“Solaria? Your eyes are glazing over.”

Friends at Colossus Massive

By: Delaney Gillespie

              I wish to know more, Solaria whispered into Tryden’s mind.

              “Ask away,” he said. “If I’ve learned anything, it’s that I should be more open with the traditions and customs of my people. Secrecy is simply in our nature. It’s hard to work around.”

              Let us start there. Why the secrecy? 

              “Years ago, and I mean thousands and thousands of years ago, my people warred with another race. It lasted over a hundred years. My ancestors learned how to hide information from their enemy and it’s become embedded in our culture ever since. My species survival quite literally depended on us not sharing non-vital information with others. It’s seeped into our culture so deeply, that this is the first time I’m realizing there are downsides to being so secretive.”

              Solaria removed her hand from Tryden’s shoulder to break the telepathic link between them. She needed to process this new information without hearing his thoughts in her head, or vise versa.

              “Are you all right?” He asked.

              Solaria would’ve frowned if she had a mouth to do so. It wasn’t until she came to the Colossus that she realized just how much other species rely on facial expressions and other subtle forms of body language. She’d love to communicate her feeling with nothing more than a look, or a smile, but that wasn’t possible.

              Only now had she begun to realize how inconvenient and limiting it was to have to make physical contact with someone in order to communicate.

              “Solaria? Your eyes are glazing over.”

              Solaria shook herself out of her thoughts and returned her hand to his shoulder.

              I apologize. I allowed myself to become too lost in thought. 

              “What were you thinking about?”

              You have many secrets. My ability to communicate is rather limited. I cannot stop myself from wondering if we know each other at all. 

              “What?” He blinked in confusion. “Of course, we know each other.”

              You could see that my eyes had glazed over, yet you were not able to decern anything else from my expression. I am from a people that share the same mind, in a way. The manner of communicating I was raised with is nearly useless in a place like this.

              “We can work on that,” Tryden said. “I can work on sharing things about myself. We can figure out a way to make it easier for you to communicate. It’s possible.”

              Unless there is some kind of geneticist here somewhere and you can give me a mouth, I am not sure what our options are.

              Solaria wanted to look as crestfallen as she felt, but she couldn’t.

              “There could be,” Tryden shrugged. “New beings come to Colossus every day from all over the four galaxies.”

              Solaria blinked. She had lived on the Colossus for some time, yet only now was she realizing just how little of it she’s explored.

              It may be worth looking into, she agreed. The bulbs at the end of her antennae flashed light blue as her curiosity grew.

              Tryden reached up and gently touched one of the bulbs with his finger.

              Solaria shivered. It was the Talmantri equivalent of laughter. She didn’t even know what laughter was until she came to Colossus.

              “Plus, Nerice and Castra know many people. They can probably point us in the right direction.”

              Solaria’s antennae shot straight up, flashing orange.

              The others are still out looking for you! I never told them I found you. 

              “The others are looking for me?” Tryden smiled.

              Of course. When you walked out of Novalight, we split up to find you. 

              Solaria quickly pulled out her communications tablet and typed a message to her friends letting them know she found Tryden and to ask their locations.

              “Are you hungry by any chance?” Tryden asked.

              I am in need of nutrients, yes.

              Solaria’s genera obviously couldn’t eat the way most species were able due to her lack of a mouth. In order to fuel their bodies, Talmantri people utilized packs loaded with personalized nutrients that were diffused into the air inside the pods and absorbed through the skin. If Talmantri wanted to absorb nutrients in a group setting, they utilize an intravenous method.

              Once aboard the Colossus station, Solaria quickly realized absorbing nutrients wasn’t just a normal part of a being’s days. It was an event to look forward to. Often, celebrations were accompanied by special foods. Food wasn’t just fuel to many other species. It was more.

              Yet another aspect of life Solaria couldn’t take part in.

              Luckily, Talmantri weren’t the only species that absorbed nutrients the way she did. Many places on the Colossus catered to her needs.

              “We’ll go to Starbright,” Tryden said. “It’s right by the Central Forum. We can download a directory of services and see what the options are.”

              He smiled so brightly, Solaria forgot all about how she couldn’t laugh or taste food. It suddenly didn’t matter.

              They held hands as they walked through his residential complex.

              Solaria allowed her worries to melt away.

              Maybe she and Tryden didn’t know each other as well as they should, but that was all right. They understood what they needed to do in order to get where they needed to be. That was half the battle, a battle Solaria knew they would win.

By: Delaney Gillespie

I specialize in Romantic Fiction including sub-genres such as Sci-Fi Romance, Paranormal Romance, Contemporary Romance and YA Romance I keep a close eye on ebook market trends to learn what sells and what doesn’t. Creating strong foundations for projects is something I enjoy doing. I’m a thorough, detail-oriented planner who ensures open, honest and consistent communication with my clients.

Produced by: Eugenio Zorrilla

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