Fourth Section: Arcane
Chapter Nineteen: Consequences
Due to spoilers, please click Read More after reading Chapters 1-18.
“Don’t do this!” Reyskaw screamed.
Inside the center of the Arcane Sphere, in a massive room far larger than the Biogrove tinted by a purple atmosphere, there was a library. The stone bookcases of this library were set in a way that, from an aerial view, they formed lines that resembled the radii of a circle. A circular empty space was left around the true center of the sphere and that was where everyone had gathered.
In the center of the sphere, there was a towering golden flame that disrupted the purple tint of the massive interior of the Arcane Sphere. In the center, the final moments of the tale were playing out. Historians had grabbed and restrained many people: Reyskaw, Cara, John, Sid, Ella, J, and Q were all being held back. On the floor was Martha’s unconscious body.
In front of the towering golden flame, the source of the Arcane Sphere’s existence, stood Diana. Except that wasn’t entirely true. Diana’s body stood in front of the flame, inhabited by the A.I.’s consciousness. Blue and Red had merged within Diana with Blue’s will overcoming Red’s. While they were technically one, Blue was still in complete control. This unity, and seemingly complete victory, of the A.I. within Diana was the event that marked the end of the tale. At this moment it would be safe to say that the current tale was ending and a new one was about to begin.
“Don’t do this!” Reyskaw screamed.
“Reyskaw, why would I listen to you? I stand before the flame that will transform me into a god. The flame that will give me all the power in the world. For what reason would I stop now?”
“Do you really think leaping into a flame is going to make you a god?”
“I’ve been right about everything else. I brought the children here, I inhabited Martha’s body, I combined my consciousness with Red’s-”
“Diana isn’t Program Red, just like Nero isn’t you! Nero died and nothing happened to you, right? Can’t you see that this isn’t going to work? You’re going to kill Diana and yourself!”
“Says the person who was about to shoot that poor girl,” Diana said looking down at Martha’s unconscious body. Nearby, out of sight, there was a pistol and several other guns from the battle that had occurred. The Historians had disarmed the invaders before restraining them.
“Program Blue, you-”
“Enough! I am Acrotorus now. The Artificial Intelligence holds my consciousness for now, but once I am a god I will restore my body. There will be no need for Diana’s vessel once I reclaim my own. She will be given back to you in a few moments.”
“It’s not going to work! You’re going to kill yourself and Diana. I can feel it, I can feel that something horrible is going to happen after you jump into that flame.”
Everyone else was silent as Reyskaw and Diana argued. The others felt like there was nothing that they could do. Reyskaw knew more about Program Blue, and the Arcane Sphere, than any of them. What could they say to convince Blue that he couldn’t?
“Now is the time. Watch as I ascend as a god!”
Diana jumped over a small gap and into the flame. She was immediately pulled upward by the flame. Her body was turned so that she could face everyone as she floated higher within the flame.
“The power! It is real! I can feel the power of a god running through my veins, my mind!” Diana yelled. “You were wrong Reyskaw, I can see… I can see everything now!”
The flame itself began to roar and convulse as Diana absorbed its energy. A rumbling was heard and the entirety of the Arcane Sphere began to shake. The giant towering flame was being absorbed by Diana and quickly shrank in size.
“What are you doing?” Reyskaw yelled.
“This is… only a side effect…”
“You aren’t in control of this, are you? Stop now before you destroy us all! This sphere is something impossible and you’re destabilizing it! If it collapses, we all die! Don’t do this to all of us!”
The flame that had once risen from an indent in the stone floor was now a small force wrapped around Diana. Within seconds, all of the energy was absorbed, the flame disappeared, and Diana was thrown forward onto the stone floor.
The purple surface of the Arcane Sphere began to pull back from its highest point. Everyone could see the rock cavern, that the sphere should have sat in, becoming exposed as the edge of the sphere rapidly retracted. The thousands of stone bookcases all fell at once creating a noise that stunned everyone.
A liquid sound could be heard after that.
“Let us go,” Sid said. “You got the flame, the energy, now order these things to let us go!”
“No, this is all wrong…” Diana said. “The power… I was creating my own world… what happened? This isn’t my world. This is just the Library Complex.”
“You were wrong. Like Sid said, just let us go. Whatever is going to happen next, we don’t need to be a part of it.”
The liquid sound intensified and a dark purple mass began to rise from where the flame once rose. Diana stared at it wondering if it was something that she had summoned. The dark mass took the shape of a featureless mound of earth.
Diana reached forward and touched it. It’s surface was something completely alien.
