Tag: Cool

Asteroid Battle.Excerpt from “Operation Azares”

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Our fears taught fate how to kill us. A Calpuri Squadron, has tracked us, and tried to attack our ship. We crashed into a rock, and exited the ship. Two landing modules, landed right in front of us. Thank god for our heavy armor, or we would end up floating in space. But, that was the only good news.  We were outnumbered 4 to one. Literally, the entire surface of the asteroid was covered by enemy soldiers and robots. One couldn’t move a step without having to kill.

We had no choice, but to fight. The Calpuris started first, by vaporizing Max and Patricia. We fired back and knocked 4 of their robots from the rock. That was followed by a massive Alpher attack.  We lost five other men, within three minutes. Rita was torn in half by two battle droids. Madoka fell from the rock and into outer space. Then I saw a battle droid crash into him. Rest in peace. Cond tried to rescue him, and burned in hellfire. That freaking droid was loaded with it. Galdan and Fang burned down with her, so did a couple Calpuri soldiers. Rita tried to run into the Calpuri ship, and was cut in half by a laser sword. When the fire evaporated. Only Leff, I, and Dua remained alive.  Calpuri soldiers had retreated. They would deal with us later. Meanwhile we were free to die on our own. The whole damn rock was littered with burned metal, and frozen body parts. Cond’s fried up legs, Madoka’s shattered fingers, and Rita’s hands. The thermometer showed -260C close to absolute zero. Nothing lets you survive this for long. Even our space suits, would eventually give in, and let our bodies turn into icicles.

We were stranded on a desolate rock, in the middle of nowhere. For god knows how long. Surrounded by remains of our team. That’s what hell actually looks like. I was about to rupture my space suit, when we were attacked again. A single landing module with 5 soldiers on it. We rushed towards it, trying to escape. Next thing, I know I was vaporized.

Unknown

The rest of the month was calm and uneventful.  In the morning, I went out into the steppe and collected insects, to give a present to Jafar.  In the afternoon, I had dragonball practice with Malik and Rosa.  The most important, and most interesting part of the day was the evening.  Every evening the elders gathered around and told the stories of their past, their thoughts and beliefs.  Many people gathered around to listen.  They all formed a circle the elders as they discussed and taught their wisdom.  The elders initially shared pleasantries among themselves and then eventually began the story of the night pointing at the fireplace.

“Do you see that log burning?”  elder addressed the crowd.

“Yes.” everyone said in unison.

“That is a metaphor for good and evil.” elder began his tale, “The fire being evil, the wood being good.  Fire is change that destroys the good wood but in return we are benefited by light, heat and energy to cook and make things:  it is irreversible but necessary.”  Elder has explained the function of evil. “Eventually, evil causes the demise of us as we run out of well.” I looked into the fire slowly burning through the logs. “But see this. If I were use my laser and make the fire burn through the wood, a part of it would break off and not burn as a result stopping the fire prematurely and ending our benefit from it.  If I were to burn the piece of wood with liquid fuel it would burn brighter, hotter and faster but also finish the wood sooner.  This teaches you a valuable lesson:  too much evil at any one time causes it to die killing everyone with it.  It doesn’t matter how much good we have the amount of evil must be managed in order for us to survive.” Elder gave us his wisdom. Everyone nodded in agreement. Everyone except me.

“So, you are saying that good does nothing by itself and depends on evil to provide us with benefits?’’ I questioned his logic. He just called evil absolutely necessary.

“I am saying that both are needed in order for us to benefit, and evil cannot exist without good, and yes, there is a difference between the two as many have wondered before.” Elder replied to me. We looked at each other’s eyes across the flames.

“But doesn’t every action have both good and evil to it? It doesn’t fit the wood – fire analogy there. Unless each action produces both wood and fire.” I pointed out the flaws within his argument. The world is full of dualism, everything is exactly as good, as it is evil.

“Wise! Ultimate word of wisdom:  the deeper you dig into the words of wisdom the more you find inaccuracies in them.”  Elder agreed with me. “At the end of the day you would have to decide for yourself how far should you dig into the well of wisdom before you are satisfied with what you find and make use of it.  Having said that you have proven me right that they must both coexist.” elder told me not to go deep into philosophy.  For this subject drives people crazy.

“True, but I may have proven you wrong when it comes to good being by itself like wood without fire, which actually never happens.” I had to make sure that he was mistaken. Good can’t exist without evil.

“Precisely.” all elders said together in agreement.

“That is all for tonight.  We are aware that some of you found this debate confusing.  You came for a story but encountered a revelation.  We would leave it to you to realize what just happened.  We would discuss it further tomorrow.” Tribal chief ended the discussion.  That was the end of the gathering. People needed time to sleep.

