I think I want to try to write a little of the Patreon story every day for a week or so, just to make sure I like it enough that I think I can stay consistent with it. I’m not sure if I’ll end up switching POV more often going forward — probably, since that’s my normal mode. But we’ll stay with Selah for a little while. (Scroll back in my feed to yesterday evening to find the first scene.)
(Pic of my office, which isn’t perfectly organized, but after the efforts of this past week is now neat enough that I can’t claim the clutter is making it too hard to write in here. One more excuse, GONE.)
Selah had navigated her way successfully from the spaceport through the city gates, to the university administration office – about an hour-long walk, and maybe she should have rented a bicycle, or a flyer, which seemed the preferred modes of transport of many of the locals. But she’d spent her entire life on board a spaceship, so when would she have learned to ride a bicycle, or drive a flyer? Never.
She didn’t mind walking, though – it was exciting walking through the city. She saw so many new things at every turn that it felt like her brain was about to explode from the sheer overwhelming novelty of it all. Definitely more interesting than walking on the track on board, even with a holo playing to distract you from the fact that you had to do your daily exercise if you didn’t want to turn into a space-bound lump.
The scents alone were overwhelming There were trees everywhere, and since it was spring, they were all in flower; a haze of rich sweetness seemed to hang over the city. Selah didn’t know what any of them were – she’d studied hard to get here, but flowering trees hadn’t been any part of her education. But they were beautiful, masses of pink and white and red blossoms, even sometimes a shockingly bright purple.
And there were tasty scents, as she passed streetside stands and food trucks, enough to make her stomach rumble. She wasn’t supposed to just start eating things here, not without checking first, so Selah dutifully pulled some standard ship rations out of her backpack and started chewing, hoping they’d distract her stomach at least. It only sort of worked.
And of course, there was the smell of all the people – humans and aliens mixed together. She was used to that sort of scent, but on the ship, the recirculated air held the same blend of scents from the fifty-seven members of her family. It had long ago become background. Air on a planet was different – even under the dome, breezes had been generated somehow, carrying new people scents with every step.
With all that to distract her, it was a wonder Selah made it to the registration desk without incident.
“Selah-na-Sorayyah, of Brightness Falling.”
“You don’t need to give your ship name here. People won’t expect it.”
“Oh yes, of course.” That made sense, but it also made Selah feel oddly naked.
“Your roommate’s checked in already; they’re probably in the room now. You specified any gender or compatible species, correct?”
“Yes, that should be fine.”
“Terrific. All first-years are housed in the dorm behind me – it’s mostly underground, so don’t worry if it seems small at first. You’re on the third floor down, corridor G. You said you’re fine with small enclosed spaces, right?”
“Yes.” Selah resisted the urge to explain that her her berth on board was a hammock tucked into a small room with five other family members – the student working the desk was already passing her a bundle of materials, and turning to the next person behind her in line.
“Great. Welcome to the University of All Worlds! Next!”
One more hurdle mastered, it seemed. Selah turned to walk out of the building, into the glare of hot midday sunshine. Onwards.