The Legend of Salara Walker


"Where will you go?"

"Home," was what she told the man, and home was where she went. Mile by long mile she walked, back over the bridge, through the long miles of desert, back to her home. But she came home to a broken riot, tearing itself apart. She could almost wish Carnegie back, at that moment, as she stood in the streets of what had been the beginning of a home.

But the feeling passed. Mother was there, and the words of Eli with her. Already the riots were calming, quieting as men came to hear the words of the Blind Woman, taken from the Spotted Book. Life was beginning again. And as she watched the awakening of hope in the eyes of those who listened to her mother, she began to hear it.

A voice, Eli had called it. A voice that seemed to come almost from within you, yet you heard it clear as day. And a voice so powerful, so compelling, that you could not choose but believe. Believe, and Obey.

And so she left her home, her mother, and went walking out across the long desert beyond. Those who followed her mother would have given her a car, but she had refused them. She must walk, as Eli had walked. But as where he had been called West, she went East, North, South, or wherever the voice told her.

She crossed mountains, she forded rivers. She walked in great twisting canyons and over blackened ground that poured forth steam. In long avenues of twisted glass and steel she wandered, and in half-sunken shipyards of belching oil. She found danger. She found people. Houses. Towns.

In her sack, she carried Eli's book. Others, too, from the Archivists, full of stories and facts about the world as it was, long ago. And everywhere she went, she read to people from these stories, told them the words. She gave them the words of Shakespeare, of Britannica, and of Einstein, but mostly, she gave them the words of Eli. Not just the book, but also of the man who had borne it.

There were others, she soon learned. Amidst the crumbling buildings of Toronto, in the loosely scattered townspeople collected there, she met a man from Alcatraz. He was well-armed and well-trained, but even so he was surprised to meet her, Salara Walker, as people had begun to call her. In his sack were many copies of Eli's book, and of others. He had brought them to Toronto.

She met them elsewhere. Bookbearers, they called themselves, carrying the works of Alcatraz press. Some went on foot, some drove in cars stuffed heavy with their precious cargo. Not all returned, but more came to fill their place. They went everywhere, and the word of Eli went with them.

So she pressed on ahead of them. She went deeper, farther, into uncharted lands, bearing the books with her. And now, wherever she went, she sent word back to the Bookbearers, that here was another town. The miles grew long under Salara Walker's feet, and her feet grew heavier with each passing day, but she walked the path, and followed the voice. She reached the end of the land, where only the crashing salt sea remained, and yet the voice urged her on. A boat appeared, and Salara Walker went aboard. New lands she visited, where men spoke strange tongues, but still she spoke the words of Eli to any who could understand her.

At last the day came when Salara Walker could walk no more. A tribe of olive-skinned people found her, collapsed and feverish, on the side of the road. They took her in and nursed her, and listened with wonder to the half-delirious words she muttered, intelligible to them only through the agency of a young man. As she lay there, Salara pressed the sack and its now-battered contents into his hands, and he nodded.

Sick and dying, she spoke her stories to the townspeople for six days, and on the seventh she rested. And Salara Walker laid her head down, the voice within her stilled at last, saying Well done, good and faithful servant.

Amen.


A/N: I do NOT understand why there are not more Book of Eli fanfics. I wrote this thing within half-an-hour of watching the movie. I mean, okay, there aren't many characters to write with once the movie ends, but even so... come on! Awesome movie! Even a few examinations of Redridge wouldn't be bad.

Credit for the cover, "The World Before" goes to emo-nerd on DevART