Nothing Ever Matters

a story
2017-11-24 03:00:11
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The Feast of Gorrn’s Blessings is a tradition of Fjordan families to gather for a meal together thanking Gorrn, the God of Birth and Death to preparing for the end of the year. The feast is held in the middle of Gornuary with the exact date dependent on the phases of Adele & Lilith before the Cold Moons, or the final full moons of the year. This feast has been celebrated within Antiford even before the country was formed and an official holiday. From the secular Technocrats, it is viewed an excuse to eat to become “fat and sassy” before performing the traditional Gorrn Feast Dance.

The 23rd of Gornuary, 1897
Feast of Gorrn’s Blessings  

Gilbert Melker Wrathchild had once again worked into the late night and left his office on the ground of the Antiford Royal Academy. The Academy was one of the few institutions that retained their name with the word “Royal” after the technocratic revolution. Tonight was unusually cold for Capital. Thus Gilbert took his time to bundle up in his heavy coat.

Bong! Bong!

The Technocratic Tower, the official timekeeper of Antiford began to ring to announce the start of the hour. Gilbert had exited the building and moved through the cold to his waiting road coach. The twelfth ring from the tower would strike on the daily bell. The tone was the officially start of a new day. It was just as this tone rang in which Gilbert entered the carriage. He closed the door before exhaustedly falling onto the seat. It rocked the carriage side to side before it began moving out.

“Good Morning to you Master Wrathchild and happy Gornn’s Blessings to you.”

It was the voice of one Mr. Stephan Skien, the carriage’s designated driver.

“Good Tamarus, It’s Gornn’s Blessings already?

“Indeed it is, sir.”

The carriage at this point had left the Academy Gates and heading on to Button’s Lane, or the main transportation route in the sprawling city of Gearford.

“The misses prepared you a special drink for you tonight. It is much later than expected, and much colder. I hope it is still warm.”  

Gilbert sat up and looked across the bar. There was a special container with a top. He twisted it off to reveal a flow of steam emerge from it. He took a sip from it and tasted the tweet mulled cider.

“It very much still warm, Stephan. Pass along to your wife that it reminds me of my childhood in Mistfell.”

“Ah, that would explain the spices she used. The misses is originally from Mistfell, sir.”

Stephan focused upon the road head and turn heading away from the city center.

”Our family had much to be thankful for and wanted to extend those blessings with you.”

“hmmm… You Fjordans and your thankfulness at this time. Well, Tis the season.”

Gilbert had spoken under his breath before speaking up to Stephan.

“Do you know what I am grateful for, Stephan?”

“No Sir, I do not.”

“I am grateful for nothing.”

Stephan heard the word from Gilbert. He was stunned and puzzled. It took him a few moments before he responded back, “Did I hear you right, sir. Did you say nothing?”

Gilbert seemingly expected this and chuckled, “Yes, You heard me right.”

Stephan was more confused than before now that he had confirmed what Gilbert had said to him. He tried to respond back, unsure what was going on, “Nothing, sir? Not a thing at all? Not even Mr. Marigold’s ascension to Prime Minster?”

“Oh Stephan, you have misunderstood me. I did speak as in the manner of things.”

“Pardon me, Sir, but I don’t understand.”

 “It is okay, Stephan. I am talking mathematics. Specifically, I mean the number zero.”

“Well, that’s a funny thing to be thankful for, sir.”

“Nothing funny about it. It single handily fuels the advance of scientific thought today. But it isn’t new, Stephan. Oh… It is more ancient than anyone realize. Yes, much of what we know and build upon was found in the lost knowledge of the Library of Demitrius. But Zero… It wasn’t a part of the lost knowledge. Most people think it was, but it’s not true. Zero found a way to hide in plain sight. We know this because the Notae Vis knew it and used it. Oh did they understand it. And in return… And in return… Zero gave them power. No… Great Power. Think about that, Stephan. A single digit. Means to mark nothing in something. Gave the Vis power for centuries. And it would have been more if they could have constructed an automaton. They run on 1’s and 0’s Stephan. Did you know that? 1’s and 0’s. The Vis knew it and knew automatons were possible. They just never figured it out. The never got the chance. Once The Kanterbury knew what they were up to it was a thunderbolt of lightning. Ever so Frighting, Indeed! And thus the Vis were exiled before they could complete their Great Fnord. Behold, Stephen. Today… Today, we are building said automatons. The Vis’s Great Fnord is manifested!”

Stephan was quiet for several moments before he heard Gilbert take another sip of the misses’ mulled cider.

“Gornn’s Blessings to you, Stephan.”

“And to you, sir.”

And with that exchange of blessings, not another word was uttered between the two men.