The Last Angel: The Hungry Stars, Chapter 13

And we’re back to our ongoing saga. In this chapter, Red One and the Triquetrans finally get to have a tete a tete, wherein we learn a little more of their history and what they need from from Red One. For her part, the AI is very excited (though she hides it well) and tempers that with a healthy dose of examination and covert surveillance. As do you.

Finding a colony of free humans may be one of her best days ever, but a little bit of caution can pay for itself. Below is a snippet from humanity’s pre-Confederacy history and the story of how Nibiru began. For the whole deal, check out the links above. Enjoy!

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+you’re not going to convert to the Church of Siegland now, are you?+ Echo teased.

+hardly+ Red wryly replied to her sibling. +but this is a novel experience+

“To oversee and govern the expedition, seven citizens were drawn from the most influential isolationist leaders across the Confederacy,” she continued aloud,” her discussion with Echo going back and forth in the time it took her her to utter each syllable. “Siegland frequently clashed with his fellow leaders, both in private and public.”

“Our records state there were only three leaders,” Cassock said. “Siegland himself, Kayda Sugiyama from Alpha Centauri and Salana Bekele of Wolf 359.”

“When the expedition launched, there were three,” Red confirmed. “Alice DuPont and Hulbart Fischer died in accidents prior to the expedition’s launch. Charles Blackbrook and Hathai Anurak chose to remain behind. Blackbrook made no public statement regarding his decision, but Anurak alluded to ‘irreconcilable differences’ in matters of direction and doctrine for the expedition.”

“Wait,” Keating said, frowning. “What are you implying?”

“I’m not implying anything,” the AI pointed out. “Those are historical facts. After the deaths and resignations, Siegland and his closest associates were left in overall command. The ‘Siegland Expedition’ launched on November 20th, 2605. After it left Confederate space, no further contact with it or its people was recorded. As the Confederacy expanded and no further sign of the Siegland Expedition was discovered, it was assumed that it and all aboard were lost in shiftspace.”

“I can see why they’d think that,” Obed said. “We traveled further than anyone ever had before, following the Prophet’s vision of a new world. He led us to Nibiru and we’ve been there ever since.” He let out a breath. “It sounds as if you have very thorough records, though there are obviously some points of disagreement between our two histories. As I’ve said, our world was founded on Siegland’s teachings. Our society follows the example that he set for us. It’s how we’ve survived as long as we have. We haven’t endured what the Confederacy did, but we’ve had our own share of conflict. More than once, we’ve almost lost everything, but we’ve survived.”

“Triquetra,” Echo noted. “Trinity. Life, death, rebirth.”

“Exactly,” Keating agreed. “Our very name honours our past and the hurdles that we’ve overcome, but we can’t remain tethered to what came before. Change – rebirth – is inevitable. We’ve always known the rest of the galaxy was beyond our small corner, but we’ve also known that there are dangers out there, too.” Or sometimes just in plain sight. “For a long time, we believed that Earth was one of them. Then, before we could even grow out of that, we learned that Earth was gone. Not just gone; destroyed and almost all of humanity with it. That… well, it gave us very little incentive for adventure.”

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