Kirashi and Erish discuss their upcoming voyage to Kataru
Erish sat in the dark. Through the window, she watched a sphere of orange light so large, it stretched across the horizon. It rose slowly, almost imperceptibly, into the sky. Dipping down behind it was a smaller, white star. The yellow sun, Sig, was setting as Aldebaran rose. The landscape turned orange. The sea darkened, and stars of the Anubis cluster twinkled into view.
She heard the swish of an opening door, and the sound of footsteps behind her. Focusing on the landscape. She heard a woman inhale behind her, but did not turn around.
“Do you miss home?” Kirashi whispered, leaning down to her ear.
Erish looked towards a tree beginning to bud, “I hardly remember it,” she responded. The woman placed a hand on her shoulder. Erish turned, looking into up Kirashi’s face. “Let’s not activate the lights. It’s so peaceful, I could sit here for hours.” Evening mists gathered in the distance.
“When it was recorded?” she asked.
“Thousands of years ago,” Kirashi responded. “Like all the windows here.” They watched as a flock of night birds, on their nightly quest for insects, swarmed into the darkening night.
“Have you spoken with Namazu?” Erish asked.
“I have just come from the medical bay.”
“Will she come with us?” Erish whispered.
“I’m afraid not. She is recovering, but,” Kirashi paused.
“Her condition is fragile,” Erish completed the sentence for her. She paused, laying her hand over Kirashi’s. “Then, we must find someone else.” She looked up into Kirashi’s face again. The light of Aldebaran cast dark-orange shadows into the room.
“I will ask the Elders,” Kirashi responded.
“What about the human male, Batresh’s friend?”
Kirashi walked closer to the window and looked down at the ground, one story beneath them. It would soon be Erudu, the season when the yellow sun, Sig, moved in front of red Aldebaran, the season when the pale orange sky turns bright blue, when green grasses and yellow flowers thrust up through dark weeds. In the darkening evening, she could make out white flowers already blooming. “He’s scheduled for more downloads. Then he’ll be ready. It is too soon.”
Erish sighed, “When do we leave?”
“In 48 hours,” Kirashi answered.
Soon, the short evening would grow lighter. Nirgal, the planet around which their home moon orbited would rise behind them, reflecting the orange light of the enormous sun. In ten hours, Sig would reappear. Sig, the Mistress of Erudu orbited twice for every orbit of the larger red star. In ancient legends, Sig, being faster, chased the slower orbiting Aldebaran, catching him twice daily, forcing him to make love to her.
“Do we have a crew?” Erish asked absent-mindedly.
“The Elders have chosen them,” Kirashi responded. “We will ask for a seasoned diplomat.”
“Will we join the Kataru?”
Kirashi nodded. Admiral Namazu directed the diplomatic corps to find military allies. There were too few Tayamni to fight this new war.
She looked up and noticed the metallic glint of a ship in the distance, heading out into space. Erish almost forgot that they were not on Mussara, but on another moon, the moon orbiting Earth, 65 light years from their home world.