Eclipse 42

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“Faster than light?”  Abigail asked. “That means that in a few minutes Trisha could be millions of miles from Earth, and get lost.  We go to the supermarket, and she gets lost, can’t remember where we parked the car.”

“Has Trisha actually flown very far at high speed?” Patrick asked. “I’d hate to think she tried flying to the Moon and ran out of steam part way there.”

“We were going to discuss this,” Morgana said, “because she had this really neat photograph she wanted to show you, admittedly taken with one of my cameras, of the Milky Way galaxy.  The picture is from well to the Galactic South, so you can see all the spiral arms.  That’s about 600,000 light years out from the Galactic center, which she covered in under half an hour, notwithstanding the need for acceleration and deceleration and being careful not to fly through anything large and solid along the way.  Oh yes, she has the safe form of superspeed, so she isn’t getting any older if she spends a couple of subjective hours shoveling the driveway, the way she just did.” Morgana pulled a bitstick from her blouse pocket. 

“Socket under the table,” Patrick said. “The screen comes down from the ceiling when in use.” The three waited a few moments.  Up on the screen came an image, a huge photograph of a galaxy, multiple spiral arms all clearly visible. 

“Furthermore,” Morgana continued, “Trisha, Jessamine Trishaset, has true deep space navigation.  She cannot get lost, up to local hazards that she can fly away from, anywhere in our universe.  She knows exactly where home is.  And her other gifts would let her make that flight, all the way across the universe, though she might want a nap at the end.” Abigail swallowed deeply. 

“That’s our galaxy?” Abigail asked. “My specialty was computational astrophysics, not observational astronomy.”

“That’s ours,” Morgana answered. “Trisha took it.  She did want me along, half to kibitz on camera setup, half because…she could do it by herself, it’s perfectly safe, but she doesn’t trust herself.” Mostly because people don’t trust her, Morgana thought, and people keep telling her that she has bad judgement and will hurt herself if she tries anything challenging. “We did a timed flying run.  Trisha is undoubtedly the fastest persona in the world, including any of the Lords of Eternity.”

“To finish the grades,” Morgana continued, “Brian has a first rate set of screens, not to mention several plasma attacks that did a fine job on Emperor Roxbury’s robots.  If he were a grownup, he’d be welcome in Stars Over Boston, though it would be a waste of his time.  His model building is a gift, but a very rare one.  He’ll probably develop other gifts as he goes on, but he’s the type that develops a few things deeply rather than many things broadly.  Janie is an absolutely first-rate mentalist.  Besides telepathy and screening, she is one of the few personas I know who can read machine minds.  Very recently, she developed a mentalic attack, something that will kill people.  I emphasize that she has a very well developed sense of gifttruth, so she is safe with the gift in question, but if she is driven to the point that she decides that she has to kill someone, they will be very dead very quickly indeed. 

About George Phillies

science fiction author -- researcher in polymer dynamics -- collector of board wargames -- President, National Fantasy Fan Federation
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