Author: jenxrawr PM
In the Sagittarius Elliptical Galaxy a father is telling his precious daughter an old love story- metal boy who explores what it means to be alive as he falls in love with a young woman who has already lost her sanity to the winking constellations.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Angst - Words: 3,739 - Reviews: 2 - Favs: 1 - Published: 12-05-12 - Status: Complete - id: 3080373
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Love- I wade into pools of deep crystal waters and I die a thousand metaphysical deaths!
"I was born a long time ago on a planet of majestic blue. I named her Terra and she was beauty in every form of that word. She was my little world, orbiting in space, teeming with life. Her history was so magnificent it was woven into the very fabrics of time. She was once an ever-present, ever-growing collection of cultures that had existed at the very center of the galactic hierarchy. Her might matched Mars, and her regal beauty was a thousand times more than the Amazon warriors…"
"You've told me this story before," My daughter's voice rang shrilly in my ears, "I already know about the stories of momma's home."
I looked down at this child's face with her wild hair, freckled face, and electric blue eyes that so mirrored her mother's. Momentarily, I felt the words slip from my dry mouth. She crawled up into my lap and tugged impatiently on the ends of my withering beard, "You said this would be a new story."
Chuckling, I lightly kissed the turned down side of her pouting lips. I searched in my mind's eye for a story that had been lodged at the back of my thoughts. It was an old story that had long riddled away in the darkness of my mind. Was she ready to hear this story? With such an intelligent little mind perhaps she was.
"Once upon a time there was a boy who was not quiet real who fell in love with a girl who was truer than Earth."
"But how can she be truer than a planet that doesn't even exist anymore?" She demanded.
I continued on, unperturbed by her question, "The boy wasn't made when the humans first began to explore the outer regions of space. But from their ellipitical galaxy, a neighbor of the human's precious Milky Way, the boy's people watched silently hidden from view in the folds of their celestial sphere, the Sagittarius. Cautiously, they observed as the humans, like blind children, boldly raced forward eagerly discovering every empty crevice of their glowing, spiraling galaxy. They proudly named moons and stars and planets after old Gods from ancient religions."
"Prometheus, Io, Rhea, Sedna…" My daughter echoed, knowingly.
I smiled at her brilliance, "Yes my lovely star, the daughter of Titans and princess of old myths now immortalized in the Milky Way. With their holy scriptures they braved the unknown in search of something more. And in their mighty space shapes they ravaged the empty canvas sky and polluted her into utter darkness. The further they explored the more lost in the universe they became as they unknowingly destroyed everything they touched."
"What do you mean by that?" My little galaxy demanded, her bright eyes gazing up at me.
"I mean, my little asterism, humans were defined by their nature to inevitably destroy everything they touched. They brought into the world cataclysmic diseases and rains that burned like acid. Warily many watched their destructive nature and turned away to allow this species to inevitably self-destruct in their illuminating galaxy. But what captured a few curious minds, especially the people hidden in the stars, from totally isolating the humans was their uncanny ability to create- a feat that they could never comprehend without the idea destruction."
"But why is that important?"
"First and foremost, because the reason the girl, who was more real than Earth, was beautiful to this boy, who wasn't quite so real, was because she could create. Her ancestors, long since passed, had built great pyramids of worship, produced weapons of mass destructions, and pondered over allegories of deep philosophical meaning. They could sit for hours and argue life, and God, and Goblin Markets. Their dreams reached beyond realities because they could see past the murky constellations into a galaxy of brilliant infinite possibilities. She was born to do the same. But the boy who was not quit so real was born into a society that produced him only because they needed him. He was born into a society that believed only in factual order and logical sequences. Their god had only ever been patterns and the formulation of new conjectures based on a combination of abstract thinking and rational reasoning. He was manufactured from scrap parts and bits of solid elements. His metal heart and metal bones were not built to play chess."
"So then why was he built to do?
I had often wondered that question as well, "He was told he was created in mankind's image so that he could go to them and learn their ways. His creators were, despite themselves, curious of this race that so eagerly explored the outer reaches of the galaxy. They were indecisive on what they should do. The ancient ones wished to ignore them as they ignored all other creatures that existed outside our global clusters. But the younger, perhaps more abstract of mind, argued that it would be more logical to go to them and study their ways. Did they have something they could teach us? They wondered and argued and for years they remand stagnate in thought. But finally the Vashta Narada came to an accord. They would create a tool in the human's image, to ease the natural unease of their shapeless forms, that would go to and learn from these enigmatic specifies. A tool that would accumulate a wealth of data before the Council could come to a definite conclusion."
