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The Glow of a Worm inside a Child's Eye (Cover Art)

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Chapter 14 - The Glow of a Worm inside a Child's Eye[]

Pandora, Lyran Commonwealth - 3017

She almost choked when she stepped off the transit shuttle, and into the open. Alicia Li is seventeen years old, and she's won a scholarship to the most prestigious aerospace training academy in the Lyran Commonwealth...

She's on a habitable planet for the first time in her life. This wasn't like the training on Hatter, the dense, mercury-like planetoid in the inner system of Kowloon] where everything is buried safely under rock, sealed up, life support kept maintained, controlled and clean.

Her stomach lurched at the assault of smells as her ears rang with the din of outdoors in an urban environment, and a glance up at the open sky made her nauseated. trained for this... She tried not to look like she was running as she crossed the open concourse to the safety of the Terminal structure.

"Eerste keer in die stad?" (First time in the city?) a young blonde asked in New Capetown Deutsch. Alicia'd heard enough of it working the Port Station at Kowloon's nadir point, and it was one of the languages her mother insisted she become familiar with.

"Ayeh." Alicia blurted.

The blonde looked her over, "Mmmh..jy is te bleek, jy is nie 'n plaasmeisie nie.(You're too pale, you're not a farm girl.)"

"Nope." Alicia shook her head, "Kan jy Engels praat?"

"Of course. Karela Van Oosten, So you're no farm girl...Spacer-born?"

"Ayeh." Alicia nodded, "First time at the bottom of an open's a little overwhelming."

"So, you're here for the Academy then. me too!" Karela enthused, "I've heard of Spacerborns, Never thought I would meet one. Where's your homeport?"

"Kowloon system. I'm on the Navigation track."

"Lekker! we might have classes together! I'm engineering!"

And so, Alicia made her first friend at school.

They found their way to the LCAF Canteen, and from there, to the bus-stop that would take them to the Academy campus.

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