Summary:Varanim pays another visit to Lucent's subconscious.

XP:L1, V1


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Lucent Lucent's unconscious mind is quite different than Varanim remembered.

Lucent There's no sky, for starters.

Lucent Just a void, stars fallen to earth, together with the 'strings' that held it together, all around... and everything tilted towards somewhere - a center. She hears the sounds of The Sea, not too far from her, at least it was still there.

Varanim casts a skeptical look at the empty sky, an even sharper one at the tilted ground, and then makes for higher ground so that she can take a look at the sea before confronting the center.

Lucent As she nears the sea, she sees the same thing she had last time, pieces of maniquins, of stage-props, masks and suits, all washing in waves to the shore. Haze is there, standing in front of the Sea... his head screwed off partway, showing a screw as if he was a maniquin himself. He was busy unscrewing his right arm... and it popped off, and he threw it into the sea.

Varanim "Wish I'd thought of that when mine was coming off. The big L doesn't need you anymore?"

Lucent "Hi!" he smiles very, very wide. "No, Lucent's gone. He vanished when the sky fell down."

Varanim "Who's left besides you and Copper?" she asks, avoiding the question of when the sky fell.

Lucent Pop he unscrews his head, holding it to look at her. "Nobody's left. Just the lonely one."

Varanim looks at him quietly for a moment, her expression difficult to read. "Why don't you take me there before you go, then."

Lucent "There are things I don't want to see on the way there." He closes his eyes, and a half-stiffled scream of agony can be heard in the distance. "Aaah. FUCK." is shouted with the scream.

Varanim tilts her head to listen, then nods. "I'll be off, then." She doesn't leave for a moment, though, frowning at him. "If you finish dropping yourself into the sea, is it goodbye forever, or just a matter of putting your pieces together again?"

Lucent Haze blinks, pointing his head at the sea. "I don't know..."

Varanim "Then don't do it, yet."

Lucent The headless Haze turns the head to Varanim, looking up. "You think I can stay? Really?"

Varanim "Why not?"

Lucent "... because there's no use for me anymore..."

Varanim "So? This is your head, too." She frowns. "Just... think about it, okay? If you're capable. I'll be back."

Lucent "I'll..." He proceeds to attempt to screw his head back in place. "I'll be waiting..."

Varanim Scowl deepening, she adjusts his head a bit, then turns and makes for the direction of the scream.

Lucent Walking towards the 'center' she comes to the top of a hill, where a contraption of seven wheels has Copper in their center, spread among the wheels. The wheels turn, sliding closer to each other, crushing his limbs as they do! His arms past half the forearm, his feet, they were already crushed to a pulp. He was really trying not to scream.

Varanim "Can we talk, or are you in the middle of something?" She starts down the hill, eyeing the machine and the intersections of the wheels for a good place to shove a stick.

Lucent "You." He snarls between gaping breaths. "This... is all... your fault, y'know."

Varanim "Go on, I've missed the haunting melody of blame for other people's problems." She looks at his injuries but not at his face.

Lucent The injuries are... bad. After all, the purpose of the wheels is to break it all up. His bones, on feet and hands, were like retorted trees. "You told him... you told him about me. How'd you think he'd react? And that's when there was only LUCENT, here... damn it. Fuck you."

Varanim blinks. "You're being ground into paste because I called him on liking it when I'm a naughty girl? Trust him to be disproportionate." But she looks until she locates a suitable sized rock, which she jams in the mechanism of slowly turning wheels. She still doesn't meet his eyes.

Varanim "If Lucent's not around, who's in charge here?"

Lucent "You're missing the POINT! This... everyone does this! This is just... normal. I'm a part of him he doesn't want around, is embarass... AAAHH, FU --" The wheels begun to turn, there is a crack... and then the rock lodged in. "... oh. T-thanks."

Varanim "Don't thank me yet," she says grimly. "I want to hear about the sky falling."

