Starman Part 3

Starman part 3. (Part 1 here, Part 2 here)

A lot can happen between adventures.

Yaska, Jan, the Starman, and Chloe stood just inside the desert village, near Yaska’s house.

“This is the Starman,” Yaska said.

Chloe considered him. She looked at his face, and his form. The face looked similar to Jan’s, but less cheerful.

She said, “you know, Yaska, I doubted your letter, but… I can tell that something with this Starman is off. I need to prove it to myself.”

“What do you mean by off?” Jan asked.

“Yaska, can you get me one of your shirts? No, not the one you’re wearing right now.”

Yaska shrugged. Shortly after, she returned from her small stone hut with a shirt. Chloe took the shirt and offered it to the Starman, who put it on.

Chloe asked, “does it fit?”

“It fits exactly,” he said.

Yaska’s eyes widened, but Jan remained confused.

He asked, “what’s this about?”

Chloe addressed the Starman, “You look like a man, but you’re not, are you. You just copied what’s around you in order to give yourself shape.”

“I’m still lost.” Jan said.

Yaska looked at the Starman. Her shirt fit the creature far better than Jan’s did.

“Well, I am not lost,” Yaska said, “when he landed, the first person he met was me. He was just a ball of light, and then he took on my shape. Jan, do you remember when he first came to the village?”

“It had no face…”

Jan’s expression became passive. Chloe and Yaska both noticed that, without Jan’s constant grin, they really did look identical.

Yaska’s face became stern. She said, “it came from the sky and imitated my body. It came to the village and imitated Jan’s face. Then, it came to our campfire and imitated our language. What does it want, blending in with us so?”

She accusingly pointed a clawed finger at the Starman, “is getting home truly your only goal?”

Silence overcame the group. The Starman stared, searching his limited vocabulary for words with to explain himself.

Chloe’s mumbling eventually broke in, “…imitation, returning to the sky… he truly is a star, isn’t he? I didn’t think that the legend was true.”

Jan said, “what legend?”

The Starman said, “tell us, please.”

Some of the villagers had gathered around Jan’s fire, anticipating the story from the outsider, Chloe.

“My father told me it was long ago, I always assumed two or three thousand years. A star fell from the sky. It was unlike a dead shooting star. It was alive, and it landed on the planet. The ancient people encountered it, and came to fear it.

“The first person to find it was a great hero. The star took the shape of the hero. It was uncanny for the people, to see this false form of the hero. The accused it of being a demon, and captured it out of fear.

“The hero feared for the star. The star had done nothing wrong, but would likely be charged will all forms of frivolity, and the ancient people would decide to kill it. Standing around the star’s cage, and surrounded by his people, the hero decided to take a risk to save the star.

“The hero gave a great laugh, and then pointed to the cage, ‘you fools, you have captured the wrong person, for I am the star, and he is the true hero!’

“The star was cunning. It said, ‘I am indeed your noble hero, please free me!’

“The hero gave the star a secret smile, and then ran. Half the ancient people pursued, and the other half hastened to free the person they thought was their hero. The star was yet still cunning, it said, ‘I will chase down the imposter! Leave it to me!’ And it gave chase. The two heroes ran about the city, each claiming to be chasing the other.

“The hero, that is, the true hero, stopped at his house to rest. He hid, and watched through his doorway. The city calmed. The star was still wandering about, but he assured everyone that he had chased the imposter out of the city. In truth, he was still searching, but without frenzy. He walked around, fearful at the civilization before him, fearful of getting caught.

“Finally, the star noticed the hero in his doorway, beckoning. The star approached, and the hero pulled him inside. The hero fed the star, and told him to journey out of the city and return to his home. The star told him, ‘I need energy,’ so the hero fed him, and gave him drink.

“The star left the city, under the guise of the hero, and returned to the skies. They say that the star still looks down on the hero in thanks, and that the hero still looks up as well.

“Supposedly, it’s the hero that passed this story down to his children, and to the next generation.” Chloe finished.

Yaska, usually stoic, had become quite surprised.

Jan said, “are you the same star?!”

“No.” The Starman said.

Chloe grinned, “so, if the legend is true, and my father says it is, all we have to do is feed the star!”

Yaska shook her head, “I apologize, but we already tried. It did not work, he said that our food was not star food.”

Chloe looked from Yaska to the Starman. She considered Yaska’s words for a long time. Their food is not star food. The hero’s food was. Did that mean that the problem was that Plainkind food specifically was not star food? What was different about what the Plainkind ate, compared to what the hero ate? And then Chloe remembered the odd quirk in Plainkind diet the separated them from nearly every other race.

“I know what it is!”

