Kohra grunted as he spat metallic blood from his mouth, then carefully wiped tears and more blood from two of his eyes. The formerly noble Kronospast was covered from head to toe in dust and pain, white and gold robes turned grey from dirt.

Standing behind Kohra were a handful of weary soldiers, covering for a huddling mass of other Kronospasts, all even more filthy and bloodied than Kohra was. He had spent the last month or so searching for survivors, but most of his work had been in the form of digging up and then burying corpses. While most of the other surviving races of the old universe had been somewhat protected by the gods, the Kronospasts had been abandoned.

“You insult me, Avra…” Kohra sighed, addressing his attacker. The kind, caring, almost cute aura that Kohra had always emanated in the past was gone. The flickering, eternal desire for everyone to live in harmony had faded away. Now there was only a steely chill in Kohra’s eyes. “You insult all of us.”

Avra snarled back, the talons on his shape-shifting hands shrinking back to normal. “Me? Insulting you? You are the little misfit who decided to run away, defied my rule and then communed with the gods and did not warn us of our impending doom! Yet you stand here and pretend to be helpful, digging up the dead!”

“And here you are, considering aggressive actions against the rest of existence…” Kohra could have pulled out a weapon, a small dagger by his side, but decided not to. He didn’t want to be the aggressor. “We are barely together. What will aggression against other races even do for us?”

“You really believe that the universe’s remains will care for us, will want to side with us? Do you think they will let us in with open arms?”

Kohra grunted. He knew Avra was right. The Kronospasts were hated by almost everyone. A vile, oppressive race of tricksters and exploiters. But he didn’t want… whatever Avra was planning. Truthfully, he wasn’t even sure what Avra was planning, but it probably wasn’t good.

“No. But I am optimistic…”

“You are naive at best. The rest of the surviving universe would never help us. Not unless we grab a chunk of land for ourselves and prove that we are still strong!”

“Lashing out will only get us killed.”

“Or get everyone else killed before they get the chance to do the same to us.”

“That’s lunacy.”

“No!” Avra snarled. “You know what’s lunacy? Thinking no one will want to finish off what the gods started! They ALL want us dead! They will drive us to extinction! And I will take them all down with us, if need be!”

Kohra took a deep breath and closed his eyes. “I can’t let you do that, Avra.”

“And what are you going to do about it? Either you stand by my side or you die, alongside everyone else.”

“Well, no, there is one other option…”

Suddenly, Kohra vanished. Avra blinked. In mere milliseconds, the Kronospast leader realised he had misjudged his own son. A shimmering blade glinted in the freshly made hole in Avra’s neck then disappeared, spewing golden fluids across the floor.

Avra tried to speak, but words failed him, whistling faintly and helplessly from his wound. Kohra gently held his father as he collapsed on the floor, watching as the life faded from Avra’s eyes.

“What have you done?” the soldiers all whispered, bowing down to their new leader. Kohra however left the former lord’s side and lifted the soldiers back to their feet.

“I did the right thing…” Kohra sighed. “Something I should have done decades ago…”