The universe is indeed a wonderful place, ever expanding, filled with mystery, magic and secrets, just waiting for someone to turn the key and unlock them. And yet for all its enigma none of it can compare to the true power of love. I’m talking about this force in its most pure and unconditional form. We think showing love is a sign of weakness and yet this emotion, this feeling has toppled the poor and kings alike. Love is not weak; in fact it’s capable of shattering the universe...she showed me that.
My broken body took months to heal. In that time “The Followers of Shemzu” slowly brought me back to life. I was in a coma for the first three weeks and for a further couple of weeks after that I was barely conscious. But I will never forget the first time I saw her face...Isabella. “The Followers of Shemzu” are in fact an order of telepaths and empaths, whose sole purpose is to help the sick in both spirit and body. The order was founded several decades ago after a famous human telepath called Shemzu who dedicated his life to the well being of others, and in turn made the ultimate sacrifice while administering on “Bartok”, during that planet’s bloody war of independence. But his teachings lived on and flourished. Eventually the order set up a mission on the uninhabited world of Planet 13789: which of course they renamed “Shemzu”. The bells I heard calling to me in the desert were those of the monastery where I now found myself.
In time my body healed but my mind and my spirit was another thing all together. Falstaff’s betrayal had shattered it, but the truth destroyed it. The only way for me to fully heal my soul was for the ultimate truth of what I had done to be revealed to me. During my time on “Shemzu” the galaxy was engulfed in the flames of war on a scale the likes of which had never been seen before, involving hundreds of worlds; and I had a hand in bringing it to be. The person, who took it upon themselves to save me, was called Isabella. She was a human, in her late 30’s, gorgeous, her deep blue eyes filled with intelligence and beauty, her blonde hair shone like star fire. There is no instinct like that of the heart...and my heart was captured by her in an instant. You must understand that it wasn’t just her looks and intellect that ensnared me, but her spirit, her essence was dafar – a word Vaillians use to describe joy. Isabella was truly sagacious in every sense.
As my body grew stronger she touched my mind, opening it up to the harsh reality of my actions. Touching what she called the consciousness of the universe that we are all a part of, she started with Halem Strabos; the Gunjan I killed on “Aurora”. Yes, he was just a petty drug pusher with no real power; but with his death another took his place, someone who did have more powerful connections, which enabled the drug Lic’tor to reach a far wider variety of buyers, causing a drug epidemic that spread like a brush fire. This in turn brought instability to the sector and war...cause and effect. I didn’t see at the time – just like all the rest. I didn’t want to go on, I didn’t want to see anymore – but I had no choice.
The death of Judy Rockwell, by my blood stained hands, allowed the suppression of the Lunar Cities of Earth by the Interstellar Conglomerates that were the true power behind the Earth Empire; her demise also allowed them to retake Mars, and gave them free hand in the current conflict. Then came the murder of the Gabralite senator, Tensha. With his destruction the civil war continued unabated, and in fact intensified, as the other side was in fact blamed for the senator’s death. And as for his secret weapon, the planet killer, it fell into the hands of the Draconians; which they were now wielding against the Halem Empire. As to the demise of the Hammerlock arms dealer, Zardos Marlock, who at the time was supplying weapons to the Teygetian rebels, well, without him the rebels couldn’t resupply. They couldn’t afford the prices that the bigger arms dealers were charging and hence the rebellion against the Draconian Empire stalled; which in turn allowed the Draconians to focus their attention on the Halem Empire.
Next the truth behind the loss of Doctor Talix was revealed. Although the plague would have taken his life had he not begged me to do it first, his death nonetheless meant that the truth he had uncovered about the plague that wiped out the population of “Tal’eth”, that it was manufactured, was never known; a fact that the good doctor had unearthed. With this cultural world out of the way, a great void opened up in the soul of the galaxy, a loss of art that could never be replaced. But with “Tal’eth” gone it allowed the neighbouring Karlocks; those responsible for the plague in the first place; to increase their borders and start a war with the allied worlds of Dorraman, Stargeta and Carlief. As for the killing of the pirate mercenary Sharmar Maleif; this simply just paved the way for the bigger fish, Treally and Sarkomee to take complete control over the Trevell System and to form alliances with any faction that was most profitable for them, regardless of what that particular faction stood for.
But the final powder keg was the obliteration of the Draconian General, Darken. Although the Draconians had already commenced their war with the Halem Empire, if Darken was left in charge the Draconians would eventually lose, for apparently Darken was quite mad, but still very powerful and very much feared, but he was not the tactical genius he once was. But with him out of the picture, his replacements were more practical and not as insane, and ergo were capable of waging the war in a more rational, strategic and deadlier frame of mind. And so all these smaller wars began to join into one greater conflict, as alliances were made and broken, battlelines were drawn and re-drawn, as the gears of war turned throughout the galaxy.
Like the unravelling of the Gordian knot, everything became clear to me...cause and effect...an action for ever reaction. And at the heart of it all was Falstaff, with his vast intellect and futuresight he could see all outcomes, he knew how it was all going to end. I was just in the right place at the right time as far as he was concerned; by seeing him all those years ago on “Helm’s Gate”, when no one else could, I became the instrument for his grand scheme. His intention was to bring back the ancient gods of old, the titans that once strode the galaxy, with a sacrifice on a momentum scale...by plunging the galaxy into a war that would result in the deaths of trillions and thus through him the gods would return. And perhaps the most horrific thing of all is that deep down I did not doubt his capability of achieving such a thing. For either the gods would return or he would become a god himself.
I fell into the abyss. I couldn’t cope with what I had been a part of. I willingly embraced the darkness that engulfed my mind. And there I would have gladly stayed but for Isabella who was with me. In the blackness I saw her face and felt her presence, her love in my mind and heart. She showed me the pain, fear and horror of the seven individuals I murdered. I felt what they felt, good or evil they were alive before I snuffed them out. I witnessed from their point of view the moment I took their lives...oh the pain...the pain of it all. But by doing so she began to set me free. In the end she showed me my father, and for all his cruelty I discovered that his father treated him no better and in the end he was merely passing on the disease of violence that was instilled in him; continuing the cycle from generation to generation. A wheel that will never be broken until someone decides otherwise. My father wasn’t attacking me out of hatred, but rather out of what he had been taught.
But the worse of it all was when I felt what went through his mind as I planted the clever in his back...a single thought...why...why did he deserve such a fate? And amongst it all I felt his love for me, a love that he could never show. This was the final straw. As the galaxy burnt I let go of the conflict within me stemming from my youth and embraced the redemption and love that Isabelle was offering me.
Copyright © 2011 by Peter Jessop