I hope to make today a double Fiction Friday, with this blog post and the third-from-the-end chapter of the Dangerverse (does that scare you as much as it does me?), but I cannot yet be certain if that will happen. Still, I can give you this little story from Trycanta, about one reaction of its two native races to the newly come third race.
If you have kept up with some of my Trycanta Tuesday posts, you may see some irony in certain bits of this story near its end, where possibilities are being outlined. After all, isn't it one of the modern storyteller's certainties that just about anything that can happen, has happened somewhere? And then we Chronicle the outcome, as best as our frail human minds can see it.
Please enjoy today's Fiction Friday post, let me know what you think of it, and keep your eyes open for Chapter 68 of Surpassing Danger, which I hope to post today so as to have the weekend free to write Chapter 69 and get it up on Sunday, the DV's tenth anniversary! Send hugs and happiness... or book sales. Both are welcome.
In the long-ago time on the world which is called Trycanta, it was decided that since the sky arches over all and the grass and trees grow wherever they find root, that blue and green would be the colors of peace. Those of one race who wished to approach another with peaceful intent, it was further decided, should carry or wear blue flowers with long green stems, and a great curse was pronounced over any who should use the flowers of peace to make war by stealth.
So it was that on a day of springtime, three lyrror, the furred-runners, came to the river which borders their grassland home wearing crowns of blue flowers set about their ears, and before the sun had moved more than a tail's width across the sky, two mazor, the scaled-flyers, crossed the river with blue flowers of their own tucked into a fold of their garments.
"Greetings to you, O winged ones," said the first among the lyrror, whose fur was as black as night. "One of the leaders of my people asks to speak to one of the leaders of yours, and if you agree to this speaking, we will make a place to build a fire and bring milk still warm from the udders of our herds." For milk is one food both races have in common, since while it is of an animal, it was never itself alive.
[Greetings to you, O four-pawed ones,] the first among the mazor made reply, her hands with their scales of red and brown moving swiftly in the shapes of her people's words. [I will take your words to the leader of our clan, and if she agrees to this speaking, we will bring with us wood for the fire and sweet spices for the milk. How many of yours will come to this gathering?]
"As many as four front paws may hold, along with the leader himself."
[So many of our own we shall bring, that balance may be maintained.]
And so it was that on the next morning the sun dawned on one-and-twenty lyrror clearing a great circle in the grasslands which had been used many times before to kindle fires safely, and before the sun was a paw's width above the horizon one-and-twenty mazor landed beside the circle, each bringing a bundle of wood or a small bag of spices. The milk was heated in pots held over the fire by the lyrror, whose gift is Shifting things from here to there without touching them, and the spices were added until the mazor Saw with their own gift that it was enough, and the two sides settled down to enjoy their sweet drinks and pay attention as their leaders held speech together.
[You wish to speak about the strangers who have come to our world,] said the grandmother of the mazo clan, whose green scales were beginning to turn gray with age. [Those who stand upright as we do, yet have fur in colors like yours. Who wear clothing on their bodies like ours, but who walk on the ground as you do.]
"I do wish to speak about the strangers, for you have ways of learning about them which we lack." The hunt-leader of the lyrro tribe lapped at his milk, which held the same warm creamy shade as his fur. "Though we have ways of our own, and have already begun to learn."
The grandmother gazed into the distance, towards the settlement of the alien race. [They come from a world very far from here, fleeing war and persecution by their own kind, for on their native world they were the only thinking race,] she said at last, her fingers moving in graceful curves to shape her words. [They do not suspect that we already live here, and they have no gifts such as ours. All their shifting is done by their own muscles or by strange moving tools that they have built, and all their seeing with their eyes or, again, with strange tools.]
"And yet they do have a gift, though we believe they do not know it themselves." The hunt-leader swirled the milk in his dish with a forepaw. "One of my hunters has crept close to one of their kind as she walked in the tall grass, and into his mind have come thoughts which were not his, thoughts in the voice of a woman. And when he thought 'loudly' of something he knows but she could not, she answered as though he had spoken to her aloud. But where their strange tools are at work, this gift, it seems, is blocked, and they live so constantly among the things that only those who roam far afield may ever know what they can do."
[Indeed, you speak truly,] the grandmother agreed after a long pause to consult her Seeing. [For on the world from which they came, such gifts were thought to be either fodder for children's stories, or proof of traffic with some power of great evil. Perhaps they will consider our races and the gifts we bear as one of these two things as well.]
"Perhaps." The hunt-leader flexed his claws restlessly in and out of the earth. "Or perhaps they will be able to overcome their past, and meet us as partners and friends. And there is only one way to find out…"