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Posted 02 June 2011 - 12:39 PM
It's based on a dream I had where I was standing in a crowd in front of a building on an mostly barren alien planet with orangish humanoids.
If you are going to criticize be specific about problems, not just "this story sucks". Any Ideas for further chapters/plot areas are welcome. I've already started on chapter 2 but there's plenty of other chapters to write.
When they first asked me to write an account of the War of Freedom, I thought they were joking. I mean, they knew that since the accident I've been unable to write without help.
I suppose it was my wife's idea. She still drones on about how I defeated the biggest enemy this part of the galaxy has seen in a long time. I just wish she would have realized how difficult this would be for me. But I've never been a quitter so I guess I'll do it.
I assume you know of Jumprails. By this time they probobly have kids making the things in school. But when I was born they were still the only way to travel faster than light within the Confederation of Human Planets. You see, they work like any magnetic accelerator, except they use artificial gravity to accelerate things insted of magnetic fields. For years they were used to launch ships out to the in-system colonies, but soon scientists started makingf them too strong. They accelerated some things so fast they literally ripped open the fabric of space and sent a ship hurling through hyperspace faster than light.
The Earth was overpopulated then. I suppose it still is, but at that time the nine billion plus citizens were crammed in any available living space. Underground and underwater cities were sprouting up worldwide. The resources that once supported the human race proved too few for only a few billion more.
The Earth government was desperate for a place to put people. The hyperspace jump rails appeared to be an answer to their prayers. Probes were immediatly dispatched to nearby systems to search for inhabitable or near inhabitable worlds. Any world that was similar enough to Earth was made hospitable through terraforming, and all inhabitable worlds had thousands of humans thrust on them by the Earth government.
Kumlatu was one of the inhabitable worlds which the probes found. Of course the probes looked for signs of intelligent life and found none, because the inhabitants of the world constructed thier buildings to have a minimum impact on the environment. Any building built by the Kumlati was soon covered in soil and seeded. Believing that they had found a new world for humanity, 1500 colonists were launched to the planet.
The natives met the landers in the wastelands surrounding the cities and enslaved them, thinking they were invaders. Sending for help was impossible at this point, because the Hyperrail the probe had constructed in this system was destroyed soon after sending the all-clear for colonization. With this system being 127 lightyears from Earth, the radiowave distress signal would take 10.9 years to reach the other colonies. But they lacked the resources to sustain themselves, much less mount a rescue mission to save another doomed colony. Their probe-constructed Hyperrail relayed the signal via message-pod to Earth, but with 9 billion plus citizens to care for, 1500 don't matter much. The government simply removed Kumlatu from the suitable colonies list and continued as if nothing happened.
I remember standing in a group of rioters outside a temple on what we decided to call my 12th birthday (making me just over 17 in Earth years). We weren't sure exactly how old I was because I was found in the wastelands when I was a baby. On this day they allowed me to come on a supply run so I could both learn and buy myself something with the small ammount of birthday money my "parents" could spare out of their meager pay.
The temple was nothing special. It was the only one in town, but then River of Fire was a small town and only needed one, especially since it was the only religion allowed by the government. The temple was a complex of several buildings connected by tubes, covered with soil and seeded with a type of hardy, drought resistant grass called Kont. The meeting room was by far the largest part of the complex, large enough to sit 8,000 comfortably. Off to the side was a series of rooms used by the priests for various medical procedures. It is here that the seriously wounded went for healing. It was also there that those who had grown desperate for a child could seek the help of the priests. The complex also contained all the housing, storage, library, and meditiation areas the priests would in their persuit of ultimate knowledge.
The services held were not like the services among the churches and temples of Earth or it's colonies. The Kumlati high priests were highly telepathic. With their abilities they would push aside thoughts of sorrow and force happiness upon their followers. Although this brainwashing was bad enough it wasn't the worst thing the priests did. This telepathic forcing of happiness formed a bond between the priest doing it snd the follower to whom it is done. The priest is then able to use that connection to "listen in" on a person's senses. Everything that person hear, sees, smells, tastes, thinks or feels is immediately known to the priest, making the person an unknowing spy for the priesthood.
That is what the riot was about. The people didn't like being spied spied upon by their own loved ones. They disliked the fact that the priests would use their abilities to force their friends and family to become addicted to these "happy vibes". But most of all they hated the fact that any time the preists felt like it they could intrude on a person's most personal thoughts, moments, and memories.
The crowd was made up of a variety of people. They were mostly human slaves who had gained but a brief respite in their master's service while their masters got their weekly "hapiness boost", but there were also free humans and Kumlati present. Then there were the half-breeds like me, human-kumlati hybrids. They could look like either species but had a psychic imprint unlike either.
