(Rough Release 15)

[[ From Bones of Starlight: The Enfolding Abyss, Book 2 – Prologue ]]

“We can bring you things you don’t know, that you’ve never seen,” they’d said to her in more words than that.  “But you have to ask.”  So the Princess had thought of something to ask them about before they released her streamview from their program loop.  Something simple and inconsequential that was a genuine curiosity.  She chose to tell them about the book she never found in the Great Library at home, with the word “movements” in the title, in her memory’s sparse detail.  The three individuals accepted her request as reasonable, and they agreed to meet up again later.

Now a later moment had arrived while Soleil was at a stream viewer, the common equipment that allowed her interface connectivity as a human to the Vedani networks.  Their uncanny similarities as people meant that some of the things they made for their own use enabled Alisandrian human capabilities as well.

With her gained skills, Soleil had created an inviting shell that was set to house unusual occurrences without rearranging other virtual furniture, as she had noticed environmental effects from her previous encounter with the Kao-Sidhe, as they suggested they be called.  It wasn’t a matter of either of them waiting for the other.  They intended to collide, at which moment she would set up The Gazebo.  A place to meet with a nice view.

It was designed almost like a trap, in fact, the way it sprang up around them upon mutual recognition at their next encounter.  It was amenable to them both, with a stability that would allow Soleil to remain mentally grounded, and enough flexibilities that would allow the Kao-Sidhe to exist comfortably.  Their embodiment was still characterized by phenomena to Soleil, because they had essentially only met on a computer.  But this time, they made an effort to actually appear.

They chose to present expressions that the Princess could relate to without stress-loading the system.  They were a jumble of humanoid and other puzzling features that represented them to the degree of a quick knife-and-woodblock carving.  Each was nevertheless iconically distinguishable, and the encounter again felt a little more real.

“We’ve brought you a page.”

“A book-style page!”

“We believe it’s exactly what you are looking for.”  Soleil was looking from one icon-being to another.  One resembled a bright vegetable and was mostly silent.  The second embellished with details and flourished with what might have been an excess of color.  The other usually stepped forth with presentation and drew a lot of interest.  Garlic, Rosy Glow and Dragon Food didn’t bother to reintroduce themselves, but their attributes were distinct enough for Princess Soleil to assign them.

She was then shown a painstakingly crafted page.  There was a graininess indicating that it was an artistic virtual replica of something real.  It looked to be from the right age of her life, and the title included the word “movements,” but the page was covered in dance diagrams.  Soleil really didn’t think that was from the book she’d chosen as a youngster, but it was interesting, or at least difficult-looking and similar to a martial art that she knew.

She accepted the page graciously from Dragon Food.  The stream transfer took unusually long, and their virtual sprites were winking for some reason the entire time.


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