The only Goblin on the Team. Excerpt from Operation Azares.

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Leya Fang POV

It was always hard to be the only member of a group. That makes you vulnerable, weak, and isolated. I was selected to be the only Goblin in the top 10. Frankly it would be easier for me, to go home, and be replaced by yet another human.

They decided I classify as a red blood, so I had to share my space with all those humans. Those beings who have dense beautiful hair, while we goblins have none. That made me dislike myself. Why can’t goblins grow hair, on the head. I only have a little between my legs. About half of what human girls get.

That’s stupid. I want hair! I asked Dua many times, if he could modify my genome like that, and he said that then I won’t be a goblin. I won’t be able to produce fertile offspring after mating with a goblin or with anyone. I would become a totally different species. Besides he said it’s too dangerous to perform such experiments on adults, specimens often die. There was also a need for a laboratory larger than this entire ship. And a load of equipment heavier than our entire load. Still, he said I could ask Emperor to give me he hair.

I did, he promised to do it after my return. Goblins usually overcompensate for that by their obsession with jewelry, but I was from Nao. People don’t wear jewels there. Instead it’s all about adorning hair, and skin, with paints. I grew up covered in body art. A lot of it could be only shown to family. Since public nudity is a big no-no on conservative Nao. Still boys love this kind of stuff. Hearts, crosses, ice crystals, domestic plants, all over female bodies, guys could fight over that sometimes. Though we only showed them hands, and legs up to the knees. As well as our necks, consequently those are the most elaborately decorated parts of male, female and ersta bodies.

Lejians think us weird for having body art and tattoos, and we think them pretentious, for never leaving the house without some jewelry. They also have an emotional range of a snowman. And don’t get me started on Kadjarians, they don’t understand what style is. Always over the top, just like Vijers, though they would rather walk naked with 4 gold bracelets serving as clothes. Tutmossians are ok, although their obsession with being colorful makes them hard to look at.

I learned all of that through Galactnet chatting. All was confirmed by staying in the camp.

The challenge of being from Nao, was augmented by being a goblin. People believe us to be maniacally obsessed with gold, but those are Kadjarian goblins, Lejian goblins have the same passion for silver, and Tutmossian ones for Emeralds, and gold. Overall most goblin communities are obsessed with jewelry and precious metals to the point of wearing golden gloves with silver armor. But Nao goblins are different. All the goblins, and people in the camp looked at me, like I was not “a real goblin”. A real goblin must be covered in jewelry from head to toe. Seeing me without any jewelry (a thin chain obviously doesn’t count) they concluded me to be psychopath. They rejected me, so good thing I had something else to concentrate on.

When I was on “Tristan Nadoma”, the people treated me ok, but they still looked at me funny from time to time. They thought that I might be a human in a goblin body, and I kind of caught it from them. Although Tias dissuaded those fears, by telling everyone that Nao goblins don’t wear jewelry, since it’s not part of Nao culture, since Nao founders hated it for some stupid reason.

I also had to spend all this time sharing a tiny room with 7 humans. They were all from different worlds and full of surprises. Given that I didn’t really look goblin, they saw me more as a human. Giving me human food, assigning me a human character in video games, etc. They even undressed before me, and nudity in presence of other species, is punished by death within Imperial space. But, we weren’t in Imperial space. We were in Calpuri space. Where any mistake on our part could kill us, leaving no remains. Except Tias’ head, getting into museum, that’s a possibility. Maybe they would cut off Rita’s fast hands and turn them into an attraction. Calpuris are weird, their language is weird, everything is weird. And I grew up speaking Rana Calpuri, in its Nao variety. Everyone on this ship, grew up speaking some form of Rana Calpuri, some were more Rana than others. Kadjari is as similar to Nao, as it is to Unglis. Not understandable at all, familiar words only make it more confusing. Like I get one word in 10, and get the whole sentence wrong.

Any way when I speak Calpuri, it sounds like Nao on steroids. We should go back to speaking pure Calpuri after the war ends. Everyone, in the whole galaxy should learn the step father of all languages.

On our ship, everyone spoke Calpuri all the time, and we had a good time doing it. We could not communicate as efficiently, if we stuck to our native languages. So, an idea of making the whole galaxy fluent in one auxiliary language, sounds wonderful. Everyone supported it on the ship.

