Casual Play Astrogation

Alpha Kos-Ra Hayden 5k(10)-9a (Praxis)

Space shimmers into view as between-space yields to stars, and suddenly you’re struck with a feeling of familiarity, of something like deja-vu. The reason for the feeling becomes clear as soon as your ship’s sensors touch the object that is the reason why this system was flagged as a point of interest. A Mirror, or so it is called. An artifact of unknown origin, impossibly ancient. One of many seeded throughout the universe long before Earth’s sun was even birthed into being.

As with all such Mirrors, you find yourself drawn to this one, drawn closer and closer until you are lost in the silver currents of the rippling, reflective surface within its woven, bio-mechanical frame. Reality blurs, seems to fall away until it feels as if your body is floating though the void, hands reaching for the Mirror, reaching–

The moment you touch the mirror, you feel the bite of cold wind. You are no longer in the void of space, no longer among the stars. A grunt calls your attention to a deeper darkness, the interior of a cave lit only by flickering light, and you understand. Now is the time to speak with the ones who have gone before.

As you cross the uneven ground with bare feet, you pull the wolf-hide closer about your shoulders, follow the flame deep into the sacred earth. The god within the fire dances, and the shaman carrying the torch begins to sing. Simple notes, long and familiar. The song of the seasons, of the movements of the stars. You know the words, somehow. You know the words, and together, you sing the world around you into being.

When you reach the wall of all of those who have come before, the weight of ages and ages of ancestors watching you and guiding you becomes truly palpable. There are shapes on the stone, some cut, some drawn or stenciled in red and black and brown, but the hands– the hands are the ancestors. They are the marks of strength and presence and being that reach back through time to every present, no matter how distant.

The song ends, and as you reach for the handprints on the wall of that sacred cave, you close your eyes. Instead of the cold stone you expect to feel, someone reaches back. An ancestor, an explorer from a distant land who knows much and offers their guidance freely. The smile that crawls across the ancestor’s lips is full of love and knowing, and even when you break away from that sacred exchange, you feel as if you have learned something on the deepest levels of your being. When you open your eyes, a new handprint has appeared on the wall. Your handprint, and it strikes you that in all the ages of the future, new shamans will repeat this same ritual, sing the same songs, and touch the print of your hand, feel you reaching back, imparting secrets from the deep freely, and with an outpouring of love.

“We are one tribe,” the shaman says, and you find yourself repeating those words to the interior of your ship as the Mirror your sensors are monitoring goes dark. It has taught you all that it was meant to. You have seen what you were drawn here to see, but other Mirrors wait still to be discovered. Other visions remain scattered throughout the universe for those who seek them.

Still haunted by the images of the cave, you spin up your ship's phase drive and prepare to make the jump back to between-space.


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