Jump to content

[Fiction] Graven Images... [Complete]

Lou Anne Burgess

Recommended Posts

Rachel looked at the screen funny. Well, that’s odd, no address, not even a town name, just latitude & longitude. She brought up mapping software and groaned. She lives in the middle of a desert, how quaint. She stood and walked into Lou Anne’s office where Lou Anne was reading over some medical charts that Hopkins had forwarded on to her for consultation. “I finally got the location of her, uh, house from Miss Good. But it’s not exactly a street address.” She held the scrap of paper she’d written the coordinates on so that Lou Anne could see them without blocking her view of the file.

Lou Anne turned her head slightly her brow creased as her hand went to her portable Opdevice. She brought up the navigation and found the location, but there was no listing of anything there. She zoomed out seeing eventually what was either a single large structure or an assembly of structures, the resolution didn’t show it clearly. “Hmm, nothing but desert right around it, shouldn’t be too hard to get there. When are we leaving.”

“Whenever you’re ready.”

Lou Anne finished looking over the patient file while Rachel relaxed in the living room and steeled herself for the coming visit.

* * * * *

Lou Anne had finished the file in a few minutes and they had soon after arrived at the Customs gate at the Mexico City Airport. Having no luggage they had passed customs quickly and declared they were merely on a business trip. After passing the gate and looking around, Lou Anne looked around the area surrounding them making certain that they were near no walls or blind spots Lou Anne and Rachel blinked out of the airport and arrived several hundred miles away. The scent of roses spread out for meters around them, and blew away on the desert breeze. It was Lou Anne’s normal way of announcing her arrival, but looking around, it was clear that her range was wholly inadequate to the task.

A veritable platoon of modern seeming warehouses spread out, pieces of additional roofing materials connected some of the structures at least superficially, as if offering protection from the weather while walking between the buildings. Lou Anne smiled The warehouses were beautifully juxtaposed with an absurdist aesthetic that spoke vastly contradictory volumes of the owner. Warehouses, beside a sea of sand, rock and scrub, she wondered idly if the workers that had constructed this oasis of structures had felt the need a make the area around the inevitable loading dock look like a pier.

Rachel had a more pressing concern, the warm desert air was already uncomfortable, standing as they were in the unforgiving sun, she scanned the row of buildings looking for an obvious main entrance and couldn’t for the life of her decide which door it was. She did however see the head of what she guessed was a tremendous statue of a woman off to one side. “I think we should go over there and see if that’s the statue or at least a marker for the main entrance. But let’s not waste time walking that far.”

Lou Anne nodded and they teleported to the side of the warehouses that Rachel had indicated. What Rachel had mistaken at that angle and distance for a statue was in fact not. It was an apparently living, breathing woman standing more than twenty meters in height. They craned their necks up, shielding their eyes against the sun to see the face of the giantess before them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

She was basking in the sun. She loved the sun, the warmth on her skin. She loved the fact that each inch of her body felt the same amount of sun no mater how big she was. She had spend the past few hours working on irogation of the land. She was taking this task slowly, because she was aiming for balance, and not abuse. She seeing that her guests had arived, she let her size go. She returned to her normal size. She was still tall, standing at just over A meter and three forths. She was breath taking in beauty. She had six arms, and it worked with her. They did not make her look like demon. Speaking Softly.

You two must be rather uncomfortable. I am sorry for, I rather enjoy this weather. Please Follow me. I ask you only to ask before touching anything. If you want to have anything just ask. I will most likely give you it you."

She turned around and walked into her front door.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

They had barely seen the face of the giantess when she shed her great size and became approximately their height. Now that practical communication was possible without shouting, Lou Anne spoke up. "Good morning Miss Good, I'm Lou Anne," here she motioned to herself and then continued the motion indicating her companion, "and this is Rachel."

Their hostess acknowledged their presence briefly and spoke. "You two must be rather uncomfortable. I am sorry for, I rather enjoy this weather. Please Follow me. I ask you only to ask before touching anything. If you want to have anything just ask. I will most likely give you it you."

Rachel spoke up, "Yes, Lou Anne's sort of used to this climate, but I don't leave New England that often and it's a bit too warm for me." She smiled as their hostess turned and entered the main entrance. "I assure you though, we're not here to bother things or take anything willy nilly. We're merely here to see and discuss the statue of Lou Anne."

