Fandom: Hand of Isis
Spoilers: Up to the end of the story.
Disclaimer: No matter how much I wish it, the characters are most definitely not mine.
A/N: I recently finished reading Hand of Isis by jo_graham and to anyone on my flist who has not read this remarkable novel, I insist you hightail it to Amazon/Borders/Waterstones/wherever, and get your hands on a copy forthwith. It is a remarkable story of love and committment and duty, narrated by Cleopatra's sister and handmaiden, and it will run you through a gauntlet of emotions. An intimate story on an epic stage.
By the end of the book my mind was buzzing and I could not stop thinking about what came after. And so, as is often the case, the result was fic. Huge thanks to djarum99 for the super speedy beta. The title is a quote from the novel.
Dion is not a man of faith. He has lived his life trusting cogs and levers, systems and formulas, weights and counterweights. He does not believe in science, for belief is unnecessary when faced with the fact of what is. He does not believe that the past dictates the future, for while a dropped coin may fall ten times on one side, there is no certainty what the next drop will bring. He knows that, given time, all things can be understood.
Dion is not a man of faith. He knows that God exists, and is confident that one day someone will be able to explain how. He knows why the waters parted, allowing Moses to lead his Exodus; not the work of Jehovah, but weights and counterweights on a larger stage than the Jewish theatre. If God had a hand in that event, it was merely to construct the necessary machinery.
He has studied how the stars shift, how the earth moves but the sun does not, but he does not laugh at those archaic religions that spoke of the toil of heavenly scarabs. He is one of the younger children of time and it is not unlikely, he knows, that the things taken as truth now might seem just as ludicrous in another thousand years. Perhaps one day people will laugh at the idea of only four elements. Perhaps one day someone will tell him why the dropped coin drops.
Dion is not a man of faith. He simply accepts that which he knows. And what he knows is this.
He has walked this land before.
There are no cogs, no wheels, no formulas to tell him how this works, but he knows, he knows, that he is not a stranger here.
He has helped those he loves die, three women, his mothers and sisters both. He has carried his lover from the battlefield, felt the hot trickle of his lifeblood run unchecked across his hands. And yet there is one blissful pinpoint of light within that tells him not to mourn, for he will see them again.
Demetria never speaks of it, but she shares his conviction. How could she not? Sometimes he wonders how much time she spends in the past. He could be forgiven for thinking she has forgotten, though he knows that will never be true. Priestess she may be, but she is also a woman of the world, this world, and her daily concerns now are for the man she calls father, for the quickening in her womb; she does not speak of the dead. Often he wonders if she is even aware of the centuries of Ptolemaic blood that runs in her veins, or if she recognises her mother in the cut of her nose and brow. There are times when it seems she does not think of her mother or aunts at all. Then there are those other times, when he thinks all she is doing is waiting.
Dion is not a man of faith, but this he knows for sure. There are those he has loved, those he has lost, those who will always find him time and again, in this world or the next, and somewhere there are wheels that turn to make this so. Perhaps one day someone will be able to tell him how.