Shadows of the Sun – One More Time (Sci-Fi one-shot)

Usil walked towards the pier, looking onto the stormy sea. She was the only figure there. People had left the incoming squall at the first signs of the wind from the sea. They did not fear the gale, but what the gale might bring.

She had changed her garb, wearing a flimsy white tunic that adhered to her dark body more and more as the first raindrops flew over the wind. She raised a palm to catch a few. They ran down her sable-colored, smooth cerarmid, getting stuck in the deep lines etched on her synth-flesh.

They had made it.

The wind roared. A chain of lightning sent the shadows reeling right and left. Usil’s black mane flew with the wind, but the rest of her body, heavier and stronger than a human could be, rested on the creaking pier without giving a nail’s width to the bellowing storm.

Her synapsids came back to the moment all three of them kneeled before the King. The wizened man, holding onto his throne with sheer will rather than any physical strength, lifted a tired hand, displaying the early signs of the stone-illness: faint discoloration over his knuckles and wrists.

There had been a time when Anthilians did not suffer from such common malaises. When their bodies, blessed by the Gods, could weather any illness save for the illness of death. When they would stand tall before any fever like she could stand before the storm. The faint lines etched over her whole body glowed a faint blue for a few moments, like a reply to the lightning.

And more was coming. Rain so quick it seemed to cut and sizzle like burning oil – with it, a faint crackling sensation, like gurgling static. This was the reason why nobody was there with her on the pier.

Around her, raindrops glistened with pearly iridescence. They sparked with some eerie energy. Falling down the sand, some of the grains stuck together, beginning to form eerie spiderweb-like structures.

Her own clothing started to rip and twist in chaotic manners – the fabric stirred, rippled and twisted upon itself. Knots like tiny screaming mouth.

Even so far from the Farthest Shore, the effects of a Ghostfire storm, raging over there, could still be felt.

But beneath her clothes, her dermal and peripheral systems worked fine. Usil smiled. She was the last daughter of the last Hearthwomb. Her roots drank from a far deeper well than the poisoned layers of the Capsizing.

She and her sisters would be able to find the Farthest Shore and bring back what of value could still be found there, artifacts from the lost age, plants that might have found ways to resist the transformative effects of the lingering Ghostfire, and perhaps… if they were extremely lucky and the Gods heard their prayers…

… perhaps the survivors of the latest expedition.

“I’m never going to let you choose the meeting spot again,” came a voice from behind her. A murmur, but her peripherals had no trouble to set it apart from the roar of the gale. Behind her stood on the pier two other figure, much like herself: their clothes were also dissolving into a misshapen dance of once-fabric rivulets, displaying their dark cerarmid below and their own glowing lines. A sheer magenta, for the taller and broader one, and a clear emerald for the shorter girl.

“The droplets are carrying far more Ghostfire than average,” Pulum said raising her own hand and collecting some of the rain. “This could be a dire storm indeed.”

We’ll face more,” Usil stated, tracing her steps back on the creaking pier. The rumbling sea crashed in tall towers of foam against the pier. She walked up to them and opened her arms, welcoming them both in an embrace. She had missed this. They had been separated far too long: by their challenges, and even during the celebration in the halls of the King they could not share a touch.

As luck would have it, the Ghostfire storm had everyone reach for their secured allotment to wait it off. Only the three of them would be unaffected.

As long as I am with you two, I am not afraid of anything,” Thiur whispered, putting a faint kiss atop Usil and Pulum’s head. “I don’t care about anything else.”

Usil smile and Pulum in turn, when she stopped looking in rapt attention at her collected rainwater.

“Think of everything we can discover,” she said, then frowning when the lessons of her own challenge came back to hook into her enthusiasm. “And all we will be able to show them. Admitted it… it follows what’s proper, of course.

“We have a duty,” Usil proclaimed against the storm and the sizzling particles of tumorous Ghostfire that were turning the entire beachside into a display of chaotic little quartz-like shards. The last remnants of their dresses fell to the call of the wind and floated away, reduced to damp powder. They stood like that, holding onto each other as the pier creaked, the storm roared and the sea hissed. Uncaring and far too irrelevant to three sets of arms holding onto each other, a chain that had come out of the time abyss before the Capsizing, one final light flung into an ocean of howling darkness.

Or at least, that was how Usil would have, quite confidently, put it. With the help of her sisters, they would surely prevail. And most importantly, they would show they were not a simple set of… dolls. And if she brought back something worthwhile… even just schematics, or seeds, or ancient tablets… Gods’ willing perhaps something from the previous expedition! It would mean the trust the King and his entire people put in her had been for something.

She had not lied in her answers to the Examiner: she truly believed that something’s worth was in the relationship it provided. And she was going to make sure that this three-threaded rope could withstand every kind of pressure.

“We will come back, and we will come back victorious,” she murmured.

“And we will be together forever,” Thiur followed with a charming grin.

Author’s Notes: short story about three robots… 1024 words. That’s nice. At any rate, I decided to add one final chapter to Shadows of the Sun, also explaining a bit of what’s going in in Usil’s head and what they are trying to reach. I hope you’ll will like the novel when I will start publishing it in the next few weeks. In the meantime, thanks for reading!


Inserisci i tuoi dati qui sotto o clicca su un’icona per effettuare l’accesso:

Logo di

Stai commentando usando il tuo account Chiudi sessione /  Modifica )

Foto di Facebook

Stai commentando usando il tuo account Facebook. Chiudi sessione /  Modifica )

Connessione a %s…

%d blogger hanno fatto clic su Mi Piace per questo: