STAGE - VII is the fourteenth and final stage of Sine Mora.
|They say wisdom comes with age, but as I get older I've begun to feel the opposite is true. It's not that I know less, per se - although the pace at which I learn is certainly slowing. It's more that as a child, I saw more, and experienced more. Everything was new. I reveled in tastes; colors prickled my senses... all sensory input made me feel richer. As I grew older, my world narrowed. Precise moods that I used to know in the past, I couldn't even begin to recall now.|
What brought me to this point? I don't know. I can no longer feel the purpose, the object, the sensation... Back then it was the journey that amazed me. Today I'm pleased enough by simple arrivals.
And I have arrived. This is Siriad, the home of the Project, the floating fortress. Our story will end here.
|The death of my father affected me so deeply that I immediately retreated into the distant past.|
I needed privacy... I had to reflect.
Luckily I did not reflect for too long. If I had remained there I wouldn't have had a chance to change history. I needed to plan carefully. The basic principle holds true: You cannot be in two places at one time.
So I jumped, then jumped again. I had to be extremely precise, so I could arrive within Siriad.
With the Empire's attention focused on Lynthe Ytoo's attack on Tira, Akyta Dryad is able to approach Siriad, the most important of the Layil Empire's floating fortresses. Time, by Enkie reckoning, is almost up - it is the last circle, and ENKY's prophecies do not record anything beyond this point. Dryad and Ytoo are the only two Enkies left, with all the others either dead or enslaved. Dryad's final mission is to enter Siriad and put a stop to the Project. Passing through the security shaft, Dryad emerges into a large spherical chamber lined with what are presumably holding cells for the captive Enkies.
Dryad is attacked by the Ophan, a security robot responsible for guarding the Project, but she manages to destroy it. To Dryad's anguish, this triggers an emergency shutdown, instantly terminating the lives of every Enkie held within Siriad. The chamber erupts in a huge explosion which engulfs Siriad, blowing it apart from the inside.
An unspecified time later, Argus Pytel ruminates on the events of that day - the same day that he accidentally killed his father, Ronotra Koss. The Empire's findings indicate that Dryad vanished into the timestream without any hope of finding her. According to the sensors on Siriad, there was also another foreign lifeform besides Dryad present, but the identity of this individual is undetermined.
Pytel briefly secludes himself in the distant past to reflect upon his actions, but soon decides upon a plan: he will alter events and change history. This culminates in him time jumping so as to appear within Siriad, shortly before Dryad destroys Ophan. He explains to her that she is pregnant, and that her destiny is not to destroy what remains of the Enkie people but to give them hope. Dryad disappears into the time continuum, leaving Pytel free to finish the battle with Ophan and take the burden of killing the Enkies upon himself.
It is subsequently revealed by Pytel that the father of Dryad's unborn child was Ytoo. Dryad, now safe 4500 years in the past, names their child ENKY - the prophet. Thus ENKY, armed with his mother's knowledge, is able to predict to the precise moment the exact length of the Enkie nation's existence.
As for Pytel, his name is not recorded in the history books, but he is satisfied nonetheless to have stood against the Layil Empire and to have fulfilled the heroic fantasies of his youth. His final act, he reasons, is to give his father's death purpose.
|How stable can history be when you can travel through time? The only thing you can count on is the state of the present moment, the status quo. According to the current state of things, on the day I killed my father, the terrorist in our registry under the name of Akyta Dryad extinguished her own nation and vanished into time without a trace. So perfectly without a trace, one could presume she landed somewhere past the time continuum.|
I have no hope of ever saving my father, and the only one I could hope to seek revenge upon would be myself. All I'm left with is a sour irony. Dryad would perhaps tell the story with greater indifference than I do. It took me a long time to notice it. Her time and trials are not yet over. But she's certainly paid her dues for her country.
The sensors on Siriad recorded an intrusion of two foreign beings that day. Deep analysis of the sequence of events that caused her to obliterate her people has become a matter of Imperial interest, since the key to Layil's power and riches lies with the Project... but that is a different story for another time.
|Siriad's sensors recorded the intrusion of two foreign beings that day.|
She was carrying Lynthe's child. When she bore him, she dubbed him Enky, some 4500 circles before our meeting. So it was that the Great Prophet Enky came to predict the doom of his nation. It was a simple thing; mommy was there to help him. But let this remain our secret...
History does not remember me, but I wouldn't expect it to. To me it was enough to spit in the eye of an Empire that thought it could toy with millions of lives. I was able to make real the dream of my childhood - a single hero can stand strong against an overwhelming evil. I've washed the soul of Dryad clean. Mine may never be clear. The memory of my father demands that my final destination be a fulfillment of my destiny.
I had to give his death meaning, and without delay.
Above the skies of Mirage Mountain, on the final day of the war between the Land of the Sons of ENKY and the Layil Empire, just prior to the massacre of 664,000 Enkies in the Fourth Unity, the Imperial fleet prepares to make its final assault. One of the bombers, the Cobalt King, radios headquarters as it begins its descent. The pilot is Argus Pytel.