Beside her Lou Anne frowned briefly at the insinuation that their manners were lacking.

The two women followed Alice through the entrance and into the building.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Alice was not rude, merely distracted. She had a whole mess of problems. Law suits with no merits were piling up on her. She was doing thing like she was discriminating religions, and race, and many other things when she built the temples she had done and not others. Oh she was having fun.

"Lou Anne, I am sorry if these are not the most pleasant of times. Rachel, I spend a large amount of my year in Boston. I love that weather as well. I am easy to please that way,I guess."

She lead them down a long hall way that had paintings women who had not faces. The women were all remarkable detailed in all other aspects, their shapes varied, as well skin colors. There young, old. They were highly disturbing in how life they were without faces.

Turning to a door, she opened it. It lead to a room, that was one of the wear houses. There were rows of large objects covered in canvas bags. They were all roughly twice as tall as people. She lead them down a bit to the only statue not covered.

It was Lou Anne. The stone was smooth, and supple. It looked as if it would come to life. She was standing with her arms slightly a part from her body. Her palms turned into , looking as if she was going to embrace someone. Her face was some how completely understanding, but completely non-judgemental at the same time.

"If you do not like it, then we can do with what you will. I will not cry, for I gain joy in building, and shaping. Do you want time to think about it? I can step outside, and leave you two alone with it.I trust you will do what you think is right."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Before you go Miss Good, what were the paintings of the figures in the hallway? Model studies or were they some sort of portrait or abstract piece?" She trailed off at a loss to list more possibilities of what she had seen. "Are all of these the statues of the other Novas you mentioned by the way? There must be several hundred at least, unless you have other things stored here."

Rachel cleared her throat while staring up at the statue. "You said you captured her inner essence? I'm not going to agree or disagree at the moment, but how would you define that? I guess even more importantly, since this is the first time you've met her, how could you capture her essence without having met her? I'm no artist, cut I'm curious." Rachel turned to look at Alice expectantly.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Those were images of my faith.At least the famel part of it. Other places I have males. Others still i have ones who are undefined. My Faith in people.My faith in humanity. Not the genetic code, but the inherit feelings of humanity. I do not speak of my religion in public because it is not me to desides for you. Public spankings are a tainted means of talking about religion. I have around one thousand. I have been doing these statues for about a year now"

She said her words calmly, and carefully.

"Rachel, i have seen many pictures of Anne, and I have seen many pictures of many people. I sometimes take for granted the idea represented in picture a is the same the person. So, wile I think this statue has the qualities I said."

She was calm, and showed no signs of anger at all. She let hose who could get angery at the rock choose to get angery or not.It was up to them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"I don't understand your reference to faith in people being represented that way, but as it's your faith and you prefer not to talk about it, I'll not pursue the point." Lou Anne replied with a soothing, even voice, her face reassuring, but different from the stone rendering above and behind her.

It was clear that Alice didn't see things the way that she did. What wasn't clear was whether it was merely a different mind set, or some psychosis caused by Quantum Stress Syndrome. What a depressing faith that such extreme depersonalization represents the inherent feelings of Humanity. Were she alone, she might have investigated further, but she didn't want to risk Rachel's safety in case Alice exhibited some sort of violent reaction.

"You mentioned one thousand, was that the pictures, or the statues?" She looked around the warehouse trying to get some estimate if there may in fact be one thousand statues here. "And if you're referring to the statues, did you cover them up just for us so that we could only see this one statue, or do you keep them all covered, and you only uncovered this one?"

Rachel meanwhile had listened to Alice's explanation & nodded. She walked slowly around the statue assessing it close up and trying to get a feel for it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"You are not seeing the point, they are not painting of people. That is the problem with faith. One must often learn the whole of it, before understanding parts of it."

She looked to the two women, and smiled. She saw some deep emotional bonds in them. They were a good pair, at least from what she saw here.

"That question is a bit tricky. Some are always covered, others aren't. I covered some of them because you were coming true. Others are covered because I know I am where going to place them in the gallery I am going to make for them. I have not covered yours."

She waited for a short wile seeing if they had anything more to ask.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lou Anne nodded to Alice's explanations.

