The Cloak

Feel the fabric. It's ultramarine hues are deceptive, as the light shifts constantly from the bay windows. Hung on the mahogany as it is, it almost seems alive, flickering in the pale wind that blows into the room. The light is almost drawn to it, lovingly embracing the folds, the hem, the soft edges of the cloak that speak of warmth and comfort. Closer now, perhaps, see the faint golden threads that run through the fabric, buzzing with information. Trace a thousand-thousand *nimim, *fragile tendrils that form a web as intricate as the patterns the light makes on the wood. Now with nose almost touching the fabric itself, you can smell the rich, vanilla scent of care, the enveloping warmth of concern. It is a treasured piece, this cloak, and its owner's concern can be smelt and felt on the undulating cloth.

Almost without noticing, your hand reaches out to touch it, against all the warnings you were given when entering the room. Nonetheless, the hairs on the back of your hand rise in anticipation as your flesh closes with the article of clothing. It's so light, so warm to the touch, its ultramarine now washing your hand and mingling with the pink health of your youth. The *nimim *blaze with reflected light and somewhere, in some hidden core far away from the place which we inhibit, a mind moves an infinity of times and reacts to your touch. The light intensifies, ensnaring your senses in an incorporeal web of memory; now we stand on False II, the winds of destruction at our backs. Giant cannons pierce the night with weighted ammunition, rending the earth apart with rough barks and shouts of iron; here we are on The Encumbrance's steel-blue deck, watching The Bizzare Brigade lay waste to the flanks of our enemies, hired lances ending the lives of millions; the cries of the women of Tower's Weight finally make you flinch, as they shiver through the rough dawn, sun alighting on the bodies of their children, bloated from the weapons released on them just yesterday.

Away from the cloak. Away from the messages this ultramarine wonder whispered to you. A harsh body behind you, mine own, muscles corded and taut from years of wearing the object of your current fear. Hedging you in, drawing you on, pushing you towards the article. The cloak now has taken on a new hue for you, perhaps because hours have passed and the light has changed. More likely, it is because you slowly come to understand its meaning as the knowledge explodes in your mind. Now, in this new vantage point, you might see the bronze-red frills that adorn the hem, bristling with contained energy. Now, from this crow's nest in which you find yourself, you might notice the words woven into the ultramarine fabric of the cloak, spelling the allegiance which you now know it owes. And, perhaps now, with a dawning realization, you realize why you've missed classes today. Your mind, accelerated for your new task by the nimim, is now remembering me: at the track field, watching you run. In the test room, watching you calculate, in your bedroom, watching you sleep. Yes, now you understand.

I do. My legs move with a grim determination as my mind, bursting with new-found speed, understands that there is no alternative. The choice has been made, far away from here. My hands reach out, perhaps shaking a bit from fear and expectation, grasping the cloak firmly. The hills of Neversight, burning; swords on Miscellany, flashing; the engines of Betrayed, We Take To Flight, spinning in the endless night; armies on the fields of Omerta, marching. My own body, setting fire, dueling, piloting, commanding. My own body, turning towards the door, ignoring the husk of my predecessor on the floor. My own body, stepping again but never again into the world I once knew. Analyzing. Weighing. Discerning. Far off, a mind moves with my own, an infinity of times.

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