Hello friends! Welcome back for The Endlust War Chapter 6, this one called Evolution. With that, there’s only 4 chapters left remaining! leave a comment below on what you think about the story so far! Until then, read it, love it, enjoy it, and share it!
The Endlust War
Chapter 6: Evolution
THE AZURE WATER LAVISHLY LAPPED AGAINST THE FILTERING SAND. I sat on the trunk of a coconut tree and stared at the orange horizon. Small crabs ran between my toes as I tossed random specs of sand at them. It was a cool dusk. That water had a clarity to it that I could see through to the sand below. As I sat on the beach called Boracay, in the island-nation of what used to be called the Philippines, I could not help but wonder what I was getting myself into.
It had been a year since I met the Enlightener in Machu Picchu and the results of that conversation had led me to this former vacation paradise. It had become deserted in recent years as the tourists stayed away. Remnants of civilization lied scattered and abandoned all around me. Beach chairs were tossed over in dishevel. Empty seaside shacks that probably used to sell souvenirs for the throngs of tourists that used to frequent this small island sat dormant, as if waiting for their owners to return to reclaim them.
Like everywhere else, nature was slowly returning to recover its land. The sand was stark white, enough to blind my eyes in the sun if not for the sunglasses I had brought with me, now tossed to the side. Coconut trees stood towering over everything else. Their green payload waiting to drop to make a new tree. Hundreds of small colorful fish swam off in the distance. Even from far away I could still see them through the clear water. It was bluer than anything I could have imagined. The water started off as a light shade of cerulean close to the shore, becoming shades darker as you went away from the beach, until hundreds of feet away from the shore it became a dark blue.
As the sun waned on the horizon, the light scattered across the surface of the water as if hundreds of small tiny fish were basking in the rays of the yellow sun on the surface of the weak waves. I turned to see Blubber hunting off in the distance. He was growing fast. Faster than I thought it would. If he grew anymore, there might be a chance the airlines would not let me take him onboard anymore.
My mind wandered in circles as the setting sun created an orchestra of light before me. The yellow rays intermixed with the dispersed clouds above and left behind white clouds that appeared to be glowing orange, as if they were burning before the might of the Earth’s sun. A reddish glow resonated at the point of contact where the sun met the horizon, and from there the entire sky seemed to burn in a phantasm of orgy between sun, sky, and clouds. A streak of reddish-yellow glow which looked like lightning spread from the point of contact all the way above my head. I swore I had never seen a sunset more beautiful. And just like that, it was over. The red sun disappeared, and soon took with it the orange ember, and the light retreated as darkness enveloped the island. It was time to meet the new host of the island.
The words of the Enlightener echoed in my mind. “The Judger was given ten years. Ten years to determine if humanity is ready to join the other intelligent species in the galaxy, or if humanity is beyond the point of saving, and that perhaps it is time to remove them from Earth before they get a chance to destroy it to the point that it becomes uninhabitable for any species. If you wish to ensure your species survival I recommend speaking with the Protector. I heard he’s somewhere in one of the Asian Pacific nations…”
I had spoken at length with the Enlightener after that. I spent a week in Machu Picchu in order to learn as much as I could. It had taken me a better part of the year to get to Boracay. Most of it spent working as I realized my savings from previous work was dwindling. All of this continent hopping was taking a toll on my bank account. A smile crept onto my face as I thought about how even now, in the face of an oncoming change, I still needed human money. The irony did not escape me.
When the last of the light had left the sky, I stood and walked into the water far enough that it was up to my stomach. It was cool to the touch. Besides the lapping of the waves, it was complete silence around me. I closed my eyes, inhaled the fresh ocean breeze, and stood waiting. Darkness crept by even more until I noticed on my watch that it was midnight. As I began to doubt the local’s word about when this massive creature would appear, the waves began to crash against the sand in rapid succession.
Suddenly, a large shadowy shape appeared in the distance. As it approached me I could make out the shape. It looked like a blue whale that was walking on its fins. Instead of the fins, it walked on three giant legs, with each step causing a wave to crash against my body. Two massive arms were spread outward, but against the darkness, the only thing that capture my eyes were the glowing lights on the creature’s body. It was a spectacular sight. Everywhere I looked, small, brilliant, circular and diamond shaped lights glowed on the creature’s body. There was no pattern to it. Some shone different hues of blue, while others were intermixed with yellow, purple, green, and red. It was as if all the stars in the galaxy had collapsed upon the creature’s body and had stayed there for the world to see.
I waved my arms at it to let it know that I was there but it just casually walked by me. Then in one smooth movement, it slumped against the sand, and began to make a sound. I was too busy trying to avoid the waves that it had caused to notice, but when I finally recovered myself, I heard a distinctive noise. It was snoring.
