In a Quarter of a Section

The twin moons cast their dual shadows across the deck of the observation lounge.

The gathered waited in anticipation for the weekly event to occur, longing to see the moons appear to cross each other’s path on their respective orbits around Gelia.

The invited also looked on, sat in their luxurious thrones on the reserved observation platform, high above where the gathered stood and with a much clearer view.

“On this cycle, the larger moon, Da, is to pass in front of the smaller moon, Du, so for just under a quarter of a section only one moon will be visible. We will all only have one shadow to observe. Usually the larger moon passes behind the smaller one, and with the differing intensities of light we still see a double-light shadow. This week, we will have only one shadow to observe, and it is this that makes this event so special.” DragonoidEight announced to those spectators who wanted to listen.

“Why is that so special?” Comnor moaned to his father who listened to the robotic dragon intently. “It’s just a shadow.”

DragonoidEight looked at Comnor with ferocious intent. “It is more than just a shadow.” Sparks flickered from out of the dragon’s eyes. The robot stopped moving and slumped forward briefly before reactivating. “Apologies. Restart complete.”

Comnor huddled closer to his father, who pressed a red button in the arm of his throne. A blue light appeared above the arm, which then morphed into a woman’s face.

“Sarven? Is there a problem?” the image of the face said, with a concerned expression.

“Only a slight one, Sarta. This dragonoid momentarily malfunctioned. There was a definite feeling of emotion behind its words. And it was directed towards Comnor.”

“Comnor?” Sarta said gently, and the boy moved into his mother’s view. “Don’t worry about these dragonoids. Their android frames take control if the creature within ever tries to stir. They may snap from time to time, but they will not bite and they cannot hurt. Just listen to the tales they tell. They’ll soon be gone. They never remain present during the crossovers.”

“I’m OK, Moma. I only asked why the shadow was special when it turned on me.”

“Comnor, a single shadow is special because it’s a magical shadow. We only get to see them once every revolution, and our ancestors recalled great events occurring during the time of the single shadow. All in the space of a quarter of a section, they wrote, the world changed. So sit back, and look out for the shadow when the crossover is taking place. If the dragonoids fail again, I will recall them back to their chamber. Don’t worry!”

The blue light blinked out and Comnor looked at his father once again. “Pompa, will the world change in this quarter of a section?”

Sarven smiled. “If it will, it will be a very slight change. Most of our technological changes have happened, and there is nothing on the horizon which will change that so suddenly. Here, sit back and watch – the moons are about to cross.”

Comnor looked on in awe as he watched the large moon appear to swallow the smaller one. He noticed the lights in the observation platform dim, and then flicker out completely. He saw the shadows from the frames of the large glass windows merge into one as they stretched across the floor where the gathered stood below. He heard the whirring of machinery; beeping; clanking; creaking; groaning; cracking. He watched as one by one the metallic bodies of the dragonoinds fell to the floor on the reserved observation platform, and the dragons within them stretch their wings as they escaped from their technological prisons. He watched as they smashed their way through the glass window, and escape into the world outside. And he noticed other groups of dragons joining from all of the other observation decks.

“Pompa? Are the dragons free now? Is that what they meant by the shadow being special?”

Sarven didn’t answer as he pressed the red button once again, this time without a response. He noted that all of their technology had become inactive in the space of a quarter of a section, and he realised the dragons had used this moment to orchestrate their co-ordinated escape.

This is a slightly longer version to a story I have submitted for a Science Fiction / Fantasy writing competition over on WattPad.

9 Comments on “In a Quarter of a Section

    • I wasn’t sure I’d manage it without cutting a huge chunk out of the story, Chris, but in the end it seemed OK. I prefer the longer version, however.
      As for the pic, I tried to make it look as early sci-fi as I could in a very short time. I was also limited by the dragon!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Diane. I’m not expecting to hear anything, I just wrote it for writing really!

      Like

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