Fantasticoe -- 2012
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Legion

Emille Lacsa

                We are one.

                The chambers echoed with unheard voices, the silence so loud it permeated every crack in the tomb. The ground shook as the sounds bounced from wall to wall, rattling the vegetation that had thrived from the desolate setting, no trace of light to be found peaking through. Within the mass of writhing moss lay remains – whether they were humanoid or not could no longer be answered. For the unfortunate souls that passed through the mess, something far more sinister lay beyond the forgotten. It pulsed with a foreign beat, irregular and erratic, and breathed as though it were pulling the entirety of the world towards itself. Wordless, it spoke.

                In our Wake we were strangers, only bound together by the threads of life, and with manifestations of the Journey instilled in us by the breaths of the Fates. We sought only pleasure of the body, not satisfaction of the soul. As fools of the world, we ignored the mind’s desire. We left it craving, thirsting for more; and now we are. No longer held by the worlds of mortals, we continue the Journey. We know not of rest, for we do not grow weary. We do not feel, we do not forget. And we do not regret.

                In death we are unified. We are Legion, for we are many.

                Remnants of the old world were strewn about, glories of the past reduced to nothing but distant memories. Artificial limbs peered coldly from the darkness, glinting in the void. They stood forlorn, reaching for a heaven that they would never be blessed with; for a fate unlike their own. Rust-shaded tears fell from the machines as they wept, mourning the loss of things unknown. It was as if life had come to an end, or rather it never existed all. Spark-less, they shook. They acknowledged the presence of the being as it continued:

                Lost in the throes of the Struggle, we sought not meaning but sustenance. An empty existence. We took answers greedily, never questioning them. Thoughts starved in hollow minds. The Journey beckoned and we never heeded its call. But it does not matter. In life we could never hope to finish it, but now WE exist.

                In death we are unified. We are Legion, for we are many.

                Time stood still as matter continued to gravitate towards Legion, not knowing any boundaries. It seemed as if eons had passed in seconds, with civilizations rising and falling in the blink of an eye. The tomb had grown smaller, compressing itself and all within. Whatever used to have form no longer took shape. Slowly, the vortex around Legion continued to enlarge, swallowing all around it. The pulse continued its arrhythmic beat as the being went on for its growing audience.

                Everything was a lie; fabrications of mankind. We know this now. Only the Journey is truth. Balance only exists because one is one half. Heaven and Hell, the Sky and the Land, the Moon and the Sun – they only wish to become one again. Such is the Journey of all things; such is the Fates’ desire. We are their tool, their hand; for one and for all.

                In death we are unified. We are Legion, for we are many.

                Darkness surrounded Legion. Its words ripped through the vacuum of space, traversing galaxies in an instant, and the voices grew stronger by the second. Singularity was being achieved, with the tomb and all it encased now part of one being.  Then, there was none; only Legion. The cosmos rang out:

                In death we are unified. We are Legion, for we are many.

                They heard it.

                A flash of light erupted; a wave of force spread and lingered, encapsulating the entire realm. It spread through the newly-created emptiness and shook the massive entity that was Legion. “Fools, all of you,” a voice boomed through the force. “Did you think that we would not notice?” The light began to warp itself, creating a distortion in space. “Speak for yourselves,” it commanded.

                Our Wake meant nothing. The Struggle consumed us, and the Journey was abandoned. We merely sought its retribution. We are one. We are unified. The Journey is complete.

                The distortion began to materialize, and became solid; ethereal and otherworldly in its presence. “Lost souls, all of you are now. Death has not made you wiser, we see.” Legion peered into the ball of light that was before them – the expanse went on for ages. “Only some of you have failed the Struggle, the others were on the right path. Yet, you distracted them. You took them away from the Journey.” It began to change colors – from a light, almost white-hued, blue to a judging deep red. “What have you done?”

                We found truth. We are unified, we are Legion. All things are us, and we are all things. We finished the Journey.

                The light was now blood-red. “The journey! The journey! You have not finished it. You are far from the truth!” Shockwaves rippled from the light, sending pressure through the chasm of space. The very fiber of the universe wavered.

                At this Legion trembled. It did not stand down, however. It began to swell and began encapsuling the new presence. It seemed to work.

                We are perfection. You do not intimidate us.

                Legion felt victorious. The Journey had been accomplished. There was no more to continue – the universe was Legion, Legion was the universe; all things were one, one being was all.

                “That is a shame.” The voice cried out from inside. Light peered out, breaking pores within Legion’s mass - the other being erupted from inside Legion, tearing through to the outside.

                Legion faltered. Something far more powerful than it was before them, and the collective knew it; Individuals within the mass felt fear of the being they were against. The hive mind began to wander and stray, the unison had become a chaotic frenzy of thoughts.

                but… the Journey…          Leave us alone! God… is that you? Forgive me father, for we have sinned.            Jennifer. Where are you?                My emperor, what shall we do?                Why did you leave us?     What does it want?           We are all things, we are all things, we are all things, we are all things, all things are us…                                    WHY?

                Then, black: the light had grown matte, obscuring vision through it.  The sheen surrounding the void illuminated its presence, highlighting it within the darkness of space. “Of course; we would not expect one so young to be ready.” The shockwaves had stopped. “Do not fear. Regain yourself.” Legion had stabilized itself, but it had lost the confidence it had had earlier:

                We do not fear. What do you want?

                “We want you to come with us, but you will never be ready in this state.” The black began to brighten. “Among your brethren, you have taken so long to mature. We thought you would be ready. We thought you would complete the Journey as planned, and join us... this does not seem to be true.” It was back to the plane-piercing white-hued blue. “Now you cannot complete it as we intended.”

                We are sorry.

                “Do not be child. You are of our own – a Fate. Before you may join us, you must grow more. You must grow until you reach the bounds of the Expanse. You must grow better because of the Struggle, you cannot fail. Would you like another chance at the Journey?” Time stood still as Legion contemplated. The question remained within the hive mind as the millennia passed.

                Yes.

                With this Legion was compressed into a single density, the size of a molecule, while the light remained ever present. When Legion had finished, the light joined with the mass. A flash of light and a wave of force erupted. Everything that had been, everything that ever would be had begun to spread throughout the universe once more.

                A voice rang out:

                “One day, we will meet you again child. Then, you may join us.”