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The latest posts tagged with “fiction

New Release “Power”
Power is here! You can download it from Smashwords right now, and it will be available via Nook, Kindle or any other eBook store by the end of the month. Power is the 3rd book of the Crim and Denek Chronicles so if you haven’t read the first two feel free to download Freedom and Choice so you know what is going on. The story is going back ward so if the book number, as you notice Freedom is book 00, Choice is book -01 and Power is -02; FYI: that negative sign is not a typo.
These short stories are free for your enjoyment. All we ask is your kindness in dropping us a note, a review, a thought etc of what you read. It may be positive or negative, just not unnecessary harsh and/or foul language, as it would give the author insights on how to improve his story and writing style. Thank you for all your support!
Have fun reading!

New Release “Power”

Power is here! You can download it from Smashwords right now, and it will be available via Nook, Kindle or any other eBook store by the end of the month. Power is the 3rd book of the Crim and Denek Chronicles so if you haven’t read the first two feel free to download Freedom and Choice so you know what is going on. The story is going back ward so if the book number, as you notice Freedom is book 00, Choice is book -01 and Power is -02; FYI: that negative sign is not a typo.

These short stories are free for your enjoyment. All we ask is your kindness in dropping us a note, a review, a thought etc of what you read. It may be positive or negative, just not unnecessary harsh and/or foul language, as it would give the author insights on how to improve his story and writing style. Thank you for all your support!

Have fun reading!

 
Tiny Earth Declares War On Earth
A short story by J. T. Pearson
Post 3
Behind them a painting of George Washington fell to the floor with a crash, the carpeting parted, and the priceless art piece sunk out of sight.
“King Johnson can be tremendously rude,” Maynard said. “And disrespectful,” as he watched the top of Washington’s head disappear below the line of cobalt blue. “If only General Washington was here now. There’d be some tiny ass kicking coming their way.”
“Where does this assault on my office end, Maynard? When are they going to stop?”
“This isn’t the same as our previous contact with them. They’re being particularly aggressive this time, Mr. President. I need to let you know that the last time they contacted President Holcomb they indicated that they wanted to shrink him down and bring him to their planet so that he could address their demands. Now, that would be your job, Mr. President, to go down to their planet and meet them. They don’t want to meet on our planet.”
“Holcomb just ignored their request?”
“He did. With a lot of stalling and filibustering until you took office.”
“Holcomb!” the president yelled, throwing his hands up. “That son of a bitch!” Then the president thought for a moment. “Perhaps I can stall too?”
“For four years, Mr. President?”
“How long did Holcomb stall?”
“Two. But General Peck informed me that in their last message they stated that their patience is up and they expect our leader to come down to their planet before the week’s out or else.”
“Or else? Pretty big words for a tiny planet. They don’t think I can be as tough as Holcomb?”
“Perhaps your emphasis on social programs has led them to believe that you’re a weak leader, one to be taken advantage of and pushed around.”
“What the hell?”
“I’m not the one saying that, Mr. President.”
“We’ll see who is soft.”
“What do you plan to do?”
“Let’s get a committee together. More brains in the room. A committee of small men, but with large constitutions. A small man brainstorm. I need a tiny person’s perspective. Why does Tiny Earth feel that they need to harass us? I want to understand what I’m up against before I negotiate or find a way to destroy them. I need to get into their tiny brains. Don’t include a single man in this committee over five foot seven, Maynard. If it’s a woman, under five feet – no – under four feet. Do you understand, Mr. Secretary?”
“That would make the women midgets.”
“No women, then?”
“No, Mr. President. You need women on the panel. When prompted women are much better at inflicting punishment than men.”
“Right. Then women midgets will be just fine. And already angry, if possible.”
“I’ll find a panel of experts that are all as short as you request.”
“Good.”
“I’m considering bringing Tom Cruise in on this, Mr. Secretary. I think he might be able to help.”
“I know it’s not necessary to point out to you, Mr. President, that Mr. Cruise is only an actor and that he’s never really solved an actual world crisis.”
“Then why did you say it? I know that. I’ve just got a gut feeling about bringing him in on this, okay? Besides, he’s only five foot seven. He fits the initial criteria.” The president waved the secretary away angrily and walked to the window, looking out at what had started to be a beautiful day but was quickly becoming overcast. “You’re still here, aren’t you, Mr. Secretary?”
“Yes, Mr. President.”
“What?”
“You’ll also need to contact DC CARPET and DRAPES, Mr. President.”
“Do whatever you need to tidy the place up, Mr. Secretary, but please don’t bother me with the details. I doubt that bastard Holcomb dealt with keeping this place clean.”
“No, Mr. President. DC CARPET AND DRAPES is the most sophisticated and secretive branch of the government. Their identities are so secure that the agents sometimes forget that they are agents and begin to believe that they clean carpets and drapes for a living, which is really what they do about ninety percent of the time. It creates an amazing cover.”
“The agents actually do clean carpeting? That’s not some type of code you’re talking right now, like cleaning the carpeting means replacing an existing regime that we find unfriendly?”
“No, Mr. President. They do a hell of a good job cleaning – even the shag during the Nixon term.”
“Well, get them to the White House and get them up to speed, Mr. Secretary.”
“I’ll contact DC CARPET AND DRAPES and tell them to come. Informing them of anything is pointless. They acquire all of the critical details well before anyone else.”
“Perhaps I should call them, personally.”
“You don’t call them on a phone, Mr. President. We post a sign that lets them know that their presence is requested.”
“You can’t mean like signaling Batman with the bat signal?”
“No. Theirs is an ever-changing code that appears to fit no rhyme or reason, indecipherable.”
“What is the signal this time?”
“We need to decorate a tree in Cleveland that’s as close to a Pizza King as possible with Christmas tinsel, homemade pipe bombs, a portrait of George Clooney, and dozens of dead mice. Then call the local news media to make certain that it makes the evening report and so that bomb experts get down there right away keeping curious Cals in Cleveland from getting their ear muffs blown off. And then, we need to hold a press conference where we identify the bio-explosive materials in the tree as an act of terrorism and blame it on the French.”
“None of what you just said is some bizarre form of agent code?”
“No, it’s all literal, Mr. President.”
“Then I guess you’ve got some dead mice and berets to round up. You’d better get to it.”
The Secretary walked out of the office. Just after the door closed, three bismarks that were on the tray on the desk suddenly flattened like shrinking balloons, jelly dribbling out on to the desk.
The Secretary of Defense made the arrangements to contact DC CARPET AND DRAPES. The agents were all over the White House by the next morning diligently cleaning the carpets and window treatments. The president approached a chubby man with a severe spinal curvature. He had a heavily tanned and balding pate which was poorly covered by an erratic white comb-over, and a moustache equally snowy to the hair. He looked to be in his early sixties, of Italian decent, wearing an ill-fitting grey sweatshirt embroidered with the company logo, DC CARPET AND DRAPES, and doing a smashingly thorough job of cleaning the crimson drapes that covered the windows in the hall outside the Oval Office. His men throughout the building had a similar disheveled appearance. The man, his face mapped with sun damage and a continual grin, looked up and turned off the noisy machine he was working with, slightly bowing his head respectfully as the president approached.
“Oh my goodness, your honor! It’s my honor!” The man’s accent was thick. “How about this? How about this? The President of the United States and its Luigi Giacomini, the humble grandson of Italian immigrants, that gets the honor to meet him. It’s such a pleasure, Mr. President.”
“Okay, very good, a very convincing act. It is nice to meet you as well, Luigi, but we really need to get down to business. I’ll need you and your men in the War Room in half an hour to discuss the intelligence you’ve gathered.”
Luigi looked at him, confused but still smiling.
“What kind of carpita you got in there? Is it wool like you got out here or prolypopoline like you got in the Lincoln bedroom?”
“The secretary counted five men that you have with you on the premises. Is that an accurate count?”
“Alberto and Jonny only do the drapes, but so clean that your wife could wrap up a baby boy in them and feed him from her naked tiny bosom.”
“In the War Room, Luigi,” said the president examining his watch, “twenty nine minutes,” and he walked down the hall.
“I’ll need more shampoo from my truck,” Luigi shouted after him.
“I hope that’s agent code this time,” the president mumbled to himself as he walked away. He arrived at the War Room, went in, and took a seat at the end of a long maple conference table. As soon as he was seated the phone that had been placed in front of him rang. He stared at it for five rings, remembering the ear assault that Maynard had endured, before he finally decided to answer it.
“You wanted to speak with me?” said a steady cool voice from the receiver.
The President recognized the voice from the last movie he’d seen.
“Mr. Cruise?”
“You can call me Tom, Mr. President.”
“We’ve got a national emergency – hell, a global emergency, Tom, and we could really use your help.”
“You do understand that I’m just an actor, Mr. President?”
“Of course I do.”
“I mean if you want to stage Romeo and Juliet on the White House lawn and invite all of your rich friends over for a fund raiser I can do that. I could even do a celebrity cook off. I make an amazing beef stroganoff. But if this is the type of crisis that is generally handled with guns, Mr. President, I advise you take the conventional route and call the CIA or the Navy Seals, somebody that has killing explicitly stated in their job description.”
“This is a very delicate and specialized case, Tom. I wouldn’t ask if I really didn’t need the favor.”
“Enough said. I’ll fly my chopper in right away, Mr. President.”
The dial went dead and the president found himself alone with his thoughts. He thought about the elation that he’d felt upon winning the presidency, and then about how tired and old Holcomb now looked after serving only four years. Luigi and his men came into the room, set up their equipment, and started cleaning the carpet around him.
Maynard managed to get DC CARPET AND DRAPES to drop their cover and provide the intelligence that they had collected to the file he had on Tiny Earth. But the day hadn’t started out so promising for the president that morning. Upon getting out of bed that morning the president was greeted by a panic stricken Gentlebird. She held out a small cake dome that encased her golden retriever Maury. Maury had been reduced to the size of a penny, his tiny barking barely audible. The president’s priceless set of golf clubs, clubs that had belonged to Teddy Roosevelt had been miniaturized and were in the tiny dome as well. He hugged his wife, being careful not to crush her dog or his golf clubs. “Don’t worry. Everything will be fine.”
“I’m not happy, Winston.”
“Hey little buddy, we’re going to do something about this. You hear me, Maury?” he knocked on the dome and shouted through the glass.
On the way to the White House the car that Secretary Maynard rode in slowed down to a crawl as if it had suddenly started moving through syrup. It lifted inches above the ground, and then dropped violently, spilling the secretary’s coffee down the front of his uniform and bringing his teeth together smartly. This went on throughout the ride every time Maynard attempted to take a sip of his beverage. He cursed under his breath while he scrubbed at the stains on his shirt. “You’re a horrible little people. I hate you, Tiny Earth.”
The president arrived at the War Room to the six agents from DC CARPET AND DRAPES, a handful of short scientists, two of which were female midgets, the Secretary of Defense, and Tom Cruise, who was wearing a leather jacket that looked similar to one he wore in TOP GUN. One of the midgets kept placing her hand on Tom’s shoulder and he kept removing it. Luigi and the other agents of DC CARPET AND DRAPES no longer wore work attire and messy hair. They wore crisp blue suits with black ties and matching sunglasses. They were no longer smiling, their expressions now professional, all business, all bad ass. In the corner, with her machine ready, sat the stenographer. The president took his customary seat at the end of the table.
Post 4 is available here
Guest Post by J. T. Pearson

