Shifting Ice: The Skies of Uixynki

By Jared Vaillancourt [Creative Writing Bureau Chief]

Chapter Twelve

“Attention all passengers,” Ltezi’s voice sounded over the ship’s speakers, “We are preparing to drop out of hyperspace near Uixynki (we-SHEEN-key) colony. Please report to the nearest harness station for return to normal space.” Vintis scoffed up at the ceiling where the nano-phones were hidden.

“Since when is space normal?” it asked Klezyp. That worthy laughed.

“Just buckle up, love,” it countered. Vintis sighed and took the seat in the hall next to Klezyp.

“I mean, there’s a war going on,” Vintis pointed out. “We haven’t seen another Zwitii since we left Kapilo, there is a living person fused to this ship…”

“And alcohol still costs credits,” Klezyp chided playfully, “and the Zwitii are not the sole rulers of the cosmos.” It winked at Vintis. “Just buckle up. Dropping from hyperspace is much different from entering it, believe me.” Vintis scoffed as it relaxed and allowed the smooth buckles to cross its chest.

“See, that worries me,” Vintis grumbled. “It took me two days to realize we had jumped to hyperspace. Compared to that, I wouldn’t be surprised if deceleration tears the ship apart.”

“Hence the harnesses,” Klezyp chuckled. It took Vintis’ hand into it’s. “Just relax.”

“I’ll relax when my leg heals,” Vintis muttered. Klezyp made an inquisitive noise. “Oh, nothing, my dear. Just more dry humor.” Klezyp giggled and leaned over to give Vintis a quick peck on the cheek.

“That’s what I like most about you,” Klezyp whispered. Vintis smirked.

“Oh, great stars,” Vintis, said sarcastically, “I really must remember to keep that up, then, eh?”

“Shut up!” Klezyp giggled playfully. Vintis turned to Klezyp and gave it a proper kiss.

“So, Klezyp,” Vintis whispered impishly, “What should I expect for the de-”

“Brace,” Ltezi’s voice piped up suddenly. Vintis looked up at the ceiling before a sudden sensation clutched its gut. The whole world seemed to invert: the ceiling was below its head while its feet lifted from the floor above it. Color and shadow traded places as the white of its scales turned a deep midnight black and Klezyp laughed with a voice far too deep for its vocal chords.

“Great stars!” Vintis shouted as the world suddenly returned to normal and its feet slammed down to the floor. Klezyp laughed as the harness released Vintis, who immediately tried to stand up and instead fell flat on its face. It felt Klezyp’s strong hands on its shoulders as that worthy helped it sit up. “Where’s the chute?” Vintis demanded. Klezyp chuckled and pointed to a receptacle opposite them. Vintis shakily stood and bolted for it.

“Whoa, easy there,” Klezyp said softly as Vintis forced open the cap and vomited into the chute. “I told you it would be nothing like entering hyperspace.”
“Ik Qut’yl,” Vintis cursed in its native tongue. “You weren’t joking.” Klezyp patted Vintis’ back and chuckled as Vintis straightened up and shut the chute. It slammed its open palm through the holographic command to evacuate the chute.

“Not everything I say is meant in jest,” Klezyp chided, “unlike you, my dear.”

“I suppose I should appreciate that,” Vintis muttered as Klezyp guided it back to its chair. “Space travel certainly is not what I expected. With that in mind,” it looked up at Klezyp playfully, “are we there yet?” Klezyp giggled and helped Vintis stand up.

“Come with me,” Klezyp whispered. Vintis smirked and allowed Klezyp to guide it over towards the window. Patrons from other hallways and those fortunate enough to make it to their quarters were rushing towards the window, expressions of awe brightening up the faces on those species Vintis could recognize. It grabbed Klezyp’s hand and stood on its own as they made their way through the crowd.

“It’s beautiful!” a young J’r was exclaiming as he hovered high over the other patrons. Vintis chuckled as it watched the youth’s mother jet towards it, her tentacles flailing to retrieve him.

“Breathtaking,” a chorus of Ch’ch’ki chirped in unison. Vintis had to step carefully around the tiny insect-like aliens. Finally, it looked up at the window and gasped. Klezyp giggled and kissed its cheek.

“Welcome to Uixynki,” Ltezi’s voice announced softly as Vintis took the sight in. The moon itself was just a tiny blue sphere against the immense yellow rings of the unimaginable gas giant behind it, of course. The planet was a concert of orange-green clouds dancing in a chaotic swirl of immense storms continually framed by lightning, especially against its dark side. Vintis could clearly see many small specks of light dancing around Uixynki; they had to be other starships.

“I thought you might like it,” Klezyp whispered. Vintis couldn’t reply.

“When do we land?” it finally asked. Klezyp shrugged.

“Any minute now,” it replied. “We’re not too far out.”

“Attention,” Ltezi’s voice announced seriously. “There is a Pyryx patrol in orbit of Uixynki. We will have to pass security protocols prior to landing.” The aliens around them let out a collective groan. “I apologize for the inconvenience,” Ltezi said quickly. Vintis sighed.

“Well, it was pretty,” it muttered as Klezyp led it back to their quarters.

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