Of Breaking Waves

“For Astrid, the Silver General, the answer to that question, and the price for the answer, were the same.” Morgana shook her head.  “The answer? The Silver General was to bear a child.  A daughter.  The child was to have all the gifts, and all the ability to call on her gifts, that can be imagined.  Then the Wizard of Mars arranged for the daughter to have an Avatar, a creature who did not live in linear time, so that it could anticipate what was needful and ensure that it happened.  Time and again, the Avatar arranged for the daughter to face great challenges, challenges she almost but not quite failed to overcome, to prepare the daughter for her final, fatal challenge.  The Avatar put into the daughter’s hands a copy of my little book.  Yes, the Presentia, On the Nature of the Presence, a book the daughter understood adequately if not perfectly.  In the end, the daughter was far more powerful than her mother, if less experienced. ”

“Some of my advisors, informed that the Silver General had an even-more-powerful daughter, would have fatal coronaries,” Ming said.  “Others would begin researching painless and reliable methods for ending their lives.  The thought is terrifying.  But how does it correspond to the Star Demons?”

“The daughter was Eclipse. In the end, it appears that she went to her death to kill the demons, summoning a wave of destruction so total that the very bounds of space and time were ruptured.  She killed the demons, but her attack would appear to have killed her.  I say ‘appear’, because there was no body.  It was reduced to its component subatomic particles.”

“Wasn’t there a sacrifice needed?” Speaker Ming asked. “To propitiate the Wizard?”

“Eclipse was the sacrifice,” Morgana answered.  “the Silver General bore her daughter, knowing in advance that the child would go to certain death in combat, well before she reached her fourteenth birthday, and the best the Silver General could do was to prepare Eclipse so she had the best possible chance of taking the Star Demons with her.  Abandoning her ws part of that preparation.”

“Oh, dear.”  Speaker Ming took a deep breath.  “What a horrible price.  No, I see that I have no interest in pursuing Eclipse’s parents – Wait!  She must have had a father!”

“Eclipse was mindlocked,” Morgana explained, “well before she was born, not to be aware of the possibility.  Certainly, her memories of growing up – I saw only a few of them – implied that she lived only with her mother.  It’s quite plausible that the fellow has no idea that he had a daughter.  Astrid was never heavily into long-term, long-term even by mortal standards, relationships.”

“You have solved my problem,” Speaker Ming said, “for which I can only be grateful.  What a solution, though.  Or are there remaining parts of the Eclipse story?”

“One more.”  Morgana sipped at my tea.  “There is on our world another great evil, an evil far more horrible than the Star Demons, who were summoned from another plane, and whose actual interests are far more eldritch than anything mortal humanity can contemplate without going mad, for all that we can kill them.  They pass through, somewhat by accident wreck a civilization, and leave, unless the Eternal Ones kill one first.  The greater evil would lock us in chains forever.  The Avatar sacrificed its existence to destroy that evil. The greater evil will apparently – the Wizard tells me, though he neglected to mention how  — soon meet the same fate, and then for the first time in longer than mankind can now imagine mankind will be truly free.”

“We are not free now?” Ming asked.

About George Phillies

science fiction author -- researcher in polymer dynamics -- collector of board wargames -- President, National Fantasy Fan Federation
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1 Response to Of Breaking Waves

  1. Fred Mora says:

    Revelation time! It correlates with a lot of clues dropped in the previous books. Nice to see it’s all converging.

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