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At a small table in the dark corner recesses of a bar, on a strange and distant planet, sat quietly a tall and mysterious figure.  His eyes blazed orange and yellow like the sun on a handsome, steel-like face and his bald head implied wisdom and not merely old age.  He wrapped his long fingers around the cold drink in front of him as he thought about his place in the universe and he sighed.  He was a master of his art, a God you could say, and after giving the universe centuries of his life, it no longer required his gifts and he had been dismissed as an artifact from the previous age.  His name was An-Ra and he was an Architect.  For thousands of years he had travelled to planets across the universe where early life was springing up, giving them the basic knowledge and tools that would hopefully propel their evolution forward and towards a planet that could eventually interact with the rest of the universe.  He was an Architect of civilizations and, integrating his keen intelligence and his vivid creativity, had created a vast number of successful and powerful worlds.

He closed his eyes and saw his beautiful, perfect pyramids strewn across galaxies and a sharp pain entered his heart as he remembered how his love for creation had been suddenly chained and locked away by the Universal Council and, in fact, why now he sat in that bar.  The Universal Council had determined that the creation of worlds was too biased by the identity of the creator, deciding in favor of artificially intelligent computers that executed rapid-development plans, creating clone after efficient clone of dull but productive worlds. They had ruthlessly barred him from the one thing he lived for; to create.

He shook off his pain and took a long drink of his icy, effervescent beverage.  He sat in that bar because he refused to be stifled and, remembering that, the fire that had brought him there re-entered his bones and he smiled mischievously to himself as he thought to himself, They should have killed me when they had the chance.

His daze was broken as he noticed his closest friend, Kan, walk through the doors of the dusty bar and scan the dimly lit room for his table.  Kan’s long black hair, deep gray eyes and enormous tanned and muscled body contrasted An-Ra amusingly as he slid into the seat across from him.

“Hello old friend.” An-Ra said with a warm smile.

“Ra, it is so good to see you.” Kan said warmly back, “I never thought, however, that it would be under these conditions.”

“We Architects find ourselves in strange and difficult times these days.”

“I couldn’t agree more.  Are you ready to do something about it?”

An-Ra looked his friend deep in the eyes.  If this was discovered, they would surely be executed by the Universal Council, but he didn’t care.

“Yes.” Said An-Ra, “Lets.”

Kan pulled a small crystal cube from his pocket and placed it on the table.  A soft light sprang from it and focused into a beautiful, rotating hologram of a planet unlike any An-Ra had seen before.  His eyes grew large with wonder as he watched the green, blue and tan planet spin slowly before him, its axis at a slight tilt.

“This information was not easy to obtain,” began Kan, “This is the planet of the rogue Architects.  It lies far on the outskirts of the Universe, away from the eyes of the Council and is teeming with infant life.  The inhabitants look similar to us and are extremely intelligent, adaptive and resilient.  The world they live on is diverse with different climates, environments, and animal life and because of its tilt, they experience seasons.”

Kan made a motion with his hand and little red glowing markers appeared in various areas across the planet.

“There are a few other Architects that have already implanted themselves across the planet,” he continued, “but none as good as you or I and there are two places on this planet, on opposite sides, where you and I could build our greatest civilizations ever.”

“This is the most beautiful planet I’ve ever seen.” Said An-Ra, “But multiple civilizations on one planet? That’s never been done.  What do you think the outcome of that will be?”

“War, I imagine.  But eventually, an integration of the cultures created by all who build there, creating one diverse and flourishing world, born of the forgotten Architects of this Universe.”

An-Ra carefully studied the spinning orb for a moment and then pointed his finger to a light tan area of the planet.

“Let me guess… me.”

“You and the desert!” Kan laughed aloud.  “I knew you couldn’t resist!”

Streaking through sand, in the very center of the largest mass of land on the planet, was a long, golden river hugged by fertile land.  An-Ra’s mind raced with excitement and possibility and, in his head, he had already started building the entire civilization we would create there.

“Perfect, huh?” said Kan.  “Look at mine!”

He spun the planet with a motion of his hand and stopped it with a finger over a dense green portion.

“There’s my jungle!”

An-Ra laughed aloud.  “Well, I guess that seals it.  This is perfect.  You’re going to go out there with your strangely stacked pyramids, which I still say aren’t as good as mine,” he laughed, “and I’ll be on the other side of the planet connecting my beautiful, perfectly built structures to the stars and building an agricultural empire in the middle of a desert that will define the entire planet!”

“Are you going to teach them how to write with pictures?” laughed Kan.

“You’re going to teach yours to write with pictures too!” An-Ra chuckled.

“I think mine are still better.”

The two Architects laughter quickly subsided as their attention was drawn to the beautiful, glowing figure that had just walked through the doors of the bar.  Her long blond hair glistened as it floated behind her and her eyes were bluer than the bluest ocean, on any planet.  She fell like a feather into a chair around the table with her fellow Architects.

“Did you show him??” she asked excitedly.

“I just did.” Kan said with a smile.

She turned to An-Ra with her wild, excited eyes that swam with the seas of the Universe.

“Guess what I’m going call mine?!”

She almost couldn’t contain herself…



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