Chapter 17 Desinent Denouement
Trekker V had travelled past its usual mileage, and by Neo Gamma’s military standards, it should be thrown away in the junkyard. But Trekker V meant more to them than rusted steel – they had been on board for so long a time, and it was like their second home, somewhere they could return to after exploring the wilderness of the outside world, to find shelter, comfort, and security. It was a place where they belonged to, in the vast space of alien environments and denizens. Strangers they did welcome aboard, and their visitors respected the ship as their identity.
However, their journey was about to come to the final stop, when they might have to leave Trekker V forever. Reuban’s Starfinder picked up the location of Kaz’s base at the ruins of Black Creek, a very ancient galaxy where all stars had died, leaving yawning black holes that formed a stream of murky ooze. An outlandish and eerie place to begin with in the depths of Generon.
“At last, the time of reckoning has come,” said Zurho, clutching his blade tight at the hilt. Looking out through the screen, a mighty planet came to view, with four satellites individually attached with metal columns. But at closer inspections it was not at all a natural planet; rather it was a massive space station built to resemble a planet.
“An Eurushar!” exclaimed Reuban, “one of the few etoiles built by the Kimens, the renowned architects of Generon! How could Kaz come into possession of one?”
“By force, no doubts,” Sarah scoffed, “Kaz is full of deceit that even Mother Universe wouldn’t let him touch her soil, so he resorted using an artificial one.”
“You sound very literary,” joked Gerard, “I never heard you speak mouthful of metaphors.”
“Can’t I?” Sarah implored, “after all of our misadventures, this is what I feel deep down in heart. A thousand of words cannot express it….”
“You sound like we’re going to die – ”
Gerard realised he spoke the wrong words as Sarah cast an impelling glare at him. But it was the inevitable truth: against Kaz’s legion of Arzankans which Illian Greyor once unable to defeat, it was as if sending themselves to Acheron.
“Don’t fret, all of you,” cried Zurho amidst the heightening tension, “I’m sure there’s a way around this. Kaz is not invincible, he’ll be just a strong foe.”
Only Keith was calm, sitting broodingly watching them argue; or maybe he was not even watching, but staring point blank, musing. Then he stood up and walked towards the deck, and gazed through the screen, at Eurushar and its four moons.
“Crystal… she’s there,” Keith uttered, “I can feel her presence… she’s calling me.”
“Are you sure you want to come along, Gard?” asked Gerard, “there’s always the space capsule to send you away from here.”
“Why, and miss all the fun?” the old man brandished the sword in his hand, gritting teeth, “after what he had done to my master, I’m here to chop him up!”
“That’s one surge of courage,” Zurho remarked.
Trekker V gradually entered into the atmosphere of Eurushar, switching on all shield pods to their maximum, bracing for an enemy assault. Yet surprisingly, the planet was just as cold as it was silent, looking desolate enough for anything to live. No enemy fires. Till Trekker V landed, not far from ground they spotted a mighty tower standing erect amidst the barren, and its entrance opened wide.
“Kaz is inviting is to walk into his trap,” said Keith.
“Then how should we tackle him? Asked Zurho.
“He doesn’t give us a choice.”
Gerard, Sarah and Reuban each carried their rifles loaded with Erulium bullets, slung chains of ammunitions around their shoulders. Zurho was never too fond of artillery, and his battle spirits were fused to his Nazrec, the pride of Rhoaku. Gard, meanwhile, could do little more than tagging along. And Keith, his ultimate weapon of destruction sheathed in the scabbard, stood gallantly before the enemy’s stronghold, without the hint of fear.
His adamant eyes transfixed on the sky-scraping tower, full of hate brewing that made them sparkle in the dark light, the perfect weapon against the arch nemesis of Generon herself.
The team marched with caution into the building. There were signs of Arzankan sentries watching them from above, but they did not react to their advances. With great trepidation, they went in, passing through the gothic gates that were twelve-foot high patterned with the most arcane designs of Arzankan origins. Inside, the hall was wide and long enough to hold a banquet of forty thousand men. Masses of Arzankans stood in lines clad in armour, waiting. Above them all, Deuntohc Kaz stood mightily on his throne, with his stone-cold eyes gleaming, awaiting their arrival.
“Surprise, surprise! I’d never expect visitors in my dominion! Few have come so far and fewer still had left. Anyhow, since you’re now here, I’m most pleased to show my guests the might of my faithful Azerons that brought me fame in Generon! Arzankans, Terrans, the most brutal of the races combined together to give me the most powerful faction one can ever imagine! Come my guests, savour in the beauty of my Azerons, and proclaim me Master of the Universe!”
“In your dreams, Kaz!” shouted Zurho in rage, “we’ve come here to end all your treachery, and to make sure you’ll never lay your filthy hands on the sacred mother of Generon! The Farum will purge you from his land of holy, and cast you to darkness where you belong!”
“Insolent fools!” thundered Kaz, his large eyes blazed with inferno, “I gave you a chance to join forces with me, and yet you speak of utmost disgrace! Hitherto thou shall come, but no further! Guards, see that none of our wretched opponents live to see the day when I clamp Generon in my grip and crush it into pieces!”
