Simon’s War (Part 6)

Part 6.

Mystic Man is Isaac Eckspo. He has a plethora of powers including superhuman strength, durability, flight, energy projection, and teleportation. He can teleport to any place in our known universe. Everywhere except one.

The Crab Nebula is known amongst humanity. Long thought to be the remnants of a supernova, no one, not even Mystic Man, know what truly lies inside this beautiful space cloud.

Today, you will learn of a secret, powerful society within the Milky Way galaxy. One that has watched, grown, and flourished in the past thousand years. But as with all societies, they’ve reached a crossroads. A moment in time is upon them, and for the first time ever, witness the epic tale of a family divided. An empire in turmoil. And it all started with Mystic Man.

LAST TIME

Everything has been building to this. Planet Seleste burns and King Simon can only watch. Well, that’s not true. He’s decided to take the fight to General Trope’s resurgent forces. As he fights for control of his planet, he mourns the loss of his sister, Sam Seleste. Sam was killed by an ominous purple cloud floating just outside of Planet Seleste. Not only did it kill Sam, but it has removed the shielding of the Crab Neubla, which has protected the Seleste Empire for generations.

War on all fronts. But this is what Simon has prepared for.

Today, the end of Simon’s War.

 

 

“The Seleste Empire lives—”

The Seleste soldier couldn’t get the words out of his mouth before being blasted by one of Trope’s crustaceans. A few minutes ago, Simon was leading a group of men outside the royal temple. Now, he had just watched the last of his group get destroyed by the enemy.

The battle raged throughout the city. Some fought for Seleste, some fought against. Simon was receiving as many updates as possible, but he couldn’t get a handle on anything. It was utter chaos.

But Simon flourished in chaos. Flourished in the anger, in the rage of war. He had more men available. And his fleet was engaged with Trope’s fleet above the planet. Their lasers lit up the sky. And at any time, Simon could have called them to take these disgusting creatures in front of him out. But he didn’t. Instead, Simon took in a deep breath, cocked his blaster and began firing.

Instantly, he took out two soldiers. Then three. But one of Trope’s soldiers came from behind him and hit him on the head. The blaster was knocked out of his hand. Simon reacted quickly and ducked a punch from the soldier. He landed two quick punches, and pulled a knife from his harness. The knife struck the beast right in the eye. He let out a gross scream. Two more soldiers tried to come behind Simon, but he quickly picked up the blaster and ended their lives swiftly.

I’ve missed this, he thought.

“Sir, we’ve gained the upper hand in the air. Trope’s forces are dwindling.”

In Simon’s ear was Tom Morris. Formerly the hotshot pilot of his mother’s fleet. Now, ever since he returned from the cosmic cloud, Tom was once again leading the charge for the Seleste fleet. He was an incredible talent. And Simon considered himself lucky to have him.

“Good work,” Simon said. “Scan the slums. I don’t care who’s down there. Destroy them all. And send two ships down to the surface to meet me at the temple. Trope’s men are attempting to flank. We won’t let them.”

Before Simon finished his orders, he saw Tom Morris’ ship swoop down from space. It was the most recognizable ship, probably in the galaxy. And any enemy who saw it knew that it’d probably be the last thing they see. Tom rained down missiles in the slums of Seleste. Easily killing hundreds, if not thousands. Simon exhaled as he thought of the rebels, trash, and enemy soldiers Tom had just wiped from existence.

The two ships came next. Seleste soldiers ran out of them with determination on their faces. The ships cleared all and any enemy soldiers around the temple and set up a perimeter. Simon didn’t even need to command them. Almost every day, his soldiers went over the protocols put in place to protect the temple. They executed the formation flawlessly, as if it was like breathing for them. Simon went into the temple to prepare for another assault. As he passed the throne room, he saw his other sister, Sarah, sitting next to the throne, her legs crossed and her eyes closed.

“Our planet is under attacked and you find the time to pray?” Simon asked.

Sarah didn’t respond.

“Whatever. I’ve got everything under control. Trope’s men are tough, resilient monsters. But we’re winning.”

