Gold Coast: Chapter 1-A

Jan 5th, 2011 | By | Category: Gold Coast, Kymria
Fleet Medical

Aerowyn bren Moira

A Seat Where Gods Might Dwell

Part A

The IFS Kestra dropped out of i-space to a high-C flight for the last few hours. Aerowyn looked out at the space which would be hers, across the vast field of black unbroken by the nearness of a sun. Only the distant lights of stars shone through it. She spent over an hour simply looking. As the Kestra neared its destination, Aerowyn felt a change. Something subtle was growing, replacing the cold black with a warmth. Yet still, no sun shone in that space, and none would. SS-106 floated free of the chains of any sun or world. Yet the sense of warmth persisted, almost as if a fire burned gently in a hearth nearby. Aerowyn closed her eyes for a heartbeat and slowly opened them, looking for the change. She saw it; the edge of the port glowed gently gold, flickering much like the fire she had imagined. Somewhere ahead lay the celestial hearth that held the fire whose reflection she watched.

Drawing herself away from the small port, Aerowyn walked to the front of the large ship and into the observation lounge. There, the other senior officers were seated, silently watching the vast panorama before them. The Denshara nebula. A vast cloud of dust and fire that was never granted the power of life. Millions of years ago, this cloud danced on the line between its present state and the concentrated power of a star. Its metal laden gases never reached the purity and mass it needed to ignite. Instead it continued its dance, static charges arcing hundreds and thousands of kilometers, igniting the cloud in flashes of energized gas, metal dusts passing the charge onward while tingeing its color with their presence. The warmth of sodium and gold and the brilliance of aluminum all caressed the cold bright flashes of neon and carbons.

This was God’s Hearth. This was home. The poets who first saw this fire as she did now had named it well.

These were the glowing embers left by God; the hearth that was once a forge. It was here he smote his great hammer upon the anvil of his will; beating the universe into submission, into the shape of his imaginings. And the sparks from every strike flew in anger and fear into the blackness of the night. Upon the 8th day, God sat before the last of the embers and rested. And there he sat, in a seat where Gods might dwell, looking with quiet love upon his creations, until the memory of Man faded him from the world.

And sitting quietly on the edge was SS-106.

From Aerowyn’s left came the quiet sounds of the Delphian Song. “What are you tiny creature, and what is your purpose at the foot of God’s Hearth?”

“She sits like a spider on the coast of a golden sea, daring the universe to deny her passage.” The words slipped quietly from Aerowyn, her unaware that they had done so.

“Welcome then to the Gold Coast. Long may she live.”

Aerowyn turned her eyes from the vision before her and looked at the woman who had responded to her unintended comment. She was a beautiful Delphian, standing relaxed, yet stately near the rear wall, a steaming cup of tea held loosely in her hand. Aerowyn could smell the peppery fragrance of the tea hang in the air around her, only now aware that it had been there since she first entered the room. The woman wore the white dress uniform of Navy, the intricate cord at her shoulder unknown to Aerowyn. The woman’s long thick hair fell over her shoulder hiding her insignia. It struck Aerowyn as strange that she had never seen this woman before. While the Kestra was a large ship, Aerowyn had explored almost all of it during the trip, and had come to know both the ship’s crew and those who would be sharing her new home aboard the station. Yet this woman was new to her.

She looked at her for a moment longer. She was beautiful as only Delphi are. Each race had its own beauty, its own sensual and sexual presence. To Aerowyn, the pure colorless skin and infinitely disciplined bodies of the Delphi were the most attractive. They always looked as though they were sculpted out of the imagination.

The woman returned Aerowyn’s gaze, a warm smile passing over her eyes, and absently brushed the soft black hair back from her shoulder. Aerowyn caught the flash of gold from the woman’s shoulder, and looked closer to see the inverted triangle denoting captain’s rank. Gold–reserved for those commanding a ship or station. The Kestra’s captain was Hosha Liani. The realization came to Aerowyn that this must be the commanding officer of the SS-106–her commanding officer.

“Captain.” Aerowyn bowed formally.

“Aerowyn.” The woman bowed in return; a bow which was entirely graceful despite its casual nature.”Yes, I know who you are.” She responded to Aerowyn’s look of surprise at her own name. “I have heard much about you. I am Little Wing of Clann Redgrass. We are family, it seems.”

“I wasn’t aware that you were aboard, Captain.”

“I wasn’t supposed to be. I decided to come early, though. I am anxious to see my new home.”

“We all are.” Aerowyn looked back to the rest of the officers in the lounge, all staring out the great window in front of them, oblivious to the quiet conversation behind them. “It is beautiful.”

“It is.” The two stood silently for a while, once again wrapped in the sight before them. Finally, the captain turned slowly to the door. “I must prepare for the docking. I should like it if you would join me at the gangway when we are ready to stand aboard our new home. It should be nice to enter with a clann mate at my side.” The Delphian bowed again and walked out the door, casually brushing her hair forward over her shoulder and rank insignia as she did so.

Aerowyn took one last look out the window at the scene, now dominated by the vast station, and turned also out the door and back to her cabin to prepare for the transfer to her new home, wishing only that Raven could have been there with her. Soon, she thought. Soon.

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