Nebula Phoenix
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Nebula Phoenix

Fenix Nebulae

Population: One at a time

Habitat: Can live anywhere but usually found in space

Diet: Solar energy

Magical Properties: Capability to survive in a vacuum, reincarnation, converting its own mass into energy

Discovery: This is the creature that started my never-ending project of cataloguing every magical bird I can find. It all started on my journey through space, when I heard from a fellow scholar, an astronomer on the jungle planet of Vessux VI, that there was a strange nebula somewhere in the Cotari Sector of the galaxy, that had suddenly appeared only a few years ago, and seemed to move in an unnatural manner. It had been seen once from afar by a trading vessel, but after that, no one had been able to locate it. Obviously, I wanted to see this phenomena for myself. So I set on after the repairs for my ship were finished, and headed towards the last known location of the nebula.

It took me almost a year a track it down, but eventually, I found it. What I found, however, was no nebula. Instead, I came face to face with a gigantic bird. Shaped like a magnificent eagle, its body and wings were like an undulating, slow flame. Stardust leaked out of its feathers, its wings scattering great plumes of it as they moved. Its long tail, like a river of flame and the crest that crowned it as the king of birds, both left a trail of star stuff behind them. It looked straight at me with its eyes, fully black with small, brilliant points of light, as if they were made of space itself, and let out a magnificent cry. For a moment, I thought of it as a greeting, but upon noticing movement somewhere behind it and the gash leaking the same star stuff in its side, I realized that it had been a cry for help.

Something dark and tentacled impacted with the bird, dragging it out of view. I turned the ship to the direction they had gone and saw the bird shrieking and flailing in the vacuum of space, while a creature that looked like a giant lump with 5 long tentacles had wrapped itself around it, gnawing at the phoenix with its giant maw.

My little ship at the time hadn't been equipped with weaponry, so I struggled to come up with ways to help the poor creature. That's when it hit me. My ship was running on a solar drive and a good amount of unused solar energy had accumulated in the cells. When I put my hand on that switch, I knew that releasing all my solar energy would likely leave me stranded, since I was nowhere near a star that could be used to refuel, but I simply couldn't just stand by and watch the bird be ripped to shreds, so I pulled the switch.

A wave of orange energy spread outwards from my ship, searing the tentacled creature and pushing it off the phoenix. Yet it lived. The brief relief was enough, however, and the phoenixes wounds began to glow before sealing. It readjusted itself so that it was once again looking proud and majestic with its head held high and its wings outstretched.

The tentacled creature rushed towards it with its mouth open, but the phoenix let out a mighty call as a burst of solar energy was released from its mouth, burning a clean, charred hole through the creature, leaving it spiraling into the depths of space, unmoving.

For a moment, everything was still and I, who hadn't even realized that I had been holding back my breath, let out a sigh and slumped back in my chair. Then, the phoenix turned and began to glide through space to the other direction. I understood. It was just an animal and it had no way to know that I had essentially crippled myself to save it. At least that's what I thought, until it glanced back at me and made a slow turn to move towards me.

It impacted with the front of my ship, causing it to shake and shudder. The cockpit was filled with an orange stardust, which glimmered and flowed into every crevice and every outlet, casting a warm light over the whole room. It began to pour inside the walls and one by one, the ships systems began to come online. A small cloud of stardust remained however, hovering on the ground for a while, before materializing into the phoenix, except now it was the size of a regular eagle. It had converted the majority of its own mass into pure energy in order to save me.

After that, it just stood there, watching me. It allowed me to approach and to stroke its head, which made it push against my hand and coo slightly. It seemed that the bird had grown to like me. I assumed that it would continue on its way soon after, but instead it insisted on staying close to me. I gathered that after the previous scuffle, it was likely scared to travel on its own and wanted to come with me. I had no objections.

Its name is Salvador, and it's sleeping on my shoulder as I'm writing this in my study in the Library. It has been slowly growing in size through the years, but its going to take a very long time until it's as big as it used to be. I do not wait this with anticipation, for I know that it will have to leave me when the day comes. But until then, I appreciate the company.

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