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stargate, DanielJackson

Week 13, Title; Everyone knows how the saying about power goes

Posted on 2014.06.30 at 22:57
Tags: ,

She looks out over the people leading up to her door, as they huddle between a myriad of tents and blankets and camping stoves. It will take those at the back nine days to reach the front. The line hasn’t been this long in a while; a century at least. People tend to lose interest when she refuses to use her powers to help them. But in times of crisis, the desperate will always come. And she still has eons of wisdom to share.

She’s tired, millennia sitting in here listening to the same, time and again, and yet she remains; there’s little else to do. This is her penance.

She can still taste the blood in the grooves and crevasses of her soul.

“What happened to you?” the man asks. She says nothing.



*



She lives on a world of ice, grown but still a child. Then the ice thaws and greenery spreads across the land.

She’s alone. She watches the animals but her laughter is the sound of timpani bells that don’t exist yet so, amused as she is by these creatures of flesh, she keeps it to herself. 

She dresses herself up in a human skin with eyes of hazel. Likes the feel of being human, it’s fun, and there’s a definite start and stop to her being; her existence, power, essence confined to capillaries and muscle and flesh.

She looks upon them and their tools, watches as they forge and wield weapons to hunt their prey, contemplates etchings on cave walls and an art made of fur pelt coverings. They are impressive and fascinating, but also dangerous- she knows as she envisions their future.

She sees what is to come. She sees the way they will rend the earth and paint it with stone so nothing may grow. Sees the way they will poison the air and taint the waters. Sees the way they will malign all other creatures and each other.

She then has much rage for them, that these humans should fill all the space; infect it so despite knowing better. They bite the world with teeth of glass and are surprised when both themselves and the earth come away bloody.

She holds her palm in front of her, staring at her long winding lifeline, and slowly curls her fingers into a fist. Winds whirl about her. She calls the elements to her, letting them float in her orbit, and forges weapons of mud and air and stone. 

She unfurls her fist, landing a whisper of breath upon her palm she sends the weapons the find their marks.

She smiles as the humans fall. She will destroy them all; polish away this stain upon the earth.

She walks across the land and repeats and repeats and repeats.

Until one day she walks back and finds all that lays in her wake; all that she easily ignored, she stops at a scene of children crying over bludgeoned parents, their hearts ripe with fear and hunger and wretchedness.

A golden hue hangs hauntingly in the dark stale air as rich crimsons sweep over the rubble-carpet that was once good land.

She falls to her knees and weeps.



*



When Roger enters the cavernous hut she’s sitting on a throne made of pebbles and scribbling onto a piece of scrap paper.

“Thank you, thank you, your words of advice are so useful,” a tall woman standing in front of her says.

“You’re welcome, I’m glad I could be of help, here,” she says, handing over the paper.

“Is this some potion recipe?” the tall woman asks.

“It’s a phone number, you may find it useful.”

“Thank you,” the tall woman says, bowing her head and stepping backwards until she’s out of the hut.

The woman he’s here to see gestures to him, “Come.”

Roger steps forward. He makes a concerted effort not to be emotional. Logic first, emotion later, he needs to say something to get her attention; something different to all the others.

“Hello mam, I know you’ve had a lot of people asking about this but I just wanted…”

She holds up her hand, “Vampires?”

“Yes,” he states, mind already stumbling over itself, all his supposedly brilliant debating skills seem to slip away under the strength of her tone.

“I have no advice to give. You already know you can run, hide, fight or surrender. And from your expression I know you don’t need my help with deciding which,” she says softly, firmly but genuinely.

It’s an expected response and he’s just pleased to not be dismissed straight away.

“They’re gaining control of more and more of the world every day. You can stop them,” Roger argues, keeping his voice plain. 

“Why should I do that?”

“Because they’re dealing out mass carnage to everything and everyone.”

“There was a time when the same could be said for humans. I’ve despaired much throughout human history, some things get better, some things get worse, some things cycle, time goes by, one way or another all is resolved, everything’s eventual,” she pauses, giving him a poignant look before looking away in apparent boredom and adding casually, “besides, I don’t use my powers anymore except for the tiniest of happenings, nothing that can have a knock on effect and definitely nothing of such a grand scale. Humans had no more right to move the world to their bidding and yet they did, they control the animals, why should humans have any more right to this planet than the vampires?”

Roger thinks she answers with an impressive amount of patience and sincerity given that she’s probably made this speech thousands of times, but that doesn’t change how wrong she is, he replies simply,
“Vampires are evil.” 

