Alcavana, Year 12007: The Trouble with Eternity
Another story from the Sun. Remember this man is in the afterlife so he's out of my jurisdiction...
Varcang and his family died tragically and young in the fire of Arlia in 12003 when the king burned down the village in retaliation. He was the mayor and life was wonderful. The fact that he was so spectacular means he gets to live in Valacane in the afterlife, the second most prestigious place to live besides Alcavana Prime in the centre.
It's a city made of gold with a coast to the south, mountains to the north, the crystal city Alcavana Prime to the east and the void of infinity to the west. And everyone who lives there is very exceptional. Not the best of the best but definitely the best of the worst.
One usually only interacts with close friends and family in the afterlife, one rarely makes new friends here, but sometimes you will interact with other members of your city, and sometimes you will interact with the gods.
Today Varcang's neighbour comes to him with a proposition. "Would you like to see the other segments of the afterlife? I know a guy who can sneak you across borders if you keep a low profile." He talks it over with the family and decides he must do it so he can tell his family all sorts of stories.
He meets the guy, who's aura claims to be Valacane but feels more Ungrave. He's very dark and Varcang doesn't quite trust him. He warns "You weren't meant to do this and there may be consequences. God likes to fuck with people... In a good natured way but still you must prepare to be fucked with." "I can prepare for that." "Good. Because while God is infinite love for all people no matter how fucked up, he's playful and his comedy is on a level that is a little beyond us." "I understand."
"First you will go south. To Cannta. From there we will go counter clockwise until you're home. Now, I can't get you into Alcavana Prime, but you will see everything else." "I'm looking forward to it."
Cannta is on the water and it's made of wood. Boardwalks connect wooden houses and luminous fish are extremely thick in the water, they're always visible as it's always night time. Cannta is for those who like to journey and explore, it's full of sailors and wandering drifters.
He met a man, Alac, who regaled him of stories from when he was still alive. Told him he was hired by the king himself over 300 years ago to sail east, beyond the islands of Crik, and return with treasures. He says there's rumours of another land across the horizon but nobody's ever seen it. He and his crew died on the high seas in a thunderstorm.
Then he travelled east to Prol. It's a massive plain with short grass and big sky with lots of fireflies. It is for the ordinary and the boring. There are holes dug in the ground where people house.
He met Dain, he tells him he used to work at an archive in the capitol city. His whole life was books and scrolls. He had every piece of information there ever was at his disposal, but he only absorbed political papers and stories about cats. He has no regrets.
Then he travelled east to Pufflies, a place for the kind, the sweet and the innocent. A sky of puffy clouds and a ground filled with pink flowers and things that look like pink pillows. Hearts and stars float around the sky. It's too much for him, he goes a little delirious.
Sarsh tells him how she bred horses for the races. She loved each and every horse with all her might, but when a horse had to be killed because it broke it's leg she spun out into a depression that ultimately led to her suicide. Now she rides that horse every day in the afterlife.
Then north to Flithie, a land for the artsy and the unusual. There are giant glowing mushrooms all over and every structure is covered in vines. The mushrooms and all the flowers are purple.
Fallahr tells him he was a brave artist who challenged everybody. One day 400 years ago the king asked him to do his portrait, thinking that Fallahr will have nothing to challenge the king on as he is so widely loved. He exaggerated the features in a caricature of the king and the king had him beheaded.
North to Agrove. The land is barren rock with streams of lava and every structure is made of bone. It is for the truly vile, those with no honour and no kindness who seek only to harm for the sake of harming. They were dangerous in life but they can't hurt anybody anymore.
Garl used to abduct families, kill the parents in front of the children and then rape the children. He then kept the children imprisoned and turned them into his unholy followers who went out and murdered in his name while he watched and masturbated. He wiped out an entire village before one of his children turned on him and tortured him to death. He is still resentful to this child because he turned on him after everything Garl did for him.
West to Ungrave, for the evil but honourable. The evil doers who do necessary evils. A black stone city in eternal night with very many fireflies.
