Afterlife – The Dark Star

The following content is fictional. Images are used as a means of expression and are created with an AI image generator (for example DALL-E). They are not quite what I had in mind but I’ll work with what I can at the moment. The story and words are not created with AI.


Continuation from Afterlife – Andes, The Black Realm of The Faceless:

You understand that you are in front of something you cannot fully comprehend, something that is past reality or any normality you are trying to adapt to. In the middle of the shape, you see a grey light in the form of what seems to be a perfect circle, for the first time this close, not moving or changing shapes like the Blacklight surrounding it. As you stare without even knowing what to say, the deep unknown voice enters your mind again:

“Welcome, young soul, at the beginning of eternity.”

“Eternity…it started with you?” you ask the Dark Star.

As you finish your sentence, from the irregular shape an extension forms and creates a human form just like yours. The only thing different from you two is the structure of the extension being somewhat more imposing and he has the grey circle mark covering a part of his chest.

“A part of it, yes.”

“You…are a human just like me?” you ask the Dark Star.

“Not quite young soul, this is just a visage, one I wanted to show myself to you as a sign of complacency. I sensed your arrival, and I believe you have some questions for me, I’ve been informed you are a curious one.”

“Now that I am here, I don’t even know what to ask first. We can start from the beginning. You told me that eternity started with you or a part of it as you mentioned. What does this mean or what does it represent more exactly?” you ask the Dark Star

“It depends on what you thought of eternity before arriving here. When the Maker created me, this was the beginning of it at the same time and it is something I am included in also just like you. It is a state we are in. Yet it is closely related to another counterpart and that is present. Here you can tell we exist in the present that has no past or no future.”

“I had an impression that eternity might encompass all states and time itself. You are the one that created it?” you ask the Dark Star.

“Not exactly. Time is the one itself that created eternity. It is…an acquaintance of mine. These are the states that he created at the beginning of everything. I don’t know what existed before the Maker itself, but I know that when our existence started, this was the beginning of everything you see, both in this realm or the one you came from.”

“What can you tell me about this light? When I woke up after the passing, I was left only with this and my own form. Why is that? Why am I this Blacklight now?” you ask the Dark Star.

“This was your own purpose being defined. Each step you took brought you here in what you called the end. I know your life, your choices, and what your mortal destiny ushered in your world. Our light is the one that dwells inside each being and in your life the balance pointed towards us. Our light had its part to play in creating the universe and what resides within it.”

“Are you the source of what means evil?” you ask the Dark Star.

“Evil? Both what is evil and what is good are undefined here where you are. In your world, it might be more easily understood, yet within evolution and the rise of intelligence, the evil and the good become more complex for each being. When you become what you are now, both of them lose their shape here and merge into one ideal. The one we adhere to. We are not evil, we have only different methods of achieving what is needed.”

“What is your ideal and purpose?” you ask the Dark Star.

“For what you have seen in your journey here, first and most important, we assure continuity within both what you call life and death. We create a part of what is called life and we call it here to return. The second thing would be expansion. Everything in your universe expands, and we are the ones setting its direction.”

“But that means that in the end, the life from my world will cease to exist,” you tell the Dark Star.

“Yes, it might be so young soul, yet in other parts, life is created again. This is the continuity we believe in and this is our cycle. This is the mission our Maker entrusted us with.”

“On my journey here, I have not seen only your light. I have seen something else, the Whitelight. What can you tell me about it, it is different from you?”

The Dark Star lifts his head up and looks at the dark sphere blocking the “sun”.

“Yes, we are related more or less. I believe you will be drawn to think that this is the source of what you call good in your world. We have our different purposes. While we expand, Whitelight believes in a more united approach. It is the one that brings everything together, closer one to another. While we generate emotions within a being that are considered “negative” and what pleasure you can find in them, the Whitelight is the one that brings what you consider to be “positive”. But even in this “negativity” resides something that is more complex. We are both perceived just in another way and as Eos told you, we exert dominance over one another. You can find a fact to which we relate that both of us produce evolution in our own way. What resembles the meaning of cycle and continuity for us is different.”

“So there is no choice from the beginning. I have been told that the Maker blessed everyone with the freedom of choice,” you tell the Dark Star.

“Freedom has its limits, young soul. It must have a purpose. The choices you pursued were not being controlled by the light you are made of. It stands as a reminder that there can be a difference within what you consider a pattern. I have sensed something from when you crossed the Black Barrier. I suppose we will find out eventually what this will hold for you. Only the Maker might know it more exactly as for me there are limits and some parts that I cannot reach myself.”

“At the beginning before I entered the Black Barrier as you called it, I had encountered something that was strange and not as I have seen before in my realm or when I arrived here. They are called The Lost Ones.”

As you finish your sentence the shape of the Dark Star turns toward you and asks you:

“What did they tell you?”

“They told me that I have not seen the true Darkness yet and that my destiny lies between it and the Light.”

“Nonsense.” the Dark Star tells you while you feel an earthquake almost losing your balance.