"Yes, I know they're not paintings of people, that was my point. But you're right, by seeing only part if it, it's difficult or impossible to grasp the whole." She began to turn away to look at the statue.

“They are parts of what I think is the divine; what most people would call a god. I do not have a name for it, and I do not think I could place a face on it either." Seeing that Lou Anne wanted to examine the statue, Alice walked over towards the room’s exit to give them some privacy. “When you’re ready to talk again, just call for me.”

Lou Anne nodded her thanks and walked over closer to the statue, joining Rachel in examining it. “So, what do you think?” she asked Rachel quietly.

“Oh no,” Rachel smiled, “you haven’t looked enough to have an opinion yet. I’ll wait until you have one too.”

Lou Anne stopped walking for a moment & stared up at the large statue. Alice had done her homework, the statue bore some resemblance to her physically, it was dressed kind of like she tended to dress. Well, maybe. But... the posture and expression was off. She tried very hard to keep an open mind, especially since Miss Good had been very pleasant to them, but the longer she looked at the statue, the angrier she got. This thing shouldn't even exist, but... This isn’t me. This looks like me, at least on that Star Trek episode. This abomination is my 'evil' twin! She didn’t notice Rachel drawing up beside her until she had put her hand gently on Lou Anne’s shoulder.

The gesture snapped Lou Anne out of her viewing of the statue, and let her calm down. “It’s a good thing you can’t control weather. I’m sure there would be a little thunder cloud over your head if you did.” Rachel teased trying to defuse Lou Anne’s anger.

Lou Anne snorted laughter slightly. “I guess that wouldn’t be a totally bad thing in the desert, but I don’t think she has the drainage for it.”

“And what do you think?”

“I was thinking it needs a sharpy to draw in a moustache and goatee so you can identify it as my evil twin. And your opinion?”

“I’m sure it looks like you from a great enough distance or for someone that doesn’t know you. She certainly got the part of you that people see from your diplomas, but she missed at least half of you. So, if you’re worried about there being a statue of you, yes it is. But it’s not an accurate statue, but I suppose that's bad enough in the grand scheme of things. ”

Lou Anne took a few deep breaths to try to banish the last remnants of the anger, feeling more or less calm again, she turned back towards the direction that Miss Good had gone and called out. “Miss Good, we’re done looking.” They waited, not sure if she was still in the room or not.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Walking back into the room, she had a hammer and chisel in her lowest part of hands. her face was friendly, and she wore a smile. She would rather have these people happy than a lump of rock in one of their likeness.

"Before we get to the big issues..Are either of you hungry? I have some the best Indian,and Mexican food I can get for us."

She was truly offering food, and it was clear that it was not some ploy to distract the, but just and offer of "bread and wine". A sign of friendship. She looked them over, and could tell it was not good.She did not mind much. She felt a bit ashamed but no anger.

"So, what do you wish to do with it?"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lou Anne's eyes were drawn to the glimmer of light on the tools. It appeared that Alice anticipated they wouldn't be happy with the statue, but Lou Anne wasn't sure that Alice completely understood the reason.

"Um, if it's no trouble then we'd love to have something to eat," Rachel offered, "that's one thing that Lou Anne hates about being a Nova. She used to diet all the time to stay in shape. Now she pigs out all the time." Rachel smiled as she teased Lou Anne.

Lou Anne chuckled slightly and smiled a the barb. "Miss Good, you uh, may have made statue that resembles me, but, well," she paused, "it's not me. As for what to do with it, rather than destroying it, I'd like to take it with us and politely request that you not make any other statues of me."

"Or me if I erupt." Rachel chimed in.

They waited for Alice's reaction.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

She smiled to them, and placed her tools down. She offered them both a hand. her eyes looking to Rachel. She intended to lead them to the food pavilion . She did not acted shocked or displeased when they did not take her hands in such away. They just met her, why would they walk with her hand and hand.

"The temples cook food for each other. They all share what they have, and cook what they like. Sometimes they cook what they think others will like. A sign of good will. The food is almost always great, and it is always good."

The walk was not long but not all that short. From her door to the food area was a quoter mile walk. Alice did not seem to be bothered at all by the heat, in fact seemed a bit more lively in the sun.

