Infinity Chronicles – Utopia Saga – Pt20 – Ignus Exitus

**The story below is a draft **

Taleena looked on as pillars of flame from the sky set ablaze her

white city.

The Automata War was lost months ago now and mankind had been

forced into a last desperate plan to save the species and it’s 10,000

years of civilised history. The Ark program had been instigated long

before the Mecha uprising, it had been conceived as an answer to the

threats that mankind could never tame, such as those born of the

planet itself or from beyond. Each Megazone had it’s own Ark vessel

that in times of dire emergency would serve to carry the cities

occupants to the stars for refuge, a suitable planetary system had

long ago been identified as part of the program and the Arks carried

with them all their occupants would need to begin life again.

This was only the first stage, the second was now. Orbital laser

systems which had been used for terraforming and affecting weather

systems had now been turned upon the infrastructure of human life on

Earth that they had been designed to protect. The Council had known

that to simply leave Earth was not enough, the machine forces would

likely follow, in time, and their exodus would simply be the delaying of

the inevitable unless something more drastic was done. Now as she

watched on, the lasers were systematically destroying every trace of

the old Megazone in an effort to leave nothing behind that could be

used against them, as well as decimating the Mecha forces that now

controlled them.

The argonian fission plants that could produce months of energy in

days, the manufacturing stadiums where the giant structures of the

Megacities are built, the mining and processing sites where precious

metals were dug from the earth and turned into advanced materials.

All this had to be removed. It was these structures that had allowed

The Red King to create his armies in open secret, to grow from one to

thousands in days, the hope was that to remove all traces of this

technology, centuries of industrial development, would force whatever

might remain of his armies back into a technological winter. At least,

that was the hope.

She looked on through eyes that streamed uncontrollably as it all

burned. What was meant to be the greatest achievement of her life, of

human life, had turned to ash. Since the day Red broke free of his

prison, since the moment he had killed the man in the market place,

she had questioned every decision and choice she had made when it

came to the twins. Her work had been vetted and condoned by her

peers of the colleges, the head of the academies of all the Megazones

had praised her for what she had finally achieved and the

consumption levels on her research papers and data were record

high. She had truly believed she had done something great,

something amazing that would signal the beginning of the 3rd age of

mankind, instead she had almost taken them back to before the 1st

and the species to the very brink of destruction. Now all those who

had exalted her despised her every breath.

And what of Yell? She whose seeming innocence in all of it was a

casualty. The Council had been unanimous in denying her passage

with them and although Taleena had lobbied on her behalf numerous

times, deep down she knew it was a lost cause, even she, her creator,

could not guarantee the motives of The Red King’s sibling, even with

her modified programming. She had left Yell there on the boarding

pad, she had told her how sorry she was and how she had wanted so

much for her. Yell’s response was as unique as her. She had said to

her “I understand your choices Mother and I do not judge, at least not

in the way your kind do. All things change Mother, there may yet be a

time when we meet again but for now, in the way that is ours, I will

miss you.” “What will you do Yell?” She had asked her as she welled

up. “I will love Mother. There is nothing else that any of us can do. Be

well Mother. It is time.”

Taleena had boarded after their exchange and as the craft took off

watched with care as the promising creation that was The Yellow

Queen became smaller and smaller until she was but a spec of colour

amongst millions. She had been the true experiment, where Red had

been programmed in line with her theories, that life must have a single

imperative to survive programmed at its core, Yell had been

programmed with an additional imperative. At her core was the same

drive, to live at all costs, but they had thrown a wild card into her

programming mix, something one stage up in her cascading matrix, a

simple question. “Do you want to?” In the data projections it had

created wildly different cascades every time and it had been her at

first they had watched with greater apprehension. Now she could only

watch as she disappeared into the flames of an inferno. She hoped

with all hope that she would survive and get to see her gain one day,

there had been a strange certainty in her voice when Yell had spoken

of it, but she could see no future where it could happen, the Earth was

on fire and the lasers had been programmed to watch over it forever,

immolating anything that appeared intelligently made on the planet’s

surface, silent demonic guardians for all eternity.

“Protarch Taleena. It is time.”

The Adjunct from the newly established military caste placed his hand

gently on her arm and as she turned to him she raised the other to

wipe the tears from her cheeks. She’d heard the disdain in his voice

as he’d addressed her but for a moment she thought she saw notes of

compassion in his eyes as he’d seen the humanity in her and not the

monster of recent lore, but they quickly faded. “Please, take your

position in the cryo-septum”. The journey to the new system would

take many years and the Ark had far to go, cryo-suspension was the

only way the sheer volume of people could be transported as well as

the necessary resources to begin again. She knew the technology

and that she wouldn’t dream but a fear still hung about her, the mind

can be a dangerous place to spend too long a time and she had so

much weight upon hers. She stepped forward and took her place in

the pod and the Adjunct engaged the suspension process. As she

began to feel tired and could feel her extremities go numb she could

not help but let loose another tear, Red and Yell, so lost in the

madness of life, and as it moved part way down the soft skin of her

features it began to move slower and slower until it crystallised solid,

a tear or regret to be shed for a hundred years, what had she done?

The Adjunct checked her vital signs, they were within nominal levels.

He looked upon the face of a figure that would be known for the rest

of mankind’s history and in all his hatred and despising he could not

help but consider, regardless of the stories and hate, she was, after

all, only human.


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