What Good is a Glass Warrior?
By Scott Huggins
Like falling through rings of intermittent diamonds;
White laser-circles of moon.
Kinhang Chan Tzu chose those words to describe being me. Given that he was Earth’s poet laureate, and I am only my parents’ daughter, who am I to argue? I have never seen any of those things – he might be right. How can I know? Colors remind me of swimming. Like water, they surround you, but give you nothing to hold on to.
I hold the release lever to the airlock in my hand. The inner door stands open behind me. I say a brief prayer. I pull the lever down.
The soft wind of Langstrand rushes into the colony ship, smelling of forest and beach. Behind me, bulkheads close with soft bangs. All except the ones I’ve cut out of the circuit. No alarms sound. No lights flash. Quickly, I jog back to Cargo Bay One.
Now there is only waiting.
I crouch in a swirl of blue and black wind, and my polyfiber spear is a shaft of warmth in the ocean of air, heated by my fingers. Wind flaps against my father’s too-big combat jacket, making listening difficult. The only breathing is Uncle Jimmy’s, strapped in the gurney.
“You there, Unk?” I whisper.
“Lass? Where are you? It’s dark.”
“Yes, Unk, it’s dark. What do you see? Anything?”
“Too dark to see. Too dark for the Glass Lass. You should be in bed. Where are Don and Amy?”
“They’re safe, Unk.” As safe as sickbay can make them, anyway.