www.whyville.net Nov 20, 2011 Weekly Issue

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Time and Space: Chapter 1

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Time goes flying by, page after page, page after page. No living being can control time, only Space can, Time's everlasting heart. But Space is long gone now. Space disappeared long ago, wiped out along with the human race. So nothing, absolutely nothing can control Time. Our world was nearly swallowed up, and now we're clinging on by one lone thread, hanging on for existence, waiting and waiting . . .

Waiting for our time to die.


"We can't do it."

"Why not?"

"Nothing can change our way of mind. We are monsters; humanity is long lost. We cannot revive it! The last human died almost four hundred years ago!" Ultor slams his meaty fist onto the table, his monstrous teeth showing. Gaps reveal his white tongue, rotting bits of meat embedded between his canines. I am thoroughly disgusted: by his breath, or his ugliness, I don't know.

"Why not try?" I protest weakly. "We can at least attempt to fix the thread!"

"Do you not understand?" Ultor's voice is suddenly menacingly soft, signifying not to mess with him, unless you want your head in his mouth. I wince. His breath stinks like the garbage dump that has been gradually collecting downtown -- the last little gift left by the humans before they were obliterated. But I manage and somehow squeak, "I do, Ultor. But when we are young, we have the shape and form of a human. Can we not retain the feeling?"

Ultor snorts, smoke billowing from his nostrils. I watch as they flare, noxious fumes leaking out. It looks absolutely repulsive, though to others, it might as well be attractive.

I still cannot grasp the concept of how, or why, we Destiners evolved from humans. We are beasts. We harbor human features when young, but if you look closely, you can spot the reptilian characteristics embedded deep within. At a ripe age, we suffer excruciating spasms, changing, shifting our appearance until we no longer have the traits of a human. We look like prehistoric monsters by then, no traces of what we are before.

But more than that, we cannot feel what humans feel; we cannot love. We do not understand emotions, even if we have them ourselves. Our senses are dulled by what we cannot do -- though it is replaced by aggressiveness, brutality, and physical strength.

I still, however, do not know why I resent my race so much.

"You are young, Jeran. I can see how such ridiculous notions can fill your head, but leave now. You are welcome here no longer." Ultor points a gnarled finger at the wooden door. "Out."



I slump and trail away, thinking about how I even came up with such an absurd idea. Trying to persuade the commander of the military to repair the broken thread? How did I even manage to talk to him? I was mad. Absolutely mad.

My heavy footfalls hit the cobblestone path, and I wonder how the humans traveled, rather than walking. Forenzo spoke of giant birds made of metal, and rolling shields that could take you everywhere as long as you were on land. His hands painted a scene where metal tanks streamed across water. I don't quite believe him though -- metal is scarce nowadays, and when it is found, it is immediately seized by the king.

"Jeran!" The voice is higher than that of a male's, leaning toward feminine. But it captures my attention, nonetheless.

My eyes shift to toward the sound of the voice. It resonates from the body of an unfledged Destiner -- Forenzo's niece, I recall. She's about my age, by the looks of it, but by the expression on her face, I can tell she's going through the Ascendance.

"Jeran!" She races toward me, brow furrowed in anger, confusion, and joy. It's strange how three states of mind can be combined. "Come!"

She pulls me along to a dismal alley. It is dark, dark enough so no one spots us speaking.


"Later." She lowers her voice, until it's little more than a growl. "Later. They'll hear us."

I immediately catch her point -- government guards are lurking around, tough hides gleaming in the light. If they knew, if they even caught the tiniest snippet of conversation, it'd be relayed to the ruler of Destiny. And he's even worse than imaginable -- he kills, he slaughters those he disobey him. That's only a bit of what he really is, though.

No one knows what he looks like. His supporters say he is the most beautiful creature to grace the planet; he cloaks himself to shield the people from his handsomeness, to stop them from dropping to their knees from honor. His rivals claim he hides his face because it is marred with battle scars, at the same time marring his dignity. They say he is ugly, features crude; they say that is why he has no one to rule by his side. I personally have no preference, though I slant toward his enemies more.

The guards glance at us before sauntering off the other direction. Forenzo's niece sighs gratefully before clutching my shoulder blade with an iron grip. Her eyes glint dauntingly, as though she has completed a stunning feat.

"Jeran," she whispers, "the time has come."


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