The year is 7289. In the city of Vidence, one of the last great cloud cities, located at what people used to think was only a myth...the end of a rainbow, is Ocean Destiny IV, a short (5" 1/2'), twenty two year old (though often mistaken for twelve), VapoAbimigender (though looks somewhat female), Cyborg with large, downward turned, light blue eyes with double rows of long, thick, eyelashes, long, thick, straight, medium brown hair with wavy ends, pale skin, a slight unibrow, high cheekbones, rosy cheeks, and an entirely mechanical left arm/shoulder and left foot (both with a circuit board pattern that light up and change colors depending on mood, ex: red and black slow strobe for anger/rage, neon lime green solid for sick, medium purple solid for confusion, red solid for romantic, red slow strobe for intimate, light pink solid for friendly, bright to burnt pumpkin orange to orangish brown slow strobe for calm/peaceful, rainbow medium or sometimes fast strobe for fun/rave atmosphere, extremely fast white strobe for panic, etc...). The only way in or out of one of these cities, is on the rainbow bridge that opens every one hundred years (or you could sneak out on a Storm Ship, as faer did from faer hometown of Mila).
Vidence is a mining town, dingy, dirty, and dark, known for the heavy water crystals mined from captured rain clouds that pass by (but is still better than Mila, the poorest Sky City in all of Adenasall).
There are other cloud cities, such as Duset, to the East, Illesey, to the Northwest, and Ozoni, directly in front of this one (which you have to pass through to get here (very hard to sneak through)) as well as several others. This group of cloud cities which number two hundred, are known as the country of Adenasall.
Ocean lives in the South district of Vidence, called Crond Cross, there's also the districts of Yagifig North, Downtown Dreeroc, and Melertairk East, to name a few.
"Journal Entry Number 2269,
Friday, May, Fourth, 7289.
Today has been good so far, I achieved many things:
1. Cleaned out the old food from the back of my refrigerator
2. Finally folded and put away the last little bit of my laundry
3. Repotted my Galaxy Tomato
4. Bought new plant food for my Golden-Amber Skull Flower (he'll be more bouncy, and happy in no time!)
5. Got to work thirty minutes early to help clean up the mess from the Hoverball event (bar patrons can be so messy!)
6. Finally figured out what was wrong with, and fixed the Television mind-remote at work
7. And made a few extra dollars from working a few extra hours this week."
"Then, on my way home from work, around three PM, I stopped by my house to change my clothes, then went to the bank and deposited my check. On the way back from the bank, at around three PM, as I was walking, a downpour suddenly started! The sky quickly went dark, thunder and lightning could be seen and heard as clear as the nose on my face, and I was completely soaked in a matter of seconds...I was caught in a brutal rainstorm! I love being in the rain, but not when there's thunder and lightning (my great aunt died from being struck by lightning!)
But I digress...luckily, I happened to be walking right in the vicinity of my favorite café, "Midtown Market", and quickly ducked inside."
The building is in a dark, bluish grey, brick, strip with other buildings, but their door is teal on the outside (as opposed to the other grey ones), and has a dark purple stained, wooden, sign that reads in bright pumpkin, hand painted, curly, lettering, thinly outlined in slightly reddish orange, "Please leave all negative energies outside, thank you!" The door is orangish brown with cream trim on the inner side. The welcome mat is orangish brown, and says "Please wipe your flippers!" And has a silhouette of a waterfowl's flippers. Upon entering the café, a short, jazzy, flute tune plays to alert the employees of your presence, and you walk through a beaded curtain of large, oblong, olive, and orangish-brown beads with small, skinny, sage beads in between, and you are immediately greeted with the wonderful, cozy, peaceful, and homey, atmosphere!
The café is not that large, only forty-eight feet wide, by thirty-eight feet deep (excluding the barely medium sized kitchen behind the counter area), and is painted lovely shades of amber and orangish brown, with pops of pumpkin orange, burnt pumpkin orange, slightly reddish orange, sage, olive, and a few bits of teal, cream, dark red, dark purple, and slightly bluish silver here and there, a striking contrast to the dingy, grey, dark grey, black, mud brown, and greyish sludge green of the city. The floor, is a warm, orangish brown wood, with a large, amber, bluish silver, and olive, star shaped, shag area rug in the center. The ceiling is painted black with galaxy designs in the aforementioned colors (and same ratios as well) with a few planets and moons, (and glows in the dark), and several hanging, short pearl strands in the aforementioned colors evenly scattered throughout. It is several degrees warmer in here than the slightly chilly streets (made worse by this blasted storm), thanks to the fireplace!
