The hexapod rodent at the twilight
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The first galaxy

Battles lost in time

Now we tell the story of intrepid rodents, inhabitants of a planet attacked both by their children and by the same dangers of their galaxy. How have they been able to maintain their existence for so long and will they be able to survive the Great Twilight? The leaves of memories are unveiled to commemorate their existence, to know their past, present and future.


hexapodo

Newborn waves, erase the wounds; Twin sun, brighten their nights.


On the shores of a distant planet, lost in one of the oldest galaxies in the cosmos. There stood a small ochre-colored rodent, with six limbs to furrow great rivers and lakes, equipped with retractable claws and membranes between its toes; four eyes to observe beyond the visible spectrum given by the light of the pair of bright stars in its sky, with two retractable tails to swing in the few areas with trees and a powerful jaw with different types of teeth to cut and chew.

One of those peculiar rats had set out on a great journey in search of a new refuge and decided to go into the coast, passing by a blue sand beach, full of corpses belonging to the former masters of those lands.

There was a time when this animal was studied by another creature from that same world, one that had been endowed with the capacity for intelligence, erecting a long history full of combat, arts and cultures. They thrived at the expense of their environment and managed to maintain their selfish lifestyle for several millennia before their sudden downfall.

The two-tailed being was just passing by a tourist spot, due to a beautiful event where the sea waves rose into the air and then formed levitating spheres of water. This was due to various microscopic animals capable of altering gravity and lifting these spheres, in order to escape predators and reproduce. Little could matter to our foraging traveler, and the dead were unable to rejoice at such a sight.

And why did they care about that little hexapod rat? It was due to its great antiquity as a species, surviving the greatest cataclysms experienced by the little old rocky planet. Its design had changed little or nothing at all for millions of years, first they thought of its omnivorous condition —demonstrated now, when the being ate the rotting remains on the coast— and its capacity to store food reserves inside its own body; perhaps it was because of its extremophile character, allowing it to live from places devoid of heat, water, light or cold. Those could be feasible explanations if it were not for the terrible past of that world.

The surface of that place had suffered a series of attacks from its second unstable star. Every so often, a powerful flare would attack the more complex life forms, restarting their evolution over and over again. They had records of several impacts of gigantic asteroids and even changes in the volcanic and glaciation periods, capable of turning the whole place into an incandescent ball or an icy graveyard. Then there were paranormal events, which modified the history of the world countless times, putting one species or another at the height of power. Even the simplest organisms, belonging to the same period as that rodent, had disappeared from the face of that planet.

The last beings, builders of buildings and architects of thought, searched for answers everywhere: in their biology, in their spirit and in their history. While others, less enlightened, consumed their flesh during their feasts or rituals, under the false premise of achieving their ability to survive the end of time. They achieved what nothing else in the history of the planet had been able to do: to bring the poor rats to the brink of extinction.

Or so thought the lifeless bodies, inhabitants of a large city near the coast, where the rat continued on its journey, jumping between war vehicles and bomb craters.

What cruel event was responsible for such destruction and genocide? It could have been attributed to an umpteenth catastrophe of their fierce solar system, but this was even worse. The brethren on the other side of the galaxy had committed a grave insult against the truth and a punishment spread throughout the entire universe, a curse sworn to life falling. The thought-dwellers were powerful, there was no doubt about it, they demonstrated a vigorous defense for centuries before falling to the dark enemies.

One of the last of their kind stood in a great fortification, accompanied by a two-tailed rodent; first it cried out in despair, blaming it for their weakness, then asked how a filthy rat was to survive the apocalypse, and to the end prayed for salvation. To their misfortune, the six-legged creature did not understand any of those words and they both perished before the dark horde.

The remains of the horde were scattered throughout the city, ironically, the four-eyed animal could drink that dark liquid without problems, serving to hydrate itself as if it were the purest and most crystalline water.

When all attempts by the sapient inhabitants failed, while their two suns were unable to illuminate the massacre orchestrated by savage entities and millions of lives were taken, plants withered in less and less fertile soils and the world itself lost the warmth of its core. A simple instinct awoke among each surviving ochre rodent, with a force more overwhelming than the last heartbeat of a gigantic star.

