06.11.3305 - Lave
I'm planted on a barstool in Lave Orbital for the next 12 hours or so while I wait for the famed distilleries to slowly churn out another few tons of Lavian Brandy. There's something of a rush on the market these days and I can't seem to nab more than a dozen tons of the stuff at a time. If Didi Vatermann is responsible for whatever party is draining the galaxy's reserves of this precious stuff, then I damn sure would like to know why I wasn't invited! I hope I can make just a few more deliveries of the stuff without her or her security team noticing, I don't know if I could contain a snide remark and I'd rather avoid an awkward confrontation.
So here I'm stuck, and I've got a lot of time to think.
So I've been thinking.
This place is just massive. Not the dervish coriolis that I'm sitting in, I mean the whole damned galaxy. And in all that vastness, stretched planck thin throughout all that space is a fine grain dust of the individual souls that ply the black. Airborne, we all carry on in a tiny little sphere of awareness, just adrift. It really sticks in my craw, to think of all these social animals, we hairless apes screaming across the void at hundreds of times the speed of light, suffering or elating in absolute isolation. It’s nigh unbearable.
Not that I dislike solitude. You can’t be a Commander worth his salt and still be intolerant to the utter insignificance you feel when you’re alone out there. You get a feel for it, like an old friend. But still…
I had a dream the other night. I sleep in null G sometimes, and on those nights I find my dreams are wild and uncontrollable things. This was one of those nights. I saw soil, rich black soil. I don't often dream of soil, I can't think of the last time I actually set foot on real terra firma. I mean the kind that comes from the forge of a star and takes billions of years to be transformed into something arable. The kind you can only find under a real sky. But all the same, there it was in my dream. My bare feet sank a few centimeters into the loam, I could smell rotting wood, wet dirt.
All at once, I felt my awareness begin to collapse upon itself. White hot noise shrieked out of the ether and suffused me with an electric feeling that evades description. At that moment, a panoply of orbs rose over every horizon and rushed in towards me. One after another diving into the small mound of soil at my feet.
From that spot a sapling rose. Before my eyes it grew to my waist, then to my shoulders, then past my head. Its bole widened and stocky roots plunged deep into the earth around it. I could hear the wood creaking as it grew higher and higher still. I saw its farthest branches fade into the sky and mingle with the stars overhead. The distant translucent trunks looking so much like the filaments of creation that span the distant reaches.
In a flash, my awareness shifted. The soil below was sky above. The sky above was the black sea of space illuminated in every direction yet absorbing all available light. The great tree was Ygdrassil, and its roots were tasting the same rich media as its leaves. I guess you could call it an epiphany, but I knew then what I had to do.
I’ve never founded an organization, much less lead a squadron of my own. I think I know now what needs to be done. There are a lot of Commanders out there, flying alone. I think we can make a home for them and the others, those busy among the high traffic trade routes, the AX Combateers, the racers and the couriers. Every one of them should have a place to call home. Maybe, if I’m lucky that home will be Arbor Caelum.
That’s what I’ll call this new organization. Arbor Caelum. Tree of the Heavens, Ygdrassil. May our canopy swell and shelter every wayward pilot in the galaxy. Arbor and ardor from the farthest reaches of human habitation to the heart and soul of every Commander to grace our skyways with their passing star dust.