Reflection - Endless Laeretti Nov 12, 2016 4:46:04 GMT -7
Post by Endless Laeretti on Nov 12, 2016 4:46:04 GMT -7
Four Years Ago...
He's sixteen years old when he leaves Urla's home behind, unable to bear dwelling there any longer. The woman had been... special. He'd hesitate to say she could replace his mother, because no one could ever do that. Endless still keeps himself awake, some nights, thinking on that last look his mother gave him before she shut him away into safety that no one else found. It's enough some nights to make him want to break, but he doesn't. He carries on, for reasons he's still uncertain of, but reasons he can't seem to refute all the same. But Urla was still something else. She is, perhaps, what Endless might imagine a grandmother would have been like. She showed him unending kindness and generosity, warmth, and gave him a home.
Her passing is not something he handles easily, but he bears with this, too. It seems to him like lately, all he does is bear through misfortune.
She left him her home, but he doesn't manage to stay there longer than a week. Too many memories now, too many images of where she should be standing but will never stand again. He packs his meager belongings and he leaves, still with some money in his pocket even despite the funeral expenses. He's worked well these last several years, and he's sure he can keep doing just that. He seals some of his more cumbersome items into a storage charm, a nifty magical item he splurged on a year back, a tool of conjuration used to aid the traveler on the go. It makes him feel proud of himself, somehow. He sets out, and isn't sure where he's headed.
He is sixteen years old and he finds himself on a beach, one of Submiere's most beautiful, watching a sunset. Somehow he'd never been to this place before, in spite of residing here long enough to have seen all the country had to offer. It's breathtaking, but a part of him twitches with anticipation as the sun sinks lower, as though he's waiting eagerly for the night to take over the sky, and for the moon to shine in unchallenged brilliance. Endless thinks that maybe he'll never understand this part of himself, this strange corner of his mind that years for such things, not when he has eyes that glow like a freak and make him only more of a spectacle to stare at. Why should any part of him desire the night? He's more interested in hiding, and so he prepares to get up and leave before the sun can finish its descent, all too wary of other stragglers lingering on the warm sands for the chance to catch the sun's last moments in today's sky.
And that's when he runs into her, Tehodis Kitai, a random stranger on a random stretch of beach, a woman he'd probably have never paid any mind to, except that he actually managed to knock her over. He panics, mutters a swear at his own clumsiness, and frantically asks if she's alright, offering her a helping hand. She shakes the sand from her hair, not seeming as bothered at having been knocked over, and glances up at him. Endless supposes that he must have misjudged the time, because it is at that moment that the first rays of moonlight catch his face, as this woman stares up at him offering her his hand, and her face lights up in a smile.
No one had ever had anything positive to say to Endless about his eyes outside of his family, but he supposes there really was a first for everything. He's sixteen years old when he makes his first friend.
Three Years Ago...
He hasn't seen very much of Tehodis in half a year, which he wonders about. She had always seemed somewhat far off, as though not always present in the conversation, lost in her own thoughts, and this was something Endless understood well enough from his own experience, so he never asked about it. But she also always seemed as though she was constantly worried about something, or someone. This was something Endless also understood - she had the same feel about her as he recognized in himself when he'd first struck out on his own, when he was worried his family's killers would be looking for him. He never asks about this, either. He's sure that if Tehodis is worried that someone is looking for her, she wouldn't want to talk about it. Or maybe he doesn't trust himself to ask without being insensitive.
It leaves him worried when she stops showing up to what has become 'their spot'. It leaves him feeling a little betrayed, too. He'd eventually managed to tell her that he lost his family when he was young. He never elaborated on this, never told her the how or where, and didn't even tell her what he'd done in the time since then before meeting her, but it was still more information than he'd ever personally shared. It meant something to him. And now she was gone. She'd been gone for more than a week, without a word.
Endless decided she must have grown tired of him. Or maybe, he would think in a less pessimistic voice, maybe the people she was worried about had come to find her. But even if that was true, Endless had never asked about it, so it's not like he'd know where to look. Even now he still found himself reaching out to help strangers in trouble in his daily life, and yet somehow he'd never thought to try and help Tehodis.
He is seventeen years old when, completely sickened with his own lack of action, and also feeling betrayed at the absence of a friend, he decides he's fed up with Submiere and with himself. He decides a change is necessary. A change for him, and a change for the scenery.
Two Years Ago...
He is eighteen years old the first time he gets a job he'd consider especially dangerous. Odd jobs are how he makes his living, fulfilling tasks that others can't or won't, and menial labor makes up the bulk of this. It's easy work for him, as long as he can work when no one is looking, to see him use his powers for the task. But this job is different. This time his client tells him that they don't need any odd jobs done, but rather, they need someone who is willing to dive deep into a Dirysian cave and retrieve some treasure that is supposedly stored there.
Endless considers turning this offer down. He'd answered the printed ad thinking it was just another run of the mill labor option, not some quest for a treasure that might not even be there. But it's when his client gives him an unimpressed, dubious look, and mutters something about having expected someone bigger, that Endless decides he'll take the job after all. He's eighteen years old and there's a volatile pride that flares up in him from time to time, and sometimes he can't let little sleights go. He thinks that maybe spite is his nature, since spite seems to be the only reason he's still living.
Endless doesn't expect to actually get a thrill out of it. He dives into a deep, dark cave, unfamiliar and threatening, and it makes him feel excited somehow. He flies around the cave's many tunnels with his powers with a sense of freedom, not worrying for anyone seeing him doing so down here, and he finds he's probably able to navigate much better than anyone else could because of it. He even encounters a vicious beast or two, but airborne as he is he is he finds little threat from the ground-dwelling creatures in these passages. When he's forced to fight once, he even manages to scare it off with a burst of telekinetic energy, and it makes him feel somehow proud of himself. He's eighteen and he finally feels alive.
