The lush jungle was now a charred carcass of its former self; the wonderful landscape was incinerated beyond recognition, its inhabitants howling with pain and despair. The dawning horizon complemented the visuals of the now-dead forestry, a sight too horrible to be comprehended. Surrounding me in my field of view was a destroyed fortress, my fallen comrades and endless corpses of the unwilling enemy. A familiar, yet unheard voice rang in psyche: “Truly, it is a pyrrhic victory.

A military whirlybird flew above our bodies like a vulture. Soldiers rapelled down to the muddy field, each landing with a loud ‘thud’. All of them were strapped with an innumerable amount of gear, which included, but was not limited to, medicinal supplies, weaponry and communication equipment, which was fitting considering our present situation. As the medics placed me on a gurney, the familiar voice repeated: “Truly, it is a pyrrhic victory.”

As I was being carried away from this eldritch location, I managed to catch a glimpse with my peripheral vision. Out of my entire battalion, only one managed to evade mortality; unfortunately, that ‘one’ was me. The others were decapitated, immolated, or worse, with the debatably termed ‘enemy’ faring no better. My vision began to blur due to the polluted air, as the disembodied voice whispered: “Truly, it is a pyrrhic victory.”

Also read: “The World is Broken”

The now-grounded whirlybird was being approached by my company, and as I was nearing the gates to safety, I heard a roar of caution, prompting all in my vicinity to unleash a storm of deadly lead upon what I presumed to be a surviving opponent. As if my aural orifices weren’t tortured enough from the sounds of battle already, they now began to ring from the high pitch emitted by the detonated fruit. I was suddenly dropped to the jungle floor, and my angels of life now became the demons of death. “Truly, it is a pyrrhic victory.”

The resulting shock-wave from the explosion stirred both my consciousness and my soul. My face was planted firmly against the mud and detritus, and my whole body became numb. Tears enveloped my pupils, and pitch and treble deafened me. Heated rubble and shards of human bone rained on my back, striking my physique with immense force, which resulted into an eruption of painful screams from my part. Ultimately, I weakened, and the familiar voice brought about repetition with the now iconic phrase: “Truly, it is a pyrrhic victory.”

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Darkness began to envelop me. From the wet, sticky mud, to the rusted underside of the whirlybird, everything started to fade away into nothingness. After a few minutes, I found myself floating in a space that was not quite black, not quite white, but something in between. My weightless body spun on its axis until I came face-to-face with a rather large, bony figure. From his stature, I immediately understood my current predicament. His equally bony finger pointed towards my forehead, and from his gaping maw of indeterminate width shouted the words which shattered my spirit.

“I am the beginning of your end. I was brought forth by God from nothingness to bring about mortality. By His will, I have no first, I have no last. I am His definitive plan to define human meaning, and He succeeded. But at what cost? Have I not shown grace? Has He not shown love? The purpose of my existence was to maintain peace, with which you mortals have abused the privilege. Because of your abhorrent actions, I have become the destroyer of Worlds. Truly, our master is disappointed with your achievements. Truly, it is a pyrrhic victory.”

…..

Written by: Muhammed Asghar Khaw

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