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Some Powers Aren't Super [May2015]

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posted on Apr, 30 2015 @ 05:47 PM
“I'm your father!”

Luke Skywalker, I understand your pain. The miscellaneous thought darted through Vladik's head (or Vrytaz, as he had been named at creation, in honor of an old myth from a forgotten moon) as yet another chrostellite door crumpled before his telekinetic rage. He had chosen the name Vladik soon after his arrival on Earth, wanting to erase any reminder of his past before he had learned of his "siblings" and decided that the slimy scientist behind his own birth was too much trouble to leave alone. He whirled at superspeed around the globs of gelatinous incandescence that floated casually through the air toward where he'd been standing an instant before. But plasma fire was no match for a genetically enhanced clone, and one made from Omnarti DNA at that. The soldiers in their techy armor (somewhere between Halo and Tron – thanks, Earth culture, for that perspective) hadn't even begun to track his movement when some basic jujitsu put them on the floor. His creator continued to berate him in the background as he straightened and turned to confront two presences whose power was significantly greater than the drones he had been plowing through since his arrival.

He stepped over the soldiers and kept pace with their advance, step for step, every second bringing him closer to the dark reflections of himself. This was a joke, he thought, forcing him to confront his own countenance, possessed by a dark soul that he himself only narrowly avoided, and tempting him to self-destruct by embracing the paradox of killing what he himself might yet be. And yet, he determined to complete the mission and bury the engine that had given him life. The man who called himself his father had indeed created him, but his destiny was his own.

“You are a miracle, a god!” The words echoed through the corridor as all three came to a stand still. The clones listening to their master, the prodigal son to his rabid father. “You were to be the salvation of this universe!”

“A pawn of genocide, you mean,” Vladik said. “I was your personal Little Boy.”

“...what is – nevermind. Get this foolishness out of your head and stand down before – ”

He didn't wait for the madman to finish. He was in motion, light itself in awe of his speed as he lunged forward and took the clone on the left with a solid uppercut. He rotated his body and assisted gravity with his leg in bringing the facsimile creature to the floor with a painful-sounding thump. His arm was already sweeping out to knock the other off balance, before whirling and delivering a perfectly timed punch straight to its temple. He stood, his breath even and muscles relaxed. It had taken a fraction of a second to eliminate his kin, those who had never really lived at all. There had never even been a “them” - it had always been him. The man upstairs, literally and (until lately) figuratively. The head cheese. He was in their heads, controlling their thoughts and feelings and movements. They were extensions of him, like bipedal fingers, doing his dirty work while he stayed safely ensconced in his little lab. The perfect security, and Vladik had been reserved for the head of the table, directly next to the head of the house. While more challenging than the conventional security, or even your average augmented interstellar bounty hunter, these clones were inferior models. He was the perfect child of them all, and it only infuriated Dr. Metamat that his greatest success should now prove to be his ultimate failure.

Or so he hoped.

He marched down the corridor, glancing up and using his extrasensory gifts to locate the man he most wanted to put his hands on. The glittering glass, plastic, and metal of the compound faded into a matrix of light and smoke, the varying energies that comprised electrical and biological systems. He detected the scientist within seconds, still several floors away, but he would be able to detect him escaping and he was very capable of making a short cut, even if it went through a few floors and more than a few walls. Or people. But he had to take care of the clones. As long as they existed, the doctor had what he needed to make another Vladik. And that one might not shirk from wanton destruction. As his vigilante buddies on Earth had said, it was best to leave absolutely nothing behind. A clean cut, they had called it. A quick scan showed that as expected, Metamat was deathly afraid of his creation and had deployed what appeared to be his entire stock of clones. Vladik smiled and gathered himself.

Several leaps took him through four walls and two floors in a shower of torn wires, shattered glass and mangled chrostellite, where he intercepted three clones dashing through an intersection between research cells. Cuts and bruises healed instantaneously, leaving him unmarred and ready to face his copies. Maybe it wasn't right to call them copies, considering he was the youngest of them all. He was their copy, an amalgamation of everything they had that was useful. According to “daddy”, anyway.