This room is lit entirely by the fireplace, on the far wall and to the right, and as many candles as possible in every shape and size, on dark cherry shelves lining all the walls, a few on the counter, and one on every table (all in the aforementioned colors) (they are always collecting more and more of them), in translucent, multicolored, holographic, lotus shaped, crystal, candle holders. (The entire city is lit with energy lamps, which are all powered by either sunlight/moonlight (depending on the lamp, and sometimes more expensive ones can do both, depending on the owners preference, and are dimmable), wind, or rain, so it is rare to see candles other than in a Shaman's abode).
The place smells of pumpkin spice, coffee, burning mesquite logs, and a tiny hint of sage, savory curry, warm Cheddar cheese, butternut squash, and very dark chocolate. One can hear the relatively quiet chitchat of the customers (today are mainly English speakers, but some days, you can hear everything from Mandarin, Japanese, Maori, Samoan, Tahitian, and Hawaiian, to Norwegian, Swedish, Russian, Romanian, Scottish Gaelic, Welsh, and Faroese, to Orcish, Elvish, Dwarvish, alien languages, and mechanical droid languages and more!) To the right of the door, are windows with window seats with olive seat cushions, colorful, round, mandala pillows, and sage and olive yin-yang pillows, lining the wall to the right of the door, and the far right wall, with shakra crystals, and several Ojo de Dios hanging in the windows, pumpkin orange, and burnt pumpkin orange marble pattern blackout curtains with a teal Celtic knot pattern, tied back with silverish blue, and amber, braided ties ending in beaded tassles of the same colors, on twisting, birch branch curtain rods that spiral inwards and outwards at the ends, and a cute, little, autumn leaf, Wi-Fi sticker in the corner of the window nearest the door. There is also a set of bongo drums, with the sides painted in a colorful henna pattern, rimmed in an equally colorful African dashiki print one one half and kente print on the other, sitting on the seat closest to the door.
Hung above the door, is a witch's broom, tied with slightly reddish orange thread, for safety, peace, good luck, and good fortune. In front of the window seats, are mandala and dashiki print beanbag chairs in the color combinations of:
Bright and burnt pumpkin, slightly reddish orange, and teal,
Dark red, and dark purple,
Dark red, and slightly reddish orange,
Dark red, and burnt pumpkin,
Dark purple, and slightly reddish orange,
Dark purple, and burnt pumpkin,
Dark red, dark purple, and olive,
Olive, and sage,
Sage and cream,
Olive and amber,
Bright and burnt pumpkin, and amber,
Bright and burnt pumpkin, cream, and amber,
Bright and burnt pumpkin, slightly reddish orange, and amber,
Bright and burnt pumpkin, slightly reddish orange, cream, and amber,
And amber and bluish silver.
"I walked in, and decided I might as well have a warm drink and something to eat while I was here (that's when my jacket turned on its dryers and completely dried my shirt, but the rest of my clothes were still cometely soaked and I was freezing). So I went up to the cherry stained, wooden, counter on the far wall and to the left, stepping on the memory foam mat on the floor (with a picture of a glowing, white elk in the moonlight, against a starry sky), and from the busy employees running around in colorful, Asian print shirts with mandarin collars, under their teal with orange trimmed aprons, moving floral, watercolor, coffee and tea cups and saucers, I ordered from the chalkboard menu (with taped on list headings) on the wall above. I ordered my favorite drink, the "Artem Masha" (named after Artem Masha, a prominent activist for LGBTQIAP+ android, cyborg, and droid rights), a cinnamon, clove, sage, and dandelion flavored hot coffee, with a shot of espresso, whipped cream, and some shaved 98% coco on top. I also ordered a slice of sage cake. I left a tip of five Constellation Credits and three Lionheart Pennies, in the crescent moon shaped tip jar, with an amber colored, hand painted word "Tip", and a lid of marbled dark cherry and medium orangish brown wood with a small round handle of the same wood on center-top.
I remembered my fist time here, it was so difficult to choose what to order, what with items ranging from hot coffee and coco, to iced coffee and chocolate milk, to dandelion tea and dandelion root coffee substitute, to sage, carrot and coffee cakes, to butternut squash soup and spinach quiche, and more!