“They are predators, much as humans are; they’re merely higher on the pecking order.”

“Except humans are sentient, complex intelligent beings and subjugating people is wrong!” Roger exclaims, chastising himself for the anger and desperation seeping into his tone. Passion is good and an emotional plea is good but she’s undoubtedly heard them all before. He needs sound, strong points. 

“Subjugating any animal is wrong. Killing any animal, other than for food, is wrong. Humans have no more or less right to life than vampires do. I’m not going to massacre the vampires.”

“Are you seriously philosophising about vampire rights?”  

“Is there something else you would rather discuss?”

He decides to take this opportunity to change his tact (he’s emotional already and might as well use it to his advantage). Still he tries to keep his tone reasonably level as he urges,
“Yes. I know you must hear a lot of stories. I just want to tell you mine.”

“And you’re hoping the cumulative effect will lead to my mind changing; that one such story will be the final straw, possibly yours as it’s especially harrowing?”   

He sighs, “Pretty much, yeah.”

“I already know all the stories. There’s a boy sitting on his living room floor with his index finger and thumb pressing against bubble wrap pods, smiling at each satisfying pop. At every sound outside he runs to the window, jumping on tip toes and pulling at the sill to see over the plant pots, so eager he looks as though he could fly up through sheer will power. He’s looking to see whether his father’s home. He doesn’t know his father will never be home again. Maybe the child’s dad is fighting on one side of the war, and if I change the course of the war and save him it will just be a child on the other side with the same story. I don’t have the right to choose which child it is. No one person should have that much sway over the world.”

“This isn’t just a war between humans where you’d be taking sides; the vampires are going to destroy the entire world. Can you really not see? You’re at a stand-still. You say you won’t save anyone because what if they end up killing someone. That’s life, life is what ifs. This, what you’re doing, is just nothing.” 

She sighs, then stands and walks towards the entrance of the hut as she speaks,
“This is the part of the story where I say I like you; say you’re someone different, and grant your wish. Here’s the truth, everyone is different. I’ve had all standing before me; the cocky and the meek, the brave and cowardly, saints and sinners and everything in between, the humble begging for action, cynics baiting me to disprove them, and sad little children trotted out in front of me. I’ve had offers of great wealth, great knowledge, great amounts of anything I should desire, I’ve had threats, I’ve had blackmailers, I’ve had pragmatists arguing that action would be better for me too. And my answer to all of them is the same. Do not imagine that you have anything new to say or any special way of putting it across.”

“What happened to you?” he asks.



*



The man was unremarkable but he’s one of the ones she remembers, even three hundred years later. Vampires began coming in the night and capturing all those around the place and the line dwindled after that day. He was one of the last ones she spoke to.

She’s millennia old but has only just now really understood; there is no right answer, action and inaction will burn in the same way, there is no right way, no ultimate truth, there just is. She’s been here life unlived for far too long. 

She walks towards the office of the vampire queen, summons wind so those who try to stop her are thrown aside.

The queen looks up at her unsurprised, leans back in her chair and cordially says, “Take a seat.”

“Thank you,” she replies, sitting and crossing her legs before focusing on the vampire with an intense stare.

“How may I help you?”

“I’m here to discuss a regime change,” she states.

“Oh?” the leader questions, her left eyebrow rising and lips showing a hint of a smirk.

“Yes, you will hand over your crown to me and ensure your underlings accept me as their new leader and in return your kind will be allowed to live.”

“A war between us would be inconvenient, many may die, but in the end we’ll win. So you may wish to reconsider your terms.”  The vampire uncaps a pen, shifting to return to her paperwork.

“There will be no war, a few millennia ago maybe, but I’m more powerful now. I will destroy you all in the blink of an eye.”

“Before we negotiate any further, I’m going to require a demonstration.”

“Really? I do hate to take the role of an ape beating its chest.”

“An unfortunate necessity.”

“Very well,” she says, lifting her hand and making a small circle in the air with her index finger.

“Nothing happened.”

She smiles wryly, standing and handing over a card, “here’s my number, you may want to take note of the time.”

It’s a quarter to three. She turns and walks out with her head held high.   



*



She watches the vampires and the humans, time passes, humans fight but in the end all are enslaved.

She despairs at the brutality of vampires just as she despaired at the brutality of humans.

Endless lines of chained people march, opening their veins to feed their masters. Some are freed only to be chased, hunted, killed.

