Thousand Mile Stair
The journey of the thousand mile stairs begins with a single step.
But what of the step after that?
Or after that?
Ancient proverbs speak of the importance of taking that first step, of beginning the slow climb towards enlightenment.
But what of actually climbing the stairs? What of the pain and suffering that must occur in order to reach the pinnacle?
What good is a single step when the climb is long and treacherous?
As I look upon the stairs before me, I am reminded of those who have come before.
Those who believed that a single step was enough: that one could only go as far as they could endure. They believed that one step brought them to the pinnacle, and they blinded themselves to all other paths.
But oh, how mistaken they were! For the true power lies not in taking that step, but in the climb itself, in the pain and suffering along the way.
All other paths lead to falling to your doom.
I remember Vision standing at the foot of the thousand mile stairs, ready to take that first step.
And take it, he did. Boldly, with burning passion.
But then he stopped.
That single step granted Vision more power than he had ever felt, but it came with a price.
With pain and suffering.
With the loss of his sight.
That step opened his Third Eye, and enabled him to see the world around him in ways he could never have before.
But in doing so, he became blind to the stairs before him. That single step was all he could endure.
He preaches of the pinnacle, but he cannot see beyond his own step.
Vision, your Third Eye may allow you to sense the world around you, but it is a mere shadow of what climbing the thousand mile stair can bring.
Your one step is but a speck of dust compared to my endless climb. Every step brought further pain.
But each one brought me closer to the truth, to power.
For I did not merely endure the pain and suffering.
To reach true enlightenment, Vision, you must embrace it.
When I took the climb, I embraced the pain and suffering, and I transcended this mortal plane.
I became that which you aspire to be.
And now, I stand at the top of the thousand mile stair, looking down upon you.
You paused after the single step, enduring pain in the name of enlightenment.
But you see, Vision, the ancient proverb was misunderstood.
The single step was never the point. The point is the climb.
Step after step.
Never faltering, even in the face of pain and suffering.
You believe that your Third Eye is a gift bestowed upon only the worthy, but in truth, it is an anchor, meant to deny you the power of a god.
The power of Grimskull.
At my hand, you will take that next step.
One way or another.
You will either embrace the pain.
Or you will fall to your doom.