I’m sorry to interrupt, but could you perhaps skip ahead?”

The investigator was staring at me, blankly. It seemed my story was boring her. She brushed down her black suit jacket, straightening it out.

Excuse me? I thought you wanted me to start from the beginning. Or at least, wherever felt natural.” I tapped my fingers on the table.

She leaned back in her seat and took a deep breath. “Yes, I did. But we’re really just interested in the Brotherhood, and Kay. Can you tell us more about that? Can you tell me what happened to her? These details aren’t necessary.” I was having a hard time reading her expression in the moonlight.

I sighed. “Investigator, you asked me to recount this story.”

She nodded.

My people have a long cultural heritage of oral storytelling. I can recount the tales my grandmother and father told me, word for word.”

She continued staring at me, looking unimpressed, as though hearing this upset her.

Word for word?”

Yes, word for word,” I said. “I mean, no one is perfect, but-”

So if another skyther heard you telling an old story, they’d be able to tell if you got it wrong?”

I paused. My orange eyes flickered in the moonlight. The investigator was poised at her computer, ready to type. With one hand, she grabbed a stray bit of blonde hair between her fingers and tucked it up under her hat.

Yes, I suppose,” I said. “Sometimes us skythers gather for days at a time to hear and share our tales. This is a story I haven’t yet told, not to anyone. Please, let me do it justice. The first telling will shape how the story is remembered for generations.”

She nodded, and remained silent. Her blue eyes narrowed at me subtly. I gazed out through the window at the four full moons, glowing against the purple nebula. I almost thought I saw the nebula pulsing.

My ancestors are watching tonight. They’re listening to the tale just as you are, etching it in the stars, and they deserve to hear it in full.”

The investigator followed my gaze. “Ancestors?” She looked me in the eye, and raised an eyebrow. “I thought you were a scientist.”

I clenched my fists.

Please,” I asked, “let me tell my story. You may not understand the significance, but if I’m to tell it at all, it is of utmost importance to me that I get this chance to tell it correctly.” I paused, and then added, “You said it wasn’t urgent, anyway.”

Yes, I did say that.” She paused, and looked around the room, before making a few notes in her computer. I felt tension building in me. I was anxious about telling this story, and yet, once I had begun, I felt that I needed to continue. She said, “I think some refreshments would be nice, actually.” She forced a smile. Something I said had upset her.

I nodded to her, and lifted my ears, pressing a button on my holo-gauntlet. “Right away. But I would ask you, please, do not interrupt again unless you must. It will be a long while before it’s over.”

She sighed quietly, and nodded. “Of course. So… you were climbing the stairs?”

A skyther assistant entered the room, and handed us each a beverage, equipped with a straw. I thanked them, and sipped the fizzy drink eagerly.

Yes,” I said, “I was climbing the stairs.”


About the author

Seb Woodland

Bio: I'm a writer, game developer, artist, and musician. Just a creative guy working on art and trying to make his way in the world.

-There is always hope-

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