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Vyz Ejstu

Don't Save Me. (The Aether Backstory: Part 5)

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Don’t Save Me.  

 

"I have nothing left to lose,

Nay, I want to lose nothing more.

What is life but a ruse?

What do I have left to live for?

More time will bring only rue,

More of life will leave me with less.

I have family here, true.

But, beyond, we’ll all suffer less." 

Kyle Susumu's Diary, last day of Earth’s existence.

 

Somewhere along the line, I lost count of the number of people I was killing. I left Eidolon to do the job of protecting my back while I cut the strings of fate of every hostile organism in sight. Was I selfish? No. Was I careless? No. Was I a mindless beast? Yes.

One after another, lives got snuffed out by my rage, my firearms and my hands. For all the bright flashes of light, the shouts of rage and terror, the sound of feet and ammunition and the stars that watched in serene silence, my mind was bent on only one thing: taking these bastards with me.

 

“You are the most stupid fellow I’ve seen all my life!”

 

I ignored the AI even as a shell blew up less than a score feet away from me. The unforgiving force of the explosion threw me into the air like a rag doll. My face was the first part of my body to hit the flaming frame of a destroyed vehicle. Surprisingly enough, I didn’t black out. I was no soldier, but I understood the benefits and dangers of passing out in the middle of a fire fight. As the pain coursed through my being, I longed for the benefits.

Struggling to get on my feet, I spotted a soldier coming towards me. His uniform had neither the insignia of the Resistance nor the design of the hostile forces. I barely made it to my feet before something snapped and I fell down in a heap. A chilling, electric pain charged through my bones as I realised what just happened: my spine had broken. I couldn’t feel my legs and the rest of my body was in too much agony for me to lift a finger or call for help. All I could do was watch him through the rage that clouded my sight. Where was Eidolon?

 

“Are you okay?”

 

This guy had to be a joker. Did I look okay?

A bullet ricocheted off the frame, reminding us both that the battlefield wasn’t a place to chat. Then, he made the big mistake of trying to drag me away. If I thought I couldn’t speak, I was right—I screamed. Startled, he dropped me abruptly and looked me over with concern. That caused me even more pain. The stranger laid me on my back and crouched on the ground. Something exploded a distance away from us, followed by the short scream of a combatant.

 

“You have broken bones. Wait here.”

 

I groaned and managed to get some words out of my mouth.

 

“Don’t save me. Save them.” I looked towards the retreating soldiers of the Resistance.

 

His face clouded.

 

“I’m not with them.”

 

I gave him questioning look.

 

“I’m with the Earldom.”

 

What kind of name is “the Earldom”? Probably some conceited people with enough hypocrisy to pretend they didn’t want to control everyone else. 

 

Vortex Two was trying to hail me through the communications device. After some quick thinking, I decided to answer.

 

“Vortex Two, find Petrovsky and track my beacon. Come pick me up in ten minutes.”

 

“Yes, sir.”

 

I looked at the Earldom fellow one more time.

 

“What’s your name?”

 

“William.” He said, getting impatient.  

 

Talking was hard and I was pretty sure the warm liquid I felt under my back was blood. Whatever had to be done needed to be done fast.

 

“Does the Earldom support these madmen?”

 

“Do I look like I support them?”

 

“You tell me.”

 

He sighed and rubbed his face.

 

“I don’t support them. Listen, we’ve got to get you to safety.”  

 

I was about to say something, when I saw a shadow on my chest.

 

“Put your hands in the air!”

 

William looked up and aimed at whoever was commanding. I could tell it was Petrovsky, although I couldn’t see him.

 

“Petrovsky! This…man is not an enemy!” I almost choked on my blood, before William raised my head a little.

 

The Russian came into sight, along with four other Resistance members. I knew there were more, but I couldn’t see them. Where was Aditi?

 

“Where’s Aditi?” I asked him.

 

He bent down and looked me in the eye.

 

“She’s dead.”

 

“What?!”  I shouted before gurgled breathing reminded me that I was still going to meet her anyway.

 

He looked at William and I answered the question.

 

“He’s with us. Take my wrist band. It has a beacon in it. Take it and get out. Vortex Two will pick you up.”

 

He sensed the message right away.

 

“You want me to leave you here?”

 

My eyesight blurred for a second and I spat out more blood.

 

“I won’t be of much use. But you, you can help them. My spine’s broken and I’ve lost too much blood. You’re standing in it.”

 

He looked at his feet and barely managed to hide his shock.

 

“I will not leave you here.”

 

William gave an irritated sigh.

 

“Don’t save me. Save your men. I’m dead already. Get out: Vortex Two is searching for you and they already have the beacon’s signal.

 

Don’t let them come here, don’t let them find me.”

 

Whatever he wanted to say, he kept it and nodded solemnly.

 

“You are too good to die alone.” He whispered and stood.

 

My vision darkened five shades and I just had to close my eyes.

 

“I’m not alone. They’re with me, they’re waiting. Go, Petrovsky: I won’t forgive you…if they come…”

 

The sounds became distant, but I heard them leave.

The explosions faded into muffled sounds as I tried to open my eyes one last time. All I could see where the stars, twinkling and shining. I had brought the legacy of Oethe to this planet. I had succeeded in my job. Did Eidolon know that I would die? Where was he?  

A crackled voice spoke gently beside me. It was Eidolon.

 

“Goodbye, Grand Architect.”

 

I grunted and caught a last glimpse of the stars.

Kyle, Nora, Jeane, Meera and the rest would be waiting for me, I’d finally get to see everyone again.

 

That was where I was headed now. My final resting place.

 

My home among the stars.

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How old was he anyway?

"Hmm...I didn't write that into the story, but, take your guess. The new protagonist's age may be ridiculous or too young in the eyes of some people."

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I suppose age doesn't really matter if you're dealing with the death of earth.

 

His backstory could be something similar to Ender?  A boy genius that was picked up to save the human race and so given time to build Oethe, Hisashi aged into his mid/late 20's when he was finally sent off world to search for a new home among the stars.

 

As always though, fantastic story!

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