The Endlust War Chapter 7: Love

The Coliseum in Rome

The Coliseum in Rome

Hello all and welcome to another edition of the Endlust War Chapter 7: Love.  Sorry for the long time between chapters.  This one took some difficulty writing.  But I promise the last 2 chapters will come soon!  Until then, read it, love it, share it!.


 

The Endlust War

Chapter 7: Love

IT WAS A COOL NIGHT.  The air was crisp with the arrival of spring and without the clouds to block them, the stars sparkled in the sky like distant spotlights.  The full moon reflected the light of the sun, shining in pure white brilliance, illuminating the land below in a white blanket.  To my left, the smell of wood oven pizzas emanated from the kitchen, a fragrance bathed in spices and rich tomato sauce.  To my right, the ancient Coliseum stood silently with tiny droplets of round yellow lights bouncing off its aging stones.  The mixture of artificial golden light and white moonlight gave the former place of death a ghostly look.  I always wondered how many slaves were used to construct the behemoth and how many more had died after its construction.

But at that moment, I did not care, for in front of me sat an angel.  Hair down, hazel eyes twinkling like the stars behind them, Katie sat with a smile on her face.  She had on a short black dress that showed off her slim figure and well-endowed breasts.  I did not think there were legs that could have been more perfect.  They were like two long marble columns, shaped and toned to perfection from the hours she spent at the gym every day.  Tracing my eyes up, I saw that she had twin silver earing on her ears that sparkled brightly whenever it caught the light coming from a nearby lamp.

My lovely Katie.  I had not seen her for the last few years while I chased the Five around the globe, but she had somehow caught up to me within the last year here in a city called Rome, in the country that was called Italy.  It was actually funny how we ran into one another.  I was trying to fight the Peacemaker in the Coliseum and causing quite a ruckus while she was just out for an easy afternoon stroll.  It was she who nursed me back to health after I was beaten to near death by the creature.  We had been dating ever since.  It was weird sitting there next to her as she told me about a funny event that happened at her work.  Something about one of her coworkers squirtingmilk through his nose.  It was a strange feeling.  She was only supposed to be in Rome for another week after she had nursed me back to health, but when I told her why I wanted to fight it, she quit her job so that she could be by my side.  Tonight we were celebrating our seven month anniversary.  I continued to smile and nod at her, even as I cut off a piece of steak and threw it on the ground where Blubber quietly sat.

“Yum!” he said out loudly in a voice that was almost reminiscent of a child.  I had found him only six years ago, but in just six short years, my green buddy had not only grown two small arms next to his side, but was also starting to learn to speak English.  I had stopped being surprise at his development and instead learned to take it in stride.

“It’s strange,” Katie said as she turned to look at him. “He’s growing so fast isn’t he?  When I first saw you seven months ago, he was barely making syllable sounds.  Now he’s saying actual English words. You might want to be careful TJ.  He might start reciting Shakespeare pretty soon!”

At the rate that Blub was developing, I actually did not doubt that. “It’s too bad we can’t find a girlfriend for him, huh?” I said.

“That’s true,” Katie smiled.  Her luscious lips were so inviting to kiss.  I always asked myself how I had landed such an angel.  It was weird.  All these new emotions.  Maybe Blubber wasn’t the only one that was changing.

We were sitting next to a giant tree, if one could call it that.  In the seven years since Starfall, not only were there new and strange animals that joined Earth, but there were also new flora.  The tree next to me was one of the new arrivals.  Scientists had given it the name of Lightwood. It stood over twenty feet tall and had vines that twirled from its many branches to the ground.  The vines dangled downward from the branches and had leaves that were  illuminated in a spectrum of colors in the night.  Purple and orange glowing leaves tangoed with the light blue and deep emerald of other translucent leaves. They were not bright but together the leaves created a spiraling mixture of beautiful brilliance that allowed the tree to rightfully earn its namesake.  After all these years, people still couldn’t understand how the tree was able to produce these vibrant leaves that would glow at night.  The only reasonable theory was some type of chemical reaction that only occurred at night.

