Decent Land: The Dance of The Gator

Prologue

Lee David Tyrrell

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Art by Author

If you look to the stars at night, and chance has favoured your timing, you might catch the thin twinkle of a large fleet of ships. Throughout a planet’s life, they pass only once, as they move ever onward t’ward their Decent Land of prophecy. In the front wave, sixty vessels join to form a vanguard; behind them follow many hundreds more. When they first took up flight, I cannot tell you. Though banished members of their kind report they fled a “Cataclysm”, several ages past in their galaxy of origin.

At least a quarter of the ships in the fleet are alive; colossal creatures — like whales — bearing cities. Others are mere shells of Gūlinum, or Aluminium composites (which they excavate from bauxite, where they find it). It’s said organic bioships were later shepherded to serve the fleet along its journey, and not amongst the launching party. Scarlet castles of their ruling royal family, and official governmental halls, were housed within traditional craft. Modern settlements and supplemental cargo holds are saddled ‘pon the backs of the bioships, when needed.

A great tragedy befell these astral travellers, a score of centuries ago in II-Anchor Minor. I doubt this telling of the tale will find publication true-east of any local quadrant, so I’m confident that II-Anchor Minor will be visible to you. On some planets, the constellation it belongs to is known as a “belt” or a “border”, though it’s neither. In truth, the distant stars form nothing from the wrong perspective. II-Anchor Minor — in the centre — shines brightest, yet it hangs in the Everblack, back from its siblings. Anchor Major (named ironically, to mock its size), and I-Anchor Minor (true-west) burn close together. Far off, a hectoparsec from them, lies the third sister — a massive point of blue relentless in its smoulder.

Their fleet arrived on the winds of eternal quest; to find their fabled Decent Land of verdant paradise. It drives them forward and defines their very being, but it seems to me impossible (despite their confidence). If they don’t come to dust by war or famine, their bioships will pass, revolt or leave them in the cold. Still, they wander on in hope (or bloody-mindedness), and sometimes choose to Holiday in comfortable star systems. Upon the warm edge of II-Anchor Minor, these strange pilgrims…

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Lee David Tyrrell

Fiction writer, mostly attracted to sci-fi and strange, experimental tangents. I’ve also worked as a music journalist for Clash, eGigs, eFestivals & C64 Audio.