“There is no purpose to achieve within Darkness. That is the place where the light within a being ceases to exist. This is the true death.”

“What do you mean by the true death?” you ask the Dark Star.

“Darkness just like the Blacklight and Whitelight was created to serve a different purpose. Within the creation itself, he was with different ideals, maddening ones, to say the least. He was created with only one purpose, and that is to reduce to nothing if anything will disrupt creation and its plan for evolution. We suppose that if our Blacklight and the Whitelight will cease to coexist, he will come and destroy this reality that we tried to create.”

“What happened to him because of his difference?” you ask the Dark Star.

“Darkness never believed that the coexistence between both lights is what they should be. He tried to engulf us in his mist with his own mad and blind judgment. As an effort, together with the Whitelight at some cost, we exiled him. A bargain was struck that whatever will happen even if sacrifices must be made, we will not let Darkness and its mist reduce us to inexistence.”

“What exactly is this Nothing?”

“No one knows for sure, but the least we can say is that there is no light that resides there. It is the place of the ones who are condemned and exiled because they pose a threat to what we were instructed to maintain. With the absence of light, they were reduced to madness.”

“And what threat did they oppose more exactly to have such a fate?” you ask the Dark Star.

“Exactly what the Lost Ones told you. Under its influence they became delusional, trying to let Darkness outside of the exile. The influence that seeped inside them tried to remake the existence we worked upon. They are empty shells now, trying to cling to whatever other fate there is for them except wandering into madness itself.”

“I understand, but I also wish there was another fate for them other than the one you described. What about the ones that Eos told me are halflings that have the same measure of light inside them?” you ask the Dark Star.

“It is mostly a complicated matter. They are a causality. While we believe that the Maker has an answer to anything, we did not find an answer in their existence. They seem to be a subject of chaos not having a path that can be set exactly by either of the lights. Because of the volatility they are subjected to, they often become part of the Lost Ones before even having a contact with the Light and they become lost inside their own realms, as an extension of Darkness itself to spread its grasp.”

“I have been told that before that moon above us lies retribution. If you have so much control, if everything you say is true and you are in the fabric of the cosmos itself, why don’t you do something about it?” you ask the Dark Star.

“Because it is not my choice. It is something I had to adhere to. I told you before. Freedom has its limits.”

“And limits have been keeping us all along from making a change,” you tell the Dark Star.

The Dark Star looks at you, and without ushering anything he points to the obelisks in the room.

“If you wish to learn more about the potential of your new form, you will have to venture into the Andes and seek them out.”

“Seek out what?” you ask the Dark Star.

“Or who, to be more precise. In the realm of Andes, there are five elements that I have created myself as the five Obelisks you see in the room that I am in a connection with. They are personifications of the potential your form can achieve if you connect to them. They are fragments of my own powers each of them possessing something of what you might need. You will have to see how you can bargain with them in achieving what is wanted as each of them has their own mind.”

“I am the first who will do this?” you ask the Dark Star.

“You are not the first and you will neither be the last. Each entity in Andes is in a connection with at least one of the five elements. We will see how far you can go. Eos will be your guide along the way.”

“Which should be the first?” you ask the Dark Star.

“The first that you should seek is Rakar, the Shifter of Souls. The Obelisks will point in the direction you should first follow. Eos will explain you along the way.”

“Let’s do this then, are you ready Eos?” you ask your steward.

Eos begins creating a fissure again, this time pointing the way out of the light tower.

“After you, young soul.”

You enter the rift and you are back on the surface of Andes. You start walking in the direction where you know the Obelisk is pointing, southeast of the Dark Moon up above.

“Are we walking? I wanted to suggest we can just levitate till that place we are going,” you tell Eos.

“We could do that, but there is nothing rushing us. I enjoy myself a walk sometimes.”

“… You are levitating,” you tell Eos.

“Maybe it will be good for you to just look at what Andes offers. Think it that way.”

As you continue to walk you start seeing what should be the flora of Andes. All of them are in a geometrical shape. It’s something that attracts your attention by the fact that there are nearly no curves within the shapes.

“It is something that I have seen before. Why is everything shaped this way?” you ask Eos.

“This is what you can call our nature. It is possible you see it as something weird. If my knowledge is right about your world, this would be a part of what you may have seen in your world’s shapes of what you called the living.”

You can see that beings just like in your world exist in this place, some of them being somewhat similar. Even if they have no features it strangely reminds you of something you may have seen in your realm some even coming from it. They seem to have one feature in common, and that is a polygonal wireframe relief. It is the only feature of the existent light beings except the form itself, different from you and Eos. As you walk past pools of energy in which light forms reside and what seems to be oddly shaped trees, you finally reach a river.

Polygonal wireframe stag

“So you still believe we are unliving?” Eos asks you in a warm tone.

“I don’t know exactly what to say. I don’t think I could have expected such a welcome from death,” you tell Eos.

“After this river, we will enter Rakar’s domain. It is a forest where he made his home.”

You look at Eos, then you look at the river, then at Eos back again.

“I hope you don’t want me to pass another river, right?” you tell Eos worried.

