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Limen A tale of Calam and Yeesha

#1 User is offline   Lostthyme 

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Posted 31 March 2011 - 09:36 PM

They call me the Observer.
I am not the Watcher. There is nothing for me to watch for.

I am not the Grower. It is not my place to grow. My touch is like the whisper of thought, light and passing.

I am not like the rest of my people. I no longer dwell in their world. I see. I observe.

The link, that liminal, indescribable place between worlds. Most people don’t know it. All they remember is a blurred, brief glimpse of the unknown, like staring out into the night in the Ages with a veil over their gazes. They do not see the stars for the familiar and comfortable cloth over their eyes. All that they know is the sickening feeling that lingers like a pit gnawing in their stomachs.

They do not know that threshold as I do. They do not see the power that pervades that space. But I see it, and I have touched it. I have had my veil removed and stepped into the stars. But removed by what? Some would say I removed it, but that is beyond me. I know it is the Maker who has made me thus, and these visions of starry skies are mine to share.

The power contained in those expanses is not mine to hold. That is the place for another. I must be content in knowing, and sharing so that others will know the other when it is time.

But oh! What I see! The veil has been lifted for me! I can see the Art, I can see Linking without Books!

I know I will never be able to leave this place, in having my veil removed I have been trapped. Some may think of it as hindering, but I my years I have come to think of it as a challenge. This Linking fabric around me—I know not how to refer to it—it is wondrous and binding. I must be content with watching the travelers. They know not what they use.

I must tell them.

­-----



“Perhaps it was not the best idea, mixing the ink we found with the old supply.” Yeesha dipped the nib of her pen furiously into the well and then scratching it across a sheet in her journal. The ink streaked and clotted, leaving a vague trail where her deliberate mark should have been. “Now we’ll have to make a completely new batch.” She threw down the pen and tossed her long braids over her shoulder impatiently. She was young, far younger than many who attempted the art of writing books that linked to other worlds. Her skin was pale from her years in the vast cavern of D’ni, and her hair trailed down her back in tight, dark braids. Her face was drawn and pained, with a note of something like desperation in it. Calam had only met her a few years ago, and she would not admit to how long she had been down there before his arrival. Too many fruitless years in trying to teach herself to Write like a master, no doubt. When Calam had found her she was nearly mad with loneliness and failure.

Writing was an Art that required patience, something that young Yeesha wanted for in great quantities. Her father had laid the base for the skill, but had apparently turned his only daughter loose in the ruins of the D’ni to figure things out for herself. That was all Calam could make of it. Yeesha didn’t talk much about her family, and Calam followed her lead. Calam sighed and cleaned off the pen, setting it aside to prevent further outbursts. “Then we will make a new batch.”

He was old, far too old to be reeling in the passions of a young woman. He was old, far older than Yeesha with her outsider blood would ever reach. His parents had escaped the fall of his people, and he had been born soon after in their Age of refuge. His father had been a Writer of little renown and great ideas, and those ideas he passed down to his only son. While Yeesha had readily taken on the role of student, Calam was the unwilling teacher. “Here,” he said wearily, pulling a new bottle of ink out of his heavy robes. He had been saving it for himself, but he could make more later. “Continue your writings. You struck upon an interesting idea earlier, with that theory. I want you to develop it more thoroughly while I go out to gather more ingredients for the ink.”

His pupil was pushing far beyond anything even Calam with his father’s revolutionary ideas would go. He thought with other sigh that, had Calam and Yeesha been alive before the Fall, the Council not only would have imprisoned him for teaching a woman to write, but also would have quietly slipped Yeesha away to never be seen again for her radical theories. She was pushing far into the nature of Linking itself, to places that even the masters dared not to go. Calam often had to warn her. “There are reasons besides mere tradition that the Great Writers had for not going so far,” he would say severely, bending over her shoulder.

