Author Topic: ~Containment of Endless Suffering~  (Read 268 times)

PohtHehd

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~Containment of Endless Suffering~
on: February 08, 2019, 07:53:19 AM
Chapter 1

The humming was distant but had a reverberating effect. The cacophonous sound could drive a simple being mad. She could hear it. It was short and sweet. But, so was her life. She saw a cube hanging in the air that seemed to be on an altar. There wasn't an altar. That was how it seemed to her. Other cubes, transparent and wispy, dipped in and out of existence around the cube like an after-image. It gave the cube an appearance of violently shaking. She felt like shaking. She felt violent. The humming continued. Walls that undulated with a liquid ease now froze in place. Reality shattered and the shards turned to nothing.

She yelled and as she did so an infinite amount of golden strands revealed themselves. They streamed out from her and in everywhere she looked. Some overlapped so many times that they formed a shining river. Some places had one or two strands surrounded by a pallid blackness. It wasn't black but when she saw those places between the strands her mind could not register anything but the absence of light. Indeed, those places were unknowable. She called out and was answered.

"Ultu ulla ina Tiamatu, ina Gisnu, tapputu gimirtu Kotaru!" the voice seemed to bounce. Her mind boggled at the words, they seemed to enchant her. She called out and felt weak. "Ina annu, qabu..." the voice trailed off. The humming ceased. Total silence as thick smoky tendrils poured from the unknowable places. She saw that sick darkness spread from strand to strand and finally she saw it reach for her. She was falling.

Panic struck her. Everything was very wrong but very comfortable. The suffocating pleasure enveloped her. She hated to be coddled. She hated this sensation of nothing...of having...of wanting. Her mind boiled. She felt a fear but it wasn't her own. That was what she wanted. She demanded so greatly of the pleasure that it could not deliver and so the strands returned as they were and the unknowable places never encroached. Then the voice spoke again.


Chapter 2

"Good, it is good, you can speak now?" the voice laughed. She didn't know what to say. "I can show you the way, but only you can follow." the voice went on. She tried to move towards the voice. A hearty giggle came. "No, not like that. Not..now." and then she felt a sweeping wave gather below her. She felt the earnestness of the movement and was made faster for it. She drifted towards the voice.

"You know, I love these strands. Would you like to know why?" the voice implored but she wasn't listening. They were above a brilliant sphere. It was made of strands so tightly woven, yet not touching, that they formed a seamless surface. The blend of joy and sorrow was so fine that the pure balance of it raptured her even from so far away. "We will see many such wonders." and the voice was quiet again for a long time.

Their journey together lasted a millennia or just a day, such is their nature.


Chapter 3

"Now, beloved, we are here." the voice was filled with longing. She didn't really understand. She called out and the silent majesty of the strands was the only reply. And then she fell.


Chapter 4

Ku'ur Sag stood in a corner of the building alone. The council was discussing Uras-Beherit and the cult at Uras-Is'Ku. They had been planning the assault on the city for months. It was nothing he hadn't heard before. He tried not to cry. He hated these things they were doing. He hated these meetings. He hated...the door opened.

Uru Gal strode in, beaming with joy as usual, then the discussion ceased. They looked up at him from their table but he waved them on. He went over to Ku'ur Sag. Pain was evident on the young man's face. One of the council generals used the silence to get a word in edgewise.

"Where's Ama..?" Ku'ur half whispered to Uru without looking up.
"I'm sorry, she isn't going to be able to come for awhile. She is doing great work in the north."
"I know." he sniffed. Uru grabbed his hand and held it up. "You will do great things here too." Uru said with a broad toothy smile that held genuine warmth.
"...don't give a FUCK about..." "...on Dagan-stone pikes for all to see..." "...ripped of their Aleph..." "...eastern wall is impenetrable..." "...only enough food for a month or two..." "...it is impossible to win..."
The council gained tempo.
"Let's go outside." Uru took Ku'ur by the hand and they walked out into the scraggly land of the Broken Planet.

It was dark. The sky was purple and black. Sand dunes rose up like waves against the proud rocky peaks. Ku'ur liked it. Uru did too. They stared out at their home, their planet and their charge for a long time.

"Tomorrow." Uru Gal said softly.
Ku'ur Sag began to cry.


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Chapter 6

They expected the Dagan-stone walls. They didn't expect the endless hordes of oily green-glowing beasts that would stream forth when those walls fell. The beasts roared and rampaged and were terrible. Men and women warriors, carrying heavy staves that produced waves of flames or spears that lanced lightning from the tip, surged against the abominations. The beasts were handled easily enough but where one fell two took its place. They pounced on the warriors and ate them entirely then had their shape to fight on with and so the battle would be lost in a few hours. It was more than enough time.

