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Within the Ruins-Part IV of The Contortionist Quadrilogy

Short story By: Ill Buddha
Science fiction



A once and future all-powerful race, faces destruction and rebirth in endless cycles through eternity.


Submitted:Jun 4, 2013    Reads: 17    Comments: 0    Likes: 0   


Every great civilization faces its destruction with mockery and disdain. Some believe things will never change, some believe things can only get better ; that with enough will power things must get better, some always believe that they are in a state or another of decline, of collapse, on unwitting life support, and yet, every great civilization faces its destruction with mockery and disdain.

Year: Unknown. Planet: Unknown. System: Unknown

It gasped for air in the nitrogen rich atmosphere that slowly took shape after eons of solar winds, and meteor showers, trapping elements into its gravity field an atom at a time. It gasped for air, but could not see its surroundings, its eyes would evolve in time, but for now it did not need them, what it needed, was a whiff of hydrogen, a dash of carbon monoxide, enough to fill its lungs for a few minutes, a few minutes that it would stretch, recycling its own exhalations, trapping them in the pores of its gelatinous skin.

Sucking a little moisture from the ground it crawled over an old stone, and slipped back into the darkness beneath. It registered a tingle through its nerve that could have meant pain to another species, but it did not have a brain and thus could not mind and could not care. The tingle let it know it was alive and had encountered an obstacle that was all. It would evolve a brain in time, but for now, it had found some air and some moisture, and lay content in the dark shade, where it cooled off from the scorching heat of the sunlight.

The dark shade caught a little humidity, enough for it to luxuriate for a few minutes until it had to crawl back out for air. In the few days since its birth it had come a long way relative to its size, several yards, in fact. It did not know that the rock it was under now was different from the rock just yesterday; all it registered was more air, and more moisture. This place was good.

Year: + 2 Million. Planet: Unknown. System: Unknown.

It stretched a weak arm and extended its fingers to block away the sunlight. In time it would get better it knew it, just as it had with every step it took closer to the light outside the cave. It was a difficult decision, there was plenty of fungus in the cave, glowing green with electric phosphorescence, rich and plentiful in the moist darkness, but as the air ran dangerously low on nitrogen, it knew it had to get to higher grounds, and eventually break through the rocky barrier to the scalding heat and light.

Its genitor had died, so had almost all of its kind that it could tell. It was in fact, the first to make it to the surface. It had to return and warn the few left that they could follow it, and breathe, but it was also hungry, famished by the efforts of the climb and terrified of wandering alone in the boiling heat and wilderness.

It took small steps away from the shade, keeping a hand low over its eyes, checking it steps in the dusty soil and sand to not lose its way back. The air was plentiful, and nitrogen filled its lungs with warm, but blissful strength. It gained in confidence realizing that heat was not burning it alive as it thought it would.

The light made it hard for it to see, but in the distance, it thought it recognized the familiar greenish glow of the precious fungi it so desperately needed if it was to make it back to the rest of its kind.

Distances were different outside, and by the time it reached the green fungus, he realized there was less than he had thought, much less, that even in the sunlight it shone so strongly he had mistaken it for more than there was.

Famished, it took a bite. The surge of electric energy ripped through its body, but instead of abating, he felt the surge build and build, until it felt tiny tingles in its lower ribcage below its two small arms. It took another bite, and felt its body stretch, another bite, and two little stumps appeared where he had first felt tingles, another bite, intelligent awareness bloomed and it started understanding what was happening to it: it was growing and developing new arms!

Greedily it took another bite, and another, and another, and yet another and the electric surge shot through its system uncontrollably, sending shockwaves from its now thickening legs to its head. It went for another morsel, but the surge kept building, cooking it from the inside, turning it blind and burning its body to a cinder in a flash of green energy.

Year: + 200,000. Planet: Yy'Thrraa. System: Yy'Thrraa.

He stepped out of his two storey home, and looked towards the sky to the asteroid belt visible under the light of the twin moons orbiting Yy'Thrraa.

His wife called for him to come in for supper, but he enjoyed those moments of twilight, when the fungus fields almost, but not quite, blocked out the lights from the moon, when the trailing tail of dust seemed to stretch to infinity behind the asteroid belt, and the colony dreamt of what they could, what they would achieve.

A small gnat bit him on the shoulder; he smashed it with his lower arm, and immediately shifted his molecules to heal the bite.

He noticed a few of his neighbors out on their lawns as well, looking to the sky. Raa'M'Thaarr J'ee'Rr'aan was there with his wife, so was Ss'Yy'mmt'Aa Aa'R'Yyaan with his daughter Saa'Yy'rAan; all of them waiting for the event.

His own wife, just as most of the community, did not believe in the visions of the old prehistoric mystics, believing, possibly rightfully, that their brains were still developing back then, and that the large quantities of fungus they consumed overloaded their limited intelligence. Hallucinating, idiotic addicts in other words, but every Yy'Thrraan knew that fungus had degenerated over time, that what grew naturally then was so potent that it accelerated their evolution by a million years at least, so in his mind, everything was possible.

