|The Anubian Ambassador contemplates the Commonality|
A special package stamped 'Royal Mail' arrived just in time for lunch on board the Connibulous, the mobile embassy dreadnought of the Anubian Ambassador. A servant brought the package to the Ambassador's personal quarters, but of course was immediately tasked with attending to the Ambassador's culinary demands.
After dining, the Little Lady (as her most intimate associates are fond of referring to her) emerged from her spacious Dining Floor and went to the Sun Deck of her mobile embassy for contemplation. She enjoyed for a time the rays of the legendary class G star Sol Invictus, before retiring to her Ambassadorial Salon (reputed to be as sumptuously appointed as Captain Nemo's on the Nautilus) to read the daily mail.
There it was: the latest dispatch from the Commonality. No doubt the packaging - assembled in a Makepoint ensconced deep within the bowels of the Connibulous - was a joke on the part of Conniption Fitte, her ship's own Eidolon, the guiding intelligence which maintained and piloted her vessel. Old Fitte has always harbored a deep hatred of monarchies of all kinds, the anarchist. 'Royal Mail' indeed!
Her servants brought her the contents of the package. Like most ambassadors, the Anubian Ambassador was leery of opening her own mail. But the sniffer servant said the item was safe to inspect. So she did.
The Anubian Ambassador licked the book. Yes, a real book. If it had not surely been manufactured by her own ship's Makepoint, the book might have been some precious print work from the dawn of the Information Age. (A few hundred thousand of these ancient texts still await incineration by a lazy robot attendant in the labyrinthine complexes deep below Earthport.)
She licked the cover, expecting the taste of "chips", perhaps, or "poop" - two ancient Earth delicacies. Instead, the Little Lady was immediately immersed deep within the sensuous material reality of the Commonality. It was a little like drift; especially when she established contact with the Chembu. The book was full of stars.
A touch of the Cordwainer's hand, in fact. Mysteries like space dragons. Glorious towers like Earthport. And shameful suffering deep below: so many of her kindred, oppressed as Underpeople.
Yet there was hope. The imaginative expanse of Stapledon. Species ever-evolving, a spiral outward in time. Force used for good. An end to scarcity.
And there were other legacies too. The sweep of Glorantha, but without the gods. A touch of storied Jakalla's spicy cuisine. Worlds without end.