Dichotomy: Fifth Installment "The Promise Made"
Bial looked questioningly at Marivon as she moved across the floor of the hall, a slight sheen of perspiration just beginning to form on her brow. Marivons thoughts ran roughly in the same direction as the instructors. How powerful could one individual be? He had ripped her out of the hall to some place miles away. If he could create and impose the patterns without realizing he was doing it. She couldnt even finish the thought.
No one in years had displayed the ability to do what Temon had just accomplished. It was phenomenally difficult to form a pattern such that you could impose it on another higher sentient form. The dancers traveled together because they were, well, dancing together. The ground laid down the pattern through a series of dance steps and the walker followed and enabled the pair to go to wherever or whenever the pattern led. Grounds were trained to sense where a pattern was or could be. Walkers were trained to walk the pattern and enable crossing through the barrier that separated the different realities. Without the walker ground pair working in concert, Traveling was next to impossible to accomplish.
She had worked for years at the academy to be able to travel. It was not until she met Gavinar. Well, Gavinar was something she did not wish to think about now. That familiar feeling in the back of her brain was there, but it was just a tickle now. Just enough to let her know that he still lived.
Well, Bial said, How do you think the power is in that one? I know, from the reports and personal acquaintance, that it is strong. But you have the training and experience to judge to a much finer degree, what do you think?
I think that your reports give no inkling to the depth of his power. He took me somewhere, to some mountaintop. I, who have years of intense training, was just swept into his pattern. I may have been the enabling catalyst, but he was the whole of the energy. Plus, Marivon added, We did not even touch. He is the most powerful Gaemel whom I have ever encountered. The Most.
That is interesting. To a mountaintop, you say. Well the boy remembers patterns. That mountaintop was the reason that a person from the Gaemel was requested. Bail relayed the events of two springs past to Marivon, from both the participants view points and the viewpoint of the observers.
You should have sent them to the academy straight on. Made it look like a punishment if that suites your country mores, but sent them both anyway. I can just imagine, Marivon said with a tinge of anger to her voice, what they went through after that. With some of the customs that you have, I am surprised they werent both chased out of town!
Country our ways may be, but theyre both still here, Bial responded testily, a contentious look on his face, and he will only be Gaemel if he decides to be. Done is done, however we may like to change it. Anyway, we are here now for a different purpose. He nodded towards the group of young people.
They had all mastered the steps of the dance called home, and were beginning to migrate into clumps, stratified by age, social standing and clique. Bial smiled and motioned for attention. Now that you have learned Home, there is another dance that you need to learn, or maybe relearn would be a better way to put it. You know the Lightning Dance, I am sure, but you have all danced it with someone who is older than you are right now. The steps that you will learn today are just a slight variation from the ones you already know, but, as you will soon see, that variation is significant.
As they formed the lines for the dance, some of the Fresh Legs were beginning to look bored. Thoughts of springtime activities in the out-of-doors were impinging on what, from their present perspective, was just a dance lesson. The instructors, however, seemed to be growing in eagerness with each passing minute, so that when each pupil had been instructed and had the time to learn the variation on the dance, eagerness had segued to excitement.
Now that you have learned the new forms, Bial said, We will all dance together. Lines please. And remember, Fresh Legs, do the new step in the column to my right, the old step as you pass to the column on my left. Laughter is allowed. Let us dance!
The Lightning Dance, as implied by its name, was a fast line dance where alternate dancers from the two lines crossed from side to side, meeting in the middle to swing about, so that all of the dancers eventually had a chance to dance with all of the others. Also, it was choreographed so that when the dancers met between the two lines, the one who was leading created a pattern which the other dancer followed, allowing the lead dancer to judge the amount of power in the other.
There was a palpable tension as the first group of dancers met. Some of the Fresh Legs gasped when, their hands clasped together with another from the village, they flew into the rapid center theme and a new meaning came to the importance placed on dancing in the community.
Temon saw, as he glanced around the room, looks that ranged the gamut of emotions, from horror to amazement, fear to intense joy. As he moved back and forth quickly through the center he noticed that the old steps of the Lightning Dance did not produce a sensation, but the new steps were revealing a certain something. It was a difficult something to quantify, there and then gone. He had no words to match to it, but it was somewhat akin to the sensation he had when he was entering one of his fits.
Spinning from one line to the other, he could not decide whether to be angry for the deceit that was perpetrated in order to keep this all a secret, or overjoyed that he was finally being let in on it. The faces across from him when he was dancing the old steps seemed almost awe struck, till suddenly Nocs was there, laughing, You were right, Temon. They were hiding something! Spinning away in separate directions, they joined their respective lines.
