"Hands of Power"
High upon the craggy hill, a cold wind blew up dust and debris. urSu Master closed his eyes, letting the harsh wind pass over him. Lighting flickered like icy veins through the black spiral clouds, and a long, echoing thunder followed.
urSu stretched. He'd been waiting here all day and through most of the night.
He paused. Today was the correct day, right?
Pain lanced through the Master and he fell to the rubble, his breath was being drawn from him. It was as if he couldn't get enough air. He did not panic though.
Using two of his four arms, he held tight to his staff and lifted himself up again. He furrowed his brow as he focused his breathing... calming himself.
Both of him.
It was then that he saw his other self: skekSo the Emperor arrived at the top of the hill, wheezing loudly--out of breath from the climb. The Skeksis snarled, barking expletives about the steepness of the climb. Slimy gray saliva poured from the sides of the Emperor's mouth.
urSu reached into his pack and offered skekSo some water.
skekSo slapped water sack away, sending it rolling down the hill. skekSo glared at urSu. Hatred and self-loathing burned in his eyes.
The Master only smiled.
Every ten trine they met like this. Ten: the number of power.
Once they'd had ten fingers--five fingers on each hand. They'd been powerful hands. Hands of power. Hands that could bend light and logic, hands strong enough to change lives, change destiny… Change prophecies.
He'd been a different man then, urSu the Master thought.
He looked up. skekSo was looking down at his clawed, four-fingered hands. No doubt he was thinking the same things urSu was. The two halves of the soul they shared tended to sync up more than usual when in proximity to one another.
It was a strange feeling, but it brought urSu peace. For one moment every ten years, he felt whole.
skekSo thrust out his hand at him. "Ready."
urSu stepped closer. "Are you sure?"
The Skeksis growled and snatched the Mystic by the hand. "Of course I am," skekSo said.
"One… two…" urSu said.
"Three… four…" skekSo said.
"I declare…"
"A thumb war!"
Lightning flashed. And the leader of the urSkeks warred with himself.

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