In the way of human destinies, it was not more than two seasons before Maea and Felicity were full of the wondrous news that they both were with child. Sharing their happiness with their parents in the superior manner of the young who seem to believe they have invented biology, they also share their courageous trepidation in the throes of new experience. Caela reassures them. This is just another adventure they will have together.
Entering a forest only seems more courageous than entering life because of the illusion of choice. We hear a calling. That compelling cry will not cease without an answer, no matter how we may try to quell or override it. What we answer, how we comport ourself over the journey, that we may choose. That choice may still be illusion, but of the kind extolled as prophetic in dreams.
Maea’s paternal grandmother, Narda the historian, had been part of history herself. She had been one of a small council of negotiators sent to plead the case of what were called the witchfolk to a council of leaders from the city’s government. The city leaders didn’t want bloodshed on their watch. They wanted a peaceful, prosperous reign. It was concluded that the small minority population causing all this excitement by their existence in the city must be banished. No problem. This planet has plenty of land thus far free of humanity. The native creatures have not shown signs against encroachment in all these centuries since men began doing business in this enclave. Send them far enough from here that they become a distant memory, eventually not even that. No need to be cruel. The elderly and infirm can live out their days in their familiar homes. Certainly they can do no harm in the time they have left. But we can’t allow the young and strong to have technological tools that might facilitate a future return or ongoing communication. The contract was made with the understanding that the witchfolk historians would remember and honor it, carry it forward to their historians to come. Being a small, out of favor, minority, they agreed to a contract of exile in return for freedom and life.
Fearful as exile had been to those who lived it, for the younger generations it has become more of an opportunity. They have been born into a society with few overt rules and an appreciation of creative innovation. The basic, primitive material conditions, depending on their own muscles and skills rather than elaborate machinery, makes for immediate appreciation of good ideas.
Larn had good ideas. He was idolized by his peers for his audacity of vision, and ambition. Maea is prouder than proud, higher than the stars, to be carrying their child.
Felicity as well is (surprisingly, more quietly) glowing in that rapture of love and hormones. Felicity and Teren are so sweet together. Caela’s heart pitter-pats to see them. They share a larger room in the House now, with an area they are preparing as a nursery. Family arrangements are flexible and fluid within the House. There are shared nursery and children’s rooms for less unitary families. There is plenty of loving nurturing to go around. As Felicity and Teren become more closely bonded, though, they are talking about perhaps moving into a cabin near the House eventually. Right now they are comfortable where they are, busily involved in the House community projects. There is the theater, and the classes they teach, and the classes and workshops they attend. Of course there are still the farm chores on rotation and the day-to-day hands on with whatever those hands are being asked to do. Felicity and Maea know they can be called to accidents at any time. Then, Teren, like Felicity’s father, Singer, seems to be compelled to irregular and unscheduled calls from the muse.