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ALIEN ARRIVAL

He fell from the stars, a streak of brilliant white fire blasting through the atmosphere and crashing into Corpsewood, my forest dwelling at the bottom of a long-dead volcano. The thundering impact detonated the ground, the explosion blackening trees whose bark was already grey with decay. I was infuriated. No one dares enter my domain unbidden! I swept up to him, my apparitional form swirling like a cyclone, my glowing yellow eyes piercing through it, brightening with disdain. Despite my delight in torturing, I was in no mood to toy with this interloper. Sorcerous songs slipped from my lips like serpentine wraiths, igniting my claws with black fire that was eager to incinerate yet another victim.

But when I came upon him, my fury faded, for he was barely alive.

His skin was burned and smoking like the wreckage of the metal dragon that was strewn in twisted ruin about him. I stayed my sorcery, extinguished my fire. My curiosity was aroused. He was unlike any being I had ever seen, and he bore wounds that are difficult to describe. He was…slivered. Entire sections of his limbs were missing. One of his hands had no wrist affixing it to the forearm, but nevertheless, the palm held in place, the fingers clenching with pain I can only imagine would have been excruciating had he been conscious. And then I saw the tantalizing glimmer of shining green fluid trickle from his lacerated skin…

Blood!

Alien blood, I realized. I had never tasted the blood of an alien and, oh, I was so thirsty! I extended my fangs with euphoric anticipation and knelt over his helpless little grey form to drink.

But before my thirst was sated, I was suddenly compelled to turn away. For even in his seemingly helpless state, the alien exuded a strange aura that stirred fear deep within me. I held my place, though, resisted the urge to flee. I hadn’t felt fear in hundreds of years, and I was transfixed, mesmerized, much in the same way I mesmerize my own victims, I would guess.

I wondered—what was this being? From what sort of world had he come?

As fascinated as I was frightened, I swirled into solidity, pushed my fear aside and picked him up, reminding myself that this was, after all, my domain. I carried him into Castle Krypt, my home amongst the dead trees. There, in its deepest dungeon, I laid him on a slab of stone, my gaze a slave to the blood that stained him. It was so enticing, I knew I couldn’t resist tasting it! Trembling like a mischievous child, I flicked my forked tongue across his wounds until every drop was gone. It was delectable, savagely sweet…

I could have let him die, you know, could have drunk his body dry, but I didn’t. Despite my insatiable thirst, I didn’t. I felt a warning inside, an instinct. I don’t know, perhaps I was compelled by fear. Regardless, I used what little skill I have in healing to keep him alive. Ah, what can I say, I’m impulsive, prone to whimsy, wherever it leads, and on that night I fancied leaving him alive.

The alien remained unconscious for weeks, months, perhaps; I don’t remember, it was so long ago. But, oh, how I remember the night he awoke! Indeed, I’ll never forget the first time I looked into his eyes. Those eyes. They were soulless, empty of emotion, and yet, deep, deep within them flowed visions that henceforth haunted my every slumber. In his eyes I saw my own demise, my form consumed in flames; I could actually hear my screams echoing through the night as I flailed and fell into an exploding star… Oh, the visions I saw in his eyes!

Never before had I looked into a soul more wicked than mine.

For a time he remained silent, just staring at me through the misty veil of sorcerous vapors wafting through the chamber. I sensed he could have killed me then, with only his mind had he wished. Instead I was merely startled as his otherworldly words sounded in my head. Though it was a language I had never heard, I somehow understood it. Thus he had displayed yet another facet of his power, and I knew my decision to mend his wounds had been wise. Thereafter I learned of his story…which was destined to run into my own.

I was to be his servant, for in him I saw my salvation.

He calls himself Darkis. It is not his real name, but he said for me, for Phate, this name will suffice. He was the son of a Supreme Galactic Emperor, a being who ruled over billions of worlds. Yes, billions. His home planet of Tyranticuss housed cities large enough to cover the entire surface of most other worlds, cities whose light illuminated the planet as if it were itself a star.

He told me of his youth, when he would accompany his father in overseeing his galaxy-sized empire. It was then that he learned of the natural wonders and beauties of the universe: cosmic dungeons orbiting black holes the size of galaxies; war-ridden worlds floundering in the wake of his father’s colossal destroyers; godlike beings of ghostly mist swimming in oceans of starlight…

Oh, how I desperately want to see these things for myself!

