The Oracle

  • 1 Replies
  • 722 Views

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Emily

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Forest Sprite
  • *****
  • Posts: 563
  • Karma: +22/-0
  • First of the New Refugi
  • Pronouns: She/Her
« on: February 01, 2019, 05:24:15 pm »
Bzzt, Bzzt, Bzzt…

A small, blinking light lit the otherwise pitch-black apartment space. In its periodic flashes, elements of the room were illuminated. The outlines of a bedframe with messy blankets and pillows strewn about. A pair of pants that hung off the edge toward the floor, somehow having not fallen through the night. The wall, slate grey and made of a material not immediately identifiable as either plastic or metal. And a ceiling approximately 3.5 metres above the floor. The room was slightly colder than the comfort zone of most people, and silent save for eased, deep breathing and that small, muted buzz.

Bzzt, Bzzt, Bzzt…

The mass of messy blankets on the bed shifted, stopped for a moment, then shifted again. A long, thin arm emerged and grabbed onto the object emitting the flashing light. As it did, recessed rope lighting began to slowly brighten, gradually bringing the room from pitch black to a starry night. More furniture pieces were now visible; the outline of a small sofa, a desk with some manner of computer on it, a few chairs. An end table sat across from the sofa, on it a couple books and a large tablet almost thin enough to be a sheet of paper. The floor itself appeared to be some manner of wood, or at least the texture and patterns of wood, with various rugs situated to make things more comfortable. The room wasn’t very large- an unfortunate necessity even on a massive space station- but it held the furniture that was in it well.

A humanoid creature, both lithe and long, sat up from the mass of cloth, her eyes squinting at the screen on the device she now held in her hand. At her pronounced movement, the light level rose to that of a comfortable interior space, imitating the warm golden sun of her home system. She yawned, rubbed at her eyes with her free hand, then sat the device back down. A muted grey on the screen showed 7:40 for a moment, then faded to dark. She rotated, long legs taking their place on the floor, then stood up. She stood at nearly 2 and a third metres, and was all thin extremities. She threw on a comfortable shirt that buttoned up the front, itself a wine red with a collar, and some black cloth pants, then moved toward her bathroom space. It was quite small, with just a toilet, sink, and sonic shower space, but as long as something was tall enough, she wouldn’t complain. The woman examined herself in the mirror as she brushed her teeth. Her skin was nearly white, though it had a pale lavender tint to it. Her head was round, and ultimately soft, but entirely hairless. Her ears were long and thin, coming to a point at the tip.

After she’d prepared for work, she threw on some soft flat-bottomed shoes and exited the bedroom area, the wall lights dimming to darkness as she did. She emerged into a relatively-sizeable living room, thinking on how she was lucky to have it. The space was larger than what she normally would have been able to afford; it was only a favour that she was given this area. Much like the previous room, warm but hidden lights brought the space to a comfortable level of illumination. The floor was still seemingly wood with rugs laid in various spaces to allow for comfortable feet. A larger sofa graced this space, as well as other tables, chairs, and a gargantuan viewscreen that took up one entire wall. A kitchenette was attached to the living room, separated by only a waist-high (for her) bar, but she wasn’t about to stop in there, at least not at the moment. She grabbed a bag by the door and placed a hand to a small screen nearby. With a muted “wssh”, the door slid to one side, and she stepped through to the main hallway of her apartment bloc.

It was a quick, easy walk to the rail, which rocketed her and several dozen other commuters through the arms of the space station Hestia toward the central Hearth Plaza, which was the commercial and working district for the community. The tubes the rail travelled through were clear, and the windows of the train allowed the passengers to look at the distant stars and nebulae that made up the galaxy around them. The star of their own system had long-since been covered by machinery and metal, harvested for all the energy it could produce. Nobody would complain for the lack of a view, however, as the Hestia was a beneficiary of the energy being harvested.

She got the occasional look, usually from older humans, usually from older male humans. That look of mild discomfort and judgement. Not that she could blame them, she and those like her were reminders of a painful period of their history, from not even that long ago. She just did her best to smile and appear as non-threatening as possible, and remained at her edge of the car, hoping it would get to its destination soon enough.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2019, 02:04:11 pm by Wisdom »

Emily

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Forest Sprite
  • *****
  • Posts: 563
  • Karma: +22/-0
  • First of the New Refugi
  • Pronouns: She/Her
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2019, 03:34:31 pm »
The woman adjusted the bag on her shoulder nervously, watching the last vestiges of the galaxy view before the rail entered the main body of the Hestia once again. The sooner she got off this rail, the better it would be not only for her, but for the humans that were made uncomfortable by her presence or would wish to do her harm. As she began to pre-emptively make her way toward the nearest door, a ding came over the train's intercom, before a well-practised voice rang through. "We are now arriving at Hearth West Station, our final destination. All passengers, please exit the train with all your personal belongings. Thank you for riding with Hestia Public Transport, and have a wonderful day."

