The Chaos – Chapter 40
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Su'mo' 26 (wor'ginday): Nearwright arrested. Seth implicated.
Su'mo' 27 (tuesday): newspapers.
Su'mo 28 (ha'day): Illuminatus fires employees in Tonad.
Su'mo 29 (penul'day): Half of Ezra's employees don't show up for work in Tanq. Illuminatus makes announcement.
Su'mo 30 (we'yetday): Capp sends enforcers to Near Port.
Su'mo' 31 (mo'endday): Gang war escalates, NP police chief makes deal with Syndicate.
Su'yet 1 (we'ginday): Gang war continues.
Su'yet 2 (wor'ginday): InterGang loses Near Port (don killed). Amelia gives up Tanq and Tonad, transfers people to Plist.
Su'yet 3 (tuesday): Rescue?
Talon says we must prepared for tonight's endeavors. Perryh says "Why, what are we doing tonight?" "The same thing we do every night: try to prevent some guy from stopping some other guys from taking over the world!" "Um, Talon... what the hell are you talking about? This will be the first time we've ever done anything like that." "Well, maybe if it goes well tonight, we can make it a regular thing."
Alecstar becomes general of Chaos army. Says "Ah, it's good to finally be back in my comfort zone. Being a member of a small team of civilian adventurers is great and all, but there's nothing quite like having an army at your command." Stavros says, "They're called regiments now. Of course, your last official rank was major, which back then was second only to a general. Nowadays, majors are only the third highest rank; fourth, if you count the Marshal. Today's majors command battalions, not regiments, which are commanded by colonels. Of course, you're now a general, so, obviously... you command an Army, with a capital 'A.' Which... is maybe what you meant. Was it?" Alecstar says, "Um... no. I meant 'army' with a small 'a.' I don't know if our Army will be structured the same way the Order's is, but for now, as far as I know, we've just got the one... uh, regiment. Well, we'll have to figure all that out. Maybe there are some few troops aside from yours, but... for the most part the Chaos 'Army' is your regiment, Colonel. So until we get the details sorted out, there's essentially no difference between you and me." Stavros smiled. "Speaking of comfort zones... we haven't been equals since we were kids. Feels pretty good." "Yeah, well... enjoy it while you can, old friend...."
People think of God the wrong way, somewhat. They should cut Him a little slack. On Earth there's a saying, "I'm just as God made me." Any one of us can relate... we each have things about us we don't like, but which we are powerless to change. None of us asked to be born, obviously, and none of us asked to be the way we are. Well, neither did God. That's perhaps the biggest thing about Him that no one in the universe can truly fathom about... what it's like to be Him. Because... He wasn't born. There was no universe for Him to be born into. He just always existed, in a way that... is different from any other usage of the word "always." Neither you nor I can ever really, really wrap our minds around what it means to have always existed. But the one thing we can grasp is that, like us, He didn't ask to exist, nor did He ask to be... well, God. He didn't ask to be perfect, or omniscient, or omnipotent, or omnipresent, or anything. He just is. He didn't have parents to explain things to Him, nor teachers, nor anyone. He just had to figure everything out for Himself. ... It's not like a sculptor chiseling away at a chunk of marble. That requires there to be marble, and a chisel, and a whole world on which for those things to exist... outside the artist. God didn't have any of those luxuries. No materials, no tools, no world. Only His own all-encompassing consciousness. There's literally nothing outside it. In fact, if you've heard or read about Heaven, in some dimension that's separate from all other worlds... and of meeting God there, someday... well, that's all rot. I'm not saying it isn't real, what I'm saying is that if you do ever see God there, it will merely be a physical manifestation of himself, which would appear to each sentient race, simultaneously, as one of their own kind. But it would really just be... an image He created of Himself, it wouldn't be Him, not in any sense. He could speak from it, for ease of reference of those to whom He's speaking, though of course... it won't be the same, then. None of us will even have bodies, ourselves- not that I had one to begin with, in the sense you think of it, certainly not like what you see now, though my current form is far more real than His would be; at least this form actually contains my consciousness. But anyway, in Heaven, all anyone will have is sort of... avatars which contain their consciousness. No one's avatar will need look anything like their body did in life, but most do feel comfortable with that, at least early in their afterlife. But the point is, they'll all still have distinct consciousnesses which, in a sense, move around and interact with others. But Heaven, like everything else in existence, will merely exist as a separate part of His consciousness. So... obviously any manifestation of Himself within His own consciousness... which, by the way, reminds me of something I've seen in various shows on Earth, a person appearing within their own minds, but it's different for Him, because he doesn't actually have any kind of appearance. What I'm trying to say is it isn't possible to see something that isn't external to yourself, and nothing is external to Him. In a physical sense, the universe itself is infinite in all directions, despite what some scientists might tell you. But despite that, it's still all within Him, because He's beyond any mere physical infinity. Gah, I'm rambling, but you get the idea. Also, I strayed from my original point, which is that... as I said, he didn't ask to exist nor to be what He is, and unlike us, He can't give the excuse, "I'm just as blank made me." It's a terrible burden, you see?
