“You’re not going to make it,” she said, her eyes narrowed to vicious slits and her face drawn back in a rather distorted grimace.
My first response was to laugh at how ghoulish she appeared. But I held the chortle as I thought about what she said.
Then I got angry.
“What in hell do you mean?” I snapped back as I took a step toward her. Unintentional though it might have been, I appreciated the threatening gesture only after the distance between us grew shorter.
“I mean just what I said. You’re not going to make it. No one ever has.”
“I’m not no one, dear, and I will make it.”
The sternness of my voice surprised me. I was scared. That much was true. I feared I wouldn’t make it. I feared I didn’t have the strength to accomplish the impossible. Yet in that moment when her words challenged me, scoffed at my abilities and intent whether or not that was how she meant it, I found in that simple statement a newfound force.
It’s happening again. I’m changing. I’m growing stronger. I’m becoming a god.
I had to stop those runaway thoughts. Too many already assumed what I was becoming was a devil, not a god, for too many failed to comprehend the scope of what had happened to me and to so many others during the Reclamation—or invasion depending on one’s point of view.
When they first arrived, humans marveled at the impossible. So many things changed back then. Our place in the universe became clear. All our religions died in a single day. Warring nations became friends as the chasms that once divided us became archaic and useless.
Yet their arrival was only the beginning. Soon we came to understand why they had come, why they had chosen that specific time to make themselves known to us. And in that discovery we learned true fear.
When the Reclamation began a day later, we lost all sense of supremacy on our own planet, in our own solar system. Hell, in the universe. What millennia of war and killing hadn’t accomplished, the Reclamation achieved in a single day.
All human threats became extinct. As whole nations were turned into barren wastelands and everything associated with any military was wiped from the face of the Earth, we stared into eternity and finally recognized the predator had arrived.
I shook loose of memory’s vice and focused once again on the matter at hand.
My voice calmer and disarming, I continued, “Listen to me, Jacobi, I appreciate your concern. Believe me when I say I can do this. I really can.”
For the briefest moment her face relaxed as she looked directly at me, a bit of comprehension finally moving like a wave through her usually stunning features. For just a moment, she was beautiful again.