|"Once Upon a Time "
Disclaimer: WB and 20thC Fox
Summary: A story is told, and a world is explained.
|Hush, child. Shed no more tears this night. We are safe here, hidden
beneath buckling earth and wailing winds thick with smoke. Close your
eyes, child, and see the darkness behind your eyelids where once the
light of explosions burst behind them. This, child, this is the sight
of safety. Listen not for the roar of destruction, distant and muted
here, but to the sounds of your own breath. This is the sound of
safety. Feel my hand against your forehead, mattress yielding beneath
your body, the touch of woolen blanket tickling against your cheeks.
This is the feel of safety.
You do not feel safe, even here, child? Ah, what things burn in your eyes. I have not witnessed the brilliance of the rising sun in years -- nor felt the sting of explosions washing over the landscape -- brighter than the sun itself, it seemed. I see it in your eyes, now... wide and frightened... the eyes of the dead, clinging to life though they no longer recall why they struggle to maintain it with such ferocity.
Does that frighten you, child? Had your parents soothed you with tales of the long distant past, lost to us all in a flurry of shattering concrete, glass and steel? Did their voices lull you into sleep, a soft murmur in the white light of the night that you followed beneath the roar of death?
They told you of lush green grass, sprawling deserts, a vast expanse of sky and stars stretching over head, benevolently draped across this world, did they? They whispered lies -- a hope from a time when the future reached out bright and untarnished before those with the will to forge ahead. Those are no longer stories for our world, child. There is but one now, it is the story of the destruction of our past, the creation of our eternity -- a story not ours that has become ours to bear.
Myths -- they are a cultural consciousness that warn and teach those who listen. They are the past of a people, their goals, their values hidden beneath the facade of the fantastic. Green grass, friendly stars... those, child, are myths that our world can no longer afford.
I will tell you the true story of our planet, child, and you would do well to remember the words I speak to you.
The warm earth and thick grass in which you curl your toes in your dreams -- real enough, though most feet found more comfort upon hard ribbons of concrete biting through the world. The sky above, left unseen by eyes blinded by our own importance. And those who watched the skies... they watched not with naked eye or mundane instrument... they watched with technology whose names have become as strange and exotic as the monsters and beasts of days of old.
They watched the skies, and waited for the world in which we die.
Some turned their eyes upon this earth, fallen stars upon the surface of this world, unseen. And they searched... vigilant... ever vigilant. For we could not allow the sky to descend upon this world we paid so little heed, to claim it as their own.
Ah, they told you that we loved this world, did they? That we buried our fingers into the earth, warm and vital. That we lifted arms and faces to the sky and felt pure water fall from the heavens, washing across joyous faces. That the water that passed our lips was clear and sweet, untainted by the death that lies over all here.
Perhaps I am indeed mistaken. Perhaps the years slipping behind me into darkness have blunted my memory. Perhaps my mind has cracked and torn as the earth does above our heads this very moment. Perhaps,child.
Hush now, child. Listen carefully, and find the truth or lies in my words as you will.
We searched, and what was sought was eventually found. Three fallen little stars, cut off from the sky which had birthed them, unknowing of their own nature in truth... knowing only that they were the hunted. Forever fleeing through a world hostile to what they were, sanctuary ever beyond their hands...
Like yours... five fingers unfurling, stretching, reaching for the stars. Do you think that hands so small could grasp something so veryimmense?
They lived as did our own, when the world was strung together. Hands and faces... and _hearts_, just as ours. But we did not see, did not _wish_ to see. We looked and we saw monsters, creatures, _threats_. The threat we most dreaded, though our own had proved as capable as the others of driving humanity into oblivion.
These three, aliens, we called them, they had friends drawn from the unbelieving, fearful masses of our own kind.
Shh, child! Speak not such words of people and events that you do not understand. Not traitors, but more caring than we were, more human that what we have become. And they loved, and were loved in kind.
Does it seem so strange to you that they could love? Listen, child, and you shall hear that this world was born of love.
And we saw that they loved, and that they were loved. And we, fearful and hating of the unknown, the vast expanse of sky and space that had cradled this world since its infancy... we reached into their lives and tore away those who had shown them that our kind were deserving of love and mercy. A mother and father, unknowing, they who had taught their children mercy and love... their lives falling away in a spray of blood and upon cried pleas for mercy.
Three left, who loved fully and were loved in return. Threatened, bait to lure the aliens into the gleaming white labs of our own where we could safely prod and cut, crack open ribs and peer into the recesses of their beings...
One died, a warning... a human life taken by those that protested that they served to protect such. And he did not scream nor plead, but looked into his end and claimed that death was worth her life. Perhaps he did not believe that darkness would sweep in over him, that his own kind could take away his life. But I believe that the words he spoke were true. For you see, he loved her. And this world was born of love.
A second died, when the aliens came, grief in their eyes and vengeance hovering around them as a cloud. And she screamed his name... Ah, child... a single word thrust out into the air, an entire person packaged into a string of phonemes. And she was gone -- her body dead, and his eyes gone dark. For you see, he loved her.
And this world was born of love.
Of what use a world to which you do not belong, which strives only to destroy you, to make you a display to the masses? What attachment held to a world in which those who bound you to it have been taken?
Have you learned yet, child, that there is no love without hatred? Love died, the balance upset... and our world was born. Perhaps grief, perhaps rage... perhaps finally something alien born into the emptiness of where their links to humanity had stood.
Power, child... such _power_ you have never felt. White light burning away the flesh of those who had destroyed what had been... slowly, screams drawn out into forever... so thorough that nothing remained when the energy ebbed.
And the last, not example nor sacrifice for her love... it merely washed against her, cool against her skin -- soft, a caress... love made visible, wrapping about her -- comfort, a plea... Am I crying, child?
I have shed all of my tears, littering the years which have fallen away beneath me. So you choose to see the lie in those words, do you, child? Perhaps you are correct, perhaps this story shall never pass my lips without tears. Perhaps it is no less than this story deserves...
For when the light faded... they who had sought so hard for the monsters who had accepted the burden of humanity more fully than our own kind were gone. Those who had chosen to embrace the humanity that we had been born into, that our kind had sought to take from them -- they too were gone. The two who had loved, and had for such died by the hands of their own were gone.
And she was alone. What was love made visible, comfort in a touch of white light when she stood alone -- friends, lover, innocence torn fromher?
Their kind, so long searched for, saw the dying gasp of energy from three of their children. And they came. They looked down upon us, a sphere of earth drowning beneath concrete, water turning dirty beneath our own filth and greed... and like the God who had urged us towards mercy, opened up the heavens and brought judgment upon us.
And our world was born.
You have heard my story, child. Have you chosen to see truth or lie in the words I have spoken?
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