It was one of those midsummer mornings. The sun was just coming up, but the air was already warm. The golden rays seemed perpendicular to the earth, and when they hit trees or glanced off the buzzing insects on the air, the leaves and gossamer wings were fired amber and silver; brown trunks warmed to glowing red. Green grass shone emerald, and the sky was a cloudless, clear azure.

Shana grinned and pushed away from her bedroom window, grabbing and pulling a short sleeved red plaid button-up on over her white tank top as she dashed eagerly through the house and out the screened kitchen door. The warmth embraced her. The sunlight caressed her chocolate brown arms and stroked her cheeks. The heady scent of warm grass and moist earth as well as flowers and leaves enveloped her. She was cocooned in true beauty and felt at harmony with the world. But deep in her soul excitement stirred; an anticipatory flutter in her gut. Shana stood; listened to the humming insects; smelled the fragrant air; felt the delicious sunlight; and smiled.

This was the sort of morning on which magic happened.


Deep in space, a lone craft stirred to life. The crew had slept, and it was time to begin the waking cycle again. Machinery clinked and whirred, engines hummed, and vents hissed. This was good; this was normal. Through the ports, one could see the sable black of space studded with radiant silver stars, and in one direction a golden glare from the system they were approaching.

None of the crew spoke as they went about their duties. Everything was in prime working order, but there was something not right. They were well accustomed to the regular sounds of their ship, so it seemed to them that they were cloaked in a foreboding silence.

One of their number sat by a portal and brooded unhappily.

It was on days like this that disaster occurred.

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