Many prayed in their last moment, this could be seen by the animal swimming in flooded areas, where various temples were built to deities venerated by the slaughtered. Places where they sacrificed wholesale a vast amount of plants, animals and even their fellow creatures. When they asked their gods for help, they did not respond because they were fighting for their own existence.

But is it really only those endowed with greater knowledge who are entitled to possess a protective deity? Those who could answer that question were found in nameless tombs, scattered all over the streets, being devoured like carrion by the less intelligent survivors of the place.

Only one instinct was necessary for those rodents to have a chance to battle and emerge triumphant. Unable to pray, unable to build a temple for their protector, unable to erect an empire or even organize to defend themselves on a large scale, they gave their own battle cry to the corrupt will that attacked their home. They waited until the fall of the selfish inhabitants before they could perform their miracle, after all, they were another evil to the place, capable of jeopardizing the balance and natural cycles in all environments.

During their imposing clamor, a fifth eye emerged from behind their backs, gazing into the celestial vault and emanating an incandescent red aura, concentrating it on a single fixed point. A small portal opened, letting a red sphere pass through, then all the souls of these animals left their fleshly bodies and conglomerated to give way to the creation of a titanic crimson rodent. From one moment to the next, the invaders attempted to wipe out the newly created entity, but were repelled by an omnidirectional blast, thus beginning the final battle for that world.

Right there was the answer to the rats' ability to surpass the limits of survival. Even though there was not a single soul to document it, the reason why life thrived in such an aggressive and changing environment was there, the entity in charge of giving life support to that planet was present, living unnoticed in mortal bodies represented by the hexapod rodents. Their will was incomparable and their fight was bloody, lasting centuries to even repel the invaders out of their world.

The crimson rat felt the need to continue fighting throughout its solar system, until it was free of any threat. To accomplish this feat, it devoured the third smallest star in the triple system and fulminated the worlds infested by its enemies. Thus it spent years defending its own home, until suddenly the siege was over and with it, the need for its presence in our existence. It descended into the atmosphere of its home planet and dematerialized to bring back to life not only the hexapod rodents, but a large handful of other species.

The victory was not consecrated without a series of sacrifices, some of the planets engulfed in flames contained other types of life; had it found a way to save them, the entity would have done so. Only this time, the threat was so different and chaotic, taking with it millions of designs forged through time in mere moments. There was also no opportunity to heal the wounds of those lands, both their winds and their soils were completely consumed in the fierceness of the fight. With that, that galaxy lost some of its most diverse and life-filled worlds forever.

Now one of the survivors was still in search of a permanent home, it was passing by a facility dedicated to a small museum, several statues of soldiers who won wars of conquest could be seen, great works of art representing how imposing they saw themselves before the universe; after all, they were the masters of a simple grain of sand lost in the immensity of the whole.

In this way, peace was once again declared on the shattered lands in an old world. The memories of its inhabitants will continue to be remembered and visited by the new inhabitants, until dust and erosion erase their legacy. The two bright stars showed themselves again, leaving the results of the battle in the light, witnessing the awakening of another era where those rats would continue to live and care for their precious home.

Thus, the rodent made it to the tallest building of all, climbing and jumping between floors, past the growing flowers and vines between the rooms. Climbing higher and higher, until it reached the top of the structure, where its eyes could see the double dusk and nightfall. Once darkness took its place in the sky, it revealed the state of a dying universe: where the light of millions of stars should show, there was only a gloomy firmament.

In the coldness of existence and the seemingly unreachable darkness, among the beacons of the cosmos, lies the place where the divinities were born and the Great Twilight began. Putting its inhabitants to the test, while some succumbed to the pressure of cruel emptiness and abandonment, others kept up the fight, until the last breath of hope. The hexapod rodent makes its way, waving its fur before the waves of dark destiny.


Some believe that there is only one reflection of life in this universe, a sad truth and leaving them helpless. Everyone seems to forget the existence of the other mirrors of reality, capable of putting themselves before the desires of creation.


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