Tuesday, July 19, 2016
Chapter 47: Destroyer of Worlds
Cayenne feels embarrassed eating for two. She doesn't feel embarrassed about eating cake with chopsticks, though. It's an ancient family tradition.
"Eris is the only one to exist outside outside of the cycles." Luis has been distressed since finding out about Greta's accident, and tries in vain to explain things to his twin. "Kay cursed her to be that way. It saved her life when reality was overwritten. So, so long ago. She's not like us. One of her ancestors actually... doesn't exist. Do you understand? Why she's different? According to one of my past selves, all this means Eris is the only one who had a chance at stopping the resets for good. Now she's lost her memory... what hope do we have..."
"Kay was our cat," Cayenne reminds him.
Luis seems lost for a moment. "Oh... yeah..."
"Izalee ages up today. Let's be on our best behavior, okay?"
"Hey... I always behave..."
"Should I mention we're, like, cousins?" Rain questioned, on the way back to the house.
"No," Luis said firmly. "We're too involved already. As soon as Cay and I have the means to, we're going to leave this place."
"I don't understand. What are you afraid of being involved in?"
In getting you killed! Luis wanted to scream. How many times had he stumbled across visions of her dying? Rain was prone to getting murdered through no fault of her own, just bad luck.... unless... unless...
"Everyone has a few events that will happen to them no matter what," Luis mumbled. "Everyone has a couple of set actions they always find a way to do. They're always born. Always to the same parents. Sometimes they have to live in the same place, or follow a version of the same dream... it's different for everyone yet disturbingly the same... and that means... probability will manipulate itself to force certain things to happen... that's just part of the algorithm... it's how our reality works now."
"I don't believe in predestination," Rain said defiantly.
"I don't know what the universe's math says your destinies are. But that's not the same as you not having any. Only Eris doesn't have any."
"Why not? Who is she?"
Luis sighs. "I'm not sure anymore."
The awful thought persisted.
What if Rain's preset event is that she always dies young?
What if Luis's is that he always goes mad?
A fresh cake is set out for Izalee's birthday.
She makes a wish.
And ages up.
"I don't know what to do with my life," she complains suddenly.
Everybody eats cake, unconcerned about that existential outburst.
Everybody except Luis. Luis is hanging back from the family party, studying the pictures on the wall as if he's never seen them before. At the sight of Rohane's teen photo, he shivers and recoils.
"So what did I do in my past lives, crazy-boy?" Izalee doesn't believe she's ever had a past life, but Luis can be a real riot if someone gets him going on the subject... provided he doesn't just clam up.
"You created a shrubbery species that recorded peoples' energy signatures," Luis responds. "But since then a lot of dying. Gysael seeks revenge for your death."
Izalee frowns. "What do you know about my aunt Gysael? Do you know where she is?"
"I know disaster follows her every step. Our first lives influence us in ways we can't understand, weaving themes through every iteration."
"Is that so?"
Luis stares at the photos. "Gysael's is anger. Rohane's... treachery. Greta, regret."
"Yeah?" It's all Izalee can do to not roll her eyes. "What about me and you? Do we have magic words that define our existence?"
"Yes," Luis says slowly. "Yours is fear. Mine is failure."
He pauses. "Wait. Maybe I can find a way to give Eris her memories back."
"You keep talking about this girlfriend of yours."
"Yuck. Gross. Repulsive." Luis shakes his head rapidly for a moment. "She and Jaysen are the key to all this. I don't remember exactly why, or what they did... but until she can bring him back, we're stuck like this forever. Reliving our lives over and over. We can never die."
"That doesn't sound so bad..."
"It is for me," Luis says, unwavering. "I want to die. Every cycle I become more and more aware of my other lives. Of my failures. The futility of it all."
Etc.: Chapter title is for Melissa, who once called Luis my "destroyer of worlds".
The family structure roll for generation 3 is... couple plus friend! That means, Izalee isn't moving out, even though she is the spare. Can you guess what her career might be???
TL;DR in my last legacy, Rain did die and Luis did go insane and try to destroy the world:
There they were, all grown up and still idiots!
With the same hairstyles!