Lucille sighed. She could understand why suddenly finding out that you’d lived before would be difficult, especially when the memory of every single one of them swamped you at the same time, but she couldn’t imagine wanting to forget them all. Of course having not been through something like that, as far as she knew, she had no idea how she’d react if it did happen to her, and yet she hoped that she would be able to cope with them well enough to be able to keep them. To find out that you had lived on other worlds, on worlds that your race had destroyed, would be fascinating and terrifying all at the same time, because you would know everything that they had forgotten. She bit her lip. Finding someone who knew more about the fae was something she wanted to do – writing the true history of them, for the other races, seemed just as important as writing books about the Web.
“A life isn’t long enough,” she said, sighing. “Not to be able to do everything I want to do and walk the worlds.”
Meriwether smiled. “No, it never is. Even when I was fae and lived for six hundred years a life wasn’t long enough, because there was so much that I wanted to do, especially once the worlds had all been created. I wanted to visit them all, I wanted to remain a part of the Council so that I could keep working on the fae in the hope that they might open their minds and accept making the Web had been our best option, I wanted to get handfasted to a woman that I loved and have children… Had I known then what I know now a single life still wouldn’t have been long enough, but I might have made the decision to live another fae life instead of moving on, which would have led to another and then another.” He rubbed his antler. “That would have been a mistake, so I’m glad I didn’t know, because there was no way of changing the fae. Not when they wouldn’t accept that they needed to change. All I’d have been doing was wasting my time.”
“Why, when you realised that you were going to live multiple lives, did you not chose to live your third life as one of the fae?”
“It was during my second life, when I spent time with a couple of other reincarnated fae, that I came to the conclusion that the best thing I could do with my time was learn, in the hope that I could teach others in the future. I think part of me did want it to be the fae that I taught, and I might still have a chance to do that, but since then I’ve realised it’s not so much the fae I need to worry about, not while they’re in the settlements, it’s the other races. Even though most of them know about the other worlds and have places for those who have been displaced to live, they don’t understand each other. The displaced don’t have the ability to teach the race they’ve found themselves living with about who they are and where they’ve come from, while the race they live with don’t feel comfortable asking questions of someone who doesn’t seem willing to talk about their life before.” Meriwether shrugged. “When I live a new life I do my best to teach the people that I live with about the other races, although there have been times when I wasn’t needed, and it does seem to help – I just wish I knew more about the races as they are now, because a lot of what I know is from hundreds of years ago. I think the most important thing you can with your single lifetime, Lucille, is to learn as much as you can, to pass on what you’re learnt the way you have been doing here, and being there when the change that is coming happens, because, if Quiar is right, things are going to change a lot when the wards fall apart.”
That was something Lucille was going to have to talk to her grandmother about, and maybe Kester, when she had a chance, because she was certain that both of them already knew what was coming. If Quiar thought it was something she needed to know about then she was going to do everything she could to prepare for whatever might happen. Having to deal with the fae, face to face, during a time of crisis for them, wasn’t going to be an easy job, one that she didn’t think would be hers. She believed that her place would be within the Web, doing her best to prepare her races for what was coming, while other Moonjumpers did the hardest part. At least that was what she hoped, because she didn’t want to have to deal with the fae.
“How many people do you think are going to know about the wards?” Lucille asked.
“At least a hundred, but the exact number depends on how like Riordan Kester is. Our greatest fear was always the fae, because we knew them, and we didn’t want them to know that we were planning against them. The way we made certain that no one could find out exactly how many of us there were was for each of the, I think, ten people that Riordan trusted enough to work with – including me – was for each of us to have ten people that we worked with, and then each of those ten had another ten. I didn’t know who my trusted people worked with any more than Riordan knew who I worked with, in case the fae decided to question one of us. That meant only ten others would be in any danger if the fae worked out what we were going and managed to question someone.
“It’s strange to think how little things have changed.” Meriwether sighed. “Sadly it’s not a surprise, because, like I said before, the fae weren’t going to change unless they wanted to, and it seems like they never have. I know there are the few who walk away, the same way there was when I was young and chose to walk away myself, but as a race we always were best at clinging to the past. They don’t care that we never knew the truth, that there were worlds before Kalinia and there might have been a world after Athare if we hadn’t made the Web, that it’s their selfishness that meant we had to create the Web in the first place, and that, thanks to their fear of change, they have no place here, once the wards fail. Nothing that we did or said could have convinced those who walked away that they needed to make their new world their home.”
“Maybe it was for the best, Merry, because we both know what happened to one Quiar where the fae chose to take control of the Web, where they chose to make it what they wanted it to be instead of accepting it as it was. With them in the settlements they have much less control over us than they would have done, even though they still have more than I’m happy about, and when those wards fail the fae are going to be much harder to deal with.” Lucille didn’t want to think too much about what might happen, but she couldn’t help it and when she did her mind came up with all sorts of awful scenarios. “Quiar said it’s something I needed to know about, as she believes that the wards will fail in my lifetime, but there is a chance that she’s wrong and that means I need to focus on the present rather than what might happen in the future, because we have more than enough to deal with right now.”
“Until the counterfeiters come out of hiding there’s nothing we can do and with everything that’s happened I can’t help thinking that they’ll be staying hidden for some time yet.”
“Right now I’m hoping that they don’t. As much as I love being here I hate not being able to do anything, especially as people are getting hurt because of what we’ve already done, and if something doesn’t happen soon there’s a chance I might be given a different assignment. The Council believe me when I tell them how bad things are here, that there’s a chance the counterfeiters might try to get their charms through one of the natural doors, but as I haven’t been able to give them any updates, apart from to tell them that the counterfeiters only come out of hiding to hurt someone else, they’re beginning to think it’s too dangerous here for one of their Moonjumpers, especially me. At the moment I’m one of only three Moonjumpers who can travel to any world and one of those isn’t even doing her job.” Lucille shook her head. “They think it’s more important for me to be travelling to other words, to find the worlds that I’m going to chose, because they aren’t ready to accept that Quiar is going to be one of them.”
Mirrored from K. A. Webb Writing.