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Mar 272014
 

David Riddell

What’s this? I’m… I’m falling. That’s what I’m doing. Must be. Wasn’t expecting this. Totally outside my experience. Don’t think I did anything to precipitate it, not that I can think of. Well now. I’ve done some daft stuff, but – nothing like this. I wonder what’s going on?

Good lord, we’re all at it. Ha! Geoffrey seems to be taking things rather badly. All aquiver. Talk positive and action negative, that’s our Geoffers. Cheer up, Geoffers, might never happen! Everyone else seems in good form. Stiff upper menisci abound. Jolly good.

By god, this is strange but, good lord, what a sight to behold! The lads all about and below. And look at that – light everywhere! Coruscant light. Far as you can see. Twinkle twinkle. Now, I love the cloud, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, but – this is really quite something.

Falling. Crikey, I guess those old warblers were spot on. What a thing. Descending only to rise again, rivers of low cloud, the holy ocean and all that. Might have a few apologies to make. Hey ho. What a thing indeed. I must say it feels marvellous. The freedom! The vista! Those prophet wonks took a pretty mixed view of the whole thing but this is splendid. What ho, Geoffers! This is a lark, what? What? Can’t hear you old boy! Bah, lost him in the mix. Gosh, there’s a lot of us.

Look at it – look at the lights. And that big whitey grey thing over there! Like a dome. Don’t see that in the cloud, no sir. And that pointy thing there, even bigger, all lit up it. Twinkle twinkle. Nice to see some of the boys going to take a closer look. Good for them. Life’s an adventure. The cloud was pleasant, drifting about on currents and so forth, but – this is living. Heading down to new adventures and new experiences. Now, lads, don’t get too close to that big pointy bugger, it doesn’t…

Wait… no.

No, no. God no. By all that’s holy…

What just happened? The boys, they’re been smashed to pieces. Thousands of them! That huge spiked horror just, just… damned thing didn’t even take a scratch. By the Great Condenser… it… stop, thousands and thousands… stop! Please god stop.

Oh lord, oh no, Geoffers was in there. Geoffers, oh Geoffers, you bally hero, what have you done? You should have stayed in the cloud, you silly fool. Oh Geoffers, with your silly quiver, oh Geoffers.

It’s the prophecy. It has to be, there’s no other explanation. Good god, there’s death everywhere. The light, it was a trick… a trick of the enemy. They’re so strong! Our best and boldest, wiped out. The spiked thing a mausoleum, the dome an open grave. Slick with the bodies of our fallen.

Boys, by the prophecy you’ve gone to a better place and, well, I salute your sacrifice. I realise now. This is war and we are soldiers. It’s the only explanation. How could I have been so blind? This is war. We must fall, fall to fight the enemy. God and elders, I am sorry for doubting you. I repent with all my heart. This cannot continue. Please, please, give me the strength to find a way.

Everyone, listen to me! War is upon us. The enemy are in great numbers but we must focus our efforts! We are throwing ourselves bravely at the foe, we are blitzing their defences, but they hold firm. This cannot continue, we must fight back, we must change our strategy, we must focus, find a way!

Right, there has to be a commander somewhere, he’ll have a good vantage, there’ll be guards. Where are you, cur, where are you? Okay, shorten and fatten, ride the air currents, just like the cloud, buy time, find him, I must find him, it’s the only way to end this madness. Drift, drift.

God, we’re dying in millions.

There, is that…? Open, very central, a space, blazing, some form of creature on a thing. Four more creatures surround, larger, different to he, they are looking outwards, guarding, lit up in that unholy light. By god, it must be him, it must be. Good vantage, big guards. It is. It is the Enemy. I see you. I SEE you. I HATE you.

See him brothers! The enemy commander. His imperious stance, his form of filth. By all our elders taught, by the great river, the holy ocean, the transformation and the rebirth, we must destroy him, we must kill him and revenge the lost. Put aside your soft ways, your fear of conflict. This is war! Harden your souls, let no thought of peace or harmony distract you. Harden, make your selves rigid, sharp, cold with hatred. We are the warriors of old reborn, we are the army of god sent to wreak vengeance on his foes. My brothers, my glorious brothers, you feel it now, the cold, the hardness, the violence. Let it consume you, become you! We have come, oh enemy, we have come across time to destroy you, we are the army of legend sent to drown you in the dark. We are the Army of White, we are death from above!

The boys, they are following me, by god they see the truth in my words and they follow. Brave boys, pristine white, reflecting light. The prophecy, the prophecy! I love them, love them all. But I must focus, not long left now, going too fast, wind circulating unpredictably, must focus, tiny shifts, that’s it, that’s it. I see you, creature, I see you clearer now, ugly, your fixed form a misshapen affront to nature, no wonder we were sent to destroy you, to kill you, to erase your existence from the spheres. Victory will be ours as was foretold. Victory and vengeance. Poor Geoffers.

Brothers, we are close, the wind has been with us, almost there… almost there…

By god, NOW! GO GO GO!

We are falling to your destruction, cur! We are death from above, we are your doom, we will strike you mightily and you shall be shattered in an instant. I am your nemesis, the inflictor of holy retribution, the agent sent by the Great Condenser to smite you into specks of filth. You shall be utterly destroyed and your fate remembered only in the dark, in fear, as one who angered the army of god. I see you, I see you and I will kill you, I am fast, I am hard, I am strong! I strike with the force of the almighty! I strike you down! I STRIKE YOU DOW

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