untitled pt. 3/?
general notes -- enemy-kun??? where is he???
24 May, 2X98
“Do you think the Lunar Fleet will really take over?”
“I think so. Their ships have been coming here all week.”
“Is it just us, or are they doing that everywhere?”
“I don’t know, but my sister-in-law lives in Libertas Three and said she saw the Lunar Fleet enter Libertas One.”
“How scary…say, Honos is such a small colony, so they wouldn’t get violent with us, right?”
“I hope not. We’re a peaceful place, I don’t think we could hide anything.”
Symphora pretended like she heard nothing, a feeble attempt to spare herself from rousing the ever-present anxiety inside of her, which promptly failed when she nearly jumped at the buzz of her phone.
“Sun, where are you right now?” Her employer, Clarus Barsamian, immediately began talking, not even waiting to confirm she was listening.
“Um, Honos One?”
“Yeah, yeah, where exactly?”
“The market of First Square?”
“Great, get to the Lunar Territories’ embassy and tell them we can’t do it.”
“Sir, I don’t work Saturdays, and I don’t understand what you’re talking about.”
Barsamian sighed loudly from his end. “The Lunar Fleet gave all of us a list of whitelisted companies we’re allowed to ship to. I don’t need to tell you how many of our clients didn’t make the cut.”
She was quiet for a moment, letting the information sink in. “They asked this of all companies?”
“Yes, and because I’m heading the Honos Shipping Union, we were asked to tell them to stuff it.”
“I get that, but why do I have to do it?”
“Because, Sun!” He sounded exasperated, like he couldn’t understand her hesitancy. “You worked for the military during the Third War, right? You’re used to dealing with these military type people, so go give them a piece of our mind!”
“Firstly, sir, I was a pilot, not rear service. Secondly, I don’t even know – “
“I’ve sent a document outlining the situation. Do as you see fit, and good luck, Sun.” With that, the line was cut, and she stood there, baffled, and unsure of exactly what was happening.
“Fuck, I don’t get paid enough for this.” It was times like this that she sometimes wanted to strangle Barsamian for bulldozing his way through things.
While walking to the embassy, she went over the document – protestations that this was an illegal move, there was no precedent (at least, she hoped there was none), and so on and so on. She didn’t know what Barsamian expected her to do, since she figured the Lunar Fleet would just ignore her. There might be a few effective threats she could pull, but that would all hinge on her bluffs not being called. She was grateful at least, that her clothes were at least mostly acceptable, and she silently thanked her father for drilling the importance of looking put-together at all times into her.
Without even the faintest idea of who to look for, she tried to calm her racing heart, and marched into the embassy. Stating who she represented would probably be enough to get nudged in the right direction, or maybe asking for a liaison officer, or maybe just breaking down in tears and hysterics would suffice. Oh well, that could always be a last ditch effort if nothing else worked.
To her dismay (or perhaps her good fortune), the embassy was packed full of people. Soldiers, bureaucrats, and civilians alike milled around, likely all busy from the inevitable Lunar occupation. Symphora grabbed a ticket, noting the 179 on it. They were currently calling 94 and it was already 11:35, and lunch was quickly approaching. Most of the embassy staff would be off for lunch, and only a handful of receptionists would continue through it, meaning it would probably be mid-late afternoon by the time they got to her. What a waste of her day off…
She found herself a little alcove to hide in, the perfect spot to keep away from others’ prying gazes, and with a fairly good vantage point of the rest of the foyer. The one thing she disliked though, was that she couldn’t see a secondary exit from this point, and there was a less-than-straight path to the main door, but oh well, that was life. There was a Lunar soldier to her left, eating his lunch while taking a call, presumably a young child, judging by the and to her right was a greying woman who kept scrolling through her phone, probably a civilian looking to renew her visa. Feeling awkward and out of place, she took out her own phone, and began re-reading the document Barsamian sent her.
As much as she silently cursed Clarus Barsamian, she was still grateful for his help. When the Third War ended in disaster, and she had no idea what to do with her life, he offered her a job (of dubious legality, but a paying job nonetheless), got her a place to live, and helped her adapt to a life closer to normalcy. They hadn’t ever properly met before, but she did remember seeing him with her father a few times, and Barsamian told her it was the least he could do for such his old associate’s daughter.
