Classic Ishar and the Falling moon

I aten't ded.

Anonymous author, 4chan's /tg/ board, 03-03-2010. Enjoy.

[HFY thread]


The People had watched the night for centuries. Through looking glasses and viewing prisms they had charted the great dance of the gods. They knew the rhythm of the stars, the slow ballet of the Fiosa, the burning sun. The waxing and waning of fair Irula, the moon. Only the wandering star, Ishar, eluded their charts and their theories, streaking a different path in the sky every night. Sometimes he was not there at all, for days, for weeks, for years. Sometimes he stayed still, watching, waiting, visible even in the noon sun. So they called it Ishar, the Hunter, for it had a hunter’s patience, and a hunter’s stealth.

But one night, the People looked into the sky and were afraid. The dance was broken and the People wept. For disaster had befallen the Gods. Because the Moon had begun to fall.

Fair Irula was fair no longer. Her silver face was bruised and red, cracks and wounds clearly visible. A new scar crowned her brow, and her tears fell like fire upon the world, smashing cities and mountains into dust and flame, swelling the seas with crashing waves that swallowed the shores. And the People were afraid, for it was clear why Irula wept. She was falling and there was nothing the People could do.

So the People prayed. The first day they prayed to the Gods, the 100,000 thousand stars. They asked the Gods to reach out and catch the moon as they had reached out and shaped the earth and the mountains. But if the far away lights of the Gods heard the People they gave no sign, for when night fell, Irula still wept. Still falling.

The second day the People prayed to the Fiosa, the lord of the sun. Shield us from Moon, with your strong arms they cried, let your light burn away her tears and grant us safety. But perhaps Fiosa was afraid. Perhaps merely unwilling, for when he hid his face beneath the seas, Irula still wept in the darkness. The mountains shook, and the earth split and the oceans ran from the tides. And the Moon was still falling.

On the third day, the last day, the People did not pray. The Gods had not listened. The People would die and they would say their goodbyes to each other. Not to the neglectful Gods. All except one.

He was a shepherd Boy, poor and lonely. The moon’s tears had killed his flock, the raging seas had taken his family. But he still held to the god of the lost and the afraid. Of the Hunter and the shepherd. To Ishar. So the Boy prayed. And when the People saw him they were shamed. Shamed for abandoning the Gods so soon. They prayed to the wandering star. Hoped he alone would listen.

And above them a light shone. Brighter than the sun. The Hunter had heard his people. He had come home.

300, 000 thousand kilometres away, a human voice was speaking. “Moon’s orbit stabilised now, Captain. The gravity pulse worked, cleared most of the impact ejecta that’s been hitting the planet too. That rogue meteorite really did a number on her. If the long range sensor pickets hadn’t picked up the incident. The planet...well...”
“Good work crewman. Send a report back to Earth. Mission successful. Indigenous species protected, albeit with minor trauma. Recommend increased patrol activity in this system, for the next decade or so. At least until this rogue meteor shower’s over”.
“Message sent, Captain”
“Good. That and the new sensor grid should keep them a bit safer. Wonder if they know how lucky they are...”

When the night fell the Moon was no longer falling. Her tears had stopped running, her scars healing. Next to her shone Ishar, leading her back to her place in the dance. The People, rejoiced in their deliverance, praised the name of the Hunter. But in midst of the laughter and dancing the Boy spoke and the People listened. For he felt the truth of his words in his shell, and the People felt it too. From that day they made new prayers. They still prayed to the wandering star. To the god of the lost and afraid. But they called him a different name, for to the People, Ishar was not a Hunter.

He was a Shepherd.