-After the End-
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A man was captured at the tip of the world where none should be able to live. A broken small moon that has a strange atmosphere around it. A space station who bore solar sails. As they approached the man who wore nothing but an age-old jacket and carried a pistol on his lap. They noticed that the man was fine despite the pressure and the gravity that made their exoskeleton’s motors groan.

“Sir,” the astronaut said. “We’ve come to plead you.”

“I am no one.”

“Revenant,” said another. “Please save our souls.”

“Do I look like a God to you, friend?”

He pointed at the vertical slit that looked like an eye. A gigantic orange hole that seems to open up the vast space. Galaxies were being sucked from every direction. None could escape it. But he had seen such sights for so long that it was not new to him.

“Why do you cower when your people have made such wonders? Why do you people bow your head to the wraith that has lost his mate? Alas, I am a Guardian, a Revenant that watches for eternity. But what kind of Guardian let's people die, eh? Do you have your mothership, friends?”

“They are  trying to escape that, Sir.”

“I understand. Then let me tell you this. I shall send your people to the next dimension. Send them a beacon but heed my words, friends. Find your own planet and live peacefully. Try not to bother the natives of that world or you shall perish.”

The Astronauts shuddered. The one that seems like a woman with long ears nodded and bowed her head. Beyond that thick helmet was strange eyes. He ignored those eyes and held his hands towards the slit in the void. He held them together and strange pillars of light captured the slit.

“Go now, I shall wait for your ships to pass. Godspeed, friends. May You are Blessed By Whatever God you worship.”

“Thank you, Revenant.”

The two were tethered back to their ship. A beacon was released and every augment inside his head kept on telling him that a number of them were coming to this location. He wondered how they could have known that someone like him existed? But that doesn’t matter now. How long had it been since she left him alone? He was not mad at her mortality. They had lived long good lives and even his descendants have become the leaders of the many worlds that this dimension had. Maybe some of them had known who he was?

“It’s a good run, Ashia,” he said. “Still, I would love to have seen the end of the world with you. In the next life, I’ll find you. Or will you find me first again?”

He said that with a smile. Who knew that the young fool who watched the sun from above a building would end up standing at the ends of the world? Who knew that so he would travel on so many worlds? How many wonders had he seen? It was not enough even for him. He couldn’t help but laugh at that thought inside his head.

Then the motherships arrived with their boosters arriving. One after another they appeared before the beacon that those astronauts have said. He smiled at them and showed his presence to every person inside the motherships. It was merely an illusion, but it was enough to show them who he was.

Humans were stubborn and forgettable.  A century is enough for them to forget and yet he couldn’t help but laugh when thinking about the long-ears and the red-skinned who were with them inside their motherships.

The long-lived wouldn’t easily forget. Not when he would hunt them down if they would even try to do so. But can he even do that knowing what is next for him?

He opened a hole where they could pass to. Those motherships and before the slit could break free from his hold. He jumped behind the motherships and started to wander the hyperspace before everything turned into a kaleidoscope world. He could see the motherships sailing this sea of reflection when suddenly he saw a familiar world. He didn’t hesitate to follow that world and he passed through easily. Dropping from an unknown height he saw a familiar sight that made tears appear on his eyelids. Then at one of the buildings he saw a red-headed young man standing on top of a building. Next to him was a courier bag and a bottle of dehydrated drink.

“Seriously?” He palmed his face at the sight of this young man. Landing on top of the same building like a cat. He turned his attention to the tragedy brewing next to this young man. On both sides he would suffer. One was a grizzly death and one was that of a journey of pain and heartbreak. He could just take him away from all of this, but then he wondered what would happen to him if he does. Should he kill him? No, that won’t be right. If anything, he knew who he was going to be. He could see the tragedy before him yet it will come no matter what.

He appeared in a blink of an eye next to the young man looking down on the street. He gave him a pat on the back and he started to fall. He looked at the edge of the building and saw the young man swallowed by a portal. A scent and presence that resembled only her. So she was looking here.

I see, no wonder I could survive for so long. So it was my own doing to protect him. There’s no path but this. And I have no path other than to do this...huh.”

He began to fade. He could see through his hand. He looked up to the skies and gave a weary smile. “Ever the cosmos’s plaything am I? No matter, I have done my part and now I shall move on. Hey, can I find her again?”

None answered him, but he was sure that he could. He has lived long enough and time was his ally. He was losing strength. His soul was crumbling, dissipating like a vapor in the wind. He had given it all to the Deadman who continued his hunt. He couldn’t be like him. He couldn’t allow himself to be like him. He may be able to live a long life, but it was because he knew that dying would allow him to get closer to where she was. An eternity of walking, hunting down a monster in a world that she may not exist. He couldn’t do that. So he could only pray to the version of him that couldn’t let go. That he would peace as he did.

His hand slowly became like dots of light. The sun started to set and before long his entire being glowed. He turned his inner eye to the place where he had forgotten. A moment of recognition as he saw their faces.

How many times has it been? It didn’t bother. For once he found peace. He bathed under this peace and saw his body dissolve into dots of light under the night sky. As he becomes a hundred dots of light. Nolan Salvatore couldn’t help but smile at the place where he shall go. But still, he wondered if she should feign ignorance first?

A laugh escaped his lips as he truly disappeared. His soul entered a spiral well made of stars. But before he could truly enter he saw a lonesome image of him sitting on a hill of a world of his own. Forever the hunter and the bearer of the sword that he had refused to take.

“Life is goodbye,” he said to him. “The next time you find me, no, find us. You’ll have everything. I’ll convince her. Besides, I'll take a long time and we’ll find another anyway. So wait, okay?

His voice drifted as the spiral well of stars shutted close.

 

*****

 

 

In another place, in another time there was another one that had the same image as him. Dragging his broken body and stabbing it inside his opponent’s stomach. He tore the helmet off her and saw a heartbroken woman’s face. How many times has it been? He couldn't count and yet somehow he heard words that comforted him. Placing his palm on the woman’s head. The pain in her face was gone as she slowly drifted to sleep. He knew who that voice was and yet he envied his cowardice. But he needed to keep on going. He needed to fight on. Because it was his promise. That’s why this was his only path. More of him would be lost in worlds. So many fragments of him walked the bleak path and he knew how to end it all. To stop her from opening that portal that swallowed him. He knew who the coward that pushed him off that building, but that doesn’t matter now.

Amadan. The name means of a fool, and that of an idiot in his native tongue. What kind of fool would choose a bleak path? He would. That’s why he slid away and into another world where he would begin his search. How long would it take again?

It didn’t matter. He forged the steel inside his mind and created a wall around the flame inside his head.  The last of the bleak walkers continued on his bleak path. Knowing that there was still a path for him. He landed on top of a sand and followed such a path where the sands would consume his figure. 

Heaven was not enough for the fool.


THE BLEAK WALKER

END


 

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