" Rachel the statues are not all novas. They are all people of note. Four to the right of Lou's is Bill Clinton. I have had a few talks with him. I tell this much, i may not agree with everything he did, but after talking to him I understood why he did what he did. There are other "base lines" as well."

Walking to a table she offered them chair.There was plenty of shade, and a good cross wind around the table.

" Do you mind if I get food for you. You are my guests, after all"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When Alice extended her hands, Lou Anne and Rachel, seeing that they had just concluded negotiations in a meeting shook hands with her briefly. Alice lead them through the complex not to a kitchen or dining room as they expected, but back outside into the Mexican desert.

Where Alice thrived in the heat, Rachel, unused as she was to the climate wilted somewhat. While Lou Anne was a bit sweaty and uncomfortable, Rachel's hair and blouse were soon soaked with sweat and matted with dust from the highly variable winds sweeping over the desert. The wind was strong enough that Rachel had to ask Alice to repeat what she was saying about Former President Clinton as it had carried Alice's words away from them.

Rachel sank onto the chair in the outdoor pavilion noting that they had lowered canvas flaps on the North and Eastern sides to make the wind more manageable.

" Do you mind if I get food for you. You are my guests, after all?" Alice asked.

Lou Anne looked at the available food, seeing that they had not conceded may points to Alice, Lou Anne looked at Rachel and pondered the offer a moment. "Not knowing what food is here, since it's not a planned menu, I'll go with you so that we can avoid foods that we either know we don't like or that are too unfamiliar. But how about drinks? I think we need that a little more than the food at the moment."

Lou Anne remained standing, ready to accompany Alice in whichever direction she headed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

"I understand your caution, I would gladly take you to the food."

She walked to a plain building, it was an ugly block of adobe . Built to be practical, and plan. It was this way to make the point, the building was only there to act as gathering point for those why wanted food. The the smell of food smothered the air. The hints of spices from around the air, teased taste buds. Alice opened up the door, the room was full, but very quit. There were no real lines, or order. Food was placed on trays. Some of the tray were labeled, most were not. There was a great verarity of food, but it tended to be either Indian or Californian styled Mexican.

"You can eat anything you want, you can have as much as you want. The drinks are in the next room."

Her voice was low and soft. It was almost a whisper. She left them to wander and look about on their own. She herself got her own lunch. And then waited for them at the door.

"Is there anything else you need? I hope we had the types of food you like. It is different every day. Some days it is nothing but bread,watter,and fruit."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lou Anne followed Alice to the rude block house that served as the cafeteria for the complex. It was not in keeping with anything that Alice had been bragging about with regards to her temples over the last few months. She supposed that if it merely served as a cafeteria, elegance wasn’t needed. She entered the building and her eyes watered under the assault of the heavy melange of spices filling the air.

At Alice’s mention of drinks being in another room, Lou Anne made her way to the drinks and proceeded to get several to take out to Rachel in the eating pavilion. The heavy mix of spices around Lou Anne was temporarily smothered by the rose scent that surrounded her when she teleported first back to the pavilion, and then back to the drink room. Getting another drink for herself, Lou Anne made her way over to the crush of people in the food area.

Alice could hear Lou Anne asking around in Greek for opinions on what food was the most edible and easiest on the stomach. She carried out a short conversation with a man that Alice recognized as belonging to the Temple of Zeus where he directed her towards several tamer Indian dishes and some of the more lightly spiced Mexican dishes. He explained to her that there would likely be more variety tonight at the dinner hour as he had some swordfish marinating. She thanked him for the suggestion and returned to Alice standing by the door. To Alice's question she answered. "I guess so, though bread and fruit would have been fine."

The two women joined another group that was making its way towards the eating pavilion. Rachel had finished one drink and was half way through a second when they arrived back at the table. “Miss Good, since you had specified that the statues aren’t all novas, I’d like to amend my request to simply no statues of me, regardless of whether I erupt.” She smiled a tight smile. “But as you said, let’s eat before we discuss the larger issues.”

Rachel looked at the two plates that Lou Anne had brought back warily. Given Lou Anne’s appetite since her eruption, there really wasn’t enough food for her alone. Lou Anne gave Rachel the slightly smaller of the two plates and explained what the different things were supposed to be. They began eating, the wind straining against the pavilion’s flaps made talking impractical and the flaps made it nearly impossible to see anything.