It seemed strange at first that a comparatively small company like Barsamian Stellar Shipping (and to a lesser extent, the Honos Shipping Union) would be so close to S-V Industries (let alone her father), but the more Symphora thought about it, the less weird it became. Business was amoral and full of grey legalities, so she just accepted that this was what it was, and deigned not to probe any further. Besides, it wasn’t like she planned on staying here for the rest of her life, and S-V Industries was now just a relic of the past, and beyond any of her concern. All she had to do now was continue on with her original life plan – work like hell, complain about work, and work until she died because there was no other way of living.
the curse of the black sun is considered a myth. few are those who truly believe it -- at least, until the mage eltibald prophesies the end of human civilization in the hands of sixty girls born during the black sun. he thought that the girls would turn into cruels creatures & bring about the return of the goddess lilit, therefore setting forth the end of the world.
his interpretation lacks precision & rigor. what he prophesies as the return of lilit-niya is in fact the unprecedented birth of a dragon. the confusion is due to the mythological figure of lilit as the bloodthirtsy beast, hungry for sheep, that appears in werebbubb mythology. he reads about women being given shelter from the abuses of men and immediately links it to the cult, without considering one instant that it might only be forecasts of what is about to come.
still, you only need a few decades and some badly-done rewriting of the story for the fear to be instilled in people's hearts. everywhere, we whisper that sixty girls bearing gold crowns will fill the river valleys with blood if no one tries to stop them.
what the curse really entails, no one would be able to tell. ishtar has some ideas, and the elven sage who taught her everything, malborne, had some as well, but really, no one has ever taken the time to study it.
divination mages would tell you that a solar eclipse tends to be interpreted as a warning from fate that things might get more complicated than intended : things will get in the way of what we want and the path we must take to get it. this is, indeed, what happens to istar : she becomes an obstacle on destiny's path.
the girl born under the black sun does not belong to the realm of possibilities. she has almost no destiny & that is why she is perceived as the end. she escapes the schemes and machinations of men, and even gods would have trouble predicting what she might or might no do in the future. while most have their fate set in stone, each choice a causal reaction to past actions, ishtar has the freedom of forever reinventing herself.
this freedom, she gains it from being part of fate itself. she has inner insight on what is bound to happen, frequent glimpses on the grand scheme of things, while most seers can only hope for a single look, once every blue moon. one would call her a spy, as she escapes destiny's scrutiny. what fate sees is only what is bound to happen ; one choice leading to another. but ishtar __ being given the right to see beforehand the consequences of actions she has yet to accomplish __ has the luxury of not making a choice that she was bound to make, if she had not had this additional insight on a situation.
what led eltlibald to believe that the girl would be a goddess-like figure is that each prophecy talks of power. that is indeed what happens to ishtar : at destiny's source, not only can she gain prophecies, but power as well. that is why her brand of magic is so unique. it is magic itself, wielded by hands that should not have the capacity to handle it : those with too much hubris that have tried it have been punished by fate, their minds doomed to madness.
magic emerges from fate itself : what is called destiny is magic, and vice versa. two people are linked by fate because a magic binding has occurred between them. a djinn wish is an excellent example of that. destiny is the world in which they live and so most people, sorcerers and sages alike, abide by its rules.
that is why most elf sages are also experts in divination : in order to fully control magic, you have to understand its source, and its source is the future, in which all possibilities exist. so when a mage invokes fire, they do not create it out of thin air, they actually give existence to something that may happen.
this allows mages to be put into three categories :
the first one is for those who are cursed, destiny-chosen, elf sages or with elder blood. they do not follow fate's rules : they can invent possibilities out of thin air and can give life to impossible deeds. this is what allows ciri to escape the confines of time & space __ fate does not work on her as it does on others. her brand of magic allows her to change the rules for herself.
the second one is for the elf mages, who have a more acute understanding of fate, that they see as a welcoming & protective deity, making it easier for them to barter. instead of paying a price, they exchange : by protecting fate's realm (the forests, the creatures, the magic sites), fate lends them enough power to do as they wish. this results in stronger rituals than what human sorcerers are capable of. this is also a category in which most druids can fall, even if human druids still tend to imagine magic as chaotic & malevolent, tempering its effect with the use of plants and potions.
finally, human sorcerers. their understanding of fate is very dependent on their age : most learn magic in an academy that calls it chaos & therefore, turns it into a foreign, dangerous force. this makes it harder for them to barter, and so has been created the idea of balance : you cannot create without sacrifice. each spell has a price that you have to pay. this is why, for a thunderbolt to fall, a flower has to wilt. very old human sorcerers sometimes gain sufficient knowledge to escape the confines of their education, but it is rare __ the idea too ingrained, and that is why human mages tend to be less powerful than elf sages.