Namazu looks out at Sippar, while Sagar plays a fortepiano. She thinks of her upcoming voyage
Her apartments at Sippar were luxurious by Tayamni standards. She stood at walls of vertically paned glass, looking out. Night had fallen. The Parliament building, a blue lighted pyramid, shot charged particles upwards from the pyramidion, lighting the sky in shades of gold and silver. If she bothered to look to the right, she’d see ancient Egyptian columns guiding visitors to the Temple Complex. And on her left, the Archive building, opening great arches upwards, curving around transparent walls. Inside, row upon row of electronic cases stored data from cultures all over the Alliance. The great square, dotted with alien trees and flesh eating flowers, spread out below her.
Looking into the night, unfamiliar constellations, legendary heroes battled beasts and monsters. Systems in the Perseus Arm were much closer and brighter than at Earth. The nearest Empire controlled planet was only 6,000 light years away.
Gentle chords sounded from behind her. She turned slowly and saw, partially shaded by the building’s corner, Sagar sitting at a wooden instrument. Namazu watched her body move gently with each sound. Her eyes closed, her pale arms glowing the light of the first of three moons to rise tonight. Namazu took the elaborately carved keyboard rather than watch it burn in a priest’s villa, during Napoleonic wars. Beethoven himself could have played it.
She recognized the piece as his Sonata 14. She thought it ironic that Sagar played his Moonlight Sonata, bathed in the moonlight of a world not visible from Earth. She watched Sagar’s lips part as she reached quieter, expressive passages. The fortepiano was her’s now, a gift for coming so far away with her. She bent closer to the keyboard, causing blonde tresses of hair to fall from her shoulders, exposing the soft skin of her neck.
“I could stand here forever,” Namazu thought to herself.
The piece climbed unevenly up a scale, then settled back into a lower, softer passage. Sagar took a deep breath before beginning the next phrase, her chest expanding, pushing her breasts forward against her gown.
Namazu looked back into the night sky. A dim red, twinkling star caught her attention. It was too close to be Zimudar’s home, Ditallu, although, it would probably be burned red now, as well. No transmissions were detected from her home world since a Tlaloc attack, 20 years earlier.
They would leave in a few days. Her small fleet of three ships, an exploratory run, making observations and collecting data.