Summary:Lucent is summoned by Jupiter and told more about his shocking destiny.



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Lucent thanks the servants with flowers as they dance out of his room, having finished the preparations for his sleep. The scent of incense feels every corner of the room as Lucent lets go of his fiddle and walks to the room, making images of heaven, the sun, of the vanquished, whispering prayers for each and every one. And for the living. For each of his Circlemates and his budding nation...

Lucent As he finishes those prayers he picks his book, 'The Lights of Chaya and pulls his sheets apart to begin a long session of late-night reading before Luna's smile comes for him...

The bed is unusually comfortable, and it doesn't take long at all for him to drift off to sleep.

It doesn't feel like it's been long at all before Lucent finds himself awakening... and when he does, it's somewhere very different from where he went to sleep.

Lucent finds himself lying in a circular bed, greenish sheets flowing down to white marble floors, lighted candles all around the room providing the only illumination... and over on one side of the room, a set of three steps that lead up to a black, intricately carved door.

Lucent "Hmmm? Where...?" Lucent gets up from the bed. He looks about the room... and then, picking one of the candles, walks to the door and attempts to open it. "Zahara, this is NOT funny. If this was Varanim's idea, tell her she is getting a spanking!"

The door isn't locked, and opens up as he turns the handle, leading to a long hallway, one in which mosaics of tiny opal stars set into a black obsidian sky line the walls.

Lucent looks up as he walks on, to the end of the hallway, trying to remember if he saw that sort of architecture and jewelry anywhere before...

Despite wracking his brain, Lucent can't find a single memory that makes any of this familiar to him, and when he reaches the end he still hasn't thought of anything.

At the end is another door, much like the first, large and black -- but in this one, emblazoned in green at the center of the door, is a large ?.

Lucent "Oh." Lucent proclaims. "So THAT is what is going on."

Lucent opens the door of Jupiter. "Now, what did I do to call upon the Maiden of Secret's attention?"


Lucent opens the door of Jupiter. "Not quite what I was expecting."

The door opens up into a large room... a pentagonal chamber, marble-floored, a green Jupiter symbol on the floor surrounded by black, moving up to a white dome abovehead... thousands of books of every description line shelves rising up to far overhead on every wall...

And at the center, sitting at a birch table, upon which sits a map of the the world and a starmetal compass, is a woman in a full-body green robe.

Lucent "So this is the Forbidding Manse of Ivy, I imagine. A part of it. Or a representation?" He asks without expecting an answer. There never is one, is there? He walks with his candle to the table, laying it down and giving the woman the full bow a priest would a divinity. "It is an honor."

"Hello, Lucent," the woman says. Her face is still largely concealed under her hood, and she doesn't stand up.

Lucent "Hello." He rises from his bow, not looking directly at her. "Is there a name I can call you by?"

"You know who I am," she says, sketching arcs onto her map with one hand as she speaks.

Lucent "I did not mean to be presumptuous, Maiden of Secrets." He smiles. "So you heard my prayers."

Lucent "And you certainly know the magnitude of the secret we have been attempting to unearth."

"I did," she said, "and I do, and..." She finishes her arcs on the map and gently folds it, placing it into the desk -- "that's why I've had to bring you here today."

Lucent looks over the map. "I imagine you are not going to help you find Seven Leaping Herons. I am not going to ask you to do so. But... I am elated that you chose to help me unearth this truth... it is hard to live with this uncertainty. A secret that could drive you mad..."

The woman nods. "But destiny does not ask of us what is easy," she says, "only what is needed."

Lucent "I do not believe it is my destiny to know nothing."

"No. No, it is not." she says, and rises.

"You found the tomb that bears your name."

Lucent "So how can you help me unearth the truth, Goddess? How can the truth better serve the Secrets?"

Jupiter reaches up to one of the bookshelves and selects a large book with an azure-blue spine, which she lays flat on the table and opens. Inside, cut into the pages, is a small bowl, filled with clear water, which she gestures to. "Once, Lucent Copper Haze was a great villain, a tool of the Yozis, set to destroy the works of mankind and bring them down to ruin" -- and in the waters, Lucent can see the images of that time, painful memories still.

Jupiter painful memories still.

Jupiter "But before he died, Lucent Copper Haze was also a hero," she says. "He died alone, and not many stood by his side; those few people who called him King, and a single woman to shed a tear." And now the bowl shows the image of that funeral, the one that before only Varanim had seen -- so Lucent sees for the first time the face of the mysterious Vovoka, and her long silver hair.

Jupiter "Which was he, do you think? The villain spoken of in the history books... or the hero, his deeds lost to history?"

Lucent "That was... a long time ago." He nods. "But I think that... whatever his origins, and what was done to him... Lucent Copper Haze tried to be a hero. He tried to be a hero more than anything. And that is what matters in the end, is it not?"

Jupiter Lucent still can't see Jupiter's face, but something about the way that the robe billows around her face makes him think that she's smiling. "My domain is secrets," she says. "It is I who remembers every fallen hero forgotten to the world, even when no one else can."

Jupiter "Lucent Copper Haze is a hero. He died, long ago, to save the whole of this world from destruction, from the greatest threat it has ever faced -- the threat that was within it, even at the moment of the world's birth."

Lucent His breath catches in his throat. "The curse?" He asks. "No, that remains..."

Jupiter "The Lacuna. The absence." She slams the book shut with one graceful hand motion. "The flaw in our world."

Lucent "What did he do?" He asks. "It was not him who killed the First Herald, the one who instituted the Lacuna. What did he do against it, that is so secret, that so few even know of?"

Jupiter "The Lacuna does not just corrupt the world," she says, "or work insidiously into structures great and small to rend them asunder," she says. "It is a source of great power, if one were to tap it." She opens a scroll, drawn on it a timeline, with numerous incomrehensible sigils drawn upon it, and spreads it out on the desk.

Jupiter "Once, before, someone tapped that power," she says, pointing to an empty diamond symbol on the scroll, "and Lucent Copper Haze stopped them." Then she moves her other finger aaaaaaaaaall the way down the scroll, past the tiny little green arrow that seems to be advancing of its own accord down the line at an infinitesimal rate.

Jupiter "And someone will again."

Jupiter Under her finger is another, identical diamond sign.

Lucent "And that is why I still exist?" He looks at her, as if searching for her eyes. "Because Lucent Copper Haze needs to be here to stop them once again?"

Jupiter "Because Lucent Copper Haze needs to stop them," she says.

Lucent finds nothing, and goes as pale as he could possibly be. He wraps himself on his arms, attempting to call his sun and making just sparks of sunlight through clouds. The clouds close. He is cold. "Thank you." He nods. "Thank you for everything."

Jupiter reaches out her fine, delicate hand, and gently places her thumb and forefinger on Luc's chin. "Destiny does not ask of us that which is easy," she says, "but it does not ask of us the impossible either." She looks up, and though the hood still covers her face, Lucent catches a glimpse of her deep green eyes. "It may be a heavy burden, but you can bear it."

Lucent looks into them... and his own eyes form a kaleidoscope of green, only with a single golden dot at their center. "Yes." He smiles at her, a smile weak, but sure. And as he did, the dot begun to grow. And grow. Making it all bright and golden and clear as the noonday sun. "I was made to."

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