A Piece of Home

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Rai wants to give Eiry an extra special birthday gift, and needs a little help from Miara.

Rai is (c) his player at http://www.suburbansenshi.com

Submitted: September 28, 2008

A A A | A A A

Submitted: September 28, 2008



Miara was finishing up at work when she felt an unfamiliar mind touch. It was sharp and defined, but searching. The astral signature it tied to was familiar, however.

Rai? she queried with a picture.

Hello, Miara. Do you have time? I would like to speak to you about something.

It sure was different talking in actual speech patterns, she thought. She sent a picture of an elapsing clock. Can it wait a bit longer?

Certainly. I shall wait outside.

She gave him a mental acknowledgment and continued cutting her client's hair.

Raihosha was quite surprised at the clarity and precise ease of the girl's mind. She was a rather random person, but that one brief contact was all he needed to sense the great power that might be hidden behind it. But then, the only thing he had to compare it to was Rachel, and who knew what her power was truly capable of?

He made his way to the shop, a placed called Splurge, and the sign looked like splattered blobs of paint. A covert mental look inside, and he found an eclectic group of people, many of whom had similar personality traits to Miara—creative, spontaneous, and spilling personality, whatever that personality might be. Given the collective consciousness here, it was easy to see where the name came from.

It wasn't a long wait once he got there, and Miara strode up to him when she came out.

“Hi Rai!”

“Miara. You like it here, I gather.”

“Yup! We have fun!”

“I'm glad you like it.”

“So what's this idea thingy?”

“I didn't say anything about an idea...”

“You didn't have too. It was pretty close to the surface. Though what it has to do with, you'll have to tell me.”

They began walking, Rai with his hands clasped behind his back as he composed his thoughts, easily keeping up with her swinging pace.

“Are you aware that Eiry's birthday is coming up?”

“I think so. So's mine, in Homeworld time. It would be December 28 here.”

“This timing thing is interesting. But I was hoping to do something special for her.”

“And what do you need me for?” she asked shrewdly.

“Well, I'm not sure. I understand Rachel is more knowledgeable with plants. But I was hoping to create a little piece of Xcheamo on Aescapulus for her.”

Her brow furrowed.

“You know I have an old growth forest?”

“Yes. And you're wanting to do something similar?”

“Yes, exactly. I want to create an ecosystem with plants, animals, etc., from your home planet.”

She was giving him a very odd look.

“Do you have any idea what your asking?”

“In some ways, yes. And in some ways, probably not.”

“Do you trust me?”

“Shouldn't I be the one asking that question?

“Let me in, and we'll see,” she said, nudging his outer shields. It was a bit hesitant, but in a moment she was racing lightly through him, gathering information and taking a good look at his intentions, his integrity, and the likelihood of him using his knowledge inappropriately.

Raihosha was a bit unprepared for the depths of her probing, but not altogether surprised, either. At last she sighed and pulled out. “You know is a ginormous project? How do you expect to accomplish an entire ecosystem in a few days, even if you are permitted?”

“You, of all people, should be familiar with the concept of time travel by now,” he said expectantly.

“Oh, I see! How far back will you have to go?”

“A few thousand years should do the trick,” he said. “I take it you approve?”

“I think it's an awesome idea! A ton of work, but I can time it back just as well as you can. Though, are you sure you don't want to save it for something more special? You might never be able to top this one.”

“But I want her to have it as long as possible.”

She looked at him again, then smiled. “I suppose we'd better do this in spring, during the day, of course. You'll forgive me if we use a remote place?”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, you need soil and atmosphere samples and things, right? None of us can just tell you about that. Get whatever you need beamed down.”

It took a few moments for Aescapulus to locate and transport a sample kit, and they ducked into an alleyway.

“Gate space is a sinking, floaty place, but only for a moment.”


“And whatever you do, keep yourself closed up!”

He ran some extra strength into his shields, and followed her down the alley. She had a little key in one hand and grabbed his with the other, pulling him into a dimensionless space. It did indeed feel like sinking and floating at the same time, and then there was sunlight and blues and greens all around him. The air pressed against him, spilling into his lungs. After a few moments he looked around.

They were in a woodland area, on the edge between forest and meadow, if you could call it that. The forest made even his look tame, and if the field grass was high enough to get lost in. There were dots and splashes of color, some very intense, in all directions, and occasionally some creature or insect caught his attention.