I was handed a black, palm sized, circular, table number base, and walked past the red brick fireplace further to the right on the same wall, which had several candles of different sizes, shapes, and colors (including one birch bark candle), on the mantle, along with a burnt to bright pumpkin to teal ombre pot with the label "Bjorn" in curly, flowy, amber lettering thinly outlined with bluish silver, with a Golden-Amber Skull flower, bopping along happily to the quiet smooth jazz, New-Age, modern jazzy lounge, and 1960's Lounge music and Bossa Nova currently playing in the background, and a portrait above it, of Peace Dragonovich, the founder of this café, in a narrow, wooden, amber, scroll work frame with bluish silver accents, and aquamarine and amber jewels, with hanging tapestries on either side, the left one of an amber, bluish silver, olive, and sage, Thor's Hammer, Brigit's Cross, and Elder Futhark runes, on a navy blue background, and the right one of an amber, burnt pumpkin, orangish brown, and olive, eye of Horus, scarab, and hyroglyphs on a cream background.
I sat down in one of the unoccupied beanbag chairs, set the base on the low, spider web shaped table with a realistic image of a spider web with dew on a dark background with a dark red leg and dark purple base, next to me, pushed the button, and a hologram number "13" in bright green with a grid texture, floated just above the base. I could hear someone sitting on the window seat behind me, set their tea cup down on their saucer, on their taller, gear shaped, table with bronze and copper Steampunk gear and clockwork designs, with one dark purple leg, and a dark red base.
I decided to pick up a book to read while I was waiting, and so I got up, walked past the counter, and over to the wall left of the counter, where there were a few rows of orangish brown, wooden shelves with amber filigree carving on the front edges, and a small amber and aquamarine gem on the middle front, with coffee and tea cups, saucers, painted travel mugs, small bags of coffee grounds, small bottles of flavored coffee syrups, 85-98% coco bars, kava chocolate bars, bookmarks, and body jewelry and earrings, for sale. Those shelves were framed by dark purple bookshelves all around, with every metaphysical, New-Age, Pagan, Wiccan, Shaman, Druid, self-help, how-to, gardening, medical, science, coding, math, history, law/crime, mystery, art, music, cosplay/costuming, craft, pirate, Steampunk, Goth, Cyber-Goth, yoga, Hippie, survival, tiny house, anime/manga, video game, and vintage/antique, book you could ever hope to find, and on the sides of the bookshelves are small posters of Cowboy Bebop, Grey Warden recruitment (the Darkspawn are quite a problem in some lower cities), Recruitment posters for Reliable Excavation Demolition (RED) and Builder's League United (BLU) (both, sides in this great war, that's been raging for at least a hundred years, though know one really knows how long), Palmistry hand lines and meanings, the Astrological signs and meanings, how to read tea leaves and coffee grounds, gardening tips for growing the best Galaxy Tomatoes, Dimensional Potatoes, Universe Celery, and Black Hole Lettuce, meditation techniques, how to spot Cyber Card scams, Emily the Strange, Voltaire, Marilyn Manson, and Slayer (music artists from long ago), and a gradient, LGBTQIAP+ flag that also includes pink, brown, black, grey, white, cream, tan, beige, gold, silver, and different shades of glitter, (much more gender and orientation inclusive than others). I picked out a volume on the history of this place called "Earth", I had never heard of that place or seen the book before, figured it must have been a new one, returned to my seat, and began to read.
Not long after sitting down, I was greeted by a grey haired, Orc waitress in a teal, mid-thigh length kimono with bright pumpkin trim, and cream and orangish brown, paisley printed, harem pants, with my drink and cake slice. I thanked her, as she took the table number, and went back to reading as I waited for my drink to cool off.
A loud crack of thunder sounded, and a flash of light momentarily lit the windows, then the door's flute tune sounded, but I was so engrossed in my book, that I didn't take much notice. I lowered my book momentarily to take a bite of my cake, and that's when I saw him...He looked fairly human, around 5' 9", rather slender, a head of exceptionally long, thick, slightly rust tinted grey, tight, barrel curls, with a few white strands and a widow's peak, extremely pale, almost albino Caucasian skin with freckles across the nose bridge and upper cheeks, high cheekbones, rosy cheeks, a small, thin-lipped mouth, a very strong, straight, nose bridge, and the cutest wrinkles (he seemed to be about in his late sixties). He also had six arms, three large, bright blue, eyes (one being in the center of his forehead) each with double rows of long, thick, eyelashes, and a small, delicate, rose gold, filigree, septum ring. He was wearing a pair of brown corduroy pants, a light blue, button down shirt (both soot stained), a pair of short, lighter brown, hiking boots with dark brown laces, and a pair of copper and dark brown leather goggles with dark green lenses were hanging around his neck.
