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Like the World Is Ending · Original Minific ·
Organised by RogerDodger
Word limit 400–750
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Magali Anahera, Primarch of Khimali Lyrae, watched the ships of steel and glass land.

"We are the Star-lords." The occupants were tall, shining creatures of silver wire and blue light. "We have broken our non-interference policy to help in your hour of need."

"Thank you." She knelt, spreading her feathers. "Can you save our planet?"

"That is beyond us." The Star-Lords frowned. "We will coordinate and advise."

She watched the ships of brass and bone land.

"We are the Singers of Shapes." The occupants were short, sinewy creatures with green scales and white teeth. "We have broken a thousand cycles of memory to help in your hour of need."

"Thank you." She bowed, fanning her crest. "Can you save our planet?"

"That is beyond us." The Singers scowled. "We will record and preserve."

She watched the ships of diamond and gold land.

"We are the Architects." The occupants were wide and square, formed from pistons and cables. "We put aside the stars we were shaping, planets we were disassembling to help in your hour of need."

"Thank you." She nodded. "Can you save our planet?"

"That is beyond us." The Architects sighed. "We will carry and construct."

Finally, she watched the ships of tin and plastic land.

"We are the Humans." The occupants were short and slim, clothed in many colors and styles. "We thought this sounded interesting, so we came."

She frowned. "Can you save our planet?"

"I'm afraid that's beyond us." The Humans shrugged. "We will watch and remember."

"Then what shall my people do?" Magali asked, despair filling her.

"In six months, one week, and four days, high-energy radiation will wash your planet clean of life," The Star-lords intoned. "All you can do is run. We will ensure you have space and energy and food."

"Run," droned the Singers. "We will ensure your art and knowledge survives."

"Run," chanted the Architects. "We will build you a new home, and ships to take you there."

"Run," said the Humans. "It's the only way."

Magali firmed her resolve, straightened her feathers, took up the weight of her responsibility, and nodded. "We will run."

The Architects built them a world, carefully spun from starstuff and seeded with the things of life.

The Singers read and researched and copied and compiled, ensuring not one speck of understanding or art was lost.

The Star-Lords searched, organized, explained and persuaded, cajoling and commanding, ensuring every Khimalian who wished could leave.

The Humans wandered about, gawking and taking pictures and chatting and buying souvenirs.

On the last day, Magali looked up and watched the ships wrought from diamond and gold streak across the sky, carrying her people away. She felt the responsibility shift and settle on her shoulders, and wondered what sort of life they would lead in the days ahead.

When she looked down, however, she realized the Humans were still there.

"Why haven't you left yet?" she asked, bemused.

"Life," they answered, "is more than a place to live, and laws to follow, and written words. When we left our planet, we needed to remember. Not just where we were from and what that was like, but who we were and why that mattered. We've walked across your world, talking and listening, looking and thinking, dreaming and remembering. Let us show you the Khimali we met."

They split into groups, forming into squares and circles and lines and pairs.

And they danced.

The danced like fledglings leaping from the Hirshmel Mountains in autumn. They drifted like the windsailors above the Quinal Plains. They leaped, soaring, and she saw the high spires of Minel, the arches of Moransk. They turned and marched, flowing around the castle islands of Irnit. They threw themselves into their performance with abandon, and when they were done, they stood and laughed, singing and crying and looking at the last days of Khimali Lyrae with wonder and joy.

"We are the smallest and weakest of the Star-Lords council." The humans turned to their ships of tin and plastic, waving her after. "We can't build for you, organize, or record. We just want to talk, and sing, and spend some time with you. And if the future looks dark, and you can't remember where you're going or why it matters, take our hands, and we can dance like the world is ending. And for a moment, perhaps, you can find some peace."

Magdali smiled, and joined them.
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