Beast of Xeriel

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Chapter Twenty

The light of the laboratory left no corner in shadows. In the middle stood a large Prism refracting the many colors around the room. No dirt or dust existed in the area. The 20 feet tall prism was filled to the brim of its triangular shape with a thick green liquid.

Inside a mass that rarely moved. Magnus stood proudly in front of the structure. His gold armor gleaming in the light, without the regalia he usually wore for battles and Council meetings. He stroked his white peppered hair.

“Ambition.” He said out loud, as if the object inside could hear him. “What a humorous concept. To strive for everything, you’ve ever dreamed of. To reach the moon. Then Mars. Only to find out there is unthinkable distances beyond the stars.” He said, rubbing his face.

“One would think it all could come to an end. But there is so much out there. It has always been humanities ambition to reach beyond the stars.” He continued.

“To see how far we could go, how much we could discover. Maybe uncover the reason for our existence.” Magnus approached the object gently placing his hand on the exterior. Inside the liquid sloshed as the mass inside jerked at his touch.

A smirk crept across his face as he removed his hand. “It’s our ambition that prevents us from ever being satisfied. When we reach the stars, it’s not yet enough. Past our solar system, we still needed to go further. Into another galaxy, still not enough. Until we ask, well…. who made all of this? How did this all come about? Surely they will have the answer.” He said.

Magnus began circling the object as he spoke. “Why is it, that nothing is ever enough. To simply ask the question? Why is it ingrained in our being to seek out more? What transforms our ambition into obsession? Because that is what humans have become, haven’t we? Obsessed with an answer.” Magnus offered to no one.

“Yet……if we stop. What will happen to us? What meaning, or purpose do we have without the zeal for the truth?” He asked, his arms out as if waiting for a response. “Oh, I know. The truth provides the true self-actualization we need. The understanding of it all. Right? Once we learn the truth, ideally, everything will make sense.” He paused.

Standing still, gazing into the prism. “What happens when your ambitions lead you to the truth? When you discover the secret? You’re merely left with this unsatisfiable desire, but there are no more answers to be given. You begin to run out of questions.” He said. His jaw tightening. Clinching his fist. “The puzzle is complete! I have the answer and it’s still not enough!” Magnus yelled.

“I never say this………But I will keep this between you and I.” Magnus teased. He took a deep breath. “I wish I died back on Earth.” He exhaled in laughter. Pleased with himself for a moment. “I’ve never told anyone that. So please, that’s between us.” He said as he continued to circle the prism.

“You see, the possibility is substantially more satisfying than a definitive answer. Still we never stop. Always searching for more. Well, there is no more!” He shouted. “I’ve known for quite some time now. I give the people a little bit at a time. Just enough to persuade them to keep going. The truth is, come here, I’ll tell you.” He said as he scooched near the object.

“Our creator is gone…….and it wasn’t the only creator. It certainly wasn’t the most powerful either.” He whispered.

Magnus gasped dramatically. Looking around the room in awe. He caught his reflection in the prism. “We were so foolish. An immense universe and we spent thousands of years on Earth, thinking we were alone. We deserve to be eliminated.” He said laughing to himself.

“Our creator died a long time ago. If people knew that, we would’ve killed each other faster. The time bomb that was our sun was our creators’ gift to us. It spared us from the devastation that would come from the other creators once we were found. We were hidden with the utmost care by our creator.” He said nodding to himself.

“We let our ambition foil our own grace.” Magnus said waving his hand to create a chair for him to slouch in. He sat momentarily taking in the prism.

“Pratham was everything we dreamed of. We were on the verge of eradicating the lowest class of our existence, more than enough to sustain us forever. Our future was imminent. We survived. The Council and the 4 clans had reached an understanding that, this place………. was enough.” He said. His face quickly changing. His brows lowering in an apparent anguish.

“Then we found it. Yes, The, It. Our creator. All the ideas we extrapolated for so long and we finally discovered the reason for our being.” He said intensely.

“Don’t worry, you would be let down. It wasn’t omnipotent and omnipresent. It didn’t create the universe. Only our miniscule solar system. The others built significantly more. The most ancient version of us. Much bigger and more powerful. But thank our creator we didn’t completely take after it. Not aesthetically pleasing as many would ignorantly believe.” He said.

