I love the feeling of falling free.
The air rushes by me as I fall, and the world comes up to greet me.
The six hundred feet to the ocean will vanish in seconds.
This small body is strong, but I won’t survive the fall.
I push aside the thoughts of death, the fear of pain, and the urge to hide from the end.
These moments are too precious to waste.
I open my energy eyes to see the beauty of the ocean and sky, and taste the world one last time.
There’s movement one hundred feet directly below me.
Three of the Kishla, the great singing birds, fly in a circle.
The energy within their ring weaves itself thicker and thicker, and pulls at me as I approach.
Are they waiting for my fall to pierce their circle?
The Kishla song grows louder and louder, and seems to spin around me, forming another circle that follows me down.
Each intricate song is new, unique, and more complex than anything a Jiku voice can touch.
The Kishla speak to each other through subtle changes in the songs.
What meaning is hidden there?
Do they speak of the sky and the water?
We hear only beautiful music.
The Kishla can hold several different tones at once.
The sound fills me, and closes out the world, until I reach the Kishla’s circle.
I’m surrounded with a thick fluid, which brings me to a stop.
I let my surprise go, and keep my physical eyes closed.
When the shock passes, I free my energy eyes again.
I’m suspended in mid-air, fifty feet above the waves.
The Kishla’s circle looks to my energy eyes like a strange disk, and their circle of flight like a great shining ring.
The space within the ring is thick, filled with a clear, elastic material that covers the ring like a drum.
The disk forms a window and gateway into a great well, another world, without end.
Bright energy calls to me from deep in the well, calming me.
I float, resting comfortably on the surface of the disk, at the top of the well.
I listen again to the Kishla’s song, forgetting everything else.
Time forgets me.
How long have I been here?
It’s been minutes, but how many?
I drift downward again, not in space, but within the energy well, taking me away from Siksa.
What strength do I have that can keep me here?
Something within me moves deeper and deeper into the song, as it grows louder and louder around me.
This is my answer.
Not with a voice of a child or adult.
I’m not Jiku.
Several sounds shine out of me at once, like the Kishla.
I hear the sounds, but light and energy come with them.
My voices weave energy into the Kishla song, and the song changes.
The well disappears, and the birds scatter.
I’m free of their plans, and whatever prison they were sending me to, but I’m falling again, toward the sea.
Suddenly, hands grab me around the waist.
“Master Yagrin,” says Keela, “the air held you like a friend.”
“How did you tame gravity without your armband?”
“The Kishla’s song held me, Keela”
“There were no birds, Master Yagrin.”
“Nothing but you and the open sky.”
“Hold on to me, Master Yagrin,” she says.
“I have another armband for you in my pack, but I need both my hands to get it.”
I grab her tightly around the waist, with a fraction of my strength.
My body looks like a child’s, but it is much stronger than it seems.
She lets go of me to dig out the armband.
I hear a deep hum, and a few soft tones, as she puts it on me, closes it, and activates it.
Then she takes me up, away from the water.
“Try to fly,” she says.
I rise a few hundred feet in seconds.
Then, I open my eyes.
The Well of Worlds
Shazira sees me from the deck of the Watchtower.
Despite all that has happened, the bondsense is still here.
I feel what she feels.
She’s proud of me that I destroyed the Krale, and happy that I’m still alive.
She knows that I’ll fly away in a moment, and turns away so she doesn’t see it.
Keela flies up to join me, and we speak as we fly to the cave of the old ones.
I describe how the birds wove the disk that caught me.
I tell her of the well below the disk, and my song that broke the connection to the well.
“Master,” she says, slowly and carefully, “I watched you fall after you destroyed the Krale.”
“Then I saw you stop and hover in the air.”
“Let me tell you a story.”
“A thousand years ago, the Energy masters fought a great war that we call the destruction.”
“The survivors hid their skills from the young, and most of the masters abandoned us.”
“Some were chosen by the Bizra to remain awake and hidden as old ones.”
“Others embraced a long sleep, as you have seen.”
“The rest left this world, never to return.”
“Some of these travelled among the stars on rivers of energy, but many of the ones who left, traveled through a gateway between dimensions.”
“That gateway is called the well of worlds.”
“Legend says that the well is guarded by three masters who took the shape of the Kishla.”
“Why did the old masters hide their knowledge, Keela?” I ask.
“The masters hoped that with time, we would become wiser than them in our use of power, and there would be no more wars.”
“The knowledge can’t be hidden forever.”
“When the old masters were gone, visions spoke of the future, our times.”
“Enemies will come, and we will need that knowledge again to protect ourselves.”
“The Bizra taught the Jiku some of the old knowledge, but much is still hidden.
“Our hands are no more steady than the masters who brought war.”
“We are no more wise, and the sleepers rest, unchanged.”
“Visions speak of masters who will return through the well of worlds.”
“The old ones still have their knowledge, Keela, and they must have grown wiser over their long years.”
“They’ll save us.”
“They’ll help, Master Yagrin, but their strength isn’t enough.”
“The visions tell of new wonders and new wars.
“Some who return through the well will shine pure and bright like the sun, while others will try to shatter the world with their power.”
“My father is weary of waiting, so he hopes for the awakening of the sleepers and the new kingdom that will follow.”
She stops and we hover together in the air.
She faces me, nose to nose.
Her warm breath upon my face.
“My father will be thrilled,” she says, “when I tell him what you’ve seen.”
“The well of worlds is another sign that the future rushes toward us.”
“My father aches for the coming glory of war, while I fear it.”
“I don’t know you well, but I take comfort in what I’ve seen of your heart.”
“You will fight, but not for the pleasure of it.”
“I hope that you will be strong enough to protect us against those who love war.”
I hear her words, and think of my love for the wild side of energy, my joy when storms surround me.
Is Keela right about me?
Will my power grow safely, or will the taste of my own power overshadow love and reason?
Will I bring peace or storms to the Jiku?