Random Short #17: Helios Task Force

Jayko stood on the bridge of his dreadnaught, the Laser Lancer.  Outside the bridge-spanning viewport, the bright star at the center of Helios Station glinted, shedding it’s blue-white light on the fleet of gamma class heavy cruisers orbiting the station.

A massive artifact from a time lost to humanity and the galaxy, the several hundred kilometer space-station ringed the artificial star at it’s heart.  When he’d first seen the station, it had reminded him of a throwing weapon, with it’s sleek hull and sharp edges, but the evidence that it was more than what it appeared became evident when one got much closer to it.  Hundreds of city spires rose from recessed sections of hull, dwarfed by the size of the station.  At the inner edge of the ring, tall curving wall sections rose up, acting as solar radiation collectors.  The cut-outs along the station’s outer edges: docking bays, vast enough to hold entire an fleet of dreadnaughts.

It was still unknown whether the station had been intended to act as a safe-haven or a weapon.  Regardless of that fact however, the station had never seen use until only very recently.

Jayko’s focus on the station was broken as Jessica’s hologram appeared next to him and spoke.

“The task force is nearly assembled, Jayko.  We’re waiting on what remains of the Combine Human-Dekk Fleet,” she reported.

Jayko shifted his gaze from the viewport to the scan the bridge of the Lancer.  He’d relinquished command of the massive bird-like dreadnaught years ago, but had kept it close by as a precaution.  Now, the massive ship and the task-force it commanded were needed once more to lead an assembly of ships larger than the Combine Human-Dekk fleet had been at the height of it’s days.

He gave a small nod.  “I didn’t expect the Council to divert any forces here.  They don’t view this threat as a priority over maintaining the Ssin front-line.  Is there any word from out recon team?”

“We have received the data they have acquired from the planet.  The Arcayans are preparing to act if we do not reply soon.”

“Display, please.”

A series of holographic windows appeared along with a 3-D projection, before the two of them displaying images and analyses of a large ring of mountains.  Information tags adorned each of the towers piercing the mountains and and the surrounding terrain.

“Overlay with the battle-plans, please.  Any changes?”

Images changed, lighting up with a criss-cross tangle of vectors and troop positions.  “Only minor. All is as expected.  They have set up fortifications at base of the Gate caldera and there is a gravitational distortion protecting it from orbital bombardment.”

Jayko nodded and looked over at the AI.  She smiled back at him.  “Shall I put you on fleet-wide?”

He smirked back at her.  “Do it.”

She turned to look out the viewport and then nodded.  “You’re live.”

Jayko stood straight and gazed out at the assembled fleets.  There were over a thousand ships of all sizes floating in the black out here between star-systems waiting for his word.

“This is Jayko Troven, addressing all assembled ships.  We have just received the data from our advance recon team.  The enemy is dug in and are waiting for us.  They knew we would come to know of there plans sooner or later—but what they did not know is this: They had not a clue that we would come together in this time of need—species, fleets, from across the galactic arm—to hit them with a force greater than this galaxy has ever seen.  They thought that we would fracture, that we would run, that we would crumble beneath their feet.

“I for one say that we will not!  We will fight!  We will stop them dead in their tracks!”  Jayko raised his fist, his words growing confident.  “Each and every one of you have made it to this point, survived the worst that is out there.  What is to come though will test each and every one of your skills.  This is why I will not be commanding this strike.”

Jayko paused for a moment his gaze hardening, a smile coming to his face.  “Instead, I will be fighting along side-everyone.  I have more than enough trust in each and every one of you that I will fight as well, that I will put my life alongside yours.

“The order has been given.  Let’s hit ‘em hard!” shouted Jayko triumphantly.

He nodded to Jessica and she cut the transmission.  “Let’s follow suit.  Light ‘em up and move ‘em out.  I’m counting on you to coordinate with me on the ground.”

“Aye, sir,” she said, inclining her head with a smile.

“Task force dropping out of FTL, sir!” called out one of the bridge crew.  “We’re being hailed.”

“Put ‘em on,” said Jayko turning to look for the arriving ships.  A sizable group of ships of dekk and human design dropped from FTL followed close by five large dreadnaughts.

