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To Kill a God

by brant paxman about a month ago in science fiction
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A Thought on Theology

“Have you ever seen one before? A human?”

“No.”

“ I've only heard the legends.”

Davin heard from two gawking onlookers as he was walking on lux-43, the 5th planet in the lombx system. He smiled to himself, he loved the agape mouths and awestruck bystanders he got when he decided to take to the streets. Humans were a rarity, an enigma that even the most well versed traveler usually never saw. This fascination was due to more than just the simple sparseness of the ancient race however. Humans were the epitome of a warrior race, every child in every solar system had heard tales of the fearsomeness, courage, strength, and endurance of humans. Living on earth for so long had molded these mythical creatures to become the peak of sentience. The high gravity sculpting their muscles, making the athletic prowess of them next to god-like. The many diseases and illnesses harbored there had made them effectively immune to all biological ailments. All features of earth had tailored these beings into the unstoppable killing machines that caused fear to all races across all lands for generations.

The earth was not the only factor to thank for their standing though. Perhaps the strongest weapon that humans possessed was their mind. They had an absolute resolve that had been unmatched by any other race. The sheer dedication and discipline that these beasts had toward any cause was enough to shake anyone to their core. There had been tales of this, of course. Humans going days, even weeks without food. Being shot, stabbed, or even losing a limb and still fighting unceasingly. While still mortal, they certainly stretched the meaning of the word. If a human wanted something done, something destroyed, or someone killed, they would stop at nothing to finish their task.

Even with all the awe-inspiring qualities that a normal human possessed, there was still one kind that surpassed even the limits set by the beasts themselves. A human in love. When a person fought for someone or something that they loved, even the gods quaked and bowed before them. And that’s exactly what Davin was counting on.

Lux-43 was roughly two thousand kilometers in diameter and was made up of mostly igneous rock formations. Other than a handful of systemal parks and wildlife preserves, its surface was completely covered in hotels, recreation centers, and shopping districts. It served as the main vacation destination for the lombx system, drawing in millions of visitors every month.

Located within the land set aside to preserve the natural geological and biological system, there sat many breathtaking hoodoos that were as black as the empty space separating this planet from the next. There are also many thuin trees within its protected forests. Thuin trees grew to incredible heights and were highly sought after for the dense wood, with a beautifully straight grain, that they produced. These great forests housed many endangered and protected species of animals that are only found on this lowly planet.

Davin was not interested in these tourist attractions however. He had a bone to pick with sherem. Most planets had their own omnipotent deity or deities and sherem is the lombxian god of death. While most gods had been widely ruled out as a simple primitive need for validation, it was commonly withheld that some gods are or were living. While never really being observed, most found it easier to believe that there were some beings out there with ultimate power, that controlled their insignificant fates. According to the ancients, tonight was the night that the gods came the closest to the planet, in order to accept the sacrifices and offerings that were offered to them. This is when he was going to enact his plan.

He went over the plan in his head repeatedly as he walked toward sherems long abandoned temple. The temple was a tall, rough, obelisk structure that the ancients made countless years prior. When he reached this temple, located near the hemisphere, it was almost sunset. He sat down near the sacrificial altar and pulled out an old picture of Lucy. His heart yearned while he looked at the picture.

“Don’t worry, I'm going to bring you home. I am going to make this right again.” Davin said as a single tear rolled down his cheek. Seeing that picture gave him the necessary courage and strength to go through his plan.

It was time.

He got off his perch, stood above the altar, and pulled out his knife. It gleamed in the sunset as he removed it from its sheath. His knife, which he called “God’s fang” was an extremely valuable, extremely sacred clippoint made from a rare metal from earth known as steel. The process of making this alloy had been lost generations ago making it a valuable resource. It also had a stacked handle made from leather from terrestrial animals known as “cows”. It had a subtlety about it that made it the most beautiful weapon that Davin had ever seen.

He grinned in anticipation as he drew the fabled weapon close to his hand. The ones before time wrote that a blood sacrifice was what the death god desired most and Davin was going to offer the most precious blood of all. Human blood. He slid the knife across the palm of his hand effortlessly, drawing a stream of deep ruby liquid. He let a few drops splash onto the dark basalt altar, which disappeared immediately on impact. He smiled and looked up to the sky and shouted.

“You like that? Huh? Well. There’s plenty more where that came from! All you have to do is come down here and get it!”

At first nothing happened and Davin had a fleeting thought that he was just a crazy man standing in the middle of nowhere cutting himself in order to talk to a god. Then the hair on the back of his neck stood on end and the air seemed to grow more viscous and harder to breath as a thick mist started forming in front of him, slightly cooling the surrounding area. The mist swirled slightly, making it a small tornado looking formation. There was a deep, guttural, moan seeming to emanate from all directions.

Davin kept his hood up and his head down. He didn't want to give away his trump card in the first few seconds. He didn't want to let the god standing before him that he was human. He was hoping that, without showing his face, he could pass for one of the many known bidepel beings that frequent this planet. After all, Sherem had no reason that there were any humans left, let alone on this planet.

