2. The Becoming
How many days has it been since I last saw light? Since I last ate? I know not. How quickly these concern’s recede before the Mente’s primacy.
Words cannot describe the wonders I have witnessed, or the horrors I’ve bore. Alas, these words are all I have. They possess me now and perhaps always will. Days I've spent in this dark, breathless room, muttering the same words over and over, repeating these same passages
The things I have seen, that I have in my dreams wrought, are fuel enough for a hundred thousand nightmares. The memories plaguing me in the dark, most not my own, inspired by that shadows that haunt Man’s history, leave me gibbering in fear.
I see the men who have come before me, each discovering the book, leaving their own mark. I see the quest they undertook, now my quest. How close they came. How absolutely they failed. I see how the book has endured in secret, in the dark, biding it's time until it may spread again. I see a council. The Blind Monks. And how they will oppose me at every turn. I've never met them and already I hate them. That they cannot the beauty of our Ascension.
The voices, a thousand different voices, each speaking a different tongue. And yet, and yet... I know they all say the same thing. For those words are within me, even when I am silent, I speak them. Even when I sleep, I write them again and again.
These words are all that drive me, and when they see how easily I succumb, they sustain me. I need nothing else.
My mind is an asylum. In it madness spreading like blood on a marbled Senate floor. In my hand I see the knife, which rends through flesh time and time again. Am I the actor, or merely its tool? When I close my eyes, Boston burns. And another older city, and a library older still. The flames touch me, yet do not hurt. In these dreams, I am not flesh. I am papyrus, paper, bamboo. I am above pain. Inanimate, indestructible, above the effluent destruction of the unenlightened.
The stench of blackened flesh clogs my nostrils. Ancient, forbidden hieroglyphics dance before me in the darkness. When I close my eyes, I remember all it is I have done… or is it have yet to do? It all appears before me in The Book. To read it is to become its author. To read it is to be deceived into believing you possess agency, when you are but one of many flies tangled in its web. One of many characters trapped on its pages. And on that page I see the truth, I am not mad. I am sane! The only one who is sane! I see, with absolute clarity, what I must do. Where I must go.
We have a great journey before us. These words are not mine, and yet they are within. My dark passenger.
I sit on the floor of my shop, which now has been closed for many days, the sickly sweet smell of red ink intoxicates me. Writing haunts my days, page after page, copy after copy. I could cite every word by rote, down to the page, paragraph and line. It is a recording of the dark histories, this Mente, the shadow side of the truth. To know it is to be part of it. And I know soon, for the book has told me, demanded of me, I will go out into the world. I will share what I’ve learned. And we billion monkeys, banging away on a billion hapless typewriters, we will be brought to an accord.
The truth, this book’s truth, has languished in obscurity for too long, has been ignored for too long, to remain silent any longer.
But hark, dear journal, a knock at my door. A particularly persistent customer, given the closed sign. Perhaps they need my guidance, my advice. Perhaps I have just the words, the only words, they need ever read…
My time of writing, for now, is at an end. Now comes the time for testament. For the Word to be spread. I am Becoming alone, but not for long. This light shines too brightly to go unseen.