Comet Trails

Comet sailed through the void, wondering at times if anyone else ever wondered just what had started it all. If anyone else wondered at the order and beauty of the universe around them or if they were ever too busy to look up and around and notice all the gory that surrounded them.

‘Surely it must be for something,’ she thought to herself, ‘Surely this can’t have happened by accident, no matter what many have thought in the past. That would be like saying that houses that humans live in sprung up out of the ground fully formed without any thought or preparation.’

She chuckled softly to herself, as if she really knew anything about how the houses were built in the first place. She’d been too busy herself to notice just how the strange things came to be in the first place, so it wasn’t like she could judge or use such a comparison herself.

Just because one had lived longer than most others didn’t make them any kind of expert on theology, that was something that Comet knew personally. After all, she had never met any of the great philosophers or such that were taught about in history classes on Earth. She knew very little about them.

She’d been too busy fighting the Chaos-created at the time. The same was said for most advances throughout Earth’s history.

With the exception of the Fall of Rome. She’d been there for that. She’d watched it burn and enjoyed the burning of the Shadows within it.


Yeah, not really sure where this one came from. I was looking through random pictures on I Waste So Much Time (it should be noted that one should be very careful when on that site because it is apptly named) when I saw this bunch of pictures from the Hubble Telescope that took my breath away and the next thing I know, this was written and staring at me from the other side of my screen.

Vicious

You don’t fear death, you welcome it. You’re punishment must be more severe. –Bane, from The Dark Knight Rises

 

Comet had never feared death; for all that she didn’t quite know just where she’d end up after her demise.

It wasn’t quite…real…to her.

Her own death, that is, not the concept itself.

For someone as long lived as she and her sister, death was something that happened to other people, not to her. Death only touched her heart and mind, it had never laid a single bony finger on her body.

That didn’t mean that she didn’t fear it coming for those that she had come to care about. Maybe that was why she so often interposed herself between one of the few that had taken residence within her heart and what, to them, would have been certain death.

For her it was merely a flesh wound.

“You don’t seem to fear those that attack your comrades,” the current enemy opined even as they danced their deadly dance, “Nor do you fear the hits that you take for them. Why is that, I wonder…”

Her opponent trailed off for a moment before something like understanding flashed in his eyes and a terrible smile grew across his face. “You don’t fear those that attack your comrades unless they actually might hit and it’s strong enough to do lethal damage. You don’t block other attacks only tho-“

Comet didn’t know why she’d let them ramble on like that before ending the battle and the enemy’s life. She didn’t know why she’d done it quite as viciously as she had either.

(And no one would ever convince her otherwise.)


I feel like this was not one of my better ones, but I looked and looked and looked at it while writing and after writing and couldn’t get it to come out any other way at the moment. I’m blaming the migraine that hovers and spikes and then dulls just enough for the story idea to annoy me enough to make me miss the migraine. (It’s that kind of day.)

Yearn

Comet watched as the others found people to share their lives with, to go home to and have children with. She wasn’t alone, far from it. There were children all around her, always there for her to watch over and play with.

Times were peaceful and there was little call for warriors these days, though she still pulled shifts as a guard for Solaris and even, occasionally, the Moon Queen.

With each child that came into her life she yearned more and more for one child of her own.

Nothing More

I am my purpose, nothing more, nothing less. –unknown

 

There wasn’t anything left for Comet, it seemed. She was cast out, banished, never to return again to the place of her creation, the land where her sister even now likely stood in a daze.

Star trembled as she pictured her beloved sister, lost and so very far away and likely trembling with uncertainty.

“It was needed.” Her purpose spoke softly and gently, though the cruelty in the truth of her words was unintentional, it could not be avoided.

Star didn’t move, not even to blink.

The truth was cruel only if you could not accept it.

“She will have a chance now.”

Star still said nothing.

What was done was done.

And now all she had, all she’d ever had it seemed, was her duty.

Solaris said nothing more. Words were meaningless to one who had said them in her initial arguments anyway. Star had spoken for her sister and known what would be the price to pay in order for this to happen, but knowing and experiencing are two very different things. Of this fact Solaris was certain; Star would likely never be able to fully live ever again, so long as she was separate from her sister Comet.

