Saturday, November 2, 2013

Page a Day: One Hundred Thirteen

            I shook my head. “I don’t know. I don’t know that it matters anymore. I am only one person. Even you cannot fight this war alone, or you would not be gathering an army. I’ll  help in what way I can. But I don’t think it will be very much.”
            He laughed. “In my dreams you are always fighting, stabbing, cutting. You are a great warrior. So I placed a dagger in your hand. But it is not what you want to hold. I have seen you writing. This task absorbs you as no other.”
            I shrugged. “A way to organize my thoughts.”
            He shook his head. “You forgive me far too much. I read them while you recovered. You must look more hardly at me, and more kindly on Marcus. This war needs telling. If we win, this world and all others should know how. If we are defeated, then what you write will be the only record anywhere of who we fought and why.”
            “They say there is no dissent behind the nightwind. The loyalty change takes all of that away.”
            He frowned, shaking his head. “I was once a Historian. I believed that reading was an infection of its own. But that is the help that you can give me.”
            “Marcus wanted me to carry things.”
            “Well,” he said, picking up a bundle he had lain on the grass. “Everyone does that.”
            He stood and walked away into the ship, taking his burden  with him. It was a few minutes before I stood and walked back the way that he had come. I saw now that the lines of men stretched all the way to the horizon, toward the keeps of the Profuse Hand. Beside the line came, slowly, a second line of the golden disks, each as high as three men, that I knew from story to be Profusionist artillery. But I fell in with those souls returning to the east, swift and empty-handed. The mud of the tundra squelched underfoot. It was not easy walking, but I was glad to be standing at all, breathing, sharing the work of men.

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