Friday, March 1, 2013
Darkness Falls on a Dark Land, Part 9
Part of what motivates me is that the whole universe is afraid that Omox won’t be around much longer. The only people who don’t seem to believe this are the Omoxians themselves. Always victims of their pride, and they won’t even admit that much.
What’s the point, then, of proving the existence of a city on a planet that may not even exist in a few centuries? Believe me, I had to answer that question from more than a few colleagues before I left. It’s the key to everything, I want to shout! The key to Omoxian history, Alliance history, galactic history, to the mystery of the founders, to everything!
Part of the reason Omoxians are ambivalent about the whole affair, other than the fact that they’re Omoxians, is that like the Tikanni they’re still upset that another species stole their thunder, that Ureic was the first acknowledged leader of the Galactic Alliance. In the early years, when Trey the Conqueror was still alive, it was simply the four species learning to cooperate, figuring out what it meant to try and be equals in a cosmic community. It wasn’t easy. The Tikanni had their egos, the Omoxians definitely had their egos, and even the Vitell and Vanadi had a certain amount of ego involved. After all, they were the ones who had coexisted for centuries. If any of the four knew what it took to make the fledgling Alliance succeed, it would have been the Vitell and Vanadi, and it was no wonder that a Vitell would assume the position, because the Vanadi were the ones who caused the first major instability, not some outside presence, not even the sects of Hesslans at the doorstep of the Alliance, or any other hostile race, and there are always plenty of those. It ended up seeming like a pretty good idea, logical to anyone who approached it dispassionately, for a Vitell to receive the honor, and the only one anyone could agree on was the one who had been a member of the Alliance of Five. It just made sense. Ureic was by that time, just after the Battle of Shibal, an old man by Vitell standards. Vitell have considerably shorter lifespans than Omoxians or Tikanni. Perhaps it was a strategic move as well. He was the last of the founders standing with any kind of reputation worth placing in such an exulted office, and soon enough he would be dead.
I never really understood why anyone would think that would be a good idea, to have a leader who wouldn’t be leader long in a position where a little stability would be a good thing. Yet somehow Ureic was exactly the answer everyone needed, and served as enough of a stabilizing block to make the budding Galactic Alliance stick. Moreso than any of my research into Vitell fertility goddesses, I guess that’s what made me start to respect that race. He didn’t hesitate a moment in establishing the Great Hall in the Vitell city of Clustus. If it had been anyone else, certainly in the aftermath of Shibal, there would have been too much doubt in such a decision. Clustus would have been seen immediately as a target, especially being that much closer to Vanagar. Ureic clearly still had the necessary faith and resolve. The Vitell were never ones to be overly dramatic about anything, and I doubt they ever will.
I caught Bondquan staring at one of the Modoc totems, and clearly embarrassed she told me that she had been having trouble conceiving. There were always complications. Even when successful she could never carry to term. Not knowing too much about Omoxian customs I assumed she had to be in some form of committed relationship, and that bothered me, put me in a funk for a few days, and I was distant to her, this after she told me such intimate details about her life. I feel ashamed about it now. Anyway, as it turns out she wasn’t married in any sense, actually laughed when I finally brought it up. That’s not the way it is on Omox. Probably too primitive. And yet that was the first time she kissed me. When I found the nerve to ask her about that, and terrified that she would say something like exploring her primitive side, Bondquan said that I was awakening emotions within her that she had never known existed. It wasn’t her becoming primitive at all, but learning something about herself that had always existed and had simply never had a chance to flourish before. The question was, did any of that mean what I thought it did? In answer, she kissed me again.
Needless to say, my work has been affected recently. I’m finding it difficult to concentrate. Is Bondquan a distraction? Only in a good way. To her own amusement I’m suddenly learning Omoxian a whole lot better, and of course it’s so she doesn’t find a reason to consider me an idiot, at least not in any way she’ll recognize.