“What seems to be the problem?”

“The last time I crossed a river in this form I almost became one of the Lost Ones. No way I will do this again so soon. Do I really need to swim again?” you ask Eos.

“No.”

“Then we will levitate?” you ask Eos again.

“No.”

“Then how?!” you tell Eos visibly frustrated.

“Look around you.”

As you look around you see a small shape near the river, almost glowing faintly. You approach it, looking almost like a crystal.

“Will this help us reach the other side?” you ask Eos.

“Yes, you should touch it.”

As you touch the crystal, it begins pulsating, and you can see on the other edge of the river something pulsating also. After what seems mere seconds, a crossing starts connecting on both shores, forming a bridge made out of light.

“What the…?” you look surprised at the crossing.

“Let’s proceed,” tells you Eos.

The Forest of the Shapeless

You cross the path over the river of light and you enter what seems to be a “lush forest”. You see more forms of what seems to be the flora of light that surrounds you.

“I can see a beauty in it, something that is soothing, it reminds me of what I have experienced in my realm,” you tell Eos.

“This is a gift that can overcome any boundaries, the one of calm and peace that nature offers in whatever form you exist.”

It does not take long and you begin spotting entities of light that surround you, and they seem to be in a deep connection to this place. On your way, you see that in front of you appears a small entity, resembling a rodent. You carefully approach it, trying to maybe touch it. At that moment, his shape turns in front of your view and becomes a bird, flying away from you into the forest.

“You did not tell me that every light form we have seen on our way can change its shape,” you tell Eos.

“This is because some of them cannot do this. What you have seen now is something that was in connection with Rakar itself. This is a potential that can be achieved.”

“The Dark Star told me that each being is in a connection with at least one element. Yet it seems this was the only entity that I witnessed doing this,” you tell Eos.


“Abusing power only for the fun of it has its consequences. Each entity here can control itself and understand. More importantly, it can respect this gift, and use it when it is necessary.”

“Giving power and freedom of choice at the same time doesn’t have consequences also?” you ask Eos.

“Very keen of you to have noticed this. It does. But the ending and choice depends on the user and what their vision is. I know what happened with your kind when too much power was given to only one being who did not have a wide vision. What you could consider mistakes and errors happen but they do with a reason. The fact that your kind endured and learned can show you that there can be Light even when it seems to be Darkness and….we have company.”

You stop walking your path with Eos only to be surrounded in mere moments by entities resembling the fauna of Andes. You see they have all manners of shape familiar and unfamiliar to you, but there is something that attracts your attention more. A mighty stag with his horns coursing with Blacklight steps forward and with a mere movement of his head and his horns pointed towards you and Eos, seems to issue a challenge.

“It seems we have attracted some attention. What is happening?” you ask Eos.

“Get behind me, this could get a bit rough.”

Eos and Aruna fighting

You get behind Eos as he steps forward and before your own sight, he starts changing his shape from the levitating entity into an imposing stag himself, with the same horns he carries in his normal form, different from the entity in front of you both. After what seems like moments where they measure one another, they start charging forward both of them determined to meet the other in the duel. They reach a high speed and their heads and horns meet in a powerful impact that sends around a shockwave of light almost pushing you behind as you put your hands in front to stop it. They lunge backward and charge again clinching their horns and sending ripples of light in all directions. With a lunge on the side and a swift rotation, Eos positions himself in such a manner as to kick with the back legs, sending the challenger flying in your direction. You jump on the ground barely dodging the incoming entity and it stops as it collides with one of the geometrically shaped trees, deforming it. The challenger lifts himself up and shakes his head trying to regain his balance.

“It is over, I win this time!” yells Eos.

“What do you mean this time?” you ask Eos not sure about what he means.

The challenger nods in disbelief at Eos and shapes himself into what seems to be a hawk, circling Eos at high speed and changing directions unpredictably.

“Hey! That is cheating!” yells Eos at the challenger.

The challenger shifts directions one more time, plunging directly at Eos towards his side, and in mid-air changes its shape back into the stag. With a powerful impact and applying a direct hit, one more shockwave of light is released, sending Eos flying into the trees, the force so strong it takes down multiple trees and stops into one. You run to Eos, trying to help him get up.

“Are you alright? Are you hurt?” you ask Eos.

“Not hurt, but a bit dizzy, that was a powerful blow. We should get back, it seems I might have lost this time.”

You head back with Eos, changing his shape back into the entity you first met. The entities that were around and the challenger itself are not in the same shape you first saw. They seem to have an irregular shape now, somewhat resembling the Dark Star, being of Blacklight but without any grey light. They seem to float without having legs, arms, or any features. You turn around to Eos and try to ask him:

“Is it safe to approach…”

“Aruna, it has been some time since we did a duel,” says Eos to the shapeless entity that was the stag before.
“Aruna?” you ask Eos as you look at the shapeless entity.

“It has been some time indeed Eos, seems I was more creative also this duel.” tells the shapeless entity in what seems a warm woman’s voice.

