< Almost As Beautiful As You | Sol Invictus Logs | Book 15, Chapter 31 >

Spring ::Cerin? Zahara? I have something I would like to discuss with you.::

zahara ::Hmmm I will meet you in the tea garden then. Unless you would prefer another location.::::

Spring ::Certainly.::

Spring heads to the tea garden and lays out a polite spread using the dishes and foodstuffs from his belly. He then sets about boiling water with martial arts, a process that is not at all straightforward.

zahara pauses at the threshold of the garden to watch the intricate process he is performing, not entirely sure what exactly he is doing but entertained all the same.

Spring continues focusing, not sparing a glance at Zahara's approach, and finally a few telltale bubbles begin to rise from the water, and he relaxes with a sigh, and nods to her.

Cerin lets Zahara know of his presence behind her with a footstep, and then a kiss, walking with her into the garden

zahara "I'm not entirely sure I have ever seen anyone attempt that before." She nods in return and walks in with Cerin, taking a seat at the table.

Spring "Good afternoon."

Spring "I doubt you will again. It would probably be easier for me to drink boiling water beforehand.'

Cerin "Or, perhaps, swallow a small tea stove."

zahara "Or... light a fire. I'm just saying."

Spring "It is clear that we all have our personal approaches to problems."

Spring "I would like to speak with you about the disposition of the God-Exalts."

zahara "mmm. What specifically about them?"

Spring "On reviewing the records of the events that have occurred in my absence, I was struck by a particular passage." Spring coughs up on of Birds's magic books -- Imrama's -- and passes it to Zahara.

Spring The passage in question details the interview with Crow, in which he describes his vision of the Unconquered Sun and His description of the Abyssals and God-Exalts as "wayward children."

Spring **Ember, not Crow

Spring "Ember's vision makes it plain that the shards of the God-Exalts are still, at some fundamental level, Solar shards."

zahara takes the book gingerly, and flips to the passage indicated. "Hmm." She frowns, "They are, but they are also fundamentally changed. Broken." She glances up at the Sun with its sliver of darkness.

Spring "What is broken may be repaired."

Spring "If they are still the Sun's children, they may be brought back to His good graces."

zahara "To repair them we would have to kill them in order to bring the shards of the...shards.. back together."

Spring "Perhaps."

Spring "I have sworn not to kill again, though."

Cerin "I am actually not sure what happens on their deaths, their Exaltations appear to simply ... dissolve into the flows of the world."

zahara tips her head to the side, "I have not sworn such."

Spring "I believe that we may find a way to remove the shards without killing them."

zahara "Hmm dissolve, you say?"

zahara "Removing someone's shard is far crueler than killing them. You recall being mortal again, in the past, do you not?"

Spring "It may require the efforts of a brilliant craftswoman, a masterful student of Essence, and a powerful healer."

Spring frowns. "It is not the same. These people have been robbed of their rightful chance to Exalt normally. Their power and potential has been funneled away to serve these god's purposes."

zahara "It is not the same, no, but it IS for the people so affected."

Cerin "I am not sure there is any compulsion to work for their gods. Bertrand has never spoken of such, for example."

Spring "I am not sure either, Cerin. There is no such compulsion for us, for example. Yet I suspect that the gods who create us derives some benefit therefrom."

zahara "If they were smart, they would have had their exalt-prospects swear oaths of service to them before granting them exaltation."

Spring "If you believe so, Zahara, than we must find another way still. Perhaps we may grow the pieces of the shards into full Solar shards in situ."

zahara tries some of the tea, staring off into the distance. "Can you imagine thousands...millions of Solars?"

Cerin "That, were it to be possible, would surely require the help of the sun. And could well destroy him, to spread himself over the thousands of shards."

Spring "Hm. There is much I still do not understand about the Exaltation process, apparently. You see why I felt the need to discuss this with you."

