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Extasis, Part Eight
Reply to Scynneh or visit her websitePosted to the RoswellSlash mailing list February 22, 2001
Title: Extasis 8/?
Feedback: Truly, I do a little dance of joy- let me do so for long periods of time.
Disclaimer: (snort) If I owned them, would I be currently suffering the burden of college deadlines? I DON'T think so.
Dedications: Melissa- girl, hope that junk you've been slogging through is going better. I too know the woes of grades and being overworked- hang in there- we'll make it, or grab our Rath Muses and go for the border!
Spoilers: 'Rath lives here'. Find another place to be kiddies; he's not Mr. Rogers- he'd send that strange little man packing with busted kneecaps.
Distribution: Tell me, I say yes a lot under the right stimulus.
Notes: I need a break, really. This is what comes out when Muses get fed up with my schedule and wrestle the keyboard out of my hands.
There is no sure way to define anything. Not one element in the cosmos is altogether neat and tidy. It's not as if some celestial hand took a set of cookie cutters and meticulously stamped out what things should be. It sounds great in the planning stages, but reality is a tricky thing, often hopscotching over rules that entail a large amount of time and effort.
Besides, careful workmanship goes contrary to the somewhat harsh mandates laid down for sinners and the sadistic way that whatever deity is at the controls has toyed with its creations. Surely if the beings that were so methodically thought up and fashioned, there would be a connection of sorts between the two, and 'God' would not behave like a toddler with a preferred plaything -throwing it against the wall when circumstances do not proceed to their satisfaction. Small children and the world are endlessly demonstrating that they are wonderful examples of violence.
But as to creatures being listed in a 'Webster's of Creation', there is something frustrating about the vagueness of life, yet at some point, the fact that no single life can be the 'alter' of all things is realized, and then the work of gently breaking that to the mind is necessary. People are fragile, and their minds even more so. The trick to making them see your way as the right path is to apply enough pressure that the fractures appear under the skin, and then release that promise of shattering; normally most come quite easily to your side of the rose garden, the heroes and idiots who do not are rapidly selected out and gotten rid of.
Like Zan; he was meant to be a ruler of renown, ooh, sounds like some catchy film teaser ' a ruler of renown, forced to abandon his kingdom because he was such an egotistical son of a bitch.' No, I didn't mean to add that last part, but the truth is the most fatal wound of all. Like heroes, idealized from childhood; never what they are meant to be, too mundane for worship. Homer's heroes were little knights in shining armor, and the rest of the lot are nothing close to what most would consider 'heroic', nor even within the league of 'well intentioned.'
No one person can be entirely noble; they are enamored of those historical figures that have supposedly done great things and then been ruthlessly thrown down for their efforts. That kind of courage is immensely admirable, and often aspired to. But those people were just as human as their sycophants, and they too made errors, sometimes grave one.
Take the case of Galileo of Italy. He learned through many hours staring through the telescope he fashioned, that there was more beyond what had been carved into the minds of the public by Aristotle and the unmovable nature of the Church. And, as the books of the romantics say, he was punished for his inquisitiveness.
The real story is less wondrous: this discovery was not made because Galileo wanted to further his mind; he had been commissioned to make a better telescope so that the merchants could see what ships were out at sea, in time to adjust the market according to the types of goods on the way into port. All the man did was tilt his device upwards, in a direction he was explicitly told not to go. After learning that there was more than just one little planet out there in the beyond, he promptly went around and tried to peddle his findings to the various crowns of Europe, something along the lines of:
'You too can have your name on a star for all eternity.'
This wasn't for science; he was in it for the money just as much for the fame, if not more. When he appealed to a friend, who happened to be the Pope, asking if it would be acceptable to publish his writings; which, by the way, went against every doctrine set down by the establishment, and blew Aristotle's ideas out of the water. The Pope's attitude was that of any government:
'Let's study this for a while. Set up a task force and let the guys in lab coats have a go at it.'
Still, despite having roadblocks put firmly up, Galileo charged onwards, and then he got in trouble. He was tried not for some ideal, but because he disobeyed the rules, even after he was warned gently that his actions would not be well received.
Yeah, and there's a schoolroom version of his capture and trial; being hauled into the torture chamber, thrown onto the rack, and lasting valiantly for some hours. And then, being let out and brought outside, and as he is being carried away, he looks bravely over his shoulder and wails 'But they move.'
The truth is normally too dull for small children, there has to be a gore element to keep their attention, actually, Galileo was taken into the Inquisition's workroom and 'shown the implements of torture as if they're going to be used.' Being a doctor, Signore Galileo was familiar with the effects of those tools, and he opted to be silent rather than expand his perspective any further.
Knowledge is tricky though, and even while he was under house arrest, his books were smuggled out to Holland, where the merchants didn't give a damn whether the earth was round, flat, or a triangle resting on the nose of a seal, they could sell his books and make money, and that was important to their religious sensibilities.
Me, I would have to go along with the acquiring sect, my interest in jewelry is an acknowledged vice, but only one of dozens, I must confess.
On one wall of the ship's gallery, there is a wall of swords; Tess is fond of sharp edges, and she likes to spend time there perusing the collection. There are moments when I too find that I cannot pull away from their luminescence; those glimmering blades seem to wink at me and speak to the most secretive levels of my being.
'Take us out', they urge. 'We'll show you a good time.' Like the most practiced whore they beckon, strutting without movement, just the space they occupy being the best showcase imaginable. Sure, we affected certain airs, but those were the rules of our forest, and in twisting the acceptable around to our liking, we made ourselves both unique and exotic, translation, dangerous. If someone is dangerous, that is no reason to kill them; avoidance is easier, and leads to longer life. Occasionally we did come across someone who made us take notice of our surroundings, and the girl in front of me was that type of person.
I watched Rath as he scrutinized my entire body; when he had finished making his way from my ankles to my head, I was sure that he'd outlined a plan with which to win me over, using vulnerabilities that I wasn't even aware of. He seemed like that sort; ruthlessly applying himself to achieve his objective of the moment, but at the same time, I couldn't bring myself to be repulsed by his single mindedness. I knew the moment I first laid eyes on him, that there was going to be trouble, and that he would be in the center of the tornado. That's what he was like to me; a storm where before there had been only aimless wanderings and gentle diversions off course. But he was no soft breeze against my cheeks or droplet of rain hinting at something more potent; he was the eye of the chaos, and I was drawn to him because of that.
They weren't the most acceptable of individuals, and they liked it that way: it was easier to avoid unpleasant social necessities. Not that anyone would have dared to correct any mistakes that they might have made; they were that intimidating. Tess was by turns curiously naïve, and lethal; gentleness transmuted by her past, making it necessary for her to be more of a predator than perhaps she might have liked. Rath, was different in that he was not at all bothered by his decisions, and he used the charm and brutal lust that he exuded for his own purposes. Yes, there might be some mutual bliss in the ensuing coupling, but I knew that there had to be a tightrope act between complete boorishness and a fiend with enough raw ability to be irresistible.
It was necessary for him to have a talent that was socially acceptable. I suppose that in some small way, it is penance for all the disorder he's inflicted on this universe, but only in the tiniest degree. There is nothing that can possibly make up for his past, nor the truly horrendous slew of misdeeds that stain his already dusky soul. And I know that I sound like some melodramatic female about to swoon over a little pirating; nothing to get upset about, but I believe only a small fraction of what I've heard about aliens, and that is enough to make me certain that I am in for a rough time.
Continue to Part Nine
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