The One Word Story: “Akasha” by Eve Jacob

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Today marks the end of the first week of One Word Stories. So far, we’ve seen a lot of great ones, and today’s is no different.

I haven’t known Eve for that long, but anybody willing to come along on a journey with me is alright in my book. Her story is a sci-fi adventure, filled with magic, space ships, and an object called the akasha. Akasha itself, also the word Eve chose, is a supposed universal etheric field in which a record of past events is imprinted. From there, she ran with this story, and created a grand, epic, sci-fi adventure story in a matter of 5,000 words or so. A story that is fun as hell.

Presenting, “Akasha”:

SCARLETT

 

The alarm was deafening. Scarlett couldn’t concentrate, though whether that was from the blaring noise or her general anxiety around anything mechanical, she wasn’t certain.

“Violet!” she shouted.

“Yeah, yeah, I’m working on it,” Violet answered, her voice muffled by the ship’s thick bulkhead and the siren.

Scarlett didn’t know any spells to stop an alarm, or really do much of anything in regards to machinery. That’s what Violet was for, and at the moment, she wasn’t being very useful.

The alarm cut off mid-scream, and Scarlett’s head spun in the abrupt silence rattling through the ship.

Violet crawled out of a hatch clutching a strange electrical component. It looked like it had been forcibly ripped form whatever it was initially plugged into. The wires were a frayed mess, some still sparking.

Scarlett made a face. “What is that?”

Violet glanced at the thing she was holding as if she’d forgotten it. “It’s the alarm.”

“Don’t we need that?” Scarlett demanded.

“Nah.”

Scarlett glared at her sister. She didn’t have an ounce of Violet’s mechanical savvy, but she was pretty sure ripping the alarm out didn’t count as “fixing it”.

“Vi. You didn’t solve the problem, you know. You just stopped the ship from notifying us of it.”

“Relax,” Violet said. “I’m going to fix it as soon as we land, I just needed some quiet. I’ll put the alarm back later.”

“What’s wrong, anyway?”

Violet set the alarm aside. “The cooling system is busted. I just can’t figure out why…” she trailed off, muttering to herself.

Scarlett groaned. They were already behind schedule, and the stop on Europa was supposed to be quick—repairs could take all day. But she was too afraid of the ship exploding too argue, so she just nodded and followed Violet to the bridge.

They didn’t look like sisters; Scarlett was fair skinned with red hair and gold eyes, while Violet had an olive complexion, long dark hair, and amethyst eyes. They shared their small facial features and tall, gangly frames, but their coloring was off. Violet was the eldest by a year, and it showed in her confident swagger. Scarlett spent most of her time hiding beneath her heavy cloak.

Violet steered the ship toward Europa. Scarlett settled into her seat, pulling out her notes and going over the minimal information she had gathered for their mission.

They had been traveling for months now, gathering information, asking questions, digging for lost clues and hints that could lead them in the right direction. Earth was their ultimate destination, but they would stop on the older colonies along the way.

Scarlett gazed at the massive planet before them: Jupiter. It was named by the ancient inhabitants of Earth for some figure that had been prominent in their history or mythology. It was all lost now. The thought of all the forgotten history made Scarlett ache.

She and Violet were going to fix all that.

First, though, the ship.

The craft wobbled and Scarlett gripped her seat. As much as she hated landings, and as disappointed as she was by the delay, she was looking forward to this stop. Violet lived for the stars, but Scarlett preferred stability.

“Aaaand, we’re here!” Violet said. “I’m going to the mech shop. Anything we need to stock up on?”

Scarlett nodded shakily.

“Right. You work on that, I’ll get her fixed up.” She gave the console an affectionate pat before leaving.

“Thanks for not crashing, Asani,” Scarlett told the ship.

Violet opened the bay doors and programmed the ship for standby, still muttering about the cooling system.

“Be careful,” Violet cautioned, as she always did.

You be careful,” Scarlett muttered. Violet smirked.

They parted and Scarlett checked their inventory list. She took the supply cart and made her way toward the market. A spell set the cart trailing behind her on its own, leaving Scarlett free to enjoy the fresh air and the light of the distant sun. The crowds were a bit overwhelming, but it was nice to be on solid ground.

As she walked, Scarlett spotted a rundown bookshop. She gave a triumphant little, “Hah!” and hurried over. The shop was packed with books. Some newer, others quite old; some were even in preservation packs, which surprised Scarlett. She usually didn’t find preserved volumes in such shops. She and Violet had found some private collections and museums with fragments of old books, scrolls, and tablets that had been recovered, but these were some of the most well-preserved artifacts she’d ever seen.