Just then, a bright sparkle of light appeared between Katie and I.  It just as swiftly disappeared.  A duskeater.  It was similar to a firefly but a little bit bigger.  It fed on the leaves of the Lightwood and that somehow enabled it to reproduce the same glowing effect.  Pretty soon, more duskeaters joined the fray and in a matter of minutes, the air around us looked as if there were floating lanterns everywhere as each duskeater gave off its individual unique light.

“Wow,” Katie cooed. “This is beautiful.  I need to take a picture of this! My friends will not believe what we’re witnessing right now.”

“It’s the annual duskeater migration,” I said.  “They must have noticed the Lightwood and decided to settle here for the night.”

As she started to take pictures with her smartphone, some of the duskeaters landed on her shoulders and began to pulse their light.  I had lied to Katie.  I knew they were going to be at the restaurant at that time on that day.  I fumbled with a black box in my pocket.  A few more of the duskeaters flew in between us and began to dance in the air.  They spiraled around one another in an intricate dance that appeared to just be five different fireballs of red, turquoise, green, violet, and white.  My heart began to beat faster. It was now or never I told myself.

“Katie…” I almost stumbled her name.

“Hmm?” she responded.  She tried to touch the duskeaters that were dancing in front of her, but they quickly zipped over to the side of her head.  Their pulsing light illuminated her perfectly colored hazel eyes.  Two orbs staring at me.  My heart skipped a beat. This must be what love felt like.

I half fell, half moved, off of my chair and went down on one knee.  She raised one hand to cover her mouth as I immediately noticed tears starting to develop in the corner of her eyes.

“Katie,” I took the black box from my pocket and opened it, revealing a simple gold ring inside that had no diamonds.  She wouldn’t have liked that.  “You know I’m bad with being romantic and all but—”

“Yes!” she was already crying.

“But I didn’t eve– ”

“Yes! A thousand time yes!”

I smiled as I took the ring from the box and put it on her finger. It fit perfectly. I leaned in for a kiss on those lips as the sky around us continued to shine with vivacity. For the first time in a long time, I no longer wanted to kill.

*~*~*~*~*

300 years after Starfall

THE SHIP SLIGHTLY SHOOK.  Its frame groaned as it readjusted to the gravity and atmospheric pressure.  I sat patiently with my eyes closed, my green and blue uniform neatly pressed against my body.  The rumbling stopped.  I opened my eyes and looked out the window to see a verdant forest that was quickly becoming larger.  Blue and purple trees swayed in the light breeze.  They reminded me of the one that was next to me when I proposed to Katie so many years ago.  The orange and reddish glow of the sky told me that the sun was setting in the eastern sky.  When I looked to the west where darkness had already enveloped, I could see the entire forest glowing up in a cadent wave of riotous colors.  It was a beautiful world we had just conquered.  My reflection in the glass looked back at me.  Three hundred years since Starfall and I still looked the same as the day I discovered Blubber.

When the ship calmly landed, the door opened up by folding outward, and I slowly walked to the entrance.  Standing in front of me was a man over six feet in height with a hard sharp nose and pleasant brown eyes.  His yellowish skin reminded me of the people that lived in the country called Mongolia back when there were still countries on Earth.  He had a ceremonial sword at his side and had two guards standing close by.  He saluted when he saw me.

“Welcome to Nirva, Messa,” he said.  “I’m Preceptor Loao He Dani.  How was the trip from Headstation?”

“Long,” I felt a headache coming on. “Are the preparations ready?”

“Yes Messa.  The Quarnaks have been assembled as you instructed.  All that’s needed now is just your signature and this planet will be officially ours.”

I scanned my surroundings.  I could already see over ten dropships coming in from the orbital fleet.  This war took only two months.  Two months, twenty million dead Quarnaks later, the planet was ours.

