Resonance II

  I could not speak, but I was shaking like a mutha fucka.

"If I did not behold you with my own eye, I would not have believed it. I barely recognize you." Then, after looking me up and down, clearly sizing me up, Nemesis continued, "And I must admit, the King chose well. And yet, I am sorry young one, for with those psychic scars, a terrible price have you paid to be who you are."

  "Nemesis?!?!" was all I could manage. Then, after a rather awkward silence, my courage abruptly returned to me. "The First Elder was wrong. You are no Fallen?!?! How are you even here? Wait. Where is the Zion? Return him to me immediately, and if you have harmed him, I WILL KILL YOU."

  Nemesis laughed. And eyed me with his one good eye. "Bold are you. But we will discover the extent of your power soon enough, for it seems that you walked right into a trap." And as Nemesis paused, the barrier engulfed us. "As for your friend, he is just over there, near the edge of the barrier, unconcious, but alive. You may retrieve him if you so wish."

  I pushed passed Nemesis and ran toward the Zion. And to both my and Nemesis's surprise, the great Champion actually staggered back when I pushed him. Shit. If I could just stop shaking, I might get out of this alive.

  As Nemesis promised, the Zion was okay. I reached down to pick him up, and like everything in this dream, he seemed small. I looked around. Something was defintely wrong. Nemesis seemed content to wait, despite killing the Captain, and beating the Zion within an inch of his life. And this trap. What the hell was Nemesis talking about?!?! I needed answers and in a hurry. As I stood up with the Zion in my arms, Nemesis was again, suddenly just there. I shook my head. "Stop that please. And tell me what is going on." But Nemesis never heard me.

  "I smell the stench of a Hebrew slave!", Nemesis roared. "Come forth, son of Moses! And acknowledge one of my rank openly and properly." And just like that, the First Elder was standing there.

  Wonderful, I thought, and made a bee line for the First Elder, but for the third time today, I ran into a wall. The Zion flew from my arms and I tumbled back several yards, rejected by Daniel's Prayer. Shock and bewilderment clearly written on my face, I glanced hurriedly at the Zion, and then back to the First Elder. "First Elder!" I stammered. "What is the meaning of this?" The First Elder sighed. "I am sorry young one, I wish that I could have persuaded them ..." Nemesis interupted, "To what? Accept the boy? To let him be? He can no more deny his destiny than any of us can. Nothing you do Hebrew, will change what he is." The First Elder shook his head, "No, Nemesis, do not lie. Not to me. The boy can chose. There is always a choice. We simply must have the faith to make it." Nemesis spit on the ground, "Bah. Faith. What knows a Hebrew slave of faith? Indeed, what was your mighty ancestor's reward for his so called faith? I believe he received a delightful hole in the ground and was denied that he desired most in life, and all for the most minor of transgressions. Besides, we all belong to the Creator, and we cannot choose but our destiny, and this boy's, no, Champion's destiny is clear. He literally quivers with the Resonance -- power he did all he could to avoid. Yet, his actions have only hastened his blossoming." And a sneering Nemesis taunted, "he will surely kill you all."

  Shocked and confused by the exchange between the First Elder and Nemesis, I looked to the First Elder, my eyes pleading for answers. "I am so sorry Champion. I wish that I had not failed you so." Tears began streaming from his eyes, and he turned and walked away, emoting "Fight Champion! Fight for your right to choose. I know you do not want to, and I wish I could explain more, but there is no time left for words. It is a time of action. You must fight and win." I stared at the First Elder, and then, they were just there, some of the greatest beings on the earth.

  It was nothing short of a parade of power - earth's greatest heros, and villians, slowly began to materialize from the folds of space in the dreamscape!

  Truly spellbound by the majesty of these beings, I whispered each of their names as warrior after warrior appeared. There was the Heir to the Lord Buddha, Kali's Last Daughter, Musashi's Bastard Son, The White Haired Cnut the Great, and Gilgamesh's Lingering Reflection -- all the last living remnants of their legendary namesakes.

  And then, there was me. No one. Nothing. Son of a common Negro woman. The blood of slaves too weak to secure their own freedom coursed through my veins. And here, the most blessed of the earth stood to destroy me. Unreal. I feel to my knees. I wanted to just die quickly. And then, most unexpectedly, Nemesis walked over to me, and placed his hand on my shoulder. He emoted, "Champion. Hear me. I am your brother. You do not stand alone for I am with you and you are with me. We desire the same thing, we only want one thing, and it is that solitary desire that makes us who we are. In the past, you have fought from a desire to preserve hope, from a desire to protect, from a desire to serve. While noble all, such things mean nothing. There is only the Creator. All else is nonsense."

  "Nemesis, why? I ... everything, everything that I have ever loved, believed, or cherished is gone." Nemesis sighed, "I cannot fight with you this day Champion, nor was that my intention in coming. I came merely to bring you the gift, the solace of the lost. I bring you the Resonance, courtesy of our King. I lend you my power to replace what you have lost. We can sing our songs to the Creator together. And maybe, just maybe, HE will hear us, and take us into HIM. But if that should fail to come to pass, then we will infest the souls of our enemies with a 1000 years of fear and terror at the horror beset upon them by a single Champion of the Order.

  Nemesis closed his eye, entered the lotus, and manifested his soul's song.

  I sat there for what seemed like an eternity and just listened. The cold darkness, the solitary nature of the old warrior's soul laid bare. It was a familar song, the song that I had felt as I reluctantly came to this place. Poor Nemesis, he never wanted any of this either - not the power, the knowledge, the longevity, nor the wisdom. All were thrust upon him. And that which he desired most? Well, no more than what he had already lost. I looked around at the myriad enemies who had come to slay me, and noticed that they were all frozen in place. "This is your power fully evolved. The weight of your being slows even the flow of time", Nemesis emoted. "Accept this curse and show me, the Obsidian King, and the Creator who you are."

  And so it was that I accepted, no, reconciled with my fate. I released my Soul Blade, I unclasped my armour, and I shattered Wrath and Justice. I no longer needed them. For the first time in my life, I was not alone. I did not need the gravity of my rage, my anger, my hatred or stubborn tenacity. My will to prove my love of the Creator was all that I needed to defeat those assembled here to destroy me. My trembling intensified, yet I continued on, and opened my heart so as to blend Nemesis's song into my own.

  We resonated perfectly, and then I, Magnus the Grave One, First of His Kind to Return, took to the field.

  The battle that ensued is also impossible to describe, such was its scope. Many died that day, and needlessly so; however, when the screams of the dying finally faded, I limped slowly from a cloud of death and fire, with the Zion clutched in my arms. I scanned the area for the shimmer of the Ark, and the glow of Daniel's Prayer, and headed in that direction. Sensing my approach, the First Elder rose from the ashes, as did his elite guard. "Stand down, there will be no more violence today." The First Elder glanced across the now lifeless plain, and sighed, obviously pained by the senseless loss of the day. I spoke first, "First Elder, I believe this one belongs to you." The First Elder glided over to me and gently lifted the Zion from my arms. He then glanced intently at me, looked around the battlefield, and shook his head in disbelief. As I turned to walk away, he spoke, "Champion. Now that you have won the right to choose, you still must do so."

  I paused. "First Elder, the only command that I have ever received from the Creator is to die. All else is optional."

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