38.2 \ 220

Dotted around the schooling soldiers, against the shocking backdrops of the disintegrating fleet, were floating groups of wacky individuals various in face, appendage, form, and obviously not human. They seemed to possess no clear scale of size. Were they huge next to that ship, or tiny next to that person? Did they loom over the carnival scene, or were they impossibly far away? They were all furiously interacting in several directions – with each other, the places of egress, and somehow at least one of them managed at some point to make direct eye contact with each human. Were those eyes? How many eyes? Strange eyes, laser eyes on what looked like a cat.

Stationed within the column of this swirling sardine funnel of soldiers was the reassuring figure of General Alisandre. Astride a gorgeous glowing spirit horse, floating solidly there in the space between spaces wearing insignia longjohns and t-shirt, he looked glad to see them there. As people registered his mount, their carrying breezes began to also transform – but into something that suited the person, that made them feel happy and comforted, that made them smile. It continued to liquidly transform until a smile appeared, when they were reminded of a time and place where they felt perfectly safe. Then, it smiled back! They felt as ethereal as their atomic selves, awash in the violet light that encased this between-space. Looking around at their crew members, some cackled at the sight of one astride a swan, the other riding a fish, a gatorwing, plumehound, in all the intergalactic variety of rescuing entities. There was music, but everyone heard something different. The music shifted until they heard something they liked, then it grew louder.

When the fleet had been reduced to flotsam, everyone had arrived that was going to arrive. It didn’t seem to take very long, though the details were memorable to those who saw them. The wash of violet light started sprouting nodes around the periphery. In order of readiness, people on their mounts began to flap, run, swim, or locomote toward them one at a time. They didn’t necessarily seem to grow farther in distance, perhaps just smaller in place. As each soldier left, they caught a wave goodbye from one among the Kao-Sidhe. Individually, they were drawn again into a throughport in a burst of energy that was the disappearance of their mount.

The symphony of destruction surrounding everyone was over. Traffic picked up, and people streamed to the many exodus points until the last human left was General Alisandre. He’d met all this with trepidation, wonder, uncertainty, hope, and now, determination; presumably, the things that any of the humans may have experienced in this situation. Wherever this was taking him, he’d have to figure this situation out from there. He still had no dictated destination, only this horse and a favorite power anthem stuck in his head. His horse cantered gaily toward a node which seemed far, but took hardly any time to reach. He caught all the Kao-Sidhe coordinators waving him goodbye as the violet flash overtook him.

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