Disclaimer: I don't own anything. I'm just playing in Naughty Dog's sand box.

Warnings: Spoilers up through Jak 3.

Note: Requested by Shyrstyne.

-A Matter of Channeling Light-

Summary: When Damas asked what eco he'd used, this time Jak told the truth.

Time frame: A Matter of Time, chapter five.


Damas suddenly strode forward and grabbed his wrist, holding it up to examine it more closely. Jak felt a moment of panic as the yellow eco tried to jump from his hand to Damas', but the man didn't seem to feel it, even when it passed through his skin.

No, not through his skin. It was going into it. Jak's eyes widened.

Is he... absorbing it? The thought was almost as shocking as the near-accident. Jak had never met anyone else with his talent for manipulating eco. Even the sages could only deal with their one type, and somehow he didn't think that Damas was a yellow eco sage.

When Damas finally released him, his expression was inscrutable. "You can channel eco," he said. It wasn't a question, but Jak felt like a response was expected, so he nodded. It was the simple truth. "Have you handled other types besides yellow?" Another nod. Jak ticked the colors off on his fingers.

Yellow, red, green, blue, and... He hesitated.

For a moment, he just stared at Damas, who met his eyes without blinking. He was so much taller than Jak, and his entire bearing held an authority and a demand for truth that Jak just couldn't refuse. Slowly, without looking away, he touched the last finger on his hand.

And light.

Damas stiffened, and before Jak could even blink, the man had stepped forward and had his arm trapped in an iron grip. "Five," he grated out. "There are only four that are common and can be safely used. Do you mean to tell me you've channeled dark eco, too?"

Jak's eyes widened at even the thought, and he quickly shook his head. He'd touched dark eco before, by accident, and it had burned. Channeling that... He shuddered. It would be like channeling acid.

Damas' eyes bored into him. "If the fifth one you've channeled isn't dark eco, then tell me what it is."

Uneasily wishing that he'd never brought it up, Jak glanced around the room, floundering for a way to explain the fifth color. Light eco wasn't something most people even knew existed. In fact, Jak had only ever seen it produced when four different sages put their powers together. How was he supposed to convince Damas that there was another color at all?

Suddenly, the teen's eyes snapped back to the king. Only four that are common. The way he had phrased that...

He knows. The shock hit Jak like cold water. Somehow, some way, Damas already knew that there was a color that was rare. He wasn't asking because he wanted to know what it was. He was asking because he wanted to confirm that Jak knew it, too.

Jak's mouth fell open, filled with so many questions he wanted to ask, but the words wouldn't come. Closing his mouth, he shut his eyes and took a deep breath. Then he shook his head and pulled away from Damas' hand. The king let him go, silently waiting for an answer that Jak knew he already knew.

That made things easy.

Picking his way across the shell-littered floor, Jak pointed through the window to the sky outside where the sun was just beginning to rise. He looked back at Damas, still pointing. Light. I've channeled light eco, too.

Something flickered across Damas' expression, but it wasn't surprise or confusion. His lips compressed into a thin line and he studied Jak, scrutinizing him more thoroughly than Jak thought anyone had before. Suddenly feeling self conscious, he dropped his hand and scuffed a foot on the ground. He wasn't used to being the focus of someone else's attention like this.

"Hnn." Damas's gaze went to the crate and the drained capsules on the floor, and Jak winced. In retrospect, those things had probably belonged to someone.

But Damas didn't get mad. In fact, all he did was just... turn away. "I want this mess cleaned up," he said sternly, already on his way to the door. "When you are done, you will find clothes outside your door. Change into them and meet me downstairs." He opened the door, then closed it behind him.

Jak stared. That... hadn't been what he'd been expecting at all. Samos would have read him the riot act for breaking all those shells, and if nothing else he would have interrogated Jak more about the eco, harassing him and testing the limits of his ability to communicate to find out everything that he knew. Damas just... accepted it. Dealt with it. Then moved on.

Frowning, Jak knelt down and started the task of picking up all the shells, dropping them in the chamber pot for lack of a better place. The task only took him a few minutes, and when he opened the door, he found a neatly folded pile of clothes waiting, just as Damas had promised. Sitting on top of them were his goggles. He'd left them in the water by accident after telling the king his story. Apparently Damas had found them. Jak fingered them, feeling something strange inside his chest.

As he started putting the worn clothes on, he couldn't help but wonder... Who exactly was this man?

And why did it feel like it mattered?