X - Unexpected Complications

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Three thousand, eight hundred and fifty-two years later

Of all the misfortunes, the idiot humans name the planet after me.

I swear I was and am telling the truth when I say I don't want some kind of cultish following or slavish religion— yet, despite my best-laid plans, I got one anyway. Turns out stepping in "just occasionally" to help mortals from time to time makes you conspicuous.

Like most things in my long, extended, never-ending life I've learned to deal with this wrinkle, but it gives me no joy.

And ok, they didn't name the planet "Eris" outright. They named it Ceris which has Eris in it but also has the clicky-clacky, flamboyant nature of the word cerishus which is their word for fire.

So, what have I been doing for nearly four thousand years, you ask? I've been drowsily watching the humans grow and develop into proper little creatures with complex city-states and prospering trade routes. Turns out, if you keep violence and wear off of a planet it does pretty well for itself. Who would have guessed?

Me. I guessed. What a shocker.

The cities that pop up across the globe are complete with their own cultures, customs, and curated fashions. The one closest to my "temple" is Aundas, a Greco-Roman type metropolis of sprawling, white marble behemoths and narrow, twisting streets of clay dust. Chariots race through the streets and elected, berobed rulers — men and women, I might add — sit on a governing senate.

I know what you're thinking and no, I didn't influence any of the design with my homesickness for the heyday of Greek excellence. Turns out humans just have limited creativity for what grandeur and government should look like. 

Who am I to interfere and give them visions of something even I can't imagine?

Periodically, I disguise myself as a human and infiltrate the temple dedicated to my name — but only to ensure that no funny business is going on. I stop the priestesses before they get out of hand, curbing appetites for the collection of tithes, the promise of exaltation or judgment, the whispering of supposed miracles. It keeps me busy. Gives me something to do while I wait for the stupid prophecy to kick in.

The heavy ring of gold hangs in my ankle like a dead, cold weight, rooting me to the ground. I'm not sure if it's supposed to do something or if I am. We exist in an odd stasis of mutual anticipation. It's very likely that I have misinterpreted the symbolic nature of the adornment. I think about that on nights when I can't sleep, staring up into the night sky and searching for some kind of clue, tasting the air for some hint about what awaits me on my namesake planet. I extend my nearly-all-knowing senses across the cool-blue breeze and the confetti of shooting stars. Nothing answers.

The only time I feel a lazy quiver from the hoop is when an occasional, enigmatic, would-be conqueror gets it into their head that they will unite the city-states under a central empire. These aspiring youngins plan in darkness and secret, using hushed whispers to fine-tune their ambitions. Hushed, whispered secrets spoken in covert meetings waft across me on the wind and make me smile. From every corner, greed and want and ambition simmer in mortal masters.

The sweet, undaunted ambition of mankind is one of my favorite things about humans.

Because War remains unbound, the humans cannot use it as a tool to better their position. The only tools would-be Napoleons have at their disposal are boring, bureaucratic: a singular tax system, a universal language, the consolidation and assimilation of cultures. Their hopes and dreams rarely come to fruition because without bloodshed there is little intimidation and a near universal lack of coercion. That, and so far, all the vainglorious masterminds are lazy and lethargic; happy to settle for whatever gold and coin they can collect in simple campaigns outside their own borders.

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