This is my fic for the Farscapeland challenge #14
where we got prompts for either icons or fic. I chose fic because that’s what I’m less comfortable with (it should be a challenge, right?) and also because I wanted to practise a bit for the inevitable big bang.
My prompts were great, especially the second one. I interpreted the first one a little more loosely, but I think it’s still recognizable.
Setting: first and third part in the far far future, middle part throughout TF
Disclaimer: Not mine, don't make money from this, just for fun (and points :))
My prompt pictures: AnticipationInspiration Small thingsAnticipation
I was nervous. Really, really nervous. As I was standing at the golden ribs of the leviathan, looking out at all those people, the only thing I could think about was, how little preparation I had, how unexperienced I was and how it suddenly felt like my voice would flee me faster than Fiona could starburst.
“It’s pretty scary, isn’t it!”
I startled as a voice whispered behind me. When I turned around I saw Tira standing behind me, smiling. Normally she had a calming effect on me, but for some reason her smile just made me even more nervous.
“Yes, it is”, I replied with a shaky smile. “My knees feel like they’re going to turn to mush any second.” I said without even thinking about it.
Now Tira laughed a little. “You’ll do great. The first time I presented, I threw up three times.”
“Oh, yes! But you know what? I still went down there, and did the presentation and… well it was actually quite awful, but I survived!”
Now it was me who laughed. Even though it was a very shaky laugh, it made me feel a little better.
“You’ll do great! Just remember how it all started and what it became.” Tira made a gesture towards the landing bay, where hundreds of people waited for me.
I took a deep breath and stepped forward.
Remember how it all started. Remember…Beginnings
Aeryn sat on the sofa and looked over old… what were they called? Potografs? Something like that. Bare ass baby pictures Crichton had said. It had been a very nice moment, they had fun together, laughed and in that one moment it felt – right. Like they belonged together. But then it all turned bad when Caroline Wallace arrived. And then she even took Crichton away.
Trying not to imagine what those two were up to at the beach all alone, Aeryn tried to indulge herself in earth customs. But shopping, lying at the beach and spending time with the girls. The only thing she tried to stay away from was that very nutritional earth food Rygel and Noranti loved so much.
Thankfully Olivia seemed to be able to empathize quite well and tried everything to keep her occupied. Most things didn’t work that well, like the books, which were mostly much too hard to read (only 26 symbols and it was still so hard), and trying on clothes (why would anyone want to stand in front of a mirror for hours at a time, trying on one unfitting piece of clothe after another.
But this new activity she did enjoy. Maybe because with the Peacekeepers she didn’t have much of a personal history herself and with the way her mother died it was good to know, that, even though Johns mother was dead too, there were still things to remember her. Tangible things, not just memories.
For some reason this old book really spoke to her, grabbed her. It had been in a little box, together with some items, that she mostly couldn’t identify. They didn’t seem to have a purpose for humans other than to look good and feel interesting. Weird, but surprisingly intriguing.
She stroke over the stone and the shells and then she took the flat leaves in her hand. She liked those best. It was fascinating to see the little tiny seeds inside the leave and to feel them. To imagine that from these little tiny dots would someday spring a huge tree…
Without even realizing it, she put her hand on her belly. Would the seed inside her ever get the chance to grow? What would happen to it?
Was that what Johns mother felt when she wrote down these words? This longing and sense of wonder? Aeryn never thought about it, but suddenly she mused about the things, that inspired her, that mattered to her. Most of the words Leslie had written down, she didn’t even know. What the frell did flypaper mean? She had to remember to ask Olivia about that.
But for now she wanted to try out this new idea.
She grabbed a pen and looked for a piece of paper to write on. Now she felt for John, who had been searching for paper for the last four cycles. But then she found an old slip that didn’t seem to serve any purpose any more.
So she took the pen in one hand and put the slip down at the table and tried to think about the things on earth that were inspiring to her. Some things sprang to mind immediately, like rain, TV, the ocean...
But then she wanted to write them down and it became difficult…
“You sure seem to think hard!” Olivia was standing behind her, looking over her shoulder. Aeryn had been so deep in thought that she hadn’t even noticed her.
For some reason she felt guilty about searching through Leslie Crichton’s stuff but the way Olivia looked at her she seemed to be more interested and curious than angry. Olivia picked up the little notebook and smiled.
“Mom wrote that when she was already sick. She wanted to point out the good things in life.”
She looked at the slip of paper Aeryn had tried to write on.
“You’re making a list of your own?”
Aeryn nervously covered the paper.
“Well, I… I don’t really know what half of these things mean, so…” she didn’t really know how to explain herself. But it turned out that wasn’t needed.
“That’s a great idea! It gives you something to take with you when you return to… well…” She became silent, probably she just realized that if Aeryn went back it meant that very likely John would go back too.
But Olivia wasn’t a person who gave to negative thoughts easily.
She straightened her back and said with a wry smile: “Let’s see what we can do about that list of yours!”
A few weeks later Aeryn went back to Moya with the others. Tucked away carefully amidst all the boxes was a very small chest containing various little things from Earth.
And a list…Being more
Somehow to remember the old days and trying to imagine what the great Aeryn Sun had been thinking when she saw Leslie Crichtons inspiration chest for the first time and when she brought that important Earth tradition with her to the then Uncharted Territories. What would she have said, had she known how they carried that tradition even after all these hundreds of cycles?
With a last deep breath and a look at Tira, who nodded and smiled encouragingly I stepped into the docking bay. And somehow with one look at these apprehensive faces before me, all my nervousness vanished. I smiled at “my” children, the twenty girls between three and eleven who lived on this leviathan. Most of them looked up at me with curiosity - especially the three year old’s who were here for the first time. I remembered my first time very well. It had been Tira who held the presentation then. Somehow it seemed like an eternity ago but yet so familiar as if it only had been a few days.
And then I looked at each girl sitting there in front of me. There were at least five hundred, all waiting patiently for me to tell the story. To tell them about their legacy. Their duty.
When I got down to pick up that old carefully preserved chest, I felt the confidence and trust of all the generations of Sun-Crichton women flow through me.
And so I showed the box to all of them, letting the three year olds in the first few rows take a closer look at it and began to tell the tale. Like it always had been for the last seven hundred cycles, like it always would be as long as there were Sun-Crichtons.
“This chest contains the most important thing you will ever own: Inspiration.
Whenever you feel you are close to giving up, you need to find something to be sure about, you can take your own chest.”
At this point a few eidelon acolytes handed out new chests to the three year olds. Everyone else had theirs already sitting in their laps.
Think about the things that matter to you, that inspire you! Take pictures, write them down, take samples of them and put them in the chest. And every time you feel that way again, you can look into your chest and take those things out and think of all the women before you who have made chests of their own. Think of the great Aeryn Sun-Crichton who was saved by this tradition from a very difficult time in a strange environment.
By picking out the things that matter to you most this chest becomes your very own reminder of our most important credo:”
At this I close the chest, put it aside and stand up straight, signalling everyone to do the same. After a short shuffling and commotion I say with all my heart:
“You can be more!”
My heart feels like it’s going to burst any microt as hundreds of voices answered with determination:
“We will be more!”