[Continued from here]
The noise of contemplation was almost musical, a sweeping tone from high to mid. There, it held long enough to start fracturing the space around her, reality crackling and breaking away until her tuning stopped. She was floating, of course, her outline fuzzing in and out of focus, casually bobbing up and down.
Granted, she wasn’t hostile, not at the moment. Reclined posture, unbound mane swirling in the ways only an ichoric mass would before coming to rest [if temporarily] as a spiraling circle above the apex of her skull. Certainly not openly alert or commanding, but still familiar, all the same.
“How perceptive of you, young Nation. And it is good to not forget that humankind falling into such fear is what gives my existence strength. Destroy the fear of ignorance and my purpose is no longer needed, jia.”
Usually, she wouldn’t divulge anything that could possibly end her, in any way. But than again, if one thought about it, getting people to stop what drove their own vehemence to covet or prove was impossible; both was too far ingrained in human nature anymore that she did not feel such knowledge was a real threat to her existence.
The figure had been a recurring one, one that he wasn’t familiar with entirely. But this person was the only one he could talk to. The only one who could engage with him.
He was naïve. But he was also incredibly, incredibly lonely. He heard voices every now and then, most often the same voice, or what he thought was the same voice at least. And then he saw her. He knew that her presence in his mind was not intended to be pleasant, and that she carried malevolent thoughts along with her like others carried bags. But such things did not burden her.
The young nation had yet to recognize a name. He had yet to understand who he was, and what horrors he would encounter on his path. For now he was just a small child looking for that person who could enter his mind. And as of the moment, for some reason or another, this was the only person who could. In all honesty, although the woman scared him, he was glad to see that his contemplation had lured her in.
“Perhaps it is,” he responded, his dormant brain prodding the idea over and over. “Ignorance,” the little nation repeated, his dreamlike image of himself letting the word float off his tongue like morning fog departing from a valley. “I said unknown, but you said ignorance.” Though his physical mouth could not move, and his heartbeat was barely distinguishable, he had retained his knowledge of words and language. In fact, when he had been still able to walk and run and feel the sun on his skin, he had loved to read and write… or was all of that a mere fragment of a dream? At this point, Ludwig could barely tell. Nor could he admit that he cared that much. Either way, what he remembered, real or not, proved to be convenient in this situation.
“Right now I am ignorant. I am very afraid of the unknown,” he admitted, having almost no recollection of anything but the dark world of unknown imminent events. “I am afraid that I do not know what will happen to me, but I am not afraid of what I am ignorant of. So why did you choose that word?” Admittedly, he was but a nation still in the process of being named. He knew that a great weight was being put on his shoulders, the weight of a population, but he knew not his name, or anything about that population. He was excited by what he did not know. How could such a curiosity be molded into a fear?
War was a devilish creature, pushing and moving parameters of the headspace she found herself settled in. Her back arched, her head craned over, and the entire frame stretched as though made of liquid or gas in nothing short of a stretchy balloon. The way her grinning maw warped and drew those teeth wider and longer and taller, it was probably terrifying.
The only thing that seemed to stay the same were her eyes, wide and bright, the quicksilver tinted in red around the iris. They centered on him before that gaping hole in her head [now pulled down so it touched her crown to the backs of her knees] opened to respond.
“You do not know the unknown. To not know is to be ignorant. And for a lot of people, not knowing the unknown is a ... frightening experience. Jia?”
Her body followed the trail made by her head and shoulders, pulling around in an effortless brushstroke to close the taffy-esque gap made from the initial stretch and float casually in the child’s direction. Still those eyes, without the red influence now, were centered on him.
“Some people are afraid of the fear that crops up from not knowing, from having ignorance. And that fear makes them do things. Instead of seeking to learn what they are ignorant of and make it knowing, and therefore not ignorance, they perceive this fear of the unknown as a threat to them and those they hold dear to them. So they retaliate against it, even if it did nothing to them but be unknown.
“Human nature is ... intricate that way. It is human nature to be ignorant, and yet it is also human nature to murder in the name of ignorance. Such is the cycle. Not everyone wants to learn, like you do, this is something to keep in mind.”
A gentle pat was aimed at his head, though whether he allowed it or not remained to be seen.