The old gray radio sputtered out some static chatter as Början and his ship, Ljus, drifted in space. There was warm light in the cabin, illuminating several old tools lying on the counter, each of them had served their purpose, now they were forgotten in favor of the straight staff with a perfectly smooth, white crystal at its end. Next to the staff was another counter, with silver, a few needles, and a hunched man with a furrowed brow.
The radio stabilized and talked about music and heaven. Början paid no attention to it still. He instead reached across the table to take a minuscule screw driver and fiddle with his project, which if successful, would radically change not only his mission, nor his life, but the lives of every single person who was trapped by the Shadows. It could very well change the entire universe.
The radio fell back to a faltering signal, Början set aside the screwdriver and straightened his back. A beautiful, delicate, silver compass sat innocently at the table, its red and white needle spinning wildly.
The radio stabilized again, and so did the needle. Its red end pointed decidedly to the right. Början waited. For nearly half a decade, he had been hunting the Shadows by radio signal. Whenever they were near, disturbances popped up. It had been an exhausting and incredibly time consuming way, now he hoped the compass he had created and imbued with their deepest evil would show him the way to it, and greatly lift his burden.
The song on the radio continued gamely on, there was no way to know if the needle was trustworthy as long as the radio was stable. If both items were steady, it meant nothing. Början waited, sweat starting to gather on his brow, his conscience was starting to stir. If the little compass didn’t work, he had wasted valuable time on nothing. Time he could have spent saving people’s lives, saving planets, would have been spent on collecting junk. If this didn’t work, then he had no ethical shield for the reserves of the destitute village of Toolat that he stole to buy the silver for the compass. He would have caused a famine for nothing
The song cut out for a moment, and his chest rose with hope only to be cruelly sunk when the song came back on the air as if nothing had happened. He was about to let out a helpless and sorrowful wail when the station cut out to a woman saying half of a word, and then to what sounded like someone poking at a piano.
It was objectively bizarre, but when he saw that the needle on the compass stayed firm, he had never heard a more beautiful array of sounds.
The radio cut to someone snapping their fingers, and so Början’s eyes snapped away from the compass and to the warmly lit cabin. “God made the world. And he gave it to a beat,” the deep voice rumbled on the radio.
Början strode confidently across the cabin to the pilot’s seat. He took the deceptively innocent compass and sat down, and with the deep voice postulating in the background about the creation of this world and the introduction to music, turned the green dial on the ship’s navigation system from N to E, with silent, powerful determination.
The snapping now on the radio was like the ticking hands of a clock, and any second now it would cut out, signaling that danger was near.
Början waited patiently, his eyes unwavering from the front window of the ship, his determination unflagging. He was ready.
The snapping decreased in volume slowly, and then cut to what sounded like medieval chants. The smile on his face was joyously diabolical; he took hold of the speed handle, and raised it as high as it would go.