A Fate Worse Than Death

Disclaimer: It’s been awhile readers since I’ve been able to do a proper flash fiction entry! Too long! Today I got my inspiration from doing a random Google search on fantasy prompts. I found one on this website that I was particularly connected to – because, well, I love it when the heroes fail and/or die.

Prompt: Write a story where a chosen hero is supposed to defeat an evil overlord. Then make the hero fail.


 

The air is thick with the smell of death and despair. Those of her people whom haven’t been slaughtered have fled the city. Perhaps they will surrender, perhaps they won’t be extended the opportunity. Unfortunately, she knows that she won’t be alive to see the damage of her overzealous effort to rule her planet neutrally. A planet which never prepares for war is a planet that makes itself an easy target. A planet that believes involvement in intergalactic politics is self-sabotaging is a planet ruled by delusions. This is a lesson she had to learn at the cost of her people that had faith in her reign.

Instead she now stands at a statue erected in the image of her great-great-grandfather who withdrew A’gaar from the Kashi Strip’s alliance. Blood stained fingers paint the desperation that suffocates her presently on the base. She’s been standing with her back to the enemy for too long and within seconds she will surely be murdered for her dissent to align A’gaar with the Sixth Union. What seemed so small of a decision will destroy her home. It has destroyed her home.

“Ka’vaara, Monarch of A’gaar!” Struggling to rise, the frail woman stumbles into the legs of the statue before she can roll and face the commander identifying her. If she is to die then she shall do so with honor and dignity. She will stare down the consequences of her actions, right or wrong, and accept fate with the valor her people would expect. One fist pressed against a harsh wound on her leg and another holding stringy, muddied hair out of her face. The commander approaches her, battle armor covering her face. When she peels it back, revealing her golden scales – Ka’vaara knows that this is no mere commander. This is the creator of the Sixth Union. This is Anyana – a woman with no home; “Ka’vaara, it would appear you chose to die today. Your people must be ashamed.”

Anyana is wrong. They would be proud, even if disappointed in the loss. Independence is worth the risk, but it is easy to be proud when the weight is not on their shoulders. The only one to carry the burden of this disaster is Ka’vaara; “My people will live on in the stories of our resilience and resistance. Once day your worth will run out, and when it does, you will stand no taller than I while they stare you down with defeat surrounding you on all side. I have no shame because the stories of my people will turn your people against you. A’gaar will not belong to you rightfully, and you will never keep it.”

Anyana lifts her gun to Ka’vaara’s face and pushes it’s sleek and short barrel against her cheek. The warm metal softens her features. This is a gun that has been fired many times at many of her people. She revels in the fact that she will die in exactly the same way many of them did, because she is not to be held higher than the people that gave their life for her. In the end, they are all just the people of A’gaar.

“You will suffer a fate worse than the citizens of your feeble planet.” Anyana whispers through her growled laughter. Ka’vaara hears the clicking of the gun repeatedly as she tries to release the laser beam. Rapid button smashing continues to result in nothing. The gun is obviously shut down and nonoperational. Ka’vaara shrieks in rage with each click -piecing together at the sight of two guards, chains rattling in their hands, that there is only one fate worse than death; “You will be the face of my movement, Ka’vaara, and your people will bow down to kiss my heels when I walk by -” She proclaims.

“NEVER!” Never! Never! Never! Never! Ka’vaara spits at the guards approaching her, locking her arms behind her and securing the chains with a brace around her neck. The copper metal rips easily through her soft skin, allowing more blood to flow from her body. In minutes she will black out from the massive trauma; “They will never believe you!” Tears wash her cheeks as she proclaims that this plan is faithless, aimless, desperate. It could never work.

“Killing you will enrage them. I need them to swear their loyalty to me, so I require your persuasive tongue.” Anyana walks confidently towards her, forcing her to see that the war was a battle not of confidence. Growing up all the warriors said: “it is your willpower which makes your powerful!” But it was lies. Confidence does not win wars. Ka’vaara lowers her gaze to the ground feeling the world slowly blur around her. Dripping is faintly evident on her chest.

Anyana is soon leaning into Ka’vaara with hands planted firmly on her hips. For a second, the smell of loss has dissipated and is replaced with something even more foul. If she could identify it, she would, but her mind is quickly losing the internal battle to remain conscious. Anyana smiles before pressing her lips to Ka’vaara’s ear, cackling her latest proclamation; “Your tongue belongs to me and my words will become yours.”

“You lose.”

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