The spaceport near the capital city is called StarPath.
It was designed by one of the empire’s leading architects, filled with curves and high ceilings.
Most of the waiting areas are underground, beneath the clusters of landing pads.
The ships rise and rest quietly, through g-tech that allows them to manipulate gravity.
The above-ground terminal is made of three domes, surrounding a taller fourth dome, with a blue stone tower.
The smaller domes are red, yellow, and green, with black-roofed walkways at ground level leading to the larger white dome.
Each of the three outer domes has … Read more
A Free Heart
Late at night, the inside of the ship is quiet and dark, in the areas where the pilgrims sleep.
The elders keep a close watch on the pilgrims, enforcing a rigid schedule, with an early bedtime.
The common rooms for the crew are bright and noisy, hours after the pilgrims have gone to bed.
I sleep near the crew, and I often stay up with them.
The captain lets the staff decide their own hours, as long as the work gets done.
The young body that I wear doesn’t need much sleep.
Still, if I’m tired … Read more
I walk slowly, letting the crowd move past me toward the shuttle.
Mayani takes my arm, and we stop.
He pushes on my mind wall, and I drop it.
He gives me a series of three security codes.
Can you remember them?
Your identity has been authorized for full access to the facility, Lukara.
Enter the main storage area, and find the control surface.
Touch in the codes without requesting a command, and a hidden door will open, giving you entry to a ship hanger.
Where will you go?
Do you have another ship hidden
… Read more
My energy sight is gone.
I can’t feel the web, or the movement of energy.
Still, I have a vague sense that Kihyez is scanning me.
“What’s wrong with you?” he asks, a moment later.
“You were a master when you first met us.”
“Now you have no strength at all!”
“How can you be a watcher like this?”
“The others will crush you.”
He grabs me without answering, and flies toward the second tower.
The towers are great stone cylinders, fifty feet wide and two hundred fifty feet tall, that glitter in the daylight.
The … Read more
The travel suit is light-grey, a little thicker and heavier than ordinary clothing, and warm to the touch.
It shapes itself to me when I put it on, and I feel a trickle of energy from the shield that spreads across the material.
I soon forget that the suit is there, even the mask that covers my face.
I hover over the towers at ten thousand feet, while I scan through terrain maps on the headset display.
There are a few small islands scattered through the ocean, but only four continents, three of them joined to a … Read more
The towers shine when seen with energy eyes, even the black tower that hides in the sea.
As I approach it, I see that something has changed while I was with the Davow.
The bottom edge of the tower has a visible glow.
I need to get back to the surface, and go to Siksa, but something inside the tower pulls at me.
Neither my fire body or my inner sight can penetrate the walls, and there are no openings.
A voice within me whispers that I need a physical body to get answers, so I raise a … Read more
“Wait,” says the Bizra to me and the Gen.
“Watchers must be taught Sindar’s laws, the Madar language, and the secrets of the towers.”
Neebol and Vala back away from the tower, and the opening closes.
“How long will this take?” I ask.
“I need to leave for Siksa as soon as possible.”
“But you’re a watcher!” says the Bizra.
“You can’t just leave.”
I never intended to stay in the tower, but it’s too soon to reveal the truth.
First, I need to gain the knowledge that the watchers have, in case they know … Read more