Saturday, December 30, 2006

One in the Same

"You are One."

His voice was a quiet echo, almost two sounds at once, as if two people were talking past the same lips. Darrus was sitting in a small round room, shelves filled with boxes all around him. Under him, a circular mat of woven metal and silk covered most of the floor. Its surface was embroidered in an old, unrecognizable symbol.

The only light in the room came from Darrus himself. His body was glowing a faint white-blue. As he moved, a slight trail of radiance hung in the air behind him. Something luminous was over him, a second body that acting in harmony with his own. Was he being moved by the body of light? Or was the body of light being moved through his actions? It was impossible to tell. They were synchronous, a perfect reflection of each other.

Jeht's hand passed over several small objects arranged on the mat in front of him. One was the crystal he'd been carrying around his neck. Its cord was gone; it rested unadorned next to other jewels and pieces of odd metal. There were tools as well, but these were already used and sitting out of reach. Their work was done; the result of their labor was cradled in Darrus' lap.

He picked it up - a cylinder of carefully machined steel. Part of it was dark, a plating of ionized darkness from the desert nearby. He had been collecting these parts for days during his long walks in the sand.

From the Duskan Crater, he'd found the obsidian shards for the black electroplating. Gathering them had been a dangerous climb over razor sharp volcanic glass. One slip and he'd have been cut to ribbons before he ever reached the bottom. Somehow, he'd known he'd be safe. There had been no doubt.

In the heart of the Jungan Wastes, he'd bartered for steel and other materials from the Jawas and their strange, monolithic vehicles. Though he'd come to them openly and with little to trade, they had given him all he needed and more. There had been no greed.

In the badlands close to Mos Eisley, he'd tracked a gargantuan Krayt Dragon back to its lair. The massive beast had been driven into populated areas by hunger and disease; the creature was sick and enraged, a threat to both itself and the people of the spaceport city. The dragon had been past medical aid. In single combat, he'd given it the mercy of a clean, quick death after an epic battle. There had been no fear.

At the outskirts of Anchorhead, he'd retrieved a broken Jedi weapon from the retired bounty hunter living there. A remorseless killer, the man slept while Darrus quietly entered his home, taken the item and the Padawan braid tied to it, and left without disturbing him. The braid was buried; the weapon returned with him. There had been no vengeance.

All these things were with him now as he meditated. The Force flowed through him, at once like a raging storm and also like the still eye at its heart. All his life, Darrus had been lashed by his powers; now he could see clearly from within them as they twisted and howled. To him, the force was a tempest. But rather than be subjected to its destructive gale, he could guide it and channel it. he could direct the maelstrom without having to let it tear through him as well.

There was peace. At long last, he could feel peace.

And in that peace, he was prepared to take his place once more among the Jedi, even if he was the last of them alive. The old Order might be gone, but there would always be a need for the Jedi as long as one still breathed. He would not let the light of the Jedi go quietly into any good night. He had been spared oblivion in the Lenerian Rift.

Perhaps this was why.

But to be a Jedi, he still needed something. Something he was finally ready to create once more. With the guidance of the spirit within these hallowed walls, he was ready to craft again. In a soft, gentle tone, he began to chant.

"The crystal is the heart of the blade."

He placed a flawless black pearl, the heart of the krayt dragon he'd laid to rest, in its cradle within the hilt.

"The heart is the crystal of the Jedi."

He set a new housing above the pearl and inserted the silver-gleaming crystal from his long-dead friend Qui's lightsaber into it. The gemstone gleamed, pulsing with new life.

"The Jedi is the crystal of the Force."

The last crystal, the one from his first weapon, took its place above the others, nearly rising past the edge of the hilt. There was just enough room for the last component - a perfect fit. He had never worked so precisely. Each piece was flawless.

"The Force is the blade of the heart."

Two clicks locked down the emitter and its cowl, permanently fusing the metal sections of the weapon together. A moment's flare of heat from the sealing compound marked the eternal bond between crystals, obsidian, pearl, and steel.

"All are intertwined:
The crystal, The blade, The Jedi."

Darrus heeded the voice in his head, the one growing fainter as its work was nearing its end. He let his emotions open completely, taking down all the barriers that a Jedi builds to keep their powers in check. The Force flowed through him now, the gale of his energies flooding in through his back and down his arms to embrace the new creation. He felt an instant connection as the weapon began to pulse.

The bands of songsteel along its length, shavings from his sword nearby, started to hum. It was a hypnotic melody, an aria of life as the cylinder in Darrus' hands came to life. Without him even touching its activation switch, the lightsaber ignited!

Basking in its radiant violet light, Jeht bowed his head in memory and reverence. The last few words of the meditation resounded through the chamber, joined by the symphony of the wondrous weapon in his hands. As he spoke, he felt the ghost of this place finally slip away. In a way, though, he knew it would never be far from him again.

"You are one."


Erisraven said...

Stunning, just stunning. You just kep getting better with every line you write.

Zay said...

I knew he'd find his direction, once the storm calmed down a little.

Alan said...

I'm glad that he was able to use the crystal from Qui's old stunsaber. Put a nice smile on my face after a terrible day at work. Thanks August and keep the story going... Hope Darrus makes it back to Cularin.

Tarek said...

Nice and evocative.

Still, if my character found his lightsaber suddenly igniting on its own, he'd be taking it apart to find out what was wrong with the activation switch. :)