Friga’s Day Fiction: Betrayal and End
This was the narrative from a dream I remember from a few years ago, much embellished from the original dream, and I was forced to clarify details that were kind of fuzzy in the dream itself. I think elements of it may have come from reading some of Robert Price’s excellent Weird Tale fiction in anthologies published by Chaosium a few years back. Look those up and read them if you can find them online. On with the piece… ~ Troythulu
Once, there stood the citadel of Mighty Oeveruuk, seat of civilization throughout the breadth of the galaxy, with its non-Euclidean stone towers and fractal glass minarets standing high above the clouds themselves and announcing the power of its Lords over all.
This citadel had been in decline for some time, though its rulers, the Spacelords, had kept it running, consulting the Wise Ones for tidings of the future, but these latest tidings were not to their liking…
The Maker of the End of Worlds, the horrid Manticora, was on it’s way to Oeveruuk, to conclude the cycle of decline the Spacelords had presided over, to end this once-mighty civilization of the stars. The Wise Ones advised the building of a weapon, constructed of alien stone and eldritch crystal, that would use bolts of twisted space to save the citadel, stabbing the sky to save their fallen world.
But while the weapon was being built, one of their number betrayed his fellows and sabotaged the project. Why the turning of the coat? None know with any surety, as all on this world died when the End arrived, though it is suspected that the traitor was tempted with power by the Manticora, sweet lies of life elsewhere, and worse, a game of revenge against the others, for they laughed behind his back, or so he thought, worms of resentment eating at his mind as bitterness and suspicion claimed what remained of his once great intellect.
The die was cast, the bargain, if and once made, was sealed, and so was the fate of Mighty Oeveruuk. The day arrived when the Manticora came to claim its prize, the routine death of yet another world, its mane of metal serpents writhing as it descended from the sky, enormous crimson wings spread wide to catch the solar wind.
The weapon, in desperation, was used…but its bolts of twisted, roiling space were out of focus, weakened and useless, amusing the Manticora as they splashed and slid off of its nickel-iron scales, grown from eating far too many asteroids in between meals, just before the weapon was flattened by an idle paw swipe, its tower and crystaline rings quickly shattered by the casual swing of a sting-tipped tail.
The Betrayer, his name is lost to time now, was of all people the most surprized. If his reward were to live, the joke was on him, for he was first to die. Without so much as time for a look of shock on his face, he was flattened by a paw the size of a league-spire for his efforts.
The sky darkened, and winds howled as wing-driven cyclones did their work, scrubbing the doomed world clear of all the taint of civilization. When the Manticora looked upon its handiwork, it saw that all was worthy, all had ended. All was good. All was dead.
Oeveruuk’s sun dulled, reddened, begun to shed its outer layers, and the tiny dead speck of a world once orbiting it spiralled outward, lifeless and scorched, into the chilly darkness of the vacuum in a universe neither knowing nor caring of those who once called it…home.