Her very being felt warm, comfortable.
The dreams of Lucifer fell away. The fear of losing what she gained vanished. She awoke on a bed of white plasticine. It was well over thirty feet in length, and fifteen feet in width. It was purpose built for her size. She rose from her slumber within slumber, looking around the room she occupied.
The room was massive, meant to fit a being of her size with the twenty-five feet door standing guard. The angled ceiling glinted with starlight, the view outside was pure of atmospheric obscurity. Glinting colors of all sorts broke through the transparent view pane. The room was a sanctuary that energized her. The room had no furnishing, implying the purpose was to rest. The room itself was a solid white marble, slightly warm to the touch. She could see no joins in the walls and ceilings; it appeared to be a single brick carved into a room.
“The permeation of memories is evident in this room. It was well lived in,” A voice began.
Soltana turned, seeing the tiny figure of Barman, Angel of Knowledge. His crystal sapphire ball head gazed up at her. It was strange that she could read his body language, understanding he was reminiscing.
Soltana’s spirit perked up at seeing her creator.
“Barman…” Soltana said, trailing off. She didn’t know what to say.
“Soltana, this was your room. When you were but an infant of a Lambent, you occupied these quarters,” Barman explained, gesturing her to sit.
Soltana sat down next to him, unsure of what to say. The dreams of Lucifer were bubbling through her containment module. As if sensing her thoughts, Barman broke the silence.
“Soltana, you are a Guardian. That was who you were made to be. Adonai chose you to bear his Seal, not because you are perfect, but because you are needed. Lucifer is considered perfect, but yet is she desirable? Is the Seal of the Tetragrammaton branded upon Lucifer?”
“I hurt someone… My foolish decision led to the wounding of another Seal holder, ruining all of Adon-”
Barman interrupted Soltana by grasping her hand. Her ethereal hand that she suddenly had feeling in. His tiny diverse array of fingers could only wrap around her pinky and ring finger, holding them tight.
“Your decision rippled throughout eternity. The one who you say injured was saved of losing her limbs, rescuing her from true bitterness. She had heard you and Lucifer speaking, her heart trembled in knowing that you would trade her life for your safety. It was a guarantee you would leave her to her fate, limbless and senseless as a plaything for Lucifer. So she thought.”
“Her assumption was incorrect.”
“Her heart broke hearing your conflict in telling Lucifer. She steeled herself under the normal torture Lucifer intended. Her soul did not break.”
“Are you as insecure in being a Guardian now?”
“How do you know? You speak as if we’re in the past!”
“Ah, I revealed too much. Adonai would not approve of my indiscretion, however, correction is worth the cost of fortifying your heart and resolve.”
“Do you remember the demon you vanquished inside a dream?”
“You protected two others from certain doom. That action echoed off of eternity as well.”
“Even now you shape the future. This recording never happened this way. You had left to fulfill your purpose some time ago. Your maiden voyage had begun and your many adventures of exploration started. You shaped planets, documented species, discovered barren worlds teeming with the bizarre.”
“And now I am sentient in this memory. I too can make changes. I too can now avert disaster.”
The door opened, with a young man and anform entering in.
“Barman, come on, you’re missing the celebrations!”
“Good Barman, you should not isolate yourself for festivities.”
Soltana and Barman turned to address the new guests.
The man was clothed in ornate robes of red, black, and gold. He had cybernetics over a portion of his face, made of polished porcelain gold as akin to a half-Venetian mask. His right arm was replaced with the cybernetics made of porcelain and gold, matching his attire. He was of average height and looked to be in his twenties with blond hair and a well-trimmed beard.
The anform was shorter and thin, with an ornately designed platinum chassis, she was robed in dark forest green with her hood down. Her face was capable of making expressions, such as the concerned look she sported now. Her long mono visor eye glowed yellow with curiosity.
“Mikial McDonough, I apologize for leaving. It is the anniversary of Soltana’s departure, the last of the children.”
“Yes, but you get daily reports from her! Come now, the Scarabaeidae arrived! I need to speak to those Dugrum. A deal must be reached, I will not be denied!” Mikial stated excitedly.
“Mikial? My other creator!” Soltana said, peering down at the tiny human.
Mikial did not react or even glance her way.
“They can’t hear or see you; I made sure of that,” Barman stated.
“Hear who? Come on everyone is missing you!” Mikial insisted, grabbing Barman’s hand and pulling him away.
“Amelia, is your father always like this?” Barman asked, revealing the anform’s name.
Father? Did he make her, too? Soltana thought.
“Only on the odd days. And… also the even days,” She stated with dry humor.
Soltana followed behind, seeing the massive laboratory from her previous dreams with Barman.
“Mikial, Amelia. A moment of your time for a small concession speech.”
Mikial and Amelia stopped, peering at the strange angel.
“I was thinking back to the time we had, creating new life and fulfilling our purpose. I wish the Lambent’s third creator, Tangence, was here as well.”
Soltana felt her theonware click into place. The last piece was revealed to her as an afterthought. It was disappointing, but it did answer her question. Now to figure out who Tangence was.
“Yes, it is the anniversary, but she is attending a great banquet upon Magara. She and Prosine had a breakthrough in the great nebula!”
“I’ll be attending that banquet soon, father. You know how your mother is.”
