And so Tigran was brought before Arkeptor's throne, and was made to kneel.
“So young, and already so foolishly fanatic.” murmured the tyrant.
But the sound of the voice was not what Tigran had expected—sneering and cruel. It was simply an old man's voice, cracked and tired.
“Today I am no more, for you will put me to death. But there are more of mine. You may capture many, but in the end we shall prevail—we will prevail. And your odious reign shall be brought to an end.”
“To be replaced by what?” this time Arkeptor was sneering. “No, do not trouble yourself to tell me the future. I have no need for soothsayers. Your first statement is correct, though. You are a criminal and you will be executed as such. It is an act of justice.”
“‘Justice’! There is no…”
“It is an act of justice.” repeated the tyrant, louder this time. “We are both intelligent men. Pray do not use your time or mine needlessly with you propaganda: it is wasted on me. You will be executed, as I said, but you can rejoice that at least your death will be a painless one, since I have nothing to learn from you.”
“I can stand torture as well as any man.”
“‘Torture’!” Now Arkeptor was yelling. “What do you know about torture? Those before you did not resist very long. Having to do this was not very pleasant for me, and you can be sure it was far less pleasant for them. Do not insult their memories by boasting as you do!”
“You are disgusting!”
“Again, you are wasting my time. I have had you brought here to ask you if you have any last wishes before I order your execution.”
Tigran looked at the tyrant straight in the eyes. Slowly and unnecessarily distinctly, he articulated:
“Yes. Give… us… our… freedom… back!”
The rebel and the tyrant looked at each other for a long time in complete silence. Then Arkeptor said:
“According to your own words, this will happen anyway. By the sheer inevitability of History. Guards, take him away!”
Tigran proudly marched out of the throne room, ignoring the gards at his side.
A minute after he had left, Arkeptor turned to his Prime minister and said:
“This young man. He is the one we need. Arrange it for him to escape the palace alive and unharmed.”
Le ciel a longuement pesé dans la balance
Le poids de mes soupirs, l'appel de l'espérance;
Et, juge, il a rendu son douloureux arrêt,
Me laissant étonné méditer mon regret.
Mon cœur se croyait fort et ma main invincible,
Je mesure à présent cette gloire risible
Que je croyais acquise et qui m'avait conquis.
Terrible ambition: j'étais comte, marquis,
Roi, je fus Empereur, à peine suis-je un homme.
Un jour en un haut rang la fortune me nomme,
« Jusqu'où montera-t-il ? » prédisait mon bonheur;
Le lendemain je suis sans nom et sans honneur,
Le dieux ont refusé ma généreuse envie,
Cruels, ils ont voulu me maintenir en vie.
Songe donc, insensé ! au prix de ton orgueil
De lancer au destin un affront en son œil.
Il ne me reste rien, rien que cette mémoire,
Ce souvenir ardent d'une terrible histoire
Qui hante mon sommeil, et m'ôtant mon repos,
Murmure à mon oreille un insensé propos.
It comes as a delicate question whether, in fact, homeostatis should
be taken as the fundamentals of the metaethics per
se. As a matter of fact, it could be argued that immanence in
this domain is merely the residue of a higher-order Weltanschauung, whose ultimate goal (as opposed to its
mere intentionality traits) would be, say, the study of the logos. This proposed
scopology can be
traced, without a doubt, back to the very foundations of the
construction itself. Whether or not it exists independently from the
construction, or, as the case may be, from the erocenosis, remains to
be determined. But all this tends to show that, in fact, there can be
no epistemological distinction between the eschatological reasons on
the one hand and the ontological ones on the other. Both are subject
to an overall ataximetry, and both can be understood on the basis of
this general principle.
Now, should we say that there exists a core hypermethod whose instantiations (“avatars” as we would prefer to call them) are simply degrees of penetration of the scopology? Certainly, at least insofar as the anaskeue is kept distinct from its dynogenetic paralog. However, this in no way implies that physical considerations are to be paratematically reinterpreted in the light of this nouvelle réalisation. It would get us nowhere to state that there can be no transcendence in the systems as a whole, but considerations of this order are best left under the control of the noogon. Still, some statements of this class can be decided earlier. This is not only a form of catanoia, but it also comes à pic to help us reconsider the taxigenesis.
