2017-03-17 Deliverer of Truth and Answers
From Transformers: Lost and Found
|Deliverer of Truth and Answers|
|Summary||Zikorne delivers the history, Lieutenant delivers the truth.|
Away from the temples and other religious sites of Shivah, of which there are admittedly many, the colony is not quite as, well, awful. The populace still go about their daily business in a malaise, but there's no sign of the self-inflicted suffering they all perform as their form of worship. In fact, everyone looks whole and undamaged. On the outside, anyway.
The city of Thet has several libraries, and this one is the largest, although it isn't all that big in absolute terms. The front of the structure is a reading room, full of quite functional tables and chairs and lamps for poring over text. The librarian's desk area is behind that, and the shelves surround it all, extending more deeply toward the back. In accordance with universal laws of nature, it is very quiet inside. The lighting is adequate, perhaps a bit glaring, and no windows admit the meager daylight outside.
A single librarian sits at the desk, working at a typical computer console.
After watching a several rounds of pit fighting while waiting for Vortex to wake up, Lieutenant finally could do what he came here for. Knowledge. It's nice to finally go somewhere that isn't all about violence and suffering. He's had more than his fill of it during the war as it was, no need to add onto that.
Upon entering the library, there is a few moments to simply pause and take it all in. Certainly not as decorative as the libraries of old, but it's what's inside the books that make the place impressive. His optics fall upon the librarian at the desk, "Pardon me," Lieutenant says quietly, "Could you assist me on where to locate materials on a prophecy? And perhaps a few other historical texts on Shivah?"
The librarian looks up from her console, dully at first, but soon realizes who her latest patron is. Or, at least, with whom he consorts. Besides his optics, which do not pierce with ghastly white like all Shivans', it's his color; a deep, vibrant, almost gleaming green, nothing like the dun and gray and black that is typical of Shivah. She stands, not of her own accord fully. "By Mortilus. A deliverer. I ... uh ... " She looks about the desk for something, with a request in mind, but she squelches the urge. He asked a question.
"We ... we have all the materials you'd want, mighty deliverer. Sir. Um." The librarian looks around the shelves, where to start, where to start. "History. Yes, history. Over here!" She scrambles over to shelves on one side of the library, and very swiftly produces a datapad. "This is ... this is a typical history of Shivah, from the beginning. Not so much from recent times, it's an older text. I, uh ..." She looks around, as if some other librarian might overhear. "We have more original material if you would like to see it."
Deliverer, right, best not to correct her on that assumption. "Thank you," Lieutenant gives a short bow before she takes him to the shelves where their history is kept. He puts his hand out to take the datapad before the librarian offers the originals. Three words that could make the Lost Light's librarian swoon: more original material. "I would like to, please."
Considering, after a few moments, Lieutenant decides not to ask any heavy questions just yet. There is one important one to be answered though, "If I may ask, what is your name?"
There's a small thrill visible in the librarian when the deliverer (yep) both takes up her offer and asks her name. "Thi-this way. I am Zi...Zikorne." He leads Lieutenant to the far back of the library. Probably a good thing, too; the few citizens in the reading area have only just noticed Lieutenant and reached the same conclusions as the librarian. Their disappearance leads them only to sharp, hushed conversations, and nothing more fanatical.
Behind a keyed door, stairs lead down to a hallway, and there to another keyed door, and there to a subterranean room. A wide, flat table, chest height to a typical Shivan, dominates the view at first, but in the shadows stand more shelves. These are filled not with datapads, but scrolls. The coiled, rounded ends of hundreds of scrolls poke out from square pockets in the shelving. The atmosphere in the room is noticeably dry, perhaps a welcome relief from everywhere else on Shivah, to aid in preserving the precious materials. "I will find ... well, the works here are very specialized, sir. Is there something specific you needed? Which prophecy? The ... the Immolation?"
Lieutenant pays no attention to those who notice him, not when Zikorne is leading him to the back of the library. In the hidden away room, he takes a vent, golden optics brightening at the table and most importantly, scrolls. He makes his way to them, looking over the collection before turning back to the librarian. "The Immolation is the one mentioned to me by others, yes." He steps back to allow her to do her job with a light of pleasure in his optics. Nothing is more satisfying than learning more about a culture, and particularly this one.