Drawing his mantle over his head, Kaz retreated to a room behind the throne, while his Azeron battalion regrouped and armed themselves with claws and rifles. The team kept their fingers at the trigger, ready to open fire anytime when the Azerons moved. While Zurho unsheathed the black Nazrec, Keith had already begun his advance before anybody could stop him, dragging the Kashykan along and charged fearlessly through the pack of Arzankans.
The horde swarmed onto him, their sharp claws slashing at him. Seeing Keith in grave danger, his teammates started firing their rifles at the multitude, and their Erulium ammunition proved to be lethal, striking them down in waves. Zurho, meanwhile, rushed from behind lashing his sword, trying to keep the Arzankans away from Keith.
But Keith was not at all impeded by the number. The strength of Illian Greyor glowed the power of the Kashykan, and with it he was unstoppable. With a mighty swing the edge sliced through the surrounding enemies within its cutting-arc, and the force propelled drove the rest off a distance.
Keith continued with firm paces up the throne, heading towards the antechamber where Kaz disappeared. Zurho, on the other hand, hacked his way through the savages trying to keep up with the leader. The rest slowly forced their way into the massive swarm, firing their guns as they pushed the Arzankans back.
The trail of Arzankan bodies left behind by Keith in his forceful advances eventually led him to Kaz’s interior chambers. The room was dark and icy, illumined in blue rays – which looked more like a research room. There, in the middle of the room, stood Kaz, high and mighty as ever. He transfixed his cold, glassy eyes on Keith and chuckled.
“Finally, you had returned, my strong Azeron! No matter how far apart we are, you knew you had to come, because I called you!”
Keith held the Kashykan firmly with both hands, staring vigil at Kaz, without responding.
“Come to me, my Azeron!” Kaz beckoned in his resounding tone, “you’re created by me, and to me you shall return! You’re not human, you’re a clone, and you only belong here! In my empire only you’ll find sanctuary, away from those vile civilisations that despised you and your kind! It’s me who gave you life, and to me shall you call father, the Lord, and the sole Creator!”
“Enough with your lies!” Keith rebuked, “you don’t really care for the clones you make, do you? You only plan to use them for world domination. You do not give them life – Generon does! They are just a bunch of mindless beasts, and they’ll certainly bow to you; but I can think, and certainly think better then you – ”
“I resent defiance!” Kaz ranted. From his neck dangled a chain, which he pulled out a trinket, and held it above Keith, “I command you!”
Still holding the sword high, Keith stepped forwards.
“I command you! What, you’re impervious to my commands? Who, what are you? No, you’re definitely not my Azeron, who’re you? Unless… no, you can’t be HIM, you can’t be! He’s already dead, yes, he does not exist anymore!”
“It does not matter much whether he lives or not. Today let all madness end from where it originated.”
Keith walked up to the wrathful Kaz, and plunged the sword deep into his heart. Kaz shrieked in pain, dropping the trinket, and collapsed to the floor. The dark light in his eyes faded away, and there he lay stiffly, as hard as rock. The archenemy of Generon was now no more.
Before his own eyes Zurho watched how Kaz fell before Keith’s sword, the mastermind of Generon’s destruction vanquished. The unearthly shrill of Kaz’s dissolution echoed throughout the hollow chambers, and evil, piercing, resounding cry that sickened the mind.
“Is this the end?” wondered Zurho.
Silence ensued. Too silent, and suddenly, wicked laughter boomed from all over the place around. Then, little holograms popped out ubiquitously in the room, all which bore the face of the villain himself.
“Ha, ha, ha….” The images cackled synchronously, “you must have thought that you have defeated me, but you haven’t! For I, Deuntohc Kaz is invincible and immortal! I am the Lord of my realm and I am the realm of my territory! I am this whole planet of Azora and soon, I’ll be the whole Generon as well! Ha, ha, ha….”
“What trickery is this?” exclaimed Zurho, his eyes rolled about the walls and ceilings, staggered by the phantoms of the dead person hollering around him.
“Essence of spirons,” said Keith, “same as what happened to Illian Greyor before. Kaz had long integrated his spirons into the Eurushar, and his bodily form is only a representation of him. In other words, he is the planet, and the ground we’re standing on, is him.”
“We’re standing on top of him all this time? Olakohama! Then we’re in a very bad position, Keith! He can kill us anytime he wants!”
“Not necessary. Let’s leave this place as soon as possible.”
They made haste to warn the others of the impending threat, and to return to Trekker V. Just before they were stepping out into the hall, Keith stopped, as if restrained by an invisible barrier.
“What’s wrong, Keith?”
“Go ahead, Zurho. Take them all to the ship and hold on till I return. But leave nonetheless if I don’t return.”
They parted ways. Keith made his detour deeper into the fortress, where the lights glowed dimmer from every antechamber passed. It was dark, and practically he was blind – but he knew his way through, for there was a voice guiding him, calling him, and attracting him to it. The resounding voice that never once left his head, and now amplified by its close presence.
His heart beat faster every time he was nearer to the source. He was definitely sure that his long lost love he had been searching for was waiting at the end of the road.And in total wonder, the long, tunnelling passageways ended in a very big cave where the blue rays lit intensely, and there, he met the greatest fear of his life….