He could feel this creature's power and strength just by being in its presence. It was such an intense feeling that stirred fear deep down inside him. Davin had never encountered anyone or anything that gave off an aura such as this. Even with the other “warrior races” he never felt raw power like this. He wondered if that's how people felt about him, if he struck this fear into those around him. He wondered if he had gotten himself into more than he could handle, if he was finally going to meet an opponent who could challenge a human.

“First of all, I would like to thank you for meeting with me today, mister god of death.”. Davin spoke in such a way that you could practically hear his smirk.

The brute said nothing, just releasing a deep, almost inaudible growl. It was here for blood, nothing more.

“Okay. Not much of a talker. Noted.” Davin managed to say, as confidently as possible. The things' presence had stuck Davin in a way he had not been prepared for.

“I’ll just get right into it then. I lost someone that I dearly love. I want them back and I think you’re just the guy I need to talk to.” As Davin spoke he regained bits and pieces of his confidence.

He heard something that almost seemed to be laughter and wondered to himself if gods could even laugh. And even if they could, would the very god of death himself laugh? He then decided that these questions were not really the most important matter at hand and turned his attention back to the deity in front of him.

“And who are you to ask for such a thing? You thought that you could just ask for the resurrection of a being without even offering nothing more than a few drops of blood?” Sherem had already started his speech by the time that Davin was paying attention.

“Hey! That was human blood! Stuffs hard to come by… real hard” Davin retorted.

“I’ll take that as a no?” Davin said after a brief pause. He began pulling down his hood to show his true identity. “That’s a shame. I thought we could do this peacefully.”

Both beasts were equally surprised to finally see each other. Sherem was a dark Leathery creature that stood on two legs whose joints were opposite that of Davin's. Dark purple and white clothes draped loosely around its large, broad shoulders. Many large bands and rings, made from the universe's most valuable metals, were adorned beautifully to its six limbs and many fingers. Deep and large scars ravaged its massive body, showing a full history of the battles this savage had seen. Two dark, vengeful eyes set deep into its sunken eye sockets. Davin felt like Sherems' two large, bat-like ears were so powerful that they heard his very soul.

While Davin contained his anxiety, Sherem did not offer reciprocation of this. Obviously deeply disturbed by the knowledge that, not only were humans still around, there was one trying to kill him. It took an instinctual step back, jowls quivering and it’s massive body seemed to tremble slightly Davin gained the boost of self-confidence he needed from seeing this massive deity literally quake before him. He took a step forward toward it. As he did so, Sherem nearly fell over. The closer that Davin got, the more and more Sherem quivered.

“Y...You…You’re a...a...a-”

“Yes. I am a human. My name is Davin the Slayer, from Alpha-sector, system 43, planet 3. Born of Sariah and Halker, and I am here to get back something I love. My Lucy. Are you prepared to give her to me?” Davin surprised himself with the ease that he felt as he spoke these words.

Davin walked toward Sherem and pulled out the picture of Lucy that he kept as comfort. Pictures, physical pictures, were fairly uncommon but not a rarity and he insisted on keeping one with him at all times. He showed the photograph to the ancient beast who was trying its best to act as godly as possible. As he held it up to sherem, he spoke with the utmost sincerity, trying not to tear up as he did so.

“This is Lucy. She helped me through so many hard times and I wasn't there for her when she needed me. You will give her to me or you will die.”

“Look, even if I wanted to give you back your loved one, I can’t. The resurrection of a mortal soul is strictly against the divine commandments. I would be held responsible and ultimately put to death by the other gods.”

Sherem said this with almost a sympathetic tone in its voice. It must have said this same sentence countless times throughout the aeons, each time hurting just as much as the last.The pain this creature must have felt, Spending all of time, harvesting the souls of endless concorcess of beings. Ripping them away from their families to watch over them in a place of untold horror.

Davin was taken aback by the Fluorescent pink tear that rolled down Sherem’s cheek. The tear hissed wildly as it hit the ground, killing the plant life in its immediate surrounding. Sherem looked down at the picture of Lucy so that it could see the one that they had taken away from Davin. It looked at Lucy for a moment, its expression changing slightly from fear and anger to shock.

“You summoned the god of death to break the very laws of nature. You trekked to the most remote sector of this planet. You prepared to fight a god, knowing fully that the rest of the gods will come after you. For a Dog?”

“Not just any dog, a really good dog.” Davin said, offended that this thing had the gaul to even question the goodness of Lucy. She was the best dog that Davin had ever met, she helped him through many breakups and loss of friends. Without her, Davin would not have been able to make it to the place he was today. She never left his side and he took that all for granted, he knew that now.

She was an ancient breed; humans have kept a batch of these beautiful animals for countless generations. Straight from earth, these amazing animals were brought alongside man as they conquered the new territories of space. While these fearsome savages carried their endless crusades, their fluffy companions sat idly by, just waiting to do what they love the most. Cheering up their masters.

