Summary:Lucent falls asleep, and has an unusual dream -- of the woman Varanim saw preparing his tomb.


< I Am Aware of Your Perfidy | Sol Invictus Logs | You Secretly Suspect I Might >

Lucent travels back from his journey to the East... but it is a long journey, and unlike some of his fellows, Lucent still ended each day with the sweet embrace of sleep. So it was that he packed up in the middle of a vast Eastern jungle, to camp for the night.

`Lucent Lucent looked for a spot in the middle of the jungle where to rest, and he found the best. Almost a clearing, something he could solve easily enough by pushing away at EVERYTHING. Walls of force pushing from all sides, a whirlwind focused in him, leaving the ground... perfectly bare. Cleansing flames touch the humus, creating a perfect place to sleep!

`Lucent then orders the coronal to create shrines to the Gods, and for one hour he prayers to each in turn, one hour being the sun's, and the sun's alone. And then, shedding his armor to elsewhere, Lucent falls over the bare earth, closes his eyes, and lets the elements do as they will.

Lucent sleeps the deep, fulfilling sleep of the just, and for many hours, nothing can disturb his slumber.

Then, somewhere, deep in his slumber, something washes over him.... some strange, yet familiar, feeling... and he can't tell if he's dreaming or waking up... but suddenly, he has the feeling of being awake -- but buried in darkness.

`Lucent tries to open his eyes. He does not remember what it was like, waking up, suffocating himself. Sensations for mortals, and it had been a long time since he was one... he tried to look for a similar sensation in his mind and found none. And found it worrying. He tried to get up, then, to rise, to look around... was this dream or reality? What would be even worse?

Whatever surrounds Lucent, at first, does not seem to respond at all, no matter what his struggles. On every side, unyielding and heavy resistance meets him; his body remains motionless, his commands unheeded....

Then, in just his left eye, he sees the tiniest speck of light.

`Lucent "Anyone? Cerin? Zahara? This is NOT funny. No. Using tricks you learned from the Herald is NOT FUNNY AT ALL!" He calls out... then attempts to push out torwards the light. With the full might of his essence making himself something that cannot be knocked out, he tried to push forward like a juggernaut!

He feels himself push forward... even with the force of Essence behind him his limbs feel weak and useless, the struggle to push himself out proving far greater than he would have expected. But finally, something seems to change, and with a single push he shoves the top half of his body forward...

He feels it roll off of him as his effort reaches the breaking point: sand, red desert sand, that flows roughly off of his body as he pushes himself half out of the hill he lied buried in. His top half freed, he looks around, and sees the place where he lies: more than halfway up a massive sand dune, perhaps almost a mile tall at its highest point, other dunes rolling off in every direction, and off to one side, a blackened and befouled oasis...

And up in the sky, far overhead, hangs the sun, Sol Invictus: its disc unmarred by blackness, shining brilliantly with an unvarnished light that glints off of every grain of sand in this vast desert.

a blackened and befouled oasis.

`Lucent looks up, smiles, a tear streaking down his face... then averts his eyes. "You can show yourself. I KNOW this is not real. I KNOW it was not fixed in my absence."

`Lucent "Nothing in Creation is so easy."

Lucent looks out over the sands... so empty, so lifeless... He runs his eyes over the empty vista in front of him over and over, until finally, after what seems like hours, he sees a figure appear, standing, on a far-away dune... a figure he's never seen, but he has heard described: a shorter woman, with long, flowing silver hair, whose red and gold desert outfit glints in the hot sunlight.

`Lucent "Oh." What happenned next is something that the history books will say was a rare, important occurrence, and yet, the Circle of Sunlands always proved wrong.

`Lucent Lucent was at a loss of words.

`Lucent "You!"

The woman begins to walk slowly across the sands. No matter how Lucent might struggle, he can't seem to free his legs, and he remains stuck in the sand as she slowly advances towards him.

`Lucent "Wh... what did you do to me? What did you do to us? I... I was never your husband! I do not even KNOW you!"

The mysterious woman walks over until she's standing just above where Lucent's body remains, half-buried in the sand. She looks down at him with a sad expression on her face. "It isn't time yet."

`Lucent "No. No. NO!" He hits the sand with both his arms, trying to pull himself free! "You are NOT burying me again!"

The woman kneels over and looks at Lucent up close, and shakes her head sadly. "This is harder than I thought," she says, and then with one quick motion, she stands up, takes a step to one side of Lucent, and punches the dune with one powerful fist. Luc starts to hear the sands themselves shaking and rumbling far above.

`Lucent looks at the woman, punching the sands again. "I AM HERE. Do not ignore me!"

`Lucent His caste mark shines, and he uses the magic of the sun to... get her attention.

The woman bends down and looks Lucent directly in the eyes; her bluish-silver eyes are huge and deep, like two watery pools in the midst of this giant, dry desert.

`Lucent "There. Now." He crossed his arms in the sand, trembling a bit from the fear that, without 'holding' himself he might sink in the sand. But if the Circle of Sunlands taught him anything, it was this:

`Lucent Panache.

`Lucent Even in the face of Armageddon.

`Lucent "Who are you?"

"I am Vovoka," she says. The sands above are still rumbling.

`Lucent "I KNOW! And stop those sands! I looked into the face of Atomnos! I struck at the Herald! I killed Five Days Darkness! I WILL NOT BE KILLED BY SAND."

She shakes her head, looking even sadder. "No, you won't be."

`Lucent "I know you were married to my impostor! Did you kill him? Were you the wielder of Azure Hyacinth?" He pointed a finger, and his caste mark shone!

"No," she says, "and no."

`Lucent "Then WHO?"

`Lucent "... assuming you are not just a figment of my imagination."

`Lucent "Which is likely at this point."

`Lucent "... BUT I DIGRESS."

"Your last enemy."

`Lucent "..."

`Lucent "..."

`Lucent "..."

`Lucent "Oh, I was wrong. We certainly were married."

`Lucent "Now, this will be the last time for me to ask nicely before I have to batter your mind into submission. Stop. That. Sand."

`Lucent ("And let me go.")

"I'm sorry," she says, and he can read in her big, pale eyes that she really means it. Then she punches the dune once more and Luc feels the sand begin to pour down over his head again.

`Lucent struggles, tries to reach his Primordial Touch field, expand it, pull himself out of the sands, or to pull her in WITH him! "Oh yes, you will be!"

"Goodbye, Luc," she says, as the sand pours down over Luc's head and his every effort to free himself seems to come to naught. She stands and watches until the sand covers Lucent's head again and he can see only blackness.

`Lucent He thinks. That he should have asked who the last enemy was. Why Sstumi did not know her. Who was she. Who did she work for. So much to ask. So much. Varanim would be so happy. I am so stupid. What a stupid way to die.

And at that moment, Lucent sits bolt-upright in the middle of the jungle again, entirely alive and altogether not covered in sand.

`Lucent gets up, sending Coronal-knives to pluck all nearby fruits and bring to him. "Now she will tell me even my dreams are whoring out now..."


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Page last modified on October 29, 2010, at 01:28 PM