Chapter 14 The Resurrection

“Illian Greyor…” uttered Larqek to himself with an exclaiming tone, “that’s interesting. Illian Greyor was the legendary hero of all times, a champion of no equal. He was said to have managed to turn the tables unto the enemies every time, in whatever battles he participated, victory always sides him. He wields a sword that is said to perform miracles, and according to some, he can kill a legion of armies with just a single strike of his sword.”

“And he isn’t a legend,” Keith added, “he exists, and so does the sword people call the Ultimate Weapon of Destruction.”

Keith produced the mighty contraption from his possession, and hence displayed it in front of him. Larqek and the Rhoaku brothers stared with shock and captivation, writhing with their eyes filled with utmost fear. “Forgive my sins, Lord Farum. But you’re holding the Kashykan, blasphemous creation of all, evil sword of Rendar! Yes, the sword that Illian Greyor used to slaughter countless civilisations, burning galaxies into ashes!”

“And only Illian can use the Kashykan,” said Zurho, “I understand now, my friends. Palov wants us to resurrect Illian Greyor, so that he could use the weapon to destroy Kaz’s militia. This is the only most powerful weapon that can destroy a hundred million Arzankans.”

“But at the expense of Keith? How would you even consider that?” Sarah exclaimed peevishly, “I won’t allow it! Why sacrifice our good leader for a senseless murderer of so many people? Keith is a clone of his, and Keith can use the weapon to eliminate the Arzankans as well!”

“It isn’t the same!” shouted Gard emotionally, “although Keith may look like him, but at the end he is not him! I know you love your leader, just as much as I love him as a friend too, but there’re no other choices left, or you intend to continue watching Kaz terrorise planets after planets with his invincible army and plague the world with his disease.”

“There must be some other way,” the team retorted.

“That’s enough,” Keith broke into the argument, “I know how you all care for me, my good friends, my faithful brothers. But if it must be done this way, and no other viable ways, then so be it. I don’t mind giving my breath in exchange of the breaths of million others. Just promise that my sacrifice would be worthwhile.”

Larqek walked up to Keith with an appreciative countenance, and thus he praised, “I admire your boldness, Shjrous Keith, and I respect your nobility. You spoke like a Rhoaku, and you certainly acted like one. We couldn’t have revered more your fortitude and valour, and shame ourselves for our fecklessness. You’re one true Rhoaku in heart, though only you aren’t anointed as one. But I say, go forth, Shjrous Keith, and bring this destiny to where it belongs. I wish you good luck.”

“Are you sure you’re not coming with us?” asked Keith.

“No,” Karl declined, for the third time, “I couldn’t be more of a help tagging along. You’ve a sacred mission to accomplish, and I’ll pursue mine. I’ll stay and help my Amorphos kinsmen to find a cure to the disease, and hopefully, I can.”

Keith patted his determined friend on the back, and said no more. Before they parted their ways, Karl whispered into his ears, “I haven’t done anything to repay your kindness and magnanimity, but I promise to help you out on the war in your homeland. My capabilities are limited, but rest assured, I’ll make the best of it.”

Trekker V once again soared to space, carrying with it the remaining six headed for the planet where Illian Greyor’s body was cryogenised. Before they left, the Rhoaku brothers provided them a very useful parting gift – the Starfinder, which was a device to track down locations of any celestial body at anytime, anywhere. With that, they could easily plan their journey and estimate the speed of their ship. In their present situation, Reuban opted to switch Trekker V into warp speed to shorten the distance towards galaxy Kinhara, supposedly thirty thousand light-years from where they departed.

Asked Keith to Gard while Trekker V made its long journey, “how, exactly, am I going to revive Illian Greyor?”

“It’s good if you knew the procedures,” Gard mumbled with a voice strained with tension, “I understand that you’re unsettled over the sacrificing affair, but I can assure you, that it would be a clean and painless quietus. It’s sort of a spiron transfusion, you may call it, just as how blood transfusion works in present medical practices.”