Most of the books were from after the cataclysms that had wiped out Earth’s records. What Scarlett was looking for, and what she almost never found, were books from before the cataclysms.

After a lengthy search, all she’d found was a tiny book in a preservation pack that looked to be a collection of poems. She wasn’t sure which language they were in, but for some reason, she liked it. Scarlett bought the tome before she could talk herself out of it.

When she left the shop, she couldn’t remember which way to go. Her wristband had a navigator, but she hated it. She closed her eyes and concentrated, feeling out Violet’s energy. She could have psychically called out to her sister, but she didn’t want Violet knowing she was lost…again. So she locked in on her sister’s signature and set off, following the mental map that formed.

Perhaps it was because she was lost, but Scarlett kept looking over her shoulder. She felt like she was being followed. The longer she walked, the more certain she felt there were eyes on her. She pulled her cloak tighter and quickened her pace.

The feeling intensified until Scarlett’s stomach was churning. She had to stop and catch her breath or else the panic would win over. Scarlett shifted her concentration to the presence making her so uneasy. It was hard to pin down, which scared her even more—that likely meant sorcery. Scarlett searched the crowd, seeing no one suspicious. Then she spotted a man; tall and broad-shouldered. He was hard to see, hidden in shadows with a hood pulled over his face. She could just make out his profile.

When Scarlett tried to focus on him, her focus seemed to slide away. Confused, she tried the people around her. She could get a sense on each of them, but the man in the shadows remained untouchable.

Scarlett hurried away, locking onto Violet’s signal and hoping not to see the hooded man again.

 

That night, Scarlett sat awake on her bed surrounded by old texts. Her translations were becoming clearer. The names of ancient lands were coming together, and she cross-referenced the old sketches with a holomap of the planet’s current layout.

The unassigned, unsanctioned mission was the only thing Scarlett and Violet had cared about in the last months. They were looking for something unknown, but whispered about by visionaries, philosophers, and historians. The Akasha. So mysterious, no one even knew what it was; all that was known was how powerful it was: If the stories were to be believed, the Akasha could alter reality. With that kind of power, Scarlett and Violet stood a chance at piecing their lives back together.

The problem was, though she could find references to it, she never found anything about its location.

Frustrated, Scarlett got up. She went to the engine room, where Violet was still hard at work.

“How are the repairs coming?” Scarlett asked.

“If I didn’t know better, I’d say this was intentionally mucked up just to make my life impossible,” Violet muttered.

Scarlett’s mind flashed to the eerie feeling she’d had today. She shook her head; sleep deprivation was taking its toll.

“Need anything?” Scarlett asked.

“A cup of tea?”

Scarlett nodded and went to the kitchen. She made them each a mug of tea, retrieving her new book of poems from her room while it steeped. When the tea was ready, she tucked the book under her arm and carried the mugs to the engine room. She decided to sit on the bench in there and stay with Violet, even if she couldn’t help. Scarlett sipped her tea as she ran a translator program over the text, but it was inconclusive. She searched the networks, digging through archives and databases until she found a partial match for some characters. A bit more looking and she was able to identify the name of the language.

Sanskrit.

She worked at it for hours while Violet swore at her tools. It was oddly soothing; it felt almost like home.

As she translated, she became familiar with the markings that formed Sanskrit. One word that she hadn’t yet translated was standing out more than the others, and while she was struggling to make sense of the overall meaning, she found herself preoccupied by the reoccurring word.

Scarlett was so entrenched in her work that she didn’t realize what she was translating until it was already written.

Akasha.

Scarlett dropped her pen and stared down at the word. She checked her translation again, but it was right.

“Violet!” she shouted.

There was a loud crash and another string of curses. Scarlett winced, covering her mouth to suppress a laugh. Violet appeared, greasy and messy, rubbing her head.

“What’s wrong?” Violet growled.

“It says ‘Akasha’!” Scarlett cried, holding up the page.

“It…what?”

“This book! It says ‘Akasha’ in it! I got it at the space port and…Vi, I think it can help us find the Akasha.”

 

VIOLET

Once the ship was repaired, Violet set a course for Earth. They stopped only for more fuel when necessary, speeding toward Earth as fast as they could. Scarlett was so absorbed in her work she barely ate or slept.

