Pairing(s) / Character(s): sentient!Atlantis, Ancient!John
Spoiler / Warnings: thru "Imperator" in the AJ 'Verse
Disclaimer: I don't own these characters. I don't even own the humorous (and legally useless) disclaimer you're reading now.
Summary "Good intentions are the most destructive arsenal of all.
Notes: Yet another way I might've started the next installment in the AJ 'Verse. Nor do I even particularly like the book I'm quoting from this time, but it does have it's quote-worthy moments.
An Ancient!John Drabble
"Thoughts become weapons. Philosophies are distinct reasons for war. Good intentions are the most destructive arsenal of all."
Brian Herbert and Kevin J Anderson, Dune: The Machine Crusade
/Everything will be alright,/ Atlantis promises, her voice shooting and gentle as it brushes against his mind. /You will see, pastor./
Iohannes leans his head back against the wall, eyes closed, and lets out a long breath. "You don't know that, carrisima. For all anyone knows, I've only made things that much worse."
/We know you./
"There is that," he concedes, concentrating on his breathing.
He has no need to breathe, but it makes him feel less on edge, less like his essence is going to come pouring out of his body in something akin to a nuclear explosion if he so much as sneezes. (Not, of course, that he has the capability to sneeze - there's a lot more to respiration than one might think - but the idea remains the same. He's a ticking time bomb who shouldn't be trusted around anything that might set him off, be it would-be worshippers or strong breezes.)
But breathing helps somewhat. It reminds him that he's still in control of himself, however tenuous that control may actually be.
/You are a good man. You are selfless and righteous and kind. You gave ten thousand years of your life to protect us, and gave the Terrans a home when they were cut off from theirs. You have all but given your life in service to others - though not for lack of trying. You should not doubt yourself so much./
"Good men still make mistakes."
/All people make mistakes. If you didn't, you would truly be the god the Descendants wish you to be./
He opens his eyes long enough to give the darkened ceiling a half-hearted glare. "Yes, 'cause that makes me feel so much better."
/It was meant to,/ the city says gleefully, wilfully taking his words at face value. Then, more soberly, /We know how you fear falling prey to Haeresis, but it will not take you if you do not let it./
Iohannes, eyes closed once more, gives 'Lantis a tight-lipped smile. "I wish I could be the person you think I am."
/You have always been him, pastor, whether you have believed so or not./
He snorts but doesn't say anything. He just continues to focus on the slow rise and fall of his diaphragm, the steady draw of air in and out of his nose, and tries to make himself believe he's doing the right thing.