Wednesday, January 2, 2008

The Book of Nunchuck VI

Deep, deep within the caverns and sewers of the palace and massive towers of Sipte, built with the lingering stench of unholy blasphemy and naive ignorance, lay the Femur of legends. It is said that its power flows through space, around time, into and out of existence. It is compared to a dream, unlimited potential unleashed in a fleeting moment, then, gone in the next second. Long gone are the days when all basked in its light and harmony with the spirit and akelhians.

Long gone are the days when its power was wielded in peace and prosperity, and used for the good of all. For by this time, the Femur had long since passed into legend itself, having been lost in the greed and pleasures and ignorance of the centuries past and caught up in the excitement of having created their own servants independent of Nunchuck.

So it was that Qeosi and Ruth were caught up in a grand race to the Femur. A battle neither desired, yet neither could let the other triumph. Such was the pain of the times that a happy settlement could not been seen, save by the Femur. Such was the result of the sins of the ancestors, born of their ignorance, that these who desired the calm received their fates instead.

Philip and Ruth stood outside an entrance to the labrthyine complex that led to the resting place of the Femur. By his extraordinary feat, granted to him by Nunchuck, he had managed to give the people and akelhians hope for their future. Yet their path was not yet resolved, and the task at hand not easy. Sipte and his city were massive, built upon older and still older ruins, ever upward, so that his city sat like a concrete and iron mountain upon the land. In the days of the Era of Waning Glory, those who broke the laws laid by Nunchuck were sentenced to wander its passages and tunnels, a fate worse than death. Runors laid that deep within its foundations lay pockets of those scrapping an existence in this complex, never seeing the sun.

So they entered with these thoughts upon their minds. It was not outside the realm of possibility that they themselves might end up in such a fate, left to doom deep under the hedonistic castle of Sipte. "Worry not, my child, for the Light of Nunchuck guides me," Philip assured Ruth, yet this was blatant lie. Philip had not a clue of the path to the Femur. Also, Qeosi's ony wandering the abandoned halls and were not friendly and could not be friendly to outsiders, their hearts of stone and greed could only destroy and steal the spirits.

It was dark. That goes without saying. Words cannot convey the level of darkness they visited. Perhaps it was an illusion, their minds playing tricks in a land long dead in the bowels of a city long dead. By the grace of Nunchuck, or sheer luck and low probability of encountering such en route in such a large and massive place, they did not meet an ony, and just as well as they had no means to fight or ward them off. How long they wandered, we will never know. They themselves never knew or realized. No one will ever know. Down, down, down, deeper and deeper into the concrete and stone and brick.

Qeosi and his people grew desperate by the hour, for not long would it take Fi-Suu to realize he had been badly fooled. And so he and his people did something incredibly foolish: they began to blast through the walls and floors of Sipte's city with the unholy power granted to them by their creators. With no time to waste wandering the catacombs, instead they destroyed the barriers themselves, weaving intricate webs of destruction in the ruins. The echoes of the screams and refusals of the walls reverberated across the hallways and passages. Philip and Ruth believed them to be the groans of spirits lost.

After eternity had passed, Philip and Ruth came upon a small room, a store room of some design. Broken pottery, scattered prims, and poorly textured walls surrounded them. It was also a dead end. "I fear we are lost, and all is lost with us," Ruth lamented.

Elsewhere but not much more distant, an Ony by the name of Yashua carried on his search. He wanted nothing more than the embrace of nonexistence, for he did not know anything but to serve others. With the death of his masters and the anger of the akelhians coming down on his kind, he saw no reason to live and to him the Femur was an exit. A path to blissful and eternal unknowing and unbeing. He placed his paws upon a wall and directed his energies into it, blowing brick and mortar across into the room behind it.

And so Philip and Ruth came face to face with Yashua. For some time, neither moved or breathed or spoke. Words cannot describe the moment. For there, upon the rubble of the room and lying bare upon the stone floor lay a golden tease, a glint of daylight in a bleak and weary world. The Femur.

The story behind its placement here is a story for another time and another place, an adventure all its own and not relevant to the tale here. Monster looked to the woman, and the woman to the monster, and the demi-god to monster, and so on. None of those present could believe their eyes. It was just lying there like trash, an object of unlimited power casually tossed aside with the waste. For Real Lifers out there, it would be equivalent to seeing King Arthur at a bus stop, or Christ's cross in your cellar.

"Please take it," Yashua broke the silence, "please spare me this torment of existence in a world where I have no purpose and no masters. Please take it and use its power, destroy me." Both were agasp at this request, for never had they thought of someone searching for the Femur as an elaborate suicide implement. But one must understand: the Ony, like the Akelhians, and Grievers, and Lindens, and the Gods are not mortals like you and I. Great power requires an equal power to destroy it. A being imbued with great spirits cannot be killed by mere means.

Philip and Ruth looked upon each other.