Flabbergasted, I trudged my way through the water and sand and stood next to what I could only imagine to be its face. If it had a face. It did not. The whale-shaped head was only skin. I ran from right to left to look for eyes or any kind of facial features but it was all just skin. All of a sudden, a crevice opened up on the creature’s side, and out came a small animal, about the size of household cat. It was black all over, except for the white star shape on its abdomen. There was a head, a body, and two arms and legs. There were ears too that resembled that of a cat and whiskers as well. The only difference was that the head was shaped similar to a watermelon and it had eyes shaped like an egg with yellow color pupils.
It saw me, sighed, and then yelled at me. “I thought I told you humans to stay out of here!” The voice was surprisingly clear and masculine. For a second there I thought I had just heard James Earl Jones yell at me.
My confused look must have angered it more as it sauntered up next to me, leapt in the air, and smacked the top of my head with one of its arms. When I cried out in slight pain, it nodded its head as if affirming something, and went to where I was sitting before and plopped itself up onto the coconut tree.
“Are you the Protector?” I asked while I rubbed my head. For a small creature it could sure deliver a punch.
“Depends on who’s asking. Who are you? My mother? Can’t be. She’s way uglier.”
“I…” I stammered. After having dealt with two of them, I thought nothing could surprise me any further. I was clearly wrong.
The small cat-like creature turned to Blubber, who I had not noticed until then, and said, “See, this is why I can’t stand humans. They’re so dumb it makes my ears bleed whenever I try to communicate with them.” It shifted its head back at me. “What do you want kid? It’s been a long day and I’m tired. If you ain’t gonna talk, let me alone so I can get some rest. Unlike some people who’re dallying their days away traveling the globe, some of us actually have real work to do.”
“Oh, you don’t think we know? What kind of idiots do you think we are? Both the Watcher and Enlightener told me about you.”
It had taken a while, but I finally got my wits together and said, “Then you know why I am here.”
“I’m not a mind reader kid. Never was interested in the Link. You got ten seconds to tell me why you’re here or else I’m gonna turn my giant whale on you.”
I turned to see the bigger beast snoring on the sand and then back to the all-black creature. “You’re quite rude aren’t you?”
“Well now, aren’t you Mr. Obvious. I’m rude because you humans make my life a lot harder than it needs to be. Today, I had to defend a herd of xilithu from being slaughtered for their meat by your kind. And then I…ah forget it. You got five seconds left.”
I walked up and stood facing the alien, my eyes staring straight at it. “If the others have told you about me, then you know that I’m here looking for answers.”
“And I don’t have them. Now go away and let me rest.” It swung down from the coconut tree and leant against it and began to snore.
“You serve as input to the Judger don’t you? Every time you have to save one of the Ark’s creatures, you make a mark against humanity.” I stated it bluntly. I was done playing games.
“Maybe. Let’s say you humans aren’t actually winning any galactic points.”
“How can we then?”
“It’s been six years kiddo. Six years since I’ve been doing this. The only reason I’m allowing you to talk to me right now is because you saved that fella there,” it nudged its head at Blubber, who was trying to shoot at the crabs scattering across the sand.
“I knew it!” I exclaimed. “But that’s only part of it. It’s because my blood mixed with Blubber’s isn’t it?”
There was silence. And then the cat-like creature gave a loud sigh, “You did something that we did not…foresee. It was unexpected. An outlier in the prediction algorithm. And now we’re at a loss for what to do with you.”
“There’s no way I could have been the only one to do such a thing right? I mean, there must have been another person out there who did the same thing I did!”
“There were a few, but, they all failed.”
“Failed? Failed at what?”
“It doesn’t matter. Again I ask you, why are you here?” The Protector said, in a tone that was almost semi-aggressive. Goosebumps pricked up all over my arms.
“I want to know what the end goal is. Why did this Order, whatever it is, send you five and the Ark to Earth? If you guys have the technology, why not terraform Mars or something and leave Earth alone?”
“Think of it as a test. We have been watching. We have been observing. Do not feel as if your kind is special human. This has been done many times before. Usually, we would start small, but,” it hesitated. “Present circumstances did not permit that. I am sorry.”
“Sorry? For what?” I already knew the answer.
“Your kind has failed the test.”
400 years after Starfall
I STOOD ALONE. I had done this before but it did not get easier. In fact, it probably got harder. My skull vibrated with the sound of one of my officers.
“Admiral, how are you doing?” Blubber said. I could recognize his voice as easily as a baby penguin would recognize his mom’s in a crowded horde.
“Do I really have to do this?” I asked. “There’s a war to be fought and they have me…here.”
“The Three thought it’d be befitting on the fourth hundredth centennial of Starfall if you were to give a guest lecture on them. There’s no one better at this topic than the creator of the topic itself!”