"Shapeless forms, ancient creators, the council of the Vashta Narada, you are speaking of the Ulrsag?" She whispered, fearfully. Her human nature had always been unsettled by their inhuman demeanor.
"That is just one of their many names: Celestials, Illuminations, angels, spirits. The Ulsag have long since existed as beings of pure, blinding light that are ancient and forever. They burn at the center of time and can see the turnings of the universe. And to the boy who was not so real, they were his creators. To aid him in his endeavor they gave him two things: an empty metal soul and the clear instructions to simply learn from these creatures."
"Well did he?"
"Did he what?"
She gave an exasperated sigh, "Did he learn from them?"
"What do you think?" I asked, her delicate eyebrows furrowed as she contemplated my question.
"A long time ago, you said that humans were the true masters of creation." She answered, slowly, carefully choosing her words.
"Ah, yes, the Enlightenment, the Great Awaking, the Renaissance, Scientific Revolution… in many ways she was correct. They had an innate curiosity that drove their wondering minds to naturally question the world around them. And their vibrant way of life, so driven by emotions, allowed them to create with their souls. The Urlsag have no souls. They have no ability to compose symphonies of wisdom. They too were not built to play chess because this planet, hidden away in their old galaxy of metal-free stars, was not composed of individuals who studied metaphysics or anthropology." I paused to shift positions, letting the effects of my words sink into the both of us before taking a short breathe and continue, "So the boy who was not real, a metal heart in a manufactured body, went to meet the brave explorers still caught in the Milky Way. He listened as he met fearless Captains of ancient vessels that traveled the stars looking for answers that his people could never dream of even asking. He boarded voyagers, pioneers, surveyors, and pathfinders carefully filing away all the information that the passengers so eagerly gave him.
They told him their tales of golden fame, heroic tragedy, and faded glory that blurred together as one story within another. But they were all searching for something different. One Captain was in love with the Milky Way and another was searching for answers in the Pillars of Creation. Who created them? They asked, and why? And he, the little metal boy, listened and learned. They told him stories of ancient religions where the Sun was believed to be the mighty creator of life, and great Pharaohs bowed before this ball of hot plasma in a frenzy of hymns and chants. They played him Debussy and Sibelius while preaching the word of God. They taught him how to distinguish between loneliness and solitude while reciting Milton and Goethe. They argued Marxism and Confucianism as they quoted Aristotle and Thoreau. They whispered to him legends of empires flourishing under the ocean floor and forests hidden away in the endlessly stretching celestial dome. And soon, without either of them even realizing it, these humans taught his metal soul how to yearn and his archived thoughts to dream."
"But that doesn't make sense because a metal creature can't think outside the realm of his programmed consciousness." She argued. I glowed at my little galaxy's brilliance.
"But you are forgetting something. They gave him an empty metal soul, an inevitable side effect of taking on his human form. This metal Frankenstein was created with a mission in mind, but while he dutifully fulfilled his mission something within him was changing and transforming. He learned the inquisitive nature of the humans and recorded a cornucopia of knowledge. And that very knowledge that he was filing away started to take a mind of its own as it lay in the cool, empty darkness of his soul. Now, evolution is a natural human process, and behavioral modernity has long been studied and valued by Earth sociologists, anthropologists, and archeologists. But he was not made to change so he clung to his metal heart, like a crazy wild eyed man, and boarded his final space vessel, the Silver Voyager, to catalog before he made his final journey home. Disguised as a fellow human flying amongst the stars in search of things beyond his understanding he was welcomed onto the Voyager, like so many times before, as a brother and comrade."
"But what about the girl? When does he meet the girl?"
"When he arrived to the central station of the Silver Voyager he was greeted by the Captain and the Captain's daughter. And she, this bright eyed young thing with a heart of silver and a soul of titanium, eagerly told him of her journeys.