“Sorry, guys,” he said in the shocking silence that followed his unorthodox entry. “But I gotta put you to bed.” Their eyes were blank accept for the vague hostility that reflected their inner Metamat channel. They barely reacted except to curl their lips, a surly nonverbal communication from their master straight to Vladik. He was helpless and he was resentful, for every second of the two seconds it took to dispatch the obsolete models and resume his journey upward. His didn't care about the damage, he didn't care about the people, he cared about proving to everyone – to himself – that what he had been created for didn't define him. His purpose was his to decide. The Star Wars parallel nearly overwhelmed him again, and he snorted as he landed with the grace of a cannonball in the middle of an office room. Lights were blinking spastically as he gave the monitor-glazed desk jockeys a cursory examination. No threats to be found here. But that wouldn't be the case in ten seconds, as the majority of the remaining clones were closing in, his gift revealed the second he activated it.

“It is not too late, my son...” His voice floated through the air again. “We can still stand together and reclaim what they stole from us. They stand in the way of my glorious vision, my vision for both of us. We are the rightful champions, the rightful protectors! You must not let the scum take that from us!”

“The same scum you used to make me.” Vladik said it softly, hopping onto the floor as the last of grunts fled the wreckage of his landing. Silence followed his statement. “You thought I didn't know? I met him. The Omnarti renegade. The man whose genetic material you...improved on, to make me. He told me how you did it, and why. Your whole sick plan for me.”

“My plan was – is, to protect our family. The family I made, for you, for all of us.”

“But why did you make this little family, father?” The last word practically dripped acid as it hung in the air. He slowly strode to the door, the same door the grunts an left by, and entered an offshoot from a vast room, lit brightly. Perfect for what he imagined lay ahead. “Because it wasn't us you wanted to protect. Not in the beginning.” Leaving the room, he approached the blazing lights, his gifts preventing blindness and revealing the dozens of shapes that awaited beyond. “You wanted to protect yourself.”

edit on 30-4-2015 by TzarChasm because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 30 2015 @ 05:49 PM

“Nonsense. You know my first son, the reason I began this – ”

“I know you told me of a son.” He stepped out into the light, beheld in stark clarity himself, reflected dozens of times in guises he had spent years fearing might be what he himself truly was. And he could feel his blood surging, not because of the fight that loomed mere moments away, but because he looked these dark cracked mockeries in the eyes...and could feel how different they were. The difference was more than cosmetic, more than demeanor and posture. It was a difference in spirit. They were chained corpses, neither in possession of freedom nor capable of even dreaming about it. They were vessels and nothing more, whereas he...he was not empty. It was a critical difference, one that meant everything to him. Perhaps he would no longer have to be afraid.

“I also know that you can't call any of these creatures a son. No, Metamat, you didn't make yourself a family. You made an army.”

After that, all thought ceased. His body was a whirl of motion, fists and knees and elbows striking out in a flurry of maneuvers that left several clones dazed and useless, toppling over as blows landed and limbs were gone before they had a chance to raise their weapons. The rest hurled themselves on top of him, doing everything in their power to even delay him for one more moment. It was pointless. A blast of telekinetic energy, radiating from him like flames from a sun, launched every last clone through the air with enough force to kill a bear. But these weren't bears. These were the last line of defense from a desperate space-faring mad scientist, and they were slightly more durable than the average Earth mammal.

But not much more.

A few energy blasts from his hand, an artificial gravity well and some well-placed coma spells and the rest of the clones were piled on the floor, unconscious and unmoving. He looked up, frowning, at the battered and scorched ceiling. “I'm tired of this game, Metamat. Face me.”

“You seem to have missed a few of your bothers...”

Vladik was well aware of this fact. None of them were nearby, but they would be soon. He looked around slowly, his gaze piercing the heavy materials of the complex to pinpoint their locations. He mentally plotted a course and braced himself. Hesitating, he looked at the little lens in the ceiling, identical to lenses that were dotted everywhere throughout the facility. It doesn't matter, he thought. He wont see me coming. Like a bullet, he tore through the halls, smashing through every obstacle in his path and pummeling every clone as he found them. Sparks and debris and blood flew slowly through the air as he unleashed years of frustration into the brainchild that represented the monster lurking inside, the monster he feared to become. He skidded to a halt at the top floor, swiftly scanning the entire structure. Only two were left. The last clone...and the doctor who had spawned it.

And they were just around the corner. Literally.

He calmly made his way to the door, which was much more sophisticated than the surrounding defenses. Scanning the energy fields around it, he gave a low whistle. Its modest gray metal exterior was devoid of any markings or signs of what lay within, but its interior boasted serious security that was uncommon outside of major government establishments, like galactic embassies or underground laboratories dedicated to biological hybridization. Curses, darts, fire, swords, a laundry list of traps to avoid. Vladik grinned and cracked his knuckles.

