“My sleep comes to an end, doesn’t it? Soon, I will awaken. Soon, things will become clear. Already I can fell the tug, the pull of a battle I’m meant to win – but have yet seen. I’ve slept for the entirety of my life, and I have no clue who or what I’m supposed to be doing. I know nothing of my destiny, save that I’m meant to rule – to lead. But what I am to lead, and who I am to lead, is yet unknown. I’m not sure I’m ready, the time is too soon. Or is it? I don’t know, I’ve slept for so long. Yet, I can feel it…I’m awakening. O’, but am I prepared for what is to come? Idea give me strength.”
A hundred thousand years of sleep leaves the mind groggy and the body entropic, and when attached to a psychic so powerful as to continue evolving and growing its mind despite those two inevitable outcomes, it projects that same in a powerful field. While his place of slumber was untouched for all those years, many came and walked through the caverns above – many found themselves within the impossibly large range of that psychic field. In the end, despite his body remaining hidden, the vicinity of his chambers was given a name. One that permeated through the Multiverse, and drew in those who wished to usurp it for their own.
The Entropic Passages.
Now, though, the entropic field seemed to be drawing in on itself. The creatures which evolved to live within it could feel it, and they continued to scurry toward the epicenter – trying to keep themselves inside the exertion of that psychic force. They dove deeper into the caverns, they turned throughout the tunnels and continued to follow them downward – until they ran into walls impassable, dead-ends that seemed to be just that. Most of those creatures burrowed, they continued their trip downward. Far beneath the explored part of the cavernous region, they dug deeper and deeper – until it almost seemed like they would run into the core of Soran itself.
Finally, though, they congregated upon a massive cavern, one with no openings save for the ones they created. They moved toward the far side, which was shrouded in darkness so thick even their keen eyes couldn’t make out anything outside a couple of feet. It was there, in that ever-expanding darkness, that they ran into a wall. Literally, and suddenly the entropy which plagued their bodies, fed them and evolved them into monstrosities, simply ceased. Their multilayered eyes shifted, and with their presence light flickered on. They looked upward, in the dimness created by floating, orange bulbs of luminescence. Those with cognitive functions beyond base instincts understood, on some level, that they peered upon their end.
Their eyes focused on the outline of a gargantuan doorway, closed and seemingly locked – and through it their keen ears picked up on the sounds of a voices singing, dulcet tones acting in perfect harmony, though the words were grotesque and sounded like someone speaking through a mouth full of nails. Some undoubtedly tried to run, but no matter which direction they took off in, they slammed into a solid, impenetrable wall of nothing, falling dead at the very touch. Others were curious, or just hungry, and they began to push on the doorway. No matter their strength, no matter their efforts, it would not move. Whatever lay beyond that door, whatever was locked away inside this place, they were keen to find out and sink their ferocious, animalistic fangs into its flesh.
Awakening The Beast
Suddenly the singing stopped, and it was then that he knew his time was here. A thousand years passed since he began thinking for himself, and though he knew the time was coming – he was unprepared. At least, in his mind. His eyes snapped open, and only darkness met them. It meant little to him, for he’d never known what it was to see. His fingers shifted, though he didn’t understand how or what caused them to do such a thing. His body was weak, his energy gone – poured into the psychic web he’d woven in his sleep, which was now unraveled. Powerless, defenseless, he lay on his back atop a stone pyre, a monolith at each corner. The sound of the voices lingered in his mind, threatening to lull him back into that magic sleep. Yet, they slowly began to fade from memory, and with their passing his energy returned. Still, though, he was weak beyond compare and measure. A fly, should it have taken the notion, could have wiped him from existence.
But where his body was weak, his mind was strong. It wasn’t something he thought, but just something he instinctually knew. Casting out with his thoughts, he found someone disturbingly close – though its presence was one he felt for centuries. The Watcher. His watcher, the guard who stood sentinel for his weakened form. It was put into place on the day of his birth, and from that moment on held the unending task of watching over the sleeping form. Finally, though, awakening came. The other felt his mind touch its own, and knew their time together was at an end. The sound of footsteps walked across the stone floor, and he felt a hand touch his own.
