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

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.