Lucent "Well, what do you think? You saw it. Heh... I always said you'd screw it all up for us. Didn't think it'd be by us stopping liking you. I miss... that, y'know. And you saw it. All the strings connected to you. He threw you away, nothing connected them. The strings holding it all together came down, and Lucent... poof"

Lucent "Now there's that THING on his place. Fuck, at least Lucent CARED."

Varanim "By now, he should know better than to care too much about one person." She looks away, then back, finally meeting his eyes. "I'm sorry. I need to go see the rest now." It's not clear if she's apologizing for the wheels, the sky falling, or something else entirely.

Lucent "WAIT. Wait. Two things."

Varanim raises her eyebrows, but pauses in turning to go.

Lucent "I told you. No feeling pity for me... this? This happens with everyone. What did YOU use, huh? With Varanim the Younger, who wanted to cry for Kelen and not move her ass out of the village? The one who just wanted to kill herself after Adar? The one who wanted to BEG us to come back?" He rises his eyes to her. "Did you drown them? Bury them alive? Ignored them until they went away?"

Varanim looks at him for a long moment without answering, then finally says, "I found more interesting things to think about."

Lucent "Bet you did." He tried to laugh, but soon it became too painful. "And... one last thing. So you can understand him. Y'know what's one of the major reasons why Lucent's so religious?"

Varanim There is a very busy pause, as if Varanim is rejecting a number of possible replies. Finally she says, "What?"

Lucent "Sure, in part that's because he feels empty, and wanted something to tell him the world made sense. Sure, it's because he's a Zenith. But one's old, one's new... he saw beauty in everything. Everything was alluring, different... your arm. Remember how he ACTUALLY looked at your arm, when he let go? How we kissed it...?"

Lucent "He had to be told some things are WRONG, or he'd be just lost..."

Lucent "Because everything was a wonder."

Varanim looks at Copper for a very long moment, then says, "His list of wrong things was missing one." Then she turns and starts for the center.

Lucent The center, where the strings and the pieces of Lucent used to be, the shrines with all that had been said... was bare. Everything pointed to it, and without the string and the sky, it feels like all would unravel, without this center.

Lucent He was there, knelt in a lotus position, the armored figure of Lucent, holding Nothing in his hands. They moved intently around Nothing, as if trying to figure a way to crack it, movements as if meditation, giving it his utmost focus.

Lucent "Hello."

Varanim With a decided lack of things to slouch against, Varanim folds herself into a position that mirrors his, facing him. "What are you working on?"

Lucent "Lacuna."

Varanim "When were you planning to tell me that you'd given up?"

Lucent "You assume that is relevant."

Varanim "It's relevant to me or I wouldn't be asking, yes." She moves a hand between him and the emptiness he's holding, blocking his view.

Lucent He does not move his eyes from it. "You are disrupting my work."

Varanim is quiet for a moment, then she nods. "That does seem to have been our main interaction, yes."

Lucent "Well. You are free to do your work now."

Varanim "And people say we never talk." She unfolds herself to stand again, turns her face to the upward slope, and heads for the seashore and Haze again without looking back.

Lucent Haze is there, one-armed, but with his head back, sat on the shore, waiting.

Varanim "Do you want to go into the sea?"

Lucent "No... I don't WANT to..."

Varanim "But this is a lousy place to live right now. You can..." she frowns. "Come stay with me for a while, until Lucent sorts himself out."

Lucent Haze blinks, surprised. "I can? Does that... does that work?"

Varanim shrugs. "Who knows? I'm not the dream-doctor. Probably not, but would you rather stay here than find out?"

Lucent "... no." He smiles, then running to her and taking her hand.

Lucent "Let's go!"

Varanim "We're stopping for Copper on the way out," she says, looking more and more like she regrets the idea. "Just, uh, close your eyes and do what I tell you with the squishy bits, and remember that 'aaah, fuck' is his way of saying 'thanks for the help!'"

Varanim smiles down at him, awkwardly, and squeezes his hand tightly as she turns to lead the way.

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Page last modified on July 04, 2009, at 01:17 AM