“It is time, my lord. The civil war comes, and your awakening is upon us. It is time for you to do what you were created to do.”
“I don’t know what that is, I don’t even know who I am. What can I do?”
“You can fight, my lord. I will teach you. My life, for yours.”
With those words, spoken in a language dead and forgotten for thousands of years – and with great wonderment from the slumbering monstrosity who didn’t even know it could talk, much less knew language – the watcher began to fade. Its hand slipped upward, touching his temple. Without warning, knowledge flooded into him – and strength as well. Suddenly it understood, it knew what it must do – what the prophets meant when they foretold his coming. He knew about the prophecy, he knew how to speak, to walk, to talk. Most importantly, he knew who he was. He knew what he was created for, what purpose he served. The embodiment of the watcher faded, and realization flooded into him that it was simply his subconscious made physical.
Along the coast of Liaita, things were happening beyond the control of the natural born denizens of Soran. Monsters from another world invaded, and they sought to end the life of one of their own. The ground shook with the bombardment of the two opposing forces, and the very sky seemed to be ablaze with the might of their energies. The shark man and the warrior Thane fought for their lives in a brutal battle, Agron and Sarach existed with only their true purposes to uphold – and Singar watched it all unfold with his own devilish grin for plans that could come to fruition. However, deep in the Entropic Passages, something far more sinister lurked.
The massive doorway swung open, and finally those creatures trying their might to get in found themselves with access. They ran in, their variously sized legs propelling them at different speeds – but toward the same thing. They sought food, but yet seemed to not understand that they were the food. Everything was lain into place so long ago. The placement of his body, the psychic field which evolved those specific creatures. It was all part of the greater plan, a plan put in place by Idea himself, long before the Val’gara were fully established as a thing. The gut-wrenching sound of bones snapping, of blood spilling, and the blood-curdling screams of creatures being ripped to shreds perforated the cavern outside the door, but none could stop themselves from entering. A thousand. A hundred thousand. Two hundred thousand. Their bodies were consumed, their life-force shoved down the gaping maw of a man-like creature far beyond anything they could comprehend. It chose this form from memories, but of what and who it was unclear. It called itself he by wrote, for that was the gender it chose to become. Suddenly, the sound stopped. The creatures were all but gone, save the Spider Queen herself, who was by and large the most capable and intelligent of the lot.
Still, though, she was compelled within the room – her massive eight legs pulling her into the light. Her concave eyes landed on the back of the human-like thing, as it adorned itself in its clothing. The horror on her face, looking across the blood-spattered remnants of the room, paled only in comparison to the tone of the other skin. A hundred thousand years without sunlight, after all, would make anyone a little light in complexion. She recognized him not, though it was evident he existed long before her species, much less before her own tiny, infantile lifespan.
The resounding snap of bracers being latched over naked wrists resonated throughout the room, and the creature turned its gaze from the mirror-like liquid, to look directly at the spider queen. “Why, hello there, madam. I must apologize for the mess, but such a long sleep will make you quite ravenous. Your children were delicious, as were the other so-called predators that made my chambers their home for so long. Your survival, however, is tantamount upon your usefulness. I have some business, you see, on the coast of Liaita. If you could be so kind as to point the way?”
One of her arms shifted, without her willing it to do so, to point directly toward the battleground upon which Megalodon and Thane fought. Her eyes widened further than usual, and her thoughts were only of running away – yet she could not make her body move. He stepped forward, his body shifting as he did so. As his teeth sank into her throat, and he began ripping her body to part, eating her like he’d done so many others before he, she could only think of the horror which she’d witnessed. Nothing compared to the terror his true form wrought upon her.
The rumbling ground would have given them warning, if the ground didn’t already rumble so much from the very nature of their meeting. Singar, Thane, Megalodon, Agron and Sarach should have known what was coming – but unfortunately their own actions made it nigh impossible to ascertain anything. However, when it came they were all made quite aware of what was happening. The rumbling intensified, and with a great blast of power the Gates of Doloran exploded. The Entropic Passages pushed upward, rocketing sod and rock, dirt and grass into the sky. The massive structures which made up the Gates themselves cracked and crumbled, falling against one another before crumbling to pure nothingness.
