Wings of Steel

June 4, 2008

Reflection: Act VIII

Filed under: Chapter Eight — Mao @ 9:37 am

All I see is all
all I see so real
The life
The dream
The rhythm
Feel release as
I let go
All my emotions
All my hopes

Static-X, “So Real”

Valerie took a deep breath in an attempt to muster her concentration. She’d been running the same drill, over and over again, for what seemed like forever. Whenever she ended up in strange places like this, she noticed that time didn’t seem to exist in the way that mortals perceived. It was difficult to tell how time had truly passed by since she’d entered. Was Sesana still waiting for her outside?

“Valerie,” Abigail’s soft voice interrupted her thoughts. “You’re ready–why don’t you give it a try?”

“Are you sure? Maybe I still need–”

“No, Valerie. You can do it.”

“I’ll try,” Valerie replied, closing her eyes. It was a habitual response.

Pressing her palms flat against one another, Valerie began to concentrate. Abigail had suggested that instead of just pulling energy all over the place, she concentrate on one specific spot where she wanted it to collect. To Valerie, that explained all the weird positions Sanctus Unus had her learn. She focused all the energy she channeled to her palms.

The energy in this place was thick and pure. The feel of it as it crept upon her skin was jarring, to say the least. As it collected, she began to feel the weight of its power boring down on her. It was a trial to just stay standing under the immense pressure.

“Fate, destiny, future… it is something always within our grasp.” Abigail said, watching as Valerie’s body relaxed, the energy successfully taking hold of her form. “It is our duty to know the future and our curse to have no ability to change it. It’s time you realized this, Valerie.”

Valerie felt a connection almost instantly. She cringed, pursing her lips. A collage of visions assaulted her mind, flashing in and out so rapidly she could scarcely make heads or tails of any of it. What she ‘saw’ wasn’t important, it was what she felt… and all she felt was death. She cried out, wanting desperately to stop the menagerie of images, but they came without end.

20 Comments

  1. ARRRRGGGHHHH!!!

    Mao – so wrong. Cliffhanger… grrr!

    Hehehehe… <3 :D

    Comment by Arkali — June 4, 2008 @ 10:32 am

  2. Note: no crows were stoned during the reading of this Act; I threw roses at them instead …

    Now I wonder why Sanctus Unus was so upset that Antony appeared? Is she still afraid of how much of an influence he can be over Valerie, even if he tells her that Sanctus Unus is right? SU is still having a hell of a time trying to convince me that her intentions are honourable! I really can’t blame Valerie for not wanting the job, and especially after what she’s just seen :( It seems as if she’s just given in and accepted her fate, or at least the version of fate that everyone’s tried to drum into her.

    Haha! That little note had me cracking up. Silly Tanya! If you all haven’t realized it by now, the one with the most influence over Valerie is Antony. That’s why Abigail knew she had to bring him forward to get Valerie to agree to it. Sanctus Unus was worried what Antony would say, as she had not ‘briefed’ him like she had Abigail. Not to mention she had pegged Valerie to see Antony at a later date.

    Comment by Tanya — June 4, 2008 @ 10:44 am

  3. Again, I’m conflicted about Sanctus Unus, and I suppose I’d be as resentful as Valerie if I was shown terrible things and told I was forbidden to try to change them.

    SA’s reaction to Antony’s prescence was interesting. He wasn’t supposed to be there? Why? She used him in her attempt to convince Valerie to accept her fate.

    I really love the light effects in the shots — the dark, shadowy backgrounds and the gleaming, surreal figures in the foreground. Wondrous and beautiful!

    You guys have no faith in poor Sanctus Unus! ;) But Valerie can’t change fate–no one can–it’s an eventual thing everyone in this world has to eventually accept. There’s a reason behind it and to disrupt it would cause serious problems (ie. Christian saving Beryl as a baby). I’m glad you enjoyed the lighting.