The rail's brakes were almost entirely unnoticeable, due to the mag-lev tunnels and inertia dampeners equipped in the cars themselves. As the train car slowed down, the darkness of the tunnel through which they travelled opened up into a bright, spectacular space. It slowed to a stop in front of a boarding platform, and as the doors opened, the woman was awash in the overwhelming sounds and lights of Hearth Plaza. She stepped out quickly, stopping a group of humans who had tried to immediately crowd onto the train from the platform, and began walking toward the north side of the commercial district. The plaza was massive, taking up most of the central sphere of the Hestia station. All along its walls and ground floor were shops and stalls, hotels and hydroponic bays. It was said that you could get anything you wanted in the heart of Hestia, and she wasn't one to disagree. She had been here since the station was founed, back when it was just scrap metal held together through willpower and grit teeth. Over the years, she had watched the station, especially Hearth Plaza, grow into a formidable outpost, with regular shipments coming in from neighbouring systems, traded for whatever they scrapped or mined from the planets of this otherwise-dead system. Because of their relatively-rich location in the galaxy, the Hestians were able to grow into a minor economic power- certainly nothing rivalling the central systems, but they were able to hold their own. Certainly well enough to keep the law off their backs.

The centre of the plaza was taken up by a massive tree intertwined with a statue of some historical figure she didn't know. There was a plaque at the bottom, but her kind wasn't allowed near enough to read it, apparently due to its symbolism to those who had fought in the war that preceded her birth and their proudest descendents. That being said, it didn't particularly interest her what the humans were doing with their war gods and goddesses, only that they leave her be to do with her time and space what she wanted. At the top of the tree, held by the statue, was a glowing ball of light, which bathed the entire plaza in the equivalent of what a habitable planet would get from its nearby star. This was filtered through to the hydroponics, as well as the various grocer shops that might capitalise on the brightness that was available at any time of the day or night. The ball itself, allegedly a construction of stable plasma that released light and heat much like a star, but on a much smaller scale, was shielded by a dampener, allowing those in the plaza not to have to cover or shield their eyes from looking in its direction. It had been a gift from their first trade partner and de facto ally, Caer Nua in the neighbouring Epsilon Aurigae system. It was called the Hearthfire, since the scrappers had no inherent creative ability.

She climbed the scenic stair route around the northern edge of the plaza, her eyes directly in front of her. It was safest this way; some of the more conservative humans had a habit of assuming eye contact was a purposeful challenge. Approximately 150 metres from the top of the stairs on the second level was a storefront, with planterboxes hanging off of windows entirely shaded from outside view. A wooden sign hung over the door, both looking like something out of an old history book. The sign said "Oracle Teahouse and Cafe". A metal bar stuck out from above the door, extending partially into the walkway, where a small symbol-board showing a steaming cup of tea hung. The woman leaned over the planterboxes, touching the soil beneath the multicoloured flowers to make sure everything felt right. The soil was springy and mildly damp, a sure sign that the hydration system was working.

As the woman walked into the tea house, all outside sound was muted. Sound dampeners circled the door and windows, keeping the outside hustle and bustle from affecting the carefully-manicured atmosphere of the Oracle. The door closed behind her, bringing the light levels back down to atmospheric as well. The space was bathed in soft, golden light, which the ownership found much more pleasing and easy for the eye than the harsh white light of the plaza. The sound was light, calm music played softly so that the conversations of the patrons both regular and new could be easily heard without raising voices. The occasional muted clink came from behind the bar or at a table as a cup or kettle was sat on a surface. They used wooden utensils to avoid most noise that would come with mixing or eating. The space was approximately five degrees cooler than the plaza as well, which the regulars seemed to appreciate.

Small tables of dark, polished wood were placed haphazardly about the interior, most covered with small dishes and cups. The seats surrounding them were plush and comfortable, meant to entice a person to sit and not want to leave for a while, if the beverages and lack of noise didn't already accomplish that. Shelves lined the walls, lined with old, bound books and antiques from around the universe. Plants spanned the space as well, growing from hanging pots on the ceiling and wrapping around the wiring, from which hung little balls of soft light.

The bar was a single sheet of metal, bordered on three sides by the same dark, polished wood that the tables were made from. A handful of patrons were sitting on comfortable barstools, talking to one another or just enjoying the atmosphere, while a single figure worked behind it. She was a young human, in her mid-20s, with long blonde hair tied back and bright blue eyes that smiled even in the rare times that she did not. She had a small, circular tattoo surrounding her left eye, and wore an off-white sweater over grey leggings and black flats. She was pouring steaming water from a kettle into a cup, but looked up and met the woman's eyes. "Good morning, Seht," she smiled, sliding the teacup across the bar.

The woman walked over and placed her bag behind the bar before picking up the cup of green tea and smiling back. "Good morning, Sable. I trust everything's gone well this morning?"

"Mhm!" she replied. "Nothing out of the ordinary yet. A Sabre came in earlier, asked if you'd been in yet, but didn't seem up to anything. He hung out for about twenty minutes with a drink and then left."

Seht turned around and leaned against the bar, sipping on her morning tea. This was her domain, her little bubble of safety in an otherwise tense world. "We'll have to see what he wants if he comes back, then."

 

Page created in 0.027 seconds with 24 queries.