Dr. Metamat and his protege were just packing the rest of their personal belongings when the air exploded and Vladik emerged, calmly surveying the scene. The doctor gasped and dropped his luggage, before groping in his pocket. Another burst of wind and he lay on the floor, Vladik standing over him and his identical twin leaning in his face.

“You will not touch the doctor.”
Vladik looked at him curiously. “This one looks new, Metamat.”

“That,” huffed the scientist, rising to his knees, “is because he is new. Meet your brother...Zatyrv.”

Vladik scowled. “I get it. My polar opposite, a mirror image of me. You're what I was supposed to be, right? My replacement.”

Zatyrv merely looked at him coldly, distantly. “The doctor is under my protection.”

“You're protecting that? Of course you would. You're under his spell. I was too, once.”

“You don't know what you're talking about.” Metamat paled slightly as Vladik turned on him, eyes narrowed. Zatyrv seized his bother's arm and held him firmly, not hurting him but controlling him.

“I don't know what I'm talking about?” Vladik pushed Zatyrv away, his eyes fixed on the doctor. “I know that my entire universe turned upside down when I was recovered by Tyler. You know, after he came investigating the operation you borrowed his blood for.”

“The Omnarti fugitive's son,” sneered Metamat. “He thought he was doing you a favor in releasing you. But you were never meant for that kind of world. You cant outrun destiny. I designed you for a greater purpose than to wallow around among stock animals.”

“Funny you should say that,” Vladik said softly, a smile curving his lips. “Earth taught me who I am. It gave me a family when I thought I didn't deserve one, gave me hope when I thought all hope was dead. It has taught me not only what I fight for, but why.”

“Fools wasting their time protecting a weaker species!” Metamat. “Why don't you understand the futility of your quest? They were born to be conquered, raised to be exploited. They are no more significant than the cows they grow fat on.”

“I made quite a few friends among the humans. People who respect me, not because of what I was made for – what you made me for – but because of what I chose to do.”

Metamat glared at him around Zatyrv, who continued to stiffly block Vladik's path. “Without my guidance? You are squandering the precious gift I have given you!”

“I'm sure you've heard of my friends on earth...the Sentry Society? We protect earth from bullies. Tyrants. Invaders. Overambitious scientists. And we've begun recruiting as well, so if you run into your friends while incarcerated, be sure to tell them about – ”

“Fortunately, I wont have to worry about you or them much longer,” the doctor hissed. “Zatyrv!”

In a show of skill, the surrogate flickered, darting away from Vladik and returning in less time than it took for him to blink. In that space, he had retrieved a slack form, head lolling in the cloth sack that covered it. He paused, glancing at his master for further instruction.

“Go ahead,” he said smugly. “Take the bag off. Let him have a good look at our insurance policy.”


posted on Apr, 30 2015 @ 05:50 PM

Vladik knew, even before he saw the chestnut hair framing her round and extremely pale face, who it was they had captured as a living shield. Vanessa. Brilliant, beautiful, but shy. A nurturer, not a fighter. She was the reason he was Vladik, not Vrytaz. Not the weapon of mass destruction he had been born as. Her patience and acceptance had healed him where he thought nothing would ever be right. He steeled himself, sharpening his senses to catch every detail of the next few moments, knowing any of them could be her last if he made a wrong move. Maybe Metamat wouldn't risk setting him off in such a spectacularly foolish manner, although it was clear he felt safe in the presence of his “Vrytaz 2.0”, aka Zatyrv. The man had a way with names.

“What did you do to her?” he asked quietly. The doctor shrugged.

“A little bit of this, little bit of that. This will all go easier if she cant fight me.”

“Because you wouldn't dare strike a woman who can hit back?”

“Because,” snarled his creator, “she means nothing to me. Its what she means to you that is important.”

Vladik said nothing. He didn't need to.

“Did you really think I was unaware of your vendetta?” Metamat asked, smiling cruelly. “Those pathetic worms you interrogated only knew that information because I had it fed to them. It was my desire to see you that brought you to me.”

“You missed me that much.” Vladik's voice was curiously flat as he held every fiber of himself in check, yet simultaneously coiled for anything.

