Prologue: Part One
The day the mammals left was sad...They left the planet to the human race and their advanced technology, they never even said good-bye...Many rumors surrounded the whole event, people were scared, science had no explanation. There was nothing to examine, no bodies. Just empty space, like nothing had ever existed in the first place...A few stayed. Those few "pets" that decided to stay with their humans were hidden away, secret treasures never discussed. And then when the reptiles and amphibians left two years later the humans went into a superstitious panic....
The spirit of the planet cried out, awakening the spirits of creatures that had now laid so long dormant. The spirits knew that if they returned as they were that they to might cease to exist as well. So they took what appeared to be the only logical step, they became more human. However the state of the world ensured that it was not prepared for what it saw when the first "Monster" awoke. A tragic tale to begin a much larger story.....
A female spirit emerged from the woods near a ruined chapel house, panting and lost. She had been running most of the night, chased by a large man who screamed at her about "Not giving up his soul to a demon", but the gunshots had long since faded as she collapsed on the shattered chapel heart pounded heavily in her chest as she tried to calm herself. Her night had been poor, but she had to press on, as the chosen scout for all the spirits. She alone held the key that would allow them to she found sleep in her nest of broken concrete and re-bar.
She awoke to light drops of rain in the mid-day. After a quick stretch and a shake of the head, to clear the bleary sleep, she looked around. The chapel itself was filled with holes, it's large roof long since collapsed, it's bell silent and in the mud, but she saw the edge of farmland behind it. The land appearing well maintained, and as she stepped closer, she spotted a shack up on the hill alone, smoke billowing from the chimney.
Because her first encounter with a human had gone so badly she approached slowly with caution. As she got closer she saw an woman stumbling around outside, she was quite old and close to old woman didn't seem to notice the spirit standing there, but as she made to move away the old woman's head snapped up and towards her.
"Who's there?" the old woman cried out, dead eyes searching about for things unseen.
The spirit understood at once and calmly replied, "I am sorry Ma'am, I am lost and did not mean to startle you." The spirit pulled her wrap tighter around herself and took a deep breath. "I must get to the city, but I seem to have forgotten the way."
The old woman came towards the spirt and grasped her hand. "Child I haven't been to the city in many, many years, but perhaps I can still help you. Please come inside out of the rain."
And with that the old woman led the spirit inside the shack. After many hours and a few cups of tea the spirit had learned that no city was near-by, the closest over one hundred miles away, a walk the old woman insisted was not only impossible but dangerous due to the desperation of the world. The old woman had a single grandson, who came and checked on her three times a week in his homemade steam , he had just left a few hours prior, so it would be another day or so before his return.
The old woman welcomed the spirit to stay and gave her an old dress and head scarf to wear instead of her wet "clothes", that consisted of a long strip of grey linen. The two talked most of the day and after a surprisingly diverse meal of garden veggies the spirit lay on a pile of hay as the old woman dozed off peacefully. The moonlight peeked through the yellowed windows and danced with the shadows form the chimney fire. The spirit tried to think of what she should do, her mind darted about, would the grandson think her a monster, would she ever make it to the city, and then how would she decide the correct path. Her eyes flickered as she fell into a deep sleep.
She was again shapeless and floating in the darkness. A voice, a voice she knew, spoke, "Oh child of that creature they fear, I need you to answer a question for me..."She remained silent, for this was not a voice that really expected her to respond. The voice continued, "Oh child of the ferrymen of souls, I must know if humans are ready, I must know if the whispers of the sun and the moon are selfish ones. They wish their children reborn, they wish all spirits renewed. But the choice is not theirs to make, but mine."Her shapeless spirit swirled about in confusion, but the voice went on. "You will hold the key, Child of death, Child of life, you will go and see if the humans are ready. You will decide for them all."
Another deeper voice cackled, "If that is your choice great planet...." and faded away.
There was heat, like a raging lava flow, and pain, as the shapeless spirit gained form and was thrust out of the safe place it had always know. The spirit awoke drenched in sweat with hay stuck to her skin and let out a sigh.
Another day passed and the spirit asked the old woman many thing trying to arm herself to deal with other humans. Another night with her waking in a cold sweat. She worried until the moment he walked through the door, then in a moment her heart was filled with something far greater. He felt it to and didn't much seem to care that her nature was that of something inhuman. They decided that he would escort her to the city and the old woman was very please.
As the two went to leave however, the old woman fell over crying out in pain. Deaths grip upon her, the spirit could see it. That night the old woman passed, with the help of the spirit, painlessly into the realm of the dead as the grandson could do nothing more than watch. They took care of the final business the old woman had and left a week later, heading towards the setting sun and the great city in the distance.
The spirit had become completely enamored with the boy, as he had with her. He tried his best to help her with the things she did not understand, most of it about humans, and together the two traveled. Until one day they reached a large human encampment. The boy went into town, the spirit followed and was soon discovered. The humans panicked, demanding she be killed on the spot. The boy intervened, saying the spirit was not evil or dangerous, that she was no different from them. The towns folk attacked the boy and the spirit, the boy was struck a fatal blow.
As the spirit saw him fall limply to the ground something inside of her snapped. The skies spit open and black flames engulfed the camp and forest, spreading fast across the horizon. The earth itself seems to pull apart at the seams as the spirit too is killed in the chaos, her soul screaming, as it is torn between love and hate, a terrible sound that wakes up long dormant souls and a second tone softer and resonant that allows things to live. Her mission completed her broken soul fades away into the ashen sky leaving the planet to it's long war.