The voyage from Komodo to Pegasus was a long journey of almost two months which afforded Rags the opportunity to study the star system in the Star Lounge and the Princess Millie’s library. He had learned a lot from the books he read and applied that knowledge to the planet in the Star Lounge to create a likeness of the planet before it was shattered by the sun (Pegasi) going nova thousands of years in the past.
Like fitting the pieces of a 3 dimensional puzzle together, he carefully nudged the moons into places where they matched the planet. Eventually, he managed to make a model of Giantus, as it looked before the disaster. It was magnificent! Giant was the right word for the planet as it was huge by any galactic standard.
With a sun (Sadalbari) at the center of the solar system and four other planets, it drifted lazily on the outer limits of the system and was close enough to the second sun for the light to play across the surface, yet is was far enough from the sun that went nova, to have not entirely been destroyed during the last days when the sun exploded.
Through studying the model of the planet, he saw several places that he read about in the books he studied. With this knowledge and the stories that emerged on the planet recently about the connection of Pegasus, he determined that all the searches were in the wrong locations. This excided him as he planned to have a search of his own, when he reached landfall.
He discussed his ideas with Miss “D” and Lee. They both agreed that he had a great idea on where to look for evidence of the fabled horse and they also asked to go along with him. During the last days of the voyage, they huddled around maps of the planet and sorted through the many pages of documents he had arranged. He plotted a course through the mountains north of the main city, Markab, where they would land. He made lists of the supplies they would need and together, they made a plan to have an adventure that might bring them face to face with the winged horse of legend.
He was just finishing his duty as a cargo protection crewman when a yellow light flashed several times and a horn was heard throughout the ship. Over the intercom came the voice of Pete, the Senior Master Chief of the ship, “ATTENTION! ATTENTION! ATTENTION! LADIES AND GENTLEMEN OF, ‘THE PRINCESS MILLIE,’ PLEASE MAKE READY FOR LANDFALL ON PEGASUS!”
The day had finally arrived and he buckled into his seat for landing and could hardly believe that he and his friends would be walking the mountains of the legendary winged horse. Maybe they would be lucky and actually see it.
The landing was perfect and everyone aboard ship was excited to be off the ship for a little rest and relaxation. This was a long journey and they were scheduled for a two week holiday, before their next voyage. It was the longest stay that anyone on the ship could remember ever having on one planet and they were thrilled to be able to visit more of the cities of a planet than the port where they landed.
The next few hours were spent unloading the ship at the port of Markab, and cleaning the cargo area to make ready for loading cargo onto the huge ship before they left for another planet. Rags work hard alongside his friends in Cargo 7 to complete all the unloading and preparing the ship for another load of cargo.
Sooner than he realized, they were done and Miss “D” called them all together to give them a final briefing before releasing them for shore leave. She gave them the standard safety talk about the conditions and customs of the planet and asked them to have a great holiday.
Walking down the gangplank, Rags, Miss “D,” and Lee were excited to begin their adventure. They talked about all the plans and what steps they would take before leaving the city. They would need supplies, and transportation, and a guide. They had all split up the duties of researching places to find everything they needed on the ship’s computer during the voyage, and knew where to get everything they needed.
They were amazed at the site of the city as they slowly walked down gangway of the ship to the planet below. It was as modern as any place they had ever seen. Markab, had tall spires that reached thousands of meters into the sky, made of steel and covered in the richest colors that complimented the background of the mountain range to the north of the city.
Excitedly, Rags pulled out a picture that he had in his backpack and held it up for everyone to see. “Look!” He exclaimed. Lee and Miss “D” looked at the picture he held up and then over to the side at the mountain directly northwest of the city. They were identical! From the flat portion to the double tip of the jutting peaks at the top, there was no doubt that this was the same place as the picture he held up. The picture was painted several thousands of years ago by an artist that claimed to have seen the elusive winged horse on Giantus.
This made them all excited as they now had proof that where they were going was on the main planet. The planet was torn into three parts when Pegasi went nova, creating two moons. Even though they researched the current records of the planet and felt sure, the place they were searching for was in the range of mountains north of the city, this was proof that all their assumptions were correct.
With a certain exhilaration, they moved down the ramp with a light step, and more determination that they were going to have a great adventure upon Pegasus. The prospects of finding the real Pegasus was becoming more real and everyone in the small group were anxious to begin.
Once inside the city, they headed toward their first destination, in the area where supplies could be obtained for camping. They had a good idea where to look and climbed on a mover that would take them to the western side of Markab.
The mover was amazing in design. It was a platform with clear sides and top that allowed the rides a perfect view of the beautiful buildings that towered over the streets. It came to a hover at the platform and a door silently opened and they boarded, with a few of the local inhabitants of Pegasus.
The Gargantuans were huge, nearly two meters in height. They had a reddish brown color and had delicate features with long legs and arms that moved gracefully as they walked. They were gentile and very friendly and greeted their guests warmly.
Miss “D” began talking to one female named, Brooke who lived in another city and was visiting her sister. They talked about the mountains and Miss “D” mentioned that she and her friends were going to spend a few days in the mountains and were going to find supplies for the journey. Brooke announced that her sister had an outfitting shop in the district where they were going and gave her a card. She said to mention her and ask for a family discount.
“Wow! Thank you so very much, Miss “D” said, “I think this is going to be a marvelous vacation.”
