Monday, June 22, 2015

Day Eight-Seventy-Six: Time to move on up

July could no longer remember her childhood.

She suspected that she remembered. With a vague amount of clarity she recalled being born on a farm in some idyllic countryside. Her father was a stern taskmaster, though surprisingly gentle; her mother… wasn’t around. July didn’t know why. Perhaps she’d died. Her father tended a cherry orchard, and July spent her time pulling delectables out of the ground.

Cherries don’t grow underground. They grow on trees.

Oh. Well then.

Perhaps she was, instead, the daughter of a noble. Born and raised in a castle, she’d learned to read and write at an early age, with strong prospects to marry an intelligent and kind noble. But fate - in the form of a siege - had intervened, cutting off her prospects and leaving July destitute, struggling for purpose… and vengeful.

That doesn’t sound right either.

True. That didn’t sound right at all.

Then maybe July was a demon. Spawned from the pits of the deepest hell, she’d slithered out of the ground and infused herself with the first vulnerable lass she’d discovered. That might explain why she knew what she knew regarding the nature of the world, namely that it was a mere component of something more, of something greater. A something greater that she desperately wanted to reach.

That was the only important thing. Who July really was didn’t matter at all. Ascension was the key. The key. And now, now, she was ascending.

The pact fulfilled, July divided Grayson from his power. It was, in retrospect, almost painfully easy; she’d only required his consent. That was something he’d never given before, not in the most fundamental way that was necessary for transference. Not once in their time travelling together had Grayson willingly agreed to anything that July found important, and because of that, she both respected and hated the boy. She half wish she’d throttled him the moment he’d left Libby’s womb.

The last bodily thing July ever muttered was a short apology to Libby. It was not a specific apology, but it was sincere. Libby didn’t know what to say, because she was confused about everything at this point.

Grayson flowed into his old body, now nothing more than a soul infused with equal amounts of love and hatred. And July… no, she was June, yes, July was such a stupid name… flowed into Grayson’s power. It fit so nicely into her soul that June felt as though she’d come home. And when the last of his power married itself to June’s code, she could finally see.

Now one with the power of the regulators, just as they’d been one with Grayson, June flicked away the disgusting remnants of Philip’s spectral presence and Grayson’s lingering hatred. They got in the way of the rules of the regulators, and she now found that nauseating. But she knew, also, that she could break the rules, and though she had a profound respect for the rules, June wanted very badly to take a hammer to them and punch a hole for herself. That desire for bettering herself had always been at the core of her person, regardless of who she’d once been.

The world - what little was left of it, anyway - faded from June’s sight. The walls of paradise disappeared - My god, but they’re insubstantial things - and left behind a sea of zeroes and ones, swirling in a chaotic order that would normally have dictated the presence of presence itself. June’s worldview shifted, and she was suddenly looking down at a blackened husk of a planet, swiftly coming apart as a glitch, yes, a glitch, yanked it apart, one seam at a time.

Dragomir floated in the middle of it. Crystallized. Incapacitated. Effectively dead, his blocky face stretched into an O of dismay and horror. June knew she could leave him floating there forever, the final remnant of a dead possibility. The destroyer and the destroyed of worlds, though not of his own accord.

June wondered - and she caught a fleeting glimpse of a little girl, running through a field and laughing - if he might have been a good father to her, under different circumstances. He probably would have. And though June had done wrong by him for so long, she genuinely liked the man. Even if he would happily profess his hatred for her, were situations reversed.

But she couldn’t do anything for him here. She needed to break the rules to do that. She had to go deeper. She had to go out.

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