1964-05-16 - The Nature of Goodness
Summary: Dreamwalking by accident provides an essential life lesson.
Related: Other Paris logs
Theme Song: Delilah - Florence + the Machine
blackagar rogue 

Darkness lies heavy over the City of Light. Illuminated bubbles of bright, warm gold float above the dark bend of the Seine, speckled across rounded rooftops and curving balconies. Shadowy tides stalk through the airy chamber where a great many intimates have gathered for a week or a season.

Cast-off signs of occupation speak to subtle disarray, upholstered chairs askew and an empty glass of water tipped on its side. Scattered rose petals still emanate a soft fragrance from their bruised surfaces, and the cool spring air steals in through an ajar doorway.

In that shelter does Scarlett dream, traversing the boundary between wakefulness and deep slumber. Treading in a sea of stars tinged ultramarine, she slips deeper from the physical realms to the mental upon a bright starlit current. Some gravity is inescapable, and the hazy spark against the outer reaches of Blackagar’s presence pulls her in.

What yon wandering star finds, though… this is new.


The meditation was deep, deeper than most. Were he one to sleep it would be referred to as a complete sleep where he is no longer going to be awaken short of an earthquake. In his mind he is at peace, sitting upon his mountain top in Nepal, a cube of psionic energy about him that is permeated by the arrival of Scarlett.

The presence does not startled, but does catch him off guard. He turns and looks at her arrival and then she is able to hear it; for the first time truly, the voice that does not speak. “Scarlett?”

What snowy crest of a knife-edged peak she finds herself upon is worthy of momentary confusion. A strategic assessment while slipping closer to the source of mutual power leaves her a dimmer reflection of Blackagar himself. As the moon shines with the sun’s borrowed radiance, so does she. Down, down, the path spirals until her feet touch upon stony soil. Certainly it feels physical enough to her, one shunted from her body into a place defined by possibilities rather than absolutes.

A voice heard only in daydreams warrants a startled pause, the bohemienne putting fingers to her lips. The sounds clash across the field of memory, greedily stored away. “I dearly hope so.” Her own mental voice matches the one without, an effusion of English accents. “Blackagar?”

Never one for overly bashful approaches, she holds out her hand and takes a step forward. “Am I intruding?”


“Not at the moment no.” Blackagar responds, his ‘voice’ not so much speaking through his lips but illuminating through his mind which she occupies space within. “This is how I rest, since I cannot sleep. My space of peace and separation from the rest of the world.” He nods a bit, motioning across from him for her to join him there. “I was told by a psychic it is called the Astral Plane. I cannot really travel here but others have travelled to this place before. Friends… a few enemies. It is where I am actually most vulnerable as any disruption here could disrupt me in the waking world.”

He pauses for a moment then adds, “I suspect you fell asleep touching me.”

A brief pang of worry creases her brow, and Scarlett absently rubs her finger against her thumb. Memory of what she is cannot be escaped, even here. “I rather like the idea of that,” she says, smile once more restored. “If the bracelet ceases to work, I suspect I will know immediately.”

Responsibility cast to the wind, she joins him, knees touching Blackagar’s. A nod when he explains follows. “We’re in the Astral after all? I have been here a time or two, though nothing as concrete a place as this. Much of it was rather misty.” Reaching up to brush her bangs from her face, the shock of pristine white isn’t hidden here, the usual braids and dyes concealing it absent. Her smile intensifies in magnitude. “I do adore the sound of your voice. It suits you.”

Blackagar chuckles softly at that, the comment about his voice suiting him and his shoulder shrug. “It actually is probably more of what I imagine my voice to sound like more than anything. I have never spoken as an adult above a bare whisper and even then…” He trails off, still remembering the last time he had to speak. “I am sorry, that you’ll never actually hear my voice. But naturally it is an important part of the world existing.” That brings a bemused smile to his own lips.

“I don’t know what lies beyond this place actually.” He motions to the security of his mind that takes the form of the temple on the mountains. “I have been told by some that coming within this without my welcome is neigh impossible. I had to develop a security that could not be broken… no matter how hard others may try. My mind could not be compromised.”


Solemn as the nod follows his explanation, she rests her palm lightly on the bend of his knee. No more than to affirm at some level, Scarlett’s near phosphorescent gaze never leaves his, and the smile softens a little at the corners. What use is deception in a place built upon ideas and constructs of thought or emotion? Her masks are many, but they can drop here. “You do not need to apologise.” A circle of her thumb draws a punctuation mark physically, then she sits straight. “Hearing you is an unexpected gift, but then, I may confide a certain truth about you. Everything is a gift, so far.”