When they were nearly finished eating, Lou Anne spoke up. “Alice, perhaps we can look around a little and we’ll meet you back at the complex in a few minutes. That way we can avoid the worst of the wind and heat and see a little bit of the Temples.”

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Alice smiled looking into the their eyes.It was not her plan to keep them away from anything they wanted. She spoke with her calm, and careful tone.

"I do not understand why someone would not like a statue built of them. It is not them.It doesn't make you anything less or more. It just says someone thinks you are worth noticing."

She pulled out a small envolope from her eufiber. Smiling as she handed it to Lou-Anne. IT was not flat but not really folded either.It was thin, and simple.

"you are free to look about the temples as much as you want. You are free to do anything you want here, as long you do not harm anyone else. If you want me to come along with you.I could for a bit. I just have things to do today. Things I would like to to do that is. By the way, in that envalope is a key of sorts. You can use it to come here or any other place I run. You can call me anytime you want. Just don't do use it to much."

She let out a small laugh.

"I am a nice woman most of the time and do good things I just can only do so many things.I'm not superman..Nor Pax. I just well am me."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lou Anne took the offered envelope at first, but when Alice explained that it contained a key to her various complexes she handed it back. “I appreciate the thought Miss Good, but we hardly know you and it would be highly inappropriate for us to have access to your place given such. The fact that you know us little enough to feel it necessary to admonish us not to abuse it is just a reinforcement of that. As I said, we do appreciate the gesture and I thank you, but we can’t accept this.” Lou Anne voice was calm, but her face was set in a mask of polite but firm determination. Rachel’s expression was similar and Alice could tell that she wasn’t likely going to talk them out of their decision.

Rachel spoke before Lou Anne could continue. “It’s nice that you are just being yourself and not trying to be Cestus Pax or someone else, and trying to be nice is good. But please keep in mind that we haven’t exactly met under the best of circumstances. Lou Anne’s face was purple the first day that she found out there was a statue of her. I was worried she was going to have a stroke, Nova physiology or not. Keeping that in mind, we’re really here more on business than a purely social call. We don’t want to keep you from doing things you need to do, but we were looking for an option that would let us, er, me mostly avoid the weather down here as much as possible. If we were to look around for about 10 minutes, you’d be able to walk back and then Lou Anne could teleport us back to meet you and we could finish the dealings for the statue and then we could look around the complex a bit. I for one would like to see what’s stirred up all the religious controversy.” Rachel smiled.

Lou Anne waited to see if Rachel was going to say more, when she didn’t she picked up the conversation. “As for your question about why someone wouldn’t want a statue, given the reasons that have already been laid out by people on the forum, I’m not sure how much more I can explain. Rachel & I’ve talked about this, not that we needed to talk much, we were more or less on the same page to begin with, so I’ll answer for both of us.” Lou Anne paused, giving Rachel a chance to jump in if she wanted, she didn’t, Lou Anne continued.

“A statue has a way of saying, ‘This person was important when they were alive’ or ‘this person is worthy of lots of respect or praise or worship’ depending on it’s location, how it’s displayed and the like.” Lou Anne paused, she wanted to keep from getting upset since this was supposed to be an explanation, and she didn’t want to start talking too fast or screaming. “The biggest problem is with the potential for someone to assume that the existence of a statue implies approval on the part of a still living subject. That approval would mean that the subject thinks that they are important and worthy or respect, praise, et cetera. Since neither of us are dead, and especially since we’re not Nobel Prize winners or something else note worthy, that suggests that we have a pretty big opinion of ourselves. We’re both also Catholic, like Officer Preston, and it’s highly inappropriate from a religious standpoint. Ignoring any actual intent to have them worshiped or displayed in a temple, it’s still indicative of excessive hubris; especially at twice life size. You will I hope forgive me and others that linked these statues and your temples since you didn’t initially specify that the statues were not in the temples. In fact, you avoided answering the question so long that by your silence, you suggested they were linked, and thus, to be worshiped.”