Gard presented a curious-looking glove to Keith, and continued, “This Positronic glove you will be wearing to commence the transfusion. It functions to exalt the spirons inside your body, enabling them to flow freely inside you. Once you get near enough with Illian Greyor, your spirons will surge from the glove into his body, leaving yours, which would already be lifeless by then.

“Now Illian Greyor wasn’t really dead like I had said; the last of his life lies suspended inside the cubicle, where his spirons, putting it figuratively, were ‘sleeping’. As your spirons enter his body, they will activate his defunct spirons, and bring him to life again. While then, your spirons may detach and reattach themselves in the complicated process, while some will disintegrate. In other words, your spirons may never form a whole again, and whatever that has been ‘you’ will be lost, permanently.”

In those words he heard, Keith already sensed a guilty conscience that had been burdening him in despair. Not wishing to ostracise him for that issue his friends created, Keith gently solaced, “never mind, Gard. Don’t feel horrid or nocent over what you said, what you did or what you yield. What has to be done will be done, regardless of the consequences. I do this for the sake of the world, not I will forsake it, will I?”

Gard smiled sheepishly in accord.

The flight was a long and time-consuming one. Some had to find ways to keep occupied or left adrift at a big sea of boredom. While each attended to his or her own affairs (Reuban preoccupied with the Starfinder, Sarah scrutinising her falling beauty at the mirror, Zurho brandishing his Nazrec, and Gard absorbed in his master’s transcripts), Gerard and his bosom friend, none other than his cherished superior, sat together at a little cafeteria lounge, drinking coffee while sprawling on soft, comfortable couches, passing the time away. Also having little conversations between themselves, they talked about old times, memories of late and catching up with each other.

“You don’t really have to go through all of these, Keith,” said Gerard, “it’s your life, and nobody has a right to take it away, nor can you righteously take your own life; we can always turn back, or if you decide otherwise.”

“No, Gerard,” said Keith, “I’m not going back, after all the way I came from Neo Gamma to Neo Harbour, from Elix to Callec, and from Roton to my final destination, which I’ll lay my life with. This sacrifice is out of my willingness, and partly, out of my disappointment with this miserable reality. In the end I still die, as one can’t live forever, but now at least I can do something meaningful with the last of my remnants, and also for the sake of my beloved Crystal. Don’t you agree?”

Gerard listened intently, looking at his friend’s face that wore smiles, fake smiles, quite not like a person who abhorred death, but adored it, and embraced it. Nevertheless, he pressed on asking, and persuading him to change his mind, “don’t try to conceal, Keith. I can still see the passion of concern in your dispirited eyes… what’s bothering you, my good friend?”

“Thoughts, regrets.”

“Tell me.”

“Just thinking of the person whom I’d give my life to, and not to the ones that I loved most. And thinking of home. It’s been a long while we hadn’t gone home, and I missed it much. I wonder what happened to all our friends and colleagues? Have Neo Gamma been devastated by war? Or had we won the war? Why, why can’t we have peace and why must we have war? It makes no difference, whether you win or lose, we still suffer an eternal grieve, a scar that never ceases to show nor fade from our reminiscences, our dark history. Why, why let the authorities dictate the lives we should live, and not ourselves? Are we not mature enough to think what’s good for us and what isn’t? Why?”

“Learn to live by it, Keith. There’s no way you can change the fact that war had broken out in our once peaceful colony. We can only pray for it to end quickly.”

“I regret, Gerard, and I want to change it. I regret not having it quits earlier, and then I would have brought Crystal away from that madness, and live away at the edges of the world. Then Crystal wouldn’t have to suffer. But then again, would I make the change, if I haven’t come to this day?”

Keith laughed silently to himself. Gerard knew Keith had brooded over his misfortunes, but glad that he took them lightly.

“Wonder what kind of a person is Illian Greyor? He seemed to adore war so much whilst war had been bringing much despair to us. What’s in his mind, actually? Why would he take pride of killing so many people with the acclaimed Ultimate Weapon of Destruction? Or is he what Sarah said as a mindless murderer, who lusts for blood rather than humanity?”

“He’s an intergalactic mercenary, Keith,” Gerard opined, “They do not love war exactly, but are paid to go to war.”

