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AsICan-not-Do t1_jc4ufxr wrote

Cedrick couldn’t remember the day, not really. Something had been said to him, he had said something back. The specifics hadn’t mattered. All he knew was that one moment he had been in the fancy meeting room, gazing out the ceiling height windows with the little offering of wine in his hands and then the next he was surrounded by debris. Three city blocks had been destroyed, they said. Burned, razed, crushed. But he saw something there under the debris that mattered so much more. The familiar face of Vick, a long time friend, and one of the heroes of the city. He had cried, then. When they came for his capture he did not resist.

“What happened?” was his first question, in a room filled with white suits.

“You did.” said the lead suit. A tall man, hair swept backwards and with sunglasses to hide behind. “All of that, it was you.”

Later the images returned. The steel bending before him, concrete shattering and glass blowing out. Vick and many others had tried to stop him, but they all shared a similar fate.

“Why did you do it?” he was asked so many times. He never had an answer. “How do we know you won’t do it again?” He wished that he knew.

The white walls, the stale lights, locked rooms and constant surveillance became almost comforting. Maybe here, with all of this effort into his containment he would be safe. Safe from again seeing the faces of his friends, crushed and bloodied by his own hands. But that was not true. He knew that there was little to keep him from walking out, tomorrow, if he so wished. And that was what scared him most of all.

One day, or night, for it was hard to tell, the lead suit returned. His business was simple, “We could use your skills.” he had said. “If you earn our trust, eventually you could leave this prison.”

Little sounded less appealing to Cedrick. His answer was a simple refusal.

Again the suit had tried, “Surely you would like to see the sun? The stars? Feel the wind? You were as free as a bird, you could have that again.”

No, he could not. He was returned to his cell, trailed by a bit of bitter annoyance and disappointment.

That was how the days went. Boredom and fear, proposals and refusals. Never again would he leave, he determined. Never again would he kill.

Some time, the true amount entirely inconsequential to Cedrick, had passed when he felt something new. It was as if a pressure filled the air, made it crackle and stretch with a sense of menace. Something big was coming. Those who spoke to him, the ones that strove to read his thoughts and others who strove to influence them did not seem to notice. The itch burned at him. The sense, the itch grew until he knew that it could not be ignored. It was here.

Cedrick burst from the facility, every alarm blaring, the discord fueled by panicked cries and shouts. It was up there, somewhere. He jumped into the air, and soared on the winds. At once he felt the guilt. There were stars above, the dark mass of earth below, a shimmer of a lake far beyond. Sights vowed to never be seen by his eyes again. But whatever had called could not be denied.

The threat made itself clear soon enough. Adorned in the sky was a constellation that did not belong, pinpricks arranged in a circle to indicate a craft superior and alien to any made on Earth. Cedrick waited until it struck at last, beams of destruction raining upon a suitably large populace. For a moment he found his thoughts pondering why, and then no more came and he lost consciousness once again.

At dawn the first of the light glinted across metal and ruin, what remained of the craft sent and so lost across the vastness of space. Among the crumpled metal Cedrick awoke.

“You did well.” the man’s face was now familiar, his stark white suit only mildly marred by the night of warfare. His arms raised, a gesture at the destruction. “This great victory was only possible because of you. You saved countless lives.”

Cedrick looked at his hands. They were bad hands, hands that had killed, had destroyed.

“You are great, Cedrick. With tonight, you have redeemed yourself.”

“No.” spoke Cedrick at last. “I have only failed once again.”


Crystal1501 OP t1_jc4wwwb wrote

It doesn't matter where the life comes from, life is still life. That's what bothers Cedrick, even if he saved many lives on earth.


AsICan-not-Do t1_jc4zqt3 wrote

Yeah, and he was feeling guilty because he promised himself he wouldn't, I think. I'm not very good at this yet, I'm afraid. Thank you for reading though, and for the prompt!


