Tag Archives: destruction

Armageddon: of Plots and Counter-plots

[a short story by Sha’Tara ]

“Mr. Chairman, there is one item remaining on this year’s agenda which I think should be considered before we adjourn for another century.”

The heavy-set, red-robed man at the head of the table nods imperceptibly and looks over the table with an undisguised bored expression.

“Very well, get on with it then.”

“Gentlemen, we are in the business of publishing best sellers on contract and I have here the contract for Yahu regarding the Earthian trilogy. It appears he hasn’t written a best seller in over 2000 years of his Earth time. We’ve made several inquiries about his intentions lately but without results. I have taken the liberty of having him present himself here today to explain why he has failed to fulfil his end of the agreement with this House and what he intends to do about it.”

The portly red-robed chairman nods in agreement. “Send him in, send him in.” He waves at the massive door in the side of the meeting chamber.

The door opens and a gnomish gray-robed shifty-eyed character with long white hair and beard enters and smiles at the gathering. No one greets him but the secretary who ushers him to a chair.

“Are you the same Yahu who claimed in his book to be the God of Earth?”

“That I most certainly am,” replies the wizened character with a quavering voice. “I Am that I Am.”

“Yeah well, so you say. Some 5000 Earth years ago you entered into a contract with us to write a trilogy about the creation, fall and termination of some world in your sector. We gave you the advance in power to manifest the ingredients required of your books. You delivered a very lengthy and repetitive but fortunately very violent Part One that contained enough murder, greed, sexual perversion, racism, slavery, misogyny and genocidal mania to easily rise to the top of our best seller list for over a thousand years.

Then you sent us a stultified Part Two in a very abridged and staid format that would have gotten nowhere had our editors not insisted it be tied to and weaved into Part One.

For Part Three you gave us a brief synopsis entitled “Revelation” but we are still waiting for that denouement. No action and no revelation. You are in breach of contract with this great Galactic Publishing house. Have you given thought as to how you are going to fulfil your agreements with us or do we need to bring legal action to recoup our losses?”

The wizened character stands up and wipes his brow with his over-sized sleeve. His voice quavers even more now.

“Please, don’t be so hasty!  Yes, I realize I made you all wait a bit long for the third part but it’s been very tough making this ending plausible. I mean, it was easy enough imaging the critters, evil spirit dudes and violent multitudes I mentioned in my blurb. Also you should know that I was rather busy at the time and I had a trainee write that part. I should have read it before it was sent to you but I was too absorbed observing (and abetting) some spectacular developments in an old empire of the time. I had several contracts to complete lesser books on that affair, which do not legally enter this discussion.

“To make a long story short – I don’t want to bore our illustrious chairman – I’ve taken steps to activate that Part Three on Earth. I’m sure that with our current developments of weapons of mass destruction, the fears around new diseases, global warming, overpopulation, wars over depleted resources and the utter, almost incredible, ignorance and overt incompetence of most of that world’s leadership, that a plausible scenario can be set in motion to satisfy the requirements my agents signed with your firm. Not only will there be a book but all of the action will be on video and made available to publish as a mini-series which shall appropriately be entitled “Armageddon.” I can assure this august assembly that our work won’t fail to entertain even the most blasé of your readers. It is guaranteed to be a box-office winner. You’ll be able to buy entire planets with your profits, gentlemen, you have my Word on that.

“What exactly are we talking about here, you’re wondering? Imagine: the total destruction of an entire world, its satellite and its “heaven” in real time. Imagine this: global war, famines, infectious diseases. Rampaging armies of mercenaries raping, looting, burning and killing unarmed innocents by the millions, year in, year out for as long as there remains life to destroy. Religious bigotry running rampant. Total lawlessness, or as they put it there, the law of the jungle in spades. Billions dead and dying of causes yet unknown. A sun going super-nova and a moon melting down upon a planet. My guarantee to you gentlemen is this: there will be no special effects. Everything the videos and accompanying best seller depict will be exactly as it unfolds. You will see it in real time, exactly as it happens. That, gentlemen, is the script I and my trusty group of shadow-writers, technicians and engineers, have been working on for 2000 Earthian years. You will find it was well worth the costs and the wait.

“How can you be so certain of the denouement, Yehu? That’s a mighty big set-up, even for one like yourself. Intelligent creatures possess a mind of their own.”

“Gentlemen, do not, ever, make the mistake of ignoring the Earthian mind’s predictability. I programmed them, remember? They will respond on cue, make no mistake. I repeat, make no mistake about that. They will believe, they will kill and they will die, heroes and martyrs in their own minds even while committing the most atrocious of crimes. We have already begun to trigger their atavism in that respect and the results exceed expectations. This is win-win.

“Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s time to stir the pot some more. I must return to a current political seat of power called “The White House” where the ignoramus’s in charge actually believe they worship me. I need to get their sensibilities inflamed to expand that war in the Middle East (don’t worry about these locations, they mean nothing to the actual story, just collateral damage to help us set the scene) and bring the Powers of the West ever closer to a final confrontation with the Powers of the East. You want a Revelation? I’ll give you the mother of all Revelations! I’m bringing you Armageddon!”

He departs with a flourish. He knows his Earthian humans and there is not a doubt in his mind at that point that he will create his masterpiece from the destruction of Earth. It had always been his plan to complete his trilogy thus but he had been stymied by those who claimed he was plagiarizing them and forced to put the work on hold time and again. But those who stood in his way, he had finally triumphed over: the Communists; the Socialists; the Anarchists; Atheists and Pagans and assorted others. Hardly anyone published them or read them any more. Even the new high priests of Science were beginning to “see his hand” in the movement of sub-atomic particles even if they didn’t use his name… yet. And now with his ironclad under the table agreement with his once avowed enemy, Mammon, (Capitalism for the uninitiated) the timing couldn’t be better.

The scales had tipped once more. The people clamoured for his kind of entertainment, even if it meant he’d be using their blood to write the grand finale. The sweet irony! Oh, how he hated the stinking, short-lived whining creatures. Prayers! Prayers for parking spaces and hangnails! Prayers for sick dogs, dead budgies and weeds in the lawn. Prayers for deliverance and salvation: well that last part was his own fault, he’d unintentionally, in a fit of anger, brought that on himself with a promise which he had then used to write Part Two of his trilogy. Live and learn hey, unlike the creatures he was about to annihilate in long, drawn-out bloodshed! They won’t learn, not ever, he’d made sure of that.

“Kill them all: God will know those who are his!”

“Damn, I just LOVE that line!” He says under his breath with his best sardonic smile as he settles back in his containment field for his trip to Earth, all but rubbing his hands in anticipation and glee.

I was Created for this

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.


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.