Light penetrated the vast expanse of green that was Joi-ne’s home. It was all he knew, the towering blades were tightly packed here. He knew from their height that the God’s would soon come again. There coming would be proceeded by the noise, then the wind. So many of his kind met their deaths at the hands of the God’s. He had been lucky, this was the sixtieth time that he had seen the light come over his home. Old he realized, and tired. He made his way back to his lair, the young ones would soon bring his food. For this, he was thankful, as he didn’t have the energy nor the desire to forage for his own.
The arrival of Cok-nar brought him back to the present. “Queen Ak-ne requires your presence elder,” Cok-nar said as he set his offering of food in front of Joi-ne
“May I eat first?” Joi-ne said his frustration at being summoned tainting his tone.
“I was told to bring you now, Elder,” Cok-nar said, hoping for cooperation.
“Let’s go then!” Joi-ne said much to the relief of his great, great-grandson.
Together they left Joi-ne’s niche and headed deep into the mired of tunnels that made up the Queendom of Ak-ne. They passed hundreds of soldier-workers as they made their way towards the center of the Queendom. All bowed low to Joi-ne as they parted to let him thru. Joi-ne felt empowered by their display of fealty; for a short time, all was well with Joi-ne as he straightened his many legs and once again walked with the pride of his youth.
“How may I serve, my Queen” Joi-ne said as he was escorted into the presence of the great Queen Ak-ne.
“Joi-ne, my trusted one.” The queen said as she lightly touched antennae with Joi-ne. “These are troubling times in the Queendom. As you know, our daughter Sek-ne’s Queendom has struggled. Now messengers have arrived telling of a new threat, the God’s have destroyed the countryside. Where once there was unending green, now there is a great plane of black rock. To make matters worse, her soldiers are under continuous assault from neighboring Queendoms; they will soon be overwhelmed. I need you to save her.
Joi-ne left the queen’s presence and ordered the soldiers to assemble on the surface. He charged Cok-nar to guard the Queen and the Queendom until his return. By the time the light started to fade Joi-ne, and his army made the approach to Sek-ne’s territory. Messengers were sent ahead to scout out the situation and announce their arrival. They returned halfway thru the dark, announcing that Sek-ne was no more.
By the start of his sixty first light Joi-ne came to the ruins of Sek-ne’s queendom. All was laid waste, the green was gone. What forces of the God’s could have done this. It was total devastation. Out of grief Joi-ne’s six legs buckled under him. He had failed both his queen and their daughter. Better to die here than face Ak-ne he thought. Quickly he noticed the ground around him start to move. Suddenly out came Sek-ne! His joy was immediate as he scrambled to touch antennae with his daughter.
Together with only a few hundred survivors from Sek-ne’s queendom, the troops marched for home. It was late in the light when close to home Joi-ne stopped and climbed one of the great green blades that made up his world. At the top his gaze took in the blue of the heavens. It was then that he heard the noise and the great wind of the God’s his last perception as he was sucked from the top of the blade of grass was the whirring of the blade.
By J.R. O’Neill
Copyright 2013 J.R. O’Neill