Abraham, Jezebel and Zedekiah both started addressing me, and the crew saw fit to not even speak to me, but took their gazes to the floor when they passed me. I was aware, as I sat convincing myself that the warm and foul breeze of the realm was refreshing, that Jezebel’s eyes were on me at all times, and she either looked at me as if seeing someone else but me, someone she knew, or she squinted them to a slice of obsidian judging me, making me feel see-through. Zedekiah was not so direct – he watched me out of the corner of his ever vigilant eye, measuring me in my new person.
And I, I stared at Luna above, a partial body from which I had taken some and then given much more. I asked her wordlessly why choose me. The adrenaline coursing through my body and the urgency to be efficient and to finish this ancient task consumed me. It had started so very long ago, and I could feel the enormous gravitas, the unshakable sensation of it. It excited me as much as it scared me, and I bit my tongue to speak out again, lest I challenge Jezebel’s scolding trait and remind everyone I was barely ready for what was soon to happen.
Almost by some mental coping mannerism I tried to return my thoughts to my previous self, to withdraw a sense of realism from a point there in the past, where I was Steve in my absolute, and when I knew little of this world; when I was just a man who, on a whim had taken a job on a ship with a sympathetic old man.
But I found nothing behind closed eyelids, no memory of Steve’s to return to other then a blurry, hectic set of death images that startled me and made me snap out of the slumber. I blinked once, twice, clearing away the disturbing imagery of my death, imprinted as if in my soul. Abraham’s soul was intact, I thought. There was a new me and he had a clean start – he had no past to haunt him, just a future to fulfil and a presence to prepare in. I carried his history, all the previous incarnations, and I could learn from them and their mistakes. Make none of mine, finish what was started. Save everything, save everyone.
A sudden hard grip on my neck took me further away from grim and heroic thoughts. Zedekiah loomed over my sat figure, a new cigar smoldering between his parched lips. His free hand itched at a spot on his chest, the same where Jezebel’s rebounding lightning had struck. The bold must have shook the old one, I thought. I felt sorry for him. My swollen hand fished in my pocket and my fingers instinctively found the coin there.