Friday, May 20, 2011


She looked down into the small face, just waiting for the eyes to open. Impatience was eating her alive. That, and frustration over her own forgetfulness. How could she have forgotten her soul amulet at home? She knew better! And to do so while traveling? One would think she was still a mere child. Her hair bobbing to the silent rhythm of curses running through her head, Moria looked at the etched green face in her hand. Nothing had changed.

"For heaven or damnation's sake," she muttered angrily under her breath, "wake up won't you!" Her conscience slept on and she so desperately needed to speak with it. Moria laid her head back against the cold steel wall. Even with her eyes closed, she could see the passing constellations. She'd traveled through the Certamen System since she was a child. She knew the layout of this rather large star system as well as anyone could. "If only I hadn't forgotten my soul amulet," she berated herself. Her soul and conscience always consulted over life's big decisions.

This was certainly one of life's big decisions.

She squeezed the amulet in her palm. Only that morning Jax-Sen had proposed to her. It shouldn't have been any big deal. Many sentient beings had approached less evolved beings with proposals. It was part of their Time of Duty, lifting the unfortunate out of the repression imposed by not having soul and conscience fused within their marrow. The Utopia of Wholeness is what they purportedly peddled. A somewhat rare commodity, it always came at a cost. For many still evolving beings, it meant misery at seeing the society one lived in through different eyes, a Sentient's practiced eyes, and then great joy at being able to improve one's society through one's own abilities. A short term loss as an individual for a long term gain as a society.

But Jax-Sen had asked for something very different. He offered a varied and complex arrangement. He offered to skip the Seeing and give her practiced eyes, eyes more powerful than any other low level Sentient was given. It would make her Holy, an untouchable in the leagues of her own people. It could be hers, if she agreed to his price. Was the cost of rising up worth what was being asked of her? She needed her conscience to guide her.

The amulet continued to sleep peacefully, unaware of her predicament. Moria felt uneasy. She had no clear feeling of right or wrong. Only vague connotations attached to words like Holy and murder. A textbook comprehension based on what other societies had written. Holy was good and murder was bad. At least that is what she remembered from her childhood school books. But what did that mean when compared to one another? Did they both have the same weight? She couldn’t determine that from her black on white knowledge.

That, in itself wasn't unsettling. No. That was just a fact of being near the bottom rung of evolution. It was the deep, primal recognition of being near something so important that agitated her into such a state of distress.

Moria closed her eyes again. Attempting to settle her unrest, she began emptying the air out of her lungs in a low whistle. She could feel tension easing out of her long muscles. Her chest squeezed tight, trying to hold onto some of the air, but Moria forced it to continue flowing into the low whistle. Not until the cells begged for air did she find quiet. Although she had been sitting in solitude, the long corridor felt empty for the first time since Jax-Sen had spoken to her.  The pressing crowd of her reproaches and thoughts pushed aside, she sensed the closeness of Serenus. A planet named by the Deities for its calm, unchanging landscape and climate.

“Moria.” came Jax-Sen’s soft monotone voice.

Air rushed into Moria’s lungs. She snapped her head up, her body gasping for breath. “Jax-Sen.” She was startled and her usually high pitched voice came out as a squeak. She looked at the hulking sentient standing over her. His face looked down into hers. The small spheres of his eyes growing larger in the dim hall accentuated the strong structure of his skeleton. A smooth layer of dark skin hid the actual bones themselves. It looked moist and she wondered, not for the first time, if her fingers would be wet if she touched him. The low light caused an odd mingling of shadows and glistening skin. It made it easy for Moria to restrain herself.

Her discomfort returned. Slowly, Jax-Sen’s lips turned up forming a wry smile. Her conscience amulet warmed in her hand. Surely it would awaken soon. “Have you made a decision?” came Jax-Sen’s soft voice again.

“I… I… My conscience has still not awakened,” she stumbled over her words. Jax-Sen relaxed, the tension in his stance dissolved. His wings sloped down. His perfect white teeth showed between his parting lips as they curved up into a smile. Moria saw a flicker of something move over his eyes. “Kindness,” she thought. “That’s what kindness looks like on an Angelus face.”

“We will be over Alcedonia in a moment. I will disembark then. Come with me. Let me raise you to the station you belong.” He took her hand. It was warm, warmer than her amulet. She walked with him, enchanted by his silken touch, his willingness to give her a life she would never again be offered. Warmed by the touch of a High Sentient. Forgotten, her amulet began to cool in her hand.

Having reached the Disembarkment Bay, Jax-Sen released her hand. “I will be transporting myself. I assume you still rely on artificial means to survive in the atmosphere?” he asked, his left eye brow arching higher than his right. Moria confirmed his assumption with a nod of her head. She felt her hair bounce near her face and the some of the old thoughts began whispering deep in her brain. Jax-Sen moved the hair away from her eyes, tucking it securely behind her ear. The motion wiped the whispers from her mind.

“I will meet you on the landing dock after your descent,” Jax-Sen said, the wry smile returning to his lips. With that, he turned and walked to the South side of the Bay. Moria felt her enchantment lift, just slightly, and took a moment to look around. She noticed the departing passengers, some by their own means but most with artificial support. As she settled back into her skin, she couldn’t help but wonder if she had agreed to his proposal. She looked at the little green etched face. It had become very cold and it continued to sleep soundly.

*** Daily Writing Practice ***

1 comment:

  1. Oh wow, I wasn't sure I remembered the original piece, but two paragraphs in and I was! I still think the idea of separating soul and conscience from the body like this is really interesting, and you show the travails that arise from it rather well here. I hope that there's a more sinister reason for her soul amulet being missing, as something so important seems unlikely to be left behind just accidentally.
    Oh, and I don't trust Jax-Sen in the slightest!
    [Typo for you: you've got "dissention" for "descent" at the start of the last paragraph.]