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Two Worlds Collide: Chapter 36“There.” said Garro, the knight-errant pointing with an outstretched finger towards the farthest edge of the Earth, to the east of the great continent which contained all the many incredible buildings, palaces, and fortresses the royals had seen as the Severian had silently flown above, safe amongst the star-filled vastness of space. “New lands greet your eyes, my friends, and new kingdoms among them.”Two Worlds Collide: Chapter 36 by terraluna5
It did not take long for the royals to see what Garro was seeing; to the east lay another vast continent, stretching across a great distance. Unlike the previous, this landmass was in the prime of its natural beauty. Where the former had no forests, rivers, or valleys and was shod completely in steel and iron and stone, the latter was full of nature. Mountains stretched far to the north and east, rivers flowed along its earth and pooled in several areas to become lakes and landlocked seas, and there was a desert region far to the southeast of the continent,
“There.” said Garro, the knight-errant pointing with an outstretched finger towards the farthest edge of the Earth, to the east of the great continent which contained all the many incredible buildings, palaces, and fortresses the royals had seen as the Severian had silently flown above, safe amongst the star-filled vastness of space. “New lands greet your eyes, my friends, and new kingdoms among them.”
It did not take long for the royals to see what Garro was seeing; to the east lay another vast continent, stretching across a great distance. Unlike the previous, this landmass was in the prime of its natural beauty. Where the former had no forests, rivers, or valleys and was shod completely in steel and iron and stone, the latter was full of nature. Mountains stretched far to the north and east, rivers flowed along its earth and pooled in several areas to become lakes and landlocked seas, and there was a desert region far to the southeast of the continent, whilst the rest of the land was all green and lush. But even it was not devoid of human habitation; here and there, scattered along the terrain were many cities and towns, their tiny lights illuminating the land like candles amid a sea of black, for it was currently nighttime over this new continent which the royals beheld.
“Beautiful.” breathed Snow White, the young princess in wonder at seeing all the land below. The other royals were not as mesmerized or in awe as she was, their minds more focused on how the Imperials, their supposed saviors, had managed to so effectively conceal their presence from prying eyes for thousands of years. Why, even these two new landmasses, which the royals and their peoples had no inkling of, were kept hidden from sight so well that it seemed impossible to believe. But as their new allies explained earlier, they had used strange ways of science and magic and technology to hide their presence with almost perfect concealment, for it had begun to crack at the end. Still, the means and resources employed were of an all-but-unknown nature to many of the royals, most of whom could not even guess how humans were capable of harnessing flight or travel through the stars or even make the immense machines they had seen earlier. How could their fellow, if strange kin, be able to create such artificial wonders and harness nigh-incredible powers to their yoke? How?
It was a question amongst many questions which the royals wanted answers to, and receive them they would. For now, the royals chose to wait and observe, being used to the Imperials’ silence and reluctance to answer everything at once. Best to watch and learn right now instead of begging later. So they did continue to see the realm below…………….
“From where did you come to be, Garro?” asked Belle. “Where were you born?” The knight-errant, in turn, gave out a sigh before answering. “I was born thousands of years ago, Princess Belle. Like my brother Ahzek, I too became subject the healing energies of Neo-Queen Serenity’s incredible crystal and so I was restored in body and spirit. My flesh regained its lost youth and my spirit was given back the fire it once had, for before my rebirth I was frail and weak, though I did not show it to my brothers. Thousands of years of battle and loss wore me down, and though I was ready to endure more and even give my life in service to the Emperor, my burden continued to weigh me down, a burden forged from terrible memories, comrades lost, and a home forever lost. My original place of birth no longer exists, princess, though its successor lies yonder.” So saying, he pointed again at the emerging landmass, though now he focused his finger at the southernmost tip of the continent.
“Down there lies the kingdom known as New Albia,” he explained, “a nation of warrior clans loyal to the Imperium and the Emperor. It takes its name from my ancient homeland, for the realm where I was born and raised was known as Old Albia, and it proved a powerful challenger for the Emperor to defeat during his long war of conquering the Earth.”
