Little Light


The days all blend together here, not that she knew of any other place. Sometimes it felt like she should, scattered visages of what might be memories, what might be half-fantastical daydreams of another world. Maybe it was both. It was hard, sometimes, to tell what was real and what wasn’t, what was her and what wasn’t, what was past and present and future and real or unreal and what thoughts were hers, if she could even think, if time existed or if reality was a knotted line that kept twisting back on itself over and over and over again in an endless loop. Was she thinking this? Could she even think? Maybe it was someone else doing the thinking, someone else using her brain.

Not that it distressed her. Not that she thought it in as many words, fleeting images and emotions that flitted through her brain on the gossamer wings of a dragonfly. It didn’t matter. Didn’t matter, didn’t matter, nothing mattered, some things mattered, mattered to her, mattered to no one, mattered to only her and no one or no one else. Wait. Were those the same? What were the same? Calypso paused, handful of sand falling through her fingers onto another pile. She was building a mountain. No, a dune. No, many mountains. One. Two. Three. Four. Seven? Two. Four. Eight. She frowned and tilted her head, green eyes skating over the small piles of sand she had made. Piles. Piles. Many. Small steps so that she could climb up, up so she can touch the clouds and peer at the brightest thing up there, see what it was to touch solid light. Up. Down. She didn’t need them. She could step by herself. But you needed stairs to climb. But she could fly. But didn’t you need wings to fly? Calypso didn’t have wings. Or maybe she did. Or maybe…

She was doing something. Was she? Yes. She was looking right at it. Right at them. Them? Her. They weren’t alive, were they? No, if they were she would know. Cautiously, Calypso skated her fingers over one of the piles of sand, watching as the errant particles bounced off the edges of the small dunes. The wind picked up, blew more of the piles away, not enough to scatter them but enough to pick up the topmost pieces of sand and scatter them in the air. Calypso scrambled back, making a soft, surprised noise as she fell down from her previous knelt position. One arm raised to shield her face, other hand rubbing the tears away from where sand had blown into her eyes. She should be used to this by now. She was used to this by now. This world was the only one she knew.

The wind would die down soon. Maybe she should stand up. Maybe she should climb and climb and climb until she poked through the sky. Was there an end to it? She didn’t know. There shouldn’t be. … shouldn’t. Wasn’t? What was real? Was the sky real? Instead of climbing up, she flopped onto her back, arms falling limp at her sides, still with her eyes closed. Ah, see, the wind was dying down. She wanted to climb. She didn’t. Not by herself. Never by herself. She wasn’t by herself, though. Was she? Anxiety, familiar in a distant sense, pricked at the back of her mind, and she reached out, brushed at the familiar presences that surrounded her. Surrounded her now. Existed around her. Not surround. Few people approached her, but that was okay. No, it wasn’t. Yes, it was, because sometimes they seemed to hurt around her, and she didn’t like to see anyone in pain. Was it her who caused it? Was it them? She didn’t know. She didn’t want to see it either way. There were people around. That was enough. Where was Kassander? Again she reached out, sorting through the separate strands until she felt his familiar warmth. Here. He was here. She was safe. Safe from what? It didn’t matter. Did it? The moon may be the brightest light up in the sky, but Kassander was the brightest light, period. She didn’t need to climb, when she had him.
October 22

Kassander Julian

All my obstacles have been absolved. I am god of this new world.
He'd finally gotten them to grow.

It'd taken probably too much work, and too many stolen gardening items from Iuna, but, finally, he'd managed to plant several different kinds of flower. Sheol was immeasurably boring, and Calypso seemed like she should be unbearably bored. She found ways of entertaining herself, of course, but Kassander worried. Likely, too much, and for little reason, but he worried all the same. Sometimes he understood her decently well, but other times, he could hardly make heads or tails of what was going on in her head. He wondered if she was ever coming back all the way, in her head, or if she'd keep being scrambled.

He missed Hasan. Hasan was better at this sort of thing than he was, but, Calypso did seem to readily decide he was safe, and she stayed near him. Kassander was glad for that. He'd lost everyone else - he wouldn't forgive himself if he lost her, too.

Still, she was a relatively gentle soul, even when a Seeker, to some extent, even when now a Diablo, more obviously these days. He was working on trying to plant things, for her, so that she had a large garden to take care of, and maybe wouldn't wander quite as much. He could sense her almost anywhere she went, he wasn't that anxious about it, but it set his nerves on edge when she wandered out onto the sands. Maybe she'd still wander, but, he hoped she'd wander less far, and less frequently. He'd build her a garden with all kinds of plants and then add in water features, and maybe some actual sand to one side she could play in.

He'd lost everyone else. He couldn't lose her, too. It was a miracle she stayed so long, as it was.

Kassander set aside the pots, each now with a small seedling; one would become marigolds, another would become chrysanthemums, and the last one would become lavender. If nothing else, they'd be a good way of breaking up the monochromatic monotony of Sheol, and maybe give her something more interesting than the sand to look at. She already had a small pile of rocks with shiny things in them he'd found in Iuna, here and there. Most of them had quartz deposits, but they sparkled in the light, and Calypso seemed to like them well enough. He stood, then, shuffled out onto the sands of Tamisra, taking his time as he made his way over to where he could sense Calypso had gone. She usually knew it, when he was there, so he wasn't too concerned about startling her.

When he got there, he just knelt beside her, and held his hand out. He wanted to show her something.

At first, the small little shifts of Kassander's Force didn't register as anything special. He moved around all the time. She knew, because even when she wandered away from him, Calypso still clung to the familiar lifeline of his Force. At least, she did when she remembered it was there, because sometimes she forgot to, forgot that there was a lifeline to cling to, but even when Kassander wasn't physically around to remind her she still found him, somehow. No matter how muddled she got, how difficult it was for her to think, she never forgot the meaning behind his presence, even when she forgot him. Not that it happened as much anymore. Because he was here, he was here, it was only him here - no, no it wasn't, there were others, there were so many others, but they flitted in and out of her awareness like buzzing gnats, like each individual particle of sand stirred up by the wind. Here, then gone, then maybe here again but Calypso wouldn't know because it was all the same to her. They were all the same to her. They didn't talk to her, and they didn't stay. None of them stayed. Only Kassander stayed.

And, oh, he was getting closer, this time he was getting closer. Closer to her, or...? Her ears perked up at the sound of his approaching footsteps, and she tilted her head, eyes still closed, and stayed unnaturally still as she listened to the sound of him getting closer. There were others milling about, but not near here. Calypso opened her eyes and sat up, shaking the sand out of her hair. Oh no, there were lots, she shouldn't have... why was she lying on the ground again? She had a reason, right? She did. ... she did. A frown touched her face, and she glanced down, tried to grasp at any of her slippery thoughts before they leaked through the sieve that existed where most people had a dam. It wasn't until Kassander knelt down beside her that Calypso remembered why she had gotten up.

Right. Right! A warble of greeting rose to her lips and she and smiled, bright and sunny. He was here. He was here. He was always here, but he was busy, of course he was, he was always busy, he was busy and no one else bothered with her and she didn't know whether she was glad for it or not because they were scary. Most people were, but not Kassander. Kassander was safety. He was safety, and the only one who gnawed away at the loneliness, anymore, who made all her various little pieces come together into something that might resemble a whole. Was it him, or was it him? She wondered, but also didn't, because the thought came and left as quick as any other, swallowed into the void where all thoughts went as soon as it appeared. Calypso didn't hesitate to slide her hand into his and glanced up with a curious chirp that lilted up into a question. Was there something that he wanted to show her?