The Creator's Eye: Mover of Fate, Part I, page 9
As it turned back to towards the house, the front door opened. A tall figure emerged, silhouetted by the yellow porch light. He carried a wooden staff with a gnarled burl of a head which he flicked it to one side. Maya stumbled forward a few more steps as she immediately lost interest in the ball. She felt dizzy and a little nauseous as she emerged from her daze. Michael likewise teetered on his feet and rubbed his temples. The giant bear, however, kept following the light around the grass like a lumbering parade.
The silhouetted figure approached them and put his hands on Michael’s shoulders steadying him. “Michael?” the man asked in disbelief. “Is that you?”
Maya’s blurry vision coalesced to reveal a tall, brawny old man with short white hair and an equally snowy beard cropped closely to his face. He wore simple jeans and a red and black plaid shirt. If he was younger, she might have taken him for a lumberjack. Maya did not know what to make of this character, but when he wrapped his arms around Michael in a sphinx bear-sized hug, she knew they had made it safely to his uncle Sefu’s house.
Michael’s arms hung awkwardly at his side as his uncle embraced him. He was obviously still confused as to how he had wound up there.
“It’s a miracle that you made it here!” exclaimed his uncle, releasing his bewildered godson, “Do you have any idea how lucky you are?” asked Sefu.
Michael faltered to respond. He turned to Maya, who felt equally perplexed. “That’s, um, Maya,” he said, finding his voice. “Maya, this is my uncle, Sefu.”
Maya blinked a few times. “What happened?” she asked, still feeling a little green around the gills.
“My wisps found you,” explained Sefu, but when the blank expressions on their faces showed that this didn’t clarify much, he continued. “I’ve been sending out wisps to draw the demons away from here. Almost anyone who sees them will follow. You’re very lucky that you pursued this one. I’ve been trying to bring a sphinx bear here, but have been sending most of the demons off a nearby cliff.”
“The demons?” Michael asked. “You mean the soldiers?”
“Those are the ones,” Sefu winked proudly. “Are you guys okay? Is your family safe?”
“No…I don’t know,” Michael said uncertainly. “We’ve been running from the soldiers. There’s a party of them chasing us.”
“They have dogs, too,” added Maya. “We could hear them.”
“Do you know how many there are?” asked Sefu.
“No,” said Michael, shaking his head, “but probably a lot. They were keeping us prisoner in Alexandria until we escaped.”
“They captured the whole city,” Maya elaborated. “The whole place is a prison now. They’re bringing people in from everywhere.”
“They took all of Canaan, too,” said Michael.
“Even your father?” Sefu asked.
“Yeah,” Michael affirmed despondently. “He helped us escape. I don’t know if he’s still there, or if he’s even alive…”
“Okay,” interrupted Sefu, “We need to test something. Have you been reading and practicing with the books I sent you?”
“Whenever my dad isn’t there, yeah,” he said, glancing at Maya.
She, however, was wondering what this had to do with anything.
“What have you learned so far?”
“I can Move objects, make things hot or cold, make fire, Move air and energy, but I’m not very good at any of that. I did manage to blow up a few dogs that attacked me and my friends, though.”
Sefu nodded thoughtfully at this. “So you know how to manipulate energy, to increase it, or decrease its flow―”
“Sure. The books said to use it as an extension of my will.”
“That’s good,” said Sefu, “but I want you to try something new that is not mentioned in any of the books. I want you to Create something.”
“Create something?” Michael asked, befuddled. “Like, to just make something appear out of thin air?”
“But that’s impossible! The books all say that you can Move matter and energy, but not―”
“I know,” Sefu raised a hand to cut him off, “but I want you to give it a try.”
“Okay," Michael shrugged doubtfully, “but what should I Create? A flower? A rabbit? I don’t have a top hat,” Michael said sarcastically. He was clearly too tired for a pop quiz.
“No,” Sefu said, ignoring Michael’s frustration. “Life forms are too complex to begin with. Try something simple first, like a stone or a ball of dirt. Actually that’s too complicated, as well. Dirt can be made up of so many things.” He pondered for a moment before asking, “How about a lump of lead?”
“Okay,” Michael muttered, obviously still confused.
Maya was no less perplexed. Sefu’s request likewise contradicted everything she had learned at the Academy.
“I know you are tired and probably thirsty, but this is very important,” urged Sefu. “I need you to forget for a moment that the books said this is impossible.”
