Chapter 30- Chaos
12,000 BC- Kajar.
"And after she…no…it killed Greven, I couldn't stand it anymore." She paused. "She…killed me in that fight," Schala said. "Or, she almost killed me." Schala had been recapping the story of how she 'died' in the year that Jack had been born. It was two years ago, but the horror of it still flashed back to her vividly. Being brutally attacked by the magic of Lavos being channeled though her own mother.
They were sitting in the room at Kajar. Schala sat on the couch, Jack and Sarah each in one of the chairs. Jack was still recovering from the use of the Dragon Slave, but he predicted that he would be fully recovered in an hour or so. They took this time to here what Schala had to say.
"Almost?" Sarah asked.
"She…didn't want to do away with me," Schala said, paining at the recollection of the event. "I was to important to 'her' plan."
"So what did she do?" Jack asked.
"She managed to fuse my body with the life essence of a Nu and the energy of a Lavoid. This "Nooze" makes me fundamentally eternal. It repairs all of my wounds, and takes the place of all of my internal organs because my innards had been badly charred by a lightning spell. The Nooze keeps me alive. I don't have to breath. I don't have to eat. I'm just…I'm just damned to live in this world forever…" She pounded a fist against the couch in anger.
"We'll get him…" Jack said ominously, clenching his own fist. "We'll get him good."
"Schala," Sarah said. "Would that mean that your energy signature would not be that of the Zealian family?"
"All of my energy is that of the Lavoid," Schala said. "My genetic code has been tampered beyond recognition."
"So that means…" Sarah said. Jack suddenly turned pale.
"No…" he said, realizing that Schala's energy matched his own. "No!" he said again, standing up. "It still doesn't make sense!"
"But there is a logical explanation somewhere, Jack," Sarah consoled. "That guy is totally insane, but there's a reason why you have Lavoid energy in you."
"How does he find the explanation, though?" Schala asked. "I could tell him that he does course with Lavoid energy similar to mine, but I couldn't explain it."
"The Mammon Machine…" Jack said grimly. "Something tells me that the Mammon Machine has the answers." He grabbed the Dreamblade from the table next to him and slung the sheath over his back. "I'm going to need some long cloaks. I'm going to the Mammon Machine." Sarah frowned, furrowing her brow and pursing her lips.
"Why long cloaks?" Schala asked.
"He wants to disguise himself as the Prophet," Sarah said. "He figures that no one will question him that way." Jack nodded, removing the band that tied his hair in the ponytail. When released from its bonds, his long blue hair hung down to the same length of the Prophet's.
"And with the cloaks, I should match him just fine," Jack said. Schala nodded in understanding, chanting softly. In a moment, a set of blue-black robes appeared in her hands, teleported from a wardrobe somewhere unknown. She handed them to Jack.
"What do you hope to accomplish by meeting the machine?" Schala asked. Jack sighed.
"If I told you to just trust me, would you?" Schala nodded. "Then please just do so."
"Jack," Sarah finally said to him as he began to put on the robes. "I…have peculiar feeling about this. I have a feeling that this machine…will prevent you from getting to Lavos."
"How can a machine stop me?" Jack said. Sarah smiled.
"If I told you to just trust me," she raised an eyebrow. "Would you?" Jack looked at her in confusion for a moment.
"Yes…" Jack said. "…But something is telling me that this takes priority."
"Your call," Sarah said. "I'm just telling you what I'm thinking."
Jack sighed. "Let's go, Schala," he said. "Sarah, please come as well."
"Of course," Sarah said.
"How do I look?" Jack asked, indicating his robes.
"Not bad," Schala said. "It's close enough, anyway. I think you're a little taller and broader that the Prophet, but the hair will convince anyone beyond second thought." Jack nodded.
"I'm ready when you are, sis," he said.
"Then come close, you two," Schala said. Jack and Sarah stood next to the blue-haired princess as she waved a hand and the group disappeared with a blur effect.
The trio reappeared in the Hall of the Mammon Machine. The machine itself stood in the middle. It was a massive structure of Dreamstone that had been warped by the energies of the Lavoid it channeled. It looked vaguely humanoid to the disturbance of Jack and Sarah, who had never seen it before. There were six men standing on the parameter of the room. Schala quickly addressed them.
