39.4 \ 221

He settled into the alcove booth across from the girl. Uixtr and Yykth made square face-to-face eye contact before sinking into semi-relaxed seated stasis and closing their eyes. The vocal channel they were maintaining unfolded into innervisual branching aetherspace, where they could exchange entire idea and information veins.

YYKTH SLDR: Thanks for meeting with me to consult. Though my mixed peoples groups have formed bonds of ingenuity and capability, it can be stressful trying to get interactions right with humans.

UIXTR XKCD: You might already be better at it than I. Your groups are larger and more even, and they’re less accustomed to conflicted situations than the individuals with whom I have worked.

YYKTH: They’re adapting quickly, including the guardians.

One branch freed itself from Yykth’s knowledge trees and floated over to Uixtr’s point, where he examined it. Therein was a set of context observations of human crisis parenting, including evolutions of strategy sessions. The eagerness of the young to fight for a better future, and the passions of the elders to protect the young had caused leaps and bounds in the realms of possibility. There were certain points of requested expertise.

YYKTH: You might know who can help us really dial in vehicle interfaces for the excelling operators. These aren’t a matter of averaging for wide usage, but optimizing for particular performance.

UIXTR: You may be aware of successes in my recent history of human pilot to Vedani vehicle technology apprehension. The records are accessible, so you might have looked, or you may.

A branch of this information synthesized from Uixtr’s flow and floated over to Yykth’s bunches, where she highlighted it for priority processing.

YYKTH: This is more extensive than I had hoped, I’m very grateful. I flagged LKCD:AELRN for the other topic of this meeting, so she might be joining us.

Aelrn’s voice drew into aetheric proximity.

AELRN LKCD: I’ll be there in a matter of moments, glad you asked me.

UIXTR: Oh! Splendid.

Uixtr opened his eyes to continue sipping his green drink, still warm. Yykth opened her eyes as well and stretched into a relaxed lounge against the wall curve for the time being, poking the springy floor pad.

39.3 \ 221

Many a Vedani home address exists aboard what is called their spaceship, in the plasticity between three-dimensional anchor points. That sort of mapping cannot easily be done on the flat sheets of substrate that humans like. Uixtr carried a walking vessel of hot green refreshment down a shrinking hallway, one which travels shorter than it is long.

After turning some more corners, Uixtr arrived at a room pocked by low, floor-seating alcoves with calming curvatures. He zoned in on his signal to the voice of authority that he sought, smiling out through her typical irises of shifting rainbow-on-black, short silver hair in a downy updraft. The notorious Yykth, now officially handling the affairs her young cadre had begun in secret.


I’ve been cataloguing storehouses of records from the years since 2014, when I took this saga public by serializing. For all this time I’ve abhorred the resume model of qualification, sticking to passage on fresh ideas and evidence of story delivery. But it is good to give credit where due for doings done, somewhere, and now I have the fun problem of having done a lot of things during this time. It’s been half a season’s occasional effort and running to dig it up where I’ve dumped it all, such as this Facebook compilation:

No, that isn’t strictly all CV – I decided to include aspects of the creative journey including collaborators, inspirations, and perspective along the way. But that’s what I’m going through next. Yeah, I have outside links and footage and articles, and I often left a record of them here. So someday, an the creek don’t rise, it shall be writ upon the scroll that thou mayst peruse so as to be delighted upon the recounting.

39.2 \ 221

Moonshadow watched the Vedani leave the cozy nook, then scanned the area and released air from its vents. Attendants that beep are cute. Of course they know that a vehicle like Moonshadow can understand ordinary language, but it is strangely comforting to be recognized in nonlinguistic tones.

It went over to the purple gemstone. This is a thrilling material. As programmatically instructed, it used its tools to snap off and chemically pulverize a portion of a point, which it took into its system. Moonshadow supped on a few additional fuels and mulled over this combination. It calculated a strong boost in certain propensities, which it hoped to practice with someone soon. This stone was a very nice gift from their Aureny friends.

Moonshadow began tabulating, organizing, and updating its translation logs. Being asked to translate on Ombd was unexpected, but the results of increasing that ability with the encouragement of Rosy Glow had been so enjoyable. Moonshadow likes learning with non-Vedani. It was also neat imparting some programs to the human-Vedani spaceship Drift X, before it left Ombd. Moonshadow also likes teaching. Maybe there would be other machines or programmers to talk to via the terminal.

Reflecting on all that had happened, Uixtr decided he liked the idea of mitigating antagonism between factions. That had been the core of the Vedani approach toward the Pan-Galactic Imperium. They only changed their tactic when not met in kind, and many opinions had been soured by violence, his included. Of course sentient lives were worth saving, but he thought beyond the recent event to the personal exchanges which he was appreciating more and more. The human pilot Wendel Harper had gained command of the modifications to her ship, some experimentally improvised, with quick familiarity. She herself must have made some unconventional fixes on the fly and worked with it. They had, naturally, built with the machine’s existing personality, and she knew her vehicle as though she communicated with it like a Vedani. On the topic of natural pilots, Soleil, the Imperium’s Scion Princess, continued to surprise and impress in other ways as challenges surfaced.

These peoples share space now, short of one set eliminating the other. That would truly be a horror, one which Vedani were only partially prepared to confront.