Imagine you were eight years old and someone told you that you were a murderer. They took you from your family, and left you standing, all alone, to watch your future unfold. That’s what was truly terrifying about looking into the deepest recesses of the Time Vortex. You saw all that would be, all you would ever be, unfold right before your very eyes. The elders were going to teach you how to use your ability to see. But first you had to see yourself.
You had been a small boy with bony, scraped knees from climbing trees. The highest limbs had cradled you, freedom so sweet you could almost touch the red sky, the sun hot on your closed eyelids. Standing there alone, in the ornate dark, you became an inevitable weapon.
The death of your childhood came not as a cold shudder, but as a sound: the constant rhythm of honourless death and destruction. The ruthless exacting quality of numbers; mapping out every betrayal, every inevitability. You had been chosen to betray every thing you loved, the tacit understanding of everything that ever lived. And you couldn’t even ask why.
I, of course, ran away. Knowing it was useless, knowing it was utterly laughable. I was determined to try anyway. All I hear in my head is silence, the knowledge that everything dies, everything ends. Some of us cling on a little longer, that’s all.
The punishment for being human is the not knowing. That’s what makes them so vulnerable, so stubborn, so gloriously stupid and marvellously clever in one go. My curse, our shared curse, is that I remember every single fucking thing I know.