Monthly Archives: February 2013

Planet of Jirth, Part 1

This story is about Administer Rilas, a recurring character in my blog.  If you would like to read other stories about her, check out People of the Sky to learn how she met the Jirth to begin with.  To hear about how she acquired the concept of modern technology go to Ship of Jirth.

Several weeks passed as I learned things, a month ago, I wouldn’t have imagined. The magical doors were not magical, as I first thought, they were controlled by magnets. The voice was an artificial intelligence, which I did not fully understand, but a computer, who was a person. The changing pictures were screen which displayed data. My world felt endless, but terrifying.

The last week of studying had been devoted completely to Jirth themselves. I did not understand their society. Your name is your profession, and all individuality was forsaken for the group. From my conversation with the Priest of Jirth I could tell they felt the system was superior. I did not agree, nor would I ever.

But, soon ground would be beneath my feet. The Doctor of Jirth spent most of the time running tests to make sure I could live on their home world. It assured me I could eat the food, and breath the air. Though, there wasn’t much I could do about it. I did not wish to come all this way, and then give up. My old way of living was over, to write with a quill, and talk about the Goddess of All-Living, I couldn’t do it anymore. I would see the Planet of Jirth, even if it killed me.

Today was that day, I would step onto the soil, and see their world for myself. A few shots, and I stood at the airlock trying to maintain my calm. The whoosh of it opening made my heart jump up and down in my chest. A pale greenish mist flowed around my feet. The door swung open. A large reddish orb hung in a purple sky. Deep blue green treelike plants extended into the sky with strange triangular leaves. I hopped out of the door onto a soft, pliant gray material. “It’s…” I could think of no words to describe it.

Priest of Jirth followed behind me. “Come, we’ll take an underground train to our ambassador’s office. A member of the Go On Don wishes to meet Teacher of Einlari.”

I looked up at it, and frowned. “Who are the Go On Don?” My lessons had never mentioned them.

Priest of Jirth motioned for me to follow with two of its blunt fingers. A deep stairwell lit with blue globes. “They are an old organization, one of the oldest. They concern themselves with only people of importance, or rare mental abilities. Priest of Jirth report made them curious if you had latent abilities  If so, Jirth will sponsor you for working with them. It is a great honor, especially for a young race, as Einlari.”

I pondered over the information as we made it a small platform lit up with more colored globes. A silver tube with a panel open to a deep red interior filled with the tall seats I had come to associate with Jirth. “I’m glad to be meeting someone from the Go On Don then.”

Priest of Jirth large eye blinked at me from the side of its oval face. “You are so respectful, Teacher of Einlari. Are you feeling ill?”

As I stepped inside the tube, I spent a moment trying to pinpoint how I felt. “No, I feel fine.”

It nodded, as a deep rose blush rose up around it’s spots. “Good, settle down, the ride will be a while  Teacher of Einlari.”

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The Greatest Discovery

The door flew open covering the bunk, and small table with light. “Craic, get up.” An older man wearing a white stained jumpsuit half shouted while bouncing up and down.

A head lifted from the top bunk. “What is it Phain, I’m sleeping.” It dropped behind the pillow.

“I figured it out. Get up, you must come see it.” Phain shouted back, clasping his hands together.

Craic’s hands pulled on the railing so he half hung over the side. “What are you babbling about?” He rubbed his eyes.

Phain pulled on him with one swift tug. “I’ll show you, get up and come to the lab.” He rushed out the room leaving the door wide open.

“Save me.” Craic muttered as he half tumbled down the bunk. A swift kick made the door slam shut with a bang. A fist bashed into a round glowing button as part of the wall opened to reveal a row of white jumpsuits. He shrugged out of the loose gray wrap he was wearing, and tugged on the jumpsuit. He shoved the door open, and wobbled down the white, brightly lit hallway.

A glass wall showed Phain as well as several others in white jumpsuits standing around one of the gleaming metal tables. The glass doors opened with a whoosh. “Ko, Phain, what did you need to wake me up for in the middle of my sleep.”

His hands jerked back and forth in quick succession. “You have to see it to believe it.”

