Tag: Fiction

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.

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The Documentary Part 1. Excerpt from “Envoy’s Daughter”

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When I came back from Upper Plateau, the Emperor graced me with a new mission.  I had to collect the information about the Lejian Mega clans, and their relationship with Martians.  I also had to present the information to the wide audience, in a form easy for them to understand.  I was supposed to expose the inequality and inspire action.

After a long discussion with Aisha, I have decided to make a documentary series.  I have wanted to publish a book, but Aisha told me a better plan.  The masses are easier to engage, if you show them visuals.

To kick start my research, I have read the Imperial Encyclopedia for 5 hours every weekday.  I read all the articles about 15 great clans of Leji.  And I made notes on all of them.   I have made a list of clan lords for each of clans and typed a paragraph about each one.   I have spent practically all of my time in my office.  No one was allowed to disturb me, while I read, and made notes.

The first weekend of the school year I and Layla, went to the Alley of the Presidents, and recorded all of their stories.  On Dork 14th, we went to Sakuradzima, and listened to the life story of Ivati Nadzima.  We also went to the Foundation Museum and made notes about the founding fathers.  A day later I went there again and made notes about the first colonial expedition.

On, Soldar, Din 1st, I have started my research on the Martians.  I went to the Foundation museum, they had nothing on the Martian settlers.  I went to the National History museum, they only had two dozen artifacts to represent 15 thousand years of Martian presence.  Layla told me, if I want to find out more, I have to visit Martian towns.

We have gone to Kivat and went to Arrival Museum.  There I learned that first children of Mars came here, during the reign of Rumi Lindar.  The cities of Kivat and Gegendorf were founded as exclusively Martian communities during the reign of Darth Nadoma.  After leaving the Museum we went to the First Settlers park, where we have recorded the story of the trip from Mars, from the founder of Kivat, Patrick Johnson.

To finish the work on the first film I and Leff have gone to Mars, and spent two months there, visiting museums, historic locations, and listening to statues.  After coming back, I put everything together, and showed the film to my family.  I wanted to release Guests from Marsimmediately, but Aisha said it would be better to release everything at once.

Next year, I have researched the professional life of Martians on Kadjar.  I went to Gegendorf Museum of Martian pride.   I saw that Martian settlers, and their descendants, had peculiar social status on Kadjar.  They all worked in Medicine and Education, the other fields were closed to them.  Kivat and Gegendorf were the only town, where descendants of Martians own stores and work in government, everywhere else they could only be doctors or teachers.  Most of Kadjari teachers, college professors, doctors, dentists, and nurses have Martian last names.  I had Leff look through the employment records of schools, hospitals and kinder gardens.

It was determined that Martians were locked into comfortable middle-class prison.   A Smith or a Johnson would never become a policeman or bureaucrat.  A Lindar or Dzimani does not even need a resume to get accepted.  That’ s what people told me, both online and in personal conversations.   I have checked their data, I have looked at employment rosters of City Halls, and Police departments all over the planet.  I have made inquiries to every major clan.  And I saw those claims confirmed.  There was discrimination on unimaginable scale, and everyone had to face the truth.   Thus, A Doctor or Nobody, was created.

While working on the second film, I discovered something huge.  There were entire provinces, where no Martians were allowed to settle.  They could visit those lands but they could not relocate.  Even if people lived on Kadjar for generations, they were considered Martians, they were denied housing just because of their last names.

After hearing that, I have decided to go further.   I have visited every province of Kadjar and talked with people of Martian descent.  They were present everywhere.   Thousands of people in Martian free zones have descended from Martians who married into Terran, Vijer and Lejian clans.  I have looked at life stories of thousands of people both living and deceased and saw a clear pattern.  A person ceases to be a pariah, if his last name changes.  So, the third film was titled,As good as Last Name.

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.

Two years of Darkness. Excerpt from “Operation Azares”

Two years of Darkness. Excerpt from “Operation Azares”

Years 8 and 9 were hard for our expedition, we were travelling through a starless void, the outside view was impenetrable darkness with no visible stars. Sometimes it seemed like we weren’t moving at all. The enemy wasn’t seen anywhere on the horizon, it seemed like they had forgotten us. Everyone had forgotten us, we were stuck in this endless void.

