April 23, 2011 § 1 Comment
I admit, I could not believe it. I don’t think any of us did. It happened so fast.
I was called back to Throneworld to report on the incidents on several of our least important colonies. These were worlds with sparse populations of Naratsilath, ones that didn’t particularly support agriculture in any form. Not even heavily modified plants in most cases. Hrad had barely even been capable of supporting organic life without assistance. Naratsilath could not walk unaided on its surface. It was not surprising that Kotash barely paid the world any attention, even though it was of course his duty to do so. Kotash has been a fixture in my life growing up, and although I admit I find his behavior in this case lacking, he was always amusing when I was a child. Father’s slightly scandalous friend, he cut through the rules.
Growing up there were always so many rules. For the youngest child, especially. I grew up with Malan and Tatris already long since adults, unreachable, essentially strangers I would see when they came home to report to our parents. Kyrian and Arktiesh were closer to me in age, but Kyrian was like the spiny plants that they try and use in every room of the shining mountains to pretend life could possibly endure there without our constant toil. Kyrian was simultaneously always there and yet revealing nothing, as carefully cultivated and as inaccessible as those jagged fronds. Arktiesh was easier to get to know, since were were barely a few decades apart, but Arktiesh is as transparent as Kyrian is opaque. Arktiesh dislikes dealing with people, but loves tactics, strategies, loves watching others and trying to understand how to move them to his desired outcome. Tatris and Malan want to rule, but Arktiesh wants to be the means.
And as for me, Rythe, the daughter born last? I joined the Kandrakoleth as soon as I could, not because it was expected of me. I joined to escape. In the end, I ended up finding comfort in my service. Tatris used it to find a voice, Malan used it to find a mate, and Arktiesh found it suitable for his overall goals. None of us understood why Kyrian would not serve. « Read the rest of this entry »
April 18, 2011 § 1 Comment
“Why tell me this?” The child looked up at Kyrian with a frank and baffled expression, still speaking words in response to thoughts. Behind those words, Kyr could already feel the emotions, the subtle impressions. The boy was of the blood, there was no doubt. Could be no doubt. Despite being freeborn to long dwellers, he was Tsilath. One of the blood, and thus, he could not stay with the terrified woman and resentful yet horror-paralyzed man. If he had air in his lungs he might have sighed.
“Just listen.” Kyrian surveyed the tiny sun-baked mud and stone home the two long dwellers lived in. Like the rest of their settlement, it dated back roughly four thousand years. Kyrian often wondered why all the people, the Tsilath and the Naratsilath alike, counted time the way they did, in units handed down from before there was even a people as they now existed. In the rounded, carefully shaped dome of the house he felt the boy’s parents stares. There was no way to explain to them why their son would leave with him that night. Another of the Tsilath would most likely simply take the boy from where he found him. He knew his sisters and brothers would, and dump the child off to be raised with the bastards and orphans of the Tsilath, not truly kin but more than kind. Even Tatris probably would, for all that he doted on his own children. “When they came, they were… unconcerned. They knew that life like us existed. They knew that it often covered worlds with valuable minerals they use in their birth oceans. But they were neither convinced that anything made of what we are could be intelligent, nor were they particularly concerned with finding out. Like the ones we do not name, they were happy with a state of affairs which rewarded their convenience.”
“And so they took Klarakshton. Had they not, I would not have come here today.” « Read the rest of this entry »
March 2, 2011 § Leave a comment
The moon had taken pride of place in the sky and he was walking along train tracks. They were familiar enough train tracks. A long time before, when he’d been a teenager looking to achieve intoxication without the aid of either money or positive identification, he and friends long since passed out of his life had walked up these same tracks, under cover of night.
He looked to his left and saw the McLaughlin and Moran warehouses. Behind them near the loading docks were new plastic recycling units, but in the distant land that he’d occupied as a child who looked like a man, there had been dumpsters, and in those dumpsters one could find treasure, discarded alcohol thrown out for reasons none of them had been particularly interested in. Usually it seemed to be a defect in the packaging that rendered it un-sellable. Occasionally they would wonder aloud why none of the workers had taken it home, but they never wondered very hard.
Free beer is golden when you’re too young to drink at all. « Read the rest of this entry »