Devi Soulsong

The Terran Knowledge Bank
Jump to: navigation, search
Devi Soulsong
Place of birth Unknown
Place of death Peron, Luyten System
Allegiance Pilgrim Alliance
Battles/wars Siege of Peron
Relations Solomon Truepath (grandfather)
Arnold Blair (husband)
Christopher Blair (son)

Granddaughter of Solomon Truepath, wife of Arnold Blair, mother of Christopher Blair. A beautiful woman with soft eyes and long, wine-dark hair.

Devi was a Pilgrim, part of the splinter group of rogue humans who left Sol in the twenty-fourth century to find their place among the stars. With Earth and the Inner Worlds closed off by the Great Pandemic and surrounding political chaos, the Pilgrims were free to take control over most of what is now Sol Sector, and parts of Vega Sector.

It is impossible to discuss the Pilgrims without touching on their relationship to the rest of humanity. Strictly speaking, many Pilgrims did not even consider themselves to be human, regarding Terran humans as an inferior, degraded race, without the spark of the divine that all Pilgrims were taught set them above ordinary man. Pilgrim society stood apart from humanity, literally and metaphorically. Their navigation achievements were impossible for common humans to duplicate; their empire something the nascent Confederation could only gaze on in wonderment. The twenty-fifth century was the Pilgrim century, an unparalleled age of discovery and expansion. The twenty-sixth century could look forward to an even more glorious future of technological and spiritual progress, a future dominated by the serene wisdom and power of the Pilgrim Alliance.

This belle époque was rudely shattered in 2588, when the Confederate jumpship Haile Selassie broke the Pilgrim monopoly on faster-than-light travel. The Alliance cried foul, citing earlier agreements, but the Confederation government argued a technicality, and Confederation expansion throughout Sol sector continued unabated.

This was the world which Devi Soulsong was born into. The Confederation's jump drive was far faster and more efficient than the Pilgrim hopper drive, and while the Pilgrims had been literally that — religious seekers, who called themselves the Elect — the Confederation's colonists made no such distinction. The Alliance was being outstripped, in the process of being relegated to a minor power in history. This was not merely vexing; it was heretical. Pilgrim theology taught that the corrupt humans of Earth had been punished for their transgressions by the plagues of the 2300s, eternally damned, and that it was the Pilgrims who would inherit the future. Now the roles were reversed. Remembering his mother years later, Christopher recalled "My mother . . . grew up hating Earth, hating humanity."

There are no record of how Devi Soulsong and Arnold Blair met. Nor has their wedding been recorded - the Pilgrim girl and the Earth-born Confederation officer. Given their son's age, and assuming he was not born out of wedlock, it would have to have been around 2629-30. Political tensions were rising between the Confederation and the Pilgrim Alliance, which had become increasingly belligerent since 2615. A year after Blair's birth, the two nations would be at war.

Devi had raised Blair on Peron, in Luyten, but smuggled him off around the outbreak of the war. Three years later, the Confederation was on the Alliance's doorstep, and Luyten was the front door. In a cruel twist of fate, the Grand Fleet, that great military armada which would steamroller the Alliance, had been organized by Arnold Blair, Major, Confederation Space Force Reserve.

The siege of Peron raged for seven months, the Pilgrim leadership having decided on an all-or-nothing defense of the planet, only one jump away from their capital in Beacon. Fighting was brutal and bitter — the battle would later be known as the "Peron Massacre". Arnold was then posted aboard the CS Foster, as a combat pilot. On 2634.301, he made a bold and unauthorized attempt to rescue his wife from the planet. The Solar Newswire Service would report his death the following day, reporting that he had been shot down by a Pilgrim defense drone, and that the full details of his "mission" were classified by Grand Fleet Ops. Though mentioning Devi by name, the obituary only described her as his wife who had "died recently". Little else from the war exists on the topic, and it is unclear whether Devi was killed with Arnold, or if the latter had gone to his death in pursuit of a woman who was already dead.

And yet, in a certain sense, Devi Soulsong never truly died. Pilgrim theology speaks of the "tone" — a parallel continuum where the dead live through the memories recorded when they lived. What few memories Christopher had of the mother he barely knew he clung fiercely through, wearing her Pilgrim cross through the Academy and later into combat, in spite of the open hatred against Pilgrims following the war. The younger Blair would be haunted by apparitions of his mother for much of his life.