“I think I'm beginning to see how your people are so tough and wild looking. How much of this is dangerous?”

She immediately pointed to several things. “Mostly poisonous, to Terrans. That bird there can bite through the back of your neck, but that rarely happens. Oh, an eelid.” She bent over a bush and carefully picked up a spidery creature.

An eelid appeared to be a creature with a ball-like body and a number of legs he couldn't count because the moment she picked it up they all started waving around. She made a soft little noise he could barely hear, and in a moment it had calmed down.

“See, five legs, then fifteen. Sometimes there are more. If you see one with a lumpy body, go the other way. Run, don't walk.”

She put the eelid back in its bush, and there were a few quick clicking sounds before it settled down again. He felt an expanding presence beside him, and found Rachel standing there, apparently out of nowhere.

“Raihosha.” The look she gave him was nearly reproachful. There was a weight in her presence, which he knew quite well she was very capable of not having. Not only was she not concealing her presence as in his local time, but she was surely not here to simply greet her daughter.

“Greetings, Rachel,” he said, making a respectful bow. She nodded.

“Ana!” Miara greeted her, accompanied by a generous hug. During this, she whispered something in Rachel's ear, which was responded to with a somewhat worried look and minute shake of the head.

“You will give us a moment,” Rachel said, pulling Miara a distance away, where they spoke in Lupa. Although he'd been slowly learning when he had a chance, he was only able to distinguish a few words.

“You know very well he's not supposed to be here.”

“Yes, but wait 'til you hear this...” She explained Rai's idea, and what she'd been able to discern.

“You're sure? Just because he's alright now doesn't mean he will be in a thousand years.”

“He's an incredibly stable person, and even if Eiry's not always with him, he'll always love her. Besides, how easy to do you think it would be for an enemy to get stuff out of him?”

“We could probably do it without too much trouble.”

“Well it's not like he really knows how to get here or where we are, anyway. And how many people out there are as strong as the immortals?”

After a bit of talking, there was concentration between the two. He felt Rachel reach for something, and in an instant she had exponentially expanded and was walking toward him.

“Will you speak for yourself?”

“Certainly. May I ask who exactly I am addressing?”

“I have shared mind with Moon and Altairtax. He will relate to Jaxmin.”

He wasn't sure if this boded well or not, but bowed as low indeed as his dignity would allow.

“To be honest, I had not even hoped to come here myself. But I will respect your wishes for privacy and anonymity. In truth, I couldn't find my way back; and I cannot sense the gates on my own. I want to do this for Eiry; she and whoever she chooses to share it with. But she is far from her sister and family, and her apartment is no longer hers. Aescapulus is her home how, but there is nothing familiar for her, nothing Lupa, on my ship, except for her. If we ever leave Earth, she will need it, and perhaps others can learn about and understand you better.”

“Anything else?”

“She's my mate. I love her. I know what it's like when you can't go home. I don't want her Home song to be so sad. It's just..something I want to do for her.”

He sensed a withdraw, and realized he'd opened to a particular mind touch as he'd been talking. It was kindness and warmth and trust, and he knew, somehow, that it must have been Moon.

“You realize you could never have a complete environment,” Rachel said.

“I know, and Eiry will know. But whatever you approve will be enough. I'm sure Eiry can get into enough trouble on her own without super poisons and unmanageable prey.” He was watching a small group of large animals making their way across the field. Not only were they the size of a rhinoceros, they had huge teeth, tough wiry fur, and were marked with scars.

“Drongi,” Miara said.

“Most of these animals don't have any fear of us.”

“We're not in fur. They know we're not hunting.”

“Ah, I see.”

Rachel suddenly picked something up, and began walking a ways out into the field. “We're on the runner path.” He followed, and soon Miara was laying among the grasses as if drinking in her home.

“What's taking so long?” she asked.

“The relay. And I do believe he's going to be difficult. Anyway, you have the majority, so get what you need, and Miara will take you back. However, we haven't time to help you with such a project.”

“It's alright, ana, I'll do it. It'll be fun! Plus, I'll get to have time travel adventures!”

“Like you don't already?” A very cross look came over her face, and a very clear, snapped Well send him here, then! cut across the mental air.

Miara raised an eyebrow at her mother, whose eyes had become glowing sparks. She went back to where the gate was, and Miara chuckled.

“I suppose you should go ahead and get your samples. What can I do?”