“You know I don’t pray,” Sarah said softly.

“I didn’t expect you to help out much anyway. But I figured you’d want to see the battle, help me make some decisions,” Simon said.

“And why would you think that? We grew up around war, Simon. Around death. You’re the only one who likes that type of stuff.”

“Sam did too,” Simon said.

“Sam did what she had to in order to stay true to her beliefs. If the Empire didn’t exist, she wouldn’t have had to fight.”

“That’s a lie and you know it. Sam was aggressive. She had anger in her heart, she was going to get it out one way or another,” Simon said.

“And now she’s dead.”

“Yeah, and now she’s dead,” Simon said.

There was a loud rumble inside the throne room. It took Simon by surprise.

“Status report?” Simon asked.

“They hit the temple, sir. But I already downed the ship that got through. It won’t be much longer until Trope’s forces start retreating,” Tom Morris said.

“Good,” Simon said.

Sarah finally opened her eyes.

“I think it’s time I get going too,” Sarah said.

Simon looked up at his sister and jumped at what he was seeing.

“Sarah—your eyes. They’re purple.”

“I know. I’ve found it, Simon. I’ve found the energy of all things. It’s calling to me, can you believe it?”

“Sarah what’s going on? What are you talking about? Why are you turning purple?”

“The cloud,” Sarah whispered. “The cloud.”

Simon looked up at the ceiling of the throne room. Towards the end of the room, near the door, he could see the outside battles happening on Seleste. It was just a really large window. His mother would watch battles in the throne room sometimes. But in the sky, Simon could see the cloud. The evil purple cloud that took his mother and sister, Sam away. Now, it was working on Sarah.

“You don’t have to give in, Sarah. Fight it. Fight it!” Simon yelled.

“Look, Sarah. I know we haven’t always had the best relationship. I don’t know what made you run into the arms of religion. But please, I’m begging you. Don’t do this.”

Sarah frowned. Simon couldn’t see her eyes, they were completely purple now, but he saw her face stiffen. She stood up. As she did, her hands left her stomach and Simon could see the bottom part of her stomach was beginning to glow as well.

Simon was hysterical now.

“Sarah, please!”

“You know, I don’t ever remember you saying my name this much,” Sarah said softly. She walked over to the window. She was right below it.

“I’ve run from emotion my entire life. Saw the way you and Sam let it drive you. And I always figured that it was weakness. Not anymore though,” Sarah said.

“What are you talking about?” Simon asked.

“I hate you, Simon.” Sarah said coldly. “Always have, always will. You’re a monster.”

And with that, Sarah extended her arms towards the ceiling. As much as the words stung Simon, and as angry as he was that this was happening, he couldn’t help but notice the beauty of this moment. Sarah was no more. Now, she was a luminous purple with pink smoke protruding from her body. She started to float into the air. She smiled as she did.

“This is all I’ve ever wanted,” Sarah said. She struggled to say the last words. She was crying.

Simon ran forward and grabbed Sarah by the ankle.

“Please!” he yelled.

Sarah frowned again and looked down at Simon.

“Go fuck yourself, Simon,” she said.

Those were the last words she spoke as she ascended through the window and into the atmosphere outside. Chaos still reigned outside and amongst the lasers, bombs, and death, Sarah turned into purple smoke as she faded away. Simon watched in disbelief. Tears were in his eyes.

He let out a primal, nasty scream.

“Everything all right, sir?”

Who the fuck dares interrupt me right now?

Of course, it was Koll. Eyes wide, oblivious. Just like he always was. Simon stood to his feet. There was a manic look on his face.

“What do you want?” he said. He stumbled to Koll. He raised his hand, gesturing as if to hit Koll. But, he dropped his hand and gave Koll a chance to speak.

“Great news, my king. Trope’s forces have been defeated. Everything you’re seeing or hearing now is just cleanup. We’ve done it, sir.”

Simon’s face perked up. He almost couldn’t believe it. This day had exacted an enormous toll. And to hear that the remaining of Trope’s forces were running scared, waiting to die, was a good feeling.