The Niraans, who first prophesized the coming of him, understood what was happening – and maybe Thane could remember enough of their old ways, to know the story of what this meant. The others, though? They’d have no clue. It would be fearful enough, his display of might at blowing apart major locations on the surface with nothing more than a single, concentrated burst of energy – but would they truly understand what was happening? Would they be capable of comprehending the true nature of their enemy?
The Val’garans would. At his creation, he was imbued with such powerful psychic energies that, upon his awakening the Hivemind itself was reconstituted and reactivated. What was lost with Brobdingnag and the death of Idea returned with his coming. They could sense one another again, speak to one another mind-to-mind, and no longer did they have secrets from one another. No longer could they simply hide their true feelings. They flooded through, and fed off one another. The link reestablished itself, and through it he could speak to them.
“What have you done, you insufferable children? Father dies, Mother dies, and you suddenly begin to squabble amongst yourselves? What ignorance is this? What manner of stupidity flows through you? How could this have happened? You were supposed to conquer, to consume. You were meant to destroy, but not one another. Not ourselves. Disciple, come.”
As he spoke the words, Disciple appeared on the battlefield below – though how or what brought him here could only be surmised as the strength the newcomer held. Suddenly, he – too – shifted and appeared before them, once more in the man-like form originally seen by the spider queen. “You were given a task, Disciple. You were to uphold our standards in the event anything happened to Father. You were to hold us together, to protect Mother. You failed.”
With a movement quicker than lightning, his hand snapped closed around Disciple’s neck – effortlessly lifting him from the ground. Arm fully extended, the sheer terror in Disciple’s eyes spoke enough of his true power. Through his hand, he drained the others considerable energy. Almost as soon as he lifted him, he flung his arm to the side and launched the emptied husk of a creature toward the waters. The sound of his body splashing into the liquid resonated in the near-quiet that seemed to have fallen around him.
“And you, Thane…you were meant to convert your world, yet you seem to have failed in your task. You were meant to be more than any before you, but you have become less than nothing. You and the others let the Hellion kill mother. And worse yet, you allowed him time to escape. Have you found him? Do you have even the tiniest, faintest idea where he might have gone? Of course not, you’ve been too busy fighting one of the weaker Heralds, and for what? You are a failure, my child, far and beyond Disciple’s own does your failure reach.”
His head shook, and though he wanted to strike out, he held himself in check. Instead, he turned his attention to the shark-creature.
“And you…your failure runs deepest of all, but only because it is a single, constant thing. You, who have conquered nothing in our name, who has converted and consumed so little that the number itself is negligible, fight back against your Elders. Your superiors. We, the Heralds of true strength, who were created by Anathema, or in my case Idea himself, are the successors to the antecedent’s reign. Not you, who was created from the boredom of lesser beings. You are nothing, a child playing with a loaded gun, and only hoping you don’t accidentally shoot yourself.
“This ends now. You will return to your posts, you will do your fucking jobs, and you will stop this ignorant aggression. If you wish to test me, to test the true power of Idea, then remember this – what I do to you cannot be undone. Your death, by my hand, is eternal. So, you are given your choices. Fall in line, do as you were made to do now that the Hivemind is reestablished, and we can once again be a seamless machine working toward the same goal…or fight against it. Test your willpower against the Will of Idea.”
He made no motion of aggression, and gave no name that any could have discerned throughout his speeches. He wasn’t even sure he had one. He was the Will of Idea, the living embodiment of something that once was and came again. All that meant, for them, was that to fight against him was to fight against the very thing that drove them, that allowed them to continue their pitiful existences for so long. He was, as far as he and they knew, the living embodiment of Idea himself.
Or maybe he was just a complete psycho who slept for way too long, and was given fanciful notions about what his considerable power meant. Either way, it was clear he wasn’t just your normal Herald, since the very act of his awakening reestablished a psychic connection that spread throughout the Multiverse, and touched every living Val’garan mind. Whatever, and whoever, he was – they certainly weren’t up against anything like they’d ever faced before.