When I was piloting the ship, the Calpuris weren’t bothering us. I just dealt with dark empty void where nothing interesting could ever happen. My main challenge was not falling asleep. Until one day, I discovered a new Nebula. Must have formed after a supernova in that area 200 years ago. Tias said. Still that a big discovery, for it was a nebula capable of birthing Alpha Centauri size stars. We had to update the star maps, and that was big deal. It’s not done very often. Maybe once a hundred years. Yeah. I did earn my hero of the empire star finally. After 7 years of it being just an advance payment. That was celebrated, like it was my birthday. So, I got two birthdays in one week. 5 days from each other.

Dragon Flight. Excerpt from Envoy’s Daughter

Dragon Flight. Excerpt from Envoy’s Daughter

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When we brought all our things to the yurt, Ned said that there would be Dragon over Lake game tomorrow.

“Who would play?” I asked.

“Narita plays against Gu Jong.” Ned answered.

“Are you on the team?” Rosa wondered.

“Yeah, both me and Rob would be playing tomorrow.” Ned told her.

Rosa frowned.

“Oh, dear.  There would be no fighting, for it is forbidden by the rules There would be referees to ensure that nothing wrong can happen.  And no player has been injured in a hundred years.”  Ned tried to convince her, that no one would be hurt.

“Ok, I would watch the game.” Rosa kissed him. Rosa’s companions were permitted to play.

After that we went for a walk around the camp.  It was rather large and crowded.   Ned told me, it’s because of the game.  People from all edges of the plateau came here to watch it, and reporters came here to broadcast it over Galactnet.  Their dragon had a very distinct bright red sofa mounted on its back.  Ned said those are rented out in Sa Tung (Kadjari – Meat Town), the province capital.  We passed by the journalist dragon and went to walk in the open steppe.

The camp was surrounded by endless flat plain.  The soil here is red, and the grass is bright green.  According to Leff, that is the best pastureland in the galaxy.   However, what was interesting here was not the land or grass.  It was the dragons.  Several herds were grazing within walking distance from the camp.  Those were fire breezers, if they saw any rodents in the grass they burned them, and then threw coal into the piles.  The herders collected coal and then used it to cook food.  Some coal was shipped away to Sa Tung and sold to restaurants.

Rodents were still numerous, because they mostly feed on the species picky dragons don’t like and there are, thanks to dragons, no predators.  Except the herder lizards eat them sometimes.

When the herders saw us, they had offered me a ride on the herder lizard.  I hesitated for a while, Rosa and Malik each a circle above the camp before I agreed to try.

They sat me down, a long and narrow flying lizard.  My feet were put into stirrup, while my butt was up in the saddle.  I took the reins, then instructor told me to do the circle, telling me the dragon moves in the direction you point his head in.

I pulled the reins, and the dragon, jumped up, I pulled again and it started flying.  I stopped getting higher when I saw the game lake.  I released the reins, and dragon tried to shake me off.   The instructor told me to hold on, and never lose control.

“You lose control once, and then you lie down at the bottom of the lake.” Instructor warned me.

“Got it, always keep the beast under control.” I replied.  I held the reins tightly, leaving no freedom to the dragon.

“Now, take him, and guide him where you want to go.” Instructor told me to fly around.   “You should always be in control, not even for a second allow the dragon to think that he is in charge.” He gave lifesaving advice.

“Don’t worry Mr.  Narita, I’m stirring him forward to the lake.” I reported.

Together with instructor I flew to the lake and back.  Then we returned to the ground and went back into the camp.

“How was it?”  Leff asked attentively. He has watched my entire flight from the ground.

“It’s amazing.  You should try it.”  I told him. He would look great on a flying lizard.  One could mistake him for a veteran player.

“I still prefer jetpacks.  They give you more freedom of motion.” Leff rejected this idea.  He looked into the clouds absorbed into memories.

“But, they are more dangerous.”  I voiced my concern.  Has anyone ever heard of exploding dragons? Jetpacks explode all the time.

“The more freedom you have, the more responsibility you have to take.  You have to understand it Layla.” Leff looked me in the eyes. Jetpacks give you more control, but survival is not guaranteed.

“What if you are afraid of that?” I asked.  The idea of taking life into my own hands frightened me.

“Then you should never take more liberty than you can handle.” Leff Josef recommended.

“How do you learn you limits?” I inquired. I wanted to stay on the safe side.

“You don’t.  You just bump into them.” He told me to experiment and explore. One can’t find his limits unless he crosses them.

Leff started walking.  He guided me into our yurt.  There we watched Terrans on Rimmat together as a family.

Trip to the Upper Plateau. Excerpt from Envoy’s Daughter.

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On the first of Patra, when the vacation started.  We left the house early in the morning.  We were invited to spend a month with the family of Rosa’s boyfriend Ned.  He lives in the Herohito province, right in the middle of the steppe.  His tribe, Narita, the famous riders, occupies the center of the Upper Plateau.