“You do not have to call me Messa anymore.  After this treaty, I will be officially stepping down from serving as Messa.  Politics within the international galactic community hurts my head. I need something simpler to do.  I want to get back to the field and so will be receiving the rank of Admiral First Class once I’m back at Headstation.”

“Ah, I don’t think I can ever stop Messa.  I grew up reading all about you.  You could say I was inspired to become a Preceptor because of you.  There may be other Messas after you, but you are the first, and will forever be the first, in my book.”

I could see the pride in his eyes.  He truly saw me as a hero.  “Very well,” I said. “Lead me to the dining table. I would like to talk with the Quarnak’s leader before I take their planet.”

“Very good Messa. Please follow me.”

He led me away from the spaceport, which stood two hundred feet off the ground.  I followed him down winding steps that led me closer to the canopy of the forest and over a bridge that linked the port with the main administrative center.  As I walked across the bridge, I noticed a flock of distant winged-creatures lightheartedly playing in the air.  They reminded me of simpler days.  Days when I would just relax at the beach in my hometown.  Now, I was trying to lead humanity to salvation.

Because of the dense vegetation, and by my command, the initial settlement of the planet was built on high platforms that grew out of the canopy of the forest.  The settlement was built like a pentagon, with the main administrative building in the center.  Pretty soon, as more settlers arrive, my command to leave the forest alone might end up falling on deaf ears.  For now, the best I could do was to remember the sights and smell of the forest.  To remind me of a time when I thought I knew what love was.

By the time we had arrived at the signage spot, it was already completely dark, but the vibrant lights coming from the leaves of the Lightwood trees helped to alleviate the sense of upcoming dread. I hated dealing with the defeated.  I had only introduced humanity to the galaxy under a hundred years ago, but we had already fought three wars and had three planets to show for it.  I wondered if the Order liked what we were doing.  I did not care.

We arrived at an outdoor area that overlooked a part of the forest where all the leaves were glowing a bright amber glow mixed in with some golden hue. There was a table in the middle of this area with food already prepared and served.  On the other side of the table sat a humanoid alien. Its head was more of an elongated egg, with three eyes on each side.  Amazingly enough, the eyes were very human looking, except for the fact that they were all different colors.  The Quarnak had six arms, and four legs, and four very clear wings tucked behind on its back the way a bee would tuck its wings while it scampered around a flower in search of nectar.  A hardened brown carapace covered its entire body.  This one had yellow and silver markings on its chest.

As we approached, the creature stood up and gave a bow with two of its upper arms stretched out at me, its head pointing at the ground.  I came up to the alien, put my head on the outstretched palms of the its hands, and then returned the gesture by extending out both of my hands with palms up.  The alien lowered its head to the palms of my hands and gave out a large cry that was deep in sound.  It resonated down to my bones. It was a Quarnak’s greeting of strangers.  I knew it well for I had spent many years here during my initial trip through the galaxy after I met the Order.

“Messa, this is the leader of the Quarnak people, T’lua.  Honorable T’lua, this is—”

“I know who this is,” the Quarnak spoke in a guttural sound. “The Deathsmith himself.  My great grandfather hosted you in his home when you came here two hundred and fifty years ago as an inexperienced human, a newborn baby to the galaxy.  Now I wonder what he would think to see you return as a conqueror.  You shame my family’s name.  I would kill you right now if it didn’t mean the death of my people.”

Loao He Dani made a move forward, but I quickly stopped him with a raise of my arm. “It was my time spent here that is making this deal possible dear T’lua,” I smiled at the hulking beast.  “You would do yourself well to know your station.  There are many in my government who feel that this deal is too generous.  They would like nothing more than to ship you off to some godforsaken moon and let you fend for yourself there.  Now, shall we sit and eat?”