Craic grumbled his way over stopping next to the table. The top had been turned on the observation screen in each one by one section was a different small furry creature with big ears, and long corkscrew tails. “I’ve seen leikurs before, Phain.” His tone flat, and tinged with anger.

Phain winced. “I know, it’s not the leikurs, sir. It is what I did to them. Click on one of them and read the data. I swear it is worth all the build up.”

“It had better be. I’m the supervisor of this operation. And, considering it’s a secret project you better hope I’m not irritated enough to be rid of you.” Craic snapped. He stretched to his full height as he glared down his nose at the cowering Phain.

Craic grunted in satisfaction and pressed a finger into the one of images. A sheet text file popped up filled with statistical numbers. A brow lifted on his face, and his lips parted a touch. “Are these accurate?”

Phain nodded his eyes still downcast.

Another click, another set of statistics, Craic lips split into a grin. “Have you managed to get this procedure to work on all of these leikurs?”

Phain nodded, this time he lifted his head.

“You have done a miracle, Dr. Phain. You have successfully altered the genetics of these adult creatures with virtually no side effects.” He switched his gaze to the rest of the gathered doctors, and scientists. “Everyone drop your assignments, and work full time on this project. We need to work to get the side effects down to nothing or as close to nothing as we can. And, we need to start acquiring more complex creatures to test on.”

He turned and gave Phain a crushing hug. “Even with what you have here, you have managed to change the world.”

Phain wheezed causing Craic to let him go. “I do worry, sir.”

“Worry about what? It isn’t perfect, but still it amazes me.” Craic eyes lit up, as he stared out past everyone.

Phain bit his lip. “Sir, this invention could be misused. I am glad we can begin to correct the genetic damage done due to the fall, with our gene pool so shrunken we lost a lot of viable genes. But, people might use it to enhance themselves more than necessary. We might create a super class.”

Craic glowered and shook Phain. “Don’t be foolish. The information is going to the government, who is bankrolling us. Are you proposing I do not give them the information?”

“No, no, of course not.” Phain lost all color his skin seemed bleached.

“Then, keep your insane thoughts to yourself. This discovery will only make our world better, not worse.” Craic pronounced his voice thundering.

Phain dropped his head with a nod. His eyes were filled with tears.

 

 

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The Family Slave

“Momma, I want to go home, I don’t like it here anymore.” A slight young girl with a squashed round nose, with dark hair and eyes, tugged on her mother’s skirt.

The mother knelt down, wrapping her arms around the girl shaking. “You can’t come home with us yet. We need to talk to the Slavery Protection Board. After daddy and I talk to him, you can come home.” Her eyes glistened.

A man shambled up to her into the cold, sterile room. “Meira, we need to talk to SPB, now. They are summoning us.” He pats the head of the little girl. The woman started to sob. “Meira, enough. We have to go.” His tone grew hard.

Meira let go of the girl. She rubbed her eyes, and ran her hands down her pale green dress. “I’m ready.”

The man didn’t respond, and walked out into a hallway.

The woman rushed behind him, her hands wringing. No one spoke until they saw a large metallic, double doors. “Joni, do you think they will let her stay with us?”

The man’s eyes became slits, and his brows flattened. “If you hadn’t been funneling your time, and money to the movement, it wouldn’t be a problem. But, you believe in Gulla’s Blue Rose, our family is only a secondary concern.” He grabbed her shoulders, and gave her a hard shake.

Tears poured down her cheeks. “I gave them money to help our family.” She pushed against him, but he didn’t let go. “Joni every few generations one of us goes to be a slave. I’m tired of it. I want our family to be free.”

A push sent her sprawling on the pristine white tiles. “Ko you, Meira. You’ve destroyed us.” He marched away from her, as the doors clicked, and slowly opened inward.

He stood at the entrance surrounded by black floors, wooden benches, and seven floating wood chairs filled with people, with precise, chiseled faces. Joni tapped his foot, as Meira made it beside him.

Together they strode forward to stand in front of the board. As one they dropped to their knees.

The man who occupied the middle seat, sneered at them. “And, now Meira comes before the SPB, begging for favors, after smearing our reputation.”

Meira lifted her head. “First Chair Bivn. I only make a request that any citizen is allowed to make. Would you not even give me the comfort of family?” Her eyes still wet with tears, but fierce.

