[personal profile] quechian
W discussed our plan; there wasn't much to decide until we had more information about the upcoming trip with the Ult. While we waited to hear, there was time to study. I read more on religious lore, wanting a way to feel more connected, though without prayer.

Three Ults rejoined us, one wearing bands on its arms that had many things on them. One of the others had no flames, but did have a lattice of metallic roots over its surface, and was carrying a staff topped with some dense thing. The greeter said that Green Leaves Turning isleaving in four units. It introduced the band-waering Ult as Que Callow Barra, an entity specialist, and the other as Fettar Graz, our root traveler escort, who will be responsible for us when moving around the root craft any time we are outside our room. Que Callow checked us over to see that we were in stable condition, free of parasites, and so on. At the same time, it determined our physical needs, so we will be fed appropriately on the trip. I volunteered to be first, and disrobed as requested, so that there was nothing that wasn't me. The entity specialist took things off the bands, and put them in the air around me. Somehow, this made me feel warm. I realized that I was floundering in how to address Ults, and "it" is, in fact, correct.

Cor was next, then May, and the entity specialist asked her to step aside, since it needed more information. Jack and Thymelixsen were scanned without difficulty. We got dressed, and they started rechecking May with the nodes. It was odd: they took some sort of gourd out, froze a moment, then put it away again, without doing anything that I could see. Thymelixsen sensed magic, and said that a blessing of the Hidden Lord had just taken place. The Ults claimed that they'd done something with the gourd, and they didn't listen when we said that they hadn't. I asked about the how the gourd works, and they said that puffs of dust should happen. They thought it had, though again we contradicted them. Jack tried to check the gourd, describing it, and writing it down, and though they said it was the same as what they saw, it was different. So he tried writing it backward, and asked them to read it backward, and this time they said that that pattern would show it hadn't been used. Jack pointed out that he knew nothing of the gourd, so there'd be no way for him to write what wasn't there. The greeter touched its chest symbol and excused itself.

Three new Ults came in, two who seemed to be an escort, the other dressed in long green strips that were rather like leaves. It had blue flames, and green vines over its head. The green one drifted into the room, telling the first three Ults to go. When they left, the two escorts left as well. The green one focused on 1827, and 1827 said he understood.

Jack asked 1827 what he saw, and confirmed that 1827 saw the gourd not being used. Jack asked 1827 to say something if anyting like this happens again.

The green one asked about this in our own root. We said that the Mother and the Hidden Lord were separate there, being knowledge v. secrets. The green one asked if May could speak in the Voice, and she did, letting the green one confirm that she was touched by only one Creator. The green one offered May the option of speaking to it in private, but May declined, wanting not to keep secrets, to keep herself more distinct from the Hidden Lord her.

The green one wanted to test that the possibilities were stable around May, telling us to step far away.

May said that the the weapon under the Featureless Plains was of the Mother and the Hidden Lord, to be used on this side of the veil. The green one sent three threads out, that seemed to be three threads of light that went into May, testing that her flesh is only her. Ah, this one must be one of the Ult continuals.

There was a light at the base of her neck, and then a large beetle fell off her, to the ground. The green one disassembled it with a motion of its hands, and I could see symbols that were Arcoons in it, rotating, before it crumbled.

I asked how long it could have been there, and it had been there a while, with more turns it could have stayed.

Thymelixsen asked why the other Ult were sent out, and the green one said it was because they're not comfortable with the magic of the Creators. Then the green one partly extruded other threads to scan the rest of us, and we were fine.

The green one said that even the kathel find these sorts of things difficult to find, then left us, and the other Ults returned.

Since there wasn't a lot of time before the ship would be leaving, I asked if we could go now. Jack finally realized that he couldn't take Viveran with us, since it would be on the other side of the Veil even before we were injected into the roots, so he arranged for her to be taken care of.