A hologram appeared before Jayko.  The Fleet Commander was dressed in a crisp Combine Fleet naval uniform and smiled when he saw Jayko.  “We didn’t miss the party, did we now?” asked Admiral Adren Hale.

Jayko broke into a wide grin.  “You’re just in time!” he said, happy to see his old friend from the Combine Fleet.  “The Council finally made up their mine, did they?”

Hale shook his head.  “Sadly they decided to sit with their thumbs up their asses.  I had to make the decision myself.  The Ssin border’s not going anywhere.  And between the two of us, when you messaged me about this whole thing.  It wasn’t hard to see where my forces were needed.  My men are ready to follow you to hell and back if it means we can finally stick it back to the bastards that kicked us out of the core worlds.”

Jayko nodded.  “Fall in.  Jessica will fill you in the on the plan.”

“You’re not leading this thing?”

“Nope.  I want to see this through personally.”

Hale smirked at Jayko.  “That’s just like you.  I’ll keep the skies clear and we’ll be on station when you need us.  Good hunting. Hale, out.”

“The same to you, old friend.  Jayko, out.”

The transmission cut leaving Jayko staring at the view before him.  The Lancer had adjusted it’s orbit around Helios Station along with the other fleets, moving into position for FTL transition.  Jessica had linked in to the entire fleet network and was coordinating the jump.  They were going to bring the entire fleet into orbit around the planet right on top of the Ssin forces blockading it.

Taking the helmet of his crimson colored ability enhancing armor, Jayko slid it over his head, locking it in place.  The AE armor was tighter than he remember, but it felt good to step back into it.

“Guess I better gear up, and get ready.”  He shook his head and looked over to Jessica, smiling underneath the golden visor.  “It’s going to be one helluva shock when Helios Station drops in on them.”

She smiled back.  “First impressions are everything.”  With a surge of acceleration, the Lancer and the fleet jumped.  It was time for battle.

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Random Short #16: Joint Operation

Laurel stood with her helmet in hand, waiting for the lift to arrive at it’s destination.  Clad in her ability enhancing armor, her pistol at hip, kinetic scout rifle attached to her back, she was ready to get their recon mission started.

Behind her stood the rest of her squad, the twins Tappen and Tarren, and Ben, her second in command.  His wide build and heavy AE armor made him look like a tank of a man and that was what he was.  The twins took care of tasks that required a quick nimble touch to them and Ben took where there was sure to be damage dealt.  His armor showed scars of past missions and his contribution to the team.  Laurel served as the long range member of the team, coordinating and taking out targets from a distance.

They’d been through hell and back together under Jayko’s command before he vanished.  Somehow though, they’d come full circle and the old bastard had shown he was alive and kicking no worse for the years he’d been gone, and they were under his command once again.

The lift doors opened and Laurel stepped out onto the Combat Hangar as it was labeled and stopped dead, the rest of the squad mimicking her, all of them gazing in awe at the scene before them.

Ben let out a soft whistle, impressed at the view.

They’d come onboard the Arcayan Advance Vessel through one of the hangar bays that housed smaller ships.  Since their time onboard though, their drop ship had been moved to the Combat Hanger.  Having had limited access aboard the ship this was the first they’d seen of the hanger and their drop ship.

“I’ll be damned,” said Violet softly.  “So this is what they were hiding.”

“Not sure how they can hide these things in the first place.  That is a good size of firepower they have,” chimed in Ben.

Laurel shook her head and scanned the hangar for their ship.  It sat in the center of the floor on a raised launch platform, waiting for them.

Starting down the steps Laurel strode toward the drop ship resting between the rows of giant mechs standing tall on either side of the hanger in their respective bays, scaffolding and restraints wrapping around them.  Each torso the size of a large drop ship, standing on two double jointed legs.  Four arms, to large and two half-size adorned the broad shouldered torso, and resting on top a the elongated form of a head, optical sensor suite staring menacingly ahead.  Set in racks on either side of the bays was a single large kinetic rifle the size of a starship’s cannon.

Evidence of battle scared the mechs and each one seemed to wear it’s set of scared and pitted armor plating like a badge of honor.  The Arcayan Advance Vessel had obviously seen battle in the past.

