The Merchant


The first of the Lazloi home worlds came into view. It was not what I expected.

I remembered that the Lazloi are numbered in the tens of millions, scarcely a single country or large city by our standards. Even so, this frontier planet seemed to be entirely empty of cities or habitation of any kind. Aradhnwen's Grace glided slowly into the atmosphere and made for a large continent on the northern hemisphere. This world seemed untamed and wild, full of wildlife and untouched by the destructiveness of intelligent beings.

"This is where the Creators first put our ancestors to work," said our guide. "While other races performed the menial tasks of the Creators purpose, we were their advisors and assistants." The Lazloi waved her hand across the wide view plate. "This world served as a garden world, a place of entertainment and relaxation. It still serves that purpose today."

The ship sped across lakes and forests, mountains and wide rivers. There seemed to be no sign that the Lazloi had any presence here at all. It was only when we entered the circle of an immense water filled basin and approached an uplift structure in its centre that we saw the mark of the Lazloi.

The island was rugged and had little vegetation except for rough grass and heather. Pools of water suggested marshland and poor drainage. At its centre was an immense sculpture of twelve female figures the height of office blocks. They stood together with their eyes closed, the line following a gentle curve. There were no other structures around this massive edifice, so the ship made landfall in the peaty bog nearby.

The entire crew disembarked to stand in silence in front of the statues. "These are the twelve goddesses of the Lazloi, they are the founding mothers of our race." Our guide bowed her head in the direction of the immense figures. "We give thanks to them that we have returned home safely."

Cyana was consulting her hand computer. "These are the ancestors of the Lazloi clans, twelve goddesses for twelve clans?"

Our guide nodded and pointed to one of the figures. "That one signifies Aradhnwen Zilaerion, the mother of my clan and that of Alisandra who saved your lives."

Cyana showed her computer to the others with a soft whistle. "Millions of tons of Lumina, they use platinum group metals like we would use bricks or stone."

I held up a hand towards the figures blocking the horizon. "But where are their companions, what about their mates?"

Our guide frowned. "What need would we have, what need to remember those that are lost to us."

-- Tara Alessia, aboard the Lazloi courier ship, "Aradhnwen's Grace"


Space craft created in Cinema 4D, figures created in Poser.

Scene assembly and final rendering in Vue 8 Complete. Post processed in Photoshop CS2

Return to the 2012 gallery

Updated: 06 April 2012

© Mark Hirst, 2000 - 2018