Thank you to everyone who helped out with this: Sureal, Bobo, Ari, Psy, Greg, and others. Please comment I am such a review whore. Check out my next chapter, it will be up as soon as I can type it.
Solarwinds: Life in Linear Virginity
“Baby I'm angry; Baby I'm scared.
We're living in a dark time and nobody cares…”
- Hold On, Bif Naked
We are between two suns. One representing our past, the other our future, and just out of reach from our rampaging fingers. I lay beside you at night thinking. Yes thinking, a dangerous pastime for one such as me; but I do it regardless of the consequences. I think about home, life, and family most of the time grabbing on and digging through the past for memories like a freakshowslideshow, watching the silent movement remembering the words. But others times, times that are becoming more frequent, I think of you and me: the figment of us, love, lust, violence and death. It’s not that I want to think of dark things and dark times. They bore into my mind, into my imagination, like maggots. A whole train of maggots squirming and burrowing into the ever recess and workings of my brain, (that’s what those thoughts are). They create holes in my consciousness big enough that thoughts change and take on a different hue. Big fucking cheese holes filled with puss and the remnants, the slime of fat, scummy, sallow-sullied larva.
I think I see you die. Right in front of me, the light in your eyes go out and your graceful body falters and you fall. You don’t even have time to reach out to me, even if I could have move from my currently rooted existence. Your augusthands go limp, your lips lax in a last half-breath. Not far from my feet, your body curls in its last throes and pauses slightly in light, and your head rolls to the side slightly. A stream of saffron studded blood dribbles from your mouth. So this is death, I tell myself in a calm grief right before the storm of tears and desolation that threatens. So this is death, a place where everyone forgets your name and you are remembered only if the worth of your absense outweighs your life. Where the memories are skillfully cut in order to face another day, another thought. Or they fade mysteriously into the background of life, the physical powering over the psycho-semantics of the brain. You disappear and I fear this is death.
But when I open my eyes you are alive and smiling at me. Your arms crossed over your bare chest willing me to jump haphazardly into them, there are no signs of death, no signs of blood. If missed you for so long. One touch will do it for me, I know. But the thought strikes me. I saw you die; I remember seeing the blond trickling down your chin, eyes lifeless, and limbs pliant with death slickly sticking to them like a stubborn sweat. But if I saw you die, then how are you here? How are you alive and standing right in front of me like nothing has happened? You are dead, I saw you die. I felt you, I felt you die in my heart; the hard crunching that makes it hard to breathe, and hard to see. My ribs constricting, my throat closing, my eyes misting: that was real. But so is this: your supple skin soft under my touch, your arms binding me to you, your soft heart beat in my ear. I am so confused. I look up from the haven of your hands to tell you this. But before I can you capture me in a kiss, so infinitely divine, it has to be real. With that you remind me simply that words are superfluous. This can’t be death because this feeling of two bodies melding together is the epitome of life. As you pull away to breathe, our essences dancing playing together in the air, I make my conclusion. This is life. I have just been addled by too many thoughts and too many holes in those too many thoughts. I’ve missed you. God I’ve missed you.
