The Story and the Truth

Author's note: This tale was originally set around another universe of my own creation and dealt with a beast called 'The Scourge'. It works far better as a Phantasy Star fable, I think.

History has a way of corrupting. This is how stories flourish, sprouting from the mythic detritus like beautiful fungi.

There is a story told to children...

That once, many, many years ago, the worlds were wicked, wicked places. People hurt one another and cursed one another, and that all of the bad feelings, all of the darkness in our hearts formed an evil that could not be stopped.

It was called the Profound Darkness, and it hated everything. It raged at the existence of our light filled world, beating against the walls of its prison.

The prison?

And here, the storyteller would tap the chest of one of the children, matching the beat of their heart.

In there, child, with walls no thicker than a shadow. In everyone's heart, where it can do most harm.

And then the storyteller would lean back into the chair and say, Where was I...?

Oh, yes.

Every thousand years, it would try to break out, and every thousand years it would come so close that people would have nightmares at the thought of how close it had been for another thousand years. It would corrupt people and make them do what it wanted them to do, and they would crush and kill and destroy all that had been achieved, all of the progress, and the whole time, the Darkness would be whispering in their ear, urging them on to greater and greater evil.

But every time the Darkness rose, so would champions...

Yes, Alis. She was the first, but there were many over the years. So many...

Every time, the champions would cast the Darkness back, always by the narrowest of victories, and we would be given another thousand years to prove ourselves good, and pure, and free of the Darkness that we all carry.

But the worlds were still wicked places, people still hurt one another, people still killed. The bad feelings never died with the Darkness.

But we were always given another chance to prove ourselves.

Perhaps, finally, we have, for they say the Darkness has been destroyed forever.

The storyteller sighs and gazes into the starlit scene outside the window.

It makes a nice story, but the storyteller knows that the Darkness within us can never die.

And never will.