We were in the southern sky amidst an open cluster somewhere Argo Navis. And even though we were in a massive luminous sphere we were passing through pools of black prism. The outside was as clear as glass and held a dead silence blank as Pandora's Box. It felt like light years as the darkness swallowed us over and over again. And then I saw it one day, or was it night, in the distance. I could see it clearly now, a vortex of strange dimensions where the stars died a thousand metaphorical deaths, where the darkness shut and open with a life of its own, and where the universe scattered and gathered before my very eyes. We moved past wastelands of immense glacial beauty and pristine cathedrals formed from ancient space-substances that decayed slowly in the solace of the darkness. And for the first time I could feel something burn with me, an overwhelming desire to be captain to this ship. I wanted to ease this great vessel past these unknown sights with deft care, a clever hand, and a mind as clear as the sky, so that then I could become master of my bleeding Milky Way.
Her words rang through like ice and fire burning the cogs in his arms and the wheels in his brain. She had created in him, this human girl who was more real than the twinkling nebula and more cataclysmic than a nova, a heart. From his past observations he had heard her song echoed in every spiraling galaxy and star cluster that he had visited. Her night song hummed through the constellations traveling light years of distance in seconds of time. Her words had been a faint whisper that had followed him from space to space ship manifesting itself into various forms but now he could hear it so clearly. Her cry resounded within him, reverberating in his heart, filling his soul with a plethora of sensations and sentiments that she had created for him. He had passed days and nights dreaming of her without even realizing it until now. Skipping stones in the Milky Way, tracing stars in the Andromeda Galaxy, and all the while recording civilizations sporadic structure until now he could see it. A vision of him standing on his planet, the tip of the arrow of the centaur constellation, looking out across the Gamma Sagittarii and feeling Greatness washing over his metal frame as her song murmured in the distance.
"He loved her because she could sing?"
"No. He loved her because she helped him dream. A long time ago, at the beginning of his mission, when his dreams were only of himself dreaming, a q. It was on the first space vessel that a question began to bother him. He scanned his mind searching for the answer but no mathematical solution came to him. With the permission of the captain, a kind old soul who had saved space whales and fought galactic pirates, the metal boy pondered and poked around the library, an airborne shrine of ancient books preserving the last of the Earth's oldest fables. He studied fishing and analyzed bubble gum. He experimented with crayons, glue, and stamps. He even, unintentionally of course, locked himself in a stale mate war between robot and unrelenting glitter. When he finally succeeded in whipping the last sparkling particle from his metal elbows, he was still unable to unlock the mystery of being human."
"And she taught him what it meant to be human?"
"She truly did. But she was already in love with someone, or perhaps something: A spiraling, twirling, galaxy that lay stretched across the line of the Virgo Supercluster."
"The Milky Way Galaxy?"
"Yes, my twinkling star. She fell in love with the galaxy, and death paved way with the stars."
"Death? But didn't the metal man loved her? Why couldn't he save her?"
"He stayed with her ship for a month. A month he spent learning her hopes and dreams, falling more hopelessly, romantically, classically, in love with her. But she was also a broken soul. She was a mechanic flower in need of repair, and unfortunately he couldn't see it until the very end."
"The end of what?"
"It was his last night on the ship, his last night before he was programmed to change his destination from earth ships to his home planet. He wondered the vessel aimlessly, but his feet unwittingly carried him to her quarters. And that's where he found her. She stood at the tip of the door peering out at the starlit wash of milk across the unending skies. Her lose hair floated majestically around her head; she had already deactivated the gravity belt. He could see only one cord that connected her to the ship, only one cord that kept her from slipping away.
"The stars are quiet tonight," he had said. She acted as if she hadn't heard him. Maybe she hadn't. But her back remained turned to him.
The stars were indeed quiet that night. Rising and falling, breathing and whirling, they pricked against the velvet cushion of space in sheets of black and navy. The Silver Vessel was suspended on airless wings, breathlessly smiling and winking at the sun, while thousands of light-years off a supernova spiraled and recycled into new worlds. But only two people, or perhaps one person and one half a person, sat at the tip of this great vessel staring out into the empty stretches of time and space.
"Am I real?" she asked suddenly, turning to him, her voice like a whisper of solar wind on a fleeting aurora.
He was shocked. How could she ask such a question? "Of course you are real. You are real! You sow stories in my heart and the impossible in my eye. You gave me a reality that was not quite mine because you are so real it bubbles over and reaches even me."