Violet, too, was so focused she forgot normal things like food and rest. She kept the ship running, pushing it to its limits. Now that the cooling system was fixed, everything seemed fine. Every now and then her sensors would act up, but whenever she checked, Violet couldn’t find anything in their vicinity. She tried to fix it, but it was giving her a headache and she needed a distraction.

“Need any help?” she asked Scarlett, draping over the side of the old sofa in the common room where her sister was working.

“Um, sure,” Scarlett said, distracted.

Violet slid onto the sofa, careful not to disrupt the carefully arranged mess. She spotted the little book that had contributed so much to their search and wondered, not for the first time, how her sister had managed to find that plain little piece in all the books they’d seen in the past months. She picked it up, studying it, and asked, “Make any progress?”

Scarlett pushed her long, unruly hair away from her face. “Sort of. I think I figured something out, but it…it doesn’t make sense.”

“Let me see,” Violet said. Scarlett handed her some notes.

Violet sat back, scanning over the pages. She frowned. “This doesn’t make sense.”

“That’s what I just said,” Scarlett grumbled.

Violet snickered. She returned her attention to the pages. “What else do we know?”

“Well, it sounds like it’s a record. Some kind of…way of storing massive amounts of information,” Scarlett said.

“How much?” Violet asked.

Scarlett glanced up at Violet uncertainly. “…All of it.”

Violet looked at her, caught between curious and skeptical.

“I don’t know how it works,” Scarlett admitted.

Violet nodded, trying not to let her mind get caught up in the mechanics of how one would store all information, or even how one would obtain all information. “Well, we’ll figure it out when we find it. Any clue where it is?”

Scarlett shook her head. “No. There’s a temple mentioned here that I think we should check, though.”

A soft ping! alerted Violet that the ship was approaching Earth’s atmosphere.

“What’s that? Is the ship going to explode?” Scarlett deadpanned.

No. My baby’s a trooper. She’s just letting us know we’re landing.” She got up and headed toward the bridge. “Come help me find that temple’s coordinates.”

Both of them were exhausted, but as Earth filled the viewport, Violet found that she was also buzzing with a kind of excited energy. Dozens of explorers, adventurers, thieves, and people in power had set out to discover where—and what—the Akasha was. Many had traveled to Earth, but none had even come close. They were perhaps the closest to actually finding it.

Violet landed the ship in a flat plane. They would have to hike to reach the temple, but it was better than trying to land on the ragged hills. They made their way out of the ship and toward the crumbling remains of the temple. They were in an uninhabited region of the planet that was too hot and dry to sustain life now. It had originally been less rocky, but massive earthquakes along the tectonic plates had birthed new mountain ranges and damaged most of the buildings that had been built there.

They searched through the temple, but found nothing. Violet wasn’t terribly surprised by this, but Scarlett became frustrated.

“I thought it’d be here,” she said, almost pouting.

Violet was discouraged, too, but she tried to stay positive. “I’m sure we’ll find it. Where were you—”

An explosion rocked the ground beneath their feet, shaking the precarious temple.

“What was that?” Scarlett screamed.

“No…” Violet whispered. She raced back in the direction of the Asani. As she reached the top of the hill they’d crossed, she saw a smoldering pile of wreckage where her ship should be.

“Violet?” Scarlett cried, scrambling up the hill after her sister.

Violet couldn’t answer. She stared in shock at their destroyed ship.

“What…how…” Scarlett stuttered.

Violet shook her head, speechless. “That doesn’t…no, that doesn’t make sense…” she whispered. “I checked everything. I…”

“What happened? What are we gonna do? Vi?” A hint of panic was bleeding into Scarlett’s voice.

Violet’s eyes widened. She grabbed Scarlett’s hand and raced away, looking for cover.

“What? Violet! What’s going on?”

Violet didn’t answer. She found an overhang of rock and ducked into it, pulling Scarlett with her.

“Violet, what’s going on?” Scarlett demanded.

“Shh!” Violet hissed. She peeked at the sky, searching for signs of a ship. The low cloud cover made the sky a blanket of gray. No ships were in sight, but that didn’t mean they hadn’t been there.

“Violet?” Scarlett whispered.

“That wasn’t an accident,” Violet whispered.

Scarlett went pale. “Then…someone shot our ship?”

Violet nodded.

“We’re trapped here,” Scarlett said. “Everything we had was on that ship. All my research, all your tools. We have no way to leave.”

This had occurred to Violet, but hearing the words out loud was jarring.

“What do we do?” Scarlett asked.

Violet peered out into the wasteland around them. “We find the Akasha.”

