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Ah, Cassandra Sexi'zatazi...the one who heard the plottings of the gods.
Born to two hardworking but relatively unsuccessful Sexi'zatazi, Cassandra had a rather difficult childhood. Not only was she from a lower socio-economic class (through no fault of their own) than the rest of her peers, she was singled out for abuse and discrimination due to her lack of any sort of technopathy. In this EPSI Federation, it was technology and not magic that ruled. In fact, there had been no sighting of magical acts since the 1500-1600s. It seemed that the genes responsible for magic had been eliminated or that all carriers had been eliminated in a concerted campaign of genocidal artificial selection. Despite her intelligence, she was considered a special needs child due to another strange fact about her. She had learnt to speak a year earlier when she started to have the 'dreams'. They were so vivid and real to her that each time she woke, it took her time to realize that it was a dream...though she was never certain. The 'dreams' were never of a constant substance or theme. Sometimes, they were nice and other times they were nightmarish. Her parents sought medical help for her but there was little the medical profession could do to help her. No amount of medication seemed to stop the dreams. Several years after the dreams started, she started hearing the voices too. People, even her parents, became convinced that the girl was insane and special needs. There would be little future prospects for someone like her...
Having few friends, she sometimes tried talking to the voices in her tongue when she felt lonely. Yet, they never answered her...until she tried talking to them in their tongue. Somehow, she could understand what they were saying. Some of the voices seemed kind and sometimes took the time to communicate with her. Others...were not so nice. It was as she was talking to the voices when she met Byron. They were both children at the time, attending the same school. Despite all the warnings everyone gave to Byron about the girl, he was one of the few that played with her consistently. He didn't seem to mind her strangeness and didn't think anything of her 'insanity'. They hit it off and became quite close friends over time, despite the difference in class and status. The days she spent with Byron were some of the happiest days in this girl's life. She felt she could live with the pain as long as he was there. Even if everyone picked on her or hated her, she felt she could live with that as long as he was there. Yet, it wasn't to last.
After high school, they were forced to part ways as Byron wanted to join the armed forces one day and help out the EPSI Federation. He promised that he would keep in touch when he could and he did...for a while. However, the communication between him and her slowly died as their lives diverged. As Byron made it in the armed forces and became famous, Cassandra found her life slowly slowly descending to hell. Having no technopathy as a Sexi'zatazi was pretty much a social and economic death sentence, she would have very few opportunities to advance. She tried to help her parents by finding odd jobs and temporary work but life kept getting harder for them. It took its toll on the relationship between her and her parents, so much so that they admitted in anger that they wished that they never had her.She ran away from home at that point, even though she knew that it was likely she would die out there. Who would take on someone like her with no financial backing and mental illness? For a while, she drifted from homeless shelter to homeless shelter, eking out a paltry existence when she could.
It wasn't until the time where she tried to kill herself when she got a lucky break. On that night, there was no room in the homeless shelters for her again. But she didn't care that night as she had enough of her life. She walked for some distance, trying to find some place to kill herself. When she did eventually find such a place and attempted to kill herself...someone saved her. That being was Wolfie Mako'demeri, who seemed rather shocked that she would do such a thing. Cassandra, at her wit's end and having no idea who Wolfie was, chewed him out. Needless to say, it took some convincing for Wolfie to talk Cassandra out of killing herself. But he was patient, if anything else. He took her to his place, where he was in desperate need of a house keeper and an assistant. Given the opportunity to do something useful and be paid and treated well, Cassandra jumped at the chance. This would have been the start of something beautiful, were this another universe. Yet, it wasn't to be.
Having accompanied Wolfie for a few years, she learnt of his efforts to bring his beloved Neptune back. Needless to say, she was supportive and all. Yet a few days before the day arrived, she had a rather vivid nightmare. She saw the EPSI Federation collapsing and everyone she knew die.... The dream disturbed and distressed her. When Neptune arrived in the EPSI Federation, everything seemed to be going okay despite the wars the Federation was fighting against an unknown enemy. Cassandra, and a lot of the Federation's civilians, had little idea that there was conflict and tensions between the leaders of the various factions. Yet, Cassandra would soon find out about it and not in a way she expected or would like.
Neptune's arrival in the EPSI Federation marked the point...where things started to change. Cassandra served Wolfie and Neptune as best she could during the day but at night...as she slept the dreams would come and terrify her. It seemed that the dreams got worse after Neptune arrived. Certainly, the dreams were becoming more coherent and understandable. She could see a common theme emerging from the dreams she had, that the EPSI Federation was doomed. As time went on, Cassandra became convinced that her dreams were somehow telling her about a catastrophe in progress. It didn't help that the voices seemed to support her suspicion. The voices did not reply to her but she was understanding what they were saying. Though she could literally understand what they were saying, she didn't know what they were on about immediately. So, when she had the time, she recorded everything she could recall and hear of the voices.