“Aruna here is a friend, we have our own tradition. When we meet, we duel. The form that you saw is our favorite choice when we fight each other. But it seems this time someone wanted to cheat.”

“You’re too soft, Eos. And lucky to say the least with that first blow,” tells Aruna.

“You are friends and you fight each time you meet? You are both cracked!” you tell both Aruna and Eos.

“Seems like your new friend is not accommodated with us, Eos,” tells Aruna as you notice that she measures you.

“Aruna, and her kind, the Arakali might seem strange to you. Indeed they do not have a shape, but their connection with Rakar is the strongest. This is their home also, this is why it is called the Forest of the Shapeless.”

“I understand. Too bad for those trees that you put down I guess,” you tell Eos.

“You should look back at them then,” says Aruna.

You turn back and you see the landscape unchanged. The trees are back in the same shape as before, as no fight has happened at all.

“How is this possible?” you ask Aruna.

“In the Light, nothing is destroyed and everything is reshaped,” says Aruna.

“What she wants to imply is the fact that you might find a resemblance between your own world and the reality you are in now. There it might be a slower process than what happens here. The nature of the Light was the first, and what happens in your reality is a reflection in some cases of this place where all originated. It is transposed in the place you came from.” Eos explains to you.

“Interesting, I never taught at it this way. I guess that we should continue our journey and find this element,” you tell Eos.

“You seek Rakar?” Aruna asks you and Eos.

“Yes, it is time for him to establish the first connection. Our Dark Star told us Rakar should be his first element,” says Eos.
“Interesting, I hope he will be easy on him. Rakar can sometimes prove challenging for the new souls even if he is the first connection for them. Let me come with you, maybe I can give you some insights.” says Aruna.

“Very well, let’s get going, we should arrive soon.” points out Eos.

Shockwave of Light

You start walking as the Arakari present there lets you pass. It does not take long until you ask Aruna about Rakar, wishing to find out more about how this element can be.

“What can you tell me about Rakar? I know he was created by the Dark Star himself,” you tell Aruna.

“Indeed, he is a noble one, if not the most of his kind. Every element is wise in his nature and has things to teach every soul but they tend to be lonely at times. Rakar is no different but myself and the Arakali owe him a great debt.”

“Why do you say that?” you ask Aruna.

“Before we met Rakar, my kind only wandered through Andes longing for a place and a home. Not every soul here receives guidance from the Dark Star as you did, and because of our shapeless form we only had each other, while the rest of the entities were distant towards us, not recognizing our own legacy.”

“And you still felt like strangers even if this Light is made for us all…” you tell Aruna.

“Yes, and every difference should be set aside normally if this is the case, but it was not. At some point in our wanders, we found this forest and we sensed something that was calling for us. We ventured inside trying to find whatever was calling for us, and this is when we found Rakar.”

“And what happened after?” you ask Aruna.

“At first, we did not show the trust that maybe was right to show, but he did not blame us as he understood our experiences. He offered us a choice, to call this place our own, our home, or continue our path which pointed to nothing. We accepted his offer and at that moment he gave us this gift, his own light. From being shapeless and different, we could become any form that we wanted, whatever we would like. This meant for us freedom.”

“Did he do this so he could win you over?” you ask Aruna.

“Not at all, he did not need servants. He just showed us kindness and accepted us, even giving us a sense of security being close to him. From that moment forward from being the Shapeless we were reborn as the Arakali, and without himself asking for it, we pledged to be his guardians just as he was our ray of hope.”

As you continue to walk and listen to Aruna, you stumble at what seems to be a shape of light floating up and down slowly.

“What is this? It seems pretty odd,” you tell Eos and Aruna.

“Maybe you should touch it and see what happens.” ushers you Aruna.

You approach the shape of light and with a touch, it takes the geometrical shape of a rectangle, and it seems something is written inside it:

What happens when it seems that fate itself is against you and turns your reality upside down? Is it in the nature of the universe itself as it is in you to continue and be reborn no matter the cost? When you find out that the only ways are to endure and continue or stop delaying the inevitable which way will you go and what changes will it bring? In the end, no matter the change, there will always be something in you that will be unchangeable, and that is your own will.

“Interesting, adapt and overcome, it seems this never stops, not even here where everything begins and ends,” you tell Eos and Aruna.

“It never stops, and your will is what makes it continue. We are getting close to Rakar, I can sense him, as he senses us.” points out Aruna.

“What are these markings? They look like geometrical forms. I might have seen them in my world also.” you ask Aruna.

“And not without a purpose, this is the language of the Light, the primordial one. Might look complicated at first, but you will get used to it,” answers Aruna.

“Before we meet Rakar, I think there is something that I should teach you. We have delayed it a bit, but I think the moment has come,” says Eos.

“What do you want to teach me?” you ask Eos.

“Watch closely, let us choose that tree there,” says Eos while looking at his own hand and a nearby tree.

With his hand pointed forward in the direction of the tree and focusing, from the palm of his hand a shockwave of light is emitted, shaking the tree aggressively. With his other hand he emits another shockwave, this time more powerful, almost bringing the tree down.

