If my mother were still alive, she would have remarked that nine years was but a moment, and simply another chapter in her life. For me, her only surviving child, nine years spans nearly a quarter of my existence.
Looking back now, the idea of finding her body was a childish one. We were two Lazloi who were scarcely adults, with a plan to move amongst the humans. In the first few days our ship and we were seen. Instead of the reverence we had expected, we were confronted by fear and open hostility. It was the simulacrum embedded in my ship that saved us from further mistakes and harm.
A little time passed before Arborella persuaded me to return to the home world, where I discovered that I, like many of the Ravens, were no longer welcome. There was no news about my aunt Alisandra, but it was clear that dire consequences would follow if she should appear again. Clan Mother Kyraenia gave Arborella a choice, to remain with me and live in exile, or to return to the Songbirds and her clan.
So I returned to Candor without Arborella, but this time as part of small team operating across the planet. We were under the auspices of Clan Mother Zylyra, who despite the orders of Kyraenia, continued our active engagement of the Enemy. For a while, we learned nothing save for the hatred and fear that the humans had for us. Our actions that prevented the dust and its masters from spreading to the Echolian Stars, was seen only as an aggressive act, and the dust labelled as something of our own making.
For years, we watched and listened for clues about the collusion that must have happened here, the powers that my aunt believed had discovered and assisted the great Enemy. Using our abilities sparingly, we would teleport to key locations, conduct surveillance, perform acts of sabotage, and occasionally kill. We were never able to operate openly or directly, for it was important that our presence was not known. Now we know much about the dust, and the disposition of other alien life forms, but also strange stories concerning the Brotherhood of Ankh, and sightings of other Lazloi not known to us.
In my area of responsibility, covering the northern reaches of the archipelago on which Candor City sits, I have discovered a complex network of companies, politicians and criminals, but darkness surrounds them, and now I believe I can only penetrate this shroud by physical means, a course of action not open to me.
Standing in the shade of the trees, deep in the forest that has protected me for so long, I am forced to consider the necessity of enlisting human help, but I do not know where to turn.
-- Sylenia ny Kleneptra ny Hybritta hept Zilaerion, somewhere in the Northern Wilderness of Candor.
Stephanie Petite with Wildcat Hair. Travalian and Conforming Cloak by AS3Designs, with customised textures. Runabout is a custom model created in Hexagon 1.21
Scene assembly and final rendering in Vue 6 Pro Studio. Post processed in Photoshop CS2