This is the first part of a story me, Inferno and Misery have been working on for a while.. it is not officially canon yet and may never be so, however I wanted to share it with you and will upload further instalments if it gains enough feedback.
The story was written by all of us, I have copied and pasted what I can and hope it turns out alright.
FUTURE IMPERFECT - PART 1
Murk was a dragon, he had lived for over two thousand years and he knew he had another sixty thousand more years to live at minimum before he would lay down and die - by his age most other dragons would of flown to the distant realms of space/time in search of purpose in what mortals came to know as the Flight of Dragons but Murk stayed put, in defiance of his dragon nature.
Staring out at the stars Murk sat in front of a large window at the Terra-IXI Colony, a great space-station situated in the outer regions of what was once known as the Sol System: it was in that System that Earth resided, long thought of as the centre of the multiverse time had altered this conception and now Earth was just one of infinite worlds under the rule of the Terran Order.
Murk had watched the Terran Order rise from the ashes of many previous attempts to unite Earth and Murk knew deep inside that the Terran Order was not the best system: in fact it was what many would consider brutal, after having spent so long fighting humanity and its allies began to conquer other worlds and believed that only the strong could rule, looking at the stars Murk sighed as the words of his old friend echoed in his mind:
"You know, by the time we see the stars they have already burned out - like photographs of a time gone by"
Murk sighed and continued looking out, leaning a little to the right as he observed a large tear in space/time that spewed forth silver mist across the depths of space - the dreaded Metal Vortex and one of the greatest threats to the Sol System since the days of the Golden Empire.
The Metal Vortex continually released legions of Metal Wraiths upon the System and much of the Terran Order's efforts were now used in keeping the Metal Wraiths from spreading further - as Murk looked at the great vortex he wondered if it was even possible to stop an enemy that could not die, what chance did beings of flesh and blood have against undying, unfeeling machines?
At the same time Murk knew better than to underestimate humanity or its allies, he had fought alongside so many men and women - some he had called friends and family - each one capable of unimaginable feats.. perhaps that was why so many powerful threats sought Earth out, perhaps for all their strength they sensed the potential for humanity to grow and feared it..
The Metal Wraiths were far from the only threat facing the Terra Order, numerous cults had spread across colonies at the fringes of the System - dedicated to chaos and ruin, the legions of Adam Man had now successfully spread across space and began to infect entire worlds like a virus.. the At-Err renewed hostility with the Terra Order after decades of peace and the insanity of a long-dead Kane lived on in the horror that was the Party Planet.
Yet of all the horrors in the multiverse the one that had stayed dormant was also the one Murk feared the most, the eternal presence of Misery and her infinite spawn - so often manifesting in the past to torment humanity and its allies - was now deadly calm.
The horrors of war raged across the multiverse, suffering remained constant yet Misery never once manifested in the material world - the last time she was seen was in what was now considered the distant past, apparently slain by one of her own.. yet Misery could not die.. her silence was a troubling sign but Murk knew she was waiting..
Murk's thoughts were interrupted when a young woman came up behind him, dressed in a white robe and having pointed ears and purple eyes - yet otherwise perfectly human.
"Apologies, Murk - I was wondering if you were ready to begin the lessons for today? the students are waiting..".
Murk turned around and nodded, walking over on his hindlegs - unusual for a dragon but a habit he had acquired from an early age and one he was hardly about to lose in what was now his adult-years.
"How many students are there now?" Murk asked, flicking his tail slightly.
"150.." the young woman replied.
"That low? the Terran Directive must be showing its age.." Murk began.
"Don't say that! You'll get us both killed!" the young woman said, looking around in a panic.
"Doubtful, they wouldn't want to anger the "gods", would they?" Murk said with dry humor, motioning at four large statues - which Murk knew by name as Inferno Pendragon, Arbiter, Amnesty and Red - the "Demigods" who Murk had called family, now revered as the "gods" of a new world.. Murk couldn't help feeling this was not the world his family would of wanted, yet he had grown to accept it.
"Still.. I don't like it when you say things like that.." the young woman began.
"Fear is a terrible habit, Yenov, I can smell it you know.. like a cheap perfume.." Murk replied, smirking slightly.
"Stop it!" Yenov snapped.
"Temper, Yenov - you wouldn't want to fight me.. I'd sqush you.." Murk grinned, showing sharp fangs.
"What would your "gods" say if they saw you now?" Yenov retorted.
Murk's grin faded as he looked up at the statues, then back to Yenov - flicking his tail "..they'd say I was wasting time.. take me to the students.. they have much to learn if they are to be useful to the Order..".
Yenov nodded in return, a small frown on her face as she led the dragon away into a nearby hall.
Meanwhile, separated by many centuries, a younger Murk awoke with a yawn and stretch - looking around at a very messy room filled with junk collected from many areas of the world, the walls covered in posters depicting numerous punk bands and a Magical Unicorn sticker-book, looking decidely out of place.
Getting to his feet the young dragon tripped up over a jar of candy that soon spilled all over the floor, Murk drumming his claws on the ground as he frowned slightly.
"Maybe I ought to clean this place up after all..".
It didn't take long for Murk to make good on his word, though his idea of cleaning up consisted of sweeping large quantities of junk under a carpet with his tail - which soon caused a mound to emerge near the centre of his room.
Murk began to dust himself off when he spotted an unsual object laying at the corner of the room, having been hidden under the pile of junk - as Murk approached it his eyes grew wide and he carefully lifted it up.
