Friday, June 21, 2013

Jewel of Life

There is a story that is told, that once there was a great Alchemist who created a powerful crystal jewel with the power to imbue life upon lifeless objects.

To test the jewel, he placed it within a small wooden bird he had fashioned. Once the jewel was in place within the bird's breast, it sprang to life and flew about the Alchemist's study.

The Alchemist tried in vain to catch the flitting thing before it flew out the window of the tall tower where he resided. Unfortunately, when he lunged to grab at the bird as it darted out the open window, he missed and fell to his death.

The bird on the other hand, flew higher and higher into the sky.

Not needing air to breath, water to drink, or food to eat, the little wooden bird continued to rise until it rose clear out into space.

Amongst the stars it floated, out passed planets and suns most bright. It floated through galaxies; forever travelling away from its home world left so far behind.

Until at last, the heavy gravity of a giant passing planet caught the bird in its pull.

As it fell down through the planet's atmosphere, the little wooden bird that travelled so long and so far, burnt up in flames, leaving only the crystal jewel to fall like a shooting star from the sky and land in the vast mountains of the planet's snowy north.

"And it is here that we are going, my sisters!" Ursula said as she pointed to the holographic display of the topography map being projected above the com-station.

Inside the dimly lit communications room of the compact space craft, the four women stood watching their commander with admiration and excitement; for they had finally arrived at the fabled planet Ronin, where the Jewel of Life was legend to rest.

Commander Ursula had told the fantastical story of the wooden bird many times before and they had always been rapt by its imagery. Even though they knew that it was only a children's story, now that they were closer to the actual planet, it filled them with a giddy energy.

Despite herself, Ursula could not hide a grin as well. Soon, they would have the prize that had eluded so many Hunters before. A prize worth so much, they could all retire and live comfortably the rest of their lives.

As their ship hovered silently above the planet's curving horizon the members of the intergalactic treasure hunting team, The Sapphires, put on their terra-gear and got ready to make the high-altitude jump down to the blue and white world below.

As she made ready the air-lock drop-door chamber, Ursula could not help thinking of the legend of the little wooden bird's fiery transformation as it made its decent. And for the first time, she turned to her crew before hitting the drop button and said with a hint of real caution, "Good luck out their, Sapphires!"

Then, she pushed the button.