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The sky was a whirl of yellow and green. Dark clouds moved southwards. Sheets of rain and black shadows slid over sand and stone. A dim sun climbed higher as mists rose from seas of methane. On the rocky ground, crystals of water-ice, jagged, hard as granite thrust up through gravel. Black cylinders, towers built by an alien race, stood on the rocky crest of hills above this beach, waves of liquefied gas lapping against the shore. A breeze stirred dust further up from the lake. The rising sun, pale and green, cast glistening reflections on its surface.
It was over this wet, rocky coastline, that a slit appeared, an opening in the fabric of space. Through the slit, blistering hot air rushed, warming surrounding gases. Rocks hissed into steam, boulders of water-ice cracked explosively, and a pale, bare foot extended. A two-legged creature stepped out, and stood upon the beach, melting sands steaming under his feet. The slit closed, leaving him standing there, alone, fumes sizzled, swirling, hiding his form in clouds of mist. He stood still, emanating scorching heat.
It was in this form, shrouded in mists, that he had appeared on the third planet of this system, eons ago. The power of his mind was so strong that he materialized physical objects out of nothing. The inhabitants of that world referred to him as the spirit of dust storms, of smoke and fire, a desert Jinn, a Si’lat who created deserts and destroyed rivers with a whim.
He was thin, pale, featureless, steam flashed from under his feet as he walked towards the rising sun. Had he looked up to his left, he would have seen the pale outline of Saturn through haze. He walked forward.
He could feel them. Both were here, the beloved and the despised. His beloved Children, he felt them under the surface, too busy to take notice of those above. They busily hurried about their projects, enhancements to existing technology, warmed by magma chambers. They would be here, secluded, protected, as a respite from other systems, from fruitless competitions with other civilizations.
And, those others. The small greediness of their intentions, their obliviousness to the suffering of others. Their biological experiments, self serving, mercenary. And, now, they focused their attention on his children.
He had encountered the Children on the third planet when he first came to this system.
On that first voyage, he became enamored of them, fell in love with them, and gave them gifts. Not physical gifts, but gifts of intelligence, long life. He did not change them physically. They remained as they were, tall, erect, warm brown hair covering their bodies. The children, Homo Erectus, captivated him. He delighted in their relationships, the way they shared food, the intimacy they used to thwart violence, their love for each other. He helped them, giving them intelligence equal to the most advanced creatures in the Galaxy.
Before the Tayamni came, before other groups began their long evolutionary journey, he had given them these gifts.
And, they accomplished miracles, inventing technologies their successors wouldn’t develop for eons. They voyaged throughout the Galaxy, in flying machines that would astound their descendants, creating bases and settlements, technologies that would protect their home planet for all time.
But, now, they were in danger. From his home, he felt it. The presence of these newcomers. He was stung by their intentions, their plans. He comprehended their unfeeling natures. As he walked, he saw their structures, gleaming black towers.
“How dare they?” he thought to himself. “How dare they come to live here, at our gateway, to construct colonies? Here?” He could feel their selfish minds as they went about their savagery. He cast his vision into the future and saw these short, pale creatures, planning to colonize the entire system, even the third and fourth planets. He walked closer to the structures.
He felt their minds and saw their intentions. He simply had a thought, and his thoughts were manifest. The intruders used surgical instruments, chemicals and hormones on themselves. They did not scream, they felt no pain, they simply obeyed his commands. Their leader acted first, injecting himself with hormones causing blood to flow from his eyes, ears, and pores. Another threw himself down an elevator shaft, and yet another cut his own throat with a scalpel. Within a few hours, they had destroyed themselves. They were no more. Within a few centuries, the elements of this formidable moon would erase all signs of them. He saw their dead bodies lying on floors, slumped over surgical tables, and at the bottom of transporter shafts, all dead, no longer a threat.
The children would not be disturbed. He sighed with relief, and turned to walk back. A slit appeared in front of him and he stepped through it. He was gone, and the entire population of Potacas, in the several colonies they constructed here on Titan, had perished.
This excerpt was originally posted on Scriggler.com.