explicitClick to confirm you are 18+

Maxim, Chapter 3

RhetHypoJul 20, 2020, 9:00:37 PM

One day, for no reason at all, Maxim stood up and left his home.

He hadn’t done anything for days. He hadn’t eaten, hadn’t slept, hadn’t even budged from his marginally comfortable chair. The desire to do something other than nothing was a distant pang, merely a faint glimmer that was drowned out by a loud, all encompassing hum. The hum of silence, of nothing, non action.

He knew it was not normal. Despite that, it did not seem to be a serious enough issue to seek help. How would one seek help? He was perfectly fine, physically. His current movement out of his house and down the street proved that perfectly.

He normally would take a turn down the road to his right. Zenedeal was down that way. After passing him, his prior place of work wasn’t much further. He did not take the turn this time, and just kept walking.

If he still had the capacity for surprise, he would have been at the fact he was now leaving the city, wandering out to the deserted wasteland of the Inverse. Black, twisted trees with crows of glowing eyes watched him with malicious intent, but seemed to scatter away when their intimidating stares did not phase him.

He stopped, looking around. For a brief moment, he felt a certain clarity. He was able to question his own actions, his own lack of enthusiasm, and why that might be. But any potential conclusions were silenced by the sound of an approaching army.

Maxim turned towards a general who was approaching him, sword drawn. The man stopped in his tracks, waiting expactantly. As Maxim failed to react, the man spoke first. “Vorpal, state your business here… or fall to our might.”

“I have no business. I’m just here.”

The man frowned, still holding his sword at the ready. “You make little sense, but such is not uncommon for beings such as yours. If you have no business here, will you let us pass with no trouble?”

Maxim felt a rare instance of curiosity peak. “And where are you going?”

“To the city of Guljarnth, as you Vorpals call it. We will be burning down the city, and enslaving all we can. If you truly have no alliances, as your vacant stare suggests, we would be willing to enlist you as well. You could serve a purpose greater than yourself.”

Maxim mused. “A… greater purpose?”

“Indeed. Maybe you know… your kind is rotten. Your cities are bastions of diseased minds and chaotic abuse. Even if you can never truly escape the chains of your fallen state, you can help those who are free to expand their control. What say you?”

Maxim was quiet for a moment. For a reason he couldn’t explain, his mind went to Zenedeal, to Humdoo, to everyone else he knew… and he felt a stirring within his heart. “No…”

“No? If you answer a definitive no, understand that we will then be forced to kill you. We cannot have anyone but those who support us at our backs.”

“Understood. But the thing is… and I can’t quite explain it… I don’t have a stomach for anything, at the moment. I want nothing but silence, but even that isn’t quite true… I want my own silence. I want my reality to reflect my inner emptiness. But the thought that all of you are about to harm those I previously considered friends…”

Maxim’s body changed. His fingers grew into claws, his height doubled as his unusual biology shifted and changed. He felt a blind, unyielding rage merge with his cool, collected manner as a full fledged, murderous determination turned its gaze on those before him. “…it makes me want to slaughter the lot of you.”

The battle was short, relatively speaking. Maxim killed two hundred thirty seven people, but their forces numbered in the thousands. As he bled from his injuries and fought through them anyways, Maxim noticed actual warriors from the city coming to engage the invading force as well. They fought, they died, and they regenerated to continue charging the force. Meanwhile, the non Vorpal invaders quickly realized they couldn’t win the day, and began to flee after the heavy casualties. While some managed to escape, most didn’t.

Maxim laid on his back, breathing heavily as the battle subsided. His form had returned to normal, as had his mental state. Or rather, the normal immediately before the battle, not the normal of time past.

He saw Zenedeal nearly pass by without noticing him, exhibiting his own injuries, if not more mild. The four armed creature stopped in his tracks and quickly bent down to help Maxim back up. “MAXIM! Are you alright?”

Maxim did not answer. Zenedeal continued. “You really should be more careful… I can’t imagine how you got in this state, you must have rushed straight to the front lines in front of everyone else when the alarm was sounded!”

Maxim winced, feeling the gnawing pain from his unhealed injuries. “No, I was just in the area.”

“You were? Well, I’m not sure if that’s good luck, or bad. You probably slowed them down before they could establish any of their long range weapon in range of the city. You might have saved us all.”

Maxim saw a wayward knife, and picked it up. It had a small drop of human blood on it, gleaming in the muted forest glow. “I don’t think so…”

Zenedeal looked at the knife, startled. “Maxim, put that down. It’s over, the enemy is dead or fled.”

Maxim turned the knife over in his hand. “I wasn’t good enough. If it had been only me, everyone would have died… I only served to slow them down. You and the others actually pushed them back… I’m a failure.”

Zenedeal grew worried, backing away slightly. “What are you talking about? …wait, why aren’t your injuries healing? Surely, it’s been long enough. It looks like they might even be getting worse.”

Maxim spoke with an odd clarity, despite the increasing pain he was clearly in. A pool of black blood slowly formed at his feet where he stood. “The injuries… yes, the damage… I see now. It’s too deep. The damage has gone too far, much too far. Only one thing left to do…”

Before Zenedeal could stop him, Maxim plunged the knife into his own chest, coughing up more blood as his internal organs were further eviscerated. Maxim collapsed, the coughing stopped, and he died for the final time.