There was once an Assyrian, maddened by rage, as all men of his tribe were maddened by moral terror, to conquer men by their own fear; to impale them through their assholes and set their warriors as symbols. His brother, a twin, was lost in a battle to Canaanite warrior, and he knelt over the lost body, confused by its familiarity; knowing only that something that had inhabited him before was now lost. He shrieked at the moon. The sound sent shivers through the spines of his comrades. The held their heads and bowed; figuring incorrectly that it was his own death he was beholding.
The prophesies of the astrologers were not aimed at the warrior class; not at least at the individual warrior, and Sarkon, a man of reason, mistrusted the priests. In that moment, with the king's head beneath his knees, his fist clenched so tightly that it went white, he closed his eyes, knowing, but not wanting to know, that his brother was lost to him forever, and that a piece of him would be forever gone.
He stood without a word, the other warriors moving out of his way, and decided he would walk toward the moon until he stood directly underneath it.
For twenty days we walked without food, stopping only for water in the Arabian desert. He walked in a dream, with glazed eyes, staring at the waxing moon. When it had grown full, he knew that he would have to stop, and to his great joy, the gods had given him a sign. There, on the horizon, in the blank sands of the Arabian desert, was a perfectly cylindrical shrine, crafted in a black stone that he had never before seen.
When he entered it, he realized that it was several times larger on the inside, than it appeared to be on the outside. It is the work of the gods, he thought to himself. When he entered, he saw the moon itself, a little ball in a glass globe; then the sun, shining like template. When he looked up, the firmament hung atop him, moving several times more quickly than the sky of the mathematicians and astrologers. Surely this was the work of some god.
His faith would not hang in indeterminacy for long. A light broke from the miniature firmament and if by reflex, he dropped to his knees and averted his eyes. He could he it on his back, the smell of his flesh burning, but no pain, not yet.
An image of a man, bearing a great cross on his back and being led through the deserts of some foreign territory. Metal machines racing through stone streets; great buildings as tall as the sky; a small women bent over a glass ball, peering into it, she could see him, and he could feel her gaze looking down on him.
Her eyes, fogged over. Ogden saw this with some dismay. Blue became gray became black. Then suddenly she was back.
"Your brother is dead," she said. The man looked away to his wife. "Killed in Arabia, he was on an expedition there? For the Royal Navy?"
"Yes," he sighed.