“That is impressive, but I don’t know how to do this,” you tell Eos, surprised at what you witnessed.

“There is nothing much to learn, you only need to focus, and imagine. This is a power that every entity in Andes has without a connection with any element. It can be passed just by a simple touch.” tells you Eos while reaching with his hand close to you.

Without thinking any more you reach your hand to Eos as you touch. In that moment you feel a surge crossing your whole form. You step back as you look at the palm of your hands. The light they are made of starts glowing faintly for some brief moments.

“It is done, now let’s practice a bit. The tree has regained its form back,” says Eos.

“Very well, so just focus and imagine, okay? What should I imagine more exactly?” you ask Eos while looking at the tree.

“The Light you are made of should be an extension that you let out. Let me think of an example that may be more relevant to the world you came from. Imagine that with your hand if you could tame the elements from your realm, you could send a gust of wind, just like a projectile pointed towards where you want. The same logic should apply here even if it looks different at first.” tells you Eos.

“Yes, thank you for the help Eos, but in my realm, I only send these gusts of wind with my behind.”

“Aruna…can you help?” asks Eos visibly almost giving up too soon.

“I was having more fun listening to you two but I guess it can’t be helped. Position yourself, legs spread and one foot in front. Keep your legs a bit bent so you don’t lose balance,” instructs Aruna.

You position yourself in front of the tree just as Aruna instructs.

“Now keep your forearms up, one hand close to the shoulder while the other one is aligned to the other shoulder and the leg that is in front,” says Aruna.

After some moments you position yourself as Aruna tells you.

“Very well, keep the palms of the hands open. Now, thrust the hand from the back, forward. Imagine as you want to touch that point with your own light, extend it.”

“Do I need to create an implosion that can generate that shockwave?”

“No, you must bend the fragment of light you release in the form of a shockwave and launch it with your own intent. It must look like it could cut that tree,” explains Aruna.

You start focusing and imagining how you would try to reach the tree with your own light, almost grabbing it. With what seems a slow punch with your hand, you release a small shockwave of light that does not reach very far. You continue and with the other hand pulled back you lunge it forward, releasing another shockwave, this one surpassing the other but still not reaching where it should.

“It is not bad for a start, but maybe you should put more intent on it. For the moment with practice and given the situations you might encounter, you will do better,” says Aruna encouraging you.

“Why did you want to teach me this now? you ask Eos and Aruna.

“Let’s just say that Aruna learned to greet how it did with me from Rakar,” tells you Eos how funny he could be.

“Wait, what?” you ask trying to ignore what comes first in your mind.

“He is trying to say that Rakar might play a bit with you, but you should not be too concerned about it, with what you do now you might tickle him.” says Aruna.

“Let’s just…move on.” you tell the two.

Rakar, The Shifter of Souls

You continue walking for a bit, and in the landscape, within your sight, appears what seems like an energy pond surrounded by entities and the forest itself. You approach the pond and with your hands, you bend to touch the energy within it. You raise your hand and the energy, glimmering, slowly flows and falls down between your fingers. You cannot wonder how would it feel again to see such a serene sight if you could be again what you called “alive” at some point. You see around near the other edge of the pond geometrical shapes again that you believe are like stones. On top of them, you see something that is almost bright and has a crystal-like shape. It is glimmering also, radiating a bit of grey light, despite being made of Blacklight.

Afterlife - Rakar

“What is this? It looks almost like a crystal,” you ask Aruna.

Aruna does not respond, yet you can understand she is staring at it, being quiet and then suddenly you hear from her almost like a whisper:

“This is my master, Rakar, The Shifter of Souls,” says Aruna.

“This is Rakar? I never thought he would look like this,” you tell Aruna.

“This is his shape, created from our Dark Star itself, his Light manifested and his form a vessel for his power. Every element is different in its nature, having its own distinction and extension to the gifts of our Dark Star. It is time we approach.” says Eos.

You start moving to the other edge of the pond, and with each step, you start sensing something, almost like pressure. You arrive as close as you can and Aruna introduces you.

“My master, I have arrived to you with a soul. He wants to establish a connection, and our Dark Star chose you to be his first if you would accept.”

A deep voice enters the mind of both you, Eos, and Aruna:

“Aruna, you should let him introduce himself, he might be a young soul, but he can communicate just like you.” says Rakar.

You introduce yourself as politely as you can and you continue what Aruna started:

“It is indeed how Aruna told you, I came here guided by them, under what Dark Star told me to do. I want to learn about the potential that I can achieve and I seek a connection,” you tell Rakar.

“You seek a connection…and what will you do after you have it?” asks Rakar.

“I will learn to use it probably,” you tell Rakar.

“But did you learn how to respect it? After all, it is in the nature of your kind to abuse power, until they poison themselves.”

“What do you know about the nature of my kind?.” you ask Rakar.

“Enough to understand where power may lead. You know the past of your kind. Do you know how many souls from your world crossed into Andes, and how many became lost on their way, becoming a reflection of Darkness?”

