Excerpt from ELI BEIGHT by S. L. McKay
Chapter Thirty Four, cont.

Her brilliant smiled flashed and she was once again Diamond Daj.  “As has usually been the case, my darling, we agree on general philosophy.  However, I refuse to be a mule harnessed and forced to walk the wider circle to turn the merry-go-round.  The human wheel that recycles the innate human hierarchy of ruler and ruled must be stopped.  Lucid may very well crack WOF’s foundation and shake up the world order.  Yet we both know it won’t be for long.”

“We cannot know-“

“Sooner likelier than later a handful of groups and leaders within those groups will rise above the billions and seize control.  You know as well as I that ninety-nine percent will be just fine with it.  Oh, they might moan and groan a bit, but too few will be compelled to change it.  The too few like us.  Like we were.  Young idealists who, despite thousands of years of history that proves otherwise, will insist that humans can live in harmony with each other and with nature.  They will refuse to see our tribal nature, our violent nature.  They will be doomed to repeat the useless cycle of countless generations.”

“Not useless!  I concede that as a species we only evolve a baby step every few hundred years.  That is the way it is.  What is the alternative?”

“To begin again.”

“But you just said it would be a waste of time.”

“No, Mar-mar.  To truly begin again; to begin from the beginning.”

“To…?”

“Our homeland, Mar-mar, it’s where it all began millions of years ago.”

“Oh, my God, Daj…”

“Yes, perhaps Daj will be the name the new first generation evokes as the Creator.”

Marshall wagged his finger at her.  “I knew.  My gut told me weeks ago that the shadows had shifted in your soul.”

Daj raised a brow.  “I told you weeks ago that my position had changed.  Why just a few days ago I told you that I was putting my money on force.  And you agreed with me.”

“No, I did not!  I told you I still supported the Unicouncil’s position to proceed with Lucid, to bring the Arians on board as the counterforce against WOF.  That’s all.  No more.”

“No more.  Exactly.”

Marshall grabbed her by the shoulders and gave her a shake.  “No, Daj!  It won’t work!  The loss of life will be epic, and you are not God!  You cannot smite the heathens and spare the Chosen.  You will destroy us all!”

“Yes.”

A chill traveled down his spine and iced his entire being.

Daj reached up to touch his face.  He twitched, but was unable to pull away as if frozen in place, in time.  Familiar fingertips, soft and warm, soothed the broad masculine brow, feathered eyelids closed, traced bone and cheek’s hollow, and outlined trembling lips, as a woman without sight might seek to see a face and imprint it upon her memory.  Her lips lit upon his like a butterfly.  His eyes awakened to the dream.

“I love you Marshall Sanbujuma.  This is why you cannot be in the control room.  It would cleave your soul to see what must be done.  I am the chaotic side of Creation; you are the benign hand of Order.”

“You will be destroyed, don’t you see?  The Universalists will be annihilated.  But you will not succeed in killing the head of the beast!  The ICBM’s won’t even reach its tail.”

“Leave the beast to me.  Not all Universalists will be sacrificed in our victory, Mar-mar.  Our homeland will provide salvation.  Do you remember what you told me in this room not so long ago as we were feeling like two old lions too long caged in this darkened zoo?”

“I remember we talked of many things.”

“Yes…including dreaming of seeing our homeland one more time.”

“Mbaba Mwana Waresa…”

“Our Great Rain Mother?”

“Yes, she came to me last night.”

“Ah.  There you see, she is calling you.”

“And then you came…fire rained from the sky and I fell into darkness…your darkness.”

“Yes, exactly dearest Mar-mar.  Your visions are always accurate.”  She tenderly claimed his mouth; brushed her mouth to his ear.  “The new world will need a wise shaman.”  Her thumb and forefinger pinched his neck and he fell into the darkness he had dreamt.


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