Crystal1501 OP t1_jc50nbe wrote

Not very good... LIAR! You just created a nicely written piece of work which flows well and ends with a thought-provoking statement! You're VERY good!


Kennysded t1_jc5oiyh wrote

Actually, you did great. I'm a pacifist, but wasn't always. Even if I had a good reason, it never feels good when I feel it's necessary to hurt someone. It's a failure that it got to that point in the first place. It's almost worse when a would-be victim thanks you; I don't want to be thanked for hurting someone. Even if I know, rationally, that it was to protect someone else.


reikutohno t1_jc5wkik wrote

I went a bit flexible with the destroying part.

“Subject Zero, was it?”

“Eh… close enough.”

“I’m here to—”

“I know.”

Agent Lee’s brow furrowed. Of all the tasks assigned to her, it had to be this one. She dressed professionally. She was prepared for the hardest interrogation subject.

But not this one.

The moment she entered the interrogation room, her cheek twitched. Black slacks. Blue shirt. Unkempt hair. Leather shoes. For a detained subject, he dressed pretty nicely. Not that they could control it, even if they wanted to. He didn’t like the orange jumpsuit. When they tried to hold him down, several officers were hospitalized. It was a wonder why he surrendered himself in the first place.

Subject Zero. No name nor records. He was ‘found’ during one of the covert rescue missions. The mission was going well until the team was ambushed by enemy force.

Subject Zero appeared and mowed down soldiers and vehicles. He had some sort of supernatural strength and power. After that, he attacked and killed several allied units. The team responded with deadly force to no avail. Most of them were wiped out including the hostages.

It was later found out that those allied units were leaking intel to the enemy. The hostages were bait and disguised enemies. When Subject Zero surrendered himself, it caused quite the commotion. After all, he came knocking on their doorstep. The complete secrecy of the location made it absurd. When asked for his reasons, he simply said he was bored.

Getting answers from him was easy. It was understanding those answers that was difficult. He claimed to be immortal and proficient in magic. He always had anecdotes and stories. He liked to brag about his conquest of goddesses and celestial beings alike.

“So… uh, Subject Zero,” Agent Lee coughed. “It’s rare for you to request an interrogation.

“Well, it was a fun way to pass the time.” He leaned back comfortably.

A groan. Several interactions with Subject Zero made her weary. Agent Lee was open in showing her dissatisfaction. Her honesty actually amused him so she didn’t care about pleasantries.

“Tell me, what’s so fun about it?”

“The way you try to understand my words. You can’t believe it but you can’t disprove it either.”

A lot of people were skeptical about magic. But they saw him open up a portal. He went and purchased some food then closed the portal.

He said something about using illusory magic to mess with cognition. The people on the other side of the portal wouldn’t notice anything strange. Just a man trying to buy food.

When asked why he didn’t use it on the agents in the facility, he just shrugged. He said it was one way for them to believe him. He wanted to be seen by them.

“What’s so different this time around?” She inquired.

He fixed his slouch, sitting up in a proper posture and leaning forward.

“Your world is about to end, unfortunately.”

She stared at him, analyzing his expression, twitches, eye movements, everything. He was known to mess around with agents and pass things off as a joke.

One time, he changed one of the agents’ genders on a whim. Or maybe not. That seemed to make the agent really happy as they’ve been on medication for that. He said it was his thanks for keeping him company.

This time was different. He seemed serious. There was no trace of mischief on his facade.

“How exactly?”

He sighed and started to explain the concept of Star Eaters. The name alone was easy to get the context of. Planet-sized beings that feed on stars for sustenance. One was heading towards the Sun.

Agent Lee waited for the punchline. She waited for his ‘just kidding’. There was none. Instead of asking for more proof, she decided otherwise. Instead, she placed herself in a mental state of assuming everything he said was true.

“What can we do about it?”



reikutohno t1_jc5wmoo wrote


“Nothing.” He reiterated. “Your technology and capabilities are far too primitive to stave off a Star Eater.