Cerin "I am not sure I understand it fully, but if we assume that each shard represents some meaningful fraction of the Sun's power, and that he does not have an infinite quantity of such power, then it follows quite plainly."

Spring "You assume that the shards are connections. What if they are instantiations?"

Spring "Seeds."

zahara "Perhaps when they die on their own, the shards will gather themselves back up together. Perhaps only the Sun knows."

Spring "Perhaps we may speak with him on the topic. I intend to visit the Jade Pleasure Dome in the near future. It is apparent from Cerin's description that the Sun is in need of a doctor."

Spring "Until then, though, we must carry on as best we can."

Spring "I suppose we may gather up the God-Exalts and offer them the choice between mortality and death. Before doing so, though, we must find a way to ensure that the shards are not lost forever if they do choose to die."

zahara shakes her head a little. "That is no choice at all. If we do this, they will gather together once again - and this time, not for the Gods but for themselves - and try to destroy us."

Spring "That is preferable to us having to destroy them."

Spring "I will ensure they do not succeed."

Cerin "At what cost?"

zahara "I do not see the difference. If they come to destroy us, we will destroy them in turn."

Spring "I hope we shall not, Zahara. Much of my thought is bent on it."

Spring "Their power is not great individually, Cerin, and the force that organized them has been dissipated. If we move quietly and quickly, we may be able to prevent them from mustering any great resistance."

zahara shakes her head a bit. "I think you underestimate them. Several of them had power similar in potency to our own - though far more limited in scope."

Cerin "Not that great? They are many of them equal in power to a Dragonblood and many more so."

Spring sips his tea.

Spring "I must admit some surprise at your lack of enthusiasm for restoring the Solars that have been destroyed."

Spring "If you feel that this is a project not worthy of your time I will not force you to pursue it."

Cerin "It is not that we do not want to see them restored, it is merely that your suggestions currently seem to involve pushing Creation into another war with itself, when we are aware of many more pressing external threats."

Spring "This is not my intention."

Cerin "Never the less, how would you react to the choice of mortality or death?"

zahara nods in agreement with Cerin

Spring "What would be at stake?"

Spring "I would much prefer to persuade them to give up their shards willingly, but Zahara has suggested that that is impossible, and I defer to her on matters of diplomacy."

zahara "Impossible without returning something of similar value to them."

Spring "Hm."

Cerin "That you did not have a right to the power you currently weilded. That is what our arguments would come down too."

zahara "Recall how you reacted when confronted with these upon our first meeting." She taps the collar around her neck.

Spring "Then we must offer them something of such value."

zahara "Your predecessor, that is."

Spring "We intend already to Exalt all of humanity. Perhaps when we begin to do so we may induce the God-Exalts to trade their Exaltation for the one we are providing."

Cerin "That is a much more reasonable proposition, I feel"

zahara nods thoughtfully. "Many may choose to accept this bargain, though I doubt all will. It is a much better plan already, though."

zahara "And perhaps since their souls are already bridged, they will benefit more from our exaltation than the others, which will allow them to maintain their relative status."

Spring "We must concern ourselves with that process, then."

Spring coughs up an odd small golden flower and gazes at it thoughtfully.

zahara "We will have to devise a way to collect the dissolving Solar shards as they are released, as well... Hmmm.."

zahara "What is this?" She glances over at the flower, distracted from her forming thoughts

Spring "When I visited the Cathedral of Dead Stars, a vision was vouchsafed me. In this vision, a great golden rain fell from the sky, and countless flowers blossomed where the raindrops fell."

Spring "I suspect that this was meant to indicate the Exaltation of humanity."

Spring "This is one of the flowers."

Spring "Observe that it is infused with Solar essence."

Cerin "It is indeed," he says, studying the flower.

Spring "Perhaps examining it may aid us in the design of the Exaltation process."

Cerin "Not just infused even, but almost ... woven."

Spring "Indeed."

< Almost As Beautiful As You | Sol Invictus Logs | Book 15, Chapter 31 >