Kara Pashna is escorted to the Ziggurat of Pesu where, inside, he meets with Pesu himself. Pesu claims that Pashna must be willing to accept punishment in lieu of the boy he saved in Pan Post 28 and he kills Pashna. The Duke of Attallaj, Nari, tries to appeal to Pesu during an audience but Pesu refuses. Finally even Jitarayara himself arrives in the ziggurat to convince Pesu but the god is still unwilling to relent to the resurrection of Pashna.
Pesu - Pt II
Some say that Pesu is the most terrible of all the gods of Indra. His power, his wrath and his guise. Some say he only partially exists on Indra as he exists across the cosmos itself. A god unlike any other god. Yet for all his vastness, he does have a presence on Indra and one that does not reach the large scale of the other gods and their bodies.
As Kara Pashna enters the Ziggurat of Pesu, a grand construct at the far edge of the Attallaj Valley. He had been escorted through the city by a pair of soldiers upon their spectral unicorns, though Pashna suspects he was actually under arrest. When he got to the Ziggurat the soldiers let him enter alone. He first walked up the steps to the top of the wall and then down to the inner grounds. The central building is where he now enters with a feeling of dread. He feels himself quivering, his bulb jiggling especially.
The insides of the Ziggurat are quite unlike the city beyond, though the temple was constructed long before the Indran city. The ancient walls are caked in thousands of years of dust. Pashna keeps his fast pace, however, not wanting to keep Pesu waiting any longer. From the ceiling hand bugbuds, an insect that looks a lot like a hanging vine. Long and thin, it hangs from the ceiling and at its tip is a constantly swaying bud, evidently meant to mimic the swaying of a plant in the wind. Here, however, there is no wind. Pashna wonders how there can be so many bugbuds when there seems to be so few other insects for them to eat.
When he gets to the end of the end of the passage he finds himself in the main hall of worship. Usually Pashna would expect this room to be filled with people but today it is eerily empty save for a lone, cloaked figure. Hooded and hunched, the figure stands still. Any uneducated Indran may be forgiven for thinking this an old man. But Pashna is a kara and he knows that this unlikely figure is the god Pesu himself.'
Pashna falls to his knees. Both of them and commits a kowtow, lightly knocking his head upon the bronze floor. When he rises his head again Pesu is straight in front of him and looking down. Pashna recoils but quickly recovers from the shock of Pesu's appearance. A skeleton. Animated yet very much dead. His hollow skull eyes glare down at the kara.
Pesu: "You seek to defy my will, Kara of Jitarayara..."
Pashna instantly kowtows again.
Pashna: "Never, Lord Pesu. I apologise for my actions. I am weak-hearted. I couldn't watch such a child suffer..."
Pesu: "Typical of your kind. Kara of Jitarayara. Unthinking. You see and you do. As you removed my verdict from the rebel leaders you must be prepared to accept punishment in their stead?"
Pashna frowns as he tries to think of a way of avoiding this punishment. He didn't realise he has no choice.
Pain. Insurmountable pain. It grips his body and he contorts and writhes. He struggles to breathe. He can't even cry out as his neck is swollen. He silently pleads with Pesu, staring up at the god. But Pesu just stares back and watches the wandering kara slowly, painfully, die. Pashna's last moments are traumatic but he manages to focus upon Jitarayara. His god must feel his agony. Pashna does't ask for help from Jitaraya. He asks for forgiveness.
With his god in his mind. Our Kara Pashna succumbs to death, his eyes closed in the great sleep beyond sleep...
A day passes.
The Ziggurat is again filled with people. Worshippers, tourists or sight-seers. Pesu stands atop of a podium and single Indrans approach him. He, unlike other gods, is the same size as these beings and yet his visage is constantly flickering, glitching, as he phases in and out of existence upon this planet. An Indran asks for his blessing. The man is sick and dying. Pesu looks into the man's soul and deems him worthy of continued life - the blessing removes the man's ailment. The next Indran is a young girl, barely four years old. He looks into her soul. He sees her future, he sees her children, he sees her ancestors. And deems her unworthy. The parents leave, weeping.
Then an unexpected figure ascends the podium. An Indran wearing a thick, black cloak and a red robe of grand refinement. He bows deeply, then stands with a tall, straight back. The man would often meet with Pesu out-of-hours, yet today he comes for Pesu's aid and not just a discussion of faith or the future of his city. The Duke of Attallaj, Nari, speaks with rehearsed grace.
Nari: "Lord Pesu. I come with an earnest request. This device is called Bernard the Clay-Pidgeon-"
He holds out a small bird machine that Pesu recognises as the work of Jitarayara. Instantly he understands the request before it is spoken.
Nari: "The Kara named Pashna was on a divine quest when he entered our city. This device was the kara's visa and communication device to discourse with his god, Jitarayara. You know I would not make such a great request of you if it were not for the urgency of stability and religion. Jitarayara has requested that I urge you to resurrect the kara..."
Pesu: "I am now to do the bidding of another god, Duke?"
Nari gets on his knees in apology.
Nari: "Never, my Lord. But this Kara's quest was urgent--"
Pesu: "The quest did not grant the Kara permission to interfere in my punishment. So my answer is no."
Pesu: "You question me, Duke?"
Nari shakes his head before he rises and leaves. Pesu watches him go before he turns to the next worshipper...
Later that night Pesu is alone in his Ziggurat. He stands in silence and unmoving.
Until space-time folds and bends within the Ziggurat and half of the temple disappears - replaced with an entirely different temple. Jitarayara's office and throne have appeared, his immense bulk seated in the marble throne.
Pesu: "Truly... this Kara is worth so much?"
Jitarayara: "You should know, Pesu. You must have looked into his future..."
Pesu: "I saw it fleetingly. It was filled with fire."
The square-shaped god grimaces at that.
Jitarayara: "That fire may yet be avoidable. But he must complete his quest."
Pesu: "For the fate of Indra, you mean?"
Jitarayara: "I do."
Pesu: "I care not for this world."
Jitarayara: "Yet I do."
Pesu: "... I care not for you either."
Jitarayara, for the first time in a hundred years, rises from his chair. His size seems to expand ever more as he takes two steps towards the domain of Pesu.
Pesu: "You seek to intimidate me, Jitarayara?"
Jitarayara: "Every god on Indra will come here to force your hand, Pesu."
Pesu: "You think every god cares so much for your little Kara?"
Jitarayara: "They care for the fate of this world. As gods our roles of interference are limited. You know we need to use our vassals. Kara Pashna is necessary--"
Pesu: "You have other vassals, Jitarayara."
Jitarayara finally cannot hold back his anger and bellows;
Jitarayara: "His death was unjust! You had no right to vanquish my vassal!"
Pesu, however, can be just as aggressive as Jitarayara.
Pesu: "I had every right! He interfered in my punishment!"
Jitarayara: "You made no efforts to hinder him!"
Pesu: "You said yourself... we are limited in interference. Your Kara designed his own fate."
Jitarayara: "No. You designed that fate!"
Pesu: "It is done. I will not relent."
Jitarayara stands there for a long while. An hour at least. Then space-time unfolds and Pesu watches The Kiri, Jitarayara's temple, wind back through the wall of his own Ziggurat. Pesu stands and resumes his solitude...
"A big part of the post was all about giving the Reader the false hope that Kara Pashna would be revived, first by the appearance of the Duke and then the appeal of Jitarayara himself. But Pesu is a stubborn god and not so easily swayed." - Britt the Writer