“So what’s the point in telling me—us all this?”

He shrugged. “Would you rather perish without knowing the reason? At least you’d have time to say goodbye to your loved ones.”

“Wait. That’s it? That’s your only purpose here? To just inform us and… leave?”

“Pretty much. This is why I like you, Agent Lee. You’re less stubborn.”

“The feeling isn’t mutual.”

“I know.”

“Can’t you, like, use your magic or something?”

“I could…”


“...but why?”

“Huh?” She definitely did not expect that question.

“You humans… Not only are you killing off your own kind, but you’re killing off your own planet as well.”


“You’re all humans but you discriminate based on skin color? Hell, even right now, things are all messed up. You have wealthy humans running off of greed and just ruining everything. You’re hindering your own evolution, you know.”

She couldn’t answer. Could she even refute him? What he said was true but… “Isn’t it unfair to judge us for that? We are capable of more, we—”

“—shot at me after I got rid of your enemies. You didn’t even know there were traitors in your midst.”

“That’s right! We didn’t know! For us, it was self defense.”

“You tried to take me down when I surrendered myself peacefully.”

“You appeared out of nowhere! This is a secret location. You could be a threat!”

“I still am.”


“That’s why you ‘detained’ me as Subject Zero, isn’t it? You humans are destructive creatures. You destroy everything around you and yourselves.”

“We’re capable of more than that.”

“I believe you. But you are rare. People like you are far too few to save this doomed world.”

She wanted to believe it wasn’t true. Majority of the people suffer for the greed of the few. But even in that majority, it was hard to find good people. Most just look out for themselves. Trust was hard to build up. Hope was a scarcity. It’s why one small act of kindness is enough to give hope to some people. That was how low people’s faith in humanity was.

“Tell you what,” he spoke. “I can at least save you and maybe a couple more people. A few of the good ones. Find a nice world where you can thrive. Something like that. Don’t worry about those outside. Right now, they can’t hear nor understand what we’re talking about.”

She pondered for a while but… “No.”


“No. There’s no point in surviving like that. All I’d be doing is leaving the rest of humanity to die. I can’t live with that burden.”

He smiled and nodded. “See. This is why I like you, Agent Lee. You’re one of the good ones.”

A miniature sun appeared on the table. From afar, a leech-like creature can be seen wriggling towards it. Subject Zero grabbed the creature. It burst into flames, emitting a piercing screech as its life was snuffed out.


“J-Just like that?”

“Just like that.” He nodded. “This is the seventh world I’ve been in. You’re the first to ever make this decision.”

He stretched his arms and cracked his knuckles. “I’d love to take you out for dinner but I need to go. At the very least, allow me to extend some protection to you and your family. Not everyone out there is as good of a person as you.”

He snapped his fingers and disappeared with a pop. Indeed, just like that. No explanation. No sense of closure. Nothing.

“I really don’t like him at all,” she sighed.

For some reason, even though this is 7k characters, reddit was saying it was 10k characters.


AuriExarch t1_jc89gbn wrote

This was a new planet, but familiar in many ways. Skyscrapers, combustion engines, billboards and flashing lights. Bipeds with mops of motley colored hair - humans. Familiar to her and even cherished, though these ones certainly didn't cherish her. She'd been incarcerated within a secure facility, a blacksite in the middle of the desert protected by facsimiles and strawmen as much as by the advanced weaponry that they hoarded from the other countries of that pale blue dot. It was all very familiar - it was the filter for all human worlds; the crux where their civilization either threw itself into the stars and united, or crashed back into the ground like a sputtering star that had its last bit of fuel ripped away. Even her own world had such a time, though there certainly had not been only humanity on that one.

Her head snapped to the side as the man across from her smacked the plastic table like it had been the one ignoring him. She clicked her tongue and smiled apologetically. The daydream had distracted her after the threat had come into her senses. The man across from her was an intelligent sort and had already adapted to the situation. Aggression would get him nowhere and he knew it had just been a lapse in her attention. They both knew that his palms were slick with sweat and the eyes behind his glasses, carefully guarded, were hiding whisper thin threads of fear.