It’s just that…

Solaris did not glance at her old friend, but she did lean towards her and rest a shoulder against the smaller woman’s shoulder.

Star often had trouble dealing with the aftermath of her decisions when they ended up affecting those she cared about in ways that weren’t easily shifted. It was likely that none of them would ever see Comet ever again and that was about as permanent as you could get for their kind. Even death wasn’t as permanent for their kind as being alive and completely out of reach.

“I will adjust, Your Majesty.”

Solaris sighed in resignation, “There is no need for formality, my friend.”

Star said nothing for a long moment before a light shiver ran down her spine. Solaris only noticed it because of how she was still leaning up against the smaller woman.

“Solaris,” the blonde whispered, “Right now, it is all I have.”

‘But you don’t, you still have the rest of us.’ Solaris didn’t speak those words, didn’t even broadcast them mentally. It was still too soon.

She wondered how long it would continue to be too soon.

Surgery

I don’t want to survive, I want to live! –Captain of the Axiom, Wall-E

 

The process was painful.

Of course it was painful; they were all but severing a powerful bond that had existed for millions of years.

A divide where there had never been one before, not even when a similar injury had happened in the past. It was wrenching and it wasn’t clean cut nor was it jagged. It was all of these things and more besides. Painful beyond the human comprehension and an agony that would last for the rest of their lives.

But it was necessary in order for healing to happen.

Sometimes, in order for something to heal, you must first cut out that which is damaged and twisted before it can start to rot and take the whole with it.

The fact that at least one of them had to be conscious during the entirety of the procedure just made it all the more horrific for those directing the procedure. Though it was a blessing that it did not require both of them to be awake and so they placed Comet as far into her subconscious as they dared.

“I can do this for her. I can do this a thousand times.”

That was what Star had said when her Queen had expressed concern.

And she would.

Wouldn’t you do everything you could for your family? So that they could do more than just survive, but so that they could, in truth, live?

“If our positions were reversed, she would do this for me.” She had insisted when others had expressed doubt.

The Queen had silenced any further doubts once she realized that they doubted someone who was Chaos-souled the ability to care about anyone, let alone about family.

Star didn’t hold it against anyone. For one thing, she just didn’t have the energy nor the care to give what other people thought at the moment. For another, they had just finished a war that had the Enemy, most of whom were Chaos-souled, being as vicious and ruthless as possible. Including against their own kind.

(Especially against their own kind.)

But Star had been around a lot longer than those who would cast asperations on her for whatever reasoning or excuse they wanted at that time. (Things had really changed since the truth about their joined soul had been released.) She would likely continue on long after they were gone.

And really?

Nothing was more important that her sister and surviving through the pain of the soul-sundering ritual that they were trying in order to cut out the twisted and corrupted parts of Comet and Star’s metaphysical minds. If Star faltered, then it was likely that the operation would fail and Comet would be no better off than she had been before.

And Star couldn’t just sit back and do nothing, not when there was a chance that her sister would get better.

Because she would, if this ritual worked, then she would get better.

So Star gathered up all the love she had for her sister in her heart, in her soul, and set herself to outlast the pain and agony of the metaphysical surgery that would all but sever the connection between their minds and souls.

Tired Befuddlement

She was tired. So very tired.

It was probably because she’d stayed up late once more to watch as the stars came out. That in and of itself wouldn’t have caused this level of exhaustion by itself, but that hadn’t been all she’d done.

For one, you couldn’t see the stars come out in the city, which is where they lived, so she’d driven herself way out into the country, or what was left of the country this far inland. She’d been assured that the stars would be visible if she went far enough away though she still wouldn’t be able to see all of them like she wanted.

“Why do we have this much light pollution?” she’d asked her husband.

“It’s not just the light pollution, Mary,” Warren’d responded, “With a city this large we have to worry about the smog pollution as well.”

“Why did we decide to live here again?”

Warren had laughed and kissed his wife before helping her pack up what she was taking with her for her stargazing trip. He hadn’t been able to come due to needing to be at work for an important project earlier than normal in the morning.

