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|A Startling Conclusion??|
November 14, 2012
What has become...?
I awake with a start. My nose meets the all too familiar scent of over sanitization. Time means nothing to me anymore. Whenever the pain would begin, I would go to see the Avatar. Pretty soon, it all seemed to merge. Those hours I used to count, I used to cherish, began to fade into the days which ran my life, which fell into weeks, then months... I don't think I've been here more than a few months. For the first time, escape isn't anywhere on my mind. Before, when I was in custody, I dreamt of escape every night. Thirsted for it, longed for it, craved it. Hell, I guess I did get it eventually. But what life has taught me is that nothing is permanent.
Honestly, I don't know what the Avatar expects me to do. I've learned better than to argue with him about my destiny, and as of a few weeks ago he just stopped bringing it up as well. Lazily, I turn over and try to see the room around me. No matter how long I've spent here, I try to take stock of things every day. The last thing I want is to fall into the deadly habit and lose my sense of reality altogether. The IV is in my arm, the metal table is still at my bedside, the lights are still off. People outside of my room are talking. Their voices are muffled—like a person standing in my room might sound if he talked into his hand. Of course they were outside, and thus it was rather obvious that I wouldn't be able to make sense of anything they say. Now, I turn onto my back once more. My eyelids droop, and I slowly drift back to see the Avatar... "Do you remember that boy you met from earlier?" Today, Chryseis and the Avatar sat beneath a withering old tree, drinking cups of fine tea. Or was it really tea? Objects in the Spirit World tended to be rather difficult from those in the real world. After a while, technicalities like that simply seemed to vanish.
"Eli? Hardly. Knew him for all of a couple of hours," Chryseis shrugged and took a sip of her tea.
"He's the father of your child."
Tea spouted from Chryseis's mouth in alarm. She wiped her lips and stared at the other in deep alarm. "I don't mean to minimize what you're saying, but I've known you for longer than I've known him, Avatar."
"It's 'Teinosuke'," the Avatar replied, looking away awkwardly. "My name. It's not 'Avatar', it's 'Teinosuke'."
His declaration was returned with a blank look of surprise. Chryseis now realized that for all this time, she hadn't known his actual name. He introduced himself as the last Avatar, and for some reason that was enough for her to know him by.
"I haven't spoken my name in half a millennium..." Teinosuke sighed and took another sip of his tea. "I really am an old man..."
Silence fell between the two. Both simply drank their tea, not so much as looking up at the other. Finally, Chryseis was antsy about something; she set down her teacup and shifted uneasily. "What do you mean he's the father of my child? That just sounds really freaky."
Teinosuke shrugged. "That's what the prophecy says. Not specific names, of course. Prophecies never seem to be that nice." The Avatar looked down at his teacup and swirled it in his hand for a few moments. "Then again, 'Chryseis is going to get knocked up by Eli and then be pregnant with the kid who's going to save the world' doesn't sound nearly as poetic as the actual prophecy."
Blood rushed up to Chryseis's face. Her eyes shot downward, hiding her blushing face from the other. "Have I told you that I hate your guts?"
"Many times my dear," Teinosuke returned with a slight smile. "But you asked me a question, and I must ask you something. Why do you keep coming back here? I brought you the first time so that I could infuse my spirit with your ovaries—"
"—but you just keep coming back. Even after I showed you what happened to me. You've seen the worst of humanity, and yet you're staying right in the middle of it. Rather than facing the real world, you keep coming back to someone who's been dead for five hundred plus years. Why?"
"I kind of want to go back to what you said earlier—"
"Why?" For the second time, Teinosuke cut off Chryseis and ignored her concern. "One day you're going to have to wake up and see the real world. You'll either fulfill the prophecy or you'll die from madness."
"Madness?" Knowing that Teinosuke would not address her earlier question, Chryseis chose another topic to pick at.
"Indeed, madness. A person goes mad after a while, switching between this world and yours. After a while, you lose your sense of what's real and what's not. Soon, the insanity will consume you from the inside out; literally eat away at your soul until you are nothing more than a shriveled, hollow case of your old self." After making this point, Teinosuke rubbed his beard thoughtfully and examined Chryseis's face. "You haven't even noticed the scar just inside your right pelvic bone. It's been there for quite a few visits, but you've already lost your sense of what's real pain and what's not."