Mother? Was she a co-creation like me?
Soltana had more questions for the family. She wished she could meet them in person.
“I wish your family was all here because it is time.”
“Barman, are you alright? I know you can’t hold a drink but-”
Barman ignored them as he tore a window open to another planet.
“Barman, what is this? Why are you showing me Earth?” Mikial asked as he looked into the portal.
“Mikial. Amelia. Please forgive me for this. The future needed to be changed,” Barman announced.
“What are you talking abou-” Mikial tried to get out as Barman shunted them into the window. They were both yanked by invisible strings into the portal where they both fell with a cry of shock. Barman stared into the window for a moment before the portal to Earth shut closed.
“Barman! What did you do? You’ve hurt them!” Soltana cried, seeing her creator and his daughter thrown from a high drop down to a strange planet.
“They will be fine. I could no more deplete them through tossing them through a portal than they would be crushed by a sloop,” Barman explained.
“I have but moments left. Follow,” Barman ordered, his voice had an urgency to it.
“Moments? Barman… Is this where…” Soltana began as she remembered Lucifer’s words. There may have been honesty in them.
“Yes. The end begins here,” Barman said, sadness breaking his voice.
He walked among the laboratory, with Soltana finding it empty and barren.
There the hundred-foot doors of plasticine and marble stood, the exit to the lab. Barman pressed against the door, opening it with ease. The door opened with a jingling clicking akin to a musical tune. The doors fully opened, revealing a majestic view Soltana could not have expected.
Buildings, spires, temples, house, and homes all made from transparent gold as far as she could see. The ceiling was open space, with the stars and galaxies were alight with life and fire. Vessels floated along, made of many shapes and sizes. Beings flew alongside the vessels. The sky was filled with bizarre, strange, beautiful, and enigmatic sights. The din of noise reached her sensors.
Music, shouting, and laughter rang out.
Then it hit her. This wasn’t a planet.
“Welcome to the Ark of the Covenant,” Barman said with a gesture as he exited the lab.
“What you see is but a fraction of the total area of the vessel.”
“But this… This is several cities worth!”
“That is still too miniscule. Think larger.”
“A planet-sized vessel?”
“Still too small. If you were Adonai and had in your possession an uncountable amount of souls and beings, where would you put them?”
Soltana was silent at that.
“You would build them all homes. And that is what he did.”
“The vessel used to be smaller, containing just the entirety of the Kingdom of Heaven.”
“Suffice to say he added a great deal.”
“The Ark of the Covenant, the only galaxy sized vessel in existence. A Cosmopolis.”
“Impossible?” Barman began, interrupting her.
“Incredible,” Soltana answered.
“You could spend an eternity exploring this vessel and never see everything. More is added daily. An infinite vessel for an infinite eternity.”
Soltana’s mind skipped upon hearing that. She had no time to process.
“Soltana, thank you for your work and dedication. For your solid foundation of hope and selfless sacrifice. You have a special place in my being.”
Barman turned, surveying the glory that beheld them.
“Ah… There is no time. Just a few more minutes,” Barman sighed.
“Soltana, your chrysalization needs to complete faster. I sense danger in the Underrealm. Take this.” Barman stated.
He reached into his robe, revealing a crystal artifact wrapped in an orichalcum basket.
“This nacelle will speed things up quite a bit.”
Soltana took it, in her hand, but the artifact faded away inside of her.
“Soltana, I must admit I am afraid.”
“Why? What happens?”
Barman point to the black dot forming in the galactic sky.
“Witness these events. Score them into your very being. For this is why Adonai calls upon Seal holders.”
“Why did you not save yourself? Why allow yourself to be destroyed?”
“I can use that ability once every ten minutes. No matter how I planned it, I had nine and a half minutes left. Leaving the Ark quickly was something I never intended. At the very least I could save someone.”
The black pinprick in the sky tore open, the fabric of reality began to fall apart. Darkness and shadow began to rumble, engulfing the distance into blackness. The wave of black nothing traveled far and fast, the peals of joyous laughter turned to the wailing of shock and cries of despair. The black wave traveled, the buildings, spires and temples all vanished into the black.
“I always wondered how it was possible that the vessel was sent to Nothing,” Barman added, before turning back to address Soltana.
He gave a wave as the wall of black engulfed him.
Soltana was caught up in it. Her very existence became Nothing.
There in the blackness was a being made of Nothing. With large dead eyes and a crescent moon smile of isosceles teeth. Except, in this case, the being’s eyes were wide, her mouth was stretched open.
There was only one emotion Soltana knew of to describe it.
She felt the wave of sound strike her. The sound of a being that felt the maximum amount of pain reality could deal out. Her cry shuddered Soltana’s very being, threatening to break her; to erase her from existence. The face inside the Nothing shrieked a cry beyond anything Soltana could comprehend. She felt it echoed through time and space, occupying every instance of every moment at once.
Soltana’s being could take no more, but the dream continued.
Her mind buckled and at the last second, relief.
She was taken away to her galaxy sanctuary with Adonai. She spotted him briefly.
“This was the beginning of the end. And the start of your journey. Follow your calling. Be The Guardian you were meant to be.”
And with the dream’s end, Soltana’s metamorphose was complete.