“I’ve told the men to ease up on the attack, my king. I want to show you something,” Koll said.

Simon followed Koll down the hallway and into a room that Simon assumed was Koll’s lab. He had been so wrapped up in his relationship and love for Koll, that he often forgot about how smart Koll was. Simon didn’t like Koll easing up on Trope’s forces though. Koll better have a good reason.

“What is this about, Koll?”

It had been awhile since Simon had seen Koll’s lab. He hardly recognized anything in it. They walked towards the middle of the lab. Koll tapped his desk a few times and the desk began to move. It soon turned into some sort of display. In the display, was a ball of what appeared to be glowing energy. Simon had just realized Koll was no longer standing next to him.

“This,” he heard Koll say quietly. “This is how you can end Trope’s army.”

Koll was behind him, standing in the shadows.

“What is this?” Simon asked.

“The purple cloud,” Koll began to say.

Not you too, Simon thought.

“The purple cloud, it ruined us. Exposed us. Took our Queen from us,” Koll said. “But it also revealed to us that we have been protected, shielded by a greater power this entire time. Another cloud.”

“So that’s what this is?” Simon asked. “The power of that cloud that shielded our planet?”

Koll nodded.

“Touch it,” Koll said quietly. “With its power you can not only end Trope’s rebellion but make an even bigger statement to the galaxy. This is what I’ve been working on Simon. It’s ready for you.”

Simon didn’t need much convincing. He trusted Koll more than anyone. He approached the glowing ball and firmly grabbed it. Instantly, he could feel the power coursing through his body.

He thought his body was going to burn up at first. But Koll assured him that this was his pet project for the last year, so Simon calmed his mind. When he did, the energy flowed more. Then, the ball of energy was gone. Completely absorbed by King Simon Seleste. Ruler of the Seleste Empire. Wielder of the remnants of a supernova.

There was a slight rumble in the room after Simon absorbed the energy.

“Trope’s men,” Koll said. “With the power of a collapsed star, you are now the most powerful being in the universe. Show them the might of Seleste.”

“The Seleste Empire lives on,” Simon said beating his chest.

“Lives on.”

Simon went outside on the temple steps to see Trope’s forces gathered out front. Koll wasn’t wrong, there weren’t many left. But the second they saw him, they began to fire. Simon didn’t know the extent of his new powers. He closed his eyes and hoped for the best.

For a second, Simon thought he was dead. But when he opened his eyes, he noticed the blaster fire ricocheting of his body. There was a thin, almost invisible layer of energy over his body. It was orange, but it didn’t overtake his blue skin. Simon extended his arm, hoping some sort of energy blast would follow. It did, but it was more powerful than Simon expected. It disintegrated every soldier who stood before him. A smile came across Simon’s face.

He noticed some of Trope’s ships in the air. Effortlessly, he jumped into the sky and took off like a rocket. A trail of blue and orange energy followed him. He felt incredibly light as he glided through the sky. Simon hardened his body as much as he could. Then, he flew directly through the enemy ship. Simon felt as if he could hear the dying screams of Trope’s men. Maybe he could, but he probably didn’t. It just felt good to, as Koll said, make a statement. Simon made quick work of the other ships in the air, and the rest of the ground forces. Trope’s assault had been completely stalled.

He ecstatically flew down to the ground and entered the temple. It was a time for celebration.

“Koll!” Simon yelled. “Where are you?”

After everything he had been through today. Losing two sisters, losing soldiers, Simon was ready to relax. Ready to have a night of celebration and fun. Tomorrow, he would have to put his King hat back on, help cleanup the planet and devise a plan for what was next. But tonight, he just wanted Koll.

But Koll didn’t answer, and Simon became frustrated.

“Koll!”

There was a flash of light from Koll’s lab. Simon walked furiously. He saw Koll still standing ominously in the shadows. He hadn’t moved since Simon left. He wasn’t moving.

“Did you hear me, Koll?” Simon asked impatiently.

“Of course I did,” Koll said.