When he matured, my master succeeded his father as Supreme Galactic Emperor and set out on a new campaign to conquer the galaxy’s most fearsome enemy—the Draxiah Meeh. But when Darkis was far from Tyranticuss, traitors loyal to the Draxiah Meeh launched a surprise attack on his home world, and destroyed it.

His father was killed.

Swearing vengeance, Darkis led a massive armada against his enemies, and the largest battle in the history of the universe commenced. To this day, I have difficulty imagining the scale of the confrontations that took place. By the time it ended, thousands of solar systems had been blown into stardust, one hundred trillion beings were dead, and Darkis’ own centurion guards had betrayed and captured him. There was no trial, no passing of sentence. He was tortured to the brink of death, then cast onto this doomed world of Phate to die.

That is when I saw him fall from the sky.

And here we are now, my master and I.

He hates it here, oh, how he does hate it!

He yearns to return to the stars, to take revenge upon his enemies, to reclaim rule over his galaxy!

But he is afraid.

Without his world’s resources, he is weak, vulnerable… mortal. Oftentimes, I catch him stealing fearful glances at the stars, for he knows his enemies are out there, watching, waiting for him. This both chills and excites me, and when I howl to the midnight sky, I wonder if they can hear me…

I asked Darkis why his enemies do not attack, and he said it is because they do not need to. A great war is coming, a war so terrible, its first moments could annihilate all life on Phate before it goes on to end all time. Indeed, the battle I earlier described would pale in comparison to what lies ahead. Even this fledgling earthling scribe Jason Alan cannot foresee the immensity of the conflict for control over all eternity!

And there is another concern that disturbs me far more than any war. Our ancient sun burns red, for it is weak, weary, and soon to die. When it perishes, it will spew its searing gases across all the solar system, thus immersing Phate in cosmic fire. I tremble to even ponder this. Being consumed in the fiery death throes of an exploded star is a far worse destiny than I can dream up in my most heinous nightmares!

Well, that is not exactly true, is it?

As you know, I’ve had these nightmares ever since I looked into my master’s eyes.

Ah, however, things are not as hopeless as they seem.

Darkis can save us. He can deliver us from this doomed exile, carry us into the far reaches of space, deep into the perpetual night. Remember the metal dragon I spoke of? In actuality, it is not a dragon at all. It is a starship, a marvelous creation constructed from alien sorceries. Darkis repaired it after many long years of working in the bowels of my castle. It is functional, alive … but not quite ready to carry us forth into the void.

One thing remains.

Energy.

It needs immeasurable amounts of energy.

Space is so vast, Darkis tells me, it is beyond my comprehension to understand the distances we must travel. He says it would take the greatest of dragons one million lifetimes to reach even the closest star.

The stars are so bright, I have difficulty imagining they are so far away.

This is where my part in the Cosmic Fairytale begins, for my master has commanded me to retrieve the one thing on Phate that contains the energy we need to propel our starship across the cosmos. It is… Ah, I shall not tell you what it is! It must be kept secret. But be patient, for you will learn of it in the chapters to come. And consider yourself warned, for you will also learn of murder and demonic dragons and wicked necromancers taken from other times. You will bear witness to my sorcerous wrath, and journey into the depths of the darkest suns.

There is much to tell.

At last, our time has come.

At last, after long years of suffering, my master and I will leave this cursed world behind. I cannot wait! When I recall the small, savory sips I stole from Darkis, I feel an intense desire to drink from the throat of an alien species. Do you not see? Phate is nothing to me, nothing but a cold, lifeless rock all but depleted of fresh blood, a world many thousands of years past its prime. For too long have I done nothing but dream of the eternal dark. For too long have the glittering stars of distant galaxies taunted my waking eyes!

Ah, I am to be forgiven. At times my emotions carry me away.

For now, I have only one more thing to say.

When you turn the page, this scribe, this Jason Alan will try to lead you astray, try to tell you that this is someone else’s story. It is a lie. This story is mine alone!

I am the Vampiric Lord of the Dark Elves, the servant of a Supreme Galactic Emperor who commands my loyalty, and a sorcerer of immense power. I am a dreamer, a cosmic adventurer- in-waiting who gazes with new understanding at the stars. I am these things, and so much more.

I am Warloove.

And whatever world you live on, in whatever time, you would do well to stay out of the shadows of the night. For when my master and I escape, I will be free in time and in space. Be wary. Those eyes you sometimes see gazing at you from the dark? Those eyes might be mine, and I am very thirsty…