Summary:Cerin revisits Hell's garden, and its tender waxes philosophical about her Primordial masters.



< The Only Way To Live | Sol Invictus Logs | A Desert Wind >

Cerin Cerin returned to a sight he had not expected to see. To a garden in the middle of Hell. A garden that had not been torn into a thousand times a thousand lifeless petals. So it is with respect and caution that he enters the garden. "Jlediina, the Grey Sapling, I would speak with you about your garden."

Jlediina , her emaciated and leafy body as strangely beautiful as it ever was, stands over the garden with the stance of an alien matriarch, her arms folded in a meditative posture. "Cerin," she says, in an unplaceable tone of voice.

Cerin "Your garden is still blooming," he points out, perhaps unnessarily. "What has happened?"

Jlediina looks down at the garden and raises her arms out in an expression whose true purpose is obscure to Cerin. "The Demon City is not the same," she says, quietly.

Cerin "Ah. Is this since the ... escape?"

Jlediina waits for a long moment, and nods.

Cerin "What has changed?"

Jlediina She looks out over the twisted city, out across the golden boughs of Szoreny, up... up to the brilliant, alien light of Ligier. "We have come to know certainty."

Cerin "The certainty of ending, or that of a different kind?"

Jlediina "We have been imprisoned for many years," she says. "It was thought here, once, that we might not always be thus; that as the Green Sun was covered by the black shadow of death, we might emerge, to grasp at the world which we have wrought once more."

Jlediina "But that hope was shattered with the soul of Nyx," she says, "and the borough of the Sword grew ten times that day" -- for in Malfeas, the constellations find their place in the winding networks of demonic architecture, not in the sky.

Cerin nods. "And so they let the flowers grow?"

Jlediina "For now," she says. "The rage of the demon lords is not what it has been, and the painful thorn of beauty in the glorious ugliness of Malfeas is a vital reminder, today, of what has happened."

Cerin "How long does today last?"

Jlediina "It is hard to say," he says. "The Yozi masters have known loss, before, but never the loss of hope. And for beings so grand, containing such multitudes, any new experience is a grand undertaking to learn from." She folds her spindly arms down to the ground, where they begin gently clearing the areas between her flowers.

Jlediina "But it cannot be as long as they are used to, for they know now how the mind of humans works, and that is the schedule they must look to now." She pats down a mound of dirt gently. "So perhaps your question should truly be what they will do when they have emerged from it."

Cerin "Perhaps it should have been," he admits. "But it is best to keep things in order."

Jlediina nods. "That is all that I exist for," she says, carefully plucking a leaden weed-growth from around a delicate flower.

Cerin "So, what then do you think they might do when they emerge from their contemplations?"

Jlediina "One of two things," she suggests, ripping up roots before patting down a section of dirt once again. "They may grow satisfied with their lot, and grow content to dwell in Hell forever."

Cerin supposed that, yes, that was a possibility.

Jlediina "Or perhaps they will decide as a whole that imprisonment without hope is a worse fate than any other," she says, sprinkling some manner of mulch around one of the flowers, "and then... those who still dwell upon Meru may have cause to regret."

Cerin "That would be a cause for regret for those who dwelt on Meru, yes. I am not sure that those who dwell in Hell would regret it any less, however."

Jlediina "We have much to regret," she says. "The moment our kind were imprisoned here, regret became part of our very beings."

Cerin "I suppose that you must, yes."

Jlediina pads the dirt around her flowers in silence for a moment.

Cerin "What would happen to you, should the second possibility come to pass?"

Jlediina "I do not know," she says. "Perhaps I would cease to exist."

Cerin "There would probably not be a garden, I suppose."

Jlediina "Probably not."

Cerin "I hope that does not happen. You keep a fine garden here."

Cerin "But then, if it does ... the seeds I took from here are doing well."

Jlediina , for the first time in the conversation, smiles very slightly.

Cerin "I shall leave you to your garden, now," he said with a nod of his head. "I hope that you will still be tending it the next time I am in Hell."

Jlediina nods. "And I hope to see you then."

Cerin turned and walked from the garden, vanishing once he passed beyond its gates. If Jlediina looked carefully, she would notice a seed left behind, in the middle of the path.

< The Only Way To Live | Sol Invictus Logs | A Desert Wind >

Page last modified on February 08, 2009, at 03:07 AM