Empty Colours

We confirm something I’ve long suspected about Henge. I mentioned in my writing exercise, Cadets (pts 1-4), but until published in meatspace I don’t really consider some idea I play with to be canonical. As this MS also isn’t published, Henge’s condition is not technically set but I’m proceeding as if it is. I do wonder: if she could ever find another functioning fusion reactor or engine, and put herself into the equipotential flux point, could she reassemble her body? Pull nanomaterials from some other point of herself to fashion eggs? She’d certainly need help from the Thinking Machines to do that.

And, shedding? A regenerative effect? That was completely new to me, as well.

I like how Aurie is so unassuming: a bar of soap to wash a Regent’s hair? No fancy shampoos and conditioners for her!

Enjoy my content? Buy me a beer!

A plate between them.  Aurie got water and Colour white wine.  Hearing the goings on from his wife and daughter, Gary made for the stairs to give them their moment.

“I’m sorry I’m staring.  You’re perfect.”

“I most certainly am not!” Henge said, corners of her mouth down for the first time.  “In fact, I am very much like you!”

You tell her, her mother thought.

“Colour?  Colour, look at me,” the princess ordered.  She finally turned her eyes.  “Mom’s formation was flawed, incomplete, by less than a ten-thousandth of a second.  She had only two eggs.  One was me, the other, my brother, Roland.  She was a flicker of lightning away from being barren.  Like someone else I know.  She’s my mom.  Not perfect but I love her completely.”

Both sensing what was coming, the very different mother and daughter held onto their old new friend as she cried on and on, saying she was sorry.

Not wanting to get into a clean bed smelling like horses and sweat, the two friends relaxed together in the Hartmann’s oversized bathtub.

“I’m sorry I lost it like that,” Colour apologized again.  Aurie leaned to turn on the cold water just long enough to toss a handful at her.

“Stop it!” she yelled.  “I cannot have my personal secretary tearing up every time she thinks about my mom!  This is not the woman I met a month ago!”

“I… wait.  Since when am I your personal secretary?” Colour asked, ducking her shoulders under the hot water after the splash.

“Just now.  You are in the core of the imperium and I am its living heart – well, half of it, anyway – and you must obey.  And give me the bar of soap, there.”

They both relaxed and leaned their heads back, looking at the steam curl about the ceiling.

“Agenda?” Jansen asked out of nowhere, mimicking her friend’s one-word questions.

“I’ll be up at four doing what I am now, behind my eyes:  scouring the Void for information about, well, everything.  I just finished talking with Cousin Ed.  Mass at oh-seven-thirty.  I will stop by First Councilman MacRae’s office here in town at nine.  It’s an elected-for-life position.  Permanent legionary base to the east just after.  Lunch with my grandparents.  MAGLEV to Chattanooga then Huntsville.  We’ll spend the night there.  Questions?”

“What a MAGLEV?”

“Magnetic levitation,” the princess clarified, ducking her head under the water to rinse out the soap.  She stood and stepped out, reaching for a towel.  “Even with Faustina’s step-daughter stealing the plans for our motors, the empress wanted a public works project, one that would also be good for commerce and the legions.  So, there is a train without rails, it floats on magnets, from Savannah to Shreveport.  Spurs to Mobile and now Kentucky.  I think I’ll start plans for another up toward y’all.”

“To move troops toward us?” she asked, standing, but a little slower.

“Please.  I could beat you guys hollow with my army,” the Regent handed over a towel.  “No, it will show Quebec and the Maritime Provinces we are serious.”

“And… your co-regent knows all this?” Jansen asked, drying.

“Yep.  Fussy, too.  She said she likes the idea and I should proceed.”

“When did you tell her that?” Colour wondered.

“Just now.  So long as there is signal, we like to have one another in mind.”

The human sighed yet again and used her towel to wipe clear a section of the bathroom’s mirror.

“What in the…?” she asked anyone, staring at her face.  Different.

“Shedding,” the princess laughed again.

“I’m… shedding?”

“No, Mom does.  Humans shed pounds of skin all the time, right?” Colour nodded.  “Mama is made of nanomaterials, but diamond dust sounds cooler, and some little bits are always drifting off.  They are programmed to constantly regenerate.  What with her touching you tonight, I bet you look ten years younger in the morning.”

Colour hung her head over the sink.

“Once again, you are not kidding.”

“Nope.  Let’s brush and go to bed.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s