do not answer...
Then all will be lost. Well, at least as far as humanity was concerned.
Her breath came out in heavy gasps, rage pouring through her limbs, like quicksilver it burns. It could not, she could not, she didn’t even know if they would succeed. All it once her frustration turned to rage, but as quickly as that had come it had burned out, replaced with annoyance. If there was nothing she could do then why this stupid prophecy? Why all this effort to inform her of an event of which she could take no part? It wasn’t her concern, not if she couldn’t do anything. Hundreds of worlds were invaded and conquered and destroyed without her blinking an eye, worlds that included the earth. This had no connection to them, and they had wasted her time.
But wait, there was something that could connect them. Another image flashed before her, another face, they only face that could take all the fire and snuff it out, leaving only an unendurable cold in its wake, a chill that passed through her bones, her sinew, her heart. The only thing that could kill her sudden bout of apathy, leaving only a desperate, desperate plea.
If she was connected, and this was as drastic as she feared...No, she could think of it. The last Eternal, the Guardian of reality in all her forms and she couldn’t bear this. It would kill her, it would surely kill both of them. She would not be able to continue with her work any longer, not if she let this come to pass...
And they could not interfere.
She wanted to cave in, but she forced herself to stand to leave. The door closed behind her, and she wished she could leave everything behind with her.
War was coming, and there was nothing, nothing she could do.
She closed her eyes, neck arching upward, offering a silent plea to any, any force that would hear her.