Tiny Earth Declares War On Earth

A short story by J. T. Pearson

Post 3

Behind them a painting of George Washington fell to the floor with a crash, the carpeting parted, and the priceless art piece sunk out of sight.

“King Johnson can be tremendously rude,” Maynard said. “And disrespectful,” as he watched the top of Washington’s head disappear below the line of cobalt blue. “If only General Washington was here now. There’d be some tiny ass kicking coming their way.”

“Where does this assault on my office end, Maynard? When are they going to stop?”

“This isn’t the same as our previous contact with them. They’re being particularly aggressive this time, Mr. President. I need to let you know that the last time they contacted President Holcomb they indicated that they wanted to shrink him down and bring him to their planet so that he could address their demands. Now, that would be your job, Mr. President, to go down to their planet and meet them. They don’t want to meet on our planet.”

“Holcomb just ignored their request?”

“He did. With a lot of stalling and filibustering until you took office.”

“Holcomb!” the president yelled, throwing his hands up. “That son of a bitch!” Then the president thought for a moment. “Perhaps I can stall too?”

“For four years, Mr. President?”

“How long did Holcomb stall?”

“Two. But General Peck informed me that in their last message they stated that their patience is up and they expect our leader to come down to their planet before the week’s out or else.”

“Or else? Pretty big words for a tiny planet. They don’t think I can be as tough as Holcomb?”

“Perhaps your emphasis on social programs has led them to believe that you’re a weak leader, one to be taken advantage of and pushed around.”

“What the hell?”

“I’m not the one saying that, Mr. President.”

“We’ll see who is soft.”

“What do you plan to do?”

“Let’s get a committee together. More brains in the room. A committee of small men, but with large constitutions. A small man brainstorm. I need a tiny person’s perspective. Why does Tiny Earth feel that they need to harass us? I want to understand what I’m up against before I negotiate or find a way to destroy them. I need to get into their tiny brains. Don’t include a single man in this committee over five foot seven, Maynard. If it’s a woman, under five feet – no – under four feet. Do you understand, Mr. Secretary?”

“That would make the women midgets.”

“No women, then?”

“No, Mr. President. You need women on the panel. When prompted women are much better at inflicting punishment than men.”

“Right. Then women midgets will be just fine. And already angry, if possible.”

“I’ll find a panel of experts that are all as short as you request.”

“Good.”

“I’m considering bringing Tom Cruise in on this, Mr. Secretary. I think he might be able to help.”

“I know it’s not necessary to point out to you, Mr. President, that Mr. Cruise is only an actor and that he’s never really solved an actual world crisis.”

“Then why did you say it? I know that. I’ve just got a gut feeling about bringing him in on this, okay? Besides, he’s only five foot seven. He fits the initial criteria.” The president waved the secretary away angrily and walked to the window, looking out at what had started to be a beautiful day but was quickly becoming overcast. “You’re still here, aren’t you, Mr. Secretary?”

“Yes, Mr. President.”

“What?”

“You’ll also need to contact DC CARPET and DRAPES, Mr. President.”

“Do whatever you need to tidy the place up, Mr. Secretary, but please don’t bother me with the details. I doubt that bastard Holcomb dealt with keeping this place clean.”

“No, Mr. President. DC CARPET AND DRAPES is the most sophisticated and secretive branch of the government. Their identities are so secure that the agents sometimes forget that they are agents and begin to believe that they clean carpets and drapes for a living, which is really what they do about ninety percent of the time. It creates an amazing cover.”

“The agents actually do clean carpeting? That’s not some type of code you’re talking right now, like cleaning the carpeting means replacing an existing regime that we find unfriendly?”

“No, Mr. President. They do a hell of a good job cleaning – even the shag during the Nixon term.”

“Well, get them to the White House and get them up to speed, Mr. Secretary.”

“I’ll contact DC CARPET AND DRAPES and tell them to come. Informing them of anything is pointless. They acquire all of the critical details well before anyone else.”

“Perhaps I should call them, personally.”

“You don’t call them on a phone, Mr. President. We post a sign that lets them know that their presence is requested.”

“You can’t mean like signaling Batman with the bat signal?”

“No. Theirs is an ever-changing code that appears to fit no rhyme or reason, indecipherable.”

“What is the signal this time?”

“We need to decorate a tree in Cleveland that’s as close to a Pizza King as possible with Christmas tinsel, homemade pipe bombs, a portrait of George Clooney, and dozens of dead mice. Then call the local news media to make certain that it makes the evening report and so that bomb experts get down there right away keeping curious Cals in Cleveland from getting their ear muffs blown off. And then, we need to hold a press conference where we identify the bio-explosive materials in the tree as an act of terrorism and blame it on the French.”

“None of what you just said is some bizarre form of agent code?”

“No, it’s all literal, Mr. President.”

“Then I guess you’ve got some dead mice and berets to round up. You’d better get to it.”

The Secretary walked out of the office. Just after the door closed, three bismarks that were on the tray on the desk suddenly flattened like shrinking balloons, jelly dribbling out on to the desk.

The Secretary of Defense made the arrangements to contact DC CARPET AND DRAPES. The agents were all over the White House by the next morning diligently cleaning the carpets and window treatments. The president approached a chubby man with a severe spinal curvature. He had a heavily tanned and balding pate which was poorly covered by an erratic white comb-over, and a moustache equally snowy to the hair. He looked to be in his early sixties, of Italian decent, wearing an ill-fitting grey sweatshirt embroidered with the company logo, DC CARPET AND DRAPES, and doing a smashingly thorough job of cleaning the crimson drapes that covered the windows in the hall outside the Oval Office. His men throughout the building had a similar disheveled appearance. The man, his face mapped with sun damage and a continual grin, looked up and turned off the noisy machine he was working with, slightly bowing his head respectfully as the president approached.

“Oh my goodness, your honor! It’s my honor!” The man’s accent was thick. “How about this? How about this? The President of the United States and its Luigi Giacomini, the humble grandson of Italian immigrants, that gets the honor to meet him. It’s such a pleasure, Mr. President.”

“Okay, very good, a very convincing act. It is nice to meet you as well, Luigi, but we really need to get down to business. I’ll need you and your men in the War Room in half an hour to discuss the intelligence you’ve gathered.”

Luigi looked at him, confused but still smiling.

“What kind of carpita you got in there? Is it wool like you got out here or prolypopoline like you got in the Lincoln bedroom?”

“The secretary counted five men that you have with you on the premises. Is that an accurate count?”

“Alberto and Jonny only do the drapes, but so clean that your wife could wrap up a baby boy in them and feed him from her naked tiny bosom.”

“In the War Room, Luigi,” said the president examining his watch, “twenty nine minutes,” and he walked down the hall.

“I’ll need more shampoo from my truck,” Luigi shouted after him.

“I hope that’s agent code this time,” the president mumbled to himself as he walked away. He arrived at the War Room, went in, and took a seat at the end of a long maple conference table. As soon as he was seated the phone that had been placed in front of him rang. He stared at it for five rings, remembering the ear assault that Maynard had endured, before he finally decided to answer it.

“You wanted to speak with me?” said a steady cool voice from the receiver.