“Okay, I’ll try,” said Michael, setting his doubts aside. He held out a muddy hand and turned his palm upwards, then took a deep breath while he focused upon it.
“Now,” said Sefu, “imagine a lump of lead, silvery and black, like a piece of the night sky. Turn it over in your mind then feel it resting in your palm. Imagine its weight and smoothness.
Maya watched Michael stare at his hand, where the ball of lead should be. She had done this herself a thousand times before, but always to Move what already existed. You had to concentrate until your belief was strong enough to manifest what was in your mind’s eye. She watched as tense furrows dug into Michael’s forehead and tears formed in his eyes.
Nothing happened. No ball of lead appeared. Not even a single grain of black sand.
“That’s enough,” said Sefu, bringing Michael’s attention back by gently placing a hand on his shoulder.
“I tried,” said Michael, wiping a strained tear from the corner of his eyes.
“I know,” his uncle said. “Thank you.”
“What was that all about?” asked Maya.
“Come inside,” said Sefu. “There is a lot to explain.”
They left the great sphinx bear to continue plodding around the yard. Sefu ushered them into the house, but before he entered, he turned back towards the forest and rapped the bottom of his wooden staff soundly against the stones cobbling the floor of his entry way. At each tap, a spark flashed from the top of his staff and coalesced into a diaphanous ball of light. As soon as each one was formed, they darted off into the forest, zipping through the trees with their eerie whir. Sefu sent off a dozen wisps before coming inside.
“Those will keep the demons away for now,” he said.
They entered an airy den that was open to a simple, rustic kitchen. Thick oak beams supported the thatched ceiling, while hanging below were several bright yellow lights set in cloudy glass balls. A set of stairs led up to a pair of doors along a mezzanine penned in by a wooden railing. There were a few carvings of forest animals and some old maroon curtains over the windows, but otherwise the place was an austere hermitage. Aside from a wooden table with some chairs, there was no other furniture to be seen. Nevertheless, the chairs looked incredibly inviting. Maya followed Michael’s lead and plopped down in one with a tired groan.
While Sefu was still busy at the door, Michael leaned towards Maya and explained, “I used to visit Sefu as a kid, but he and my dad argued a lot. Eventually my dad refused to visit anymore. Sefu was always kind, and he continued to write to me. I don’t think he sees many other people. He hunts and lives off the land and occasionally visits the city for supplies, but other than that I think he mostly just keeps to himself.”
“I guess that’s why this place is so spartan,” Maya observed.
“I’m sorry that I didn’t act more welcoming right away,” said Sefu as he shut the front door and leaned his staff a
“How do you know?” Michael asked.
“If he were dead, you probably would have been able to Create that ball of lead.”
Michael and Maya passed each other doubtful looks. Sefu noticed, but only smiled and made his way over to the kitchen counter. “I’m going to make you guys something to eat.”
Maya noticed a piece of green canvas rolled up on the kitchen counter. The tips of several blades protruded from it. Some were short and serrated, while others were long and pointed. A large green backpack sat on the floor below them. It was open and she could see an array of camping gear inside. “Were you going somewhere?” she asked.
“I have been ready to run for days. I know you just got here, but you should be ready to go at any time, too. My wisps have kept me safe so far, but eventually the demons will figure out what’s going on, or they’ll send a master Mover who can resist them.”
“The demons?” asked Maya, still unclear. “Are they some sort of monsters?”
“Sorry, I didn’t explain that earlier,” said Sefu. “The horned people― they call themselves Magi, but we always just called them demons. The ones you have seen are half-breeds of course. No one has seen a true Daemon in a thousand years.”
“What’s the difference?” asked Maya. “And where did they come from?”
“True Daemons are nature spirits— rivers, fire, mountains, forests, and so on. The ones here are descendants of men who bred with those things, or so they like to claim.”
Maya had never heard of such a thing. She was beginning to wonder what sort of madhouse Michael had brought her to.
Sefu rifled through the cold box. He produced a hunk of cheese and a slab of cured meat. “White elk,” Sefu said.
Maya’s stomach rumbled as she remembered the rich, savory taste of smoked elk. It rarely turned up in the markets of Alexandria as hunters hated venturing into Palmyra Forest. She hadn’t tasted it since she was a kid. She tried not to drool as she watched Sefu pull one of the knives from the canvas roll and cut the meat and cheese into thick slices. Despite the raspberries earlier, she was so hungry that she could have eaten the whole slab. Sefu also cut up a few green and red forest apples and fixed a platter for them. He put all this on the table with a loaf of dense black wheat bread and poured each of them a cup of water.
