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Vagabonds

By Piper Cleaveland All Rights Reserved ©

Adventure / Scifi

Intro

Lost in the drifting mists of space,the Merionic Cloud spins itself lazily in a dance of gradual destruction. Calm and ever moving, it is a void, hanging in the black like a suspended sea. Above this spectre there is a small galaxy that consists of three planets. Little storms raging and burning in their unstable excitement, they are yet too immature to develop the skin of a permanent crust. But in the orbit of the farthest planet, one of its seven moons has miraculously managed to reach stability. This, a little island amidst the turbulent swell of its galaxy, is Juniper.

Juniper is approaching its five-millionth cycle but, contrary to its juvenile state, the environments and civilizations that have developed there are thriving. Defying the strict regulations of time it has made a jump in evolution as has never been witnessed before. The complex mix of anomaly and abundance that came together to animate this raw setting is still a mystery. For what makes Juniper the gem of the seven skies, what places it amongst the elite wonders of the universe, is not something that can be bartered, mastered, or claimed -let alone understood even by those who would wish to know why- but is simply and wonderfully this: Juniper is not only supporting life, it is also creating it.

The alarming rate at which life came to the moon has baffled experts for eons, causing many to believe that it should have destroyed itself in the process long ago. Yet something keeps it stable. A regenerative energy, unknown to science and glorified by Juniper’s natives, is surging beneath its skin. Deep from within the core this energy is burning. Pushed to the surface by churning fires it seeps into the soil, flows through the rivers and cleanses the air, healing itself in a constant cycle that when emitted to the surface causes the land to thrive with a healing aura that has earned Juniper its valuable reputation.

Since the moon’s discovery many have sought to stand upon its soothing ground. Caravans and fleets of vessels trekked across the widest reaches of the galaxies to witness for themselves the wonders the moon could offer. Those that found it were always welcomed, granted sanctuary for their treatment there and then sent along their way. However, not all who sought it were successful in their hunt and as time went on visits from alien ships became rare. The people of Juniper haven’t seen the same multitude of alien guests as they once did. Now only a few wounded stragglers or absentminded explorers enter their atmosphere; coming and going every fifty years or so. Still, each and every guest is treated with the same hospitality as before. It is in their nature to care for the wounded and sick, as it has been from the beginning and as it will always be.

The healing moon continues to create life, unknowingly steered on an oblivious journey. For the mass of the Merionic is drifting, carrying the little galaxy along with it as it wanders farther into the deepest extensions of space. Because of this, Juniper’s location is never fixed. The moon has become a roaming treasure, afloat in an endless ocean of stars and sky. Rumors of its gift still haunt the legends of drifter colonies and the memories of reminiscent explorers. But many have given up trying to follow its path as the cannibal cloud pulls the little miracle deeper and deeper into the void.


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