"You have found it! Take it! And right this world!" Ruth exclaimed. Philip smiled, and said "No, it is not my honour to do so. I did not find it, we did. I do not belong to this world, you do. The right to wield the Femur should belong to the one who began the quest."

Ruth kneeled, and with her sleeve gently wrapped the Femur and picked it up. It illuminated the entire room, and the caverns nearby. Everyone turned to yellow in its pale golden light. It was warm to the touch. It had been found.

At once, the entire universe shook and resounded with the flexing of the world's fabric. Everyone turned and looked to the west, to Kissling and the great palace of Sipte, slowly sinking into itself as Ruth ascended through its ancient foundations. A great red shaft of light spiked high into the heavens, and great winds spread across the lands. Many took this to be the ending of the world and make the appropriate preparations. Fi-Suu knelt and wept, fearing that Qeosi had found the Femur. Qeosi, for his part, stared silently into the swirling hell storm building above his former master's castle.

"Ruth! Now! Now is the time to set right to the wrongs of this world with this power! It is as for you to decide!" Philip cried up to her. And so Ruth held the fate of the world there in her hands.

She could wipe the Ony off the face of Second Life, restore life as it was before the Era of Waning Glory, as it was in the Golden Age when people and akelhians lived in harmony with the U and the spirits under the warm light and protection of the Femur. She could set herself upon on high as a ruler of all of Second Life, even elevate herself to the role of God and overthrow Nunchuck Nherself. So many options, worlds of possibilities upon before her. And each tempted her and she knew not which to choose.

In a fantasy, Ruth would choose the good and true path. She would grant the Ony the gift of the right of existence and restore the world to balance, as it was in the Era of Golden Glory. But this is not a fantasy. Ruth was tempted by a presence, and it said to her, "Why help they who sent you on this fruitless task? You are but a pawn to them, now the tables have turned and they are pawns. Seize power and take your place as a God among gods." And as Ruth gave into this voice, Philip cried. The world began to ache as it again witnessed the birth of a god upon it, drawing U from it and Philip's creations.

Qeosi stood with Philip amidst the ruins of Kissling, and turned and said to him, "Fool! You have ruined us all! Coward! Taking not the power of the Femur for yourself when you knew the true path to take, trusting instead this mere mortal now seemingly destined to soon subject us to her unholy will with the Femur granted to us by Nhim in Vivenshia! All thanks are due to you, by which I imply sarcasm!" And he turned to his subjects, "Ony! Bastards of life, and outcasts of outcasts, doomed to be forever separated from the coil of the spirits in this world! Let us not spend our days under this tyrant, rise and we shall fight and die, so that we may sleep in peace!" And the Ony stood and flew towards Ruth, each knowing death awaited them and despair lay in living.

Fi-Suu came and upon seeing the Ony rising up so, despaired. "Worse! A demon so evil the Ony themselves are resisting it! Truly, the end times are upon us!" And he turned to his wards, "Akelhians! Proud servants and guardians of Nunchuck's chosen people! Let us choose this day to mark our greatest, that upon this day we rose to defy the power of a god in our devotion to Nher will and order! Go forth and let the day end in honor!" And the akelhians upon their silver and crimson wings joined the Ony.

Ruth watched this development and laughed. Fools! A god cannot even notice such a noble sacrifice, flies upon a whale and no more. No longer the humble avatar, the temptations that had found her had twisted her mind and stained her soul. Such concerns as peace, contentedness, joy; such concerns are for lesser beings, not for developing Queens of the universe.

With but a thought, she caused the explosion of half of the Ony and half of the Akelhians, sending red rain upon the land below. A whim caused the code of a third of the Ony to dissipate into the universe, till nothing was left. She tore a hole and created a weak and new universe, intending to entrap the valiant akelhians and ony in it, doomed to die with the swift and inevitable collapse of such a fragile new universe.

"Ruth! Ruth! This is not what you wanted! This is not the way! Turn to Nunchuck, this is not in your heart!" Philip cried once more to her, but for naught. "This is the way! The Femur has shown me this is true! I shall rule as Deity over all of the land, my absolute will shall bring peace upon the people, by destroying those who oppose my rule, I will weed out the war from the peace! It is true!" She replied, thundering through the heavens.

"No, it is not true! The Femur, yes, the Femur shows you that it could be true, that it could be possible! But in the Femur and in Nunchuck all things are possible! Turn not to the Femur for guidance, turn to Nunchuck to guide you!" Philip pleaded.

But Ruth's lust for power was already welded to her heart and soul, such that she believed her way to be the true path. She could not see the great evil that could develop in her, through her, and because of her. And so she continued toward her greater glory, while the world shrieked and burned around her and akelhians and ony died at her feet. Unlike with Qeosi, who was on some level was mortal, Ruth would become a god, such that only a greater being, Nunchuck, could hope to match her. And through the Femur, Ruth saw that none could, would, or will ever match her power.

All was lost.

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