The Hero Myth – Part [1]

It felt good to be a hero again. A real hero, not just a ‘hero in my own imagination’, not merely an ‘ironic hero’ who never really actually achieves anything but is in fact the perpetual butt of some cosmic joke that he doesn’t have the capacity to understand. I was back in one of the shadow earth’s alternative pasts, in a landscape of crumbling castles and dark, forbidding forests. I was climbing a steep mountain path, my broadsword in my hand, my three trusted companions bringing up the rear. A hero always needs a few trusty companions, not too many mind you – three to four is generally enough. I could feel the strength in my arm as I swung my heavy sword – not just ordinary human strength but something beyond this, something almost mystical in nature. I luxuriated in my own strength – I couldn’t remember the last time I had felt like this, in full possession of my true hero nature which has for so long been merely dormant in me, a myth rather than a reality. A myth that even I found it increasingly hard to believe in.


If a group of heavily armed mercenaries were to suddenly appear in front of us just around the next bend of the windy mountain track I knew my heart would not quail. There would be no thoughts clouding my consciousness, no feverish calculation of where my best advantage might lie, just the clear awareness of the moment and all that it contains. Every moment is unique, and so too must be our actions. The past is dropped as being of no consequence, the future dismissed as an irrelevance. One simply acts, and that is all there is to it. At such moments you don’t care if you live or if you die, if you succeed or if you fail to do so. All these are merely irrelevances, ghostly conjectures and nothing more. All these are merely projections of a mind that has been crippled and undermined by fear…


As I mused on these things my thoughts turned inexorably – as they always do – to the nature of our mission. It had happened that in this version of the shadow earth certain dark forces had seized control of the Roman Empire and were perverting the teachings of the true Christian religion. The long-term goal was to convert the entire planet into a giant shopping mall populated by near zombies, poor unfortunate consumers whose life-energy existed only to be siphoned off to run the planet-wide machine whose purpose was to generate conditions suitable for the return of the Shadow King, who had been banished to Tartarus in the last cosmological cycle by the Armies of Light. That was – needless to say – rather a long time ago now. Our mission was to prevent this future from happening by eliminating certain key players, most notably Emperor Constantine 1.


Things are not however as straightforward as I am making them sound. Things like this rarely are, in my experience. I had an uneasy feeling that this particular version of shadow earth was no more than a decoy and that I was on a fool’s errand. I was – in this game-cycle – a fully fledged major hero at last, but who was the enemy? Was the emperor Constantine really the key here? Perhaps – I thought to myself – this entire world was nothing more than an elaborate hoax, a clever trick to draw a blind over what was really happening. The Master Manipulators are not so easy to outsmart, after all. The Shadow King’s ruses are many. I was a hero again it was true, after untold millennia of inglorious dormancy, but I couldn’t shake the disturbing feeling that I was somehow being made a fool of, yet again…






Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.