June had just learned a new word. “Compersion”, she muttered the word under her breath and mulled it over in her head.

…the second hand feeling of happiness you get when you see someone else happy.

June had felt this before. A long time ago when she still had a heart. June thought, “maybe I miss those days”. But she knew better. Those were dark days. Dark days that moulded her into this cloud of gloom in the better, sunnier days.

She sighed.
She rubbed the infinity ring on her ring finger. She sighed again.

Once, long ago, she was a soldier. She sold her soul to a cause. One that would see her best friend become the supreme ruler of the world. The same cause that would make her best friend her worst enemy.

June wondered if Dzinu still wore his ring. If he even remembered her.

Dzinu rose from his desk and walked over to the window. From up here on the 50th floor, he had a nice view of his megacity. He had come a long way from the Agbogbloshie junkyard. He rose from nobody to become the king of that borla. And just like that, he rose to be- come king of a bigger borla, the world.

Dzinu was crazy. Everyone thought so but they understood that he had to be. There was no other way to reshape the world without someone as crazy as him at the helm.

What they didn’t know was that Dzinu knew he was crazy. What thrilled him even more was the fact that they had no idea just how crazy.

A certain madness danced triumphantly behind his eyes. Dzinu smiled. Nobody could ever see it.

Except —

But it was for June. If he had cause to believe they were treasonous, it had to be true. Oh, how foolish she was.

In a twisted turn of events , however, that very same massacre she oversaw paved the way for her to become the leader of the Last Stand, a union of remaining coalition loyalists and the few enlightened ones in Dzinu’s Resistance movement.

They had all been too late in detecting Dzinu’s madness. So they banded together against a common enemy, a threat to mankind.

Deep within the recesses of his mind, Dzinu could see it all in flames. First, he would drop a 20-tonne photon bomb on her former associate’s headquarters. The traitor and her cronies were not safe from him. After he wipes them off all planes of existence, he would burn the world. And from the ashes, like the phoenix he was, would rebuild it.

June hated this part of her job as a leader, making tough decisions. They had run out of options. The Last Stand knew their time was coming to an end. Their skirmishes were simply a rash to the powerful dragon. If they were going to slay it, they would have to do so with a most prized treasure, fire.

But that also meant destroying an entire city. Innocent lives would be lost. Even if they suc- ceeded, people never forgot. Grudges will be held against both sides for centuries to come. That was how it had always been.

“Maybe Dzinu’s plan isn’t so bad after all” June mused.

She slapped herself out of that line of thinking. What must be done must be done.

She stepped into her command centre as–

–Dzinu fingered a fat green button to start the sequence that would boot up the photon bomb.


Far away, a little boy, raised in the desert all his life by kangaroos looked over the horizon as a most ominous cloud rose and blocked out the sun.

It was a glorious painting if ever the boy understood what a painting was. The boy had no way of knowing what had just happened.

As far as the universe was concerned, he might as well be the last boy on earth. As far as he cared, if his family of kangaroos and other desert animals were happy, he was happy.