Alexandros: Ch. 36byJoeBarnosky©
Alexandros Manuscript Page 130
I spent the day with Rashida showing me much of the city. The art and statues throughout city and incorporated with the buildings were amazing. I often found myself study the architecture and building layouts for defensive positions. Rashida took notice and on several accounts chided me for it. During our time the people recognizing Rashida as their princess were quick to make way for us. Almost all bowed as we pass and I could see a discomfort in her. I wondered why this was but it would be something I would have to ask at another time.
After our tour of the city we settled in a park, one of many, and ate. Rashida had prepared what amounted to a feast. Afterward with our bellies full we laid back to relax and I had a great deals of questions I prepared for her during our tour.
"So tell me," I said breaking the silence, "why have you been waiting?"
She took a moment as if to collect her thoughts to present me with the best answer. After awhile she seemed to give up on the idea and just gave me the first answer that came to mind.
"It's strange but after seeing you and knowing about you, I feel a pull in your direction. It's as if we are meant for each other."
"So you have dreamt of me too?" She seemed to be confused by my question so I elaborated. "You said you saw me, but you said Madu had dream visions of me. Did you have them also?"
"No I have never had one like Madu. One of Madu's gifts is the ability to share his dream visions with others. He simply did so with me."
"Sis!" I heard yelled out cutting me off abruptly.
"Ako!" Rashida yelled back as she jumps up from the grass.
I looked in the direction of the yell and saw a tall and almost lanky boy running in our direction. I was about to ask who it is when Rashida explained. "This is my brother Ako," she said to me. "Ako this is Alexandros."
Surprise formed on his face. "The Alexandros?" he asked unbelieving.
Rashida giggled. "Yes, it is the one and only."
"It's a pleasure to meet you," he said with excitement and gripping my arm in greeting.
"The pleasure is mine," I said in response. "Now what can we help you with?"
"Oh, I almost forgot. Madu would like to speak with you. He has met with father, but he would like to speak with you in the morning."
"Then we shall not keep him waiting," I said urging him on. I looked back to Rashida and she gave me a smile.
Ako led us back to the palace courtyard but instead of going straight into the palace we wrapped around to a highly ordained building detached from the palace. "I've found them," Ako announced throwing open the doors.
Inside I recognized Madu right away. Only this time he traded in his cloak for a beautifully colored robe. "Please come in and take a seat," he said spreading his arms out wide to a set of chairs. Silently each of us took a seat; Rashida to my left and Ako, my right. Madu waited until we were settled in before he spoke. "I am glad you survived your battle with Julunggul as I knew you would. I will guess that you acquired Gaijin?"
"Yes and it is a rather interesting weapon," I admitted.
"That it is. You may interpret as a whisper or memory the sword speaking to you, this is normal as the sword's creator became one with it."
"I don't understand," I said. "How is something like that possible?"
"Many things are possible and many things unexplainable. Take the necklace Rashida wears," he said pointing to her neck. Rashida responded by unconsciously touching it. "The Valkyrie's Tear. How it was made has been lost with time, but its use is greater than anything man could create."
"What does it do?" I ask.
"He won't devolve that information to anyone," Rashida answered quickly.
Madu laughed. "Come now child, what it does is only important when the time comes to need it."
"And that's just the problem," Rashida bit back. "What use is it if I don't know what it does to use it?"
"And if I told you, then you would just act foolishly and waste its purpose. Young ones and their thirst for knowledge," he said shaking his head.
I wanted to agree since as a Spartan we learned to let go of childish things, but the last thing I wanted to do was make any hostility with Rashida. So I stayed quiet.
"I summoned you here," he began changing the subject, "to prepare you for the coming battle. I will not be here for too long after the battle begins."
"What do you mean?" Rashida blurted. I could hear disbelief lining her voice when she asked the question.
"I have foreseen it happen just as I have foreseen Alexandros coming here to aid us in our time of need. Do not fret my child for you will be victorious and will carry on my knowledge that I have imparted to you."
Rashida fought for something to say that would change the events that were supposed to happen. I dealt with seers before and I am always left with more questions than I am answers. The future seen could be the future and we can't do anything about it or we can but we do not know what choices to make to change it. And being we don't know what the right choice is, do we ever change it?
I have pondered these questions for some time and I have yet to find the answers. I begin to wonder if it is the same with Madu and that is why he is so certain of his future or does he know something I do not? Regardless, I offer words of argument more for Rashida's sake than my own.
"The future cannot be judged by a vision," I began choosing my next words carefully. "What if we can do something differently to make it change?"
Both Rashida and Madu looked at me as if this was a subject that I shouldn't be familiar with. It was Madu that spoke in response to my question.
"I forgot the Greeks have seers," he said with a chuckle, "and I honestly didn't think you would be one for philosophizing about such a thing."
"I am full of surprises," I told him.
"Yes, yes you are. But to answer your question would probably take quite awhile to explain the reasoning behind it. Instead I will give you a simple answer. To the both of you," he said looking to Rashida to include her.
I looked over at Ako who just stood off to the side tinkering with miscellaneous instruments spread out on a table. He looked solemn and not trying to hear what Madu was saying. I had the impression he cared for Madu as much as Rashida did.
"I have known of your coming for a many years and each vision I have seen has come about the same. At anytime you could have done something different but fate has not allowed it. So no matter my choices, my future has been determined, but that doesn't mean I cannot tempt fate."
"So you are not just giving in?" Rashida asked.
"I just said there is nothing I can do about my fate didn't I? When the time comes you will all know what I speak of, but let us not dwell on the future for it hasn't come yet and the past is behind us, so let us worry about now."
"Since you have seen the future then tell us how to win against the demons." Rashida insisted.
"I cannot do that my child. I wouldn't want you to do something different that may change things."
"But you just said—"
"I understand what he means," I interrupted. "Besides I have a feeling no matter how much you push he is not going to break down and tell us."
"He is right my child."
"Well I am glad everyone here understands what is going on," she said in defeat throwing her hands into the air.
"I don't fully understand," Ako added cheerfully.
"Thanks Ako," Rashida said reaching over and ruffled his hair.