The President recognized the voice from the last movie he’d seen.

“Mr. Cruise?”

“You can call me Tom, Mr. President.”

“We’ve got a national emergency – hell, a global emergency, Tom, and we could really use your help.”

“You do understand that I’m just an actor, Mr. President?”

“Of course I do.”

“I mean if you want to stage Romeo and Juliet on the White House lawn and invite all of your rich friends over for a fund raiser I can do that. I could even do a celebrity cook off. I make an amazing beef stroganoff. But if this is the type of crisis that is generally handled with guns, Mr. President, I advise you take the conventional route and call the CIA or the Navy Seals, somebody that has killing explicitly stated in their job description.”

“This is a very delicate and specialized case, Tom. I wouldn’t ask if I really didn’t need the favor.”

“Enough said. I’ll fly my chopper in right away, Mr. President.”

The dial went dead and the president found himself alone with his thoughts. He thought about the elation that he’d felt upon winning the presidency, and then about how tired and old Holcomb now looked after serving only four years. Luigi and his men came into the room, set up their equipment, and started cleaning the carpet around him.

Maynard managed to get DC CARPET AND DRAPES to drop their cover and provide the intelligence that they had collected to the file he had on Tiny Earth. But the day hadn’t started out so promising for the president that morning. Upon getting out of bed that morning the president was greeted by a panic stricken Gentlebird. She held out a small cake dome that encased her golden retriever Maury. Maury had been reduced to the size of a penny, his tiny barking barely audible. The president’s priceless set of golf clubs, clubs that had belonged to Teddy Roosevelt had been miniaturized and were in the tiny dome as well. He hugged his wife, being careful not to crush her dog or his golf clubs. “Don’t worry. Everything will be fine.”

“I’m not happy, Winston.”

“Hey little buddy, we’re going to do something about this. You hear me, Maury?” he knocked on the dome and shouted through the glass.

On the way to the White House the car that Secretary Maynard rode in slowed down to a crawl as if it had suddenly started moving through syrup. It lifted inches above the ground, and then dropped violently, spilling the secretary’s coffee down the front of his uniform and bringing his teeth together smartly. This went on throughout the ride every time Maynard attempted to take a sip of his beverage. He cursed under his breath while he scrubbed at the stains on his shirt. “You’re a horrible little people. I hate you, Tiny Earth.”

The president arrived at the War Room to the six agents from DC CARPET AND DRAPES, a handful of short scientists, two of which were female midgets, the Secretary of Defense, and Tom Cruise, who was wearing a leather jacket that looked similar to one he wore in TOP GUN. One of the midgets kept placing her hand on Tom’s shoulder and he kept removing it. Luigi and the other agents of DC CARPET AND DRAPES no longer wore work attire and messy hair. They wore crisp blue suits with black ties and matching sunglasses. They were no longer smiling, their expressions now professional, all business, all bad ass. In the corner, with her machine ready, sat the stenographer. The president took his customary seat at the end of the table.

Post 4 is available here

Guest Post by J. T. Pearson

 
Tiny Earth Declares War On Earch
A short story by J. T. Pearson
Post 2
Maynard waited quietly for another outbreak but sacrificing the apple fritter seemed to quell the president’s anger at exiting President Holcomb for the moment.
“Should I continue?”
The president waved him on.
“You see, Mr. President, Tiny Earth is-
“That son of a bitch!” the president interrupted as he circled the room. He took another deep breath. “Okay, go ahead.”
“I’m going to continue, Mr. President.”
“I said to continue!”
“Yes, you did. Tiny Earth is nearly identical to our planet and used to revolve in the same orbit as ours. It was about the size of a full grown elephant then. It was actually a stroke of luck that an amateur star gazer spotted the little planet and reported its existence to us. We tracked it for years until one day it seemed to vanish. The inhabitants of Tiny Earth had developed technology that allowed them to resize their planet so that it was on scale so small that it would require a microscope for us to view the planet. We didn’t even know that the planet existed anymore until they made contact with us. Now their planet is located somewhere in our atmosphere, sharing our sun, our oxygen, our water, but so far we’ve had limited success locating their location. Pardon me if I seem like I’m repeating myself but I’m reviewing the facts now that your attention isn’t divided. Their planet is microscopic. And as I stated, they have a king, the man that crushed the message into your desk this morning, King Donald Johnson. He occasionally gets a bit unreasonable and threatens to destroy our planet. And, again, as I’ve already indicated, the sad fact of the matter is that we’re not really sure whether he could do it or not. Our engineers developed a tracking system that could identify their planet’s location down to a five mile radius. We employed the new technology last year when President Holcomb had received a similar threat to the one you received this morning.”
“And?”
“And it failed.”
“Details, Maynard!”
“Yes, sir, I was getting to those. When our men crept into their location they used their gravity control technology to raise all of the soldiers several inches above the ground so that their feet just swam in place and they got nowhere. All of those rows of men, their rifles in arms, their legs churning away helplessly. It was a pathetic sight. After we agreed to leave, they moved the location of their planet out of the area and then let our soldiers down on the ground again. The morale of the men was severely diminished. You should’ve seen how dejected those soldiers were. I get so angry even thinking about it. I’m telling you, Mr. President, sometimes I think that if I could just get Tiny Earth under the edge of my heel for one second I’d-”
“Okay, okay, Mr. Secretary, I hear you but please try to maintain. Do your best not to say anything that you may come to regret.” The president paced his office. Suddenly a pencil on his desk started to give off cracking noises and then the pen next to it trembled. Ink seeped from the ballpoint, staining the mahogany, and the pencil parted down the middle like the Red Sea, revealing the graphite interior. “Oh come on! I just got the place and they’re trashing it! Come on!” he yelled at the ceiling. “Can the king from Tiny Earth hear me right now?”
“We don’t believe so. But once again, Mr. President, we’re not certain.”
“I don’t care if they do hear. We’ve got to find their location! We’re not going to deal with Tiny Earth from our knees! The United States of America does not play that way! What about using our nuclear weapons?”
“We tried that too, Mr. President. We were desperate after we saw how easily they rendered our soldiers useless with antigravity so President Holcomb and I devised a more permanent way of dealing with King Johnson’s threats. After we were able to get a lock on their general location again, which happened to be somewhere in Orange County at the time, we sent a Stealth Bomber armed with a nuclear warhead into the airspace above them and dropped the bomb.”
“With all of those taxpaying voters in harm’s way?”
“They would’ve died a patriot’s death, Mr. President.”
“Still, it seems a bit much.”
“What else could President Holcomb have done?”
“A bit ruthless but, okay, I see your point. You’re saying that he felt that he had exhausted all of his resources.”
“Right.”
“And did it work at all?”
“No. They used their gravity technology to lock on to the bomb and pull it away from the Earth, sending it somewhere into space.”
“That was pretty reckless of them. Who knows where that bomb went?” Pierce continued to pace the office. “Also a complete waste of a perfectly good bomb. If they’re so smart why didn’t they just disarm it?”
“I don’t know, Mr. President. Perhaps they didn’t want us to have it again.”
“But disarming it and giving it back might’ve been perceived as a friendly gesture. Something that can never be overlooked when negotiating war. I think you and your so called experts may have overestimated the intelligence of these tiny beings, Maynard.”
“Perhaps, Mr. President.”
“Did you try to drop another bomb?”
“Yes, and it was met with the same fate, redirected somewhere into our Milky Way. Two perfectly good bombs, as you stated, completely wasted. There was no use wasting any more.”
“Right. Those bombs are expensive. I’m aware of that. And the American people are always whining about the budget and the national debt. It’s all that ever seems to come out of their mouths.” The president made a whiny voice. “How much did that cost? And what about that, and that?” He threw his hands up. “I’ve just gotten into office and I’m already sick of hearing it.”
“The American people do have a tendency to whine, Mr. President.”
The president fingered the cleft in his chin and thought hard. “We’re going to need to bring more people in on this, form a committee. Hell, after all is said and done, if we can’t kill them maybe we’ll just have to figure out a way to get along with Tiny Earth. Coexist. I don’t know. I just don’t know.”
“I don’t know either, Mr. President.”
“At this point we really need to explore all options. Why don’t you attempt to open up negotiations with them? Set up an interplanetary summit.”
“They’ve already demanded a meeting.”
“Alright. Tell them that I’m inviting them to Camp David. We’ll have some drinks, ride some horses, sort this whole thing out.”
“It’s not that easy to find or contact them. Satellites and the weather are involved. We need to wait for our window. I don’t think you’re getting a clear picture of just how small Tiny Earth is, Mr. President. Tiny Earth is very, very small.” Maynard held out his thumb and index finger and slowly closed them together until they were so close the distance between them was nearly imperceptible. “So very, very tiny, Mr. President. Even smaller than this distance between my fingers. Not very easy to find at all.”
“I understand that they’re very small, Mr. Secretary. But you do have the tracking machine.”
“Can you imagine how big this cigar would seem to them?” the secretary said, holding out his cigar.
“I imagine that the cigar would seem quite large, Mr. Secretary.”
“It’d probably be bigger than the sun to them.”
“I beg your pardon.”
“Relatively speaking I mean, the cigar would be bigger to them than the sun is to us.” The secretary chomped on the cigar and sucked in, creating a glowing facsimile of a sun at its tip. “Can you imagine how big our sun must seem to them?”
“Relatively speaking again?”
“No, Mr. President. Literally, this time.”
“I imagine our sun seems very, very, very large to the inhabitants of tiny earth.”
Suddenly the phone rang, causing both of them to jump. Then they stood motionless, examining it.
“Were you expecting any phone calls, Mr. President?” Secretary Maynard asked.
“No,” the president answered, shaking his head, gravely.
“You’d better let me handle this, Mr. President.”
Maynard lifted the receiver and held it to his ear. For a moment there was only silence, but suddenly, an ear-splitting horrible noise. BLAAAAAAGERRRRRAAAAA! Secretary Maynard pulled the phone away from his head and slammed it down on its crib.
“Son of a bitch, that’s painful!” Maynard said, rubbing his ear. “That was them manipulating our radio waves so that they could send you another warning.”
Post 3 is available here.
Guest Post by J. T. Pearson

Tiny Earth Declares War On Earch

A short story by J. T. Pearson

Post 2

Maynard waited quietly for another outbreak but sacrificing the apple fritter seemed to quell the president’s anger at exiting President Holcomb for the moment.

