The Queen bowed her head and the remaining light left the cavern. All I could see now was the silhouette of her body, cast by a very dim sunflower glow coming from the wood of her throne.
As she lifted her head I caught a glimpse of her eyes, they had changed; they were no longer green, but completely silver, mercury-like. As she raised her head, two narrow tubes of light, almost as if produced by powerful LED. torches, but somehow more perfect, traced lines across the floor towards me.
I knew this was the end. I hadn’t been able to convince her of my sincerity. She hadn’t believed a single word I’d said.
The beams struck me full force in the chest. I fell backward. It was like being at the wrong end of the strongest untamed bucking horse and beneath the crushing power of the tallest breaking wave, all at the same time.
I opened my eyes and could see the cavern’s roof. I had a black blank gap in my memory. For a moment I wondered whether I was in the afterlife.
“Get up, Derek,” the Queen’s voice echoed around the chamber letting me know exactly where I was.
The back of my head ached and I tested it carefully as I sat up. It seemed Ok; still intact.
“Against my better judgement, we have decided to grant your request.”
I stood up. “How can I get the power?” I asked.
“You have just received it you foolish, puny human.”
I looked down at my chest and rubbed it. “That?”
“How else did you expect the power of Nature to feel?”
I shrugged. It wasn’t just that I had no answer, my chest felt like every rib had been broken and I was struggling to breathe deep enough.
“You have but to touch the circle of the LHC in four places; from that time onwards, until the humans build again, no power large enough to cleave our lands will be generated.
“But keep in mind, this power of ours will not belong to you until your death-day. You have one mankind hour.”
“What? How do…?”
As she said the word she pushed her hand out towards me and the cavern faded away.