The Power of Choice

  And so I stood before Victor the Faithless Man, the Abhorrent Creation, the Rejector of Hope. Ersatz man, and albeit indirectly, my friend, if not comrade in arms. How he came to this, I could not even begin to imagine. And I feel compelled to mention at this juncture, that I tell you Victor's tale, not as a cautionary exploit. No, at this point in time, as I sit here in the attic of the Washington Monument, pursing my own cloudy destiny, I speak to you so as to illustrate the depth of my ignorance, much of which prevails to this day. Succintly, I did not, and still do not, fully appreciate what Victor did that cold winter night in Cambridge. But at the time, I only knew confusion, and ferocious self doubt, because at least Victor had a solution to the problem that plagued us both. Meanwhile, I did not even have an inkling of a resolution, but I did know that Victor's answer could not be mine.

  "Victor, what have you done?" Victor shot me a lipless and toothless grin, "you know what I did." Yes, I knew, but I could not accept it. "Victor, that, that, you know better than that!" Again Victor smiled, "Magnus, I hear the judgment in your voice, but let me ask you this -- what is it that you think you KNOW? You obviously question my decision, but can you, one who has made no choice, challenge one who has truly, truly chosen?" My heart hardened, I did not know this young man, and obviously, he had nothing to say that I wanted to hear. I did not know much about me, the world, or the Creator, that much I readily conceded, but even with the frustration of the past few years, of Mother Harvard finally showing me a mere flash of the worl inequity and harshness, I could not accept this -- this was wrong, at best it was selfish, and at worst, cowardly. "What have you chosen Victor? What?"

  Victor, sensing my heart close to him, responded, "I would not have expected this from you Magnus - from others, maybe, but not someone who knows the pain that I carry. From someone who knows the truths that I know. From someone who knows that our lives, our beliefs, our very existence, is not much more than a lie, a joke." I shook my head furiously. While I did not have answers to the questions that plagued me my whole life, I knew that quitting was not right. Just because I did not like the game, did not mean I could just pack up my things and walk away. "Victor, I do not think that there is anything that you can say to me that justifies this act. You threaten all I love with your action Victor, and I cannot allow you to leave this place."

  And not since my first encounter with Antares had I felt such resolve, such power, course through my astral projection. I screamed across the dreamscape, ALL DREAMSCAPES, "You will not so offend the Creator. You will not deny Him. If you reject Him, then I must reject you. I will erase this affront from the face of His creation." Victor laughed out loud, but I heard the doubt in his laughter, "Why can I not chose my own fate? To be free of His stupid game? To not be a puppet for His amusement?" My face formed an intense frown. "Exactly! There is no reason. Listen, I tell you what, Magnus, defeat me, and I will tell you something very important, for I now possess the truth you seek."

  But I did not hear Victor, I began to speak my true name.

  I would show the Creator that I loved Him, that I sought Him with all that I am, that I would do anything for Him, if He would but speak to me, give me purpose, take me back into Him. I screamed again, but I began to emote as well. This insult, Victor's insult to the Creator could not be allowed to stand. And slowly, my screams became roars of rage. Victor must taste eternal darkness, the ultimate and permanent end. I raised my hands to the sky, as Wrath and Justice flew furiously around me, shattering and reconstituting in a twisted reflection of me. Lightning danced in the palms of my hands, and as I stared at them, a singularity formed in each -- one black and one white. I looked at Victor, and allowing my hands to come together, formed a perfect tear in the fabric of the dreamspace, of our shared reality, which I then graciously offered to Victor, as a token of my contempt which he could not refuse. I whispered to my ersatz friend, "Path to Oblivion", and slowly walked towards him.

  Victor gazed intently at me. "Such power. Such faith. You are truly legendary, beautiful and frightening all at the same time, my friend. Champion you are -- undeniable, living proof of the Divine. But unfortunately for you, you still do not understand what you prove. You have not achieved unity of resolve, and without that, you cannot defeat me. You do not choose this, it has chosen you. Perhaps, I will show you what I have obtained by my choosing my actions of my own free will." And as it should be, Victor honored me and shared with me his true name, and the essence of his being.

  "Imperfect Negation," was all I could hear Victor say over the rush of matter and energy collapsing into my perfect tear in the dreamscape's reality. Victor roared in defiance, and rushed to meet my promise of destruction with his utter resolve to survive.

  Here, my memory fails me.

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