Chapter 1: Chapter 1
CHAPTER ONE: THE TRAVELLER
Humans love the phrase “time stood still.” It had echoed through eras but it stood for none, it waited for none, it simply rolled on. It flowed through wars, it paced through peace and it rolled. The wheel of time, I, never stop. I can’t stop. Eternally alone, I watch, I watch as living beings make the same mistakes over and over, repeating the thing they died for yesterday, the next day. Oh, to them, it seems long ago but what do such puny and destructive creatures know. I roll on through laughter and tears, I roll on through deaths and birth, I roll and roll. I have seen all that there was, all that there is and all there will be, I have rolled and will flow through the destruction and creation. I watched the dinosaurs die and I will watch the humans, I will simply roll onwards. No way to stop and no will or need to. It wasn’t until the void that is me, was ripped by a human scream, that I recalled the phrase and its meaning. I stood still. Time stood still until it rewound, for I had been waiting. Waiting, for I knew and yet did not. I was waiting to see if she would make the same choices, for I know the each choice and the consequences of each decision. I do not watch much as living things became predictable after a few eons but sometimes they surprise me and so I had waited, even s I had flowed on. I am the wheel of time, and it is time (pun intended) to tell a little tale, a tale of a star that set the sky on fire and changed the path of constellations. It is the tale of whom humans call by various names, in various eras and once whose song is one among few to break through me. It is the tale of “the traveler”.
Twisting, turning and a collapsing onto itself, folding in and losing all sense of self only to regain it within what would if they lasted be called a few moments, a figure fell through that ever changing void that solidifies the more it lies and is yet not resistant to change even if the change is managed by fewer than few. The void that is never stone, the shrill shriek tore through the void that is me. A shrill scream erupted from the open mouth which hung limply on a face so serene that it was uncanny, a scream drawn from the deepest core of the being as it’s essence was ripped apart and built anew. The scream was a little too shrill, to be honest, and yet I plowed on. Falling and flying, the being whom humans would call a “person” landed, or rather remained suspended like a puppet as the void, as I tore at it while it struggled to remain adrift. It twisted and turned and fought, till I held it like a baby or a bride in arms that did not exist or could be seen as all its neutrons, protons, atoms and cell buzzed. The staring gaze, the taste of my power, the impossible nature of the change it sought would surely destroy it, pull it to shreds, break it, the one who dared encounter me. Defiance, I supposed but I knew it was more. No matter, it would be gone soon and the dreary existence of a roll would begin anew. Well, a little excitement now and then is all good but it is so repetitive, I am bored already.
“Oh well, it will be over,” I sighed as my power flowed through the fragile, mortal. A single human heart has never had the power to come back nor has the brain the true capacity, though that can sometimes be learned and oh, I should know. I get a few of these, every few centuries. Do-gooders, some, some villainous. They all end the same way. Unsuccessful and gone forever. Disappeared. Puff! I open my fists and pull the appropriate hand gestures. A little silly but what is a deity to do all alone. Drama is natural to us. The thought struck I felt more there than ever. I guess puny travelers do have a perk, they feed me some interest occasionally but what do I care, it will be gone soon, just like the rest of these idiotic helpful and goody-goody types. Same fibers, same cuts. Now, villains, they were interesting at the start, even if I did root for the hero. Once in a while even know someone comes up who is, shall we say “creative”? Like that woman now, she’ll go far before she crashes and burns, just like them all. Shrill screams pull my attention again.
Why isn’t it gone yet?
No matter, no matter, that frail little heart won’t beat for much longer, I thought, a smirk slowing forming on my face as I watch the being buzz and vibrate from within. It was like a white specter in my black-grey existence. An annoying pest, really. Thinks it can best me, the idea’s ridiculous. Suddenly long tendrils of red began to blow and oh did they blow? They blew like wisps of flame in the calm storm of the black gray void that is I and my smile slowly faded as some amount of surprise and anticipation filled me. A strong one then. Well, it is time to see it off to where it wants to go then, but my oh my I need to keep an eye on this one. Will it succeed or will it burn in its own flames? I wondered as I, I suppose we can say waited, though of course, I was still rolling. It’s the thought that matters anyway.