After all, she had destroyed quite a few buildings according to their reports.

She opened her mouth, sharp canines and predatory eyes immediately breaking what demure veneer had come over her. That which was not already spoiled by the scaled, fifteen foot length of tail that lazily moved in the air behind her. Or by the pointed, expressive ears that flicked this way and that as she listened.

"My apologies. The threat I spoke of earlier has just passed through your heliopause. You were saying?" She paused expectantly, though the silence drew out a tad longer than necessary.

"...why should we believe you? You destroyed one of our cities - or nearly so - and then start speaking of some cosmic threat that our own instruments can't detect. Not even a whisper. It looks like a ploy - a way to buy yourself time." His voice was calm, controlled. This wasn't a half-baked interrogator or some sort of up-jumped fop that grilled random captures. He carried himself to well, too confidently. His breathing and heartbeat were steady despite the intensity that sparked from his words. He was holding himself to the edge of readiness, as focused on her as he was on holding himself ready to fight and evade at a moment's notice. A proper representation of the knife's edge that humanity could expose when honed.

She would not insult that.

"Because as advanced as the instruments you have are, you never saw me coming either. Nor the ships in counter orbit on the other side of your sun--"

A bit of sweat, and the two MP's at the door stirred.

"-- nor the thing that I engaged on your behalf. The other captured critter you're holding nearby. I wasn't able to kill him before your people interrupted. If he wakes up, your planet will fall under his thumb in days. If the projectile his ship fired - that threat - hits, then you will have a brief reprieve." A breath, the man focused on her words even as her tail swished behind her like a satisfied cat. A reprieve, they needed that - to think, to plan. Anything.

" the planet roils and splits in half. "

The room grew quiet. A few rooms away, through 'soundproof' walls and layers of steel, a little servant relayed the muttering of the gathered group of men and women. Those who held the seats of power in this country and had brought her here to be interrogated. Tempers flashed, voices raised, and as it came to an apex she opened her mouth to speak again. Yet she was interrupted by the man in front of her.

Though he might not see it, approval flashed in her eyes.

".. So, either fall to this or yourself, is that it?" Contrary to the expected, it was not defeat that infected his words. Instead a line of steel and grit reinforced it. A silent telling of the iron in his spine and the planted flag in the earth that told her he would grip the blade of the knife plunging into his heart for a still-beating second to try and defend and save those he wished to.

"No. Conquest is easy; I would not have saved the living souls in the buildings we dropped for a conquest." She stood up, and the soldiers at the door drew on her with practiced ease. Then fell to the ground in a heap, snoring comfortably. A spark shot from her hand and in that outstretched palm a miniature sun grew. It expanded, sketching out a complex and interconnected lattice of symbols and intent that burned brighter than the feeble light above them.


Then, fresh air. They were standing in the desert, atop a plateau within view of the compound. It was now they could see the threat with their own naked eyes, as if a star was streaking across the sky, growing bigger and bigger with each passing second. The gaggle of suits that had been listening in on them looked at the sky, eyes wide. The interrogator looked at it with grim remorse. There was nothing he could do. He had done all he could and now he could only watch the knife sink into his heart and end everything he had ever fought for. Alas... or?

More of those selfsame intricate runes. More, larger, crackling with energy that they drew from the very air. Static fit to raise stones from the ground and flatten the sand for a hundred meters into shifting, mesmerizing patterns. In the center, their prisoner with a hand outstretched. Her face a mask of delight, bending the whims of might and magic to her will and with a lash of her tail, a bright lance of energy speared forth to transfix the Threat she had spoken of. The crack was deafening for the moments it happened - the snap of lightning as the bolt broke past sound itself. Further, a thump as it pressed through atmosphere then--


Bright. So bright. The nighttime desert turned to midday in harsh focus from the colliding stars. The thrum of a helicopter could only now be heard, breaking for the taken group as they stood behind the woman and stared. As much as the spectacle had shown them, so many more questions were raised. She turned, arms outstretched as the little half-cloak she had been wearing around her shoulders caught the wind.

