Today the memorial for Mr. Jayleden Miles, lost in the blast on Saint Kitts Island, was held; his husband spoke movingly from the altar of the Chapel of Saint Blane. Miss Kamenev still leads the search party to find him...or at least, his remains.
I can't help thinking that I and others warned against this very thing...
It was a lovely day. In spite of my fears, the soft breeze off the ocean was cooling, the scent of plumeria light and refreshing on the air. I was cajoled to dance to Radio Riel's wonderful music, but my eyes kept being drawn to the now-active volcano just offshore.
There were a group of folks gathered at the water's edge to fish; another group held court by a brick grill on which bits of seasoned meat merrily charred. We had sunbathing Duchesses, dancing friends, wandering geese. It was a beautiful day.
Then, we heard rumbling across the water. Not too long after, the first jets of superheated steam were seen. And then we saw our first glimpse of lava, pouring down to the shore.
Hot pyroclastic ash and slabs of cooling magma (lava bombs) soon filled the air. Gases spewed, and it began to be both difficult to breathe, and difficult to see.
Someone had brought an experimental car to test its aviatic ability. A passing chunk of magma struck it, rocketing it very close to the shore's edge. Several gentles had to quickly step out of its path, and many who would not have been hit, were due to dodging from a runaway vehicle, into the path of molten lava!
I stood next to Mr. Nix Sands, so very depressed that my worst fears were being realized. But there was worse yet to come.
Mr. Sands, before being struck by a burning crust of cooling lava...
...and after, staggering towards the shore in shock.
Miss AutopilotPatty Poppy, being nibbled unto near-death by rabid vorpal bunnies, frightened and made aggressive by the blast. She barely escaped with her life.
In the midst of the devastation, new land was seen rising from the bay, just as the first rescue efforts labored their way to shore.
Vorpal bunnies fleeing, searching desperately for more stable land and finding it not. I do believe this is the first image to capture the unknown Lady Ghost, also.
I struggled up to higher ground, as the very earth beneath my feet buckled, rising and sinking with insane unpredictability.
I surveyed the wracked landscape, finding more friends missing than in view. The homes built in stately procession along the ridge of Saint Kitts were starting to slide downhill to the drink.
At one point, water covered all of us, and those that could swim, swam frantically for shore. I sprouted gills, but the water still tasted terrible, and burned vaguely as it touched my gill slits.
Another surge, another quake, and we were all of us thrust to the surface again, where a familiar whine heralded the arrival of Professor Sputnik and his Companion, Miss Lightfoot.
They had meant to arrive in time for the party. Thankfully, they stayed to help with rescuing victims.
In this image can be seen several gentles including Baron Wulfenbach, thrown into midair, and alas, the scattered bones of Lady Dimsum, burnt nigh entire by lava.
Fellow gentles tossed into the air by seismic upset, land rising and falling, ash thick on the air, coating the throat--the party was officially over.
This was the last time I saw Mr. Miles on the island.
I tired quickly of trying to keep my balance on the shifting sands. I sprouted wings to fly to the mountain peak, and watched the ship Serenity fly across my view. I knew then the scale of the disaster was immense, if rescue calls were sent across other galaxies, as well.
And the ultimate ironic complication, the sheer number of airships that were buried under shifting soil and cooling magma, their inhabitants then needing rescue themselves!
No trace of the former unique shape of Saint Kitts Island is now visible. Geological devastation has completely remapped the isle. We must mourn our fallen, and move on if we're able.
But I am not the only one who mourns the loss of Saint Kitts' unique land formation, either...
(Later insert--Saint Kitts Island collapsed entire two days later, and when the tsunamis passed, in roughly the same area, was discovered Caledon Cavendish. And the once-mourned Mr. Miles, clinging weakly to the shore.
Lady CoyoteAngel Dimsum and Mr. Nix Sands are still healing from their grievous injuries. Miss Poppy has a limp from vorpal nibbles, but should recover. I was only grazed, astonishingly enough. Does anyone know if Laird Murdann, Otenth Paderborn, survived?)