(The Silence of Ancient Light, continued)
Anna peered through the open doorway into the elevator cab interior, no longer dark, but now well-lit. The low seats and couches they had observed earlier through the window appeared surprisingly comfortable, a far cry from the stone benches of Ar-Danel, each accompanied by a side table and small console. Surviving cushions remained mostly mold-free, if a bit thin and stiff. A musty odor persisted, surprisingly mild given the centuries this chamber had remained sealed up, disused. Along the convex back wall, next to one of the closed doorways, an alcove sported what to Anna’s eye appeared like nothing so much as a bar. After so many weeks of effort to get to this place, weeks of intense focus upon this singular goal, she finally felt she could relax just long enough to let the wonder of where she was wash over her.
A working space elevator! Well, it remained to be seen if it was fully operational, but the signs so far were encouraging. After some experimentation, Anna and her crew had deciphered the written labels for power, light, and ventilation, and possibly also the color codes for more or less temperature. Some of the other labels remained a mystery for the moment, though she suspected she knew which ones were probably indicators for up and down, concepts Ca-Tren certainly understood, but perhaps these were written with more technical terms.
Laxmi pressed past Anna into the cab, a bundle of gear in her arms which she added to the pile of their equipment already moved inside. A sense of bemusement displaced Anna’s wonder and awe. Laxmi was now the impatient one, eager to move forward, while Anna wanted to study the alien technology, now that they had powered it up. Then her bemusement gave way to concern.
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(1,556 words; 6 min 13 sec reading time)
Hey ho, my hearties! I’m just back from a three-week cruise, sailing around and among the famous San Juan Islands in the Pacific Northwest, arrr! No doubt you’ve missed me, eh? I’ll post a photo or two for you shortly. Meanwhile, though, the good news for you is that while I was lounging around on the boat, I put fingers to keyboard and tapped out two more scenes, the first of which is linked just above. So quick, go click that link and read it! And rest assured the next one is already written, and I’ll get it published here in a matter of a few more days or so.
By now you know, of course, that Anna and her crew have figured out how to power up the space elevator, or at least the cab and the departure lounge, even if they aren’t always sure what the next button they press (or dial they circle) will do. It’s all a grand experiment, and Anna just hopes it won’t go boom in their faces, or more likely, under their feet. But before they can head up the long stalk to geostationary orbit, they are going to have some tough decisions to make. Life isn’t all sunshine and roses, and there is that musty smell coming from somewhere.
So go spend six minutes reading the scene, then drop me a comment and let me know what you think. Meanwhile, I’ll be getting the next one ready…
header image credit: user:Parker_West / Pixabay.com under Pixabay License