"The Tir'Nian Federation would like to open diplomatic channels."

// Hi there! I'm Miri Auri, Exarch. I like to write stuff! You can find more stories I've responded with here on Writing Prompts on my profile, as well as links to other stuff I do! I am also open to messages and comments, so please feel free! I hope you enjoyed this little glimpse into my world. \\


Crystal1501 OP t1_jc8as0j wrote

This was quite the interesting read! Certainly shows how weak us puny humans really are!


AuriExarch t1_jc8ylhe wrote

Only when you're still growing! Humans are capable of the greatest and worst things.


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M1chaelLanz t1_jd3kmrr wrote

Blonde hair whisked back and forth over a slender woman's shoulders as she strutted over to cell block eight. The solid dark gray walls matched her uniform, minus the red streaks down the sleeves. She was holding a tray of steaming food. Mashed potatoes, chicken, and a dinner roll the size of both her fists was about to go to her favorite inmate, Tanal Sinclair.

Most inmates at such a facility had strict containment procedures, but Tanal was granted special privileges due to his progress in his mandatory counseling sessions. He was allowed one day a week to eat with whoever he wanted. Every week, he chose Ms. Harriot Carver. She was the only guard in the prison who made him smile. And she was easy on the eyes herself.

Ms. Carver came up to his cell, which was secluded from all the other inmates, and rapped on the bars. "Dinner time!"

Tanal was lying on the floor with a newspaper over his head. The flimsy paper went up and down as he breathed, making her smile.

"Ahem." She cleared her throat. "I have food."

Tanal snapped out of his sleep and sat straight up. He turned to her and noticed a few differences about her. Her lashes were curled and wore bright red lipstick. Guards never looked so pretty, so he knew he was in for a treat.

"Let me get the door for you." Tanal hopped to his feet and jogged over to the bars. With one hand he moved the bar aside as if it was moving a curtain. 

She stepped inside and shook her head. "You should really stop doing that. One day you are going to break the bars."

Tanal moved the bar back into place and smoothly slid to her, grabbing her hands on the tray. "But your hands were full. And besides, not everyday I get a main course and dessert."

Ms. Carver looked down at the food again. "I don't see any dessert."

"I think you are pretty sweet. The cherry lipstick suits you."

Ms. Carver blushed. Compliments were easy to come by, but none quite resonated with her like his. His blue eyes seemingly stared into her very soul. He meant every word and it made her weak in the knees. 

"You always know what to say, don't you?"

"No. I just speak from the heart. Much easier." He smiled and looked down at the food. "You spoil me. Where did you get this dinner roll?"

"I made that. I remembered you said you like puffy bread."

"I do. Shall we?"

They both sat down on the floor and began eating. She nibbled on the chicken and bread, while he devoured the mashed potatoes with a fork, which Ms. Carver noticed right away.

"Where did you get that fork?"

Tanal shrugged. "Cafeteria. Don't worry, I won't use it as a shiv or a makeshift shovel to tunnel my way out."

"I wish all inmates were like you," she said, referring to his gentle heart, rather than his ability to swipe contraband.

"If they were all like me, there wouldn't be a city left for anyone to convict them of anything."

Ms. Carver put her hand on his arm gently. "Don't do that to yourself. You made a mistake. You are only human."

"Mostly human. I have lived long enough to know better. I knew what would happen if I took the drink at the tavern and I did it anyway."

"But you are better now. You are safe here, away from the temptations of the world."

Tanal nodded and smiled. "Not all of them."

