The Intergalactic Protectors of the Faith
Rowan Blair Colver
The double tailed, purple sky serpent writhed like a worm laid out on a cold concrete slab. As it hung in the air for a brief yet menacing moment, parents scooped up their children and ran. The mining village on the surface of Copernicus, the fifth moon of the gas giant Swann, was under attack. These alien beasts would appear from the atmosphere of Swann and make the several day's journey through the near vacuum of prickly space-dust and singeing cosmic rays towards the people who had set up various camps around four of the planet's seventeen moons. Water and minerals were in short supply on Earth and many hundreds of mining facilities has been established across the galaxy. The panicked but well rehearsed escape into the subterranean network of caverns made by the mining hands left only the men and some women to clear the settlement. They knew that within moments, the Intergalactic Protectors of the Faith would no doubt arrive on a crest of starlight, their mechanical equibots galloping over the invisible road of self propulsion.
They didn't arrive immediately. A few moments more passed by and the serpent had restocked its energy. In a twist and a flick, the purple, scaled and oddly shaped creature descended upon the settlements. With one fly past, the current of air that followed its wake tore at the ground. Another pass saw it brush its giant body against some of the higher buildings and their construction materials began to fall to the ground. The small gravity made their journey slower than what a human would usually expect but as some of these citizens were second generation, the gravity of Copernicus had been all they had known. With state of the art mining and spacefaring technology, this modern colony were at the cutting edge of resource attainments. However, until the Chivalry arrived, the commonplace name for the Intergalactic Defenders of the Faith, this expensive and proudly constructed working environment was being broken into pieces. Luckily, the people were able to hide themselves and wait for the response, but as time passed, the Faith in their protectors and their prompt response, was being drastically tested.
Another sky serpent swam down through the upper atmosphere and joined the first. The newcomer was golden and had only one tail. It's head, however, was twice the size of the purple serpent's head and it contained rows of teeth. No-one from Copernicus had seen such a beast, and they hoped it would be aggressive towards the other. They were not so lucky, with a mighty downward plunge, the golden sky serpent plummeted into the ground itself, smashing rocks, buildings and machinery as it went. In a twist of movement, it straightened out and began to plough the ground, devastating everything in its path. If it reached the mines and the caves, no-one would be safe. “Where were the Chivalry?” Asked the worried people as they watched the attack grow nearer and nearer on their video screens.
Then, on a flash of rainbow coloured light which arched across the cosmos and into the path of the first sky serpent, came a legion of giant mechanical horses with metallic warriors mounted upon them. Each had a lance made of white light, which, on contact with material surface, sliced through as if it were air. A group of mounted robotic soldiers broke away from the main charge and began to assess the golden creature. During the battle between the purple sky serpent with the double tail and the dozens of Chivalry which swarmed around it like flies, the golden serpent began to shake the scales around its midriff, which created a ghastly howling sound. It travelled through the air and the rocks, vibrating everything with a sickening frequency.
A larger torrent of Chivalry split from the group, which had now arrived in its totality which caused the bridge of spectral illumination to dissipate slowly, like the remnant of a firework in the blackness of sky. They began to circle the giant beast as before but in this case, the reverberations from its shimmering scales caused mechanical faults in the robots. The equibots seemed to be able to continue but their riders became overcome by what appeared to be confusion. A distaster was happening, as the Intergalactic Protectors of the Faith were being dominated by this mysterious ability to mess with their circuits. There was nothing the onlookers could do but stare at their screens in horror and disbelief as their faith was being stripped away from them, moment by moment as its protectors were one by one being dismounted and thrown to the ground, in a heap of sparks and smoke.
As the crowds of people watched on in terror, many began to cower and huddle in ways reminiscent to the last moments of Pompeii. Children had their eyes covered by their parents and young men and old looked on in dismay at the carnage above ground. The destructive forces of the sky serpents were drawing closer, and soon they would be collapsing the walls of the very tunnels they were momentarily protected from. As their inner thoughts began to question the faith that had been so well protected for so long, these mechanical body guards were not destroyed by the speeds accomplished by the star-drives that propelled them, unlike flesh beings, and so they had long been employed to take care of danger. No human being had entered a battlefield for several generations and the faith in their protectors had always been defended well, until now. It seemed that all was about to be lost but then one of the old women who was still standing, focussed on the flickering screen, said “Look, someone's gone outside!”
As they began to look up at what she had seen, it was true, one of the people from another mine shelter had ventured out and was approaching a riderless equibot, that seemed to be patiently waiting for their arrival. As the figure mounted it, they reached for something at their side. A large lance of white piercing light sprang forth like a fountain of pressurised energy and the tiny figure upon the oversized robotic beast began to gallop towards the golden sky serpent. Then, more figures appeared, inspired by the first, a handful at first then scores of men and women emerged from their caves and took up redundant equibots. The first, who had been collectively promoted to leader in an almost telepathic exchange of consent, reared up and charged at the heart of the golden beast.
In a valiant stride, the light lance pierced the outer skin of the creature and untied what appeared to be its fastenings. In a leap across the immediate space, the lance sliced through the screeching scales and pulled them away from their owner. Revealing fresh and armourless flesh beneath, the rest of the human army drove onward, attacking the weak spots with all their fury. The golden sky serpent reared its giant toothy head and scoured the land once more, rocking the towers and settlements from their foundations. Another surge of force followed, light lances and galloping metal hooves crashed into the flailing creature. On the horizon, the rescue craft began to hover above ground. A much slower vehicle, and not equipped to deal with violence to such degrees as this, it had so far remained at a distance. Now the creatures were being repelled successfully, the doors began to open and children and mothers ran onboard.
The humans were no match for the sky serpents, and it wasn't until another wave of Intergalactic Defenders of the Faith had arrived until they were completely subdued. However, if it wasn't for those brave men and women who stood out from the crowd, who became what no-one had dreamed of being for over one hundred years, and took up arms to protect their families, then this tale would never have been written down. When it comes to the crunch, and the serpents are in the sky, take up your lance of light and protect innocence where ever injustice and violence occur.
Alternative Fruit Creative Arts