Uru Gal lead Ku'ur Sag and a small elite band of warriors through the battlefield outskirts. The distraction was working, but not for much longer. They climbed craggy hills and at the horizon they could see the battle playing out. It was a massacre. Fires burned and great clouds of smoke dusted up through the sky making it gray and heavy. Limbs, both oily and fleshy, lay scattered all the way up to the city's walls. That is when they saw a large pack of the oily beasts coming up the hills towards them. Uru could hear their abominable callings from his perch. He was about to call a retreat when a lone warrior leaped from the shadows onto a beast's back.

The warrior was singing, loud and gay, striking hard with a staff over and over again. The warrior finally jammed it through the oily hide and ignited the beast from within. It dissolved to nothing and the warrior looked up, only for a moment, at Uru Gal. Uru heard the song clearly then, it was of pain and sacrifice. Of loyalty and devotion. Of terrible rage and unending challenge. And of all the adventures Uru Gal would have, in this world and the next, it would still be the most beautiful thing he had ever heard. The pack of beasts stopped and returned upon the warrior.

"Quickly now!" Uru shouted. They all started to run down the hill towards the city. Ku'ur Sag stood still in a daze. Uru placed a hand on Ku'ur's shoulder. "We have to go." Uru frowned. Ku'ur had never seen him frown.
"Who..was that?" Ku'ur asked breathlessly.
"I don't know."
And Uru pulled him away and they ran to their guard. They reached a small breach in the wall that had been made for them the previous night. Yellow runes traced the entrance so none but they could find it. They stepped through the narrow entrance one at a time. They heard a massive explosion behind them.

The warrior's song was ended.


Chapter 7

It was pitch black inside the city of Uras-Is'Ku. Vague oppression suffused them immediately. Not even the air dared move in this place. They found it hard to breath. Green flecks moved like snowflakes through the air but instead of falling they moved erratically, darting to and fro. This was a different world entirely.

Uru Gal and Ku'ur Sag could hear a thumping noise that permeated the ground. Their guard could not. Uru bade them to stay by the entrance. There was nothing the guard could do to help them now. They were reluctant to stay behind but they knew as well how hopeless they would be against so great an evil.

Ku'ur Sag and Uru Gal walked into the darkness together. The thumping showed them the way. Nothing else moved in all of the city, its ruthless residents were now set loose upon the world.

They found their way to a great temple. Ku'ur was lagging behind, the air had become incredibly thin and he was panting and sweating when they stood at the temple doors.

"Look." Uru Gal said as he pointed up. Above the doors was an enormous golden frieze. It depicted a hand that was open-palmed and falling from it were many other hands that grabbed and pulled down many different things. People, money, meat, weapons, love, hatred...everything was pulled down by those hands. It sickened Uru Gal.
"Our duty is..." Uru began.
"...to know the unknowable." Ku'ur wheezed. The thumping was now rapidly pounding at the ground. They went through the doors.

Uru Gal cried out.
"Uru, what's..?" and then Ku'ur Sag saw it too.


Chapter 8

The pavilion was tastefully decorated. Uru Gal sat in a richly stuffed chair and held a goblet made of crystal in his hands, it was filled with spiced wine. The gentle breeze blew the scandalously thin curtains inward and out. Light shone in from the windows.

"Uru, love, are you getting dressed? We have to leave in less than a hour. It is YOUR ceremony after all." the voice was was coming from another room, it was an innocent voice.
"We should just stay here." he said slyly, eyeing the bed. The words were out of his mouth before he could think.
"Oh no, I'm not falling for that!" she giggled and entered the room.
She was just as beautiful as he remembered. Remembered..?
"Josa, my sweet, there is nothing to fall for in here but me." now he giggled.
"So..." she said quietly as she lay back on the bed. Bed..?
He set the goblet down. He bent over her and kissed her neck and her cheeks and then her lips. Lips..?
"Wait." he said and didn't know why. She gazed longingly at him.
His mind started to spin. "Wait, who are..." his mouth ran dry. A green fleck appeared in his vision. He felt sick and turned to quench his thirst with the goblet. But, now only a rusty blunt knife lay in its place.

"What's wrong, Uru?" she was very concerned. He grabbed the knife.
"What..are you doing?" she looked at him with humorous curiosity. Tears began to form in his eyes and he choked on the sorrow.
"You were gone for so long!" he yelled.
"It's alright, I'm back now." her expression didn't change.
"No, it is impossible! The sickness..the pain..you died." he was sobbing, kneeling on the ground clutching the knife close to his chest.
"You couldn't save me could you?" her tone was mocking.
"No.." he cried. "...but this..this is not right." and he willed himself to stand again. He held the knife in tear stained hands.
"You can't do it." she laughed at him.
"Would things be better if I stopped..?" the words were weak.
"I don't care." she said.
He stood there. Thinking about how useless he was. How worthless his efforts were. How the knife could end this pain. He traced it around his wrists.
"Do it." she demanded.