As Michael and Maya tore into the food, he said, “I need you to tell me everything that you know about the demons.”
“I was held in Alexandria for about a week,” explained Maya, taking a bite out of a crisp ruby-colored apple. “I never saw the demons all assembled at one time, but I would guess that there are at least four or five hundred of them there.”
“All soldiers?” asked Sefu.
“Yes,” she nodded, “and all men.”
“That seems normal,” he observed. “demons don’t usually allow their women to fight. Did you see how they traveled? Did they have boats or transport?”
“I don’t know,” said Maya. “They had horses, but that’s about it.”
Michael said that was all he saw, too.
“So you have no idea how they got here?”
Maya shook her head.
“I doubt they just appeared out of thin air,” Sefu mused aloud. “They don’t go in for technology, so I can’t imagine them flying a ship, and I doubt the Neos offered them a ride.”
Michael and Maya looked confused again.
“Neosapiens,” Sefu clarified. “They’re another race of beings from where I am from.”
“You mean, New York?” Michael asked.
His uncle laughed. “There are plenty of unusual people in New York, but I’m not really from there. I, uh―”
Michael looked frustrated. “Uncle, what’s going on? I’ve been chased and arrested and kicked around for the past three days. You seem to have some idea why and where these so-called demons are from, but you aren’t telling us. What the heck is going on?”
“I apologize,” said Sefu. “There are so many things that have been told to you that are just not true, and there are even more things that have never been told to you at all. It’s hard to know where to begin. I will do my best to explain everything, but I first need to understand what kind of danger we are in.”
“Who has been lying to me?” Michael frowned, unwilling to talk about anything else until something was explained to him.
Sefu sighed. “Your father. That is a big reason why he stopped speaking to me. I insisted that he tell you where you’re from, about your family’s history, and your job in this world.”
“What do you mean?” asked Michael. “Do my dad and I have something to do with these demons?”
“Not only that,” said Sefu, tapping a long, knobbly index finger on the table,” but you and he are at the center of this mess. This was all bound to happen someday and that’s why I sent you those books. I had to do what I could to prepare you without breaking my promises to him. I always retained hope that he would take responsibility and tell you about your history himself, but I somehow always suspected that I would have to do it. That’s why it’s such a miracle that of all the places you might have escaped to, you came to me.”
Sefu stood up and began walking around the room. He stroked his beard as he paced. “Considering I always thought I would have to tell you this tale, I should be better prepared. But the best place to start a story is at the beginning, and in this case, we shall start with the dawn of everything.”
“At the beginning of time, before there were stars, or planets, or galaxies, there was nothing in the vast emptiness of space, except for two great Beasts. One radiated with Light and the other smoldered with Darkness. They were Good and Evil, positive and negative forces. Together, they contained all of the Light and Dark Ki— the essential energies that make up the universe.”
“Being opposite forces, they clashed for eons, battering each other with the force of a trillion supernovae. But they were equal in power and neither could overcome the other. Instead, with all of the will they could summon, they slammed together in a tremendous cataclysm, destroying each other at the same time. Their energy and matter scattered across space.”
“This energy retained some of their consciousness and eventually coalesced into smaller beings. These new creatures had a thousand arms and a million eyes that allowed them to see and move things in the material world, but each one also had a special Eye that was focused upon the spirit world, the Causal Plane of all creation. From there they could summon new Ki to give shape to the universe. They Moved galaxies, solar systems, stars and planets into their orbits, and even brought new life into existence. They were the Prime Movers, the very first Creators.”
“There were many of them, some of them of Light and others Dark, and they fought just like the Beasts did for control over the universe. The two sides were still equal in number and power, and being made from pure Creative energy, they could not be removed from the material world. They were effectively immortal, and just as before, it seemed that neither side could defeat the other.”
“Their creations grew ever more complex, until they Created beings in their own likeness. While the Light Creators shaped friends and family to share their universe with, the Dark Creators forged armies to fight for them and stomp out the light of joy.”
