Losing My Wings

Yagharek's Crime

The official charge was "choice-theft". For this, the garuda Yagharek had his wings removed. This is how Yagharek met the maverick physicist Isaac, as they both planned to use anti-gravity to get Yagharek back in the air. It's only later, when the garuda Kar’uchai visits that Isaac learns exactly what Yagharek did. Choice theft is the only crime the garuda have. "To take the choice of another . . . to forget their concrete reality, to abstract them, to forget that you are a node in a matrix, that actions have consequences", explains Kar’uchai, is what Yagharek did to her. He did this when he raped her.  She explains, "I was not violated or ravaged . . .[y]ou would call his actions rape, but I do not: that tells me nothing. He stole my choice, and that is why he was . . . judged." Isaac eventually decides to respect garuda justice and refuses to help Yagharek's hope to return to the air. In terms of the fallen angel, the punishment is a loss of choice, an inability to transform between earth and air. This punishment puts the term "choice" in a strange light. Choice here is about existential potential and not rationality. Kar’uchai explains it most effectively: "We must not take the choice of another being. What is community but a means to . . . our choices.”


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