(K’ain watches Tyvian laugh until he is done. He is completely still. The look in his eye is no longer anger, something closer to the resignation and despair of a caged animal. He doesn’t seem to have noticed Rogan’s intrusion. His words are measured, calm, the Nyverian clipped and precise, but somehow numb.)
No… you don’t understand. How could you… You are Hu’manii, you don’t understand death at all.
(The seriousness in his voice brings Tyvian back down to earth. K’ain has never failed to at least repress a smile at Rogan’s antics before. He sounds for the first time like a man who’s given up hope.)
You think I am angry because the Empire would have me killed?
(“I” and “Me” not “We” or “Us”)
The Empire killed me twenty six years ago.
They raised us as Cóng Jasai Fiir’ti. So that we understood what death is. So that we knew what sin we were committing when we took a life. So that, when we took life for Protagaal that soul was remembered in us, by us. Manii N’gaal-Fiis, children of death. The conscience of Portagaal.
They told us to kill was wrong, and put a sword in our hands… and we killed. With a conscience… With guilt…
Every soul we have ever taken haunts us. All of us. That guilt drove my… the only woman I have ever loved, the other half of me, to take her own life. They took everything of us. EVERYTHING.
What do I care if they take my life. I have not had a reason to live now for twenty years.
But if Ra’aiir would have any of his soldiers kill… without granting B’aas to the dead… Without guilt… If men like Ra’aviik would even consider it… Cóng Manaar has lost it’s conscience… And everything they took from us, everything we’ve done, was for nothing.
Can you understand that?