Silus was the third Hynerian moon and location of Zing Tao annual solitary treks. Never inhabited, Silus remained pristine in its desert landscape and the perfect place for Ji to instill Zing Tao principles of perspective and humility.

The average Hynerian saw him or herself as the center of the universe, the point of reference to make sense of everything and everyone around them. This egocentric view, Ji knew, would be his greatest challenge in building the Zing Tao, especially his famed Blue Onyx division. Ji also knew training, sharpening the saw, would be a life-long process; hence, the mandatory annual twenty-one day sabbaticals on Silus.

This lack of perspective, Ji felt, whiplashed the average Hynerian emotionally and, emotions, misunderstood for what they were, would and could cloud judgment and literally hijack one’s life. Standing on the great plains of Silus, alone, tended to broaden one’s view, to impose humility and chip away at the delusions of pride that had a way of working themselves back into the mind with each accomplishment.

The foundation of Zing Tao philosophy rested on peace and compassion, both of which grew in the fertile soil of love. Without that soil, without love, there was nothing. Love, Ji taught, was expansive and inclusive. The ego feared it above all else and as such told lie upon lie about the true nature of the single force that bound all life. Ji used Silus as a tool to break through those lies.

Warriors tend to be very prideful and very hard on themselves in the goal of constantly improving their skills. This path, the path of most warrior cultures, stood outside the reality of love, and as such, undermined their ability to effect long lasting change and progress. Ji taught his Zing Tao to see the natural flow and swim in it rather than resist that which was. From love one came and to love one would return. Living a life in harmony with birth and death, living in love with acceptance and understanding of the natural order, knowing that in love birth and death were not two but one, well, that was the challenge.

Von profusely thanked the Zing Tao physicians for his recovery, but those who knew him best felt his time alone on Silus was the turning point in his life.

Now, all that he had learned in his long life, all that Ji and Zeke and Silus, and one might say even his Javalina inquisitors had taught him, all that understanding reached the crossroads of fate. Kyra had touched love, and she was so close to understanding yet not quite there. Purpose met opportunity. Von put away his shield, cleaned up the snoot, washed his face and headed down the hall to visit the one who needed him most, the very reason he was onboard—Kyra.