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Isati Fire Stone

The next symbol is the the Isati stone or the Fire stone. The work Isati is Amharic for fire which the primary language of Ethiopia.

This post starts the conflict with Rigel that we have been preparing for since the beginning of the story.

local artist Lauren Jenkins (Twitter: @AlwaysOctopid)

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Rigel appeared, hovering over the center of the entry platform and holding the scepter Vera had seen in Elara’s vision. He landed hard in the center, cracking the platform in every direction. As he straightened from his landing posture, the web of cracks healed as quickly as they were made, returning the white stone to its original beauty.

“Well, look at the changes you two have made!” Rigel remarked playfully to Vera, who was firmly standing her ground next to her throne.

She sneered at him, giving him a nod and a shrug of her shoulder.

“I really like what you have done with the place. Really do!” he said.

“Well, you know we decorated just for your visit,” Vera said, casually joking.

He glared directly at Vera with an unmasked viciousness. Clenching his teeth, he said, “Where is she? You know I came to see her.”

“Of course, she is not here. Oh, and you won’t find her stone either. We know what you are after.” She placed her hands on her hips.

He did not scare her, and she would not back down from defending Elara and everything they had built together over the years. “I noticed you call Elara ‘her.’ You can’t say her name? Too ashamed of your betrayal?” she said, baiting him into a villain’s rant.

Elara had not shared any of what Rigel told her before he left the last time and Vera wanted to hear it for herself. She could not understand why he was doing this, betraying a friendship that had already lasted many lifetimes.

“I’m not ashamed of anything! As a matter of fact, I was going to ask you if you wanted to join me.” He leaned in toward her and looked at her with his best puppy dog eyes, a look he had given her many times in the past that usually won her over to his side. “After all, I always felt like we had a special connection. Surely you want the same thing.”

Snapping out of her nostalgia of the past, she planted her feet firmly. “Ha! Do you think I am a traitor? I would never join you in betraying Elara and every other Evren out there.” Her face flushed red with anger and she lifted her chin high and continued. “Elara showed me what you are doing and it is sickening and unnatural. You will be defeated!”

Rigel flew across the platform toward Vera and floated on a stream of air beneath his feet, his clawed hands pulled up as though he were lifting a heavy object. Vera, shocked by his sudden action and newfound powers, stood in place as rocks piled up, trapping her. When she looked down to see he was filling up the enclosure with water, her heart raced. There was a wicked laugh coming from above, and she stared up at him in horror when she realized he was taking pleasure in what he was doing.

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