He showed her how to fill the little sample collectors, and she took a few to gather where there was water. These she put in a small pack before going off a little ways to undress, strap it on her back, and change to run for wherever the nearest water source was. He took samples of soil and air from the field and forest. While doing this, he happened to observe several changed Lupa with large packs on their backs running swiftly by. Judging from their speed, Rachel would have had to know they were coming while still a fair distance away.

Jax wasn't long in appearing, and I glared at him. He just looked at me a minute.

“Are you sure you won't regret this later?”

“What does that have to do with it? If he does manage to pull it off, it will hardly be the deciding factor when she has to choose.”

“But it will help. Are you sure you're going to be willing to give her up?”

“When the time comes, it comes. I said it then and I've held to it since. I did not go through all that to have her just to tell her how to live her life.”

“Are you sure enough to fight for it? I know you'll let her do as she needs, but this is family, not your duty. She's your daughter, and she deserves to know how you feel.”

“So you're not questioning the decision.”

“No. Just whether you're going to regret it later.”

“You should know me better.”

“I know you better than you do.”

I glared at him, which he ignored, and began walking out into the field. That just pissed me off, and it didn't take long to tackle him and get a good fight going.

Raihosha had finished with his samples and was busy recording observations when he heard sounds of fighting nearby. He was about to go check on it, then decided against it when he realized it was in the field and he'd likely end up in it before anything else. However, he caught sight of a fluffy, lime green lichen a little deeper in, living around the bottoms of tree trunks. Some actually had gnarled roots curling above the surface before diving down into the dirt. The further in he went, the more surface roots there were.

He knelt down to look at some of the fluff. It didn't seem dangerous, and in a moment he got a knife and scrapped a good sized sample into a container. The fluff was surprisingly juicy, green liquid flowing from where he'd cut the sample and dripping from the knife.

“If you touch that, your hands will be yellow for a month,” Miara said, coming up beside him.


“Yep. Let's go back.”

On the way, she pointed things out and explained them, pausing just long enough for him to ask questions, and to gather samples of plants as they passed by. As they neared the field, they could tell the fight was still going on, and he looked at her quizzically.

“It's just Mom and Dad.”

“It's been going on for a while.”

“I know.”

“Is that normal?”

“Yeah. Don't worry, they're not serious anymore.”

If that wasn't serious, he didn't want to know what was, with the growling and snapping and such that was going on. They reached the gate, and Miara took out the little key again.

“Is it just me, or is that one of Setsuna's time keys?”

“You're right, they're both from her. And they're fused with gates, so when you have one you can go anywhere, anytime, so long as you know when and where you're going.”

“And that's how you've all been getting around like that.”

“Yep. So, here we go.”

It had taken a lot of work, and a lot of time, especially on Miara's part, to collect all the necessary things—hundreds of plants, animals, insects, birds, reptiles—and create the ecosystem on Aescapulus. Miara had gone through another birthday and then some. Her hair had grown down around her shoulders in a thick mass. They checked the ecosystem every few years, then left it to grow, and when they returned to local time, it truly was a magnificent sight for her. “Eiry's going to love it,” she told Rai and Carlos, who was with them. “How's your kolle plant?”

“Not far from dying.”

“Then you'd better get it in here before it does. If it's not tall enough, just keep it in the pot and build a little structure. You can always take it down later, unless Eiry wants a home here or something.”

“You know, I hadn't even thought of that,” Rai said. “I'll mention it to her later.”

“After the shock wears off?”

“Something like that,” he chuckled, anticipating his mate's surprise. “You put a lot of work into it, too, do you want to be here when I bring her up?”

“Ohhhhh...It's so tempting. I'd love to see her reaction...But it's your gift, and...she might be exceptionally...grateful,” she teased him.

“One can only hope,” he grinned back.

Eiry and Sali were relaxing in the garden with their agemates (Jake, Leila, Andrew and Ilara, Tiena) and Ian, lounging around talking after dinner. Most of the guests were out occupying themselves, and besides them, the inn was kind of quiet. She had given Sali a carefully selected recipe collection from Aescapulus' vast library, and Sali had made her the loveliest gown yet.

“Well I figured after this I might not have the chance for that one again.”

“But Sali, whatever am I going to wear it to?”

“You'll find something. Besides, you look like a dream in it and Rai will love it.”