Flame like hair flew around it like a halo and eerie green eyes opened, reflecting something deep within as they burned like liquid fire lost long back in another world. The colour turned dark as the fire straightened, almost standing, till the eyes were a piercing electric purple of rage and royalty. Loyalty and curiosity flashed by along with a number of overrated human emotion. She had woken. The traveler, I should call it perhaps. The only one to successfully Pierce my folds in this past, oh how long has it been? Long enough, I should say. The only one to Pierce through me, to try and turn what is going to into what can be, in such a dreary roll. Oh, was it the war again. It usually is and this once, I would agree. Perhaps, the only way to save the world. I quite liked this one but I was sure that woman would be the end of it. Too much power, I always say. I watch as this one, I call it the way it likes to be called always, respect and ease and all that so she, I watch her fling herself through ages and eons and wonder why is yet to break. Maybe she won’t, powerful as she is but how few have survived the landing? Deaths always enjoy these ones, lording them over me. Thinks I care, but why should I? They’ll all end the same way, no matter what choices they make and are they predictable. Oh, same mistakes over and over and over and over again, stubborn beings never learn. I watch her fling herself through the streams and battle, I watch her essence fold and then separate itself and I watch as those eyes, that fire leaves, the purple dulling down. There it is, the end. Death shows up sometime..around but my thoughts stop, even if time doesn’t when I see the dull purple change into a blazing red and then a blue and emerald so loud, it seems like I am looking into flames. She is one of those, I realize again and then it reached me. The feeling of pure power, the smell of sulfur, the tang of science done right and the defying boom that is magic. Intriguing. This mortal, for not even I am endless, has managed, to should I say capture my attention? Steal it rather; I feel it has stolen my attention. Now, I have to watch it and make sure it does not rip apart the fabric and the threads. Well, at least it will be interesting or I hope it is. It’s always the same choices or as they say or will say someday, tenses are rather confusing, “the paths they tread”. Funny the words people come up with as they evolve. Another ridiculous concept, they grow and change yes but only in body. Mental evolution, these beings have managed to slow it down so much that even I feel it’s a feat and I have seen worlds emerge and collapse. Oh the tales, I have.
I watch as she capsules through my streams and wonder if she is one of those who has a destination or is she a wanderer? Was it choice or chance for er? Well, I focus more on the now disappearing void, even if I won’t ever forget and I see. Oh yes, do I see. Choices, deaths, and defiance. Wisdom but more creativity. Bravery. Curiosity. True beliefs in the tales, true faith and oh, someone will follow. What is it? Try time day? Days, another stupid concept, as if they could ever bind and cage me into their terms. I am a free bird. Once again, I focus on her as she works through the streams, wondering, unfeeling, unflinching with eyes that cannot yet see and I watch her land. The void turns into a turbulent ocean rising from me when suddenly (another puny human term that somehow fits) I am calm. A brown-haired toddler cried by a river bank and I smile. Humans might have called it cold. The soul belongs to death but the bodies, they are mine, they belong to time and I wonder what she will do in the new one. I had left the dead kid there, frozen after death had taken the soul, to let it rot and maybe even become blue before the boy found it. It would have traumatized him more and again the cycle would have gone. I didn’t care much for the boy, I was just too lazy to collect the body. Who wouldn’t be? Endless work but now, now she is in that body. The change is here.
I, the wheel of time, set to forever roll, to remain always alone, incomprehensible and set in stone have once again been rewound. Something, not new really but different perhaps. Oh little human, let’s see what can get you, what you can bring in bring or rather what I used to be. This one, I shall watch closely. Hmm, I wonder where she would have landed had I taken the body? Well, only the universe knows and mayhaps the fates, I tell thee, they know a lot. I sigh, as another scream rips the void of reality. Will this one make it too? She knew what to do and came up with the hows, wonderful! Did she have to tell others? Of course, humans! Well, another one, another show. Will they burn or will they blaze? Only one way to know.
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