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Hello people on Galaxiki!! I am relatively new to Galaxiki. I have been working on the species known as the Kulan. They are in system TFH314. It is a public system. I have been working on building a navy for the Kulan. Do any of you any ideas about what this navy could do besides fight pirates. It is a space navy in case you were wondering. What would make for interesting ideas?? Also does any one have a colony or a system near TFH314. There are four colonies, all in TFH area.
The curiosity shop is in the Old Quarter on Truce, and it’s very, very old. Dates back four thousand years, according to its owner. How he came into possession of it is something no one can agree on. I heard from a Riv that it had been won in a game of triangle two-hundred years ago, but Lyan told me the owner had bought it for two drinks and an imaginary spaceship three-hundred years ago. If you asked the owner, he would just smile knowingly, and wink.
I entered to the clear ring of a bell. The shop was cluttered, with little figurines and blinking devices covering every inch of the shelves and posters plastered all over the walls, but it seemed deserted.
Suddenly there was a nasally voice from the back of the shop, where I couldn’t see. “Forgive me Kraz na Karan. I’ll be with you in a moment.”
No one knows much about him. Only that he’s a Sillak, that he’s short and fat with fur made white by age, that he’s owned a curiosity shop for as long anyone can remember, and that he knows things.
He opened his arms in greeting. “Kala my dear, I haven’t seen you since that unfortunate business at Octars.”
I didn’t embrace him, of course. “It’s been too long Greenstone. I need to find someone.”
His face, and arms, fell. “No one ever seems to want to just talk,” he said as he bustled over to close the shutters, “Everyone is always looking for this person or that person, but it’s never Greenstone they’re looking for.” He turned the shop sign from to ‘closed’. “Now, who do you want?”
“Laaros Reeowin,” I said, before adding “The slaver.”
“Wouldn’t want to fly in on Laaros Reeowin, the Knight from Green Groves, would we now?” he said as he approached a poster of some ancient politician, “Though our good friend the former slaver is a Knight as well, these days.”
What the fuck was this? “Former slaver? Knight? How in the name of the King does that happen?”
Greenstone pulled the poster aside and began entering numbers to the lock of the safe behind. “Our man found himself good friends with the new baron of New Age, who magnanimously knighted him and gave him a letter of marque.”
“What did they bond over? Torture and murder?” This changed nothing.
“Triangle,” he said, pulling a data chip from the rows of hundreds inside the safe, then slamming it shut. “Sir Laaros is now a respectable privateer, raiding shipping over Neo Zion for the profit and glory of New Age, and their benefactors in Greeosta-Leeona of course.”
I gestured towards the data chip. “Flight records, right? How much?”
After some haggling, I paid him ten-thousand silear, and made to leave, data chip secured in my pocket.
“You know, you’re not the first person to come asking about Laaros Reeowin these two months,” said Greenstone as I put my hand on the door knob.
I slowly pulled my arm back. “Who?” I asked, reaching for my wallet.
“No, no,” he said with a false bow, “This is for our friendship. Six weeks ago, I was visited by a Canthin who asked about Sir Laaros. He wouldn’t say who he worked but…” he grinned and tapped the side of his head, “I have my ways.” The smile disappeared and he looked straight at me. His eyes were very old and I could tell he was very serious. “The Silver Swords want him Kala. They’ve rebuilt their numbers to over four-thousand hulls, and something tells me Fury Kreeoa would take a Kraz’s head over a deserter’s.”
I laughed. “He calls himself ‘Fury?’ I wonder if he really thinks it’s intimidating. Did you give this Mella the records?”
Greenstone shrugged. “He had coin. The Silver Swords will be flying straight for him.”
I took a pace forwards, and looked his dead in the eye. “I doesn’t matter. At Octars his father had ten-thousand hulls and twice the tactical brain, and he still lost a fifth of his fleet and his own head. “
Now Greenstone gave a low, rasping laugh. “Do you really think that a battle thirty years ago will help your fifty ships defeat four-thousand?”
I stopped. “Kreeoa won’t send his entire fleet for the sake of a hundred deserter vessels.”
“Won’t he? My sources say that he is a very angry young man, as the name suggests. In fact,” Greenstone moved across to the shop counter, “There’s a slave I think you would be very interested in.”
“We don’t do slaves,” I snapped.
