Space Station (choose a cliché location to describe in an interesting way)
The silhouettes of the blonde three-eyed guests emerged from the docked space shuttle. The area spread vast with dozens of shuttles in the bay. People of various colors and sizes were walking with escorts. The white uniforms of the personnel would almost blend in with the white walls, if it weren’t for the laser lights on their helmets. Everything was spot clean.
“Welcome to Genesis 3 gentlemen. I am captain Tanaka and this is my science officer Flores. We are very pleased to welcome you aboard on this auspicious occasion.”
The regulatory energy fields were sometimes seen vibrating in front of the space exits. The only contrast here was the deep darkness that lurked beyond the hatches. The peculiar guests slightly lifted their deep blue robes and bowed down in front of the captain.
“Your invitation honors us and we hope to be of service to your world. I am brother Onuka and this is minister Manaka. All our monks are excellent engineers and we are looking forward to experiencing “The Heart”.
“Let’s not waste any time then, shall we? Commander Jones, five to transport to “The Heart.” said Captain Tanaka.
Once the rematerialization process had ended, the monks found themselves in the middle of a village square with a huge tree in the center. It looked like there was a folks fair in process. Merchants were selling bolts of expensive cloth, children running around and civilians enjoying cold beverages in a street cafe. It was a sunny day in the countryside.
“Remarkable.” said Onuka. “Maintaining the illusion of a lively planet in space, must have enormous psychological benefits. But is it worth the energy consumption?”
The captain opened his hands and explained how human civilization had solved its fundamental energy problems centuries ago.
Interview with Alcyna
(the writer interviews her character)
“Dear Alcyna, how kind of you to come.”
I smiled and stood up to greet her. I offered her a seat at the wooden table that was in the middle of the room. We both settled down and looked around. The white daylight shone brightly through the windows and cast shadows on the other side of the room. The elven waiters seemed to possess two different sides; a light one and a dark one. They walked silently without touching the floor. We were at the “Fairy Fay Inn”, a small establishment run by elves and elementals, deep inside the Lonely Woods.
“I have to say I was intrigued by your invitation, Angelina. Not everyday do I get to meet travelers from other worlds.”
“I was afraid that you wouldn’t come.”
“Well, to be honest I didn’t fully trust you, until I scanned your energy field and wove a truth spell. You were telling the truth, and so I am here to answer your questions.”
“That’s a relief! Maybe you can show me how to do that one day.” I giggled but I don’t think she found that funny at all. She just kept staring at me, so I decided to let it go.
“What did it feel like growing up in the guild of the weavers?”
“My life there was very chaotic. When I lost my parents I was sent to live with a servant of the Elders. She was an old lady, quite cold and uninterested in me but she had access to the library of the temple, and whenever I could, I would sneak in and read. As a child I followed the rules of the council to the letter. But there was an inner fire growing within me. The fire of both defiance and magic. I was soon kicked out of school and sent to work at elder’s Atropos house. The weavers have very cruel ways of disciplining their young.”
“I am not sure I want to know what those ways were.”
“Let’s just say that they don’t believe in sparing the rod. In their case, the distaff. They would create small drafts, weave magic patterns of pain spells, invisible to the naked eye. But quite convincing.”
“Let’s change the subject. Did you have any friends growing up to support you through all that?”
“One of the hardest things was the feeling that I couldn’t fit it. I couldn’t make any friends. I couldn’t imagine myself growing up to be a model citizen of the guild. The other children were too busy obeying the life patterns that the elders had laid out for them. And of course you know that a pattern in a weavers’ guild has many meanings, but almost all of them include magic. I soon discovered that the elders were weaving a draft that would slow down the minds of the people and make them easier to submit.”
“Submit to what?”
“To their destructive and ignorant wills. A person who submits their will has lost their own.”
“But why weren’t you affected by the spell?”
“To this day, this remains a mystery to me. Some elves thought that my life energy is by nature extremely strong. It’s one of the reason why magic flows through me so abundantly.”