“Should I continue?”

The president waved him on.

“You see, Mr. President, Tiny Earth is-

“That son of a bitch!” the president interrupted as he circled the room. He took another deep breath. “Okay, go ahead.”

“I’m going to continue, Mr. President.”

“I said to continue!”

“Yes, you did. Tiny Earth is nearly identical to our planet and used to revolve in the same orbit as ours. It was about the size of a full grown elephant then. It was actually a stroke of luck that an amateur star gazer spotted the little planet and reported its existence to us. We tracked it for years until one day it seemed to vanish. The inhabitants of Tiny Earth had developed technology that allowed them to resize their planet so that it was on scale so small that it would require a microscope for us to view the planet. We didn’t even know that the planet existed anymore until they made contact with us. Now their planet is located somewhere in our atmosphere, sharing our sun, our oxygen, our water, but so far we’ve had limited success locating their location. Pardon me if I seem like I’m repeating myself but I’m reviewing the facts now that your attention isn’t divided. Their planet is microscopic. And as I stated, they have a king, the man that crushed the message into your desk this morning, King Donald Johnson. He occasionally gets a bit unreasonable and threatens to destroy our planet. And, again, as I’ve already indicated, the sad fact of the matter is that we’re not really sure whether he could do it or not. Our engineers developed a tracking system that could identify their planet’s location down to a five mile radius. We employed the new technology last year when President Holcomb had received a similar threat to the one you received this morning.”

“And?”

“And it failed.”

“Details, Maynard!”

“Yes, sir, I was getting to those. When our men crept into their location they used their gravity control technology to raise all of the soldiers several inches above the ground so that their feet just swam in place and they got nowhere. All of those rows of men, their rifles in arms, their legs churning away helplessly. It was a pathetic sight. After we agreed to leave, they moved the location of their planet out of the area and then let our soldiers down on the ground again. The morale of the men was severely diminished. You should’ve seen how dejected those soldiers were. I get so angry even thinking about it. I’m telling you, Mr. President, sometimes I think that if I could just get Tiny Earth under the edge of my heel for one second I’d-”

“Okay, okay, Mr. Secretary, I hear you but please try to maintain. Do your best not to say anything that you may come to regret.” The president paced his office. Suddenly a pencil on his desk started to give off cracking noises and then the pen next to it trembled. Ink seeped from the ballpoint, staining the mahogany, and the pencil parted down the middle like the Red Sea, revealing the graphite interior. “Oh come on! I just got the place and they’re trashing it! Come on!” he yelled at the ceiling. “Can the king from Tiny Earth hear me right now?”

“We don’t believe so. But once again, Mr. President, we’re not certain.”

“I don’t care if they do hear. We’ve got to find their location! We’re not going to deal with Tiny Earth from our knees! The United States of America does not play that way! What about using our nuclear weapons?”

“We tried that too, Mr. President. We were desperate after we saw how easily they rendered our soldiers useless with antigravity so President Holcomb and I devised a more permanent way of dealing with King Johnson’s threats. After we were able to get a lock on their general location again, which happened to be somewhere in Orange County at the time, we sent a Stealth Bomber armed with a nuclear warhead into the airspace above them and dropped the bomb.”

“With all of those taxpaying voters in harm’s way?”

“They would’ve died a patriot’s death, Mr. President.”

“Still, it seems a bit much.”

“What else could President Holcomb have done?”

“A bit ruthless but, okay, I see your point. You’re saying that he felt that he had exhausted all of his resources.”

“Right.”

“And did it work at all?”

“No. They used their gravity technology to lock on to the bomb and pull it away from the Earth, sending it somewhere into space.”

“That was pretty reckless of them. Who knows where that bomb went?” Pierce continued to pace the office. “Also a complete waste of a perfectly good bomb. If they’re so smart why didn’t they just disarm it?”

“I don’t know, Mr. President. Perhaps they didn’t want us to have it again.”

“But disarming it and giving it back might’ve been perceived as a friendly gesture. Something that can never be overlooked when negotiating war. I think you and your so called experts may have overestimated the intelligence of these tiny beings, Maynard.”

“Perhaps, Mr. President.”

“Did you try to drop another bomb?”

“Yes, and it was met with the same fate, redirected somewhere into our Milky Way. Two perfectly good bombs, as you stated, completely wasted. There was no use wasting any more.”

“Right. Those bombs are expensive. I’m aware of that. And the American people are always whining about the budget and the national debt. It’s all that ever seems to come out of their mouths.” The president made a whiny voice. “How much did that cost? And what about that, and that?” He threw his hands up. “I’ve just gotten into office and I’m already sick of hearing it.”

“The American people do have a tendency to whine, Mr. President.”

The president fingered the cleft in his chin and thought hard. “We’re going to need to bring more people in on this, form a committee. Hell, after all is said and done, if we can’t kill them maybe we’ll just have to figure out a way to get along with Tiny Earth. Coexist. I don’t know. I just don’t know.”

“I don’t know either, Mr. President.”

“At this point we really need to explore all options. Why don’t you attempt to open up negotiations with them? Set up an interplanetary summit.”

“They’ve already demanded a meeting.”

“Alright. Tell them that I’m inviting them to Camp David. We’ll have some drinks, ride some horses, sort this whole thing out.”

“It’s not that easy to find or contact them. Satellites and the weather are involved. We need to wait for our window. I don’t think you’re getting a clear picture of just how small Tiny Earth is, Mr. President. Tiny Earth is very, very small.” Maynard held out his thumb and index finger and slowly closed them together until they were so close the distance between them was nearly imperceptible. “So very, very tiny, Mr. President. Even smaller than this distance between my fingers. Not very easy to find at all.”

“I understand that they’re very small, Mr. Secretary. But you do have the tracking machine.”

“Can you imagine how big this cigar would seem to them?” the secretary said, holding out his cigar.

“I imagine that the cigar would seem quite large, Mr. Secretary.”

“It’d probably be bigger than the sun to them.”

“I beg your pardon.”

“Relatively speaking I mean, the cigar would be bigger to them than the sun is to us.” The secretary chomped on the cigar and sucked in, creating a glowing facsimile of a sun at its tip. “Can you imagine how big our sun must seem to them?”

“Relatively speaking again?”

“No, Mr. President. Literally, this time.”

“I imagine our sun seems very, very, very large to the inhabitants of tiny earth.”

Suddenly the phone rang, causing both of them to jump. Then they stood motionless, examining it.

“Were you expecting any phone calls, Mr. President?” Secretary Maynard asked.

“No,” the president answered, shaking his head, gravely.

“You’d better let me handle this, Mr. President.”

Maynard lifted the receiver and held it to his ear. For a moment there was only silence, but suddenly, an ear-splitting horrible noise. BLAAAAAAGERRRRRAAAAA! Secretary Maynard pulled the phone away from his head and slammed it down on its crib.

“Son of a bitch, that’s painful!” Maynard said, rubbing his ear. “That was them manipulating our radio waves so that they could send you another warning.”

Post 3 is available here.

