Thierry Di Rollo

Prologue to Bankgreen by Thierry Di Rollo (translated by Michael Shreve)
Thanks to Thierry di Rollo and Olivier Girard at Le Bélial´ for this post.

It is born in the gray nebula. In the burning heart of the blue clusters it springs forth, crosses the vast, dark mists and charts its course between the stars that spangle the pitch black of the universe. The forces curve all of space, bend it indefinitely. Perhaps they are right. Here, nothing is added to Time nor taken away; the vibrating matter of red giants irradiates the void, expands it beyond measure.
It travels at the speed of 186,000 miles per second; it is immortal. It skates over the mighty cold of asteroid fields, bounces over the darkness of dead planets, believes in nothing but itself. It is everything; it is no longer nothing.
The photon drifts, invincible. It knows but very little about this living, stupidly motionless matter. And yet it crosses solar systems in lively singularities. They represent barely discernable markers, ghostly on the infinite background of hollow worlds.
The universe is tedium, eternally restarting; the photon learned this at birth. And it carries on, sure of itself, because it partly created the inexplicable; these round, frozen balls floating in the void; these unbearably white stars; these dark chasms inhaling and compressing everything; these nebulae from where it, the little Cartesian diver of immaterial light, had been expelled. This unnamable summa, insane. Abiding and alone.
Time is so long that it becomes profoundly still. The photon pursues its beaded path, visits twin suns around which stumps of bare stars gravitate. It ignores the glowing meteorites of old worlds and finally reaches the outlying regions of a galaxy like all the others.
The void of space then falls into a little order. The photon flies over frozen corpses, hopelessly glacial, skirts around a ringed, purple sphere and leaves behind the gelatinous mass of a giant, bloated with gas. It ricochets off belt dust, ochers itself in its transient flight as a blazing ball and plummets onto the blue and white planet. Which is like no other.
It descends, enters a wet, humid atmosphere. Below it extends a continent encircled by an indigo ocean. There is some green and brown scattered over the sunken lands. The photon keeps getting closer. Several lakes pit the valley with odd blotches. The valleys inevitably become more distinct. And trees tower up, innumerable.
The particle dives into the undergrowth, breaks through the half-light with millions of others; the opaline ray they form plots a straight line for it to follow right into the mouth of the reptile.
The huge animal—gray tail a pendulum along the axis of its body, powerful, immeasurable rear feet, forelimbs almost atrophied —keeps its eyes open. The ray of sunlight stains the upper jaw with a bleary lozenge; the photon rushes up and down the white beam with amazing speed, goes back to the top of the undergrowth and returns to bleach the skin of the great predator. Leaves again. Returns. Inside its own eternity of light.
The reptile moves its body just a little. The patch of sun is shifted to the lower jaw. For the first time the animal blinks its little eyes and snorts. In its line of vision a trihorn grazes its clumsy mass, face mounted on a bony collar. It turns its back to the predator on the edge of the undergrowth. It did not see it, did not even smell it because it is upwind.
The ray, its path obstructed until now by the reptile’s head, suddenly strikes the ground. The predator rushes upon the trihorn, unleashing a dreadful howl. The prey rears up in pain, groans, tries to escape from the pincer teeth around its neck. It will never happen.
The photon has already bounced off the puddle of clear water close by the high grass, climbs out of the undergrowth thanks to another, denser ray, and rises, rises, indefinitely. Life and death are strangers to it and it does not care. It is everything; it is certainly no longer nothing.
The blue planet moves away now. Cloud trails sprinkle the ocean under the thin, creamy veil of the atmosphere. The photon soon finds the icy cold of space again, feeds on this young sun that has, perhaps, attracted it here; it regains strength, continues beyond the void, all the way over the fringe of stars.
It is fragilely unchanging.
One blind region after another made of dust and stellar winds; light years added to light years. Two supernovae explode on the photon’s dark path. Two or three eternities pass.
Clusters bloom in shapeless sprays; other planets suddenly reappear, turning around a sober sun. The photon ignores them, continues in its own parallax, since it chooses what to observe. Soon the mists of Okar drift between the numb worlds, reminding it of the first nebulae, those gigantic ashen swellings that preceded the birth of the speck of light.
Time, however, breaks up, comes together, sticks fast again, stretches on forever; the light no longer deflects. Then a new sun bends space around it. A dark purple sphere accompanies its revolutions; calm, slow. Much more massive than the old blue planet that already exists no more.
And this in turn gets closer. Inevitably.
The photon bursts through the clouds in a season called here the Awakening, rockets over GreatWater, the ocean, chooses the little blue figure huddled up on a rock close to the shore. To strike its diaphanous right wing.
Everything is idle, cadenced by the lazy waves of GreatWater. And the speck of light will go no farther. The blue being feds on it like millions of others to survive the brief trauma of hatching and gain some strength.
The small Rune who was just born is called Lyve. She snorts under the world’s blazing sun of this world, which they call mauve and black, spreads her wings and flaps them a little to dry.
Lyve was born in the ocean. And she smiles, thankful, at her surroundings. She knows instinctively that this planet will someday be worthy of her and of all the Runes. And maybe of all the others, too.
Maybe.
Bankgreen is vast.

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