 

They walked for a long time, away from the temple and the wreckage of the Asani. Violet felt her blood boil as she thought of the smoldering remains of her precious ship.

Each of them had a pack, and they sat down to dig through the supplies they did have. They had each packed snacks, some water, and personal items: Violet had a small toolkit, her wristband (which had no connection on Earth), and some sensors that were meant to help them find the Akasha. They weren’t much use for survival or escape. Scarlett had her own wristband, her notes, and the little book in Sanskrit.

They weren’t helpless. Both knew spellcraft, but Violet was still uneasy. They were young for sorceresses, and unpracticed, and Earth was a harsh planet. Who knew what they’d encounter there.

But all that was secondary: Someone had tried to kill them, or at least maroon them on Earth, and they had to keep out of the sights of whoever was behind the strike on the Asani.

Violet tried not to get swept up in panic or sorrow. Everything they had from their parents—everything they had—was gone. It had been their only home. Their only means of transportation. Their only shelter against the harsh conditions of Earth. She wasn’t sure how they’d escape the planet or their attackers.

The cloudy sky darkened overhead as they trudged on. Everything she knew about Earth indicated that the majority of the planet was wild and incredibly dangerous. She rattled her brain, trying to remember the location of the Earth-based space stations. There were only two, and they were far from where she and Scarlett had landed. Technically, they could teleport, but not far, and not often. They might only have one or two jumps in them, and they needed to save those for getting to, or near, the space stations.

Eventually, they found an empty cave to shelter them for the night. It was dry and warm from the hot day, which was appreciated now that night had fallen. The sky was beginning to clear, and with it went the day’s heat. They huddled in the cave by a fire Scarlett conjured, sharing tiny portions of their rations.

“Do you really think the Akasha will help us?” Scarlett asked.

Violet shrugged. Her eyes were heavy, her mind sluggish, but her stomach was churning and her body felt electric. The sleep she so needed didn’t feel possible now.

“I’m hoping it will,” Violet said. “What other chance do we have? And you said it has information, all information, so…might be helpful.”

Scarlett nodded.

Violet glanced at her sister’s sullen face. “Hey, why don’t we check the book, see if we can figure anything else out?”

Scarlett nodded again, digging into her pack. They spent hours poring over the notes, translating and charting as the stars appeared in the sky outside their cave.

Violet frowned at the spread of compiled notes before her and something clicked into place. “It looks like quantum superpositioning,”

“What?” Scarlett said, looking up.

“Well, I’m not positive, but that’s what it sounds like,” Violet said, looking more closely.

Scarlett made a face. “I didn’t think of that…”

“It would make sense,” Violet said. “It seems like it doesn’t have a fixed position. Doesn’t it? Maybe you can access it from anywhere…maybe it’s not in one place at all.”

Scarlett frowned. “Then we came all this way for no reason?”

“Maybe not,” Violet said. “We needed the book. We needed time to figure it out.”

“So…how do we get there, then?”

Violet picked up a few more pages, scanning them quickly. “No idea.”

“Oh!” Scarlett cried. Violet looked up in alarm as her sister carefully flipped through the pages of the Sanskrit book. “Here! It talks about a meditation, a very powerful one. It mentions the Akasha, but I just thought it was a ritualistic thing you did before visiting or using the Akasha. But…what if…what if that’s how you get to it?”

They stared at each other in quiet shock.

“Should we try?” Violet finally asked.

“I guess,” Scarlett answered.

“Okay. You try. You’re better at that stuff than I am.”

Scarlett looked nervous, but nodded. “All right. Um.” She read the page detailing the meditation a few times, muttering to herself and taking notes.

Scarlett situated herself so she was sitting comfortably and closed her eyes. Violet watched her for a few seconds, then turned her attention to the darkness outside. She decided Scarlett would probably be at it for a while, so she crept quietly to the mouth of the cave and gazed up at the innumerable stars overhead. It was dark on this part of the planet, and she could see so many stars it took her breath away. They looked different from on-planet, Violet though, than they did from the ship. And she never tired of seeing them.

After some time, Violet grew cold and crept back inside. She saw Scarlett, still as she had been before, eyes closed, face scrunched into a scowl.

“Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t meditation supposed to be relaxing?” Violet asked.

Scarlett opened one eye to glare at her. “You’re breaking my concentration.”

“I think you’re just bad at this.”

Scarlett let out an exasperated sigh and opened both her eyes, rubbing her temple. “I just…it’s not working.”

