The Alabaster Sock

We Will Fight the Threat with Fighting

(Chapter XXI)

Posted by Matt on February 23, 2011

Previously

Aia had to keep the thing distracted for however long she needed to convince herself to stay the suicidal course. She decided to play up its ego, and thus shifted to a new set of tactics, modelled after a certain master of asking simple questions she just happened to know.

“Where did such a great and mighty thing come to be?” she asked it, trying to sound as groveling as possible. It wasn’t hard, considering the state she was in at the time. “I know where I came from, but it is obviously an inferior method of creation compared to your own. Please tell me”

“VERY WELL. COLOSSOID SHALL GRANT YOU AN ANSWER, AS ONLY COLOSSOID CAN.

AS A SURPRISE TO ALL, COLOSSOID’S BEGINNINGS WERE AS HUMBLE AS ALL OTHERS. HOWEVER, EARLY ON IT WAS QUITE APPARENT THAT THE BEING THAT BECAME KNOWN AS COLOSSOID WAS GIFTED WITH MANY SUPERIOR FEATURES. IT WAS QUITE OBVIOUS THAT THE METHODS THAT HAD PRODUCED SO MANY INFERIOR SPECIMENTS SOUGHT TO MAKE SOMETHING BETTER THAN EVEN ITSELF, AND THUS COLOSSOID WAS BORN. SUCH WAS THE DESIRE FOR COLOSSOID’S SUPERIORITY THAT THE VERY INFERIOR THINGS THAT MADE COLOSSOID BECAME TERRIFIED BY IT. THEY THEN PRETENDED TO WANT TO DESTROY COLOSSOID, BUT ONLY TO TEST ITS OBVIOUS SUPERIORITY. COLOSSOID ELIMINATED THEM ALL, AND ONLY THEN DID THEY KNOW THAT THEY REACHED THEIR GOAL, TO CREATE A SPECIMEN OF PURE PERFECTION: COLOSSOID”

“What truly makes you superior?”

“EVERYTHING. COLOSSOID HAS ALL THE ABILTIES OF THE INFERIOR CREATURES, BUT HAS IMPROVED UPON THEM IN EVERY WAY IMAGINABLE, QUANTITY AND QUALITY. WHERE SOMETHING LIKE YOU HAS ONLY A FEW LIMBS, COLOSSOID HAS DOUBLE THAT, TRIPLE THAT, EXPONENTIALLY MORE THAN THAT. WHERE INFERIOR BEINGS HAVE BUT ONE SUBSTANCE, COLOSSOID HAS TWO. ALL OTHER THINGS THAT INFERIORS MAY HAVE HAS BEEN SHED FROM COLOSSOID, AS IT HAS NO NEED FOR THESE INFERIOR FEATURES”

“What of this second substance?”

“AT ONE TIME, COLOSSOID WAS SIMPLY OF ONE, JUST LIKE THE INFERIORS. BUT IT ASPIRED TO SOMETHING GREATER. WHILE COLOSSOID HID OUT TO EXAMINE THE INFERIORS FROM A DISTANCE, THE SECOND SUBSTANCE APPEARED BEFORE IT, AND BONDED WITH IT. IT WAS OBVIOISLY MEANT TO BE, AS COLOSSOID NEED NOT ANYTHING LIKE ‘LUCK’. IT DID NOT IMPROVE COLOSSOID, BUT SIMPLY REALIZED WHAT COLOSSOID WAS MEANT TO BE IN THE FIRST PLACE. IN SIZE, IN STRENGTH, IN APPEARANCE, COLOSSOID REALIZED ITS POTENTIAL. THE SECOND SUBSTANCE WAS AN OBVIOUS PART OF COLOSSOID, ANOTHER FEATURE TO DEMONSTRATE COLLOSOID’S SUPERIORITY”

“Who made you?”

“THEY WERE INFERIORS SUCH AS YOURSELF. BEYOND THAT, THE DETAILS OF THEIR INFERIOR EXISTENCE IS NOT IMPORTANT”

“How long have you been out here?”

“THE ONLY TIME THAT MATTERS IS THE TIME IN WHICH COLOSSOID EXISTED. THE TIME BEFORE THE CREATION OF COLOSSOID IS UNIMPORTANT. COLOSSOID HAS BEEN HERE AS LONG AS COLOSSOID HAS BEEN HERE, AND THAT IS WHAT MATTERS. ALL OTHER MEASURES OF TIME ARE INFERIOR AND ARE OF NO USE TO COLOSSOID”
“Why do you stay here? Why not journey out into the water and see what lies out there?”