He closed his navy umbrella, leaned it against the wall by the door, and walked through the area in front of the shelves and counter, which is an open area with a large, olive, bluish silver, and sage, shag, area rug, and a detachable, burnt pumpkin, dark purple, and dark red, microphone currently attached to the dark cherry wood, podium, in the corner, that is pulled out every Saturday night, for beat poetry, spoken word, and some live music, and the rest of the open area is where groups come to practice their harps, flutes, sitars, mandolins, theremins, or waterphones, or for the weekly drum circle group "Gaia's Grace" (which consists of four bongo players, two Tabla and Daga players, three Hang drum players, three Bodhran players, two Darbuka players, and one Conga, Djembe, Talking Drum, Udu, and tambourine player).
I realized I was staring, felt flustered, and quickly hid my face behind my book and hoped he didn't see me, as I wondered who he was, and where he came from. Just then, I overheard him and the barista conversing, Barista: "You think this storm will let up soon?" Him: "No, I just came back from the Mining District. A rain cloud escaped, and they have yet to catch it, so it could be a while." Barista: "On no, that's too bad."
About a minute or so later, I momentarily looked over the edge of my book again...but only for a moment, and he was walking in my direction! I hid my face once more, as I began to panic internally, and my robot parts, began to strobe white, quite rapidly. I took some deep breaths, and the flashing stopped, and went back to the slow strobe of peaceful colors, and from what I could tell, he didn't seem to really take notice, but as soon as he sat in the chair next to me, they turned red as I began to blush and get all flustered. He pulled out some electronic device with knobs, a little screen, and a short antenna, and began to fiddle with it. His table number was "13", the same one I had used earlier! I tried to read again, but found that I could only really pretend to read, as it was difficult to concentrate. I ended up being able to read a bit, but with the reoccurring thought trying to get me to look over at him. The waitress came by at one point to bring him a drink (coffee, it seemed), and a slice of carrot cake.
After a while, I was almost done with my book, when I happened to finish my drink and cake slice right as the waitress came by. She took my plate, and his too (apparently, he too, was finished), and we both thanked her at the same time, and looked at each other a bit surprised, and smiled, and he turned back to fiddling with his device. I had just one page left to go in my book, and as I reopened to that page, I heard: *faint giggle under breath* *throat clears* "You know, I've actually been to Earth once before." I looked over, and he had his head cocked slightly, and a slight smile, as if he was looking forward to my response. "Really? Earth still exists?" I asked in response, as I set down my tome. "Yeah, back when I was a teenager, and they still allowed interplanetary travel, but nowadays, everyone's too afraid of another pestilence. My father was a merchant, and I went there with him on one of his business trips. Earth is a very strange place, with many tall buildings, and not much land. It's full of angry, judgmental, highly confrontational, and highly distracted individuals, that I wouldn't unliken to the undead in a sense." He began.
"How so?" I inquired, in curious surprise. "Everyone seemed grotesquely engorged, ambled at very low speeds, and were glued to these electronic devices everywhere they went. They had all the world's knowledge and entertainment at the press of a button, but as a result of this spoiling, they all seemed to feel very entitled to anything and everything they felt they deserved at the drop of a hat, not as learned as one would believe with all that knowledge." He continued. "What a horrible place, I hope you weren't there for too long?" I asked in sympathy. "Nah, only about a week, thank goodness. But there were some beautiful aspects to that place, the sunsets there are some of the most beautiful I have ever seen, and their cheese is to die for!" He said rather fondly and excitedly.
"I'm William, by the way." He said as he reached a hand out, which I shook as I replied, "My name's Ocean, nice to meet you." "What a lovely name!" He returned, smiling, as I blushed a bit, and rather embarrassed, said in reply, "Thank you...." Then I asked, curiously, "If you could ever go back to Earth, would you?" After a moment of contemplation, he replied, "Maybe for a day, but I wouldn't stay. I enjoy my life here too much." "I get it, you've built a life here, and there isn't enough on Earth that would make you leave it all behind." I commiserated. Excitedly, he returned, "You hit the nail right on the head! Earth's not the place for me." "And I doubt your wife would be too keen on the idea as well." I said in a matter-of-fact response. He quickly corrected me, "Oh no, I'm not married, divorced." "Oh! My bad...." I returned, rather embarrassed. "No biggie! For some reason, people assume that all the time." He responded, reassuringly and a tad bit confused.
