Far To Go
Disclaimer: I own none of the characters, nor do I make any profit.
"Are you sure you don't need us to drive you?" Roger frowned at her through his glasses.
"I'm fine Daddy. The car's already waitin' for me at the town centre." Illyria said with a wide smile.
"Can't we walk you there?" Trish half implored.
"Mom, they're my employees. I can't instill fear in their hearts if my parents fussed all over me in front of them..." the goddess replied, hugging the older woman close.
"God, I miss you guys already." she continued, voice filled with emotion.
"Call us when you get back to L.A.!" Winifred Burkle's father said, and embraced her too, before reluctantly releasing her.
She waved brightly, and walked away on light feet. As the small house in Texas disappeared into the distance behind her, along with the township, her smile and her face slipped, revealing what would have been a mask of stone were it not for the tears that continued to stream freely from her blue, blue eyes.
The dirt road stretched out before her into the distance, and appeared empty but for the lonely truck or car rumbling past. It suited her, for she would not abide another being seeing her weakness. As fate would have it however, she had been walking for an hour on the road into the high noon when she heard the tuneless whistling of another traveller behind her.
"Slow down." a familiar voice called.
"No need to panic. I only want to talk this time." he laughed, catching up with her.
"My, but you are a sight to behold now." he whistled again, this time appreciatively, proudly even. "Last time we spoke, you were a many tentacled beast the size of the World Trade Centre. Before, you know. 9/11. Now you've gone and developed curves. Can't say I cannot appreciate this change. "
"I take on many forms, and wear many shells. But I do not change." Illyria said stiffly, and resumed her walk.
"Perhaps. Perhaps not." he said.
"I see you have lost your armour and your sword." She observed dispassionately.
"Not lost. Just stored away.” he replied.
"Who are you?" she asked again, echoing the question from eons ago.
"You can call me Olethros." he said. "Sounds exotic, especially here in America in this time. The women love it."
"Olethros. Yes, it would make sense." Illyria nodded. "I lost...everything, after our meeting."
"I have forsaken much since." Olethros shook his head. “Such as the aspect I had visited upon you and your’s. I would apologize if it were within my power to do such a thing.”
"But you cannot have forsaken the aspect of Destruction. Mankind still wages their petty battles. Across the galaxies, even now, I can feel the death rattle of a once formidable race, presently nothing more than a wasted memory. No, Destruction still rages on across the worlds."
"The show goes on. I'm just not running it anymore." the Man said.
"I would not have thought that was possible." Illyria said.
"Everything changes." Olethros shrugged, and adjusted his small burden of a polka dotted pouch tied to the end of a stick. "Even you, Illyria."
They walked in silence, the blue haired Goddess neither agreeing nor disagreeing. When she finally broke the quiet, she said with great heaviness,
"More than I do not understand the world as it is now, I do not understand this human taint within. I feel affection for those who had loved the shell I now inhabit. I even feel affection for the two who sired her.”
“Worst of all…I feel…sorrow…for what I had done to her soul when I took her body for my own. Although I know she is nothing, and would have been less than nothing had I not honored this…vessel, that was her form, with my presence."
Olethros sat down on a rock that may or may not have been by the side of the road a moment ago. He drew a bottle of water out of his tiny pouch.
"Have I been merely polluted by the lingering vestiges of the Shell? Or am I becoming one of them?" she asked, looking down at him, cocking her head birdlike to the side. "What will become of me?"
Taking a long pull from the plastic container, he then put the bottle down on the scorching ground, and wiped his mouth with the back of his wrist. Eyes narrowed, he looked into the distance.
"If its wisdom you want, or absolution, I can give you neither." he told the waiting Goddess. "But you're certainly not human."
"I...do not...I do not want these feelings. They make me...uncomfortable. But I can as soon stem the flow, as I can bring my dead kingdom back." Illyria admitted; there was defeat in her voice.
"And what use would swords and weak sorcery have against a Hydrogen Bomb or five?" Olethros asked. "No girlie, you need to move on."
"That is your solution? I transform?" she asked wonderingly.
"Pretty much." he said, and jumped to his feet, bottle now tucked away.
He towered over her; Illyria wondered if she had shrunk, or if he had grown. He must have grown; his shadow stretched out, shading her from the sun in its almost disproportionately large and dark shape. It felt inexplicably cold in that dimmed space.
"Ah Illyria, you were always my favourite child." Olethros said, and kissed her forehead. "I wish your change could go easier on you than it has on my siblings. Alas, the same blood runs through you, as it runs through us."
She felt the stirrings of grief again, only this time, it was not for Fred.
"This is where we part ways. If it is written in my brother’s book, we might yet meet again some day." he concluded, grinning an easy grin at her.
Illyria watched as he veered off the dirt road and into the desert. When he was no more than a speck on the horizon, in what a human’s eyes would have mistaken for a heat shimmer, he disappeared from sight.
She stood and stared out into nothing for a long moment.
Eyes dry, she eventually resumed her journey to Los Angeles.