<FWG> "Soul and Fire" (Cannon Everett #5) (with text this time)

  • From: Jason Ziredac <ziredac@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: fwgalaxy@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 21 Feb 2009 14:26:18 -0800 (PST)




Soul and Fire

by Cannon Everett

 

“This is gonna sound pretty weird—”

 

“Weirder than my soul being that of a celestial being, that
which you must free from my body in order to maintain the fabric of the
universe? Mind if I sit down?”

 

“Uh…no, uh, no, it’s not weirder’n that. Do ya have any big
rocks?”

 

Randy dropped his forehead into his palm, observing quietly
from the far corner of the room on the rim of their host’s large marble
planter. At Cannon’s dogged request, he was handling the soul swap ritual by 
himself,
because the instructions were so simple that any idiot could do it. Any idiot
except for those in whatever strain of incompetence to which Cannon belonged.
Fortunately, no one in the universe had ever grown (or would ever grow) to find
themselves genetically sequestered in such a misfortune. 

 

The ritual was almost insidiously simple. Three large
stones must be placed in a triangle around the subject, the subject and the
speaker must hold a candle in their left hand, and the speaker must read the 
chant
verbatim. Since celestials didn’t have a language, per se (say), one could
perform this chant in any language applicable to their tongue, as the meanings
behind the words were what mattered on the ethereal level.

 

“Randy, do ya…” Cannon patted himself down. “Do ya… well
darn it, do ya hap’n ta know what Ah did with that piece a paper ya gave me?”

 

“Paper?” said Jaden Penrith, their host, whose fingers were
now streaked with his candle’s wax. “You use paper? I thought you were crazy
from the moment I met you—” 

 

“You can probably blow that out fer raht nah,” said Cannon.
“Sorry, Ah gotta go fahnd that chantin thang.”

 

Penrith followed Cannon out of his living room as he headed
for the outdoors, where the little white shuttle was parked. Randy, though 
Penrith
wouldn’t have known either way, didn’t go with them. He peeled the dried veins
of white wax from his knuckles, asking, “Now, Mr. Von Tenen, I just want to be
absolutely clear about this whole process. Will I—”

 

“Don’t ya worry there, Captain, ya won’t ferget a thang.
You’ll be you through an through, no dat abat it.” Nearly diving into the
shuttle, the sounds of overturned drawers and boxes clattered out the hatch. 

 

“So you’ve done this before, then? With other of these
Reva…Reva…?”

 

“Ah, uh, no.”

 

“‘No?!’”

 

“But it goes beyond mah reckonin, Captain. Ah’m told that
it’ll be jes fahne.”

 

“Oh, so now it’s a third party assuring—”

 

Emerging, a little corner of parchment clutched in his dirty
digits, Cannon walked toward Penrith until he was nearly toe-to-toe. He’d just
about had it with this guy, and he wished that swapping the Revorena’s soul for
a new one did change him; he just asked to many damn questions. “Look,”
he said, trying to remain positive. “Ah know—you’ve told me bat a
million tahmes, nah—that you’ve got yer exams and reviews fer becomin an
Admiral tomorrow. Nah trust me. Jes trust me that Ah’ll have you passin that
lahk you never knew a wrong answer in yer lahfe. An also, consider that if this
ritual does have an effect on ya, you’ll either be fahne, or ya won’t
remember that ya have ta take the exams and stuff, and you’ll be nahce and
stress free. Ta me, it’s a win-win.”

 

“Okay, okay, fine,” said Penrith. “Well, if you want your
big rocks, take them from my yard here. Shake all the dirt off of them too. I
don’t want mud on my carpet.”

 

Penrith went back inside, leaving Cannon under the stars on
the planet of Ekam VI, a planet that fell en route to Starbase 47. The path, as
Randy proclaimed, continued on in Starbase 47’s direction, and probably to the
Starbase itself, as nothing else was in that specific sector. This had just
been a fortunate coincidence. A vast and powerful villain, who some know as
Time, had placed Penrith in their path to the Starbase, for reasons unknown.

 

“Welp,” said Cannon as he picked three rocks the size of his
head, “Ah’m not killin im, so Ah guess that’s a start.” He erected himself,
cradling the three rocks and his candle and his paper, and he took a second to
look skyward, trying to see if he could see some kind of path, seeing as
how he was the only person in the universe who could free the Revorena. Nothing
came but the twinkle of stars and satellites. “Maybe Randy can show me,” he
sighed. “Ah can’t see a thang.”

 

He went inside, where the entire night was devoted to what
would have been a three minute ritual. Jaden Penrith was a vessel for a
Revorena that was eventually released to Eternity, and when Penrith opened his
eyes with a new soul, he did indeed remember exactly who he was. To him—and to
Cannon—he suffered no change whatsoever, including his annoyed rush to get
Cannon and his “invisible friend” out of his house. 

 

“Okey doke,” said Cannon, tripping on the threshold. “Have a
good naht, Admiral Penrith!” This potential congratulatory compliment
was overlooked by its disgruntled recipient, answered instead by a shut and
locked door. “Well e wasn’t too happy bout that. Thought e’d be nahce an happy
ta be rid a that Revorena’s soul.”

 

“He doesn’t know the difference,” said Randy.

 

“How come?”

 

“Because memories aren’t linked to a soul. That’s how
reincarnation can work without memories of a past life.”

 

“How come?”

 

“Memories are products of the brain itself, not the life
energy that makes the brain work.”

 

“How come?”

 

“Get in the shuttle, Cannon, and fly. Never ever talk.”

 

==




      

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