Saturday, May 25, 2013

Page a Day: Thirty-Two

            I thought again. “Why will I ride second to you? It is surely an honor, and should go to one of the Never-born, if not Marcus or Julius then at least a captain of some kind.”
             “When the matriarch knelt,” asked Jerem Cozak, “and all were mastered, was it because I commanded the matriarch, and they followed her? Or was it because the others saw a thousand things they had never seen before, and feared being overcome by them instead?”
            I frowned, and smelt at last the sleep-scent of our herd, which was both sour and sweet. “I cannot say.”
            “Nor I, and even the mastodons do not know. Did they act without purpose? Were they led by instinct or machine or by me? You are also divided by desires, but are all parts of yourself.”
            “But who am I? What am I? Why am I even here? I failed the tests of the Temple of the History of the Profusion. I have no affinity. But I spoke to the Well of Faith’s Healing. And the machines of the mastodons certainly have an affinity for me. So what am I? And who are you so important? Many said you were a bad Faith, but I was never one of them”
            He frowned. “You are here because you came. The Faith is dead, and I will not defend him. For the rest of it: would you explain yourself to anyone who asked you?”
            I admitted I would not, and told him of the young man I’d met in Ariel. “But I do not know what I am,” I added, “or what I’m supposed to do. There was a prophecy about me, but I fulfilled it. I gave the White Swarm to you. I’ve done my part. It’s over. You say I’m with the Never-born, but I’m no soldier.”
            “Yet at dawn you will take up your sword,” he said. “And help us cut and bind a very large amount of grass.”

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