A short story by AD Bane

It has now been thirteen years since they came.

Who would’ve expected such a magnificent sight within our life time? To see fire raining down from a bleak sky to scorch the earth, to boil the rivers, run the lakes dry, turn the mountains to ash – nothing so brilliant. And so terrifyingly destructive. And yet, though their arrival has cost us so much that once we held dear, we welcomed them with open arms. We gave them food and shelter, and sat by while these wayward travelers regained first their tongues and then their strength. And we listened intently while they spoke of their journey over the endless perpetual seas of space and time to come to us with indistinct purpose. We listened and waited because we believed.

But that was not all. No, to be sure they would desire much more from us than what we gave them – and we’d give it all willingly. Why? Because we’ve been both blessed and cursed with an insatiable curiosity that cannot be cured or controlled. We long to know more just as they do. And so, when they pleaded with us to give to them what they craved, we did without question, never to wonder why these strange visitors to our shores would need such things. We sat by in blissful ignorance, marveling at our wondrous discovery and awed by the realization that we are not alone after all – for is that not what we really fear, the possibility that we are truly alone? And so were we the instruments of our own undoing, just as the prophets said we would be.

First they toyed with us, tantalizing, showing each what he wished for most. But they could no more give it than they could’ve given us the stars or perfect happiness. And so they ripped it away, and we knew then that we’d made a grave mistake. They’d not come to seek peace, nor prosperity, nor cooperation. They left us drowning in our own misery, helpless to either desist or assist our own demise. We were doomed to the long, painful drawl of time, and they our captors on our own soil – oh, that it had never come to this!

It was then that most of us lost hope, that we turned aside from the fitful dream which had told us it wasn’t as it had seemed. Perhaps they’d some greater goal of which we were a part. Most of us, I say, but not all. We were always there amidst the turmoil and misery. Waiting. We watched in agony as they broke down our cities and replaced them with their own, as they lifted the crust of our world to pour deep within their malice and hatred; and finally, as they harvested our precious assets, dragging them from our dust and taking them far away where we would never again see them. But worse than all these was when we learned what they would do with us, and it was within that tremulous moment we knew it was our responsibility to defend our land and drive back this invader, to undo the harm we’d done.

And so, thirteen years to the day since the ruin of our once proud people, we fight. Already can I hear the thunder in the distance and the rain falling in the streets of Avalon. The sky is alight with our war, and the river runs with the blood of the tyrant. But now have my people come to break the shackle and rend the door, to give me back the honor that was stolen. Today is freedom from oppression; today is redemption for our nation; and today is retribution against humanity.



This work is written by AD Bane and published by It is solely the property of and may not be reproduced in part or in whole for any reason except at the exclusive permission of the author. © 2011

If you have enjoyed this story, then please donate so that I can continue to write!