Thursday, April 28, 2016

A to Z Lies in Space - Xander

As they say on Earth, pride goeth before the fall.

Yes, it was pride, wretched pride.  I couldn't let my life, what I had dedicated it to since before I can remember, fall apart without falling apart, too.  Perhaps I went a little mad.  Not that that is nearly enough excuse.

It was all her fault.  Zuri's.  It sounds weak to say so, but there it is.  If she hadn't existed, hadn't exposed me so appallingly, perhaps things would be different.  No, I'm sure they would be different.  The biggest difference?  I could stand to live with myself.  Even in death.  The worst suffering the dead experience is regret, and the greatest regret imaginable, at least for me, is knowing how profoundly they screwed up in life.

She existed there, mocking my existing, for so long, it became a habit for me to hate her, not so much for anything she did, not for a long time, but for what she represented.  Everything came so easily to her.  She understood, right from the start, how Reeve manipulated everyone, and even though I was in the best position to believe her, of course I didn't.  Quentin was my brother.  I should have believed him, trusted him, but I didn't.  I couldn't.  I suppose that was jealousy, too.  Too often we let such delicate sin corrupt us. 

So when the Order started to crumble, when we began to turn on each other, in that horrible vacuum created by our greatest victory, in the hands of another, the other, I turned on her.  It was so easy.  I felt it was my right.  No one else would admit it.  I knew what had happened.  Master Greer, best of all exemplified what happened.  It was all his fault, I'd like to say.  He started it. 

The arguments of the schoolyard, from the mind of someone who should have known better.

But I finished it.  I made sure the logical conclusion was reached.  I gave the order that destroyed the Order.  It began with the apprentices.  No, it began with the masters.  A systematic slaughter, enacted by the last dregs of Reeve's lieutenants, agents of a different order, dispassionate, disconnected from all.  Robots.  I was repulsed by their very existence, and yet I used them.  Cool, efficient.  A perfect solution.  The one thing Sapo could not manipulate.  That's what our reality was.  A poor one, I now realize. Easy, so very easy, to corrupt.  To annihilate.

Zuri herself was easy to blame, as I said.  So I did what Reeve had done before me, manipulated the situation, made her the enemy.  And personally eliminated her.  And that was that. 

To my everlasting, eternal shame.

"But this is not the story," says Kindly.

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