New Albia. The name of the first of the new kingdoms the royals beheld before them. No longer were their realms the only ones to exist upon the Earth’s soil. Here and now, they beheld new lands and new kingdoms that would be introduced to them in greater detail sometime in the near future, but for now, this sufficed. “New Albia.” whispered Giselle in wonder. “A kingdom of warriors, you said?” Garro gave out his immediate reply, none amongst the assembly missing the pride that now filled his voice as he spoke. “Indeed, Princess Giselle. It is famed across Holy Terra for being one of the chief recruiting grounds of my legion, the noble sons of New Albia being excellent stock to fill the ranks of the Fourteenth. But yes, New Albia is renowned for the might of its clan armies, amongst them the elite regiments known as the Iron Sons, in honor of their Ironside forbears. Besides that, New Albia is not much known for anything else, but I am proud to name it my home. It is there that I reside when not heeding the call of war.”
Fascinated with his explanation, the royals continued to gaze down at the first of the new kingdoms, New Albia slowly getting closer to them as the ship continued to sail silently across the blackness. Meanwhile, Loken indicated to the group another kingdom far to the east, golden webs of light stretching their way across an immense line of tall mountains that seemed to glow with molten fire. At least that was how the royals could imagine the landscape, for below them the mountains burned with so many orange glows that could only come from volcanoes. Was the land and the kingdom, for that matter, built atop a range of volcanoes? “There, my friends,” said Loken, “are the restored kingdom and mountain chain of the Urals. Once it was one of the last great mountain ranges that existed on Earth before its eventual formation into a world of steel and iron, and now it lies here, reborn. The Urals are home to the ancient Terrawatt Clan, a realm of forgesmiths and artificers expert in the knowledge of machines, engineering, metallurgy, and blacksmithing. Their forges and great machine shops are the largest anywhere on this earth, and the skill of their masters is such that some of the finest weapons, ships, and machines on this planet have been constructed within their domain. And there,” he added, pointing to what appeared to be the tallest of the mountains, “is the restored Mount Narodnya, where the greatest forge of the Terrawatt Clan resides. It is home to an ancient piece of history, a place that once saw two living gods meet and forge two of the greatest weapons to have ever existed.”
“Who? Who?” asked Snow White. She was so enraptured by the wonders she was seeing as well as the tale she heard, and so the princess wanted to know more. But Loken would say no more on the subject, only stating that he would explain his story in greater detail later. The royals continued to gaze at the vast chain of mountains far below, easily seeing the peak of Mount Narodnya below, its open top belching with fire and smoke, whilst its circumference was ringed with lines upon lines of golden light coming from numerous habitations built deep into the rock of the mountain. How they knew this they could not fathom to guess, but after seeing all the advanced wonders of their newfound ally, each of the royals, even the most naïve and innocent among them, could not doubt that such constructions existed and that there were more technological wonders for them to behold. Soon the Severian passed on, leaving the mountainous realm of the Terrawatt behind and continuing on to the east. Further east, Ahriman pointed to another stretch of land and this time, the royals noticed something different about the land below. It was divided into smaller territories by bright white lines of light, clearly visible from orbit, as if something immense had carved up the land and divided it into sections. Wasting no time, Ahriman gave a proper explanation as to why this was so.
“The inhabitants of the realm below,” he explained, “are vassals and sworn warriors to the war families of the Saragon Enclave, a loosely-held nation of tribal families. Thus the reason for why the land is divided by those white lines, each being the border and marker of the individual lands owned by the seven war families of the Enclave. Before you ask, the reason for why I refer to the seven families as warlike is because they are so. Each family lives by the law of the sword, their members being expert fighters, soldiers, and warriors; thus, many debates and disputes are decided by ritual duels and mass combats. Whoever emerges the victor is acknowledged to be in the right due to the blood spilled and proven tenacity displayed in battle, and so all are content. Though not the equal of my Astartes warriors or any of those in Garro’s or Loken’s armies, the warrior vassals of the Enclaves are second to none in their war prowess. Only the Iron Sons of New Albia can rival them in military power and fighting skill, but yes, the law of the Saragon Enclave is that of honorable conflict.”
“Interesting.” muttered Merida quietly, the fighter princess already feeling a sense of kinship in the kingdom that Ahriman had just described. She could already imagine the fields of battle practice, the clash of blades, the cries of men, and the good-natured banter amongst comrades. It was the same in her home of DunBroch, her subjects and countrymen being amongst some of the fiercest fighters in the ten kingdoms of Earth, if not the fiercest. Many of the other royals were not of a warlike nature; Andalasia certainly had no standing army, whilst the kingdoms of Corona, Arendelle, and Swan Lake had only token security forces to ensure order and safety amongst its citizens. The other realms of her fellow princesses- Belle, Ariel, Aurora, Snow White, and Jasmine- also had guards and royal protectors that enforced the law of the land, but no fighting forces. As for the Silver Millennium itself, its advanced defenses and legendary protectors- the Senshi and the queen herself –were more than enough to deter any enemy. So it was that DunBroch was the only kingdom to have warriors amongst its people, and remained so until this day. “These aren’t the only warriors that live here, are they, Lord Ahriman?” she asked the crimson giant.
