They were a strange race, the humans. -Cover made using Rinmaru Games-


1. Eleven

They were a strange race, the humans. Eleven had been observing them for three days now, and already he was fascinated, ensnared by their abnormality. Their voices were alarmingly soft; their mannerisms could be described as nothing but obscurity. Even the air they breathed (oxygen, Eleven recalled) was outlandishly difficult to survive within.

But the most captivating thing about the humans was the colour they so revered.

His favourite by far was green. Deciding upon that had been an effortless task: green was calming, soothing, relaxing in a way that was completely alien to him. Their magnificent realm seemed coated with it, like they all had run about with the strange utensils they called paintbrushes, splashing their surroundings with emerald and all those other shades of green that he could never remember. Green leaves, Eleven had decided from the moment of his arrival, were far superior to black leaves.

And there was white, too - like the strange, powdery substance the humans called snow. White had alarmed him, at first, with its brightness and brilliance and immaculateness. It was so different - almost too different - to the black of his own world. Black and red. Humans liked those colours, too, but they had so many hues of red. Not simply restricted to black, or the all-too familiar shade of red that the humans would call crimson.

They had so many different words for black, too: jet, obsidian, onyx. All exotic, beautiful words that he could purr with such extravagance. Obsidian was his favourite word for his least favourite shade.

Azure. That was a nice word, as well, and it was the colour of their eternal, cloud speckled sky; of their gentle, lapping ocean.

There was just one problem: the humans themselves.

Colour. Humans.

Eleven, at first, had ignored their callous, sadistic nature in favour of marvelling at the shades of beauty, but then he had stumbled upon the guns and the corpses and the screaming: war. War was something of human creation, and, as far as Eleven could see, it was a chaotic storm of anarchy, and its only colours were the crimson of blood and the black of death.

And he hated those colours.

It wasn't like Eleven thought that the destruction favoured by his own race was any better, but at least the pure devastation was swift, painless. A vortex of ravenous crimson and obsidian, and then, nothingness. Worlds, gone in the blink of an eye. Eleven still didn't comprehend the notions behind the destruction of the large, clumsy-looking orbs the humans called planets, but, whatever they were, they had to be better than the reasons behind war.

War was started by human greed; fuelled by human hatred.

Eleven didn't see the point in it, and it was messier than destruction. Much like the mess humans made of those trays they had named pallets, when they swirled the colourful fluids together with the paintbrushes. At first, the vibrant liquids were beautiful, like the arcs known to them as rainbows, but they quickly darkened, falling to a shade of black. Or, as he liked to call it now, obsidian.

Because that was the fault with the humans, wasn't it? Their incompetence. Their inability to see beauty. They had been bestowed with such alluring gifts. Animals, mountains, colour... The list was infinite. But what did they do with their gifts of glory? They mocked one another merely for the colour of their skin. Why would they do something so incredulous? Eleven would have loved skin of a pearly complexion, or of a dark, deep brown like the colour of that delicacy they called chocolate.

His eyes lingered upon the city, and Eleven finally forced himself to do it. The scales.

On one side, the beauty of their realm, the eternal array of natural artistry. And on the other: the humans themselves, the cruel, oblivious creatures of monstrous nature. Magnificence, oblivion. Colour, hatred. Did they really deserve the colour? The animals? The strangely fascinating mechanisms their intelligence had allowed them to create - the paintbrushes, the pens, the colourful fluids he had yet to find the name of?

The scales tipped - in favour of destruction.

No, Eleven decided, they did not deserve the gifts. Such a preposterous kind should not be entitled to such things. Rather nobody possessed colours, than these fools dominating them. He held his arm up to his face, elegant fingers tapping twice at the device coiled around his wrist, and then, Eleven was gone.

The next moment, he was standing within the nest of the Northbound. The ship's interior flooded him with nausea, at first, with terror. All colour: gone. Now, there was simply the black - no, obsidian - of the control decks and the crimson of the Leader's eyes, like pools of the human blood, swelling and swirling and snaking.

"Well?" Leader's voice was sharp, rough. Eleven was filled with a sudden desire to hear the lullaby of a human voice. Lullabies - yet another human invention that would, in approximately three minutes and twenty-three seconds, be destroyed.

"Destruction." Eleven almost choked on the word, which was impossible, because he'd been made for perfection, designed with rationality and emotionlessness in mind.

"Very well. Anything of importance?" Leader asked.

"Colour." The word, that one incredible, prodigious word, escaped his obsidian lips before he could so much as think, and emerged an almost desperate gasp. "Yes," he said, more slowly, bringing himself to meet Leader's piercing eyes. "There was colour."

It seemed almost a full second before Leader lunged forwards, and suddenly there were serpents of agony snaking relentlessly through his body, and he was slumping to the blackness of the Northbound's deck.

Death. Pain. Human obsessions, human phobias, human faults. Eleven looked down at the gaping hole in his chest. When he did, it was not the terror that stole the last of his breath. It was his blood, glorious and beautiful and startlingly alluring.

Green. His blood was green, like the leaves of the human trees.

And it was the most magnificent colour Eleven could ever wish to see.

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