Life was always full of ‘Maybes’ and ‘Soon’s’. It was never a ‘Definitely’, nor would it have been an ‘Affirmative’. Because if life were like that, it would be too easy. At least, that’s what the mage had thought for years on end. That if he were to get an answer from someone, it would never be the easiest one. It would always cut corners, or open multiple new roads with dead ends. The rarest occasion was when someone would say ‘Yes’, and some slivers of hope would shine through. Only to die later when rejection followed in suit.
Sometimes, the mage found himself traveling down the dead ended roads, even if he knew that nothing will come of it. Some of those roads ended quickly without a doubt, like the time he was told an alternative to his treatment wouldn’t fix him. Others opened up even more roads, like the time he was told that a treatment for his issue even existed. And even with the times that light made itself known, it never crossed into the boundary of the shadows.
Other times, when the roads were never forged, he was at a loss of idea. He would wander around his home aimlessly, pacing the floors trying to find that ‘feeling’. That feeling of uncertainty, the one that left your stomach in knots until the correct answer would come forth. However, he could never seem to find it. His train of thought would constantly derail from the tracks, screeching off into an oblivion he would descend violently.
He was wild in these moments, a person he never wanted to know. He would flourish into a fury that emanated a blaze, only fueled by the hellish inferno that was his lunacy. Clanks and clatters would liter the small space as tools fell from the work table. Papers would be tossed into the air, while books would be wiped away to leave the surface clean. Nothing but the clean slate of the ivory table remained, the items once cluttering the top completely disregarded and tossed to the ground. And it was only at this time that the mage finally began coming down from his rage. He would mellow out gradually over the hours, finding the need to participate in recreational activities such as drawing and reading. It was from these arduous hours of recovery that he began to ponder his choices in life. Most of these choices revolved around freedom, something he desperately chased after. Freedom would grant him the will to live without shame, fear, and disappointment. Freedom would allow him to choose who he were to become in life, and would allow him to write his own story for once. Freedom was the key to eternal happiness.
However, choices were limited.
There were only so many he could choose from, and none of the ideas had any particular value to him. He could rebel against the Leaders with fiery passion, yet that would only lead him to execution, something he’d rather stay away from. It was considered the worst punishment you could receive, and it was rare for one to even occur. Mostly due to the fear people held for the Leaders themselves, and it was this fear that held many back from trying to follow a different normal. It was fear that drove people along, never their ideas or their ambitions. That was why, when foreigners visited, the population mostly avoided all contact. They were afraid, useless, inconsequential. The same applied to those who, despite being some of the bravest citizens, found their necks barred below the glistening blade of the guillotine.
‘Stupidity leads to Bravery, and Bravery leads to Death.’ The wizard mused in their thoughts, chuckling to themselves as they continued to wonder.
There also happened to be the choice of leaving the planet entirely. However, not only did he not have the means to leave, but he would never be able to return if he were to get up and go.
Even if the wizard successfully left the confines of his planet home, he would be slaughtered within the moments of freedom he had. When a society held secrets that could change the world forever, it was only normal that the spread of information be prevented. If someone had to die because of it, so be it. Yet, even with this penalty being present, the Wizard still had the desire to escape.
Escaping would be easier if he could latch his hands onto one of the various warships the Leaders had invented, but the chances of ever being able to man one of them was increasingly low. That permission was only given to the most trustworthy of soldiers, and the wizard was neither a soldier nor trustworthy by any means. If anything, he’d be the last citizen the Leaders would ever choose to pilot one of the military ships, let alone ever be initiated into the Military.
Of course, there was the option of attempting to steal one. The Wizard wasn’t a stranger to theft, and in fact had gotten quite crafty at it. A lack of money and supplies can make you do things you never thought you would have. However, he only ever stole food, seeing as that was all he needed. Not to mention food, for the most part, was unguarded. There were no advanced security systems that would be able to identify who you actually were. There were no staff that kept keen eyes on the weapons bay, at all times.
There was no penalty that would guarantee a trip to the guillotine.
In truth, despite the will of freedom, the will of survival was stronger. That was what this society did to its inhabitants. They would instill fear to keep them quiet, and would get the citizens to depend on their ‘mercy.’
“As long as you live on this planet, with the life we willingly provide for you,” The wizard recited, his low voice ringing throughout the dump he called his own, slowly rising in severity. “Then you shall be free of harm, cleansed of danger, protected from the dangers the outside world is made of.” His tone only grew in anger as he gripped a stray glass, which once sat idly on a table. “Safe, my ass. A more ‘secure’ place would be miles away from this goddamned Hell!” The glass shattered against the wall adjacent to the wizard, leaving the wizard to his own heavy breathing. He only gazed to where the glass hit, counting every crooked shard that got stuck in the wall.
“If you’re even slightly bent out of shape,” He lightly gripped on of the shards with his thumb and forefinger, taking care as to not cut himself when he pulled it closer. “The people who guarantee ‘happiness and safety’ turn their backs, and make sure you live in absolute poverty.” He dropped the shard of glass to the ground, staring at how it shattered into smaller, more jagged bits. “They make SURE you know that you’re nothing but trash in their eyes.”