“One Light Creator named Manu grew despondent at outliving all of the children he Created. He watched each one them grow old and depart the mortal plane or die at the hands of his enemies. Eventually, he had but one son left. Manu could not bear to outlive him as well, so he cut out his spirit Eye and gifted it to this last son along with all of his powers. When Manu was ready to leave the physical world, he willingly passed through the Eye to the Causal Plane, leaving his child to carry
“In time, all of the other Creators of Light removed their Eyes as well, but when the Dark Creators learned about this miracle, they realized the Eyes’ potential as weapons. They cut out their own Eyes and used them to permanently dispatch the Light Creators to the Causal Plane.”
“The war between Light and Dark thus carried on through the eons with both sides using the Eyes to destroy the other. It is believed that if all of the Dark Creators are defeated, the universe shall rise into an eternal age of love, peace, and wisdom. But if all of the Light Creators are killed, the Universe shall descend into an eternity of suffering and chaos.”
Sefu poured himself a cup of water and sat back down to the table. Maya was still not sure what this history had to do with Michael or whether any of it was even true. Before she could comment, though, Sefu continued. “Michael, your father’s name is not Simon Edwards, but Amon Endwar. That is your surname as well. Your father changed it, denied your past, and has kept you hidden. I’m guessing the demons took notice of the similarity though, didn’t they?”
Michael nodded, recalling his interrogator’s raised brow.
“Your idiot father thought he was keeping you safe,” Sefu shook his head. “It was part of his grand plan that, in my opinion, is incredibly stupid. I never wanted to go along with it. Now it’s falling apart and we have to do the best we can to pick up the pieces.”
“Uncle, I’m still not getting it,” beseeched Michael.
“I’m getting it even less,” said Maya, looking back and forth between Michael and Sefu. “Who’s your dad?”
Sefu cleared his throat. “Your father comes from a long line of Creators— Prime Movers of Light.”
“My dad’s a Creator?” Michael laughed incredulously. “You mean that story you just told me is real? I thought it was a metaphor or something.”
“It’s a myth,” Sefu admitted, “but at least some of it is true. There are Creators, both Light and Dark, and there are Eyes, but whether they were ever organs of sight is a matter of debate. You are your father’s only child, and are thus heir to not only his Eye and all of his Creative powers, but to the throne of Arimbol, and more. That is why I had to ask you to Create something. If your father was no longer in the physical world, you would have his abilities and I think would have easily been able to Create what I asked.”
“So that means that he’s alive?” posed Michael, sounding relieved.
“For the moment, yes,” said Sefu. “Whether he is still prisoner in Alexandria or escaped, we cannot know.”
“I thought Creating things from scratch was impossible,” Maya remarked skeptically.
“That is correct, but Creators are the exception to that rule. The rest of us can at best Move matter. We can Move more energy in, or Move it away, but even that’s a rare skill. On Earth there are very few people outside of Arimbol that can Move the way we do. Occasionally, one is born with a rare talent. I have also read accounts of ascetics who developed certain abilities after meditating in a cave for forty years, but that’s about it.”
“But Creators can make anything?” Michael asked.
Sefu considered this. “They can shape Ki into any material form, including life. They are responsible for all of creation. Even when they do not form things consciously, Light and Dark Ki flows from the Eyes through the Creators and out into the universe. Without them, the universe would decay or fall into imbalance.”
“Can they also make Folds?” Michael asked.
“That is something I have never seen before. Your father Created many of the islands in the Arimbolean Archipelago as well as the cities, plants and animals here. The islands of Dwarka were here before us, as were the Babel Fold that allows us to understand any language, not to mention the Shield Fold that shrouds this place from the outside would. As far as I know, all of the other Folds here and on Geminon existed long before, yet many seem so perfect for our needs that it’s hard to imagine that they were not intelligently designed. There are also Folds elsewhere on Earth, but their effects are usually much more subtle. No one knows why they’re so much more concentrated here and on Geminon.”
“And what’s Geminon?” Maya chimed in.
“Ah,” said Sefu. “Geminon is a planet― a very small one. It is the sister planet to Earth and follows the same orbit, always staying on the opposite side of the sun. Historians on Geminon believe that a long time ago there was travel and communication between the two worlds, but now only a few people on Earth know about Geminon, including no more than twenty people in Arimbol and only a handful of high-ranking officials in the United States and Europe. Geminon is as secret as Arimbol.”
“And you came from there?” pressed Maya with a skeptical wrinkle of her brow.
“I was born there and was a general in Amon’s army,” said Sefu, looking back at Michael. “On Geminon there are many species that do not exist on Earth, except for a few in Arimbol. There are also several races of anthropoids, including the three nations of Geminon.”