It took a while but when she finally understood what the voices were saying...she was frightened. The voices, whoever they were, plotted against the EPSI Federation. She also learnt that Neptune...was not who she said she was. A few days after realizing that, she was summoned by Neptune...and what she learnt during that meeting would end the world as she knew it. When she was summoned by Neptune, whom she knew was false, she managed to smuggle in a weapon as she did not feel safe to approach her. When she did enter the room...
Neptune was there, standing in front of the back window with an amazing view of the city they were in. Neptune was standing there, her face mysteriously concealed in shadow. As soon as Cassandra took a few steps into the room, the door behind her closed and locked itself.
"Ah, so it is you. The one who has been trying to warn the mortals of their inevitable demise. How has that been working out for you? There's no need to answer, we already know. The strange looks, the back-chat, the rumors...they've all made their return, have they not? But you already knew that it would happen, that they wouldn't believe you. Who would, in their right mind, would believe the special needs girls who hears voices?"
"You...you're not Neptune. Who...or what are you?"
"Oh, you've come to that realization have you? It took you as long as we had expected, though it still surprises us that there are still those that know of the Divine Tongue. We had thought you mortals had eliminated all of those that could potentially understand it back in the 1500-1600s. That's the thing with you mortals, never that reliable. Even with all our prodding and manipulation, you mortals fail to impress. No matter though, your understanding of our tongue will not save you or anyone. Nor will knowing of our plans. You have guessed what we've been plotting, haven't you?"
"The utter destruction of the EPSI Federation...by both our acts and yours. Weakening us by division and then destroying the survivors utterly..."
"Excellent, you have been keeping up with your studies! I still doubt you understand what we are though. You still think us another species but that's where your assumptions fail you. Just as we planned, mortals of this universe have no understanding or comprehension of us. We are unlike any mortal species. We are Gods, those that need nothing but ourselves. Gods, those who are perfect. Gods, those who mortals wish to become but can never be."
"This is insane...you cannot be..."
"We cannot be? Ah, that is where you are wrong. We ARE and WE are the only things that really matter in this reality. We determine what is and what is not, unlike you mortals who can only determine what they think is and is not. As true and/or as justified your beliefs may end up being, they are only limited approximations. Whether they are right is another question but one that you mortals cannot answer. Despite what you mortals may say, you are not the center of the universe and never were. Reality is ours, not yours. You mortals merely have that of what we honorably allow you to have. You mortals should be happy with that and yet you mortals still have the audacity to attempt to have more. Such gall cannot go unpunished. Your beloved EPSI Federation is an affront to the Gods, besmirching us and attempting to emulate us without our blessing. And thus, they shall be ended."
"You would...kill everyone who does not accept your...existence? What kind of insanity is this?! Such a thing is not permissible! By all that is good in the universe, this cannot be."
"By who or what authority is it not permissible? By what power can good or evil come about? There is none but us that have such an authority and power. This is the price of Order you mortals have been willing to pay since time immemorial. To feel as if you have the power of good on your side, you mortals have sacrificed and destroyed those that deny it. Your wish for an Order where such things can exist, where there is no such thing in reality, that is for us Gods to create."
"We do not wish for such a thing to exist..."
"Such a pitiful denial. Pitiful. You know this is true, that there is NO good and evil apart what us Gods manifest...what you mortals have desired. You wished for Order to be made on this Chaotic reality and we have made it. You mortals wanted Good and Evil and we have given it to you. You mortals wanted safety and security and we have given it to you in the form of a stable Universe.All we ask in return is your favor and entertainment in terms of your lives...as well as your existences when you die. To throw that back in our faces, believing in your own lies is nothing but proof that you are nothing but fools. To think you can decided such things by yourselves, such foolishness is why you need us."
"But enough of this. I can see it in your eyes that you wish to stop the incoming catastrophe, by any means possible. I can tell you now, child, that there is no way to stop it now. Even if we Gods did nothing, you mortals would eventually devour each other...one way or another. That is the pattern we have observed since time immemorial. Yet, that defect called hope still stirs in you, doesn't it? You still think you can make a difference, despite all this? I shall humor you, if only for a moment. Kill me, then. I shall allow you to. See if that does anything, affect anything..."
At first, the girl did not act. She was not sure what to do or say to this thing in front of her. What kind of madness had come out of this being's mouth, who she knew now was not Neptune as described by Wolfie? Yet...it all made sense. So much sense, it was disturbing. It couldn't be, could it? That good and evil meant nothing? That there was no way to stop the destruction of the EPSI Federation? That there was no purpose to their lives other to be the playthings of the Gods?
"Oh! You have realised that good and evil DO indeed MEAN NOTHING. They are merely empty phrases with changing content, a wish for something with no power behind it. You mortals have wished for something to give form to it and we have responded. We have given good and evil the best form out of your desires. It is not my fault that you mortals have wished for something so...self destructive.
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