Watched Knowing a few weeks ago and began idly writing drabbles about it. Once I figured this mess I had down on paper could turn into something, I decided to mold it into a one-shot.
Just one thing: the old guy? I pictured Gandalf (White version), so that might help you guys gain a little mental image his appearance. Glowing with some inner light… (Too deep?)
Disclaimer: I do not own Alex Proyas film, Knowing, including Nicolas Cage… Dang…
Knowing, Among Other Things
"To know is to know that you know nothing; that is the meaning of true knowledge."
He could feel nothing. Absolutely, pure, Nothing.
Well, at least he knew his son was safe… in a roundabout way. If you include 'being taken by probable aliens to an unknown location' safe. Well, at least Caleb hadn't suffered the same Fate as the rest of the world.
As an astrophysics professor, a firm nonbeliever in what most people called Fate, supposing everything occurred in an unpredictable, random order, knowing had come as quite a shock to him.
John wondered if this was some sort of punishment. Maybe he should've tried harder to save the world from complete destruction.
Yet, he couldn't help but acknowledge the lone thought that spoke out against his former inner voice. Telling him that maybe whatever higher being that drew that fateful list of numbers into his hands hadn't meant for John to save the world. Maybe his knowing had been for a different, ulterior purpose altogether. Of course, it was nothing a simple man like him could ever figure out; who was he to try to guess what decisions that higher being –dare he say… God- made for little, meaningless humans like him?
Still, maybe he should've tried harder, if only for his son. The same son who had been torn away from him by, dare he say it, as a mostly logical professor, aliens.
He idly hoped little Abby was safe too. He had grown fond of both the girl and her mother –in a sisterly way. No one could ever replace his wife- in the short time they had been together. The short time of knowing before the great and seemingly powerful human race had crumbled into nothing more than dust.
He thought about it for a while. When he was young, he had hated any kind of history, saying he didn't want to learn about the mistakes people had made before him. His high-pitched, sixth grade voice echoed in his ears.
'I'll make my own mistakes.'
'Turns out I did,' he thought wryly.
But now, now that he was floating in this endless void of nothing, he thought about the great men who had shaped the world. Strong Julius Caesar with his Romans, Legendary King Arthur and the Round Table, and even more recent. Highly intelligent Benjamin Franklin: the genius who had inadvertently started the American Revolution.
His analytical mind took that man apart. He had nothing else to do in the nothingness. What had Franklin invented? Bifocals, Albany Plan of Union, electricity. Where did he live? When did he live? Was he married?
Suddenly, the questions got a whole lot more personal.
Ben Franklin had a son.
A smart son, John remembered. He was a loyalist. He had turned on his father, abandoning his family for the English King. 'Ben must've felt horrible,' John realized, 'maybe worse than I do.'
As he thought more about his beloved son, John let out a painful sob. His head snapped up, eyes darting around. A few seconds later, he relaxed. It was just him.
"It's not over!" he whispered quickly, growing excited. He remembered what his father had told him before they were enveloped in flames."It's not the end!"
There was a flash of white light. A beautiful, melodious singing permeated the air. John hung limp with the beauty of it; he found he couldn't move. It was like an enchanting spell, washing over him like the blue-green waves of the ocean. The light grew brighter, and John found himself staring into the face of an angel.
"Isabel," he gasped, gaining the ability to stir. He stumbled forward, reaching out to his wife. Isabel smiled brightly, teeth glowing a pearly white, and ran towards the arms of her quirky husband.
They met somewhere in the middle, clinging tightly to each other in the middle of the nothingness. "Isabel," John breathed again, inhaling the familiar strawberry scent of her red hair.
Wait, red hair!
"You were blonde," he said confused. "I remember, right before you…" he stopped, gazing at her in sudden elation. "You're not dead! Why aren't you dead?"
She laughed, the sound like the pealing of bells. "I am, as you say, dead. We are both dead."
"Then… how are we here?" he asked, sounded like he had been reduced to an unthinking, frightened child. "Together?"
"We are in the place we go after death," she replied, rather vaguely.
"You mean Heaven?" he prodded her, trying to get some answers. She had been a Christian; at least before she died.
