Looking in the mirror this morning, I saw that the last of my old hair has gone.
Now there is only white and silver, soft and straight. The old mark from a school prank is washed away, every scar or imperfection erased.
For over fifty years I have studied this face, faintly triumphant that I had aged gracefully through my thirties, turning to puzzlement in my forties. As the years rolled by, I saw the jealous glances of my fellow explorers turning to suspicion and accusations of illegal geriamorphic drugs.
I asked my guardian about my parents for years and his airy remarks were always the same, that he never really knew them. Now that he is gone, I will never know what he hid from me.
The face that stares back at me is the kind that I have seen only a few times before; it is that of the Lazloi, the matriarchs that have dominated my thoughts for the last thirty years.
I always thought that it was a chance encounter, the ultimate play of the dice that placed my injured reconnaissance ship in the path of a Lazloi cruiser. While my co-pilot lay unconscious, they revived me and talked to me. When we parted, our ship repaired, they said I would see them again.
Little did I realise that it would be after twenty years had passed.
I wonder now if they changed me in some way, because my prescience began after that day, the sense that allowed me to escape danger and threat, the luck that made me the pilot that every explorer wanted to be with.
I look back on the lucky breaks after mustering out that helped me amass the money to buy this ship, the information that the Lazloi offered me, the artefacts that gave me the edge, the furtive meetings in deep space where they suggested places of interest.
I remember one particular encounter, a diminutive Lazloi calling herself Kleneptra Zilaerion, her kind words and her gifts, the parting remark that never made sense to me till now.
Farewell sister daughter…
I ponder those words with a growing chill. Looking at Tara, the future becomes clear; she will age and wither, her face creased with puzzlement and wonder, struggling to understand why I am unchanged. She will lie dying in her bed an old woman, while I try and comfort her last hours, onlookers remarking on the devotion of a granddaughter for her grandmother.
Am I doomed to live on through the centuries, young and alone?
-- Siandyha Rhand, Captain of the Thunderbolt
Vue 5 Pro Studio and Poser 6 renders composited with Photoshop CS2. Figures are V3 and M3 with Shadow Dancer and Winter Casual clothes from DAZ. Sassy Hair and WAM hair also from DAZ.