|Mahir Jan (sonofsihnon) wrote in huria,|
@ 2009-06-29 13:29:00
|Entry tags:||eppie cardiff, mahir jan|
Time: Late afternoon, first day
Place: Mahir's quarters (or just outside of them)
Cast: Eppie and Mahir
On the earth of old, you could use the sun or a compass to find which direction to pray. Now it took a little bit more than that.
The data pad in his hands was a slim, blank square. Every student, on their leaving, was given one. As a good-bye present, one of his friends had given him a case for it, so it looked like a frame holding an empty picture.
There was a moment of uncertain prodding, and the data screen woke up. Chinese characters flickered across the screen, and Mahir’s fingers danced nervously across the data pad’s surface. He’d never really been very good with working these. True, the pad came with a little instruction pamphlet, but everybody knew that consulting that was to admit defeat.
Perhaps he’d pressed something he shouldn’t have? A face popped up on the screen; severe and dignified, with graying hair and eyes like a hawk. A ghost from Earth That Was, centuries and centuries ago – Mahir knew it well, knew this recording specifically almost by rote. The face was speaking with a mute voice through subtitles that flashed across the screen (the sound was off, how had that happened?) familiar words: “… He has given man the earth, but He has also given them the stars, and it is there that He now ordains His followers to go. They say that we His believers have become too few, and we will die, but I answer them no - those who prostrate before God will always find mercy in Him. We will take the ashes of our home, the earth, for the whole earth is home to God’s believers, and begin anew and the old ash of the bones of our fathers and God’s soldiers will make the ground fertile and sweet. As we must give life to our faith, so too will we give life to the stones of Mecca, out there in the heavens. And since sons are brought fourth from the flesh and the blood of their fathers, we will bring fourth a new city from the mortar and stone of Mecca, it will be called the son of Mecca, Ibnam a--”
Finally, Mahir managed to quiet the old Mullah. The recording vanished, and was replaced with a map of Angel and a slew of statistics; real-time population recordings, whether, political structure, history. In desperation he jabbed the data pad. Angel became 天使 and the words changed from English to Chinese. Another jab. Now he was looking at the history of ملك.
He’d never been very good with computers. But hey, whose fault was that? Certainly not his, when they put him in programming basics first class in the morning, during which he was always either half or completely asleep, and the later and more complexes courses he had to desperately scramble for a passing mark, which was mostly gained through the charity of his friends.
By sheer luck, he managed to find the section labeled “Programming”. He was fine with entering his own name, his madrasah and head instructor and the ship he was on at the moment. But when it came to entering the actual complicated algorithms required and the Huria’s relative position in space... And it was even on Persephone at the moment, but he didn’t even know whatever position that was supposed to be.
But God sends help when one needs it most. Mahir could hear footsteps coming from the other side. Data pad cradled carefully in the crook of one arm, he opened the door and glanced at the woman approaching down the passageway. If God was really, really good to him, she would be a genius computer programmer, but Mahir would settle with whatever he got.
“Er, pardon me, jie jie?”