Eye

The Watcher


......Atop the very highest peak, he sat on his throne of stone. He was the wisest being that had ever been. He had been seated there since the beginning of time. He had never spoken.
......He simply watched.
......From his lofty perch, he could survey the whole world. He had seen its birth. In the beginning, there had been darkness and nothingness. Then had come mighty explosions and searing flames and terrible storm. It was an awesome conflagration; it ripped and tore and shaped and moulded. It lasted many centuries. Throughout it all, he watched. He said nothing.
......In the fullness of time came a day when the explosions quieted, the flames died and the storm subsided. Then came an aeon-long period of stillness and silence. Nothing moved; there was nothing to move. Nothing made a sound; there was nothing to make a sound.
......He watched. He said nothing.
......Then came rain: a great and mighty deluge. It flooded the world and made it clean and poured down for many decades. The rains ceased; the waters settled and sank into the earth. Streams were born and rivers, then seas and oceans.
......He watched. He said nothing.
......Much time passed and the land turned green. Vast forests grew and great outstretching verdant plains. More time passed and the seas began to bubble with life. Millennia went by and tiny unformed creatures crawled from the deeps onto the land.
......He watched. He said nothing.
......Of these creatures from the seas, many perished. A few, very few, survived and prospered and grew. In the vast span of time that followed, the creatures changed and evolved and diversified. Some remained tiny and buried themselves in the ground or impregnated themselves into the bodies of much larger creatures, or hid themselves away where they could not be seen. Others grew large and kept on growing larger until they stamped across the land and ruled the world. Their reign endured for a great length of time and smaller creatures hid from them and lived in terror of them.
......Eventually these monstrous creatures grew too big and passed away from the world and their rule was ended. The lesser creatures could now thrive and develop without fear. An enormous variety of beings were created from them and they expanded to occupy every quarter of the world and the sky above it.
......And of all these multitudinous creatures, one slowly developed and evolved to a greater degree than any other. A cunning creature that learned to stride the land on two legs. From the very beginning, it strove to command and dominate all around it. Even the giant beasts it had seen die out had been no match for its artfulness. Gradually, so very gradually, and very slyly, it grew - not in size but in cleverness. Until it too ruled the world.
......He watched. He said nothing.
......This creature formed family groups, then communities. The communities split into tribes and spread out over the land. Wherever a tribe settled it decimated all around it and eradicated other life forms, for it was a greedy and acquisitive creature and sought to own everything. One tribe would become jealous of the next and would battle with it, seeking to own what it owned. A tribe would rise in supremacy, destroying all before it, only to be defeated in its turn by another, stronger tribe.
......So it went.
......The tribes conquered more and more territory and spread out into other lands and became races. The races became diverse from one another in colour and creed and belief; yet, one thing they all shared: the all-consuming desire to own everything and be the most powerful. Destruction followed wherever they went, and all other living things fell before them.
......In time, the races occupied all the lands. But this was not enough. The creature's greed grew. Great wars were waged. Race fought race, in avaricious lust to overrun and acquire the other's domain. Many succeeded; many more failed and fell and were no more.
......So it went.
......He watched. He said nothing.
......From the beginning the creatures had been aware of his existence, had wondered why he sat on his stone throne on its high perch. Though he had never spoken, they knew he was the wisest being that had ever been. Some, a few, made the arduous and nigh-on impossible climb to his precipitous roost and worshipped at his feet. They brought gifts, made sacrifices to him, and begged him for more power. But he never spoke, he only watched, and they became disillusioned and went away. In time, the creatures forgot about him.
......He watched. He said nothing.
......Centuries passed. Wars raged. The creatures continued to develop and evolve. Their intelligence became incredible; their ingenuity knew no bounds. But their mighty intellect had only one purpose. All their effort went into the creation of ever more powerful weapons to aim at one another; and they used up all the resources of the world in their suicidal drive for destruction. The wars continued and became increasingly devastating. Soon out of all the multifarious races only two remained, each occupying one half of the world. And each wanted what the other had.
......He watched. He said nothing.
......There came a time when the two remaining races of the world had between them only one weapon each. The two weapons were very similar, for the races were sly and had stolen the secrets and knowledge of the other. Every atom of their art and craft and great mentality had gone into their development. There was no need for other weapons, for the one weapon of each race contained all the combined science of destruction they had ever learned. The weapons were awesome, they put them in enormous towering buildings, and the races worshipped them as they had long ago worshipped him.
......He watched. He said nothing.
......Stalemate ensued. Though each race still yearned for what the other had, they now possessed only the one weapon: a weapon so mighty to use it would be to destroy themselves as well as their adversary. They could only threaten each other with it. An uneasy peace resulted.
......But in the construction of the two mighty weapons, the entire remaining resources of the world had been completely consumed. Famine and poverty and pestilence came. The races began to die: vast numbers of them perished. Soon only a few of their teeming populations remained.
......He watched. He said nothing.
......The surviving members of each race, sickly pathetic creatures, gathered at the two towering buildings and prayed and wailed to the weapons that had by now become their only gods. They knew two things: that they would soon be no more, and that they possessed only one remaining item of value - their weapons.
......Even in the extremity of their suffering, even as they perished at the foot of each towering building, neither race could countenance the possibility, however slight, that though they may cease to be, yet the other might somehow still persist. In that dread event the surviving race would gain their land, their last meagre possessions and, direst of all, their precious weapon. It could not be. There was only one solution.
......He watched. He said nothing.
......Almost at one and the same time, the few surviving creatures of the two races passed through the great doors of their respective colossal buildings. Inside, for the two buildings were much the same, was a cavernous, echoing hall, in the centre of which, in a massive case made of the most precious metal, stood the weapon. At the base of the case was an altar of the same metal, and on the altar, a great button studded with the rarest gems.
......As one the final pitiful members of each race shambled and shuffled across the expanse of each great hall towards their weapon, gathered themselves around the altar and gazed up awe-struck and wondering at their creation. With one final supplication to the power that had cost them their world they laid their hands on the bejewelled button and - simultaneously - pressed.
......He watched. He said nothing.
......There came mighty explosions and searing flame and terrible storm. It was an awesome conflagration; it ripped and tore and shaped and moulded. It lasted many centuries.
......Atop the very highest peak, he sat on his throne of stone. He was the wisest being that had ever been. He had been seated there since the beginning of time. He had never spoken.
......He simply watched.

Copyright Scorpio Tales 1998. All rights reserved.


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