Fourth Day: The Emptiness (VI-VII)

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VI

For 13 years the Behemoths had battled these creatures and the Leviathans. In all that time, not once did they make progress in discouraging them from their labours to colonize the earth. The Leviathans hated the feeling of being used, but they too were also seduced by the promise of power. The Emptiness came out into the world of men; roused from his slumber and angered at the disrespect of these men, he decided to meet with the leadership of the Behemoths. He suddenly appeared before their leader. His true name cannot be mentioned for reasons that make your life and this world trivial, but the name that can be spoken by men is Triban. He was a powerfully built creature, more hippopotamus than man. He possessed the form of a great conqueror, but within he had the heart of a true king and not that of a usurper. Triban received the Emptiness with a wary eye, but within a minute of meeting him, it was obvious that he was speaking with a different sort of ‘man’, for the Emptiness did not genuflect before him. He looked the king in the eye and spoke directly.

“You will not win. Not with your present understanding of your enemy. I possess the key to their downfall. I am the Emptiness.”

“And how is it, pray tell, that you have come upon this key?” asked Triban.

“Their pride is their undoing. Their pride has a place with you, but not with me. They travel between places hidden between the hearts of the worlds. They listen in on your conversations, your battle plans, and counter accordingly. Their strength cannot match yours and as such, are unwilling to lose their numbers in open attrition, so they enlisted the services of the Leviathans. But their success does not depend on your defeat. They simply distract you. That’s why you are at a standstill. You fight, but are not enlisted, led, or empowered by any. Headless efforts alone cannot assure you of victory and should they decide to fight with you, they will continue till none of your race remains. None.

“Even the Atlanteans are allied to them by an enlightened fear.”

He let Triban digest this, and then continued.

“I will enlist you and will direct you. They have no counter for me. None. You and I have had no dealings before. But your father 12 generations before knew me. The world was young then, and he was wise enough for ‘his’ time. Are you wise enough for your own?”

Triban thought well before asking for an example, a demonstration to give him comfort in what he had just been told.

“I would not presume anything about you. It behooves me to ask for evidence.”

Emptiness nodded and then swung a fist violently into the naked air.

There was a loud crack that they all felt in their bones, followed by a brief flutter in the air and an almost human form suddenly fell to the floor. Life was struggling out of the body. Emptiness turned it over with a foot. He had caused mass cephalic-haemorrhaging. Every blood-vessel in its head had burst, making it look darkened and puffed. The Behemoths had never known the taste of fear before they saw that thing lying dead at the feet of their king.

Triban stood up and walked over to the dead form.

“It had been here the whole time. When it fails to report, they will take it seriously. And they will take the battle to you.”

The Behemoths now knew that the battle had never been theirs to win on their own. It had started and stalled, all of its own accord, and had awaited the Emptiness. Now he had come and things would be more decisive.

VII

These people I speak of have been forgotten by their place. Their lands no longer bear any signs of their ever being there. When I look at the Atlantic, I can see where their towers stood, where their people congregated, and where the battle that ended them took place.

It was the Emptiness that saved ‘most’ of humanity from an evil fate. When Leviathans and Behemoths fight, it is a disturbing thing to see. It isn’t like watching gladiators, or wild beasts. It is like suns trying to burn each other into submission. Men have no place in such affairs. No place.

It was a terrible thing to see. Mountains levelled at will, valleys birthed by violence, the sky darkened by clouds of dust rising from where hills once sat in repose.

The Emptiness chilled the Behemoths’ blood because he would literally stroll through the fights in plain sight, unmoved by the great feats of raw power…and he always had an amused look on his face, the way a child would enjoy his plan coming together as he had expected. He did not involve himself and he had to told Triban to expect as much.

But he interfered once. A Behemoth had been crippled by 3 Leviathans surrounding him. He was young for a Behemoth and it was obvious that he still didn’t know how to handle himself in battle.

