What do you think the biggest cultural differences are between your generation and your parents’ generation?
Todd found Fae on the surface of their headquarters staring up at the night sky. It had changed since he was a kid. New constellations formed and deformed as the Empress’s fleet orbited the planet, not stars shining down as he remembered them but ships. Ships from a technologically advanced planet at the edge of the galaxy that had changed the face of the earth in a single night.
Fae sat on the edge of the extrusion that hid the door to their subterranean base, her legs dangling over the side. Her arms extended behind her, propping her up as her face soaked up the faint starlight. She looked very much a carefree girl in that pose, not the fearless rebel princess staging a coup against her own sister.
Todd climbed up to join her. “Are you sure it’s safe to be out in the open like this?” he asked.
“It’s alright,” Fae nodded. “Ral’s ship is on the other side of the planet right now and hers is the only one with the scanners that could spot me at this distance, if they knew to look here, which they don’t.” She smirked. She was mighty proud of her own cleverness sometimes.
Todd stared at the slow moving pinpricks of light overhead. Despite her assurances, he could feel their eyes on him. He missed the old night sky.
“It really is a sight to behold,” she mused. “I have spent so many years traveling through the galaxy that I forget how beautiful it is from the ground.”
“Was your sky like this?”
She shook her head. “Mosarix was a fringe planet. At the edge of the galaxy. We had far fewer stars in our night sky, and the few we had were seasonal as we orbited our own star. I remember the first time I saw the galaxy from the surface of an interior planet.” She sighed in a way Todd understood. It was the same feeling of wonder he had whenever he got to test a new gadget from her scientists. “I wanted to see the stars from every planetary system,” she said.
Todd still struggled to wrap his head around the physics of their interstellar travel. It was far beyond anything they had discovered on Earth. “I suppose they would look different in different systems. I wonder what our sun looks like from another solar system.”
She pointed toward a bright star to the west. “It looks like that,” she giggled.
“You know what I mean,” he laughed. “So how many have you seen?”
“Earth is the fourth planet from which I have seen the night sky from the ground.” She brought one knee up to the ledge and hugged it to her chest. “My mother didn’t approve of my “dirty” stargazing. She said I could see them just as well from the ship, that it was better to be surrounded by them than far beneath them. We drew our power from them after all, so we had to be up among them.”
“But you didn’t want to?”
Fae shrugged. “I wanted to do what was best for the Expansion. If that meant giving up on being grounded, then that was what I had to do.” She laughed drily. “So much for that, though. I’m grounded after all.”
Todd was at a loss for how to comfort her. Her face wore a smile but that was just a mask. She had sacrificed so much by going against her people’s traditions. He suspected his sky wasn’t the only thing that had changed with her arrival.
Notes: So this prompt got me thinking about the Galactic Empire characters again and how there are all sorts of cultural differences between the humans and Mosari but also the Mosari and the races they have conquered. I didn’t really get into it in this post, but the point is I’m thinking about it now. I’ve got a lot of work to do to figure them all out and make them more 3 dimensional but this is a step in the right direction.
I didn’t really include much of a generation gap for this piece, though I tried to tie in her mother’s distaste for her ideas of astronomy and exploration to mark a difference in views. I didn’t do it very well though, since I’m explaining it here. I’m still sick though, so I think I get a pass. I sat here and wrote 600ish words after all.
I think I’m coming out the other side of this cold though. I only napped for 45 minutes after work today. Another early night for me and I should be back to full strength in no time. Thanks for bearing with me while I muddle through this! I’ll be back tomorrow night, possibly with a two-fer to make up for the lost day. Have a great night!
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