Lightning flashed across the darkened sky. The bolt landed beside Ilk, and within moments, Kin stood in its place. The humanoid shape glowed slightly.
Ilk glanced down at its own foot, noting how it looked upon the broken rocks and dust. This is where they lived.
The words weren’t any language the inhabitants of this dead world would have understood. All such languages were dead, preserved only in relics that survived the Cataclysm.
They brought it upon themselves, Kin replied.
Kin’s signal felt harder than the others, yet it was also familiar.
We came from them. Ilk felt something indistinct stir within.
The connection is distant.
We should try to remember. Ilk stooped and ran its own glowing hand through the dark soil. With the sun overhead, the lack of atmosphere drove the surface temperature too high for liquid water. The heat diffused harmlessly through Ilk’s form.
They had war. They killed over petty differences. Why should we care?
Ilk recalled when Din, from whom Ilk spawned, spoke of Tin. Tin was spawned many millennia ago, as far back as post-Cataclysm records went. Much information about their ancestors still existed then, but was lost over time.
Tin’s words, recited by Din, resonated in Ilk’s mind. Our reasons to fight are gone. There is no sex, no color, no shape. We gained peace, but we lost nuance.
Ilk’s goal was to understand those words. Kin shared no similar goal. Why did you come?
You asked me to. The hard edge of the signal had lessened.
Whatever Tin meant about nuance, Ilk knew the answer wasn’t on Earth’s scorched remains.
No reason to stay. Ilk put its arms over its head and allowed the transformation to take hold.
Kin did the same.
Twin lightning bolts flashed across the sky.