Difference between revisions of "Myria LeJean"
m (1 revision: Discworld import 2)
Revision as of 00:07, 24 September 2012
|Race||Auditor, though she becomes more and more human|
|Age||As old as time|
|Books||Thief of Time|
An Auditor embodied in a human, well, body. When the Auditors attempted to re-create the human body, they found that it would just lie there, decomposing, unless one of them entered the body and steered it around.
Myria's physical form is based on the famous Leonard of Quirm portrait of Woman Holding Ferret, but with all the organic imperfections (such as asymmetry) removed. The result is a rather colourless copy of a beautiful woman.
She employed Time's son, Jeremy Clockson, to build the perfect clock, in order to stop time. She went insane, as she further experimented with the experience of being human (watching the opera, tasting food, etc...), and attempted surreptitiously to stop the clock from being completed.
Her name defines an important aspect of the Auditors: Myria stands for "myriad", a number once meaning "ten thousand" in Greek, but now means "very many"; LeJean is a pun for "legion", also meaning many, and can be connected to the demons exorcised by Jesus. The Auditors believed that the name of an object or a person ought to describe what it or he/she really is, and they believed that there is safety in numbers; an individual identity means death.
It was Myria who found out that chocolate could kill Auditors. She was renamed "Unity" by Susan (who nonetheless still thought she was more insane than a loft full of cuckoos). She killed herself by jumping into a huge vat of pure chocolate, and her swan dive was witnessed by Kaos and Death, one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocralypse.
Myria LeJean is embodied in the form of a classically beautiful woman to engage Jeremy to make a time-stopping clock. Being in a human form, she comes under the effect of human senses and organs, and starts haltingly to see the world from that point of view.
Smitten by the combination of beauty and a fascinating knowledge of the possibility of clocks, Jeremy falls in love with her. Ambushed by the physicality of her own body, she is attracted to him, and in her inexperience, it is in an equally inarticulate way. She starts staying in human form all the time, going to art galleries, and even tastes food. She discovers poetry. She allows a cat to move into the place where she goes, and starts to paint. More and more wrapped in flesh, she begins to lie to herself, and to the monitoring Auditors. Even Igor begins to suspect that she is sabotaging the clock on her visits, in which he is correct. She wants more time.
When other Auditors suspect something, they become embodied, and accompany on her visit to Jeremy to ensure the clock starts that very day. She can see some of the more primitive process of ego arising in them almost immediately, emerging as argument, anger. An Auditor has no preparation for the intensities of the human form. “It’s in the darkness where your eye’s can’t see,” she says. “The universe becomes two halves, and you live in the half behind the eyes. Once you have a body, you have a ‘me’. I have seen galaxies die. I have watched atoms dance. But until I had the dark behind the eyes, I did not know the death from the dance.”
Myria is caught trying to destroy the clock by the Auditors, and a fight ensues, which is not described. She goes on the run with Jeremy, whom she may have carried, because he got hit, and could barely walk. She hides in the attic of the Art Museum, barricaded behind paradoxical commands to confuse her still super-disciplined colleagues. She discovers how to kill them with chocolate. Lobasang and Susan find her there. She and Lu Tze distract the Auditors while Susan and Lobsang set off to destroy the clock. She is captured, saved by Lu Tze, and when the clock is destroyed, ends up with him 60,000 years away eyeball to eyeball with a mammoth.
Left with Susan, once time begins to flow again, she explains what will happen to the remaining Auditors when they succumb to sleep. “The first time it happened to me I found such horror that I cannot express it... For an intellect a billion years old, in a body which is an ape on the back of a rat that grew out of a lizard. Can you imagine what comes out of the dark places, uncontrolled. They will die in their dreams.” There is a pool of visceral anger in Susan, which comes out against Auditors, but she has to admit that Unity raises the question of where humanity begins and ends, and almost feels sorry for Auditors in general.
Still not having acquired the social grace of duplicity, Unity asks the tooth-gritted Susan directly if she had romantic ideas about Lobsang. She said she herself had had strange feelings for his self that was the clockmaker i.e. Jeremy, who has now disappeared into Lobsang. She had wanted to help him, because he seemed to closed in and sad.
Then she says she has a rather human ambition: she wishes to die. She has betrayed her own kind. She can exist only by being insane. There is nowhere where she will ever be able to feel at home, and staying would be agony. She goes to her death by chocolate in the presence of Death and Chaos.
It would all have ended on rather a tragic note, except that after she plunged into the vat of chocolate, she is astonished to find herself talking to Death again. "But... I died," she said. "Yes," said Death. "This is the next part." She had become human enough to find herself on the journey through the desert.
Death by Chocolate is a rather twee name (at least, it's witty the first time you come across it) for a very rich, glutinous and intense chocolate sponge cake, saturated in chocolate liquor, filled with chocolate icing and topped with - guess what? rich chocolate sauce and decorated with chocolate shavings. As well as describing the mode of Myria's death, it has also been sent up in Mort, where * Ysabell's favourite dessert is named as Genocide by Chocolate.