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2023


3ᅠ
ChapterᅠOneᅠ
CAPRICORNᅠDANCERᅠ
1ᅠ
FromᅠAndromedaᅠ theᅠgalaxyᅠ lookedᅠ likeᅠ justᅠanotherᅠ fuzzyᅠpointᅠofᅠ lightᅠ
dottingᅠ theᅠ infiniteᅠ voidᅠ ofᅠ theᅠ cosmos.ᅠ Asᅠ heᅠ approachedᅠ closeᅠ enoughᅠheᅠ
noticedᅠitsᅠspiralᅠshapeᅠwithᅠitsᅠarmsᅠofᅠhigherᅠconcentrationsᅠofᅠstars.ᅠLocatedᅠ
aboutᅠ twoᅠ thirdsᅠoutᅠ fromᅠ theᅠcentre,ᅠ inᅠoneᅠofᅠ theᅠspiralᅠarms,ᅠwasᅠtheᅠsmallᅠ
solarᅠsystemᅠthatᅠwasᅠhisᅠdestination.ᅠ Itsᅠyoungᅠstarᅠhadᅠspawnedᅠ tenᅠplanetsᅠ
andᅠfaithfullyᅠheldᅠthemᅠinᅠperfectᅠbalanceᅠasᅠitᅠgaveᅠthemᅠitsᅠgravity,ᅠheatᅠandᅠ
light.ᅠ Inᅠ itsᅠ life‐sphere,ᅠ thatᅠ isᅠ theᅠ sphereᅠ ofᅠ spaceᅠ aroundᅠ itselfᅠwhereᅠwaterᅠ
existedᅠasᅠliquid,ᅠsolidᅠandᅠgas,ᅠtheᅠ youngᅠstarᅠhadᅠ formedᅠ itsᅠ life‐planet.ᅠ
Throughᅠit,ᅠheᅠbelieved,ᅠtheᅠstarᅠexpressedᅠitsᅠconsciousnessᅠandᅠitsᅠspirit.ᅠHowᅠ
exquisitelyᅠbeautifulᅠtheᅠlife‐planetᅠappearedᅠtoᅠhimᅠfloatingᅠoutᅠthereᅠwithᅠitsᅠ
deadᅠmoonᅠforᅠcompany.ᅠHeᅠthoughtᅠthatᅠitᅠlookedᅠalmostᅠlikeᅠaᅠcarbonᅠcopyᅠofᅠ
hisᅠhomeᅠplanet,ᅠRama.ᅠ
Whatᅠaᅠcontrastᅠitᅠwasᅠtoᅠwhatᅠheᅠhadᅠjustᅠrendezvousedᅠwithᅠonᅠtheᅠwayᅠ
there.ᅠTheᅠthirtyᅠmilesᅠlongᅠboulderᅠencrustedᅠiceᅠblockᅠheᅠcheckedᅠoutᅠonᅠtheᅠ
wayᅠwasn’tᅠstreamingᅠaᅠ cometᅠ tailᅠyet,ᅠbutᅠ itᅠ stillᅠ lookedᅠmenacingᅠasᅠhell.ᅠHeᅠ
knewᅠthatᅠtheᅠtailᅠwouldᅠappearᅠwhenᅠ itᅠapproachedᅠcloseᅠenoughᅠtoᅠtheᅠstar;ᅠ
aroundᅠ aboutᅠ theᅠ orbitᅠ sphereᅠ ofᅠ theᅠ sixthᅠ planetᅠ ofᅠ theᅠ solarᅠ systemᅠ heᅠwasᅠ
visiting.ᅠ
Asᅠ heᅠ approachedᅠ theᅠ life‐planetᅠ heᅠ admiredᅠ itsᅠ mostᅠ strikingᅠ feature,ᅠ
water.ᅠHeᅠflewᅠtowardsᅠtheᅠwarmerᅠsouthernᅠhemisphereᅠwhereᅠheᅠsawᅠaᅠveryᅠ
largeᅠ islandᅠ surroundedᅠ byᅠ expansiveᅠ oceans.ᅠ Heᅠ slowlyᅠ beganᅠ hisᅠ descentᅠ
throughᅠ theᅠ atmosphere.ᅠ Onᅠ theᅠ spurᅠ ofᅠ theᅠ momentᅠ heᅠ choseᅠ toᅠ aimᅠ hisᅠ
intergalacticᅠ cruiserᅠ towardsᅠ theᅠmostᅠ easterlyᅠ pointᅠ onᅠ theᅠ eastᅠ coastᅠ ofᅠ theᅠ
islandᅠbecauseᅠheᅠlikedᅠtheᅠwayᅠitᅠjuttedᅠoutᅠintoᅠtheᅠgreatᅠocean.ᅠ
2ᅠ
Aᅠ metallic‐blue,ᅠ 1963ᅠ Holdenᅠ Premierᅠ turnedᅠ rightᅠ justᅠ afterᅠ passingᅠ
throughᅠ theᅠ greenᅠ tunnelᅠ formedᅠ byᅠ theᅠ twoᅠ rowsᅠ ofᅠ giantᅠ Stranglerᅠ Figsᅠ
growingᅠ onᅠ eitherᅠ sideᅠ ofᅠ theᅠ Pacificᅠ Highway.ᅠ Theᅠ signᅠ atᅠ theᅠ turnoffᅠ saidᅠ
ByronᅠBayᅠ6ᅠkm.ᅠOnᅠ itsᅠ roofᅠ racksᅠ theᅠPremierᅠcarriedᅠ theᅠpreciousᅠcargoᅠ thatᅠ
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