Little, and Broken
Little, and Broken…
…but still Good.
“Aurnia, you stupid, desperate woman…” – muttered upon realizing Aurnia’s sins
Matriarch, this message is not expected to reach you in its current form; I intend to alter it, maybe beyond all recognition. But for now, it helps me think.
Vat Technician and servant of Lord Ku, Aurnia, has admitted to complicity in what may or may not be a sin against the Maker, and a crime against the State. Proper judgment is complicated by the fact that her accomplice is a Divine Minister, and the State in question is not Sova.
For the time being I have decided that her actions are worthy of utmost scrutiny, as is she, but no punishment or sanction. I will be administering careful admonishment and encouragement towards repentance, and continuing observation.
However, there is great danger in what she has done. The ability to replace the ordained souls of the Maker’s Champions flies directly in the face of the Maker’s designs for our society. Worse, I have seen the growing willingness of desperate or power-mad personnel to transgress against the Maker’s Will in pursuit of their own ends. I fear that, should Aurnia’s research become known, it will lead to a wave of Champions being… “reformatted” with improperly-selected souls.
There are many questions remaining, questions which must be posed. And I still dare to hope that Aurnia can be made to see the error of her ways, and turn her brilliance to better ends.
But on a more personal note, I still have questions. Matriarch, I know that beyond your duties, you are also the mother of a little girl. Were, Maker forbid, some horrible accident to befall her, steal away her memories or replace her flesh with steel, or even both at once, would you love her still? Would she still be your child? And would, in the depths of despair, you ever admit to her your fears that she is not the babe you birthed?
That, I feel right now, is perhaps the greatest sin. Heresy, blasphemy, it may be to say it (which is part of why you’ll never see this). And yet with all the horrors and strangeness I have been witness to, been party to, for some reason the thought of failing as a parent, of wounding a child’s sense of identity, might be worse than conspiring with an Apostate and suborning the Cycle of Champions.
“Shh, shh. We’ll take care of you, little Sys. We promise.” – whispered while carrying Sys back to the Goldie
Regarding the Horashio:
“He’s polite for an ancient Champion, his people are actually alive, his city is well-lit, and he hasn’t made us fight any Gremlins. On my slate, that means this is automatically better than most of the places we’ve visited.” – commentary to Assembly-mates
Here, Matriarch, I have my footing. The Horashio, formerly known as P.A.N.A., is undoubtedly a rogue Champion from Nurad. He is not an Apostate, I am happy to report, but neither is he anything regarding orthodox. It seems that the entire population has been formed in his image, using souls recovered from this “Nation of the Dead,” and the mind-replacing techniques of the Elder Sciences. They all appear linked to him in a great network, with special place for his “empaths,” whose purpose is to help him understand the emotions of other beings. His goals are seemingly benign, but his methods are perhaps just as much an affront to the Cycle of Souls as those in Igris.
I cannot fault him in what has occurred with Sys and Aurnia, for he is clearly more attuned to the Maker than to any emotion or humanity, as is the way of ancient Champions. Still, I hope that we may convince him he is in error, and that Sys is indeed his child. If not, though, I fear to press the matter, as we need his assistance.