Dreams of Light and Shadow

This story was inspired by a picture prompt at the WriYe DreamWidth page.  The picture inspired the setting, specifically.

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Taurys moaned softly as he woke. Sitting, he ruffled a hand through his hair. The sun was fully up. The day had dawned clear and bright. He shook his head in frustration. Why hadn’t anyone woken him?

He dressed quickly and headed out of his room. It took him a while before he found Gilbert and Felicja. They were at the top of the tower. Gilbert had his head bent over a notebook. He was writing diligently. Felicja was staring off at the sea. It seem usually calm.

“Good morning,” he said, waving at each of them. He sighed as Felicja glanced over at him and nodded in greeting. Gilbert didn’t even react to his voice. He was completely focused on his work. He shook his head. “Why’d you let me sleep so late?”

Felicja shrugged. “The doc said that it was better to let you wake on your own,” she said. She looked thoughtful for a moment. “You looked like you were dreaming when I checked in on you. I didn’t know you could dream.”

“Just like you, it’s every night,” Taurys said. He closed his eyes. Usually, he dreamed of swirling, formless colors. Last night had been different. He’d dreamed about being in a glass room. A light was at the center of the room and it pulled steadily – going dim and then brightening.

As he remembered the dream, he realized that he’d been dreaming about being in a lighthouse. That wasn’t surprising, since they’d arrived at one the day before. Taurys leaned back against the window behind him. He frowned. Something had been bothering him for a while and this seemed like a good time to ask about it. “What’s the Agency’s obsession with lighthouses, anyway?”

“What?” Felicja said, turning to face him. She was smiling faintly and Taurys got the impression that she was amused. “What obsession?”

“Two different bases – this one and the Egg – have lighthouses on them,” Taurys said. He frowned and added, “Three, if you count the Watchtower.” He shrugged. “It’s also on our badges.”

When Felicja shrugged and turned away, Taurys heaved another sigh. “With this place and the Watchtower it at least makes sense. The Egg is a floating island. What’s the lighthouse meant to be warning people away from.”

That got Gilbert’s attention. He looked over at Taurys and shook his head. “Lighthouses don’t warn ships away from the shore,” he said, his voice soft. “They’re a beacon, to show the safe passage through the rocks.”

Felicja nodded. “The lighthouse on the Egg is meant to help Agents find it,” she said, shrugging. Her brows furrowed. “The League of Nations and the International Intelligence Agency, as part of it, is meant to be a light in the darkness, guiding people who are lost safely home.”

“That’s why it’s on our badges,” Gilbert said, nodding.

For a moment, Taurys stared at them. Then, he smiled and looked out at the water. It was deceptively calm, but there were rocks out there, he knew. The lighthouse guided ships through the treacherous waters. As agents, the were meant to do that for those who were navigating the dangerous waters of life. “I never thought of it that way,” he murmured.

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