Isabel looked thoughtful; she tried to think of a decent answer to that question. It seemed like it had been so long since she died; it seemed even longer since she had been to a church. Of course, she had never forgotten her dear John and her darling Caleb; she had just since believed religions were little, fickle things. She needn't remember what had no solid meaning to her. The only memories of a church that she still held were of her fairytale, white wedding, and only that because that was the day that John and she had been joined together –at least in their eyes. She sighed, being brought back to the present conversation by no more than John's loving but curious gaze on her.
"It has been called that," she answered simply. John kept his eyes on her, obviously waiting for a more in depth answer; she could sincerely say she didn't have an exactly eloquent one. "This place has been called many things: Olympus, Heaven, the Afterlife… I could go on. The important thing is not where you are," Isabel informed him wisely. "It is that you are here."
The dark-haired man nodded, seeming to finally accept the answer. He wrapped his arms around her, holding her again tightly to him again. "With you," he smiled, adding on to her statement.
She moved so she was gazing into his eyes, their faces mere inches apart. "With you," she confirmed breathlessly.
And for a beautiful and perfect moment, their lips met.
It was no hungry kiss, no desperate kiss. After all , there was no need for that, was there? The couple, doomed before, were now together for their own eternity. Their love had barely begun.
A few minutes later, they broke apart, not at all gasping for air; they didn't really have need of it.
The couple turned to see a dark haired woman rushing towards them; she was such a blur that they didn't realize who it was until John was on the floor as this woman hugged him tightly.
"Diana?" John asked, confused yet again. This was supposed to be Isabel's and his eternity, not hers. He mentally shook himself free of the particular selfish thought.
Nevertheless, he squeezed her tightly for a moment, then helped the woman to stand, noting the distinct difference in her expression. No longer was there any stricken and frantic worry furrowing her brow. There was no more of her rash, devil-may-care attitude that he had grown so used to in her. The dark brunette looked surprisingly perfectly serene.
"This is everyone's eternity," Isabel told her stunned husband gently.
His expression was blank for a second, then he broke into a huge grin. "Wonderful!"
The two ladies were introduced, both excited to meet each other.
"Wait," John broke in, his brow furrowed. "What about Caleb?"
"Young Caleb is quite alright, as is Miss Abigail. They are currently reconstructing what the old human race unknowingly and in hopeless indifference, destroyed."
The three turned to face the person with the gravelly voice, finding an old man standing there. Two of the three looked quite surprised. But this wasn't like any old man that John or Diana had ever seen.
The man was robed in the purest white, matching his perfectly white hair and long, wizard-like beard. John observed, he was not unlike the stereotypical Disney wizard either. The 'wizard' leaned precariously on an ancient looking staff, which had many aged engravings on it. A diamond was set into the top. A silver handled sword sheathed in what looked like pure drops of sunlight hung from the man's thin and lean hip, though it looked like it hadn't been used, never mind pulled out of that sheath, in ages.
The oddest thing about this man was the 'Santa Claus jolly' grin on his perfectly wrinkled face, as if he had just won a war. Little did they know, he practically had.
"They will join you shortly," he added, the grin never fading.
"If this is… like Heaven, where is everyone else?" John asked, still a bit suspicious. He'd never been one for overly happy people; he was a natural pessimist himself.
"Most all humans were useless to me –horrible and mad people, you had down there; their bodies faded to the nothingness and their souls are currently being purified in the flawless and unadulterated waters of Lethe. Everyone else worthy enough for the Kingdom was intelligent enough to go through the giant golden gates," the old man lightly scolded him, waving a hand towards the city of forever.
John nodded, properly chastised, and the three beings made their way into the eternal kingdom. Suddenly remembering something, John cupped his hands over his mouth and shouted to the old man. "What is your name?"
The man's voice echoed through the sky, bounced off the wall and made him freeze. Some in the streets looked up knowingly, having been through this process before, but some looked a little afraid, but still content.
"I go by many names, young John, far too many for either you or me to count. But as for you, my friend, you already know me… as God."
Just a little one-shot. I loved this movie when I saw it, but didn't see any fics that did this.
If you noticed, awesome, but if you didn't, I chose Ben Franklin because of two reasons: one, National Treasure, and two, the few similarities the he had with John.
I was going all "Narnia" on you guys during that last part. Sorry about that, but I absolutely love Aslan and C. S. Lewis.
I just finished my Sorcerer's Apprentice story, and thought I might write a few little things before getting into my next big one, whatever that might turn out to be.