84.1 \ 276

The mass of glassy rock tapped beneath their feet, as the humans who’d volunteered for the buffer zone practiced the run they would use to move in groups during entry and exit. Center point leaders would guide group direction toward intended placements. Everyone ran bent over, arms splayed behind them, to increase their aerial visibility. The position reduced the likelihood of becoming an unintended target by a friendly force. “From above, you’d look like a bee doing a bee dance, instead of just a body under a head,” is how Mirya Ayo put it to her group of buffer zone protesters. It was an unusual way to run, as if under low branches while holding weapons, but people figured it out.

They did this training inside of incredible scenery – a pocket floating island within an uncrossable branch of rapids in the off-season Oriya aerial river. Uncrossable, except by the schools of silvers, their leathery disclike bodies making twirling extended leaps. The island they stood on was made of the kind of stone with a unique planetary magnetogravitational relationship. Floating veins of this stone created the conditions for the aerial river. The configuration of other giant gems nearby caused the rapids to whoosh around them like a pocket with an opening, keeping them unseen.

83.3 \ 275

Her speech translated in the natural way that a rosy glow translates to any language. It was a manner similar to the dragon’s, in the way that a new dragon’s speech is still generally dissimilar. They are yet unaccustomed to suiting themselves to interaction with different beings, and can only be met closer to their own terms.

it’s you, you’re the one
she met. i can tell because
your eyes were in her eyes.
i see these things. we see you
and recognize you as yourself,
hello. i believe that you have
a role, a part in something
that i know – far and deep,
but near enough, if you
come with us. it is my
guess that you know
what i mean, and it would
be my pleasure to show you
to your domain, for it would
also fulfill my part. you’re
the new dragon, hi.

The between-space swirled, changing what it was between; traveling, in a way, as their forward intentions shifted. Acamar could see them, now, recognizing them as individuals like erself while unlike anything else. Kao-Sidhe are only visible when recognized. The uniqueness factor was also common between the two peoples, Dragons and Kao-Sidhe – one is not like the others, and Acamar understood this upon seeing the two of them.

oh – your kind are so
interesting. what are you,
really? no – don’t tell me.
as for what you speak
of – it is there! i knew it,
i know what it is without
knowing what it is yet.
i had a feeling it was
there, and already
wish to understand
it more. let us away,
lead on.

Dragon Food was irresistibly interested in and attracted toward Dragons, but could, often as not, manage not to get eaten.

let us, yes!

83.2 \ 275

She was zipping through enfoldments of space-concept betwixt the existence of one rosy glow to the next – feeling other familiar phenomena in passing, something in her searching for something, and perhaps something else. Rosy Glow went from familiarity to increasing familiarity until she collided joyously with someone most familiar: Dragon Food! Wherever they were together, there was a happiness.

Then they traveled together, as they were often wont to do, with some purpose, and without. With certain purposes more circumspect, the indirect route is the most direct, and the one they were happiest to take. Time together was hardly time, with them. So the route changed to career through their coexistent universe, broad enough to wander, with one eye on the prize and one eye to the skies. What were they looking for? They’d know when they found it, and why.

It found them, naturally, though ‘e didn’t know them as themselves, only the combination of their sensations. Acamar may or may not have been hungry, but Dragons get hungry when they see Dragon Food. Dragon Food was aware of, and proud of, his appeal. When Acamar’s gaze fixed onto them, where were they? It was hard to tell – between one place and the next, or the next, now of fixed location. Just then Rosy Glow remembered something, and sensed something, and knew that she should speak.

83.1 \ 275

the abyss of transference,
my first awareness;
the passage from one place
to another is a void that is
neither, a break in continuity
that allows transformation.
an opening is a nothingness
that is something, that
I know, that I am.
a stillness, a break, maybe
a connection that does not
exist as itself, but as a
resonance between two things
that are not the same.
a passage is a powerful
nothing, from one moment
to the next, one space to
another – the invisible line
between states of being,
as tenuous as a definition,
as mutable and as
important, the distinction
being the difference,
all the difference
of the existence that is
mine to contemplate
and know around me

Wee Hours Tea, Type(writer), & Chocolate

Last night I was busy throwing the abovenamed WorldCon room event. Here is what greeted people:

I did just happen to be given room 333.

Both the promo and the chocolate buffet got gobbled up.

The typewriter saw some unique contributions, including vintage WorldCon letterhead paper from 44 years ago.

I have one panel left at WorldCon tomorrow on the Phylogenetic Tree of Space Opera, with some greatly renowned authors. Catch us if you can.