For the next two days, everyone in Basilea went in different directions. Some started packing their things and preparing to leave. Others stormed the capital, demanding to speak with me and the rest of my leaders. But the vast majority were preparing for war. As for myself, I navigated the panic the best that I could, encouraging people as much as possible that moving was our best option, that the Man in the Blue Light would be with us. I even discovered that there were enough ships for all the women and children if all the men stayed behind. But all of this was barely able to assuage the panic.
And on the third day, just as promised, judgment came from above.
Like a meteor, a body crash landed in the capital and sent a shockwave that shattered windows for several blocks. And when the dust cleared, a figure the size of a bear, but with the face of a man and the build of a bull was standing in the crater. His body was swirling with an otherworldly darkness that seemed to suck the light from my eyes as I watched him. There was a shadowy hood covering his head and his eyes glowed with a menacing green light. This was Nefarious.
“I see you failed to heed my warning,” he said and his voice boomed with ease through the streets. “You will regret this.”
“You’ll regret this!” a man shouted.
And before I knew what was happening, Basileans leapt into action, hurling attacks at Nefarious. Fireballs, streams of water, bolts of lightning, and shards of ice, all assaulted the being from another world.
I watched in shock as he raised his hand, flicked his fingers, and the air rippled like water. And with that ripple, every flame, stream, lightning bolt, and icicle, vanished. Every Basilean within twenty meters was flattened to the ground, as if an invisible anvil had dropped on them. He lifted his other hand towards a building and with another flick of his fingers, the building came crumbling down as if a giant unseen hand was crushing it from above. And I realized with terror what this was. Gravity. He had the ability to control gravity. There was nothing we could do to stop this.
I flew behind him and in a blink, enveloped him in a blue sphere of magnetic energy.
“To the ships!” I shouted. “Women and children to the ships!”
“No!” someone cried back. “We’re fighting him!”
“GET TO THE SHIPS!”
My sphere fizzled out and the next thing I knew, Nefarious was holding me in the air by my throat.
“Clever, Marcus,” he said. “But you should have saved your cleverness for your people. You failed to preserve this world. And now it will be taken from you.”
I felt his fingers about to flinch around my throat, but instead of pressure, there was a release and I was suddenly half a block behind him. Meredith was next to me, eyes wide and her body still smoking from the teleportation.
“Get the women and children to the ships,” I told her.
“And what about you?”
“If I make it, then I make it.”
She looked at me briefly, gave me one last kiss, then vanished in a flurry of light.
I turned and was stunned to see that half the city had already been razed. Every skyscraper was flattened so that what was once a bustling metropolis was nothing but a plain of giant, crushed aluminum cans. How was this possible? In merely seven seconds, he’d destroyed our capital city without a scratch on his body to show for it. The entire moon would be gone within the hour.
I ran towards him, screaming, and sent out a net of magnetic energy to flattened cars around me. I lifted them above my head, then slammed them onto Nefarious, hoping to bring him at least to his knees. But they simply floated away like paper in the wind and he didn’t even flinch. Then, to my utter shock, he snapped his fingers and a circle of dark light ripped open in the sky to his right. It was the size of a cow, but suddenly, cars and a crowd of people were being sucked into it. This couldn’t be what I thought it was.
Nefarious snapped his fingers in another direction and another black hole opened up in the ground, sucking dozens of Basileans into it in moments. Their screams split the air then were snuffed out seconds later as they disappeared into the darkness.
My body shook from fright and I dropped to my knees as nearly half the city vanished in seconds. And in my panic, I didn’t see Nefarious coming. What I did see was his face suddenly staring down into mine and those glowing green eyes blinding me. But somehow behind the glow, I could see the outline of ships leaving the atmosphere and shooting into the stars.
“Don’t be afraid, Marcus,” Nefarious said as he knelt to face me. “You alone don’t bear the blame. You as a people have failed. But your failure ends here. And now.”
And with that, a hole opened up beneath me, I felt the weight of a thousand worlds crushing me, and then there was nothing.