Lume accepted her prize. The crowd applauded along with the board. She adjusted the microphone and began speaking. The words flowed out of her easier than a Shard cut through a man's neck. The copious amount of practice sessions paid off, even if she didn't want to admit it. No one knew the truth. Not even her advisor.
At the end of her speech, Lume bowed and left the stage. She slipped through the least populated hallways and made her way to the lab. Jasper and Selma were in the audience, and Ryan was out of town. Lume licked her lips and fingered the ring she'd been given. No matter what anyone said, it belonged to her, and no one could take it away. Never again.
Lume opened the lab door. Sitting on the table, right where she left it, sat the Shard. Etherborn. That's the name she decided on for the blade. It had nothing to do with Ether, but no one could comprehend the underlying mechanics of the thing. Calling it anything but a shard of divinity was blasphemy, but Lume could sin a little. After all, she'd been given permission.
"Three years. That's all it took for me to find you." She lifted the blade off the table. "Half the weight of steel, more malleable than brass, and genuinely indestructible."
Her breathing quickened and knees weakened. It felt so good to hold the sword in her hand. That connection she felt towards it eclipsed that of her love of Jasper. Unlike a romantic love, this didn't take effort. Lume simply had to give in, and let the blade consumed her whole. Nothing could rival the warmth of its embrace.
"But what should I name you?"
That had been a struggle. A shard of divinity, forged with the flames of science. Selma insisted that the Shards didn't need individual names, but the woman barely had enough brain cells to count to seven, let alone comprehend the magnificence of a Shard. Ryan understood the feeling, and he'd helped her name the rest, but this one eluded them. Something felt different about this Shard. They used seven-times more material to make it, but that did not result in a Shard with more potency in a single attribute. Instead, the blade granted seven of the eight possible attributes. The only missing one was "Unity".
Ah, yes. How had she not thought of that before?