What's in a Name

I hate my name. Or at least, I hate it as much as I allow myself to feel that emotion. As much as I allow myself to feel anything...which isn't saying much, of course.

I was created with one purpose in mind, along with many others who shared that purpose as well as this face, this hair, this body. We had a purpose, a destiny, and a future, and our present was composed entirely of waiting for that fate to overtake us. We were the same. All of us, every one of us, the same height, same weight, and the same meaningless age. No matter where you looked, you saw that same blank look, devoid of any emotion or expression save a vaguely expectant look in the eyes. We waited without knowing exactly what we were waiting for. A new life, a new planet, a new future...but without knowing anything about these changes that awaited us, we nurtured neither hope nor fear. Neither was there any curiosity, because it had not been built or bred into us.

Day in, day out, the same day passed. As we shared the same appearance and namelessness, so did we share the same existance as well. Every morning, there was the same awakening, and the same chores, and the same food, and the same lake to stand by when all was done and nothing remained but to wait for the time to sleep once more, to awaken once more, to sleep once more, and to wait. We were the same, our lives and our selves, every one of us, and then we weren't.

I was given a name.

I hated it, as much as my heart could hate, as dull and unused to activity as it was. It roused a sudden fear where before there had been nothing. And where the absense of hope had been natural and ordinary, now the removal of the potential to be hopeful made even that former indifference seem sublime. As little as we knew, as little as we ever thought or wondered, still we knew what being given a name meant.

A name was an identity, and an identity set you apart from the others, and being set apart from the others meant that your destinity was rent from theirs as well. There were predecessors, and though we were all of us compliant, all of us simply waiting for our future to come upon us...we shrank from the future in which our fellows did not share. We all of us waited patiently and soberly for the future that we would all embrace as one. We did not want to be The One to bring that future to the rest.

But now I have been given a name.

And even more disturbing than the sharp fear is the slow unease stirring up within me at the thought of being different, of an invisible segregation from my fellows. Before, none of us had a name, and when you looked at one, it was like looking at any of them, or even at yourself. There was no sense of, now I am looking at this one, and then that one, because we were all the same. Now, when they look at me...they think, that is the next Destroyer, World-Bringer, Soul-Reaver.


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