“Of course not. I misspoke.” He opened the till and put the cash in. “A former slave. Quirus Lain, a Zionite, who fled from the Swords at Krees Whole about a year ago. He was the personal slave of old Teerow Kreeoa for about thirty years before Octars, and has been the same for Fury since then.” He looked at me earnestly. “You’ll find him with Ral of the House of N'thrak on Raw Ot Dne at the edge of the system. Speak to Quirus, Kala. Speak to him and go back to Kraznus. I have no wish to see you dead.”
“I’ll think about it,” I said, then left the shop.
The last place we could put Reeowin was in New Age, which he had just conquered as part of the fleet of the Little King of Gretza-Leona or some such place. He had received a large payment in gold and slaves, and pressed several free captains into his service. Our intel had him taking the voidgate to Zeron, and presumably he Lonied from there to parts unknown. This was about four years before we departed, so he could have been anywhere in the galaxy by then. I decided that the best course of action was to pursue intel from a friendly port.
So we Darked out of Kraznus to the black hole Lanneret. From there we arrived in Peace some hundred-an-twelve days later. Of course I talked to the Commander (of the Defence Force), expecting just a formalised wave through for our ships. But… something wasn’t right. I know… knew… Messeret Dalcoran well. Back when I was commanding the Tar Baby under Lyan Lariz in the ‘60s and ‘70s I drunk with him dozens of times in The Golden Treaty on Ceasefire. So I knew he was on edge. He wouldn’t let our ships in. I had to keep all forty-seven of them in formation at the edge of the system and take the White Heart in on his own. Dalcoran wouldn’t even give shore leave for the rest of the ships, so I had ten thousand pissed off Kraz to deal with as well.
It was strange. Defence ships were everywhere, and there were far fewer traders than I expected. I was in the Peace at the height of the Bastard’s War, and even then things weren’t as on edge. I couldn’t think what was causing it. The only on-going conflicts since the end of that New Age business were the usual small fare between the littlest of the Little Kings. So I radioed Dalcoran again, and asked him to meet me for a drink in The Golden Treaty, for old times’ sake.
I don’t know if you’ve all been to Peace, so I guess I should tell you, for context, that the orbit of the gas giant Armistice is the busiest thoroughfare in known space. You can’t land any but the smallest ships on the two moons, Truce and Ceasefire, so mostly you have to orbit your ship and shuttle back and forth. But everyone comes to Truce, everyone from Windstari and Ganite traders to the sons of Little Kings to Riv mercs, to see the legendary sights, or do business in the only real, safe international trading post on the Grid. Lyan once told me that during the Thirty Year Peace he saw one million vessels orbiting Armistice. That’s probably bullshit but even so, after the Bastard’s War, seeing a full hundred thousand hulls wasn’t particularly unusual. When we got to orbit there were less than four thousand ships there. That’s lunacy. That’s dead. Hell, when I took my shuttle down to Ceasefire I even got landing clearance in less than an hour.
Dalcoran was waiting for me. He was sitting at a table in the far corner, nursing a pitcher of Ganite ale. I went to the bar and ordered a Breekinburg. The girl behind the bar was a Zionite, with beautiful white wings and a nice smile.
“I didn’t know you drunk those,” said Dalcoran as I sat down opposite him, “They’re a little strong for my taste.”
I sipped the cocktail. “I had one down in Zion space and know I’m hooked. And their strength is the attraction. Gives a real kick.” I put it down. “Doesn’t last long, of course.” There was an awkward moment silence. “How’s Vallara? And the kids?”
“The kids are fine. Tilly’s working for the parliament now. I sent Vallara back to Praggis.” He stared into his beer and swirled it slowly. “There’s a war coming Kala,” he said slowly, like he was confessing a dirty secret.
“That’s nothing new, Messeret. War’s always coming.”
He shook his head. “I don’t mean – what is it you Kraz say? – Little Wars for Little Kings. I mean a big war, bigger than the Bastard or Breekinburg maybe. I’m not the only one who thinks it either. You saw the system, it’s empty.” He grabbed his pitcher and downed the whole thing. “They know it’ll start here. There’s at least ten Canthin fleets in striking distance of us right now.”
“The Mella have attacked here before,” I told him, “You know, you’ve beaten them back every time.”
“Aye, I know. I’m just afraid that soon some damn fool will be stupid enough to actually succeed.” He sighed, and gripped the empty pitcher. “Why are you here Kala?” he asked suddenly.
“To start a war man,” I said. He laughed bitterly. “I’m looking for someone,” I told him, “Laaros Reeowin, a slaver. You know him?”
