|Having broken out of the nightmare, Kira seizes the Puppetmaster in Strider's massive hand. The 4th dimensional being tries to convince her to let him go...|
The room was dark, save for a harsh spotlight directly over her head. The only other light in the room burned before her. Six red lights like glowing coals looked back at her, but his face was cold. Qu'Tashi stood in the darkness.
"Thousand-Year-Child..." The words buzzed from him as he strode towards her.
The woman in dark armor stiffened at her name. Over her life she had gone by many, none of them truly hers, but this name was closer than most.
"Do you know why I've come to see you?" Qu'Tashi asked, "There has been quite a mess on Tel-Aora, one that I will be picking up pieces from for some time. Cha gTu was finally released, and had trapped every living being for light years in a nightmare," He chuckled, "excluding myself of course. He wouldn't dare. From there, it was supposed to be simple. Collect those I needed and bring them to Earth. Shall I tell you why, child? What is so important on Earth?"
The woman's eyes were down, but an invisible force gently lifted her chin. She now made eye contact with the massive Vayl before her. For a moment, she was silent. She trusted Qu’Tashi with her life, though even she didn’t know the extent of his plans. She murmured, "No, my lord." As the words left her mouth, she was thrown backwards by the same telekinetic force.
"What is so important," he roared, "is the culmination of our plans! The World-Eater itself resides on that miserable rock. The birth of something magnificent was within our grasp! With everyone trapped in a nightmare, I could have awoken it and put an end to all of this conflict!” In an instant, the rage fell from his face. “Stand up, please.” Qu’Tashi said, turning his back to her. He was like the void of space, going from extreme heat to absolute zero in seconds. “Why do you think I have come to speak with you, Thousand-Year-Child?”
Slowly, she stood up, afraid to answer. “It… It’s because I failed you, my lord.” She said nervously. “Because I couldn’t stop the Alliance forces attack. If I had just been able to kill them...” She clenched her teeth, anticipating another blow, but none came.
“No, young one, that isn’t it. I fully expected you to be defeated. In fact I was depending on Kira Takalah to get past our defenses and release Cha gTu, as only she could. No, I brought you here to tell you something..” He stalked behind her, “Something that few in this universe know. The Hand of Teraga’s goal is to infiltrate and bring down the existing power structures from inside in order to create one unified society under myself. This is what I have told my followers for millenia. You, for example, joined the Hand after losing your family in a terrorist attack, correct? You desire the destruction of the corrupt powers, the Sol Alliance, the Kiliaak Empire, and the Vayl Tribunal alike, and I saw potential in you. What you do not know, however, is the mechanism I intend to use to bring them all down.”
The woman’s eyes followed her leader as he paced the room. The tread of his three hooves echoed in the empty space. She had lived her life with complete faith in Qu’Tashi. He had taken her in when she had nothing, told her that she was destined for greatness. She thought of her Dragon, the creature who meant more to her than almost anything in the universe. Qu’Tashi had given him to her as well. She owed the Hand of Teraga everything, and patiently waited for her leader to speak.
“The World-Eater is a being of unimaginable power and potential for growth. It was born on Earth, and stays dormant there now. Left unchecked, it will grow exponentially, consuming the Earth and taking to space. From there, it will consume planet after planet, star after star, until entire galaxies have been swallowed to feed its growth. Eventually, it will be so massive that it will collapse on itself into a black hole great enough to swallow the entire universe. The foolish guardians on Earth have no idea that this is their fate, but it will happen eventually. As it is now, the World-Eater will not become dangerous for millenia, perhaps millions of years, but it will happen eventually.” Qu’Tashi finished, turning to face her again.
She was taken aback. “How do you know this, and what does this have to do with the Hand?” she asked. The idea of such a monster was difficult to grasp. How could a being of such a large scale exist?
“It’s simple, child. The Hand of Teraga will accelerate the process by which the World-Eater develops. Through our machinations, the entire Universe will be reduced to nothing. However, by traveling through the black hole, we will be reborn as Gods in a new fledgling universe! We can reset all of history and begin anew with us as the undisputed rulers!” Qu’Tashi thrust his fist into the air triumphantly, then continued. “How do I know this will happen, you ask? It is quite simple.” he paused for a moment. Confusion showed on the woman in black’s face.
“I have seen it happen before.” he said, simply. “In my youth, I was but a boy living on Tel Aora, a young mecha pilot. We saw the rise of the World Eater, but were helpless to stop it. In the end, only I and one other survived the black hole that consumed our universe. In the Big Bang, we were flung headfirst into a newborn reality.” Qu’Tashi raised his arm and pulled back a sleeve. The woman was shocked to see that his flesh was horribly disfigured. The skin was gnarled and twisted, and looked almost as though it had been melted and solidified many times. Qu’Tashi smiled and rolled his sleeve back down. “Yes, the Big Bang blasted me and my companion almost to pieces, but at the same time gave us great power and immortality. After a few hundred years, we reformed and began to explore our surroundings.”
The masked woman looked at Qu’Tashi, confused. “Who was your companion? What happened to them?”
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