Chapter 15 Double Personalities
Ethereal, as they called it to be a form in which spirits took shape when they left their mortal physique, and entered a secondary realm. The transition period between life, death and afterlife had been always intriguing, and often it sparked controversial opinions beliefs between Realists and Spiritualists, which the former claimed to be a denial of existence while the latter preached to be a rebirth and a reincarnation or else a transfiguration to heavens beyond.
For him, it was a total numbness of sensitivity, a mind freed from troubled thoughts, a physique freed from fatigue. It was, a level higher than euphoria, a release from the physical world, and he heard music, harmonious, a strange perfect euphony that was impossibly audible, never heard before in any part of the universe. Then he saw light, a bright refulgence drawing him to it as the music played on. Then the light disappeared from sight, and the music slowly died down until an absolute gloomy obmutescene. He could see nothing, hear nothing, or feel nothing.
Is this death?
But there was still a sense that lingered within him, a sense of insensateness, which only meant that there was still such a feeling perceptible to the mind. Then he started feeling pressure on his ears, and the little jerky movements of his eyeballs, only occurring to him that his eyelids closed upon the globe of his eyes that explained the darkness cast upon him. And as other sensory systems started returning, he felt the rest of his body cramped rigidly inside a small space, allowing little movement for his fingers to even twitch. And his eyelids were clamped tightly shut like for a very long time that it pained him to lift them open.
And as the first glint of light entered his eyes, it was bright.
The prevalent sleeper awoke from his deep slumber, and for the first time in many aeons he had opened his eyes to the world, though the glass capsule he saw ‘himself’ lying on the floor, with a gun and a sword beside him.
Now his arms were surged with great power, and clenched fist as hard as steel, he delivered the critical punch that shattered the glass that sealed him in the cubicle, and he stepped out, for the first time. And the first breath of air, the smell of life essence leashed full force into him, enlivening his spirit entrammeled over the ages. Instinctively, his hand reached for the enormous blade below his feet, and upon wield he felt an increase of his strength by ten fold, a renewal of vitality, and most of all, the disimprisonment of a long, suffering indolence.
His keen hearing detected some commotion happening in the area eligible to his sharp vision. A short man – a kin – confronting a gigantic foul creature broken loose from hell. Somehow, he knew this man – and he had a strong urge to help him. Lifting up the weighty sword, he advanced, plodding step-by-step forwards with an aura of enmity that provoked the monster to his attention. The creature raged furiously, lunging his jagged claws. But he was not at all intimidated, but struck the blade bare-handled, cutting off the menacing limb, sending the fiend to its winces. And then leaping high up into the air, as to gain momentum, he brought the blade cleaving onto the creature into half.
Too much shock Gard sustained watching the clean disseverance of the monstrosity, and even more stupefied by the sudden appearance of the man, whom he then asked, “is that you? Are you the one whom Generon calls Illian Greyor, the ultimatum of destruction?” Then shaking his head with disbelief, Gard said, “It must be you! Quick, you must follow me back to the ship, before time runs out.”
The person said nothing, and took no heed of Gard’s advice. Instead, he approached Gard, and clasped a firm grip unto the old man’s shoulder, while the other hand gently tapping the tip of the sword on the ground.
Moments later, both of them were enwreathed by a domical warp field rising from the floor, and in a split second, they disappeared, transported out from the place that was doomed to vanish from Generon, forever.
The standstill crew waited anxiously for signs of any return of someone, just anyone, though in heart they knew that their revered, congenial leader had made his journey to the final destination, back to where he originated, and back to where he belonged.
Sadness overwhelmed, as the unforgiving seconds ticked by, and time was running short. Reuban had set the clock countdown to the last sixty seconds, from whence they must leave Kinhara before the supernova destroyed everything in its radial range.
They waited. Still, there were no signs of any appearance of Gard and the much-anticipated intergalactic mercenary, Illian Greyor, whom Gard intended to revive. Sarah stirred with agitation, fretfully asked, “shouldn’t we wait a little longer? What use of leaving without bringing back the acclaimed saviour bound-to-be, whom Keith has given his soul in exchange for his anticipated service?”