In the next thought you beckon me to come, to follow you. I do for that’s the only movement I am simply capable of. Down the hall to the air shaft we go. The door I see has been sealed tight. Good. But we go passed the shaft and I am confused again, our boot clunking on the metal as you stop at the airlock. We never go near the airlock; it’s akin to the forbidden fruit in the garden of eve. Before I can stop you or even make a sound you ply open the airlock with a swift pull. The shocking fulgid haze of the sun blinking out any other thought including pre-thoughts. After the daze of the light washes over me I turn to look at you, to ask you what is happening, what is going on but you’re gone. Again. All I see for leagues is the dead and dying. I am no longer in the airlock of our Spacer but glued to the dusty remnants of a dying planet I do not know. The red dust akin to red snow in April, reminds me somewhat of Mars, but the rest of the scenery is all wrong. Sprouting up from the lifeless rock are white trees, bare but glowing. In clumps of threes they emerge proud in such contrast with the ground. Blood of the dead and dying herded like Andean Alpacas give off a strange boiling heat that presses down upon my body like a migraine headache, similar to the ones we got from brain freezing on two scoops of bitter green tea ice treats from AlphaZeda 6. I look for you, scouting my surrounds for anything that would give you away, a feature of yours, anything. And moving bodies with my heavily booted feet I zig and zag through the clumps of flesh and metal. As my vision strokes across what appears to be a metal hand, an idea jerks at my memory. Metal hand. Metal. Metal = Androids. And that makes me laugh, at first slightly but after a few hesitant sounds I am convulsing. I must look analogous to the mad crazy witchwoman of Parda. But the next thought somber me. The Androids are dead, have been for almost a millennia. But if the Androids are dead then I’m a dead. And this carnage must be death. I hurriedly look this way and that, even sideways. Are you here as I must be? All I can remember is the blazing, hot flash of the sun. Scrapping the back of my mind for some memory of you I realize I have none. I know you, who you are, and deep in some crevice of the heart the mind can never touch I know what you mean to me – everything. But the memories of you and us are gone, seemingly stripped from my mind like the life from this planet. I blink again, thoroughly and utterly confused. And the planet is gone.
This time I’m floating through space on the wings of a Lightbearer – a space angel for lack of better term. Beautiful streams of kaleidoscopic colors skirt the edges of the Solarwinds, a spinning ball of light that is a Lightbearer. It’s carrying me towards a sun, bright and shinning in Delphian splendor calling me cryptically to touch. To touch the blinding rays and except that I am not the only one without knowledge, not the only one without fluid intelligence, not the only one with holes in their space-time continuum. I want to touch it, to embrace the feeling, let it wash over me but an itch reminds me that I shouldn’t touch the scalding energy that is release. The reason is you. Even though you are not here in this byproduct of thoughts and imagination I know that I don’t want to lose you, not now, even though you are not here and if memory serves right never were. I shrink from the sounds of the melodic inducements and try to fly, even though some part of me says that impossible. But you flew once didn’t you? I’m not sure where the thought comes from but I follow it. You flew, yes I remember now. You jumped and flapped iridescent, invisible wings. And fell through the universe at a blazing speed faster than sound; until you found you feet again next to me in the small cantina aboard The Pegasus. You smiled and asked me if I liked my men with wings. I said I don’t know, never knew one who did. But you reply, short but cheeky begged me to reconsider – But I have wings, can’t you see. When I said no, you stared right pass my eyes into my heart and told me I had no imagination. I didn’t, not back then. Imaginations were useless to me or any one out here in the last ventures of space, they made you think, they made you want more. But you then and there with your iridescent, invisible wings gave me back my imagination and made me want everything that flowed from you. So I balk at the sun as it cries, “I am your future.” Before the space angel and I ram face first into the rolling ball of flames. The feeling of hope washes over me slightly and the great mass in front of me shakes violently and blasts into tiny little fragments, like a broken mirror. I am left in a quasi darkness reaching for something familiar. And I blink to make it go away. And it does, leaving in its place the surroundings of dusk and the sleepy tentacles of musk and matchsticks.
I am confused, in a netherworld; hazy, dreamlike consciousness to my right and alert wakefulness to left, floating this way and that. Pulling and struggling with what came before, I open my eyes and engage my mind.
This time when I blink I know exactly where I am. Beside you, in our bed, on board our Spacer, The Nereid: named that because of your love of past-ancient mythology, nothing that I know of, but that’s so normal between us. In the dim light of the bedroom, the two moons of Marus scintillating off the metal walls my thinking has stopped and I succumb just to feeling. Feeling the light, white verien sheets against my skin; the scratchy tingle and sting of your large shirt that I wore to bed, and you. You, who are curled on your side faced away from me, sheets pooled around your waist. Reaching out trembling fingers, I skim the skin on your shoulder blades, warmth emanating at the touch, with at that I know that you are alive, and real, and here with me. I’ve awoken you too; the steady breathing hitches as you pull out of fuzzy sleep and turn towards me. Blinking your blue eyes drowsily finally catching up your surroundings you smile, I can’t help smiling back.