Sorry, guess it’ll be four parts instead of three!

Daniel Triumph.

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Starman Part 2

Starman part 2. (Part 1 here)

A lot can happen between adventures.

The next morning, Yaska came to Jan’s stone hut. Outside, he and the creature were talking.

“Look, Yaska, he fits okay in my clothes… sort of. A little tight in the arms and baggy everywhere else, but not a big issue,” Jan shrugged.

Yaska stared at the creature.

“It can talk now so I’m guessing it learns by imitation,” Jan said, “sort of like a kid who picks up really really fast. I think it figured out how to talk just from the stories last night!”

He learned to talk,” Yaska replied.

The creature looked at them both, then said, ” ‘It’ is closer than ‘he,’ but considering me a man will make referring to me easier.”

“You know, he kind of talks like you,” Jan said.

“Hmm.” Yaska surveyed the creature. He seemed to have a strangely slim but broad build.  She asked him, “what should we call you?”

“What would you call me if I was still in the sky?”

Yaska spoke tentatively, “a… star?”

“Okay. I am a star that looks like a man.”

Jan said, “I’m just going to call you the Starman.”

“Okay.” The Starman said.

“Okay.” Yaska said.

“Al right, Starman, what would you like to do?” Jan asked.

“Well, I would like to return to…” he pointed.

“The sky”

“The sky, but I do not have enough energy.”

Yaska looked around the desert. Her gaze passed the Solune wall to the east, and the mountains to the north. She said, “Do you think you could return from the top of the mountain?”

The Starman followed her gaze and said, “perhaps.”

Jan packed food and bloodskins, and looked for someone to hunt in his place. Mariça volunteered. Then they headed up the mountain.

For a Plainkind, climbing a mountain is less difficult and more tedious and the northern mountains are of unexceptional height. The small group managed to reach the summit with a little effort and in less than half the day.

“How is this?” Yaska asked.

The Starman gazed at the sky, and said, “I will see.”

He began to glow as he had when he had first landed, and Yaska expected him to morph back into a ball. Instead, he stopped and cooled off, returning to normal.

“What made you stop?” Yaska asked.

The Starman said, “Now that I have seen the top, I am certain that I do not have enough energy to return to the sky. I would rather not waste what I do have.”

Yaska put a hand in her hair, “I guess my idea was not that good after all.”

“I apologize. But, at least we will no longer have to wonder.”

“Okay, wow,” Jan said, “you guys are so stuffy. Listen, what did you say? That you don’t have enough energy?”

“Right.”

“Well, here. Eat. Drink.”

They found a flat rut in the mountain, and began eating. The average Plainkind meal is raw dinosaur meat, and blood. Other liquids are very difficult to find in the desert, so blood is the primary source of fluids.

When they had finished, Jan said, “So? Is that better? Do you have energy now?”

The Starman thought for a time, and then said, “no.”

“No?”

He put the food down, “this is, I think, the wrong kind of energy.”

“What? So, the mountain didn’t help, and the food didn’t help? What are we supposed to do?”

Yaska stood, took the Starman’s food, then gave it to Jan. “Take this, and calm yourself. Stars probably eat a different sort of food than we do. Come, we should return now.”

They started down the mountain. The Starman’s face was impassive.

“What do stars eat?” Jan asked. “You should know, you’re a star, right?”

“I know what it is, but I cannot tell you.” The starman replied.

“What? Come on, we’re trying to help you!”

“I… do not have the words.”

Yaska nodded, “the word for his food probably is not in Plainkind vocabulary.”

“Vocabulary?” Jan asked.

Yaska said, “vocabulary is… it is all the words you have to choose from when you speak. I learned the term from Chloe.”

“Oh yes, Chloe, the outsider. She knows quite a bit, doesn’t she.”

“Yes she does,” Yaska agreed, “Chloe knows about history, and science, and… Oh Jan!”

“What?” Jan asked. The Starman, too, looked at her.

“We could ask Chloe to help!”

“Oh, great idea!”

“I will write her a letter when we return. We can send it by bird.”

Daniel Triumph.

Previous Part,Next Part

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P.S.

I apologize for the quality drop in this one. The next one is better.

Starman Part 1

Starman part 1.

A lot can happen between adventures.

Yaska May Däwngale and the people of her village sat around the community fire. Jan was telling a story about the storm festival. Yaska rubbed her fingers through the sand. It did not rain a lot in the desert, but once every two years, there was a rainstorm. Even though she had been gone for so long, Yaska had heard his story many times and had gotten bored of it. She decided to leave the village to look at the stars.

“Where are you going?” It was her friend Mariça, the most unusual looking of the bunch.