The scientists laugh echoed through the room. “Missed you? Why would I miss you? You were as great a failure as you were a success. Your body is what I wanted, and I had all the means to reproduce it. With a little tweaking, of course.” He continued to chuckle. “No, that's why I brought you here. So he wouldn't miss. You are his final exam.”

Final exam? Vladik glanced again at Vanessa, his chest tightening at the sight her lying helplessly in the arms of a lunatic. “And you brought her to make sure I would cooperate.”

“Because I knew it would work. You see what comes of loving these creatures? Give her to me,” commanded the doctor, turning to his minion, and Vrytaz 2.0 dutifully passed her to him, and he began to back away slowly, approaching a sliding door that opened obligingly behind him. Metamat shot another menacing grin at Vladik as he flicked the hand holding the burning device. A little projection popped out of the gadget mounted on his wrist.“My insurance,” he reminded Vladik. “I will be watching you. Just remember, I don't have to kill her to make her suffer.” He drove his point home by pointing a device at the wall and pressing a button. Ravaging heat radiated from the prong at the end and left a smoking charred spot the size of a coconut. He was now inside the doorway, almost on the other side.

“You have chosen your path, you say. Let us see if it has made you stronger than ours. Zatyrv, your test Battle to the death. May the best creation be victorious.” His insidiously gleeful face was cut off as the sliding door sealed itself.

Vladik glared at the door. He didn't care where the doctor was going, he would be able to follow him. It was confronting him without risking Vanessa's health that would be difficult. He shifted his gaze to the sinister reflection that had left its mirror at home, their eyes assessing one another in unison.

“So,” he said softly, “you're supposed to hold me up.”

“No,” came the response, just as soft, “I'm going to kill you.”

He suppressed a shudder at the sound of his voice coming out so cold and distant, completely detached from anything except the will of his creator. “Why?” he asked.

“Because I was told to.” A pause. “And because I want to.”

Vladik began to slide his feet sideways and the clone copied him perfectly. Studying its stunningly familiar face, whose sole difference was the way its face seemed to be carved from rock instead of flesh. A hint of a scowl laid over the aloofness of an aristocrat in a schoolyard. Yes, Vladik thought, he might look like me...but he is not me. This copy was trained to see things as he once did. The foundation had been completed with the full rigorous program Metamat drowned all of his subjects in, to ensure his puppets were as obedient as they were effective.

“Why do you want to?” he asked, and was rewarded with a bloody lip as he failed to dodge a kick. Just as he failed to dodge the next handful of attacks. He wasn't too worried, he could take a substantial amount of abuse before his body started to cave, but he suspected the same might be true for his opponent.

“I do what my creator commands. Every time.” Vladik dodged several blows before kicking Zatyrv away to gain more room.

“You can fight him.” Vladik knocked him to his knees and rocked his head backward with another swing before throwing him against the wall. The middle third caved in, spilling the clone into the next room. He stood and brushed himself off.

“I cannot fight. I cannot make my own choices. Everything I do is to please him, because that is why he made me. That is why I want to kill you.” He stepped over the wreckage and met Vladik's eyes with that cold, detached stare. “I hate you for making him make me. And if I kill you, I might earn the right to decide for myself. A little freedom is better than none.”

“I have a better idea,” offered Vladik, bracing himself. “Why don't you help me kill Metamat? It is his fault you were born to be a monster. But that doesn't mean you have to follow his plan. I can take you away from here, show you a better life. But only if you work with me.”

Zatyrv's scowl deepened slightly. “When he lost you, my master devised an even more secure method for controlling his creations. No matter where I go or what you do, I am his tool for the rest of my existence. You cannot free me.” He stepped closer, muscles visibly clenching in preparation. “I can only hope to earn his favor by completing my test.”

Vladik met his gaze. “You think he's really stronger than you are?”

“Of course. I cannot harm him. I will die if I try.”

“Not if you have my help.” As he spoke, his mind was working quickly. The guy in front of him was a serious threat, a risk to the galaxy, if not the universe. But as clearly as he could see a time bomb ticking its way to oblivion, he could see himself. Helpless, confused, torn between the doctor's programming and his own revulsion at the urges raging inside him. And the crushing conviction that it would never, ever go away. That he could never be happy without making someone else scream in pain or terror. How could he condemn this man for what he himself had been unable to fight without help?