The crew of the Advance Vessel bustled around preparing the mechs for combat.  The song of war had been sung, and they were prepared.  However, Jayko had asked them to wait until a recon of their objective had been completed.  He’d told Laurel in the briefing that he believed they would need the combine strength of all the ships he could muster and Helios Station if they wanted to take out their target in one strike.

As the squad reached their drop ship, climbing the steps up to it’s launch pad, their pilot met them at the open hatch.  She tipped her shaved head toward the mechs lining either side of the bay.  “Quite a sight, ain’t they?” she said as way of greeting.

“That’s an understatement,” said Ben under his breath looking around.

“These Arcayans sure know how to project their power.  Aside from dropping into orbit around the planet unnoticed, they have these things prepped and ready for battle,” she said expanding on what they already knew.  “And they said they’re going to insert us under the radar too.”

“Good, all without our target knowing we’re here,” said Laurel with smirk.  “Just the way I like it.”

The pilot snorted a laugh.  “Climb aboard honey and let’s see what they have in store for us.”   She reached up and grabbed one of the hand holds, hoisting her self up into the drop ship’s bay and heading for the door to the cockpit.  “Mac!  You ready?” she called up to her copilot.
”All in the green!  Jus’ waitin’ on you.”

“Well fire it up and give ‘em the go signal.  They haven’t told me what’s in store, so let’s be surprised, shall we?”

Laurel followed with the rest of the squad, stepping up into the bay.  She slung her rifle off her back and secured it overhead before dropping into of the crash-seats on either side of the bay, pulling the harness over her chest and putting her helmet over her head.  She sealed it and looked up to see Ben Across the way with the twins doing the same.

She flashed him a thumbs up and he nodded back.  “Comm’s are in the green,” she heard him say in her ear.

“Glad to hear it,” she replied.

The pilot came over the comm and the bay doors slid shut with a hiss of compressed air.  “Engaging seals.  All green.  We are go.  Repeat we are go.”

An Arcayan voice came over the channel.  “Affirmative.  Begin drop sequence.”

“I read you, but I don’t know what you want me to do.”

“As you humans say, ‘sit back’.”  The connection went dead.

“I’ll be damned, what stuck-up fool—“

The pilot’s sentence was cut off as drop ship suddenly jarred and Laurel felt herself being pressed into her seat at the ship was moved suddenly from where it had been resting.

“Well I’ll be, they got us in one of their cargo grapplers.  What in the hell are they doing?”  Laurel felt the world turn sideways and she queued up the outside camera’s on the drop ship’s hull on her heads up display.

“Shit!  We’re in a drop chute!” called out Ben.  He’d queued it up as well.

“Yeah I can see that,” said the pilot.

The Arcayan voice came over the comm again briefly.  “Extending cloak.  Prepare for drop.”

“They can do that?” asked Ben quizzically.

“Brace yourselves!” called back the pilot as the connection cut.

Suddenly the pulse of electricity shot past the outside of the drop ship and in the next second they the ship was accelerated past the mach barrier and in the next instant they had exited the drop chute and were rocketing into the atmosphere.

“Holy shit!  They were in hella low orbit!  We’re already in atmo!” called out the pilot.

Laurel felt more than heard the drop ship’s thrusters fire over the roar of their descent.  They’d gone through several cloud layers and were coming up on the ground very quickly.  The world leveled out and suddenly skimming the grassy planes of the continent they’d landed on.  Ahead in view was their target.

The massive ring of mountains pierced through by multiple spires reaching up toward the heavens dominated the view before them.

“Alright, squad.  Once we hit dirt and we’re in position, we send the green light to orbit.  Here’s hoping our commander can pull off his wild plan by that time or it’s going to be us against an Ssin army.”

“I think we can handle that,” said Ben confidently rapping his thick chest-plate with a gauntlet.  “There’s no way they’re stopping this beast.”

“All that fat you mean,” jabbed the twins in unison.

“Shut it!” snapped back Ben.  “Or I’ll throw you out of this bird.”

“Only one doing the throwin’ in going to be me,” shot back the pilot.  “LZ’s coming up, so get your arses in gear!”

“Aye, ma’am!” called out Ben releasing his harness and standing up.

Laurel followed suit.  “Let’s do this!”

