Summary:As Imrama flies them through a tour of recently-appeared landmarks in expanded Creation, Lucent and Zahara discuss Luc's personality shifts.

XP:I1, L1, Z1


< The Gray | Sol Invictus Logs | If Only We Had A Zenith >

Lucent peers out of the Fable's windows, his gaze -- what little could be noticed of it from the burning dots of his helmet -- a thousand miles away. Not noticing the beauty and desolation before him, or even Zahara's presence close by. Just... somewhere else. "Hmmm."

zahara steps up behind him, closing the last of the distance to place her hand on his armored shoulder. "Here we are a thousand miles up with nowhere to go, and you are nowhere to be found."

Lucent "Oh no. I found myself. For the first time."

zahara "What did you find?

Lucent "Purpose."

zahara shifts her hand to the railing, looking down at the world beneath them. "Ah," she says quietly. "And what might that be?"

Lucent "To save the world. What else." The eyes close, the light burning in the shadowed sockets going out. "That is why I was made."

Imrama At the moment of Lucent's answer, the Fable comes flying out of the heart of the Wyld, through the hidden aperture between the sky and the land: the Chasm of the Horizon. "My friends, may I present to you the first stop on our tour of ancient wonders restored: the Lion's Maw," Imrama announces.

Lucent gives it a disinterested glance. "Only one Lion should be occupying our minds."

zahara "No feelings to slow you down or divert you from that purpose, hmm?" She gazes down where Imrama points, however, and smiles a little.

Injara Far below, the sight that Imrama had selected spreads out below, its splendor somehow even more grand for its long absence from the sight of all living beings.

Injara Directly beneath the Fable, a vast body of water -- perhaps half the size of the entire Sunlands -- churns away, powerful currents driven by some unseen force driving it in near-perfect spirals that push vast, jagged white waves in a broad counter-clockwise ring before they crash against one another in the very center.

Injara At its far western edge, it opens out onto the sea beyond, in an oddly still region of water choked by colorful algae and shot through with strange scaly creatures whose vast flanks rise briefly to the surface before disappearing into the depths again; from the north and south, vast peninsulas curve around to contain the roughly circular sea, before the arc of the land curves back around to enclose it on the East.

Injara From this far above, the whole thing seems oddly calming, a relaxing and predictable system -- but the violence of the waters would be quite something else should the Fable swoop lower...

Imrama As, indeed, it does.

Imrama brings the Fable in for a closer look, flying at an unnecessary speed, howling at an unnecessary volume. "Yahooooooooooo!"

Lucent "Feelings are a distraction, yes. One I have excised. You should understand that well enough, Zahara."

zahara clutches the railing for balance, but her voice is calm and steely. "Is that why you brought the Sisters back with you?"

Lucent "No. When I brought them back, my thoughts were... different, in all that matters."

zahara "But they served their purpose anyway, it seems." She glances at the enthusiastic captain. "And yes, I understand it perfectly. I simply never thought you would choose my path."

Lucent "Oh. I must admit, I considered it."

zahara "Considered?"

Lucent "Yes. It would make matters easy, not to care. It would give me the focus I so sorely lacked."

Lucent "Turns out I was able to let go without the aid of the Faerie."

zahara turns, and looks at him in something akin to surprise, combined with irritation at her incorrect guess. "How?"

Lucent "I found that love was a lie, and the flame of passion flickered away into nothingness."

Injara Now up close to the Maw, the oddly geometric nature of the waves becomes far clearer, the angry and jagged waves moving with almost perfectly defined edges in their swift, violent spiral.

Injara Wind kicks a salt spray up and across the vessel's bow with some great ferocity, and those looking out upon the site can see the sharpness of the waves -- as well as the distant shadows of unknown things that sit somewhere, far below the water's surface.

Lucent "I argued with my paramour, and in the throes of our argument, realised I just did not care about her anymore."

Lucent "Trust a Necromancer to turn love into dust. If it was ever love."

zahara "So you chose this for yourself, then? Interesting." ::Imrama, I don't suppose you've any idea of why Luc is suddenly...:: "Hmm."

zahara "She turned your love to ash?"

Imrama Because he cannot cross to the rail while holding the ship's reigns, Imrama spins the craft a sharp quarter turn on its keel axis. Passengers and crew remain comfortably affixed to the deck as normal, but from this angle, Imrama can look down into the strange waters with ease.

