This place is spectacular. If it wasn’t the fact that it makes me feel totally talentless I would move here. Incredible art is everywhere you look – paintings, sculptures in everything from paper-mache to bronze to marble and everything in between. There are pieces done in media I have no idea what they even are. I am told the whole planet is like this. I just can’t imagine.
The landing bay I pulled into was painted with murals of exploding stars and universe nurseries. The landing pad itself was an incredible mosaic of some impervious glass that took on a succession of colors as the heat from my thrusters cooled on its surface. The blast shields have replicas of various forms of dragons on them. I watched as another pod took off and the heat and exhaust from his thrusters made the dragon appear to be breathing fire and smoke.
The colony is comprised of many levels, each with living quarters, working studios and showrooms. Each level is dedicated to a different medium – painting, sculpture, pottery, drawing, holo display art, Flat Gamer art, etc. The levels are all clustered around a circular atrium landscaped with trees, stream, bushes and flowers. There is an inner circular ramp that looks out over the atrium and gives the pedestrian access to the atrium floor and each level as it runs up the inner wall. The ramp is lined with art. Of course, there are elevators, but those are used mostly for the movement of art from level to level. The view as you walk up the ramp is just too good to pass up.
I made my way to the 11th level following Furgus’ directions. His studio is a riot of color. It is hard on the eyes. You can’t rest on just one object – you just keep getting pulled away to look at another piece.
“This is it,” Furgus said as he pulled a drape off a huge life sized portrait.
It literally took my breath away. It was a of a man on a dresarge - a kind of massive four pawed, two headed beast with brilliant green eyes and a tail that could take out any approaching enemy from the rear. But, the beast was nothing beside the man riding him. The way Furgus had depicted him was more than a man, he was verging on godly. His jet black hair fell in braids to either side of his head and down over his massive shoulders rippling with muscle. His facial structure was as they often describe “chiseled” with a wide brow, high cheekbones, bold nose and full lips ending in a dimpled chin. His eyes were the most extraordinary shade of lavender. His biceps were ringed with tribal tattoos. His chest was broad making its way down to narrow hips and thighs that gripped the sides of the dresarge with tension you could see through the fabric of his trousers.
His hands and feet were bare of gloves or shoes. You could see the strength in them as the fingers and toes curled into the fur of the dresarge to control it.
When I breathed in there was a shudder to my breath.
“So, you like it?” Furgus asked.
“Like it? I think I’m in love,” I replied not taking my eyes off the painting.
“I had to create it off a vid he sent me since travel to Alta III is forbidden. The dresarge was moving. I had to capture some stills and work from them. I think it is a pretty good likeness,” he said with some pride.
“If it is, I can’t wait to meet the man.” My mouth watered at the thought.
“I’ll get it crated up. As we discussed, the deal is I pay you half here and you get the other half from Aldobi-rand upon delivery. He wanted to make sure he received his merchandise since in essence we are smuggling it in.”
“Right,” I said absently. This was going to be even more of a challenge than I had anticipated. I not only had the difficult smug to accomplish, but also a hulk of a man to meet, and hopefully impress. I could hardly wait.