A long awaited meeting of student and master. Will it be foiled?
Sunlight dapples the ground as it filters through the Autumn leaves. A couple of squirrels chase each other through the branches with a practiced ease. The birds trill their morning song in a peaceful melody. A snake snares its breakfast and begins to constrict the breath from its victim. A typical early morning in this far removed mountain grove. Suddenly however, the grove falls to silence; the snake slithering off to enjoy a more private meal. For there is an intruder entering their midst.
A woman of below average height with messy, jaw length, sable hair framing a semi-oval face with high cheekbones enters the grove. She is wearing unremarkable, light weight, leather armor that hugs her thick athletic frame. In the interest of traveling light she also dons a small leather scout sack slung across her back; the strap has mounted utility pockets within easy reach, draped across her chest. She stops at the groves edge; icy blue, nearly silver eyes, roving over the plane as she extends her awareness. It has taken months of scouting and years of research, but she has finally found him. Here just at the edge of her senses she feels the telltale ripple in existence she has been searching for. She sighs, unslings her sack letting it fall to the grass and sits cross-legged next to where it now lays. Hair shrouds her face as a long, almost manic, smile cracks upon her lips; expelling an exasperated cackle into her lap, “I have finally found you master.” She sends out a pulse of distortion that meets the center of the grove reviling, for just an instant, a large watery sphere of “not quite rightness”. She flops onto her back to face a slightly clouded sky. She muses, extolling another sigh, “Soon we will reunite” She drifts into exhaustion driven slumber beneath the early autumn day light.
She awakens to the soft chirp of crickets, hooting of owls and the faint flap of bat wings. Night is in full swing and her energy is recovered. The moon is not full but still casts light enough to see. She gropes for her scout sack and opens a utility pocket housing a ration. She nibbles on it taking in the night and savoring the tranquility of its song. As she chews, allowing her mind to expand, growing beyond the bounds of her body. The boundary between skin and air dissipates like embers sent asunder from a flame. She grows so immense and so infinitesimally small as her very self merges with what is perceived as reality. There is no thought here; at least not as we know it. It is simply existence; everything that is just is. You perceive it and it becomes. It is a world of so much color, so much darkness inseparable from one another. The essence of what an ancient race once labeled yin and yang. There are few that know this is the world as it is without construction. This is the base line, bedrock of the world. Most only find a piece of it and are ostracized as mad. Few find the whole of it and simply disappear into it. Even fewer learn to “shift”, coming to and fro, ferrying others into understanding and mastery. One such, is her master.
With that thought she finishes the last of her ration, shrinking back into the constructed body of the material. Inhaling while lifting her feet skyward and in a burst of energy flinging herself upright simultaneously hinging at the waist to pick up her sack. She pauses momentarily, cocks her head coyly and half smiles to the center of the grove. “it's about time I said hello” she muses and saunters closer to the “not quite rightness”. She sends out another pulse to get a view of the edge of her master’s craftsmanship. “I am still not on your level of subtlety.” She thinks to herself, reaching out with her center and connecting with the sphere; she begins her push. At first, she is gentle; prodding at the seams of the structure attempting to weaken the bonds between the essence. However, he has woven them so tightly only brute force will create the door she needs to satisfy her impatience. She expands herself as she did moments before reaching for the power. This is reckless, but she has waited long enough for this. The moment that she does she becomes aware of someone else now in the grove and only has seconds, or maybe eons time is irrelevant outside the material. She shatters a way into her master’s space, a vacuum pulls her in and seals the rift behind but not before the other presence could launch a volley striking her in the back.
Looking down she sees the faint shimmer of a spear tip protruding from her abdomen. The pain is unbearable, and she curses her own lack of awareness. What’s done is done so she looks up seeing the cabin she has not been granted access to for nearly 20 years. She and it are in a bubble her master made within the essence. His space is neither ephemeral nor material, both swirl and meld here into everything and nothing. She staggers toward the door dripping blood that trudges through the air as if it does not know which way is truly down. Each agonizing steep takes her to a door that flings open the moment she nears it. Her master stands with a knowing gaze that must have seen eons pass. Tears well in her eyes and she chokes out the words she has been longing to say, “Hello Havoc. It’s been a while.” As darkness closes, she hears his trademark voice that is more bestial growl than human tenor reply, “That it has Meridian. That it has.”