The air glowed around us at I began to imbue the three essences into the different items. Each different truth was written into the item that embodied each with different forms and patterns symbolizing the that existence. It was like the ash swirled around us mixed with the sound of gunfire and the cries of monsters.
It was like the entire room shook but I knew it was more than that, the world shook as I encapsulated each power into the items. The songs felt crude next to my own tools but I worked them and changed them until I was content. Finally I sealed the items, finishing the process of making them. The glowed like a radiant dawn and then changed into sparkles of energy and flowed into the Wanderer.
“And thus the choices of your fate are written.” I said only barely realizing what I was doing. It was like I was in a trance, just following the path that I saw before me. There was something more, just beyond what I could reach. I grasped at it but it was gone, then all my energy was gone. I had put my entire existence into making no just one but three Tools at the same time.
Darkness shrouded my vision and I collapsed overcome but the fatigue that I had not realized was there. The song of the world faded and all those connections disappeared as I fell into unconsciousness.
Everything faded from my vision and I felt like I was floating in the air, surrounded by darkness. It was like when I had first passed between the worlds with Valarie. There didn’t seem to be anything else out there in the darkness, just me. I tried to listen to the songs that I heard before but even that was gone. Just silence.
I tried turning around but no matter what way I looked there was nothing. Then when I turned over once more I found myself facing an even more inky darkness, even more so then the one I was floating in. It rose and fell like waves beneath me. I concentrated as I stared at it and slowly the surface of the darkness shimmered and I could see my own reflection on it…. No not my exact reflection.
The person staring back at me looked like me, but was slightly different. She looked a bit older, more mature, but her face and body was scarred in many different places. Her hair was ragged and unkempt. The the other me spoke.
“We get to see each other for the first time here. You finally did it then, realized your true power.”
“The Forge of Beginning?” I asked.
She nodded, “Yes. A power which can shape destiny, yet such power does not come without a cost. You put a little of your existence into each Tool that you make, should you make too many then your very existence will become lost. The last Forge only made nine tools after all.”
“Then this place is?”
“You, all that is you. You scrapped out much making three Tools at once. You will recover although the path will be long and painful. However because you did that we finally get to speak.”
“Any who are you?”
“Another you perhaps, yet not exactly the same. Maybe the failed potential of you? Yet now I am just a part of you, one hidden beneath everything else.”
“That makes less sense then most of the stuff I have dealt with.”
“If you need one aspect to define you then I would be the part of you that desired to destroy the world because of your pain. You tried to bury that but you did once truly desire to destroy a world. That is not an emotion a person can live with so you suppressed it.”
“Then you are the evil parts of me?”
“That is part of me and part of you. More like the parts of you that you do not accept or does not exist yet except in possibility.”
“Like your affection for Valarie. She is more then just a friend to you, but what is she? What could she be?”
“What? No, that can’t be, I would never think of her like that. She is a friend, no a…”
“Not a what? Family? Lovers? Best Friends? Rivals? What? Or maybe she is still an enemy that needs to be killed? You don’t know and can’t decide and some options you suppress not even willing to give a thought to. But I do, because that is what I am.”
“You can’t be me.”
“Any maybe I’m not. Yet I still exist here in the silt at the bottom of your ocean of unconscious. Maybe I’m some monster waiting to be unleashed upon the world. Will you release that monster?”
I shivered as I spoke to this Fragment. I tried to deny everything that is said yet ever time that I did it dug deeper into me making me question even my denials. It understood me even better than I understood myself, yet what was it truly. Part of might subconscious, or something else.
“Are you going to continue to speak with me?” I asked.
“Do you want me to? Would it comfort you? Maybe it would drive you to insanity. I am only speaking now because you scrapped away all the surface problems with your creation of those Tools. Yet even if I do not continue to speak all the thoughts I have will not be so easily forgotten.”
“Even if you can speak with me now? Why are you choosing to do so?”
“Because you can not see beneath the depths. You are swimming to deeply in your power. There is still too much and you are not ready. I was not ready. If you continue swimming into the depths without practice or pause then you will cease to become you. That is the one thing that I can not abide.”
