Stage Right: Then the World Is One
Sol System. Third Planet. Year 298 of the Forth Cycle, by the Eternal Reckoning.
Bnillim dreamed. Father was there. He stood on the bridge of his last ship. Before him floated the ruins of another system. Another world, the life there burned and dried and floating as dust in space. Another star. Smothered out under a fraction of the power of creation.
“You see, child?” Father gestured to the debris. “I cannot allow it to continue.”
The image shifted. Father was fighting, grappling with his own brother. He looked small compared to Uncle. Fragile. Bnillim knew what must happen. Knew, but for the first time considered the possibility of disobedience.
Father was struck. He flew back through the air. His bones crunched when he hit the rocky ground. Fingers fell open. Light. Orange like the corona of Arcturus. Orange like the magma that destroyed the last planet Father wept over. Orange like the glow of Father’s eyes, growing dim.
“Go.” He did not speak. There was no sound, but Bnillim heard. Just as Father had planned, the stone could not harm Bnillim. It spoke only to those with souls.
The stars blurred and changed. Another system, another potential place to hide from Uncle. It was ordinary. Not far from the core, nor near. Planets that were neither few, nor many. A sun not large nor small. But it was yellow. Fission that flared in loops and whorls into the darkness of space and lit it with an orange glow that felt like home. Bnillim landed over the water. Blue and clear and stretching far beyond the reaches of vision. It was warm. Saline and full of life. Bnillim sank below the water and rested there, far from the wars and deaths and eternal search for the stones. Sleep had been long earned. Sleep brought dreams.
Until Bnillim woke.