Epilogue/Chapter 1 – Lie – pt.5

Epilogue/Chapter 1 – Lie – pt.4

Epilogue/Chapter 1 – Lie – pt.6

The General froze midstep in his pacing, turning to face the immortal. “You do not – ? No. Nevermind. Tell me first, what do you know about confidentiality?”

Manuel cocked his head slightly, his circlet reflecting the brilliant gold light of the City. “Confidentiality? I do not know that word.”

The General pressed on, “So, when I ask you something, you will answer?”

“Indeed. It is the only course of action to a question.”

“No matter what?”

“I do not see any negative consequence for enlightening an inquisitor.”

“What if I were to … inquire; about your devices? Your culture, your beliefs, and your source of power, perhaps?”

“If you ask, I shall answer.”

The General allowed his mouth to curl into a genuine smile. “Interesting. Then pray, tell me. What is your purpose of living?”

Manuel’s reply was immediate, unhesitant. When he spoke, it was with a familiarity of a phrase repeated, rehearsed several times, over a long life. It rolled off his figurative tongue with fluidity like the cloak of water flowing on his back. “To love. My people are a large family. We are created to coexist in love and in unity.”

The General let out a roar of laughter, unbound and raw. Manuel stood by, watching silently. He was not offended. There were many races out there that were blinded by their personal endeavours, lost from the unity in kinship and compatriotism. The fact that his was a simple purpose, with his being in a flawlessly complete state of fulfillment kept him clear of distractions to enjoy the little things, and to be with his people. His family.

“Love. It causes pause in decisive actions that could mark the difference between life and death. But I am not here to debate with you on that, mortality is clearly not one of your concerns. You speak of your race as a family. Is that literal, or symbolic? Also, do you doubt anything new, that is being taught to you? Where no previous knowledge on the subject was known, and this being your first source?”

“Everything I am conveying to you now is literal. Speaking in riddles confuses a learner. That includes my family. My literal family. To answer your question on new knowledge, we have the Chronicleum, it contains all we need to know. Everyone of us have committed it’s entirety to memory. Validity of facts from it take precedence before anything else. In the occasion where it does not contain anything on a matter, we will convene with our father for his wisdom. He knows it all. If he chooses not to answer, we simply store it in the Archives. As it serves no benefit for us in that case, we will simply take in such facts as trivial entertainment.”

“Then, why are you here? Your father seems to be the answer for everything, what use is there of you?”

“This leads back to your earlier question. Love.”

“I see. Or rather, I do not see how can that serve as the answer for your existence. You could do so much more, ruling other civilizations, spreading your teachings, creating a reputation. But again, I will not debate on that. Rather, enlighten me?”

“We are content. Our mere presence in other civilizations will only cause great disturbances and potentially change their course of history. We shall stand and watch, if anything else.”

“So, to put simply. You are afraid of change. You selfishly withold that love you claim to live by, even letting other races put themselves through self-destructive behaviour? You do not feel the slightest of obligations to teach them? To step in, take control and lead them to the…righteous, beneficial path of life? The…optimal route?”

“It is not our place to interfere. We have not found a single group of people that are accepting of our ways thus far. Clearly, you do not approve either. I appreciate your avoidance for debate, but it will be imminent if we continue this subject. Once again, we will not interfere to change what others have worked so hard on developing on their own. They may also have acquired foreign knowledge from other races, but they all bear great similarities. Over here, our ways are vastly different. When the time comes, perhaps my father will give us the instruction to reach out, but if he does not think the rest of the universe ready, then they are not.”

“Hm. Very well.” The General threaded softly. He saw the way Manuel answering questions elaborately, like a passionate teacher would, but he was going to test the depth of Manuel’s cooperation now. “This … River. It appears liquid in nature. How can something without form, without shape, be your source of power?”

“It flows, from the throne in the center of the City.” Manuel was referring to the seat of the father. It was the only pedestal in the entire City. A simple, white cube, it allowed the father to take his seat, and face the city in any direction he desired, without a sense of front or back, like the City itself. Even as the flagship had chose to face this side of the City today, Manuel had just happened to be there. All four vertical faces of the City were identical, as were the buildings behind each face. It was the positioning of a City that blossomed into existence all at once, no expansions, no renovations ever needed. “It is not exactly a source of power, for each of us is self-sustaining by our own strength. It is not the source of power for the City either. You may have misunderstood me. What it does, is grant us the ability to control time and space. It is a device. The only external device we employ. While constantly cycling through all dimensions and times at once, we can alter it to focus on specific settings, if needed.”

“And while you have some sense of placement in time and space, outsiders have difficulty reaching you from their end?”

“As it is in your case, you have found your way into the River’s frequency. I believe a technological species like yours use that term. Not all races use the same methods.”

“Now that I am here, if I ask, would you share the City with me?”

“The Chronicleum would not permit me to do so. It has it’s reasons that I will not question.”

“And that applies to everything else, the River, the Chronicleum? No sharing?”

“I am afraid so.”

“What if I asked you to accompany me in my travels, to help me achieve my goals by my own terms?”

“It still counts as interference, even if it is by your terms.”

“Do you not possess any desire of your own? You have so much intelligence, and a contradictory, severely limited intuition. You do not pursue mysteries to half-answers, you do not inquire. You take the word of your Chronicleum for it, you listen to your father’s every word and you never question the reasons behind anything.”

“You speak of trust. Trust of a loving family. There is nothing else.”

The cunning General had learned enough. He had the fabrications of a plan in progress and now sought to make his exit. He chose to take it in the farce of the superior form of intelligence. “Naive. Naive fools! You are like children, intelligent, learned scholar children, so full of mouth-fed theories, so full of textbook concepts, who have yet to taste reality! Speaking to you infuriates me. I pity your lack of free-will, made even more despicable by the amount of wasted potential here. Oh, I’m leaving before I decide break you here and now.” Without waiting for a reply, he mustered all his remaining energy and made a running leap off the balcony. As his claws left the ground, every oppressive sensation of the accursed immortal’s atmosphere left him. He was free, in the weightless vacuum of space again. His wings spread out, soundlessly gliding, guiding his path back to his ship.

Epilogue/Chapter 1 – Lie – pt.4

Epilogue/Chapter 1 – Lie – pt.6

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