The final verse
I am so pleased to present to you all the conclusion of Anamnesis. Thank you for reading.
Start from the beginning here.
Start from Chapter 3:1 here.
Read the previous verse here.
Chapter 3: nine amass
Verse 3: sisenmanA
“I am you.”
The flashing slows infinitely, to the point where the sphere appears to be altogether inert, frozen in a flash of bright crystal. It does not stop, though. Each moment becomes a microscopic sliver of that infinity, and each of those moments stretches into its own infinity, and in some ecstatically far-flung future, the flash will revert back to the metal darkness.
But something cracks through time itself, and the certainty of infinity flees. The sphere hovering in the center of the right ventricle of the titan’s heart rips open, and from the singularity bursts forth a pulsing spume of liquid metal. The titan’s blood resumes its flow, but time has played its part; his heartbeat lives again in this brief moment, but his spirit is long gone.
Mercury blood fills the chamber. Yahde and Vave are carried by the metallic tide back toward the altar. Their bodies move strangely through the liquid space in halting strides, not quite of their own volition, but once they willingly submit to the path, they carve smoothly through.
The nine princes that followed Vave remain in their places. He can see them through the cool flowing metal, and this surprises him, as if it were the clear water of the shallow tropical seabed he spent his life in. Yahde watches them too, and their names coalesce from the darkness in her thoughts. She tries to call to them, but to pronounce or spell them is impossible, for their names are ever in flux, ever spinning.
And like their names, their faces shift endlessly as well, no two likenesses the same. It is clear though that each prince possesses a cascade of qualities unique to itself. And each is both paired and opposed to one of the others. Though this leaves one prince alone, implying that the other is lost. Or hidden.
They gently direct Yahde and Vave’s attentions toward the altar; the princes too are here to fulfill a purpose.
The woman and the man stand side by side before the altar within the current of the titan’s metal blood.
The writing upon the altar describes the creation of this place. The stone titan and the deep one, as their final act before they fled their bodies, molded this place and played their gambit. In the distant past, a geological age ago, a great cataclysm swept death across land and sea. They spent their last gasps of power to ensure a future for this world.
In his hands, the stone titan held life itself, shielding it from destruction. What little of it remained, the deep one nurtured, so that it could flourish once more.
Life needed guardians, so the titan and the deep one called into another world, asking for help. Yahde and Vave shaped themselves, pulling their consciousness from that other place, shaping their new bodies from the remnants of those who called them. They chose all of this, they realize.
They were once One. One person who took up the call and cast their being into this world, torn in two.
They place their hands upon the altar.
Vave gazes into his own depths, finding the him that was them. The one who pulled themself apart to be rebuilt here.
“Our intentions and goals remain the same,” he says to them, “but I am not bound by your choices or your plans.”
He turns inward to face himself. In his past, he struggles to see beyond his own birth into this world. Why? He recalls it as if he were a mere observer: a great spiraling shell pushed through a sulfurous deep sea vent, floated to the surface of the rolling sea, and Vave poured out from within. Surely, this was normal enough? The shell carried him to his father’s feet, then dissolved into a glittering galaxy of pearlescent grains drifting below the waves. Nothing strange to fixate on there.
No, he needs to go deep into those black smoke vents beneath the ocean floor, so he does, he flows down into them in his own mind. And there, he catches real glimpses, at last, of who they were.
Something round their wrist—
bright lights, loud sounds—
repetitive high pitched noises, other people talking—
Vave can see no more, but more than the sounds and images, he has retained a knowing. Great sacrifices were made to preserve and regenerate life in all its chaotic beauty and splendor and terror. The enormity of it shatters and rebuilds him in that instant, and when he stares again out of his eyes, he too is ready.
He thinks of the conch pearl, and smiles.
Yahde also tries to envision the prior version of her that came to this place, sacrificing what she had there for the hope of all life here. Her prior desires, prior dreams. The details don’t matter, she realizes.
“You may be me,” she says to her past, “but I am not you.”
She pulls her hands off the altar, and she too turns inward to face that deepest and highest self, which she has resisted since she emerged from her salt chrysalis. She was them, after all, that indistinct entity from another world. Embracing them is the way, she knows. It is the way to find the independence she wants.
Looking at Vave, though, she wonders what independence really is.
The power to forge your own destiny? Perhaps not.
The power of dependence, within? Maybe. She smiles. She is ready.
Except, one thing snags in her mind. She owes a debt that she is bound by, and she does not know if she will be able to fulfill it after what comes next. She returns a hand to the altar, and reaches within the body of the titan. The blood flows once more through the great stone veins, and a spectacular, glistening mercury waterfall plummets into the heart of the Forest in the titan’s hands.
In the misty palmscape where life emerged from a whisper of a dream, the many creatures are abuzz with excitement. The flying hunters have fled their vein-den and now fly in short anxious arcs around the falls. The Forest and its occupants recoil, and those who can flee do so. The gentle inhabitants of the damp fungal shrublands watch from the shadows.
Yahde imagines the great cavern as if it is contained in her own hands, and then she breaks the hands free from the wrists that hold them. A thunderous CRACK resounds as the two clasped hands do just that. It hovers, a vast floating hollow rock above the ocean, until Yahde chooses to balance it atop the double peaks of the island. It settles with dust and finality, and the new lake of mercury in the heart of the Forest stills. Now the debt is paid, and life is preserved.
Yahde and Vave face each other and share a look. A look which feels recursive, like looking into the infinity of mirrors placed opposite each other, but in which each reflection is another piece of yourself. Another facet, another you. Endlessly.
They will take each other’s hands.
“This is just the first step, isn’t it?” Vave will ask. The many thousands of steps he has already taken will pull heavily on his thoughts.
Yahde will reply, “They are all first steps, I think. But yes.”
“What will it be like when…you know…?”
“I don’t know.”
“None of us—or them—knew back then, either, I suppose. But they did it anyway.”
“That’s right. They did it anyway.”
All ten of the nine princes will converge on the center point, axis, and fulcrum that is Yahde-Vave—
And they will shine.
The stone titan’s immense body will crumble into boulders and sand, and the world will be new and full again.
They will look into their infinite reflections, and then they will step into them, like doors within doors within doors.
And what, oh, what will they do, then?