“No, indeed, Princess Merida.” Ahriman replied. “The Iron Sons and the vassal soldiers of the Saragon Enclaves are but a few of the many fighting troops that reside on the Earth. Combined with the number of Astartes stationed here, the military troops of our mighty Imperium, and the many other independent armies of the other kingdoms, there are more than enough to defend this world from any invader………or to conquer each and every one of your kingdoms over the course of just a few days.”
Those last words left the royals uncomfortable. Up until now, they considered the Imperials as new friends and allies, given the strange warriors’ great sacrifices and heroic deeds to save Crystal Tokyo from the taint of a new enemy. Each prince and princess had seen the Astartes of Ahriman’s army fight to the death amongst the Chaos monsters, some giving their lives to save Serenity’s people. Such selfless acts of protection convinced the royals that the Imperials were no threat, but the words which Ahriman just spoke left them all reeling inside. The fears of invasion they had once buried now threatened to resurface, but before they could cry out as to why the Imperials would invade their peaceful homes, a reassuring voice calmed them down. “Despair not.” It was Garro who spoke. “We,” he said, gesturing to Loken, Ahriman, and himself, “would not break the bond of trust we formed with you and invade your homes, but others in the Imperium would not be so kind. For Brother Ahzek speaks the truth. We would indeed invade and conquer your kingdoms if given the command to do so.”
“Why?” demanded Flynn Rider, the prince of Corona now greatly concerned for his home. Rapunzel stood beside him, hands clasped to her chest in worry. “Why do such a thing? We’re not dangerous towards you, so why would you do it? Why destroy our homes if given the chance?”
“Because it is our mandate.” answered Loken. “Ask yourself this, Prince Fitzherbert, and I speak to all of you as well. How do you think my Imperium was able to expand so rapidly across the stars of the galaxy and claim new worlds by the thousands? How?” His words gave way to thought, and soon the royals and Senshi alike began to blurt out responses to his question.
“Because your technology was so advanced it enabled you to leave our home planet and out into the stars.” said Amy, the technical response of the Senshi of Water being clear and correct, Loken nodding in approval. Beside Amy, Mina added her response. “Our home was dying, like you said to us earlier, and so you had to find new homes.” said the Senshi of Love, to which Loken nodded in agreement once more. The rest of the answers varied, from that of an Imperial command to galactic exploration to treasure hunting to even the simple answer that they simply could. Loken smiled as the royals gave out their answers, for all of them were correct, but not one was truly correct. So he told them the real reason why.
“Very strong answers, your Highnesses.” he said to them. “All correct in their own way, but not one hit the mark. It is true that we set out into the stars in search of new worlds, to explore the galaxy, and to acquire treasures, but the real reason is this: our mandate was that if the human race was to survive in a hostile and dangerous galaxy, then it had to stand united as one.”
“’United as one?’” asked Serenity, confused over those words. “Literally or metaphorically?” In turn, Ahriman took up the cue and continued where Loken left off. “Both, but in truth, literally, my queen.” he said. “For you see, our Emperor, beloved by all, was possessed of great foresight and was aware of all the many different enemies that would seek to harm our noble race. He believed that if humans were divided amongst themselves and squabbled with one another over petty reasons such as land and honor, we would remain forever vulnerable to the many different foes that populated the galaxy, who would destroy us all with contemptuous ease. So the Emperor decreed that in order for the human race to be strong and united and ultimately saved, all separate human worlds and realms that were discovered by our armies had to join our growing Imperium. No human realm could remain free of our great empire. All had to join.”
“All, Lord Ahriman?” said King Triton, the sea king shocked at hearing such a strong and totalitarian law which this Emperor declared into being. “Every realm?”
“Every realm, sire.” Ahriman replied. “From the greatest empire to the smallest kingdom, all human worlds and realms would join our Imperium either peacefully or by the sword. In the simplest words I can describe this law, our offer to each human realm we encountered in the galaxy was this: join us or die.”
