Awakenings (Finish The Story Entry)
Opening by @f3nix
The hoverbike lay abandoned on its side, the engine still warm. The fine black dust carried by the incessant wind was a snake that crept in every small recess.
From the top of the dune the Tesseract 19 could be seen with the naked eye. The column pierced the black sea of graphite and challenged the dark crimson sky. The awareness of his distance made him wince. That construction was enormous. That impenetrable artifact, Moloch's sharpest tooth.
Intertwined with dust, the warm wind brought an imperceptible howl: the bark of the monolith, an omen of death.
The man waited, a stiff exoskeleton bent over the black sand. The helmet lay abandoned beside him. Soon the team would have arrived.
"Soon you will arrive too and everything will be accomplished, one way or another."
He thought of her smile, her courage, her strength. "My life, how could I've been so reckless to have you involved in all this?" The tears were already kneading blackened as the memories of their happy normality swept over him.
"I can not let them find me like this". He stared at himself from outside: another tower on a dune, far more uncertain than the one that howled his feral wish.
These and other demons echoed within the chambers of his soul, when his eyes met a green sprout. The man stared that little miracle that, against every odd, was striving to affirm its existence. In the midst of that sea of bottomless despair.
The tear finally found its way lingering and bathed a leaf. The man managed to pull himself together and, now smiling, he put on his helmet.
"This Moloch will tremble, time has come for an awakening."
He walked the fine line in his mind, all to aware of the edge he could not cross. He had to wait, and greet them with a smile, and that, he would.
The Moloch of the eastern plains had protected them, held back the powdered sea of another dimension, the assault of tearing particles consuming the landscape, but at what cost.
He had promised her, all those years ago, as he knelt down on the floor beside her, cradling her cracking, shaking body.
He had murmured that promise many times since, in those moments late at night, when her silent breathless sobbing had woken him, shuddering between the sheets. When he got up to find she hadn’t made it to work, curled up under a blanket, unable to face the world. At some point, she had believed the words he was never sure if he had really meant.
“The Tesseract-19 will stop him”
Whispers in the dead of night, planted a seed he hadn't the heart to uproot. From it, her hope, her smile, her courage, had blossomed, and led them here.
Distant plumes of black sand, churned up like the breath of a beast beneath the dunes, puffed across the horizon, torn away as though erased in anger by the tumentoulous wind.
The team were moments away.
“Is this the spot?”
She strolled over, her helmet tucked under her arm, the folds of her light exo-suit outlined in black dust.
He nodded in response. He was here, this must be it.
From the moment they had joined, Elli had wanted to be on the final team. He had resisted, feigned, redirected, but three months ago, she had come to him, her hand resting on her stomach, and he saw it. That sparkle he thought the Moloch had taken from her.
He knew then, she couldn’t see it fail, and neither could he; they couldn’t pay the price of protection ever again. He’d signed them both up for this the next day.
Five others had folded their names on the slips of paper.
The jagged towering Tesseract, a plinth in the distance, was still too close for his comfort. They had no way of knowing if this time, it would work. The others, the other plains and districts, had failed.
The news broadcasts that had followed, more children, dragged away from their howling parents, echoed in the harsh cry of the wind.
Elli was setting up the Pentatope, aligning the palpitating prism between the planes.
Pole had pulled his helmet back on, lifting his hoverbike from the advancing sands. Someone had to be there, in the Tesseract, to activate the 19- cell honey-comb alternation.
They had wanted to draw straws, but Pole had insisted. He always said it was the Moloch who took his wife’s life, she may have wafted out the ember, but the Moloch had put out her flame.
They waited, the six of them, the line of black sand from Pole’s bike, a burning fuse rushing away into the distance.
The Moloch’s sharpest tooth, snapped off, would bleed the most profusely.
The Pentatope twisted into life, writhing between the dimensions, resonating on the screaming wind.
The moment it happened, the Moloch would know; if this failed, It would come for them
It would sense the mortal heart beats, hammering out across the dunes of black death. All seven of them.
This was a very fun one to write, trying to go a completely different way to the first time we had this theme, hopefully picked up on a few more of the technical things, although yes, another one without a whole load of explanation or a definitive ending. Slightly over the word count but somewhere around 570 so not too bad this time.
How would you have finished this story? Like this? Something totally different? Let us know by giving it a go! Wabna see the other endings - make sure to head over the the @bananafish page where all the entries will be resteemed.