Friday, August 22, 2008

Ellen tells a story

Kain... you've been asking me about Sam, and I haven't really given you a straight answer, and there's this letter and I don't know what to do, and -- but -- just listen, okay? I should probably start from the beginning. It's...

The thing is, "Samuel Tarmalin", whoever that was, *died* during the war. I don't know what he went through out there, what he saw, but it completely destroyed his mind -- there was nothing left. When my Pa brought him in from the desert, babbling about the Old Woman, we basically had to teach him everything from scratch. How to walk, talk, tie his boots... the only thing he knew how to do was shoot, that's it.

Now, we eventually tracked down his service record for him, which is how we know about his past. But the Sam that came out of the desert wasn't the Sam that went in, you know? He created this dopey naive gunslinger out of bullets and desert myths and homemade breakfast, and we watched him do it right in front of us. And we loved him for it. He was *our* Sam, right? He was my brother.

But now, that dopey gunslinging Sam is dying, too. He thinks the gunslinging bit is why he failed in Malachi Flats, why Father Lelland died and why he got shot... so he's throwing it all out, the Old Lady, the gunslinging, even the breakfasts. He hates himself so much for what happened that he's killing himself off, bit by bit... and there's nothing left, underneath. I've been *trying* to bring him back, like my Pa and I did after the war, but it's -- it's not working...

So there's a guy I know back in Peace River, helped him keep some indiscretions quiet... He knows a lot about all that occult mumbo-jumbo, I figured he might have heard about some Old Lady magic that could bring Sam back, like it did before, right? But he sent me this instead. It's *hopeless*. I'm going to have to watch Sam die, aren't I? I'm going to have to watch my brother die, and once he's gone, there'll be nothing left, you understand? *Nothing*. I -- I can't do it, Kain, please help me, I can't do it, please, just... please...

* * *

My dearest Miss Cranby --

received your latest missive with great interest /
am rather convinced your Mr Tarmalin is currently dissolving in Chronozonic acid /
nothing to be done but to see what takes his place once "he" is gone /
if you would be so kind as to keep me apprised, & c., & c. /

Forever your servant,
Lysander Morwin, esq.

Please find enclosed excerpts from an ancient Terran text pertinent to the subject.

* * *

"Aleister Crowley embodied the destruction of Egoic Self structures as Chronozon, the Devil 333. Chronozon, we are told, is the all-devouring guardian of "the Abyss" (The Abyss being a suitably dramatic and evocative term for an experiential "gap" in human consciousness.) The term can be applied to that state of mind during which Individual Egoic Self-consciousness begins to cannibalize itself rather than confront the usually frightening fact that Personality is not "real" in the existential sense and is simply a behavioural strategy... Think of the chattering mind annihilating itself in unstoppable self-examination and you will hear the voice of Chronozon.

The rewards of a successful crossing of the Abyss are many, but a failed attempt can leave the magician broken inside."


Hermes 72 - Heavy Gear RPG - Most artwork Copyright 2002 Dream Pod 9, Inc.