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“Bullshit!” Gideon casually said, pointing to Prosine.
“Gideon, it is the truth. He had sent me to find you after he learned you went into hiding,” Deborah retorted.
Gideon glanced to the angel. She looked back, shrugging.
“You were really difficult to find.”
He went back to what Prosine said. That they were on the planet they had just left what felt like a short while ago.
He remembered what Adonai said in his dream; where he first met Adonai. It clicked.
Where you’ve been before.
Dammit, you told me all along, but I wasn’t listening…
“The very minute you left on your maiden voyage, The Empire of Dusk, or as we now know as The Watchers, descended upon this sector. What Primetech did not calculate was that Karmmrak was their world. They allowed it to be terraformed and used as a science base. They knew the IIT drive would fail. They also knew this was the beginning of the end.” Prosine turned to Deborah.
“That was the start of Megiddo.”
“The end of everything?” Gideon asked, furrowing his brows.
“No, Gideon, it was the beginning of the new,” Deborah interjected, tapping her temple.
“The Watchers quickly integrated their tech with ours, creating the XZ-99 “Rumbler” Planet Defenders and CK-DINE Sentinels,” Prosine added.
Shindow floated to Prosine and sat atop his sphere. She was deep in thought listening while listening.
“Primetech and the Watchers built tech here for your eventual materialization. Only since my disconnect from the great nebula did we experience attack; which doomed this planet. Armageddon had come and gone long since then.” Prosine kept up his monologue as everyone went dead silent.
“Then, that must mean the Kingdom of Heaven rules now?” Shindow asked.
“In a way, yes. However, I have lost contact with the outside galaxy. All Nebula hubs have gone dark. I cannot know what has happened, hence why I went into hibernation. The demon I just fought was a sign that something has changed.” Prosine answered.
Baxter sat up at that and summoned Saddiffer. Black light formed as Saddiffer appeared in his tiny form.
“What is this?!” Prosine asked with a digital roar as his eye turned red.
“This is Saddiffer and he is my pet,” Baxter said proudly.
“Baxter kicked his ass and now owns it,” Gideon added with a sigh, clasping the bridge of his nose.
The dog had impeccable timing.
“Prosine, Baxter devoured the demon’s contract and forced it to sign his own, thereby dominating it.” Deborah explained.
“Thousands of years fighting it and it was defeated… By a dog?” Prosine asked astounded.
Baxter sat there wagging his rump.
“Baxter, this demon must be purged. Its malice will bleed into you and influence you.” Prosine urged.
“No,” Baxter said plainly as he sat.
“I beat it and he is mine now. And if he bleeds me I will beat him.” Baxter added with a stubborn chuff.
“If anything, I feel his influence affecting me even more,” Saddiffer said, tilting his head.
“I feel myself becoming stupid.” Saddiffer shot to the group.
Baxter quickly jumped and nipped him at his heels, causing Saddiffer to fly higher with a bellow.
“We’ll keep monitoring them. Like hell, if I can convince Baxter to do anything. If Baxter becomes despot, we’ll purge it.” Gideon announced, staring at the demon and dog wrestling each other.
“Gideon, you do know this demon is the strongest entity on the planet, next to me.” Prosine conjectured, staring straight at Gideon.
“That makes Baxter the strongest in our party,” Deborah added, palming her hand to her temple.
“Well, we’ll need it. The dreams I had…” Gideon added before trailing off.
“And get off this rock,” Saddiffer responded, floating away from the leaping, biting dog.
“This rock that you destroyed!” Deborah shot back, standing ready to fight.
“This place was one of beauty and peace before you desecrated this planet with your stench!”
The demon shrugged.
And then was knocked from the sky by a dog that shouldn’t have lept that high. Gideon raised an eyebrow as Saddiffer tumbled to the ground with a shrieking bellow. Baxter tumbled around, tackling the demon before he could take flight again.
“Why did Saddiffer come here?”
“Unknown. I suspect he was drawn by some urge-”
“All I remember is the flight and a feeling I needed to be on this planet!” Saddiffer cried as he was shaken by a playful Baxter.
“Do you remember anything else?”
“Nothing but glimpses.” The demon replied, narrowing his eyes at Gideon.
“A mindless beast! Do you see why it needs to be destroyed?” Deborah shouted.
Gideon thought it over, seeing Baxter and the demon wrestling.
The pain in his left arm lanced up his shoulder. He winced with the phantom pain. The memory of the demon crushing his hand.
“Gid, are you alright?” Shindow interrupted.
Yeah, I’m fine.” Gideon deflected, rubbing his cast as he looked to Deborah.
“What was it like? Karmmrak after the Apocalypse?”
Deborah looked down, nodding in memory before turning back to them.
“There were green and gold fields. Emerald shrines dotted the land. All of it empty apart from Prosine and myself. I admit I was not as close to Prosine as I wished…”
She turned to the AI who gazed back impassively.
“And then he came,” She said pointedly, staring to the demon who was grasping ahold of Baxter’s pixie saddle, holding on for dear life as the dog spun in circles.
“Only that shrine was left after he and his spawn destroyed everything.”
“Where was everyone else?” Gideon asked, scrunching his face at the idea of an entire planet being annihilated by a single demon.
“It was just us,” Deborah replied.
“My family wasn’t here?” Gideon asked, relieved that they weren’t apart of the horrible destruction.
“No. The Kingdom of Heaven’s pull was too strong for them. They did wait for news from Prosine, who they kept in constant contact.”
“Communication vanishing was a sign of things to come. Then this demon arrived and our desperate fight began.”
“Desperate? You have four Rumblers and how many Sentinels?”
“There was one Rumbler at first,” Prosine corrected.
“It took every resource to create the other three. And the thousands of CK-DINES.”
“By then we fought to a stalemate.”
Prosine turned his massive eye to Shindow.
“Back on topic. Shindow you did calculate the stars, did you not?” Prosine asked.
“I did and got a calculation of the times. I did not say as it was a guess between averages and Gideon had a lot on his mind.” Shindow said, looking sad at Gideon while tapping her hands together nervously.
“What were your time averages?” Prosine followed-up.
Gideon’s stomach dropped.
“It was between negative two hundred and fifty million years; meaning we traveled back in time.”
She cupped her chin as she explained.
“It’s unknown. None of my calculations came back with any sort of number. It’s pure insanity.”
Everyone went silent at that. Gideon stared at the ground and looked at Shindow, the tiredness of the past few days evident on his face.
“Correct. After Megiddo, time was in essence, reset.”
“The very laws of entropy that would eventually cause the burning out of the stars themselves were overwritten. Ectropy took its place.”
“However, there is one thing I know.”
“It has been twelve thousand, nine hundred, and three years since my disconnect from the Great Galactic Nebula. So it has been at least that long since you started your journey.”
“What the fuck…” Gideon murmured shock etching on his face at what he just heard.