The Upper Plateau is 9 million square kilometers, housing 18 million nomads and 4 million town folks. A third of the land is no go zone for humans, set aside for wild dragons. To the east are Dzimani Mountains, and beyond them you have Eastern Provinces housing 3 billion people, including a billion islanders. To the north the terrain gets lower and you have the grain country, 20 provinces with 1 billion people. To the west you have coastal plains and Infinite City, and to the south: the highly populated Gur subcontinent with 6 billion people in 22 provinces. The continent with adjacent islands and archipelagos is home to 17 billion people. Total Area is 104 million square kilometers (Continent itself-90.5), out of which humans use, 77 million.

The first thing we saw after arrival to Nord Herohito teleport station, was a giant grass green dragon with three riders.  I took a closer look and saw Ned waving at us. We went to greet him and his family.  We were in for the suffocating hugs from the nomads.  Ned’s mother Erica, was a really strong person.  Both of her husbands also had very mighty hands.  They guided us to the Dragon station and helped us get onto a huge black dragon.

“You just tell him, you go to the Narita camp and he would bring you there.” Erica told us.  “You don’t want to fall from the couch, so everyone has to fasten his seatbelt.  Otherwise you are food for the birds.” he warned.

Dad told dragon the destination, and the dragon started running.  It run faster, and faster until it gained enough speed to fly.  Dragon got into the air and headed straight up.  Once at the cruise altitude, dragon flew horizontally.

The entire flight took us 4 hours.  I have life streamed the entire flight, to the delight of Jenna, who told me I should make movies. From our couch seat on the broad back of the dragon, I had shown her, a mesmerizing view of this expense.  We saw beneath us endless plains, with herds of herbivore dragons eating grass.  The herders hovered above them on agile flying lizards.  Ours were the kind of dragon for freight and passenger transport.   Riding those is much more comfortable then I could have imagined.  Only it’s a bit cold up here, in the wind, and with no shielding.   And bird flocks fly in all directions.   Leff entertained himself by taking pictures of birds, dragons, and the nomad camps below.

“All of that is amazing! I wish, I was there with you,” pause, “But, why can’t you teleport to this place?” Jenna, typed back in Imperiapolis.

“Well, they are nomads, and the camp moves from place to place all the time.  So, it’s impossible to build a station there.” I dictated response with my mind.

“What about mobile stations?” Jenna still had questions.

“They take the whole fun out of being a nomad and rob you of this flying experience.”  I closed the topic.

“Ah, I get it.” Jenna was satisfied.  She learned everything she needed to know.

At 1 pm, we were at the camp, 240 km away from the teleport, and 1200 km away from Nathanberg.  At the core of the Kadj Jong (Dragon land) continent. The largest landmass of Kadjar.

When we arrived at the camp we were put into a guest yurt.  A yurt is a round wooden structure. First used by sheep herding tribes back on Terra.  Originally the outside was covered by sheep wool. Here they use dragon skins.

Inside our yurt we had no furniture, so we used the sleeping bags.  The camp had generator working on dragon dung, and a Wi – Fi router in each yurt.

The discussion of clans. Excerpt from “Envoy’s Daughter”

 

At the dinner, we were comparing and contrasting the cultures of Kadjar and Terra.  They turned out to be totally different.

“It is so great that we have crossed our differences and forged our friendship.” I told Jafar, after I got mashed potatoes on my plate.

“There was a great barrier that we had to jump over.” Rosa stated and took a bite of sausage. “Our cultures have nothing in common, except the Empire faith.” She acknowledged.

“What kind of differences are you talking about? Honestly, I know nothing about Terra.” Jafar asked me.

“Let’s start with the obvious.  We all remember the day when I and Rosa first came to school.  Because, we grew up on Terra, where everyone is raised as girls and boys, we could not expect a situation where we are addressed as males.  Everyone on Kadjar is equally masculine, and they know no females.”

I lectured.

“Then we have to address two handsome dragons sitting on this table.” Rosa stood up putting her hands at the shoulders of her companions. “I could not go out with two partners at once when I was Terra.  That would be unacceptable to the Terran society, while here it is totally normal.  You can have as many as four partners, no one would bat his eye.” Rosa finished and sat back down.

“Well, there is a limitation to that, it is forbidden to go out with persons of different species.  Humans date humans, Zahuris date Zahuris.”  Jafar set the record clear.  She also had a plate cleared.

“Here is another difference between Kadjar and Holy Terra.  Only humans can live on Holy Terra.  People of other species can’t stay there unless they serve the Emperor.” Dad uttered.

