Tales from the Shadow of the Statue: Tale 4 "Jacob's Number"

Jacob etched numbers into the walls of the cave. More numbers. More people. More candidates. Each number assigned at birth. A life number. A death number. Most would end up constants. Just lives that existed. That never influenced anyone or anything. Serving nothing. A wasted life. A few would have potential. Maybe they would serve as examples, both good or bad, to someone who would use that knowledge to advance the many timelines. Until one timeline was chosen. But a select few had the potential to be variables. Those who had the special talent, the special ability, to make a difference. To actually determine fate! The fate of others! The fate of themselves! The fate of the world! Jacob would study the names and the numbers. He would venture to the tower. Stare into the mirrors. Watch to see who had the potential. Who would be chosen. Who he would have to 'guide' to their destiny. He had done this for so many years. Throughout so many generations. Throughout so many timelines. He traveled those timelines. Watching all the potential and probable outomes for all of the potential and probable candidates. For all the potential and probable existences. Mistakes were made! After all, he was only human! A human with very special abilities, charged with a very special duty, but still human nevertheless. However, once fate was set in motion, it was set! There were exceptions but only minor ones. Jacob wondered about his own fate sometimes. He knew he would not be here forever. That one day he would have to find a replacement. But he also wondered what his life would have been in an alternative reality. Where would he be? What would he be? Would he have been a constant or a variable? Would he even be alive? At times, when he was up in the tower and turning the probability wheel, he thought about setting the wheel to his own number. What potential would his life have had, if he was never born on this island? If he wasn't the chosen one! If only! But he would never set that wheel to his number. It was against the rules. Rules established long ago before he, or anyone or anything else, even existed. Yes, one day he would be replaced but until that time he would continue his lonely tasks. Continue until his own number would be up! The End.

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