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Right Ascension

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Verdant foliage surrounded her, filling the air with rich, heady oxygen. The crew must put thousands of man hours into cultivation, but it still seemed like a wild place to Faiza. Any moment, the plants could break free and sow recycled dirt across the footpaths, the algae farms would coalesce into solid, sentient forms and reach out.

She looked up, following the unbroken lines of the gardens as they arced up, and up, behind the steady rows of light generators above her head, and then down again, coming back to where she stood. She was on a space ship, a massive vessel meant to carry a whole race to a new land. The trouble wasn't picking a SF quote to suit the moment, the trouble was deciding on just one. "For the world is hollow, and I have touched the sky," she said after some thought, and felt very alone indeed.

Maybe if she were to go up to the observation deck, which had windows but no gravity, she could ask someone to point out which star was home. She imagined it: a tiny golden speck in the corner of a remote constellation, surrounded by darkness deeper than she had ever seen. Then she pictured the expressions of the more seasoned explorers – which was everyone – and the sympathetic look on Dane's face when someone told him, and shook her head. "That's not going to happen," she said aloud; the leaves swallowed the sound of her voice.

False pride and the gates of hell or not, there was no way she was going make herself look like that much of a newbie. She'd told the ship's captain that she'd been in space before, and she had. Only she could see the Earth from the Moon.

Never mind all that, she'd do it herself. Closing her eyes, she shifted her weight out – feeling the connection between the balls of her feet and the gravel under them – and drew Excalibur.

The blade pulled at her, it's tip dragging down towards the forward section of the generation ship. She yanked it up towards the ceiling/sky again. "I already know about the lost Chalice of Avalon," she told it crossly. "Find me England; you must know where that is." The sword wavered. It really wanted her to go be with the chalice, which had already led to more than enough sword/chalice OTP jokes.

Faiza concentrated, trying let her will flow into the sword in the same way that she reached out with her powers. It kept slipping away, though, the same as if she were trying to manipulate something magic. Changing tactics, she filled her mind with images of home: her flat in London, MI: 13's headquarters, her parents' kitchen, the way all the nations had spread out below her, undivided, when she'd stood with Dane on the Moon.

Excalibur grew warm in her hands, and the tip of the blade pulled her sideways and up a bit. It settled for a moment, and the warmth grew, the heat seeping through her gloves and seeming to run right into her blood. She felt her heart quicken and her face flush. The feeling faded after a moment, and Faiza realised that Excalibur still wanted to move. She let it, and followed as it rose to describe an arc matching the ship's rotation.

They'd seen the ship spinning from the outside, and she'd had a long explanation of centripetal force and gravity and what not to do from Cap and Dane. She'd known in her head what was going on, sort of. Now, she felt the world beneath her feet moving, while the stars spun above. Below. Whatever. It made her dizzy, and she let the sword drop and opened her eyes. The garden spun for a moment, then stilled into watchful silence.

Shivering, Faiza sheathed Excalibur and started back to the operations centre.