Post Mon Jan 02, 2006 7:30 am

Alexidra

<font color="yellow" size="4">We all have to start somewhere. For me, this was near the beginning. I wrote the first version of this
story while still in highschool. It has been an embarassing number of years since. It's definitely not my best, but
I still have a warm spot in my heart for where I first got the urge to write.<br>
Alexidra also has the interesting distinction of being the ultimate origin story. It depicts the one-and-only living First one in the Ring Realms. The First ones, the children of Gaea are the subject of much discourse in the novels.


Alexidra


Screaming. The sensation brought Alexidra aware. She uncurled, churning masses of corestuff blazing through her essence. Like the veins of a material creature, the crevices around her burst and bolts of magma smashed upward through the strata.

She felt a chill as millions of essences were snuffed out. Extinguished by the shifting of tectonic plates. The devastation continued.

Annoyed by the disturbance, Alexidra pushed her power outward, steadying the crumbling masses.

Awake now, she drifted toward the surface. The varigations of rock all appeared as white-hot lines of stress and decay. The crust above, thin and tired, a waning ceiling of black ready to shatter. She reached the edge of a giant cataract, ocean water and magma at war. Annihlated liquid and exploding rock a booming that sent tremors through her misty body. Cracks radiated outward like plumes from the nearby star.

The planet is dying.

Soaking up the energy she stretched her mind out to sense the globe. Much time had passed since she began the last sleep. She could detect layer after layer of civilizations built upon one another.

She probed further. What remained of the surface creatures seemed little changed. Still the same soft mortal skin that made their lives so brief.

Eons ago when she first settled on this world she tried to relate to them. Humans she learned they were called. Alexidra savored their thoughts; love, hate-- raw emotions. So unlike the placidity that was Cura.

Studying them was how she discovered dreams. Stirring pieces of reverie, brief but poignant experiences that dwelled in their times of sleep.

No dreams had ever visited Alexidra's repose. She awoke and slept many times before the long hibernation. Never unlocking a way to have visions fill the emptiness of her own slumber.

Frustrating.

To study the dreams in detail, she tried making various human dreams tangible. In repeated efforts, most times the originating creature expired. A baffling result that still made no sense.

The rock opened, widening ever faster, a bolt of death heading for the surface.

Again the screams.

Alexidra healed the fissure, fusing the crack into nothingness.

Silence.

Soon there would be no more humans. Then the mystery of their dreams would go unsolved. Contemplating their extinction felt wrong. It was much like the thought of the discontinuance of Cura, the race that Alexidra represented alone. Cura, the word that simply meant life.

Single, unique, she'd lived before the time of the first expansion, when nothing existed save Alexidra and the churning vastness that covered her in the first sleep.

Alexidra continued, basking in the power of stars, delving within the substance of worlds and their flowing liquid cores. Through all of it, feeding, flowing, living.

Eons later she discovered this world and its infant inhabitants. They had evolved attributes she lacked. Things she now wanted and could not have if they all perished.

Troubling.

More quaking and pain. She stilled the rock, reinforcing it with her substance.

Small and faint at first, a sound made itself heard. Stronger than the call of millions.

Crying? Where do I hear crying?

How can one being make itself known when millions cannot?

Alexidra moved toward it.

Crying. She knew the concept from the minds of the humans.

What causes a being to cry? Could it be fear?

She had never experienced it, yet she dimly understood being afraid. Could that result in crying? That must be it, death frightened this being.

Surfacing near the disturbance, she surrounded the individual. Her misty substance covering the entity so she could perceive 'it-who-cried'.

Small, less than significant, it wept. Alone within the structure, Alexidra felt the lament with all her spirit.

This is not good.

Of all these creatures she responded to the smallest most insignificant of them all. Alone, dreamless, afraid, it cried and she heard.

Curious.

She'd attempted communication before, but always it ended in frustration. Perception lacking, they could not properly understand.

This required thought. The small being needed to better comprehend her, as she did it. Only then would the exchange be meaningful.

Alexidra studied the small entity. Its frail body was too small to house her 'self' within. Using the human's form as a template she created a new one. Taller and stronger, this would be a mature version of the original. She knew the concept of beauty from the minds of humans. This body would be her, and it would be beautiful. She prepared, and thrust herself within...


Fascinating.

Alexidra let her new eyes scan the smoky horizon, everything blackened with the loss of life. The first upheaval struck while she slept. By the time she awakened the damage had already been done.

The mountains in the distance strained under pressure, ready to break. She could feel the tension and it made her uneasy.

The body felt unusual, confining, yet the sense of 'self' remained. The wind blew and Alexidra felt its cool caress, she wrapped her arms about herself, feeling the pressure.

So many new perceptions. She reveled in the sensations, so many and varied were they. She felt the warmth of the waning red sun, an old friend, yellow and young when she first came to this place. Alexidra could feel the blood flowing in her veins and the beating of this human heart. The white robes rubbed against her flesh in sympathy to the warm breeze. The sights and sounds, she wanted to drown in them.

No time.

She could hear the weeping, different, but still present. A small edifice constructed of wood and stone lay ahead. No life could be discerned in the area save 'it-who-cried'.