Dalcoran thought for a moment. “I remember he fought at Octars… Flies with the Silver Swords doesn’t he?”
“Not for seven years.” I finished my drink and stood up. “It was good to see you again, Messeret.”
We shook hands. “I’ll tell Vallara hello when I visit her,” he said. I nodded, and left.
The first part of a long story I've been working on. I'm not sure if posting your fiction in the blog is still the done thing, but if not Jos can take it down.
The following takes place around 1020 PG on Kraznius but hopefully no great knowledge of galactic history is required.
The Hall of the King was an imposing building. It grew from the twisted and ruined metal around it like a great grey tree, with only the ruins of a few of its upper towers ruining its profile. Arik had heard from the first mate of the Hawk’s Tongue that when it was first built it stood over a mile high. The officer had also, with flailing arms, indicated that the Fillak had tried with all their might to destroy it, but succeeded only in knocking over some of the towers. Then she had passed out drunk.
As his shuttle came into dock with the smallest tower, Arik wondered if today was the day the Steward would grant his request for a berth on a vessel. The Macello and the Red Word were on world right now, as were a fourteen lesser ships. Arik would take a post on any of them, even the slowest captured tug, just to get off the Rock. He was thirty-one years old, for the grace of the King. Half of his old class mates were already veterans of combat with the Mella. It was embarrassing.
With a loud creak and a shudder, the shuttle came to a stop. Grasping a data rod in his hand, Arik swivelled his chair to face the hatch and tapped his foot impatiently as it opened slowly. He was already late. Before the hatch even touched the hanger deck he was out, jumping the last foot.
There was a single guard with an ID machine, a formality really. “ID, sir,” he said, half asking, half commanding.
“Certainly, soldier.” He passed his card to the tall man, who swiped it on his machine.
The soldier barely glanced at the result before handing Arik his card back. “Very good, sir.” He gestured towards the lift. “Go on through, sir.”
An idiot. Arik brusquely nodded his head, and strode off. He couldn’t wait to be rid of these bureaucratic fools.
As he progressed through the neon white corridors of the Hall, Arik was stopped three more times, with the security increasing for every one of them. Increasingly frustrated and increasing late, he was eventually ushered into the council room.
They were all there, sitting around the white table, below the great holographic 3D map of the galaxy. All but Lyan, the hero of Octars. Nine councillors, the Steward herself, and… By the King was that Kala na Aalzan? Arik had heard that the White Heart had been lost, and probably burnt, near Peace.
“You’re late Arik,” said the Steward, not looking up from her data pad.
Arik bowed. “My apologies, Highness. A cyclone kept me grounded for forty minutes at Reylan.”
The Steward grunted, and curtly gestured him to sit down. Arik hurried to one of the empty chairs, sitting beside Kala. He smiled at her, but she seemed not to notice.
She was a true physical specimen, tall and lithe, with jade skin made pale from years in space. Her hair was short and black, and an eye patch covered her left eye. An eye patch? It certainly hadn’t been there last time Arik had seen her. Doubtless she had lost it in a heroic battle.
The business of the day was unremarkable. A few successful attacks, a few unsuccessful, a few hostiles captured, and a few friendlies burnt. The Stellar Cavalry taskforce was celebrating a glorious victory over a Mella Baron’s fleet, and reported eighty-four hulls taken, and over seven-hundred burnt or damaged. Things were going well at the yards. Supplies were discussed. Lank ro Zarrow was congratulated on the birth of his first daughter.
After about two hours, the Steward turned to Kala, who had sat sternly quiet throughout the meeting. “Captain, seven years ago you were dispatched with some forty-eight vessels to find and kill the Mella pirate and slaver Laaros Reeowin.” Kala nodded. “Now you return to us missing thirty-nine hulls, eight thousand men and woman, and an eye.” Kala nodded again, slower this time. “Tell me what happened, Captain. Tell me what happened to the man who killed my brother.”
Did you know that, before any man made device had ever reached space, fiction writers-and scientists, even- thought that Venus was a rainforest world? Bit of a distance miscalculation! Arthur C. Clarke, I believe, wrote a full book about a schoolchild who was locked in a locker on Venus for the only day on which the skies cleared? Unfortunately, life on Venus would be much worse. You would have to wear something similar in weight to 2 suits of armor from medieval times. If there was a problem in your suit, you would only have about one second to live.
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