1 Survivor | Despair
The wind was cold that night.
A lone figure stood on a barren hill, emerald eyes looking at the sky as the wind whistled across the barren fields around her.
She couldn't remember the last time she saw the twinkle of stars in that vast expanse of black.
Those stars that once lit up the night sky, were now forever dark.
They had been each consumed, one by one, until only one remained.
She turned her head to where the sun was in the sky.
Only half of the once bright star remained, it's light almost completely gone.
The dim glow could barely illuminate the ground where she stood.
Across the surface of the star she could see black veins sprawled like some obscene disease, reducing the star's former splendor to a dull red glow.
It was only a matter of time before the last star would be consumed like the others were, plunging everything into darkness.
Who was responsible?
They did not have a name.
They once did, but none remain who remember.
She is the only one left, and to her they are simply the enemy.
The enemy was responsible for the missing stars, and the extinction of every living thing that once bathed in their light.
The enemy had consumed entire solar systems, entire galaxies, and soon, they would be back for her as well.
She did not remember how long she had been here, the last human on the planet Gaia.
Her memories of the friends and family she once knew had long ago faded into the cracks of her broken mind.
Her only remaining desire was to survive. To spite the enemy that consumed and killed everything she knew and held dear, she wanted to survive.
Countless times the enemy came to consume her, and each time she survived.
But what does survival matter if there is nothing left?
She no longer remembered the faces of the people she once fought to protect.
But she still fought, driven by a single instinct.
Across the barren landscape, she once again saw them.
The enemy was coming for her again.
There they were, stretching horizon to horizon like a black tide sweeping towards her with one purpose; extermination.
Looking closer, you would see creatures that surpass every nightmare.
Twisted flesh and bone conjoined in such a manner that made the mind retch in revulsion.
Hollow eye sockets in faces twisted by unimaginable horror.
They moved with uncanny grace and speed across the ground, yet eerily silent.
The lone figure watched their approach, and her emerald eyes showed no emotion.
She could already feel her blood boiling and her skin burning in response to the presence of the enemy.
She did not remember when this had first started, but something inside her reacted to the presence of the enemy when they showed up.
She would lose consciousness and wake up once the enemy was dead. This cycle would repeat every time the enemy showed up, and she had no control over it.
She did not know what took place when she was unconscious, but so far it had let her survive. She would not fight the process. Instead, she welcomed the dark embrace of unconsciousness.
Maybe one day the enemy would kill her, but for now, she would survive.
As the enemy swept towards her, she closed her eyes and fell into darkness.
They would not win this fight.
She would survive.
Somewhere, deep in the dark cosmos of a dying universe... Someone let out a sigh.
He was tired.
His name was Pfortner, and he was the last gatekeeper in existence. Well, at least in this universe.
The gatekeepers were created by the gods to manage the movement of souls in this universe.
They were administrators of a sort. But there were no more gods left to give him tasks, and out of all the souls he had once managed, there was only one left.
Pfortner was tired, but his work was nearing completion.
He turned his attention to a display nearby.
Its focus was on a lone figure facing a tide of nightmarish creatures, the same ones that laid waste to the universe he was supposed to manage...
He had thought his work would end a long time ago, but she was still there. He could not rest until she was gone.
Somehow, this lonely lost soul had managed to keep surviving on a planet that had been killed long ago, under a sun that was being consumed.
Pfortner shook his head.
How much longer would she continue?
It had already been nearly a quarter of a millennium... Yet she was still...
On the display, he could see the latest fight about to start.
The girl on the hill began to change.
Her eyes opened, and they were no longer the emerald color they had been. They glowed with a dull, molten red, the same color of the dying sun she fought under.
Across her skin, molten lines began to appear, spreading like lava and forming into arrays and runes whose meaning Pfortner could not decipher.
Her skin changed from cold gray to a muted, metallic blue, an indication that the transformation was complete.
No matter how many times Pfortner saw this scene, he still marveled at it.
So simple, yet so complex, this transformation allowed one lone human to survive against what even the gods themselves had succumbed to.
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No matter how much Pfortner had analyzed and researched, he had never been able to discover the method that allowed the transformation.
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It followed no known energy pattern, had no known cosmic origin, and not a single damned thing in the entire database of the gods had any information that told him what caused it.
He had even managed to decipher the method used by the enemy to consume the universe and fuel itself, but the machinations of that girl's seemingly simple transformation eluded him to this day.
As Pfortner watched, the battle began.
The enemy reached the small hill the girl stood on and attacked with the eerie ferociousness that allowed them to consume the very cosmos themselves.
They were a tsunami that consumed everything.
But she would not be washed away.
The molten arrays and runes on her skin glowed, and two molten blades appeared in the air.
She moved her left hand and the wave of death coming for her was shredded by the blades.
They moved so fast only twin molten red streaks could be seen, and they reaped a grim harvest among the enemy.
The runes on her skin glowed again and a magnum appeared in her right hand.
The metal of the gun matched the blue hue of her skin, and the same molten runes could be seen etched along the barrel.
She raised the magnum towards the enemy, and fired.
A volcanic blast of red pierced through the enemy, obliterating everything in its path and whatever happened to be nearby.
All this time the twin blades never rested, following her hand as they reaped their harvest.
Again and again the magnum fired, the blasts echoing across the dead plains of the planet once called Gaia.
The enemy threw themselves at her with silent ferociousness, but they never even made it to her feet.
Pfortner shook his head again, this time in despair.
No matter how many she killed, it didn't matter.
The enemy had no end. The research done by the administrators and the gods had already confirmed this, and it had driven them to madness
This was an extinction grade event that could not be stopped.
The only thing left for the enemy to consume was a single soul, a dying star, and a useless gatekeeper that was not even truly alive.
The worst thing was, out here, in the graveyard that once was a universe, nobody could hear his scream of despair.