Indignant Desert Birds
Chapter One: A Shining City
You ignore my prayers, yet arrive when I do not ask.
It is my prerogative to go where and when I choose.
Tell me, shall I ever meet him again?
Time being cylindrical, at least in this Universe –
No riddles, yes or no?
If I answer NO than you’ll live out your days in despair,
But if I tell you YES, you shall go on blithe and blind until the last breath you take.
So I’ll answer as my father would. Trust your instincts, and remember:
Life is and always should be ecstasy!
— Nadia and Kheira.
Temple Conversations: Lament Of A Valküri Queen
[Falcania-Vor: June 9, 2109]
Plumes of yellow fire curled in hot tendrils outward, they had followed a fierce flare-up and bulge of a bran-new, recently born star. Ashkaltai, the newly blossomed Sun watched as a spacefarer moved on, away from her solidifying planetary system, choosing instead to avoid the risky tidal forces of her birth which threatened to crush his ship. She whispered her farewell, and yet the explorer, who, despite all his advanced instrumentation could not detect her innate sapience.
Countless years went by and no other travelers entered Ashkaltai’s star system, that is, until one day a lone sleek red starship whooshed out from foldspace almost ontop of the powerful Sun, and in doing so woke her from an effortless and agelong uninterrupted slumber. Ever lonely Ashkaltai felt thrilled, over excited at that, she unleashed a storm of delight which rocked the single occupant of the vessel backward and forward in her gravity. Ashkaltai had no idea that her joy in fact caused the ship’s single pilot extraordinary worry. The red starship contained vibrant life, like nothing Ashkaltai had ever before beheld in her relatively young life-age. Whoever piloted the vessel radiated an unequalled pulse of power. Curious by such a remarkable reading the Sun decided that she must look upon it from an altogether different perspective.
As the red vessel, still caught up in the gravity storm rocked about, and its pilot wrestled with his frozen instruments in a useless move, an attempt to fire his reaction control thrusters Ashkaltai came down from on high. The Sun resolved herself on the command deck into a humanoid form and beheld the Falcanian pilot’s profound astonishment, that of a young woman whose heart-shaped face framed by honey-blonde, richly festooned ringlets… Ashkaltai spoke: “Do not be afraid,” she reached out to the Falcanian male. “I can feel that inside you burns fire, much like my own. Tell me, who und what are you?”
The pilot blinked, his protective green lenses filtered out the brightness which had before arrived in the body of a gorgeous young woman, yet he at last managed to speak and stammered out his response. “I’m… Jorchak Thal…”
“I have never heard of creatures called Jorchak Thal -”
“No, no.” Jorchak easily recognized her misunderstanding. “My species are Falcanians. My name, Jorchak Thal is my name.” he continued to look on stunned at the extraordinary glistening woman, and yet found sense enough to ask of her. “What do I call you?”
“You can call me Aral Charen.” Ashkaltai said. “I want to understand what it’s like Jorchak Thal to live as one of you mortals, your fire burns ever so bright, und yet it goes out all too soon.”
Oh, deep philosophical profound questions, and from a Sun no less. Jorchak Thal attempted to rise to the occasion. “My people, we Falcanians believe life to be understood, it must be experienced, every moment, both good and bad relished, and attacked with passion.”
“I don’t understand.” Aral answered.
“Of course…. how could you?” Jorchak realized he had spoken in abstractions, notions that existed beyond this Sun’s ken, surely her point of view on creation had its own singular scope and did not lend itself to the blinking span of a mortals life. There really could only be but one solution as to how might let her understand. “Come with me Aral, let us go forth together. I’ll show you the universe!” he thought he might have gone too far. “That is, if you like?”
Aral Charen gazed out of the ships windows, sadly she looked upon her children, the tiny planets which she warmed and nourished in her intense light. “I cannot leave this place, my planets they would grow cold und lonely. This form, it will not last, even now I can feel it slipping away all around me.” she sighed. “Is that what life is? Do mortals from the second of their first breath feel the end close in upon them?”
“That my Lady is why we reach out and grab it!”
Considering his response, her already illuminated features soon became even brighter. “For a short while I might venture forth,” she took hold of Jorchak’s hand. “Show me this wide und wonderous universe!” Freed at last from the oppressive gravity, the little red starship sped away, crewed now, not only by a daring Falcanian, but also by the avatar of a young star…
As the illumination and holographic arrangement changed on the stage into a more subdued normal light, Arshira hit her forward mark nearest the platform’s edge. She glanced around, and broadly smiled in the direction of the audience, a packed house, which as the first act of Ardoth Pol’s illustrious play came to its close began a thunderous applause. With admiration they cheered the skills of its lead actress, who thus far had carried opening night as one reviewer would later put it: “With a tremendous poetic delivery, and unmatched, magnetic stage presence”. She noticed Sharr and Nadia from their place in an Imperial viewing box lean close, clap and whisper to one another.
And then a glimmer fell across the stage, Arshira Hol blinked, not expecting the special effect as it had not been put in the queue or script. FX guys, ad-libbing just perfect, she thought. A veil of fiber optic strands netted her vision, she could just make out the audience beyond the white light. All where touched by gleams, pulses of every color in the spectrum.
Something glorious lay just beyond the curtain of shimmering light. Time felt as if it had come to a halt. Arshira gazed into the fiber optics, and for the first time she thought she beheld a magnificent, too awesome form which she could hardly comprehend. To her alone it spoke: “Ehyeh-Asher-Ehyeh,” it said. “Know me!”
The house lights came up, Arshira blinked, looked over at her costar who did not seem as if he had witnessed what she had just seen. It did not seem as if the unplanned special effect had disrupted his taking in the acclaim. Out in the audience Nadia gazed at Arshira. Clearly the Queen Mother had picked up on her moment of discombobulation.
This is the very first scene which begins the next block of novellas.
- The Arrival (raptorsclaw.wordpress.com)
- From Book 2# Unification (raptorsclaw.wordpress.com)
- Second Scene From Imogen Drake & The Eye Of Aldebaran (raptorsclaw.wordpress.com)
- Comes The Centaur (raptorsclaw.wordpress.com)
- The Imogen Drake Series! (raptorsclaw.wordpress.com)
- Falco Invictus: On the Forge of War (raptorsclaw.wordpress.com)
- Falco Invictus: Light & Fire (Free Ebook) (raptorsclaw.wordpress.com)
- Kitana [PG-13] (raptorsclaw.wordpress.com)
- Experimental optical fibers utilize built-in electronics instead of separate chips (gizmag.com)
- Falco Invictus: The Last Centurion (raptorsclaw.wordpress.com)