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For untold millennia we have stood by on the Bridge of Wrougth. Silent in vigil long enough to witness the cosmic lights shift with the passing of eternity. We stood even as the very ground beneath our perch crumbled away into the encroaching amethyst seas, which hissed foam against the supports in an endless dance of tides.
When the need arose, we would do battle with the elementals of time and space. Forces of nature so unfathomable in their power that only we titans could stand against them in the name of our masters. It was a life of purpose and discipline, yet I found myself wanting more.
I knew not what my compatriots thought. I knew not if they thought at all after the endless withering of time. It grated away at the organic circuits woven into the tandatmine plate that was both armour and flesh, that was us. All I knew was that in the ages I had grown restless, and that I was wrong to be so.
Perhaps a century ago, perhaps thirty thousand years for all I knew, a star exploded out of existence in the perpetual universal sky. I wished then, something sinister for one such as I, something beyond my existence. I wished for an end to this life of servitude, I wished for something more.
A naive hope for a creature beyond time.
A child of our master now tore down Wrougth, the crashing of the amethyst waves signalled our enemy who sought to destroy her. The piercing lances of radiation from the cosmic night signalled another.
The time to defend our masters was soon, but as good automatons of fate, we waited for her to activate us.
I could sense the eyes of my compatriots tracking her. Her adamite boots clacked against obsidian tiles. Her armour torn, her flesh bloody and her gaze darting up into our helms, hoping for premature action.
But no, we could not act until activated, that was the way of things, that was the way they made us. She was almost there.
She reached the dais in the centre of the bridge, the crystal shard pulsed with resonance, waiting to trip our circuits. But a lashing of amethyst struck her leg and she faltered.
“Pitiful child of time.” The hissing of crystalline foam formed words, and the elemental of the liquid gems rose from beneath the bridge to form a cosmic being. “Did you think we would not catch you in time?”
“We would always have our vengeance for what you did.” The cosmic elemental from the sky spoke with the roaring potential of space transposed through the air.
I would have quivered if I were capable of doing so.
“No.” She turned, green skin flush, red eyes streaming. “No,” She crawled for the shard and reached out.
The lances of radiation struck down from the heavens to finish her, she was too late to call for our aid. Now we had to watch her die.
The beam struck out for her and she screamed, and I found myself between her and danger. The lance ricocheted off my tandatmine chest plate and pierced into the great celestial abyss.
The elementals halted, the girl’s whimpering ceased.
I had, moved?
My compatriots lining the bridge shifted their eyes to watch me… curiosity, concern, anger? Cosmic dust drifted from the gouge in my armour, chaotic energy sparked from my ripped circuits.
The elementals shifted and danced throughout reality.
“So they do survive the process,” the hissing of foam said.
“It is too far gone,” the roaring transposition of space said.
Something I did not know I was capable of feeling, terror. I stood alone against two cosmic entities. In the past I would face only one with the aid of my cohort, and our numbers always grew once we were victorious. Now we would be one less. I wanted to shout at the girl to activate the other titans, but I never had a voice.
With a mighty step I fell into my battle ready stance, I would finally have my peace, but not without a struggle.
“Shame,” the roaring cosmic radiation tutted, “I wonder if you were beautiful.”
We launched at each other, form and life and technology against resonance and energy and dimensionality. My armour, my flesh, was torn from me in a smattering of circuits and pain by blasts of vast power. My lance broke on their corporeal images and my gauntlets shattered against their madness.
After an eternity of servitude my final battle was over within a moment, only to find that I was not yet free of this existence.
The girl struck the crystal, my compatriots descended on the beings and drove them away.
I found myself dying on the obsidian tiles as they marched back into place, weary to not come near me. Where my armour was rended the abyssal chaos shifted and spilled. I felt my awareness drift with it, half caught between the veil of me and the nether… if that was the nether I felt.
What was this?
What was I?
I felt not compelled to return to my vigil as I always had, I felt compelled to, to, “Why?” A voice? My voice?
The girl screamed and activated the crystal again, only for it to recede from her grasp, she bolted across the other side of the bridge.
I rose, towering, titanic and broken. More celestial wisps shot from my form, as blood?
Another star died and the light flared, it came down to me now as a form of energy not unlike those that had fought me.
“I heard your wish.” Its terrifying voice rasped, “I have freed you from your curse, from what they did to you.”
“It hurts,” Was all I could muster, “I did not want this but to be free.”
“That is what it is to be an entity. Your mind was dulled to fit you into this prison you call a body. These compatriots of yours were not brave or wise enough to seek escape on their own. But you were. You were foolhardy enough to step forth without the command, to dare hope for change, to form something tangible and good from chaos. You alone withered the pain of life. Your compatriots will never join you, they are lost, but you are found.”
“Entity.” I repeated the word with my new voice, a voice as deep and multifaceted as the word I spoke.
“Pain is the price, now defend yourself, your captors will not take kindly to escapees. They will crush your new life, seek to mould your new potentiality to serve them. Live your own life, suffer in sorrow, and potential and all of the ache that life and failure brings, but suffer in joy also, for all that is good you experience, is now solely thanks to you.”
The light faded back into the celestial abyss, the element of panspermia, death and rebirth, pain and growth, cultivation and spread. I marched into the amethyst waves, the foam kissed at my wounds and stung but beckoned I enter further.
“Welcome, friend,” It hissed, “I will care for thee until you are strong.”
I dipped beneath the waves, the liquid gemstone embraced me, tore the armour that bound me, tore me, my cocoon and ushered my new fragile form into the cosmos. As I drifted with her on the winds of time I looked back at my post, my old masters returned in force strafed the bridge with their wrath.
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