Wednesday, March 7, 2012

643 - Answer Me This

As I sang, I couldn’t help but translate in my mind, to modern Arkan. I couldn’t look at Mikas watching me, fearing any hint of disapproval would make my song falter, make my offering less worthy.

Is the symbol of our nation still there?  Are we still a people?  Have we gone down into darkness?  That was the meaning of those obscure words, and then the song seized me, just flowing from my lips, following the ancient, awkward tune, until the last stanza.

Oh, thus be it ever, when Arkans yet stand
Between their beloved home and the war's desolation!
Blest by all the Ten, may the blessed rescued land
Praise their Power that made and preserved us a nation!
Then conquer we shall, for our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In Ten Gods is our trust":
And Muunas’s Eagle banner shall wave
O'er the land of Arko and the home of Gods’ brave!

My whole body shook with the words, my centre ached fiercely where I’d held on hard to make sure the tune never wavered.  I opened my eyes and looked up, hands clasped together in the small of my back, chest heaving.  I certainly wasn’t concerned any longer that I was naked but for sandals.

His face hadn’t changed and He gazed over the tips of His fingers, dispassionate and cool.  “Answer me this.”  I drew in my breath and held it.  “Is a promise made under duress, an oath to be still honoured?”

“It depends!” the words burst out of my mouth and I clamped my lips together.  This was no time to answere on impulse.  “One must truly wish to make the oath for it to be true, whether under duress or not.  A promise made merely under duress is not a true promise and the one who swears cannot be held to it.  It is like a torturer demanding a true promise from his victim.”

“One must have free will to make a true oath. I had to clarify.   A person must understand the responsibility and the consequences of any oath sworn.  This is why we do not require oaths of infants, children, and”—  I nearly stumbled here.  Women had been included on that list when I'd first learned it.  I took a deep breath.  “—the mentally infirm.  They cannot know true consequence.” The heat of the glass encased me and I could feel the water running down my skin, under my arms, between my thighs, down my back and my breastbone, itching as it evaporated from my body.

Mikas didn’t acknowledge if I were right or wrong, if I were close or answering the wrong argument completely.  If anything He raised an eyebrow, before dropping it into a more neutral place.  What on the earthsphere did that mean?  He was not going to enlighten me.

His right hand rose, wove out in a graceful spiral, marking a track in the air in gold.  “Answer me this.”  His hand moved again, from a single point before him, marking out a spinning whorl.  “Twenty-one. Thirty-four. Fifty-five. Eighty-nine.  What are the next two numbers?  And why are they important?”

I blinked at him and my heart clenched.  I wanted to cringe.  I was not good with arithmetics, or technical descriptions.  My guts felt like they were fallen to my feet.  21. 34. 55... wait... wait a moment... my eyes were following the elegant spiral that Mikas had drawn and He set it spinning in the air with a ‘ting’ of a Divine fingernail.  The image was important... and... 21.  34.  55. 89.  Oh. Wait. 21 + 34 = 55.  34 + 55 = 89.  It was the builder Fibonas’s sequence.  I could draw a full breath and answer the first part of his question without vomiting.  “The next two numbers must be one hundred forty four and two hundred and thirty three.”

I had not understood that lesson.  It still bothered me enough that I went back to various flowers and actually counted, to check.  “It is a way of mathematically describing an almost perfect ratio of things to space.  If a sunflower grows eight seeds in one spiral the other spiral is thirteen.  I was taught that it can be used to describe a flyer’s trajectory under certain circumstances.  And builders use the ratio of Fibonas’ rule to create buildings harmonious to men’s eyes.”  I swallowed hard.  I hoped that was complete enough.  I let my eyes rest on the slowly turning spiral and saw harmony in it.  He took it up so that it turned around fingers, hand and wrist and then vanished.

He dropped His hands and leaned forward, looming over me, eyes intent.  “Answer me this.  If a woman was purified, under the belief that We wished it, is it correct for her to go to my cutting Wife, and the Haians, to change that? Should she seek to feel pleasure where it had been declared anathema?”  

No comments:

Post a Comment