To summarize, the extant of the ontonomical morpholysis which we are suggesting falls in three broad classes: domains, entities and Arten. Domains are a reflection of the embedded process as a whole, with or without its progression's traits, but considered separately from the driving force. Entities form the low-level substrate from which the domains' scopology can be constructed; thus, they are not entirely independent from the metaincepts we have realized. Finally, Arten are related to the overall organization of the nootope, and can be separated from its instantiation. Abstractly, these three classes combine to obsolve the transformation grades of the matrix. Concretely, they represent (better, “anaclaate”) the segments of the derivation, framed about a certain span.
In some sense, this completely solves the initial problem: transformative realizations of the scopology are brought within the control of another, finer-grained, model, whose existence is overseen by the structure of the domains. In intuitive terms, the noogon's crisis has been resolved by the dominion of the underlying issues. Actually, it remains to be seen what the entities' exteraction has modified in the teleometry of the ecodyne. Additionally, where the forms' nephrothamny dictates the crystallization of the superstrate. I leave these questions as a terrain for further reflection.
Offhand, I would have thought the man were seventy years old; in fact, I guessed he was older, but exactly what age I could not say. His face radiated intelligence, and one thing was certain, namely that he had been extremely beautiful in the past; in fact, in his own strange way, he still was.
He spoke in a thin voice, with a kind tone; and his expressions were rather old-fashioned.
“Greetings, sirs, and well met. Welcome to my palace—for I prefer to think of it that way than as my prison. I regret that I am unable to treat you after your own worth.”
“Greetings, kind sir,” I replied. “For my part, I regret that I am ignorant of your name, for I would gladly that I knew you better.”
He gave a short, bitter laugh.
“My name… Ironic, is it not? A century ago, every single man in the Universe knew me—and my name. Now it belongs to the dusty past—the dead past—the forgotten past.”
I could not hide my surprise. A century ago? A name known to the whole Universe? For a moment, I wondered whether his sanity were perhaps gone, but a single look at his deep blue eyes convinced me that it was still intact.
“Everyone knew you?” I said. “But… who are you?”
“Ask not who I am, young man, but rather who I was. When he who was once famous leaves the scene, he is as dead to the world. The actor may live after the character he played, but that is unimportant. For all that matters, I died a hundred years ago, when the last Elvin Emperor was assassinated.”
I let out a short cry of astonishment
“Anatole the Second? But his reign…”
“I understand your surprise. It seems so far back in the past, because Anatole was but fifteen when he was crowned, and we tend to forget that he was eighty when he was assassinated. The devotion around his character, the mystery about his murder, the civil war that ensued, the considerable changes the Universe has known: all this makes him seem to belong to the mists of a legendary far gone era than to the last century. Yet I knew Anatole, I loved him, and his death was also that of my political career, for I had to flee in exile.”
Realization dawned upon me.
“You aren't…” I stammered. “You can't be…”
The little old man winked.
“Ygrien Darell,” he said, bowing. “Sometime Prime Minister to His Majesty the Emperor Anatole Elvin, Second of the Name. Or what's left of me. At your service.”
His face became graver.
“I was seventeen when the Emperor called me to power, and he himself was seventy-six. Even those who knew how brilliant I was thought that it was madness on Anatole's part; that he was he was merely acting like this in memory of his own young age when stepping on the throne. Yet during the three short years that my government lasted, all the critics held their tongues. It is perhaps vanity on my part, but I like to think that, if Anatole is so popular, it is largely because of my own ministership. Even more importantly, I like to think that I did some good for the Universe. Yet all was forgotten with the Emperor's assassination. All that is remembered is the wise Emperor's name, not those of the ministor whom his wisdom chose. And that rule as a whole seems frozen in the adamant gaze of History.”
Darell paused for a second. In a suddenly broken voice, he said:
“It seems hardly imaginable that anyone still alive in the Universe could have met the Good Emperor. That a man have been Prime Minister under his reigh, and now be living in utter solitude, is downright impossible. Yet it is true. Here I am, a hundred and twenty years behind me.”
I could see that a single tear was falling across the old man's cheek.
At last, the door of the conference room opened, and we emerged to the daylight and to the public's stare.
We walked down the steps in utter silence toward the balcony. A million eyes followed our every move, and yet many billion more behind the cameras. Walking on my left, no less than the Lord-President of the Council. On my right, Augustus Reno in person. Behind me, the Duke of Tekir, whose wise intelligence and serene cheerfulness had done so much to bring the summit to the happy end that we know.
Only the Duke had the trace of a smile on his lips; for this victory was his victory. But Reno, the Prime Minister and I remained stone-faced while the croud stared at our inscrutable countenance in hope of learning their fate.
For a minute that lasted forever, the four of us stood facing the assembled croud, and everyone held their breath.
