Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Weeping Mel

(As told by a grizzled human Belter.)

For as long as we've been in this system, there have been a handful of Melashravishim on The Rock, their home in the Outer Belt.  None ever left The Rock, or traveled anywhere.  Got no idea how they've survived out there.

"The Weeping Mel" was the first exception, though other Mel have since been spotted elsewhere... rumor has it there's even one in residence on the Starbrite!  Anyway, "The Weeping Mel" was the first.  About 45 years ago, it appeared in a public square in Tethorn, a city on Hub.  No one saw it leave a ship, and nobody saw it "appear," it just came walking out of an alleyway, and took a seat in the middle of the square.

The thing was repulsive.  It wasn't more'n a meter and a half tall, but it had to mass 300 kg, and it wore a robe of the shiny grey material they always seem to wear.  It sat down, threw back it's hood, and looked around.  It wouldn't make eye contact with anyone, and then it began to cry.  It sat there, crying, for 14 years.  Nobody ever saw it eat, or excrete, or sleep... it just looked around and cried.  For fourteen blasted years!

At first, it wouldn't talk, it didn't seem to understand GalTrade at all, but people kept trying.  A cult grew up around it for a few years, with people pouring out their hearts to it... Over time, it seemed to learn t he language, and then it would sometimes, very rarely comment on what people were telling it, and even more rarely it would answer questions between sobs.

Finally, after it had been crying there for 14 years, it stood up  It had lost most of it's mass while sitting there, and looked emaciated now.  Still sobbing, it slowly spun in a circle, then it spoke:

"People of The Hub, hear me.  You have asked why I weep, and I would tell you now, before I depart!"

Camera crews arrived within moments, although the personal recordings are far more numerous.  The Mel continued to sob throughout it's speech.

"I weep for what was, and for what is no longer.  I weep for the Firstborn of the Lifegivers, we whose purpose it was to guide our younger siblings to Union.  I weep for the lost glory of the Melashravishim, we whose purpose it was to reap what They had sown.  I weep, for in our hearts we grew jealous of the Younger, and turned from our purpose.  In our hubris we sought to leap beyond ourselves to Union, but we were not ready.  We sought to perfect ourselves, and yet still we were deemed unready, and denied Union.  As our hope turned to despair, we grew bitter, and ignored the Younger, and sought perfection and immortality for ourselves... and finally we found, not perfection, but immortality."

"We travelled from world to world, offering the Gift of Immortality to all Melashravishim, and to the Younger... but it did not work on the Younger, and many of our people repented and refused to accept it, knowing the Younger still needed guidance.  Finally came the day when all our people, everywhere, had made their choice... many accepting the Gift, the majority rejecting it.

And on that Terrible Day, the voice of the Lifegivers rang out everywhere, to all Melashravishim, saying, "You have turned from your path, and so your 'Gift' shall be your Curse.  As you desire, you shall live.  You shall live until ALL of the Younger find Union, until you are the Last of our Children, and then you shall be shown what you have rejected."

I weep, because since that Terrible Day, no Melashravishim have been born.  Those who repented are long since turned to dust, but we who were cursed are still here, still watching, still waiting.

I weep for the Undying, the Cursed, the Melashravishim."

It grew silent then, but continued to sob.  Many minutes passed, and when it was clear the Mel wasn't going to speak again, and that it wasn't answering questions, most of the crowd that had grown around it dispersed.  Sometime during that night, it stood, and pulled it's hood back up, and walked off into the heart of the city.  It wasn't seen in Tethorn again, and no other Mel has ever spoken of this!

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