Legacy of the Guardians
by AJ Marks
Part 32 (Conclusion)
Randall sat at the table along with Sam Ulthis and Kinser waiting to hear anything about what might be happening in Dedian space. So far even the Dedian had not been able to reach his homeworld. They looked up seeing Toncor walk into the room and sat down.
“Think I finally recalled that story,” he said to them.
“Really?’ Randall stated, wondering what type of story it was.
“Its an old story, no longer even told by anyone except for a few. I had to get in touch with a lot of people before finding someone who knew it,” Toncor said. “It is a long story, but the moral of the story is beware those shadows, for they are only there to harm you. The hero is a small boy who discovers he had the power to stop them. They kill his mother, try to kill him. They failed, and he grows up and comes back to overthrow them, and free the others.”
“Interesting,” Sam said, silent for a few seconds. “Sounds similar to something I saw. Except the boy was a baby, and buried by the shadows. Years went by as the shadows enslaved others. Then where they buried the baby the ground broke revealing a man, who dispatched the shadows, then kept watch over them under his protection.”
“Sounds very similar,” Toncor said. “At the end of the story the man is called the Guardian.”
Randall thought about that, unsure what to make of that. He looked over as the Dedian ambassador walked back into the room, his face mixed in emotions causing the rest to wonder what happened.
“My people owe you a great debt,” he said to Randall and the others indicating that they ha arrived in time. “It was close, and we did suffer losses, but nothing like that which happened to the Skartians. There were also reports of your people protecting mine with their lives, I never knew another race would do that.”
Randall watched the Dedian look down, unable to meet Randall’s eyes.
“They were civilians, we could do no less,’ Sam said speaking up. “We are trained to protect those who cannot, the innocent.”
“But we were not innocent, we helped to destroy you, harm you, and anything else they asked. I know of no way we can apologize for our mistake,” the Dedian said.
Randall thought about what he said for a few seconds, knowing what he said next could determine future relations. “We all make mistakes, and you have suffered for it, we can move on, hopefully wiser this time.”
“Yes, you’re right,” the Dedian said turning to leave but paused at the door. “For such a young race, your people are wise.”
Randall thought about that for a few seconds. He only said what might be the truth. He felt no joy, or pride for what happened. He also knew he could have done a lot of things, demanded a payment, or something else from the Dedians, and probably knew the others would have expected it. Instead he swept it aside, pushing for the future. Perhaps there was hope for the future and humanity.
Ahmed walked down the street after being dropped off by the bus, and towards his home. He knew his parents arrived safely, and adjusting to their new life in Canada. He knew he would have to drop in for a while, especially considering it was his house they were living in.
Reports of his brother, Aziz, mentioned he had been the one to inform the EDF of what had happened between Pakistan and India. That information allowed them to intercept the incoming attack, and move as quickly as they had to safe countless lives across the universe. He heard something about Aziz wanting to leave Pakistan, but after that he heard nothing else.
Looking up at his house, he realized it had a look of being lived in for the first time. He was not there often, so he had never put his personality into it. Now with someone there it had become a home again.
“Hello? Anyone here?” he called out, entering the house.
“Ahmed? Is that you?” his mom’s voice called back, as a figure made its way from the kitchen.
“Yeah, it’s me, home for a few days,’ he said to her, walking over and giving her a hug. He looked into the kitchen seeing supper being fixed.
“Your father should be home soon, went out golfing with a neighbor. He taught him a couple of days ago, and your father can’t seem to get enough of it,” she said, watching her move about the room. He noticed she looked better, almost as if she was freer and he commented on it. “Back home we always had to be careful, but neither of us thought our religion should be so controlling. But with the government of the Taliban, it was difficult to know who you could trust.”
“I’m glad you two got out safely,” Ahmed said to her. They heard the door open and close, and watched as his father entered the house.
“Look who is here,” she said, watching as he looked up to see Ahmed standing there.
“Ahmed, you’re safe, that’s one else worry I have to carry,” he said to him. “With that secret group, I had no idea what was going on. I haven’t told anyone about it, not sure they would believe me.”
“Things should settle down a bit, at least of a while,” Ahmed said, thinking about everything that happened.
“And that report of Pakistan and India, horrible,” he said to Ahmed. “Were you involved?”
“I can’t say father, top-secret,” Ahmed stated.
“And those aliens, the markets are still talking about it,” his mom said. Ahmed had to think about that for a few seconds until he recalled the cover-up plan, and the Ilderian warship. If only they knew the truth, it would probably scare them.
“Yeah, lucky for us,” Ahmed said, meaning it. Few realized how close it had been to such destruction. Billions had lost their lives, but billions had been saved.
