The universe is vast and full of mysteries, spread across the stars and all of time itself. It is said that there was once a race that was able to sense time. But now they are long gone and nothing is left of them but stories, whispered tales as old as the stars themselves.
There is one story that stands out of all the others. One that might have started in this place, or somewhere else entirely.
It was a rainy day. The waters of the yearly Grillbarin monsoon covered a great deal of the junk wastelands. The people of Maluchir had lived there since they could remember and even their children learned to search the waste for usable things all day.
One such a child, clad in a bright yellow rain coat, was just about to stuff an old but still functioning radio inside his pockets, when he heard an unfamiliar noise. It sounded like the huffing and panting of an old machine. A humming filling the air.
When the child turned around he suddenly faced a rundown advertising pillar that most certainly hadn't been there before, even though it fit perfectly into its surroundings. The door squeaked slowly open and out stepped a figure, clad in a long black coat that reached down to its ankles and had a hood that covered their face.
The figure was bigger than any Maluch and took a good look at the pillar they had just stepped out, before turning around and taking in the surroundings, before their gaze lastly fell onto the child.
"You're not whom I'm looking for..." a dark, male sounding voice spoke to himself. "Wrong time again." The guy kicked the pillar and cursed under his breath, then turned around again. "Ey, you!"
"M... me?" the child wondered.
"Not the brightest around, eh? You don't happen to have a Chronokinetic loaded Kolfur cable in all that junk?"
"I... I don't know what that even is, Sir." The child straightened and he looked up to the man, rain dripping down from his yellow hood. The child's face was turquoise in color and the upper half of his face was covered by a chitin plate. Only the eyes were uncovered.
"Of course not. Would have been too easy." The man kicked some junk away.
"But Mum could know. She knows the wastelands better than anyone else!"
The strange figure tilted his head and seemed to think for a moment, before he nodded. "Alright. It's a chance at least. If I can repair the winding module this journey will be over in no time."
"Great! We didn't have visitors for ages!" The child jumped up in joy, producing a big splash, when he landed back on his rain boots. He then swiftly took the man's hand and tore him along.
"Don't... do that..." he mumbled and tore his hand away.
As the child looked behind, he could get a peek at the face underneath the hood and found brown, somehow sad looking eyes there.
"I'm Chipu by the way. The oldest son of Chapputi the Wise," the boy blabbered. "Do you have a name? And what are you even? You look so different."
The man didn't answer though, so Chipu stayed silent until they reached the village.
"Welcome to Mellakar!" he said proud and spread his arms, grinning wide when the stranger let out an appreciative whistle.
They stood in front of a tall mountain which's peak vanished into thick clouds. And on top of it lay the gigantic skeleton of a Chermobol. Its wings once spread as wide as the mountain was tall, its tail lay crumbled at the bottom, serving as the hull for countless houses, as did the other bones. Ramps of wood and metal lead up and down the skeleton, connecting all the different layers of the village.
"Mum has an inn in the maw," Chipu explained, as he lead the stranger to a lift that brought them a mile up the mountain to a gigantic, open mouthed skull. Its once deadly teeth were now decorated with orange lamps and inside the maw stood a big wooden building.
"Chipu!" a loud female voice came from ahead, as soon as they entered. "What are you doing here already! Don't tell me you tore your raincoat aga... Ohh! Who is that?!" A thin woman approached them, wearing the same chitin plate over her face and two thin antennas on her head. "Haven't seen another species around here for ages. Can I bring you something? Sit down! There is a fire over there! This weather is awful..." she went on, as she vanished into the neighboring room.
The stranger strode towards the fire and sunk down onto a stone bench in front of it. After what seemed to be hesitation he finally pulled down his dripping hood and Chipu sneaked to him to take a closer look. The man had blond, almost white, hair and a beard framed his mouth. His hazel brown eyes now stared into the fire, and although Chipu had never met one like him, he could sense that he was dangerous.
Shortly after the woman came back and sat a small bowl next to the man. "Eat. It will warm you up," she offered friendly.
"Don't have any money," the stranger just said, not averting his gaze from the flames.
"Don't be silly, dear!" the woman let out. "Who would charge a traveller for a soup during the Grillbarin! Especially one from another planet."
Without saying another word or moving his head, the man reached for the bowl and busied himself with it for a while.
"Why are you sad?" Chipu suddenly asked, then looked hastily away when his eyes met that of the stranger. Maybe he had just imagined it before.
"You shouldn't talk to me, shrimp," the man growled. "The only reason I haven't burned this place yet, is because I need this component... Well... and because of all that stupid rain here."
The boy opened his mouth to counter something, but then closed it again, out of fear. He didn't want to leave the fire though and stayed, carefully observing the stranger, until his mother returned.
"Was it good?" she asked in a friendly tone.
The man raised and stared the woman down for a second. "Your son said you might know if there is some Chronokinetic loaded Kolfur cable in all that junk out there. If so, hand it over to me."
"Hand it... over. Yes..." the lady said, as if in trance, but then slowly shook her head. "No, I'm afraid there is no such thing. We used to have those... but after the invasion of the Ghaluwan... they took everything with them that could even remotely be used to manipulate time. Since then our species is stuck here..."
"Ugh, what a waste of time." He sharply turned around and was about to leave the building, when Chipu ran after him.
"What have you done to Mum? Why is she so strange?" he cried.
"Nothing, you dumb brat. She'll be fine in a minute." He tried to kick the boy out of the way, but he evaded.
"Why are you so mean?! The last traveller from beyond was nice and kind. But you... you are evil!"
A humorless laugh escaped the stranger and he grabbed the boy at his collar to lift him up into the air with a nasty grin on his face. "Yes, and I'm very good at it. Be glad I just hypnotized your mum, and now buzz off." He let go of the child and it landed on the ground with a loud thud. But then he turned around again and stared down. "Who was this last traveller?"
"Leave him be," the mother suddenly stood between them. "If you leave now I will forget this and don't call anyone."
"What... traveller?" The stranger strode closer. "Answer."
"We... know not much about them. It's just a story. From long after the invasion, but still over a thousand years ago. It is said they helped slaying the Chermobol. It brought peace to our people... for the first time in centuries. But their name got lost to time, I'm afraid. That's all."
"Mhm... not helpful."
"They say this traveller had sad eyes," Chipu murmured from behind. "I was hoping you could be them."
"Not much of a helping person, I'm afraid," the man laughed.
"But who are you then?" the boy finally stood up and came closer. "If not all travellers from beyond are nice... we should tell people."
The grin on the stranger's face could barely be more malevolent and he chuckled to himself.
"I am the..." but then he paused, and there was something strange in his eyes for a moment. "No one," he murmured and put up his hood, before he opened the door to leave. For a second he hesitated, and without turning around he suddenly chuckled darkly, as if he had been reminded of a joke, then he murmured, "I am the Reaper."
With that he vanished into the rain and was never seen again.