The Whisper of Damkina Part Sixty Three

March 3rd, 2016  |  Published in Whisper of Damkina  |  9 Comments

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“If you feel sick or unwell at any point during the jump let me know,” Amanpreet told Prima as she prepared for the first jump of the journey to Aletheia. “We’ll drop out of hyperspace and let you back into the shielded section if you do.”

“I will!” Prima had two of her arms pressed against the transparent dome and was staring at the stars. “This is amazing even before we jump. Once we’re in hyperspace can I ask questions?”

“Of course,”Amanpreet said. “Once I’ve finished plotting our course anyway. I’ll need to concentrate for that.”

“Of course,” Prim said. “So when do we jump?”

“Pretty soon,” Amanpreet said. “There’s just a few more checks to do.”

“Okay.” Prima turned her attention back to the view of outside. “I don’t have any memories of hyperspace, you know. I should… we had navigators for the prototype and some came from our ancestral hive but I don’t. The memories wouldn’t stick in our collective memory for some reason.”

“Hmm…” Amanpreet said. “Probably the wrong level of consciousness, like how even a synaptic link from a navigator to a biocomputer won’t allow the computer to see hyperspace. Not even the memory of it. We tried to make maps that way. It didn’t work.”

“Yes, yes, perceiving hyperspace requires level four individual consciousness,” Prima said. “But why?”

Amanpreet shrugged. “Because hyperspace is bloody weird, that’s why.” She checked the last few systems before nodding to herself. “Okay we’re ready. Prepare for jump.”

Prima bounced slightly at that announcement. “Yes!”

Amanpreet grinned at her as she initiated the jump to hyperspace.

Prima made a kind of awestruck squeaking noise as the stars were replaced by the mists and light wells of hyperspace but otherwise kept her promise not to disturb Amanpreet as she made her calculations. It was a simple jump so it only took a couple of minutes for Amanpreet to set the course. Once she was done she turned her attention back to her guest.

“You can ask your questions now,” she said.

“Thank you!” Prima turned to look at her. “Do you know what the lights are? We never could decide and there seem to be more than our ancestors reported.”

“There probably are,” Amanpreet said. “In this part of the galaxy anyway. They seem to correspond to certain planets in normal space. Specifically planets with a population of at least several hundred million level four sophonts. The brightness is tied to the population.”

“Oh!” Prima stared out at the wells again. “So that’s the light of minds?”

“Apparently so,” Amanpreet said. “Do you see any colour differences?”

“Nooo… should I?”

“Probably not,” Amanpreet said. “The Kska can identify species by the colour of the light and see wells for lower populations than most but that’s unique to them so far. Humans and Tkin perceive it as uniformly golden.”

“That’s what I see as well,” she said. “How do the Mez see it? What about Promise’s people?”

“You know, I really don’t know,” Amanpreet said. “I imagine it would be diffferent for the Mez. This much light would blind them. And since the Mez desiged the Fish so I imagine it would be the different for them as well/. We’ll have to ask them.”

“Maybe they hear it,” Prima said. “The Mez are a very sound centered species.”

“That wouldn’t surprise me,” Amanpreet said. She stared at the light wells, searching for the Ishtar-Damkina double well. After a moment she spotted it.

“Do you see that slighty blurry one? That’s Ishtar and Damkina – you can’t quite see that they are seperate from here.”

“Damkina is where you are from, isn’t it?”

“Yes,” Amanpreet said. “When the Ishtari arrived in Earth orbit and asked to buy Venus Damkina was one of the first things they offered. A planet that was useless to them but potentially useful to us in return for one that was useless for us and potentially useful to them. It was a good offer but the negotiators held out for our own hyperspace ships and training to use them, though we sweetened that with some of our hard tech. The Ishtari were as astounded by hard tech as we were by their non-medical biotech and hyperspace travel.”

“We did both equally,” Prima said. “Hard tech and biotech that is.”

“That’s unusual,” Amanpreet said. “Most species favour one or the other even when they do both.”

Prima swayed from side to side in what Amanpreet was beginning to see as her kind’s equivalent of a nod. “I know. I almost think it reflects our dual nature. A lot of our biotech started out as things we grew instinctively even though we’ve improved it since but our hard tech was all invented after we gained individual intelligence.” She looked back at the lights. “There’s two other blurry ones?”

“Yes,” Amanpreet said. “The closest one is Cels-Tinia and fairly faint one is Earth-Venus. None of the other double systems has enough population to show up yet.”

“The Mez are asking about the largest moon of our sixth planet,” Prima said. “Apparently it was going to be bioformed by them before you found out about us. We don’t need it so we’re amenable to the suggestion as long as they are good neighbours.”

“Niobe says they are,” Amanpreet said. “She’s from Cels and her family have a lot of dealings with them. You should talk to her if you are curious.”

“I will.” Prima circled the dome looking in all directions and stopped again when she spotted Promise above them and a little to the left. “There’s Promise! Somehow it looks even more graceful in hyperspace than in normal space.”

“In some ways this is its natural habitat,” Amanpreet said,

“I wish we could talk to it,” Prima said. “Promise is nice.”

“Hyperspace communication would be nice in general,” Amanpreet said. “We’re working on a musical code for those of us who can hear it but we don’t have one for Prima says hello.” She checked her watch. “Goodness it’s almost time to drop back into normal space.”

“Do we have to?” Prima said. “This is interesting and fun. Can’t you teach me to navigate? I’m not having any problems being here.”

“Nope,” Amanpreet said. “I’m not qualified to instruct, but Mark is and I’m sure he’ll teach you if you ask.”

“I will!” Prima bounced again. “As soon as I get chance.”

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9 Responses to “The Whisper of Damkina Part Sixty Three”

  1. shade says:

    Check your last sentence.

    • Rebecca Sutton says:

      Thanks! I had initially missed the pronoun out somehow. Correct one error make another… *facepalm*.

  2. mjkj says:

    Nice 😀

    Prima is soooo excited and exciting 🙂

  3. torvawk says:

    Prima is really racking up the activities she is trying to get into. Will she have enough time for it all?

    • Rebecca Sutton says:

      The advantage of a partial hive mind is that if she doesn’t have time herself she can always send another hive member for most things and then share their memories.

  4. Your style is unique in comparison to other folks I have read stuff from.

    Many thanks for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I will just book mark
    this page.

  5. Just a guy says:

    Hi fairly new reader love this story. I love world builder type writers. The way we are just thrown into a universe and following Amanpreet is wonderful.

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