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Chapter 1

“And...#411!” Tyre announced devilishly, putting the attending Zobbs in uproar. A short, chubby faced Zobby with stringy, white hair winced in horror, every ounce of his face filled with terror.The weekly Pluck had been completed, and #411 would soon be the sun’s scapegoat. The sun was in its red giant stage, and it bubbled in the orange-red sky awaiting the return of another of its previous occupants. The sun would take #411 for itself, and this Zobby would spend the rest of his days burning in the sun’s hellish confines.

“Zick! It’s okay, laddie! The Prine is out of control! But a day will come when we’ll live in a land of green, and of blue. You’ll be there when this happens, my friend.” It was the voice of #776. He was sitting beside #411, whom he liked to refer to as “Zick.” #776, in a small attempt to restore what he thought of as a normal life, had chosen nicknames for each and every Zobb. He liked to refer to himself as Burn. It was a feeble attempt, yet a normal life with real names and real conversation pertained not only to a normal life, but a life worth living. Yes, he was trying to give Zick some hope, even if just a little hope.

Zick’s bow-legged legs wobbled as he walked slowly to Tyre. “To honor your people in such a way as this is truly extraordinary! We know you will be welcomed home with open arms. Now, let us send him off, as usual, with our Universal Address.” Tyre paused as a menacing smile formed on his face. “Everyone...please welcome the Prine to our hospitality! And by that, I mean everyone is required to warmly welcome him or they will be accompanying #411 home.”

The Prine was not a Zobby. No, rather he was a thought, a reason, a meaning, and a definition; as was he a place, a world, and a universe. Moreover, and differentiating in a way from the others...he was fire.

A rippling voice boomed through the air from nowhere. It filled the air and sent a virtual flame through Burn’s interior. “Death belongs to me. We are death. You for me and me for you. The darkness belongs to me. I am darkness. Yet I am the light. Unity exists because of me. But Unity would separate us. I am your soul...allow me to see it.”

Flames burst from the skies but then conversed into darkness. The light of that day had dispersed, and the time had come for Zick. “Deliver him…” the voice echoed.

Burn felt rage fill his brain, yet he refrained from acting upon this anger. No tears fell, and no sorrow could be seen. The Prine had everybody convinced that what he was doing was universally sound...that it was to be desired. Burn was against it all, and every last word rang in his mind as a lie.

Zick held in tears as he stood, shaking, in front of the crowd. Tyre, as well as several others that Burn perceived as lower in command, lifted Zick in the air and proceeded to shout in the direction of the sun. “Let death not take him, but we offer his soul! #411!”

Tyre glared at the crowd. “Hey, join in! We gotta get louder!”

Several people began to shout “#411” the same way Tyre and his crew had been. “Hey! Damnit, I said join in!” Then Tyre pulled out an InfernoGun and shot a voiceless Zobb in the front row. The fiery projectile burned in his chest and exploded seconds later.

“#411!” could be heard incredibly loud throughout the crowd then, but Burn remained silent.

The next couple seconds happened very fast. First, Zick evaporated into a fiery blaze and was gone. The instant this happened, the sun lit up and vivid light shone throughout the land once more. A loud cheer erupted amidst the crowd, and Zobbs embraced one another in complete joy. But darkness took Burn away from it all, regardless of the restored light.

“When we found this world, it was prosperous and flourishing. Now, all that remains is the evil that we brought with us when we came.” he thought.

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