“Should I be trying to discover a shared vision that will foster enrollment rather than compliance? Or should I modify my conceptual map to focus on organizational complexity?” ~ Dilbert
Ch 14 ~ The Legion
There were two different types of warriors.
There was Locomotive Breath. Mya recognized him/her — s/he — instantly. As was the case with the two of them, their eyes locked. S/he was big. S/he was powerful. And she needn’t say anything to convey it. Locomotive held his energy tight and fast in stone silence, her gaze unblinking but without malice. Mya held herself tightly together…just barely. She was the first one to blink.
“Sheesh,” she shuddered and dropped her eyes, still shocked to imagine that this being had come from somewhere within her innermost depths. But, she frowned inside, what real proof did she have of this? What real proof other than an unyielding knowing, she answered her own question. There, she admitted it to herself. She simply had to admit it to herself from time to time. Pure, unadulterated instinct would have it no other way.
Mya’s eyes skimmed down the length of the warrior. She registered a multitude of weaponry on his person: axes, daggers, knives, bow and arrows, cleavers and swords. She imagined he could summon any weapon he most needed whenever he most needed it. S/he nodded slightly in acknowlegement but otherwise didn’t move. As for Mya, she turned away in intimidation…of herself.
(How odd, she thought in rattled amazement. Indeed. It rather creeped her out when the beast read her thoughts and answered her internal questions.)
The second type of warrior…now, this mammoth person, this looming being was yet another matter still. This one, Mya hadn’t seen before. Yet, a sense of knowing managed to overpower her again. She stared, her lips parted and opened slightly, as this warrior stood next to Locomotive and towered over him like a mountain that reached for the heavens while casting itself protectively over the top of a nearby hill. This one, this embattled fighter, possessed a far greater masculinity if that was even possible. This beast, this ferocious champion, radiated an intensity and singularity of focus that rivaled Locomotive’s. It was breathtaking and beyond Mya’s ability to describe. But this fighter’s unyielding intent, magnificent and fiercely powerful spirit simply embodied Mya, passed through her and within her, travelled to all parts of her and journeyed deeply into every corner and recess. With a furrowed brow, a chiseled face, a quiet passion, a burning gaze, this warrior read the winds — communicated on an entirely different plane — she was convinced and penetrated Mya’s primal senses just as easily as Locomotive. But in a profoundly different and, at the same time, profoundly sameness in the way.
Absentmindedly, Mya shook her body in tiny, little tremors. It was as if she were trying to shake off all these developments. Were these friends here, she wondered. If friends, what sort of friends? If not friends, then…?
She crossed her arms in front of her chest and wrapped her fingers around each shoulder. She seemed to be doing that alot lately. Well, but it helped her to contain her panick. She was surrounded by two different types of fury, both of which sat in wait for the unleashing. So very similar in their essence, so readily distinct in their own right, so single-minded in purpose. Both stared at her…in a manner that penetrated, but didn’t paralyze with fear. At least, not with her. She had a sense enough about them to know she needn’t be afraid of them (even if she found herself battling back and forth with fear). But she also knew that anyone outside of this room would not be as lucky. She found herself shuddering again. Because the entire legion of warriors happened to be staring at her? Or because the entire legion of fighters consisted of clones whose immediate lineage could be traced back directly to either Locomotive or the Fierce One (as Mya’s subconscious referred to him). An unending army, born of two origins; existing as one.
Origin, Mya whispered, her lips moving in silence, her lips gliding tenderly in the memory of the air — not not so much the memory of air itself, but the nearness of it to Dryst’s face. She felt his fingers slip in between hers. And she looked down in a rush to take every line of his fingers into her vision, into her cells just as she could feel every gentle fiber in his hand awaken her being. And when Mya’s eyes finally lay sight on the fingers, she saw a tender hand, yes, but one that pulled her mind surprisingly back to the present and revealed itself as belonging to the Little One.
“They will fight when the time comes,” the little blonde girl murmured in a voice that was meant to soothe. “They will fight.”
Mya coughed. “You know,” she said at last after the fog had lifted from her throat, “all this talk of fighting?”
The Little One raised her round eyes in encouragement, in support.
“Well,” Mya laughed nervously. “It’s making me…well…a bit…nervous.”
The cyborg spun around, its metal and wired heels throwing off a noiseless stream of fireworks as it did.
“The war has no real meaning to you. Does it,” the cyborg asked.
Mya shrugged. “Something about the Believers and the Non,” Mya said slowly and looked at the Little One with a polite smile, as if to soften the implied suggestion that the tiny person’s explanation had offered little if any clarity.
“I suppose…” Mya thought for a moment, then continued,”it has whatever meaning I put to it.”