There was a shift in the set of the clone's mouth, almost as though he were hiding a smile. Then he scowled fiercely. “You cannot save me. And there is no reason you would want to.”


posted on Apr, 30 2015 @ 05:52 PM

Vladik sighed. “Thought you might say that.” And he hurled an energy blast directly into the clone's face. Wind billowed through the room, glass shattering and metal buckling, as beam of light like a river of flaming jet fuel poured over and past Vrytaz 2.0. It took several moments for the last of the light to fade away, and even longer for the baking air to simmer down. Vladik looked up through the smoke and heat haze to see Zatyrv still standing in front of him, a massive hole gaping over his shoulder where the blast had gone around him and devoured the building in its path.

“Are you done?” the clone asked. “I'm tired of this game, and would be finished and on my way.”

“Not yet.” He jumped forward and threw a hard right at his copy, who swatted it aside and buried his own fist in Vladik's gut. Stars danced in front of his eyes as he fought to regain his breath, and his counterpart smiled thinly.

“Do you want more?” Zatyrv pulled out a wicked blade, slightly curved with a serrated edge. “This is the blade I used to earn my place among the family. All of those brothers you murdered on your way here.”

Vladik coughed, then turned and peered up at him. “The initiation. I remember.”

“And now, I earn it again.”

Vladik gasped as the large knife sank into his body. Burning ice angrily clawed his insides as whatever arcane powers it possessed took hold. A mortal wound, from a weapon intended to promise death with first blood. Slowly, he levered his body upright, just enough to look at Zatyrv. Blood spilled from his mouth as he coughed, then giggled weakly.

“Was one not enough for you?” Zatyrv drifted closer, a ghastly reimagining of his own visage bobbing like a specter send to taunt him in his last moments. “Should my knife taste your blood twice?”

“Tell me, brother...” Vladik choked out. “Is one enough for you?” The clone jerked in surprise as several hands seized him and hauled him away. The Vladik bleeding on the ground slumped over and dissolved into dirt, even as Zatyrv was being thrown into his own little patch of dirt, eyes bugging out as he looked up to see three more Vladiks standing grimly above him. One held the knife that had been used to slay his earth based clone, a watered down and very brief alternative to the techniques that had spawned Vrytaz and Zatyrv.

“Do it. Kill me. I am a threat, and I am a prisoner. It would be a mercy to end me here.”

The same thoughts were creeping through Vladik's mind as he stood hidden among his clones. And yet, he couldn't bring himself to order Zatyrv's execution. Once upon a time, he had been this creature. He had been one of the many extensions of Metamat's will. He knew what it was like, and how that steel cable of influence might be broken. He was proof it could be done.

Stepping forward, he bid his own troop of copies to step back and give him room. He knelt down, looking directly into the eyes that matched his own. He almost felt he was staring into the man's soul.
“I don't want to kill you. I want to help you. And if we work together, I think we can do it.”

“Why don't you just finish what you started? I'm as terrible a monster as the one who created me.”

Vladik smiled. “Because I once believed that just as deeply as you do. But I found a better way, with help. I discovered the truth of a power everyone has, a power greater than fear, greater than hatred. A power that costs nothing but can mean every difference in the whole universe. And now, I'm here to help you find it.”

Vladik's suspicions were correct: Metamat had no intention of sticking around to be buried in the remains of his facility, and he had just the means of transporting himself and his insurance to safety. They were both well on their way, the girl quietly dozing in her cage and the skies calm and empty. Metamat was hesitant to congratulate himself, but with every minute that passed, his tense frown shifted toward a self-satisfied smile. For just a moment, he had considered, even feared...but no, Vrytaz (Vladik, he called himself now...a filthy name from a filthy planet!) was no match for the updated model. And if he was, then now was a very good time to learn about it. He would rebuild his laboratory somewhere secret, swiftly repopulate his decimated numbers of custom-built drones, and perfect the recipe for a champion that even Vrytaz would find insurmountable. And finally, finally, take his revenge on the Omnarti people. He would teach them to destroy his life's work. Even if it took him the rest of his life to do it.

The craft ground to a halt without warning.

Metamat peered out through the screen, attempting to glimpse the obstacle his vessel had encountered. His question was answered a scant second later when the door wrenched itself from the wall and plummeted out of sight, revealing an impatient and battered Vrytaz hovering outside.

“Welcome to my private vessel, Vrytaz – ”

“Vrytaz is the name of a sentient black-market weapon designed to slaughter millions,” said the engineered Omnarti clone, stepping on board and approaching the unconscious girl. “I am Vladik, and your game is over.”

