Pale Bright and Shining

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"Pale, Bright, and Shining" is a story written by Aoime Kouchou for Issue 18 It can be found here or at the mirror.


A two-part science-fiction story about a young alien warrior, the passing of a king, and three mysterious beings known as Tryptychs.

"On the Twenty-third day of the Var'nik, during the year of the Red Moon Descending, the august Lord-General died in his sleep. His triptychs were euthanized and his favored lovers transported to their permanent estate on Satvit Two. The planet mourned his passing with great celebration."


"Pale, Bright, and Shining" shares the same Stars Universe as Kouchou's other stories.

Author's Notes[edit]

This was the first SSB*B story I'd ever written, and I'm afraid it shows. This story is technically what created the Stars Universe that I've written so much about.

I remember laying in bed, coming up with the idea for the Tryptychs before anything else. I focused on the idea of a mask, then tried to envision an electronic mask that could display the expression and emotion if its wearer while keeping their faces covered. I went on to imagine what kind of being would need it, what they would use the masks for, and so on. The final touch - the physical aspect of the Tryptychs themselves - was mostly inspired by my love of bara. I do love me some muscular men-type things lol.

The Maa'rish came shortly after, though I don't recall how or how quickly that was. I do recall wanting to turn the mpreg idea on its side, and create a species that was incapable of reproducing with themselves. I thought long and hard about this, and continue to shape the nuances of that idea today. Much like the Tryptychs, the Maa'rish's physical shape was influenced by my preference for tall, dark, and tiger-striped. I think you all might be noticing a theme here, so I won't go into any further details.

I have changed certain aspects of both species since this story was created, but the basic physical descriptions are still the same. The Tryptychs are still just as tall now as I wrote them here, Dammy is still the wonderful being now as he was here, and Mathai is still spinning ever onward in my brain. I have attempted to update this particular story up a bit, but that attempt is far from being ready to show.

I'd like to thank again my beta-reader(s) who helped me shape this into what you see today, the lovely individuals who make SSB*B possible, and you who read this. You all are awesome and I appreciate every comment, pageview, and "like" you leave.