I miss Beorn. Last post I mentioned that he was my protector and best friend, but above all he was my 'brother'. Not real brother as we weren't related, but still my brother and the one person who knew and understood me best. I still can't really believe he's gone and that I'll never see him again.
It was partially my fault. If I said it was all my fault, it wouldn't be true, because it was also partially Beorn's fault, partially the patronising city mens' fault and partially the devil fishs' fault. Whoevers fault, Beorn is dead and he won't ever be coming back. No more arguments over who is the best. No more spit roast Beorn-style. No more Rockmen jokes. No more discussions and reminisces about the past. No more book-study sessions and no more weight lifting competitions. No more Beorn. Just like that.
People will never forget him. I made sure of that. When I buried him, I also recovered all the lost files of the Old and Second City and wrote a biography of his life. He had been born before me, so I don't know everything about him, but I knew what he'd told me and I uploaded it into the Old City files after I'd buried him near the cottage we'd grown up with Father, in a grave marked only by a wild dogrose bush. His favourite flowers. Not that I'd ever actually grown up, since I'd never been a child as such, just fully grown and immature and devoid of knowledge. Beorn, at least, had a childhood - one he seldom spoke of. As long as those files and I live on, the memory of Beorn will never die.
Beorn was born some 20 years before me and was born a eunuch for Father's own reasons. Apparently Rockmen had a very strong sexual drive and so Father had seen the need to ensure the other cityfolk would not see the need to eradicate him along with the rest of his fellow Rockmen. He grew up in the cottage on our hillside, Tobble's Hill, overlooking Adensa and the Old City, taught by our Father.
The cottage, home, for us was put nicely in the words of one of the early City Recorders of the Second City. In his words and using the Second City as your starting point, home was "past Mt Spire, west of Adensa, past Greymist Forest and halfway up Tobbles Hill, overlooking the city." Albeit, I will say that those directions may be kind of confusing if you don't know that Greymist Forest takes on a large C-shape. The ruins of the cottage are long gone and the site long overgrown with creeping plants and long grass. The descendants of the survivors of the Old City will look after that place or the closer of my friends among them will, knowing that the site is precious to me, although I've never told them the reason... well, not in spoken words anyway.
One of his strongest memories was my first awakening, which we both soon learnt was the day all the Rockmen were systematically hunted down and killed. Old and young, male and female. They were too much of a threat and trouble to the citizens of the Old City. It was genocide, really, but the City Council didn't see it that way. They saw it as getting rid of the problems caused by a failed experiment. Monty Clodigger should be glad he was already dead by that time or someone would have killed him all over again for causing the city so much trouble. The atrocities reported back and recorded in the city files do not make a good read. If you ever read them, you want to ensure you have a bucket nearby and a strong drink, just in case. The pictures are no better. In a large field in North-West Adensa, hidden among the foot hills of the Northern Mountains, evidence of a mass cremation can be found between the growing wire grass.
Together, ever since the devil fish got loose, we fought them together, seeking to destroy them before they destroyed every last vestige of life on the planet. The devil fish, you see, eat anything and everything... and when there's nothing else left to eat, they turn on each other. In their fully mature form, they can take on the illusory form - we're still not exactly sure what it is, but they can look exactly like something they'd eaten before. Although, of course, they would have had to have eaten the whole organism themselves, as well as any other fish or thing that had snatched a tidbit. In this way, it was easy for them to infiltrate the cities and settlements. That is until their aggressiveness, ferocity, fierce competitive spirit and compulsion to harm those around them gave them away. Their favourite saying was 'survival of the fittest'. Sound familiar? Eat or be eaten. That is their motto.
It had always required the two of us to subdue the devil fish and chase them back to their underground caves deep in the North-East Mountains. Beorn and I. Always the two of us. But then we'd argued about one of the most trivial things ever. Which of us was more important to be entered into the history books.
You see, Beorn has always been the one mentioned in all the history books and I was either never mentioned or relegated to the side-kick-with-no-name-arena. The few stories that ever mentioned me always coupled me with the victim getting saved or with children. Why were the City Recorders always such patronising men? I was just as important as Beorn, did just as much; I was the one who undertook the suicidal missions, but I was just not important enough to be mentioned. Why? Because I am a female. I couldn't die. Can't die. Beorn was the only one with the knowledge of how to deactivate and effectively kill me, because he was my guardian. Father had showed him how before my awakening, and as much as I wish I knew how to die, I have never found out. Beorn was very good at keeping secrets.
While we'd been arguing on top of The Cliff that reared over the Old City, a big storm had been brewing and we never heard the devil fish sneak up on us in the guise of our old acquaintances. They'd been aiming to knock us both off that cliff with the large boulder they'd bowled at us, but Beorn had pushed me out of the way at the last minute. It should have been the other way around, because I would have survived the fall. Beorn didn't. And I wasn't fast enough. Now he's dead and buried.
If only I had just let things be. We might have seen that boulder coming and killed those fish before they tried to play bowling on the cliff top. Time might be stopped, but it cannot be reversed, at least not so far as research tells us. But if time could be reversed and history changed... who knows. I might not even be here, the devil fish may never have been created or they may have already taken over the world.
A world comprised of only devil fish and me. The thought makes me shudder. Having spent months as their prisoner, I never want to see another one of those fish ever again... but having them would still be better than being all alone in the world with no one to talk to. Perhaps.