#ThrowdownThursday from /r/WritingPrompts

Being the first of the #ThrowdownThursday series, which I announced on a Wednesday, there are no challengers. As such, I sought out my own challenge by grabbing the first prompt off the/r/WritingPrompts reddit feed. Here it is:

[WP] MANKIND INVENTS FTL TRAVEL AND FINALLY DISCOVERS INTELLIGENT EXTRATERRESTRIAL LIFE. BUT WHEN THEY ARRIVE, THEY FIND OUT THAT THE RACE IS NOT YET ADVANCED ENOUGH TO UNDERSTAND SPACE TRAVEL. HUMANS ARE ACCEPTED AS GODS.

They came during the Melting Season, when the mountains spewed forth their yellow powder, corrupting the the rains and turning them against us. That day the clouds parted and allowed the red light of the sun to dry the ground. We crawled out of our caves to partake in the blessing so rare this time of year and replenish our stocks with the shriveled plants whose thick husks saved them from the season’s poisoned water. Animals who loved the sun as we did would have similar goals, and so the men had gathered a hunting party.

These people were among the first honored with the vision of the Gods’ descent. Thunder louder than any storm broke the mid-morning quiet. The hunting party’s eyes turned as tornadoes of fire flashed through the sky, cradling a great smooth mountain as it floated down from the heavens. It scorched the dusty plains as it landed, turning the yellow powder into a boiling sea of brown and crimson flames.

A strange horn blared and summon all to it’s glorious visage. Loud, painful, and insistent it echoed down the caves walls, and only when all had come forth did it quiet. The great smooth mountain spewed clouds that smothered the flames like quieting rowdy children. Then the side of mountain began to move, shifting to reveal a small cave entrance.

Strange figures appeared in the cave entrance. They stood on two limbs and had two appendages coming from the sides of their body. Some vague notions of a face could be seen in the glassy sphere that resembled a head, but most of the features were hard to make out.

At the time before the Gods’ descent, one would commit sacrilege by saying the Gods would be cautious, since immortals need fear nothing, but since we have learned this is not true. The Gods have many fears, and on this day, they knew nothing of our land. They moved cautiously out of their smooth mountain, chattering in strange languages and pointing at the yellow poison and the pools of liquid from its burning.

When they noticed us, huddled at our cave entrance watching them, they paused. Neither of our two groups moved for a long stretch of time. Then one of the Gods leaned toward the other, babbling in their funny tongue. The other nodded his head and then took a step towards us.

As I have said before, at the time caution would be a sacrilegious term to attribute to such mighty beasts as Gods, and even at the time there was no doubting their divinity. As such, the posture to which the God stood, stiff and deliberate, could only be seen as aggressive.

Most of us cowered back in fear, but one man, one of the strongest and least religious of us, stepped back. He let forth a challenging growl and bristled angrily. When the God did not move back, he roared and charged the God.

He did not get far.

But a few steps into his run, the God smote him. Light flashed from his hands, and Leon fell, never to get back up. The ones closest to him saw the instance of his last breath, and immediately fell to their knees with their throats bent outwards in offering. As most of those people consisted of the main hunting party, the strongest among us, the rest of us soon followed suit in a ripple surging outward.

This position does not blind us to those we submit to, and we could still see as the Gods approached the body. They touched him gently, and then lifted him up. They carried him off into their smooth mountain, all the while watching the rest of us intently. It was the last we ever saw of the man, but the Gods say that his body gave them our speech. And so it is said “the Gods speak with the tongue of Leon”.