“Allowing families to take in relatives who are deemed to be slaves, is not a law, or mentioned anywhere in the SORD handbook. It is a merely a courtesy. You have spent all of your life fighting against the SPB, in addition to undermining the authority of the Nobles.” He pointed a finger at her. “You are a disgrace to Alaget, Citizen Meira.”

She shot up, her nose an inch from the end of his finger. “You are the disgraces. You allow our own race to use, and abuse itself. You sell children to whoever wants them, and condemn them to a life of slavery. You mock the other races, when they call us barbaric. We are savages. I fight for our people.” All her age, and imperfections washed away with the power of her words, the power of her conviction.

First Chair Bivn eyes widened, and he slapped her. She fell back. “You will kneel before your betters, Citizen.”

“I would, if I knew of any. I will not bow for my child. I will do as I was taught.” She smiled, even as the bruise on her face darkened. “Use politics, and underhanded tricks to win. For the Blue Rose!”

As the echo of her shout died, the doors swung open. A woman dressed in a flowing robe with pure white hair walked in. Her eyes were wide, and blue. “Greetings, Slavery Protection Board. I have come here on behalf my ward. I assume that is no trouble for you.”

“Grand Lady Rillian, you are welcome anywhere.” He bowed his head, even though his lips were a straight line.

She let out a giggle. “Oh, surely not, First Chair Bivn. You resent me, and you resented Gulla Valik. However, I recently did purchase the employ of this fine citizen. And, if you are not foolish.” Her face dropped the happy facade, to sneer at him, as she advanced down the pathway. “You will give her the child, and leave them be. Otherwise, I will be forced to be hard on you. I detest brutal methods, but I will employ them if necessary.”

All the other chairs turned to look at First Chair Bivn. He swallowed as the blood drained from his face, and he shook a little. “As you wish, Queen of Amon.”

Grand Lady Rillian snapped two fingers, and Meira and Joni stood up. She swept out, as they followed.

The door closed as Joni fell to his knees. “Thank you for saving my daughter.”

“She is no longer your daughter, Citizen Joni. Citizen Meira is no longer your wife. She will live with me, and you will never see her again.” Her hand shot down, as she hauled the man up. “Do you understand? I exposed myself, in order to prevent this. And, it is your fault it happened. I will not allow you to compromise, my retainer, or my position. Now, go.”

Joni faced Meira he opened his mouth.

Grand Lady Rillian shoved him back. “Don’t speak to her. Don’t apologize. Go.” She shoved him again. “Ko, go!”

He let out a cry, and took off running.

“It is his fault?” Meira asked in a quiet voice.

“Indeed.” Grand Lady Rillian kept her eyes in the direction Joni ran. “He gave evidence about your anti-slavery activities to avoid a charge. He tried to assault an off worlder with citizen status.” Her head twisted around to face Meira. “Our standing in the Intergalactic Council is already weak. He would have made it weaker. Come on, let’s get your daughter.”

Meira ran down the hall, her feet pounding. The door to her daughter’s room flew open. “Sweetheart, come here!”

“Are we going home mama?” The little girl wrapped her arms around her mother’s legs. “No, we are going someplace much better.”

 

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Tradin’ Up

A tall pale man pulled a rickety cart filled with scrap metal. His hand pushed hair out of his gray eyes. A puckered red scar marred his face. Around them was blacken metal beams, crushed stone, and shattered glass shards. His feet crunched on the ground. Another man with an equally full car pulled up beside him. “Do you think it is enough for the Ga’more?”

Pale man gave a half nod. “It is the weight they asked for.”

Milin, they are aliens.” The man swung his arms to the desolation around them. “Aliens did this to us. Why help us?”

Tiyl.” Milin spoke in a soft tone. “Only one alien race bombed us, the Delirr. The other races don’t care about us either way. They are traders, nothing more.”

The cart behind Tiyl came to a stop. “And, why would this useless crap matter to anyone, then?”

Milin waved his fingers forward. “We can walk, and talk, Tiyl.” Both carts began to roll, again. “What we are trading for has little to no value to the Ga’more. It is old technology. No one uses environmental domes anymore.”

