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Excerpt from 'Dauntless'

Chapter One.. The Lentor



Daisy Dauntless stepped outside of her little house, and eased herself down onto the grass to enjoy the late afternoon suns. There were three, each set at a different distance from William, but appearing quite close together as they moved down towards the horizon. They were far enough away, that the combined heat from them was only a little more than that produced by Sol, resulting in a climate remarkably like that of Earth. Weirdly, as William orbited them, they always appeared as a triangle in the sky. The Planet did not belong to any of them, but had been a wanderer that had been caught up in their strange gravitational field. In the scheme of things, it would last for no more that a second compared to the life of the universe. But while it lasted, it was idyllic and Daisy’s home. As she sat and watched, a single tear coursed its way down her cheek as a vision of her husband came into her mind. She got up, and drifted half a metre above the ground, up a small slope to a single Oak tree under which he was buried, and her companion silently padded along beside her.


“It’s been four hundred and sixty five years love,” she said to the small headstone beneath the tree, as she settled gently down to the ground again,


“But I really think that it’s about time I got over you.”


With all of the powers she possessed, she had discovered that she couldn’t slow down ageing in others, nor could she prevent death that occurred naturally. So she had sat with William during his long illness, and had thought that her heart would break when he had eventually died. She had not made a sound, but the tears had flooded unchecked, down her face. Her body had shuddered as the pain of his passing tore at her, but she had still managed to wrap his body gently in a sheet and take it to the place by the oak tree where they had sat so often in each other’s arms. As she slowly sank him into the ground, the earth parting and oozing over him, it became too much and her howl of anguish echoed across the universe. For a split second every living thing that existed or ever had existed, mourned with her in her loss. But it was only her children who had also heard, that really understood what had happened.


The children mourned with her via their link, and stayed in contact for the rest of their lives. Their daughters and sons took this up when they became old enough, but as the generations passed it became harder and harder to keep in touch, until eventually there was no-one left in the family who had the capability anymore. That was when the loss of William was felt the most, and she knew that she was finally and completely alone.


The last very faint contact, had told her about the death of George Weal Jr. Apparently the changes made to his genetic makeup to reverse the evil machinations of the Vana had prolonged his life, but had not restored his immortality. He was over two hundred and fifty years old when he died, and the subject of news stories all around the world.


There was no one that she knew left alive, so she abandoned her half intended trip back to earth to remain on William and spend her days visiting her husband’s grave, and telling him how things were going on their little world.


There was never much to tell, because apart from Daisy and the Lentor, there was no one else on it, and no one ever visited. So, she would sit quietly by the gravestone for hours on end, with the Lentor curled up by her side.


The Lentor was a furry creature about the size of a Labrador, who looked a little like a cat or a dog, or a mixture of both. It was difficult to tell. One of them was always with Daisy. When her current companion grew old and died, another would appear and take its place. The fact that she only ever saw one of them no matter where she went, was a puzzle that she decided to leave for another day.


They had a sharp intuitive intelligence, but would never advance past their present status, having no hands to manipulate objects. She had seen this animal approaching about six months after William had died and had watched its progress with interest. It was not slinking or trying to hide. It was just wandering up like someone visiting a friend. It had mentally introduced itself in the hope that she might understand.


“I am a Lentor,” it had said, “I have never seen you before, what are you?”


Daisy had willingly answered all of its questions, had explained that she was almost unique amongst her own kind in being able to communicate mentally, and then to its absolute delight, had run her fingers through the fur between his ears.


“May I stay?” it had asked.


Even though it would never replace her big boxer dog Bruce, who had died several years before she had left earth, she welcomed its company and appreciated the animal’s silent consideration whenever she visited the grave.


The suns had slipped completely over the horizon, darkness descended and she made her way down the little hill back into the house. The Lentor as it always did, stretched to its feet, and followed closely behind.


Externally, the house looked much like a log cabin from the American frontier days, but inside was an entirely different story. As you entered, it extended into an enormous dwelling internally, tastefully equipped and furnished to an extremely high standard. It was powered by a small state of the art nuclear reactor.


How she obtained the reactor, is a story in itself. Not the subject of this story however, so I will just provide the bare bones. At first, Daisy had wanted to power the place with a nuclear plant from a submarine, but it was too big and frankly dangerous. So at that time solar panels and wind turbines were used. Later, when they came out, she wanted to use a Smythe-Webber converter, but then realised that it was designed to power a moving object, manipulating Potential and Kinetic energy as it did, and would therefore be no good for a house that didn’t move at all.


She did keep a check on all of the new scientific advances that were being made on earth, so she was delighted to hear that a tiny nuclear reactor that was being developed. As soon as the first perfected one was rolled out of the construction shop, she stole it.


In its place the director of the company found five thousand unmarked gold bars. It was more than enough to pay for the missing machine, and more than enough to fund the company’s research for a number of years. The director kept quiet and the theft was never reported, and Daisy had her power plant.


Where did she get the gold bars? Well, one of Daisy’s abilities was that she was able to reproduce objects, using any material around, by tapping into the molecular specifications stored in her brain. Years ago she had been shown an unmarked gold bar and had recorded it, ‘just in case’, and a small rocky outcrop behind the house had provided the material.


Anyway back to the house. A quick thought produced a steaming cup of chocolate for her, a ham and cheese sandwich which she loved, and a huge bowl of dog food which the Lentor loved. They sat down together to have their evening snack, idly swapping thoughts on nothing in particular.


“I don’t see it Daisy,” thought the Lentor as they finished the current subject, “my predecessor explained it to me, but I still do not see.”


“What don’t you see?” asked Daisy gently.


“You visit that stone every day and you’ve been doing it for almost half a millennium. What is it that you need to gain from this?”


“It is where my husband and soul mate is buried.”


“But Daisy, by now there will be nothing left, and with the insects that there are on this world, probably not even bones.”


Daisy sighed,


“I know that Lenty,” she said, “I am a stupid, maudlin, five hundred year old teenager and I should know better. I’ve been whingeing and feeling sorry for myself for over four hundred years. How crazy is that? The man was my life, more than my life, but he’s gone and I should have put it behind me years ago. None of this crap will bring him back. It really is time that I returned to the land of the living.”


“Can I come with you?”


“Of course you can, I wouldn’t have it any other way, but that’s for tomorrow after a decent night’s sleep.”


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