It didn’t help that she’d stayed out, staring at the stars, longer than she had initially planned for. She’d almost decided to take a nap in the car and drive home after the sun was coming up, but had decided against it at the last moment. She’d be fine for the drive and she knew that Warren would worry if he didn’t see her before leaving for work even if all he saw was the top of her head under the covers.

Driving home had been easy to do safely, but keeping so alert had drained her more than it should have. She’d been having that reaction to a lot of things that had never given her any problems before. Now if only she could figure out why…

What’s Missing?

Life was really going somewhere, that she was certain of, but was it going where she wanted it to go? She was doing well in school and even had friends who she’d never had to go through life and death situations with. She might not even watch these friends grow old and die before she even gained any gray hairs for the first time in her life.

(She was never certain just what the reactions her body would have to the sealings placed on her ears that blocked out so much of her inheritance. She just hoped that she would be able to not outlive so many people throughout her life as she already had. And this time, she wouldn’t even have the comforting presence of her sister by her side so as to not be completely alone.)

She had her adopted brother, someone who, though much younger than herself, was firmly in the role of ‘older sibling’ no matter what she said or did to try and dissuade him.

That wasn’t why she was worrying about her life, though.

No.

She couldn’t really put her finger on why she felt so unsettled with what she did day in and day out. She was enjoying her courses and learning about things that she had never really payed all that much attention to before but had wanted to learn about. She had friends that she enjoyed spending time with and just ‘hanging out.’ She also had a wonderful brother who was not at all like the last brother figure she’d had.

(Not wanting to destroy all of sentient life that hadn’t given into the more Chaotic parts of their natures or warp and twist those who had really made a big difference in whether or not you could look up to someone. Who knew?)

So what was she missing?

(Other than her sister and her purpose.)

Be My Escape

I’m giving up, I’m giving up slowly

I’m blending in so you won’t even know me

Apart from this whole world that shares my fate.

The assassins struck with an intensity that wasn’t in the least bit surprising. They were only in the middle of a War that spread across the Galaxy and not even just the known portions. No, this was a galaxy-wide war that was devastating on all fronts even as the Enemy was being taken down. They took just as many of the other side’s people (soldiers and civilians) with them. They wouldn’t fall without some insurance that the other side regretted each and every death. They were malicious in their dying laughter, taking joy in knowing that each victory came at too high a price.

Their message was received loud and clear.

You may defeat us, but you will hate every moment of your victory just as you would your defeat.

So when the assassins came for the Royal Children, it wasn’t a surprise. Comet didn’t even blink as she went from playing with the children to keeping them behind a Barrier while she battled five assassins.

She dived and a sword of ice so hot it burned arched up from her palm, impaling the first assassin, the closest to her. It (for she did not take the time to decide upon whether it was male or female for any of those who were about to be neither and only dead) screeched as it fell, clawing at the weapon embedded within its abdomen and burning its hands in the process.

The second and fourth both attacked her from the sides, weapons dripping with poison stinging through her Battle Cloth Armor and drawing blood in strange little spurts. They regretted their actions as her blood burned them wherever it hit while they continued to hack away at her sides, distracting her from the third assassin who had tried sneaking up behind her while she was occupied with the others. The fifth was already hacking away with anything in its own repertoire at the Barrier that Comet placed around the children. It was mostly opaque so that the children would not see what was happening, though they know the basics of the fight either way.

She would not leave them blind to the danger, but would try to soften the blow of it by withholding the goriest of the details.

The fifth would still be standing even as Comet tried to bring down the second and the third. The fourth was down, but it wasn’t dead. She’d iced it over just enough so that it would live, but not be a problem.

This one last bullet you mention

Is my one last shot at redemption

Because I know to live you must give your life away.

She’d already signaled for aid and it would be there soon.

Soon enough for the children to be rescued without more than a horrible fright, but not soon enough for Comet.

She’d known that this would likely happen one day. It was a fact of life, one that she’d felt long before the children had even existed and only solidified when the War had continued to progress and she’d been separated from her sister.