The cyborg extended a hand that was mounded up with a pile of metal and wires and gestured for Mya to sit on one of the many seat cushions that were heaped on the floor. It appeared that the cyborg was about to explain – in not fully, at least further – and it appeared that he wanted Mya to be comfortable while he did so. A slight smile curled itself in at the corners of Mya’s mouth. She found herself reevaluating her first impression of him (she had assumed the cyborg to be a male, although she couldn’t really tell through the collection of metal and wires) and in the reevaluation, she seemed to have settled on the notion that the cyborg might well have just a touch of a gentleman in his circuits afterall.
Well, did he ever. Or the appearance of it. Having been so transfixed by the warriors, Mya nearly failed to notice the small Cyborg Nation that was also gathered in the room. This was a very large room, deceptively so. The many Cyborgs — too many to be counted — had blended back, their grey and dulled metal blurring into the dim light where the candle flickers didn’t reach. Like the Warriors, the Cyborgs spoke very little, but unlike the Warriors, the Cyborgs weren’t entirely silent. It wasn’t until Mya fully opened her mind to her surroundings that she then heard the whirling of machinery around her, that she then saw the random arcs of colorful sparks that jettisoned from their motors and curled harmlessly up and under themselves in small, whirlpooling flashes.
Mya assumed they were cleaning their internal mechanisms…or something along those lines. She didn’t know. She wasn’t an engineer, or a welder, or an electrician. But she need not be, because upon closer inspection – Mya jutted her head forward more than a bit – it appeared that many of the Cyborgs gathered there were, well, engaged in, well, an orgy of sorts.
“Hmm,” was all that Mya could manage to say as she immediately turned the Little One away from the view of the Cyborgs. But just as she put her hands on the Little One’s shoulders, Mya felt the child’s body transform. She felt great muscles flex out. She felt the child’s bone structure increase its mass by a startling order of magnitude. And then she felt her hands slip down the Little One’s shoulders and the golden hair person gave way to a much taller, wildly grizzlied and darkly ominous presence who was horrendously larger and massively broader than the tiny little creature whose small little voice floated like bubbles on the air. Locomotive Breath. Mya lifted her eyes up and saw it was so. For once, Mya looked at Locomotive in a less abhorrent way…as if sensing a different aspect. As if sensing the wisdom of the child within.
She could have sworn she saw Locomotive’s eyelids flinch. If so, only for mere seconds. If so, only imperceptively so.
Locomotive turned her body and his line of sight away from Mya and stood among his fighting breathen.
“The Believers,” the Cyborg (she needed a name for him) began, “are those who contend that we all are part of a higher order. No living being separated. All life connected. And this higher order — some think of it as God, some think of it as collective consciousness — controls the instincts. Controls the spirits within each individual. In totality, controls the very essence of anything we might refer to as life, such that we know of life in our infantile way of knowing it.”
Cy (she had given up trying to invent a name for him) stood passively in front of her. He waited for questions. He waited for a reaction or at the very least an argument. And perhaps he would have received one or the other (or all) much sooner than he did were it not for Mya’s complete fascination with the various chords and prongs that wound themselves around his form and that moved quite lively and independently around his body (as well as the bodies of any of the many nearby Cyborgs) in search of various other bodily parts — his own or others — in which to plug. Not surprisingly, as Mya watched (gaped, really), a chord and prongs slithered its way up Cy’s thigh and rather suddenly, jacked itself into his loins. A stream of multicolored sparks flew out between his legs. A pulsing glow ran up and down his wiring system and circulated itself within the center-most region of his lower-most region. He stood. His body seemed to sigh a bit, or creak a tad, or maybe even tremble an immeasurable amount — as far as the naked eye could see — but Mya had the distinct impression that the size of Cy’s very own personal seismic shift was rather subtantial.
“Uh,” she said meekly. She felt like she was interrupting. She looked around and noticed that all the Cyborgs were in the process of jacking into themselves and each other. And this strange mix of glowing, pulsing, engine-released gusts of “huaaa” filled the space.
“And,” she continued as she scratched her forehead and lowered her face to give them all some sense of privacy, “and what of the Non?”
“The don’t believe in the collective consciousness,” Cy answered unemotionally. “But they do very well know the power of belief. They fear this power. They envy this power. But perhaps worse,” he paused as the current coarsing through his form caused his foot to flap uncontrollably for a moment. When it stopped, he continued, “but worse…they crave that power.”
Then suddenly, Cyborg Nation was completely alit, and its light – unified and pulsing – softly filled the room.
National Novel Writing Month: Chapter 14 total wordcount: 1900 (not including this notation). Total total count: 23,290.