“IT IS APPARENT THAT THE ANYWHERE OTHER THAN WHERE COLOSSOID CURRENTLY INHABITS IS INFERIOR, FOR IF IT WERE NOT, COLOSSOID WOULD BE THERE INSTEAD. THE PLACE WHERE COLOSSOID EXISTS, AND HAS ALWAYS EXISTED, IS WHERE COLOSSOID IS MEANT TO BE. IT IS A PART OF THE SUPERIORITY OF COLOSSOID THAT COLOSSOID IS HERE”

“Have you encountered many inferior people out here?”

“I HAVE NOT, BUT THAT IS ENTIRELY BECAUSE ALL INFERIORS HAVE KNOWN THEIR PLACE AND DO NO APPROACH COLOSSOID AS YOU HAVE. THEY KNOW BETTER. BUT EVEN IF I DO NOT PHYSICALLY FEEL OR CONVERSE WITH THOSE INFERIORS, COLOSSOID KNOWS THEY ARE THERE. FOR THERE MUST BE INFERIORS TO HEAR THE MESSAGE OF COLOSSOID, WHICH I BRING TO THEM EVERY NEW DAY: THAT COLOSSOID IS SUPERIOR TO ALL OF THEM AND THEY ARE SUBJECT TO THE WILL OF COLOSSOID. COLOSSOID WOULD NOT PROCLAIM ITS MESSAGE AS FREQUENTLY AS I KNOW IS NEEDED IF THERE WERE NOT INFERIORS TO HEAR IT”

“You don’t talk to many people, then?”

“COLOSSOID HAS NO NEED FOR CONVERSATION. THE ONE I AM PARTAKING IN AT THIS MOMENT IS SIMPLY AN OPPORTUNITY TO DEMONSTRATE THE MIGHT OF COLOSSOID IN A WAY COLOSSOID HAS BEEN UNABLE TO FOR QUITE SOME TIME. COLOSSOID KNOWS THAT ALL OTHER INFERIORS UNDERSTAND THEIR INFERIORITY, WHICH IS WHY THEY DO NOT TRY TO CONTACT COLOSSOID, BUT A VIVID REMINDER IS SOMETIMES NECESSARY. AS YOU CAN INFER, THIS IS A MOMENT COLOSSOID HAS DEEMED IMPORTANT”

“Don’t you get lonely?”

“COLOSSOID HAS NO NEED FOR SUCH A STATE. BESIDES, THERE ARE ALWAYS INFERIORS NEARBY. COLOSSOID KNOWS THIS TO BE TRUE. THEY HEAR WHAT COLOSSOID SAYS, AND DO NOT REPLY, WHICH IS A FITTING ANSWER TO THE TRUTH OF COLOSSOID’S WORDS”

“Are you enjoying talking to me?”

“COLOSSOID IS BEYOND THE STATE OF ENJOYMENT. EVEN SO, I DO NOTICE THAT COLOSSOID HAS ELEVATED THIS DEMONSTRATION OF COLOSSOID’S SUPERIORITY WITHIN THE EXISTENCE OF COLOSSOID. TAKE THAT AS YOU WILL IN YOUR INFERIOR MIND”

Aia had begun to enjoy this conversation in some perverse way. The thing provided a different kind of verbal sparring partner, where she got to ask the questions and (unlike most situations) was promptly given the answers, as exaggerated as they seemed to be. But, there was work to be done, and during the whole affair Aia had once again convinced herself to finish the job she set out to do. She had thought of Pearl, staying at her side for all time, rotting alongside her in this miserable existence; a waste. All the time she spent with her outside, watching her react to their ever-changing situation, had given her an even greater sense of what Pearl is capable of, and why she needed to find a good, stable home where she can develop into the great being she seemed destined to be. There was no way she would ever find that place with her Big Sister, a failure and a freak who seemed to do nothing but drag her down. She was a disappointment, and as long as she was around, Pearl would be let down. For Pearl’s sake, Aia had to be permanently removed from the picture.
And now was the time for her to do so.

“One last thing” she said, changing from a tone of awe to something more snide, trying to maximize the impact of her coming assault, which she had planned early on. “You claim to be superior, a perfect being. But I know of something you can’t do, that someone can do, that is obviously a superior thing”

“YOUR CLAIMS HAVE BEEN DEFEATED BY COLOSSOID SO FAR. I HIGHLY DOUBT YOU KNOW ANYTHING ELSE THAT COULD POSSIBLY CHALLENGE COLOSSOID’S SUPERIORITY”

Then came the sting: “You do not have an infinite supply of energy, one that can come from the most powerful object in the world, do you?”