“And that happened because this Light of yours affected my kind, controlling as we were taken from granted since our creation,” you tell Rakar.

“You really think that only our Light can control your kind? You have no idea what else can hide inside your mind. We may have our ordeal with what you call negativity, but that is just a part of evolution, we never searched for destruction, and neither we wanted any kind of being to stop existing from your reality, as your kind did to others.”

“We were not created to be perfect, and even so we thrived while trying to take care how much we could of what surrounds us. The greed that the others were subjected to is not part of the legacy my kind would want to leave,” you tell Rakar.

“I don’t think this is going the right way,” whispers Eos to Aruna.

“Well, we might see something fun.” points Aruna.

As Eos and Aruna look at you and Rakar, the entities around you start moving away from the pond.

“They might have thrived and yet they only learn what they should only when they reach this reality and not even then. Something that is put right in front of their sight, and they remain blind to it. They arrive here only to wish they could return back. You do not understand the legacy of any creature, shaping yourself into one would be an insult towards it.” says Rakar.

“My kind did exactly what was written by yourself, we adapted and overcame each challenge nature has put in front of us. We accepted at the same time the gifts it had to offer. We have learned from nature enough and from every living being in my world. You can shape into any being from the universe, and have knowledge about them. You should know then that in order to adapt we must learn and feel, and sometimes this comes with sacrifice.” you continue telling Rakar.

“Bold words, young soul, you pretend you know about what sacrifice is, how much did you sacrifice during your lifetime?”

“Enough to know and see how a part that I could not. You think it is an easy challenge right? The direction I set upon is mine, my choices are mine and they led here, in front of you.” you tell Rakar.

“I wonder just how many choices were your own. Very well then, I hope you are up to the challenge. We will do something that your kind has been doing in their own evolution. What do you know to do until now?”

“He knows to do the shockwave, but not at great lengths, unfortunately,” Eos tells Rakar.

“We will work with what we have. Hope you are up for a challenge, we will do something that your kind might be used to. Let’s start with you being a predator and myself being just a prey.”

While finishing his sentence, Rakar changes form into a small bird, the only difference between him and what you have seen is a grey circle around his chest.

“This should be simple for you. What you must do is hit me with a shockwave of light. I will even give you an advantage and be close to you, so you can reach me.”

“Let’s start then,” you tell Rakar.

You position yourself, the palms of your hands glowing, and Rakar takes flight. You start releasing shockwaves, Rakar permanently dodging them and changing directions unpredictably. After releasing a few shockwaves not hitting the target, he takes your back and plunges, hitting you in the back of your head, as you almost lose balance.

“You said I should hit you, not the other way around,” you tell Rakar visibly growing frustrated.

“It would be perfect for you this way, but when you attack, I also need to defend, this is a way of nature.”

You try and hit Rakar, and each time he sends a riposte. You try to focus more and more but somehow it seems he knows already what will happen. You don’t give up and you still continue, but you sense something. You start growing weary and you cannot explain why and from where is coming. With one more riposte sent from Rakar after another unsuccessful shockwave, you fall with your hands to the ground. This is when for a moment you stand still and you cannot move, something you cannot control is happening. Suddenly you hear a voice within your mind, one you never heard before, being abnormal from what you encountered until now.

“Anticipate…” says the unknown voice.

“Who are you?” you ask back.

You receive no answer and as you try to make the most of it you get back up.

“To anticipate…okay let’s try this,” you tell yourself.

You let out one more shockwave of light pointed in its direction. The next one comes very soon pointed in the opposite direction almost close to one another. Rakar did not expect the second shockwave to almost touch him but he stops from moving just in time.

“That was close, he almost touched him.” points out Eos to Aruna.

“I think he needs to do a bit more than that,” says Aruna.

“I won’t miss the next one,” you tell Rakar.

“Arrogant soul, you won’t do nothing.”

You try this combination one more time as Rakar is flying around you, sending a shockwave in his direction and the other where you presume he will go. You get him where you want, plunging behind you to apply one more hit himself. You anticipate what is coming and at the last moment, you turn around and apply a third shockwave. This time you are successful and Rakar is hit by the shockwave, destabilizing him as he fails to apply another hit and lands near you.

“Seems like I made it, I completed this challenge,” you tell Rakar.

“Indeed, but now the rules change.”

Rakar changes his shape to what seems to be a big and imposing feline, the grey circle being present on its chest again.

“What do you mean by changing rules? I passed the challenge,” you tell Rakar

“You were the predator and I was the prey. Now we switch, I will be the predator and you will be the prey. If you manage to stop me, you will have the connection that you seek.”

“Asses the situation and don’t rush!” yells Eos at you.

“We will see how much time he has for that,” says Rakar.

Rakar in feline form with a grey light around him.

