Joined: 01 Oct 2007
Location: Cardiff, UK
|Posted: Sat Sep 01, 2018 8:11 pm Post subject: The Bitter with the Sweet
|"All things are possible for a price..."
The words of a much younger version of himself echoed in the mind of Bakht. A man he once was, and a man he was once more. It was odd thinking back over the years and his previous lives how he had been so determined to separate his names from those he had once had. It seemed so clear now. Chance, Lancior, Dancer, Janus, Bakht, all of them were him, no more separate than his years as a child or an adolescent. Denial of this had, in the end, just been a way of running away, one more wall thrown up to hide from what had or might still hurt him. It all seemed so petty now. Each had its flaws, but each had its strengths, and the words of a young Chance had that unique clearness and insight that only a child could offer.
The Voyage had concluded, and it had been a success. Much good had been done, many important victories had been achieved, and many impossible things had been accomplished despite the odds. The world was a little better for what had been done.
But as his inner voice pointed out, there had to be a price. People had died, a few he had called friends, many more that he hadn't known. There was a time he would have allowed guilt to swallow him over it, berating himself for not being faster or stronger, for having failed to prevent things escalating to this point. But here Lancior's voice took over from Chance's.
"The past must not be changed, no matter how painful. The damage we could cause by trying would be terrible. But the future is waiting to be changed by us. We have the power, and that means we have a duty. It is up to us to protect the future until the peoples of this world are ready to shape it themselves."
Bakht had talked to those who wished it and were travelling in the same direction as him until not long ago, but the hours between leaving the group and walking to his next destination had seen him along with his thoughts. Truth be told, he wasn't sure how to process what had happened. Al-Fulani's return and final demise were, despite the hard battle, relatively easy for him to come to terms with. In fact, his supporting role against the monster Al-Fulani had been made into had given Bakht a sense of closure that he hadn't realised he needed.
But there was someone he had encountered for only a few hours that his thoughts were conflicted over. Their wishes had been fulfilled, and it was ultimately for the best he knew. But that didn't stop his emotions being confused on how to process their short time together. Perhaps the storm of emotions and confusion was what caused the memory of Dancer to come to mind and whisper one word.
And then he was standing in sight of his destination. He felt like he'd skipped the journey somehow, as if no time had passed during his walk. But as he slowed and stopped a little distance away from the guards that stood ahead, one last voice whispered to him, the union of reason and emotion that had been Janus.
"There will be time to consider Mother's words to us. Our attention is needed elsewhere right now."
Bakht didn't need to be told this, not if he was honest. Because he already knew that these weren't ghosts from a time gone by or personalities of predecessors. These voices were him, as much as his arm or his leg.
The voyage had passed through Zamboanga, and something terrible had come to light. He'd considered Constantin a friend, but while his betrayal had stung, he knew it was far, far less than the heartbreak Natalia had felt, and would still be feeling, at what her brother had done. He didn't know if it was too late for Magnus now, but there may still be a chance for both the man and the nation he had formed. Maybe, if he was very lucky, he could keep a similar hope alive in the heart of Natalia. The multiverse knew that she deserved that, that and a lot more.
Besides, Bakht reminded himself as he stepped forward, he'd made a promise. The Princess of Zamboanga had told him to return to her, and the Guardian of Destiny had no intention of disappointing her.
OOC: Gareth W
IC: Bakht/Chance, Caraway, Beam of the Sun and the Moon
"When Destiny interferes with Reality, the only appropriate response is Insanity"