It resembled a small silver mirror with several gemstones around the base, looking into the mirror Murk was reminded of what it was - the Mirror of Time, a gift bestowed upon him by Merlin after a great adventure.. one of many.. he had never used the mirror and Merlin had warned him it was only to be used in the most dire of circumstances.
Murk stared at the mirror and his tail wagged a little, like an excited puppy, staring into the mirror he grinned, exposing sharp little fangs and winked slightly at his reflection:
"..looking good Murk, looking real good!".
"Murk?" a voice suddenly spoke out, causing the dragon to drop the mirror in surprise - his eyes growing wide as the glass shattered.
"Eep! I.. err.. Hey!" Murk gased, turning around and sweeping the broken mirror aside with his foot, not caring about the broken glass - his scales more than tough enough to resist any potential cuts.
"I'm not interrupting anything, am I?" a young woman asked, looking in through a half-open door: the young woman was Pegacorn and dressed in a red robe.
"Of course not! I was just doing my exercises!" Murk lied, padding over to the young woman - who was named Sangria.
"Oh, good - I wanted to talk to you about something.." Sangria said, heading out of the room as Murk followed, closing the door behind him.
As Murk left the broken mirror remained on the floor, sparking slightly with no one around to witness the short display..
Over two thousand years into the future and an older Murk stood in front of a large flag depicting the Earth with two large draconic wings either side of it and a massive greatsword impaled right into the globe, under the flag was a simple sentence:
"Let them hate, so long as they fear"
"Do any of you know what this flag represents?" Murk asked, looking over at the room full of young students from across the Terran Order, many from worlds recently conquered - taken from their homes in order to serve the "greater good".
After being greeted with silence Murk frowned and continued, "..the wings are those of the Pendragon - they will keep the Order safe, they will guide us to new worlds.. the greatsword is that of the Arbiter - it grants us the right to judge worlds, to purge them of the taint of chaos and grant perfection.. now for the sentence.. that simple little sentence which will become your new philosophy.. do you know what it means?".
Again there was nothing but silence and Murk's frown grew into a snarl as he yelled out "..you are all children of the Terran Order now.. you hate us.. you seek us dead.. yet we do not care.. because each and every one of you will learn to fear us.. fear is why you will serve..".
"Murk.." Yenov whispered, looking at the students - many of whom began to cry and shiver as the realization of what was happening sank into their young minds, they weren't going home.. they were slaves to the new order.. innocent victims of a world that had lost its way.
"The Demigods died to create this world.. you should all be down on your knees before them.. for what they represent.. each and every one of you.. cowering infants calling for mommy and daddy.. well, you are all orphans now.. get used to it!" Murk snarled, then turned and stormed out of the room.
Murk continued down the hall, ignoring calls from Yenov to stop and made his way to a small room where he slammed the door shut and sat down in the darkness, covering his face as he began to cry - even after all these centuries he was grieving the deaths of his family.. having been raised by the Pendragons and seeing himself as their protector he knew he had no place in the current world - yet he continued to serve the Terran Order.. no matter how much he hated it.. because the old motto rung true in his head.. he was afraid.. so he served.. his fear was changing him, deep inside, he could feel it.
You see when a being is afraid for a very long time they begin to grow anger, that anger soon turns them bitter and from there starts a spiralling descent into depravity - Murk was experiencing that descent in a manner only an immortal dragon could.. it was as if the good in him was slowly draining away..
A growl escaped Murk's throat as he aimed a punch at a nearby mirror in frustration, the glass shattering in the process - however as his fist connected something strange happened.. a burst of light filled the room and Murk found himself tossed backwards as everything went black..
"So you're going to be alright with looking after the garden whilst I'm away at the Royal Fair?" Sangria asked, coming to a stop at the edge of said garden alongside a younger Murk.
"Of course I will! I -!" Murk began, only to tense up for a moment and fall back - causing Sangria to panic.
"Murk!? Murk!?" Sangria gasped, yet the experience only lasted a moment before Murk sat up and shook his head as if awakening from a bad dream.
"..Ugh.. what..?" Murk began, looking to Sangria.
"Are you alright?" Sangria began, only to let out a cry of surprise as Murk jumped quickly to his feet and grabbed her arm, yanking her up with more force than usual.
"Who are you!? What is this place!?" Murk snapped, only to let go as several guards appeared on the scene.
"Murk? w-what's wrong?" Sangria blinked, rubbing her arm as she tried to make sense of the situation.
Murk didn't answer as he looked right, then left - eventually opting to charge on all fours at the guards, who leapt to either side as the young dragon ran off into the distance.
"MURK!" Sangria yelled out, running after her friend..
"Murk?" Yevon called out, nudging the older Murk as he lay motionless on the floor.
"He's dead - enough of this foolishness.." an armored figure snapped, tossing Yevon aside and preparing to latch a large collar around Murk's neck: only for the dragon to open his eyes and grab the figure by the neck instead.
"Woah! Hey! Back off Robo-Jerk!" Murk called out, tossing the armored figure aside as he got to his feet and looked around, his heart racing as he instantly realized he was a fair bit bigger than usual and older.
"Murk? What happened? I.." Yevon began, only to be silenced as more armored figures entered the room - Murk tried to fight but was quickly overwhelmed as they electrocuted him with what appeared to be modified cattle-prods.
"But.. W-why?" Murk blurted out as he fell to the floor, blacking out once more as the armored figures began to circle around him..
CONTINUED IN PART II