Without any more warnings, he starts charging towards you. Your natural reactions are gone now due to your new form of light, there is no more intense fear to block you as it would do in your realm and past form. Even if your mind feels worried about the situation you position yourself. He is coming. While almost in front of you he jumps near your rear trying to pounce you from the side. You roll in front and turn towards him releasing a shockwave of light that barely shakes him a bit. He jumps towards you again and you lift yourself up catching him by both his paws. You are both in a clinch, both of your lights glowing against each other.

“Nice display of will, it may seem that your instincts did not dwindle very much,” tells Rakar.

“Is this all you got?” you ask Rakar.

“Arrogant again, huh?” says Rakar almost laughing.

With a swift movement, you let one of the paws free while positioning your hand for a quick shockwave. You feel something more intense but you do not know what. You launch the shockwave but at the same time, Rakar hits you with his paw you let free. The shockwave pushes Rakar behind a bit while his hit sends you a bit flying.

“Well, this was not such a good idea…” you tell yourself while flying towards the nearby trees from the pond.

You rethink your strategy and try to use the environment to your advantage. You go inside the forest, Rakar following you, each time jumping and trying to hit you while you use the trees as protection. Each tree is shaken by the impact and some of them even fall. You spot a tree that seems solid enough with branches and you start climbing it as high as you can. Rakar tracks you and he starts circling the tree where you are:

“It seems that I should be the feline here but you are the one climbing the trees,” says Rakar while laughing.

“What do you expect me to do? This seems a bit unfair,” you tell Rakar.

“It seems he is in the tree, he kind of ran out of options,” says Aruna

“Yes, but he did his best.” points out Eos.

With one hit the tree is shaking, as you try to maintain balance. The second hit makes it shake even more as you hug the tree.

“Seems like you are persistent,” says Rakar preparing for a third hit, his paw glowing.

The third hit almost slices the tree and begins to fall:

“Damn it…” you tell to yourself while falling with the tree.

As you hit the ground, Rakar comes after you, putting both his pawns on your chest and standing above you. You start again sensing something that is not right, and again you feel that you cannot move, like being frozen while the image in front of you because slightly blurry. The unknown and abnormal voice returns to your mind:

“Rakar…always prideful…” says the unknown voice.

“Who are you, why you don’t answer me?” you try to ask back the voice.

“It is time he learns a lesson…” says the unknown voice.

You feel an urge inside you, and you try to fight it meaningless. Something is taking control over you.

“It seems we might have a draw here,” says Rakar.

Both the palms of your hands start glowing more and more bright as you feel a surge inside you. Without being able to control, both of your hands are being raised in front of Rakar standing above you, right towards him:

“Huh?…” says Rakar surprised.

You emit a powerful shockwave, strong enough to see above to what should be the sky as the trees around the whole landscape are being shaken, the small ones being almost put down as you unleash your war cry. The shockwave is powerful enough to send Rakar flying as he lands in the pond of energy from where it first started.

“Master! What happened?” yells Aruna from the shore.

Rakar is floating above the pond, visibly shaken by what just happened. He lifts himself up trying to stand in his paws.

“That power…where did it come from all of a sudden?” asks Rakar himself.

“By the Maker…was this the power of our young soul, Rakar?” asks Eos surprised.

I…I don’t know, I sensed something was not right for a few moments. This shouldn’t have happened.”

Meanwhile, you regain your control and rush back to the scene. They are all waiting for you.

“How did you emit such a powerful shockwave, soul? Something was not right there,” says Rakar.

“I don’t know…I couldn’t control it. It felt strange, and this voice came into my mind…” You tell the three of them.

“A voice? Was it the Dark Star?” asks Eos.

“No. It was something else, it was not his voice.”

“Whatever happened, I must search within you and see if I can sense something,” says Rakar.

“What does this mean?” you ask Rakar.

You have won, we will enter in connection.” says Rakar congratulating you and at the same time a bit worried.

“How do we do that?” you ask Rakar, as he turns back into his crystal-like form.

“Just by a simple touch, but you must focus also,” says Rakar.

Dark Visions

You approach Rakar, as he starts glowing faintly, and by a simple touch, you feel a powerful surge inside you. The light he is emitting grows more and more powerful, engulfing and cutting off your image. You find yourself in a state you cannot explain, almost as a dream state. You wake up in what seems like a plain field without anything on it as far as the sight goes. You lift yourself up and check the surroundings that don’t go anywhere. You turn behind and suddenly something you have not seen for what seemed a long time appears in your sight, a human. He is young, with the same spark in the eyes that any of his kind has. He is looking at you, neither sad nor happy, almost curious.

“Who are you?” you ask the human.

You receive no answer to the question as he just stands looking at you. From the distance, you can see something approaching, and you sense something malevolent. As it travels fast enough you think that it is Light, your own Blacklight. But as it gets closer you understand that there is no Light, it looks as if it is a dark mist, and it stretches and engulfs everything. The human is with his back towards it and the mist is approaching fast.

“Look out! There is something behind you!” you yell to the human.

Again, you get no response. You start running towards him trying to save him from being engulfed by the dark mist. You run as fast as you can trying to reach him. But it is meaningless, and the human opening his arms and waiting for you is engulfed by the dark mist. You wake up back in the realm of Andes, entities surrounding and looking at you together with your guides and Rakar.

