Unnamed Journal Volume 3, Issue 1 - Page 32

The Chamber of Pain “Emperor Stygius…” said Gareth. “He is a monster. He enslaves the galaxy. One cannot overthrow tyrants cheaply.” “No,” said the Metavox, “But why is he there to overthrow at all? How did he come to power?” “Traitors,” seethed Gareth, “traitors among the Sophistia abrogated their responsibilities. They handed over power to Stygius, whether to feed their own ambition or at his corruptive influence, or both, it does not matter. They destroyed freedom to crawl for the crumbs from his pocket.” “Yes…but why?” “Because they were weak.” “Why were they weak?” “Why are you asking me?” “Because their weakness reverberates through time and space to bring you, Gareth Gunhuld, child of dead rebels, to this place of torture and anguish. How can you bear the weight of their folly with no attempt to understand it?” Gareth could not follow the purpose of anything the Metavox was saying to him. His confusion was ready to turn to anger, but some unknown factor kept it in check for the moment. “What difference does it make,” he finally said. “I suffer regardless.” “All things suffer,” said the Metavox, “but only the sentient can know the hand behind his suffering. This is no accident. On all worlds, the arrival of a sentient species heralds both great growth and great destruction. Each are paths sentient beings can choose from. But regardless of the choice made, the other will also be made.” “I do not understand.” “Yes, you do, Gareth. Consider Avrankes. Do you not know that he is, in his own way, as true a servant of the Way as you are?” “ The Dark Way.” “A path of the Way. An inevitable path, when the Light is chosen.” Gareths’ mouth gaped. He fumed. This was no blessing. This was but another form of torture. He was being a fool again… “You think,” said the Metavox, “that I am but a deception of Avrankes, or Stygius, perhaps. I assure you I am not. They could not see me if I manifested in front of their eyes. I am the voice of the Light. But the Light casts shadows.” “Then…” “…Why serve the Light? Because the Light is a path that can be chosen. The Light brings enkindles