He stood there, motionless, staring into the abyss ahead.
Thousands of images flew before his empty, numb white eyes. He saw things and events as they happen, things that would happen, those that happened, those that will happen and the ones that will never happen. All at once. And he stood still. Numb.
He was surrounded by nothingness, blackness. All around him, there was nothing. Only he, a dim, hooded figure amongst the darkness, and the Abyss before him. The only sound were the voices coming out of the gloom vortex, muttering, almost a whisper.
He stood like that, observing, powerless to interfere, as he was watching empires crumble, dreams shatter and lives perish. But he showed no sign of weakness, of concern; his soul had been torn apart so many times he hardly paid attention to it any longer.
It used to be different. Back then, when he was still among the mortals. He had life. He had wife, kids, friends. Purpose. But no more. Now the only thing that reminded him of those glorious times were the long dark hair upon his shoulders and the darkblue cape, hooded over his forehead.
Now. A strange notion, believed in by humans. They use to say that there is no past and no future, only that “now” and that “now” is a gift, hence, “present”. Imbeciles. There is no “now”. There is no present, no future, no past. Time is not a straightforward idea, it isn’t a flat line. Time is a lot more sophisticated than anyone would imagine. It is more like a pile of latent events, each striving towards realization. And that inanimate urge to exist was the thing that perplexed and amazed him.
Human perception is, however, limited. People could not see Time as it is, and even if they did, they wouldn’t comprehend it. And even if they did understand any minuscule fraction of it, they wouldn’t live long enough to tell the tale. The Abyss wouldn’t let them. It had it’s ways of dealing with…intruders.
Observers, for example. The soulless, objective entities, burdened by the duty of constant watch over every single event. By definition, they were powerless to interfere on any matter, unless specifically instructed by the Abyss itself. It didn’t give direct orders, it didn’t do anything at all – the Observers had their minds linked with it and stepped in whenever it was required of them to do so. Getting rid of humans who went way too far was such an occasion.
He used to be like humans. Ignorant, blissful. He craved nothing, he had achieved happiness. Until that fateful day, when the Abyss came. There was a raid on his tiny village. Houses were burnt down, women and children were slaughtered and raped, men were enslaved or killed. He was among the prey that day, that same day when the Abyss came. It offered him the ultimate gift – life. Blinded by hope, he eagerly accepted. He didn’t imagine that this would be his life. More of a torture, a punishment, than actual life. A void, bottomless pit of events which he only looks at, never to take part in, never to “live” again. Only to observe, forever. He was now one of “them”. An Observer.
His white eyes were still numb, never blinking, always watching. But there was something different in them. A teardrop ran down his formless cheek. A glimpse of a vision flashed before his eyes and he saw it, he remembered. He couldn’t ignore his shattered soul any longer.
He closed his eyes, just for an instant.
Then, there was a crack of electric light.
He woke up, naked, on the soft grass of a peaceful meadow. His hair was now pale blue, but his eyes were still that cold, void white. He reached for his sides. The soft touch of facial hair caressed his rough fingers. He stood up, wondering. He looked around, and saw nothing but whiteness. He had spent so long gazing into the Abyss he couldn’t see anything that wasn’t being showed to him. He blinked rapidly a dozen times, trying to focus his sight. Images of reality began to emerge before his eyeballs and he could distinguish the trees, the sky, the grass. It was a moment of revelation, a moment of freedom. Then, almost suddenly, a question slashed his mind.