Her blithe acceptance has deeper and firmer roots than may meet the eye. “Is it a risk for you to have me here? I would surmise I borrowed the same energy signature as you. Either that, or you netted me.” Scarlett as a particularly canny salmon wouldn’t be outside the realm of likelihood. “Given the pressure I have felt after sharing your particular gift… no, it must not be compromised. We play with something stronger than fire at times, and for you to have that strength of will and character speaks highly for you. Another of those gifts.”


Blackagar chuckles softly, a sound coming with the motion that is present in his mind. “It is not a gift, it is a discipline to be able to control such. I was kept in the confines of a room for most of my early life, to restrain my power until I could learn control. You know the power, the danger that it possesses. This place, this is where I can come and simply be at peace, not worry of the slightest whisper. Although to be fair, I rarely worry anymore as it has become habit.”

He contemplates over this then looks at Scarlett, reaching out to places his incorporeal hand over hers. “I do not consider myself a gift. To do such elevates and I believe in humility. Such as that evening together, when we were upon the boardwalk? Humility kept my hands at bay when those men attacked. I must be humble.”


There may be a familiarity in thoughts, the reasons accepted with a slight dip of her chin. “Thank you for sharing this with me,” murmurs Scarlett, her thoughts slipping at the quicksilvery speed of light into different corners. A few long moments in silence allow her to contemplate an appropriate response, and she holds her hands palm-up, resting upon her knees, fingers curled over his longer digits.

What does one say? A sigh washes away the emotions encroaching, and she dips her head to hood the roiling hue in her eyes. “I cannot imagine how challenging that upbringing would be. To me, cheri, it sounds a lonely existence. Mine might have been similar, in some way.” The words slow, reflective. “But in truth, I have no memories of my childhood. Adolescence exists in fragments for me. My penance, it would seem, for when I let pride govern me once. Humbleness is a hard lesson, a bitterly difficult one. I swore to try and keep a path of nonviolence when I regained myself — after I woke up with no idea how I had come to New York, who I was. Only that staggering guilt.”


“A guilt without source is a difficult burden to bear, for how does one reconcile it?” Blackagar asks to Scarlett, head tilting. “If I may?” He asks, donning a smile as the world of his mind shifts slightly, his clothing taking on the adornment of one of the mountain monks. “Forgiveness is a difficult thing dearest. It is not merely forgiving another for what has been wronged, but being open to forgiving oneself. I look at my brother, and I know the reason I struggle to forgive him for all he has done; is that I still do not forgive myself for what I have done.”

This said he falls quiet for a bit, “The burden you carried. The staggering guilt without a source; you can only forgive yourself for you cannot seek forgiveness elsewhere. But how does one do that?” The man smiles, squeezes the hand of the woman. “Perhaps knowing that your beauty begs for forgiveness.” The danger of the word beauty is the oft taken external; but here in this realm the word beauty permeates a different level and the context of it is truly grasped as it illuminates the beauty of soul rather than skin; the true meaning of the word that he is expressing.


Scarlett looks up through the silvery white strands swept across her brow and blotting the vivid emerald fire of her eye. Tossing her head settles those tresses away, foaming upon the foxfire waves. “You make the logic of self forgiveness so obvious, and so effortless.” A sigh might cusp those spoken thoughts, except she cannot help but allow a crooked crescent smile smudged by rue and mirth. “Accept that a younger me acted the best she could at the time with the resources she had. Forgive her for being naive, vainglorious, spirited, misguided? I know what I did harmed someone, Blackagar, it harmed her very badly. Those dreams still carry the stains of that memory. I’m trying.”

No excuse there, so much as an acknowledgment, and the dip of her head and curl of her shoulders marks the inward pull of focus. It takes her longer to cast off the age-old sorrow, overflowing from a source somewhere under the debris of a personality lost. “And so I keep trying to make those amends. If you cannot forgive yourself for what happened to you and your family, then allow me at least to give you the benediction of hope. That all things in their time will resolve themselves, and as you seek to do good and be good, you will see that outcome. It may not be easy, I would never lie on that score. But those who live well, they have a habit of radiating that on those around them.”


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