"I can see why." I giggly responded before I realized what I've said. "What do you mean?" William asked a little concerned. "I-um, well, you...what I mean is...people, probably assume you've been snatched up a long time ago." I reply, flustered. "Hmm, what do you mean by that?" He asked, beginning to see what I'm trying to say. "Well, all the best guys get picked early...." I reply, as matter-of-fact as I can, smiling, though still very flustered. "Aww, that's very sweet of you, your partner is a very lucky person to have someone as sweet as you." He smiles, though I can see a hint of disappointment in his eyes. "Oh no, I'm-I'm not with anyone." I correct him, as I find myself, blushing, smiling uncontrollably, and beginning to look away. He smiles, "Really? That surprises me." "How so?" I asked, somewhat puzzled. "Well-I mean, someone like you...shouldn't have trouble at all finding a partner, anyone would want to be with you." He answered embarrassed and blushing.
"R-really? You think so?" I asked in shy disbelief. "Of course." William sweetly replied, quietly, and rather flustered.
We both just sat there in silence for a moment, hearing the pitter-patter of the rain on the windows. By now, the sun had almost finished setting, it was now about late sunset. William looked over at the window for just a second as I shifted in my seat ever so slightly closer to him. He looked back at me. "Do you think the rain will continue much longer?" I asked. "Don't get me wrong, I love the rain, but the downpour is so heavy right now, I can't even step outside to make my way home." I continued. "Can't say...could be quite a while." He replied rather wistfully. Just then, his foot brushed against mine, and we both blushed, and quickly looked away. He went back to tinkering with his electronic device, and I went back to trying to read my book. I put my book down, turned to him, and asked curiously, "What is that, you've been tinkering with?" "Oh, a broken rain cloud locator, I've almost got it working again. I work in the technical division of the Mining District." He replied. "Oh, is it for the rain cloud causing this storm?" I asked, intrigued. "Why, as a matter of fact, it is!" He replied rather excitedly. "Mind if I take a look at it? I tinker a lot with things at home." I asked, excitedly. "Sure." William replied, intrigued, though uncertain. As he handed it to me, my hand briefly touched his, and we both quickly turned away. I studied the device, then fiddled with a few knobs, pried open the screen with the screwdriver that was on his table, fiddled with a few wires, put the screen back, and pressed the button...it worked good as new!
"How did you do that?!" He asked, astonished. "Well, as you can see, I've got some mechanical parts of my own, and therefore do a lot of tinkering at home. It was quite simple really, just a few wires behind the screen were loose, that's all." I returned, matter-of-factly, as I handed him the detector. "Thank you very much!" He replied excitedly, looking at me, then the device, with astonishment. "What's it like, working for the Mining District?" I asked him, with great curiosity. "Well, it's rather dingy, dirty, and a lot of hard labor. Although, I just work in the Technical Division, but the hours sometimes, are grueling. I'll admit though, I do really enjoy working with electronics, it's been a hobby of mine, since I was a child." He went on. "I hope you don't mind me asking, but where do you work? A-and how-how did your mechanical parts come to be? Just wondering from a technical/mechanical perspective." He asked, with a slightly hesitant curiosity. "Well, first off, I work as a bartender, at Metamorphosis, the nightclub/bar, just up the street. Secondly, I lost my arm and shoulder, and my foot, in a shooting at the club. Some Diritahns got really drunk, and really angry and pulled their laser blasters out on some innocent Elves, after one of them accidentally bumped into one of the Diritahns. I rushed out and brought them behind the bar with me until the authorities arrived. The Diritahns hit my foot with their lasers as we rushed back, and got my shoulder as we ducked. I had to have my whole arm and foot amputated. The aliens managed to escape before they could be caught, but the Elves were fine, and returned to their homes safely." I answered, calmly. "Wow, that's quite courageous and kind of you, that's similar to how my father died, protecting a family of Fauns from corrupt authorities...you know, I've been to Metamorphosis a few times, but I've never stayed that long...what-what...days, do you work?" He asked rather nervously. I smiled, and so did he...."
"Journal Entry number 2278:
Saturday, May 12th, 7289.
I saw him at work, the other bartender there, said he asked to see me, me! I got to sit and chat with him on my fifteen minute break...and I never would have met him, if it hadn't been for that sudden rainstorm last week."
"...that was five years ago, and we've been together ever since! (With six little ankle biters of our own!)"