“How can they help us, Milin? Won’t they prolong the inevitable, our people are doomed.” Tiyl whole posture fell.

Milin whole body stiffened, his face hardened. “No. We are not doomed. I will not allow us to die. Einlari will survive, Tiyl. We will.” He stared at Tiyl. Tears ran down his cheeks.

“I’m sorry, Milin. It is so hard to hope.”

Milin nodded.

They travelled as the orange sun made steady progress across the sky. The carts jumped up, and down from debris. At a distance a shining silver cylinder landed. “Let’s hurry,” Milin broke into a long stride.

Tiyl took a quick look around him, and followed moving as fast.

In a few moments, Milin made it up to the ship. A wide ramp flanked by four tall, massive, creatures with lavender skin, cerulean dyes, and shaved heads. Heavy metal plates molded to their bulging muscles. Milin dropped to his knees, pieces of glass grinding into his pants.

When Tiyl caught up, he copied the gesture.

Time ticked by, as they both waited, and waited. Finally, another tall creature came out, wearing a flowing black dress. It had black hair stylized in a tall twirled spire. “Greetings Einlari.” The dulcet feminine voice had a touch of scorn.

Milin raised his head. “Greetings Ga’more.” He replied in a steady voice.

“Oh, oh, so rude, when you are begging me for favors.” Her lips tugged into a smile, which did not reach her eyes. “But, I forgive you, because I’m generous soul.”

A quick tilt of Milin’s head, he stood up. “Of course, Veronil, it has always been your best quality.”

She sashayed past him, running a square metal block over the carts. A quiet ding and the block turned blue. She twisted around to look at him. “It seems it is sufficient. And, what did you want to trade, again, I forget.”

Tension flooded Milin’s face. “You know exactly what I wanted, Veronil. Don’t be coy.”

She let out a brittle laugh. “Touchy.”

Her fingers snapped twice. “Bring the environmental dome units, as well the data pad with the technical data.” Two of the burly guards went up the ramp.

An elegant twist of her leg, and she faced Milin. “I was wondering if you would be interested in a further trade.”

“Of what?” His words were clipped.

Without warning Tiyl broke in. “Look you vin, stop jerking our chain.”

Both Milin and Veronil glared at him. He shrunk back, and stared at his feet.

“He is right, though. I do not want to be played with Veronil. I have dealt with you fairly. I have not tried to barter with you more than is polite, manipulate you, or lie to you. Tell me what you want.” His spine straightened, and his chest puffed out.

She pursed her lips. “Oh, fine. You young races are no fun. Your planet is dying. Your ozone is fading. I want to offer you technology to artificially stabilize your ozone. However, the cost is high.”

Milin stared ahead, as thoughts ran back and forth in his mind. He nodded twice to himself. “Alright, what is it?”

“Do you know long ago, Ga’more lost the ability to think intuitively, except for less than one percent of our population? And due to our reputation, we cannot get any races to volunteer for our research. We want Mentals, to research on.” Her gaze stared past both of the Einlari before her.

Milin nostrils flared. “You want to take the most powerful of our people for tests? And, I can’t imagine why people would hesitate to volunteer with a race so brutal, the Intergalactic Council had to be formed to stop its campaigning.”

“True.” Veronil looked Milin in the eye. “Do you think your people will survive, without it? And, I will not take them forever. Perhaps, five years, and we’ll pay a fee for any loss of life. We can negotiate, favorable terms.”

Milin looked at Tiyl. “Fine, I’ll go to negotiate the terms with Ga’more General-Leader.”

Veronil narrowed her eyes. “You lead the Einlari, Milin?”

“Yes, I the surviving First Chair, and I will not let you take the Queen of Amon, from my people.”

“Then, come aboard little Einlari.” She pointed up the ramp.

Milin still looking at Tiyl sighed. “Take the environmental domes with you. Tell them I had to go, it is important. We won’t survive without them. I’ll send more information when I can to Niveri, let the Queen know, I won’t let her down.”

“Sure.” Tiyl responded his eyes red. “I’ll miss you Milin.”

Milin nodded, for the last time, before walking up the ramp.

 

 

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