“Tell me how did you decide to leave the guild and flee in the woods.”
“As I was growing up, I kept falling out of grace with the establishment. Everyone thought I was a lousy servant, for that was the destiny they were planning for me. I was unhappy, nay I was angry. I would talk back and leave my tasks unfinished. The anger had started to consume me until I made the discovery that changed my life forever. One night, when I knew that the elders were performing a ritual on the top of the mountain cliff, I went inside the temple just to look around. The threads of the sacred loom emitted glorious rays of rainbow colored lights that kept reflecting on each other. My mind suddenly got very focused and my vision changed. I could zoom in and out of the sacred threads. It felt like time came to a stop. By raising my hand and uttering the drafts, I could spin spells without using a magic distaff. The book of spells was very easy to find. During that night I mastered all the spells and discovered how the power of the loom was resonating so strongly within me. “
Alcyna paused and looked out of the window. She took a breath and continued.
“I spent three days and three nights planning my escape. I knew that if the Elders would discover my talents, they would forbid me from practicing magic. So I decided to save them the punishment and leave while I could.”
“How did you survive in the woods all alone?”
One of my newly found talents granted me the ability to talk with nature, its creatures, it’s rivers and mountains. I could hear the danger, smell the fruit and listen to the tales of the white rabbits. I thought I was walking into exile and loneliness and discovered that it was the first time I was among friends. That doesn’t mean that there were no challenges. I did have to learn to survive but let’s just say, I had ample help. Later on I met with the elves and the elementals and started cooperating with them.
“Do you ever want to go back?”
One of the reasons I would like to is to free the Loom from the superstition of the Elders. Holding back the magic is not the way to develop it. And developing it can be done in ways that are safe. But they fear losing power. There are rumours of a shadow approaching this island. The prophecy foresees the rise of an unexpected savior. I know I am not him, but I would gladly offer my services to him.
“Do you think that this would heal the wounds of your past? Or is it an inner need for justice?”
“For a human you ask some very difficult questions.”
That was the first time I heard her laugh. Probably out of awkwardness. So I allowed her to evade the question.
“Do you feel fulfilled as a person?”
“I don’t. I am still waiting for that big quest to come and give my life meaning. I have been preparing for it all my life. I have studied, practiced and mastered several aspects of magic to use it at the service of all that is good, against all that is evil, but the opportunity has not come yet. Also my life tends to become quite monotonous at times. I would love for it to have more variety. I want to leave this island.”
“Do you ever think of love and romance?”
Rarely. Unfortunately men of this area are only seeking to dominate women, as if we were inferior beings of another god. I would love to have a companion but what are the odds of finding an honorable human?”
“What about an honorable elf?”
Elves have weaknesses too, I am afraid.
“What is one of your biggest weaknesses?”
I am very sentimental but I can also be very cruel. I hate when my heart turns into stone. I wish I would never have to choose between myself and others.
“What is your biggest strength?”
“Alcyna, thank you for your time. I wish you success in your future endeavours. I hope you find the adventure that you are seeking and the true love that you are not! It’s getting late now and I need to get back to my world.”
We both smiled and stood up.
“It was a pleasure Angelina. Remember that time and space are relative. Your actions may shape my future. Heed them well.”
She raised her arm and started chanting a charming melody in elvish. A luminous white lotus slowly materialized in front of me out of thin air.
“Consider it a goodbye gift!” Alcyna walked out as I stood there still, admiring the flower.
Links to some interesting posts on my blog due to their content:
https://ankontini.com/the-7-signs-quest-after-god/ This is the description of a very well designed epic quest in the game Lineage II.
https://ankontini.com/the-end-of-the-world/ This is a review of a very short but incredibly touching point and click game (for mobile phones). The End of The World.
Here is a video I created for fun. I wrote this short story for one of my video game characters and then created this video. Of course it’s nothing professional but maybe it will show you a bit of my love for gaming, entertainment, art and stories. https://ankontini.com/the-chronicles-of-delecta-001/