Star Born - Andre Norton

Star Born
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Название: Star Born
Автор: Andre Norton
Добавлено: 03 апрель 2022
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This sequel to The Stars Are Ours! was first published in 1957 by the World Publishing Company. It continues the tale of the humans who escaped an anti-intellectual Earth and founded a colony on Astra, a planet across the galaxy. Astra has a vibrant, intelligent species, as well as the ruins of a much older civilization.

Norton weaves two stories together by alternating points of view with each chapter. We follow a 4th generation colonist, as well as a mechanic-pilot newly arrived on Astra as a member of a research mission from a recently revived Earth.

Each is on a journey of discovery, and they find themselves allied with opposing sides of an ongoing war between two intelligent, indigenous species.

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Star Born

By Andre Norton.

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The writing and artwork within are believed to be in the U.S. public domain, and Standard Ebooks releases this ebook edition under the terms in the CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication. For full license information, see the Uncopyright at the end of this ebook.

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“What of our children⁠—the second and third generations born on this new world? They will have no memories of Terra’s green hills and blue seas. Will they be Terrans⁠—or something else?”

—⁠Tas Kordov, Record of the First Years

Star Born

I

Shooting Star

The travelers had sighted the cove from the sea⁠—a narrow bite into the land, the first break in the cliff wall which protected the interior of this continent from the pounding of the ocean. And, although it was still but midafternoon, Dalgard pointed the outrigger into the promised shelter, the dip of his steering paddle swinging in harmony with that wielded by Sssuri in the bow of their narrow, wave-riding craft.

The two voyagers were neither of the same race nor of the same species, yet they worked together without words, as if they had established some bond which gave them a rapport transcending the need for speech.

Dalgard Nordis was a son of the Colony; his kind had not originated on this planet. He was not as tall nor as heavily built as those Terran outlaw ancestors who had fled political enemies across the Galaxy to establish a foothold on Astra, and there were other subtle differences between his generation and the parent stock.

Thin and wiry, his skin was brown from the gentle toasting of the summer sun, making the fairness of his closely cropped hair even more noticeable. At his side was his long bow, carefully wrapped in water-resistant flying-dragon skin, and from the belt which supported his short breeches of tanned duocorn hide swung a two-foot blade⁠—half wood-knife, half sword. To the eyes of his Terran forefathers he would have presented a barbaric picture. In his own mind he was amply clad and armed for the man-journey which was both his duty and his heritage to make before he took his place as a full adult in the Council of Free Men.

In contrast to Dalgard’s smooth skin, Sssuri was covered with a fluffy pelt of rainbow-tipped gray fur. In place of the human’s steel blade, he wore one of bone, barbed and ugly, as menacing as the spear now resting in the bottom of the outrigger. And his round eyes watched the sea with the familiarity of one whose natural home was beneath those same waters.

The mouth of the cove was narrow, but after they negotiated it they found themselves in a pocket of bay, sheltered and calm, into which trickled a lazy stream. The gray-blue of the seashore sand was only a fringe beyond which was turf and green stuff. Sssuri’s nostril flaps expanded as he tested the warm breeze, and Dalgard was busy cataloguing scents as they dragged their craft ashore. They could not have found a more perfect place for a camp site.

Once the canoe was safely beached, Sssuri picked up his spear and, without a word or backward glance, waded out into the sea, disappearing into the depths, while his companion set about his share of camp tasks. It was still early in the summer⁠—too early to expect to find ripe fruit. But Dalgard rummaged in his voyager’s bag and brought out a half-dozen crystal beads. He laid these out on a flat-topped stone by the stream, seating himself cross-legged beside it.

To the onlooker it would appear that the traveler was meditating. A wide-winged living splotch of color fanned by overhead; there was a distant yap of sound. Dalgard neither looked nor listened. But perhaps a minute later what he awaited arrived. A hopper, its red-brown fur sleek and gleaming in the sun, its eternal curiosity drawing it, peered cautiously from the bushes. Dalgard made mind touch. The hoppers did not really think⁠—at least not on the levels where communication was possible for the colonists⁠—but sensations of friendship and good will could be broadcast, primitive ideas exchanged.

The small animal, its humanlike front pawhands dangling over its creamy vest, came out fully into the open, black eyes flicking from the motionless Dalgard to the bright beads on the rock. But when one of those paws shot out to snatch the treasure, the traveler’s hand was already cupped protectingly over the hoard. Dalgard formed a mental picture and beamed it at the twenty-inch creature before him. The hopper’s ears twitched nervously, its blunt nose wrinkled, and then it bounded back into the brush, a weaving line of moving grass marking its retreat.

Dalgard withdrew his hand from the beads. Through the years the Astran colonists had come

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