Off course the star map, and ship systems were telling us a different story, we were moving, and moving rather fast. We were actually approaching our destination. I had to remind that to everyone, we weren’t lost, and we weren’t stuck, but it sure seemed that way. If one looked outside, or on our small sector of the map. No stars, no planets, no nothing for hundred million km around us.

This perceived failure, had almost ruined the team from the inside. Rita had panic attacks which lasted for hours, filled with shaking, shivering and swearing out loud. Max tried to dull his feelings with going into VR, once he didn’t come out of the machine for an entire week. We had to take him out by force and spoon fed him, so he didn’t starve. The tools, we had helped us go through it, but they had to be used wisely. And together with optimistic tales. Tias knew what to do, every evening he gathered us around and told us, that we are going to win, that we were going towards our goal, and doing meaningful work to end the war. He made everyone listen to loud uplifting music while piloting. He also made us meditate every night before sleep. This helped, and the team continued to function. There were arguments and fights, but nobody killed anyone or did any injuries. That was kept under control. Minor hysterical outbursts, nothing unexpected, some damaged paintings, one torn up portrait of Dua, and a couple of food fights, nothing more damaging than that. Soon, the despair went away and we were our old optimistic selves.

By the time we reached the Magellan cloud, we were all very mindful people. If, not for that, we could have fallen victim of our psychology. For even Ostartes have feelings, we are not machines. These feelings were expressed, understood, and calmed down. “Tristan Nadoma” exited the void, and got into the Magellan cloud. That was a cause for a celebration. We decorated the ship with ribbons, and sung victory songs. For we won this battle, and almost won the war. We were much closer to Azares than to any other known world. However, we didn’t have very good maps of the Magellan Cloud. Still, I knew we were heading the right way. Azares was almost in our hands. The lizards had to be preparing us a welcome. If they were aware of us coming their way. We were coming to the high negotiations.

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.

The first Elections in History. Excerpt from “Best City on Diatama”

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After that was done, Dzimanga corporation relinquished its right to govern humanoid towns. Kavu stated that we were able to make our own decisions, he told me that he trusts me and the Diatama community enough, to give up control. He told me, Ria has already granted his approval on this matter.

So, we had our mayor elections in Sakuradzima Nua. I decided to run. I could not tolerate the state of this city anymore. There were too many temporary units, and people grew tired of waiting. I was determined to make it a livable place for everyone. The ugly tents and their inhabitants should be replaced by cozy houses and the pious populace. It should be just like Nathanberg, the best city ever.

The election rules were announced by Envoy Emma on Kavu 25th. Every adult, which meant Zahuris above 110, Goblins above 21, humans and Orks above 22, was given a right to vote.  That included the Rimmatian refugees. It didn’t matter to him, that they couldn’t understand a single word out of his speech.

Dua Dzimanga has maintained Kadjari as the only official language of the colony. When the transition started, he signed a law which keeps Kadjari as an official language in every community of Diatama until the elected officials say otherwise. He and Emma did registration of the candidates.

On Kavu 32nd,Bargdar, I came to Dzimanga headquarters and filled out a form. So, did 25 other people. Then we had a fluency in Kadjari test which 9 candidates have failed, of which 5 were Rimmatians. With no Rimmatians in the race, Emma proceeded to administer the Imperial history exam. After that only 8 people remained in the race.

I got my registration, and I had to run my campaign. First things first I needed a slogan.

“How about Mayor of dreams? Or “Let’s build the paradise”?” Jafar has suggested.

“Those have been done to death. I need something fresh.” I was desperate for an idea to walk into my bedroom.

The door opened and Malik walked in. His t-shirt had “Party like a Lindar, Work like a Dzimanga, and rest like a Ross” printed on it. He and Mubarak came to congratulate me with the start of the campaign.

“Malik you are a genius!” I waved my dragon blood mug in the air.

“What did I do?” Malik asked.

“You gave me an idea.”  I took a sip of blood. “Build a metropolis, like a Ross, lay on your bed all day, like a Ross,” Live life in comfort, like a Ross”” I chanted.