That is not to say the lad could not fight. He had started with facing one and ended up with three opponents.

The Leviathan warrior is more crocodile than man. He is born with his armour and strengthens it by conditioning. The term ‘bouncing baby’ came from their culture. As soon as he is delivered, with his umbilical cord still attached, he is thrown to the bare ground. His scales harden by reflex and ride the impact. The scales sheer of the umbilical cord by defensive reflex. He will not cry out or seek comfort.

For the blade of a Behemoth to cut through, three blows have to be delivered as one, the young Behemoth had discovered how to deliver five as one blow. He made quick work with his skill, but sadly he wasn’t gifted with experience. More experienced warriors would have disguised their skill on the battle ground, but he drew attention to himself. Behemoths have a tough leather hide, not the hard scales of Leviathans, so he could and would take cuts, his hide would scar quickly locking the Leviathan blade in, and giving him time to kill his surprised opponent. He would then tear out the Leviathan sword and face a new opponent.

So when he had 4 blades locked in the hide of his back, he couldn’t focus well enough to face his new opponents.

He then proceeded to use the locked blades to attack them furiously. He suceeded to taking out one of the swords and cut down one of them, but the rest grabbed the hilts of their swords to pull him off balance. As one, the three cut past his hide into the bone of his shoulder. His cry was what led the Emptiness to glance in his direction.

The Emptiness had seen many Behemoths and Leviathans fall that day. But the Emptiness saw something else in him. He wasn’t a soldier, he wasn’t a warrior, but he had a burning desire to live. The Emptiness recognized the early signs of a giant who should not fall so easily and so he went into the scuffle.

When the Emptiness suddenly appeared to shield the young Behemoth, the Leviathans immediately knew that he wasn’t a Behemoth, but they didn’t know what he was doing there and they didn’t care. They should have.

The first lifted his fists together over his head and brought them down swiftly and with great violence to crush the Emptiness. The Emptiness walked into the blow and stopped it with his finger. The strain of the uncompleted action caused the Leviathan’s tendons to snap from his wrists to his back without as much as a dramatic pause. The Emptiness then punched the right side of theLeviathan’s chest and a bloody mass suddenly fell out of the left side and slid to the feet of the young Behemoth. It was the Leviathan’s heart. The Emptiness then turned to slap the next Leviathan with more violence than is expected of anyone his size. The Leviathan sank into the ground as all cerebral function he had stopped immediately. His heart too was flung at the feet of the young Behemoth. The third could not flee, his pride would not let him.

He lifted his sword and charged the Emptiness. The Emptiness drew out a blade of a single black diamond from the air and slashed out exact chunks of flesh from the Leviathan’s chest and limbs, dismissing his hard scales. He then reached into the cavity he had carved and brought out its heart.

He tossed it at the young Behemoth saying, “REMEMBER. I saved your life. What is your name?”

“Egista.”

He then put one of the hearts into the young Behemoth’s hands and said to him, “They would have done the same to you and worse. But I find genitalia irritating to handle. Take courage. I give this victory to you, Egista. Tell whatever story you wish about what just happened. The less said of me in this matter, the better I would feel.”

The Emptiness then turned and continued his leisurely stroll through the mayhem. Dead Leviathan blood dropped off his body to the earth, as if he was cleaning away evidence. Egista lay back until his shoulder healed, then he went back into the fight, more decisive, less flashy and obvious. He was no coward and he would live long.

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About The Capoeira Panda

Panda makes his home in the world of words and metaphors. In the hopes to be more than just a confused blogger, he currently works as the editor for an ecommerce company that was good enough to hire him, and lives with his flat mates & two imaginary dogs who get along just fine. He enjoys reading good books, writing, relaxing with his friends, & poking fun at his mother over the phone. When he's not doing any of these, he sometimes sits back and wonders why anyone expects to learn anything useful about him by reading this bio. View all posts by The Capoeira Panda

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