The Chronicles of Globozuria — Chapter One — Avadhaan



The first chapter of a space fantasy series, introducing the lead character Avadhaan.
Reading time: 15 minutes.

The Chronicles of Globozuria

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Chapter One - Avadhaan


1.



He was walking on land that once was a paradise. Now, it was just smoke and dust. He was dragging his half-alive caricature amongst the echoes of death and destruction. This was once his hometown; he had grown up here. Now, there was nothing left but the ashes of his childhood.

It had been long since the war ended, but nothing had changed. The soldier's army had surrendered, but the chieftain of the enemy army assumed command of the entire planet and ordered the survivors to be executed. He had been on the run ever since. The soldiers of the supreme leader had been looking everywhere for survivors. They had deployed killer droids. He and his comrades were hunted like wild animals to be killed on sight. While they were forced to run and hide, the innocent citizens were crushed under the supreme leader’s tyranny. The soldiers who could save them were either dead or fighting for their own survival. His entire battalion had been hunted one by one. He was the last survivor.

The bright white star shone on his back while he dragged his feet through black sand, which used to be white. His gear had either fallen or broken in the skirmish. His clothes, dirty and torn up at places, had sustained as much wear as his body. The green-grey uniform had also fought like a soldier. He hadn’t eaten in days or drunk or showered; his body and his uniform reeked of sweat, dirt, and blood.

The soldier knew that he wouldn’t find anyone here, but he still wanted to come back to pay his final regards to the land he grew up on. If his fate had been sealed, he’d rather die here where his parents were buried. At least he’d be with them after his death. The last time he ever saw them was when he left to join the war. His parents were very proud of him; their happy faces emerged before his open eyes. He fell onto his knees. A few drops of salty fluid hit the black sand. He looked up at the remnants of what once used to be his home.

The wind ruffled his hair, stirring up some ash, as he buried his head in the ground, wailing. He couldn’t win the war, neither could he save his comrades, his parents, or his planet. He cried and remembered his failure. ‘Why am I even running now?’ he wondered. ‘What is left to live for?’ And with these thoughts, he passed out.

2.



The night was bright as the day, illuminated by several moons. He was woken up by the sounds of hurried footsteps.

The soldiers had finally caught up to him.

He knew he couldn’t fight them or run to save his life, not that he wanted to.

The footsteps drew near.

He slowly stood up, having made up his mind.

A few dozen droids appeared on the other end of the ruins.

He was about to shout to surrender, but something came over him. 'I can't give up like that,' he thought. ‘There’s no honour in dying like this.’ He remembered what he had promised his parents in that exact spot when he had left.

“If I’m going to die, I’m gonna take as many droids with me as I can,” he had said.

‘Let’s do this,' he thought as he picked up a stone and stood in a soldier's stance.

"ALERT!" an alarm echoed. The hurried footsteps started to run in the direction of the only survivor, who stood prepared amongst the ruins. The leading droid soldier opened fire on him.

He slid and took cover behind a broken wall. There was very little he could do with a stone. As the footsteps got closer, he jumped over and smashed the droid's metallic head. The broken machinery kept chiming when he picked up the gun and fired at two droids, who headed his way. One of them took the hit, and its arm flew into the night. The other one fired back.

He dodged and hid behind a pillar. Within seconds, he was surrounded with droids. Now, it was his time to go. “Honour and glory,” he whispered under his breath.

The shots shook the earth. The entire squad had opened fire on another man, who had just appeared in front of them, but he didn’t take a single hit. The man looked like a warrior and moved with the agility of a fierce predator of the jungle. He sliced off some robotic heads with his heavy sword, shining in the moonlight and burned the rest with what appeared to be a wide scorching laser beam. The droids caught fire, and some of them exploded. The last one fell, and the skirmish ended. It all finished in mere seconds. All that left was the crackling fire and the dancing shadows of the ruins. The sword slid back into its sheath, and a voice echoed.

“It’s okay. You can come out now.” The warrior still had the head of a droid in his hand.

The soldier peeked from behind the pillar, then he slowly walked forward, raising the gun he had snatched from the droid in his defence. “Who are you?” he asked.

“You can lower the gun,” the warrior replied. He was salvaging something out of the heads of the droids.

The soldier lowered the gun. “Thank you,” he said.

“Sure, now, come on,” the warrior gestured to him. “Help me remove the memory drives from these droids.”

“Remove what?”

The warrior paused his actions, thought for a second, and then replied, “It’s like their brains. That’s how the soldiers know who to look for.” He went on to show him a small piece of foreign material. “Look for these.”

