Caydie Meredith Kines

Miss Caydie… could it be true?

Styx read from the notes scattered about the table. He formed the words in his mind, pressed the record button, and began the broadcast, "Rise and shine wanderers, it's your old friend, Styx! It's been a while, yeah? To start, let's play my favorite game: Where's Alfred. If you're needing a quick refuel, the alien drone seems to be on its way to Sepia 12-B. Wayfarers Quark and Roach brought back some new tech from The Devil's Reef, some form of communication array."
Styx paused and the highlight of the day caught his eye. "Let's not forget Caydie Kines. The legend herself is finally done with that bucket of bolts she's been working on for the last year. Last I heard, she's already on the edge of the system. Welcome to the stars, baby. We missed you."
— Broadcast from The Pulse just before The Battle of the Pillars
   
As The Archivist of Safeharbor, it is my duty to ensure the integrity of The Archives. A detailed entry on Caydie Kines is regrettably absent. After hearing rumors of her survival, it's high time I do my job. This entry is long overdue. Her death brought all of us together. We stood unified against a common enemy, vowing vengeance for a life taken well before her time.   She was impulsive, stubborn, and rarely took no for an answer. While dedicated, she often obsessed over her many projects, forgetting to eat or drink. She was slow to anger, but there was no going back once she reached that point. She wasn't perfect, but despite her imperfections, she was the best of us in so many ways.   Let us walk this painful path together. It won't be easy. Her death weighed heavily on me over these long years. Some wounds are best left untreated, unopened. Then again, should she indeed be alive, she will likely scold me for not doing so sooner. What is this feeling? Is it hope, or fear?

Miss Caydie

Caydie was born and raised on Safeharbor. Her father, one of the elders of Autumn, kept a close eye on her for most of her childhood. Sickness marked her early years, and several close encounters with death led to a sheltered life. Despite this, the youthful rebellion surged within her just as much as it did in her peers.   Like so many others who would become Wayfarers, she demanded answers to countless questions. She wished to unravel the mysteries of Earth and wished to elevate humanity beyond its recent dark age. Her father refused to satiate her curiosity, a fortunate outcome if I'm being honest.   One night, after a heated exchange with her parents, she found herself in the archives wide-eyed and desperate for answers. At 16, she was the first person I've met who didn't cower in fear at the sight of me. She barely took a moment to gasp. I was in hiding, content to live in solitude and secrecy. I likely never would have revealed myself if it weren't for her.
   

A Life of inquiry

Caydie was a scientist at heart. I helped her in her endless pursuit of knowledge. She attended the newly founded Autumn Academy of Science and Engineering, and was among its first alumni. She excelled from then on, exploring the ruins of Safeharbor despite the dangers.   This led to her discovery of the dry docks near The Three Colonies. After her death, we named the district Caydie's Cradle in her memory. She got the drydock working again, assisted in designing and building our first Void Navies, and furthered research concerning everything from quantum mechanics to The Safe Harbor protocols. I've always said that the only hope humanity has left lies entirely in its latest generation. It was Caydie who taught me that.   Her prime achievement was yet to come. In the Cradle, she discovered several half constructed frigates. She took one for herself, and worked tirelessly to make it operational. It took her a full year, but despite the alien design, she succeeded. She named it The SVN Phoenix, a symbol of humanity rising from its own ashes. This would prove false, and with painful irony.

Honorary Wayfarer

While never officially practicing the profession, many of the first wayfarers were Caydie's closest friends, including Styx, the voice of The Pulse. As far as I know, she never desired to become a Wayfarer but often used the influence of her father to further their agendas.   Even if she did desire it, her health wouldn't allow it. As an adult, she suffered from sickness, and lacked the stamina needed for such a profession. During her many projects, she was forced to take frequent breaks due to fatigue. The wayfarers refused to let this get in the way, however.   They held a ceremony just for her, an acknowledgment of her effort and achievements. While she never ventured into the depths of Safeharbor, nor ventured out among the stars, she will forever be counted among their ranks.
Children

The Death of Caydie Kines

At the age of 25, Caydie was destined for great things. However, our universe is cruel. In what became The Battle of The Pillars, she was the first casualty of The First War. She perished during the test flight of The Pheonix. She contacted me when she reached the edge of the system, her spirits as high as they could be.   I waited for her return, standing just outside of the archive. Hours went by, and we heard not a word. A sudden flash of nuclear light lit up the sky. Such a sight is common when a ship's fusion engine is destroyed. For the first time in years, I experienced pain… and rage.   She was more than a friend. Not a lover, mind you, I'm beyond such things. She knew my every secret, whether willingly given or otherwise. No one has known me so well before, or since. I'd say I lost a part of myself that day because of it. All of Safeharbor suffered. We lacked the will to fight and the war only just started.
   
