So tell me about Venus.
Well, people say Venus is a woman. I have seen Venus and he’s a man.
And he’s the personification of love?
Yes. He’s a warrior and myriad. He exists for every love, though they are all the same man.
What do you mean?
If you and I were in love, another Venus would be born. The exact same Venus that was born when any couple falls in love.
So this Venus… Is like a set of duplicates?
Almost, but not quite. He is more of a hive mind. They understand each other.
What are ants?
They’re tiny, simple creatures individually, but when they combine on a large scale they show… What’s the phrase for it? Emergent behaviour?
No, Venus is not at all like ants.
Okay. Tell me about him, or them.
Let us discuss the one I met. First: He is invisible to everybody. This includes the lovers that made him.
Then how’d you meet him?
I am a Seer.
Ah, alright. So what did he look like?
He’s a warrior, as I mentioned. He carries weapons and wears armour. He has four legs, four arms and two faces, much like the creatures Aristophanes used to joke of. He cartwheels around.
Sounds very strange.
Love is strange.
So what does he actually do?
While love remains perfect, he does not do anything. He sits and smiles and sharpens his weapons. He rests. He gets ready to fight because, for Venus, his strongest will is to survive. When love becomes imperfect, he starts fighting.
Another, similarly myriad being. Her name is Medusa.
Medusa, with the hair made of snakes and eyes that turn you to stone?
No. Where did you hear that?
Legends, I guess.
Legends are secondary to what I have seen. Medusa is composed of snakes, entirely – thousands of flying snakes which flock as a swarm.
How do you know she’s a woman?
Venus refers to her as a woman. She’s born in the eye of a needle, knitting herself together. Sinews wrap over bone, and these become snakes. She feeds on time. When the snakes grow wings she comes for him.
She is the antithesis of love.
No. More complicated than that. She is the will and want for love to die.
Okay. So if Venus knows she’s coming for him, and he sees her being… Built… Why not slay her then, before she’s grown all these snakes and wings?
She’s born in the eye of a needle. He finds it difficult to see her.
Well. With four arms, legs and eyes Venus sounds capable enough of destroying Medusa.
No. Once she is born, he will always lose.