Please forgive the short entry, due to the author being a bit under the weather.
Stavo hadn’t spoken to Eni that morning. He acted kind and treated her better than he might have, but he knew his patience was stretched thin. With a stern glance he had left her to her hang hangover and went to take care of his farm. He couldn’t believe how he had wasted those precious moments. Couldn’t believe how this quarrel had driven them apart at a crucial time.
Now, Stavo sat in a cabin, much like the one he had built on Arcadia. This one, too, had known his labor and that of friends. Yet, this one sat on Asgard, a cold and lonely planet that the native settlers found beautiful. Stavo knew he would never sow crops in this land, though he didn’t know what he would do. He still remembered the day that had begun in silence. In the evening, he’d gone to town to share a drink with other farmers and merchants. The Lucky Chance Tavern buzzed with news, whispered speculation landing first here and then there like a nervous hummingbird. Michael Weeks, the owner, told them what little he knew as he filled their glasses. Something was stirring, but he couldn’t say if it was a specter sniffing at the door or one leaving bright presents.
Two ships had landed at their tiny port, usually only used for the weekly mail hop. One ship had sailed the seas of space and held needed and expected supplies. The other, a Children of the stars pinnace brought nothing but menace and dread.
Gelb said, “It looked sleek and deadly, capable of darting suddenly at its prey like a wolf attacking a lumbering ox.”
“Steady,” Antony said, “it’s more like we’re a stallion challenged by a kitten.” He immediately bit his tongue, and would have called back his words, as others in the room took quick glances toward Div’shon, Stento’s mother and Weeks’ wife. They thought the union odd, but usually ignore it and her. She pretended she had not noticed their attention and slipped into the back room as smoothly and softly as silk. Weeks solicited new drink orders and their attention returned what this might mean to them.
“Come on,” Antony raised his voice. “Deals are made all the time between the multisolar corporations. They’ll do what they want without a thought to us.” Most murmured agreement or nodded, knowing somehow that they would rue this day.
Stavo left long before closing and found Eni still awake when he reached home. She had laid a small fire in the fireplace and that sat together on the floor to enjoy it. Stavo told her what he had heard and the speculation rampant in town. He felt her stiffen beside him. (to be continued)