It sat below the twisting branches of the dead tree and watched the world as it burned. In the end the world always burned, no matter who was chosen to receive the gifts. The power became too much, and wars of ideology erupted, sides were chosen, armies roused. And yet still It tried, selecting and sorting from across the infinite complexities of time and space those that it thought would be suitable, plucking them from their worlds and bringing them to this one, hoping that one time, just one time, the world would not burn.
Smoke blew across the shattered stone of the world as the forests burned, the oceans boiled, the cities fell. The air had been made poison by the conflict, the life drained from everything that walked or swam or crawled or flew. Nothing lived, nothing remained but Itself.
It regarded the tiny figures scattered broken on the withered grass before It. They glittered and shone even now, energies pulsing and writhing around the fractures and breaks, the power It had granted the only thing that kept them whole now. Little men and women, little icons of so many minds and souls and dreams and desires, all faded and worn smooth as river stone. And so very broken.
It shook Its head and raised a withered hand, holding it palm down over the tiny effigies, five fingers splayed in such a way that the tip of each finger hovered just above one of the stone pieces on the ground. Energy flared upwards, running into the old creatures hand and into Its fragile body. It burned with the power, and knew that soon It wouldn't be able to effect this transfer any longer. It knew that when that day came, it wouldn't just be this world that burned, but all worlds throughout creation. All would burn unless one could be found that could keep the power safe, use the power to teach and build and create the next world - to bring everything and everyone into that next bright place... Oh how It longed for that. The transfer stopped and the effigies on the steaming ground below the dead tree crumbled, their power now gone.
It regarded the tiny piles of dust with sadness, and then pushed Itself up onto spindly legs, using the dead tree for leverage.
Once more then, It thought as It turned Its face to the sky.
Once more It raised Its arms and spread Its fingers, drawing the energies of the burning world into Itself until It grew too bright to look at, to incomprehensible to behold.
Once more the power flared out, searching, searching... seeking the one that HAD to be there...
What would you do if you were given unbelievable power? An army of loyal fanatics? Lands and monies and as many husbands or wives as you wanted? How would you change the world? Would you change the world?
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