For the next year the assignments stopped. The killer within me went back to sleep, dormant beneath the surface awaiting for the next time it was called upon. It was not uncommon for such long periods of inactivity for an assassin, but we had been well trained in how to deal with such times. Still, it was peculiar to me to have so much down time on my hands. It was not as if I had many hobbies.
So I returned to my non-descript apartment upon the metropolis world of Aventi. I sat back and watched the lives of other people rush by. It was then that I realised it doesn’t matter what race we are, in the end we are all so caught up in our own stories that we fail to see the wonders that are right in front of us. We strive and hope that the future will be better for us, we look back at past events and periods in our lives when we were happy or sad, but they are only memories or lost opportunities; and if we rely on being happy in some future time, then chances are we may never be. When you break it all down I believe that we can only be truly happy in the here and now...she taught me that – but Isabella was not part of my world yet.
There is an old saying: “The universe will unfold as it should” and no matter what we do, we cannot change it. But as true as this may be, Falstaff was changing it – or at least nudging it in a certain direction. I still didn’t see it and yet in this lull, events were unfolding in the galaxy, small, seemingly insignificant things, random occurrences that seemed unrelated and yet began to grow into something bigger. But for me matters were unfolding as they should and as they always have, I just didn’t see the monster behind the curtain pulling the levers.
After a couple of months of inactivity on Aventi, I had to get away - or go insane. I just had to be going somewhere and it didn’t matter a damn where it was. So I fuelled up my ship and took off. I had become very fond of my Raptor Fighter, strange isn’t it, how one can have such feelings for a piece of metal and wires. But I suppose every captain loves their ship whether it be sailing upon the ocean or roaming the stars. It was good to feel space beneath my feet once more. And as strange as it seemed...I became a tourist. I decided to go see the places that you always hear about but never visit.
So it was that I climbed the Ruby Peaks of Doona and watched the twin sunsets sink beneath them in a blaze of colour, the likes of which was both blinding and stunning. It was as if the mountains themselves were on fire. My next port of call were the moon pools of Tregeta; where I swam naked in the tranquil and healing waters beneath the triple moons, a place that never saw the harsh light of day. But as peaceful as it was, the crystal temples of the Shelda Monks on Delphinus had an all together different stillness and harmony to it. The monks are dedicated to universal peace, achieved through good deeds and inner happiness. Yet for all their virtuous and noble intentions, you still had to pay to see the temples and everybody came to Delphinus to see the temples; crafted from the rocks by hand over thousands of years, their multi-coloured crystal spirals reach up to the heavens, sparkling like diamonds. They are rightly considered one of the seven hundred wonders of the galaxy.
Why I was compelled to visit these places I did not know. I suspect that on some subconscious level I knew that this time was to be the last period of serenity in my life...and the universe is an amazing place. Whatever the case may be, before the year was up I would spend seven days in zero gravity aboard the Star Brite Motel orbiting the Helix Nebula; amongst the most beautiful of all planetary nebulas, its red, orange, blue and white gases resembling an exotic tropical flower. I would also go sailing on Trafel, in the Andromeda Galaxy and spend time upon Hell’s Fire, a dead world in the Sombrero Galaxy; so named for the many asteroid and comets that slam regularly into its giant surface. It was here that I began to see the universe for what it is, a force of nature constantly unfolding, creating and destroying life, building stars and knocking down planets; and I wondered as to whether there actually was a supreme consciousness behind it all.
To this day I do not know whether it was my imagination or not; but as I camped upon Hell’s Fire I swear that I began to sense it, a universal consciousness, a sentient mind that was connected to everything and everyone in the universe. It was like trying to catch a moonbeam in your hand - or see the wind, and although you can’t see it, you can feel it and you know that it’s real and tangible. I felt that some wondrous revelation was about to be revealed to me, a book of secrets to be open...all I needed was time. But it was not to be because while I was there, observing such destruction, and getting in touch with the universe, I received a message from “The Organisation” regarding my next assignment. My holiday was over and the devastation that has engulfed us all was only three more kills away.
Copyright (C) Peter Jessop 2010