Eiry watched the phlox woven into in Sali's short braid, and imagined it long and her stomach large and round. Then she felt Rai's bond strengthen, and knew he was planetside. He'd been completely gone for a few days, and she's been wondering what crisis he'd been dealing with this time. But after a while, Nanette came walking to the path, escorted by none other than Rai himself. She and Sali shared a look—all that shielding!

Either something's very wrong, or...

He doesn't look like it. Besides, he wouldn't be here. And for once, he's in something casual.

Both of them stayed to chat for a while, and then she could feel his anticipation kick in.

“What is with you? Is all that really necessary?”

“Of course, my dear. And I'm afraid I must steal you away for a while. Have a pleasant evening, everyone.”

He helped her up, and she said her goodbyes before he whisked her away to a more private part of the garden for transport to Aescapulus. They came out on one of the lower decks, and Eiry looked at him. He just gave her one of those knowing “I'm not telling” smiles, and led her down a corridor, and soon they were at a door.

“Now promise you won't yell at me, alright?”

“What?? Why?”

“Just promise. You'll understand when you see. Now, close your eyes.”

She gave him a look, then did so, hearing the door open and letting him guide her forward into a place where the air slowly poured deep into her lungs and smelled familiar in an unknown way. She could hear animals and birds, felt moving air. This was unlike anywhere she'd been, but she knew she knew it.

“Can I see now?”
“Not yet.”

She had slipped her shoes off by the door, and easily followed as he lead her by the hand. He stopped, and positioned her, kissing each of her eyelids before moving behind her.


She saw tall blue-green grasses, kolle trees, tin and rivet, a group of massive rabbits, and gelt further off. The field was dotted with color—flowers, and aankai. Rai's shields had dropped during this time and a flood of things came to her, on their own.


Her knees went weak, and she would have sat hard if he hadn't put an arm out and swept her up into his arms. Quite overwhelmed, she simply hung against him for a minute as her mind wrapped itself around it. Looking at him again, her eyes were rather wet, and when she kissed him he could almost feel the few tears running down his own face.


Sweet moon, Rai. “How? How did you do it?”

“With a lot of help.”

“Surely not from Rachel and Jax?”

“No, Miara.”

“Oh, no wonder.” But she didn't elaborate on that statement, instead standing again and turning in different directions as if she didn't know what to do first.

“Some direction?”

“Yes, please,” she breathed.

He turned her in the direction of the kolle trees, and she held his hand tightly as they walked over.

“Did Carlos put ours in here?”

“Yes. I believe it's that one,” he pointed to the oldest, near the middle of the grove. She went up to it and ran a hand down its trunk.

“You made a weather cycle?”

“As much as I could from Miara's descriptions. I couldn't make a real moon, but I think Imight beable to simulate the effects a bit by electromagnetics and some other tricks."


She had moved away from him, staring up at a small flock of glossy black and blue birds.

“There's a small database we started you can read up on, and add to as you like.”

“Later. I'll look at it later.” She wandered out into the field, and after eating a kolle, Rai sat and watched the field, where she lay hidden in the field grasses.

How big?

Most of the deck.

Then there was an indignant cry and some surprised squeals, and he got the impression of hopping feet and patches of fur. In a few moments, she appeared and came over to him.

“Does it say anywhere that the rabbits will run you over?”

He chuckled. “Well the creatures here have no people among them, they're not used to it.”

“Oh, they will be soon enough.”

“Are you going to bring Sali up?”

She looked at him. “Am I allowed to?”

“Eiry, you have always had that privilege. You did send Edar up.”

“Only because he needed it.”

“Ah. Well, you don't have to keep asking every time you want to do something.”

“But that's what you're supposed to do when...I have too many packs >_>”

“What do you mean?”

“Well there's home, we haven't ever said I'm not officially part of that pack. It's how I'd identify myself to other Lupa. But I don't live there, and I no longer contribute to it as member. And your family is a pack, and then there's the three of us in Tokyo and the employees, and the House, sort of.”

“So you can't just say 'My loyalties are here,' can you?”

“No. Kai still needs me, even if Edar doesn't. Besides, he's got Nana to help him.”

“Nana and Edar? Really?”

“Yeah, for a while now. They're rather discrete.”


She was silent a minute, just looking at him. Then she gave him a huge hug and another, very happy, kiss.


© Copyright 2020 zairafirefly. All rights reserved.

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