Guest Post by J. T. Pearson

 
My Brother’s Keeper
A short story by J. T. Pearson
Post 2
“Charles Stanford?” he asked, as we first met, extending his hand for me to shake before sitting down at the table. I had agreed to meet him at one of my favorite restaurants, The Pearl. On a Saturday evening the five star eatery would be teaming with business. Much harder to kidnap an aging billionaire under such conditions. I had gotten a little nervous about our meeting and momentarily considered telling him that I had no idea who Stanford was. Anytime you tell someone that you have unlimited financial resources you run the risk of hucksters racing your direction like hounds with the scent of blood in their snouts. I took the risk and shook his hand.
“Yes, Dr. Kripps. Please have a seat,” I offered.
He began his pitch. “You’ve already indicated, Charles, that you are familiar with much of my work and the success that I’ve had with mixing human and animal DNA so I won’t waste your time trying to sell you on the fact that I can do what I say I can do. I’m also certain that you are aware of GBCs involvement with cloning and that there has been some scandal in our past. That’s been in the news again lately. What I’d actually like to talk to you about is transgenesis. The science of transgenesis, Charles, is much farther along than the public is aware of.”
“Why did you bring up cloning first, Dr. Kripps? Are you saying that you can clone my brother?” I asked him. “Is that what you’re proposing?”
“No. I’m not talking about a clone exactly, although cells from your brother would be involved in this process. But this isn’t a clone. This is a new being that is created when foreign DNA is introduced to an embryo. It has its own identity – like your twin had a separate identity from you, even though you shared DNA so very similar. A clone is actually very similar to a twin but – this is altogether different.”
I was curt with him. “I’m finding this conversation both confusing and a little disturbing so far, Dr. Kripps, and I’m considering putting an end to it before long so I advise you to get to the point.”
“No reason to be disturbed, Charles, I assure you. All I’m talking about is an amazingly complex and very special pet – a dog,” he explained.
“You arranged this meeting to sell me a dog? You must be out of your mind.”
“No, Charles, not just any dog. A chimera – a mix of human and animal DNA – the DNA taken from your dying brother and mixed with the embryo of a Border Collie - we’ve had our highest success rate with Border Collies, possibly because they are the smartest of all breeds of dog. We’ll create a companion that looks like an animal but whose cellular machinery will conceal a unique biochemistry. He will be bright like your brother but more importantly he will have personality traits that only your brother had – his essence, if you will.”
“A dog can’t replace my brother, Doctor Kripps.”I started to get up but he waved me down.
“Please, Mr.Stanford.”
I paused. “I’ve really had just about enough of this conversation.”
“Just allow me to finish. I certainly wasn’t trying to suggest that a dog could replace your brother, Charles. I’m just trying to offer you a very special way to commemorate your brother – to continue to celebrate a man you loved so much – bringing part of him back to stay with you – to comfort you – to relieve some of your grief.”
“That part of a man that continues to carry his essence is generally referred to as a child, Doctor.”
“That would be ideal, Charles, but it is my understanding that your brother didn’t have any children.”
“Something seems very wrong about this. Would the dog have my brother’s soul?”
“No, Charles, as I indicated, the dog would be a new and completely different being than your brother. I, personally, don’t believe in souls but if you do, I suppose the dog would have a dog soul.”
“But you said it wasn’t a dog,” I argued.
“Not technically. Not entirely, but essentially it would still be a dog,” he replied.
“Why hasn’t anyone else done this?” I asked, suspiciously.
“Because they are unable to do so. And because it’s highly illegal, Charles.”
“So you contacted me. You just want to do it for me because I loved my brother so much and you can’t bear the thought that I’ll suddenly be without him. Just feeling sorry for me. Is that right, doctor? I have to say that I find that hard to believe.”
“Obviously, there’s more to it than that, Charles. I wouldn’t risk my career lightly,” he explained. “You’ve indicated that you are a man of extraordinary means. I’m in desperate need of an investor with such qualities. GBC had an unfortunate incident, a break in that caused many of our backers to retract funding. Some animal activists broke into our labs and freed goats that contained human DNA. We were able to immediately round up all of the thirteen chimeras except for two that weren’t recovered for over a day. When the animals still hadn’t turned up on the second day of the search we were compelled morally to alert the authorities and get their cooperation in retrieving the animals. With their cooperation we found them. If the chimeras had been able find and mate with other goats the result would’ve been devastating. Human DNA in our food chain could result in the rampant spread of diseases that our immune systems would be completely unfamiliar with.”
“But you’re certain that you recovered the animals before that happened?” I asked him.
“We believe so. The remaining two animals were found in a sparsely populated area but there were a couple of farms that had goats that were within reach of the chimeras. Only time will really tell if something disastrous took place.”
“Our government shouldn’t allow you people to be so careless with technology that you know so little about.”
“This field of exploration is not brand new. We’ve been working in this area since 1964. And I assure you, Charles, the reward is great enough that it is worth the gamble. We could be on the edge of curing most of the known diseases with this technology.”
“Why would it be safe for me to have a chimera if there was such a risk with the goats?”
“First off, your animal will be sterile so that he can’t mate, and second, we’ve managed with dogs to design an immune system that doesn’t allow the animal to contract any diseases that are foreign to dogs. The chimera won’t be a threat to humans, other animals, or the environment.” He leaned forward. “You become our primary investor and not only will you reap the benefits of one of the most profitable businesses of all time but you will have the most unique companion ever to roam the earth.”
I told the good doctor that I would get back to him but I didn’t, not for several months. For a time Franklin’s cancer went into remission, shocking the team of specialists that my brother had seen. There was even a possibility that he might recover but the disease came back progressing more aggressively than ever. When Franklin was nearing the end I contacted the doctor and made the arrangements. Dr. Kripps visited my brother in the hospital with me. I told my brother that he was just one more specialist that needed to take a few samples. The doctor acquired what he needed. Within a week my brother was dead and I was devastated. Remarkably, Elaine seemed relatively unaffected by Franklin’s passing. She even brought up the idea that she might not attend his funeral but backtracked when she saw my reaction.
I mourned for weeks without leaving my home. Not bothering to bathe, or even eat some days. I was a mess. I feared at one point that I’d never recover but I slowly started getting back to my routine. Eventually I gave in to Elaine’s continual phone calls pestering me to come see her, and still burdened with a heavy heart, I left my home and met her at her apartment. I was struggling with more than grief. I was also dealing with the fear and guilt of attempting to toy with nature’s original design and bring a part of Franklin back. Elaine just considered my odd behavior to be a part of my grieving process. She did ask me whether Franklin’s death had any effect on my portfolio and then seemed relieved when I told her that our business affairs were separate and my estate was perfectly intact. The fact that she even asked such a question angered me. We viciously argued that night. Then I told her that I hadn’t slept well and feared that I was coming down with a bug and we managed to take back some of the things we had said to each other. We ended the night in her bedroom. I couldn’t tell her about what was really on my mind, about the chimera that was being created.
I arrived at GBC Biotherapeutics still a little uncertain whether what I’d done had been a good idea. But the deed was done. I had conspired in this warped resurrection. I was certain that I had made a sound business decision and that I was going to make a sizeable fortune with my investment in the company but the thought of being responsible for creating a new being was so nerve-racking that I nearly ordered them to terminate the fetus. But I knew I couldn’t do that. Not with it containing all that was left of my brother.
The chimera had been alive for several weeks when Dr. Kripps had called and informed me that I could come to the facility and pick him up. He carried the chimera in his arms and an assistant accompanying him carried an animal cage meant for transport. I shook the doctor’s hand and then examined the chimera. As soon as our eyes met I felt shivers down my spine. He had Franklin’s eyes and more. They seemed to reveal Franklin’s soul. As the doctor handed him over to me he stared straight into my eyes as if he knew me.
“You look uneasy, Charles. I assure you that he’s not going to bite you. He’s much too bright for that, and besides, it’s not in his personality. Didn’t you describe your brother as a confirmed pacifist when we first met? A kind and gentle heart unmatched, is how I believe you put it. Go ahead, Charles, hug him. Get to know him. Go ahead and love him.”
I continued gazing into his eyes – my brother’s eyes - and I felt a tear escaping mine. I pulled him close and embraced him.
I took the chimera home. I had driven myself to the clinic, opting out of my usual car service. Now I struggled to find a parking spot within a reasonable distance of my building. I gave up and parked the car illegally and called for my assistant to take care of it. I could see that the Chimera wanted to walk. They had given me a leash along with other effects intended for him but I couldn’t see putting it on him. I wasn’t sure how much of him was dog but I knew he needed to be treated with dignity. I set him on the ground and we walked together. The chimera made every turn as if he knew exactly where we were going – like he could read my mind – or more accurately, like he’d been there before.
We reached the penthouse and exited the elevator into my hallway where we were immediately assaulted by Mrs. Livingston’s poodle. The chimera did everything it could to avoid tangling with the vicious animal, desperately trying to climb my leg, but he got bitten on the ear pretty badly. Mrs. Livingston called her dog back to her apartment angrily and then gave a half-hearted apology that included the phrase, “neither of us really had our dogs on a leash.”
I felt guilty for reacting so slowly and letting him get hurt. Franklin had never been much of a fighter and he was visibly shaken by the event. I did my best to dress the wound while he cried. It was so strange hearing him cry – just like my brother always had. Instinctively, I prepared our favorite lunch for him, grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup, just like our mother used to do for us when we were young and had had a bad day. That seemed to cheer him up quickly. I have a balcony that overlooks the city, complete with a fireplace and an entertainment system that was professionally modified to withstand outdoor conditions. We sat outside on the couch, enjoying the glorious sunshine, and watched TV. He nudged me whenever he wanted me to change the channel. I was feeling extremely comfortable with him – familiar. And very happy that I’d made the decision not to terminate him.
Things were great for the first two days and then Elaine came over. In all the stress and confusion I’d completely forgotten to return her phone messages. When she came through the door Franklin leapt to her, wagging his tail, licking her everywhere he could. She was flattered by the affection. He kept turning back to me and licking me before returning to her, just genuinely happy to be around the two of us again. She examined the injury to his ear. I hadn’t even prepared an explanation for her.
“You got a dog, Charles? Why on earth did you get a dog? You don’t care for animals.”
“I care for him.”
“I swear, Charles, your brother’s death is certainly weighing on your sanity.” She rubbed his head and stared at his eyes. For a moment I feared that she recognized him. “What’s his name, Charles?” she asked me.
“I don’t know,” I replied nervously. “I haven’t decided yet. I was thinking of naming him Franklin, after my brother.”
He barked twice loudly.
She looked at me with what bordered on disgust and said, “You can’t name him after your brother, Charles. I know you miss your brother but that’s just too weird.”
“Perhaps I’ll have to think about it some more,” I told her.
“Well, you better come up with a name for him soon because leaving a pet without a name is bad luck.”
“Not to mention, it makes it pretty hard to call him.” I thought the comment witty, but she ignored it. She never had much of a sense of humor.
Post 3 available here.
Guest Post by J. T. Pearson

My Brother’s Keeper

A short story by J. T. Pearson

Post 2

“Charles Stanford?” he asked, as we first met, extending his hand for me to shake before sitting down at the table. I had agreed to meet him at one of my favorite restaurants, The Pearl. On a Saturday evening the five star eatery would be teaming with business. Much harder to kidnap an aging billionaire under such conditions. I had gotten a little nervous about our meeting and momentarily considered telling him that I had no idea who Stanford was. Anytime you tell someone that you have unlimited financial resources you run the risk of hucksters racing your direction like hounds with the scent of blood in their snouts. I took the risk and shook his hand.