    Comment by Beth — June 4, 2008 @ 11:29 am

  4. hmmm … but death is inevitable.. you cant escape it .. all beginnings have an ending… how silly an idealistic is this girl? *shakes her head slowly* Valerie is growing and learning yet she keeps fighting it … just makes it harder on herself in the end.
    OMG that was way cool, i love how you transitioned from Abigail to Antony!
    Ugh .. I know this is all hard on Val and she’s overwhelmed by this all but.. gah! her crying is working my last nerve!!
    Whew .. its about dang time girl .. *sits on the edge of her seat looking for the purpose of death* wait… wait… nooooo!! the end so soon? Pfft I should have known..

    Exactly, but Valerie doesn’t enjoy knowing that someone or everyone around her is going to die and while she knows, she can’t ever tell them or help prevent it. She has stand by and watch it happen. Glad you liked the transition! Hehe, of course. Can’t let you know everything yet. That’s something for a later time. ;)

    Comment by ruby — June 4, 2008 @ 1:19 pm

  5. WOW I am speechless. Is she really ready. I guess she has no choice now no going back.

    Yep, it’s do or die! She better be ready.

    Comment by Detris — June 4, 2008 @ 1:29 pm

  6. Wow, that’s some cliffhanger! I hope that Valerie finally understands there is no turning back from this. Can’t wait to see what Sanctus Unus has in store for her.

    I think she’s pretty clear on the fact that this is it for her. Valerie will definitely change after this, that’s for sure.

    Comment by brittybe — June 4, 2008 @ 1:40 pm

  7. Holey Moley !

    I can not wait to see Valerie finally accept the powers and strength she has!

    I hope she’ll be kick ass! :D

    Haha, she will, but not in the way you’d expect. She’ll certainly be powerful.

    Comment by PRMami — June 4, 2008 @ 3:55 pm

  8. I knew she could do it. Oh, this is so cool, Mao. This is so big. We know her purpose now and it’s so much bigger than I thought it would be! I so can’t wait to see what comes of this, and what Sanctus Unus tells her…

    Aww, I’m glad you still had faith in her. It was time to finally reveal a bit more about her purpose in all of this. Unfortunately, you won’t see what Sanctus Unus tells her. That’s a secret to be revealed at a later time. ;)

    Comment by Cassie — June 4, 2008 @ 5:25 pm

  9. I’m glad Valerie is accepting her purpose. Maybe she’ll stop being whiny someday.

    “She felt like crying again.”<—- This made me LOL so hard in Real Life.

    I wonder what the true purpose behind death is, hmmm… Why is Sanctus Unus so bitchy all the time now? :D

    Haha, she will. Her emotions will be severely limited after the change. Poor Sanctus Unus! She’s not bitchy, she’s just commanding. She’s in charge and that’s pretty obvious. As for the purpose behind death, well, that’s for another time, I’m afraid.

    Comment by Josh — June 4, 2008 @ 5:39 pm

  10. Hmmm, I do wonder, if Antony was not supposed to be there, how he managed to get there. Although it seems Sanctus Unus shouldn’t be so mad; it seems his coaxing was all she needed. Valerie still seems reluctant though, to accept her purpose. I hope this doesn’t mean anything bad later.
    Heck, I’d like to know her view on death…and there it ends. Mao, you are so evil. :P

    Abigail called him, she knew he was the final push needed. Valerie will always be reluctant because she doesn’t see herself as strong or powerful. Hehe, Sanctus Unus wasn’t going to explain the nuances of life and death. She was going to expose a huge secret. This is the first and only time I’ll do this–it’s a clue to a much bigger puzzle that lies ahead.

    Comment by Fini — June 5, 2008 @ 10:34 am

  11. Aww, Valerie got to see both of her parents, she must feel more comforted than she did before.

    Haha, it certainly helped!