"Maybe you're not real, Milky way," she continued, her glazed eyes like a marble wall that existed only for my words to bound off of, "Perhaps this is what you're telling me with your taciturn silence. I've mistaken it for an answer but it's only a cold, cursory glance. I could have stood by the door and waited watching wars of attrition as my red badge of courage crumples to the ground. I am always waiting. Perhaps, someday, you'll unfold like paper cranes and the truth will hit me with its stinging whiplash."
"What would the Milky way know?" He demanded, "Ninety percent of it is dark matter, dark matter has no feeling or form."
"But my child," She sobbed, bringing her little porcelain fingers up to her beating heart, "What of my child."
"What child?" He asked, thoroughly perplexed by the sudden change of this conversation.
She hobbled over to him. Stumbling over herself, her usual grace cast aside into the dark matter hidden away in the wilderness of space. Grabbing his collar with a force he couldn't fathom she looked up to him yet past him, her crystal tears like stellar nucloesynsthesis.
"I have a baby girl on this ship. She will die without me. You must promise me to take care of her. Promise." She demanded forcefully her eyes never meeting his.
"I promise!" He spluttered out.
Her face dazed over with these words, "Then kisses me. Seal your fate with my lips. Dead metal man, you hold no secrets. Saprotrophic! Only now can you speak? You, who I see shudders at his own existence speak now! Your whisper floats like intoxicating colored butterflies that flutter frantically in my mind. Again! A man, not a man, caught in between fantasy and reality. You stand before me, and I curse you. You may have caught me in my moments of delusion but I know the truth. You flitted in and out of my babbling maladies as you exist somewhere between heaven and hell and everywhere else in between. You stand there laughing in your blooming garden promising me the taste of salvation but I truly know salvation. Kiss me kissing the dice of star-crossed lovers…"
He kissed her.
It was a swift movement, a sudden shift in the atmosphere. It was an action brought by his long-standing longing to do so and his desire to end this mad chanting that was escaping her lips and bounding out into the empty, vapid nothingness that surrounded them. His metal lips pressed against her warm ones, her breath felt like faded daffodils and she tasted of melted butterscotch and sunshine.
A dazed, crooked smile appeared on her face and for the first time that conversation she looked at him. A sad, faint, yearning smile worn on her face and she said, "You're right. What would the Milky Way know anyway? There are one hundred billion galaxies in this universe, but only one reason to die."
The girl more real than Earth took a deep breath: "Don't forget your promise," She whispered.
And sliced the cord."
I could feel the silence pounding in my head. My daughter's eyes bore in on my, her questioning eyes penetrating my soul as they so often did. The familiarity of this story was frightening her.
"That was the worst story ever!" She wept, "I don't understand anything you said. He was a machine, she was a human, but he loved her, and she loved an inanimate world? You can't be in love with the Milk Way. Yet, she had a child, and then killed herself. Or she had a child for a while but still killed herself. But either way, she committed suicide while being a mother? This is an awful story, why would you ever tell me this?"
I looked at my darling galaxy, my old eyes peering down at her. After a moment's pause I asked, "Is that all that you think of it?"
"I just don't understand. Why would she do that?"
"I'm not sure. And neither was that metal boy."
"She was crazy, right?"
"Maybe she was sick of life."
"Or perhaps she was yearning to find another one."
"You still make no sense, father. Why do you speak to me in these riddles?" I refused to answer so she continued her questions, "But what about the metal boy? And what happened to the baby?"
"The metal boy lived to be a metal man who took care of the earth bound child as if she were his own. He carried her away in his space shape to his home, the Sagittarius DE Galaxy, so that she could wake up every morning, look up into the sky, and see her home galaxy shining bright. He feed her stories of her ancestors and warm chocolate chip cookies so that she too could grow up to be real."
"But Daddy! That's where we live," She cried out in surprise.
The metal man loved his daughter's quiet, earthy charms. This child helped him cup rose-melon dew in his old weathered hands above her mother's empty grave. Divinity! Allowed them to trace the mother's forgotten name, which is the honey on his tongue and rotting of his toes. He drummed tales in his daughter's little seashell ear, a little extraordinary. He spoke of sapid diamonds, lurid leprechauns, and fairytales in a space shape far away."
"Daddy, who is the little girl? Does she have a name?" She asked, breathlessly.
"You know who the girl is."
"I'm in love with a galaxy."
I was greatly inspired by this amazing writer, so a generous thanks to Maybelle Leung.
Fact: She is one of the best writers I have ever encountered.
~Side note: Shout out to anybody who gets my Doctor Who references.