Zikorne nods a couple of times, of course, it should be that one, of course. She suppresses her distraction at who this is and what he's asking about and what's about to happen, and moves over to a particular shelf. "These seven shelves here focus on the Immolation, of course, lots of others touch on it to varying degrees, here, here. Oh, here especially." She shrugs, then retrieves a scroll from the first set of shelves. She makes a quick bow to it, and then takes it to the table, whereupon she unrolls it. The lighting above the table illuminates the text well.
Immolation, the all-consuming fire that takes the energy out of them and their ship. Eventually ending everyone. It seems the prophecy leads to say the same in text but in more words, but is there something about putting the fire out? He's hoping the text will say, while also committing it all to memory. He'll need to re-write this if he gets back of the Lost Light. If there is an impeding doom, there also has to be some reverse engineering, right?
"Tell me something," Lieutenant says, continuing to read over the unfolded scroll, "Has Shivah always been so dim? The lack of color, the dour weather, did it ever used to be different?"
"No, sir," Zikorne replies, a bit doubtful. "It has always been this way. Why shouldn't it? What else should it be?" The weather might only seem dour to one who has seen the sunshine.
The scroll laid out before Lieutenant is an ecclesiastical overview of the Immolation, set down by a Shivan long ago. It may be more of an emotional dedication to the idea of it than an accurate historical representation. Such is Shivan history; religion and events intertwined. A couple of key passages:
Out of the fog of the beginning of Shivah, we know this to be true. Within the Furnace burns a Fire, one that cannot be put out, that burned before Shivah and shall burn after Shivah is gone. The Fire burned before the Furnace was made to contain it. We are the Guardians of the Fire, but we are not worthy of it, and so we cannot reach it, for the Furnace confines it. In penance, we suffer, the duty given to us by the creator Nova Prime, so that we may become worthy of the Fire. The Fire feels into each of our sparks, every day, in its holy judgement, and divines our worthiness.
There will be a day, my friends, a day when we have suffered enough, when our penance is exhausted. On that day, the Fire will know, and will be satisfied. On that day, the deliverers, those of Nova Prime, will appear, and will reveal to all the key to open the Furnace, and to gain our divine right to the Fire. When the Fire is freed from the Furnace, it shall embrace us all, in its love, and bring the end to our suffering. We shall be free. The Fire shall deliver us to the next life, one where we no longer need to suffer, where peace and ease and happiness reign.
Nova Prime, he heard mention of the name but to realize there was a connection had Lieutenant raise an optic ridge. That was all though as he squinted more at the text. Where did the fire come from then? Who started it? Questions to be, hopefully, answered in other texts. "I think I need to see all the texts on The Fire." And perhaps something that mentions about the deliverers. Meanwhile, he pulls out his own datapad from his subspace, "How about we trade for a minute?" he turns on his datapad to the photos in it of Cybertron, long before the war. Pictures of the bright city of Iacon from high above (when Lieutenant used to fly). "This is where I came from, so the difference between Shivah and Cybertron are vast to me, that is why I asked."
Zikorne's optics boggle at the images of Cybertron. The colors, the crystal clarity, the ... brightness. The normally steady shafts of light from her Shivan eyes start to shimmer as she raises the back of one hand to her mouth. "Cybertron ... it is ... is this what it will be like? M-M-Mmmortilus..." Momentarily overcome, she backs her way into a sit on a nearby stool. After a moment of collecting herself, she looks up. "I will pull the scrolls for you. It's ... I'll pick what seems best, but you can look at anything here, because maybe I won't pick the best. I ..." Before she wells up again, she gets off the stool and pulls a cart over to the shelves, and begins to place scrolls carefully into it. Again, a quick bow of the head for each.
Oh, she really has never seen anything like that, has she? Lieutenant's fins flinch at her stunned expression by the discovery. They need to put out the fire, it's consuming them and no doubt keeping them from what they possibly could have. "Thank you, Zikorne." he replies, putting his datapad down, at the edge of the table incase she wanted to look at anymore images. But anything that might give anymore information on the fire would be of great use. They have to put it out for it ends everyone. "Do you participate in any rituals, if I may ask? If that is personal, you do not need to answer."
There's not even a break in her work as she adamantly responds. "Of course! Of course, yes! I'm proud to proclaim it, especially to ... a deliverer!" Lieutenant may notice her thinking, though, again as to the foreignness of such a question. Who wouldn't? Can she even think of anyone who doesn't? Her gaze away from the scrolls transfixes for a moment as she slows down, but her work picks up again with her renewed attention. "I've always had faith in our deliverance, in, well, you coming! It's ... it's just terribly exciting. It feels strange." There's no expression of glee to go with this "excitement", just a general jitteriness.
