FINALIST Submission by By Lyta Bourdeau
They say our memories are often painted in soft water colors, and shaded with the utmost care to hide away the parts we don't want to remember. One rarely recalls the past with accuracy because it is tainted by our own interpretation. Maybe this is right for so many Galactic Cycles have passed since I once resided at Elysia (Center One), yet my thoughts seem so clear to me as if I am reliving the past.
There were many of us then from places all over the galaxy. We were wanderers who had lost our way. Many, unwillingly were unable to return home because of the nature of the wormhole, some, like me, never wanting to out of fear. For us this place was a new beginning where we were finally accepted for our differences. On Elysia (Center One) we could blend in, and have a chance for a better life than the gods originally intended for us.
On my home world I was merely a slave expected to perform for any one who wanted my company, and for that I might be fed, find a place of warmth to lie down if the fates were good to me. You see, I am a mutation, a crossbreed belonging to neither world, and therefore only a commodity to be bought or sold. If things worked out badly for the one who owned me, I could be beaten, killed or traded away, and no one would even notice. On Elysia (Center One) I chose, and I was paid dearly for my services.
I have gotten ahead of myself for so much transpired between then and now, so many details that need mentioning...
I arrived at Elysia (Center One) aboard a freighter that was taking cargo to a distance star system, the planet Naratia to be exact, which is located on the other side of our galaxy. At least it was back then, now I don't know for certain. The Captain had run into problems with the propulsion system, and was concerned that we would be unable to reach our destination. He was young and inexperienced by usual standards, and wanting so very much to be successful on his maiden voyage that he took a chance on an uncharted wormhole, in hopes of finding a station where he could acquire the parts needed to make repairs. It was his decision that changed my entire life.
On this voyage I was listed simply as cargo. I was bought and paid for, and was on my way to be delivered to someone of high influence on Naratia. I didn't care so much about names back then, just whether he would be less cruel then the one who owned me last. Remember it was my duty to serve and pleasure whomever I was given to, and report back to my owner what feelings I had sensed or any information gathered so he could make an informed decision as to any future alliances with this party. I was a tool to be used, and what care I was given was dependent upon my performance so I became very good at what I did. It still surprises me just how much one will reveal when one feels no threat, and the endorphin levels rise. I imagine more secrets are shared over pillow talk then anywhere else in the universe.
But I digress… due to their lack of experience the Captain and crew were unprepared for what happened once we traveled through the wormhole for nothing was familiar about this galaxy. No reference could be found for it on any of his charts. With no records to guide him, the Captain chose Elysia (Center One) because it appeared suitable for our needs. Upon exploration the Captain and crew found that the inhabitants did not resemble any previously known life forms. Their appearances, language and culture were all new to us, and as variable as the creatures that live beneath our seas. Communication was awkward at best as the Captain and his crew tried desperately to find the parts they needed to make repairs while dealing with the less than friendly local government. Eventually, my services were put to use to help negotiate the transaction with a local Prig, who was quite uncooperative at first. Having no currency that was accepted on this planet, part of the cargo was offered in trade by the Captain, and so I became an inhabitant of Elysia (Center One).
There were many strong races occupying Elysia (Center One) at that time and each was vying for control of the planet. The two races that dominated the rest were the (Antarans) and (Orions). These two often clashed over conflicting ideas of just how the government should be run, and just which of them should be running it. The (Orions) seemed a bit more sympathetic to the needs of all, where as the (Antarans) saw little use for any of us. Even with all the political opposition the Government on Elysia (Center One) somehow ran efficiently for any serious disruption seemed to mysteriously end shortly after rising up.
Darvok headed the Senate when I arrived on Elysia, I found this out shortly after I was sold to him. He was a dark, militant with an evil smile and insatiable taste for power. He was quick to take advantage of whatever could give him an edge. I provided him with that edge, an endless supply of information, which kept him one step ahead of his enemies. Our relationship changed over time, but he never took me for himself. I suppose he feared what he may divulge to me, and my knowing would somehow weaken his position. In his own way I think he was grateful for my services for he often showered me with unexpected presents. I was taken care of for the first time in my life, but I had no illusions, I was protected from harm because I was useful, and I made certain that I remained so.