Life Inevitable

Among the theorists, scholars, philosophers, and ontologists of the Wary Order, supreme is Hetzel, attributed as the author of Life Inevitable.

In one hundred and eighty pages, depending on format, is material that has sparked debate, argument, cold shoulders and hot warfare for the past several centuries. It is a combination of fiction, treatise, and dialectic, usually using as mouthpiece Miro of Messene or Gersen, a Domarian. Further complicating the matter was that Miro, a real contemporary of Hetzel, espouses ideology provably his own, reasoning provably not, and reasoning which is clearly (or not so clearly) ironic. The text itself skips nimbly from achronological scenes in a narrative to scenes which contradict that narrative which are yet considered true elsewhere, to a discussion of establishing sovereignty, to poetry, to theoretical mathematics, to less-than-theoretical mathematics, to lengthy scenes which purely describe places and points in time.

Common wisdom holds the text to be a teaching tool for Wayfarers; the book is a metaphor for the all-encompassing mystery of life and the Wayfarer's need to respond to anything and everything. Such wisdom, usually dispensed over a drink to another person who has never read the book, would receive a blank stare from anyone who has seriously studied it. A true Wayfarer might say that to define the book's purpose would be a gross oversimplification of everything the book purports to be; they would then be ruthlessly criticised for the temerity to claim themselves a 'true' Wayfarer, and in the subsequent discussion of what that is, Life Inevitable would be quoted. This is guaranteed.

In short, it is endlessly enigmatic, applicable, and infuriating.

Miro was staring at the river, rolling over the smooth white stones in the bed. "Beyond the treeline, a machine approaches. It will turn this copse, and you and I, to ash. We cannot avoid this. But for now, would you say it is peaceful here?"

The sergeant, pale but unmoved from his foxhole, nodded. "The birds haven't even left yet."

"And they won't, until the tank arrives." Miro grinned from underneath the netting. "Because it is still peaceful here."

- Miro's final moments from his second death scene.

… and there are both absolutes and relatives and they coexist peacefully. But as the gladiator may not choose the arena, we may not choose the situation that our internal calculus dictates the outcome. So it is we must know every inch of that arena before we enter it. For though it is absolutely wrong to kill, it is only relatively wrong to kill someone …

- Dialectic of disputed authenticity. Most subsequent debate by scholars focused on passages taken out of context instead of framing it in the context of transitivity, which is the chapter title.

Tragedy is avoidable.

- Graffito scrawled across Gersen's lakehouse after the three-day storm.

The fire of humanity is an ember in the desert. [misattributed] Keep it alight.

- Opening quote of chapter four, unsourced by text. Misattribution due to slogan of old sect of the Wary Order, today mostly subsumed.

"The universe imprints on the observer. Consider that as you live within a real universe - this much at least is reasonably certain - you manufacture also a universe behind the eyes, composed of memory and thought. A shadow universe, an imperfect mirror. So the reflection of all that is, for the observer, is all that is. Everyone has one; trillions of shadow universes compacted into a space usually no larger than a human head. It is no wonder, then, the selfishness of those who see unclearly."

- The blurb of an experia Miro discards while flipping through the discount pile.

"It's a load of wank, but it pays the bills."

- Mina Illem, noted scholar of Hetzel, to a million-strong intranet conference about her new book.

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