lunes, 4 de mayo de 2015

The man who wasn't one

   The island was rapidly covered by water. Well, it wasn’t exactly an island, rather a big rock in the middle of the bay, guilty of so many shipwrecks and swimming accidents. But now, it was the resting place of a weapon that should remain there for ages. Hopefully no one would ever again set a foot on that rock, no one would never look beneath the promontory and find the small box made of wood and metal. Never again…

 A man wearing a red mask looked at the rock sinking in the ocean from a nearby cliff. The wind moved he’s coat and the tip of his hat but not him. He stood there, like a statue, just looking at the water as the sun went away and was replaced by a chilly night. Once the island was fully covered in water, he left his post on the cliff. He started walking aimlessly, just following the path that lead to the small town near the bay. People locked themselves during the battle and now they were too afraid to step out.

 Besides, the media was making a circus out of all that had happened just hours before, half a world away. It was strange how people here were also hiding in their homes. Everyone was too scared. Two caped men with incredible powers had been battling brutally and now one of them lay dead in a hospital guarded by military men.

 Every single detail was being revealed on TV. Suddenly, people didn’t care about the time of day anymore. Children and adults watched the winner, a man with green cape in the shape of a diamond, being congratulated by political figures and military men. But that didn’t make any sense. He had just come to this world and now, suddenly, was a savior. His fall from space had obliterated fields that nourished thousands and he had destroyed half a big city destroying his opponent, who had fallen from space just like him but unto water, flooding nearby towns

 The man in the red mask walked towards the town and suddenly realized the lighthouse was not working. Maybe there was a very low of electricity and people could only hear their radios or watch their TV’s. Yes, not even street lamps were working, nor any lights inside stores or homes. In any case, that wasn’t important as no one was working or too far from home. They were all glued to the information, in order to understand at least a small part of what had happened.

 The thing is it had all occurred in a matter of hours. A full day ago, people had no idea aliens existed or super humans of any kind. But now they were here, with them, on planet Earth, and no one really knew what was going to happen. They listened to every word the news broadcasters spoke and even there, in those studios, people were barely handling what was happening. They just recited what little they knew and hoped it was for the best.

Strangely, this event had united everyone. No one was an outsider or a stranger anymore. People had suddenly realized they were all humans; they were all members of one single species and now two other creatures, aliens, had visited them. They had been so proud of their meager strength, so full of themselves for so long, but now these visitors had changed everything. They were clearly stronger and smarter and knew more of the universe than them and, secretly, that made everyone a little nervous, to say the least.

 The one that had won stood exactly were he had defeated his adversary for at least three hours. Many doctors, scientists and politicians got near him but he did nothing. He looked strangely human but he clearly wasn’t. Not only because he didn’t seem to know how to speak, but because of his two antennae on the top of his head. They were small and had the same yellowish color of his skin. People talked to him in various languages but he didn’t seem to want to move or understand what they said. He looked at them but he didn’t seem to be listening or paying attention to anything.

 He seemed robotic, at best. And his enemy wasn’t too different. He looked liked him, except his skin had a reddish tint. Maybe they shared a same species but they came from different parts of the same planet. Anything could be guessed and every single one of those guesses could be a reality. The one that lay dead went cold in a matter of seconds and was now practically frozen, without any need of human practices. But people were really not that interested in him, not as much as in the one that was alive and well, or so it seemed.

 The man took off his mask to let the darkness of the town’s streets cover his face. He stopped for a moment and massaged his temples, trying to breath softly and calm himself down. He had been running for a long time and now this calm was making him feel strange, almost as alien as those two men in the news. He pulled out a lighter from one of his pockets and turned the mask on fire, then left it on the pavement to burn. He looked at the fire for some time and then kept walking, until he was outside of the town, this time from the other side.

 The breeze of the night felt comforting. The cold didn’t matter anymore; it just felt comforting to feel the wind on his skin again, on his face. He had been wearing that mask for too long. He had made a name for himself wearing that thing and now he could finally resettle on Earth and live his final days with the family he had built there. He had a beautiful wife and a couple of children. They were the reason he had done what he had done and he knew he would never be sorry for it.

 The man in diamond cape finally moved but not like people would have expected. He flew, like a bird but with less grace. He flew and flew until he got to the hospital where they were keeping his enemy’s body. He entered, the military being too afraid of shooting him or something. He moved slowly, almost gliding, until he got to the room where he found the body. He immediately took the dead alien’s head between his hands and pressed hard. It looked as if he wanted to squeeze something out of there. The head of the victim suddenly shone with a bright light. The caped man’s face contorted in awful ways until he finally crushed the man’s brain. A TV drone had followed him and broadcasted this to every single home in the planet.

 The alien didn’t appear to care for it. Without even blinking, he walked to the nearest window and flew again. But this time, he disappeared into the night, towards the clouds. Radars and sonars confirmed he had left the planet and now his position was unknown. The body was oozing a strange liquid and it was decided he would be buried in an undisclosed location after some medical examinations were performed for the sake of science.

 When the man in the coat heard all of this, from a farmer’s radio that could be heard across a wheat field, he was able to finally breath. He took off his hat and revealed his face. His skin was also light yellow and he had two small antennae on his head. He had been covering his face but he did not know why. There was no one around and he could be himself if he wanted to.

But that was it: he didn’t want to be himself anymore. He had escaped a crumbling civilization far away into the blackness of space and had arrived to this small and gentle planet to live the life he had always wanted. Of course, he had left so much behind. But the future was brighter and whatever he had to do to make it so, was worth it.

 He had heard of the battle and immediately knew they had come for him. He knew whom the alien that had just left was: he had been looking for him, he wanted to take him back to their world and face his fate. But he apparently hadn’t expected to be followed and that was the reason for the battle. The man that had lay dying in the hospital was none other than the brother of the man in a coat. He had been destroyed; he had sacrificed himself for his brother. The other one had tried to read his mind before killing him, because he thought he knew were his brother was but he didn’t.

 Those two had travelled many years, so many kilometers of empty space, to destroying some buildings and fields and then just die or leave. And the alien in the coat was happy about that. He walked a little bit more and then realized the darkness of the night was all around him. So he decided to do it there. He stopped, stood still and closed his eyes. Concentrating, he was able to make his skin less yellow, his antennae turn into ears in the right places and his vocal chords come in. They, his race, had all this kind of power. But only him had been bothered to know the ways of the humans.

 When arriving on Earth, he looked even stranger that his brother at his death. But he had learned to stay low and to watch the humans, to learn everything there was to learn about them. And then, he was able to join them in society, looking just as they did. That was how his family was created and how he had realized he had made the right choice by staying here and locking the weapon he had stolen from his world just before leave it forever.

 He would never go back but he would never let them annihilate each other. Not when he could stop them. 

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