A story long overdue-due. ObeliskX wished for a story about Crest of the Stars. I will still be slow to post because of so many things going on at my end right now, but here is a beginning.

Even now, Lafiel's household was rife with cats. No one knew precisely how many there were. The servants only knew to leave offerings of bowls of milk twice a day and those cats whom were less feral came to lap at the bowls, their tongues trembling the water's surface. They ghosted out from between bushes like shadows and vanished again with all the speed of a bird. Yet some curled and napped in the sun, enjoying the presence of their humanoid companions. One even sat on the lap of a man dressed in a white barron's outfit, enjoying the sensation of his hand stroking the soft fur at the nape of its neck. The cat stretched and purred before rejoining its companions at a saucer of milk.

"Why does a space-habitat station even need cats?" a visitor casually said, her long, slender Abh hands tucked behind herself, folded just above her abundant blue hair. She was younger than Jinto Lin. Much younger. For he, being human and not born an Abh, was showing the effects of the passage of time. A tiny bit of gray hair showed, mixed like pepper into his bangs.

"Lafiel has always had cats in her household," was Jinto's soft-spoken answer. "I don't know why. It has something to do with her father's habits,I guess. She tells me he is a cat person."

"I.. understand. I don't mean to anger you, Barron," came the youngster's reply. The Abh were well-versed from birth in their particular court manner. They prided themselves in their system of court titles but such devotion was not a mere gesture of pride. Titles were fundamentally a military appointment. And Jinto had earned his.

"Not all," Jinto spoke with an off-handed grin cracking the corner of his face. He smiled more often than many of his companions despite having left his military service. His honorary discharge from the military had come because the Empress of the Abh Empire had deemed his injuries and personal suffering great enough to warrant it.

"But... your Grace,' the woman said looking out onto the long, thread of a flower garden before them. "Why have a rose garden aboard a space vessel? Isn't all the added weight of the soil a waste of resource?"

"It is... one necessary indulgance," Jinto spoke out loud. "The Countess has a personal goal of planting many roses on the planet she builds. She is working on coming up with new cultivars to mark the occassion of its settlement."

"I see. Your Grace," the young Abh said before falling to silence. She bowed and exited.. and Jinto waited. Waited for the doors to his suite to open again for the one he waited for. The Duchess who ruled this space colony where he had come to live, far from his native home Martine, of the Hyde Star System. And soon she came. Lafiel.