Goirias was already packed when Chance and the others came for Tranquil day. Infinities of all Creators had gathered in the valley to celebrate with Ajayla, all of them talking happily to one another and having a grand ol’ time. Good, so long as everyone else felt at ease it should be easy enough to pretend there was nothing to worry about just yet.
It didn’t take long for their small group to go off in their own directions. Luck joined the orchestra. Demise ran off with Speculation. Destiny went off to see everything in this land for the first time. Karma and Fortune had disappeared together, but Chance hadn’t noticed where to.
Chance had seen the arrival of the Tranquil Sovereign hundreds of times, he was a regular at the holiday reunions. Every time it was a marvelous spectacle with the Creator emerging out of a flower, though each time she wore a different dress. This year she had chosen one made from the Love Concept, woven from petals of any shade of pink, red, and purple imaginable.
Though Chance knew this dress hadn’t been used in the ceremonial arrival of the Creator, he felt there was something familiar about all this, more so than just having been to Goirias before. He shook away the feeling of deja vu and clapped along with the crowd as Ajayla started making her rounds to all the Infinities to thank them for coming.
The Tranquil Sovereign looked so much different than when he had last seen her near the Great Wall of China. She still had a hunched back and graying hair, but she seemed lighter on her feet. Instead of tiredly shuffling across a floor she bounced around from Concept to Concept. Weather the joy was an act or not, she did a good job fooling everyone into thinking everything was fine.
Chance mainly walked along the border, picking various berries from the trees and popping them in his mouth. He spotted the Spiritual Concept at the bottom of a hill, trying to convince Des to join their newest cult. Chance laughed to himself, knowing they meant no harm by it, for the most part they were fairly peaceful. Perhaps he would go and have a chat with Yoga or Meditation, they were old friends of his.
He was just about to begin his descent down the hill when another friend snuck up on him. “Boo. Thought you could get away without a ello didya ya whacker?”
“Course not.” Chance turned and greeted his friend with a brief hug. “How have you been Ser?”
Desert, from the Environment Concept, preferred the nickname Ser because he felt it made him sound like a knight. He was an older guy, with thinning dark blonde hair and droopy eyes. His skin was tanned as ever from his long days in Australia. “Well mate, haven’t seen you at our meetings lately. Thought you’d forgotten all ’bout us.”
“Nah, that could never happen. I just figured after last time we tried to harvest honey I wasn’t an expert and should call it quits.” Chance held up his arm for an example, remembering the countless bee stings he had gotten that day. Not that it made a difference, they had healed the instant he switched to his Abbaxa and back.
“That was a piece of piss! If you’da just listened to Forest you’d be fine. That Bloke knows what he’s doing.” Desert gave Chance a smug look, he always thought he knew best. He did usually, despite the dumb things he was prone to doing.
Chance smiled and shookhis head, popping another berry in his mouth. He glanced back down the hill, Destiny had disappeared again. “It was fun, but I have other things to attend to.”
Desert shook his head and made a gesture with his hands that indicated ‘you do you mate’. “Word is Survival is being a real knocker recently.”
“Oh yeah?” Chance was only half paying attention, Survival was always doing something not quite natural and spreading odd rumors. “Do tell Ser.”
Desert glanced around to make sure nobody from Survival’s Concept, Knowledge, was listening in. “The whack job is spouting some furphy about how The Divine Provenance hasn’t been heard from in a month or so. Mate, she has the whole cosmos to take care of, she doesn’t have time to see every Infinity regularly.”
Chance tried to seem indifferent and laugh it off, but he knew he looked more uncomfortable than when Desert had approached him. Others were beginning to take notice, this was not good. Especially so early on. “I should probably head out.”
“Ey, don’t be a piker.” Ser frowned and narrowed his eyes. “The bloke is a galah, nobody believes him.”
Great, now Desert was getting suspicious. Chance had hoped that it would be too soon and no one would know until at least Creators Day, but if Survival had already had a theory… Even if nobody believed him it still wasn’t a good sign. Chance tried for an easy smile to convince Desert everything was okay. “I have work I need to get to. Tell you what, I’ll go to your Concept’s meeting on Thursday okay?”
Ser nodded, seemingly pleased with that. “Fine mate, but don’t work too hard. You might have a new lady on your arm, but remember you don’t have to follow the same rules she does.”
Chance nodded and left to one of the treehouses in seconds, not even bothering to ask how Desert knew about Destiny. That wasn’t important right now. For the moment, he just had to get everyone together and tell them to watch out and act natural.
Chance found his snack room and raised a fruit punch capri sun as a toast to himself. “One holiday done, four more to go.”