“That would not make any difference, Sarah, “said Reuban, “If we leave any later than the stipulated time, even though we can secure everyone on board, in the end we still die together.”
“Besides, it’s Keith’s wish for us to leave,” added Gerard, “we should not disappoint his last decision upon his bereavement, that would most dishearten him. What’s more, it would be wiser to escape and find other means of defeating Kaz and save the whole Generon from the desecration by his crooked contrivances, rather than sacrifice for feckless conscience, wouldn’t it?”
Gerard’s reasoning was logical enough, and Sarah had to comply. But somehow, all three of them still felt a forlornly shaped future awaiting them, with little vestiges of a victorious virtue over bane, and Zurho was all the while silent without a single word.
Zero. The elapsed time expired. It was just enough time for Trekker V to engage warp speed and travel out of the galaxy.
While they were already light years far apart, little did they knew or witnessed how Mechwais swelled to hundred times more, devouring everything within its explosion span, and then died down, leaving behind, a legacy of nothing.
Trekker V exited from a long wormhole journey back into real space, but in undefined location. Yet that had been little of their concern, when all hopes had withered and the lost of a purpose to carry on, they thought less of continuing – with preference to hinging on the present, adrift in space, letting the waves of the cosmic take them to anywhere they might have been.
Their raison d’être, once a high, exuberant ambition of conquering the vast space, now dwindled into remnants of ill feelings and setbacks of great expectations.
There was this uncanny silence in the ship, when everyone was immobilised in a state of dolorous paralysis, until a strange signal picked up by the radar that mollified the trauma.
“I’ve detected an odd interference sent directly to our ship. It’s sort of a high-frequency wavelength, supposedly coming from a place very far away. Shall we allow in transmission?” asked Reuban.
“Permission granted,” Gerard authorised, taking over the helm as the new leader, “friend or foe or whatever it is, we’ll decide later.”
Reuban admitted the signal into the receival, but as soon as the wavelength passed through the central system, suddenly, there was a trip of the electrical circuits, resulting a few-second power failure and rendered the whole ship unstable. “Data overload,” Reuban said in alarm, and quickly ran through a correction for his mistakes, “the frequency of the wave is much higher than I’ve expected, but… this! The span is so short that it could be compressed to form just a few particles! It’s never anything I’ve seen or studied before in quantum science!”
“A particle that travels at light speed… interesting,” Zurho pondered to himself, “what could that be?”
“We’ll soon find out, and expect the worst,” Gerard said, suspecting an enemy barrage, as his vigilant eyes rolled in all four directions, preparing for a surprise.
Moments later, they were all stunned by a phenomenal incident – nothing in history seen or could their conservative minds imagine, that beams of white light travelling through the circuits projected scintillating bright rays from the ceiling and from the floor, converging into a cylindrical light energy. Then, from within the incandescence, two figures, likely Terrans, stepped out from the effulgence. As the beam vanished, to their utmost bewilderment, they saw Keith, clutching the Ultimate Weapon of Destruction in his hand, and easily recognised Gard by his frizzy, dishevelled looks.
“By Generon and in the name of His greatness, we all thought that you’re dead!” Gerard exclaimed, together with the rest staring at the duo wide agog. Gard himself, too, did not immediately apprehend the situation until he became aware of his sudden, unexplained appearance back on Trekker V through a mysterious transportal.
“I’m safe!” exclaimed Gard, leaping up with joy, “the creature nearly got me! But Greyor saved me from having my neck cut! Yes, the resurrection is a success, and Illian Greyor is alive. Everyone, let me introduce him to you… where is he?”
Nowhere to be seen beside Gard, Illian Greyor mysteriously disappeared. As the crew searched around, they found him sitting idly on the couch, bearing a vacant expression. As they went near, there was still no profound reaction, as though he was lost in a reverie.
