Balance and Love
The ground near us is covered with a colorful, living layer that is softer than moss.
We sit together, almost floating, on this ocean of red, green, orange, and blue.
The forest around us is quiet, except for the wind, as it moves the thick canopy of leaves above us.
I spread my healing body far along the web, and wait for the calm to fill me.
Then I send healing energy to Dilasa and Sindar, and let the calm gently cover them.
I hold Dilasa’s hand, and a few minutes pass, as we enjoy the quiet.
I’m surprised to feel another healing body near me, and I reach out to see who it’s from.
“What’s this, Yagrin?” she asks with a mind touch, as she senses her listener.
“It’s called a listening body, healing body, or listener.”
“Healers use it to touch the balance deep in people or things, and heal whatever has gone out of balance.”
“How did you discover your healing body, Dilasa?”
“I don’t know, Yagrin.”
“I opened my energy eyes, and saw something unfamiliar in your energy, and I just copied it.”
I’m amazed at how easily she learns the ways of energy from me, and a little troubled.
She’s so young to have such power.
What will happen if she gets angry, and lashes out at someone?
Her healing body can be used to shatter as well as heal.
“You’re scared of me, Yagrin?” she asks with her thoughts, and then cries out loud, pulling her hand away from me.
I feel her shock and fear at this rejection, as she breaks the mind touch.
“What’s wrong?” asks Sindar.
“We were having a private conversation,” I tell him.
“Yagrin hates me,” says Dilasa, sobbing.
“That’s not true, Dilasa,” I tell her.
“Touch my mind again.”
“No,” she says.
“You hurt me.”
She touches my mind, and I fill myself with every feeling of love that I can find.
For her, for my children, for Shazira.
She takes a deep breath, and looks at me.
I hug her tightly.
“Why are you scared of me?” her thoughts ask.
“All of the energy ways can be used to hurt people,” I tell her.
“You’re learning these ways so fast.”
“Children get angry easily, and they have trouble controlling their actions.”
“Adults get angry as much as children!”
“You’re right, Dilasa,” I agree, taking her hand.
“All energy masters must learn how to stay peaceful inside, and keep our balance, as we explore the energy ways.”
“Will you let me help you?”
Memories of Love
Dilasa touches the surface of my mind without effort, but the wintzal stops her from going deep into my memories.
There’s so much I’ve seen as Yagrin, that I want to show her and Sindar.
Speech is so slow and dull compared to the richness of shared memories, with images and feelings.
I suggest a gift of memories to Sindar.
“I would like to see what you have done as Yagrin,” he says.
“I want to believe that you and Yagrin have merged together, and that this new Yagrin is destined to take the place of the old one.”
“The old Yagrin was too arrogant to make peace,” I tell Sindar.
“My old traveler self was too weak to fight.”
“Together, we can do whatever is necessary.”
“I want to trust you,” he says.
“If your story is false, all of us have lived for nothing.”
“Still, I can’t let you past my wintzal, not today.”
“There’s a way,” I tell him, “for you to join in my memories, and yet keep your mind safe from me.”
Dilasa has the gift to reach past our wintzals, and touch the surface of our minds.
I let her feel what I feel, that it’s time for her to touch the minds of Sindar and me at once.
“I never touched both of you together,” she says, a little afraid.
“Go ahead,” I tell her gently.
She makes the connection.
I’ve touched several minds at once, but Dilasa’s touch is so different.
We seem to be in a large bright space together, and great streams of energy pass between the three of us
The feel of this place reminds me of what I felt when I was connected to Diwan.
“Where are we?” asks Sindar.
“It reminds me of what I saw with the Spiral,” I tell him, “some kind of group awareness.”
I let my memories pour through Dilasa, and surround the three of us with an ocean of feeling and images.
Memories of my family, the old ones, the Bizra and the Krale, the Gen, and the Fiklow queen.
As the memories end, Dilasa breaks the mind touch.
Sindar seems far away, spinning within his own thoughts, and I see a few tears form.
He turns away from us.
“What’s wrong, Sindar?” asks Dilasa, feeling his sadness, and touching him on the arm.
“Memories of my father,” he answers, “and powerful old feelings rising up within me.”
“Why now, Sindar?” asks Dilasa.
“It’s Yagrin, and his memories,” he says, almost angry.
He turns to me.
“You’re just like our father,” he says, accusing me.
“You have his blend of love and arrogance, intellect and heart.”
“Did you hate your father, Sindar?” I ask him.
“I idolized him.”
“Then why are you mad at me?”
“It’s me that I’m really upset with, Yagrin.”
“Mother died before Benzu returned with the artifact.”
“With her death, father prepared to enter stasis, committed to sleep through the endless years, so his children could be born.”
“He pushed off his plans when Benzu took over the kingdom.”
“That’s when he came to me, and told me about the four brothers and the Dream Hunter vision.”
“He explained how to use the stasis chambers.”
“If I don’t return, Sindar,” he said, “it’s up to you.”
“When he died, it fell to me to bring his vision to life, to carry his children into the world, and watch over them.”
