Shaking, she sank to her knees, and remembered the day her planet died.
Awana, gem of the Nol galaxy,
Rolling lavender hills,
Clear blue oceans reflecting a sky
that had never once been smeared
by ominous clouds.
The air was filled with the scent of flowers, and expensive perfume doused liberally upon sweaty bodies that twirled and swirled as one mass of cloth, trembling limbs, and clinking jewelry. The combined energy of their reveling heated the usual temperate weather of Awana to something almost uncomfortably hot. The Halon Gardens, rented out in their entirety, was one of Awana’s most celebrated locations. Trees with lavender leaves, and black and white striped trunks stretched into the azure sky, and were decorated in white and gold ornaments. The large central fountain was modified for the day to spew red wine instead of water.
All in all, it was a typical birthday celebration of a Bistian of the vala caste, made unique by the presence of one man; though the word man could hardly describe the terrifying and divine presence of Prince Sol. Even as the guests danced in their fervent intoxicated states, they made sure to watch him, and leave empty a minimum distance of twenty feet of empty space around him.
Sol scanned the crowd with affected ease. He stood in a corner, leaning his back against a tree trunk. With his pale skin, black hair and dark clothes, he was making a good attempt at camouflage. Though it was ineffective as he could feel and see people staring at him, despite their attempts at discretion. He raised the glass to his lips. The wine went down his throat, and like many munderians, he tasted nothing, but pretending to drink and enjoy it, gave him something to focus on instead of the loud music, obnoxious voices surrounding him, and the darkness in hearts that stoked his barely contained powers. A shrill laugh cut through the air quickly followed by obligatory echoing laughter in response. Sol raised the glass to his lips, red liquid flowed, and Awana’s clock tower rang out seven times.
The situation wasn’t all bad, occasionally Rick would come stand next to him, and make jokes or simply be a silent calming presence that eased some of his tension and distracted him from his tumultuous thoughts. Somehow, even after several thousand years of friendship, or more likely because of it, Rick was always able to give him a sense of peace and control.
It wasn’t that they’d never fought, or that Sol’s powers were never tempted by Rick’s own emotions and thoughts, they had, but through it all the bond they’d shared had never once been broken or even strained. Just as Sol’s powers seemed faithed to be his curse and burden, his friendship with Rick was his destined consolation. But Rick couldn’t be by his side for too long, he was always quickly pulled back to the party: some noble or merchant hoping to garner the favor of the House of Lupaine. Their eyes met across the garden, and he laughed as Rick rolled his eyes at whatever the man next to him was animatedly saying. The clock tower rang nine times.
“How are you?” Rick asked as he took the empty wine glass from Sol and replaced it with a full one.
Sol glanced at the liquid for a moment before sighing and taking a sip. “I’m ready to leave,” he whispered. It was a short sentence, but each word was laced with a dangerous power. A power that was born in him, but originated from a time before the universe even formed. It was an ancient void and darkness, and the feeling of it permeated the very air around Sol, but as a result of knowing each other for so long, Rick hardly noticed the feeling Sol’s voice invoked.
Rick glanced at the giant clock tower; an ornate and beautiful construction, made of light gray bricks, and adorned with silver, visible form anywhere in the capital city. It was just passed 9. “Let’s leave in an hour, can you hold up till then?”
Sol rolled his eyes. “Of course.”
Rick just smiled and rejoined the party.
Shortly after Rick left, Sol regretted speaking so confidently. Everything had been going well, but for a while now, he could feel the intensity of certain people’s thoughts. A group was thinking very hard about him or towards him, and he didn’t dare sharpen his sense to hear them, or touch their minds to find out what they were thinking as that would be guaranteed to set his powers off. He held the cup in cold, shaking hands, all his concentration focused on not breaking the delicate glass. This was the thing with his power. Sometimes he could move through the most abominable spaces and minds, and with ease, be able to control the raging waves yearning for release, and at other times, like now, it felt as if the littlest thing would push him past the brink.
He found Rick in the crowd, and started making his way towards him. People watched wide eyed as he moved, but he couldn’t care. What he needed to do now was leave. He usually lived in isolation on Montax, but it was Rick’s belief that continuous exposure to people would give him more tolerance with his powers. Sol didn’t share the optimism, and had about a million years of evidence to back it up, but he still allowed Rick to drag him around. He had to admit though that he was happy to be on Awana. It truly was one of the most beautiful planets in Nol and was worthy to be called ‘The Gem of Nol’.
One of his favorite places was a hidden lake within the planet’s only mountain range that he had been longing to visit again. It was somehow still untouched by civilization. A raw beauty the likes of which he rarely witnessed. As he passed through the crowd that split for him like they were avoiding a plague, he remembered how the lake shone like polished sapphires in the sun, isolated within the high mountain peaks, it was like the central jewel of a crown. He breathed more easily and even smiled as Rick raised a brow.