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Black-Heart: Training

Aaron moved through this his workout fluently as Grace sat watching him.  As the sun climbed slowly into the sky and started to burn off the fog surrounding the city Aaron finished his last exercise and dropped into a sitting position, crossing his legs and looking at Grace watching him.  She smiled back.

He reached up and ran his hand through his hair.  It came back soaked with sweat.  He hadn’t remembered how hard some the exercises he’d used to do had been.  He’d fallen out of shape and it was apparent in his form and his muscles.  But to someone else it wouldn’t have looked that way.  In his workout he’d gone far beyond what most humans were capable of and had pushed himself even farther, knowing the limits of his body.

“You’re full of surprises,” said Grace smiling and shaking her head.

“That he is. But he’s going to need to do better if he’s going to master himself.”

Both Grace and Aaron looked up to see Van standing over him.  The man tossed a paper-wrapped package at him.  Aaron could feel what it was before he caught it in his hands.  It was the pistol.

He held it in his lap, gazing down at it, his expression having turned stony, his face becoming a hard mask.

“Open it and let’s get started,” said Van leaning against the mast, his arms crossed, his expression blank as he watch Aaron.

“What is that?” asked Grace leaning in to see examine the package.  She clung to the blanket surrounding her.

Aaron could tell she was feeling something coming from the pistol.  It had an affect on everyone that came into contact with it.  He could feel the curse seething in the back of his mind.  Having been distracted by his workout and Grace, he hadn’t realized just how strong it had become.

A dark air of anticipation radiated from it.  It had been waiting for this moment.

Aaron slowly unwrapped the paper from around it, answering Grace’s question, “It’s my curse and burden.  The reason that Barret wants my head.”

She gazed at it silently.  He could see her trying to draw herself into the blanket, to shrink as far away from the weapon as possible.

He looked from her to the weapon again.  The presence roiled in the back of his mind.

“You’re going to do what you tired to before, during out fight,” said Van, his voice having taken on the commanding tone of a teacher speaking to his student.

“Make a connection…” muttered Aaron.  He remembered what had happened last time he’d dropped his mental defenses.  He’d blacked out and seen that vision.  Of what, he was still unsure.

His gaze flicked up to Grace sitting across from him.

Kill her!  

The whisper surprised him and his gaze hardened.  That’s not going to happen.  He thought back.  Never.

He could feel the blood-lust of the curse calling out to him.

“Not with her here,” he said darkly to Van.

The swordsman shook his head.  “She needs to stay right where she is.”

Aaron shook his head looking up at Van, his gaze hard.  “No.  I will not put her in danger.”

“You already have,” replied Van strictly.

Grace looked worriedly between the two of them, her gaze falling on Aaron.  “What is he talking about, what’s going to happen?”

Aaron shook his head and sighed, clenching his teeth.  “I never wanted you to see this side of me.  This is the burden I carry from my past.”

Her fingers touched his cheek, surprising him from his focus on the weapon.  She’d reached out, but the blanket was still clutched around her.  Somehow she’d worked up the courage to come closer to the dark presence emanating from the pistol.  “Let me share some of that burden,” she said slowly, looking him in the eye.  “If it will help bring you back…”

Aaron sighed again.  “Alright.”  He directed his words to Van.  “If I try to do anything…”

“I will stop you,” finished Van quietly.

Grace let her hand fall away as she clasped the blanket around her tighter.  Aaron let out a deep sigh and closed his eyes.  He could feel the presence sending out tendrils, pushing against his defenses, eager to take control.

A little bit at a time I guess, thought Aaron.  Taking a deep breath, he started to let down the first layer of his mental defenses.

He felt the curse rush in, pushing as hard as it could against his consciousness.  Slowly, he let down another layer.  His eyes flew open and his pupils dilated.  He felt his muscles tense up and his control over his body start to waiver.  His hand twitched, wanting to move for the pistol resting in his lap.

No.  He mentally willed himself to keep from moving.  Focusing on keeping control over his body, he started to let down more of his mental defenses.  The curse rushed in as fast as it could and then suddenly he felt all control falling away as he lost his focus on keeping himself from moving.

Through his eyes, he could see the pistol had suddenly appeared in his hand.  Grace had risen from her spot on the deck.  He could feel his muscles flexing as his own body followed suit, the paper wrapping falling away from his lap, blown about by the wind.

