People are born. People age. People grow old. People die. That is the natural order of things.
Perhaps that is why I am now here. Why I am still here. Why I did not die. I had tampered so much with the natural order that the natural order no longer applies to me. Not that I did this on purpose, no. I had experimented with so much so long ago, trying to heal my condition. Alchemy. Geomancy. Necromancy. So many dark arts that people would use to do such things on purpose, it’s entirely possible I had done it to myself on accident.
And maybe not even from that? Is it from my battle with the fallen dragon? Is it a curse from aiding the lord of the underworld? Is it a parting gift form the elder, after attaining enlightenment and leaving to spend the rest of the days left before dying to think on the world?
It was strange, at first. I lay in bed, healers attending to me, expecting to die. It was the end of my life, I could feel it. It was there. And yet, I did not die. Day in, day out. The healers couldn’t explain it, just said I was holding on still, not quite letting go. But I was not dying. Once I realized that, truly realized I was not dying, it then became a problem. I was supposed to die. I was expected to die. Not that the people wanted me dead, but they were expecting me to be dead. They moved on. I couldn’t just get up, hobble on my cane back down the street, and go back into work again. My work had been handed to others, granted to new people. This was final, this was the end.
Since it was not the end, I then had a dilemma.
Not that I wanted to die, but not that I didn’t want to die. I had lived a full life, overseeing the transition to this world. Helping the colony come to fruition. Helping the people get over their initial reactions and see the vision of what the prophet had planned when he sent us here. Help support the town leaders step into the ideals that James had laid out for their plan. Now, when I was supposed to die, I was not. Could I do more? Should I do more? Was I capable of it? Did this old woman still have some fight left in her? My magic ability hadn’t waned the way my muscles and bones had, I still was a perfectly capable healer.
So I made my decision. I had to sneak out. I headed out under the cloak of night and magic, and left the city. Guided by a lynx far away, I dug out this home in the mountains. A lynx who is also getting quite aged, looking at its fur. After what happened the last time, I would like to have a good conversation if it were to come of age enough to hold one.
So here I will be based. It has been a few weeks since I snuck out, and from my remote monitoring spells the search parties have giving up searching the area around the city for my body. I will begin keeping notes and journals of what I observe the world doing. For now I will have to hide, while people still recognize me and there’s still so little people that I stick out, but in time I will be able to travel among the people unassumingly and interact with them. This is what I can do. I can record what happens, and I can guide them from here.
I have taken up astrology in my old age. A telescope was one of the things that was to be buried with me. With my body missing, I suppose they may bury it anyway so there’s something of me in that burial ground. But it’s not the distant stars I’ve been watching, so much as what’s closeby. Our old home, the third planet, has fully frozen. It’s entered an age of ice, and I suspect with how long and how progressively worse it’s gotten since I started watching it nobody is alive on it anymore. Nobody could have survived as long as we have been here. We are really, truly, the last ones left. And if we die out here, that’s it, there’s no more. No more Varila, no more Vor-rodeq, no more Hokeno, no more Pol-ech. And no more Raln which could call our star their home, even if there are other Raln out there in the universe.
I do not know who will read these records. I do not know where Hellen is hiding her time capsule, nor do I really wish to mix things in with her plan. Perhaps nobody will read this. Perhaps everyone will read it. Perhaps it will be destroyed with the hill collapsing, never to even be known. But I will keep this record anyway, even if only to remind myself of what’s happened. When a person ages they start to lose their memory, some much more than others. I think I’ve gotten off lucky on that account, but how much can the Raln brain truly hold? If I am to be living hundreds of years, thousands of years, how much can I really retain, and how much will I lose? Surely the mind’s capacity isn’t unlimited, so I will lose something. In addition to the record of the passing of time I will have to record my knowledge of magic and potions so that I continue to have them at my disposal as well.
Perchance, James, if you find this record someday, you will appreciate its existence so that you know what became of the people you fought so bravely to save, even though the burden of that fight should have been on all of the rest of us and not added to the list of everything you already had on your plate.Wed, 02 Sep 2015 17:00:00 -0500