It wasn't given to just anybody. She didn't have the patience to walk everyone through the steps. It was limited to her inner circle, those she did have the time and patience for. Effects beyond those she interacted with most
, came indirectly.
Her circle became the filter through which she touched the world
. Her executioners, her hand, her generals, if you wanted to call them that, had their own circles. She affected the way they organized their own lives.
She enforced no hierarchy. She did not demand to be above anybody. She saw herself as one node of a network, connected through those around her. If she gave anything, it would be to those closest, and they decided what to do
with her instructions.
When the pulse came out, it hit her circle first, then branched out to those her circle was connected with. It reached into the deepest parts of the network
, lighting up the system, echoing back variations and next steps. She did not demand blind duplication. When more pulses came, some were modified almost immediately before being passed on. Others were preserved for some distance before melting into the background thought.
Her circle was not static. Members regularly changed, and their numbers fluctuated. They were called everywhere for their services because they had access to one of the sources. Change followed where they went
. They brought new approaches to old problems, new perspectives. They recruited their own lieutenants, weighing their inputs equally.
They did not assume Rain would be the only source they would encounter. They listened carefully for echoes, signals from other parts of the network filtered through countless layers. They attempted to track down the sources of other signals and include them either directly or indirectly
in their own circles.
When the sword came down, it was Rain who wielded it, but she made sure her generals had copies, modified if desired. It then spread haphazardly, unpredictably into the realm. Nothing was uniform. It didn't need to be. It wasn't structured to promote uniformity
When the sword came to me, it was already quite different from the one Rain received. That did not mean it was worse. That did not mean it was better either. Its modifications merely fit the situation at each step of transmission
I passed the sword to my people. When the battle came, they already had their own versions, reflecting the sun in their own way
. The battle wasn't much to talk about. They never were. Even before it finished, my people were already passing new versions to me.
There was something about our network that made battles no longer as challenging as they once were. I never did meet Rain, not face-to-face, though we all heard of her. Given the chance
, any of us would have taken it, but we had our own lives to live.
Sure, some did attempt to track down her position in the network, but they had little holding them to our village, so they left on their pilgrimages with little regret
. Whether any succeeded, we couldn't tell. We knew the rest of the network would take care of them, whether or not they reached their desired destination. By the time any of their signals reached us, they would have already filtered past so many layers that their stories became legend and myth.
We lost the ability to know exact facts in the network, but it no longer mattered. Everything that the supposed facts were supposed to help us
with in the past, were now taken care of by other means. When pulses came through, we could never be sure of their legitimacy, but we made our own decisions as to how we would react.
We let go of many things we once thought we would never let go of, challenged assumptions and beliefs we once thought we'd never challenge. Many things fell by the wayside because they no longer mattered, even Rain herself. Was she a figurehead, a myth, a symbol intended to give meaning and direction to our lives
? With the way things were progressing, we often went about our lives as if nothing outside could touch us, not that deep in the network.