Today I post the first chapter of Thunder Gods, my original story inspired by Quintessential Doll’s song of the same name.
First, read the prelude.
The shuttle’s thundering engines are what gave us the idea for our name. It was too good not to appropriate and use in subsequent versions of our self-created mythology, stolen in large part from some long-ago Earth source. Loud engines. Too loud for those below, definitely within normal parameters for a Thunder God. I entered one such shuttle within a week of arriving at Fall Station. One of the three project managers, in command of dozens of lab and station workers. I had replaced someone who had left in disgrace and was determined to prove myself, not to fall. Fall. Falling down below, into a true Autumn, something I had never before in my lifetime experienced. I am not, after all, from Earth. As we step off the shuttle ramp into the clearing, the colours overwhelm me.
And suddenly, they are coming toward us. Three young colonists, each exactly the same age: just over twenty Earth years. Together they form a unit. One representative of each gender. Lithe and small, dark-haired and bronze-complected, bioengineered to perfection. Clothed in colour-coded bodysuits: lilac for the woman, blue for the man, gray for the tri. Perfectly beautiful, like the riot of colour surrounding them.
One of them is eyeing me with suspicion instead of the expected deference. I say “she,” but I should really say “they,” for “she” is a tri and it would not be correct to use the wrong pronoun. I know from my documentation that this is the tri, yet I realize with a start that they and their female companion have switched bodysuits. Elfin appearance definitely tends toward the feminine. She, then. She has been cultivating femininity, judging by her braided longish hair, the emphasis placed on her waist with a belt tied just so, eye makeup and earrings. The woman of the unit has cut off all her hair to emphasize her strong features that could be mistaken for those of a biological tri. Some sort of evolving identity. Fascinating. Or perhaps I am mistaken.
“You look like us,” the lilac-clad tri tells me. I jump. They were supposed to only talk to Solara, and there, only deferentially. This is an assertive tone. The colonist looks me straight in the eye.
I do look like her. I recollect that up until now, the members of this unit have grown accustomed to the appearance of Solara and Gareth, both blond and pale. My tall, red-haired predecessor resembled those two far more than she resembled me, with my bronze skin, slight stature, dark hair. In a moment of discomfort I wonder if this disturbing arrangement was intentional. Some of the educators and carers, the offplanet personnel who raised these children into adults, resemble the colonists as much as I do, judging from the personnel files I have perused. But it must have been a long time ago. Educators and carers never passed themselves off as Thunder Gods. I wonder if they even admitted to being from offplanet. Likely not. Gareth and Solara, who have built their reputation around their alienness, have become their reliable deities.
“I do look like you,” I reply.
“What is your name?”
“Trent,” I say automatically. I do not ask hers.
“Not a very godlike name,” she counters.
“It was the best they could come up with for me, up there,” I retort, gesturing toward the station, invisible from this vantage point. The evening sun glows and suffuses everything with orange.
“Well, then. Have you come to join us? Or to rule over us?”
How can I answer that?
CHAPTER 2 to follow.
Story and photo Copyright © 2015 Clio Em.
Song © 2015 Quintessential Doll.