Sitting down he listened in as his father talked about golf. It felt strange for him to be talking about such a game, but relieved that his father and mother appeared to be settling in with a new life. They looked younger than before and realized the social pressures were a huge strain on them.
He helped clean up, despite his mother’s protest, only saying it was how he had been trained since leaving Afghanistan. The doorbell interrupted them. Opening the door he felt a bit shocked by who stood there.
“Hello brother,” Aziz said, looking nervous. “May I come in?”
“Yeah, of course,” Ahmed said to his brother. “Actually I’m relieved to see you alive,” he said, before leaning in closer to him. “Don’t say anything about the Skartians or anything like that to mom and dad, they don’t know.”
He watched Aziz nod before his father walked up, standing in front of Aziz.
“You have a lot of nerve showing up here,” he finally said. Ahmed recalled one of the last times they ahd talked, it had not been pleasant.
“Dad, he saved my life later on, he came around to understand who was telling the truth,” Ahmed said, knowing that only he and his brother knew the truth, even his father did not know. To his credit his brother remained quiet.
“After clubbing you over the head, and putting you in that position,” his father said.
“A position I wanted to be in, the reason I was there. I knew my presence so soon after the attacks would attract some attention. I hoped to get capture,” Ahmed told them both. It was the first time he admitted such a thing.
“You know?” Aziz blurted out.
“Yes, I had to find out quickly who was responsible,” Ahmed said.
“You know there are still some there,” Aziz sad.
“Yes, but they are no longer a threat, things have changed since we last talked,” Ahmed said, looking over at his parents. “However, being information I can’t talk about, we should change the conversation.”
He would inform his brother of the events that happened but not in front of his parents.
“I am waiting to join up,” he told Ahmed.
“It’s a good organization,” Ahmed finally said. He knew his brother would learn a lot. His parents might be confused but maybe one day they could tell them, and everything that happened.
Jack looked up at Steve as he made his way into his office.
“You about ready to head down?” Steve asked.
“Yeah, finishing up a few reports,” Jack replied back to him. “Nothing’s happened since that last engagement in the Dedian Empire. Been quiet, not sure if that’s good or bad.”
“Intelligence is still going over the wreckage and other things that they alien race used. They are not much more advanced than us, which was weird,” Steve said. “You think a race so advanced would be beyond anything we had.”
“Yeah, that disturbs me,” Jack replied honestly. If that shadow race had been so advanced, they should have easily defeated them.
“The ilderians said they felt something if they got too far from a human ship, An overwhelming fear,” Steve said.
“Sam Uliki mentioned something about that. They use fear and intimidation to win a battle,” Jack said back. “Somehow we’re immune to the effect.”
“Any thought they are related to the destruction of that system?” Steve said.
“I don’t know, but Sam doesn’t think so. He is convinced it means that the guardian had changed, whatever that means,” Jack said.
Since Sam had gone to Egypt he had become different, more focused on their mission. It reminded him of Marcus Johnson. Both seemed to see something larger when they looked at the universe. They saw where humanity would sit, though Jack felt unsure about that.
He closed the report and decided to let the future take care of itself.
Viewscreen off. The command came from a yellow energy being. He looked around the room at the others, the last of their race.
We survived, and made it. Another one said.
It is time for us to leave now as well, as the others before us. The younger guardian is spreading its wings.The first one said to the others.
The darkness is coming again, we should help. A second said, unknowingly echoing a similar debate an eon ago.
That is why we leave now, leaving in peace they will never learn their role. It must be in conflict, as we had. The first one said again. He watched them for several seconds before one replied.
Very well, let us go, but where?” the question was very much important.
We will go where the others went. A third one said, indicating a file on the computer which had unsealed itself for the first time. The last mysterious file.
Looking at it they understood their final mission in the universe. Heading back out to the ship, they boarded the ship, Seydlitz and left the barren surface of Earth for the last time.
Long since abandoned by life as the temperatures of the sun shifted. The ship stood for a moment in orbit of the planet, before its weapon systems lashed out, obliterating the planet followed by the sun, other planets and everything else in the system.
The ship then left the system, making a stop in another system. They found what they were looking for quickly and easily, a sphinx-like building which indicated the next guardian.
The inhabitants of the planet watched in shock and awe as another ship of unknown configuration stopped above one of their oldest and mysterious structures. After a few seconds the ship left the atmosphere, and disappeared.
Deep beneath the building a computer came to life, the data transfer complete, it waited for a special person to find it and complete the circle.
In another corner the Shadows registered the destruction of Earth, and knew the humans had left. They moved to try and take over once more.
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