Months have gone by.
When I left the Veezal, I went back to the star where the captured probe was last seen.
Since then, I’ve searched through many of the inhabited worlds along this arm of the galaxy.
The worlds here are unsophisticated technologically, and know little of energy ways.
Many have stories or ruins of an older civilization.
The ruins I’ve found are contaminated with radiation.
There was a devastating war here, a long time ago.
At least I have a name for the enemy: Kizak.
It’s the word that Dilasa heard in her last vision, … Read more
The Forest: Prologue
The fog in my mind lifts slowly, and I find myself in a young boy’s body.
I hear Jaina’s thoughts louder than my own, and feel his emotions.
His senses are now mine, but he does not hear my thoughts, or feel me.
I am a ghost with no power to act.
The old ones call this “traveling as a witness.”
Will it drive me mad to watch him for a lifetime of years, unable to act?
My answer comes in a few days.
I get lost in Jaina’s thoughts, emotions, and dreams, and forget myself.… Read more
Free for a Moment
I love flying, being light and strong and free.
It brings me joy, even with all the thoughts of loss and doubt that drag me down.
Keela is annoyed with me.
She tries to hide it, but I feel it.
She wants us to fly fast and straight to the cave of the old ones, so she can be done with this errand.
I ignore her, and let my joy and love of flying guide us, following twisted curves that ride the energy of my emotions.
Is it impatience that drives her, or is … Read more
Late in the evening, the Watchtower is quiet, and I come out of hiding.
Most of the visitors are gone now.
A few stay overnight, sleeping on soft mats in the white and violet rooms, but it’s easy enough to avoid them.
So many of the people I meet are filled with hatred and fear of me.
I can’t bear it.
Something is broken in me, and I can’t face anyone except Shazira or Tzina.
Emotions scream at me, circle within me, over and over, larger and larger.
I have to escape to another room to quiet this … Read more
Shazira leads me to the green room.
When I come here, I feel like I’m standing in a forest.
There are plants in all of the rooms, but this room feels alive.
The air is sweeter than the rest of the Watchtower.
People meet here to share words and food and laughter.
It’s a kitchen, cafe, and public meeting place.
From outside, the room is the same size as the other five rooms.
Within, the green room has three floors, and each floor is double the size of any of the other rooms.
To the Jiku who … Read more
A voice pulls me out of sleep.
“Wake up, Yagrin.”
“It’s almost time for the greeting.”
The world feels thick and dull as I try to rise.
Why am I so tired?
I’m alone a few minutes later when I finally get out of bed, but I hear Shazira and Tzina on the deck.
I remember holding Tzina, after the attack, as she went to sleep.
That was late afternoon.
I change into fresh clothes and wash up.
Then I join my family on the deck, by the railing, facing west, where the sun rises.
The sun … Read more
It’s a clear summer night, with a soft breeze, and the full moon reflects off the water.
I look again.
The moon is wrong.
It’s too big, and there are no familiar constellations in the sky.
This is not my world.
Am I caught in a dream?
My bare feet rest on the cool, delicious sand, and the sound of the waves fills my ears.
The ocean is near, but I can’t see the gentle waves that greet me.
One moment my vision is clear, and the next moment, the world is covered in fog.… Read more