total lunar eclipse 4.14.14
Vincent van Gogh - From ‘Almond Blossoms’ Series (1888-1890)
The woods were quiet. Still. Devoid of life. As if the animals knew. Veiling minds isn’t for the faint of heart.
Deep breath. Concentrate.
He felt claustrophobic despite the crisp, fall air. He hated Autumn. Too much electricity in the Ether. Every connection palpable. His heart beat fast as time gave way to memory.
Closer. Very dense. Years of isolation does that to the mind. According to the dossier she was an Empath. He tried to disconnect, but she was too strong. When did she have time to make contact?
It started to snow. He could feel it on his skin. This made him nervous. Everything black. He sighed. His own breath his first visual.
The Legion had set up camp high within the crags of the Red Peak. They had been tracking her for weeks now and they had lost six of their strongest men. Unforgiving terrain. Unpredictable. And her, of course.
This was their first contact. At least that’s what he had thought. He wondered why they called her ‘The Siren.’ He felt no temptation. He felt nothing at all actually, only the sterile clarity of his own thoughts. He silenced the idea that she had been wandering his mind from the moment they arrived. He swore he could hear her laughing.
Every connection was different, the subtly of the human psyche always created a unique experiential signature. Empaths bled nostalgia. Every sight, sound, and taste could make you cry. They were the loneliest. The only one’s who truly understood the heartbreak of living.
Every time he made contact, it took longer to dissociate. Longer to remember the man he was. He had lost all sense of time. Finally, she let him see the snow. It was red. He held out his hand and as it melted he realized that it was blood. He didn’t like her sense of humor.
God, her will felt unbreakable. Infinite.
The smells of camp and the warmth of fire had long dissolved. The argument with his Commander felt distant, maybe months, even years ago.
"I want her head. And her heart. I want to feed it to the wolves," his Commander spat.
"What if she can help?" He regretted the question before it left his lips.
"She’s a fucking Rogue! One more word of sympathy and I’ll have yours too. You and that cunt can live happily ever after with your heads mounted on my wall. How does that sound?"
At the time it sounded bleak, but as he walked through the blood soaked snow he began to wonder if he should have taken the offer. Something told him that between the two she was the dangerous one. Why else would they have tracked her to the edge of the earth? He was the best Illusionist the Legion had, but he still couldn’t break her. This was her world, her rules; they were all just pawns in her game.
And then she let him in.
At first it was only a feeling, a sense of calm. He didn’t like it. She was mocking him.
A shock ran up his spine and he knew he was close. She had opened a tear in the Ether. If he didn’t know any better, he would have reveled in the mistake. But he did and he knew the mistake was his own.
His blood felt thick and his heart pumped harder. His head felt light and his thoughts leaked from his mind. He couldn’t remember his name. Everything white. She was standing, her back turned. She wore red. His breath caught, he felt like he was drowning.
And then he was.