“Wait, isn’t your last name Lindar.” Malik questioned my strategy.

“Yes, everyone living in this house is Lindar, but Ross is my maiden name.” I defended myself.

“Your maiden name isn’t going on the ballot, is it?”  Jafar went hysterical. He jumped onto me and clenched my neck. Malik had Mubarak separate us.

“Don’t worry Jafar. I would stay with you. And no, the Ross won’t be on the ballot.” I consoled my partner. Since he was in distress.  “There was no need in attacking me.”

“Ok fine. I just can’t imagine life without you my love.” Jafar can be sweet sometimes.

“Why did you think that using a maiden name was a good idea?” Mubarak asked me. There would a lot of questions, if I did not use my current name. He thought about that.

“I thought it sounded cool in a slogan.” That was my only response.

“The slogan must be part of the strategy, not the entire strategy.” Mubarak shared his wisdom.

“So, what do you want the city to look like?” Malik came up with a good question. He sat down on the floor near the window to hear my answer. So, did Mubarak. Jafar remained on my bed.

I sat up on the bed and rested my spine against the wall.

“I want this new city to look like Nathanberg. It should be filled with monuments, and high-rise buildings. There must be a park along the river, and a mansion district from my house to the north.”

“That’s a place people would want to live in.” Jafar supported my vision.

“This is a platform; one can stand on. That we already have.” Mubarak praised me.

“Is that all we need to win?” I asked him.

“We must make sure everyone knows you. We must also convey our message to the people of the city.” Jafar stated.

“We need you standing on the podium in front of the Dzimanga building.” Mubarak painted the picture of me in the bright blue costume addressing the crowd.

“Well who can write a speech for me.” I asked my supporters.

“I think I can be your speech writer.” Mubarak suggested “But, you have to be involved in producing them. It must be your message, not mine.” Mubarak wanted me to get involved on the speeches. I didn’t want to walk all the way to his new house, so he worked here with me.

“Ok, you are hired.” I got myself a speechwriter. “I also want my face on posters all over the city.” I looked at Malik.

“Ok, that can count as an art and political science credit. I would make a poster, and you would take a look. If you like it, we can get them mass produced.”

“Don’t just grab people around you dear. A campaign run by a household, would make everyone suspicious.” Jafar made a valid point. The campaign must represent the city, not Leya Lindar and his friends.

“Who do you suggest?” I asked him.

“We should cast the net wide and hire someone we didn’t know before.” Jafar stood up and went towards the door.

“Where would we search for that?” I didn’t know a thing about finding employees.

“We could go out and find them on the street. You know, no one can refuse an offer made by your voice.”  Jafar suggested a fool proof recruitment strategy.

“How would we pay them?” I didn’t have the income high enough to pay for the campaign. Quite frankly nobody had. “Who would give us the money?”  I really needed a sponsor, and I didn’t know how to get one.

“Don’t you have your Dzimanga help card?” Jafar suggested to ask them for help. After all, Dua did tell me, that I could ask them at any time.

“Yeah, I may get some help from them. But would it be against the rules?” I asked my people.

“Is it? It does not seem to contradict the constitution.” Mubarak pointed out. Nothing contradicts the constitution, it is barely half a page long.

“What about the scripture?”  I needed to know what the god’s rules are. For they apply everywhere in the Empire.

“The rules of governance prohibit sponsors from giving money to multiple candidates, and they say that sponsors must officially endorse their chosen candidate, and there is a ban on giving candidates policy advice.” Mubarak lectured me on election finance rules.

“Great are there any limits on the amount of money they can give?” I had to stay clear. I didn’t want to ask for too much.

“Well the cost of the municipal campaign must not exceed 400 thousand Kasters, and no sponsor must provide more than 30% of campaign funding. Also, no candidate can get finance from the clan not present in their area.” Mubarak provided important information.

“Ok, Mubarak go write an application to the Dzimanga, asking for 70thousand Kasters.” I tasked my chief assistant with his first mission.

“What’s our total budget?” Mubarak wanted to know how much money I am willing to spend.