Doesn't make sense to object to different things within your own consciousness mixing, Darius says. Tino replies, "Yeah, well, as I say, it's a burden being Everything, being the only thing. Creation was such a massive relief for Him... He really enjoys sort of getting away from the reality of Himself, His self being more confining than any prison or even any coffin. Playing at actually being fully contained within what is only a manifestation of Himself is so freeing that sometimes He allows Himself to forget His avatar isn't real. To forget that all the beings He interacts with are within Him.
Darius wonders if any of what they're doing really matters, in the grand scheme of things. "Oh, it matters," says Tino. "Suppose you built a stage and created actors, then just sat back and watched them write their own story, improv-style. That's basically what the Universe is to Him. The story can enlighten, amuse, move Him to tears of both joy and sorrow. But above all, it entertains the Hell out of Him. ...But of course, it's not like it just matters to Him, what we do, for his enlightenment and entertainment. It matters to us. Even if we're aware of 'the grand scheme,' as you say, it doesn't change the fact that we're here. We exist. We have our own lives to live. Everything we do ends up affecting the grand scheme, but in a practical sense, the grand scheme doesn't affect us. Only we can do that. What are you gonna do, sit down and do nothing until you die of starvation or exposure? Pff. Dudes, my friends, all of you... eat, drink, make merry! Love life in every way you can, and endure whatever pain comes your way. Let the grand scheme worry about itself, in the really long run. But for right now, write some damned history yourselves, you buncha rebels, you! Hey, kids... let's put on a show!"
Tino talks to Darius and the others: The Land was a grand experiment, spirits helping the world develop more quickly than those worlds left mostly to themselves. Would the help overcome the innate contentment of people, their willingness or desire to remain unchanged, maintain the status quo? As it turns out, yes. (This was covered in Book of Sol; see Levitn wiki page.) But there will come a time when the Land's development would reach a point where the involvement of spirits in the world would become a hindrance to its advancement, rather than a help.
Tino says that like mortal races, spirits can fall, but unlike mortals, the entire race of spirits doesn't fall, just individuals. Lucifer was the first being ever to fall from God's grace, along with those who chose to follow him. Now he wants to drag all other sentient beings down with him. Since the war in Heaven, other spirits have fallen for other reasons, and their punishment varied in type and degree, like the punishment of fallen mortal races. (But because of Lucifer's fall, God chose never to create another race of immortals, like spirits; spirits can't die because they're not alive in the same sense as mortal races, but rather exist in the same way mortals do after death.- this is one of God's major arguments in debate with Tino, though he can't mention that now.) Tino claims he himself is the least "Fallen" of any spirits, just as Landians are the least Fallen race. He's not allowed back in Heaven, but he's not forced into Hell, either. Also mentions an unresolved debate he has with God, who is considering Tino's point of view. Until He reaches a decision, Tino is not allowed to discuss the precise nature of the debate with anyone.