Ku'ur Sag was alone in a cave. He had been here..for..as long as he could remember. He fiddled with the fire watching the sparks float away and disappear. A blizzard raged outside. He heard footsteps from behind. He turned around and smiled.
"Ama! You came! I knew you would!" he practically screeched.
"Have ease Ku'ur Sag, we have many years ahead..." and she seemed to stop completely. The wind, blowing stronger than before, didn't move her dress.
"Ama..?" he said, tugging at her dress. She shattered like glass and was gone.
He was surprised but..it seemed right. The wind was tumultuous and blasted through the cave mouth. It was sapping his warmth away. The fire went out.
"I-I-I..d-don't..kn-now..where.." his teeth chattered and his lips turned blue and he fell into total darkness.

The only sound now was the humming. He followed it.


Chapter 9

Uru Gal gazed at nothing as a black undulating blob began to rise around his feet. The temple was well lit. Ku'ur Sag took a deep breath, as though he hadn't breathed in a very long time, and looked around. The temple. The battle. He looked down at his feet and saw wriggling black puddles turn to smoke and vanish.

He saw Uru Gal standing still. "Uru! The temple! I need you!" but his eyes had glazed over and he was unresponsive. He saw the ooze pooling around his feet. He tried to knock it away or grab it but it was like grabbing smoke. It continued to climb up Uru Gal's legs. He stared in horror.

"You noisome whelp." a voice said dripping with hatred. It came from everywhere at once. "You would come to MY house, to MY place and you dare to defy ME!?" the temple shook at every declaration and almost fell to the question.
"The unknowable..." he muttered in shock. He could see the foundation of the walls cracking. Ku'ur shrank back into a corner. He didn't know what to do.
"Precious insects, you think this power could get YOU past ME!?" the voice boomed. The building lurched. Ku'ur saw something shuffling just at the edge of the darkness all around him. Long ungainly shadows reached out and retreated and reached out again. Then Ku'ur Sag saw a more familiar shape. It was a boy, younger even than himself, but as it walked into the light he could see the mockery of mortality that it was. Limbs were too long or not long enough. The head was an oval with a sharp point. The face jutted out fiercely. Everywhere blood streamed out of the boy. Ku'ur Sag screamed as it approached.

Then she was there. She was free to do as she pleased, now. But, there was only one thing left to do.


Chapter 10

"Ok." she said. The boy-thing stopped moving forward. It eyed her warily. Ku'ur Sag stopped screaming. The blob that was now at Uru Gal's waist shrank back shyly. "Please." she said and opened her hands then held them out. The boy-thing turned into black ooze and jumped into her hands. It was gone a moment later. The blob slithered off of Uru Gal and went to her feet. She bent over and picked it up, cradled it then it was gone too.

Uru Gal took in a deep breath. "Wha..where?" and he looked around and saw Ku'ur Sag then he noticed her. "What's going..." "Sh." she said. He spoke no more. She walked over to Ku'ur and lifted him up. She gazed into his eyes. "I love you." she said. And he knew it was true. "Open." she said and he opened his mouth. She turned into black ooze and went into his mouth.


Last Chapter

"Dear Ku'ur Sag,

I'm sorry I didn't say goodbye. It would have been too hard for both of us, I think. I have left to find the Anhauaraii. I need understanding. You did a great thing at Uas-Is'Ku. Greater than ever I could accomplish. Go see Ama Nin-Dingir. She has built a city named Kish. I have heard it is a very wonderful place endowed with peace and prosperity. I will miss you greatly.

To know...
Uru Gal"

"...the unknowable." he said as he shed a tear.

So, he went north to Kish and to Ama. But, when he arrived she was already gone. The city was more amazing than Uru Gal described. Ama's closest advisers told him that she had left mysteriously leaving the care of the city to the people. They showed him to her chambers. And there he sat. Alone.

He would wait for her here then. Years passed. The darkness within him boiled. He was restless. Ama's advisers spoke to him of his duty as a Protector, how he must save his energy for when it would be needed most. They showed him the Aleph-crypt in the city that was to hold him safe until then.

With nothing left to lose he entered the crypt. He slept for a long time.



10,000 years later...

"The Protectors are a myth. It's a load of crap! If that's your plan, then we're really screwed."
"Then you won't mind coming with us to make sure they don't exist."

? ? ? ? ? ?

"Grandma, come play with me! It is sooooo sunny outside! Come on!"
The yellow-orange light of the Aleph was soft on her wrinkled face. She opened her eyes.
"Grandma, what are you doing? Let's gooooooo!"
"Just helping an old friend. I will be there soon, beloved."


The End
« Last Edit: February 08, 2019, 08:14:13 AM by PohtHehd »