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post #9 of (permalink) Old 05-02-12, 10:35 PM
The Curmudgeon
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Shards of Light; The Angels Come

Miya looked to the heavens as she did every night from the small shade tree not far from her small home. The stories her grandfather had told her of the realm above captivated her even after his death, driving her to sit beneath the tree as she had since she was a child and remember. The Eldar girl had never seen the fanciful things that her grandfather had spoken about, nor did she ever believe she would. Her parents had warned her many times that listening to her grandfather’s stories would do nothing but drag her into wistful wanderlust. And sometimes Miya had to admit they were right.

As the stars grew ever brighter in the night sky, the young woman wondered idly if her grandfather had simply imagined everything he’d spoken about. The great cities in the heavens, the ancestors who walked among the people in suits made of living bone. And the enemies that he had conjured up in many of the stories he told… were they too simply figments of his increasingly addled mind. As ardently as Miya wished it were not so, at times it seemed to be the only explanation.

Most of the tribal elders had spoken of the ancient times when her people once ruled the stars, but none of them had been alive to see such times. Most of her tribe thought of gallivanting through the heavens as nothing more than flights of fancy. Only a precious few even cared to hear the stories that Miya’s grandfather had once told, and of them only she still believed them to be true.

The young Eldar sighed as she closed her eyes for a moment, her mind conjuring up the images that had once been inspired by the voice she could no longer truly remember anymore. She watched in her mind’s eye as figures danced about before her, the tale weaving through her sight as if she had been standing their bearing witness. When she opened her eyes again, the images vanished as the world came back into focus.

A streak of light passed before her vision, a sight all too rare for her not to take notice. Miya rose to her elbows and scanned the sky in hopes to catch another passing of light along the evening skyline. She waited patiently for more heartbeats than she cared to count before she finally sighed and sank back down. No sooner did she give up her search that another streak of light appeared. And several heartbeats later, another made its way across the sky.

The longer she watched, the more frequent the streaks of light became. Before too long it was like the heavens were sending down a shower of lights, much like a gently rainstorm sent down streams of falling rain on a lazy spring day. Miya rose to her feet with a kind of childish joy at the notion that she might be the only one watching the star shower. She wondered for a moment if it might not have been her grandfather’s spirit sending down the shards of light, though deep down she knew it was most likely not the case.

Miya watched as the shards of light grew even brighter, now taking shape as pillars of fire and smoke descending toward the ground. Bright flashes on the horizon gave evidence that the lights were much more solid; something was falling to the ground from above. The girl’s curiosity got the better of her when one of the falling balls of flame landed not far inside the tree line. Despite the warnings of her parents not to venture off into the woodlands after the sun had fallen, Miya sprinted off to chase after the fallen star.

The soft amber glow of fire was her guide through the woods, bathing the entire area around the Eldar girl in an eerie light that threw more shadows around than it dispelled. Even so, Miya charged ahead undaunted by the tricks of light dancing playfully in her sight. Several times as she traversed the woods the girl had to stop and make her way around a cluster of brush and undergrowth too thick to simply go through. Despite this, the girl finally managed to reach her fallen star.

In the place of a glowing orb of light, or some other more whimsical interpretation of celestial bodies, Miya found an obelisk-like structure, most of it black either from the fall and impact or by design. Parts of the thing glowed in strange hues of green and blue, vastly different from any fires the Eldar had ever seen. And the symbols adorning the thing were unlike anything she’d ever seen. The most prominent was a symbol that looked like a bird, but it had two heads rather than one.

Miya thought to approach the strange metal thing until it issued forth a sharp hiss. Several more sharp hisses erupted from the thing before parts of it began to fall to the ground, crashing into the burnt husks of trees the thing had fallen on and practically incinerated. What the girl witnessed next was beyond anything she’d ever thought she’d be privy to. Men of iron came strolling out, their vibrant red eyes searching the fire-lit tree line before them. Miya counted three from where she stood, though the giant obelisk looked as if it were able to carry many more.

“What are you?” The girl asked the men of iron.

One of the men of iron stepped forward with a weapon raised in its hand, “Angels of Death. We’re here to purge your kind…”

The sound of thunder issued forth from the Death Angel’s weapon. In the span of seconds it took for the bolter round to reach her skull, Miya found herself cursing the falling rain of fire that had brought the Angels of Death to her world. A heartbeat later her head exploded and her body crumbled to the ground. Overhead, the rain of fire continued to fall…

1001 words not including title.

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