Monday, March 4, 2013
Darkness Falls on a Dark Land, Part 12 (Conclusion)
It’s deep into the night when I’m dropped off at the observatory. Faneuil is waiting for me. I reach in my bag and pull a clay statue of Modoc from it. Faneuil observes it for a moment with his tongue, flicking it in and out in rapid succession, judging the fertility goddess’s merits for himself.
It’s been years since I really thought about the decisions that have led me to this life, examining the past, questioning history and attempting to rewrite the record. Has it all been a giant mistake? I’ve been accusing the Omoxians, the Tikanni, everyone else of being motivated by ego, but I suppose it’s just as true of me. I’ve called myself a descendant of Trey the Conqueror just as if it’s some kind of accomplishment. If no one else knows does it even matter? Who cares if Trey was also Myrmidon? Who wonders if Rejon made any bit of difference in the grand scheme? It’s ancient history. My own history is forever checkered. I’ve been running from it my whole life.
I’ve been unfair. I’ve disrespected my parents, my family, and I wonder why. What was the point? What was I trying to prove? I’ve always looked for reasons, for causality, for things to make sense, and I used to believe I was a success at this game, but now I’m not so sure, and I wonder why I ever bothered. In my heart I know that I was right all along, and that it doesn’t matter if no one else will ever know. The Omoxians will bury Shibal again, and I don’t know why and I suddenly don’t care. Sometimes it just doesn’t matter. No one asked and no one will ever care about the answer. I’m the first of my kind to know the truth. I probably won’t be the last. What I’ve really accomplished was following the same impulse as everyone else, and I just never realized it. I kept telling myself that I was different, somehow exotic, because it made me feel better. It just doesn’t matter.
I’ve been trying to sleep for hours and it won’t come. I’ve gotten up and walked around and tried reading, watching a few programs, even a movie, but nothing works. It’s the clarity of revelation. I wonder if this is the way all saints feel. I had no idea. Would we really think so highly of them if we knew just how horribly human they really were?
My parents used to talk about saints all the time. There was a saint for every situation, and a prayer to match. I don’t know if I ever believed, if I went off on my wild tangents in search of that answer, or whether I ever found it. Maybe that’s what I was looking for on Omox, a mystery wrapped around an enigma, surrounded by a thoroughly alien culture. We humans used to think that the stars would either bring about good change or bad annihilation. Turns out it was a little of both, and it’s just so hard to reconcile our hopes, because there are always new ones to replace the old. We never even consider that. We always think there will be an ending, but there never is. It’s just one big cycle.
Heh. Maybe that’s the point of Modoc, Shibal, even Bondquan. Maybe she got pregnant. Maybe she knows this time it’ll stick. She’ll finally have that offspring she always wanted, something to pass on the misery of the universe to. In a way, I couldn’t offer her anything better than that, and she knew it, and it just took me a while to realize it. Well, it’s only taken an exhausting trip home and absolutely no sleep to chase it for the clarity to finally reach me. It figures.
Tomorrow will be different. Well, it will probably be the same. I guess I know that now. I’ll find something new to obsess about. Maybe I’ll make it my new mission to finally decode the Omoxian myths. There may be something about Shibal, or even Modoc, waiting to be discovered. Maybe Lord Phan will pop up, maybe Rejon, or even Myrmidon. It would only figure.
I should visit with family first, make amends. They won’t understand what it means, but I will, and that will make the difference. I’ll tell them all about my experiences on Omox, but things will be different. They won’t know it like I did, and I won’t attempt to clarify. That’s probably how these things start. The truth becomes too personal, too painful, too wonderful. There’s great worth in legend. I’ll tell them that Shibal exists, and it always did, and it always will. Shibal is the true heart of the universe.
Well, something like that.