She reached out toward me and her fingers passed through the surface of that darkness. She continued to reach until she touched me. She placed her fingers over my eyes and I could no longer see. The fingers were cold and I shivered.
“I will suppress you power so you will not become lost. Should you truly need it once more then speak with me and I will return it. Yet until then you must return to the person you once were.”
“No, wait! I could accomplish to much with this ability! I could save other worlds, help other people! There is so much that I could do.”
“And that is why I must do this. You are not restraining your own demise. Now sleep, and conceal your power again. Until it is no longer too much for you to handle.”
My mind began to drift once more. Was the person who looked like me even real. I found myself back at the observatory that Valarie’s father owned. I was a kid once more, one who had went to go play with Valarie. I drifted off and the dream continued, this one pleasant.
I woke with muddled memories. Most of my dreams slowly disappeared into the recesses of my memories but there was one that stood out distinctly. The one where I spoke to myself in a sea of blackness.
Remembering what she said I tried listening to the song of the world once more. There was something there but it was muted and distorted like it was being filtered through some thick substance. I couldn’t make out the sounds clear enough to understand anything.
That person, me?, who spoke in the darkness must have dulled it, preventing me from fully understanding what I had previously known. Even the truth behind all my Tools was fuzzy in my mind like I couldn’t quite understand it.
Strangely I felt a little bit of relief. It was like a weight of responsibility had been lifted from my shoulders. That ability to make Tools made me feel like I should do things to protect worlds, made me feel like I was powerful and in control. It was the danger and lure of power. Back in the dream when I protested it was before I had lost it desperately grasping at to keep the strange but now that it was gone I realized that it was probably for the best.
“Very well, I understand. From now on you are responsible for deciding if I should use it. Choose wisely.” I whispered to the scarred Yiskah in my heart. Like she heard me and understood the sounds of the world song disappeared completely.
“Your awake! Hey everybody, she woke up!” I could hear Esta calling from beside me.
I leaned up and saw that I was laying somewhere unexpected. I was laying on Esta’s bed. I was no longer in the Wanderer’s world. I had returned to the Hub…. The Hub? Why had I thought that? Was it Scarred Yiskah that whispered what she could hear about this world, maybe.
Valarie ran in and grabbed my hand, “Are you alright? The Wanderer told me that you collapsed after making his Tools?”
I nodded. I saw the Wanderer standing behind Valarie, leaning on the door. He must have come to the Hub with Valarie and Yiskah, a bit surprising but I expected him to return to Trial against in the future.
“Yes, I’m sorry. I was too confident and tried to do something far beyond what I was capable.” I said.
“But you made those Tools? Made new magic, I wish I could have seen that. I’m impressed and surprised. I didn’t know that you could do that.”
“I can’t, no anymore, and probably not again for a while. I used up too much power making them. I saw a method for doing it and decided to try yet I drained my ability too much, it might be months or years before I can do something like that again.”
“I see, I’m still impressed though. That you could even do something like that in the first place. Most people couldn’t even do that yet you might be able to repeat it again at some point. Didn’t you say that your Tools were passed down through generations of people? I’m sure that the Wanderer’s will have the same thing happen to them.”
“Thanks,” I then looked over to the Wanderer and asked, “Have you figured out how to use them? I didn’t have any time to explain how to do it before I fell unconscious.”
“I tried them a little and I can at least activate them. Although what they seem capable of seems rather limited.”
“Yes, and no. The items outward forms represented their outward power but that their true nature is for you to discover. Something that seems simple but has unlimited application. That is what Tools are. I used to only be able to use my Tools in simple ways as well yet with practice I was able to use their advanced applications. You will be at a disadvantage however because there will be nobody to tell you what they are capable, you will have to discover those by yourself. Yet you will not be bound by the false assumption that everything about the Tool had already been discovered.”
He looked at his hand and then nodded, “I will remember that. Although I would like to see you use your Tools and explain what you are doing. I think that might help me understand a little.”
“Sure,” I nodded, “I can do that although you might need me to get a few days of rest.”
He smirked, “You have already been sleeping for around a day already. But I guess you can get more sleep if you want.”
“A whole day, I must have really been out of it.”
Esta nodded, “Yeah we were all worried about you. Valarie brought you back here along with all of us when she discovered.”