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A tumble of rocks galloped across the field of vision within the Skyfather’s sighting mechanism. Soleil focused through the depths, adjusting the view to brighten a few stars. She identified their type, and though she couldn’t name them, it was a familiar arrangement from her days of star map study. Hirylien was included as Pan-Galactic Imperial space, though dead space, where Drift X yet hid among derelict orbiting structures. Surrounded by familiar elements once more, they had become stranger than strange through her newly granted perspectives.

The Princess sat up in the mounting chair, alone in the gunnery, as she’d requested, for a cogitative session. She let her mind wander through some interaction processing. Uixtr and Moonshadow had gone on their own way when Drift X left Ombd. That was also when she’d had her last discussion with Rosy Glow, which actually felt fond; they’d done some things, shared some times, even had fun. Rosy Glow pulled through for her in a number of ways. They had achieved things together, which were challenges when met, but achievements once accomplished. She’d never personally known a pretty wisp of color before. Yesterday, Soleil sat on this platform with Toller, dangling their legs over the edge, discussing random bits of youth. He reminded her what it was like just to be a person alive somewhere in the Imperium, making life work as people do; those pieces of rare, unextraordinary beauty that make a day. Later, Wendel had told her all about her latest learning discoveries with the souped up Drift X – the fun of these powerful frills, wondering what she would do with them on a regular workaday level, if she’d ever be finding that again.

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