Challenge #02250-F060: If You Want the Rainbow
A Havenworlder sees for the first time, a Rainbow on Earth. He tells his species and Earth becomes suddenly more attractive. -- Anon Guest
Rykki often wondered why she had come to Earth. There was something morbidly fascinating about the Deathworlder's cradle planet. As if going there could verify why the Humans had been so keen on leaving it. So far, Rykki's leading theory was - the weather.
It had been raining hard enough to frighten Rykki, but her guide, Human Joff, had assured her that this was 'pretty strong, but not the worst' that they had seen. Deathworlders. They made small business out of enormous things. The mere idea of some downfall worse than the one she was witnessing almost sent her into conniptions.
The rain eased off from its relentless assault on the roof windows. Eased off from falling audibly at all. Hints of sunshine started to light the precipitation in shades of gold. Human Joff smiled. "Aw yes. It's happening," they said.
Rykki didn't get much of a chance to ask what was happening, because Human Joff was already outside the domicile and looking up into the sky. "Oooh, it's a big fat one. Come and see, Rik."
She made certain she had her protective gear on. This was, after all, a Deathworld. Even if it was a relatively civilised portion of it, it was still a relatively civilised portion of a world out to murder everything that lived on it.
"Up there," Human Joff pointed.
Spread across the sky was a projection of the local star's visible spectrum. A graceful curve with every colour as clear as crystal. Only an illusion, but a natural one, and evidently a source of awe in Humans all over this murderous world. It was not an unusual phenomenon. Refraction happened on every planet with a hydrologic cycle. This, somehow, was more amazing for the near catastrophe that Rykki had survived.
She wrote home about it. Using words she didn't know she could string together in order to describe the complete experience. Not just the rainbow, but the rain that preceded it. To survive one earned the spectacle and wonder of the other. It seemed... fair.
What Rykki could never have known is how that particular letter would go viral through assorted populations of Havenworlders. Copied, shared, spread across the Alliance. Nor could she have anticipated how Havenworlders wishing to edge their genetics towards stronger stock would soon come flocking towards any area of Earth that anticipated rain.
She would never have predicted the amazing trend of the Rainbow Path to epigenetic strengthening of Havenworlder stock, or how much the Terran Tourism Board profited from a single letter home.
The Terran Tourism Board did, after some significant prompting, give Rykki a percentage of their net profits that could be traced back to her initial letter home.
[Image (c) Can Stock Photo / firewings]
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