“Your stop will be three intersections from here and her shop is on the corner,” Brooke smiled, “Good Journey, my friends.” She smiled at them and got off at the next stop.
They arrived at, ‘Amanda’s Outfitters,’ it was huge and offered everything from four-wheeled vehicles to camping equipment. Everyone was happy that they could get everything at one place. Amanda was small for a gargantuan, but very pleasant. She personally saw to their needs and filled everything on their list and even suggested a few things that they had missed. When they checked out, she gave them a 50% discount and offered them the services of her son, Jaycob, which they accepted.
Jaycob proved to be a good driver and an excellent guide as he drove the lead 4-wheeler through the mountains he told them stories of the planet, the great disaster, the rebuilding of the civilization, and even the facts about Pegasus. He filled them in on history passed down through generations, and even pointed out that the picture Rags showed him was painted by one of his own ancestors.
Over the 6 hours it took for them to drive thorough the mountains, the two 4-wheelers drove side by side, Jaycob driving one and Lee driving the other. The vehicles were so quiet, they could talk in conversational tones and everyone had a great time.
Jaycob pulled up to where he said they should camp for the night, near a slow moving stream in the valley of the double peaked mountain. They set up camp and started as fire. Sitting around the fire in camp chairs, he told them that it was his grandmother, 200 generation past that had camped near here, which actually saw Pegasus.
They faced the stream and watched it slowly meander as they talked. Nightfall was beautiful as they saw the two moons rise out of the mountains in front of them and shine down upon the water between the twin peaks of the mountain. Everyone became silent as they watched in awe of the magnificent view of the sky, strewn with stars, and the river, just feet away.
The darkness of the night was nearly complete, when they noticed a shimmering beside them at the edge of the stream and all eyes were drawn toward the white horse as she pulled her wings to her body and became fully solid before them. Hearts beating wildly, no one uttered a sound.
The huge horse slowly took a drink of the water and then walked gradually up to the group and said in a tinkling voice, “Good evening ladies and gentlemen, I am Emily, but you can call me ‘Emma.’
Rags was the first to break the amazement that froze them all and he jumped from his seat and ran to the horse, “I am Rags, well actually, My Name is Abernathy, but you can call me Rags,” he said in a rush.
Emma giggled, “It is a pleasure to meet you Mr. Rags. Now your question is answered.”
“Huh? Question?” he managed to mutter.
“Whether I am real or just a myth,” She answered politely, lowering her head and nuzzling him gently.
He petted the side of her neck and slowly ran his paw over her smooth side as he walked down the side of her. She unfurled her wings and he touched the gigantic feathers in amazement, shuddering at the feel of them. Lee, Jaycob, and Miss “D” walked over and began to feel the horse and to walk around her too.
After they chatted for a while, Lee produced a ‘memory maker’ and asked Emma if she would mind if he made a few holograms of the event. Emma said in her tinkling voice that she did not mind and she asked if Rags would like to sit on her back in a few shots. He was thrilled and Lee set his memory maker down, set the controls and they all eventually got on her back for a few frames.
“Why are you so elusive, as to become a myth in most all of the universe,” Miss “D” asked. “No place is there any actual history where you were seen by more than one person. And why do you now present yourself before the four of us?”
Emma spoke of herself, “I am immortal, as you know and I have been seen on many planets, by many people. This is the place that I love the most and I have come here most often, throughout time. What most people do not know is that I am a creature of the ‘between.’
“What is the ‘Between?” asked Jaycob.
“Between worlds.” She said quietly. “Between the reality that you know and the reality of the universe. Every living creature has a life that they consider the reality, but it is only a fiction. All life has a home in the reality of the universe and they come to their worlds to learn. When their time has passed, they return to the universal reality, from which they came. They bring back the knowledge of what they learned and share it with others.”
“What an astounding revelation!” Rags announced.
“Not so astonishing as you think.” She replied softly, “Most lose their memory of reality when they are born and never reclaim their memory of home, because they get caught up in the fiction. Many souls create these fictions as a kind of school, where young souls can come and learn. The young souls agree to learn certain things in each incarnation.”
“But what is the ‘Between,” Asked Miss “D”, and how do you travel it?”
“Ah, the great question,” Emma replied, “and one that takes a long time to explain. But just think of a veil that is invisible. A clear wall that hides what reality is and separates the perceived reality from the fictional one. Some can pierce this veil that hides reality and separates the two. I am one that can actually travel from one fiction to another through this veil.”
“I can travel to any place, to any time. Time is only measured in this fiction, as in reality; there is no time, because there is no beginning and no ending. In this fiction that you call life, you begin and you end, thus you have broken down this period into smaller increments and fashion your existence into little compartments of your stay in this fiction.”
Before anyone could say anything, she went on, “Behind you are four bells. They are yours to keep. If you ever wish to visit me, or need my assistance, please ring them. They are special bells that will have a sound that only I can hear.”
They turned and looked at the ground. Behind each of them, was a small golden bell. They picked them up to examined them as they touched them, the bells attached themselves to the collars of Lee, Rags and Miss “D”. Jaycob’s bell hung from a golden chain around his neck.
Astounded, they turned toward the beautiful horse, thousands of questions on their tongues, but upon turning, they noticed the magnificent horse had disappeared. Standing below the glow of the two moons, the river quietly murmuring in the background, they stared silently into the star strewn heavens, each lost in their own thoughts.
Before, they went into their tents for a good night’s rest, Lee bent down and picked up his memory maker and placed it in his pocket.