hile Lina was busy gnawing on roast leg of animals
as of yet unidentified, Gourry was busy studying the room.
He didn't have a keen analytical mind, but he did
know what a proper celebration was like. His family tended to party
at the drop of a hat. New baby in the family? Barbecue.
Someone died? Pork chops. Little Billy lost his first tooth?
Steak night. And while there was plenty of meat on the table, there
was an important element missing.
"Nobody here is having any fun," Gourry said.
Lina, who was busy filling her stomach, paused between
bites to talk. "What (munch) makes (gumph) you (mmm!) say (chomp)
that (gnaw) Gourry?"
"Well.. look at them," Gourry said, gesturing.
The chimeras were busy partying down. Apparently,
Chi'Leas had set up a welcoming committee, of a number of stone faced folks
-- in that they didn't express much elation at the wondrous coming of the
Knight of Chaos. There were banners reading WELCOME and some folks
were setting off firecrackers and party streamers were in abundance...
and yes, a few smiles... but they didn't feel right.
"Okay, so they're not the most exciting folks in
the world," Lina shrugged, setting a chicken (hopefully) bone down.
"What's the problem?"
Gourry leaned over in his chair, and tapped the
chimera sitting next to him. "Excuse me, why are you throwing this
"To celebrate the Knight of Chaos coming to help
us," the man said simply.
"How do you feel about it?"
"Good," he said, in the same tone one would say
The chimera seemed confused. "I'm supposed
to be happy about it, right? I am happy."
Lina paused before she began on the next chicken
"I think I see what you mean," she said. "What
"What do you mean, copies?" Zelgadis asked, alarmed.
"Copies to avoid our end," Chi'Leas sighed.
"It's our greatest sin against Chaos. To avoid the random end of
a mortal person, we've been re-using the stone of dead chimeras in rituals
to resurrect them, again and again. Slowly losing something in the
process... I have been recreated sixteen times so far. Chi'Leas,
the elder, again and again, through time to fill his function..."
Zelgadis didn't follow. "Why are you telling
"Everything changes," Chi'Leas said. "We've
lost our humanity. Don't you understand what that means, Zelgadis?
I can see it in your eyes. You are human."
"Are you going blind, old man? I'm a chimera--"
"Humanity isn't just a species, it's a frame of
mind," Chi'Leas said. "We've lost ours. We're beings of order
now, going through the paces of our lives, emotions slowly bled out of
us with each resurrection. But what could we do? We can't reproduce
naturally to keep us going, not being such a wide variety of chimeric lifeforms."
"Ridiculous. Your daughter, Chi'Nai--"
"My daughter, she... my daughter is gone.
Her smile, her laugh, her personality... all drained over the years, and
she didn't even notice. I'm the only one alive who knows what our
way of life will lead to. I do the ceremonies that keep us going.
There is no spark of humanity left in us, just a dry shell, repeating forever
in perfect order, in perfect isolation Below. You saw those statues
on the way in? Chimera who realized what was happening to them, and
wanted nothing more to do with it. All that's left is the stone.
I've kept on. I held my emotions, no matter how wild and unpredictable
they could be... so I could REMEMBER all this. And wait."
Zelgadis sat in stunned amazement. The giddily
happy old guy, now leaning heavily on the railing of his balcony, a great
weight on his shoulders... and dumping it onto Zelgadis's in return.
"What are you waiting for?" Zel asked, hesitant
to speak. "It's Lina, isn't it?"
Chi'Leas shook his head. "Lina is Chaos embodied,
and she will hopefully save us all. But... you. I was actually
waiting for you. I saw you, in my dreams, several weeks ago."
Zelgadis's weird meter started ringing like a hotwired
alarm bell. He briefly considered running.
The elder walked over to his easel. "I saw
you in a cave. And I saw this." He pulled the cover off his
...kneeling before a chained goddess; a woman who,
despite being bound to her altar, was blessing them. Then they'd
walk off beyond the altar, and be transformed from chimera to human...
The vision vanished, replaced by the more simplistic
painting. Zel stepped forward, ignoring his weirdness meter, and
"The colors are wrong," he said. "The altar
isn't gold, it's silver. Plus, the hair on the figure there should
be yellow, not gray. It's reversed, gold to silver, silver to gold."
"But is the rest right? Did I see what I thought
I saw?" Chi'Leas asked. "The chimera being restored to humanity?"
"That's what I saw," Zel agreed. A pang of
reason hit him. "But how did you see what I saw?"
"The winds of chaos blow in strange ways," Chi'Leas
said reverently. "Perhaps I'm one of the only ones among us who truly
believe in our Lord, despite my sins. The rest just go through the
motions, as they would anything else in the day. But I can feel when
my mind goes, starting to break down and lose its emotions... do you know
how hard it is, me speaking to you like this, trying to form every word
and not fly off on a tangent?"
"Then WHY are you doing this??" Zelgadis asked,
"You can help," Chi'Leas said, grasping at Zel's
shoulder, leaning; he was getting tired from the effort. "We're not
gone, not dead. I can feel it somewhere inside me. We need
to be awakened, restored from our prisons of stone. There is power
in your journey, power to be harnessed once it's understood, and you can
understand it. You've seen visions from the Lake of Reflections,
haven't you? None of us can see those things! Not anymore.
You're only a chimera on your skin, Zelgadis, no matter what you think.
Skin means nothing! You're just the right person with the right qualities
at the right time. You ARE a human, and you can help us!"
Zelgadis supported the man, who now was near collapse.
The younger man's eyes were wide with terrified delight. "What..
what can I do about this? Lina's the Knight, not me! The one
who's probably center of more prophecies than I can count on three hands!"
"Help her," Chi'Leas begged. "Help her understand,
understand what she has to do..."
"I don't know what she has to do. I didn't
even know she was this Knight thing until a day ago!"
Something changed in Chi'Leas's eyes. He shifted,
away from his focused concentration, back to the shaky emotional ground
he addressed Lina through. This relaxed him tremendously, more stable,
while not stable at all.
"I think.. I need a nap," he said. "Yes yes,
a nap would be good. Rest is just the ticket for a solid day's work,
after all. Isn't that right, boy? Right, that's right."
"Hey, don't flip out on me here!" Zelgadis ordered.
"What do you want me to do? Simple words only!"
"Do? Do, do, mmm... why don't you be a nice
lad, and take my daughter down to the reflecting pool?" Chi'Leas suggested.
"Very relaxing place, very nice. She'd like that. She's so
sullen lately, not like when she was young... I'll go rest, rest is good..."
He elder looked at his blue sky and balcony, before
shuffling to the door.
"I'm a silly old man with silly chimera wishes,
you know, lad," he said. "About as crazy as a blue sky underneath
the ground. But who knows? If a nice sunny day in this place
is possible, what other things could be possible?"
Story copyright 1998 Stefan Gagne, characters copyright H. Kanzaka
/ R. Araizumi.
A Spoof Chase Production.
Damn, I'm proud of this page.