The deliverer stuff again. Lieutenant doesn't believe any of them to be 'deliverers' or at least not the mythological ones they may have written about. He wants to say her faith is misplaced, tell her that everything is just a fairytale she's been brainwashed to accept. He has no place to speak about it though, as he has no right to harp on her. "It seems horrific what you go through willingly." he replies, "but I do hope it will all come to an end soon." They deserve to be delivered, the poor misguided Shivah mechs.
Zikorne pushes the cart full of scrolls over to the table. "Of course it will. Right?" That's why you all are here. Fulfillment of the prophecy. She buries any doubt she may have; of course it will end. "I don't know about 'horrific', I mean. We have to suffer. We have to stay faithful. And you're here, so ..." well, of course you know the rest. Returning herself to her duty, she places a few scrolls end up into caddies on the side of the table. "Here are other important works on the Immolation. I even included one from the Jaxusians, even though it isn't considered, well mainstream. You should ... I mean, I hope you can see all of the ways we have worshipped, so you can see we're worthy."
"It seems to be by an unnecessary amount to suffer the way you all do," Lieutenant replies a bit mournful for her, as he start taking each scroll and rolling them out to read them. "But I am just an outsider who is still questioning." And collecting answers. So they're prophesied to end it all, okay, got that part. Now one other thing, "The Jaxusians you say? Whom are they?" He hasn't travelled around much due to all the draining thanks to that fire. Ugh, he's going to have to talk to Brainstorm about this.
The look of confusion on Zikorne's face lingers for a while. Why would a deliverer question? They should know the answers. "The Jaxusians are, well, they are a branch of our faith, a very old one. They have odd ideas about things, but they pray their way and the rest of us pray ours. It's mostly the same, really, but they believe that our creator Nova Prime used a tool or device called the Jaxus to create us. Of course most of us understand that Nova Prime did not need any kind of help, that he made us himself. ... That's our belief." At the end she sounds unsure, as if a deliverer may know the real truth, and if she had it wrong all along ...
There is a deep sigh at the end of her explanation. Does he break her belief or let her continue her thoughts on the misleading fact? Lieutenant looks over at Zikorne with apologetic optics. She might realize from the look that what she's known is not the truth. Still, he shares it with words, "Nova Prime was only a mortal, like myself." Keyword: was. "He created no one or anything but chaos, and eventually took his madness to be lost in a place known as the Dead Universe. He is no more." He's more sorry that he has to tell her this rather than sad Nova is gone. Good riddance to him.
Zikorne takes in the information with a blank expression, and mulls it for a moment. Sadness blossoms in her face as she continues to digest the information, so at odds with everything she knew, she knows, to be true, for years and years and all those years. "No, I'm sorry. You ... you must be testing me, right? To make sure that my belief is strong, you tell me these made-up blasphemies. But it won't work. I am faithful, we all are faithful, I promise." Her face brightens, as much as a Shivan's ever does, with the feeling that she's passed the test. There's pride there, for her kind, that she played some small part in proving to the deliverers that they are worhty.
He stops reading the scrolls, she doesn't grasp it yet. So he'll do this in a way she might understand a bit better. Lieutenant goes over to her, hands clasp behind his back as he stands tall and authoritative. "Zikorne, I am a deliverer of truth and answers." he states undisputedly, "If I have questions I search for answers until I reach the undisputed truth. If Nova Prime were to have created you, I would tell you yes. He did not, he could not. If this were a test, it would have been one to how you handle the truth. It is a personal choice to accept it or not. There is no punishment or reward to which ever you chose to believe, but you have a right to know."
Confusion gives way to horror as Zikorne receives Lieutenant's gospel. "No. No, that's not right. It can't be! Look!" She gestures to the scrolls, all snug and safe in their appointed shelves. "We've been good! We saved the histories, kept to the lessons, no matter how difficult! We suffered! For you! So you would come! You ... you can't come and say that! It can't be true!" Her gleaming optics shimmer once again as she backs away from the honored guest, the holy deliverer. This is not how it was supposed to be. Not after everything. "I won't ... no ..."
And you were misled to do so! Someone hurt you all, and by the Primes I will find out who! He can't say that, he's done enough. More than enough, actually. "And we are still going to put an end to your suffering so you can be happy and colorful." Lieutenant assures quietly, "I will not leave until that much is done." And he has much to learn of this culture, and take a visit to these others, these Jaxusians.