“That’s what I hope,” Keith sighed, “I don’t want to waste my life resurrecting another warmonger to create more conflicts from hells and heavens.”

Kinhara, they once called it the galaxy of gold and glory, lands of grace; now diminished into a vast void, of barren desert planets. Once lavished by greenery, war flattened the planets, killed them, and only the red eroding soils remained. And since the habitants left in their exodus to other galaxies, Kinhara became one of the many forgotten lands in Generon.

Trekker V passed the many asteroids, planets and star-systems that formed the matrix of the galaxy, in search of one particular asteroid that was built the laboratory, which according to Gard, located in the Mechwais planetary system. With the Starfinder it was easily found, however, they were not expecting a pleasant surprise.

As they approached the asteroid, far away, the sight of the Mechwais star was appalling. Unlike the information from astrology books, it had grown to a size of four to five times than it should be. “Brace for the worst,” Reuban cautioned, as he analysed the mass of the star, “due to post-war radiations, Mechwais is dying, prematurely. It’s now entering the final stage, and there’s bound to be a supernova… approximately thirty minutes from now before Mechwais explodes!”

“Let it be done this way,” said Keith, “Gard and I will go down and revive Illian Greyor, and the rest of you, stay. After Gard brings Illian back to ship, leave this place immediately. If there isn’t enough time, leave anyway.”

“We’ll miss you,” the team said in snivels.

A small space vessel departed from the main flagship, carrying duo, and ferrying them towards the miniature planet. As it landed, they made haste into the large building, which had not been set foot upon for decades ago. As the doors opened to the lofty and dark, gloomy hallways, Gard had been reminded much of his childhood experiences. The place, which he stepped in forty-over years ago, still looked all too same to him. Harrowing memories of yore still haunted him, vivid and fresh, and sent shuddering vibes to his nerves. It was the first time he returned, and he swore it would be his last.

All around the place seemed alike – translucent sarcophagus keeping Terran and Arzankan soldiers’ corpse well preserved lying everywhere, like a gallery of human anatomy. But Gard knew the place well, and led them to Illian’s cubicle using a shortcut. The whole room, where the cubicle was placed, was in a dire condition – a total mess – like wreckage done ensuing a brawl, not to mention the markings of bullet-holes and sword-slashes on the furniture. But to Keith, the most captivating of all was the person inside the cubicle, Illian Greyor, intergalactic hero surpassed by no other, and his very own predecessor, who bore exact resemblance to himself. He stood stunned for a while, until they heard a hollow, grunting sound echoing through the halls.

“It’s the monster!” Gard exclaimed, “the same monster who killed my master! Quick, use the glove and resurrect Illian Greyor and get out of here before the monster finds us!”

Keith was quite unprepared, as Gard never told him about a lurking monster in the building. Nevertheless, he put on the glove as told, and extended his sheathed hand, walking up to the cubicle. And till his hand was near enough, his fingers touched upon the glass casing.

He started experiencing something different inside him, the tingling sensation, and his soul was like floating on air. He felt a tiny electric current flowing, under his fingertips, and permeating through his skin, through the glove, though the glass, and imbuing the sleeping man. The more he saw the thin line of blue particles passing through the solid glass, the more he felt dizzy, and numbness started overwhelming him. It was the least painful ordeal he endured, and in fact, there was no pain at all, rather instead, a feeling of freedom, happiness, released from his old feeble shell that shackled his wearied soul for so many long years, emancipated from the suffering and agony of life’s undulation. And that was when he heard a loud shriek, followed by a deep, unnerving growl, accompanied by a loud crash from behind.

With his bleary vision, he could only watch Gard confronting a monstrous abomination with nothing to defend himself, but cornered to a path of no escape. His hand reached for his sword and his gun but was to weak to carry either of them. At the verge of collapsing, he saw Gard picking up a steel shaft and fended himself from the advances of the creature.

And then, like a display screen being turned off, his vision disappeared into a black mass coming from all edges, closing into a fine white line and then reducing to a small white dot. Everything went pitch-black.

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