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.

82.2 \ 274

The emissary would be arriving soon here where they were gathered, in sight of the baby beach. This group of littlest ones were sleeping here in the round shells they yet inhabited, dreams coloring the tinkling air around them, waves lapping gently around their downturned rims inside the protected pool. Bright Wave let her gaze linger on the littles, looking away from their group; she let her thoughts slip into a swirl of green that billowed like a deep sea vent. After that drifting moment, she turned her attention back to the serious discussion reminding themselves of their motivations.

“We’re helping people with something that doesn’t affect us,” said one resolute stalwart, voicing the stone at the bottom of the cup.

“There’s a lot about this that makes all the difference for us,” replied Sharp Talon, one of Bright Wave’s closest. “These are the mekas, and their human pilots, who can replant our relatives. We need to protect them, and we need the people who will return our maturation.”

“Do you think their remorse is sufficient, for the hurt they did to our people?”

“They are making it better, and connecting with us through our wise teachers. There was so much more in what happened, other people, other changes, not only their burden of responsibility. Our disaster and grief was real, but the Symbias are more real. They’re going to heal us, and they want us to heal this.” Soft Sand said this from within deep contemplation.

“The humans… they’re not working for the Imperium.”

“No, they’re taking a risk making a hard choice. The Vedani are sure of their own information on the matter, and so are the Humans of Hirylien, who have had a long, complicated, and bloody fight for their justice. This wasn’t easy or simple.”

“It’s simple enough for us now,” Sharp Talon summed up bluntly. “Those mekani hold our trowels.”

“The pilots, they’re children, they should not be hurt.”

“If the mekani hold the trowels, and the children control the mekani, we must consider them equally irreplaceable – more so, of course.”

“We also do not want them hurting people that they need not, considering the power that they wield.”

“We are citizens of the Pan-Galactic Imperium. Will this cause them to take action against Aquarii?”

“We in our places in fact uphold the Pan-Galactic Imperium; but that’s also why we, as Aquarii, are going into this to mitigate damage in every direction. Lines are blurring and changing, sides are ceasing to exist in stark polarization, you know the Teachers are like that, you know we all had to learn these things by our third molting, it’s where we find our music and our love, it’s where beauty exists.” Tendrils waved slowly in whispering acknowledgment as Bright Wave’s clear voice rounded off her impassioned insight.

“The protected should remain safe from protectors and aggressors. The protectors should remain safe from the protected and aggressors. The aggressors should remain safe from the protected, and from themselves. Us between all.”

“Us,” said one, looking around at their moderate number.

“Us. In our power.” Bright Wave brought a great pendant medallion out from its pouch, bright with crystals in sparkling array. She fastened it upon herself to rest against her thorax. “With our trees strengthening our hearts. With deep starsong.”

One by one, the others lifted their great pendant from its pouch and placed it upon themselves, becoming the bearer of its magnificence. Their color auras brightened in degree and precision. They examined each other, aligning. In silent agreement, they again put the pendants away.

They murmured and milled, some going to sing to the littles with the attendant lovegivers. Then, where the Symbias arranged that they should wait, a blue spark swirled open into a sphere. The sphere sparked again, and from it a glowing wireform emerged, humanish but long and different. It noticed and took a moment to behold the baby dreams flowing around the cluster of round shells. Then it offered a five-fingered hand, and Bright Wave laid her suede-smooth tentacle upon it. She offered her other tentacle to a fellow, and each of these twined to a neighbor. Once they were all connected, they agreed, and the wireform Vedani projection touched the sphere and took them into the throughport.

82.1 \ 274

The sonorous voices of the lost Symbias with them once more, the Aquarii were again growing in connection to themselves, their ancient past, to each other – and now, to the Vedani people. Vedani had their aetheric means of communication in what they experience as the scape, which the Symbias could find and understand, even exist within; and the Aquarii, again sitting with tree friends as familiar as their own thoughts, found the intermediary communication natural and easy. The Symbias hadn’t been nearly as close with any other people in the long memory of the Aquarii. They needed to know each other.

A small group of Aquarii had stepped forward to distinguish themselves as those readiest to defend the returned Symbias and the innate allyship they represented, on the suggestion that they would be needed soon. They did this quickly, before Human speculation could learn to consider their Symbias family a threat in the balance of conflict. Bright Wave was of course among them, she who had risked her magnificent voice, and her life, when she sang her way through the barrier around her burning Grove to find some way to save the family trees. She hadn’t been able to then, but she could now.

81 \ 273

People were passing notes inside of cash, writing words on their arms under their sleeves. In these notes were sets of codes which would activate upon being relayed a number of times. This, they designed themselves. Navann Ynam did some relaying herself, within her building. Between the information load and her own vivid experiences during recent hospital work, something in her had flipped without her being able to name every reason why; there were too many reasons, and she didn’t write them down. She just decided to start doing her part.

Word was going around, and the sense of imminence was a thick undercurrent. Within the keyed codes were data such as coordinates, times, and occasional neighborhood manifestos. The contents were for the people who had the keys. That’s how this information worked best, which someone knew if they gained it. People who had the keys already knew who they were working with, and why.

Word of mouth by voice. Each one teach one, plus one, plus two, plus three. Not everyone felt they had to do it. Plenty opted out along the way, and this they were allowed. Dropping back in the ranks still often equaled forms of support, and people should only do what they could do. It was important to some that they did. They were ready. The danger balance of battle versus siege had reached a tipping point. This would end something, and gain something. Time for the pressure to drop. They’d been wondering what would do it – they themselves would do it.

People were aware of possibilities. They prepared themselves, as hidden homemade warriors. Things were co-organized: family style, band style, tribe style. Getting through the systemic fence to run to the hills, where something was going to happen.