Not many people know what it’s like to give an army the order to genocide an entire race of people, especially when those people were your own. It was all a matter of perspective, to separate yourself from them and recreate yourself as something else, something grander. To make himself the new God of this world, Mason had done just that.
For a long time, he had shared the title the people of this planet had given him and rest of his crew. After arriving, the local population had asked who they were and why they could do the seemingly magical things they could. They had attempted to identify themselves by their professions, as though this primitive population could understand such titles. They were geologists, meteorologists, and anthropologists, but the people only picked up the common sound between them, and with a certain reverence, began calling them Ologists, a word that would spread quickly throughout the world along with the tales of their so-called “powers.”
They were, each of them, scientists and so they had experimented. Testing to see if the nearly seven millennia of separation had changed their DNA enough to make their offspring no longer viable. This turned out not to be the case, giving birth to an entirely new generation of people with their genetic advantages, but with no instinctual capacity of how to use them properly. After years of breeding with the local population and the hundreds of Ologist mix-breeds they produced, the refusal of his colleagues the cull these dangerous offspring forced him to separate himself from them and manipulate the pure-blooded population to wipe them out. Soon only he would remain, the last Ologist, their God.
Standing in his new throne room, he looked down at the six burned corpses spread out before him. Archaic torches lit the stone hall, one of the many fortified shelters the inhabitants had created to weather the harsh storms the planet received regularly. The sight of the bodies displeased him, not because they were people he once would have considered his friends, but because there was one missing.
“Where is the captain?” he asked.
The king lowered his head. “Lord Mason, we did as you told and destroyed his home.”
Mason clenched his fists, feeling the fire in their palms flicker along his skin. “Then where is his body? He might not have drank the solution!”
“The soldiers said that it was destroyed in the blast and dared not approach further until the blaze had settled down. They assumed the fire had turned him to dust just as you have shown us in the past.”
“Then the war is not over.” The fire in Mason’s fists became hot even by his fireproof skin’s standards. “But at least you have shown your limits, I have too high standards for you savages.”
Mason opened his fist and turned to place his palm on the king’s head. It was a title he had given the chief to ensure his clan’s loyalty, but after bowing to him for nearly a month now, his people more as not belonged to him. As soon as his skin touched the king’s long hair it burst into flame, catching on the clothes quick enough that his skin was beginning to melt before his screams even permeated the walls.
In mere moments the king was curled in a smoking black ball on the rock floor, the stink of his sizzling flesh making Mason scrunch up his nose. There were more subtle ways to kill a man, but Mason found that there was no better way to feel like the God his people now claimed him to be.
He looked up when hearing a noise outside the room, seeing that the door to the hall had been left ajar. Running to the door, he opened it to see who it had been but only saw the fleeing back of veiled girl as she rounded the corner of the corridor.
“Seize her!” he shouted, but then remembered that he had cleared the keep of any of the king’s guards in fear of what they might see during the meeting.
And for good reason.
He ground his teeth but then smiled. “No matter.”
He turned and closed the door, looking down to the see the king’s corpse begin to flake into a pile of ash, no longer recognizable as the clan’s patriarch. He would have someone sweep the pile away on his leave, and if the girl dared speak up about what she had seen, she would suffer the same fate. Time itself would allow him to tie up any lose ends, but not if he didn’t find the captain and his brood first.
He checked his wrist, seeing the bleeping light over the map hologram that signaled the man’s location. There would be no running from him.
“I see you.”