“Yeah, well the Three can go ahead and shove their opinion up their—”
“Admiral!” said the professor. He was a short stubbly man. His skin was onyx in color. In fact, he was devoid of any other colors except for his pearly white teeth and graying, frizzy hair. The glasses he had on did not make him anymore comely. “Thank you for coming on such short notice! We are very happy to have you with us.”
I gave a weak smile and proceeded to stand in front of the classroom. All around me, eager eyes stared in admiration. Or hatred. To be honest, I probably deserved both.
“Hello,” I began. “My name is Admiral—”
“We know who you are!” a girl from the back left interrupted me. “You’re the destroyer of worlds and harbinger of death!” See, told you some hated me.
“Yes, well, you can call me that,” I smiled. The smile that had worked for so many centuries, “But it is what I do that enables you to sit here and listen without worry of impending doom right?”
I flipped a switch and a diagram of three pedestals floated in midair in front of me. “As you know, when the world was united a few centuries back, I helped in the creation of the current government whom you know today as the Three. They are the Senate,” one of the pedestal glowed in a blue light. “The Preceptors,” another of the pedestals glowed black. “And finally, the Pillars.” The last one was red.
“These three make up what we now know as the Three. Would anyone like to explain why we made three bodies instead of say, five, or seven, or even just one?”
A hand near the front of the classroom went up. Or more of a tentacle really. It was a male gadang. It had five pink tentacles, two human looking legs, and a face with ten eyes and one very giant toothless mouth. They were known for their bodily odor, and as such, the gadang sat alone with empty chairs between him and the rest of the students.
“You made it like that Admiral in order to ensure that no one person can come along and take all the power.”
“That is correct Mr…?”
“Mr. Xaxxalach. As you know, in human history, there have always been humans who, once they had risen to a seat of power, would do everything they could to stay in power. Julius Caesar. Adolf Hitler. Napoleon. We couldn’t let the same thing happen again. Especially with the potential for billions of lives from copious amount of species at risk. That was why we created the Three. I keep saying we, not because I’m trying to be humble, but because that was the reality. I did not create the Three alone. Sure, I received some inspiration from the Order, but mainly, I had helping in the Three’s creation.”
“Admiral,” said a human female whose skin was bordering on being pink. “I can understand the creation of the Senate, which passes the law, and the Preceptors, who enforces the law. But why the Pillars? They do not judge the law. In fact, I’m still quite confused as to what the Pillars actually do.”
I touched a few knobs on the radial on my hand, which expanded upon the red pedestal. “You are correct in that the Pillars do not judge the law. Others pontificated that I had used the model of 21st century democracy as my inspiration, but that is not true. The Pillars, and all those under them, only have one job: to watch over the other two.”
I used my fingers as if I were opening a door knob, which caused the red pedestal to explode into the room. “The Pillars only have one guiding principle, which is to, figuratively, be a pillar of a united Earth. They have to ensure that no one from the Senate or the Preceptors would gain enough power so that they could take over the entire government. If there was a person, then it was the Pillars’ job to take that person out, whether by the pen or by the sword. That was why they were given control of one third of the military, with the Preceptors controlling the other two thirds.”
“How then does the Senate control the other two?” the same female asked again.
A smile crept onto my face. “Pretty easily really. The Senate controls the budget.”
And so the class droned on and on until my legs couldn’t stand any longer. I was glad to hear the bell that announced that class was over. As I was preparing to leave, the short professor walked up to me with a kid in hand and a bright smile across his face.
“Admiral, I would like you to meet someone. Ever since she found out you were coming, she couldn’t stop begging me to introduce her to you. Meet my daughter, Ashene Derela. Go ahead, extend your hand like I’ve taught you.”
I went down on my knee and shook the little one’s hand, “Well now, it is nice to meet you young princess.”
The little girl had a bashful smile on her face as she blurted out, “I want to be just like you when I grow up!”
“Ashene! Don’t scream like that!”
“Now, that’s alright professor,” I cupped the girl’s hands between my own. “Ashene, when you grow up, you can be anything you want. The galaxy is yours to take.”
After I exchanged a few more pleasantries with the university’s staff a buzz came in my ear.
“Admiral, you’re requested at Headstation,” Blubber said in a serious tone.
“What’s the matter?”
“Seems as though the Senate just passed a resolution to declare war on the Gadang. The Preceptors accepted the resolution and the Pillars ratified that it was done as a collective and not as an individual.”
It was already dark by the time my lecture had finished. I sighed audibly and looked up to the heavens. The moon was a brilliant emerald color; its verdant trees encompassed the entire sphere except for a gigantic blue lake in the middle. I could easily identify the Headstation in the clear night sky; its halo-liked shape looked like a gray ring against the black darkness. I took a deep breath, turned to see my name engraved on the university’s building, shook my head once more, and finally said, “I’ll be right up.”
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