At last I moved toward the microphone. After three weeks of talking, I was in no mood for a long discourse.
“Ladies and gentlemen,” I simply said, “the Universe is saved.”
Only then did I allow myself to smile. Before me, the President of the Council took Reno's hand in his own, and they shook; a universal shout of rejoice was heard from the croud, and the Federation's hymn sounded above all.
“Remember this moment, Alex.” whispered the Duke in my ear. “Remember it as long as you live. Of such moments is History made. All these people before us, they will tell their children, ‘I was there when History was made’; but we, why, it is we who made it.”
Behold the tree, for I am that tree.
I am the tree, and the bird that nests in it.
I am the leaf, and the egg in the nest.
I am the rain, and I am the cloud;
I am the sun, and I am the moon.
See you the forest, of which the tree is part? I am that forest.
I am this land, and I am this country.
I am its people, its sorrows, its joys.
I am its cities, its towers and its streets.
I am the old woman, and the young boy.
I am the virgin maid, and the rapist,
The mother of fifteen, the prince and the beggar.
I am the sick, and I am the healthy.
I am the pebble on the mountain stream's bed,
And the mountain itself, with all its hidden ore;
I am the bridge over the precipice, and I am the crevice,
I am the glacier, aloof, unreachable.
I am the sand that the surf ever beats,
And I am too the waves that will die on the shore;
I am the ocean, the great blue ocean,
The boats that attempt to cross it,
And the seagull, whom the mariner seeing
Knows that the land is close.
I am the hope, that men keep in their heart;
But I too am greed, hatred and jealousy;
Yet think of kindness and patience,
Friendship glowing and love burning,
Compassion and tenderness: for that I am also.
I am the midnight sun in Saint Petersburg,
I am moonlight over Baghdad,
I am the cold morning in Edmonton,
I am the unbearable heat of Bombay,
I am the setting sun in San Francisco,
I am the dazzling light in Dakar,
I am the starlit night in São Paulo,
I am the city of Amsterdam under the rain,
Yeah, all that, and much more.
I am the planet Saturn with its rings of ice,
I am the comet sweeping through space,
I am the star Aldebaran, and the Pleiades,
Orion's Belt and the Southern Cross,
I am the Great Galaxy of Andromeda,
I am the clusters, and I am the quasars,
For I am the Universe.
I was Alexander, the Great, the Conqueror,
And I was Augustus, the Prince, the Emperor;
I was Columbus, the Sailor,
And I was Doctor Freud;
I was Queen Victoria, Empress of India;
I was Dante, and I was Virgil his guide,
I was Averroës, and Aristotle before him,
I was also Shakespeare, that Immortal Bard,
And I was Goethe, Voltaire, and Victor Hugo;
I was Monteverdi, and I was Beethoven;
I was Isaac Newton, Louis Pasteur and Alexander Fleming;
I was Mohandas Gandhi, and Martin Luther King.
Yet I was every murderer to whom the Earth gave birth.
I am the dead, and I am the graves,
I am the grim reaper, and I am his scythe,
I am the thousand evils that have plagued mankind,
And I am the merciful death that rids men of all.
I am the single flower that grows by the tombstone.
I am the dreams that in that sleep may come;
And, too, Arcadia, I am;
I am the ever-feminine, that pulls us upward;
I am the Earth, and everything that's in it;
I am a tide in the affairs of men;
I am the seas that mourn in flowing purple of their lord forlorn;
I am the shores of Tripoli and halls of Montezuma;
I am become Death, the Shatterer of Worlds!
I am the sublime and the ridicule,
I am the gold nugget and the mud around it.
I am Helen of Troy and the king's buffoon.
I am Leonardo da Vinci and Hieronymus Bosch.
I am Lucrezia Borgia. I am King Lear.
I am Doctor Faustus, and the spirit of Earth,
I am Theseus, and Heracles who rescued him from Hell;
I am Thisbe, and Pyramus her lover,
Yes: I am Romeo just as I am Juliet;
I am Achilles and Patroclus;
I am Odysseus, the wanderer,
I am Orpheus, the musician,
I am Oedipus, the accursed;
I am Siegfried and I am Percival,
I am Merlin and I am King Arthur;
I am Gilgamesh; I am Oberon.
I am the number three, and the number ninety-one,
I am the first symphony by Johannes Brahms,
I am the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel,
I am the Mahabharata and the Ramayana,
I am the Great Library in Alexandria,
I am the knowledge that you are alive,
I am the promise of a better world.
But do not forget, human, that for all I am,
I am also yourself, for you and I are one.