Imrama responds to Zahara, ::I am not certain of specifics. He and Varanim appear to rotate at who will be the most crazy in a given fortnight. Presently, it is his turn.::

Lucent "Well. I imagine now I would have to give you the spiel about how she choked life out of everything, a spiel I am sure you have heard far too many times. But I honestly do not even care about that anymore. Those are distractions, Zahara. Not my purpose, not yours'. Only when I realised I did not care, could I finally focus into what is truly important."

zahara ::Fair point.:: She turns again to Lucent, studying what little she can see of his face. "No regrets, then? Honestly, I often miss the clarity I used to have. Perhaps I should talk to her too."

Lucent "I do not think arguing with HER could cause you to stop loving Cerin."

Lucent "Then again," He considers, "Stranger things have happenned."

zahara considers, then frowns. "I would not wish to stop loving Cerin. Especially not after..." She presses her lips together and shakes her head. "Well. It seems the dampened embers of a Solar flame must be enough to save the world."

Imrama shouts to his friends over the roar of the waters, "Dampened embers? I'll have none of it on my ship! Clearly, a change of scenery is in order!" Imrama sets a course for Everflame.

Lucent "Imrama. It is not about scenery." He shook his head. "There is nothing WRONG with me, Zahara. I feel right."

Imrama ::Something is wrong with Lucent. He obviously does not feel fine.::

Imrama ^--"right"!, I mean "right"

Injara In the powerful Fable, at Imrama's deft touch, the trip from the southwesternmost edge of Creation's great land mass to the farthest south is itself short by any other person's standard. It is not long at all before the vessel emerges once again above a strange new landmark, this one far removed from the sight the three Solars just recently left.

zahara "No, there is nothing wrong with you. You have simply shifted from an.... enthusiastic.... lover of life, to a coldly driven soldier. The shift is simply startling, as when Thirteen Blooming Flowers suddenly decided to be Long Awaited Spring. Or perhaps more relevantly, how Birds of Trinity became Phoenix of Ashes."

Lucent "That, also, was motivated by disconnections with the heart. Phoenix of Ashes proved herself to be more driven and purposeful than Birds-of-Trinity. So pehaps Lucent's lovestruck stupidity benefited Creation in the end."

Injara Below the ship, the geography of the southern reaches -- vast, volcano-laden mountain ranges, sweeping deserts, lakes of magma, and even an oddly incongruous forest -- stretch out in every direction, but given the choice, any roving eye would lock instantly on the group's quarry: a vast structure of fire that stretches up miles upon miles from the ground, and extends out in complex patterns to crack the bordering desert into pieces.

zahara "You speak of yourself in the third person now?" ::I realize this is ironic, but I am worried about him.::

Injara At first, it's difficult to make out what, exactly, the flames, rising up in infinitely fractal shapes, are even shaping, but with further glances, it becomes increasingly clear: a vast cascading palace, each floor larger and more intricately wrought than the one above it, built and rebuilt entirely out of roaring flames that rise up anew from the desert below with each passing moment.

Injara As the Fable swoops and wraps around it, the tall intricate towers, swooping buttresses, long meandering stairs, latticework pathways, and a hundred other ephemeral architectural designs become clear to their sight, even as each flickers into indistinguishability again as the ship moves just a short distance away.

Lucent "Only in instances such as this. That... was like a different person, to me. Almost a stranger."

zahara "There are events that divide time into before and after. It is hard to remember who we were before the divide, after a time," she reflects.

Imrama silently wonders if there is any sight in all of existence that could wrest these two from their morose discourse. "Isn't that...isn't it awesome?"

zahara "Hmmm?" She breaks from her reverie to give Imrama a polite smile. "Yes, quite. Very fiery."

Lucent "Hesiesh must be glad that those came into existence once again. I should introduce you someday, Imrama."

Imrama "Capital idea!" ::As soon as we restore whatever it is you've lost, my friend.:: Imrama thinks to himself.

Lucent "And I only brought the Sisters to the Sunlands because, at the time, I thought they were beautiful, Zahara."

Lucent "And intended to spread the beauty and wonder of the Wyld. Foolish. I tainted Creation out of xenophiliac aesthetics."

Lucent "I must admit they still have their use, however. Even I need distractions of The Work."

zahara "Perhaps. But at least they are being watched."

Lucent "Indeed."

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Page last modified on November 29, 2009, at 02:20 AM