Their eyes met and it took everything in her power to let him make the first move. She longed for the taste of his lips or for him to hold her in his disproportionately powerful arms. His hand moved toward her, but she dared not break eye contact with him. Her imagination was beginning to go wild, when he pulled up the dinner roll and took a bite.

"Mmmm. That is good!" he said with his mouth full. She wanted to be the dinner roll. The source of his unbridled moaning. Instead she watched the roll disappear and him smile back at her. "Thank you so much for this wonderful meal."

"It was my pleasure," she said with a hint of dejection and stood up. "I better get back to work."

She turned around, but he grabbed her by the wrist. Ms. Carver looked at him and he ran his bare hand over her soft cheek. Her skin had goosebumps, but mesmerized all the same.

"I didn't get my dessert."

There was no doubt in his eyes what he desired and she knew it. Ms. Carver didn't wait for him this time. She went for it, colliding her lips into his like an asteroid into a planet. It hurt, but she demanded he see her as a woman who longed for him. No amount of cameras watching them would deter her. Her love burned for him hotter than the sun.

Tanal was caught off guard by her aggression. He held her tight and backed up to maintain their balance, but the tray under his foot had other ideas. His back slammed into the floor and broke off their kiss.

"Are you okay?" Tanal asked.

Ms. Carver flipped her hair up and caught her breath for a second, smiling the whole time. "Come away with me."


"I know you want to finish your sentence, but only being with you like this once a week is not enough for me. I want more of you."


"I don't care if I lose my job. We can live on our love. That is all we need. And–"

Tanal put his hand over her mouth. "You mind if I get a word in?"

She nodded comically while he kept her mouth covered.

"I would like nothing more than to spend the rest of your life with you," he said with a weak smile. "But I have to do something first."


"There is a threat coming to Earth. Something world ending. My people are coming." 

"Your people? The Egyptians aren't going to end the world."

"My other people. The ones from space."

"Oh…those people…" Ms. Carver said, forgetting that he was technically an alien, despite his appearance. "What do they want?"

"They want me. I was supposed to be trustworthy, but after destroying the city and falling in love with you, they have determined I am no longer fit for Earth."

She had so many questions, but only one came out. "How is your people coming for you world ending?"

"They don't take chances. They will destroy the whole planet to ensure their decision is upheld," he said. Ms. Carver could tell he was deadly serious. She shook with fright, feeling helpless to stop the impending doom of humanity. He held her tight and kissed her on the forehead. "That's why I need to leave…this planet."

"No. You can't."

"It's the only way to ensure your home isn't destroyed. There is no other way." Tanal tried to get up, but she pinned him to the cold floor.

"Take me with you."

"It's too dangerous."

"I'm not dumb. I know if you leave, when you come back I will be old or not even here. I've seen Interstellar!"

Tanal couldn't help but laugh at her impassioned plea. She was right, if he left, she would likely be long gone by the time he returned. He was losing the battle to persuade her to stay. "All the more reason to stay. I like my women wrinkly."

"Well then, you can watch me get old and wrinkly in your copilot seat as we fly around Gazarbaba Prime or whatever the hell those planets are."

She gave him a deadly glare that would have warned off the most savage monster the galaxy could throw at them. Ms. Carver was not going to back down now with him confirming the feelings between them were mutual. It left Tanal with one option.

"Hold on tight then. We are getting out of here."

She clung to him like they were going to be launched out of a rocket. He put one arm around her and the other pounded into the concrete below. The floor crumbled beneath, swallowing them and Ms. Carver's screams as they plunged into the sewer system below. 

They splashed down into the murky water and spit out the vile liquid that surrounded them. Ms. Carver looked up the hole to see red flashing lights.

"You made quite the mess."

"Sorry about that. I thought it better than trying to shield you from gunfire."

"You are so thoughtful," she said, turning to face him. "Or was this your way of having an excuse to get me out of these wet clothes?"

"Well, we can't have you wearing that where we are going?"

She pressed up against him and whispered in his ear. "Where is that?"

"You'll find out soon enough."