The pistol came up, his arm outstretched.  He watched with horror as his finger found the trigger.  Damnit!  No! he cried out to no avail as his finger tightened on the trigger.

 

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A Long While

Or at least that’s what it’s felt like.  I can’t remember when it was that I last posted, but it has been a while.  As this Spring Term of college comes to a close I find myself winding down from all the tension and stress of classes and into a sort of acceptance of my performance, or lack-there-of this term.  I worked hard on many of my classes, but sometimes, things just don’t click and you don’t get the grade you want.  Let’s just say, I’m happy with a passing grade and not having to retake the class.

Anyway, I’m not here to lament about college and all that, I’m here to talk about writing!

I have very few updates and couple things I’m going to try and do in the next week.  Good news is, I got Star Catcher published in paperback and it looks great!  I need to post a link on the site for it still, it’s something I’ve been meaning to do, but have not gotten around to doing.  The book’s up and ready for purchase though CreateSpace, by Amazon.  It’s print on demand, and sadly will not be in bookstores, but nevertheless, it’s superb news!

Next update I have is about Aaron’s Story, Black-Heart.  I dropped it back when NaNoWriMo started, I believe, can’t quite remember, and I never picked it back up as I was out of ideas and wasn’t sure where I was going with it.  So, I spent some time reading through the older posts to refresh myself and boy do I have to do some editing on many of those posts.  Lots of little things, but it was hard to just read and not see them.  So I will need to go back, but that’s for later when I have the time.

The reason I bring Aaron back up, is I was able to finish off the last scene I was writing about him and I want to start posting again.  When we left off with him, he’d just gotten his backside handed to him by Barret Bray, his long time rival, and had just finished healing and catching up with Grace back onboard the airship.  He was just starting back into his old training regimen, deciding that he needs to get stronger if he wants to beat Barret.  And, following this quick recap, the next post will pick up right with where we left off with him starting his training.

So, happy reading, happy writing, and… happy final’s week to all of you who have college!  Don’t stress out too much!  Good advice all around.

Cheers!

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Random Short #15: A Way Out

Hello internets!  It’s been a while, hasn’t it?  Well, at least it’s been a while since I posted something here.

College has gotten, as usual, crazy hectic and who knows how much more hectic it will get in the coming months as I try to find the motivation to sit and study up.  I figure I’ll get through it somehow, I always seem to.  But, that’s not why I’m here.  I just wanted to write a short update and give a taste of what’s been going through my head lately.  I’ve really been itching to get back to writing, but it seems like forever since I did anything writing related, so I’m feeling real rusty.  At the same time though, I did take the time to try and scrape off the layer of rust and finish up the last few chapters of the next book after Star Catcher.  I think I’ve called it a sequel in the past, but it’s really just a new story unto itself.

So, I got that finished up and now it’s time to start editing it.  I’ll have more to say on that later, but at the same time, I’m trying to get my mind back into novel planning mode, which I’m finding really hard.  I keep coming up with ideas and having no where for them to go, no good way to fit them into a coherent story.  I think I just need to sit down and start writing again.  So, I did!  And below is the result.  It’s not a beginning, it’s not an end, it’s somewhere in the middle.  It takes play sometime after the sequel that I just finished up.  So let’s call it a scene from the sequel to the sequel.  That’s a lot of sequels.  Anyway, it’s a little out of context, so if you want some back-story, head on over to the shiny new E-book page and pick up copy of Star Catcher– available in paperback soon!  This follows the characters from it, so happy reading!

Cheers!

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Random Short #14: Lost History

Jaymen smiled in greeting as Aronon entered the room, his large lizard-like form moving with grace as he crossed to where Jaymen was standing near the projector table in the center of the library.

Aronon nodded back in greeting to his good friend.  “Time has seen fit to cross our paths again!  How are you Jaymen!” called Aronon in his lisping, deep voice.

Jaymen reached out and clasped Aronon’s hand firmly.  The days have been good to me.”

Aronon tilted his head.  “That is excellent.  Trade with the inner colonies has been growing as of late, and I have a few shipments that you will love.  I dare ask what has called us together again, though, as my trips out here are not frequent and your message was most strange.”

