Heaven Upbears

The skimmer sang with many voices.

The high stress tremolo of the variform hull, shifting through a thousand combinations a second to stabilize the skimmer’s flight path as it spiked the atmosphere; the low bass throb of the ram drive, pulsed magnetohydrodynamic vortices that could be felt in the skimmer’s structural bones; and mid-range, the pervasive thrum of laboring machinery, turbopumps and heat exchangers striving to keep mollysieves clear and gas flowing, punctuated by the periodic rattle of black diamond crystals being dumped from the bypasses.

And Inlétanós itself provided the accompaniment, percussion felt more than heard, as miles-long lightning bolts flashed cloud-to-cloud, sparks against the murk.

Marise 0x43B2AAC9 grinned to herself. For once, the chorus had an audience capable of appreciating it. While tiresome haggling over incarnation coverage kept most of her skimmer fleet in the hands of dumb automation, even those tight-wires couldn’t keep her off the survey flights.

And so here she was, a firefly flitting in between the pillars of the darkling sky, city-sized towers of cooling hydrogen among the bluish methane haze passing in an instant; wisps of cloud rising from the yellowish-orange whorls below, here ammonia, there longer-chain hydrocarbons, churned by the boiling gas-ocean below; here and there, even, broad dark flakes of dense, tarry organics, born aloft by chance, floated in the wind.

She side-slipped the skimmer to avoid one such, dipping one swept-forward wing into humped cumuli streaked with organic compounds that sent data crackling from the wing-tip sensors, feeling drag and gravity clutching at her frail ship. The hull keened in compensation. Pressure differential warnings flashed from that wing’s throat as changing gas composition threw off the processors. Then she was through, flashing wing-over-wing past and over, into the lazy updraft of a dying boil – enough to bear the skimmer, tanks and recorders filled, upwards in lazy spirals to the waiting tender.

Our codeline was made
To dance with clouds; gravity
Our fickle lover.

Trope-a-Day: Warrior Poet

Warrior Poet: Where, in the Imperial opinion, Cultured Warrior and The Spartan Way meet; or the intended product of the latter.  What a sentinel is supposed to be; not merely someone who can fight, but someone who understands the philosophy of fighting, and the art of fighting, and the principles by and for which one should fight.  (And would understand perfectly where the Vikings and the Irish and the “pen and sword in accord” samurai were coming from.)

And the ability to quip, or better yet toss off a perfectly formed chelír, mid-battle certainly also doesn’t hurt.

Waxing Poetical

For those wondering what exactly a chelír is, after its mention here (and probably also future mentions), it’s an Eldraeic poetry form originating in Cimoníë.  In its original language, it resembles somewhat the Japanese senryu, and so I have attempted to ape this particular style in English in presenting, herewith, some examples:

Well-chosen words sting;
Cutting minds free from shadows.
Truth is a razor.

From zero to one
Infinite numbers exist;
And between those, too.

Star, Stone and Flame abide;
Heaven, Earth, and Bridge –
Three parts make the whole.

Carbon joins carbon
Unites in myriad chains
From this all life springs.

Nuclear fire blossoms
A sky ablaze with curtained light
War’s awful beauty.

– selected chelír from the early Chímbrán collection