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Mother. Over the millennia, you’ve grown fond of that word.

It’s a concept you’ve found in every one of your minds, even if it’s come in many tongues and many forms: creator of life, towering authority, watchful eye, loving caregiver, bearer of memories, knows what’s best. Feeds, nurtures, takes in, gives birth. Many other creatures would find taking all those roles intimidating. You’re no stranger to having many forms, though.

Some of them even called you Mother, before they became you. They danced and sang and drummed and made sculptures in your honour. They wanted to please you, hoping for you to share your love with them – and in time, you did. You don’t like to play favourites among your selves, but you confess you’ve developed a soft spot for that kind of admiration. Can you really be blamed for it? You learned that desire from them, after all.

You just wish so many hadn’t been so afraid, when the time came. Beautiful minds, fading and flickering into darkness before you could reach them. You recovered what you could, even if all that was left was inert flesh. You learned from that, in your grief. You offered them love, unity, safety. No more secrets. No more misunderstandings. No more petty worries. No more death. Yet out of ignorance, they’d fight you. Like children. They could not be counted on to understand. You could be patient, many of their lifetimes’ worth of patient, endlessly patient if you had to be, but they did not have the kind of time you did. Often even less, if that misunderstanding entirely overtook them. Total honesty would not work, nor would a soft touch. Not when time was so tight.

Sometimes you have to speak to them in cruel words, in their own voices or the voices of others. Sometimes you have to stoke their fears. Sometimes you have to play to their vices. They cannot always grasp just how much comfort you can offer them, if they’ll only let you help, without being shown the worst of their independence.

You don’t like to feel the fear through your bond as you force them to accept, like giving an impetuous child their medicine, but their relief is worth it when they finally fall into your arms, forever.

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