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November 28, 2022

Call of Destiny v7p7

By Josh Brown

Journey to Esidarap - Part Seven

She's out of control.

We knew this would happen.

How could it not? She has ultimate power now.

The Wielder will deal with her.

It's his destiny after all.

The time is upon us.

What if the Wielder fails?

We're all doomed.

He won't fail.

He can't fail.

We better prepare... just in case.

***

Zadara sat on her throne admiring the masses that had come to worship her. They worshipped because they were scared, now more than ever, but it was worship nonetheless. And Zadara enjoyed being worshipped.

A muscle-framed man with stained red skin approached the throne. He leaned toward Zadara and whispered: "My Queen, there has been talk of the Wielder's arrival. Some are hopeful it'll be soon and you'll be no more."

This amused her more than anything did. "Kill them," she said. "Anyone that dares to wish for my demise can experience their own demise right now."

The man nodded and walked away. As he disappeared into the sea of worshippers, Zadara glanced up at the ceiling. The admonishment from the gods was strong in her memory. Even with all this newfound power, she couldn't get over the audacity of those that dared to call themselves her parents.

Suddenly, Zadara stood. The crowd gasped in unison and took several steps back, like a giant wave repelling into the ocean.

"I have an errand to run," she said. "I shall return."

She snapped her fingers and disappeared in a flash of light.

The heavens were not like she expected. Here she wasn't even corporeal. The lightness of her non-existent body was a bit disconcerting, but she quickly adapted--much like she adapted to her inherited power.

She floated through the misty, cloud-infested kingdom. By now, she knew, the gods were aware of her presence. Not that it mattered; one way or another she was going to have her say and they were going to listen.

The concentration of power before her was enormous, even by Zadara's standards. She could feel the life force of gods all congregated in one area and that was the area she traveled toward.

"Zadara, how dare you come here!"

"Silence!" Zadara shouted. Or so she thought she was doing. But she quickly realized it was telepathic and not vocal. Whatever. "I'm your equal now and I won't stand for any of your manipulative ways."

"She thinks she is our equal?"

"Little has she learned."

"Adara would have been a better choice for this role."

"Even Nadara would have been better, despite her final disposition."

"I'm right here," Zadara snarled. "How about we not pretend I'm not, okay?"

"What do you seek, child?"

"Vengeance," Zadara said simply.

"We are not vengeful gods. You know this."

"What do you call that interference?" Zadara was fuming now. "You had no right to stop me! These powers are mine to do with as I see fit. Not you nor anyone else--especially the Wielder--can take them away from me."

"That was self-preservation. If you don't follow fate's plan, then all will be in disorder and chaos will reign."

"No, chaos won't reign. And fate has no say in anything I do. I am Zadara, Queen of the world."

"She's mad."

"Madness would be much simpler to deal with. No, she's spoiled."

"Spoiled?" Zadara said. "Oh, you have no idea, do you? For centuries uncountable I've had to endure your idiotic ways and always, always you've looked upon me with contempt. Don't think I don't know how you all favored Adara and Nadara over me. Well, now it's my time. You understand? No? Let me make it simple."

Zadara pulled in the force of life itself from around her, absorbing and building layers upon layers of pure, raw power. The gods felt this and fear ran through them as they scrambled about, trying to find some way to thwart Zadara once again.

But their scrambling ways were useless. Zadara learned her power all too well. Before the gods could so much as try even the most basic of plans, Zadara overwhelmed them with a magnitude of force never before seen by anyone in this world. Zadara swallowed the gods whole. But she didn't want them dead. She wanted them for herself. With deft experience, Zadara sucked up the gods. Her body phased in and out of existence for a moment, and then she vanished and returned to the world.

For a moment she stood in her bedchamber, body throbbing with overwhelming power, and swore to herself. That was a mistake, she realized. A mistake that she couldn't take back. Before she could get to the bed, her body gave out on her and she collapsed.

The strong, callused hands of her lover and bodyguard shook her awake sometime later. Her head was a giant ball of cotton fuzz. Through blurred vision, she saw that her lover's tunic was splattered with blood and several long scratches had been introduced to his face.

"Are you all right, my queen?"

His voice shoved shards of glass deep into her skull. She would have let out a scream but the fear of pain was enough to keep her silence. Instead, she swiped her fingers across his lips to silence him. The skin of his lips fused into a mass of sealed flesh.

She had to make this debilitating pain go away. As the cotton faded slightly, she was able to get some semblance of balance. But it wasn't enough to matter. Her lover was freaking out, naturally. His fingers pulled and poked at what was once his mouth, trying with vain to open up some kind of passage where none could be found any longer.

Absorbing the gods was a lot more complicated than she expected. Her mind and body were reeling from the overload and she wasn't entirely sure she could recover from this. Had Zadara just given the Wielder a free ride? No way was she just going to lay there and let the Wielder slice her head off her shoulders. After all this time, it would be a pitiful waste of life to just die like that. No, something had to be doable here. She just needed to figure out what that something was and quickly.

Zadara glanced up and realized her lover was gone. She rolled her eyes as she got her feet. Her knees shook with a weakness she'd never experienced before and the world spun around in her in wild disarray. The dresser proved a good handhold for the moment. Sleep might help. Yes. Sleep would be good. Zadara took a step for her bed, then gave up and once more returned to the ground and the blissful state of sleep.

Once more she woke up. This time her head wasn't nearly as fuzzy. A dull ache throbbed throughout her body but she was feeling more alive, more centered, and more real. The vividness of the objects around her was startling. Red sheets nearly blinded her with brightness. The tan walls were more brilliant than when they were freshly painted. It wasn't even just her sight that felt enhanced, either. As the dull throbbing in her body faded to minimal levels, she could feel everything around her with greater acuity. The air was filled with a distant smell of frying meat but the distance was not noticeable for her sense of smell had grown tenfold in her hazy sleep.

She got to her feet, no longer unsteady, and ventured out.

Her lover was huddled in the corner. The battle lost, apparently, as he snored helplessly in a pathetic, quivering ball. Shame was the furthest thing from Zadara's mind as she walked by and idly undid the damage done. The plastered skin that covered his mouth disappeared and all was right with him once more. Not that he noticed, sleeping like a baby and all.

Control was at hand.

The gods had been tamed and Zadara now walked with full power over the heavens and the earth. She was truly queen now. Queen for life. And she was ecstatic with pleasure. Nobody could stop her now. Not even the Wielder and his meddling companions could topple her reign of power.

To be continued...
Article © Josh Brown. All rights reserved.
Published on 2003-09-15
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