The Prophet wishes to be alone with the Machine," she said in a commanding tone. "Please leave us."
The men reacted with apprehension. "Miss Schala," one said. "The Queen said that…" Schala cut him off.
"I come as a servant of the Queen," she said, playing her part well. "I'm following her will. She is allowing the Prophet to do this. Please do as I say."
"Very well, Princess," another said as they began to shuffle out of the room. When they were clear, Jack drew back his hood.
"Good job, Schala," he said. He turned to Sarah. "Watch the door," he told her.
"What are you going to do?" Sarah asked. Jack slowly walked up to the machine, holding out his hands. The fiery energies of the Lavoid permeated his surroundings. The machine pulsed with the very life blood of Lavos.
"I'm…gonna talk to it…" Jack said, not quite sure what he meant. He extended his hands and spread his fingers, almost grabbing the machine. Then, trying to let instinct guide him, he closed out his outside consciousness. He left his mind blank to the will of the Mammon Machine…
Then, the effect kicked in. There was a flash of light that only Jack saw and suddenly he found himself standing on a blue surface that looked like water. The surface moved and pulsated with life, but he did not sink. The blue surface expanded on forever, never stopping, but seemingly never reaching a horizon. Sarah and Schala were no where to be seen. It was like he was living in a dream. Jack didn't notice the extent of the blue surface, though. He stood there, gazing in terror at the being before him. All of the energy in the floor seemed to flow towards this thing. It was The Destroyer of Worlds. Lavos.
It consisted of an eye pod with a three lids. Outward from that expanded the shell. It was impossible to see the actual shell from Jack's angle, since the entire surface of the thing was covered in a series of spikes. Some large and some small, these monstrous spikes shot out in all directions, giving a heavy feeling of intimidation. The eye pod opened, revealing a sickly looking eye, easily bigger than Jack's entire head. The then eye looked at Jack, and Jack was scarred.
<What do you want, Lathain of Zeal?> came a voice which permeated the entire space which Jack stood in. Jack could only guess that the Lavoid was speaking to him. However, the Lavoid did not sound anything like Jack had imagined. Instead of being a cruel, barbaric creature, the Lavoid sounded intelligent, almost compassionate.
"What?" Jack asked. His voice echoed through the area. It reverberated back to him, distorted in it's return. He looked at the spiked monster ahead of him. Could this really be the Lavoid?
<Why do you tap my consciousness?> the voice asked. Jack thought about it for a moment. This was definitely Lavos, the freak of a thing that was in front of him, that he was speaking too. Or rather, he had touched into Lavos's consciousness through the Mammon Machine. He had temporarily entered the Lavoid's mind.
"I have some questions," Jack said finally and confidently. He tried not to be shaken by the power that was being given off by the thing. He had to retain his composure. It was finally time to clarify what he didn't understand.
<As you can see, I am at your disposal. My knowledge is yours.>
"Okay," Jack said. "Then my first question is why. Why would you answer my questions? Aren't you supposed to be the enemy of mankind."
<One cannot be the enemy of his own creation,> Lavos said. <So I can not be the enemy of mankind or you. You are puppets, not adversaries.>
"So what does that mean?" Jack asked. "What do you mean when you call yourself the creator of humanity."
<Because I am.> the Lavoid answered simply. Jack rephrased his question.
"How are you the creator of humanity?" he asked.
Jack struggled with this. He needed to know more.
"But why?" Jack asked. "If you are responsible for our evolution, then why?"
<The Goal of all Lavoids is the creation of a more perfect being,> it said. <To achieve this, we guide the evolution of a planet. All beings come from us. All adaptations are caused by us. We are the guiding force of the Lifestream within a planet.>
"Lifestream?" Jack asked. "What is Lifestream?"
<The flowing energies of all life in a planet system. It is the source of which we draw the DNA of the creatures of the planet. It is through Lifestream that we emit the energies which cause the mutations that we control. All life, when it ceases to exist, returns to the Lifestream. There, it flows in harmony with the other life of the planet until it is drawn on again.>
"Okay…" Jack though of his next question. Remembering what the Farilii had told him, he decided once and for all to clear up this Lavos Born stuff. "What does it mean to be Lavos Born and why am I as such?" There was a brief pause before the Lavoid answered clearly.
