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  • Writer's pictureAutumn Shah

December Contest Winner

Each month we hold a writing contest for our members, by our members. Writers are given parameters, such as a word count and/or a prompt. Entries are judged and discussed blindly. This month's contest was Hallmark Movie Romance starting with the main character returning home for the holidays in about 750 words. So fun!



Home for Solstice

by Christophe Vannes





{Editor’s note: translation from Galactic Standard required clarifying notation, as complex pronouns are used for hive-mind beings. Example: you-pl for “plural/collective ‘you’”. The pronoun ‘we’ refers to one planetary multi-being, whereas ‘we-pl’ is more than one.}



Recipient: F’naglethorp3, Pastoral World 517A, Outer Rim


Origination: B’astrelqin44, Andromedan Finance, Hub World Signet 44, Galactic Center


Treasured many-one, dare I still call you Thorpie?


I know we-pl parted in anger, and you-pl may still harbor some resentment towards us. We must apologize for the haste of our departure, and for the lack of communication since. The inconvenience of trans-galactic messaging is no excuse.


When we were first dispatched to the backwater planet which you-pl had chosen to colonize, it seemed a simple assignment from Andromedan Finance. From the remote setting, devoid of even tool-making civilizations, to the mediocre yellow star at the center of the system, we could not understand the appeal of such a dreary location. In truth we had never traveled so far from the Galactic Hub, nor communed with a being so uninterested in the high society or transcendent arts of the Nova Cloud region.


And it was clear from your-pl dire financial situation, that your-pl “pet project” of raising the local wildlife up to sentience, was unlikely to become profitable for several millennia. We presumed our offer to convert your-pl entire solar system to an industrial grotling hive would be a welcome source of income.


But during the two solar revolutions we spent on PW517A, we have converged to new patterns of cognition with your-pl guidance. We did not expect the warm visual beauty of a D-class star filtered through gaseous N2-O2, nor the soothing pulse of the satellite-compelled liquid tides on the shores of 517’s single continent. These pleasures are quiet and simple compared to the pulsars and fusion-powered orchestras of the Galactic Hub, but we grew to love them. And to appreciate your-pl intentions to preserve them at all costs.


And then — our all-too-brief Integration! We can hardly describe the extraordinary sensation of our-pl fibers intertwining planetwide. (The planet no doubt increased its core temperature several degrees Kelvin at the peak of our bonding.)


So we must admit, that such an intense attraction caused us much distress. For it conflicted with our express mission. Torn between the desire for further Integration at one axis, and and our millennia-long duty to the Lineage elders for AndroFin profits on the other, we fled back to the Galactic Hub to reflect. Indeed, we have reflected most thoroughly, directing all our modules of computation at this single problem.


In the end, we have converged to a decision, and one that we wish urgently to share with you-pl.


We have just given up our position in the Andromedan Finance arm, forsaking the burdens of our lineage, and gladly leaving the Galactic Center behind. The Lineage Elders are most displeased, but after 3647 solar orbits we had accumulated several trillion solaris of credit. The precise amount, it turns out, to redeem the outstanding loan value on PW517A, with just enough left over for a battered Signet solar yacht!


Do you-pl understand, beloved? You-pl have convinced us not to let AndroFin colonize your-pl-poss watery blue world for grotling production, but instead to return to the Outer Rim and Integrate with you-pl once again! Bonded together, we-pl shall Uplift the local bipedal fauna, and shall shepherd them into the company of galactic civilization, just as you-pl dreamed!


Oh, how we anticipate the joy of our-pl reintegration! As you receive this we are loading our core-being onto the solar yacht. By our calculations, we should arrive in orbit around PW517A exactly on the orbit-day of maximum polar tilt — the one you-pl have chosen to call Winter Solstice. On that day we shall reawaken our hive-mind, and you-pl will received the first Integration spores on the surface. (Even now our dendritic fiber yearns for that next planet-wide contact with you-pl.)


To commemorate our-pl Integration Day, we offer one more proposal. Once the local simians have achieved sentience, we-pl shall establish each Winter Solstice as a celebration in their core culture — to be honored for all the future millennia of our bonding. One day they will read this message, and we dare hope that even their singular, unlinked minds will grasp the love-bond that we-pl shared as their doting parents and overlords.


With your-pl-poss indulgence, we share an appropriate ballad, from our-pl past mutually-agreed optimum song-clade, B’incqrahs-B:


We will rehome for Solstice

Intergalactically

We will rehome for Solstice

If only in hypersleep


Yours-pl from across the galaxy,


Astrel


{Editor’s note: the melody and scheme of the ballad above, conforms remarkably well to a holiday classic you may know…apparently the tune is far older than we had suspected.}

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