The Coldest War
...for a world with no reason.
“They watch us, from just beyond the edge of perception, myriad and inscrutable. They long for our reality, and they bend us to their whims. They do not belong, but we let them in, years ago, and now we are their toys, their pets, their beasts of burden. We opened a gateway, and we cracked open the world itself. They are not evil, no – evil is a human trait, and there is nothing human about them. But even so, they are our enemy. Our only enemy. The only enemy that will ever matter.”
When the burning eye set fire to the edges of her sanity, it lifted a veil. She was always an outsider, the girl called Rhyme, absolute in her convictions, fighting a desperate and hopeless battle against forces she couldn’t hope to understand. Her eyes were clear and bright, once, filled with hope and humanity and purpose, certain in her path and unyielding in her actions. Not so, now. She can scarce keep eye contact anymore, and when she does, it’s faraway and clouded with loss and self-doubt.
She fell from grace, or so she says – innocence lost cannot be reclaimed. She saw too much. She understood too much. She realized, in the harshest way, that her fight could not be won. She nearly died – would’ve let herself die, too, if it weren’t for Silver.
But a crusader can’t throw down her sword forever. With every passing day, it becomes clearer. Though her heart was long ago claimed by despair, though she’s lost the faith and certainty that once guided her, she’s taken up her old arms again. Rhyme has gone to war, and anyone with an eye can see she doesn’t mean to come back.
“Those midwives to history put on their bloody robes.
The word is that the hunted one is out there on his own.
And you’re alone, for maybe the last time. And you breathe for a long time.
You howl like a wolf in a trap, and you daren’t look behind -
You fall to the ground like a leaf from a tree, and look up one time at that vast blue sky…
Scream out aloud as they shoot you down…”