Xetheare (xetheare) wrote,
Xetheare
xetheare

Wet Star ch 1

Five Standard Cycle (SC) Days; that was all that was permitted for family to view a body after it is declared legally dead. Of course, this was the Uunsterhek belt of planets; bad luck or bad timing. All the other alliances allowed for extended, hypothermal observations and even allowed transport without too much complications. Uunsterhek authorities refuse to compromise with the usual hoards of grievers. Rumors abound that they take too much advice from the machine minds. Regardless, when a 40+ eon elder, suddenly goes unresponsive, there will be tens of thousands of her kin flooding the gates within hours.

Uunsterhek has another peculiarity, one that makes the little chain of planets the most-visited tourist attraction in the 188,000+ SC years of recorded history. By the record there has been trace mutations in the genepool of the Naardi, a jellyfish-like encephalopod spread among 100's of water planets by the trillions. The Uunsterhek Alliance, over several millenia, has seized a system-wide monopoly on heavy materials and have been using it to seed ecologically-stable planets of less than half the usual diameter.

These thoughts had Loord distracted for some time, but now the small group that was allowed to huddle in the small room with the uncertain carcass was being prompted to ready for the customary, final tribute before being jettisoned into the void. 'Like all this fin fluttering is going to matter,' Loord thought to herself. She would have surely molted by now if that were the case, and there's not much chance she was ovating at that age. Funerals are getting old, she giggled invisibly.

Three and a half eons since hatching and this is the first chance she gets to see a rock planet at depth. She despised the way everyone pretends to be so happy when an elder dies. She knew there was nothing out there, sure of it, without any doubt. 'Someday,' Loord pondered, '
Tags: story, wet star
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