We went to a shuttle to take us up to the ship, the inside of which was all greens and yellows and wonderfully alive, not even tame, with some consciousness like the structures at home. Interestingly there were portholes from the inside that weren't visible from the outside. We took our seats, and 1827 left us.

The seats curled into us, holding us securely. The greeter was with us. Another entity with a glass below its eye came to check things, then left. Then there was the sound of drawing air, and wind, then a sense of motion. We went up to Green Leaves Turning, docking inside in a chamber where the big craft's roots holds many shuttles. Not surprisingly there were many Ults around.

I put a hand on this ship's wall, and it felt older than the shuttle, and at least as alive. I asked if shuttles can grow into these, and they can, but they're allowed to do so only if needed, since it takes many resources.

We were taken up a number of levels, then went towards the center. There were bushes in the corridor, and it was humid.

The greeter waved its hand, and some of the bushes parted, showing a room within, with high ceilings and mossy banks. There was a particularly soft mossy space in the middle, and the rest of the floor was either woody or shell like; the walls felt rather like they were the inside of a nut. There were flowers dangling down. The greeter showed how lines meant that there were open spaces inside to put things, and how to touch the flowers to turn them on or off. They were high enough above most of us that Thymelixsen asked if one could be lower, so the rest of us could reach. The greeter said it was possible, but would take time to grow.

The greeter said that there would be a place to walk and exercise after we got through the Veil, and there would be views from there. When we were going through, we would need to lie on the mossy banks around us, which would hold us. Cor asked if he could use an information node, and the greeter said that would be possible once we're through the Veil. Thymelixsen asked about food and water, and the greeter said that the entity specialist will determine our needs and frequency for this. Then it said that we were restricted to this room before we went through the Veil. Afterward, we were allowed only to the exercise area, until we're trusted with other spaces. And there would be no energy manipulation before going through the Veil either. It warned us to be careful of the living ship, running and jumping are fine, but stabbing is not. I asked where the escort would be, and it said it would be right outside the door. It advised us to sleep now, since traveling through the Veils wasn't easy, and suggested leisure activities now to get into good spirits.

The greener areas of the ship seemed the most soft connected, while the hard wood had more layers to the ship's self. I thought welcoming thoughts to the ship. And then there was time to play hide and seek with May and Jack before sex with Cor and massage Jack.

We rested, and it was lovely, with sounds of burbling sap, and a breeze. There was a chirping noise, and the greeter told us to get on the mats. We talked about our thread signing bonus, and since we didn't have thread coils, and there wasn't enough time to integrate the threads before crossing the veil, we decided to get them later. Cor asked if there was risk when the entity specialist would come to top us off before going into the roots, and the greeter said there was. It also suggested being at ease as much as possible.

We sank into the mats, mossy fingers pulling us in. The craft vibrated, the mats keeping us safe. The air was turning, rather disturbingly.

The entity specialist arrived, getting permission before coming in. It had two metal horn-like things rising up behind its head, with metal around its torso and hands. It gestured to Thymelixsen, who nodded, and the tubes of metal radiated, with light coming out of its hands into Thymelixsen. It then filled the rest of us. It felt odd, full but not sated. The fullness felt good, as I hadn't been since we arrived, but the not-me-ness wasn't nearly so nice. I had a sensation of kathel in and around me, which was comforting, yet other as well.

The craft felt like it rose, then flew. It accelerated a while, then felt like there was a yanking in one direction. The moss pulled me all the way in. There was communication through the moss that they were doing defensive maneuvers, and they released pods and spores. There was more evasion, then there was a message that we were half a unit to the Veil.

I tried to meditate, but failed. There was a jerk, and I felt exposed to explosions going on around us, with crystalline shapes around, shooting. I tried to sink more into the moss, keeping my eyes down.

And then we were through. I settled in, drifting on. There was warmth, and the feeling of heading into a smooth pond.

Jack and Cor had goop on them, as we had when we first came through the Veil, though the rest of us didn't.



September 2010

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