Marivon had, compared to the rest of the villagers, the most ordered of the he still did not have a word for just what it was, but hers was more structured somehow. It was as if there were patterns present that he could almost see by looking at her, but when he touched her through the dance, the patterns jumped from vague, indefinite tickles on the edge of his vision to sharp, intricate patterns etched onto the floors and the walls, on her face and even in her mind. Her presence was intoxicating in its uniqueness.
After the first time through the lines, he started to look for her. He noticed that her effect was the same on all of the males who danced with her. Even the coupled men were eyeing her. Besotted, that was what he was; What all the males from Aberdale were. Damn. Why did this have to happen to me! Trancy. Think of Trancy. Think of what he could tell Trancy. That is what he had to do. Tell Trancy. Marivon had said that she had potential, too. He wondered what doing the Lightning Dance with her would reveal. Could she be as powerful? That word didnt exactly describe what he was sensing from the others, but it was all that his vocabulary could fit to the peculiar sensation.
Three times through the dance went and then Bial called to cease dancing. I am sure that the Fresh Legs have plenty of questions. I ask forbearance from them till the latter part of the Spring Dance. But now, one more slower step shall you learn, and then you can be back to your homes to eat, rest and prepare for the festivities. Instructors.
The relatives took their places next to the Fresh Legs, Marivon hers next to Temon. She looked bland, her face set in an unreadable expression. Bial glanced at each of them, dancers and instructors alike with a stern expression on his face. The severity of his expression and the cadence of his words set Temons scalp to tingling. His senses, heightened by the Lightning Dance into seeing patterns, told him that something irrevocable was about to occur.
As you do this form, there are words implied, and I will tell you them as you go through it. You need not speak the words, just do the Dance. The steps are simple enough for me to demonstrate and you to follow along. Bial took a step forward and then clasped his hands over his sternum, the whole hall doing the same, except, Temon noted, Marivon. She just stood there, the same blank look on her face. What is this form that makes my body go all rigid? Temon wondered as he followed Bial through the rest of the steps and began to repeat them.
Suddenly he understood. He saw the pattern and cursed himself and Bial. At about the same time as he realized what the steps meant, Bial began to intone the words that went along with the dance, To Gaea Oath-bound are we. To Majority only shall we speak, Of Dancers and Fresh Legs.
Temon was furious. Tricked. Bloody good and well tricked. They all had been tricked, all of the Fresh Legs anyway. Does an oath mean anything if you dont know what you are saying, or dancing as the case may be. That was just it. They couldnt hold them to that oath. To the One World no less. Or did the patterns say it all? To whom did they say it? Oh, he could just spit. All of this in one day! Some of his questions had been answered, but they just gave rise to more questions than he had originally had. Well, Ill just tell Trancy anyway, he muttered, and ran straight into Nocs.
Nocs was just about to explode, judging from the look on his face. Marivon interceded before the kettle had the time to blow its metaphorical lid, Now, calm down you two. I tried to warn everybody during the Lightning Dance. Surely you saw the patterns? Well, as Bial has informed me once today, Done is Done.
They cant hold us to that. We didnt Temon started, but was cut off by a high pitched voice from behind him.
Well, boys. Dont look like Daddy can get you out of that promise, now can he? It was Yelena, one of the petitioners to get Temons name removed from the roles of the Spring Monarch. One of her friends, Noma, who was also one of the petitioners, came up beside them looking confused.
What is all the fuss about? I dont understand, she enquired, I know that we just promised something, I felt it. But what did we promise?
What you just promised, Marivon said as Bial walked up behind them, was to tell no-one who is not of age anything that transpired here today, or for that matter, anything about what happens at the Meetings of the Dancers. Is that not correct, Bial?
That is correct. But you must understand, he said turning to the Temon, It is for the good of the community as a whole. There are things that occur at the meetings which certain people would not understand. This last he said looking at Yelena. Turning to Marivon, I believe the room at the Inn is ready if you wish to rest. As for the rest of us, I have further preparations to make and these newly minted adults may want to rest awhile before tonight. I know that the Spring Dance takes a lot out of me. With that he turned and left.
Of all the gall, Nocs started towards the door also, I am hungry, and, he said, glancing out the doorway and back to Temon, Trancy is waiting outside the Hall. With leaden feet that just minutes before had felt light as air, Temon plodded towards the exit.
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