“West. I am going to look at the stars.”

“Okay.”

Yaska walked until she couldn’t hear the buzz of the gathering. She found a spot next to a shrub and lay down, resting her hands behind her head. It wasn’t always easy to see the stars because the atmosphere often distorted them. In her homelands, however, there was less humidity, so heat distortion was reduced. Even on this clear night, the stars shimmered and danced in the skies, and Yaska knew she was only seeing a fraction of them.

Yaska gazed at the hundred or two shining dots, tracking their irregular movement until she saw one that was moving oddly. She blinked. It wasn’t shimmering, or moving in hazy circles. It was shuddering. And getting brighter. Yaska watched it, and realized that it was growing.

She sat up, and then, keeping her eye on the star, she stood. She rubbed her eyes, and when she opened them again, the light was the size of her fist.

“What?”

A fiery mass plummeted down from the heavens. Yaska watched as it smashed into the ground, twenty steps in front of her. She was quite astonished.

Yaska, fearless, approached the landing area. As the smoke dissipated, she could see a bright mass of whites and yellows shifting around. She watched as the ball of light took shape. It morphed vertically, splitting at the bottom and the sides. Yaska watched it compress into the definite shape of a person.

“…Hello?”

The form’s brightness faded slowly, until all that remained was a soft glow over it’s tanned skin. The face remained featureless.

Yaska waved her hand in front of where the face should have been. She thought that perhaps it would spark the next part of the creature’s transformation, that it had gotten stuck.

Yaska put  her hands on her hips, staring at it. After a while of nothing happening, she took a step back.

The creature tentatively stepped forward.

“Aha!” Yaska took another step backwards, and the creature again followed. “So you can do something!”

Yaska turned and started walking back the the village, checking over her shoulder frequently to make sure the creature was following. As she neared the makeshift stone huts of her village, she heard muttering.

Then, a voice rang out, “I will go, because I am the eldest. If anything happens to me, it is a much smaller loss than if we lose Jan, our hunter.”

Yaska entered and approached the group; huddled together and worried. It was Mariça’s part-mother who had volunteered herself. Jan noticed her first.

He said, “What is that following you?!”

Yaska stopped. The creature stopped. Yaska realized she had no idea what she had just led into her village. She assumed it wasn’t dangerous because thus far it had been so benign, but she couldn’t be sure. Still, she wasn’t too worried. If it was dangerous, she had the strength to deal with it.

Yaska turned around and said, “- oh, you are finally getting yourself a face, I see.”

The face of the creature pushed itself out of the front of its head, much to the surprise of the villagers.

Jan ran up to Yaska and whispered, “is this normal?”

Yaska nodded stating, “It started as a ball of light.”

“Hey!” Mariça shouted from among the group, “it looks like a boring Jan!”

Yaska and Jan looked up.

“I look like that?”

Yaska approached the creature.

“Can you speak?”

The creature opened its mouth and gave a shriek. Jan stepped back. Yaska stepped forward, readying herself, just in case.

Mariça’s mother walked to Jan and said, “that’s an infant’s screech. If it just got its face, it likely doesn’t know how to use it.”

Jan said, “Well, actually, it just got my face.”

After tapping it a few times, Jan declared the creature harmless. Yaska said that since it figured out how to grow a face so fast through observation, it would likely learn how to speak the same way. So, the village returned to the fire and Jan began another story.

And the creature did listen.

Daniel Triumph.

Next Part

This will probably be a 3 parter. Not super long. Yaska really should have more appearances, as she’s one of my oldest characters, but so it goes.

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Alice and Finch Epilogue 3

What Happened to Alexandre “Jutt” Dirge

Alice and Lex lived together in the temple for a few days before Alice moved into the castle. A few days later, Lex turned twenty and left the city to find her mother. Within the next year, she succeeded in her quest, but lost most of her teeth in the process.

Much later, (and after another adventure in which she invented an absurdly large instrument by the name of “a Quartet”) Alexandre finally turned her efforts to her dreams and began studying chemical research at the Solune University, followed by classical music composition.

Alice and Finch

Also, Jutt looks like this now.

CaptureThe Band (photo)

 

 

Evening Cake (The Solune Prince AII, Sx)

First draft disclaimer: This narrative is a first draft, and is therefore subject to grammar errors, repetitiveness, lack of clarity, repetitiveness, weak character voice and other issues. Later drafts will smooth such things over, but for now they remain.

Evening Cake

Chloe and Elliott headed to the second floor.

Chloe said, “you don’t think that Lillith’s still in the dining room, do you?”