Being the young woman she was, Yeesha ignored him, thinking that she knew well the risks. As it was with all young people, as Calam remembered from his own youth. But his tinkering with the physics of his Ages was hardly on the same level with the near blasphemous work that Yeesha was throwing in the face of the broken city of D’ni. Calam stroked his long beard contemplatively. They were currently residing in one of the Eder Tomahntee, or rest homes. It was a small, stony room carved out of the wall of the tunnel leading away from D’ni. Yeesha had not wanted to live where she could see the city, and the sound construction of the alcove suited their needs perfectly. Yeesha had wandered the city for too long by herself, she claimed, and Calam would not have been entirely truthful if he had said the sight of it did not sadden him.

Calam had never had a desire to go back D’ni. His parents, mourning the loss of their people, had instilled in their son a distaste for the place. It probably stemmed from an irrational fear, but they did not want to lose their son in the same place. They had died, just as he had expected to, alone in their Age, leaving Calam a young man on the minute island of their Age. He had spent many long, bitter years there until a young woman had linked into the Age, desperate to escape D’ni. Yeesha. Later, neither of them understood how Yeesha’s father and the other survivors had missed Calam’s Age, but he secretly held an unfocused resentment toward the group for not finding him sooner. He might have been spared his youth that had been whittled away as the waves crashed against the stone.

A man’s voice broke Calam from his meditations. A thrill of surprise and fear ran through his body and clutched his chest. The voice was coming from inside their home. There were no men beside himself in all of D’ni. They were alone.

He took controlled steps into the tomahn. An unfamiliar man was standing just a few feet away. How had the man entered the room? It was just as if he had appeared out of the ground beneath their feet. Yeesha was still in her chain, but she had pushed it out and was rigid, staring at the newcomer. He towered over her. His thin, light frame was draped elegantly with strange, yet familiar clothing.

“W-where did you come from?” Yeesha murmured, never lowering her eyes from the man’s face.

Calam could hear the man chuckle, and the humor at his student’s expense made every fatherly sentiment in his body spring to life. “Who are you?” he demanded, “Answer her question.”

The man turned, and his face was like looking into death. It was a tight, sharp face. The skin was drawn tightly over high cheekbones, and his eyes were recessed back into his skull. A chill quenched his paternal instincts and Calam had the sudden urge to hide. He didn’t understand how Yeesha stared at him so. “I do not understand why your young woman is asking how I came to be here,” the man asked in stiff, archaic D’ni. “It is she who freed me. Which I should be eternally thanking you for,” the man said, turning to Yeesha and making a formal looking movement.

Calam gathering what was left of his wits. “You didn’t answer my question. Who are you?”

“He told me he was the Observer,” Yeesha whispered. “He said he was trapped.”

“Trapped in the Link, yes,” the Observer confirmed. “I was trapped there many hahrtee. Much has changed in the time since I walked among people. I once considered my entrapment a blessing. You see, there is much to be learned in the abyss. But now I understand. It was punishment.”

“How is that possible?” Calam asked, joining Yeesha. “Why were you punished? If you were imprisoned, I do not see the benefits in letting you loose.” Here he glanced disapprovingly at Yeesha.

“I have come to give the Grower my powers. I can teach him how to Link without books, how to Write books that Link within an Age, and how to manipulate the powers of the Maker himself.”

“That’s impossible.” Calam had fully recovered by now and his distaste for the man was growing by the second. “We won’t put you back wherever you came from, but we refuse to listen to such lies. Linking without books?” He scoffed. “And the Grower is just a fairy story to give hope to broken men who are too old to hope from any more reasonable sources. D’ni is dead.”

Yeesha was still staring at the man. A strange gleam was in her eyes. Calam’s heart sank. He knew that look well. Her father had instilled in her a deep desire for learning, no matter what the costs. The Observer had just made her an offer she could not refuse.

“I may not be a Grower,” Yeesha said, “but what could you teach me?”

The Observer grinned, his skin peeling back to reveal white, rectangular teeth.

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#2 User is offline   Allatwan 

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Posted 25 April 2011 - 04:48 PM

Oh, have I been missing your fanfictions! :D This one is well-written, as usual, and as exciting. I hope to see more of this soon :)
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