Here Still Stands

by R.T. Allenson

Crimson light bathed the landscape as a large, circular disk of silver descended from the skies. The atmosphere erupted in flames, licking at the silver aircraft with the same ferocity and speed as it descended from the outer heavens. It was a chariot from the sky like the ones written in the ancient books and scriptures, but what it brought were neither gods nor angels.

These were neither gods nor angels. They were man, born from the earth as the last-born. Those who preceded them were long since extinguished. They destroyed and they endured. Neither gods nor angels – demons perhaps, but still they endure.

The silver disk slowed in descent, almost touching the ground – the chariot letting out a hiss as it billowed with the heat from its entry. It levitated slowly above the barren ground, almost touching if not, feigning disgust as its intent. It rotated slowly like a cog and resonated with a queer yet eerily familiar sound, almost becoming. At last it slipped its final axis, terminating its velocity in a melodic pattern until the sound too, ended sourly and abruptly.

The silver disk descended slowly from the air and finally touched the ground. From its side there opened a door and out came a crystalline length, tonguing its way outwards until ultimately itself, landed and rested on the ground. No more than a few moments had passed until eight pillars of light emerged, golden like sun in times past with gazes without falter from the unforgiving air. The last among them to touch the ground raised its hand; the leader of the seven perhaps, and gave a signal thereupon the rest waned in luminosity and slowly went their separate ways. This was man or rather, what man had become – genderless, faceless and without souls, with only their cold intellect guiding them to the waning future. Though gods in their own right, capable of many things a mere animal would deem impossible, their time was finite and their ragnarok almost beginning.

The leader, its hand still raised and poised outwards to the sky, emanated a brilliant display of color – as if to signal to the new world that it had arrived. It idled shortly after this, as if waiting for a response and then, seeing none, lowered its hand and set off into the horizon away from its fellow luminaries whose sight overreached it. It walked or rather, levitated a few feet of the ground but as if hearkening back to its earthly roots, it feigned walking as it made its way to an unknown destination. This is perhaps best described as nostalgia for the luminous thing finds enjoyment out of what it does even though it requires neither the action nor the slow transposition it does to one place and another. In, it would simply will itself and it would be there but as previously stated, the transcendent still feels the need to lay its godhood to rest when returning to its genesis.

Where else would they find their beginning? When all is lost and nothing else to be gained, the children of creation return to the chaos from whence a billion years they issued forth as bumbling creatures of darkness. But it would be a mistake to call this place their origin for their true beginning lay just a few light years from this place; the plaintive neighbor weeps for her lost children, the mother of mankind sleeps an eternal sleep now that nothing graces its scarred bosom…

No, it would be a mistake to call this dusted ruby held adrift in space as their beginning but here lies the foundation of the luminaries, where they achieved their birthright and where they were baptized into their lofty counsel. From the machine so cold and calculating there lies the god within, slumbering and awaiting the day it would ascend into its providence. And so they did ascend and here they return for though the fields of Mars no longer carry the welcome it once did, here still stands immortal Olympus…

Where it walked, light was born. It graced the crimson land with verdant illusions and brought up facsimile of what once stood; ultimately these things returned to its palms, everything it crafted nothing more but self-deception and trickeries. Miracles are the very coining of belief, but it was never clear if miracles were simply illusions. Even for one as transcendent, the veil of lies is never lifted. Seeing nothing to be gained, the luminous one staggered and sat above the ground. It contemplated its surroundings for a moment, scouring the land for traces of its past. Its gaze flinched when it beheld the sight of rubble from a few million years ago; ancient globes fashioned from glass that held life within it. Machines made to simulate the air of their homeworld, fallen to time but still twitching monotonously to record the value of the air. Many more were found like the carcasses of great buildings lying in ruins – the dust of the land having long since claimed them and would be indistinguishable from the land had not the luminous one’s sight been clearer and focused. What it saw unsettled its immortal senses and soon it resolved to press onwards, averting its gaze from the sight that let loose memories profound and painful.

Far away from its scope of view something had begun stalking it, tracking and observing the pale ones since their silver ship descended from the sky. Silently it followed the luminous one at a moderate pace, taking care not to draw attention to itself by any means. This was no issue for it, however, as it treated this strange new visitor no different from its regular quarry. The predator knew nothing of this strange creature, but by its base understanding, it knew that whatever it was…can be killed. Taking aim with its crudely fashioned spear, it waits for the right moment and throws it with full force…

…and from above a column of blinding light explodes from the ground in a radiant halo that extends outwards into the sky, far above the atmosphere and stretching into the darkness of space.