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Out of Nowhere by Patrick LeClerc.
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Starlight, Star Bright

by Patricia Todd

Zena gazed up at the night sky. She pondered the horizon where the sun had been barely minutes before and as usual braced herself for the chill that the night would bring. Sunset and evening occurred quickly and harshly on Lunar and she was glad to be indoors.

Outside was no place to be. The temperatures ranged from a sizzling 60 degrees C during daylight hours to a numbing – 30 degrees C when the sun dipped below the horizon. Clouds in the sky were scant and what there were had been engineered by scientists eons ago.

Moonbase Alpha had been an experiment centuries before: An attempt to populate the nearest heavenly body of a planet that was being drained of its resources at an ever increasing rate. The prediction from the world’s best Cosmologists was 500 years or so at best before succumbing to the heat and drought that would ensue.

The rocky body that was her home had been terraformed; bioengineered in a relatively short period of time. It was the first construct to support life. First plants to seed an atmosphere then creatures and people to colonize this rock.

That’s how Zena still thought of her home world, a rock.

Soon it would be her coming out ceremony. She would be 20 and all her classmates would attend. Possessed by the thought of distancing herself from this crazy, boring world as soon as possible and as far away as was feasible. At this ceremony her given name would be bestowed on her, which would be based on her performance in class over the years and her potential as assessed by her tutors. Her name would be Vehuel.

Decided by her birth date too, those who were born in this period will have great generosity. Which is even visible on their aura. They will respect and execute noble causes and inspire others to do the same thing. Those who are born under the influence of Vehuel are innovative, fair and intelligent. They are mature souls full of nobility.

She’d studied assiduously for years with the sole intent of catapulting herself from here to another horizon. One which would have a diffuse light, a sunset lasting for hours and a balmy dusk that you could dare walk in and enjoy the evening’s cool whilst gazing up at the constellations that would be new to learn.

She could see them now, speckling the night sky, sparkling and enviously attractive, forming shapes and patterns in the inky void of space.

Not long now, she kept telling herself. Her best hopes were pinned on a star that flickered in the Eastern sky. She’d calculated the angle hundreds of times in class and it had become a favourite pastime to train her Nightviewer to the exact location from her bedroom window: Up a bit, a few degrees higher, and focus, enhance, increase, enhance.

The chemical composition of the starlight was a rich soup, with Oxygen being a major element. A factor that would support energetic flight.

One of the lessons at the Academy was singing. The choir was well versed in harmonies and ancient pieces of music that had been originally composed by maestros in the old world. Handed down through the ages and subsequently tweaked to more closely resemble the population.


                            One of Zena’s favourites was ‘Beautiful Star’, the refrain of which was: -

                                                   Beautiful, beautiful Star of the East,   

                                                   The star of the east was the herald of day

                                                   The light everlasting that fades not away

                                                   Its beams rising higher, o hasten and see

                                                   The light of the world shines for you and for me.


Her class had adopted one in particular which seemed to epitomise their genetically engineered kind: 

​                                                  ‘Angels from the Realms of Glory’.



Zena rustled her wings in anticipation.


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