Chryseis glanced down, noticing that she was apparently wearing an outfit through which her midriff showed. Indeed, true to Teinosuke's words, there was a thin pale line running just inside her pelvic bone. She carefully touched it with her middle and index finger, wincing at the sharp pain which followed. "Teinosuke... how did this—"
He shook his head. "I don't know, but the fact that you did not notice it earlier disturbs me greatly, Chryseis." Once more, he shook his head, this time with his eyes cast downward at his feet. "I'm fading, Chryseis."
"What do you mean, 'fading'?"
"When I died, the Avatar ceased to exist. I forced myself into existence so that I could find you and tell you your destiny. So that I could transfer my energy as the Avatar to you before it all goes away." Suddenly, Chryseis did notice that Teinosuke seemed a great deal paler than when she first met him. "Day by day, I've been fading," he explained, as though reading Chryseis's thoughts. "Every day I grow weaker... We will not meet again, Chryseis. But I want to give you one last thing, the final gift I can give you... I hope that this motivates you to do the right thing." Teinosuke reached over, and gingerly touched Chryseis's forehead. Movied once again, Chryseis was suddenly in a temple of some sort. It was dark—too dark to see anything. Using her distortion, Chryseis created a small flame. Instantly, the entire room illuminated. It was a circular room, with a spiral pattern on the floor. But more importantly, the room was lined with statues. The statues wrapped around the floor several times over, even extending up and up towards a ceiling which Chryseis could not see. She looked at all the faces—young and old—until happening upon one she knew all too well.
Her hand tenderly felt Teinosuke's face. The likeness was remarkable, even with the stupid beard and outfit. His eyes lit up, causing Chryseis to reel. Then, all the eyes of the statues lit up, bursting the whole room into an explosion of white light. She shielded her eyes. It was a natural instinct, and one which was extremely understandable.
Slowly, her eyes adjusted and she lowered her arm. Standing before her was a new figure: one which was not a statue, but rather a phantasmagorical image of a floating young man in modern attire. Chryseis looked into his eyes... and recognized them as her own. His facial shape seemed remarkably familiar as well—reminiscent of someone she had not seen in a very long time. This only served to further panic Chryseis. She staggered backwards, stumbling over herself and eventually tumbling to the ground.
"Mother." The spirit said this one word and outstretched his hand. "Do not be afraid. We restored the Avatar Cycle. The world is at peace again."
"No!" Chryseis violently shook her head. "This isn't my destiny! I want to do more with my life than be a mother! Just go away!"
Her hand lashed out, tearing through her son's spirit. Without argument, he simply dissipated. All of the statues around her followed, and she was left in an empty void. Chryseis stood—on what, she did not know, everything around her was darkness. She called out to her son whose name she did not know. Staggered about, calling whatever came to mind. There was no response. Once more, she fell to her knees, her chest rising and falling with heavy sobs.
A figure suddenly appeared before her. He wore great red robes, with brilliant shining gray hair and a long beard. Chryseis recognized him instantly from stories her parents had read her when she was little. "The One True Spirit...?" She asked tentatively.
"You might know me by that name." The spirit replied, stepping down onto the same mysterious ground on which Chryseis stood. "I am simply an Avatar, along with all those others who will die. I am dead, but there is still a chance for you to help all those who are living."
"I can't!" Chryseis shook her head, tears rolling down her cheeks. "I just can't!"
"Then the world will crumble..." Once more, I am dragged back into reality. I scream. I don't know why I scream, maybe just at the world, and everything that is happening to me. The voices outside stop at the sound of my voice. One of them comes running into the room. I recognize him, and this only further sickens me. He was one of the Air Acolytes, one of those people sworn to making sure that I fulfill my destiny.
I send him flying backwards with a blast of air. He goes through a wall. I think I hear his spine snap. Without any sort of reason, I escape from the room: into the hallway, in this desperate escape. Another is in my way, but he, too, is soon out of the picture. I can't run very fast. Well, I guess that makes sense. I haven't moved on my own in months.
My feet stumble over each other and I hit the ground. Then, standing right there in front of me, a small child is looking surprised, startled. I recognize his eyes, and my panic keeps me from moving again.
End... Part One
- Thus begins an indefinite hiatus...
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