Sunday, 5 November 2017

The eleventh of my many entries for this year's Pod and Planet. This is another very short fiction, entered in the 'Eight Thousand Suns in New Eden' category. This one is 479 words.

Myth and Memory

To me, all lore is fascinating, but some parts attract closer attention than others. I have dedicated my life to what we have forgotten, deliberately or otherwise. When it was Gallente-Caldari relations after First Contact, few bothered me about it. When it was the travails of the Golden Age of the Minmatar, I suffered little. Now that I have chosen to investigate this Zaragram II, the howls of outrage will not die. It’s a far cry from Amarr, but they’ve made their voices heard, let me tell you.

So, a precis. Zaragram II was an Emperor of the Amarr, before the Moral Reforms, His actions, whatever they were, caused or inspired the usurpation of his power by the Apostle’s Council. He did this, the received wisdom states, because he was ‘mad’. What precisely “mad” means, we only can guess at. Most of what we have that does agree is, unfortunately, seen through the lenses of the people who usurped his power and erased his legacy. The lore that we have is so fragmented that I have travelled to the most remote corners of New Eden, in an attempt to get the authoritative, authentic truth. Even there, there is no greater store of truth.

What we are left with is a caricature of a man, magnificent in his depravity, but utterly one dimensional. This cannot be accurate, as any student of History will know. No man is one-dimensional. Even a man such as Luc Duvailer was a patron of the arts, in his own way. This man existed, and I seek to tell his whole truth.

There are those of you in the audience, Amarr and otherwise, who feel that I should not test this precept. You feel that some roads should be left untraveled, explored only by those forewarned of what they might — no — what they must find.

To you, I say this. Anyone who goes out, already determined as to what he will find, is no true explorer and no true scientist. I denounce those who say that they are.

When the Udorians crossed the seas, they sought out unknown horizons, looking for knowledge and mutual advantage. When the Gallente travelled to Caldari Prime, they went not as conquerors, but as explorers and guides. When the Thukker caravans travelled the ocean of Pator, they did not seek to dominate, but instead to disseminate and distribute.

When we crossed the horizon and when we crested those waves and when we took to the stars, we crossed the boundaries of our knowledge. I will cross every boundary and tear down every wall in the pursuit of truth. You can block me, you can imprison me, you may even try to kill me.

I will not concede.

I will not back down.

I am a warrior of truth.


Speech to the Aidonis Foundation by Samar Alekhine, Biographer and Historian.

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