Join us or die. Those four words struck fear into the hearts of every single prince, princess, and Senshi in the group. That declaration was so extreme, so total that it denied the choice of free will completely. If they believed their fears and paranoias could not go any higher, they were wrong, for they did. “I…..I can’t believe what I’ve heard.” Odette blurted out, the princess of Swan Lake unable to comprehend what she heard. “To simply force every single human being to join your empire, without a second thought? That’s something none of us here,” she added, gesturing to her fellow royals, “would even consider or actually do. We’re not like you, Lord Ahriman. We’re not greedy or ambitious like you and your people are.”
“You misunderstand, Princess Odette.” Ahriman retorted. “We of the Imperium did not do this simply out of ambition, but also because of survival. You must understand the times we lived in. Back then, our race had just barely endured a period of great disaster, our peoples divided and squabbling over scraps of knowledge, advanced machines, great treasures, and other incredible sources of power left behind by the golden age that preceded the age of chaos that engulfed our entire species. Our kind was scattered, divided, leaderless, and filled with visions of fear, glory, and power that bordered on the insane. Instead of peace, our kind knew only war, and with it all the horrors that came with such violence. It never ended, and our race would have known its extinction had the Emperor, beloved by all, not come and taken command over the broken realms that remained, either through peaceful intent or by force. That was how he became the master of a broken and shattered Earth, uniting its divided realms into a single cohesive power, and it was this philosophy of human unification that he wanted to bring to the stars, and to all the scattered human realms spread out amongst them, again by peace or war. The outcomes may have been different, but the end result was always absolute: every human realm had to join our empire if humanity was to survive as a whole. Though forceful, it was right because humans weren’t the only ones inhabiting the stars of the galaxy. There were other races that lived out there, creatures known as xenos due to their not being human, and most of them were extremely hostile towards humankind, sometimes to the point of outright slavery and even genocide of our people.”
“Genocide?” asked Snow White, the princess unfamiliar with the word. Neither did any of the other royals know, except for the Senshi, whose faces hardened with disgust upon hearing that word. In the end, it was one of them who explained the word’s meaning. “It means an act of complete extermination, Snow White,” said Sailor Mercury, her voice trembling slightly with fear, “a total killing of an entire race of people by another. Simply put, genocide means killing every single man, woman, and child down the last infant baby so that their kind can never exist again. It involves killing and murder on a massive scale. To give you an example, imagine Arendelle, DunBroch, or even your own homeland wiped out, all of its people killed, not even a single baby left alive. That’s what genocide means.”
Now that put all of the royals on edge, even the most peaceful of them unable to imagine the sheer terror and wrongness of mass extermination that was the hallmark of genocide. One of the princesses- Giselle –actually cried a little as the terrible images of dying people brought up by that single word filled her mind. “I can’t….I can’t imagine such horrible things like that exist!” she exclaimed. “How I can imagine such bad things if I’ve never even seen them?”
“Quite simple, princess.” Ahriman further explained. “Each of you has lived in peace and happiness virtually all of your life. You all enjoyed bliss for so long you became numb to all the other emotions and feelings that exist in the cosmos. You have known no fear, no death, no horror of any kind since the noble queen Serenity brought forth the light of her realm and used it to unite each of your kingdoms in peace and cooperation. Ever since that time, you and your people have had prosperity, peace, happiness, joy, love, and plenty. You wanted for nothing, my friends. All was within your reach, and your portion of our home planet was a literal Garden of Eden, paradise for all.” So potent were Ahriman’s words that it touched the hearts of all the royals present. It as if he had read their hearts and minds like an open book, for that exactly how the lives of each prince, princess, Senshi, and the peoples beneath their rule had lived: in complete bliss and happiness for centuries. But then Ahriman said. “Yet you have forgotten how this peaceful paradise came to be. It came to pass only through toil, trials, challenges, and above all, blood. In the case of the beautiful princesses before me,” he said, sweeping his left hand towards Aurora, Snow White, Jasmine, Ariel, Rapunzel, and Odette, “your true loves had to rescue you from the grasp of the evil fiends that threatened your very existence. In so doing, the noble princes had to endure great hardships to save you all, but more importantly, they had to kill to save your lives. Each of the villains that kept you imprisoned or threatened to bring you harm died, whether by the hands of the princes or by the design of fate.”
“The same could be said for the honored protectors of the Silver Millennium,” Ahriman continued, now gesturing to Serenity, her husband, and the gathered Senshi around the two, “and its honorable queen. Before the rebirth of your realm, each of you lived the centuries of time protecting Earth and her people from the depravations of dark entities and insane madmen who sought to gain power, dominance, and sustenance over others. I know this, for I was there. Queen Metalia and her servant Beryl, the Shitennou lieutenants, you destroyed them all through your combined power, noble Senshi. Then came Pharaoh 90, who sought to enter this plane of existence through technological and arcane means. You did not kill that particular entity, but you condemned it to remain forever cutoff and alone, never to be free again. Of the lost and wayward Queen Nehellenia I will not say, for chose to give her a new life, Serenity, and I am proud that you made such a compassionate choice.”