“Take a break. We should get some rest.”

Scarlett grumbled something as Violet gathered their papers.

“We should switch off,” Violet went on. “Whoever blew up our ship is still out there.”

Violet took the first watch. After a couple hours, she woke her sister and tried to get some sleep. She must have drifted off, because she was jolted awake. She glanced at Scarlett.

Did you hear that? Scarlett asked using the mental link they shared.

Violet sat up, listening intently. No sound cut the still night, but neither sister moved. After a few more seconds, Violet heard a faint shuffling outside.

She and Scarlett jumped up at once. Scarlett moved to extinguish the flame, but Violet touched her hand to stop her.

Leave it, she told Scarlett. We don’t want them to know we heard.

Scarlett nodded and they moved toward the mouth of the cave, peering into the darkness. The night was still.

A beam of light shot through the mouth of the cave; a spell, and a powerful one. Violet threw a shield around them just before the spell hit. She turned to see their attacker, picking up on their energy signature. It was hard to lock onto; unfamiliar, but she found them—two of them—and sent back a blast of her own. She thought she’d missed until she heard a yelp. Violet tore out of the cave and after whoever was shooting at them. There were two dark figures. One vanished in a swirl of smoke, while the other ran away. Violet sprinted after the wavering shadow in the dark. She could feel Scarlett behind her, joining the chase.

Their attacker turned and shot at her, but Violet deflected it, sending another blast at the shadow before her. It missed, but she’d gotten close enough to tackle the shadowy figure, knocking both of them to the ground.

Violet delivered two swift punches to the squirming individual, one to the gut, one to the face, causing them to drop their gun. With the attacker winded and dazed, she was able to grab them and pin them down.

It was a man, clad all in black, blood leaking from his nose and a gash on his forehead. He tried to swing at Violet, but he was still disoriented, and she caught his fist, twisting his arm away until he howled in pain.

“Who are you?” she snarled.

“Let go of me, witch.”

She punched him again.

“Violet!”

Scarlett caught up to them and stood over the fallen man.

Violet ignored her sister for the moment. “Talk!” she shouted at him. “Who are you and what are you doing here? Why did you follow us? What do you want?”

The man tried to lash out again, but Violet held her hand over him and concentrated, muttering a spell. His body froze and he gaped at her in panic.

“I can do a lot more than that, now tell me who you are and what you want or so help me, I’ll—”

“Violet,” Scarlett interrupted. Violet looked up to see the second figure materializing out of thin air.

“I recognize him,” Scarlett said, pointing at the man Violet had pinned down.

Violet rose to her feet. “From where?”

“Europa. He…I saw him…he was watching me.”

Violet looked at tall figure approaching in the night. Whispering the same spell she’d used to freeze the first man, she held out her arm to the newcomer.

He deflected her spell and countered with his own, and Violet didn’t shield in time.

“Violet!” Scarlett screamed as Violet was thrown back. She groaned and sat up slowly, just able to make out Scarlett and the newcomer trading shots and lighting up the dark night.

When she’d been blasted, Violet’s concentration had broken, freeing the first man. He launched at her now, hitting her before she could block. The strike hit her in temple, making her head spin. She struck out blindly at him, missing completely. He scrambled for his gun and Violet fought to get her bearings again. She fired a blast at him, sending him tumbling away from his weapon.

Scarlett screamed and stumbled back. Violet blasted the tall man, knocking him down while he was distracted. She charged at him, but before reaching him, she felt a searing pain in her back as the first attacker fired his weapon.

Violet collapsed, her vision going dark as Scarlett’s screams echoed and faded into nothing.

 

SCARLETT

Violet was down, and Scarlett was alone with both of them.

She had one tiny ray of hope flickering in the back of her mind; one idea that might just save them. If Violet wasn’t beyond saving, that was.

Scarlett pushed that thought aside. She couldn’t sink into that fear now; she had to act.

Moving fast, Scarlett shielded herself against the attacks of the two men; at least one of whom she had encountered at the space station, who must have been tracking her since then, maybe even before.

She dove to Violet’s side, shielding them both now, though her shield was weak, and the spell-wielding man was blasting her repeatedly.

“I don’t need to hurt you, Scarlett,” the tall sorcerer said as he approached her. His face was lit by the crimson glow of her shield. Hearing him speak her name sent chills down her spine. “I just need to know what you know about the Akasha.”

