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Book 7, Chapter 91 - Action

 All relevant information about the gods' leader was conveyed into Cloudhawk's mind.

It was considered a Marshall and was called the Abyssal God. It was known to be one of its species strongest and, along with the several Supremes by its side, was responsible for crushing any defiance throughout the galaxy. Despite being a small force, this small army was a harbinger of doom for countless lesser creatures.

The divine warlords did not sense Cloudhawk's presence. They went about their business, beginning with the silvery fluid-like ships they arrived in. They broke apart into countless tiny beads.

Even after all they'd learned, Cloudhawk still didn't know what the gods' ships were made of. The strange material could change shape at will, as well as occupy a solid or liquid state as needed. It could break apart or fuse back together, withstood the pressure of interstellar travel and seemed to have some measure of reactive intelligence.

"Establish the Last Judgment immediately."

The order came from a dominant consciousness. It was a mental signature that conveyed absolute authority, without a shred of emotion. It was the will of the Abyssal God.

What was this Last Judgment?

As Cloudhawk formed the thought, he watched the thousands of metallic beads begin to stir. They split into two groups; one on the lunar surface which coalesced into a Temple structure, and the other out into the expansive black toward earth.

Was this the beginning of their attack? What were they doing?!

The methods used by the gods were always too advanced for humans to understand. Cloudhawk was at a loss. He had to learn more, the answers were somewhere else in the Divine Matrix.

As he moved on the scene before Cloudhawk changed again. The gods all became interconnected virtual bodies, collections of ever-flowing data constantly communicating with one another. All Cloudhawk had to do was steal into one of them and take what he wanted.

Cloudhawk picked a target and tried to enter its body. The instant he came into contact with it, the being's mind unfurled before him.

Gods were an emotionally stunted race, but that was not to say they were absent emotion entirely. They weren't robots, but had thoughts and feelings like any other living thing. However, these individualistic expressions were dulled to a great degree.

In a way, the gods were an expression of enlightenment. Perfectly detached. From the moment of their creation they much of themselves was linked to the collective. There was no need for personal thought or property. The knowledge of all the gods and everything they owned was shared. A true socialist society, wherein every piece was selflessly devoted to the collective.

Cloudhawk could sense the god's thoughts. It stared at the dry yellow world before it without anger or interest of any sort. Only curiosity. These human insects, why do they turn their backs on Sumeru? It pondered. Amazing that such foolish creatures could have evolved in this galaxy. The God King is wise. The God King Is perfect. Only the God King can save this broken world.

Cloudhawk could feel the adoration this being had for the God King. It wasn't a forced emotion, but a genuine love for its leader. There was nothing in this zealot's surface thoughts that he needed, so he delved in deeper to find what he was after.

He was struck by a torrent of memories and information, like waters from a broken dam. Cloudhawk was submerged in it, all too much and too fast for him to quickly differentiate. All he could grasp was pieces.


The Abyssal God sensed something was wrong. It gathered its will and in a flash Cloudhawk's mind was invaded. He was thrust out and cut off from the rest of the gods.

This one's mental power was greater even than the Cloud God's. That's how it was able to lock them out.

Did he see me? Cloudhawk's mind quickly returned to his body. When his eyes opened he immediately sank into a contemplative silence. Fragments of the other god's memories floated around in his skull and he was trying to piece them together. Unfortunately there wasn't much he could make use of.

"So, what's the deal?" Dawn asked.

"I learned a little, but there's still a lot I couldn't see. I've at least got an estimate on how many gods there are." Cloudhawk paused for a moment. "They are led by a general called the Abyssal God. That's all I was able to learn about it."

"God General?"

Cloudhawk could feel the surprise from both Legion and the Cloud God. He looked at each in turn. "What's his story?"

"There are only a handful of gods on Sumeru that bear the title General. They are the God King's direct subordinates. Never have they been dispatched to act as stewards of planets they conquer. Instead they remain on Mount Sumeru awaiting orders. Their responsibility is to destroy any threat to the species."

So, that was the deal. An unpleasant surprise that a General would be dispatched here, but what was not surprising was the level of authority it commanded over the others. The Abyssal God was one of a very few gods who held the reigns of power.

Cloudhawk could sense that the Abyssal God's power was several times greater than his world's Supremes. Judging by its title and powers, this General wielded power over space. Fighting a monster like that was going to be trouble, especially since Cloudhawk didn't know how it's spatial powers could manifest.

"As for this Abyssal God? I've never heard of it." Neither Legion nor the Cloud God had any knowledge of the creature.

This wasn't unexpected. Perhaps the Abyssal God did not participate in the Great War a thousand years ago. As for the Cloud God, it remembered nothing prior to when it came to this planet. Its earliest memories were, like Legion, limited to the Great War.

Even Supremes had a limited understanding of divine society. A lack of knowledge about the Abyssal God was not surprising.

"It appears that this vanguard, despite its strength, is too few in numbers to pose a dire threat to us," Legion determined. "We must focus on strengthening ourselves against their methods. The gaps between our civilizations' capabilities cannot be overcome with individual strength."

He couldn't have said it better. Pit ten thousand primitive humans against ten thousand of their modern brethren without any equipment, and primitive man would prove stronger. But add in all the tools at their disposal? What could primitive humans do against hardened armor, armed with nothing but sticks and stones? A hundred men with the latest weapons could rip through ten thousand savages without issue.

Of course, it wasn't a perfectly apt comparison with their situation.

Humans had been cultivated by the gods for over a thousand years. The happy chosen were taught how to use godly weapons and technology and that came with a number of advantages. While their chances against the divine vanguard weren't great, defeat wasn't inevitable either.

"While I was in the Divine Matrix I learned something important. The Abyssal God is preparing something called the Last Judgment. I don't know what that means, but it looks like their first targets are going to be the Elysian lands."

"The Last Judgment?" Legion was silent as he mulled over the phrase. "I've heard no such thing over the last thousand years. Perhaps it is something new that Mount Sumeru has developed over the last millennia."

"Hey, news from outside! You need to come see this!"

Hellflower burst into the conference. She led them all from the subspace cube and once they appeared outside, everyone froze.

"What is this...?"

Citizens of the Southern Capital stood out in the streets, heads raised. In the silent darkness of the night flashed a streak of light which caused the air to warp around it. It was like an aurora, but so bright that it turned night into day.

"We've detected a layer of energy particles passing through the atmosphere." Hellflower explained, for she knew the question on everyone's mind. "We don't know exactly what it is, but there have been similar reports from all over the planet. It's everywhere."

Some sort of ray weapon? A biological attack? Nanoparticles? Or maybe some other danger they'd never seen before. All they could do was stare at the sky and wonder.

"This has to be the first stage in their attack." Cloudhawk turned his attention toward the Cloud God. "All we know is that the Elysian realms are the target. I need to get back into the Matrix."

"That is impossible. After being discovered last time, the link has been sealed. Finding a new way in will take time."

Cloudhawk scowled in thought.

The Cloud God was a rebel to his race, and although Sumeru knew this locking him out entirely was a complex task. The god could find new ways in to the Matrix, but these breaches were short-lived. Any attempt could be accomplished only once, then a new entrance had to be uncovered.

The strange light filtered down through the atmosphere like tendrils of a luminescent fog. From up on the moon the earth looked like it was wrapped in a blanket. Their world was a yellowish-brown sphere wrapped in a thin film.

Humans were at a loss, with no way of knowing what this substance was or what it's purpose might be. Was it dangerous? Lethal? All they could do was watch it spread.

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