“Well, we can invest 8200K from our savings this year. Dzimangas would give 70 thousand, 60 thousand would come from Lindar treasury, 50 thousand from Ross, and 44 thousand from La Vey, plus 35 thousand from Ibaraki. Overall 357 thousand Kasters.” I was willing to pay a lot for the mayor ring. I was willing to do what it takes, as long as I can sleep 12 hours a day. I have listed all the sponsors that I could think of.

Mubarak submitted the budget proposal to review and got an automatic response. That, proposal did not break any rules. And that plan was approved. His next step was to ask the other chosen sponsors for money. They transferred money within a day. They were quite willing to get involved here on Diatama.

Emma Cond’s POV:

In the morning of Kavu 24thI had a meeting in the Dzimanga headquarters. It was so nice from Dua’s part to build the station near my house. I didn’t have to spend 40 minutes walking in the sun. That way I was able to wear my pearl shoes, and not snickers. I also put on my fancy unicorn pants and the blue vest with red shirt.

I exited the teleport station and entered Dua’s office.

“It is the time for the Dzimanga Clan to relinquish all control over the colony’s affairs.” Dua sounded dry and formal, like some clerk over at the council building. He had the look too. Gray suite, green sunglasses, white shirt, and black shoes.

“If that is true than each city must have the elections at once?”  I wondered how fast the process must be, for this particular colony.

“The campaigns should start before the 32ndof Kavu.” Dua informed me about his plans for an immediate withdrawal. Well not his plans, the Dzimanga council plans which he has to put into action.

“Do you have the procedures for the registration of the candidates?”
I wanted to know what my role in all of this would be. I had to know the withdrawal procedure, and which role each actor was supposed to play.

“Yes, we would have the managers run the candidate registration.”  They got things planned out in the simplest possible way.

“How long should the campaigns be?”  I needed to know how long we have to oversee the elections.

“They would last until Gilma 36th, and the mayors must be sworn in the next day, on Sophi 1st.” Dua has planned everything in detail.

“So, only one month.” I thought that the campaign time was very short. Much shorter than the Kadjari federal campaigns.  But, possibly normal for the municipal ones.

“Precisely.” Dua stood up and went to fill his cup with water.

“How long would the terms be? Are there any city charters?” I wanted to know how the cities would be run.

Dua drank his water and returned to the table. He didn’t sit down

“Designing such charters would be the first task of newly elected city governments.” Dua gave the cities an opportunity to be truly unique. That kind of autonomy was unthinkable to the technocrats out on Calpurnia. Every town of the Calpuri space was run in exactly the same way.

“The candidates are free to run the cities as they wish, but they must be selected by the Empire officials.”  I went to get the drink of water.

“What are the selection criteria we must follow?” Dua’s bright yellow eyes were staring   on my brain.

“They were sent to me from the Hall of Humanity.” I pulled the communicator out of my purse and read aloud. “The candidates must be fluent in Common Tongue, they must have the score of at least 85 on the Imperial History exam. They must also be fluent in the language of the constitution, they mean the language in which original constitution and all the prior colonial decrees was written in.”

“In our case they must be fluent in Common Tongue, and Kadjari.”

“I can request the Department of Education to send us Tertiary level fluency tests.”  I have had written to every Kadjar federal department, over the course of my career in the Imperial council.

“That should be enough. Are there any additional requirements?”  Dua placed his elbows on the table. Somehow, he got the idea, that it’s an interrogation. Freaking Dzimangas!

“They must have no records of illegal or questionable behavior, have a history of prior contributions to the community, and be overall model citizens.” I have summarized four paragraphs of text, in two sentences. We had to make sure that no matter who wins, the Empire would benefit. If we don’t want him to win, we don’t want him to run.

“Ok, I think we won’t have problems finding enough candidates.” Dua

“We would find out tomorrow.”  I walked out of his office and went home. I had exam forms to request.

The next day we ran the examinations. At the end of the day 8 candidates were selected for the Sakuradzima Nua mayor election. We also had the same procedures performed in all other humanoid settlements. Next, I had to oversee the elections for the entire planet. My assistant would monitor Sakuradzima Nua, elsewhere the same people would continue looking over elections, as did the candidate registration.

Over all I had to make sure that 460 candidates, in 65 settlements behave themselves and act by the law.

That was going to be a tough Gilma.

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.