Every single inch of his body felt like it was on fire. For a moment he wasn’t really sure where he was, or how he’d gotten there.
He tried to get up, and barely managed to move. The ground around him was still sizzling and popping from the intense heat. What had happened?
Something soft brushed lightly against his face. His eyes opened slowly to see a delicate golden feather, slowly melting into nothingness. It was then he remembered. The flaming swords, the short and bloody battle, the cries of his brothers as the final fiery end erased them from reality.
The memories gave him enough strength to painfully make his body move again. So the old fool had really done it, he had destroyed his own children for daring to question his ineffable whims?
He stood up, and surveyed the smoking crater his fiery impact had caused. A rain of golden feathers that used to be his wings kept turning into dust around him.
He wasn’t sure how he had survived, but he had, and he planned to stay alive. The cauterised scars on his back still hurt like an open wound as he climbed to the edge of the crater. The view from the rim was a surprise to him.
Of all the places in creation he could have been thrown by the explosion he had actually fallen here, smack in the middle of the tiny ball of mud and rocks the old fool had chosen as the home of his precious, mindless puppets. He had to laugh at the irony of it all.
Free will, he had given it to his master’s puppets moved by pity and, in doing so, had discovered it within himself as well. It had also caused all of his peers to be erased from existence, no longer fit to blindly follow orders from a capricious old fool.
The sun was setting, painting the desert mountains in glorious shades of red and gold. Deep in his heart he knew he would always carry with him the pain of his companions’ dying cries, but he was still here and this was his world now.
He looked one last time at the last glittering vestiges of his former self being scattered by the wind, and began to walk down towards his new home.