“The fact of the matter is, that you’re right, a statue doesn’t automatically mean any of that. It does mean that someone thought you were worthy of notice. That shouldn’t mean that permission isn’t necessary to duplicate someone. In a case like this, where the artist is making a series of statues that are explicitly of a given population, permission should be obtained from all subjects as a courtesy if nothing else. In a case like Miss Carver where she is an artist likely following her inner muse, were she to produce a statue of myself or Rachel, that would likely be a coincidence and something that would stand out by virtue of not being part of an extensive series. I would be less inclined to be offended by a statue in a case like that as from the artist’s standpoint, that was what was in the medium material, the sculptor simply uncovered it.”

Lou Anne’s words were coming faster together and the tone of her voice was becoming more clipped. “You see Miss Good, you didn’t just create a statue of me and go, ‘oh wow, neat, it’s a statue of Miss Burgess.’ You set out to create a statue of me. Before this we’d never met. To my knowledge you know little about me except maybe what some of my degrees are in. Out of the blue, you announce that you have a statue of me...and nearly everyone else in the N!Prime Forums. Unbidden, Unasked. And when asked to confirm the existence, you mention obliquely that it’s very nice. How would you feel in a situation like that?” Rachel put her hand on Lou Anne’s arm to try to get her attention.

Lou Anne continued, still obviously agitated. “I would hope that you would be decidedly uncomfortable Miss Good. Some stalker has gathered enough pictures of you from whatever disreputable excuse for a news service to create a statue that to quote, ‘I rather like’. How would you take such an assertion from someone you don’t know Miss Good? What type of psycho stalker would you imagine toiling in their workshop to do that?” Lou Anne seemed to realize that Rachel was trying to get her attention and she stopped speaking, she turned to face Rachel. Turned back towards Alice she closed her eyes and took a deep breath. Once again reasonably calm, she spoke. “I’m sorry about that Miss Good, I had hoped I would have better control of myself.”

Rachel looked a bit sheepishly apologetic that Lou Anne had accused Alice of being a psycho, but she said nothing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Alice took it all in stride. Her face never once showed a hint of anger,or judgment.She look at Lou Anne,and waited for her to blow her hot air. She would not get upset.

"So does a picture.So does a memory. So does poem.So does a song. If you think it this statue of you was hard, it wasn't. I could carve one of you before you now. You give it meaning. It is just a lump of rock without you. Still, if you put meaning in a rock that rock has meaning."

Turning around she looked tot he sun,smiling she streached her arms out, arching her back. She loved the sun on her skin.It made her feel alive.

"That is part of the reasons for the temples, to you or me, Isis maybe an old story. To others she is the goddess of life. Who are we to say we are right and they are wrong?"

Letting the sun soak into her body.

"You are to cynical for your own good.I should not have to say the last part about the key, but if you wanted to to you could come into my house with or without the key. I rarely lock doors and you can tellaport. So,I am greeted with hostility when I think I have shown you nothing but open arms. I feel sorry. I feel sorry and upset at me because I know I could make you like me. I could make you forget your anger..But that is not my way..As for leaving or staying that is up to you.My door is oepn for you now, and most likely forever."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

While Alice’s outward demeanor suggested that she was calm, her tone indicated that Lou Anne had struck a nerve. Lou Anne kicked herself mentally for her shortness before, but she knew that Alice wasn’t understanding her point and she was somewhat at a loss for how to get her to understand.

“I’m not sure you understand my meaning Miss Good. The other disciplines you mentioned are all ephemeral. Time takes it toll on all things, but stone and metal and the images imparted into them by sculptors and artists are able to withstand that time far beyond the span of multiple generations. To conventional thought, they are permanent, everlasting, unchanging unless some vandal destroys them. Statues can exist for thousands of years.”

“From what you’ve just said, it appears you either have some quantum ability to manipulate stone or you are simply a fantastic sculptor. Either way, that creates a perception for you, which is different for the rest of the world. I’m not going to say that they are right and you are wrong, or vice versa, but, if you say that a carving on a rock has no meaning, that is somewhat out of touch with the views of Humanity as a whole. Statues have meaning, that meaning is bestowed by the views of billions of people and the permanence of the work. While you might not be wrong, you must understand that overwhelming level of opinion, even if you chose to ignore it.”

