Summary:On Herons' island, the Solars discuss the stories of their lives.

XP:I1, L1, Z1


< Why Start Now | Sol Invictus Logs | Of The Water >

zahara As the sun slowly sets over the horizon, turning the sky and its reflection on the ocean to rich purple and pink hues, Zahara strikes flint to steel. A bright waterfall of sparks falls upon the tinder that she'd helped gather, the old-fashioned way. A few more tries, and the flame takes hold. She sits back on her heels and watches the flame rise.

Lucent floats a pine tree above the water. The orbs slide around it, shaping it like woodcutting tools. "I COULD have just lifted the entire damn forest out, you know." He pouts, continuing his methodical carving.

zahara "You could have. And I could have simply created wood."

Lucent grins. "True. How was it to chuck wood again?"

zahara "Quite odd, really. I almost broke a nail." She pouts.

Imrama Thuk. Thuk. Crack! Nearby, Imrama hammers away on a coconut with a rock. "Thirsty work, I imagine. Would you care for a drink?"

zahara chuckles. "What did you bring this time, Imrama?"

Lucent "Same. Not that I ever chucked wood on the desert." He nods. "Was... a new experience!"

Imrama "I wanted to maintain the do-it-yourself ethic you suggested for this outing, but I also figured that it wouldn't be a party without some light intoxication. So I brought this." Imrama holds up a small cloth bag of...dust?

zahara "That doesn't look very drinkable," she says dubiously.

Lucent "And what is... that?"

Imrama "Unparalleled Brewer's Yeast. Just add it to your beverage of choice." Imrama sprinkles a pinch into the hole in his coconut. "And an ideal degree of fermentation sets in immediately." Imrama takes a sip, and smiles.

Lucent stops his half-finished carving of Alveua and sinks it on the sand... before stretching and going after a coconut himself. For all he was complaining, seeing Imrama do it was inspiring! And it could not be so hard, now, could it?

Imrama stretches out on the beach beside Zahara and her fire, staring out at the sunset. He offers her the coconut. "A magnificent view. At least one thing we can say that our benefactor is good for, eh?"

Lucent finds no coconuts on the ground, and alas, has to make do by picking a rock... and throwing it right on one of the far-off coconuts, having it fall right on his hand! The rock ricochets and returns and he walks back with both of them on hand. "We could send Herons a letter. 'Thank you for your island!'"

zahara takes the coconut and tries it. "Mmmm... it's even fizzy." She tosses another log on the fire, causing a tongue of flame to curl into the air. "I like my island better though."

Imrama "I fine idea, Lucent. 'P.S.: I am standing on it right now, eating one of your coconuts. I do so often. Sometimes naked.'"

Lucent "That is a perfect addendum, Imrama. You Eclipse do have a way with words." He nods, taking the rock and opening the coconut on one strike. Clean. "Speaking of, the ending of Book 10 was moving. Great job in that one!"

zahara smirks.

zahara "Which one was book 10?"

Lucent "Cerin's sacrifice and the attack on Solaria. A pity I was not there at the time..." He takes some of the dust from Imrama's bag and sprinkles it on the coconut as soon as he has it open enough. "I keep thinking that I could have helped it somehow."

zahara "Ahh... yes." She tosses another chunk of wood into the fire, and closes her eyes against the light, which doesn't particularly help. "Not one of my favorite books, really."

Lucent "Yeah, I imagine... but Imrama really did it justice." Lucent drinks up! "Yum."

Imrama "Thank you kindly, Lucent. A hard tale to read, particularly for those of us who lived through any of it. But it does set the stage beautifully for the triumph at the end of Book 12."

Lucent "Try not to depict me as a completely shifty backstabber like Thirteen believe me to be, please?"

zahara looks up. "Is 12 not yet written then?"

Imrama "I'm focused on the 11th, at the moment. I only have a broad outline for the 12th, and my notes from Phoenix's books."

Lucent "I am told Cerin's designs for it are quite popular." He nods. "How is it to write about yourself, however? Must make one feel self-conscious. I know I would..."

zahara takes a long draught from the coconut

Imrama "Well, as we discussed, there is necessarily a large dose of fiction in each of these works. But when I first left my father's house, even before I was chosen, I set out to make of myself a hero worthy of the stories I read as a child. Since joining our Circle, I can say that I have arrived at that place. So self-consciousness is not a particular concern of mine, at least not in the negative...

Imrama ...sense."

zahara smiles a bit. "I'm glad we could help you fulfil your dreams. Do you have another fizzy coconut?"

Imrama "I am happy to oblige, Empress, but I have gotten quite comfortable lying here, so I am afraid I will have to cheat." Imrama raises a hand and points behind him towards the trees without looking. Lightning falls from the clear sky to strike a single palm, and a fresh coconut comes rolling down the beach to stop within Imrama's reach.

Imrama He picks up the fruit and scowls at it. White hot light bursts from his left eye and sears a neat hole in the shell. He pours in a bit of powder and hands it to Zahara.

Lucent blinks "... since when can you shoot BEAMS from your EYES?"

zahara "When did you pick up this 'shooting lightning' skill?"

Imrama "The firewand is unusual amongst all of the conventional weapons of Creation, in that it inflicts harm through the use of relatively pure elemental force. I am a student of the firewand, and both the focused sunlight and the lightning are examples of advanced theories in its use. First, you must understand that one element may be transformed into another. Then you must recognize that the...

Imrama ...great maelstrom of elemental force that is the world may be understood as a single great and terrible weapon. For my purposes, an enormous firewand."

zahara "Huh. Fancy."

Lucent "So, if some big enemy appears, we can just have you shoot Gaia's heart out of Mount Meru at them?"

Imrama "That is a plateau I have yet to reach, Lucent. And one I am not sure I am in any hurry to climb."

Lucent "To be as the Primordials." He closes his eyes, the bracers of his armor there allowing his presence to spread over the area. "Are you afraid of it? Of the moment you look back and wonder wether we are still Human at all?"

zahara "To become the things we were created to destroy? Seems...wrong."

Imrama "My humanity is the source of my purpose, Lucent. I would have no meaning without it. It is the nature of the Primordials to be too large to feel the importance of those smaller than them. I do not aspire to such a pitiable state."

Lucent "And we are Exalted. Fire given to HUMANITY to shape its own destiny." He nods.

Lucent "Without humanity there is no Exaltation."

Lucent "But I do feel the lure for it. To be something more. Eternal."

zahara "Humanity. Overrated." She kicks some sand.

Lucent picks his coconut and finishes it, watching the fading sunset "What IS Humanity, to you?"

Imrama "I treasure the impermanence of my exaltation, Lucent. I would not wish to fix for all time, what is made so glorious by its transience." Imrama listens intently for Zahara's reply to Lucent's question.

zahara "Humanity is small and weak. Fragile and unable to change the world. Humanity is mortality. Being divided from the Essence of the universe."

Lucent "No. There is Mortality, which is Humanity's natural state. But WE are still Human, Zahara."

Lucent "It would be a sad thing if the Gift to Humanity made it cease to exist."

zahara "Humanity is... Book 10."

Imrama "To love, to hope, to feel pain, to struggle and lose and still to try - this is, to me, the essence of humanity. You are right; all of it is to be found in book 10."

zahara "I'm glad you approve."

Lucent "It is what gives us strength." He looks at the sky. "And yet..."

zahara "And yet."

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Page last modified on March 23, 2009, at 02:44 AM