It had been nearly two hundred thousand years since the last time this had happened, but the three that were left still vividly remembered and recognized the feeling at once. A Creator had died. Again.
Ajayla had been in the void with those Infinities, watching the whole thing unnoticed from the sidelines. She didn’t want Ziarre to have to be alone, nobody should die alone. Even if it had been several millenniums since they had broken it off, the feelings were still there. This must have been how Obayana felt all those years ago, watching his own lover die.
Like last time, the pipe had put on a big show, letting everyone know that something dramatic had happened. Unlike last time though, this took place in Crëwr instead of Ineôcâ, so it could only be seen by those in this dimension. The little redheaded Infinity tossed the pipe into Ziarre’s core, the black hole, and all six of them had blacked out. They didn’t stay to watch the show, Crëwr kicked them out and stuck them in the human dimension.
If Ajayla could just forget that this was her Ziarre, her twinkling stars, her moon that lit the way; she would think of it as beautiful, in a dark sort of way. The back hole slowly concave in on itself, like it was feeding off it’s own energy. And then the pipe took effect, letting out a blinding white-gold light powerful enough to vanquish the black hole. The golden light exploded into tiny glittering bits of stardust, floating around Crëwr
And then Ziarre was gone. Turning into the black hole had eaten away at her Rouhk. Now by the power within the Azarze, the very thing that made her The Divine Provenance, her atman, her Xyaum, was gone forever.
Ajayla couldn’t help the tears that fell. Though Ajayla had always been close with the all the other four Creators, she and Ziarre had a special bond. It was Ajayla who taught Ziarre how to control her powers. It was Ziarre who would take them on hikes up the mountains at night to look at the stars. It was Ajayla who had made the first animal, a hummingbird, as a gift to Ziarre. It was Ziarre who gave some moonlight to the first tree to make it glow as a gift to Ajayla. While Ajayla loved all her fellow Creators, her bond with Ziarre had been the most profound.
Like last time, He was there. He looked the exact same, He never changed. He took out his golden pocket watch, looked at with sad eyes, shook his head, and walked slowly up to where the pipe had fallen to the ground. His long finer’s grabbed the Azarze and dusted it off.
Ajayla didn’t know exactly who He was, but she had her theories. She knew He was old and powerful, more so than she or the other Creators could ever be. She knew He had a dimension all to himself. She knew He only showed himself when the situation was dire. Ajayla swallowed the lump in her throat and wiped her tears. “What is it this time? What are the symbols?”
He looked over to the Creator of earth, seemingly noticing her for the first time. When He walked it seemed unnatural, like there were gears that controlled his movements. He moved like a robot who wore human skin. When he reached her he held the Azarze in his palm and held it out to her.
The Azarze was still glowing a faint gold where smoke should come out and the carved in emblem was transforming to the teal symbol of Òrìsà . As Ajayla took it from His cold hand, she noticed that instead of numbers on his pocket watch it was an hourglass, and the time was almost up. He left then, in a shower of golden light.
Ajayla took a moment to get her emotions in check. She knew the others had known what had happened the moment it did, just like the last time. They were probably mourning their beloved Ziarre as well.
Last time this had happened, it was Creator’s putting an end to a Creator. As a consequence they had each lost what was most important to them. Ajayla had lost her beauty, turning into an old hag within hours. Winchell had lost his eyesight, no longer able to appreciate the art all around him. Ziarre had lost her reasonability, making her lose her mind and go crazy. Obayana had lost his love, that was punishment enough; his skin was now burnt and cracked, but he had done that to himself.
This time it was Infinities killing a Creator. Ajayla feared what the repercussions would be for that. She had given the others enough time, she went to Ineôcâ and blew the Azarze.
The Azarze was the first thing the five Creators had found in Crëwr together. They hadn’t known it could be a weapon at first, it took them forever to figure that out. In the beginning they had used it as a beckoning call, something to get them all together. Sure they were with each other pretty often, but occasionally they would take a hundred years or so to go create the rest of the world. Whenever something important came up one of them would go to the Azarze that was always kept in the cave by the first beach in Ineôcâ.
Winchell came first, though he was blind he found her easily enough and stepped forward to hug her tightly. “Oh Jay, I know what she meant to you.”
She hugged back just as tightly, thankful for the comfort. He smelled just as he always did, charcoal and paint and ocean waves.
They broke apart as Obayana appeared, looking a little irritated. “That noise always gave me a headache.”
Ajayla laughed despite herself, they were together again after all these years. Her family, standing on the beach where it all began. Time had changed them all, through physical appearance and through life choices. They had become strangers to each other, something they had promised once would never happen. After they were forced to use the Azarze as a weapon the first time they had all gone off in their own directions, only interacting with one another once a year on Creators Day. No matter what happened to them in the past, they were all here for each other now when they needed it most, and that was what was important. That’s the thing about family, no matter how far apart you grow, you will always love each other.
Silently they all came together in a group hug and cried. They cried for the two Creators that were gone now, they cried for their incomplete family, they cried for the past and how good it used to be, they cried for how quickly everything had changed. They all leaned on each other and comforted each other, knowing the pain the others were in.
Eventually they had calmed down and were sitting by a small fire Obayana had made. Ajayla poked at the coals with a stick. “I saw Him.”
The others said nothing, they knew who she meant. Last time it had been Obayana who had seen Him, and he had described the powerful guy pretty well. Ajayla passed the Azarze around the circle, letting the boys check it out.
“Sign of Òrìsà and His hourglass was almost out of time.”
Winchell sighed and passed it back to Ajayla. “I have a feeling those Infinities will suffer much more than just losing their sight or beauty.”
Obayana nodded, a somber look on his face. He looked into the fire, as if it would tell him all the truths. “A war is coming. They can’t stop it, not on their own. The only thing that would is if Ziarre came back.”
“We can’t help them either.” Winchell pointed out. “It wouldn’t be fair considering we are the only three beings with the power to kill an Infinity. And I don’t want to fight you guys anymore.”
“So what now then?” Ajayla’s voice broke, still uneven from the crying. “You run back to the ocean, he runs back to the dessert, I run back to the forest. What good will that do?”
Winchell put his elbows on his knees and rested his head on his folded hands. “What would Z do?”
They all knew the answer to that. Ziarre would never let them start a war. Not because of casualties, but because fighting would take time away from doing their jobs.
“There is only one thing we can do.” Obayana’s voice was deep and soothing, no matter what he said others would want to listen. “We give it back to them, they started this whole thing. Then we hope for the best.”
Ajayla nodded. “Which one? Not Fortune, she is sweet but we can’t trust her to not kill another one of us. And her youngest sister is too young to know what she is doing.”
“Karma is too trigger happy, and Luck and Demise aren’t ready for that responsibility.”
“Chance.” Winchell suggested the last remaining one out of the six. “He is responsible and hates war. He will do what is right. I believe in my creation.”
Ajayla nodded and handed him the pipe. “They are on top of that antique shop. MAke sure Chance i the one who gets it and not the others.”
Winchell stood up and walked over to the ocean, letting the waves splash at his bare feet and soak the bottom few inches of his jeans. Obayana followed him, the water steaming where it touched his skin. Together they lifted the Azarze and threw it into the air. It flew across the sky like a shooting star. It wasn’t much, but it was their only hope.