He finds what he's looking for eventually. A hidden chamber that a loosely-drawn map was able to point him towards. He's somewhat amazed, as the map was supposedly based on a very old and partially-destroyed cave carving at the entrance ages ago, so it's astounding to him that he actually managed to find the chamber. And inside, there is a chest with some stored riches, apparently the remnants of some ancient royalty's stash that they didn't live to come back for. His client waits for him above, promises of pain from hired thugs if Endless gets smart and makes off with the treasure all by himself, and Endless decides that that isn't really necessary anyway. He has no interest in stealing the treasure; the experience alone was enough for him to feel the trip was worth it.
It's on his way out, though, that he catches sight of something leaning against the wall. He almost misses it, blended in as it is with several other musty weapons, but the glint on its jewel-like surface catches enough attention. A staff, looking like it was made of some kind of polished glass or perhaps a thin gemstone of some kind. It's breathtaking to look at, and Endless finds himself drawn to it. Something tells him, he doesn't know how, that this is for him. That it's meant to be in his hands, and no one else's. He tucks it away in his storage charm, and doesn't report having found anything else when he brings his client the treasure. Almost predictably, the client runs off immediately, likely not thinking Endless capable of stopping him or forcing him to pay him his share, and somehow Endless no longer cares about proving him wrong. He got something else out of this mission entirely.
One Year Ago...
He is nineteen years old and he now knows that the item in his possession is called the Ameth. He learned some time ago, not long after obtaining the staff, by doing some reading in the Dirysian libraries on magical artifacts and ancient treasures of the old royals. It took a long time, but he found himself scared when he did find it - an obscure mention in an obscure text, a text that seemed almost as old as Dirys's current government. Endless learns that the item is, according to the stories, a wicked object crafted by dark forces of enchantment, a tool of the wicked Goddess Diassei. Endless is somewhat surprised; he's never known much about religion, but he'd never known any text, sacred or otherwise, to describe a deity as wicked. Especially not the patron deity of the nation that text resides in... He wonders to himself if the library even knew it had this book on its shelves, and feels uneasy about owning the item.
Whether he believes the story or not, for it to be described as a dark item was enough to make him concerned. An item which could impose one's own will onto another, via a single command directed at the target. Something like that certainly does seem wicked.
He gets his opportunity to test it when he is made victim of an unexpected attack from a wild beast, as he walks to his chosen dwelling for the night through a public field. Without thinking, he uses his staff, and commands the creature to leave him in peace. And to his astonishment, it does as instructed. But the act also leaves him feeling drained, as though the object has siphoned off a great deal of his magic for its use, and he knows he must be careful with such an item. He thinks to himself that perhaps it was indeed meant for his hands, and no one else's. Meant for the hands of someone who would know better than to abuse its power, who would be conscientious enough to not subjugate other people with it.
He is nineteen when he disappoints himself. He is desperate, low on money, unable to find any recent jobs, and he sees no other option beyond armed robbery. He uses his staff, and he uses it to rob a store. He commands the shopkeep to bestow food upon him and forget that he was seen. Unfortunately for Endless, he is tired and drained, and does not appear to have enough energy to fuel that last command. The shop keeper does indeed remember seeing him once the spell is broken, and Endless flees with his stolen food just as he hears him calling for help. Behind him, he swears he sees a tall, imposing man, one who is supposed to be famous, but Endless doesn't dare chance another look, running for all he's worth.
He is nineteen when he sees himself as a common criminal, swallowed in shame while sitting in an alleyway eating his stolen food. He clutches his scarf and thinks what must his mother, his brother, be thinking of him right now. Somehow it only becomes easier after that, as he uses it on three more occasions. Once to subjugate a beast on a day he was feeling spiteful. Once to stop a criminal who had just stolen a sizable amount of money. And once to steal again, but this time to steal from a man who had just sleezily cheated another man out of his week's earnings through a rigged game. Technically that man hadn't done anything against the rules he established, but he still held an unknown advantage anyhow, and used it to steal a win. For Endless, that was enough for the man to have earned what he got from him.
His morality, he feels, becomes increasingly vague.
He is twenty years old and he hates what he's done. If his obtaining the Ameth had been some special test to see if he truly is the one who was meant to use it, he feels he has failed spectacularly. Failure, it seems, is a common theme in his life. He wonders if maybe he should have died in the fire with the rest of his family, and spared the rest of the world his continued existence.
But then he thinks of Urla, and how she would have continued to be taken advantage of without him, how she'd have been unable to handle the chores around her home without him. He thinks of the bank whose money he saved from a feckless robber, and all the lives that could have been ruined if that robbery had been successful. Despite himself, he sees goodness and the chance for purpose in why he continues to drag his clumsy feet across Fortuna, even if his decisions haven't always been the most upright.
And he thinks, once again, on that feeling of spite inside of him, that feeling that seems to compel him to live no matter what, if only to prove to the world that he can, and that it can't stop him from doing so. Endless stares into a cup of black coffee and thinks that there's a lot about himself to hate, and also a lot that could be seen as admirable. He thinks to himself that anyone else with the Ameth in their hands could potentially use it for much greater evil than he has ever done, and that at the end of the day he can't trust it to simply be abandoned somewhere. He thinks to himself that he might be willing to give himself another chance, a do-over, and thinks it's time he looked inward once again and evaluated what he thinks is important.
Endless Laeretti is twenty years old, and he decides it's time for his life to start again.