“I brought the survivors here to Sinesu, and helped them rebuild.”
“It took twenty years before I felt that I could leave them.”
“I was so happy to go into stasis, so tired of life, and the memories of what I’d done.”
“My rest was brief.”
“I was cursed to awake, again and again, seeking a vision of when my brothers could be born.”
“Every time I awoke, I remembered my part in Benzu’s acts, and the death of my father.”
“I thought it would take dozens or hundreds of years, not thousands, to bring you all to life.”
“My pain has dimmed over the years, but today you have made me think about our father, and reawakened all my pain.”
I put my hand gently on his shoulder to try and comfort him.
“It doesn’t matter any more, Yagrin.”
“My task is done, and I can finally sleep, and forget my pain.”
“We need your help, Sindar,” I tell him.
“Didn’t your father ask you to watch over us?”
“Watch over you?”
“I’ve never succeeded at helping any of you!”
“I tried to guide Botzar to bond with Makish, but I failed.”
“Then, I let the Bizra convince me to give Botzar the sword.”
“Botzar released the sword’s energy, and filled much of the world with fire.”
“Millions died, but at least this time, you were able to rebuild on the same world.”
“Sleep brought me peace from my guilt, and waking brought me pain.”
“I came to the old Yagrin, to tell him of his father and brothers, and warn him of the sword.”
“He listened, and seemed to believe me, but it made no difference to him.”
“He wanted to bond with Shazira, before I spoke with him.”
“He had his own plans for how to live his life.”
“The sword would never have found him.”
He turns to me.
“I came here today to tell you and Dilasa of your destiny together.”
“I wanted to convince you to take Dilasa as your daughter, and I hoped to convince her to accept you as her father.”
“I see your hearts are far ahead of me in knowing what to do.”
“What was father like, Sindar?” I ask, breaking the silence.
“A special balance of love and arrogance, intellect and heart.”
“Love?” I ask.
“I never pictured your father as a loving man.”
“I thought we were just a vision to fulfill.”
“He was our father, Yagrin,” says Sindar, angrily.
“He loved us all, those he saw, and those who would live long after his death.”
“Still, I understand why you asked,” he says.
“The memory that I shared of him, speaks only of the visions and the science of your birth.”
“What memory?” asks Dilasa.
“I’ll show you,” he says.
Dilasa restores her mind touch, and Sindar shows her the memory of the making of the four embryos.
“That’s our father?” asks Dilasa after the memory ends.
“Yes,” says Sindar.
“That’s the memory that Yagrin and Botzar saw.”
“He’s so cold,” she says.
“No,” says Sindar.
“He’s just completely focused.”
“Our father gave me many other memories, but I’ve never shared them before.”
“I think I wanted to keep that loving father to myself.”
A memory begins.
I see a woman with Bizra eyes, speaking with our father.
“Break our bond, Geyfal” she says, crying, “and find a woman who can give you children without golden eyes, children that will live.”
“Never,” he says.
“Better a life with you, than a hundred sons and daughters.”
“Is there no way for us to have children?” she asks.
“You could speak to a Dream Hunter for guidance.”
“I’m also a Dream Hunter,” he answers sharply, feeling hurt that she doubts him.
“You’re a great Dream Hunter,” she says, but you’ve never found a vision to show you how to make the children survive.”
“If I can’t find it, maybe we’re not meant to have children.”
“Or maybe,” she says, “you need to learn that you’re not alone in this world, and others can teach you!”
The scene shifts, and Geyfal is playing with two boys about 6 years old, flying above a great forest.
They return home.
The boys and their parents laugh together at evening meal.
Then, late at night, Sindar and Benzu fall asleep in Geyfal’s arms, as he sings to them.
Our mother is smiling.
“Should I put them into their beds now?” she asks.
“Not yet,” says Geyfal.
“Let me hold them for a little longer.”
“You love those boys too much,” says our mother, playfully.
Geyfal hugs the boys even harder, and sings again.
The Wonder of the Unknown
The memory ends and Dilasa breaks the mind touch.
“You’re just like him, Yagrin!” says Dilasa, and takes my hand.
Sindar looks restless, and stands up.
“These memories make me hunger for my own family,” he says.
“I had a family once, before the destruction.”
“Why don’t you leave the towers?” I ask him.
“Find a bondmate and live again!”
“What if I have a child like Benzu?” he asks.
“Too many have suffered because of our family.”
“You’re a fool, Sindar, for giving up on yourself.”
“Am I exaggerating how many have died?” he asks.
“How many more worlds must die because of me?”
The sound of his voice grows dim, and I can’t see him.
I find myself standing on a cracked ocean of images, like Dilasa once described.
I’m pulled into a spinning circle, where the vision glows brightly.
Then, I awake a few minutes later, lying on the ground.
“Are you sick?” asks Dilasa.
“I’m all right,” I tell her, getting up, “but you just pulled me into another of your visions.”
“No,” she says.
“You fell down, and I was pushed out of your head.”
“I didn’t see anything.”
“It was your vision, Yagrin,” says Sindar.
