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Project Heavenstorm (Chapter One of my novel)
I've shoehorned some extra dialogue between Vithan and Olokuvon in Chapter Two.  I have pasted only the relevant dialogue below, not the entire chapter.  As far as this thread is concerned, I am sticking to the first three chapters, since they cover about 8% of the novel.


        “Perhaps the Elixir created Mayhara,” said Olokuvon.
        Vithan pretended to gasp.  “Well bless my bosoms!  You don’t say!  No-one has ever brought that up in twenty thousand years!  Mayhara and all her ocean-churning kids aren’t ‘gods’ in the literal sense of the word.  They’re just very big whales with very big brains.”
         “Brains that can shatter and repel approaching asteroids,” Olokuvon reminded him. 
         “I know, but they obviously take thousands of years to grow that big and powerful.  If that’s what the Elixir does, then I think we can rule out the ‘secret tactical weapon’ theory, unless those involved were playing a very long game.”
         “And who is to say they were not?  There are so many theories to explore.  So many legends.”
         Vithan may only have believed shreds of the legends, but tales of the Elixir had continued to fascinate him long after he had ceased to believe in their literal interpretation.  The legends tended to contradict each other; some stated that the Colonists had created the Elixir, while others stated that the Elixir had always been there, and the Colonists had merely discovered it.  Whatever the case, the results were the same – the Elixir granted power beyond the wildest imaginings of mortals.  It was the original absolute power that corrupted absolutely.  The legends spoke of individual mindpowers magnified by millions, even billions.  They spoke of the War of the Immortals, the razing of cities, the boiling of oceans, the blackening of the sky, the death of tens of millions.  They spoke of events so terrifying that the memories of nearly all survivors had to be erased so that the secret may never be rediscovered.  Vithan had always found that last part a little too convenient, as the details in legends often were. 
         “There is another factor to this legend that I have been thinking about,” said Olokuvon.
         “What is it?”
         “We are both aware of the significance of entropy in the universe.”
         “Of course.”
         “I would assume that the concept of entropy is central to your own belief system.  That a closed system always tends toward disorder.  That does not sound like the ideal creation of an all-knowing, all-powerful God.”
         “Well thank you for helping my argument.  Chaos reigns supreme.”
         “And we both believe in evolution, even if most of the process took place on a distant world.”
         “Yes … So … where are you going with this?”
         “Simple life evolves into complex life, complex life evolves into consciousness.  We are here, conversing, discussing philosophy.  We are living proof.  Is this entropy in action?”
         Vithan chuckled.  “I’m sure there are a thousand nuances in the theory that you’re conveniently ignoring right now.  And the way the world is going now, I don’t think entropy is going anywhere soon.”
         “Perhaps.  But what is life, if not the supreme defiance of entropy?  Like the salmon forcing its way upstream.”
         “So, what you’re saying is, life stands upon the firmament of the universe, looks the mindless void in the eye, and says ‘Fuck you … you big … Nothing’?”
         The Dragon smiled.  “A rather eloquent way of putting it.  By your own lofty standards.”
         “So where does the Eilixir come into it?”
         “Even if the Elixir is only a myth, even – let us assume – if God is only an illusion, then these concepts were nonetheless created for a reason.  In whatever form they are imagined, they are ideals that we instinctively reach out for, like the Sun that leads us to the horizon.  We may never reach the Sun in your lifetime or even mine, but it always shows us where to go.”
         “A beautiful illusion,” said Vithan, “to get us out of bed in the morning.”
         “Indeed,” said Olokuvon.  “But not the evening, it would seem.”
         Vithan sighed and rolled his eyes.  “Get on with it.” 
         “Even if the concept of the Divine is only a product of our imaginations, it is – by definition – the most beautiful product of all.  The Supreme Art.”
         “Why?  Because we just slap a symbol on it and call it infinity?”
         “Yes.  We have done that.  And so much more.  But if God is real, and the Elixir is real … then …”
         “Yes?  Then?”
         “As the legends say, Humankind’s ambition to attain Godhood only lead to mass destruction and death.  The quest for perfection led only to chaos.  One pushes in the direction of order, and chaos pushes back.”
         “And I needed you to tell me that?”  Vithan threw his hands in the air.  “Just look at world history.  Look at world politics today.”
         “Oh, I believe we have made considerable progress over the past two thousand years.  We are here together.  We are talking.  We are not trying to kill each other.”
         “Well, not for real, I should hope.”
         “Yet even now, entropy resists our push towards utopia.  So you are correct to some extent.  Let us assume you are also correct about the absence of any Gods.  Let us assume that the true divine is not existent, let alone attainable.  Or perhaps we are both right, in a sense.  Perhaps the Elixir is Tikamath’s … the Godhead’s way of telling us mortals that we cannot force our way into Her realm.  Perhaps the Sun still needs to remind us that it can burn.”
         Vithan stared at the Dragon for a few seconds, into his burning amber eyes.  “Bloody hell you are one cheerful bastard.  And you think I’m negative?  How are you supposed to sell me your religion if this is the bedtime story you come up with?”
         “It is just a thought,” said Olokuvon.  “Like all stories and legends.  They all must begin with a thought.”
         “So …” said Vithan, “on the subject of religion, don’t you have to get ready for Sakatoth now?”
         “Later.  Resting is for now.”
         “I think I’ll join you.”  Vithan yawned, under the influence of his own suggestion.  He slumped down in the curve of Olokuvon’s tail, cushioning his head against the scaled flesh between the spines.  “Why am I sleeping so much today?”
         “Because, as you would so colourfully phrase it, you are a bloody lazy sod and you visit the tavern too often.”

         “But not today,” said Vithan.  “I haven’t tasted … one drop … since …” Vithan struggled to keep his eyes open as the Dragon eyes before him blurred and dimmed, like distant suns in twilight.  “Oh bugger it, you’re mesmerising me, aren’t you, you … sneaky bastard.”
         “Of course.”
         “Are you sure you’ll … wake up …”
         “On time?  Absolutely.  Do not worry.  With or without gods, the world always spins on to carry us into the next day.  It never forgets its simple promise, and I won’t forget mine.”
         Within seconds, Vithan’s senses dissolved into haze as oblivion started to reclaim him once again.
         His final conscious thought was that entropy ruled even in his mind, and sleep … was …

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RE: Project Heavenstorm (Chapter One of my novel) - by DarrenRyding - 11-29-2019, 09:14 AM

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