by Jonathon Pierce
the Scimitar slowly descended into the void, Suralio Iffley gazed
longfully at the planet he once called Home. The Earth spinned slowly by, her
lush landscapes covered by drifting clouds. The ship accelerated, leaving the
beautiful world, and headed into space. Visions of the Ledics crowded his
thoughts, reminding him of the happiness he once knew. He was angry at them
for destroying his life and his dreams; and yet, his undying love for Adena
could only wish her the peace and happiness she so desperately sought.
shook himself. Now, he had other things to worry about. He entered the
turbolift and travelled to the Medical Level. He quickly walked into the
office."I hope I'm not disturbing you, Doctor, but I was wondering how
our patient was."
Torque Sharpe, fresh out of the Alarius Medical College, looked up from the
bio-screen--a chart flashed with perforce on the screen--and sighed. His
normally cheerful face turned shallow and cold.
will she die before we reach Titan?" Iffley asked; his voice
Captain, it is only a matter of time. I can't promise you anything. Her own
will to survive has kept her alive, I haven't."
lowered his head in acknowledgement and proceeded into the next room. Here,
Campuria floated in suspension. Various wires and tubes connected her body to
a large life-support machine. He perused the bio-screens: The life sensor was
dropping; she was getting weaker. Unable to cope with the situation, he left
for his quarters.
* * * * *
entered his room, the lights activated by his presence. His steel-gray walls
contrasted the red bedspread and wall hangings. Several artifacts from the
Museum of Remembrance adorned a shelf above the bed. In a corner, a rather
large gem on an ivory stand pulsated at intervals, bathing the room in a
sitting in his favorite chair, he began to read an ancient novel named Fat
Chance. The author of the book was anonymous:
Mr. Erk sat
thoughtfully at his cluttered desk. Thirty students frantically copied
unreadable notes from an overhead projector, Mr. Erk laughed uproariously as
he dropped a metallic pole on the floor. "Sound Energy!!!" He
however, one of the students, who had been eating a box of M&Ms, dropped
dead. Someone stood up to summon an ambulance.
down!" Mr. Erk shouted, "You have not been dismissed yet!"
finished the book and recalled its plot: Mr. J. Erk stands trial and is
sentenced; thirty years pass while he torments fellow inmates; his parole and
revenge on R------- High School. Iffley laughed at the climax. It was a most
enjoyable book. It also seemed odd for him to laugh. He hadn't even smiled
sound of the intercom returned Iffley to the real world. On the viewer Meric
Tartre, Iffley's science officer, excused the interruption. His staunch
features, unmoved as usual, manifested his moil. "Captain, we are
approaching Titan. Estimated time of arrival is seven point five
minutes." Iffley acknowledged Meric and then turned off the intercom. The
denouement was soon to come. He must be prepared.
* * * * *
beautiful planet Saturn rotated slowly across the screen. Its multifarious
rings stretching out into the void. Meric increased the magnification of the
main screen. Titan coalesced into view. Through the layer of clouds, an
immense ocean could be seen, broken only by an occasional land mass. The
moon's poisonous atmosphere, changed recently with the help of the Sceptre,
now supported a variety of life.
the satellite, Mr. Tartre." Meric obeyed the order, producing positive
results. The satellite's primary function was to reflect the sun's radiation
onto the moon below. The Synchronized Orbiting Light, a.k.a. SOL, was the
means of the artificial light and heat for the moon. While the atmosphere's
molecular structure could be altered, the distance of the sun could not be
lessened. The alternative was the building of SOL, bringing life to the
ordered a shuttle and, with Campuria aboard, piloted the craft to Opgirg--an
island in the Restricted Territory. With the help of the gem, Iffley was able
to track the location of his journey. He landed the shuttle at the outskirts
of a small village.
Campuria on an anti-grav stretcher, he approached the village. A small, furry
native greeted Iffley in a diaphanous, musical voice, "The Law-giver am
I. Fizzbin is the name by which I am known."
stared deeply into Fizzbin's crystal blue eyes and said, "I am Suralio
Iffley, Key-bearer. I seek the Descendant."
Law-giver spoke: "One such Key-bearer, the legends speak of. Do you have
that which the Descendant seeks?" Iffley nodded in truism. "Then the
way will I show unto you." She lead them through the village, past small
huts and into a rather large domed house.
interior shone with a lambent light. Silver decorations adorned the walls and
metallic rugs lay across the floor. Sitting in a steel-gray chair, a young man
watched the advancing figures and introduced himself, "I am Sterling, the
Descendant. Dost thou have the Shard?"
held out the red gem, "The Shard had been stained with blood of many
Innocents. It is still, nevertheless, intact." He proffered the Shard to
Sterling. At his touch, the Shard's red stain dissolved, revealing its normal
beauty. The Shard then showed this scene:
flight from Ozino had not been entirely successful. She realized that he knew
of her condition. The baby she was carrying was not Ozino's. She gathered, in
haste, a small group of fuzzy creatures known as the Ecaps, and fled to Titan.
She created a small dome--with the help of Aven--and hid inside, safe from
Ozino's fury. There, the baby was born. She entreated the Ecaps to care for
him until he was ready to seek his destiny. A tearstained Wisdym then left to
repent to Ozino for the Act. Her only regret that the punishment had already
image abruptly faded as Sterling realized his quest." I must seek out my
parents and take my rightful place by their side. The threat of Ozino is gone,
my fears are now alleviated. But first, my friend, I must repay you."
looked at the dying body of his love and explained the situation, "I
tried to use a resurrection spell on her, but, unforunately, I am not as adept
nodded in rapturous understanding, "Life does not always lead us down the
Primrose Path." He touched her temples and began to concentrate. Finally,
he said, "It is done."
blinked as her eyes adjusted to the light. She focused on Iffley and smiled.
Her attention then turned toward the shimmering stranger who said, "I
must take leave of you now. Longevity to you and to all your kind." The
Shard then faded away along with Sterling, leaving only a red, longstemmed
gathered Campuria off of the stretcher and carried her outside. The Ecaps were
chanting in a soft, lilting tone as the satellite set in the west. A brilliant
conflagration brushed against the clouds and melted into the twilight. Iffley
gazed deeply into the gray eyes of his love, "Someday, I'd like to learn
more about the person inside you. Campuria, my love, this is the beginnng of a
new era: the beginning of the rest of our lives..."
| ||© 1984, ||K. Blaire, L. Charles, D. Conrad, Enad the Great, J. Pierce, B. C. Randolf, and T. G. Taft|