“Carry this piece of me with you, and no matter the games of the stars, I will be there.”
Born in 2047 before the dissenting members of her society fled to brighter futures, Phila blended well into the cultural and artistic haven that was the Ka’bu. Her family was a smaller but wealthy one, and she enjoyed many of the pleasures that came with a society built upon mechanized labor. She was pretty, talented—and lonely. The life of an only child was a boring one for most of Phila’s early childhood.
Her peoples’ obsession with beauty and perfection naturally drew her to the freedoms that came with art, which also served as a reprieve from the ceaseless monotony that greeted her at every sunrise. As she grew into her talents, Phila made a name for herself as a painter, exploring the shapes and landscapes of foreign worlds that she could only imagine. Only so much could be seen from the windows of the starships, and she made it her mission to illustrate those millions of possibilities to the very farthest extent of her abilities.
Over the course of most of her early life, no figure was more influential or crucial to her development than Eazora, her grandmother and most present companion at any time. The older woman’s face was wisened with years spent aboard the many ships of the Ka’bu, and her vast knowledge of places forever unknown to her granddaughter was a constant source of inspiration for Phila. As Eazora’s memories faded with age, Phila would replace them in every shade and color made available to her.
In 2066, Phila’s artist fellows and members of the warrior classes came at odds, and the Ka’bu society began to tear apart at the seams. The political flames incited by resistance and the newfound desire to explore both frightened and intrigued Phila, who felt that her dreams were finally beginning to come true, albeit at the cost of peace amongst her people.
Eventually, it was decided that a small party of Ka’bu would depart, in secret. Phila managed to arrange a place for herself inside their numbers through complicated favors and persuasion on her part. Her talents, she argued, would be essential for the Ba’ku—as the resistance called itself—to remember home, and all of the places that had once been considered as such.
Eazora guarded the secret well, but hesitated in agreeing to join Phila on the journey to the new land. Her health was failing, and she feared that she was beyond her time to engage in such a life-changing event. Phila pleaded with her, tearful and insistent that she simply could not go without her beloved grandmother. Knowing what it meant to Phila, Eazora eventually consented to joining the dissenters.
However, shortly before departure, Eazora’s health took a turn for the worse. Phila was heartbroken, and struggled to decide where her heart and responsibilities rested. The days until her assumed departure passed quickly, with no change in Eazora’s condition.
“Phila, you have always wanted to see those places,” the old woman breathed, her eyes glassy.
“Please, go see them. For me.”
The brooch placed into Phila’s hands by the dying woman was ornate and old, but it gleamed like the stars surrounding the Briar Patch planet that greeted her through the starship’s glass.