The soldier stepped forward, and he began to remove the said pieces from the broken droids. Some of them didn’t even have a memory drive left to remove. When they were finished, the warrior took all the pieces, put them on the ground, and then the warrior burned them with his laser beam. That's when the soldier spotted what the warrior was wearing. It was a brown-red uniform, the colours of the enemy army.

The soldier quickly raised back his gun. “You are one of them!” he exclaimed.

Before the warrior could answer, they heard a cry. The battalion following the droids had found them. A soldier of the enemy army shouted, pointing towards them.

“Oh, shit!” the warrior cursed. “Come on, go, go, GO!” he shouted.

3.



They both ran with their breaths on hold. The warrior led the soldier away from the open fields towards the forest on the hills. They did not stop until they had entered the forest and lost the soldiers.

“It’s okay,” said the warrior. “I think we lost them.” He was bent with his palms on his knees, breathing like a dog. “You are safe now.”

“Thanks again. So, where are we headed?”

“For now, we are staying here,” the warrior replied. “We’ll get daylight for a few hours, so it’ll be safe to stay hidden.”

“Why? They can’t see us. Can they?”

“Yeah, they can. —ever since those people put the damned satellite up there."

“The what?”

The warrior paused again to think, then he said, “Think of it as a gigantic eye in the sky, revolving around us.”

“They have put a goddamned eye in the sky?”

“Yeah. We’ll go by the river when it’s night again. We’ll get some rest; I’ve been travelling for a long time.”

The soldier thought for a second before asking, “Okay, back to my question. Whose side are you on? You are wearing the enemy's colours, and you seem to know a lot about them. Yet, you killed their droids and saved me.”

The warrior kept walking, but he answered. “I didn’t kill the droids,” he said. “They can’t be killed. They are machines. The troops will either fix and revive them or salvage their parts.”

The soldier opened his mouth, but the warrior interrupted.

“—But to answer your question, I'm on nobody's side. I have my own vendetta against the supreme leader.”

“But you were on their side?”

"I was their first in command. I helped my army win this war."

The shape of the soldier’s facial muscles changed. His eyes burned with anger. “So, you are telling me that you are responsible for all this death and destruction.”

“NO,” the warrior interrupted. “Please, don’t get me wrong, but in my command, the war was over before it started. There were a few casualties on each side, but that was it. I made your army surrender.”

"You don't have to remind me all that again. We surrendered, and you still killed us all."

“NO,” the warrior barked again. “That wasn’t me. That's my vendetta against the leader. I promised them a victory on one condition, no ruthless killing. But, I was ignored. They still went ahead with the killings. I tried to stop them. I even fought on your side for a while, but it was all in vain.”

“Can’t say I feel sorry for you.”

“You don’t have to feel sorry for me.”

“So, what now? Are you planning to kill the supreme leader?”

“No, much worse.”

The soldier could not think what could be worse than death, but he could not ask because the warrior had paced up. He tries to catch up to him.

“Hey, you didn’t tell me your name.”

“Avadhaan,” the warrior replied without looking back. “What’s yours?” he asked.

“Moziah.”

4.



The white star appeared in the sky for a brief period. Avadhaan and Moziah took shelter under the shade of a huge tree, where they got to shut their eyes for a while. And then they began their journey towards the silver river. It was already night when they arrived at the bank of the river. The several moons appeared again, illuminating the silver stream.

“Where did you get that thing?” Moziah asked Avadhaan, pointing at the laser. They were sitting by the fire that Avadhaan had lit up with his laser.

“Oh, this, I built this myself. But, it was way more destructive than I wanted it to be, so I never gave orders for mass production for the soldiers.”

They were chewing the fish Moziah had caught from the river and cooked on the fire.

“Umm...thank you?”

“It’s okay. I never wanted war for our worlds, you know.”

“Yeah, I used to ask my parents who lived on those two other worlds. I always wanted to meet people from over there. I guess I never thought it would be like this."

“I can understand. We have been watching you for centuries. We even sent several signals and messages, but you guys haven't developed such technology to be able to—uh...”

“Yeah, I get it. We are primitive.”

"No, that's not what I meant," Avadhaan said. "Your tribes are amazing. They have a technology of their own kind, like this one, here." He unsheathed the sword and laid it down in front of Moziah. The strange symbols on the sword started glimmering in the moonlight.

“Why, yes, I didn’t notice. It’s our craftsmanship. But how did you get your hands on it?”

“They gave it to me.”

“Wh—what? Why would they—wait a minute...did you?”

"No, no, I didn't kill or threaten them. The tribe gave it to me because I saved those people from my own troops."