The Quarnak lowered its posture.  I almost felt pity for the creature with its defeated look.  Still, I kept my hand close to my pistol just in case emotion overran reason in the alien’s mind.  We both sat down and the Preceptor left us alone.  I began to eat the food while the Quarnak just sat and stared at me.

“You’re not going to eat?” I asked it.

“You’re making a mockery of me now.”

“No Honorable T’lua I am not,” I bit into a medium done steak.  It had been a while since I had had steak.  “Whether you like it or not, this planet is ours.  In human culture, we eat with our guests so that we can know more about one another.  Maybe even like one another.” I drank a bit of the red wine that was in the cup next to me.

“Speaking this language of yours makes me want to cut out my tongue.  Such filth.”

He couldn’t really pronounce the world filth. It sounded more like the word ‘fifth’.  “English? It’s not that bad.  Although I guess you’re right. English never really was a pretty language.  Maybe I should have sided with the Chinese instead.  Or perhaps we should change the name to something better considering the country where the language comes from doesn’t exist anymore.  I guess we can call it speaking human.”

As I continued eating, the creature just sat and stared at me.  “Seriously, the food is getting cold, are you not gonna eat?”

“You know, the Order will not let you get away with this.  They are watching.  And they will respond.”

“Oh I don’t think they will.  None of your friends came to help you either.  So, why not just enjoy this good food and we can call it a nice meeting?” I was really enjoying my steak.

“You bribed them all away.  You turned our friends against us.” The creature was starting to get a murderous look in its eyes.  I was not afraid.  Still, I wanted to remind it of the position that it was in.  I reached into one of my pockets and pulled out a piece of blank white paper.  I sat it on the table and went back to eating. The creature’s face paled.

“Beautiful night isn’t it?” I said.  High above us, the three moons of Nirva were already in their nightly cosmic dance.  The smallest one had a brilliant golden glow to it. The biggest one was green with trees and plants thanks to the Quarnak’s terraforming.  Finally, the last one was white like Earth’s old moon.   We had already recovered the technology the Quarnak’s used for the terraforming.  In less than a century or so, Earth’s old moon would probably be able to hold its own atmosphere and have its own landscape.  That would be a sight.  To see the moon become green with trees and blue with water.

When I had finished eating, some human helpers came to clear the table.  Once everything was gone, the Preceptor brought over a paper and two pens.  We were traveling the galaxy but we still had to do everything the old fashion way when it came to these things. The irony did not escape me.

“By the way T’lua.  You called me a Deathsmith earlier.  What did you mean by that?”

“You reek of death, human.  Everywhere you go, you bring death with you.”

“That’s funny,” I chuckled at the thought of the name.  “I guess I will end up living up to that name then as I’m retiring from being an ambassador for humanity.  Starting tomorrow, I’ll just be a plain admiral.”

Once the Quarnak and I signed the paper, the Preceptor took the sheet and left again.  It was done.  That tiny little sheet of paper would end up getting digitize and sent to the Galanet, and would go through the ratification of the Three.  Once that was done, it would be sent to the Order and eventually propagated out to the whole galaxy so they would know that Nirva belonged to the humans.

“Please escort your people to the dropships Honorable T’lua.  Do not fear.  We will take good care of your planet.”

The hulking creature stood up and was escorted away by the guards.  Before it went through the door, it turned to look at me with its six eyes and said, “One day, you will lose your beloved Earth.  When that day arrives, you will know the pain you have caused me and my people.”

After it had left, I was alone in the room.  I looked up to the stars and wavering moons and sighed.  I couldn’t tell whether it had been a good idea tointroduce humanity to the galaxy.  Thoughts and regrets raced through my mind.  The last wine droplets escaped into my mouth.  It was the only way.


 

Go to Chapter 8: Destiny

 
Tagged on: , , , , , , , ,

One thought on “The Endlust War Chapter 7: Love

  1. Pingback: The Endlust War Chapter 6: Evolution - State of Wanderlust

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.