Then, she approached.
She sauntered in front of Sol, right through the space in the crowd that had fearfully made for him. Her fur was glossed and shining a deep red. Her ears were stood up straight, proud, and apparently fearless, adorned with gold and blue acronin jewelry. She wore a dazzling blue and gold two piece outfit that reveled the red of her stomach. Her tail swung languidly behind her. Her beauty was undeniable, and her thoughts were fully focused on Sol. He felt his heart drop as his powers began to rage from all of the emotions she was unintentionally feeding him. Desire, apprehension, confidence, fear… sweet fear. He was beginning to feel panicked now at the potential loss of control. His mental and psychic barriers against his power were, all of a sudden, deteriorating very quickly. He stopped moving to focus on what was going on internally. From the corner of his eye, he saw Rick begin to come towards him. Time seemed to slow down.
The people watched enraptured as the star of the party Urbinda Het Jikallon, arrived in front of Sol. It was obvious that she had been watching him since the party started. They’d all also seen how her friends and family had gathered around her seemingly encouraging her to make a move. It seemed that now was the time. She smiled leisurely, though her instincts were beginning to scream at her to run. Yes, she’d herd the rumors about Sol, about the supposed danger he posed to the galaxy with his mysterious powers, and volatile moods, but she also knew how rumors could be exaggerated, and even if they were true, her own powers were nothing to laugh at. She would be able to tame him the same way she had done with many other powerful people. Even the Shans of Bist were in the palm of her hand. She didn’t know why Prince Sol had stopped moving, but, well most people were affected in some way by her presence. It was a result of the powers she had received from her pact. It was a power that could charm anyone. It had never once failed her, and now she would make the most powerful man in the universe hers.
So, she sauntered on. The distance that everyone kept out of fear, she crossed with confidence. Coming face to face with Sol, she looked into his eyes. Countless men and women had been entranced by a single glance of hers, Prince Sol would be no different, she thought.
Sol met the blue eyes of the woman, felt all the emotions being transfered from that gaze, and quickly closed his eyes, but it was too late. The clock began to ring out the tenth hour.
He felt her power move towards him, felt it try to sway him and create, in him, a sense of affection towards her. To Sol it felt like an attempt to dig through a mountain with a spoon. The effects of such a paltry power was easily brushed away, but the irritation from the attempt at compulsion only hastened the deterioration of his control. Yet, with his eyes closed and focus inwards, he felt like he could still hold off the disaster that was threatening to happen. He took a step back. Rick was just a few steps away now.
She gently caressed his face, purring.
“You can look at me,” she said, thinking he was overwhelmed by her charm, and not her foolishness. A stronger compulsion from her powers poured into Sol from the touch. It did nothing more than break the floodgates.
Rick’s eyes widened, and cold sweat dripped down his face as he felt Sol’s powers explode and flood the physic space of the planet. “Sol!” Rick screamed. And tried to pull him away from the woman, but it was too late.
Sol opened his eyes, the glass in his hand shattered, and the girl stared into the abyss: Darkness, Torment, Pain, Fear. His powers, unleashed, obliterated her in an instant.
Black tears streamed down pale cheeks, Sol’s power burst from his body devouring everything it touched. The ground fractured, erupting the planet’s molten core. Red magma ate through the planet and was in turn consumed by Sol’s darkness.
Rick realizing nothing could be done to stop what was happening, quickly reached with his powers. He spread his kyr-marks as best as he could while combating the interference from Sol’s powers. Everyone he could reach, he teleported off the planet. He tried to focus on his task, spreading his power throughout the planet from here to continents on the other side of the world, but the emotions he was feeling were overwhelming. Guilt was the most prominent of all. Guilt towards the people, the planet, above all to Sol. He unconsciously spoke words of apology in a quiet plea as he heard the pained moans from Sol who was trying desperately to stem the flow of his powers. His pleas and Sol’s moans were drowned beneath millions of screams and the sound of a planet being torn apart.
Sol moaned “stop,” desperately trying to pull his powers back, the futility of a man attempting to hold an ocean in his hands. His body was catatonic to his will. “Stop,” he pleaded again.
And his power answered back: There will be no stopping. There will be no end. You are a monster. You are Darkness. You are The Void. Victim of your own powers, Sol Eternal Prince of Nightmares. Lord of fear and pain. Deity of death, misery, and isolation. I am your Power, your lot in life, and you can try to deny me, but you will never succeed.
“Save my children”
“Save me, someone help me!”
“Please, please, I don’t want to die”
Lena watched from the space shuttle with others who had been rescued by Rick Lupaine. It was the first and last time she would see her planet from space, and the image of the purple and blue orb tuning black was forever burnt into her mind. When it was over, nothing remained, the darkness receded to a central point, and even the dust of her world was erased.