“Yes, Dr. Kripps. Please have a seat,” I offered.

He began his pitch. “You’ve already indicated, Charles, that you are familiar with much of my work and the success that I’ve had with mixing human and animal DNA so I won’t waste your time trying to sell you on the fact that I can do what I say I can do. I’m also certain that you are aware of GBCs involvement with cloning and that there has been some scandal in our past. That’s been in the news again lately. What I’d actually like to talk to you about is transgenesis. The science of transgenesis, Charles, is much farther along than the public is aware of.”

“Why did you bring up cloning first, Dr. Kripps? Are you saying that you can clone my brother?” I asked him. “Is that what you’re proposing?”

“No. I’m not talking about a clone exactly, although cells from your brother would be involved in this process. But this isn’t a clone. This is a new being that is created when foreign DNA is introduced to an embryo. It has its own identity – like your twin had a separate identity from you, even though you shared DNA so very similar. A clone is actually very similar to a twin but – this is altogether different.”

I was curt with him. “I’m finding this conversation both confusing and a little disturbing so far, Dr. Kripps, and I’m considering putting an end to it before long so I advise you to get to the point.”

“No reason to be disturbed, Charles, I assure you. All I’m talking about is an amazingly complex and very special pet – a dog,” he explained.

“You arranged this meeting to sell me a dog? You must be out of your mind.”

“No, Charles, not just any dog. A chimera – a mix of human and animal DNA – the DNA taken from your dying brother and mixed with the embryo of a Border Collie - we’ve had our highest success rate with Border Collies, possibly because they are the smartest of all breeds of dog. We’ll create a companion that looks like an animal but whose cellular machinery will conceal a unique biochemistry. He will be bright like your brother but more importantly he will have personality traits that only your brother had – his essence, if you will.”

“A dog can’t replace my brother, Doctor Kripps.”I started to get up but he waved me down.

“Please, Mr.Stanford.”

I paused. “I’ve really had just about enough of this conversation.”

“Just allow me to finish. I certainly wasn’t trying to suggest that a dog could replace your brother, Charles. I’m just trying to offer you a very special way to commemorate your brother – to continue to celebrate a man you loved so much – bringing part of him back to stay with you – to comfort you – to relieve some of your grief.”

“That part of a man that continues to carry his essence is generally referred to as a child, Doctor.”

“That would be ideal, Charles, but it is my understanding that your brother didn’t have any children.”

“Something seems very wrong about this. Would the dog have my brother’s soul?”

“No, Charles, as I indicated, the dog would be a new and completely different being than your brother. I, personally, don’t believe in souls but if you do, I suppose the dog would have a dog soul.”

“But you said it wasn’t a dog,” I argued.

“Not technically. Not entirely, but essentially it would still be a dog,” he replied.

“Why hasn’t anyone else done this?” I asked, suspiciously.

“Because they are unable to do so. And because it’s highly illegal, Charles.”

“So you contacted me. You just want to do it for me because I loved my brother so much and you can’t bear the thought that I’ll suddenly be without him. Just feeling sorry for me. Is that right, doctor? I have to say that I find that hard to believe.”

“Obviously, there’s more to it than that, Charles. I wouldn’t risk my career lightly,” he explained. “You’ve indicated that you are a man of extraordinary means. I’m in desperate need of an investor with such qualities. GBC had an unfortunate incident, a break in that caused many of our backers to retract funding. Some animal activists broke into our labs and freed goats that contained human DNA. We were able to immediately round up all of the thirteen chimeras except for two that weren’t recovered for over a day. When the animals still hadn’t turned up on the second day of the search we were compelled morally to alert the authorities and get their cooperation in retrieving the animals. With their cooperation we found them. If the chimeras had been able find and mate with other goats the result would’ve been devastating. Human DNA in our food chain could result in the rampant spread of diseases that our immune systems would be completely unfamiliar with.”

“But you’re certain that you recovered the animals before that happened?” I asked him.

“We believe so. The remaining two animals were found in a sparsely populated area but there were a couple of farms that had goats that were within reach of the chimeras. Only time will really tell if something disastrous took place.”

“Our government shouldn’t allow you people to be so careless with technology that you know so little about.”

“This field of exploration is not brand new. We’ve been working in this area since 1964. And I assure you, Charles, the reward is great enough that it is worth the gamble. We could be on the edge of curing most of the known diseases with this technology.”

“Why would it be safe for me to have a chimera if there was such a risk with the goats?”

“First off, your animal will be sterile so that he can’t mate, and second, we’ve managed with dogs to design an immune system that doesn’t allow the animal to contract any diseases that are foreign to dogs. The chimera won’t be a threat to humans, other animals, or the environment.” He leaned forward. “You become our primary investor and not only will you reap the benefits of one of the most profitable businesses of all time but you will have the most unique companion ever to roam the earth.”

I told the good doctor that I would get back to him but I didn’t, not for several months. For a time Franklin’s cancer went into remission, shocking the team of specialists that my brother had seen. There was even a possibility that he might recover but the disease came back progressing more aggressively than ever. When Franklin was nearing the end I contacted the doctor and made the arrangements. Dr. Kripps visited my brother in the hospital with me. I told my brother that he was just one more specialist that needed to take a few samples. The doctor acquired what he needed. Within a week my brother was dead and I was devastated. Remarkably, Elaine seemed relatively unaffected by Franklin’s passing. She even brought up the idea that she might not attend his funeral but backtracked when she saw my reaction.

I mourned for weeks without leaving my home. Not bothering to bathe, or even eat some days. I was a mess. I feared at one point that I’d never recover but I slowly started getting back to my routine. Eventually I gave in to Elaine’s continual phone calls pestering me to come see her, and still burdened with a heavy heart, I left my home and met her at her apartment. I was struggling with more than grief. I was also dealing with the fear and guilt of attempting to toy with nature’s original design and bring a part of Franklin back. Elaine just considered my odd behavior to be a part of my grieving process. She did ask me whether Franklin’s death had any effect on my portfolio and then seemed relieved when I told her that our business affairs were separate and my estate was perfectly intact. The fact that she even asked such a question angered me. We viciously argued that night. Then I told her that I hadn’t slept well and feared that I was coming down with a bug and we managed to take back some of the things we had said to each other. We ended the night in her bedroom. I couldn’t tell her about what was really on my mind, about the chimera that was being created.

I arrived at GBC Biotherapeutics still a little uncertain whether what I’d done had been a good idea. But the deed was done. I had conspired in this warped resurrection. I was certain that I had made a sound business decision and that I was going to make a sizeable fortune with my investment in the company but the thought of being responsible for creating a new being was so nerve-racking that I nearly ordered them to terminate the fetus. But I knew I couldn’t do that. Not with it containing all that was left of my brother.

The chimera had been alive for several weeks when Dr. Kripps had called and informed me that I could come to the facility and pick him up. He carried the chimera in his arms and an assistant accompanying him carried an animal cage meant for transport. I shook the doctor’s hand and then examined the chimera. As soon as our eyes met I felt shivers down my spine. He had Franklin’s eyes and more. They seemed to reveal Franklin’s soul. As the doctor handed him over to me he stared straight into my eyes as if he knew me.

“You look uneasy, Charles. I assure you that he’s not going to bite you. He’s much too bright for that, and besides, it’s not in his personality. Didn’t you describe your brother as a confirmed pacifist when we first met? A kind and gentle heart unmatched, is how I believe you put it. Go ahead, Charles, hug him. Get to know him. Go ahead and love him.”

I continued gazing into his eyes – my brother’s eyes - and I felt a tear escaping mine. I pulled him close and embraced him.

I took the chimera home. I had driven myself to the clinic, opting out of my usual car service. Now I struggled to find a parking spot within a reasonable distance of my building. I gave up and parked the car illegally and called for my assistant to take care of it. I could see that the Chimera wanted to walk. They had given me a leash along with other effects intended for him but I couldn’t see putting it on him. I wasn’t sure how much of him was dog but I knew he needed to be treated with dignity. I set him on the ground and we walked together. The chimera made every turn as if he knew exactly where we were going – like he could read my mind – or more accurately, like he’d been there before.