<You, Lathain of Zeal, exist as part of me. It was my energy that created you, inseminating the egg of the woman called Zeal. My energy fertilized that egg and you were born as a result. As one of Lavos Born, you carry with you the DNA of a Lavoid. You are the species born for mating to produce a more perfect DNA strain. My DNA, included within you, shall be passed on in this way.>
Jack slowly backed up, nearly falling over. His eyes went wide. His heart stopped for a moment. "W-w-w-what?!" he stammered. "Are you telling me that-" the Lavoid consciousness answered his question.
<You are merely half human. You are also half Lavoid. Such is this blessing that your offspring shall provide the highpoint of evolution on this planet.>
"My offspring?" Jack asked weakly. He could not believe what he was hearing. Suddenly, the thing he wanted to kill, the thing which caused him so much grief, was a part of him. Or rather, he was a part of it. Lavoid energy coursing through him? It couldn't be possible. But, the more he thought about it, the more everything lined up. It was the only possible explanation for his energy signature matching Schala's.
<The offspring of you and the Epitorum.>
"What's an Epitorum?" Jack asked, confused by the new term.
<The Epitorum is my final achievement in human evolution. Thus, I have guided humanity down its path to ultimately accumulate the DNA combination that is prevalent in one female of its species. This female is the Epitorum.>
"And you want me to procreate with this Epitorum?"
"I was given life only to create a child?"
<The final union of Lavoid and Human DNA on this planet. Once I acquire that DNA strand, the planet is of no more use to me.>
"And then what?!" Jack yelled. "You just kill everything in your way? Is that so you can clear the path for your offspring which encompass that DNA?!"
<Precisely,> it said simply.
<The goal of our species is to complete the DNA Helix. We aim to become more powerful by creating off-spring which are more perfect. However, we Lavoids can not directly cross the DNA. While we can assume a combination of all genetic material, we cannot selectively chose the blend we wish. Humans were my ultimate creation on this world, and so their DNA shall live on within me, in the DNA of your child.>
"But why me?" Jack asked.
<To naturally combine my DNA, which you hold, with the DNA of the Epitorum. You cannot say that you don't understand. You have known your purpose all this time. You have known where your tremendous power has come from. The Lavoid Energy in you…>
"So what is your purpose?!" Jack asked. "Why do you do this? Why destroy worlds just for the sake of new strains of genetic material?!"
<Because it is what we were created for,> the Lavoid said. Then Jack's head was filled with a strident screeching. He felt himself go into a tremor of shock as the noise passed through him. At first he didn't understand what was happening, but as the noise seemed to materialize itself into a series of thoughts, he understood. Lavos was transmitting part of his memory directly into Jack. The young man was being filled with the History of the species, flashes of their past, and the ultimate goal of the Lavoids. Jack was getting a history lesson in its most raw form possible: direct memory.
"I…see," he said as the sound ended. "I will have to explain this to everyone…"
Jack slowly sat down on the floor. He found himself wanting to cry. He suddenly had a lot of think about. But, he wasn't done. While he thought out questions, he also pondered whether or not he could attack and kill the consciousness of the Lavoid in this state. He found himself suddenly in a fighting mood. Just a few more questions… he thought. Find out what I need to know and then end this…
"…Tell me what you can about Black Magic," Jack said.
<Black Magic is the magic which draws on the powers that exist outside of the Planes. The Planes are the spheres of existence which we live in. They are the always expanding web of life and energy which courses through these Dimensions. It is said, that with enough power, one can transport oneself to a different Plane by simply tearing a hole in the matter that makes up the Space-Time Continuum.>
Like the Finori… Jack thought. "So what is outside of the Planes?" Jack asked. "You said that Black Magic draws from power outside of the Planes."
<Outside of the Planes exists the Erethreals, and the Chaos.>
"Can you elaborate?"