Styx looked up from his notes. Lethe stood in the doorway holding a small piece of paper, her hands shaking. He gave her a look, and cooked his head. He was in the middle of a broadcast. Lethe shook her head, tears welling in her eyes.
When the first tear fell, Styx ignored the broadcast and narrowed his eyes. "What's happened?"
She handed him the paper, on which was a series of hastily scribbled notes. He felt a sinking feeling in his stomach as he read each word. Lethe turned and left the studio, making her way to the nose of the ship, sobbing uncontrollably.
"Wanderers," Styx began, then paused to adjust the lump in his throat, "sorry, it's rare that I'm at a loss for words." He took a deep breath, as if doing so would make saying it any easier. "Something's happened. I'm afraid to say that The Phoenix has been lost. I'm not sure what could have happened, but our sources say there was an explosion, and-" Styx looked up at the sound of rapidly approaching footsteps. The studio doors slid open and lethe rushed in with another note. He read it, and his sadness faded away.
He spoke in anger, a hatred growing with every word, "We've been attacked. We have a hostile fleet on the way. Wanderers, if you're with us, get ready to tussle."
— Broadcast from The Pulse just before The Battle of The Pillars.


Cover image: by Sasha Freemind

Comments

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2 Mar, 2021 17:11

Okay, so If caydie's alive, several mysteries go with it. Firstly, How did she escape her ship before it went nuclear? The enemy may have been taking prisoners, but I find that doubtful; their goal was the extinction of humanity, and prisoners aren't really condusive to that. More likely, a third party was involved that rescued her. I'm betting on the Origin Exiles. Mystery two is, if she was too sickly to become a wayfarer before her 'death', how has she survived this long? I assume her condition is somewhat like immune deficiency? of course, the origin exiles have ways to circumvent natural biology... Mystery three then is, why hasn't she called to let everyone know she's safe? Either she's a prisoner wherever she is now, or she can't spare the time to go back to Safeharbor and send a letter to styx; which would probably be... hurtful to some. Is she an amnesiac?   Suffice it to say I look forward to untangling this storytelling knot...

Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
2 Mar, 2021 17:31

Yessss! Let the mysteries grow! i can answer a few things, however. The Exiles were not in the system at the time of the attack, Immune deficiency is spot on. While sickly, she doesn't have much to worry nearly as much if on a ship, or on a safeharbor. Being around others who go planetside poses high risks, however. I can also say that if she's far enough away, she wouldn't be able to send any form of communication, and expect it reach Safeharbor in a reasonable amount of time without a quantum telegraph, which is human specific. With warp technology, she could be lightyears away, and her message wouldn't get there for decades. Hope this makes the whole thing even more mysterious XD Thank you my friend! more to come soon.

2 Mar, 2021 22:10

Wow, quite a mystery! I wonder if Caydie is alive after all. That would make quite a difference to the humans! I'm intrigued to know more...

~TimeBender~
Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
2 Mar, 2021 22:28

Soooooon, I'm finally ready to get the plot moving and things are falling into place. Gonna have to catch up on some reading before I continue though XD your work especially.

2 Mar, 2021 22:32

Aw thank you! I appreciate that. I'm glad you're interested in my work! If you ever have any suggestions, I'm always open. But I'm super ready to find out more about this universe, once you're ready to put up more information! I know sometimes pressure can make writing difficult, so never feel pressured because of us who love your work. We can always wait for you to release the next part. :)

~TimeBender~
Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
2 Mar, 2021 22:39

Thanks for saying, my friend. No worries there, thankfully. I usually dont feel pressured. I'm one of those baking writers. Dont like to write until its properly cooked if you get my meaning. And yes. I'm quite interested. Hoping I'll have time tonight to jump on poke around.