“Right to the heart of the matter as always I see,” said Jaymen the skin around his eyes tightening as he is expression changed.  “I will have to take a look at what you have brought.  But… regarding my message.  We can speak here freely.”

Aronon fixed him with a hard stare.  “You said you had some information that you believed placed you in danger.”

Jaymen nodded, resting his hands on the projector table.  “That’s true.  I fear I have overstepped my bounds in the eyes of some.  I have to ask that I may place the burden of this information on your shoulders as I cannot risk it being lost and forgotten once again.”

“We arilians have watched and kept safe information millennia old of our own history.  This is just the mere peak of knowledge held within the arilian archive.  I am not one of the few charged with keeping and protecting this knowledge, but I will do my best to shoulder this burden.”

Jaymen nodded again.  “You’re one of the only people I can trust with this.  Thank you.  I’m also creating a back up of all the data related to this where it will be safe until it is needed.”

“I am ready,” said Aronon.

Jaymen tapped the projector table with one hand, bringing up a series of controls.  The projectors lit and a hologram of the galaxy formed, floating above the surface of the table.  Pinpoints of light dotted the map, marking coordinates across the spiral arms all the way to the center.

“As you know, I’ve been working on uncovering ruins, artifacts, here on this planet for some time.  I recently came across a large information databank encased in what I can only determine is a quantum time field.  A technology yet to be achieved by anyone.  It took some effort, but we were able to access it.  Only a trickle of information was gleaned from it before it shut itself down and sealed all outside access.

“What was extracted from it was a only broken, fragmented information.  A puzzle in it’s own right, but it told a history I have only heard mere mention of in legends older than I.  The arilian knowledge core might have a recollection of this history but I’m not sure if even they would know of this.”

Jaymen pointed to the projection as it slowly rotated.  “What we found was that, scattered throughout the galaxy, are a series of installations.  Interconnecting portals.  This is only an extrapolation as to their specific location gained from information pieced together from the database.”

Jaymen manipulated the controls and the hologram changed to display a large construct sunken deep into the crust of planet.  “Seismic scans show an installation of similar size and shape buried here on this planet.  My belief is that they are a series of portals connecting the regions of the galaxy together.  We’ve only explored a small section of our own spiral arm, but if my calculations are correct, these portals were seeded nearly throughout the entire galaxy.

He switched the view back to the image of the galaxy.  Each of the pinpoints of light connected together, tracing each arm of the galaxy.

“The database showed us that these portals were all active at one time.  That a galaxy-spanning civilization existed before any of ours, for nearly a millennia or more.  Then, something happened.  One by one the portals were shut down or destroyed, I don’t know which, or what happened to cause this, but the information was recorded in that database.  A collapse of civilization on a galactic scale.

Jaymen looked Aronon in the eye.  “This is just the small amount of information we were able to piece together.  The rest is still unsolved as to what it means.  More context is needed, but what I am worried about is the reason for this collapse.”

The hard look in Jaymen’s eyes spoke volumes to the arilian.  The information he’d come into contact with had affected him deeply.

Looking back to the controls, Jaymen highlighted one of the pinpoints.  “This was the first point of the collapse.  All that we gained from the database was that something at these specific coordinates was the start of the entire thing.  What troubles me most is that this portal lies on the adjacent spiral arm to our own region of the galaxy.  There was no record that we could discern of what caused this collapse.”

Aronon examined the hologram for a moment.  “Knowledge set in the stone of the past can affect the future,” mumbled Aronon, reciting a piece of arilian wisdom.

“Exactly,” responded Jaymen.  “Whatever is still locked in that database may give us the full picture.  But I’m afraid that knowledge may also bring our own civilizations to the same conclusion as what happened over a millennia ago.  The small bit of information we gleaned from it may have been meant as a warning.”

“A warning to what?”

Jaymen shook his head.  “That’s what I would like to know.  There is more to the puzzle that we have not solved.  If you would like to take a look at it, I have a copy of the data ready.”

Aronon shook his head.  “This knowledge is a burden unto itself.  What do you plan to do with it.”

“I plan to finish solving the puzzle.”

“And in this…”

“In doing this, the people that I was working with feel I have overstepped my bounds out here.  The information that was taken from the database is to be given to them and all other copies destroyed.”

