eight_or_eleven: (Looking down)
All things must come to an end.

Looking at the four white lions—two male and two female—she knew that this time had come to its own end. Leo Minor desired that her children should return home, to take their proper place amongst the stars.

Some of them older siblings, likely.

A tear slid down her cheek. She'd come to know and to love them all. Fundisho, Ndia, Utani, Nuru. They'd grown from tottering cubs to majestic adults, white as the first snows of winter.

By the gods, she was going to miss them all.

Unless. Leo Minor had decided that Strength had done a commendable job and permitted one of her children to stay behind.

I hope so, she thought to herself, as Shujaa nudged his muzzle into her hand.

We must go; she does not wish to wait.

"I know. I just..."

She sighed. This would be their last day at the castle, and she wanted it to last.

Remain this way forever.

"Forever" isn't something we get to enjoy much of, even if we do last forever.

"Right."

We go. She waits.

Once again summoning the bridge connecting all the worlds of the divinatories, she stepped out into that vast star field, feeling as though it were only yesterday that she was here last.

Welcome, Strength of the tarot, Leo Minor said in her resonating voice. Strength could swear that the light of several stars seemed to flutter and dim before restoring themselves. Much time has passed.

"And yet, very little has," was Strength's reply. "For us."

Indeed.

Leo Minor seated herself down, though there was nothing about that seemed to be supporting her body.

Come forth, my children, the lioness said without preamble. Let me see you.

All but one of the lions Strength had with her strode up to their mother.

Ah. You are all big and strong and well. I approve.

Stength felt some of her anxiety and her bittersweet sadness abate, but only a little. There was still the verdict to be delivered.

The verdict she hoped would be delievered in her favour, but, from the look on Leo Minor's face, and the ones on the cubs...

You have done well, Strength, but alas, what it is you seek is not to be. I am sorry. Leo Minor spoke again, and though Strength had a resolved expression, there was a hint of sadness about her.

Leo Minor continued on.

The time has come for you to take your place in the heavens, to watch over and guide all those who seek it from the celestial kingdom.

Suddenly, the cubs began to glow, their bodies shrouded in luminosity.

Was this how they became stars?

Curiosity overrode her sadness—this was not something she had ever born witness to before in all her life.

Ndia strode up to his mother first. There was a nod from him towards Leo Minor, and the glow that surrounded him became blinding, as it swallowed his corporeal form, and he shot up and away towards a cluster that gathered together to welcome him.

One more to light the way; one more to blow away the darkness.

Fundisho stepped foreward, and like his brother, was transformed and sent to take his place in the starscape, quickly followed by Nuru.

Only Utani seemed to hesitate. Strength wondered why she did. Did she not wish to become a star herself?

Surely there is no greater honour? Strength silently wondered.

Star daughter, Leo Minor said, also having noticed the reluctance. What causes your hesitation?

Beloved mother, Utani said, voice full of respect, Brothers, sister...

The lioness' voice trailed off. Her siblings were all calling to her, telling her to come forth and join them.

No, she said. No. No. I wish to stay here. Not in the playground of the Stellar People, but here, with the one who has nurtured me until this moment.

You desire to stay with Strength?

Beloved mother, yes I do.

Utani turned to look at Strength who was trying not to appear too hopeful, lest Leo Minor overturn her daughter's choice.

But free will was the law everywhere in the Divinatories' world, and it was no less true in the Star Kingdom.

Very well then, but know that your choice is permanent. You will not be able to join your brothers and sisters, even if you desired to. You will walk the terrestrial worlds, a wandering star unable to ascend to the heavens above.

Utani did not look as though she regretted her choice.

You may speak to them, and they to you, but you will always be apart.

And lonely? Strength silently said.

Never lonely, Shujaa assured. She has us, now.

Us.

Thank you, beloved mother.

The pair was now officially a trio.

Names.

Mar. 11th, 2008 07:22 pm
eight_or_eleven: (Tail tug!)
Like all the other days in the last fortnight, the cubs had been sequestered away in another part of the castle. It was their request, once they had found their voices, after all. They needed the time alone to deliberate their names.

After all, now that they had voices, they would also need identities. Something to distinguish them from each other.

Strength sat at the ocean's edge, watching the waves lap lazily against the shore; Shujaa lying behind her. Against the near-white sand, he was hard to pick out.

How do stars and star-children choose their names? she wondered. Was it the way some races did it? Was it a matter of coming into the knowledge of what it always was, and you simply needed to wait long enough for the awareness to be realised? Or was it something you chose after deliberation? Or did their mother tell them what the name was, and that was that?

Well. They had all the time they needed; she just had to wait.


It would not be long.


Though time seems to be more anomaly than anything else here, it does pass. And in the space of what humans would call "a day", the cubs came out of the castle and down to the shore.

"You have names now?" A simple question that allowed the cubs to tell Strength how the naming was done.

Yes, we do, said one of the males. Our mother had to awaken that part of us that would allow us to access our names.

So that was how it was done...

"And what names were revealled to you?"

If the cubs could smile, they would.

Strength had that "don't keep me in the dark" look.

The other male stepped forward. I am Fundisho.

The male who had spoken added, And I am Ndia.

"And you two? What names did you recieve?"

Utani, said one of the females, and the other said, Nuru.

Strength grinned. "'Direction', 'path', 'kinship' and 'radiance'. They are all good names."

We're glad you approve, said Fundisho. As is our mother.

There was a nod from Strength. "Well. Now that you are named, what say we have a little celebration for the six of us?"

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