Chapter 43.6 – Interlude – The Scream of a God
It finally occurred. The great one and the empty servant made contact with the incomprehensible conqueror. Harrowing—an accurate term to describe it. The incomprehensible conqueror’s initial reaction was unexpected. I had anticipated such an emotional being to immediately rage against the oppression of the great one. Instead, it was almost as if it shriveled up and disappeared. I shall have to adjust my future calculations accordingly.
In the end, however, it finally played out according to my assumptions. The incomprehensible conqueror rejected the great one, starting it on the same path as the last one. The lost existence was a fool; so, too, is the incomprehensible conqueror. They shall meet their end in the same way. And then my children shall be safe forever from those above the surface.
Although it was only one colony, their prayers were finally answered. The Family Heart sparked back to life. Although more subdued than before, it was nonetheless a reason for ecstatic cheers across all the colonies. They could feel one another again. They could embrace each other beyond what mere physical sensations could achieve. They were again interconnected in a great web of family, and the thrills of exhilaration and relief spread from lizard to lizard through the revived Heart. Such a thing should bring nothing but joy to the previously disconnected lizards.
During the revival, the Shy Girl found herself in the company of the Little Flyer. They were both in awe as the Family Heart jump-started back to life; the prayer the Little Flyer taught them really worked. In truth, the Little Flyer had his own doubts that it would help at all, but knew from his many experiences that hope in the face of adversity, even if it might be a false hope, was one of the few things that could stop a bad situation from becoming worse. And whether their prayer actually helped or not, his people would believe it did, and that was probably the most important part. Belief was a powerful instrument.
But after the initial titillation, a seed of worry began to sprout in the hearts of the most sensitive lizards, those like the Shy Girl and the Little Flyer. Soon, rather than reveling in relief, they found themselves questioning the original stoppage. What in the world could have stopped their connection? The Family Heart existed since time immemorial, before the time of the first scalesongs and the disasters the earliest ones sung of. Perhaps even older than the lizards themselves. And despite the Little Flyer touching upon it several times in his life, it still remained something beyond his power to truly understand, even if he was approaching the ability to comprehend.
The Shy Girl and the Little Flyer began to theorize the possibilities, but before they even finished their first thought, it happened. Just like the tsunami that comes after the earthquake in the song of the Great Calamity, it hit them all like a shock, a violent wave. Vision turned white, sound was blocked out by the high pitched ring that threatened to drive them insane, sense of reality became confused as the world rippled before them and the floor fell away beneath their feet. They could feel the sensation surge through their bodies, but most of all, they could feel it through their heart, a feeling so powerful it threatened to rip their very bodies apart. It was in their heart, their muscles, their minds, the very fiber of their being.
And it was so incredibly painful. The pain seemed to be unquantifiable, with no beginning and no end. Many lizards blacked out from its sheer intensity, but not the Shy Girl. Although she could not see with her eyes—as her vision swam and disappeared—she thought she saw something, someone, very familiar and very dear to her. The Surveyor.
The image was distorted, but she knew the feeling of his heart, and she understood in that moment the reason for this great pain flooding through all of them. The Surveyor was dead. No, he was killed. Her heart felt as out of control as whatever was causing this mass hysteria. She screamed, though she could not even hear herself. Over and over she cried out, her scales flashing in disarray as the scene kept replaying in her mind.
When the heart finally quieted, the Shy Girl felt empty of all emotion, her world turned gray and silent. A lifetime of pain, fear, and despair stampeded through her in a mere moment, and once it passed, it felt as if she were dead. Surely she would never feel anything again, not after the utter devastation she just experienced. A hurricane passed through her such that a tiny breeze felt like nothing in comparison. Even though she was conscious, she became a shell, a husk without life, for her heart had been closest to the Surveyor, and with her feelings mirrored and amplified a millionfold by the Family Heart, she just couldn’t take it. Her heart that belonged to the Surveyor died with him.
What on earth happened? The Little Flyer awoke with that question continuously repeating in his mind. But as his mind started to assess the possibilities, the sight before him swept all thoughts away. The Shy Girl—what happened to her? His eyes were wide as he attempted to take in the sight before him. Her scales were blanched, shining pure white under her garments and ornaments. Periodically weak albino lizards were born to the colonies with white scales and red eyes, but never before had he heard of a lizard’s naturally black scales turning white.
She appeared dead, her eyes glazed over and unfocused, but yet she breathed. She was both here and not, and her heart, though it beat in her chest, was silent. She may well have been a ghost standing there in his little home. And then he came to the realization that even if he could wake her, which he was starting to doubt, she wouldn’t be able to tell him what happened. With her scales an unchanging white, the Shy Girl became unable to speak; she was mute.