I decided, what the heck, time for another short story. Most of my stories are lessons about life, how it’s lived, and consequences. I suppose this one has the same purpose.
I WAS CREATED FOR THIS
a short story by ~Sha’Tara~
The Monster had come to a standstill. Before him, appearing as slowly turning giant pillars, stood the Twelve, as if in a circle to welcome him within. As he crouched down, looking at these apparitions his ancient brain remembered and for the first time in aeons, the Monster felt uncertainty, and yes, fear – his own sick fear, not the fear of those he had enjoyed torturing. But he could not turn away.
Slowly, he looked back from this moment in time and surveyed his passage. He looked through space and time and saw the wreckage and destruction that marked his footsteps over a swath of countless now desolate, dead or disappeared worlds. His entire life’s work, and now it seemed to be accusing and mocking him. Had he been able to, the monster would have sighed.
When he had first beheld these worlds, they had not been desolate. They had done him no wrong. He had walked through them unseen by any living thing, and enjoyed the warmth of them, the sometimes laughter and songs of people, as he sat and watched them in their villages and farms, or in their sprawling cities. He could not understand the concept of laughter, but it seemed to him as a pleasant thing. He liked the grasses that gently bent under his feet and the rough feeling on his hands when they caressed treetops. He liked the smells that stuck to his skin.
Though he had no real need, he often flattened himself near a lake, or a stream, and drank deeply of their clear waters. The water flowed through him and he noticed that it quenched the fire in his heart. He learned to fear the water then because his brain signaled that water would sap his great strength. Something warned him that water was his enemy.
After a long time, though not seemingly long for him, a voice, The Voice of Command, made itself heard in his head. It ordered him to destroy those worlds that stood in the path he’d followed in order to taste them. The path had mapped itself in his brain from the taste of them – he could not deviate from it. What he would do to those worlds was also clearly defined – he could not deviate from the command. It would be total destruction, nothing left alive. That was his purpose. He remembered, of course.
What was not defined, marked, or explained, was how he would go about destroying those worlds. All he knew at the beginning of his walk through the universe, when he was set free from the Hades where they created him, was that he had the power to do whatever was in his brain to do. He was power and that power had been created to destroy. He did not understand why he had to do these things; why he was a creature of the great dark. “Why me?” he thought suddenly and for no reason, for the power of reasoning was not programmed in him.
He became confused and for a time he did not move. His brain was not designed to accept the sense of personhood, of the enigmatic “I” which the “why me” question posed. Nevertheless he endeavored to reason the question. This is the result: It has to be “me” whatever that is since there is no other like “me” anywhere. Yet I am not a “me” but only an instrument. An instrument has no free will. He pondered “free will” and remembered the people laughing. Still, he lacked understanding. The Voice of Command prodded him and he moved then.
The brain expressed what we would call relief. It could control the machine. All systems go. So began the great destruction of world after world. Some were simply burned by pushing them closer to a near-by star. Some were smashed to rubble that spun away into space. Some were easily flooded and he watched as surface life drowned. Then he emptied the great watery reservoirs with hands and breath, blowing the waters out into space, and he watched the water life expire. He learned quickly to leave these worlds alone – his body hated the smells created by his work.
He became more creative as he labored in his destructive work. He learned to whisper thoughts in the minds of intelligent sentient creatures and made them crazy with the lust of conquest and endless power. He showed them images of great weapons of mass destruction and taught how they should be built. Then he set nations, races and religions against one another and from safe distances watched them destroy their worlds and themselves. His brain told him he was satisfied each time a world became dead and lifeless, or was simply smashed out of existence.
There were so many worlds and long he toiled in his destruction. He learned to hate – a great asset in his work. Some worlds tried to oppose him or thwart him. They launched various kinds of weapons at him that made him itch. This angered him and he made those worlds suffer the most. He tortured them with plagues and diseases he invented that killed certain life forms and not others, certain groups and not others. On some he killed all the children so he could feed his lust on the sorrow of the adults. On others he killed all the males, or all the females, for he had learned that by creating imbalance within life he could inflict the greatest pain. He came to enjoy inflicting pain so much he hardly ever stopped to rest his body. Without realizing it, he had become an addict. He needed to experience the pain and suffering he caused through the fear he surrounded his target worlds with. It became his only reason for existence.
His body aged and all bodies do. The Voice of Command no longer spoke to his brain but the brain urged him on in insatiable hunger. He had long ago completed his mission but the recall command had been blocked by the brain which had become both self-aware and evil. The destruction slowed but the Monster remained unstoppable.
The universe had known of the destruction, and had worked to create an antidote or a counter-weapon to the Monster. Long ages passed while galaxies joined forces. The wisest entities were brought together and worked ceaselessly to design a weapon. None was deemed powerful enough. They knew that any attack against the monster must be total or the repercussions would be horrible. On the very first encounter it was to be destroyed utterly.
Finally it came down to a question of energy fields. The Monster would have to be drawn into an energy field that would destroy its brain and leave it essentially dead. Then it would be dismantled. So was the concept of “The Twelve” developed. These entities were designed to function as one, passing energy to one-another as the spokes of a wheel come from the center and reach the rim. The Twelve would travel through space/time to encounter the Monster and would draw him into the hub of their energy field and there its mind would cease to function.
That time had arrived.
The Monster turned once more to confront the Twelve. He knew he could not escape them for at their center was the one thing he craved more than any other. There he sensed the sweet essence of fear, and it was offered to him freely: he did not have to work to create it, it would be for him to suck on forever. So his brain told him and therefore so he believed, inasmuch as he could have a belief. He crawled slowly to the wheel, he entered and in his helpless craving he continued until he reached the source of sweetness he craved.
In an instant he found himself pinned, helpless, and the sweet scent of fear was no longer available to him. It had dissipated and he screamed! He tried to move but he could not. He tried to think a way out but he could not think. He queried his brain but it did not respond. He was trapped. He felt his power draining away like the blood he had caused to flow and enjoyed watching. But now it was his, his blood, his energy, his power. Suddenly he realized that all along he had had the power to choose right from wrong. It had been within him, as it is within all sentient beings or entities. He had lied to himself, he sensed it, he knew it. He wanted to cry out and he forced himself to speak, as if in his own defense for his brutal acts.
All he could say, before he ended, was, “I was created for this!” but he had destroyed all those who could have heard him.