Power strength number soul, we will ever be.
In silky sand tear drops falling,
there our song was written.
Falling sliding, walking shadows, black legend free.
Burning, soaring, chalice pouring,
there we will ever be.
Beyond savage Saturn's grin,
where memories and dreams are one.
"There, there now, poor beast," I say as the guardian rests its great horned head on my lap.
Nova and Burn are near, reading the maps, looking at the lights in the black distance.
I am Sage. They found me in the desert, all scorched and broken. Under the cooling shade of those wide leafed trees which have no name I was washed and mended.
I am returning slowly. When first I saw my reflection in the dark cool waters I couldn't even say who I was. I stared at a stranger who gazed back at me with fear in his pale blue eyes.
But now I am Sage and the guardian rests its heavy hard head upon my lap.
The garden is all around us. Dripping green, rose red, slithering white. Flowing tendrils of life to love me, to hurt me, to hold me. A symphony of unknown fury and rhythmic lust, surrounding me on all sides.
This too seems familiar. Something almost remembered gleams through the strangeness all around me. I was here before, I will be here again, or maybe I have never been away.
I remember the burning gate glowing in fury. The descent, hard and fast. Flesh ripping from bone, sinews snapping, memories like butterflies blown from my silent center. I can see it all through the thick green leaves that hang over us like flat fingers bursting with dark blood. I can see the desert rising from below, screaming as it receives me.
Small clouds moving fast over the faded blue horizon. Sand as white as bleached bones, the sand is out there beyond the leaves, unforgiving in its white fury. Crawling, I found a still green lake whose salty water burned my wounds and brought my insides out. Vast emptiness. A desert bleeding. No self. No other. Nothingness.
Communication. That is where it all resides, without it there is nothing.
The crash left us mangled, almost killed this unit, should have killed this unit. Instead, it left me glittering; broken bones and glass and silver, a shiny starburst in the sand.
Communications were damaged. The others were gone, the long twisting coiled cords that connected us were severed. Hope left me like water from hot sand, sizzling up into vapor. For a time, a time long enough to change me, long enough to inflict deep wounds upon my whirling psyche, I was alone.
Nova is our pilot. He will figure out a way to lift us back up or he will die trying. I trust him implicitly, I will do what he asks.
Sometimes he comes over and talks to me, runs a wet cloth over my forehead, whispers some words. I respond and he smiles. Then he leaves and I watch his tall shape sliding away from me under the dark canopy of trees, his green tail flicking the earth behind him.
Nova's body is big, but the guardian leaves us all in shadow. As big as the guardian is, he is gentle and kind. To us. He is what he is to others.
Burn, the silent one, gathered the pieces, her six long black legs quick and nimble. Wherever Nova directs her she goes, back into the desert, deep into the verdant tangles of the garden, beneath the surface of the boiling pools by the jagged mountain where she found the guardian wandering.
She is small but strong. Not heat or cold, neither dry or wet, disturb her. She is one part of what was our engineer. Nova tells me the other part, the part that spoke and knew is gone. This makes things more difficult, but it will be all right. As she is, Burn can still put things back together with Nova's instruction. We must repair communications.
I remember falling beyond savage Saturn's grin. I remember the colored lights, the intense bursts of wild sound in the distance, the echoes of lightning, the violent screeching of our ship.
I shudder and the guardian shifts his head in my lap with a sigh. I remember the desert. I remember when Nova lifted me from the sand and I was frightened. Strangely familiar. Startlingly new.
What we now need is fuel. Flaming white hot. Vibrant life from the darkness, from the clouds, from the hidden entrails of mud, from blood, from flesh.
Nova and Burn read the maps and look at the lights in the far away black distance. We chase the always distant sun, our hands wide and open towards the morning star.
The guardian is weak, he seems weaker every day. This is no place for him. I stroke his heavy head in my lap. I will give him strength, I will give him my fuel. For as long as I can.
"There, there now, poor beast."
Chalice pouring, mouth wide, sacred savage eyes.
For now, the Garden. I remember. I remember the garden. And the burning gate. And the falling. Each unique, all as one.
For now I can remember. Someday my memories will become dreams. And someday my dreams will become memories. I will forget and remember and remember and forget. Each time this happens I will be startled by the newness of our quest. Each time I will wonder at the familiarity.
It may take a long time. But we will find it: the always distant sun. We will fix communications and awaken to life once more. Then we will soar.