I’m frozen, as I stare at the red eyes of the approaching Krale, a vicious expression on its hard stone face.
This time, facing the Krale, Berek finds his voice, and screams an inhuman scream.
The sound wakes me from my fear and paralysis.
I feel a storm inside me, wild energy flashing within me like lightning, but it can’t get out.
I’m holding it back.
I’ve always held back the storm.
It’s never been safe to let it go free.
Everything would change.
I have to protect Berek, so I let go, and stop resisting the power that must move.
A great wave of energy is released, and the column fills with sound.
Berek shields his ears, and cries out in pain.
I’m troubled for a moment.
Then, I know that he will be safe.
I feel brittle, still trying to resist the energy that pours through me.
Something within me won’t let the storm go free without a fight.
For a moment, my body tries to cage the energy again, and then the body shatters like glass.
Berek is horrified.
My black necklace flies through the air, and lands gently in his hands.
He can’t decide whether to drop it or hold it tightly.
With my physical body gone, the energy body behind it begins a death song.
A vibration grows in that body, stronger and stronger, breaking all the connections to the energy web.
The energy body shatters, its essence free to be re-absorbed into the great web.
Yagrin is dead, but in the midst of all this change, I am still here.
There’s another energy body, an egg-shaped web of energy, with a fluid shape, that drifts and then returns to the egg shape.
I move closer to Berek, and surround him in a protective cocoon of energy.
I turn my attention and my energy sight to face the Krale.
For all its visible power, there are only a few points of energy within its body.
Every living creature and nearly everything in existence has an endless stream of points of energy.
The Krale’s energy is like an empty shell.
Is it an illusion or an elaborate machine?
The Krale is alien in the world of the energy web, unnatural.
“Who could make it?” I shout in anger.
“Who hates the Jiku so much?”
I have no voice to move sound, but my intention moves energy.
The Krale hears me, and its expression changes to fear.
It moves toward the edge of the column, away from my energy body.
Then it looks at me briefly, before it rises to the crystal roof, and disappears with one touch of the crystal.
Berek is safe for now, but frozen in mid-air, unable to leave the black column.
Another Krale may come.
I have no ears, yet I hear Berek’s cries, and feel his sadness.
He blames himself for my death.
How do I tell him that I’m still here?
A New Story?
I think of what Shazira told me about flow.
The key to flow is courage and a thirst to play.
We like the world solid and predictable, because it’s easier to control.
Most masters learn flow to control the world.
They’re wasting their lives.
Flow is about letting creation tell itself a story through you.
When one story is done, another begins, sometimes the same, sometimes wildly different.
Is my life in this world done?
Is this story at an end?
The world is full of layers upon layers, masks upon masks.
My physical body is gone, along with the energy body that supports that shape, but my awareness is still here.
Behind every point in space, shines the web of energy, and behind that web something else, raw energy, alive and without shape.
The structured web of energy is a layer that floats on and filters the raw energy behind it, layer upon layer.
Flow is just the same.
We flow the physical body of a living beings, by laying a mask on the energy body.
The mask is a temporary energy body.
This layer floats on and filters the energy behind it, and gives us a temporary physical shape for a day or two.
Our normal energy body gives us a temporary physical shape for two or three centuries.
In the life of the world, that time is still less than a moment.
When we flow, we let the webs of form change and play.
The deep web of energy remains untouched.
What if I make a change that I can’t return from?
What if I lose interest in this world, or just forget who I’ve been?
Do we have the courage to make a change as dramatic as death?
Do we believe in the adventure of existence that much?
I have no physical form, but I remember who I am, and I’m still drawn to this world.
If it’s not yet time to begin a new story, perhaps I can go back.
How do I build an energy body, and the physical body that rests upon it?
I don’t have the knowledge or the power to do it.
My energy weaving will shape any inanimate object from pure energy, once I’ve scanned the object’s patterns, but energy bodies are infinitely more complex.
I reach beyond the column, through the black room, and into the violet room.
I feel the violet flowers growing there, bursting with a thick, concentrated energy.
Something within me speaks, not from Yagrin’s memories, but from someplace deeper.
“The violet flowers hold the energy needed to build a new energy body.”
I reach with my awareness toward the flowers, and I’m bathed in a river of energy that surrounds my energy egg.
A group of three Bizra rise from the mountain, and surround me.
I watch and learn as they shape the thick energy, and draw from the light that rises through the column.
An energy body forms and takes the shape of a person.
Then a physical body appears.
As the body forms, there are bursts of energy in all directions.
With each flash, Berek screams, and his body grows weaker.
The flashes are killing him.
I yell “stop” inside my energy self with all my strength, and I hope that the Bizra can hear this.
They look toward me, and I know that they see my energy egg.
There are no pictures this time, but they send me a mixture of feelings that I understand.
Not words, but I make words from them.
“The boy does not matter. Only you.”
I start to feel my new physical body, but it’s wrong, not finished yet.
Berek can’t wait.
His body is dying as mine comes to life, both of us floating in the air of the column.
I try to wake this new body to push Berek to safety, but the body is sluggish and strange.
I reach for him, whether with the body, or some other force, and push him hard toward the edge of the column.
I see Berek free of the column and the Black room, but he lies unconscious, near death, on the floor of the White room.
I scream as loud as I can, and a great flash of light spreads through the Watchtower.
Will someone trace it to the White room, and save Berek?
The Bizra quiver in the energy of the scream.
I scream again.
Another flash, and the Bizra disappear.
Strange, but I catch a feeling of satisfaction from them as they go.
Did they want me to drive them away, and save Berek?
I will myself to follow Berek, and I’m thrown violently out of the column.
I feel but don’t see the floor as I hit it hard, and black out.
Read Part 3: Visions »