“And they gave you the sword, just like that?”

“No, obviously, no. There’s something else. The tribe gave it to me to fulfil a purpose."

Moziah looked in those eyes that sparkled with determination. "What?" he asked.

“I promised them,” the warrior stopped and swallowed the last bit of fish. He then gulped down almost a gallon of water. “I promised them to avenge the destruction caused on their planet.”

“How?”

“You remember I told you I have a—”

“Yes, yes, I know, a vendetta against the supreme leader. But, how, how will you do it?”

Avadhaan pondered whether he should tell Moziah or not, then he decided.

“Do you see the markings on the sword?” he asked Moziah, pointing at the sword.

Moziah took a closer look at the strange symbols engraved on the sword. He brushed his fingers against them.

“This is not just a sword,” Avadhaan began. “This is also a—”

“A key.”

“Yes, to the ancient temple.”

Moziah, the soldier, dropped his face. It seemed as if he had heard of something divine. "The temple is real?" he asked, mumbling.

Avadhaan reached into his pocket and pulled out an ancient roll of leather. "At first, I didn't believe in it myself," he said as he went on to unroll the leather and put it in front of Moziah. "Until I saw this."

Moziah looked at this ancient painting. It appeared to be a flying vehicle, and it had those strange symbols etched on it too. He looked at them closely.

V O Y A G E R    I

“It’s true," Moziah was spell-bound. "It's all true.”

“Yes.”

"My mother used to tell me stories about it. The 'Word of God' landed from the heavens on this world hundreds of thousands of years ago. Folks had never seen anything like it. It was a heavenly metal, not like what our swords are made of, but different, precious, shiny yellow, like none, had ever seen before."

"Yes, even though they couldn't understand it, they knew it was valuable. Your ancestors cherished it."

“Yes, they built a temple on the top of the mountain to guard it.”

“Yes, and this sword is the key to that temple. Nobody had tried to look for the temple in thousands of years, but it's there.”

Moziah was staring away into the empty night as if he was looking at the temple. Then, something occurred to him. “Wait, is that why they waged war against us? Isn’t it?”

“Yeah,” Avadhaan replied sadly.

“No, you can not let them have it. You just can't."

“I won’t.”

“You can not let them defile the ancient temple, Avadhaan, the word of god, you can’t—”

“Moziah, listen to me!”

Dead silence.

"The tribe gave me this sword because they believed in me. I promise you, I won't let the supreme leader get her hands on the temple or the 'Word of God'."

Moziah nodded calmly.

"Now, let's get some more rest. We have to leave before the day breaks."

“Yeah, okay, let’s get some rest, sure.” Moziah went to sleep feeling awkward. Within minutes, they were both fast asleep.

5.



Avadhaan did not wake up until the white star scorched his eyebrows. He opened his eyes, he stood up with an electric speed.

“Oh shit, Hey, Moziah, wake up!” He packed his stuff, then he jerked Moziah to wake up. Moziah woke up rubbing his eyes. He, too, soon realised their mistake, so he picked up speed too.

“Oh, I’m so sorry. I had eaten after so long that I must’ve dozed off.”

“It’s okay. It’s not your fault. I still haven’t adjusted to the day-night cycle of your planet. Quick, we don't have much time. My people have probably already seen us. We need to split."

They quickly grabbed their stuff, removed all the traces of their stay, and prepared to leave.

"Okay, Moziah, goodbye. I hope to meet you again in a better situ—"

“Wait—I need to ask you something.”

“Yes?”

“Um—uh...”

“QUICKLY, PLEASE. WE DON’T HAVE MUCH TIME!”

“Last night, you said something. You mentioned the supreme leader as ‘her’. You said you won’t let the supreme leader get her hands on the sword. You said ‘her’. Is the supreme leader a woman?”

Avadhaan hung his head down. “That’s all? Is that why you are wasting our time? A woman?” Come on! What does it matter if the supreme leader is a wo—”

“No, no, that’s not what I meant. It’s just—I have a feeling that there’s more to it.”

Avadhaan dropped the urgency from his nerves. He stared straight into Moziah’s eyes and said, “Yes, there is. There is so much that I could not tell you all of it even in a thousand years. Yes, the supreme leader is a woman. She is—she is my—uh—”

Avadhaan could not finish his sentence because something just landed right between them and blew up, sending them flying in the air.

When the dust settled, Avadhaan saw a battleship landing on the river. Before he could do anything, a squad of droids came flooding out of the battleship, followed by about a dozen soldiers in a brown-red uniform just like his. They surrounded him and Moziah, who was lying half-conscious in the sand. Two soldiers grabbed him and dragged him in front of the battleship. Someone grabbed Avadhaan too. Another one took his sword and presented it to the person who had just walked out of the battleship.

