As they came closer to Turan, Bellana opened the viewport, as was her custom. What they saw on the sub-space radar was not so spectacular as what they saw with their own eyes. "What the hell...? Do you see what I'm seeing? Tell me you are, please! Have you ever seen that before?" The words spilled out like a torrent, non-stop. "I don't remember ever seeing that!"
"Whoa, Bellana, slow down," Chuck cautioned. The real-time fluctuation monitors were going nuts, peaking and dipping radically. "You mean the big pink moon or all that other shit goin' on? I think that's the moon Alba says is her goddess - though I never understood how someone smart as Alba could say...."
"This isn't the time to get philosophical about someone's beliefs, Chuck!" Bellana rose up from her console and called up to the balcony level, knowing Shea and the others were up there having some dinner. "Oh Captain! Dear Captain! I think you'd better get down here real fast!"
Shea appeared at the railing, peering down at the viewport. "Be right there!" They had a pole, like a fireman's pole, for things such as this. Shea slid down. "Alba?! Is Lian Na'Marn supposed to be here?" He echoed Bellana's questions. "What's going on? What is all this activity?"
"I'd say it was some kind of magnetic flux," Chuck offered.
Alba slid down the pole and soon joined them. Her pale brow was knotted in consternation as she checked the fluctuations against the visual. "That's exactly what it is. She is very much a living entity. Forget that at your own peril."
"Sounds kind of melodramatic." Shea knew how passionate Alba was about her goddess but truth be known, he was rather of the same opinion as Chuck about someone like Alba believing something like that.
"You don't think so? Look at Her resplendent veils floating out behind Her! Watch Her! She's feeding off Ayam Ba'Marn, transferring electromagnetic energy from Ayam to Herself. Shut down the drives, Chuck. We shouldn't get any closer until we see what's going on. Keep an eye on the fluctuations. If She stops before the other moon is 'slain', what will you think then? Coincidence. No."
"You mean thermal radiation?" Chuck asked as he did as Alba commanded. "Why...?"
"You don't look happy to see Her," Shea said softly, unknowingly finishing Chuck's question.
"I'm not. This 'feeding' is normal and it's quite spectacular looking down on the ground, but She's not supposed to be here now. She comes approximately every eight years. It's only been...what...? Six? Ayam Ba'Marn has not sufficiently recovered from Her previous visit. I'm deeply troubled Shea. If She continues to feed off of Ayam with no sense or care of what is there, Ayam will destruct and the Turanian night will be plunged into darkness."
"Except every so many years?" Shea asked, trying to grasp this. The implications were insidious. It smacked of the Faladarians. He suddenly looked serious too. This was so not good! It pretty much jacked ALL their plans, not to mention what was left of Alba's kin and friends were still down there...hopefully.
"The Faladarians worship this dark nature of Lian Na'Marn. It is why they are like they are - vampires. I fear they have somehow come into possession of the Orb."
Just then, a terrible bright beam of heat erupted from the larger moon, directed at the planet below. Alba gasped and doubled over, as if she'd been wounded.
How's that for a cliff-hanger? :)
Background by me, made in PShop. And here is Amethyst in her premier appearance in the story as Bellana. 'Chuck' is not 'Chuck' but a WIP.
Thank you so much for visiting my gallery dear friends! I hope your May Day was brighter and sunnier...and much warmer than ours was. It snowed, again. Your comments are much appreciated!
May 2, 2013 6:07:18 pmby RodS Homepage »
Quite the cliff-hanger indeed, Ray! I'm anxiously awaiting what happens next. Fantastic artwork, as always - Bellana's expression is perfect!
Now, I really do wish you folks in Colorado would quit blowing this white stuff across Kansas... There's nothing to stop it and it winds up in Missouri! It's snowing like a bloody blizzard here! It's May, for cryin' out loud! :-D