Scarlett did her best to tune him out. He was sending sharp, needle-thin sparks at her shield, breaking it down, but she ignored him. She grabbed Violet’s hand, a wave of relief washing over her as she sensed her sister’s weak life-force.

Scarlett closed her eyes and concentrated. Meditating under these circumstances was almost unthinkable, but she had never needed to focus, now was the time. If she could transport them away from here, anywhere, they might survive. She felt her shield crack, but as her breath slowed and her mind calmed, she also felt something unfamiliar.

There was a rush of wind. It crackled across her skin like electricity and sent a pulse of energy coursing through her.

Scarlett swayed, hit with a sudden head rush. She put one hand down to steady herself, but instead of rough sand, she felt a smooth, cool surface.

Her eyes snapped open, and her breath caught in her throat.

This place was pure white. The floor beneath her was a smooth, polished stone, but she couldn’t see any walls or a ceiling. The space seemed to continue into infinity in all directions, a soft white light emanating from all sides. Not blinding or overwhelming, but soothing and calm.

Scarlett looked down at her sister, who stirred, opening her eyes and groaning. She pressed a hand to Violet’s back, healing her wounds.

“Scar?” Violet asked.

“I’m here,” Scarlett whispered.

Violet sat up. “…And that would be, where, exactly?”

“I’m not sure,” Scarlett said.

Violet stood, but moved too quickly and stumbled. Scarlett caught her arm.

“How?” Violet whispered.

“I…I don’t know. I wanted to escape …” Scarlett trailed off.

Violet looked around, her usually serious face overtaken by wonder.

As Scarlett’s eyes adjusted, she could see something moving through the air. Many somethings, in fact. They floated and twisted through the air like ribbons of shimmering light. As she watched, they became clearer, and more distinct. Each was unique, and the longer she stared into the void, the more she saw. It wasn’t empty, it was full. An infinity of shimmering streams of light, all entwined, but each inimitable and original.

Tentatively, Scarlett reached out to one.

She was no longer in the place of light. She stood in a small room which looked ancient, like something she’d studied in her search for the Akasha. A child slept in the tiny bed on the floor in the corner of the room. There was a narrow, unimpressive window with a sheet half-covering it. Scarlett moved to the window and peered out. It was Earth; she could tell from the single moon in the sky, and the arrangement of constellations. Earth, but long ago, when there was life and movement.

Scarlett didn’t know how to get back to her sister, but she knew she could. The entire scene before her had a sparkling, unreal quality. She cleared her mind and tried to feel out Violet. The same rush of energy skimmed across her skin and she found herself back in the light field. Scarlett wobbled, dizzy again.

“What happened?” Violet asked. “Where did you go?”

“I’m not sure, but I think I know where we are,” Scarlett said, taking a closer look at the light streams around her. “I think we’re in the Akasha.”

What? How?” Violet demanded.

“I don’t know,” Scarlett admitted. “But…” her eyes turned again to the twirling bands of light. “This is it.”

Violet tried one herself, reaching out and disappearing for a moment. Scarlett knew her sister would find her way back, but it still startled her when Violet vanished. She reappeared a few seconds later looking dazed.

“Whoa!”

“What did you see?” Scarlett asked.

“Some—some kind of battle. But very primitive. I think it was on Earth.”

Scarlett nodded. “I saw something on Earth, too.”

Violet looked around. “So these are…what, memories? Timelines? Locations in space-time?”

“I don’t know.”

They stood in silence for a moment.

“You found it, Scar,” Violet whispered.

“You helped. You flew the ship,” Scarlett said.

Violet smacked her sister lightly on the arm and they both started to giggle. They laughed for a long time, giddy and relieved and in awe at where they stood.

“Now what?” Scarlett asked, trying to make sense of the floating streams swirling around them. Some brushed against her skin, not sweeping her away in complete visions, but still sending shivers down her spine and giving her the strangest sense of familiarity, as if she were being reminded of something she’d forgotten, though the memories weren’t hers.

Violet looked into the vast unknown of the Akasha, then back at her sister. For the first time, Scarlett saw something apart from ruthless determination in her eyes: Scarlett saw hope.

“I guess we start looking for answers,” Violet said.

Scarlett had never heard anything so beautiful in her life.

____________________

 

Eve Jacob is an artist some days, a scientist others, and a writer always. By day, she’s a not-so-mild-mannered business owner, and by night, she works on her novels, because sleep is for the weak. She is a fan of tea, a hopeless geek, and an Oxford comma enthusiast. You can find her at ravenhartpress.com or on Twitter @EveyJacob.

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