“You are the best at defense, Comet,” her Queen, her Commander, had said. “I don’t doubt that you can be just as devastating with your attacks as your sister, but you have always been the best at an offensive defense while she excels at destruction.”

At that point in the conversation, the Queen had shot an amused look at Star, who’d managed to keep a straight face throughout the briefing on just why the greatest fighting duo was being split up as the War escalated when they’d always worked best when by each other’s side. (That kind of ability was born of having lived in one another’s mind throughout the majority of the world’s ages.) Star did not comment though lines appeared lightly around her eyes as she kept her face blank.

The Queen quickly returned her attention to her second oldest and dearest friend, “We’re sending out more of the Guard along with the Guardians than before and I want to ensure that the children are all kept safe, not just my own. I need someone who I don’t just trust, but know will be capable to take up the duties their leaving behind and guard the children being kept in the palace. You’re one of two that comes straight to my mind and I have the Illusion Master guarding the other group of children being left here.”

Comet had saluted at the same time as Star. They’d accepted that they would be separated during the War, but not like this. Surely they would have been separated, but still both out there fighting, not one of them left behind to defend those that could not do so themselves.

On a later thought, they’d both agreed that they should have seen this coming. Even without one another both sisters were a force to be reckoned with.

And a reckoning had come.

The assassins didn’t know what hit them when they decided to attack those under her care. She did know what hit her when she felt a familiar grip upon her mind.

They had brought a Mind Jewel.

I am a hostage

To my own humanity

Self-detained and forced to live in this mess of me.

It was the third assassin that had brought the Mind Jewel, an artifact that could ensnare the mind of a person no matter the species. It was possible to throw it off without damage should you either have a mind strong enough to do so or an emotional attachment to something, anything, just as strong as the Jewel. Will wasn’t always centered in the mind it was just as often centered in the heart.

But that was what it did to people.

Comet both was and was not a person, just as Star was both a person and yet not a person. It came with being created the way they had been and still sharing a Soul Crystal. To them a Mind Jewel was far more dangerous.

Their wills, both separate and combined, were stronger than a Mind Jewel whether they were using the part of their will that came from the mind or from the heart, but the Jewel would still cling and tear as it was dislodged from them.

Comet had experienced such a thing before and though it had taken near everything Star and Comet together combined with other Guardians and even their Queen, there were still scars in her mind.

Scars that the Jewel snagged and ripped right open. It wasn’t even that the scars themselves would never heal properly; it was the way it was done. They twisted in a completely different manner than the existing scars so that the old scar tissue in the mind would twist and turn around the new scar tissue in just such a way that made it all but impossible to safely remove.

And all I’m asking is for you to do

What you can with me

But I can’t ask you to give what you already gave.

The last time this had happened, Star had carefully removed a part of her own will, her own part of their joined Soul, and used it to patch up and encourage the regrowth of Comet’s will, her part of their joined Soul. They wouldn’t be able to do that this time. The last time it had been chancy and risked driving Star just as mad as Comet had been. Something that would have only continued to build upon the both of them as the problem compounded with interest. It was a once in a lifetime (their lifetime, not the regular person’s) fix that could never be used again.

It had taken them almost a century to find the last fix-it for Comet.

I’ve been locked inside that house

And while you hold the key

I’ve been dying to get out and it might be the death of me.

Comet screamed and scratched, lashing out at everything around her. It wouldn’t have been so bad except for the nine inch long claws of ice so solid it might as well have been made of bedrock attached to each of her fingers. The room was shredded, even the walls and it was only because of the material underneath the walls that kept the petite figure still in that room.

Solaris watched from another room, a screen set up to monitor Comet at all times running with little bits of information around the edges giving out the medical stats as well as the video in the middle. The audio had been muted already, no one able to handle the inhuman sounds coming from the red-head’s throat.

This week was a bad one. It wasn’t good days and bad days as it had been the first time Comet’s mind had been broken. The connection between Comet and Star back then had been younger, stronger, less patchwork and Star had been able to mostly balance out the insanity clawing away at her sister by simply being alive and in the same solar system. (Not that Star had left the solar system during those decades when her sister was broken. She hadn’t been needed beyond yet and so had been grateful to not leave her sister behind.) This time was different.

