He liked to sit on the fire escape outside his apartment and stare out
at the city. He especially liked be out there at night when it was
cooler, and the darkness shielded him from inquisitive eyes.
should be resting.
out here, the sword could talk to him. Their connection was not limited
there is nothing you can do.
was a long minute of silence before Sorrow spoke again.
you can’t have her.
continued to watch the city. The lights. The people. The unceasing
bustle of life filled with purpose and promise. The city boasted it
never slept. It didn’t lie.
have no idea what’s going to happen to them,” he softly murmured.
we can’t tell them because they will never believe us. Even if they
did, their reactions could put them in greater danger.
the sword corrected him. It was after midnight. The clocks had ushered
in a new day.
I have six more days to be with her.”
waited for the sword to protest, to remind him that there would never be
a future with the woman. Only if he was very, very lucky would the
woman, and the rest of this planet’s civilization, have any hope for a
future after next week.
do you hope to accomplish in six days?
don’t know,” Sorrow truthfully answered. He pressed his clenched
fists into his abdomen, knowing that the sword was reading him with
perfect clarity. “She’s affected me in ways I never thought
possible. How is that possible, Rall? Tell me! I’m a Surge Knight. I
am the front and foremost line of defense for this world! So tell me how
I am able to think these thoughts. To feel this…” He dug his
knuckles into his lower belly. The thick, rigid pole of flesh rising
stiffly from his groin continued to plague him, and had ever since
Rachel kissed him. It hurt, filling him with as much emotional pain as
it his imagination, or did the sword sigh?
are still a man. Before you were a Surge Knight, you were male. Once
your metamorphosis is complete, you will still be a man. Yes, she has
touched you in a way that confuses you, but it cannot change what will
be. What must be.
sword paused, then cautiously asked, Do you wish for me to find
There’s no sense in it. In six days the U’Nar will be here. Moving
now may raise suspicion.”
car honked as it drove by. Someone walking along the sidewalk waved to
it before he disappeared around the corner. Further down the block, two
people, a man and a woman, exited a restaurant. They were laughing and
holding onto each other tightly. Sorrow watched them kiss while they
paused at the street corner and waited for the light to change.
Involuntarily, he raised a hand to his own lips as he recalled the sweet
pressure of Rachel’s mouth on his.
once I emerge and we defeat the U’Nar, and I return to Aparandia, I
will be allowed to take a consort, correct?”
sword remained silent, as Sorrow knew it often did if the answer was
positive. But the weapon must have known what his next question would
we defeat the U'Nar, you will leave this world, and there is no
returning, Sorrow. This planet will need to recover on its own, without
any further help from us. Our duty here will be done.
bowed his head. At this point, he couldn’t tell if the pressure inside
his chest was part of the chrystasis, or caused by something else. Or
took a deep breath. By all the stars in the heavens, he felt as one with
this world. With the city and its inhabitants. Even in his present
state, he was comfortable here. More comfortable and content than he
ever had on his home world. And that, Rall told him, was a rarity in
are being hailed by Panitor.
soft, swishing sound filled the small apartment while Rall and the other
sword locked transmissions.
Pan. What’s wrong? Is everything all right with you?” There would be
no reason for the other knight to contact him unless there was an
the other Surge Knight confessed in a worried voice. “Kleet tells me
there’s been a sighting.”
was instantly on his feet and climbing through the window, back into the
do we have in that vicinity?” Sorrow queried, more to his weapon than
to his fellow knight.
Panitor answered almost simultaneously. “But we can’t raise him or
Kleet certain it was the U’Nar?” Sorrow asked.
what he said before he signed off.”
Clodon met with the U’Nar before he left chrystasis, he had no chance
of defeating them, or of survival, Rall informed them both.
there a chance he could have given away his identity to the U’Nar if
he did try to accost them?”
if he was still in chrystasis, a different voice answered. It was
Panitor’s soul sword.
is Kleet now?”
Great Britain,” Panitor said. “Clodon gave the warning before we
lost all communication with him.”
glared at his weapon. “You told me we had six more days.”
do have six more days, Rall restated. If Clodon did try to accost
the U’Nar, he must have met an advance scout.
“And there’s no chance the
creatures could have learned we were planetside?” Panitor asked.
is no way they can find out. That is part of the metamorphosis. As long
as you are in chrystasis, their sensors cannot detect you, Panitor’s
weapon reassured them.
if he had his sword with him?” Panitor insisted. “Wouldn’t the
sword’s power alert them?”
full power of any sword is not activated until its knight emerges from
chrystasis, Rall said. Until then, he would appear no different
from any other human from this world trying to defend himself.
we have any confirmation other than Clodon’s belief the U’Nar may
already be trying to infiltrate this world? Other than the fact that
we’ve also lost all connection with Clodon and his sword?” asked
shook his head. “If Clodon believed it so, then we have no choice but
to act on that belief. No Surge Knight would dare to put out a warning
unless it was inescapable.”
we won’t be ready,” Panitor said in near-panic. “We don’t have
time to emerge.”
and sooner the Un’Nar are attacking the outer worlds, Rall said. With
each assault, they gain greater knowledge of us. The Elders knew that
eventually the enemy would land on a world before the Surge Knights had
gone through full metamorphosis.
“What was their response?”
Sorrow asked his weapon. “Did the Elders have a plan of action for
such an event?”
was Panitor’s weapon that replied. To stay in hiding until full
metamorphosis was complete.
stared in wide-eyed horror at the faintly glowing sheath containing his
sword. “Do the Elders have any idea how much death and destruction the
U’Nar could wreak until then? We have six days until they arrive! And
we won’t complete our transformation for another eleven! Everyone on
this world could be extinct in the five more days it'll take for us to
vision of Rachel lying blistered and dead in the wake of a U’Nar
attack came to him like a hard blow to the stomach. Gasping, Sorrow
dropped to the floor as his legs gave way. Thankfully, Rall didn’t
react to his actions, although the sword replied to his questions.
If the U’Nar begin their attack in six days, and we have no reason to believe it will not happen at that time, then you have no choice but to lie in wait until gestation is complete. Otherwise, you will perish. And any chance this world had to survive total annihilation will be gone.