“I think not. However,” added the doctor, jabbing a button on the console, “your game is.”

Vladik fell to his knees as a wave of lethargy swept through his body. It vanished as abruptly as it came, leaving him feeling normal, but as he slowly pushed himself to his feet, he could feel something missing. Like a fire somewhere deep inside had gone cold. The aircraft lurched as it resumed its plotted course, another sign that something was very wrong with him.

“You are experiencing the loss of your supernatural abilities. Every skill, every talent, every art you have ever learned now relies strictly on your involuntary biological processes to function. Which effectively eliminates the vast majority.” The doctor nonchalantly ambled over to look him in the face. He slipped a baby blue pencil-like rod out of his pocket and after a second of silent contemplation, he poked Vladik in the rib. The vigilante immediately dropped to his knees, the searing voltage driving the breath from his lungs. “See? A little bit of electricity and your whole body is incapacitated. Exactly where I want you for the next phase of this operation.”

“Op...operation...” he growled through clenched teeth.

“Haven't you listened at all? This little misadventure of yours was my idea. I wanted to measure you against your worthy replacement, and it seems he isn't quite as worthy as I had come to believe. But he will be, I don't doubt that. For now, I'm going to reclaim every gift I gave you. Because you no longer deserve them.” Another shock, this time to the neck.

When he stopped seizing up for the second time, he grunted. “Wh-wha...?”

“I am going to replicate and transfer your gifts to my body, before completely erasing them in yours. Even if it takes me centuries. It will destroy you more completely than taking your life, knowing that the power you once used to protect your friends is the power that will take them away. My power.”


posted on Apr, 30 2015 @ 05:53 PM

The hours that followed were filled with agony and delusions as he slipped from reality repeatedly, the doctor's devices penetrating his flesh and ravaging it while he chuckled and clucked quietly to himself, taking noted and infrequently commenting to slightly lucid Vladik. the insolence of those who dared offer him a better existence, the naivety of believing freedom would prove his salvation, the foolishness of returning to seek vengeance. It was destiny that had led them to this moment, but his destiny was given to another. And all he would have were his mistakes. His mistakes and failures. There was no more fitting hell for a brother-killer. And to make up for the children he had lost to Vladik, he would borrow from among the stock of Earth and burn down the Sentry Society. He would emaciate Vladik's legacy and leave him less than a shadow of a bad memory.

As Vladik wandered further from the boundaries of sanity, a lingering regret manifested in the form of a phantasm, the translucent shape of Zatyrv leaning over him. “It's almost over,” said the apparition. “Hold on. It's almost time.”

“Time...for...what?” Vladik barely managed to whisper. “Am...I mad?”

But the apparition faded away and for the next minute (or maybe it was a month) the myriad injuries inflicted on him drove his consciousness back into the thickets of delirium and denial. He was in the middle of a strange dream where he enjoyed a spicy sweet drink with a bovine priestess when the crash of a collapsing village hut turned into the very audible mangling of metal. His eyes flashed open as the lights flashed off, then flickered sporadically. The next thing he noticed was that the pain had lessened significantly, and as he twisted a sore neck to get a look at himself, his wounds were closing and sealing themselves.

He was no longer helpless.

At any other point, he would have taken an hour or so to gather his wits and energy. But he had no such luxuries now and wasted zero time in pushing aside the machines that had brutalized him, then making his way to the door and down the hall. Lights continued to flicker and flash as he stopped at a junction and scanned the craft. A few scattered minions, his Vanessa, Metamat, and – He paused, then smiled. The smile vanished a second later when he sensed an intense exchange and a resultant release of energy that completely blew out one side of the craft. Like lightning, he was charging toward the deck where his beloved was in danger. It took him a split second to traverse three quarter of the aircraft. It took the same time for Vanessa to be carried across the remaining quarter by Zatyrv.

Vladik hesitated as he saw them approaching. His change in pace was enough to bring them to the same channel, where they appeared to be moving normally to one another but were a blur to the rest of the world. They stood face to face for a second and a half, and in that time, an entire conversation took place.

“Is she alive?” He took her from his clone and quickly scanned her body.

“Yes.” The answer was obvious, but it still came.

He studied her a small instant longer, then turned. “Thank you,” he said. “Thank you for protecting her and for freeing me.” Zatyrv bowed his head.