We were almost always the result of a Kumlati master's indiscrestions with it's human slave. The rebellion was able to ascertain that my mother was a Kumlati preistess in the temple. Most likely when she found out that her late-night liasons with her male-human slave had got her pregnant she moved to a psychic research post in the wastelands and had me there, for it was near one of these I was found.
Standing in the crowd three rows from the temple entrance, I was able to locate at least three hybrids within 10 meters of me, and possibly one more inside. The doors stood open with a sound barrier in place, allowing those inside to see the rioters but not hear them and vice-versa. Of course those inside were not speaking or paying attention to the rioters, they were too busy getting their fix.
Beside the doors stood two of the most heavily muscled Kumlati I had ever seen. Kumlati are humanoid, of course, almost human in appearance except for the orangish tint of their skin caused by an adaptation to the orange sun of the Kumlatu system, and the fact that Kumlati average from 6-7 feet, whereas humans are generally from 5-6 feet. The purpose of these men is obvious, to keep out the rioters but allow in the followers. The crowd stretches from this door to the other main entrance, 30 yards distant.
Although it wasn't originally the purpose of this visit, Morin, the leader of this mission, has ordered us to incite the rioters to storm the temple. To tell you the truth, I should have seen it coming. Since his son was taken away at the age of four to be trained in the temple he has despised The Way and everything it stood for. This riot is just another way for him to get vengence for his son. He could always justify the raid with command though. The temple possessed four copies of the book "The Energetic Body". The psychics of our cell claimed that it would teach them to more easily and fully heal our wounded. There were also three copies in private libraries throughout the city, but with Morin's hatred factored in the temple was a better target.
The plan was simple. With temple security distracted by the rioters a team of ours could infiltrate the temple and aquire the books. Not only would this allow us to freely aquire several desired books, but it would send a message to Grand Priest Marilini that the people were fed up with his priests and their false religion.
So here I was, about to incite an attack on an enemy stonghold. Like the plan, my roll in it was simple. I was to use my telepathic abilities to remind those gathered of what they disliked about the preisthood. Hopefully this would cause them to attack the guards and force their way inside. Once inside they should loot and damage, providing the perfect cover for our operations inside. The fact that it occured during service would have the added effect of inspring fear in the followers, thereby making them weary of attending and therefore more resistant to the addictive effects of the preist's powers.
As soon as I was given the signal I began. I brought forward the memories of childeren taken, taxes levied, addicted loved ones, and their superior attitude, all the while suppressing thoughts of loved ones healed and childeren given. It was hard work and soon I began to sweat dispite the cool outside air. My efforts were not futile however, for soon the volume of those around me began to rise to a deafening level. The defiant shouts soon changed into a defient wave as the crowd rushed the door, quickly overcoming the guards and running through the sound barrier covering the opening.
Once inside they went directly to the stage at the front where the priests "ministered" to their devotees. The preist were not defenceless, but their telekenetic abilities were no match for hundreds of angry people. The templegoers were fleeing by this time, of course, but the doors soon created a backup of fleeing devotees as more than 7,000 attempted to simultaniously exit through two sixteen by eight foot openings.
Soon the members of our raiding party had gathered at the entrace to the library hallway. Moving as one we made our way to the library, removing the light resistance we faced from the path as we went. Inside we found shelves covered in books and scrolls, some scrolls old enough to have predated Marilini's ascention to rule of both the law and the temples. While Morin and I looked for the books on the list, others took whatever literature caught their eye. We soon had three of the four copies of "The Energetic Body" in our possession, along with a myrid collection of other technical and psychic-technical vulumes. We made our retreat, collecting what cell members we came across as we went. A head count was done and it was found that two of our members were missing. Once again Morin and I teamed up and went to find them. I shouldn't have been surprised. As leader of this band it was Morin's responsibility to make sure no one was left behind and as the junior most member of the team I was easily deligated to what would no doubt be a tense walk with an angry man with an abrasive personality. Besides which, the crew decided that as one of the most gifted telepaths on the team, my abilities would help him track down the straglers.
We walked to the back of the library where I felt a remnant of their personality. There we found a set of open doors leading deeper into the compound. We followed the hall to another set of doors, this time closed. We opened them cautiously, only to find a priest standing over the dead bodies of our camrades.
"You" growled Morin. The priest looked at us and slowly his face turned into a look of recognition.
"Ah, Morin, isn't it?," he said in a pride filled voice, "I remember you. You and that woman, what was her name, Sela right? You came to me for help that time."
"Only to be stabbed in the back," retorted Morin, "You gave me a son, only to take him away once I grew to love him."
"He was extremely gifted", said the priest reverently, "more so than most of the recruit we get. You should be proud at what he has accomplished."
