The Austela–Crow Letters: 11

The approach
To: Kai Loreli Wyn
From: Austela Arsaeria
At: Y 23,984SRB, M 08, D 25, H 10:01 SC

Crow,

For the moment, I don’t care what my duties down on the surface will be. We’re on our approach to Rythe at the moment, and it’s well that you asked for an account of it – the planet is stunning.

The Rythians (or the Stewardship, as your sub-consul says we are to refer to it) have sent an escort out to bring us in. They’re sleek things, like daggers. The ones they have escorting us have been polished to such a ridiculous sheen that the viewscreens have had to work to counteract the glare. There’s some kind of pilot ship out in front of us to show the way to our landing zone. It’s a little stubbier than the others, more boxy in places, but still a lot more angular and elegant than anything I’ve seen before. If you were a shipbuilder, that’s the design I’d be telling you to adopt.

I’m focussing on the moving objects, though. You wanted to know about the planet.

Rhythe is a jewel. All whites, blues, greens. A lot of it looks frozen – there’s a band of land and ocean around a third the planet’s circumference free of ice, which is obviously where we’re headed, but that’s still a good deal warmer than home.

I’m hoping that appearances aren’t deceptive and this isn’t just a mean-spirited strain of algae making everything look like foliage.

We land in ten minutes, and the ride’s getting bumpy. I’ll send an update as soon as I can once we’re down.

Going to pay the viewscreens more attention,
Austela,

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