These magnificent creatures deserve nothing but the absolute best this universe has to offer. The true best boys of all time. Selfless, obedient, innocent, fluffy. These quadrupedal animals were the real anithisyth of the monster of humanity. And Lucy had been the pinnacle of this canine perfection.

Nobody, NOBODY, could denounce the importance of these animals, not even the god of death.

“So.” Davin said as he stood straighter, puffing his chest out and making himself seem as big as possible. He had heard that this was the way to fend from most hostile terrestrial animals and figured it couldn't hurt in this situation. “What’s it going to be?”

“Free Lucy’s soul, Or die?”

The god said nothing. Perhaps as an effort to seem more intimidating, perhaps to collect his thoughts, perhaps to process the brashness of humans. It, ever so slowly, slid its right foot in front of its left, leaned forward and raised its four arms. It was an obvious defensive position, and Davin knew this well.

What happened next, Sherem could hardly tell. This homosapien had moved with a speed that was never seen with any other being before. This sudden shock hadn't lasted as long as Davin had hoped, the ageless beast was ready to receive his attack. Neither creature had ever been prepared for the other or the ensuing battle.

The fight that took place would have been written about for millennia, young children would hear of it far in the future. Maybe in a class for the mythology of the olds, maybe as a cautionary tale to children, maybe as simple entertainment. Kids, students, parents, teachers, scholars, and professors would debate whether the young human character “Davin” had been based on an actual figure and if so, how much of his saga were true?

None of this would come into fruition however, as the only two people there to witness it were locked into a match, in which there could only be one leaving from.

Davin leapt toward sherem with a speed that was incomprehensible, the god was so taken aback it barely had time to react. What little time it had to react did it very little good, the brutes fist came crashing down upon its snout. The only thing Sherem could even compare this impact to would be a strike from its godly brethren. The punch was enough to send the deity to the ground, wondering how the old gods could have ever dared making a creature, a mortal creature, so immensely powerful.

Davin wasted no time, as the god was trying to stand, he went in for another haymaker, hoping he could end this fight quickly and without struggle. To his surprise, as his devastating strike became ever close to its face, Sherem swatted it away with one of his free arms. Both were equally surprised by the events that took place, the man had never had an attack blocked. The god had never been struck so hard.

Davin quickly received repreamend for his blow, and in the commonality of firsts being experienced, he had also never been struck so forcefully in his life. Once these things had gotten over their original amazement, the real fight went on.

Each trying to get the advantage over the other, both fighting desperately for their lives. The altercation could have lasted 2 minutes, it could have lasted 2 hours, neither could tell and neither gained the upper hand. Both parties had never been physically tested to these limits before, many boundaries were broken. Had the stakes of this not been so dire, they would have been proud of the heights they had reached.

Sherem was lying supine, not due to the lack of effort however. It tried desperately to get up and face its aggressor. Who, in turn, was placing his knee on this great creature's chest. Under any normal circumstance Sherem could easily have thrown off any being that was atop him but, these were no normal circumstances. This was no normal being.

Davin, as battered, bruised, and bloody as he was, did not let up on his unrelenting barrage on sherem. As he pressed his knee on it, he raised up his fist. The god pleaded for its life. Davin did not hear it or, if he did, he didn't listen to it, he had become too drunk with his rage and adrenaline. His fist came down, with more power than Davin had ever exhorted in his life. The pleas for mercy stopped, replaced only with soft and incoherent murmurs and whispers. Davin struggled to raise his arm again, he gathered all his energy and focused it all to his final blow. The gods head crashed back and embedded itself slightly within the terrain he had been laying on. There was a dull crunch, like walnut that had been sheathed and stepped on. Dark, rich, gold, and shimmering blood flowed from its skull.

The battle had been won, but what was gained?

Davin laid there for, what seemed to him, an hour. Maybe two. In fact, the rest of the day could have passed and he wouldn’t have the faintest clue. He laid there, partly due to the fact that he thought he could not stand, partly because he dreaded what was to come next. He knew that interfering with a god was strictly forbidden and he had done much more than simply interfering. The gods were to come for him, sooner or later, he would have to answer for that which he had done.

For these reasons, he laid there. He laid until he could not lay a moment longer. Out of a rash mix of fear, anxiety, boredom, and curiosity, Davin got to his feet. He looked down at the deity that was sprawled upon the ground. Such a powerful entity, king of death, and yet it lay here at a mortal’s feet. Beaten and helpless it lay, its grimace of pain still upon its jowly and toothy face. The pain Sherem had felt was due to more than just the physical assaults it had endured. No. Its greatest pain was having to grant mortals that which all mortals have to be granted. Death. To be mortal is to die eventually.

By this time Davin had snapped out of his war drunken stupor and realized the true severity of what he had done. When he saw this creature he wept. He wept for many things. He wept for what he had done against this gracious thing, for Lucy and the lack of their reunion, he wept for all peoples of this realm as they would not have this great god now, and lastly, he wept for himself.

science fiction

About the author

brant paxman

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