“You again,” P’lar replied.
When he’d first arrived here, out in the whitespace, and confronted the oncoming void, P’lar thought that he’d been alone. The only civilization he’d ever known was back home, across the stars, from the planet he’d started on. Out here, under those first attacks, he’d assumed he was fighting against natural phenomena, battling the elements. Whatever this strange corruption was, it felt chaotically natural.
But as the void crept closer and the swirling clouds briefly parted, P’lar saw a form inside. It was white, completely white. And as the void cleared and the energy clouds pulled back, in between the impacts on his own ship, P’lar realized something.
The voice, whatever it was, came from a ship, colored completely white. P’lar’s ship was black, manufactured by the planetary government that he’d left behind, eons (or years, or hours — however long it was) ago. But the ship in front of him, was purely horrifically white. And other than the opposite color, it looked exactly the same.
Exactly the same manufacture, exactly the same specifications and size. It moved in the same way, and P’lar saw, as the horror crept across him, that it too was bouncing back energy bursts, smashing them into its own ship, and sending them right back towards P’lar, and the universe he was protecting with his own ship.
And it spoke.
HELLO, P’LAR, it said, during that first battle. It knew his name. P’lar’s immediate thought was that he’d died. His second thought was that he’d gone insane, and that possibility was still unconfirmed.
He didn’t answer it. Not right away.
SO HONORABLE, it told him. THIS BATTLE. SO SELFLESS OF YOU TO DEFEND YOUR UNIVERSE.
P’lar said nothing. Battled on.
ARE YOU AFRAID OF DEATH? it asked. YOU THROW YOURSELF INTO DANGER. PERHAPS YOU ARE NOT.
P’lar gritted his teeth and continued to maneuver the ship as best he could. If he had gone mad, if the voice was not as alien as it truly sounded in his head, then it was just expressing his own thoughts, his own fears.
PERHAPS YOU WORRY ABOUT YOUR OWN UNIVERSE. WHY DO YOU DEFEND IT SO? DO YOU WONDER, P’LAR, WHY YOU BATTLE FOR A UNIVERSE YOU YOURSELF CAN’T REMEMBER?
P’lar knocked back void after void, hitting away as many of the sources of black energy as he could. And the roiling void again slowly stopped, then changed direction and pushed back from him. The slow progress was excruciating, but the voice went silent. Went silent, at least, until the void pushed back again, and once more that base roar screamed through the vacuum around him, into his ship, into his brain.
ANOTHER CYCLE, P’LAR, said the voice as it returned. PERHAPS YOU COULD USE A NEW WEAPON.
And then, another control appeared in front of P’lar on the ship’s panel. Appeared wasn’t the right word — somehow, it had always been there, in a weird, sub-real sense. But it hadn’t been active before, and now it flashed, pulsed, ready to be pressed.
TAP TO FIRE, P’LAR, said the voice. TAKE YOUR BEST SHOT.
P’lar smashed down his fist on the control, and suddenly a projectile emitted from the front of his ship. It too was black at its core, powered by black energy, but it was surrounded by orbs lined in white, as clear and clean as the whitespace in the world around him. It fired from the front of the ship and speed in the direction of the white shape in the void.
And when the bullet reached its destination, it exploded — a burst of white spread out across the void momentarily, and P’lar felt his fight push forward, his power grow.
Victory, however, just as before, was only temporary. No sooner than his shot had hit, P’lar saw the first burst of color his eyes had seen since before his arrival. It was a flash of red, spinning out across space, directly towards him. P’lar heard laughter from the voice, dim and echoed.
It hit. The flare hit his ship head on, and P’lar’s vision flashed red for an instant. He knew he’d been hit, and the void in front of him seemed to gain power, to creep ever closer.
TO EVERY ACTION THERE IS A REACTION, the voice said, the dark laughter still hanging on its tone.
P’lar spoke, finally. “What are you?”
ME? the voice asked, as the black tide crept ever closer to P’lar and his ship. It threatened to finally envelop him — he fired off a few more shots when the control in front of him flared, and tried desperately to continue to bounce back the bursts flying towards him.
I AM YOUR OPPOSITE, said the voice. THE ENEMY, THE ANTAGONIST. I NOT YOU — I CONTRAST, I COUNTER. I AM THE COUNTERPART, THE OBVERSE.
The void came closer, and P’lar could feel the evil in it, almost hear it now, though its violence toiled outside the ship in pure vacuum. The power of it rang in his ears, inside his mind as he frantically tried to keep it away, to fight back with everything he could.
I AM THE ANTIPOIDAL, said the voice calmly. THE DISCORDANT. The void, screaming, finally reached P’lar’s ship, finally touched it and surrounded him, engulfed in the energy of evil he’d been desperately trying to hold back.
I AM THE ANTITHESIS.
AND YOU, P’LAR, ARE GOING TO DIE.
(to be concluded)
Posted on Tuesday, July 24th, 2012 at 3:13 am. Filed under general.