EvolutionA Chapter by Aaron Shively
What we perceive is not always reality. Jeiveive continues her journey in the Grand Trodnum.
Something came to fetch me. I did not know how long I had been in the room. I could find find no way of telling time. I saw nothing but simple gray wall, curving around me in an misshapen loop and the matching table with the never-emptying pitcher of water, everything bathed in the semi-orchid wash of sourceless lights.
This thing must have been shaped like me at one time. It introduced itself with the symbols that seemed to be the native language in this nation of a castle. It was the Chancellor of the east. It had come to the Grand Trodnum as a boy barely older than I was at the time of our meeting but nothing remained of the child it had once been. A body of swirling light and soil crawled before me in an opening only large enough for its own volume. Its body was long and its legs were too many in number yet not symmetrical and the order continuously changed. It resembled a pest of the gardens I had watched over in my younger youth. There was no head to speak of. Two large eyes, glowing orange as I was sure mine had commenced in doing recently, blinked at me from the broad and amorphous chest. The fanged mouth, a simple barbed opening where the neck should have emitted, moved in correlation with the words it was showing me.
Good. It has begun. I believe yours is the fastest yet.
I carved my reply back into his own mind. It was difficult. The thoughts I met were strange to me, organized in a way that I never thought I could understand. I saw the future as the starting point, yet there were many origins. So many options of where we will be, transferred to where we are now. How this thing was able to think and converse was beyond anything I knew.
I was finally able to eek out a sentence. My words were not quite as deep as his. Somewhere in the places inhabited by primitive thoughts and childish fears, I worried of an errant wind or breath eroding through the bevels I had carved.
Why am I here?
There were ways to enhance meaning in this method. Markings placed above or around certain representations of sounds could change their purpose. They aided in my lack of ability. To purvey concepts with as small an effort as possible was far better than exerting oneself while the danger of misunderstandings remained. What I had said was less about why I was in such a place and more about why I was the specific person to be brought there.
It seemed to understand my meaning but made no attempt at clarifying any reason. The wall fell back down and the Eastern Chancellor was gone from my site. I slid to my knees, overtaken by a sadness with no discernible cause. Tears with no purpose rolled down my face. They pooled on the ground, expanding in a imperfect circle of luminescent liquid. Before that day, they had been clear. Dipping my fingertips into the sun-yellow, light emitting fluid, I felt the warmth again, hotter but at the same time, more comfortable.
The orange light from my eyes grew in power. The rays, cutting through the room and diffusing in the gasses that was the air. The beams hit what I had seen as a wall. As they shined through, it disappeared. The blank portal revealed the Eastern Chancellor who had been waiting patiently. With an arm, sliding up its body as it moved, it gestured for me to follow. And though I wished to be impertinent, though I had a thorough desire to send a barrage of questions and ultimatums to ensure the prior’s reception and fulfillment, I complied with simple acceptance.
Our eyes led the way. There were long lines drawn into the walls which, when targeted by our gaze, moved and changed and showed which path to take. The Eastern Chancellor held back, allowing me to make the decisions, allowing me to follow my new abilities.
When I found the room, the same room in which I had found god and lost my faith in everything I had been taught to believe, my guiding Chancellor was gone. I entered alone. I walked, no longer given a trajectory by the running lights which ended in an arc over the entrance. My feet followed something unseen, a feeling of necessity, a feeling that I was needed, wanted.
I found god again. It stood with no point of contact to the ground. It stood on nothing. It stood on existence. Its seven eyes found me without trouble.
Let us begin.
It was easier to follow his words. They hadn’t slowed. My outer perception of time told me they were still lightning fast. My limits had extended. What was blinding and blurry became clear and understandable. But, while the words were intelligible, the concepts still evaded my grasp.
He nodded and the room became nothing. Everything faded. My entrance, the exit, dissipated and we were left in a darkness alleviated only by our eyes and his skin. His left forearm extended, the head at the end lifted and twisted and turned. It pointed to me with its single glowing orange orb.
We shall begin your evolution.
Evolution, it meant to change, to adapt. Plants were known for it. Experiencing organism had never evolved. It was known since the beginning of time, once a creature becomes more than an animal, there is no chance of change.
I cannot change, Lord. It’s not possible. It was spoken by you to the great Chancellors, it cannot happen once a creature has sentience.
Its main head tilted to the side.
You believe you’re sentient? What have you experienced beyond what I have shown you? Do you think any animal considers itself less aware than you?
The words struck me. They had weight, those imagined symbols he sent, and they brought me down. I pushed back, speaking, creating vibrations I wasn’t sure he could hear.
“Why are you contradicting yourself? I speak from a knowledge of your word, your wisdom. Why has it changed?”
It has not changed. It never was. I charged the Chancellors with creating what the people should believe. I gave them the right to make the history and mold the future. What you know was never my wisdom.
My breath was ragged. I felt empty and full of the flowing fire at once. My carvings were red and deep and jagged. Tears escaped and turned to steam, a luminous cloud of many modulated colors.
You allowed them to base my peoples’ entire world on a lie?
God never wavered. Whatever passed for an emotion never showed.
All perception is a lie. I have chosen you, and you alone to see both the perceived and the absolute, this is the change I bring you as the fifth Chancellor. Do you not feel pride or happiness?
Blood, or the liquid that used to be my blood but was now a white, illuminated viscous gel, seeped from the puncture my teeth put into my lip.
The evolution, will it hurt?
The lord stepped forward. The severity of his words masked a strange kind of humor which I can now label as ironic.
What you have experienced within yourself is only the physical change. We are here, now, to begin your rise above perception. It will be excruciating.
© 2011 Aaron Shively
Added on May 26, 2011
Last Updated on May 26, 2011
May, I Write of Death
AboutI have been working as a freelance writer and artist for the last decade. In that time, I've done everything from ghostwriting to toy design and everything in between. I am currently working on a n.. more..