Alexidra thought, just GO there. No, these beings would fear that. She found herself walking, the new body alive with feeling. She shivered, these perceptions all so stimulating.

What have I given up to take this form?

For a moment, Alexidra knew what it meant to doubt; to fear.

So vulnerable now.

She reached out to assure herself. She turned to a large stone and assimilated its essence. A flash of light lit up the area with brilliant hues as its total mass became energy and then a part of Alexidra. A warm feeling as power coursed through her body.

This new form is fragile, but still more resilient than that of the humans.

A door opened in front of the building. A small bright clothed human stood there, no doubt drawn out by the flash. Long brown hair hung loose about its oval face. Light tan skin flushed pink with emotion that Alexidra could feel.

"You're not momma!" A hostile tone that dropped as the emotion cooled to sadness. "Is momma gone forever?"

What does 'momma' mean? Perhaps she refers to parentage.

"No, I am not your mother. Why do you cry?" Though it was her first time using a voice, the words felt good and right in her throat.

The child pointed to a steep rise in the landscape. "The mountain ate her. I saw momma go into the fire after daddy. She told me to run home. Is momma ever coming back?"

Something cold ran through Alexidra. It came from two sources. One she dealt with immediately. She reached out, taking in heat to relieve the pressure far beneath the surface. The world would end, she could only delay it a bit longer.

Alexidra understood that these creatures did not always survive the rigors of their planet. The child's parents must have passed in the first upheaval.

"No, I do not think your mother is coming back." Alexidra felt something strange when she said that. Somehow that truth felt wrong.

The child made a strange sound and brushed back the strings of its hair. Wide green eyes looked into Alexidra's. "You're beautiful! Who are you?"

Beautiful, that word often relates to dreams.

"I call myself Alexidra. How are you called?" She moved forward and knelt down to look at the small human she identified as 'girl'.

"My name is Nim. Will you be my new mother?" She looked at Alexidra, eyes wide.

Mother? The being accepted her simply as she appeared. What does it mean to be a mother?

Her attention relaxed as she pondered that. The ground shook. The girl squealed and clasped her about the neck, small arms straining, tear-wet face rubbing warmly against Alexidra's cheek.

"Make it go away. It took away momma!"

Alexidra felt a stunning rush of turbulence. The child's fear sparked through her awareness. She lashed out.

The huge expanse of volcano puffed into nothingness, a seething mass of energy exploding outward that she siphoned into herself.

She glowed now, skin hot and heart fluttering. Alexidra took a breath.

This body makes the emotions so much more complex.

Nim shook as she held Alexidra. The girl's glistening green eyes searched her face. "Only angels can do that, and you're dressed in white." Nim paused, something reflecting in those innocent orbs. "Are you an angel?"

"No, I am not an angel." She gazed at the child, feeling strangely satisfied as the girl held her. "Nim--tell me what I am."

The youth looked deep into Alexidra's eyes, unafraid. "You look like an angel. Your hair is white, you're tall and pretty. Your eyes are fiery, and you feel warm all over." The girl shook her head. "I just know you're an angel."

Alexidra did not smile. "Then I am an angel."

The ground shook and she stilled it with a gesture. This world would pass, she could not prevent it.

Nim looked around, feeling the tension in the air. "Am I going to heaven?"

Alexidra felt the core miles below contract and tighten. She eased off some of the pressure. She looked at the girl and this time she smiled. "If you wish. It will soon be time to go."

Nim looked toward the devastated volcano then back to Alexidra. "Momma told me, if I was good, I'd go to heaven. Have I been good?"

Yes, she has done great good. I've never been this aware. She can bring me dreams. Maybe I've already learned to dream myself. It's all in these feelings, in caring.

She probed further for other signs of life.

Nothing.

She lifted Nim in the cradle of her arms. "Yes, you have been good."

They rose into the sky, hurtling on the crux of Alexidra's power, up into the dark of space. Nim, neither cold nor afraid, looked from the Cura's embrace to the blossoming star that was once her home. Warm in the curve of the Cura's arms, the girl could breathe and speak.

Nim's voice was high with awe. "It's beautiful, will heaven be like that?"

Yes, beautiful and tragic. Alexidra realized too late that the last vestiges of a race were dying, and now only Nim remained. She clutched the girl tight, protecting the dreams that would fill her void. Alexidra, once Cura, became something else, something beyond 'life'. Before, she simply existed, now she cared.

The human was nothing and everything. Now she saw Nim could be more than a source of dreams, but a fantasy in itself.

Hurling through space it struck her. The child could live for only but the briefest of spans. That would not do, too much needed to be done. Alexidra could make a dream into reality. What of the child's dreams? What of her own dreams? Still much to learn.

Alexidra let the emotions warm her, the smile causing her face to glow against the inky blackness. "We are already in the heavens-- daughter. Pick a star, and we shall make it our own."

Nim's face lit with enthusiasm, her small hand shivering, she pointed off toward her choice.

Alexidra realized that the wonder of the universe perceived by human eyes was the stuff of dreams. The child would not pass, she would see to it. The Cura would nurture her in the bosom of eternity, the stars themselves being the smallest of gifts. Nim would be her child, her fantasy. It was sure, because Alexidra's dreams came true-- always.