Ambition

April 23, 2018
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The furious hail storm rages on as Sinf pushes his way through the blizzard, his carapace white with frost and his eyelids practically frozen shut. He tries to focus on something, anything but the cold. His mind goes back to the mountain, back to before he was sent to Tartarus. He thinks about the many days he spent guarding the gate and watching gods and goddesses travel to and from the gate. Though one face always stuck out in his mind, Shamash and his big obnoxious grin.
Suddenly a sharp stinging pain thrusts him back into reality. He looks down to see what looks like the maw of some sharp-toothed worm clamping down on his front right leg. Sinf pulls himself back dragging the abhorrent ambush predator out of the snow, keeping its unrelenting grip on his leg. Sinf grabs hold of the monster’s sinewy neck and starts pulling the rest of it out from the ground, revealing its fat heavy body. As the body begins flailing its legs around, unused to conditions above ground, Sinf grabs the neck with his claw and snaps it off. The beast’s body rights itself and charges at its decapitator. Sinf clutches the beast as impacts him, trusting a claw into its soft belly and cutting it open.
The attacker’s body falls to the ground, guts and what looks like machinery hanging out of the fresh new opening. Sinf carefully removes the mouth from his leg and tries putting some pressure on it; his leg recoils in pain. He decides it would be best to limb a little further along until the pain is bearable.

____
He wonders how long he’s been here, how long ago that attack was. His mind drifts through a meaningless stream of unfocused thought until it hits a rock, the memory of the gods, the memory of Shamash.
The mountain was quiet as Shamash walked toward the gate, his divine presence illuminating the clearing. He stops in front of the gate, expecting it to be open for him just like always. He asks one of the guards why the gate is not open. The guard replies, “You no longer have the right to rule.” Something bursts from the bushes behind Shamash and tears at his back. He knocks it off to see it’s a Mad Dog, another servant of the gods, its eyes burning with hatred and foaming from its man-like mouth.
Shamash stood there in confusion, trying to process the sudden turn of events. He puts his hands on his hips and nervously laughs, “Hahaha! What a… a humorous prank you’ve pulled on me.”
The Mad Dog leaps at him; his smile breaks as he grabs the vicious servant and holds it by its neck. “Little Uridimmu, please. I… I have already been fooled, you may stop prete...” The two guards thrust their spears underneath Shamash’s shoulder blades, releasing his grip and paralysing his body.
The guards kicked his body to the ground, forcing him flat on the ground. As Shamash strained his neck to look up he saw four Bull Men approaching him with large heavy blades in hand. He tries pushing his body upright but the spears keep pushing deeper into his back. As he struggles the four Bull Men raise their weapons high and swing down on his limbs.
There was silence, then screams of shock and agony. Shamash writhes in pain as his body begins rising into the air and rays of light start beaming out of his wounds, disintegrating two of the traitors as the rest ran for cover. The shearing energy burns everything it hits as Shamash squirms above. On cue, two Violent Storms appear from behind the mountain and approach the unstable sun deity; they ball up into clusters of black clouds repeatedly strike him with lightning. Shamash’s radiance grows brighter as his beams of light rapidly flicker. The Violent Storms envelop him and the area dims considerably.
Sinf walks into the clearing and looks up at the thundercloud, scalding water leaking from its mass. He points his sword at the cloud and shouts the order. Scorpion Men crawl out from behind the trees and rocks and throw hooks and spears attached to rope into the stormy mass. “Bring it down!” Sinf yells.
As the Scorpion Men were pulling the god to the ground bright light began poking out through the layers of black mist. Sinf shouts at the archers to attack, a thousand arrows fire from the shadows and into the stormy chaos; each one releasing a flash of blue light as it pierced Shamash, illuminating his silhouette. The bright lights dimmed and were swallowed by the cloud. Sinf orders the archers to stop. The cloud lowered without resistance and the Violent Storms released Shamash; his cut, burned, mutilated body lay on the ground producing no light, pierced by jagged metal and decorated in arrows that still had smoke coming off their ends.
Sinf calmly walks over to the body of the heavenly judicator and lifts him by the neck. Shamash barely opens his eyes as he weakly asks “Why?”
Sinf shoves his stinger into Shamash’s face. The deity lets out barely a groan before his body begins melting and darkening into a grey-brown sludge; his organs liquified and fell to the ground while his bones softened and wrinkled. Sinf turned to his disciples. “The tyranny is over.”

________
As Sinf’s cold, frost covered body trudged on through the piles of snow he found an old ruined house. Usually when outside in the bitter cold, the sight of shelter attracts all form of man and beast with the promise of warmth and protection. The sight of this house gave no such thing.
The structure looked just as cold and unwelcoming as everything else in Tartarus. Snow caked its surface and icicles hung off every edge of the three-story house; everything seemed so cold the icicles looked like they hardly had any moisture in them, just shards of dry ice that made you think “colder than cold” when you looked at them.
Sinf briefly thought about resting in the icey structure, if not to escape the cold then to rest in relative safety from other potential ambushers. But he knew better; after all, there are no manmade structures down in Tartarus.
To his right he could see two silhouettes approaching through the hail, two nude humans shaking and clutching their arms. They see Sinf and stumble backwards in fear. They begin scrambling to their feet to run before one of them notices the old house and points it out to their friend, the pain from the cold overriding their fear. As the two run towards the house one of them stops on the porch to look back at Sinf, as if a human torso attached to the body of a giant scorpion has been the strangest thing it's seen so far, before the human’s friend yells at it to come inside. As the humans leave Sinf’s line of sight the door slams shut along with all the windows and other entrances. Even the small cracks and openings begin to close as the house tightens and compresses itself. As Sinf walks away he can hear the screams coming from inside the house.

________
Within the throne room of the gods, Sinf sits atop Shamash’s throne. Around him is a bloody battle between his disciples and six of the great gods of Mesopotamia. As the conflict rages on Enzu, god of the moon, looks up at Sinf and yells, “After freeing you from the rule of Tiamat, after creating a fair place in the world for you, why do you seek to destabilize all the order we have built?”
Sinf stands up, grips a strange black trident in both hand and claw and thrusts it into the floor, shattering the throne room and with it, heaven.

________
Sinf is knocked out of his daydream by a blow to the face from an abnormally large human with the head of a pig. The human-pig rushes toward him and Sinf grabs the monster with his claws. He tries uncurling his tail but it snaps off from being frozen. He pushes the human-pig back to retrieve his stinger and use it as a weapon. As the monstrosity charges forward one more time Sinf stabs the beast in the head, killing it instantly.
Sinf continues walking, not bothering to retrieve his stinger. As he walks he sees a beautiful and warm garden, filled with flowers of all kind and an enormous tree in the middle. Tired and weak, he doesn’t notice how out-of-place the sight is and limps toward it as fast as he can. Upon reaching it, he collapses from exhaustion and is overcome by the comfort of real warmth. After falling asleep he sinks into the ground, increasing the perimeter of the garden and causing the tree to grow slightly taller.

END






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