She called for him again; he waved an arm irritatingly at the house. Most of the people out now had been out every night since the year began, waiting for what the ancients had predicted. No one knew what it was, but evidence came from all over the planet, at a time when Yy'Thrraan couldn't possibly have staged a hoax. Markings in caves, on cliff walls, written traces buried deep underground, all spoke of an occurrence this very year. It would have helped to specify the when and the what, but he liked a surprise, and his father had cultivated the expectation in him, and died. It seemed right he should be here; too bad his own sons were more like their mother.

A rumble started as a buzz in the air and grew in intensity, drawing his family out of their home, looking terrified, but he saw a glimmer of excitement that reminded him of himself in his youngest son and oldest daughter's eyes.

Ten or twenty yards ahead of him, a light flashed vertically out of thin air, and started spinning. As the spin grew faster, he realized this was happening in several other places as well, and likely all over Yy'Thrraa, right that very moment.

The spin accelerated, creating a revolving ball of light, creating a vortex, circling counter cyclically in front of him. He snatched his eyes away, looking at his neighbors to see the wonder reflected in their eyes, and reached his arms around his family, sharing in the moment together.

The vortex stopped suddenly, leaving a vertical slither of light. It opened, and out of it stepped three giant beings, each a different shape. The light was too bright to make out their features; he uncoiled an arm off his older son, and shielded his eyes to see them better. He realized that they were constantly shifting shape, as if unsure of what to settle for. One of them looked straight at him, and began to smile as he did.

He smiled back, but the giant raised a weapon, and met his smile with a flash of burning flame, instantly removing him, his family, his home, and his closest neighbors from existence.

Year: + 1 hour. Planet: Yy'Thrraa. System: Yy'Thrraa.

"Don't think I don't enjoy this." One of the beings said, smashing a baby Yy'Thrraan's skull under its boot. "It's a lot of fun, every time." He shook fluids and brain matter off before setting a home on fire with his launcher. "But there's something perverse about planting things in their history."

"Seriously?" Another responded, sending electric charges at a couple of trembling Yy'Thrraan ahead of him. "It makes it even better for me, and that the Ta'Ari made this happen, in spite of billions of years of warning, is priceless. And anyway would you rather we actually have to fight them at the height of their power? I mean, we would win, obviously, but the cost…"

He interrupted himself to punch an Yy'Thrraan in the face and through the back of its head.

"Like I said." Repeated the first creature. "Don't think I don't enjoy this, but have you ever considered how odd it is that if we eradicate them before they ever evolved enough to split with Ta'Ar and have them create us, that we still exist as well? I mean shouldn't we…"

A group of Yy'Thrraan broke from their horror-induced stupor and assaulted him. He simply vanished from where he stood appearing behind each of them in turn, casually snapping their necks and setting them on fire.

His companion shrugged.

"Have you ever considered that if we can be everywhere and anytime at once, then we're really nowhere at all?"

The other turned his head towards his comrade with a look of distaste on his face.

"Philosophy…great…."

Of the Nameless Race

An early leader of the Ta'Ari had, billions of years before rightfully predicted the emergence of a new race of sentient beings on a planet called Earth, in an isolated spiral arm of the Milky Way that would eventually rise to power and destroy both Ta'Ari and Yy'Thrraan races[1].

In an attempt to prevent their existence, Anpu had sacrificed his half-human son, Ausar, by charging him to the brink of explosion with radioactive energy, that Ausar unwittingly released into the sun, setting the star on an accelerated course to destruction, thus preventing the beings' existence.

Known as Anpu's Nightmare, the event was lauded as visionary and made Anpu a legend within both Yy'Thrraan and Ta'Ari mythology for billions of years hence.

However, when Yy'Thrraa finally found the key to vanquishing Ta'Ar, a Ta'Ari general Raa'Yy'M'Eeyn, developed a way of recreating the nameless race through genetic manipulation of DNA of races of Earth, and other systems in Ta'Ar dominated space[2].

He selected the black hole created by the sun's explosion as a consequence of Anpu's action[3] and through it, located a planet with conditions similar to Earth as it would have eventually changed when the nameless race was to be born.

He landed a young cloned human girl, pregnant with eggs to hatch the Nameless Race and have them destroy, in time, the Yy'Thrraan, in a futile attempt at revenge as it was absolute certainty among the fleeing Ta'Ari that the Yy'Thrraan would commit genocide against them and leave no Ta'Ari alive across the universe. They would have their revenge, even none was there to witness it.

The Nameless Race was everything and more than Anpu's Nightmare, a race of sentient, poly-dimensional beings, able to bend time and space and exist in several places and timeframes at once.

They waged war on the Yy'Thrraan in the early days, but as their powers evolved, chose a new, easier, if more sinister way to dispose of their enemy.

They traveled through to Yy'Thrraan prehistory, planting legends of an occurrence, several hundred thousand years in Yy'Thrraan future, announcing an event of enormous magnitude, yet unknown. This event was their own return to Yy'Thrraa, to exterminate its population before it reached the level of technological advancement that would make them the dominant empire in the Milky Way.

Young soldiers of the Nameless Race, now stretching far beyond the Milky Way to other star systems are sent to Yy'Thrraa to repeat the slaughter of their enemies, eternally, generation after generation.


[1] See Born of Osiris-Part II of The Contortionist Quadrilogy

[2] See After the Burial-Part III of The Contortionist Quadrilogy

[3] See Veil of Maya-Part I of The Contortionist Quadrilogy





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