“What do they plan to do with it?”

“Seal it, bury it away,” said Jaymen with a frustrated sigh.  “We must learn from this history so that we may not repeat it.  Once these portals are discovered.  Once we have explored more of the galaxy, I fear what happened, will again come to pass once more.”

“And if this information, this warning, is lost.  So will our hope,” finished Aronon.

“I refuse to take a look at the rest of the information.  But I will accept the burden of it.”

Jaymen sighed in relief, satisfied with his answer.  “You’re young.  Arilians live for nearly a thousand years.  I myself have lived longer than the average human and I do not know how many years I have left.”

“When the time is right, the warning will need to be heeded.  When you have completed the puzzle…”

Jaymen nodded.  “I will forward you what I have found.  I fear that I will not be able to though.  Everything that I have achieved on this planet, in this city, puts us farther ahead of the rest of the galaxy and the people I was working with on this also fear that as well.  I was wrong to trust them.  If this single human colony outside of the borders of known space is lost again…”

“It will not be forgotten,” reassured Aronon putting a scaled hand on his friends shoulder.

“The safeguard that I spoke of…”  Jaymen made a move to the controls to switch the image on the projector.

Aronon shook his head.  “No.  It will be better that I not have knowledge of it.  It will be safer that way.”

“Alright,” said Jaymen.

Aronon let his hand slip from his friend’s shoulder and folded his arms.  “I must consider what you have told me.  I will accept the burden of this knowledge, but it must remain safe until it is needed.”

“I’ll leave you a way to find it when the time comes.  I’m close to solving it.  I just need a little more time.  I believe it has ties to the planet that I’ve been searching for since I discovered this colony.  I’m so close and yet so far.

Aronon nodded and turned.  “When you are ready, I will be overseeing trade down at the dock.  The cargo that I have for you is there.”

Jaymen nodded, with a sigh, smiling at his friend.  “I’ll meet you there in a bit.  And Aronon, thank you.”

Aronon briefly bowed his head, an arilian gesture of respect, and then left the room, the door swishing closed as he exited the library.

Jaymen tapped the controls, switching the image over to that of the schematics for where he would safeguard this information.  The small insect like robot floated over the table.  It’s head was rounded, wing-like hover jets and stubby arms protruding from it’s body.  A small drone capable of flight and of many other feats.  It would protect the data, the warning.  And his son.

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Spring Spirit

Spring has sprung—more or less where I am—and with it comes spring cleaning and getting ready for Spring term of college.  One week is not enough for me to be ready to go back to sitting hunched over the grindstone honing my brain into a sharp weapon of knowledge.  We’ll see if that every really happens.  I may just turn my brain to mush trying to hone it on a grindstone.  I don’t think that could be very good for a brain.

Nevertheless, I’ve been slacking off this past week as much as possible.  I got my apartment to looking nearly spick and span and have delved deep into the campaign of Gears of War: Judgment.  Which if you haven’t, I highly recommend that you take a look at it.  It’s got a great story and some fun gameplay to boot!

In other news though, I haven’t sold any more copies of Star Catcher, which I sort of expected to happen.  As much as I’ve been promoting it, college and other things have taken priority and I haven’t been promoting it at all.  So in light of that and slowly getting my arse in gear with Theo’s Story and getting that published, I figured I’ll drop the price down to $0.99.  A whole $2.00 drop.  All it means is less money for me.  But I put it out there for myself and anyone who wants to read it, not to make tons of money off of.  Aside from the fact that it’s my only book that I’ve published.

And if you haven’t picked up a copy yet, it’s super cheap now!  And—link!

Star Catcher

Help out a poor college student who needs to pay off his ever-increasing loans.  Haha, they’re not that bad—yet.

But I digress.  I was also thinking about publishing Star Catcher with Amazon’s Create Space which would enable it to be bought as a paperback.  I wonder though if that would have any influence on who would purchase it.  It would open up a new audience, though I would have to get back to work promoting it before anyone would even know about it.

Oh well, I’ll keep that option open.  For now though, I’m going to get back to enjoying my spring break!  Hope everyone is having a nice beginning to spring as well!  If not, get out there and enjoy it!

Cheers!

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