Entry 7.0 "The Shape of Home"
Somewhere in the middle of my teenage years, a rebellious streak manifested, the kind of rebellion that parents expect and emotionally brace for. The tradeoff for a broken curfew was an extended lecture from my mother who would sit at the end of my bed until I agreed with her judgement, and she was hopeful about my inevitable change of heart. Mostly I would play along for the sake of time, but I remember once I told her that I wanted to move to the Throughworlds where I’d be as far from her as possible. Now, at this point I feel it’s important to note that harsher words had been exchanged between us before, but I knew just after the words left my mouth that they had struck the wrong chord on the wrong night. She wiped at a tear and rose to leave. Before she closed the door to my room, I heard her quietly say, “If you moved there, I would buy the home next door.”
I’d been thinking about home a lot at the time, as it had been months into our journeyings.
Earth, as well as my mother (who forgave me, by the way) was further than could be accurately calculated. After nearly a week of travel, the Wanderment’s hanger bay doors opened to greet the planet Agricolia, and I was reminded, not for the last time, how far from my doorstep I’d wandered.
I remember raising hand to brow in order to help shield some of the rose gold light, but the more I covered my eyes, the more I realized the view was worth the discomfort to see unobstructed. It wasn’t long before the last of us had emerged from the relative darkness of our vessel, baggage in hand, or strapped to back. We stood frozen, mid-ramp, twelve artists simultaneously throwing our heads back, futilely trying to glimpse the summits of sparkling stalk-like towers lost in blush-colored clouds. As our beguiled senses labored to make good use of the distant improbable shapes, Kanton punctuated our awe with an expletive.
I couldn’t help but favorably compare this landing to our previous two, remembering the perpetual storm world, Galenia, and its moon’s long-lingering winter. Where inspiration had needed creative translation on those worlds, I had little doubt it would be fluid on Agricolia.
Though our eyes shot straight for the bright horizon and its curious shapes, we began to take into account our immediate surroundings. Helping to coax us out of our awe and wonder came our arranged welcoming party, confidently striding across the landing field toward us. The group was mostly comprised of a half dozen well-groomed men dressed in dark suits brandishing open smiles, but with one notable exception. Centrally positioned in the approaching group could only be our host, Ellicia Kellar. Her higher-than-average bright blond hair and professionally pink, strategically undersized ensemble, matched perfectly with her overuse of exclamation points in our previous correspondences. Her smile was genuine enough to have been practiced since age twelve as she reached out her hand to me and introduced herself.
There was never any question that, as the sole sponsor of our current sojourn on Agricolia, “Through Estates” would have a substantial interest in our stay on their properties (and the promotion it would provide.) I considered it a gracious gesture to be greeted by the firm’s top agent and daughter of the trillionaire real estate tycoon, Thane Kellar.
After introductions, Ellicia and her entourage ushered us aboard a sleek alabaster Accender shuttle, and I watched through a generous porthole as the Wanderment’s details faded below me into a wash of abstract colors.
Seated comfortably in rows, Kiye beside me, we were thrilled to be headed in the direction of the tall glistening shapes in the distance that begged a closer view. Followed by a brief squeal of feedback, Ellicia’s precise, musical voice filled the cabin from unseen speakers.
Ellicia explained that “Pyromorphite, barite, and quartz, as well as dozens of other minerals not found on Earth” were the elements that formed the towering, crystallin structures. The larger examples easily reached skyscraper heights with the combined width of 12 of the largest redwoods – the ones big enough to drive through. Though from a distance the terrestrial mind might interpret their saturated green coloring as moss, leaves, or grass, the compound was in fact completely inorganic. The defining characteristic of the “Kingspires”, as she called them, was the way they set even the smallest light into a gleaming ricochet -- the kind of dance usually reserved for the surfaces of rare crystals seen in small specimens. It was fascinating to discover that Kingspires were remnants of a bygone era that likely formed under conditions impossible for the planet’s current temperatures to recreate. This made each of the nearly 2,300 freestanding Kingspires a limited commodity – one that Through Estates had invested heavily in and planned to further develop.
As we approached the first of the Kingspires, the vision of the eccentric trillionaire was immediately evident. On the top, “Cloud’s Cradle” as Ellicia called the summit of each property, stood a home straight out of the middle of Earth’s 20th century! All angles and windows, the “modern” architecture should’ve looked like blatant irony, but something about it just worked. Putting aside judgement, and an instinctive aversion to commercializing such an incredible natural reserve, I had an immediate connection to the home and briefly allowed myself to imagine a life there.
We passed many homes to be inevitably marketed to Earth’s ultra-elite, some much larger and more ornate. But something about that first home left an indelible impression on my heart with such permanence that I still return there in my mind’s eye when in need of a safe haven. I reminded myself that if I made a perfect collection of lucky (or blessed) decisions that afforded me the opportunity to live in a spire above the clouds, I’d need to make sure that there was a property available right next door
– for my mother.