“It seems that someone was dreaming even in this realm. Glad you woke up,” says Eos.

“I feel different. Is this…power?” you ask as you rise up from the ground.

“It seems so young soul, I just hope you will respect it, as I hope that the fight before strengthens our bond for the rest of eternity. You fought me and through your actions, you have proven to have will and be cunning. Do not take lightly what has been offered to you, as now a part of the beings from your world as I will find a home within you,” says Rakar.

“What did you sense? Was there something wrong with me?” you ask Rakar.

“I did not sense anything malevolent, but I have seen your life. Tell me, what was your dream?” asks Rakar.

“From what I can recall, there was a human, he was in front of me. And from behind a strange mist came and engulfed him before I could reach him…” you tell Rakar.

“A mist…I understand. You must know that during the bonding with an element, these visions happen.” tells you Rakar.

“What do they mean?” you ask Rakar.

“No one knows for sure. There are rumors that it might be the Maker itself trying to show something. Tell me, what did that mist look like?” asks Rakar.

“It was dark, as black as our own light, but it felt insidious,” you tell Rakar.

As you tell him about the dark mist, his light starts to diminish for a few moments.

“I just hope that the trials you will be in front with will only show you the Light. There is no need to dwindle about it for now. It may be just a sign that you need to be more powerful. What I shared with you should help you. But never forget, always carry respect for the power within you.” tells you Rakar.

“I guess it is time to head back to the Dark Star and tell him that you have your first connection. Aruna, what will you do?” Eos asks Aruna.

“For now I will be here with Rakar and my kind, but you might never know when I will join you in your ventures when I get bored.” kindly says Aruna.

“Very well, let’s head back to our Dark Star,” says Eos while lending you his hand.

You touch Eos and start to levitate again. You go with him, flying towards the Dark Star. There is silence for a few moments and then you ask Eos:

“Do you think I might be capable of facing the challenges ahead, Eos?”

“Doubt should not be within you, young soul. Not after you managed to succeed in the trials that Rakar put in front of you.”

“I know, but for a moment I could not control, it was like something was taking hold of my whole being,” you tell Eos.

“The only beings within our realm that could do that are the elements themselves or the Dark Star and only under special circumstances. For now, Rakar did not sense anything suspicious within you and he is a good tracker.”

You levitate towards the Dark Star and upon reaching the Light Tower you stop with Eos before opening the rift:

“Wait, I passed the trial and did not change to anything yet, I wish to test it,” you tell Eos.

“Very well, you may shapeshift into what you please.”

“How do I do that?” you ask Eos

“You need to feel the form you wanna take.”

“…..”

“…..”

“I cannot feel very good as when I was a mortal, Eos…”

“Excuse me, imagine.”

“I guess it’s better now, kind of hard to understand you without Aruna here,” you tell Eos.

“Even if you imagine your form, the fluctuation of power after bonding may result in things that are different from your own wishes until it stabilizes. The memory you still have from your world helps you also.”

“I still don’t get how our memory serves us even after we pass the reality we came from,” you tell Eos.

“It is pretty simple to deduct, but it is not easily comprehended. The Light itself acts as a storage space where the memories and reminiscent feelings remain for each being. Maybe our Dark Star will tell you more about this.”

“I don’t know if this is good or bad…sometimes some things should be forgotten,” you tell Eos.

“Indeed, yet they still serve your unique identity. Let’s see in what form you will shape.”

“Let’s give it a try,” you tell Eos.

You focus and your own form starts glowing. It starts changing shape. Eos looks at you, very curious about what you might change into. Within moments your form changes into a light form of a…rodent with long ears and what seems to be a tiny scut.

“Can I pet you?” asks Eos.

“It seems that it was not exactly how I imagined…” You tell Eos a bit surprised.

“So…can I pet you?”

“Don’t you dare touch me…” You tell Eos.

“You are lucky Rakar is not here in his feline form…”

“Just open that rift,” you tell Eos while changing back into your own human form.

Eos opens the rift and you both pass through it, back where the Dark Star is.

“Dark Star, we are back and we succeded in establishing the connection with Rakar,” Eos tells the Dark Star.

The Dark Star creates an extension of himself, the same one you have met the first time. He approaches you and says:

“Very good, you came back bearing the light of Rakar itself within you. I can sense him. How was your venture?”

“Pretty good except some weird things happening that we cannot explain for now,” you tell the Dark Star.

“Indeed, I have sensed a surge of power. Did Rakar sense something within you?”

“No, after bonding he tried but did not find anything,” you tell the Dark Star.

“We will find out eventually what is happening if this will repeat, for now, you should focus on mastering what you have, and go searching for what is needed.”

“Where should I go now?” you ask the Dark Star.

“Your next challenge awaits you, even if you can take shape into something that may have wings, the Light within you does not have them yet. It is time that you grow those wings and take flight upon new reaches. A new element awaits you. Go and search now for The Light’s Wings, Tor-Nihil.”

To be continued.

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