“I had strings
But now I’m free
There are no strings on me”
For once, Pinocchio didn’t lie. He was, however, gravely mistaken… For you see, we all have strings. These intangibles that pull us, hither and thither, towards one action and away from another. These strings take many forms – They could be our virtues, our morals, compassion, empathy, mercy, strings that pull us towards kindness and away from wrath. Alternatively, they could be our vices or anger, pulling us towards bad habits, self-destruction and vengeance.
It goes beyond that, too. Strings are embedded within us, at our very core, our own genetic structure. Little sequences of chemicals that dictate the things we can and cannot do, our instincts and inclinations. We may look at a bird and wish we could fly, whilst others may have more mundane yet equally real yearnings, looking at a label and thinking ‘I wish I could eat food without having to check for peanuts’.
Some strings are unbreakable. Deep down, there are immutable things about us that cannot be changed. To try to resist them is to piss in the wind, so in order to be the best we can possibly be, we must learn to accept them, to not waste our time and energy battling them and simply work within the constraints forced upon us. Some strings, however, can be broken.
I know what it’s like, Impaler. I have succumbed to the thrall of others, not once but twice. First was the whip of a ringmaster, and I became an exploited pet in human form. The second was a disease, one that permeates not just the body, but the mind, perhaps infecting the very soul of its victims. I may have never truly achieved greatness, but I was never further away from it than when someone else was tugging at my strings.
You see, the strings tied to us by others can be broken. I stand today as free as a man can be in this world, and I have never felt better, felt greater. Look at history, all of the legends, and none of them are remembered as such due to being shackled, due to being subservient to lesser men. Nobody knows our potential and our goals better than ourselves, so these outside influences simply serve to dilute us.
You, my friend, have not just chosen to accept these strings… You have embraced them. On one hand, you live at the beck and call of Legion, an amalgam of demons who have yet failed to elevate you beyond mortal kin. On the other, Chronoa, hampering you with portents of fate, yet never trusting you with the truth. Two different puppet masters, fighting for control, to the point where even the most simple of actions ends up resembling modern interpretive dance as your limbs flail, disconnected from your own will.
Pinocchio could not become a real boy until he cast off those strings. Until you do the same, you are not a real man.