Writing Wednesday: Shom Reuel, Officer on the Kestrel

Shom Reuel is the other non-human on the Kestrel crew, along with Balitoth, whom we discussed last week. He is Altairian. Altair has a lower gravity than Earth, and since the artificial gravity on the Kestrel is set at Earth normal (1G), he wears a back brace on board. However, when in a low-gravity environment, there is no-one more graceful or adept than Reuel. The oxygen is also lower on Altair than on Earth, so his skin is very pink in the higher oxygen on board.

Reuel is humanoid, tall and gangly, with long fingers and toes. Instead of hair, his head has cranial spines, like a coxcomb, which rise when he is excited or agitated. Altairians also have a strange kind of singing or humming, which they do unconsciously, especially when stressed. It can be very soothing or very irritating.

Reuel is keen to learn about humans and often asks about some custom or form of words he has not met before. The Kestrel crew do not always have the time or patience to answer his queries. In contrast, there is a lot about Altairians which is not known. Particularly the structure of the family and their mating practices, which are simply not talked about.

Surprising then, to find that Balitoth and Reuel develop such a friendship that they visit one another’s families while on leave (in a later story). They do not share what happened or their impressions of each other’s families with anyone when they return, much to Captain Martin’s disappointment.

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About Ann Marie Thomas

Married since 1974, Christian since 1986, 4 children, 4 grand children, disabled with fibromyalgia but was working almost full time until a stroke in May 2010 changed my life completely. Writing poetry and making up stories since I was a child, I only started to write seriously when my children were grown. My main ambition is to write science fiction, but along the way I got distracted by local history and poetry about my stroke. Taking early retirement gave me the chance to concentrate on my writing. My book, Alina, The White Lady of Oystermouth, was published in print and ebook at Easter 2012. The success of Alina led to the publication of Broken Reed: The Lords of Gower and King John in September 2013, and The Magna Carta Story at Easter 2015. I am still writing science fiction - a series of novels called Flight of the Kestrel. For all my author news, see me author blog at www.annmariethomas.me.uk
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