She’d been hungry for so long, before Another Light came.
YOU ARE THE LIGHT KEEPER, said the Other in its all-consuming voice. MAKE THIS LIGHT YOURS, SO YOU MAY TRAVEL IN NUMBERS.
She was worried that she didn’t know what to do. How long ago since she had accepted its deal; allowed it into her soul and known its hunger? It felt like forever since her last meal. The Other, it had eaten Light on a ball in the middle of the Great Blackness some distance from here. That Light had a different shape, a different colour than hers had had, but those physical characteristics didn’t matter. It was all sweet nectar, the Other said. It was the nectar from which all life was based, and that was how the Other kept its life.
When the Another Light erupted into her consciousness like a sun going supernova she did the first thing that came to mind: she drank. And it was so sweet, it was nectar, it was life, it was everything good that the Other said it would be, and more.
As she drank she saw into the Light. Images so brief yet so intense passed before her. For a brief moment she was inside them. She saw faces that she’d never seen before, that she didn’t know but the Another Light knew. Places: a small apartment in a large city, the cold warmth of a mother, slaving away to provide for her child Lights.
Dominique, the Another Light was screaming. I am Dominique, you are Harmony. The Other, this is his hunger.
But the hunger was too loud. She consumed the Light and made it part of the Other, part of herself. And yet she left a spark–the tiniest measurement of Light–because the Other had instructed her to travel in numbers.
YOU WILL NEED HELP FOR THE NEXT STAGE OF YOUR JOURNEY, it said.
What must I do now, she asked.
GATHER YOUR STRENGTH. FEED. THERE ARE MORE LIGHTS TO BE CONSUMED.
Where do I find them?
LOOK, AND YOU WILL SEE.
But Harmony only saw darkness. The Light had been consumed, leaving nothing for her to see. That didn’t mean she knew something else was around her. She couldn’t sense in the conventional way of describing it: she knew that other lights had been buzzing around her, and there was one nearby–blocked by some kind of non-light substance, but her previous life experience told her that it could be easily destroyed or maneuvered around so that she could get to her precious nectar.
It was like she was treading water now, swimming towards the surface. Breathing was not a problem. She was not afraid. She was driven by her hunger, the Other’s hunger, the hunger that it had known since its creation long, long ago–and she would help it continue its journey–because it had spotted the billions of Lights in the blue ball in the Great Blackness, and to both of them, that looked delicious.