We reached the penthouse and exited the elevator into my hallway where we were immediately assaulted by Mrs. Livingston’s poodle. The chimera did everything it could to avoid tangling with the vicious animal, desperately trying to climb my leg, but he got bitten on the ear pretty badly. Mrs. Livingston called her dog back to her apartment angrily and then gave a half-hearted apology that included the phrase, “neither of us really had our dogs on a leash.”

I felt guilty for reacting so slowly and letting him get hurt. Franklin had never been much of a fighter and he was visibly shaken by the event. I did my best to dress the wound while he cried. It was so strange hearing him cry – just like my brother always had. Instinctively, I prepared our favorite lunch for him, grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup, just like our mother used to do for us when we were young and had had a bad day. That seemed to cheer him up quickly. I have a balcony that overlooks the city, complete with a fireplace and an entertainment system that was professionally modified to withstand outdoor conditions. We sat outside on the couch, enjoying the glorious sunshine, and watched TV. He nudged me whenever he wanted me to change the channel. I was feeling extremely comfortable with him – familiar. And very happy that I’d made the decision not to terminate him.

Things were great for the first two days and then Elaine came over. In all the stress and confusion I’d completely forgotten to return her phone messages. When she came through the door Franklin leapt to her, wagging his tail, licking her everywhere he could. She was flattered by the affection. He kept turning back to me and licking me before returning to her, just genuinely happy to be around the two of us again. She examined the injury to his ear. I hadn’t even prepared an explanation for her.

“You got a dog, Charles? Why on earth did you get a dog? You don’t care for animals.”

“I care for him.”

“I swear, Charles, your brother’s death is certainly weighing on your sanity.” She rubbed his head and stared at his eyes. For a moment I feared that she recognized him. “What’s his name, Charles?” she asked me.

“I don’t know,” I replied nervously. “I haven’t decided yet. I was thinking of naming him Franklin, after my brother.”

He barked twice loudly.

She looked at me with what bordered on disgust and said, “You can’t name him after your brother, Charles. I know you miss your brother but that’s just too weird.”

“Perhaps I’ll have to think about it some more,” I told her.

“Well, you better come up with a name for him soon because leaving a pet without a name is bad luck.”

“Not to mention, it makes it pretty hard to call him.” I thought the comment witty, but she ignored it. She never had much of a sense of humor.

Post 3 available here.

Guest Post by J. T. Pearson

 
The Rallians
A story by Vincent Ochen
Chapter Eight :  Hope
We had earlier set our course towards the centauri system. The Amoans mentioned their belief that some of their ancestors had sought refuge there. Alpha Centauri we sensed had life in forms we could not understand. When we reached the Centauri star system we slowed down the Mother ship till it came to a halt. Our scientists took this time off the journey to learn the secrets of the ships. A mop up team transported the dead Rallians and threw them down one of the gas giants, ten times larger than Jupiter. They would be crushed to dust by the atmosphere. We threw more than three hundred of them here.
Some dead Rallians we embalmed for use on our scientific experiments- we needed to know the enemy in and out if we were to win this war. We kept some in special liquids, some we embalmed.
Our search parties were sent to scour the Centauri planets, and they mentioned wonders to beheld, when we entered the planet it was beautiful as your own, we had sailed many weeks to get here, we needed food and Dinosaurs of all types were aplenty here, and the hunt began.  The Centauri planet was a fresh water world too; not as big as yours or our oceans but equally gigantic, and it teemed with creatures none resembled our own.
We hunted the Dinosaurs on land and in the seas and packed them in tins. We ate raw food. The Amoans ate seeds, these they got in plenty.
This world was wild; we could not stay in it; 
We then came into your system, we landed on Mars; it had a blue atmosphere, it had seen its youth long before you were born, it lived lives of men. This planet may also -like it was to us be your refuge. We landed with amphibious boats on the hundred mile deep waters. The Martian surface was one half water and the other half watery clay. It had its bright moments, and when it rained in Mars-it rained. The land suited us. In Mars we buried those that had died during the battle, most had died of their wounds during our journey. The areas I explored in Mars that I highly recommend for you include the   volcano tyrrhena, the candor chasma in valles marineris canyon; the becquerel crater in west Terra arabia; the hellas basin; meridiani plains; The athabasca valles. I climbed Olympus Mons and its three Tharsis companions, as well as dug up water from the Cerberus Fossa and sailed by boat from the ma’adim vallis to the gusev crater. 
From Mars we sent a hundred of the larger Aldos to scour two hundred light years of our galaxy and try to find any life form we could detect. Each of these Aldos carried a hundred  people, with the hope that they would settle were ever they found was possible, we had to seed as many worlds as we could.
In Mars we discovered many beings, beings that we later transported and seeded your young world. At this moment your world was entirely covered with water, it was a world of promises, we got one of the moons of Jupiter and dragged it to your own, and this helped divide the waters and allowed land to come out of the deep. We had carried many dinosaur eggs from Centauri and along with trees, plants and mammalian species in Mars we seeded your planet. The Amoans decided to seed your planet with their species; we also seeded your world with our DNA; hopefully in a billion or so years from today you will evolve to have the technology to discover our genetic message in you and so find us. In your moon we kept our history. Dig deep enough and you will find records of our entire technology.
END OF BOOK ONE                             
Preview to book two : The future belongs to those who create.
Reports came in from the ships we had sent to scour the solar systems near us, and they were not good. The Rallians had sent drones to search for us, we had warned the ships to avoid these drones as much as possible, These Rallian Spy drones were as intelligent as you will be in a billion years, So intelligent to be possibly human, we knew the consequences of being caught, and lived frugal lives, without heat in most cases, and made sure the Aldos went further and further into the edges of the galaxy.
Meanwhile we trained our soldiers to fly the Rallian attack Vessels; of which we had tens of thousands. Due to the risk that the Rallians could discover and destroy the Mother ship, we shielded it with Amoan technology, and sank it like a submarine into the waters of Europa, it had the deepest waters in your solar system; it quickly covered its surface with ice several miles deep. There we knew we could come back to it in the event of a war.
We trained, set up spy beacons in the edges of your solar system to warn us of any Rallian drone incursion, we did many tests to see if we could respond fast enough to create silence in the system, or even launch defensive attacks. These exercises were necessary. Within this time we learnt from the Amoans how to make Rallian stun guns, by using energy from the sun blocks, we now had the technology to kill the Rallians.
Eighty Light years from were we were, there was another Rallian group completely unknown to us. They were a forward part and mined from another solar system, we believed it was the Altarians we had earlier heard off,  the heat the planet gave out had given hint of a civilization, one of the Aldos went it there only to discover that the Rallians were already there and had done what they were good at-Destruction and slavery. Our men tried to run away but were chased after. Then they began to send SOS messages. The Aldo could not flee; it was caught with an electric freeze gun that disabled its engine, then they came in for the Kill.
We radioed to other ships to tread carefully. Two nearby Aldos were directed to go to the aid of the attacked ship.
It was at such a time that many other beings from the galaxy came by, they had heard our frequency and our talks about a Rallian attack, it was then they went in for the kill. By the time we reached the battle zone, they had already crushed the Rallians; there was a war going on in the universe, our galaxy was one of the millions of frontiers in the war. We saw hundreds of dead Rallians, their ships crushed to pieces, the planet they mined was over ran, their machines were converted into weapons.
We beheld beings that filled our imagination with awe, there were beings that looked like us, those that were reptilian, bird like, some as colorless as water, some that flew in the air, some that had wings, They made us aware of the battles and that they had been on Our beacon had just revealed to them that the Rallians were here, and they came to help. Even stranger creatures still came. Did I ever tell you that water  is life, yes, water was alive and a being that talked and could take any shape it wanted but in a fluidly and ice like form. We were not prepared for the beings that came by, thousands of ships that defied our imagination. 
We then met beings from the Epsilion Eridiani star system, and the wonderful peoples of Tau Ceti and its principle mistress Epsilion Eridiani , we  spread out and many of us were taken to visit their son Procyon, from them we learnt other strange shortcuts in space and came to the Wolf star, a star of red and yellow diced above human beings, beings fare more brilliant than we will became, they had loved and were gay and joyous, a nation where time had meaning and they expanded to other star systems. They had already benefacted Ross star and even the Blue warm people of Eta Cass, people who were semi clouded in appearance but had tangible forms as trees in their myriads, white trees in a water colored planet and they floated in the air and had cities of trees in a green planet. They we found had even created an alliance with nine far off worlds-I could only begin by mentioning the yellow Altarians and the yellow blue colored citizens of Barnards star, they were metal, pure steel that had evolved-they were the children of the Altarians, a nation like us, similar to us that had evolved from to live from a few decades to a thousand. 
The Altarians introduced us to the young and promising beings in the bird constellation-we met the chick like beings in Cygnon, those in the star system Draco –dog like beings with the most potential to cause wars and potent destruction, then we met the Lers, and the Jhobians, we even met the Intelligent and likable Lyrians, them you expect to hear from for eternity. They are the future-just like you will become too. The Lyrians had also got access to beings that inhabited the three neighborhood star systems Cygnus, Wipeida, and Hercules-all these star systems had come together to share ideas, ideals and hopes, we were late comers to a lager cosmic down.
When you look at your night sky, imagine you are in the midst of a great universe that is at war, all around you are beings that fight to keep our universe intact and safe from pests that threaten its survival.
Stars like Hamel in the Aries Constellation played an important role as a hospital-they saved many lives, then we had he print zone in the Auriga star system, here we used the trees in Capella and those shipped from other nearby stars, its land was the finest and also produced the bulk of our foods-there you can still see reserved wonders about their role in the war. I have to mention Aldebran-that mighty star in Taurus, with its young sister Hyades, a gem in the night sky.
Lower your eyes down and you will not miss to see the mighty hunter Orion-and it’s awesome stars, Rigel the female and its anchor stars-You will not miss to spot Betelgeuse, its gravity attracts you and it lets you know its mighty size, these were stars that came after the first stars. You will see it up-close when you get the technology to come here-perhaps before it goes supernovae-when it goes that way as mighty stars die-you will see it as bright as the moon in your night sky. From Betelquese look west and behold the gigantic Gemini come up. While its neighbor Orion was a beehive of weapons manufacture, the star system Gemini that cast its green radiance on Orion was an empress-its stars Pollux and Castor helped grow medicine that helped our sick and injured. In these wars there would be injuries that would bid the intestines of the observer.
Procyn was a star system that we came to rest in; those that had known so much pain first came to Pollux, we deeply looked after their welfare till they were fit to go back to war. One of the moons of Pollux was also a prison for those of our own; another was prison for the Captured Rallians. 
Cancer we used as a radar center, its big planets had long mountain ranges that acted as strong foundations for  radio towers, three of which reached the sky-and then we set up. 
Guest post by Vincent Ochen

