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Cause [1.2.14]

The room was pure white. Not the white of snow, or of a cloudy sky, but the sheer pristine white of a sterile hospital. The white of emptiness. The mansion was pure white and it glowed with an almost ethereal power.

Inside one of the many rooms, two beings sat on opposite sides of a chessboard. Yellow eyes fixated onto cyan eyes as they faced one another.

Aspasia very slowly and carefully moved her jet-black rook one space forward.

“Check.”

“You know,” Min said quietly, studying the chessboard. “I don’t know why I play chess with you.”

“I don’t think it’s because you believe you have a chance of winning. Nor is it because you particularly enjoy the game of chess. Xerx, at least, has that quality.” Aspasia replied. Her yellow hair, matching her eyes, shook as she leaned backwards to yawn. Sitting cross-legged on the carpet made one quite tired after an hour or so.

“You’re right… as always.” Min replied with a gentle smile. He moved his bleach-white king out of the way of the oncoming rook.

“So… it’s because you like to talk, isn’t it?”

“I prefer to talk to you when you’re slightly engaged.” Min said. “You might be omniscient, but you still can’t concentrate on everything at once. Distracting you with a chess game makes you more interesting to talk to.”

“I see.” Aspasia replied quietly, scanning the chessboard for her next move as she sifted through her limitless knowledge for the most efficient way to defeat Min.

“You’ve been more quiet recently. Why is that?”

“Me?” Aspasia replied, looking up. “Yes, I suppose I have. It’s nothing to worry about. It’s just that good things are coming.”

Min looked at her with a genuine interest. “You mean the door will open?”

“We’ll finally get out of here, yes. I just haven’t wanted to tell Xerx yet, because he might get a bit wild; you know how he is.” Aspasia replied. She moved a pawn one space forward, putting pressure on Min’s one remaining knight.

“You know what’s out there, don’t you?” Min guessed.

“Kind of. I have omniscience, yes, but only about the universe. However, connecting this sub-dimension and the universe is… something else. Beyond the Reaches, there’s a dark spot in my mental canvas, and I don’t know what it is. It’s like how I can’t see into yours or Xerx’s mind.” Aspasia explained patiently, observing the chessboard as Min moved his knight to take her bishop. The bait had been taken.

“Interesting. Do you think you will be able to know about me and Xerxes eventually?”

“No.” Aspasia replied. “I can still know what you will do, through… a form of assumption. For example, I don’t know what move you plan on making, but I know every move that will happen in this game, so I know what move you’ll make not because I saw you thinking it, but because I know that you’re going to make it. Does that make any sense?”

“I suppose, yes.”

“It’s like in combat – yesterday, for example. I didn’t know when Xerxes was going to attack me, but I did know that the midnight smack was going to be moving towards me at a fast pace very shortly, and the only assumption is that Xerxes is attacking me with it.”

“That’s interesting.” Min said, watching Aspasia take his knight and inwardly cursing. “Ah, Xerxes… he tries so hard.”

“Hm. I guess.” Aspasia replied. “He could do with being less of a dick, though.”

Min knew one thing that Aspasia didn’t, but he remained silent about it. Instead, he moved his remaining rook into the field of combat.

“How do your blind spots make you feel?” asked Min.

“Pardon?” Aspasia said, looking into Min’s blue eyes. He looked back evenly.

“Do you want to know what they are, and complete your mental canvas, or do you like the fact that there’s still something you don’t automatically know in the world?’

“I don’t know. Do you want to love everyone, regardless of whether you need to or not, or do you like the fact that there’s people you can hate?”

“I don’t know.” Min replied with a smile.

“Precisely.” Aspasia said, approaching Min’s king once again. “Our powers are just mysterious like that. Check.”

Aspasia’s plan was foiled by the quick actions of Min’s rook. The second bait had been taken and the plan was almost ready.

“You are highly knowledgeable about all of this.”

“If it makes you feel any better, I feel… cheap. Like I don’t deserve to know it, because I was simply given all the knowledge in the universe, rather than having to learn it.”

“I can imagine.” Min said. Aspasia moved her queen into position.

“Is Xerx sleeping?”

“Probably.” Min replied, shrugging. “He usually does around this time. Anyway, what else can you tell me about the door opening? We’ve been waiting for years, you know.”

“Yes, I’m aware. I don’t know much about what we’re going to do, but I can only assume that we will achieve our ultimate purpose.”

“Just think of how lucky we are,” Min said. “Being able to know and achieve our purpose in life. Some people don’t get that.”

He moved a pawn in a final hopeless gesture against Aspasia’s approach.

“We are very lucky to have the powers that we do. I just hope we don’t end up misusing them.”

“Xerxes?”

“That’s what I was referring to, yes. Checkmate.” Aspasia replied, toppling Min’s king and winning the chess match. Min nodded – he had been expecting as much.

“I don’t think Xerxes will do anything too ridiculous. I trust him.” Min said. A look of concern crossed Aspasia’s face.

“He has enough power to destroy a universe. If he ever figures out how to tap into his omnipotence in more… creative ways, the two of us won’t be enough to hold him back.” she replied.

Min began to put away the game of chess, arranging every piece carefully in the box and sliding the chessboard in afterwards. “As much as I love him, you are correct. I just hope that it never has to come to that.”

“What do you think our purpose is, anyway?” Aspasia asked. Min stood up and went to sit on the sofa instead, which was more comfortable than the carpet.

“I’ve not thought much about it. I can only assume that we must look after the universe… people worship gods with our qualities on some planets. Are we gods?”

“There’s the large-amount-of-money question.” Aspasia said. “Are we gods..?”

She went to sit by Min, leaning on the arm of the sofa and letting her slender legs rest in Min’s lap. He was deep in thought.

“Perhaps. Maybe gods don’t exist, and they’re just powerful beings from sub-dimensions like us that are worshipped as gods. Maybe if we were evil, we’d be labelled demons instead.” he said.

“I think, whatever it is we are supposed to do, it will happen somewhat naturally.” Aspasia replied. Min glanced sidelong at her.

“You think, or you’d like to think?”

“I’d like to think.” she sighed. “I just… feel limited by the dark spots in my knowledge. Why can I know everything except what is outside that door and what my purpose is?”

Min sidled along the sofa, shifting Apsasia’s legs and bringing her into a sitting position, and embraced her warmly. She reciprocated with a sisterly sigh of satisfaction.

“Don’t worry about it, Aspasia. I’m sure we’ll figure everything out in time.”

“I hope so, Min. I really hope so.”

Cause [1.2.13]
Cause [1.3.1]

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