Ahriman briefly paused in his monologue to allow Serenity to give her thanks at his compliment before continuing, so well did he have the royals paying attention to him. “Now what of Wiseman, last of the foes you and your friends had to face, and the clan that he led to lay waste to the Earth? There you had no choice but to kill him, and not only that, but your own daughter aided you in Wiseman’s destruction. Where am I getting that with all this, you ask? Simple. Your realms, from the Silver Millennium to even the innocent, pure kingdom of Andalasia, would never have come to pass without conflict, without challenge, without blood. It is inescapable. All realms in all the long eons of history never came to exist without war and conflict. Even you, the most peaceful and enlightened of all the human realms upon this earth, cannot escape the basic truth that without conflict, your eventual birth, development, and progress would come to a halt. Perhaps you may never have come to pass had you not the means, the trials, and more importantly, the foes to challenge and defeat. In this, my friends, you all share a common bond with me, my brothers, and the Imperium itself, for we too came to be out of conflict and challenge and blood. Think about that.”
Think they did.
For some time, the ship continued traveling above the Earth. It was quiet within the chamber the royals were in, for they had no more desire to gaze upon the new realms that populated their home planet. Ahriman’s words had struck them hard, and the excitement at gazing upon new lands had grown sour. The Astartes, understanding this, permitted the royals some privacy, and so the group had returned to the spartan quarters that housed Lord Calgar whenever he was not on the bridge.
They remained there for some time, speaking quietly amongst themselves about what Ahriman had told them. Some said he was right, others said he was wrong. If one could listen in on the royals’ conversations, though, they would note two things that remained constant in the discussion. First, the royals and Senshi still believed in their peaceful ideals and beliefs of a happily ever after, no matter what these titans told them. Though their beliefs had taken a harsh blow with the revelation of the Imperium’s growing ambition for conquest, so strong as to be utterly consuming, as well as the truth that their realms came to be through conflict and death, the royals still clung to the comforting hopes and dreams that were their happily ever afters. They were not like the Imperials at all; warmongers, warriors, killers, conquerors, extremists they were not. The royals and Senshi, along with all their peoples, were peaceful folk, cooperative and harmonious with one another, and thus they knew no suffering, no war, no toil. It was their mindset, their belief, their way of life for centuries. No sudden, overwhelming, hope-shattering truth would ever change that. Never.
Yet that was the second thing which was constant: the fact that all they had believed to be true was never actually so. The truth of being part of a greater realm, of enemies uncountable, of dangers innumerable, was something the royals and Senshi would never have even dreamed of. They never would have imagined that such horrors existed out there in the vastness of the cosmos, horrors a hundred times more deadly than all the evil villains they had faced in the past. Nor was the truth that their happily ever afters came to be through toil and bloodshed far behind in their minds; it was something which they all knew was true but had unconsciously denied and buried deep into the furthest corners of their minds. Whether they admitted it or not, all of the royals and Senshi had deluded themselves to the point of outright denial and hostility that violence was a part of their lives. They couldn’t accept it, and so they had hidden it away, preferring the lie over the truth. And so their lives were happy and peaceful, but they were still hypocrites to a degree, having denied this harsh truth for so long. Ahriman’s words threatened to do away with all that comfort, all those assurances they had put up as a shield. It was something they all wished could never happen, but it was here and now they had to deal with it.
And so, for the first time in so long a time, the royals and Senshi alike knew doubt, worry, and fear. For what was to come in the near future? What would come to their homes?
I'm very artistic, caring, and spiritual. I especially enjoy science fiction and, believe it or not, I do believe Atlantis was real. But I do believe in a balance between the real and fantasy worlds. I don't believe we should be addicted to anything (except art) Besides loving Sailor Moon and Warhammer 40,000 (specifically the Space Marines), I enjoy Star Wars, House, Star Trek, Indiana Jones, and many other cool genres of film. I also enjoy all kinds of music that take my fancy. I don't listen to heavy metal or death metal or rap. I consider them too primal (no offense to my viewers) I practice yoga and Buddhist meditation and I read much about mythology, conspiracy theory, and Atlantis. I love the mysteries of Atlantis. Could it have been real?|
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