A subtle pitch change in mechanical whine told Eddy the boarding ramp had settled onto the pier. He turned the power switch off. All was silent except for an occasional slap of a small wave ringing against the hull. Eddy stepped out of the hatch and walked slightly uphill toward the pier. A very tall human-like figure stood there waiting for him. Though he could feel his heart pounding, Eddy walked up the ramp without fear.
“Greetings, young Human.” Eddy heard these words as beautiful music ringing in his mind, rather than with his ears. “I am Star Song. I am here to introduce you to the Melodian world.”
Eddy wondered if the song he heard in his head was mental telepathy or whether he had put words to music.
“Both of those ideas are true,” the music in his head answered. “You may speak with me using your human words and voice or with the music from your inner mind. I hear you the same either way. Your melody is very clear and I am happy to meet you, that I already know.”
Eddy looked up at the tall being’s face and found himself looking into a relaxed expression with concerned and interested eyes that were also deep and peaceful. The Melodian’s physical shape was much like a human except the shoulders were more rounded and the slightly larger head was covered with the same fine fur covering the rest of its body. Star Song wore a pale blue tunic similar to the style of ancient Greece, it was made with a soft shimmering fabric.
“I’m glad to see you are not frightened, Eddy. Follow me, let’s walk to the shore, there is much to see and learn and we have very little time.”
Eddy walked toward shore with a being so large he felt like a small child walking with a parent. He felt secure and was surprised to feel all the tensions from the last several days suddenly and completely wash away. He felt secure and safe without awkwardness at feeling so childlike. He bumped against the Melodian’s leg as they walked, it was warm like a mammal and he felt strong muscles. As they approached the land Eddy noticed a small yet distinct contrast between the pier and city street. He wondered what the pier and street were made of.
An answer rang in his mind, “It is the same metals used to make what you called a floating city.”
Eddy turned to ask where the metals came from and the answer came before his words were spoken.
“There are large springs of molten metal that give both light and metal to build with. Each spring of flowing metal provides materials of slightly different composition that we use for different purposes.”
Instead of asking his next question, Eddy visualized a fire-proof ceramic bucket dipping into molten metal and then pouring into a mold. He visualized rollers and stamping machines forming ingots of red-hot material traveling various shape changing paths.
“That is close, Eddy. There are different springs and they are blended according to recipes new and old. There is also much grinding, polishing, and fitting to create parts suitable for their intended purposes.”
Eddy was about to question the intended purpose when he felt his feet had crossed from the smooth metal pier and path to slightly irregular ground. He ran to the side of the roadway and knelt in a meadow of tiny grasses and flowers he’d never seen. From a distance he’d assumed the blends of approaching color to be bare earth. On hands and knees, he bent to examine miniature flowers, each one as intricate as a crystal chandelier. He felt Star Song standing beside him and remained silent as he gazed at a vista of startling beauty. He consciously stilled his mind and savored the sight.
Star Song placed one hand on Eddy’s head, “You are learning to sing along with the joy of life very rapidly. That is good for we must hurry. Keep practicing and absorb as many new ideas as fast as you are able to before the monster arrives. You will take your people to set up their camp on a wide beach that is a closer to the cavern entrance, if there is enough time. The beach area is large enough for everyone. It is directly beneath your settlement and next to where the Delfinian ships will be moored.”
Eddy smiled while looking at natural beauty equal to the world above. But his smile soon faded. The thought of what was coming pressed back into his thoughts and his smile turned into a frown as he began to speak; “You’re right, we don’t have much time. Doom Cloud will arrive soon. It is coming to wipe out the Delfinians and make war on Humans. Will it also attack Melodians or are you safe underground?”
Eddy suddenly saw a vision of a much closer Doom Cloud. The music from Star Song was replaced by shrieking sounds that seemed to him like painful agony and insane laughter. The vision rushed closer. Then Star Song’s melody began to play above Doom Cloud’s ugly noises. Eddy saw the battle fleet ships dive at Doom Cloud and drill deep into it with their joy beams blazing warm light against awful cold. The fighters were still using Walker’s saw-blade formation, cartwheeling outward at the last moment and delivering the engine exhaust of their joy generators as they blasted their way to safety and momentary rest before cutting back to do it again.
“How do you know and see this from so far away and beneath the ground?” Eddy asked.
“There won't be enough time for me to show you everything, young human. At this point, it is I who wants to learn from you. I need to understand what you saw deep inside Doom Cloud. Sing to me the song of your battle so that I may know what you saw inside.”
“Will the ships defeat Doom Cloud?” Eddy asked.
“Doom Cloud is confused and losing some of its power,” Star Song’s melody imparted a very precise vision of reduced size. “I cannot say what will happen, nor do I know if your larger joy beams will be enough. A strange force drives Doom Cloud, it must consume what is natural and good in order to keep growing faster and faster forever. This consuming growth force has never encountered warrior beings who understand joy as the great power that undergirds cosmic powered biology. Humans have learned to use joy and have fun like delfinians. You have also learned to harness the power of joy to defend themselves. Humans are unique with understanding and using this cosmic power, so far. Given enough time your fleet might win. To answer your question: Will we defeat Doom Cloud? It’s too close to call.”
“It wants to kill us all. Why?”
“No one knows the entire story, even so, we Melodians have concluded that the good in humanity has escaped to the stars to become free from a similar negative greed and lust for destructive power that rules over much of your original planet, Earth. Power and wealth seek to eliminate competitors so they can take more of whatever nature has created.
Human kind has jumped into the middle of an ongoing struggle between good and evil that you did not know has long existed on the scales of Cosmos. Now you have become part of the struggle and have no choice other than to be be calm and concentrate. Sing of your battle from inside those dark clouds so that I may know what you have seen inside that awful consuming monster.”
continue to Chapter 18