"Accomplishments I'll never see", responded Morin, his voice filled with pain. "And so just as you took the thing I most valued from me, I'll take that which you value the most from you, your life."
The priest chuckled, "If you can, you're welcome to try. I'm ready to die and be reborn, are you?" Then a seriousness covered his face, "Sorry about your friends, but they tried to harm me so I put them down like the disobedient animals they were."
Anger built within Morin and he yelled a great battle cry. We charged, only to be met by invisible arms which threw us both towards oppisite walls. Morin was the first to rise, only to fall to his knees soon after, clutching his chest, trying futily to remove the invisible hand gripping his heart.
"You should never have challenged me" the priest explained, his voice showing no pity, "I am far too strong for you to defeat."
While the priest continued his monologue I managed to regain the breath that was knocked out of me and stand up. I saw at once that Morin didn't have a chance of survival unless I intervened. Drawing a small survival knife from my belt and disguising my psychic presence I edged toward the priest. With a practiced gesture I plunged the blade into the base of his skull. His grip on Morin was imediately released as his eyes rolled back in his head. Dropping the knife, I ran to Morin's collapsed form. Only then did I realize that Morin's lifeforce had already vacated the body. I dropped him at once in shock and fled in terror, forgeting my survival knife in the process.
When I arrived back with the others I informed them of Morin's fate. His second-in-command, Valna, took command. By this time one of the other telepaths on the team had pried the building's layout from the mind of an unconciece priest,and led us to a transportation room. There the room amplified Valna's already substantial telekenetic powers, allowing him to transport us outside the city with all of our loot in tow. We gathered our supplies from a nearby hiding spot and returned to the contact point where another man teleported us to the cell's newest location.
Posted 04 June 2011 - 04:30 PM
Posted 05 June 2011 - 04:39 PM
Sounds like the start of a good science fiction series...keep it going!! I'm eager to read more.
I'm working on chapter 2, might have it out this week (not good at dialogue though and chapter 2 will include a lot of dialogue.)
In chapter 2 the main character (who I named Kal) sets up a memorial mission for Morin. (rapping up his affairs). Chapter 3 will be the mission.
Any idea on chapters 4 to whatever? I don't know what to do past chapter 4 though I might get a idea when I write chapter 2 and 3.
Only one reply though? Other people have to have an opinion.
Posted 05 June 2011 - 05:29 PM
Posted 17 June 2011 - 05:39 AM
Although the healers at the base were able to repair the various physical wounds inccured by the team, they were unable to treat the wound Morin's passing left in our souls. Even though he could be harsh at times, he was always fair. He had often done more than his share of the work to help out those who needed it. His passing effected us all.
Hardest hit, however, was his woman, Sela. She was not truly his wife, for the Kumlati rarely marry, yet she was as loyal to him as if she was. It is she who, with the preist's help, bore Morin his only son, indeed the only child he had which survived, the others dieing shortly after birth.
When told of his death she went into a shock so deep our healers said they could do nothing about it, that she would have to come out of it on her own. She refused to acknowledge the food left for her. When the aides came to bring more food every five hours they unfailingly found the old plate untouched.
Six days later, however, she sent for me. Knowing what it would mean to her if I refused, I hurried to her tent, only to find her sitting in the same position I had left her in nearly a week earlier when I told her the bad news. She had, however, lost much weight during that time, no doubt because of her refusal to eat.
When she finally spoke her voice was so quiet I could barely make out the words. "I wanted to thank you for what you did, Kal," she said, "avenging him, attempting to save his life. He would have liked his murderer's death to be swift and relitively painless. Enflicting unneeded pain and suffering on others, even his enemies, was not his way."
Not knowing what to say, I waited for her to continue.
"And now I must ask you to do something for him once again. I need your help with his memorial."
This confused me. "But Kumlati don't build memorials, do they?," I asked, perplexed, "not even a tombstone to mark his passing."
"True," she said, "Stone works are ultimately meaningless, and so we comemerate his life by doing something for him, in his honor. His only wish was to one day be reunited with his son, so I can think of no more fitting a memorial than to free the boy."
"But that would be suicide," I mumbled, perplexed, "the Academy is no doubt heavily guarded."
"No doubt", she responded, "which is why the rebellion hasn't tried it before. But with Morin's passing we should have no problem now finding volunteers, and I want you to lead the team."
"Me", I studdered in disbelief.
"Yes, you Kal", she replied.
"But I'm just a kid. How could I lead someone on such a dangerous mission?"
"You may be a kid," she said, "but you are also the one who avenged his death."
"But he was distracted", I blurted out, only then remembering what it was that distracted the preist.