“What did you see?”
“I saw you bonded again, with children.”
“You were happy, and your children became great healers.”
“Forget what you saw, Yagrin,” says Sindar sadly.
“There’s no future for me.”
I get angry with him.
“You have visions, Sindar, but you don’t know what they’re for.”
“What do you know about it?” he asks me.
“This was your first vision.”
“I’ve been a Dream Hunter for thousands of years!”
“I know, Sindar, that visions don’t take the place of life.”
“Do you have to wait for a vision, before you can live?”
“Do you need your visions telling you what to do?”
“The Bizra taught me that no vision is absolute, only a guide.”
“Visions warn us of danger, and remind us where possibility waits.”
“They whisper to us of the future, but they don’t guarantee it!”
“Life is messy and risky and wondrous, and we should hunt for possibility, wherever we can find it.”
“I can’t ignore my visions, Yagrin.”
“They are always with me, always true.”
“They never disappoint me.”
“Don’t ignore them, Sindar, but look for the world beyond them.”
“It takes courage to leave behind the light of a small certain world, and enter the large shadows where you have no vision to guide you.”
“See what you can discover there, within the storms and the chaos!”
“I’m afraid of chaos,” he tells me.
“I’ve always thought of the unknown as dangerous and empty.”
He looks far away, and then, he stares at me, and offers a small smile.
“You do remind me of father, Yagrin, confident, hopeful, and always ready to give me advice, whether I want it, or not!”
“For a moment, I felt as light as a child again, letting you carry the world’s burdens.”
“For a moment, I felt free.”
The Path to the Towers
Sindar turns to Dilasa.
“Do you trust him to take care of you and the world, no matter what happens?”
He looks at me.
“I don’t know why I trust you, Yagrin, but I do.”
“Partly, it’s because you remind me of father.”
Sindar shares another of his memories.
It reveals how to open a path to the seven towers from any world, and identify the paths back to Sinesu and Siksa.”
“The path to Siksa is blocked at the other end, but is designed to open for me.”
“As my twin, it should also open for you.”
“Thanks,” I tell him, “but right now I need to find a way to fight the Spiral.”
“You showed me a memory,” says Sindar, “of the dangers of the possibility sea, and your sorrow at leaving Sinesu behind.”
“Don’t you understand the gift that I’ve given you?”
“You can go home to your family, and still return here to Sinesu.”
“If you develop the talent for finding paths, you can pass through the seven towers, and go anywhere, without crossing the possibility sea.”
“After all that happened with Benzu and Botzar, I promised myself that I would never tell you how to get to the towers.”
“What changed your mind, Sindar?”
“I’m not sure, Yagrin.”
“Perhaps it’s the way you healed the Bizra, and destroyed the Krale.”
“Or the way you healed a whole planet, and hid the artifact forever.”
“It might be the way you let go of your shape without fear, and your thirst to explore.”
“Or maybe, it’s just the love you have for your family.”
“Can you take us home now, Yagrin?” asks Dilasa.
“Before we can go home, I have to face the Spiral.”
“Maybe I can find a way to communicate with it, and convince it to stop feeding on intelligent beings.”
“Some things are just evil, Yagrin,” says Sindar.
“Don’t risk contacting it again.”
“Drive it away, or destroy it.”
“We can’t be sure that it’s evil.”
“It only kills sparingly.”
“Listen to yourself, Yagrin, apologizing for this creature!”
“The beings it kills are just as dead, whether it kills for pleasure, or from hunger.”
“Stop Diwan, or it will find a path through the possibility sea or the seven towers.”
“Then, every universe will suffer from its hunger.”
Sindar looks at Dilasa and me for a long minute.
“Time for me to sleep,” he says.
“Forever, Sindar?” I ask.
“We still need your help.”
“This is your time Yagrin, and your battle.”
“I have followed my father’s vision, as far as I can.”
“He wanted me to be as strong as him, and be a father to the world, but that was never a task that I could do.”
“You will be the world’s protector, and love and guard it in his place.”
“I must disappear.”
“I should have died long ago, and now, I’m a nightmare that can’t find its end.”
“You can be more than a dream, Sindar.”
“Maybe someday, but not now.”
He turns to Dilasa, and kisses her on the head.
“Goodbye little sister.”
“Take care of Yagrin for me.”
She looks at him shyly.
He turns back to me, and gives me the greeting of palms.
“Walk in light, Yagrin, and bring honor back to our family.”
“Remember what I said, Sindar.”
“Don’t give up on life.”
“I’m not convinced that you’re right about me, Yagrin, but I’ll ask my machines to wake me in a year or two.”
“If nothing else, I’m curious to see what you and Dilasa will accomplish in that time.”
The air sparkles around Sindar, and he’s covered with color and light, before he disappears.
“Will he come back, Yagrin?” asks Dilasa.
“I don’t know, little one.”
“Why is he so sad?”
“He doesn’t trust himself anymore.”
“Two of our brothers did terrible things.”
“That’s not his fault.”
“He meant no harm, but he helped each brother, and his help put terrible weapons in their hands.”