Briane Pagel on Staree
READ PART ONE here.
Dark, bottomless pits of pitch-black, his eyes appeared to be as the tiny bits of light that formed what used to be Gandalf whorled around, growing and dimming, pulsating and throbbing, always in the shape of the wizard but never the wizard himself.
"I don't like this," Han says.
Sam agrees but doesn't want to admit it.
"Steady," Luke says, and his hands remain in front of him, held up, palms forward. His face, calm, impassive, conveys no nervousness.
"Are you still there, wizard?" He asks.
There is no immediate answer. The bits of light grow dimmer and seem to wane, and almost the shape of the older-than-old man they took over can be seen through the shape they have become. The kitchen is gloomy and dark in the candlelight.
"Are you still?" Luke persists.
Then many things happen at once, there is a flash, many flashes, more flashes than one could count: in the span of a millisecond a billion beings have all become enraged and engorged with their own power and they have realized that they have that power and more, drawing power from the very air around them -- for where must the power come from that fuels them? -- and commanding it to be a part of them, bending the energy contained in the atoms that themselves are only slightly smaller than the beings, bending it to their own whims, and the flashes are those beings cooperating with each other at a speed greater than any person could think, and holding more energy than entire planets have consumed in their existence, those beings use in that millisecond an infinitesimal portion of their power and blow the top off of the Hill, destroying the home that has stood for generations and destroying a good portion of the Hill with it and sending a bowcrested wave of force pushing dirt and rocks and trees out from the epicenter, which is the form of the old man who is no longer an old man, towards the rest of the Shire, centuries-old trees uprooted and smashing into centuries-old houses and crushing the people who live in them, walls falling on sleeping wives and mothers, on fathers and sons just getting up to begin their farming day in the hour before the sun rises -- the sky, which had begun to turn a hazy violet now blotted out by the cloud of dirt sent into the air by the explosion that has rent the world.
But just before that happens, Luke senses that it will happen and pulls Han and Sam to him and calls on the same power -- the same power that is blasting outward and upward and downward, that is roaring its anger at having been entrapped -- Luke calls on that power, siphoning an even smaller amount of it away from the billion tiny souls and using their own destruction to protect himself and his friends from the terrible eruption.
And just before that happens, Luke knows it will happen because he is able to see, in the black of the eyes of the used-to-be-wizard a glimmer of warning.
For long minutes, the dust rains down on them, larger clods pelting the force-field that still stands, making visible the invisible energy lines that are shaped not by Luke's outstretched hand but by his mind, which knows how to wheedle the power away from the beings that now want him to stop using them.
"You steal from US still?" a billion voices say as one.
"I work with you," says Luke. He stands, then, and slowly, gracefully, takes his saber from its hilt. A touch, a flick, and a shaft of solid light that does not depend on these beings for its existence springs up, sizzling and crackling as dust motes swirl into it.
"That is, if you want me to," Luke says softly. "If you want me to."
The beings understand that Luke's words are both promise and threat.
So I'll probably be posting these about every other day to finish up the questions, God willing and the river don't rise.
What famous person was the Russian astronaut in Armageddon referencing when he said that he didn't know the man because he'd never seen Star Wars?
Also: Andrew found the link for the hilarious commercial for "Blue Milk." Watch it or you'll regret it forever. Well, for like 15 second until you move on to something else.
2.Mention Andrew Leon's class' book on your blog, get 1,000 points (leave me a link.)
UPDATED STANDINGS including points from Rhyming Day:
Andrew Leon: 95,411 1/4. (Andrew's the author of the great YA book, The House On The Corner. Click here to go to his blog.)
P.T. Dilloway: 62,121. Author Patrick Dilloway blogs here, and wrote the excellent book Where You Belong, available here.)
Michael Offutt, 16,3021/2, author of the great sci-fi book Slipstream, which you can read about on Goodreads)
Rusty Webb: 4,022, Blogger at The Blutonian Death Egg, author of the great novella A Dead God's Wrath.