Your breath warm against my lips, you reach to tug a piece of hair behind an ear and I just lay there, my whole body alive with pathos.
“Hey Beautiful,” your voice deep and scruffy from sleep fluxes over me perforates my entire body, “what’s wrong?”
It’s funny and eerie at the same time that you know so much about me just by looking.
A half smile and a sigh, I know now everything will be all right, “Fucking Cheese Holes.”
"Life doesn't require a logical explanation."
- Mercedes Lackey
Red Snow in April
Mars in spring is not as beautiful as the holographic postcards said. But as April blossomed into life I was beginning to like it more and more, the planet over the days had grown on me. I sat in my grandmother’s house near the spaceport watching the red illuminated world around me. Many figures trekked back and forth across the red sands looking for something special but never really finding it.
“Cuppa darling?” My grandmother’s cultured voice soothed its way past my agitated mind, making a brief heaven out of hell.
“Yes. Please.” I had been taught, in no uncertain terms, that to lose one’s manners, even in a crisis, was a bad reflection of character
The smell of fresh herbs and spices greeted my nostrils and the thought of such things had me salivating. I hadn’t tasted fresh food since Karlee imparted with her last home baked cranberry-orange muffin. Right under my nose appeared my grandmother’s wrinkled hand and a cup of tea.
“How?” I questioned knowing she would understand what I meant.
There was a slight twinkle in her blue eyes, “I was saving it for something special.”
Well if she considered this special…
“Do you know how long you will stay?”
She comes to sit beside me, her white wrinkled hands in her lap, long white hair pulled back from her pale face. She wears white today, all white – white tunic; white trousers. It seems, in the wrong light – in this horrible red light, that she is a ghost.
I cautiously take a sip of tea not wanting to at the present answer her question, which cuts deep at the heart of the problem I am currently facing. The myriad of taste buds on my tongue come alive and alight like a fire in some dark corner of universe. I savor the warm, sugary ambrosia a minute before swallowing and setting the cup down.
I turn away from the cup, the table, my grandmother and take another glance outside. In the spaceport a ship is coming in: a large transport vessel, my insides twinge at the thought. I have to answer.
“I don’t know, Ma.”
Turning back to my grandmother, who now places a warm hand over mine looks into my eyes, the sadness dwelling in those deep beryl pools overwhelms me. A silent tear, sharply stinging, slides down my cheek and splatters in my tea. As the ripples spirit across the fawn tinted surface, I crook a smile at the irony and watch as the ripple affect runs its course.
Everything is slow here, in this small corner of the galaxy, far far away from the Treatises main hub. I dislike that. It slows me down, lets me think of things I’d rather forget. It makes me wonder, and guess at the decisions I made. Makes me make to rip out the remaining hair on my head and not just for the pain, but for the inability I have now. And to know that I am still alive. For at the instant when the anguish hits my body I know that because I feel, I am alive.
The days fade slowly passed, my grandmother tries to help but has other things to commit her time to and I told her from the beginning that I didn’t want any help, any pity either. But everyday I see that glint in her eyes, that emotion flash that makes me want to curse the world. I know she thinks it every minute, probably almost as much as I do: when am I to die?
I don’t remember much from the Battleship Pegasus, except that I was a Chief Mechanic and that I was good at my job. Repairing Spacers was one thing I knew I did well. But everything else is a foggy and hazy; nothing apparent comes to the surface. It’s like my mind was tampered with on purpose – I suppose it was. I do remember my last day though, in the cantina. I had just stopped in and sat down for lunch when a stranger approached the table, willing me to look. He was tall, taller than most the men aboard, he had a graceful physique although he wasn’t startling to look at. Decked in fighter's green, (cargo pants, a sleeveless top, and combat boots) he bored through my eyes, deep within my heart. There was something about him that drew me in, grasped me for all that I was worth and wouldn’t let go. It wasn't the ginger streaked auburn hair, the blue eyes splashed with hint of violet, the way the rosy lips formed a lopsided, easy smile or the laugh lines in the fine face. It was something all together too deep for me to even attempt to understand.