She watched as Alice turned her back on them to exult in the sunlight and explained about part of the reason for her Temples and her interpretation of the presentation and return of the key. She chose to ignore the threats that Alice had made, to acknowledge them would be counterproductive at best. “Um, Miss Good, I’m not sure how you saw hostility in my refusal of your gift, but there was no hostility intended. Perhaps I was a bit short with my interpreting you as having scolded us, and if that’s the case, then I apologize.”

“If you’ll excuse us, I think we’ll look around a bit, and we’ll meet you back at your Warehouse complex, the same entrance that we met you at originally. Unless you’d prefer we just left?” When she didn’t indicate they should just leave, they stood and took the meal trays over to the trash, then they walked out into the Temple Complex to look at Alice’s creation.

* * * * *

About fifteen minutes passed as Lou Anne and Rachel walked, looking at the exteriors, wandering into some of the buildings to see the interior/public spaces. Rather than the grand marble or granite edifices that Lou Anne had imagined since Alice started to speak about the temples on the OpNet, the exteriors were made predominately of reinforced concrete. They had many decorative features and the exterior statuary tended to be of quality stone, but the effect on the whole was quite disappointing to her. Rachel having no preconceived expectations was impressed with the construction, but could sense Lou Anne’s dissatisfaction.

The Temples of Athena and Mnemosyne were something of an acid test for Lou Anne. Some of the statues were the traditional ones that one might find at a replica of the Parthenon or a museum, but others had the same interpreted look that Lou Anne associated with her statue. Unlike her “Hippy Lou Anne” statue though, she couldn’t really place what felt wrong with the statues. Looking at her watch for probably the fiftieth time in the past fifteen minutes, Lou Anne asked Rachel, “Are you ready to go back?”

“Yes, but are you?”

Lou Anne again took a deep breath, calming herself. Once she was calm again, she smiled at Rachel and they teleported back to the Entrance where they’d first met Alice.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Are you sure? How many statues of Mose do see these days?Or of his peers? Still, I can destory them faster than I carve them. Still the meaning of the rock is all in your mind. You can put traits, suuch as it well or poorly made. Those traits are only in you. At the end of the day the statue is just a rock."

Looking back to her guests she smiled.

"I am what I am. I have many hands, I know how to use them, and move them fast. I use tool to shape stone."

SHe noded toward them.

"Please take all the time you will need. Really, just take your time."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"I'm not a member of the Jewish Faith, so I wouldn't presume to guess an answer to that. I can tell you that there are easily tens of thousands of statues of Christ and different saints just here in North America. Likewise, you can chose to ignore the meaning of the statue, and the rock will still be a statue with meaning and a facet deserving of permanence at the end of the day."

Lou Anne nodded, "We've looked around the Temples for now, we might come back later to look at them, but shall we move back to the business at hand?"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 6 months later...

Lou Anne and Rachel followed their hostess back into the warehouse complex she called her Mexican home.

The business at hand... going to pick up a statue. How hard could it be? Granted, in normal circumstances there might be some haggling over the price of the piece, legal registrations to fill out. None of that was a concern here. It was simply a private agreement between two private individuals. How hard could that be?

It was hard, very hard. Withstanding the assault of the sun in the desert with neither shade nor water was far easier than navigating the maze of non sequiturs and philosophical double blinds that passed for their conversation with Good Alice. Several times through the short, but seemingly never ending conversation, Rachel had to jump in and take over speaking so that Lou Anne could calm down.

Finally, it was done. Good Alice picked up the statue and carried it outside back into the hottest part of the day. The sun had moved and the entrance now lay covered in a small bit of shade that didn’t seem to cool the air at all. The statue rose a few inches into the air and with a chorus of thank yous and good byes and some hand waving, the two women moved the statue away from the warehouse. And then they disappeared, leaving Good Alice to bask in the Sun as she had when they had arrived.

Back in Boston, the statue and two women appeared in their back yard. The statue, still hovering in the much cooler air was turned parallel to the ground and laid down. Over the next hour, it was buried, but Rachel insisted it be in such a way that if Lou Anne ever felt the need to dig it back up, that it could be done easily.

As she stepped out of the shower, Lou Anne wasn’t sure that there would never again be another statue made, but she felt more ready now to tackle that problem if it ever rose again.

[sorry, I had to finish this story, even if it's not the best ending in the world. It's been galling me that it was sitting incomplete.]

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...