<Even I as a Lavoid know very little of these beings which exist beyond the Planes which are sometimes called the Erethreals. I merely know of their existence. When you cast a spell such as the Dragon Slave, though, you are drawing on their power. Yet, I know of the Chaos. I know of the Chaos because…we are of the Chaos.>
"I don't understand."
<Chaos is the swirling mass of energy that exists outside of the Planes and swirls through the Planes. It is within, and without. It is pure energy. It is the mass of everything chaotic and unpredictable. It is harsh. It is untamed. You, my son, and myself exist as beings of this Chaos. It is what powers us and our abilities. Our cells naturally absorb this power. It is how we were created. Chaos is power. We possess the power.>
"How do we draw on this power?"
<Lavoids are part of Chaos. Chaos flows through us.>
<Chaos is the wake of destruction. Chaos is all evil thoughts and motions. It is he ever expanding power which we harness for destruction. It is infintite.>
"I…don't understand," Jack admitted.
<It will be much simpler if you just allow me to show you…> it said. Jack slowly nodded, knowing that Lavos was going to do the same thing as he had done just a few minutes ago. He knew he was about to experience a direct consciousness link.
Suddenly, his head was filled a violent image. Rage and anger gashing at everything they touched. The entire existence within his head erupted with uncontrolled anguish and emotion. Sea upon sea, wave upon wave, all of it was nothing but an eternity of hatred, blackness and evil. The power of evil surged through him. He felt the pain. It battered his body in a tremendous spasm of raging power.
"AAAAHHHH!!!" he screamed, clutching at his head. It was Darkness beyond the Blackest Night. The source of all Chaos burning bright. The Deepest power lying in the Stream of Time. He felt it, and it burned.
Then, as quickly as it had come on, it was gone. The fire and the images were gone. His head went back to normal and he could see the image of Lavos in front of him again.
<That,> the Lavoid said. <Is Chaos.>
"Such power…" Jack said, still shaking a little. "And that is the source of a Lavoid's power? But…they only draw on it themselves. And even then…it's not complete Chaos…" This was true. The power of the Lavoid was not direct power of Chaos. The feeling in his head was much stronger and more raw than the energy that Lavos himself gave off. The Lavoid Energy was a toned down, more controlled version of the Chaos. It must be that this Chaos was more powerful than the Lavoids themselves…
<Have you anymore questions?> Lavos asked.
"Only one more," Jack said. "And then I shall return to the real world." The Lavoid was silent in waiting. Jack proceeded. "This feeling that I've been having…that I've been being pulled somewhere. Like I'm going somewhere that I have to go, but I don't know why. What has caused that?"
<The will of Lavos affects you as it affects all living things. Your being is led by the force of Lavoid Energy within you. Since you possess Lavoid power, I can lead you as I see fit, but I am also prohibited from taking complete control over you.>
"Then you've been pulling me?!" Jack asked.
<You have not been being pulled anywhere. You are merely living out your purpose.> Jack grimaced.
I knew it! Jack yelled inside of his head. That bastard thinks he can lead me around like a little puppet!? I'll show him… Jack grabbed the Dreamblade from beneath his cloak and powered it. He channeled his energy through the device and the blade appeared.
<Now is not the time for this.> the Lavoid said. <You still have work to do.> Jack ignored it, leaping as quickly as he could at the monster. Drawing the blade back, he lunged at the eye…
The eye slowly closed and Jack found himself engulfed in a flash of light. The Lavoid disappeared from his view, and when the light cleared, he found himself back in the room with the Mammon Machine. He was standing with his hands touching the machine. He was not holding the Dreamblade and Lavos was no where to be seen. His return from the Lavoid's consciousness complete, he crumbled to the ground in exhaustion.
Sarah and Schala rushed to his side. Sarah kneeled down and lifted his head up and onto her lap.
"Jack?!" she screamed, worried to the point of panic. Jack slowly opened his eyes.
"I'm…okay," he said in a very forced tone. "I've…seen him."
"What do you mean?" Sarah asked.
"I've…seen the Lavoid…" Jack said weakly. "He…he showed me Chaos…" with that last word, Jack closed his eyes again and lost consciousness.
"Unfortunately, no one can be told what the Matrix is. You have to see it for yourself." -The Matrix
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