She didn't seem phased at my comment and continued. "Yes, but you didn't hesitate to kill your enemy, and to use his weekness against him. You could have run away and saved yourself, but you stayed. Not many of our warriors would have done the same thing at your age. You're brave, and one day you'll become a superb warrior."
Knowing that I wouldn't convince her otherwise, I agreed. Besides, I reasoned, I can always delegate my responsibilities out and never really have to read.
"Thank you." she said, "Come back in one week. I'll give you the information I have then, so you can go on the memorial mission for my Morin."
"I will," I said. I bowed, then left silently, leaving her to further mourn her lost love.
I wondered around camp thinking. Off on the horizon, across the fields were giant Tarsh beetles. They fed on infertile soil and excreated fertile soil. It was in the wake of one of these that we built our bases, for only there could we hope to raise enough food to feed our cell.
The first thing I assumed I would need was a second-in-command. The only one I knew who had that kind of experience was Valna, so I headed to his tent. His woman informed me he was busy at the practice fields, so I turned and headed there.
At the practice fields those of us who so choose can perfect our fighting skills, both physical and psychic. They were surrounded by the tents of instructors and smiths. You would think that in these days of automated factories a smith would be an anachronism, but when the best blades are made they must have powerful spells cast upon them. These spells are most effective when they are accompanied by runes made by hand upon the blade. That is what smiths do, they take the best of the factory blades and turn them into weapons anyone would be proud to own. These weapons were then given to those of rank and those who distinguished themselves in battle.
I saw Valna across the field and headed towards him. While I ran across the field I watched him practice. He managed to "kill" three opponents with his practice sword and send another flying with a flick of the wrist. He acknowledged my existince with a nod and continued to knock down his clearly inferior opponents. Realizing that they didn't stand a chance I decided to help. Concentrating, I projected into Valna's mind two phantom opponents which he immediately attacked. Seeing Valna thus distracted his true opponents attacked. Yet even against all six enemies Valna remained victorious.
Panting from exhaustion, he held up a hand calling the match to an end. He exchanged a few words with his four real sparring partners on how to improve their technique, then dismissed them so that they could tend to their bruises.
"Hello Kal," he exclaimed, wiping the sweat from his brow and walking to me. "How are you doing? Getting in some practice?"
"I'm fine," I replied, "just came to talk to you."
He sat down on the bench beside me. "Well, here I am." he said, "how can I be of service?"
"I need your help with something," I said, "Sela asked me to arrange a memorial for Morin. I need a Second for the mission."
"Certainly," he responded, "Morin was a good friend, I would certainly wish to help with his memorial. What do we have left to do?"
"Everything", I said, "talking to you was the first thing I did after hearing her request. Any ideas?"
"We will need a team. Without knowing the mission though I'm not sure of the exact numbers or team configuration we will need. All else must be determined by this."
"The Academy.", I told him, "We are raiding the Academy"
"That's not possible. The Academy is won of the most heavily guarded places on this world. It would take a massive force to capture it. How could we hope to overcome the defences?"
"With skill.", I responded, "We don't need to capture the school, only enter it and free Morin's son."
"Capture a student? To do so we would have to defeat many students, and very few of us could hope to stand against even one of the spirit born."
"Then we must choose the most powerful of the volunteers. We should have several who can stand against them."
"A memorial mission should be completed by his friends, not just anyone."
"Surely he had a few powerful friends, those will psychic abilities well above normal."
"A few." He said thoughtfully, "I believe I know a few friends of his who could fill the position."
Posted 21 June 2011 - 01:05 PM
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Posted 01 July 2011 - 04:04 PM
In this story Merlin sent Author and the knights to quest for the SanGrail then staged a coup while they were gone. Those that were loyal to him were taken through a portal to a new inhabitable planet (later named Kumlati) and there he ruled them, training other sorceror/magicians as he needed them. He also tried his had at some Euginics by summoning demons to impregnate certain women in his kingdom, thus improving his subjects magical ability. Oh, and he magically "engeneered" some animals (like the Tarsh Beetle) so that the planet would slowly be terraformed. I think that's the gist of the idea....
Posted 01 July 2011 - 10:37 PM
Posted 02 July 2011 - 12:44 PM
Why can't Earth find something that can help the rebellion in the northern UK? King Author did supposedly find the grail (in some storys a magical stone that fell from the heavens, maybe a psychic resonator of some sort). All I'd have to add is the humans in the rebelion building a ship and a new message system, maybe even learning about a better message system through there communications with earth. The narrator did imply that his audience could be on Earth, I would just have to make the Earth and the Kumlati Rebels meet earlier than I first thought.
Posted 10 July 2011 - 11:15 AM
Posted 12 July 2011 - 10:20 PM
Edited by TheUnknowable, 12 July 2011 - 10:37 PM.