Avadhaan could never make a mistake recognising those high heel red leather boots. He looked up at this woman, who was smiling at him.

"Ah, we meet again. I told you I'd find you and the sword—" the woman brought her face closer to that of Avadhaan’s when she added, “—brother!”

Moziah looked up with half-dead eyes.

The supreme leader, Avadhaan’s sister, wore the same brown-red uniform but with a few differences. She also donned a long trench coat with high heel boots and gloves, all made from red leather. She grinned with evil in her eyes. Nothing made her happier than holding the sword in her hands. It was not glimmering anymore, though, ever since it had left Avadhaan’s possession. She did not know that. She just kept admiring the strange engravings on it.

“So, brother, what did you say the last time we saw each other? Do you want me to remind you?”

“Zina, listen to me, please, don’t do this.”

“No, no, that’s not what you said. Let me remind you. You said you’ll never let me have my dream, that you’ll shatter my dreams just like I shattered yours.”

“Zina, please.”

“DO NOT CALL ME THAT!" she barked. "My name is Geldiezina, and I am your supreme leader. You will shatter my dream, MY DREAM!” Geldiezina looked fierce when she screamed. It was enough to make a child cry. “You have no idea, brother, how much pain you have caused me by those words.” She looked at Moziah. This was the first time she had laid her eyes on him. “Why don’t I repay you the favour, hmm? Just to show you a glimpse of the pain you gave me, huh? What do you say?”

It didn’t take Avadhaan much time to put two and two together. He struggled in the grasp of the soldiers. “NO,” he barked. “No, Zina! It's between you and me! Leave him out of this. He's not here by choice; it was a coincidence! Please, let him go!"

Geldiezina didn’t stop. She slowly started towards the only soldier in the green-grey uniform, swinging the ancient sword.

When Avadhaan didn't see her stop. He screamed, "ZINA! I SWEAR TO GOD IF YOU LAY A FINGER ON HIM—” He looked just as fierce as his sister, maybe more. “I SWEAR, ZINA, DO NOT TOUCH HIM!”

But Zina didn’t listen to him. She lifted the sword high in the air and sliced Moziah’s head in a swift downward motion. A thud followed.

“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!”

Avadhaan hung his head down after his voice had broken up. He couldn’t look up at either his sister or Moziah’s lifeless body.

"Oh, come on, brother. Why did you have to bring 'God' into this? Did you suddenly start having faith? Oh, please, don't tell me that you believe there's actually a word of god. I have read your research on that. Those are just from another world like ours, as you wrote in your research.”

Avadhaan was not in the mood for conversation.

“I just want them because I believe there would be tonnes of knowledge from that world. Maybe a way to get there, or how to build legendary weapons that would give me the power to rule over this world and all the others."

Zina gestured to the soldiers to let go of Avadhaan. The soldiers dropped him into the sand, but Avadhaan did not get up. Zina sat down beside him.

“Ah, brother, you don’t have to be like that. One day, you’ll see my way. One day, you will be by my side again.”

Avadhaan mumbled something.

“What was that, little brother?”

“Oh, kill me now.”

“Haw! I'm hurt, brother. Kill you? Why would I kill you? What would I do without you? What good are you to me, dead?” She stroked Avadhaan on the back of his head. “I’m enjoying this too much. I will not kill you. I love seeing you in pain like this, brother. I love this so much. I will not kill you. But, I will make you so miserable that you would have no choice left but to join me. I promise you that, little brother."

She stood up and handed the sword to a soldier. She turned back towards Avadhaan. “Now, I have to go back, so much work to do. See you around, brother. Get another one from those tribes on your side. I enjoy killing them.”

Geldiezina then turned around and walked back into the battleship with pride all over her face. When the battleship took off, it blew some dust and water and covered Avadhaan. For a second, it was impossible to see him from that high up in the air.

Soon, the battleship disappeared into the sky. There was nothing left except a dead Moziah with his head a few feet away from him and Avadhaan, half-buried in the sand.

Finally, when the night arrived, the moons glittered in the sky, the dust unsettled again. And, with fire like rage burning in his eyes and with determination as big as an iceberg, Avadhaan slowly raised his head.


Comments

  1. Needs some tweaks. A bit too much expo in the first few paragraphs. Need to grab readers a bit faster.

    Try to show us the devastation.
    That will get readers more interested in what's going on.
    What do you think?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I feel you. Let's see how much I can improve in chapter two.

      Delete

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