Saturday, March 26, 2011

Messengers - 14

Which was the issue, of course, and one that, after everything happened, that Dylan never could get off his mind. The problem with the inexplicable and the inscrutable was it was inexplicable and inscrutable. The angels told you things, all sort of things, but they didn’t answer questions.

So no, it was proved pretty definitely that what angels said would happen would not necessarily come to pass. But there was no good way to work with that knowledge. As Major Figard discovered, running from your fate more often than not lead to you running straight into it.

Dylan, in his darker moments, thought this was further evidence that this whole thing was some kind of cosmic joke. Most people didn’t get the joke, he figured. Most people just took what the messages told them and did what they did with them. But if you knew that what they said didn’t have to be true, it changed everything.

Imagine that you get a death message. Most people assume that what it says will happen is what is going to happen, and for most people, it is. But when you know that the angels can be wrong, then you begin to worry. Is it inaction that brings your fate to you? Is it action? It’s paralyzing, something Dylan understood in abstract but eventually came to know maddeningly well.

The first people to really get it were the police. If you were a detective, getting messages about your cases, it seemed like a godsend. At first. Until you realized how cryptic the messages were. You flat out didn’t have the time to try and run all the leads that you got down.

It wasn’t too bad, when they gave you some insight into cases that you thought were already cold. That could make the difference between an open case and a closed case. You could take what they told you and use it to spark new ideas and make new inroads into them.

What you couldn’t do was use the messages themselves as evidence. The courts eventually ruled that while using messages to point you in the right direction was fine, but since the messages might happen or might not happen, they weren’t evidence. Most cops didn’t even mention the messages in their final reports, because the whole thing was a pain in the ass. The courts generally allowed it, but any case where the messages were used generally ended being appeal fodder for lawyers.

The real problem was when the case hadn’t happened yet. What did you do when you get a message that somebody is about to be killed, or robbed, or whatever? How did you act on that knowledge? You couldn’t just sit on the knowledge and there weren’t enough man hours in the world to allow you to try and run them all down. Knowing the future was one thing, stopping it from happening was something else entirely.

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