Yasmin had worried that she might not catch the baton properly in her turn, or manage the hand-drums or striking-sticks, but once she was part of the great vortex, she flowed with it; she felt her chest vibrate with the song outside and the song inside. Music surrounded her as the great drums beat out heart’s-thunder. She followed the song, as Sarronny Dome, great-hearted, rang with it; one to the other, they all danced. The Captains, brother and sister, the Quartermaster and the Doctor and the Engineer, turned in the Crew’s Dance, all three drawing in and turning back to back as one unit, with the Captains and the Ship’s-Heart orbiting outside them, vortices inside the great vortex, dances within the dance.
Yasmin laughed, as Matar and Altair and Sita and Estrel, the gene-parents, spun by, mixing up the action by briefly lifting each other to chest-height and passing the hand-drums overhead. Jehen spun in her own circle, eyes closed and the ribbons of her regalia twisting and swinging out from their yoke like the arms of a miniature galaxy. Ferenc grabbed Yasmin’s hands, and they leaned backward, spinning about their common center like a binary star.
The vortex-dance was the dance of the universe, and all things swam in it; each year, at the festival of the supply ships, some number of the kin returned from the Road of the Stars to remind them of the greater world.
POV Yasmin Sure-Hand, age four-going-on-five, the Sarronny Dome vortex dance in honor of the yearly arrival of the supply ships. From novel-in-progress, Ship’s Heart.
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