There, ahead of the ship it lay! Brigadoon, enchanted refuge at the edge of space! Brigadoon, whose glimmering form lay ahead of us, given a misty halo by the Carina Nebula! And my hands did sweat as the ship docked, and my hands did tremble as I opened the door and stepped forward into a new world.
And then did Ariadne, dark of eye and dark of humor elbow me aside, saying,
“Could you not stand in the doorway? We’ve got shit to move here!”
Downcast I stood aside, and let our own lightning elemental sweep by, searing the world around her as she fled for the wires and conduits that welcomed her rage.
Then did Ebb Spacedragon, steadfast and true, roll forward in her gleaming carriage and lay a hand upon my shoulder. Strength flooded into me once more as she gazed upon me and said,
“I don’t think she even remembers her first time on a space station. Take your time, and if you’re still mad about it, put something snippy in the blog.”
And then she was gone, rolling down the jetty, followed by our chuckling comrades, and then by me. All of us were hushed as we entered the vast hall into which the jetties led, and the silence of ten thousand tons of empty rooms and hallways washed over us. My heart racing, I walked to the dormant fountain that ran the length of the room, slumbering in wait for us. I ran my hand along the smooth stone as I felt the vastness of our home spreading out around me.
Then pain! Fearful, stabbing pain, like needles in my hand. I cried out and leapt away from the cursed fountain, glancing back in terror at the source of my torment. There, crouching upon the stone was a dread beast, with daggers for teeth, and needles for claws, its tail lashing as its evil, slitted eyes gazed up at me.
“Gregg,” I cried. “Did you not swear your furry pets would leave me be? Were they not to remain in your room where they would not shed everywhere?”
“Sorry, Eagun, I just felt like they deserved a chance to explore too, yeah?”
“The pact,” said I, “has been broken, and now there will be much difficulty ere we can repair it!”
“You know damned well I never agreed to keep them locked in my quarters. Don’t worry, I’ll help with keeping the place fur-free. I don’t want any getting into the reactor center. You’d be surprised how much damage a decent tuft of fur can cause.”
“I dare say,” I replied, “but can it even be done? Some surprises are best left in the imagination!”
“I’ve had cats in space stations for years. We need positive pressure in the center anyway to keep any other contaminants out. Don’t worry. I know what I’m doing.”
And with that he was gone, his belongings floating after him.
“We all know what we’re doing!” cried Lisa. She approached the dread beast and sat on the fountain next to it. “That’s why we’re here, right? Eight, Ebb, and Gregg put a lot of thought into who it would take to run this place! I’m so excited to get started!” She held her finger before its fanged maw with reckless courage as it craned its neck up, and ran the side of its face along her long, silver nail. “Honestly Eagun, I know we haven’t known each other very long, but I can’t believe you don’t like Erwin! He’s such a friendly kitty!”
“Spare me your hollow cheer, Provisioner Tambridge. Not only will my first expedition into space be plagued by vicious beasts, but I will assuredly die in a fur-fueled conflagration, far from any world I’ve known.”
“Why, O Why,” I sighed, “could our Mattersmith not have had sensible, furless, sessile pets like Good Anansi?”
“I like you, Eagun, but don’t drag me or my teachers into this,” said Anansi, and he crept through a doorway and down the hall to his new lair.
With grins suppressed and eyebrows raised, my companions followed, leaving me alone with my thoughts. The beast rolled before me in the fountain, displaying its fearsome armaments as it stretched out on its back.
“And so,” I said “Begins our new life on Brigadoon, Space Station in the Mists!”