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Chapter 109: Horrible Power

 A ribbon of black scarred the distant horizon. It started small but quickly swelled, like a tidal wave of shadow. But the approach was not like a tidal wave at all. It didn't surge across the sky, but rather jumped ever closer.

It was unsettling to watch, like a still frame from a nightmare getting steadily larger. Eventually it covered everything and turned day into night. Black clouds infected everything with the only light coming from dancing thunder deep within. Right in the center floated an enormous, horrific creature.

The colossus was made of some unknown substance that flowed like black lava. A constant stream of black smoke was belched from it in all directions, revealing the far-reaching haze to be an extension of itself. Countless tentacles extended from it, each with its own gyrating mass of limbs. Every inch of it was composed of human pieces.

Beneath the inky, gelatinous surface of the beast were flows of light. It hovered above with an ominous power, heralding the end of days. This was an avatar of Chaos.

The Chaos Beast didn't have a physical body, it could take on whatever form it pleased. Around it hovered over a hundred shimmering armored figures whose eyes burned with light. Even in the darkness they were beacons of luminescence, but their presence brought fear instead of hope.

A group of a dozen or so gods floated in the air before Chaos, serving as a vanguard. They rapidly communicated among one another. These were Supremes, and from among them one stood out. With a wave of its right hand an orb was summoned - a special sort of relic which, when galvanized, became an erratic orb of light. The god took hold of it.

Light burst from around its fingers. From the point of contact the being began to dissolve, becoming part of the light. From hand, to elbow, to the rest of the body it dissolved until there was nothing left but a dim halo.

Two more Supremes approached from the left and right. When they came into contact with the light their bodies also dissolved, becoming an amorphous glow. Total evaporation. Nothing remained.

"Three is the limit." The gods passed the information among themselves.

Chaos reached forth a tentacle. Like a vacuum it sucked up the roiling cloud of light. Instantly the glow from within intensified and came alive.

"Commence the attack."

With that, the octopus-like behemoth moved.

It vanished from one location and appeared fifty kilometers away. The process repeated again and again, expanding the darkness in its wake. [1]

Far above, a little yellow bird kept pace.

Oddball darted across the sky, following Chaos' trajectory and hoping to learn its angle of attack. With this information, Cloudhawk would know what area of their defensive line to prepare. However the fog that Chaos released was wide-spread and thick. No ordinary fog, it prevented even Oddball's piercing gaze from getting a good bead on its target.

The border of the southern wilds was near at hand.

Chaos' body dematerialized, ignoring the boundary to appear on the other side and attracting the attention of its defenders. Suddenly the skies were dark. Cloudhawk was ready, for although he didn't know Chaos' exact location he was able to see roughly where it would reach their border. He deployed a large number of troops through the area in preparation for its arrival.

As a result, when Chaos and its haze of black appeared it was met by an armada of airships. Immediately they began to release their payloads into the darkness.

Explosions appeared across the monster's body and streaks of energy lit up the sky. Against a creature that existed in the quantum realm these attacks were not very useful, however. In fact they seemed to do nothing at all.

The enormous beast slowly raised a tentacle. It crackled with light as energy gathered, finally released from the tip in a searing beam of red. One of the airships was struck by the thin stream.

A deafening explosion followed. The ship was blasted into fragments and swallowed up in a ball of fire. Raging energy expanded for a moment and then, all at once, shrank back inward and disappeared. Nothing remained of the ship, no evidence of an attack except for a gently rippling pocket of space.

Chaos continued its assault.

Hundreds of tentacles swung through the air, hundreds of attacks delivered at once. No matter how sturdy the ships' defenses, they couldn't ward off the monster's power. Whole fleets were erased in the blink of an eye.

There was no way to fight back. Chaos was too strong.

It was a creature tailor-bred to fight in space. Blasts from its tentacles could obliterate starships. What were these inferior human vessels supposed to do? They had about as much staying power as paper airplanes.

"Fuck! Requesting support!"

"We can't let it get closer to the capital!"

"Shut down all defenses and reroute power to the weapons!"

Fleet commanders shouted orders. It was clear that their shields were meaningless so there was no point wasting energy on maintaining them. Perhaps it would be better served by strengthening their weapons.

"Fucking thing, die!"

A number of ships were sacrificed to Chaos, but they forced the monster to reveal its location. The armada launched a counter-offensive with many more shots finding purchase. But it made no difference. Untroubled, Chaos fired off several dozen more beams of red light. Nearby ships were annihilated while a deluge of black mist was released from the fiend's body. It fell from on high, coating the earth below in a crust of obsidian.

"It's trying to destroy our homes!"

"We can't let it succeed."

Chaos dragged a beam of red across the sky. The dozen or so ships that survived were caught and blasted apart. When the screaming flames died down, not even debris remained.

The gulf between these foes was too great. After devouring the souls of so many, the power within Chaos was equivalent to several hundred nuclear bombs. The energy in these beams was a fraction of what it wielded.

Ahead was part of the humans' defensive line. With Chaos' location now known, nearby defense and attack towers were activated. Waves of soldiers prepared to protect their home. The instant Chaos came within range, an unprecedented salvo of attacks was waiting for it.

What they did not expect was that Chaos had no intention of drawing near.

It lifted dozens of black molten tentacles and wrapped them together into one. Power from each of them gathered to a single point and was released, streaking a hundred kilometers into the distance.

For a second it was like the noonday sun had appeared on earth. The blast that followed could be heard all across the south.

B-O-O-O-O-M!

A ghastly red mushroom cloud rose on the horizon. What wasn't vaporized immediately was struck by a wall of explosive force. Buildings were ripped apart. All defenses crumbled, powerless against such destruction. All living things were ended before they knew what happened. All that remained was a molten crater.

1. For fun I looked into some math and biology. From the ground and assuming a flat surface, the average human can see about five kilometers. From a huge skyscraper you can see maybe 80. That means that for the poor soldiers on the front line, they would see a perfectly normal day and the literal stuff of nightmares from one second to the next.