“While we are within L’Mura, it is best that you do not even mention you were once a part of Prospertum”, said Jester grimly, “albeit most of L’Mura’s mortals have died off to old age, there are those who still remember the stories that their great, great, grandparents told them”.
Eli took a deep breath and steadied himself knowing full well his question could land him in great trouble.
“If L’Mura believes in the carnal reinforced by the technological, then why does Meren and Kelendis not grant their citizens… immortality?”, he trailed off hesitantly not wishing to speak further.
Jester gazed at him for a moment, his deep emerald green eyes twinkling in the fire light. After a rather uncomfortable moment for Eli he spoke:
“L’Murians believe that that which is canal must die. For to extend a life span is to cheat the Astrale”, Jester told him as a father would address a naive child.
“Astrale?”, Eli asked.
Jester raised an eyebrow at him quizzically and then continued:
“The Astrale is the Void as we know it. As we have learned in our constant pursuit of science, electrons are capable of being in two places at once when not harshly scrutinized”, he paused once more, searching for Eli’s reaction. Jester obviously realized that Eli had none forthcoming and so he sighed.
“The point I wish to make is that the Void, or rather Astrale, as some like to call it; has a built in way of disallowing direct observation. Even the Gods themselves can not crack all Astrale inconsistencies as they too, have biological functions under their divinity. Albeit it is possible for say”, Jester snorted and spat, “… Achladus to pry into the Astrale plan and use it in his experiments, he can never fully harness it. Think of it as a sub-source code within a super computer with excessive algorithm encryption. Just as a scientist who designs a great machine, the being who made all of this possible… would hate to see it hacked”.
Mesmerized as he was by the information that he was getting from Jester, Eli didn’t notice his mouth was hanging open for a solid minute. He was so in awe that he didn’t notice that a fly had taken up residence on his upper lip. Eli spat and shook himself.
“Yes, yes, but what does the Astrale… err Void”, he changed his word choice as he saw Jester’s complexion change at his ‘Astrale’ word usage, “… have to do with disallowing immortality on L’Muran citizenry?”
Jester looked away from Eli and gazed into the primitive fire he had created in his cave. After a few moments he seemingly absently replied with:
“What?”, came Eli’s automatic question.
Still peering into the flame’s licking tongue which cackled and popped in front of them encased in a rock cluster, Jester muttered:
“To artificially extend one’s life is to cheat the Void. When one does that there are bad consequences. To return to the Void after life is natural, to avoid it is unnatural. Nature and the universe always finds ways to balance…”, he trailed off still gazing into the flames, “I’m sure read about the Blackened back in Prospertum?”
Eli felt a knot develop in his stomach as he remembered the Historical passage he had had read as a child.
“Yes…”, he croaked.
“The Blackened are a fine example of what happens to biological entities who cheat death in our physical plane of existence. Sure they gained powers nearing demigods, but at a price…”, Jester immediately looked up Eli, the ire of the fire reflecting in his eyes:
Eli gulped and then shuddered, he knew all too well what Jester meant by “mortality”.
“Decayed black rotting corpses”, he whispered.
“Indeed”, Jester agreed in a grim tone.
Even though Eli had just met this weirdo, who seemed rather mad, he also sounded insightful. It made no sense at all and the inconsistency of his madness threw him off. Did the Void (or rather Astrale) exist? Or was Jester delusional and messing around with him? He once more gave Jester a stare, trying to deduce what was going on within that most strange mind.
Jester evidently was done with the exchange as he smiled and turned around to start working on a clay mold. Where the clay had come from Eli couldn’t phantom as he looked at Jester through the fire. What it represented completely eluded Eli as he couldn’t comprehend it. It was some sort of blob which sprouted several appendages. These appendages varied in size and seemed to lack an purpose. Eli spoke:
“What is that Jester?”
“If I told you it would defeat the purpose of the art.”
“The expression of the soul”
“Why not just use some technology? Say a particle re-assembler?”, Eli asked innocently.
The sudden rage that accompanied his question was enormous and unexpected. Without warning Jester took the clay sculpture in one hand, and with the other, smashed his fist into it. Jester’s face flushed a deep scarlet and looked as if he might explode.
“Why don’t you just become a Mirrorer? Why not simply become a sheep? Why be sane when you can be mad?!”, he bellowed at Eli, the force of his voice amplified and godlike.
This outburst shocked Eli to the core and he froze in place, still sitting cross-legged in front of Jester’s looming face that hovered inches from the fire. He felt as if Jester had become a dragon and could breathe fire. He gawked in shock.
“Well?! What do you have to say for yourself… you… you scientist!”, Jester snarled at him, rage still evident in his voice.
Eli tried hard to think of what on Tsarsara Jester meant by that statement.
“I was just stating a more effective method…”, he said his voice giving out with a croak.
Jester took a deep breath and was evidently was steadying himself. After a brief while, he visibly calmed down and the serenity that was once evident in his eyes returned.
“… I had forgotten that you come from Prospertum…”, there was a slight tinge to his eyes, like a tear, “Let me explain it to you Eli. Art is the expression of the soul. It’s where logic begins and creativity ends, however I am sure that no one knows this. The artist claims the irrational while simultaneously hiding meaningful reason”, Jester grinned sardonically.
“That makes no sense”, said Eli timidly scared of another outburst.
“Says the man who practices binary”.
“Stop speaking in riddles”.
“Exactly”, grinned Jester.
He lowered his gaze and looked at his clay encased hand. It was as if he had had some sort of reality disconnect.
“Well… that’s wonderful”, Jester’s voice trailed off, “I was going to shoot it when it was done”.
Eli cocked his head back, what on earth what this individual talking about?