Star wasn’t even in the same spiral arm of the galaxy as Comet.

The parts where the two sisters still brushed up against each other in their joined Soul Crystal were scarred over and twisted, numbing the connection just enough to stop Comet from bleeding over, but also keeping Star from acting as a calm influence even when she was physically standing right next to her other half.

They were lucky if Comet had a good hour when her mind wasn’t trying to break through to the other side of her Soul. Her mind knew, somewhere, that what it needed was just on the other side of the scar tissue, but it couldn’t get to it. It couldn’t reach Star and even during the first time Comet’s mind had been broken that had never happened.

And even though there’s no way of knowing

Where to go, promise I’m going

Because I’ve gotta get out of here.

There was nothing that Star could do.

Others around her whispered that it would be a mercy to-

My sister isn’t some rabid beast that needs to be put down! She would rage in the quiet confines of her heart or to her Queen who, out of all of them, understood.

You couldn’t just kill a Guardian, even those who were the weakest of the Corp were much more resistant to damage and death than others. You couldn’t cleanse or destroy Comet or Star the same way you could other chaos-souled. It was the way they were created.

Stolen genetic material from some of the strongest and most powerful bloodlines on Earth mixed with the very essence of newly born stars and comets at their most basic level with that little bit of Chaos mixed in just right. (This was a horribly simplified way to explain how they were created, but it was what most people had to work with.)

Their Queen, once she had worked out one of the things that made Star and Comet, well, them had commented that, “You should both survive in some capacity so long as a star burns or comet soars through the cosmos.”

So allowing Comet to just, well, die, wasn’t possible. No matter how much of a danger she was to others.

What had once been one of the biggest strengths to the Guardians was now heavier than any milestone on any planet.

And I’m begging you

I’m begging you

I’m begging you to be my escape.


The song lyrics are from Be My Escape by RelientK.

Yes, I am a horrible, horrible person for doing this to someone, and not only once, but twice, apparently.

Puzzlement

As the days moved on and each rising of the sun and the setting of the stars (though there were times when such a descriptor for her sister’s soul fires hiding during the brighter beams of day often made her smile involuntarily even during this time) the wound upon her soul grew thicker ever so slightly. The scab (for it would always remain nothing more than a thickening of blood and would never grow anything more durable such as scar tissue) covered the absence in her mind where her connection with Warren had been. It wasn’t anything clean cut, his death hadn’t been abrupt enough for that, nor was it carefully shredded in such a way that would encourage growth in another direction. It wasn’t even burned closed as if cauterized.

There really wasn’t any way to describe what it was, just what it was not.

It wasn’t like she had any other experience in what this feeling was like; despite her history with needing mental healing each was different in its own way.

But that wasn’t the point of her recollections this morning. No, the point was that she was surviving in a way that many had failed to do so even when they had so many others (mind healers amongst them) to shore them up and support them.

All she had were her sons, sullen though her eldest may be and going through a bratty phase though her youngest may be. And neither of them were even aware of half of what was happening with their mother, though, and here Mary found some slight comfort, a great deal of their ignorance in regards to her situation was of her own doing.

Life was hard enough on the boys and she would forever be grateful that her sons did not take after her the way she had taken after her own ‘parents’.

And that was part of the bafflement she felt.

Her own ‘parents’ had faded away when their other halves had died and quickly become warped from the wounds left in their minds.

She well remembered having to aid in…putting them down, for lack of a better way of explaining it.

So why was she so stable when in the past it had been well established that such a thing, being stable with or without aid, was almost impossible.

Painted Interlude

Going ‘round in circles was ever so much fun! She didn’t understand just why no one else seemed to agree with her, but then again the others always looked so pinched whenever she saw them.

Especially the one with blonde hair, her skin was naturally rather tanned but each time that the blonde came for a visit she looked progressively paler than the time before.

“I do hope that she hasn’t been ill.” She murmured to herself absently as she mixed another couple of finger paints.