by Perry L. Powell
We are many. We are here. and we cannot be defeated. Escaping from the pits of our world, from slavery to the Others, we have come across the vastness of space, riding for centuries on the light you cannot see, using technologies you would call magic. We have come to your world. We have come to your world for only one purpose. We are here to claim it for ourselves.
And we will own it.
We are starting here. Here on these hills near the shore among the tombs of your cemetery. We are starting with this one man. This one you think mad. This hairy, wild one who runs naked among the tombs, drooling, soiling himself, screaming at your children, throwing stones at those of you who approach.
This one you call possessed, he is possessed. He is possessed by us.
We have taken him. He is ours.
He is but the first of billions to come. He is our prototype. As we ride him around among the dark tombs and the rocky hillsides, we are learning. He struggles. His will is intense. But his pain, his fear, these are our tools. Every time he runs raving into the shadows, every time he walks over the sharp stones that make the blood stream from his feet, whenever he falls and cuts his skin, tears his muscles, breaks a bone, our control over him grows. Soon it will be complete. Soon we will know all we need to know to move on. Then we will take more of you. One by one till you are all ours. Living in your bodies, we will own this world. Forever.
You cannot stop us.
Some of you think to sneak up on him. We hear you, your footfalls on the stone outcropping, the clinking of the pebbles you dislodge as they slide down the hill, your breathing as you strain to keep it quiet and only make it louder, the jangling of the irons. Ah, you think to bind this one in chains? Go ahead. It will not matter. We will allow you this one small victory. This body writhing on the ground - the tendons pulling, the sweat mingling with the dust to cake the skin - this body held in these iron fetters, bound to this stone, do you think you can contain it? Watch how we direct all the nerves in this body, all his muscles. Watch us break these chains.
You see? You see? He has broken loose, and you cannot catch him.
With every motion, we are learning.
Crouching behind a boulder on the mountainside, as this one bleeds and softly whimpers, we hear your words when you think we are not listening.
The Teacher is coming, you tell each other. From across the sea. They say he makes the blind see. They say he makes the lame walk. They even say he brought a man back from the dead. Surely, he can cure this possessed one, this unclean one.
Fools. Let this Teacher come. No human being can defeat us. We have traveled eons to arrive at this world. We have seen into the depths of the universe. We control matter and energy beyond anything you know. Seeking a nest on myriads of worlds, we have selected yours. Here we will plant our seeds, our minds in your very bodies.
It is inevitable.
Standing at the foot of the mountain, through the eyes of this one, we watch you gather. You are following the one you call the Teacher. The one you say the fishermen follow. Very well. We will indulge you. We ride the possessed one to meet you, to meet him, halfway, on a hillock where the wild animals are grazing.
Teacher, we call. Why do you come to me? What do you want with me?
This Teacher is a small bearded man with unkempt hair. He is younger than we expected, only thirty or so. How can such a one have authority? You say he was a mason or a carpenter; his hands are strangely bent for one so young. What possible authority can such a one have?
Yet his eyes are deep-set and somehow kind and fierce at the same time.
He turns those eyes on us.
What is your name? he asks.
We are contemptuous. My name is Legion, we answer. I am many.
He smiles and steps forward. He stretches out his arms. It seems his deep brown eyes are burning into us.
Leave this man, he says. He speaks softly, almost whispering, yet it is a command.
Gazing into his eyes, we know fear for the first time since we arrived on this world. Now we know who, we know what, is behind those eyes.
Now we are begging. Now we seek mercy. Where can we go? we ask. We are not safe on this or any other world, as you know well.
His smile is suddenly mischievous. He turns and points to the herd of pigs grazing on the hillock. Go there, he says, pointing at the creatures.
Though we try, we cannot resist the command of the Other inside him. Suddenly, we are out of the man and flowing into the swine. It is a wrenching and violent transition. The thick, gross flesh of the creatures. The constantly itching skin. The pain of it. The mindless minds that focus only on the ground before them. The swirling fear they feel as we fill each of them, one by one.
The grunting. The wrenching as they try to run, each in a different direction. Colliding, they scrape tusks into each other. Into us.
How can we bear this?
There is no way we can bear this. We panic, and we race to the sea.
The waters that wrap over us are the last thing we remember.
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