    Comment by Phil — June 5, 2008 @ 10:26 pm

  12. Ooooo we got to see Anthony, awesome. Wow, he’s still as hot as ever. Yay, Val is ready, she’s finally accepting her fate and her position. By the end of this act I was really starting to like Val more, its seems she does have the strength.

    I do hope that the ‘feel sorry for myself’ Val is slowly dissappearing. I wonder what she saw though, besides the whole death thing.

    Haha, how did I know you’d enjoy that bit of Antony? ;) Valerie will change when she’s the Seer, so there won’t be much sniveling/etc. Mostly because the change dulls her emotions. It’s a good/bad thing, depending on the way you look at it.

    Comment by Taryn — June 6, 2008 @ 3:19 am

  13. Talk about being press ganged…I know its going to happen, and that its better for her to accept it and get ready for whatever is about to go down, but I still don’t think I like the idea. It shall be interesting to see what she is like once she is a seer. *waits anxiously to see what SU is about to show Val*

    I’m afraid we’ll never find out as the secret will be revealed in another, more fitting way. No worries, it’s coming, just not yet. Valerie is as ready as she’ll ever be at this point. She’s reached a plateau and it’s time to take a giant leap forward.

    Comment by goodbye_sun — June 6, 2008 @ 11:19 am

  14. Yay Antony! Supid Sanctus Unus, only I’m glad she finally got Valerie to stop being a lame baby…I want to see badass Valerie not whiny Valerie…bring on the badass!

    Haha, I don’t know about being ‘bad ass’, but she’ll definitely be powerful. ;)

    Comment by Tiana — June 6, 2008 @ 2:06 pm

  15. I was absolutely blown away. I had not been able to keep up with the story until now. There certainly has been a lot happen. All I can say is WOW! I love the way Valerie is still looking for answers but has decided to ‘take the plunge’. Can’t to find out what SU has to show Valerie.

    Hey Sheila! Good to see you back. Yeah, things are happening at a good pace now. We’re nearing the end. We’ve got about two chapters left after Reflection. :)

    Comment by Sheila — June 7, 2008 @ 3:04 pm

  16. Now she knows the future and what it hold, hopefully her mother’s advice and all that can make her less whiny.I wonder what sanctus unus hides behind her ‘body’

    Sanctus Unus doesn’t have a body of its own, so it borrows one from those who have died or have yet to live. It likely has to do with that.

    Comment by karen — June 9, 2008 @ 9:40 am

  17. I was very intrigued by Santus Unus’ reaction to Antony being there. She seemed extremely worried. And I have to feel sorry for Valerie. I guess it was inevitable in the end, the choice she had to make, but it still doesn’t make it any easier for her.

    Antony has a very powerful influence over Valerie and she hadn’t prepared for Abigail to bring Antony into it. We’ll definitely notice some distinct changes in Valerie, that’s for sure.

    Comment by Anghard — June 12, 2008 @ 11:23 pm

  18. OMG!!!!!!!

    I was also curious as why Sanctus Onus didn’t let Valerie to embrace her father, could it be that he wasn’t really Anthony? Was someone else trying to get and to harm Valerie?

    Going to find out now!!!

    Haha, no, that wasn’t it. She just wasn’t supposed to see him yet, but it was the push Valerie needed in the end!

    Comment by sandybvv — August 27, 2008 @ 9:23 pm

  19. Hurray! Anthony! It was nice to see him even for a brief moment. I wonder why he wasn’t allowed to be there.

    And I am seriously wondering what it was that Valerie saw! Who is going to die?

    Antony has a big influence on Valerie, but Sanctus Unus wants to control the exposure to him. He wasn’t always one of the good guys. ;) As for what Valerie saw, well, you’ll have to wait and find out…

    Comment by Verity — May 1, 2009 @ 5:00 pm

  20. Cliffhanger! I’m going to keep reading to sate my curiosity.!

    Comment by Carla — January 2, 2010 @ 11:27 pm

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