10) Immortal

"I just...I have nothing left".

"You do, you can endure. The worst is surely behind you".

"Sokkorah, you don't know that!" snapped Balsora, "Nobody knows that!"

Balsora leapt to his feet and stormed across the room. He stared out to the door of the Temple, which was now pitch black (This happened when the outside of the Temple was hidden from the rest of the world). It was no less comforting than it was discouraging, to be removed from the world at large for now was what Balsora knew he needed.

"But I do know what happened" continued Sokkorah, who was sitting on the ledge of his fountain, "I saw it all in these very waters, every single detail. The deaths of every individual as their homes merged together in a massive whirlwind of destruction".

Balsora shuddered, "Why were we made?"

"What do you mean?" asked Sokkorah.

"Why did we have to be the ones to guide the Desert Plains?" repeated Balsora, "Why us?"

"Why not us?" said Sokkorah, "There had to be somebody. We were like parents teaching them how to live in the world".

"We didn't need to stay" sighed Balsora.

"Well...we did" said Sokkorah uncertainly, "Nobody would have known that what happened to Barani would happen".

"We should have seen it coming" said Balsora, "Being in such a important position, with all that power, women coming to him day after day. Makes him feel above humans. And the way I berated them..."

"Don't blame yourself" warned Sokkorah, "That's the worst possible thing you can do right now".

"No, the worst thing to do would be blame somebody else" said Balsora stubbornly, "And there is nobody else. I ultimately led him down that path".

"Well it's all well and good blaming yourself" said Sokkorah, "But what exactly does it achieve?"

"I'm going to do more than just that" said Balsora, "I'm leaving the Desert Plains".

"What?! Leave?!" cried Sokkorah, "Leave to where?"

"I don't know, but I can't stay here" said Balsora.

"Things will improve" assured Sokkorah, "They've started building a highly guarded tower for Barani's Ring, all four cities have joined together to guard it!"

"There's five other Rings though" sighed Balsora, "Fikri has disposed of them, but...they could still be found. I didn't think of the ramifications, of all the outcomes!"

"It's nothing to worry about!" said Sokkorah firmly, "I'm certain of it".

Balsora looked to Sokkorah and sighed, "You're a good brother, Sokkorah. Though I worry, we inadvertently excluded you. What you do is so monumentally important".

Sokkorah smiled, "Thank you".

"I do not ask that you leave also, or that you stay" said Balsora, his voice softening, "Make your own decision".

"I still don't think you should leave" Sokkorah said, "Would you ever return?"

Balsora simply shrugged, "Who knows?"

Balsora walked towards the door, Sokkorah behind him. The outside world now became visible to them, showing the Desert in the early hours of the morning. The pinkish sky was stunning, clouds scattered around and a gentle breeze carrying through the sandy ground.

"Will you stay?" asked Balsora.

"Yes" replied Sokkorah, "I can't quite explain it, but I belong here. This is my role in the world, and I'm going to stay with these people".

Balsora smiled and hugged his brother. They stood together for a minute, before finally pulling apart. Balsora ascended the Temple steps and strode off. Several feet away, he looked back and waved, receiving the same in return from his brother. Continuing to walk further, he was soon gone from Sokkorah's sight. His brother was the last Immortal in the Desert Plains.