Started writing about my tanuki character Matanky at Rainfurrest, which I went to with his name on my badge. It seemed like everything I had to write about him was broken spaceships.

Drifting again.

Seems like it always comes back around to drifting.

I sat squeezed into the tiny S-Cape pod. The tiny, non-functional S-Cape pod.

I was glad, again, to be a shapeshifter, and thus someone to whom things like needing to breathe air are technically optional.

The tininess wasn’t really an issue either; I could get smaller if I needed to.

Of course that wasn’t on my mind; I was watching the debris of the Lyra spread in various directions, swimming in a cloud of dust.

It always comes back around to dust, too.

You wouldn’t expect, after so many centuries of space travel, that a modern spaceship could fall to something as simple as dust—but the floating remnants of my ship proved it.  Just a small cloud of dust with just the right reflectivity to make it through the shields and just the right particularity to damage the system beyond repair, and just the bad luck to hit me.

After a long enough time, all the probabilities tend to become certainties, and the improbabilities quite likely indeed.

So me, in the S-Cape pod, watching the blasted remains of the seventeenth or possibly the nineteenth Lyra.

Over a wide enough space, the time tends to flatten.

Whether or not it was Lyra XVII or Lyra LXX, it still hurt like the first time.

And I was once again alone in the cold and the dark and the diamond-studded universe.


It always does come back to drifting.