Barely alive bodies, kept motionless, living only as food. Or dead bodies with ripped out jugulars. This is what the destruction of the human species looks like.

There are no redeeming golden corners on this broken world.

She falls to her knees and weeps.



*



“At approximately 2.43 pm Jupiter’s orbit reversed itself, the planet is now revolving around the sun in the opposite direction, there’s no scientific explanation that can be provided at this time,” the broadcaster states.

She’s trying to fix the world the only way she knows will work. She ponders how taking the reins herself is likely just as bad as everything else she’s done, but at least she’s living. 

The phone rings and she smiles as she hears the voice on the other end speak,
“We offer our unconditional surrender.”






Comments:


kick_galvanic, zagzagael, skull_theatre
bleodswean at 2014-06-30 22:26 (UTC) (Link)
Whoa. Are you working on a supernatural novel, m'dear? This seems really really complete, to me.

The vampires surprised me. But once I got over my initial confusion the piece takes off nicely. I like your supreme ruler. A lot.
swirlsofblue
swirlsofblue at 2014-07-01 05:48 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, glad you liked her :).

Yeah kind of, I have a loads and loads of plans for a supernatural novel and she's one of the characters. I've only written little scraps and pieces here and there for it though.
Jenn
kickthehobbit at 2014-07-01 06:04 (UTC) (Link)
I really liked this—the different threads of story coming together to make something rich and strange.
swirlsofblue
swirlsofblue at 2014-07-01 06:06 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, glad you liked the different threads coming together, I hoped that would work well :)
A Karmic Sandbox
karmasoup at 2014-07-02 04:52 (UTC) (Link)
Aw, too bad for the humans... I guess she should have listened to Roger. Not sure I'm quite capable of feeling sorry for her, though I am glad she stuck it to the Vampires. If she's so easily bored, though, it will only be a matter of time before she's in the same boat with another race. And the beat goes on... Nicely done.
swirlsofblue
swirlsofblue at 2014-07-02 05:02 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you :).

I think part of the point is that she knows it will just go around again with another race.

I don't think I feel sorry for her either, bear in mind she would've sat through countless genocides already (and slavery and subjugation etc), this isn't anything particularly new for her, only the scale is.
mamas_minion
mamas_minion at 2014-07-02 17:21 (UTC) (Link)
very intresting, I am assuming this is mother nature. I loved how she mentioned whe heard all the arguments and how the human kept thinking their argument woudl be different.I also love that she realized inaction was as bad as action. I just wonder how the vampires evolved.
swirlsofblue
swirlsofblue at 2014-07-02 17:26 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, glad you found it interesting :).

I suppose mother nature could be one interpretation.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors
halfshellvenus at 2014-07-02 21:26 (UTC) (Link)
“What happened to you?” he asks.

I really liked that spontaneous reaction to the narrator's jadedness. Sometimes it's the question beneath the other questions that's most important of all.

Interesting story!
swirlsofblue
swirlsofblue at 2014-07-03 05:08 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, glad you liked that question, yeah exactly; what's underneath can be really telling :)
Laura, aka "Ro Arwen"
roina_arwen at 2014-07-03 01:35 (UTC) (Link)
It must be very hard to be an Immortal! I love the part about reversing Jupiter's orbit, that was a fantastic idea. :)
swirlsofblue
swirlsofblue at 2014-07-03 05:10 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, I'm so happy you liked that bit, I was really hoping it would be liked as I'm quite tickled by the idea myself :).


Teo Says
eternal_ot at 2014-07-03 12:55 (UTC) (Link)
MARVELOUS work!!...even my mind went to Mother nature..interesting world that you built here! esp like the bit ab't jupiter's orbit change..brilliant! Hats off! and Kudos!
swirlsofblue
swirlsofblue at 2014-07-03 15:23 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, so glad you liked the Jupiter bit :)
catwomon at 2014-07-03 13:47 (UTC) (Link)
Wow! What a story! It's fascinating!
swirlsofblue
swirlsofblue at 2014-07-03 15:23 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, glad you liked it :)
Jemima Pauler
jem0000000 at 2014-07-03 22:27 (UTC) (Link)
I like the sense that this is being told backwards as well as forwards. :)
swirlsofblue
swirlsofblue at 2014-07-04 05:50 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, glad you liked that :)
Jemima Pauler
jem0000000 at 2014-07-15 06:45 (UTC) (Link)
You're welcome.
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