I remember the following conversation as if it was yesterday.
“Do you like your men with wings?” The question seemed so effortless off tongue, the voice a heady mixture of mirth and wisdom.
“I don't know, never knew one who did.”
The smile turned slightly into a frown but the eyes remained cheerful, “But I have wings, can’t you see?”
“No.” I answered.
The eyes drilled right through me, all the way to my heart. A full fledged frown emerged on the lips, “You have no imagination.”
I don’t really. I don’t have much of an imagination, didn’t have any before that day.
After the figure walked away, I shook my head to get rid of the intense feeling that I’d been hit by something, then I was called away. They need me down on the lower deck. A spacer had come in and had clipped the right wing while landing. Forgetting all about the mysterious occurrence with the stranger I ambled on.
I’ll never forget the intense heat or the intense pain that comes with the presence of a Lightbearer. All I can see is the blasting of a blinding violent sun. All I can feel is the white heat coursing through my veins and the grasping hold of energy much more powerful than I extracting my life away. Gripping my throat strangling me of all my air and ability to move, to fight. At that moment I know I am going to die. The knowledge is crisp, clear, crystalline. Fear escapes my brain and feeds into my heart giving it its last fluttering moments. Something within the brilliant white surrounding me touches my hand softly; the voice from the cantina calls me.
Delphine all will be well just hold on. Don’t forget I have wings.
Before I can hear anymore the world suddenly flashed into oblivion.
For a moment I thought the darkness was death. But I was sorely mistaken. Where I was, if I was anywhere was in oblivion, in the void, amid all the nothingness of the cosmos.
But then there was a soft, cool cloth on my forehead willing me to open my eyes, to see what had transpired.
The cold impact of metal against my feverish skin made me tingle. One of the other shipmates must have found me and pulled me into an alcove. It was a young girl, younger than I certainly. She looked very worried. Her bottom lip was sandwiched between her teeth and she grinded it back and forth. When I blinked her whole body visibly sighed. After the initial knowledge that I was alive, a new dawning came upon us both. Somehow I felt more real that I ever had in my whole lifetime, everything seemed more vivid, knowledge that wasn’t there before surfaced easily in my mind, and in a corner forbidden in earlier renovations of my psyche imagination sparked.
“You…you,” the girl dropped the cloth and scooted franticly away, “that can’t be possible.”
I raised my hand to pinch my cheek, to know I was there and alive. It hurt and my whole body flinched. I smoothed my palm over my face.
“I..uh,” I did not know what to say to calm the awe the girl now had.
“You…a Lightbearer…impossible, they…” it was almost as if she said it, the whole thing especially me would be jinxed.
I finished the thought for her, “don’t leave anyone alive.”
The rest is just a huge blur slowly receding to the back of my mind. They had to get rid of me; no one wants that kind of bad luck on their ship no matter the climate. I was a risk. A Lightbearer had touched me; come to take me away and I had survived. There must be something wrong with me, was the talk, I must have demon’s blood in me. Though that was a blatant falsehood as demons, in physical form don't exist at all. I had no idea what was wrong with me, or if something was indeed wrong – point in that I had never been Chosen before. It scared me, shook me to my bones. And all I could focus on was the stranger and his voice. Did I truly hear his voice or had that been just a fanciful mirage?
So I was sent back to Mars, to be with my grandmother, until as the Council of One said the Lightbearers came to take me again. Death was the only inevitability.
So I am here, on Mars waiting. Waiting for something to break the monotone, I even would readily awaken to the Lightbearers to free me from this prison. But no such luck. And everyone around me treats me like I’m made of spun glass, afraid to face what I have already come to terms with – my death.
The red mist in the twilight shimmers and little red beads fall from the sky. After a few moments I realized with utter wonderment that what I am seeing is red snow. Red snow in April; which albeit confusing makes me smile just a little at the illogicality of it all: red snow in April.