“He’s much deader then he seems alive,” remarked Sarah.
“Who’re you?” Gerard interrogated.
“Who am I?” echoed the man in delusion, “who am I….” He went into a long pause, and from his mouth uttered, “…am I Illian Greyor, or am I Keith Gunter? Who am I?”
“What does he mean he is Illian Greyor or he is Keith?” Zurho cried out in bewilderment, “does he mean….”
“Yes, indeed! Unbelievable, totally!” Gard cried out loud, “absurd, but it happens! I’ve not understood the functions of spirons entirely, so in presumption Keith might just die off once his spirons leave the body. But evidently this isn’t so! The bonds of his spirons are just so strong that they didn’t break during the process of transfusion. While Illian Greyor is alive again, Keith spirons still ‘lived’ inside his body! And here comes in all the complications.”
“In other words, Keith isn’t dead,” Reuban concluded, “but what are the complications?”
“For one thing,” Gard replied, “two souls sharing one body may not be beneficial – there’s lack of space, and, mainly the incoherence of memories. Now that two entities tend to think themselves of being oneself, there’ll be contradictions to their personal chronicles of their lives.”
“Can anybody rephrase what Gard is saying?” Sarah asked, totally confused.
“Let’s just put it this way,” Gerard explained, “let’s say you’re dead and reborn again to be another person, and your past memories still retain in your mind. So the present you might just recall incidents of your past-lives, which don’t really coincide with the series of events happening after you’re born. It’s a memory relapse, and sometimes you think that you’re born twice, living in two different eras.”
“One more question,” Sarah asked, “why is that Keith’s spirons are tied so strongly that he didn’t die?”
“Maybe, it’s his vehemence to live on and continue our salvation. His ardent love for a person tells him to keep on with life, and so he stayed.”
“You know who.”
It was decided that the man (Illian Greyor, Keith Gunter, or whoever he was) needed time to recover. So ignoring him, they returned to their own chores, leaving him at the lounge to calm his mental anguish. It did much to alleviate the pain on the head, and he could breathe normally again.
All left, all but Gerard sat accompanying the deranged soldier. To him still, he was always Keith Gunter whom he cherished most, although knowingly the man before him was an entirely different person. Keith loved peace and neutrality, but Illian Greyor advocated war, to what extent, which he did not know.
However, Gard offered some light about the character they were collaborating with: a union of both, compromise between two personas of different ideologies. Perhaps the prolonged convalescence was of them settling their mutual differences. Keith was a good arbitrator, and certainly would speak to Illian's heart.
“Have you come over it?” Gerard asked.
“Must have,” said the soldier, “it suddenly became very clear to me, crystal clear. I saw things the way I don’t then but do now.”
“Who’re you now then, actually?”
“Who am I doesn’t really matter to you no? It matters only who do you want me to be.”
“You’re quite right, my dear old friend, but only that I’m much more than him now. My name is still Keith Gunter, but I’m a different person. My name is also Illian Greyor, yet I’m not him. We are in fact united in coalescence, inseparable by flesh and soul. You should understand.”
“Then what do you stand for now? Which sides are you taking? With us, or do you fight your own course?”
“No, I’d never walk away from you all – you are my dearest friends! And Illian is very lonely now – he had lost everything, he had lost the whole world – but now he wanted redemption, and couldn’t be happier to make new friends. Don’t ostracise him. Believe me, if I were him at his time, I’d have done much the same things like he did.”
Gerard smirked, feeling pleased and relieved. At least he was certain that Illian Greyor was not at all a bad villain as his actions were well endorsed by Keith, a resolute peace vindicator. And to the most fearful and disdained man Keith had learnt to accept, he could readily follow.
“So, how much do you know about Illian Greyor?” asked Gerard, intrigued by the many gospels and history records about him that never coincided with each other. Only Illian himself would know his own, real story.Keith smiled, “he knows himself better than anyone else. Let him tell you personally.”