Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The Waverider

The stars sang to her.

The planets and comets and nebula clusters sang to her too, but it was the voices of the stars she loved listening to most. If she focused, she could pick out individual songs, like the languid ballad of a red giant many light years away. It sang of a long life that was coming to a close, of its brilliant youth and the myriad civilizations it nurtured on its fourth planet. It sang a bittersweet lament of that planet's death and a sad dirge for those who didn't escape it. Then she turned her attention to the sprightly tune of a new yellow sun, full of hope and the promise of life amid the swirling gas and rock of a young solar system. Its song was an anthem, vibrant and infectuous. She nodded her head to its rythmn for a while, smiling.

She pulled her awareness back, so all the songs blended to a single harmonious one. Starsong was beautiful, but to give oneself over to it completely was to ignore one's duties. And the duties of a Waverider, particularly one of the Justice Class, were of the highest importance. Few there were indeed who could master the complexities of the Wave with sufficient clarity to assemble the enigmatic Wavesuit, that near-mystical garment that allowed its wearer to channel the energies of the Universe itself.

The Wave. That omnipresent energy infused everything and everyone. All were aware of it, to the point where it was almost mundane and it did, indeed, serve many mundane functions. The mighty starships of the Galactic Fleet would never have left their home systems without the powerful Wave Engines to bend interstellar space. Even the primitive races knew of the Wave, though most who knew it confused it for some form of deity. Only the Waveriders, however, had that rare quality that allowed a living being to act as conduit for the Wave, bending the Universe to their will to work miracles. To do so required beings of incorruptible integrity possessing an iron will. A dedication to justice and the preservation of life was a Waverider's paramount mission, and in that a Waverider was ever vigilant.

Thus did Kae Starr, Justice Class Waverider, hear the merest whisper of a failing distress call. A passenger liner, traveling too close to a restricted system, ran afoul of a black hole and was being pulled inexorably toward destruction. With nary a second thought, Kae focused her perception to the signal's origin point, bending space about her so all the millions of light-years between them fell away in the span of a single step. As she approached the distressed liner, she felt the black hole's persistent tug. Against all instinct, she dove further into that maelstrom of gravity, grabbing hold of the liner and straining with all her prodigious might against the singularity's pull.

As she felt herself steadily losing ground, she channeled the Wave into a shield of pure force that would hold the sinking ship together. Gritting her teeth, she renewed her efforts. She was a Waverider. She would prevail.

Though a little assistance would not go amiss.