“Once we began to study it, we found so much more information about how we operate. We created the first Iku from the material our creator left for us, as you know. The creator’s blood, the key to it all. It had to be filtered, altered, reduced to the red version we can take today. Long life! But I thought IT meant to destroy us you ask?” Magnus said acting surprised at his own question.

“Well……. yes, and no. It did……most of us. It meant to select the best of our kind to aid in the fight against its brethren. The other more controlling creators.” He said as a boisterous laugh followed.

“It was going to graciously destroy the rest and wage war against its counterparts. We were designed to be savage. Designed to fight. We literally can’t avoid the sensation.” He said. “Unfortunately for some of us, the creator was killed before It could finish out its plan. Fortunately for the others, we found it and found the means to carry out its will.” He said.

“After we successfully created the Iku, we discovered the other pieces of the puzzle. The raw version, which is a less altered version. Appearing green. And the pure version. A more violet color. The blood of our creator. There is much still to learn on that front. As well as the aging and youthfulness look. Still much to learn.” He said rubbing his temple.

“Just a drop of its blood could imbue a person with a power I would argue is close to the creator itself.” Magnus explained. He lifted himself out of the chair. “Then the ambition returned. With the Iku we could remove the Titans of the universe and become the Gods we were designed to be. But our creators’ blood was limited. We had to find a way to create more synthetic blood to alter the Iku.” He said with a sinister grin.

“What if we prepared for the encounter with the Others? We killed all necessary personnel on the exploration missions except for Vanakan. The son of a Council member. Couldn’t do it without his mother causing an uproar.” He said rolling his eyes.

“He was our only loose end. I didn’t really trust him. But he turned out to be extremely bright and loyal. I believed him to be the key to discovering the way to replicate the pure Iku.” He said shaking his head in disgust.

“Vanakan succeeded. Made the Iku digestible, changed the color to red to code the difference. However, we ran into adversity of course. He began working on a rawer version. Sending me notes and formulas. So many test subjects wasted.” Magnus shrugged.

“Vanakan was unable to solve this equation prior to his disappearance. But we managed to create the raw Iku from the information he had. Wasn’t far from the formula he was working on. But the blending was too unstable.” He said. Magnus observed his own hands.

“I don’t possess it. Without the key to surviving the blending, I couldn’t risk undergoing the process. I actually don’t possess any power beyond the longevity of the Iku. The blending was supposed to be my access to all power. Without the power of the blending, only my influence provides the illusion that I am the most powerful being in our galaxy. The presence of power can be more imposing than the possession of it.” He enlightened.

“It was my imprudent ambition that vaulted me into this position. But seeing as I am the most influential being of our species, I am tasked to fulfill the ambition of our creator.” He proclaimed.

“You and your love almost ruined that. But thankfully you failed. And now, you will serve me. How beautiful of a story it will be?” Magnus whispered to the prism. Suddenly, a transmission signal echoed in the room. His bracelet flashing for an incoming communication.

Magnus held up his wrist to answer. “Councilman. One of the traitors crashed landed from lightspeed outside the Muetus lands.” The female voice informed him. “Which traitor?” Magnus asked, annoyed he had been interrupted during his more therapeutic discussion. “Not yet confirmed but believed to be your daughter Councilman.” She answered. Magnus took a couple deep breaths.

“Sir?” She inquired again. “Begin a small-scale rescue. Have the captain prepare a scout party. I want this to end with zero casualties. Do not entice the shifters into a skirmish. Extract Gala and return to the city immediately. Our army is in disarray and do not need a call to arms. Colonel Rainer should have arrived by now.” He ordered. “Yes sir.” She responded before exiting their transmission.

Magnus stood facing the prism. He gently pressed his finger against the structure. The object jostled multiple times before settling. Magnus removed his finger.

“Remember. Our conversation is not to leave this room.” He said. “You’re not so terrifying when you’re under control. A tamed beast never is. Once I find your son. There will be no one left to oppose me. And under my control.” He said, holding up a silver brace that materialized, twisting around his hand.

“You will kill Jesh and become the conduit to my eternal rule. Once I find a way to survive the blending. I will drop you into the nearest sun.” Magnus made his way toward the exit whisking past the body of Lale on top an examining surface by the door.

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