Tuesday, June 10, 2014

From one face to another...

There are some things that just hit you like a ton of bricks, especially in this age of war. People dying from all walks of life; some deserving and some not. No matter how many times it happens one sees it happen, it never seems to get easier to cope with. However, when somebody dies from my home-world, it's a different story entirely.

My race has the ability that some view as "coming back from the dead." There is some truth to this statement, but there are some subtleties that it fails to address. First, although we come back fully recovered, we look different, think differently, talk differently, and have quirks unique to that, "incarnation", I suppose it can be called. Each incarnation can live several centuries in ideal conditions, but I haven't been able to reach the multiple century mark yet with any one of my faces.

In the moments before I change, I see two other lives flash before my eyes. My first face was that of a young, black-haired gentleman who, from what I recall, was a bit of a thrill seeker and thought he was talented and indestructible. With 150 years of life, he had a right to brag, but only for so long. He died from from a severe spinal injury performing one of his many stunts.

My second face was a bald, middle-aged recluse of a man, perhaps due to the embarrassment of how he previously died. He all but hated interacting with others unless absolutely necessary. This man buried himself in his work and developed weapons for our planet's military forces. His philosophy dictated that he be detached from interaction and getting close to others so that he could justify his work and never feel guilty about what he built or caused. Eventually, the long days and nights caught up with him and he collapsed from exhaustion at the age of 97. Crotchety old fool had it coming.

I rather like the man I became after him. I am younger, but not as bold as my first life was, and surprisingly open-minded unlike my second life. I get the feeling that those people whom I did not know dying around me would have enjoyed spending time with this one. I didn't get the chance to meet too many new people outside of the military this time, but I seemed to get along with damn near everyone I did know. On the other hand, I have done some terrible things with this face. There are many things that I regret and question to myself, but that is not our way. Horrible things, for which I am dedicated to atone for. Despite that, I am still able to keep a smile on my face, though I'm not sure how.

As I lie on this not-so-hallowed ground, I wonder who I will be next. Young or old; brave or cowardly; thin or... not so much, perhaps... What kind of man will I become? All I really hope for when I die and come back is to come back as a good man.

I turn my head toward my hand as it begins to glow a brilliant gold. The time is almost here, and I must admit, I'm scared. These rebirths can go in a lot of different directions, and I just hope that I'm able to change for the better... maybe with fewer flaws... and the power to say "no."

Fate, please be kind to me...

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