“Well,” Elliott replied, “I’m pretty sure that there was a dessert, so they might still be having that. I mean, Col told me that he’d made cake so…”

“That’s the kid missing his teeth?”

“Yeah.”

“Do you know all these people already?”

“Yeah well, the Prince, Riley, had me do this one job, but I’m also sort of his lackey, so it’s all good.”

“Work a lot?”

“Not that often, really. Although getting was a pretty big job, so. I mean, I generally don’t have to leave the city.”

“Right.”

Elliott continued, “but often, I’ll get a few days off, and then he’ll get a pile-up of stuff, and then I get to go help him.”

“Get to?”

“Well, he’s kind of funny, you know?”

Chloe nodded. He was, at the very least, extravagant. “So what about Lillith, and Col?”

“Oh, yeah, Lillith is letting me paint this place!”

“Paint? Are you the ones that painted the bricks red?”

“What? No! The bricks are red because they were mined in a high-iron environment.”

“Oh, the rust.” Chloe nodded.

“Exactly. Anyway, you remember when we got here, and Spider was on the walls? She was getting ready to spray, she just got her permits from the government.”

“So, you serve the prince, and you paint? You have two jobs?”

“No, no spray painting is a hobby. Although, it’s a bit of a pain with all the regulation, you know?”

“Yeah, I read a lot about regulation, back in my kingdom,” Chloe nodded.

“Really? What you studying to be a lawyer?”

“If working with the law is what you mean, then yes. Although, it is the task of the poets to be what you call, a lawyer.”

“Well,” Elliott nodded, “that’s good to know. Your skills might be useful here, if you ever get dinged with anything.”

Chloe nodded along with him, and they entered the dining room.

“Ah, returned for cake, I see?”

Lillith smiled at Chloe and Elliott from behind the table. There was a bread-like cake in the centre of the table.

Riley dismissively threw a cloth napkin at her, “and?”

Lillith paused, but finally regained her air of confidence and said, “and I apologize for insulting your heritage. You will have to excuse, I am very direct, despite my stature.”

Elliot sat down again.

Col entered with two more plates and quickly added, “I’m also really sorry! I already knew you were pleasant,” he wiped his forehead, “and that you hadn’t tried to eat any of us… oh…”

“Don’t fret.” Chloe sat down at her spot, “in retrospect, I shouldn’t have taken it all so personally. You’re right, the Condor are known for eating other races.”

Col served Chloe and Elliott cake, then sat down next to Lillith.

“Moving on,” Chloe said, “I’d like to ask if you have any letter writing tools. I would like to write to my dad. Ah, I mean the King.”

“Sure,” Lillith smiled, “family is important. Col, make sure there’s writing instruments in her room when she returns.”

“Wait,” Elliott said, “yo, what kind of cake is this, even? I don’t think I’ve had it before.”

“Oh? It’s just cocoa and sweets.” Col smiled as he exited.

“The guy didn’t even wait for a thanks.” Elliot shook his head and took another bite.

“He’s very grateful, Col.” Lillith said.

The supper finished when Riley stole the last piece of cake.

“Well, I can show you to your room.”

Lillith stood and began to lead Chloe out of the room.

“Oh, ah, bye.” Chloe waved to Elliott, who did his best to wave back before she was gone.

Lillith strode down the hall and fumbled in her robes.

“Al right, you have keys where you come from?” She handed Chloe a very simple key with two bits. “It’s for privacy more than security.”

“Ah,” Chloe looked at it, but instead of taking it she said, “well, actually, I tend to lose keys…”

Lillith shrugged and simply held it in her hands as they walked downstairs to the first floor.

“Well in that case, lock it from the inside for privacy, and if you ever lock yourself out, talk to me. Or Col.”

She turned to smile, and Chloe nervously returned the expression. They stopped at a door, and Lillith unlocked with the key.

The room was spacious, but not cavernous. The trim was gold in colour, and the ceiling was made of what looked to be a weaved copper alloy. It reflected the lamp light well and kept the room in ambient brightness. There was a bed, a desk, and a dresser. On the desk were Chloe’s lettering things, and beside it was a a small pile, a bag and a cloak.

When Chloe saw the heap, she asked, “Oh, how did you get my travelling gear?”

“Riley talked to an officer who was apparently out of the loop regarding you capture down at the station. Told the poor woman that these items were going to be picked up on his behalf by Col.”

“Wow.”

“Yes, the man is clever at times.”

Chloe turned around to face Lillith, “well, thank you.”

“Yes, goodnight.”

Chloe sat and began drafting her letter.

Daniel Triumph.

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Want to continue the story? Check for newer chapters on the Table of Contents, or by following The Solune Prince category.