Under A Brutal Mortal Sun

Under A Brutal Mortal Sun

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The warrior unknown moves across the desert in search of his ultimate destination. He realizes that his role in preserving the link between aeons involves facing his greatest enemy. He tells the story of history and moves through it in order to overcome the threat that faces him. "Xerxes' days under the sun are numbered high and few, for immortality has its own reckoning. That is how he frames his gilded existence. He cannot fathom how an empire can be doomed by an eclipse, how broad expanses can suddenly be beyond the yoke of his sleepless enterprise. The future recedes from him now, away from his burnished throne of gold, away from the myriad soldiers in their glimmering multitudes, away from his self-perceived globe-thick, glacier-rimmed empire. The macabre rivers flowing inside his heart recede into a dark cave. Ambition leaves him. He lays broken under an unknown sun. But he knows it now. The lustrous passageway of the Hellespont becomes like water slipping through his bejeweled fingers. It becomes as ever-elusive and ever-drifting as time itself, far beyond his self-embroidered reach. The sea has always been a god in his eyes. I am here to hear him tell his life's tale in waves of words unmoving, words that break instantly upon shores steadily advancing toward nowhere. Shores moving beyond his now-severely flawed reach. The tide of history has brought me here to witness the Persian king's demise. I have seen history rise to glorious heights. I have seen the core of its loftiest heights and coarsest depths, and more importantly the neverending swirl of that nexus. Artabanus, the senior official of Xerxes' royal bodyguards, stabbed him fatally. Now, Xerxes lays here, in history's obscure corners, waiting for me to write down his last thoughts. He remains oblivious to the fact that he is telling his story to someone who is in fact his greatest enemy. But his eyes reach me with eagerness, evincing his ardent need to tell his story. He was in his bed chamber when a knife plunged into him. His vitality dwindled, an empire shrinking second by second. Only his story remained. And only I, his greatest enemy, could tell it."
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