4 Mar, 2021 11:58

Gosh, reading this really made me feel Stuff. You can see how much the Archivist is affected by this, and by Invicta's revelation, and it really was heart-wrenching to see just how much everyone cared for Caydie. I'm really curious to figure out how she survived (if she even survived), what this might mean to everyone else, and so on. Gosh, I'm so excited to see the plot evolve!

Author of Interarcanum.
Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
4 Mar, 2021 19:46

I am so excited to finally get the story moving. I'm glad you enjoyed it and that the characters are resonating as they should. It's a struggle when you have limited space to do both plot and worldbuilding XD

Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
4 Mar, 2021 19:46

Hit send too soon. Sorry. Just wanna say Thanks so much.

5 Mar, 2021 18:33

This article's really great. There's not much to comment on as far as grammar goes and I'm not quite a Kendallonian on lore, so here goes?   "a fortunate outcome if I'm being honest."
There should be a comma after "outcome."   "At 16, she was the first person I've"
Since the "At 16" pushes the phrase into past tense, it should be "I'd." She may still be the only person not to cower but that doesn't change the current sentence structure.   It's interesting that Caydie is both sickly and innovative to the point of frequently forgetting to eat and drink while creating. That seems like a really bad combination and something that could prove dangerous to her health.   "However, Our"
"Our" doesn't need to be capitalized.   Ooh. It's kind of ambiguous but I like the implication that, since Caydie was the first causality of the First War, the ship's explosion was manufactured as an act of war. I'm sure you've thought this through, but if the ship was close enough for the explosion to be seen by the Archivist and Caydie managed to board a ship, why was she never discovered? The possibilities are that she boarded a ship traveling away or a ship that would have been considered contaminated. However, with the fact she's intelligent, she would have been able to contact someone if it were the latter possibility. Kind of interesting.

Give me a visit at my current project(s): Aesontis
Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
5 Mar, 2021 22:07

oooo yes. ill fix those! Also yes, Caydie doesn't always make the best life choices when it comes to her health, something that occasionally made here even less healthy. as far as her "death" goes, a nuclear flash can be seen from quite a distance away, and considering the enhancements to human vision, it didn't have to be too close. in The Three Colonies, it was a clear night, and suddenly a bright flash could be seen by those stargazing on the surface. Scientific instruments were used to verify what it was, and then referenced to Caydies last known location. It wasn't quiet staged. The Siliue for sure attacked, and had no idea how valuable Caydie was to Humanity when they captured her. Having reread the comment with some coffee in my system i now understand what occured XD   i dont think ive explained it to you yet, but all the articles in The Void Between had a chronological order. This article occurs after Plague Ships, which is definitely confusing considering the gap in time between posting the articles, Sorry bout that. She was captured and the events occurring in the quotes of plague ships detail the time spent aboard the vessel. SO sorry for the confusion man. I only recently ordered the articles properly since the story is picking up, and with the delay on the podcast, it wasnt clear. my fault entirely.

6 Mar, 2021 00:02

You know, I don't think I've ever seen a nuclear flash before so that's something I wouldn't have known. But, in hindsight, that does make a lot of sense. I don't think I did know that, but I could have assumed based on the ending of the last one and the beginning of this one. There is, however, the problem that I've not re-read all of the quotes surrounding articles for a long time. I believe a good solution to this would be to, so people can reread all the openers and closers in one place without having to look through the whole world, consider putting all of them in a single unified article. That'd make it easier to remember what's going on when there are random weeks between articles.

Give me a visit at my current project(s): Aesontis
Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
6 Mar, 2021 00:17

Oooo yes. Id say not seeing a nuclear flash is a plus, for sure. Definitely a scary thing. Lol this has been something that I'm still trying to figure out. Take this article for instance. Its place in the story is entirely dependent on the last line of the previous articles quotes. If I posted every thing in one place, itd be super long, and potentially be confusing since the story is good through both quotes and the articles. Then again, having it all in one place would be most convenient and prevent other moments of confusion. Oof.

Sage Timepool
Garrett Lewis
29 Mar, 2021 00:10

Man what a guy puncher.

Sage Rynn19
Wendy Vlemings (Rynn19)
23 Apr, 2021 09:45

Pfew. The first article I had not read before and I'm sobbing already. I can't really say why exactly. But reading everything from the beginning makes me understand the story so much better. Perhaps that's it.

Author of Ealdwyll, a fantasy world full of mystery.
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