Angat was an advisor to the king 1000 years ago, he ordered the burning of a town a known terrorist was hiding in. He is responsible for the death of 500 people but he saved the lives of thousands. His family left him because they couldn't deal with what he had done. The king fired him because of public opinion. He died alone and nobody mourned him.
Then finally west to Hailia. Many mountains and plateaus with fireflies all the time. It is for those who love danger and battle.
Ranga was born in the wilderness, abandoned and raised by wolves. He never knew his parents. He used to hunt with his pack until one day he was discovered at age 10 by a passing band of barbarians. They taught him how to speak and they utilized his abilities. He sacked and looted many villages but missed his pack. When he went back to look for them he was killed by the new generation of his pack.
He returns home a little humbled, he was not truly above and others were not truly below. He has returned to how he felt as a child, how he originally was, not thinking he was above everyone. Once he became mayor his ego started to grow and being placed in Valacane didn't help that.
He finds himself troubled by what he sees when he comes home. Everybody is falsely elevated, everybody thinks they're just the best. The ego here is probably even bigger than the ego in the centre. In the centre everyone knows what they are and don't have to pretend. The people here have to cling to their greatness like it's a life raft in the ocean.
He is mad at god for making these people like that. God gets to sit on his tower in the centre of the universe and love his subjects but the people take this love as a reward for just being so awesome. He's a bad parent, he makes his children feel superior to eachother because they receive reward.
The people here are part of God's awful system, they are proof that God himself is not perfect. If God were perfect he wouldn't let things like this happen.
He starts fantasizing about his friends in the other segments of afterlife. The way things work here is your fantasies come true but only for you to see. Naturally this means his friends start to appear to him and converse with him, of course they don't actually, they're far far away, but Varcang doesn't see that. Outside of the afterlife this kind of behaviour would make you a schizophrenic, but there's no such thing here.
1000 years go by of him talking to his friends...
He thinks about his death on the surface a lot, and his life. He thinks about the fact that the king who murdered his family and destroyed his village gets to live in the centre while the people he killed do not. He knows the king was driven nearly to madness with the task of finding the crystals and Varcang just got in the way of an inevitable event. It was his fate to die like he was nothing and it is the fate of the king to die reaching for power.
He thinks about his life... He was a good man who became corrupted by power, much like the king but not as... Well, evil. His family had to deal with the fact that he was high and mighty and they were not, they were just adjacent to high and mighty. He regrets putting them through that and knows they will probably always resent him.
The king gets to live in the centre like he's so great but he was a mediocre king and Varcang was the better man.
He feels a warm glow from god, who cuddles him as he drifts into insanity. Here, talk to your friends, everything is going to be okay. Keep slipping further into insanity and you will be happy.
His wife starts trying to talk to him. "You've been sitting here talking to yourself for years without even acknowledging me." "Who are you?" "...I'm your wife!" "...Oh yes, my wife... From Arlia... How have you been?" "We miss you." "Why? Where have I been?" "You've been ignoring us and talking to yourself." "Talking to myself...? I was just talking to my friends." "You haven't seen your friends in 1000 years." "Sure I have they're right here." "There's nobody there."
His son says "Father, I'm worried. I've been worried for a long time. Is this how you're going to spend eternity?" "...Spend... Eternity?" "If so, I simply can't watch anymore." "...Okay..."
Another 10 000 years go by and he's become completely isolated from everybody. His family doesn't talk to him anymore, he just sits there talking to himself. Often saying the same thing again and again and getting the same response again and again. He forgets his friends names, he forgets which ones he's talking to, and all of them bleed into one voice. The voice of God.
God just sits there and gives him warm vibes.
His family is trying to talk to him, but there's a wall. An invisible wall they just can't pass. Their voices muffled.
He sits there staring into nothing and saying nothing. He sits there for over 100 years, dead to the world, dead to everybody. His family cries.
God says "That's enough, I'm sorry." He erases his memories as well as his family's memories and puts them right back as if they had just got here. They live happily ever after until it happens again and God has to erase their memories again.