“Meanwhile, here on Kadjar we have entire cities only populated by goblins.” Dereck stated and ate his third sandwich.

“Do goblins celebrate weddings? For the whole time I was here, I have not seen a single wedding.” Mom joined the conversation.

“What is a wedding?”  Jafar asked.  My eyes climbed to my forehead.  How in hell, could they not have weddings?

“That’s when people celebrate the birth of new family.” Mom answered.

“We don’t have that here.  If you and your companion move in together you are officially partnered.” Norbert described how Kadjari families are formed.

“In that case, whose last name would my grandchildren get?” Mom raised her concern.  She needed to know how last names are determined here on Kadjar.

“That depends on who moves in with whom.  If Layla moves in with Dereck, she would join the Durans, and if he moves here, then they would be Beys.”  Mr.  Lindar explained to her.  The same scheme as on Terra.  Only you don’t have to change your last name every time you move.

“Duran is not a neighborhood, isn’tit?” Mom needed a little clarification.

“We are the greatest clan of Kadjar and the empire.” Octave took a bite of bread, “Over generations, we have grown from the family of Armand Duran, into the collection of families scattered all across the Empire.” Octave Duran had a glass of water.  “As of now, there are 170 million Durans, in millions of households on 1200 worlds.” Octave Duran finished his sandwich.

“What do all these people do?” Malik got curious.

“We are the masters of computer hardware.” Denise replied.

“Do you have a special clan for everything, like we have special neighborhoods?” Malik searched for an analogy.

“Yes, we do.  Lindars manage the teleports, Nadomas make service robots, Nadzimas grow timber and turn it into artifacts.  Meanwhile Dzimangas rule biotech, Glish control the music, and Faru produce games.” Octave described the duties of a few select clans.

“How large are those other clans?” Mom inquired.

“We Lindars number 144 million.” Norbert took his communicator out of the bag. “There are 138 million living Nadzimas, 66 million Dangans, and 115 million Dzimangas.” Mrs. Lindar answered her question.

“If I join the clan, can I get the profits from their business?” Rosa got her third helping of mashed potatoes.  Jafar got her fifth.

“Yes, you can.  All adult members of the clan are considered shareholders of clan fortune, if they work for the clan.”  Mr. Lindar was done with his mashed potatoes.

“Can you get a job without membership?” I have cleared my plate.

“Non – clan members can be employees but never shareholders.  Each clan has to have 5% of its workforce be non – members, no more, no less.” Mr.  Lindar allowed such opportunity, for a few people.  The rest are stuck within their clan structures or have no jobs at all.  When his speech was over, maids showed up to pick up the dishes.

The dinner has ended.   Everyone got up and went out of the house.  Everyone, except Rosa’s companions.  Dad held meetings with Rosa’s companions in his office.  First with Rob, and then with Ned.

My sister turns 17 on Dergdar, Clio 10th, and Jafar lost virginity on her 17thbirthday.  It is a custom here, to start right after you are allowed to.

Celebration Banquet. Excerpt from “Best City on Diatama”

Celebration Banquet. Excerpt from “Best City on Diatama”

When we came to the restaurant, I saw a big crowd of people. Jafar said there were 400 guests on this banquet.

I was seated at the front end of a large round table. I had a special chair reserved for me. It was made of Fanti island green nut palm and had the words “Maar di Sakuradzima Nua” (Mayor of the New Rich Calm town of Green Trees) encrusted in rubies.

Jafar sat on my right and Mubarak sat on my left.  Emma sat across the table. Dua sat on the Zahuri table together with Nonta. Kavu came in late and sat on his own special seat.

Emma has explained that they did not plan for me specifically. Anyone who won the election would have been invited and given gifts. All other candidates were also invited. Shared celebration made sure that we would cooperate in the future.

When all the guests were present, Emma stood up from his seat.

“Hello everyone. I am happy to see you on our first decennial inauguration banquet.” Everyone clapped.  “Now is the proper time to present your gifts to the lawful winner of the first mayor elections. It is Leya’s city now.”  Emma sat down.  I stood up to receive the gifts.

First, I the waiters handed me gifts sent in from the Clan Lords. They were deciding the fate of Kadjar, but still found time to pick me presents.

Lord Kasim have sent me an aquarium with colorful Lejian fish. Lord Ria sent in a figurine of himself, such a Dzimanga. Lord Frederick Duran sent in a collection of screens for every wall in the house.
Then I unpacked the gifts from my parents, Jasmine sent me a mood ring.

After that there was a procession of guests handing me speakers, a bunch of Tutmossian king portraits, which I gave to Nonta right away, and other things. By the time all gifts were presented it was already 10pm. The official part was over and DHN filming drones have left.