24 August 2016

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The movie concludes and the worlds of Phoenix and Terminus regain their bearings. They make casual contact, asking the usual questions, and everything goes seemingly how it will after a film is shared with a friend. Terminus reaches out to Aura with a question, a tendril of silver light extending from his Halo. Aura looks up, considering the question, and responds in kind, expressing vulnerability and explaining the reasons for it. And then Phoenix and Terminus make eye contact—they look at one another, into one another, in the dimness of the room… and keep looking.

The Luminaries sit around the table in the meeting hall, smiling, idly chatting, and connecting subconsciously when need be, as the blanket of night envelops the sky. Nymphaea is the first to notice. Terminus' Halo slowly but noticeably begins to glow. It always glows, in a way, but the light is soft, sweet, and somehow more. Nymphaea catches her breath and touches Solanaceae's wrist. Solan glances at her, and her eyes are instantly redirected to the light in the sky. The Halo's glow begins to expand, grow, and pulse as the other Luminaries slowly catch on. The two Avatars never look away, just blink slowly.

Phoenix's eyes begin to swim and blur after finally having removed her glasses, so she occasionally shifts position slightly or tilts her head to see Terminus clearer. Briefly she wonders why they're doing this, but the thought is quietly shrugged off. They're doing it because it feels right, because when everyone else would turn away after a comparably short stare, they refuse to.

Solanaceae continues watching the Halo swirl and finally she can take no more. She stands after some contemplation, dress swirling open about her hips, and takes flight through the skylight onto the balcony. Calm and determined, she walks to the railing, basking in the light of the Halo, and softly begins to play her harp.

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