Aleks shuddered. The voice was not the one he remembered. He now knew that in his original lifetime, there was a voice that had guided him. Thinking it was inspiration, he allowed it to lead him on. His only goal had been to complete the tower and to reach the heavens above. Was it to replace god? Of course not, he had never even believed in gods then. He wanted to prove they didn’t exist, he wanted to prove that with mankind’s own ingenuity, they could reach the stars. In reality, he had only wanted to prove his own self worth.
In his delusions of righteousness, he wanted to be the one who saved Humanity from its sins. He was a product of the times, of the endless wars and destruction. Of the poverty and lack of hope. From the destitution of the Human soul that drove their world to the brink of madness, government control, religious falsity, and the coldness of the Human heart. All of these things had shaped his character and he was easily deluded by the drugs he was forced to take, and the serpentine words of others.
“Ishmael, my brother. Did you know? Or were you fooled too?”
Though he asked, he knew there would be no answer in this fog that shrouded him.
“Destruction, huh? That voice was not one I recognize, but it definitely has something to do with the Origin. I can feel its power within me resonating with the voice. Just who could it be?”
He had no answers, but that voice had reached deep within him. It sought the destruction of all, but for what? He did not know.
“Perhaps that is the only way. In order for something to be built anew, the old must crumble and fall. Death brings rebirth, that might be the answer I need.”
Aleks eyes glowed with the hint of inspiration of a new path. Reflecting on his revenge, he considered whether his thoughts had been too shallow. What would revenge alone achieve? Momentary satisfaction, but even if he succeeded in his revenge, what then? Aleks possessed no strong desire to live, he had only continued on for the sake of his revenge. It was only out of stubbornness that he struggled and fought. It was not out of some love of life, but only his pride that he would not give in.
“Bring all to nothing…”
Those words echoed in his mind.
The fog began to twist and turn, new memories flickered in and out of existence. This mist had clearly been born of the Origin of his world. He was the only one who could suppress it, the only one who could disperse its power if he so wished. With a firm resolution, he waved his hand to dismiss the fog, but suddenly stopped when recognizing another memory.
Although the mist began to slowly fade, there was one particular patch that remained strong. It was a memory he had pushed to the back of his mind. He approached it and reached outwards to touch it and felt himself fade until he was once more within that moment in time.
His brother’s handsome countenance and well dressed appearance filled his vision once more. There was a beautiful woman on his arm, she was smiling as she looked up to Ishmael with a loving gaze. He remembered her, Ishmael’s fiancé. In their world, they didn’t necessarily have the choice of partners. At least for those who lived under the rule of the one world government, the civilized parts of the world that had not sustained significant destruction and ruin. Partners were required to be chosen based on genetics, achievements, and other traits deemed desirable or necessary. Even something like this received government oversight in the form of marriage counselors. Even having children required a license and the number and gender would be determined by quotas given by the government. Certain professions or status within society allowed some more leeway, but for the majority, there was little choice in these matters.
It was truly a horrible system, but Aleks might have been in the minority to think so. At the least, for his brother Ishmael, it was a blessing and not a curse. His fiancé was a beautiful, intelligent, and loving person. She was someone who truly cared for him too. He was lucky, but his status in society was extremely high and there were more options available to him.
“Haha, An-Namrud, soon the tower will be complete and we will have our wedding soon after. You must of course come, you don’t have a choice in this! You are the best man after all. I know you don’t like to give speeches or get up in front of others, but I hope you will make this one exception for me?”
Aleks remembered hesitating in that moment, but seeing the look on Ishmael’s face, he couldn’t bring himself to turn him down. So he nodded without saying a word.
“I knew you would do this for me! Bah, I don’t care what others say about you, I will always have your back.”
Then he smiled brightly, that charismatic smile I both hated and loved about him. The woman at his side also smiled and turned to look at me finally for the first time since they approached me.
“When will you find someone An-Namrud? With your status and position, there are many girls who would love to be your partner.”
He knew she meant no harm in her question, she was only asking out of politeness and because her future husband was my sworn brother. Nonetheless, her question irritated him at that time. He had been constantly nagged by those around him, including others who kept pushing him to marry and continue his genes which were supposedly special due to his genius. He never felt that way, nor did he have any desire to do something which was pointless in his mind. He could not see himself ever as a father or a husband. He had his work only, and his one friend.
“Ah, honey, didn’t I say not to bring that up with him?”
Ishmael smiled awkwardly as he spoke.
“Oh, I’m sorry! I didn’t mean anything by it.” She was embarrassed but apologized. Although Aleks could feel a slight disdain in her gaze and didn’t feel her apology was heartfelt.
Did others look down on me then? They were merely jealous of my accomplishments. How could I have ever gotten to where I was without the hard work and effort I put into it? Having little contact with others, focusing on my work and not relationships, these were a necessary sacrifice. It didn’t matter to me what others thought about me. Why did I hear such things so often? There must have been someone pushing it from behind the scenes, just like every other aspect of my life they hoped to control. But they could never control me.
“Don’t worry about it An-Namrud, she didn’t mean anything by it.”
Then he walked away, leaving the two to watch his back. There were different expressions on their faces. Ishmael never judged him, but he couldn’t say the same about the woman by his side.
“Don’t forget the party after we start up the tower!” Yelled Ishmael.
The Aleks of that time couldn’t bring himself to say much else. His brother was happy with her at least, even if he couldn’t bring himself to like her. No, there was more to it than that. They were all watching him carefully. It was like his entire life, everyone around him was put there for a purpose. Well, he couldn’t bring himself to believe that Ishmael was a part of it, but definitely that woman at his side. Most likely his coworkers too. It was difficult for him to know the truth, even when he “accidentally” forgot to take his medication. The memory shattered and Aleks once more was back to reality. The mist had almost entirely dissipated, but that image was still stuck in his head.
In the last bit of that memory there was a voice he did not remember ever hearing at that time, but it was surely part of the memory.
“You must complete the tower and awaken Him.”
Impossible, when did I hear that voice? He thought.
“How much is truth and how much lies? It all seems so distant now, but there is something I was not aware of. There is something I am missing in all of this.” Aleks voiced his thoughts out loud, but he had no answers.
The mist had just about fully disappeared and he realized the mist had in fact not just dispersed, but had entered his body. All of it had entered him, filling him with a strange sensation of power. It was the power of the Origin, but there was a touch of a presence there he had felt before but had no idea of what it was.
The voice of a woman filled his head, this was a cry for help. The sound of that voice echoed through the now clear valley from somewhere distant. He remembered this voice, it was the voice of that angel of destruction. That harbinger of death that had been the vanguard in which his world was destroyed. Aleks frowned and contacted Lenia and Nelay with their connection in his mind.