“It is no less than what you gave me.”

Vladik hesitated again. “Does that mean you spared him?”

The clone smiled. “Good bye, and good luck.”

The second and a half were over and Zatyrv was gone, finding his own way as Vladik and Vanessa fell thousands of feet from the air in a crippled bird. He departed the vessel with plenty of time to spare, Vanessa opening her eyes just as he was landing. Her eyes fixed on the burning wreckage, moments away from impacting on the unforgiving ground, and then they found him.

“What...? Where on we?” She sat up suddenly and paused, grabbing her head. “Ugh, I have a killer headache. this...?” A a very loud crashing sound filled the air, signaling the final landing of what had been Metamat's facility. She jumped at the sound, staring in its general direction, then turned to him. “Alright, Vlad, give me the Sparknotes version.”

half an hour later, they were both studying the wreckage from up close. Vladik had already zipped inside to search for the doctors remains...and had found them. Or most of them, anyway. His charred torso was short a head, and unless Vladik was very much mistaken, there were telltale traces around the flesh that suggested a serrated weapon was involved. Not the way he would have finished things, but he had willingly given up his chance at revenge for someone who needed the closure. Someone who would hopefully find peace now.

“So why did he help you?” Vanessa asked quietly, coming up behind him as he picked his way through the debris. He turned to help her over a tree that had toppled beneath the force of the crash, its splintered end lodged in a piece of the hull.

“Metamat had taught us both the same principle value: no mercy. Mercy is a weakness, an unwillingness to sacrifice whats unnecessary for what is vital. Or so he always told us. And I knew that's exactly what was going through Zatyrv's head when I defeated him.”

Vanessa looked up at him thoughtfully. “He helped you because you didn't kill him. But why did you save him?”

“Because I was proving a point. I had the power to end his life, but that wasn't a good enough reason to do it. I wanted him to see compassion, to see someone have both a reason and the means to destroy and still choose not to. I wanted him to witness firsthand that our past doesn't have to command our future anymore than your breakfast commands your dinner.”

She blinked. “Not sure if I follow, Kirk.”

“At least be creative if you are going to continue poking at my being an alien.” Following her chuckle, he continued, “I didn't just spare his life, I showed him how to make a new one. How to find his freedom and decide his own fate.”

She snapped her fingers. “You showed him the exit and let him live to use it.”

He smiled at her. “The power of choice. What we can do is not nearly as important as what we do. I was born to be the herald of Omnarti extinction. Zatyrv was born to be my replacement. With your help, I learned how to repurpose myself. And with that experience, I helped him see that he could too.”

“By choosing?”

He nodded. “It all begins with a choice. And the lovely thing about it is, everyone has that power. Absolutely everyone. Its not a superpower, its not a gift you inherit. I didn't feel right taking his life when I'm living proof that it isn't strictly necessary. So I gave him a chance, an opportunity to decide for himself.” He looked her in the eye and stroked her cheek affectionately with a finger. “You taught me that, and now I teach others. How do humans say...paying it forward?”

She nodded slowly, then grinned. “Paying it forward is exactly right. And I'm proud of you.”

They embraced in the dying light of an alien star, on a planet she had never before heard of and would never see again. But neither would they ever forget it.


posted on May, 2 2015 @ 04:49 AM

S&F my friend
edit on 2-5-2015 by 727Sky because: ..

posted on May, 3 2015 @ 05:12 AM
a reply to: TzarChasm

Flag and a Handful of Stars! Very well done!!

posted on May, 7 2015 @ 05:31 AM
a reply to: TzarChasm

“It all begins with a choice. And the lovely thing about it is, everyone has that power. Absolutely everyone. Its not a superpower, its not a gift you inherit.

I might steal this for my signature, if you don't mind! There seems to be a pervading theme in this contest of choice and how all actions are results of our own making. Which is worth pondering and holding in mind...very cool story, I loved it.

posted on May, 7 2015 @ 06:00 PM
a reply to: TzarChasm

A very well developed story!

posted on May, 7 2015 @ 07:02 PM

originally posted by: grayeagle
a reply to: TzarChasm

A very well developed story!

its part of a universe that exists exclusively in my head.

this was a test to see if i should let it out once in a while.

posted on May, 7 2015 @ 07:03 PM
a reply to: beansidhe

you are welcome to it. after all, the story and characters are not copyrighted. but thats not an invitation to steal them all either haha.

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