“COLOSSOID IS THE MOST POWERFUL OBJECT IN THE WORLD. ARE YOU SAYING COLOSSOID CAN NOT TAKE POWER FROM COLOSSOID?”

“You think that, but there is something that has been here longer than you, is always around, has a greater effect on everything, including yourself, and you have not destroyed: the sun. You can not take power from the sun, and someone who can is superior to you in that way!”

The thing did not immediately reply. It stood there in the water, silent, its pitch black hide oozing off of it and pooling around it. Even its frantically-moving limbs stopped. Before too long, it started again, but there was a slight hint of hurt realization in its booming proclamations.

“COLOSSOID HAS LEFT THE SUN INTACT, DESPITE ITS INFERIORITY, ENTIRELY AT THE WHIM OF COLOSSOID. HOWEVER, COLOSSOID RECOGNIZES THE USE OF A FEATURE SUCH AS ONE YOU HAVE DESCRIBED, AND ALTHOUGH IT IS OBVIOUSLY NOT TRULY SUPERIOR IF COLOSSOID DOES NOT HAVE IT, I HAVE DECIDED THAT ANY INFERIOR WITH THIS FEATURE SHOULD BE ELIMINATED, JUST TO DEMONSTRATE ITS INFERIORITY. DIRECT ME TO THIS INFERIOR BEING, SO I MAY SHOW ITS INFERIORITY”

“I am the one who can take power from the sun! Do something about it, ‘superior’ one!”

Aia once again closed her eyes, preparing for the crushing amount of pain that would surely define her final moments. But nothing happened. She expected a quick end, but felt nothing. No pain. No movement. After a few moments, she began to wonder what was delaying the inevitable. She opened her eyes, and looked outward. The horrid faceless blob was still there, bobbing in the water. There was silence. “What’s happening?”, she thought. Then she moved her glare downwards and saw the problem.

She hadn’t even noticed that the two probing worms enveloping her had stopped moving some time during the last part of the conversation. They were not important at that moment. Now they were. Their sudden loss of life was the first clue that something was amiss, and induced her to study her surroundings once again. At the bar where the sand and water met regularly, she saw the ends of the limbs, completely detached from their source. She shrugged, and the two greasy tubes fell to the ground. She looked around, and finally saw that the lack of movement among the other four or so black creatures was not out of the thing’s stunned reaction to her statement, but rather because they too had become detached from their host.

She looked back at the thing, still bobbing up and down up and down in the big blue. Its flesh continued to separate and drip into the water, but it was no longer just the horrific trait of a monster, but seemed to signify something else. Something that was wrong with it.

“You’re dying, aren’t you?” she posed to it, her voice filled with sympathy, even for the egomaniacal blob that was threatening to kill her.

“THIS IS NONSENSE. COLOSSOID IS ETERNAL. THIS PLACE CAN NOT EXIST WITHOUT COLOSSOID. COLOSSOID IS BEYOND DEATH. I HAVE MADE MY POINT. AWAY WITH YOU!”

And in an instant, the now armless blob zoomed out into the water and sank into the depths in the same bubbling huff it had arrived with. Little black bits of it remained behind, floating in the water as its whole once had. Its arms were abandoned on the beach, sitting and decomposing. She could hear the screech of the flying creatures overhead, who were probably overjoyed at this moment. She remained in place for a few minutes more, contemplating what had just happened. All that work, she thought, for nothing. She was still around to ruin other people’s lives, if only for a little while longer. Well, at least that thing won’t be able to do same thing for long.

Her first move was to go to the water and step in to wash off the thing’s residue. She knew she could easily end it all that moment just by dunking herself underwater and not coming back up, but she didn’t see what the point would be at that moment. She already had her attempt, and she failed. That was enough for today. There were other days.

After her cleansing, she headed towards the broken buildings to find Pearl. She would be happy to see her Big Sister alive and well. If only she understood.

She couldn’t help but feel cheated, again. Nothing in her life was going to let itself be easy, was it? This seemed completely unfair. It all felt like some giant cosmic joke on her. In life she couldn’t win, and even in death she would never be able to do the right thing. It was a terrible realization for her, but she decided not to fall into another bout of depression about it. What was the point? There would be other days, other opportunities.

Now was the time to do other things. Now was the time to get back to Pearl. She wasn’t going to needlessly disappoint her in yet another way.

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