Join Date: May 2009
Location: South Carolina, USA
The weight of a gift
(This was a short, personal exercise in first person pov and conveying emotion)
The light of a single flame, pure against the pressing darkness, does little to hide the scars.
They are too deep to ever be forgotten, though the solemn candlelight does soften their edges. Blue-black shadows trace the memories made flesh like the fleeting wisps of mortal dreams at the first breaking of dawn.
In a way I am, myself, the remnants of a dream. No, I am the gift of a dream. Intentionally forgotten so that I might forever live in the shadows between the histories of humanity.
I do not have to open my eyes to see them. I know the hoary track of each time-worn wound that traces my form, a burning memorial of every single millimeter of sundered flesh is etched eternally into my soul. I wear them without doubt, though most do not truly belong to me. They are the chronicles of my duty and oaths made manifest. The fury of an entire species writ in enhanced muscle and hardened bone.
It is a different wound, deeper far than the simple insult of bleeding flesh, that I find in the solitude between light and darkness. One that shall never truly heal.
Here, in the silence between one heartbeat and the next, specters wait for me. I know them all, by name and deed, and, lastly, by the aching moment that I failed them. They greet me in the absolution of death, without judgement or spite for my sins. The torment I have placed upon my heart is by that of my own hand, they are the mute witnesses to my most poignant memories.
It is paradoxical; that one so entwined with the burning flame of the living would seek repose in the silent company of the dead. In a way, they remind me of the humanity I have lost. In life they were my brothers in oath and blade. In death they are the eternal guardians of my soul. A grave symbol of what our ultimate sacrifice demands.
The touch is as ephemeral as a shadow’s tread and as keen as the killing edge of a blade pressed against the skin.
I can feel the faint warmth of the miniature flame before me as my eyes, the blue-grey of a storm’s promise, slowly open to the light. My primary heart takes a measured beat deep within the shield of my ribs and my breath is a feathered mist in the glacial air before me.
Sweeping curves of the purest silver encircle me within the gleaming stone, patterns within patterns as fine as spider’s silk and as absolute as my will. Diamonds the colour of blood taken from the deepest veins of humanity’s homeworld draw my gaze as they wink in the darkness just beyond the light’s knife edge. Every facet blessed as it was cleaved, each one a holy work in its own right. Six hundred and sixty-six individual stones, as rare as the gift to bear them, mark my calling along the curved surface of sanctified plate.
Rare though the right is; I am not the first to wear them, and I will not be the last. They are a burden as much as an honour beyond measure. An honour that I know I have earned; yet never have felt I am truly worthy of.
+If you were not worthy, you would not be here and I would not still draw breath.+
My humours are melancholy, forgive me this moment.
I see beyond the words, beyond the mind that holds them. I am sinew and bone, blood and corded muscle. I feel the echo of the wound, the lingering trace of the hot scream of parting flesh.
You are healing well.
+There is not even a scar, but you already know that. I know the weight you carry for us, we all do. Yet, I must rely on your strength again. Titan calls to us, and what we are summoned to face will test us all.+
I reach out and run my fingers through the flame of the candle, feeling the heat and watching the play of shadows. The fresh, pink scar on my side pulls tight with the motion, aching with the dull fury of a hunger denied. A killing blow that was never meant for my flesh.
My eyes close for a long moment, I will not be able to save them all in the hours to come.
I hear the call and obey, Brother Captain.