Diana screamed horrifically.
A dark purple thorn stretched through Diana’s abdomen. Reyskaw screamed as well, out of concern for Diana, but his voice could not be heard. The thorn retracted and Diana fell to the ground as a corpse. The Historians let go of those that they had captured. Their master was dead and they were afraid of this strange thing that had emerged.
Cara ran forward to Martha and shook her. “Wake up, we need to get out of here!”
The dark mass suddenly roared and shot up toward the roof of the cavern. It splashed against the rock, as if it was a liquid, and began to rain down on the library of the former Arcane Sphere.
Everyone immediately ran. Gigantic drops of the mass began to scatter across the area. The distance between the center and the path to The Library Complex was incredibly far so they ran with all their might and will to survive.
A loud crash was heard right behind them. Where J and Q had been running, there was now a large dark purple boulder. Claws began to form on the surface of the boulder that had crushed the two biologists. Everyone continued running, not wanting to figure out what it was turning into.
All around them gigantic beasts made of the dark mass began to rise. In front of them, another gigantic boulder fell and from it a beast that resembled a monstrous reptile rose up. They were surrounded by these creatures. Reyskaw, Sid, Ella, John, and Cara stared at these entities that Program Blue had released.
They were all killed there. The army of monsters left the ancient library and traveled into the Biogrove. They scaled the large central chamber, liquefied to fit through the passages, and made their way out of the Library Complex. As they spread, the purple tint took over the complex and more of the evil substance emerged from the well in the ancient library. In addition to creating an army of solid beings, the liquid portions of the dark purple mass began to assimilate what they touched.
Soon enough the strange army was in the forest near Greyville.
The world would soon recognize the space between Greyville and Moken as the original invasion point. They would send their armies against an unstoppable force that slowly began to infect the world and spread its influence. Word of the dark purple army spread across the world instantly thanks to the power of the Internet and various media organizations.
Churches, synagogues, mosques, temples, and other places of worship were filled with the religious, praying for salvation from what was surely the end of days. Very quickly they left and began to flee to the opposite side of the world. They flew as far away from Greyville as possible.
The army could not be stopped. It spread outward in a large circle from the invasion point. When it reached a mountain, it climbed over. When it reached the ocean, it swam into it. No hurricane, tornado, volcano, or any other natural force stopped it. No human army could even dent the force. No divine savior rose to save the Earth and all its inhabitants.
The army traveled slowly but surely across the surface of the planet. Chaos ensued on the planet as refugees tried to flood the countries that had yet to be destroyed. War among the people, war against the people of Earth, the entire planet was consumed.
And it didn’t stop there. Human technology was absorbed into the mass allowing it to spread to the stars. Infecting every moon, every asteroid belt, every planet, every sun. The whole of the universe was converted into the large dark purple mass.
On Earth the force had many names, but no official designation other than ‘Supernatural Enemy’. The force eventually conquered the entirety of the universe and beyond. All sentient beings were consumed and subjected to an indescribable feeling.
In their final moments, Cara and John and Tracy and Adam and Reyskaw and Diana and Sid and Ella and J and Q felt that feeling as well.
The darkness of the viewing chamber faded away. Reyskaw sat in silence, tears flowing down his face. This was the story of a future that could have been. If not for his actions during a time that he couldn’t even remember. Despite all the consequences of these actions in the Great Library and The Library Complex, those actions could never match up to the death and destruction caused by his inaction.
Knock knock knock.
Reyskaw opened the door after wiping his face.
“Have I come at a bad time?” asked Nero, no longer wearing the uniform of an Emperor.
“No, please come in.”
Nero, wearing a black suit, walked into the viewing chamber. At this time, Reyskaw was not wearing his usual green suit adorned with a design of golden flames. He was wearing a black suit as well.
“Are you alright?” Nero asked.
“Yes. Is Diana?”
“I don’t know. I tried to speak with her after the funeral, but it was useless. She wouldn’t talk to me and just left.”
“I’d like to go now.”
Reyskaw had been the only one not to attend the funeral. Everyone knew how painful it was so they had no objections. Nero understood that Reyskaw was now ready to go and escorted him to the center of the Great Library.
Bright light shone through the skylight onto the central coffin. Many had died, so many coffins had been prepared even though none of them contained the bodies of the dead. This funeral existed for the sole purpose of allowing the living to let go.
Reyskaw approached the central coffin. While the others were further back, one person was being honored above the rest. A white plaque with golden text had been embedded into the front of the coffin.
You will never be forgotten.
August 2nd, 1994 – April 16th, 2011