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To call Sigil work tricky would be accurate in one sense and entirely misleading in another.

since human beings began scratching images onto stone in caves during times when being outside was less-than-ideal, they’ve used symbolism to record and communicate. The first drawings were pictographic. Animals and humans, trees and mountains, all in strikingly effective stick figure simplification. So to call this work complicated was a joke.

Jonas knew this.

But what he also knew was that people tended to make things complicated. It is, ironically, easier to dismiss something as too difficult than to step into the fire of exploration and figure out that most things are in fact quite simple.

On the other hand yet again, Jonas also knew that while these things were not really complicated, they were most definitely complex.

The former is a notion driven by the human intellect. We often solve individual steps in any given task with complicated processes where a simple one would handle the job. Compound complicated upon complicated and you end up with an insurmountable mountain of something that anything but enjoyable.

Jonas pressed the ball-shaped handle with the heal of his left hand, engraving blade pinched between his thumb and middle finger with his index on the back of the blade. Thin short curls of metal peeled off of the surface and rolled to the side.

On the other hand, simple tasks stacked upon each other to achieve something ultimately created complex systems. But these didn’t bother Jonas.

A complex process of simple steps could always be unraveled with the mind. Broken down into component actions that were more often than not so simple that the human mind tried to justify why they couldn’t possibly be that simple. But they were.

Complexity in this manner brought about something Jonas loved: Durability.

A thing that is both simple in it’s elements but complex in the grand scheme could last. It had a resistance to fragility that the complicated never could manage. Delving into a complicated system was like walking in one door and coming out in the same room from another side. Each layer deeper revealed a nested mess of fuckery. What could have been simple is itself also complicated, so that the deeper you go into the system you get a sense of crawling down into a maze.

These systems never lasted well, as far as Jonas had seen.

They were self destructive. Imploding in on themselves at the slightest misalignment of parts.

Another press of his palm, with a slight twist of the fingers and a curved line cut it’s way across the surface; rolling another sliver of metal off to the side. Jonas blew the bits away and brushed the surface lightly with his unoccupied finger.

The marks on the metal had formed a picture. Though in this case, Jonas was not drawing pictographically. Intricate but seemingly abstract lines turned and cut, connected and intersected.

The Sigil had 43 lines in total.

No more or less than was needed, and by no means the most intricate, but it served it’s purpose. Jonas looked it over once again, never too careful with this sort of work. Tracing the lines with his eyes was like walking a maze. His attention set on microscopic details. The cuts, though only portions of a millimeter deep, felt like ravines cut into the face of the earth across smooth-as-glass desert rockscapes. He saw them as if viewed from the eyes of an eagle overhead and a coyote walking within them, all at once.

The Sigil was right, and proper. Jonas set down the engraving tool.

What he’d created might look like a pocket watch to someone who lacked attentive awareness. A round body on a chain. But closer inspection would note that it was significantly smaller. About big enough for a thumb print at most.

The edges were smooth and rounded like a watch, but with intricate line-forms cut into the surface. They passed completely around the edge and over the seem to the front plate. Once pressed into place and aligned, the two pieces of metal would look as one.

The back had more marks, albeit far more geometric and symmetrical.

Jonas inspected the chain, the sides, the back. Polishing as he went with a suede cloth. He grazed across the surface of the Sigil one more time and felt the sharp barb hungrily grab at his skin.

Sitting back he couldn’t help but admire his own work. 14k gold, but of a different alloy than most had even considered, let alone heard of. The front pane a solid sheet of clarified quartz, clearer than glass.

Jonas looked at the clock. Almost time.

He took a deep breath and after checking that his thumb was clean, centered it over the Sigil and pressed down quickly. The pain tried to convince his body to pull back but he kept his finger firmly in place for another moment before lifting.

Short as it might have been, the standing gold spike in the center was long enough to break skin, and a drop of blood now sat in the middle, enveloping the tiny thorn. Jonas watched as the blood slumped and settled. The moment before it’s surface tension broke was like holding a breath, but as it did the Sigil came to life.

Blood ran through the thin lines as if racing to completion. What was once fairly visible was now intricately seen. The sigil’s complexity evident in bright red on polished gold.

Jonas pressed his finger into a tissue while reaching with the other hand for the little tray of paraffin wax. he warmed a cotton-swab stick over the nearby candle, careful not to burn it, and then twisted it on the wax, matting down the cotton fibers and collecting just enough. Before it got cold he deftly swirled the wax around the outer edge of the Sigil plate. The lip of the face was designed to hold the Quartz lens exactly, and the cotton-swap rode that edge like a bullet train.

He set the implement down and paused a moment before gently lifting the Totem to breathe warm air onto the surface.

The gold fogged while the blood grew hazy. Then, ever so carefully, he set the quartz lens with its gold frame into position, and sure it was centered, pressed them together.

Pressure fit lids on jewelry boxes were great because they allowed a decorative box to be opened and closed tightly without any need for nobs or handles. But in this case, getting the cover off again would require a clever craftsman with a sharp tool. Effectively permanent.

The wax pressed between Sigil-plate and quartz lens sealed the air out as the blood in close proximity ran the rest of the sigil and pressed to the quartz. The refraction caused the blood-lines to look as if they were floating above the gold surface.

Jonas smiled at the Totem.

“There you are, darling. Ready to work,” he said before setting the Totem gently in decorative felted box.

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