There was another slight rumble inside the temple.

“What was that? Some of Trope’s men back for more?” Simon asked.

Koll slowly stood up and walked to the middle of the lab. The display which held the ball of energy was still there. Koll tapped it on its side. It rotated slowly and emitted a blue light. The light turned into a schematic of a planet. It appeared to be Seleste.

Simon felt uneasy. He raised his hand, pointed it directly at Koll.

“Koll, what is this?”

Simon could see Koll clearly now. Tears were running down his face.

Another rumble inside the temple. This was one was violent though.

“It’s the end of the Seleste Empire,” Koll said. He was standing upright now. He looked proud.

Simon had heard enough. He charged forward towards Koll and backhanded him across the face. Koll fell down, his cheek immediately bruised.

Simon started scrambling and began looking at the schematic on Koll’s device. He then began going through the files. It wasn’t long until Simon realized what this was. Treason of the highest level. Koll wasn’t just trying to destroy the Seleste Empire. He was trying to end Planet Seleste.

“But how?” Simon whispered.

“Feels good doesn’t it?” Koll asked. “To hit me. To feel power over me. You must really get off on it.”

Simon hit Koll again. This time in the stomach.

“There it is again,” Koll said. “I always used to wonder what it felt like. What that energy, that rush felt like. And now I do.”

The rumbling didn’t stop now. The inside of Koll’s lab was shaking. Simon could hear his commanders in his ear. They were frantic. It was as if the sky was falling.

“It’s a bomb,” Koll said still on the floor. “A planet-sized bomb. One that you triggered.”

Simon looked at his hands. They let off a dim orange glow.

“The only energy capable of triggering the bomb was here in my lab. Energy the purple cloud made available to us. Energy that you absorbed which started a chain reaction. The machine is right under your feet Simon. How’s it feel? How’s it feel to know the end of your precious Empire is coming from you?”

Simon raised his hand and blasted Koll in the stomach. Not enough to kill him, but Koll was wounded. He began coughing up blood.

“You have no more power, Simon. No more control. Seleste was always going to collapse, like all empires too. I just sped up the process.”

This time, Simon ended Koll’s life. He blasted his head off his body with a single blast.

Koll was right though. It didn’t take long for Simon to see how effective this device was. It was Koll’s life’s work. And he made sure it was perfect. Simon didn’t know what to do. This wasn’t supposed to happen today. He wasn’t  supposed to lose his sisters, have his friend turn on him, and lose his empire. It all happened so fast. Simon couldn’t do anything but scream. So that’s what he did.

“Sir, are you there. The planet is literally imploding. I instructed everyone who is able to get off planet.”

It was the pilot. Tom Morris.

“I’m coming to pick you up.”

Within seconds Tom Morris was there, and Simon entered his ship. He couldn’t watch what has happening to his planet, but he did catch a glimpse. Morris was right, the planet was imploding. Volcanoes and eruptions where no such thing should happen. Koll must have heated the planet’s core to extreme levels. The sky, which was usually a crisp blue, was painted orange and red. The same colors of Simon’s new powers.

He wasn’t sure if this explosion would kill him. But he wanted it too. All the anger faded from him as Tom Morris’ ship flew away from Seleste. It was just pain now. And as the planet exploded with one final boom, Simon felt the life go out of him. He didn’t want to rule or be king anymore. He didn’t even want to live.

 

FOUR MONTHS LATER

“Set a path, Tom. We’ve regrouped and licked our wounds long enough. It’s time to go to the source. The reason you lost your Queen. The reason I lost my sisters. And the reason Koll turned traitor. And after months of research and tracking I know the problem.”

“Sir?”

“The source of the purple cloud. I’ve tracked it. And it’s in the most pathetic of places.”

“The suspense is killing me.”

“Earth, Tom. The purple cloud originated from a man on Earth. Isaac Eckspo. But the galaxy, and the universe, maybe even other universes, know him as Mystic Man.”

“Fascinating.”

“Indeed. Set a course for Earth. We’re going to go kill Mystic Man.”

 

THE END

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