All my life, I had searched for something; something I thought I ought to be. I felt like I was living someone else’s life, waiting for the awakening of my own. I felt like an empty shell burning for life. That was, until the day I lay dying in the prince’s chambers. I could no longer feel the pain from the tear in my gut. The only sensation left was a hollowed-out feeling that I had made a huge mistake in assuming that taking my own life, would have stopped the ancestors’ spirit from raging out. I had given up. I didn’t want to see myself killing the ones I loved.
I was the Chosen One, but I threw it all away for what I thought would save a life. Could you end a life to save a life? I did, and I have regretted it ever since. I realized then that things like me were not meant to exist.
What had been missing my whole life? It was I. To find myself, I had to lose myself in the worst possible way. The consequences of my actions became the legend of ‘The Broken’.
I wasn’t sure why they called us ‘The Broken’, but what I did know for certain was that we were different from the other ‘human’ inhabitants of this planet. We were the third generation of our kind, with a huge―some would say, cursed―destiny. We are also the last of our kind, a dying race. I used to believe that the reason we were exiled to Planet Poseidon was because we were a lot different from the humans on Earth. They tell us at assembly every morning that we are what survived of Earth because of those differences.
Global warming, war and evil undertakings were said to have contributed to Earth’s destruction in the late twentieth century. Greed stripped Earth of its ‘magic’ and caused the planet to turn on itself. A way of getting rid of the ‘virus’, so to speak. Did I buy into those lies anymore – No. I believed that there was a lot more to the story behind our origins and our extradition to a long forgotten sector within the Titan galaxy was no accident. I could feel it in the cold burn of my legs as I walked the hollow halls of our institutions, and I could see it on the eerie motionless faces of my peers every day. Little by little, small things started changing and I started believing in the signs my mother wrote about in her secret journals.
A haunting feeling stared back at me as I looked upon my reflection in the monitor every morning, clearly remembering as a young child my iris were a lot bluer. At first I thought it was the effect of the changeover from mirror to monitor. I used to think that maybe the mirror was the lie. That it was evil and that that was the reason it had been outlawed. But so many new laws had been put into place over the last few years, I was beginning to doubt our perfect Utopia really existed, that beneath the surface something deceivingly dark was brewing, and the nightmares my biological mother wrote about were real events the council had stripped from her memories. Keeping it on paper was the only way she could decipher real memories from the planet ones.
My mother has me in some kind of arranged marriage, to the chief’s idiotic son of all people. I don’t want that. But it’s my duty. I have to. ” She said staring into the ground.
“You don’t have to anything!” I shouted defensively. “No one can force you into a life you don’t want.”
My heart was racing, as my feet hit the wooden platform of the bridge. But the look on Maya’s face made me calm my anger and consider my words carefully, because the truth was that people did make me do things I didn’t want to.
Maya didn’t speak for a moment. From her facial expressions, I could tell she was having a fascinating debate in her own head. My eyes fell on the small stream. Only, the stream was no longer gentle.
“What do you suppose this means, then?” I asked Maya as I stopped to look over the edge of the bridge, my hands grasping the rail firmly as I peered all the way down the shallow canyon. By the look on her face, I knew I wasn’t imagining things and that she was concerned, not excited to have the planet alive again. Surely this would mean the cycle of autumn is finally over? She stood motionless on the overpass. We were both looking down on what used to be the tiny stream that snaked through the pebbles and disappeared over the ridge among the rocks and into the valley.
Maya grabbed my right arm tightly and tugged me away with such force that I almost fell over my own feet. Our footfalls clattered loudly over the bridge, as it slowly swayed beneath us.
“Slow down, will you?” I yelled at her in frustration. “What’s going on, Maya?” The urgency in my voice momentarily startled us both.
“The prophecy,” she said distantly, keeping her eyes straight ahead.
“What?” I snapped.
But all she would say over and over again was: “It’s too soon! Too soon. Something’s wrong.”
I heard a loud thud. The bridge suddenly swayed dramatically and I looked down, trying to figure out what could have caused the sudden erratic motion. I noticed Maya extracting a sharp object from her boot. She was crouching down, baring her teeth like a wild cat. I tried to turn, but a sharp sting shot through my thigh. I looked down to see a long, red splinter protruding from my skin.
Maya shrieked and came at me, a thin dagger gripped tightly in her hand. She came hard and fast. I stood frozen in shock. What is she doing?My vision blurred and I started feeling dizzy. Maya yelled for me to get down, but I was frozen with fear. Suddenly, she ran around me and up on to the railing. She came crashing down―not on me as I had expected, but on something behind me. I staggered and fell on my hands and knees, barely feeling the hard wood as it pressed against my trembling palms and bony knees.
There was shouting. The bridge continued to sway beneath me, making it hard for me to clear my head…to get away. I managed to turn my neck just in time to see two dark figures climbing over the railing, reaching for me. Four powerful, dark hands clamped down on my arms and legs and lifted me off my feet. I heard Maya scream my name, but I was limp and couldn’t move.
As I was hurled away, unable to struggle, I could make out Maya’s form standing over the body of one of our attackers. She struck out at the two remaining assailants who were dragging me away. Another sudden shudder shook the bridge. I could hear the sound of weapons and fists flying around me. I dropped to the floor, suddenly free. By now I was completely numb. I didn’t feel the thud. It should have hit me full on. Instead, I tasted dust and then copper; blood.
Maya stood over me and yelled for someone called Enoch. I looked up at her as my vision faintly perceived two Zulu warriors grabbing her. I shouted for her safety, but the words got stuck in my throat, and I was lifted to my feet once more as they tore her off me. Maya screamed and fought her way out of our attackers’ claws. I heard an object slice through the air, passing over my head with a soft whistle. A dull thump and a soft growl followed, before the hands let me go.
This time I didn’t hit the ground. I kept on falling. I could barely hear the water over the shouting and after what felt like an immense force, I was underwater being overpowered by the cold.
Crystal blue eyes floated towards me like shooting stars, and I allowed myself to surrender to the darkness.