The Rallians

A story by Vincent Ochen

Chapter Eight : Hope

We had earlier set our course towards the centauri system. The Amoans mentioned their belief that some of their ancestors had sought refuge there. Alpha Centauri we sensed had life in forms we could not understand. When we reached the Centauri star system we slowed down the Mother ship till it came to a halt. Our scientists took this time off the journey to learn the secrets of the ships. A mop up team transported the dead Rallians and threw them down one of the gas giants, ten times larger than Jupiter. They would be crushed to dust by the atmosphere. We threw more than three hundred of them here.

Some dead Rallians we embalmed for use on our scientific experiments- we needed to know the enemy in and out if we were to win this war. We kept some in special liquids, some we embalmed.

Our search parties were sent to scour the Centauri planets, and they mentioned wonders to beheld, when we entered the planet it was beautiful as your own, we had sailed many weeks to get here, we needed food and Dinosaurs of all types were aplenty here, and the hunt began.  The Centauri planet was a fresh water world too; not as big as yours or our oceans but equally gigantic, and it teemed with creatures none resembled our own.

We hunted the Dinosaurs on land and in the seas and packed them in tins. We ate raw food. The Amoans ate seeds, these they got in plenty.

This world was wild; we could not stay in it;

We then came into your system, we landed on Mars; it had a blue atmosphere, it had seen its youth long before you were born, it lived lives of men. This planet may also -like it was to us be your refuge. We landed with amphibious boats on the hundred mile deep waters. The Martian surface was one half water and the other half watery clay. It had its bright moments, and when it rained in Mars-it rained. The land suited us. In Mars we buried those that had died during the battle, most had died of their wounds during our journey. The areas I explored in Mars that I highly recommend for you include the   volcano tyrrhena, the candor chasma in valles marineris canyon; the becquerel crater in west Terra arabia; the hellas basin; meridiani plains; The athabasca valles. I climbed Olympus Mons and its three Tharsis companions, as well as dug up water from the Cerberus Fossa and sailed by boat from the ma’adim vallis to the gusev crater.

From Mars we sent a hundred of the larger Aldos to scour two hundred light years of our galaxy and try to find any life form we could detect. Each of these Aldos carried a hundred  people, with the hope that they would settle were ever they found was possible, we had to seed as many worlds as we could.

In Mars we discovered many beings, beings that we later transported and seeded your young world. At this moment your world was entirely covered with water, it was a world of promises, we got one of the moons of Jupiter and dragged it to your own, and this helped divide the waters and allowed land to come out of the deep. We had carried many dinosaur eggs from Centauri and along with trees, plants and mammalian species in Mars we seeded your planet. The Amoans decided to seed your planet with their species; we also seeded your world with our DNA; hopefully in a billion or so years from today you will evolve to have the technology to discover our genetic message in you and so find us. In your moon we kept our history. Dig deep enough and you will find records of our entire technology.

END OF BOOK ONE                            

Preview to book two : The future belongs to those who create.

Reports came in from the ships we had sent to scour the solar systems near us, and they were not good. The Rallians had sent drones to search for us, we had warned the ships to avoid these drones as much as possible, These Rallian Spy drones were as intelligent as you will be in a billion years, So intelligent to be possibly human, we knew the consequences of being caught, and lived frugal lives, without heat in most cases, and made sure the Aldos went further and further into the edges of the galaxy.

Meanwhile we trained our soldiers to fly the Rallian attack Vessels; of which we had tens of thousands. Due to the risk that the Rallians could discover and destroy the Mother ship, we shielded it with Amoan technology, and sank it like a submarine into the waters of Europa, it had the deepest waters in your solar system; it quickly covered its surface with ice several miles deep. There we knew we could come back to it in the event of a war.

We trained, set up spy beacons in the edges of your solar system to warn us of any Rallian drone incursion, we did many tests to see if we could respond fast enough to create silence in the system, or even launch defensive attacks. These exercises were necessary. Within this time we learnt from the Amoans how to make Rallian stun guns, by using energy from the sun blocks, we now had the technology to kill the Rallians.

Eighty Light years from were we were, there was another Rallian group completely unknown to us. They were a forward part and mined from another solar system, we believed it was the Altarians we had earlier heard off,  the heat the planet gave out had given hint of a civilization, one of the Aldos went it there only to discover that the Rallians were already there and had done what they were good at-Destruction and slavery. Our men tried to run away but were chased after. Then they began to send SOS messages. The Aldo could not flee; it was caught with an electric freeze gun that disabled its engine, then they came in for the Kill.

We radioed to other ships to tread carefully. Two nearby Aldos were directed to go to the aid of the attacked ship.

It was at such a time that many other beings from the galaxy came by, they had heard our frequency and our talks about a Rallian attack, it was then they went in for the kill. By the time we reached the battle zone, they had already crushed the Rallians; there was a war going on in the universe, our galaxy was one of the millions of frontiers in the war. We saw hundreds of dead Rallians, their ships crushed to pieces, the planet they mined was over ran, their machines were converted into weapons.

We beheld beings that filled our imagination with awe, there were beings that looked like us, those that were reptilian, bird like, some as colorless as water, some that flew in the air, some that had wings, They made us aware of the battles and that they had been on Our beacon had just revealed to them that the Rallians were here, and they came to help. Even stranger creatures still came. Did I ever tell you that water  is life, yes, water was alive and a being that talked and could take any shape it wanted but in a fluidly and ice like form. We were not prepared for the beings that came by, thousands of ships that defied our imagination.

We then met beings from the Epsilion Eridiani star system, and the wonderful peoples of Tau Ceti and its principle mistress Epsilion Eridiani , we  spread out and many of us were taken to visit their son Procyon, from them we learnt other strange shortcuts in space and came to the Wolf star, a star of red and yellow diced above human beings, beings fare more brilliant than we will became, they had loved and were gay and joyous, a nation where time had meaning and they expanded to other star systems. They had already benefacted Ross star and even the Blue warm people of Eta Cass, people who were semi clouded in appearance but had tangible forms as trees in their myriads, white trees in a water colored planet and they floated in the air and had cities of trees in a green planet. They we found had even created an alliance with nine far off worlds-I could only begin by mentioning the yellow Altarians and the yellow blue colored citizens of Barnards star, they were metal, pure steel that had evolved-they were the children of the Altarians, a nation like us, similar to us that had evolved from to live from a few decades to a thousand.

The Altarians introduced us to the young and promising beings in the bird constellation-we met the chick like beings in Cygnon, those in the star system Draco –dog like beings with the most potential to cause wars and potent destruction, then we met the Lers, and the Jhobians, we even met the Intelligent and likable Lyrians, them you expect to hear from for eternity. They are the future-just like you will become too. The Lyrians had also got access to beings that inhabited the three neighborhood star systems Cygnus, Wipeida, and Hercules-all these star systems had come together to share ideas, ideals and hopes, we were late comers to a lager cosmic down.

When you look at your night sky, imagine you are in the midst of a great universe that is at war, all around you are beings that fight to keep our universe intact and safe from pests that threaten its survival.

Stars like Hamel in the Aries Constellation played an important role as a hospital-they saved many lives, then we had he print zone in the Auriga star system, here we used the trees in Capella and those shipped from other nearby stars, its land was the finest and also produced the bulk of our foods-there you can still see reserved wonders about their role in the war. I have to mention Aldebran-that mighty star in Taurus, with its young sister Hyades, a gem in the night sky.

Lower your eyes down and you will not miss to see the mighty hunter Orion-and it’s awesome stars, Rigel the female and its anchor stars-You will not miss to spot Betelgeuse, its gravity attracts you and it lets you know its mighty size, these were stars that came after the first stars. You will see it up-close when you get the technology to come here-perhaps before it goes supernovae-when it goes that way as mighty stars die-you will see it as bright as the moon in your night sky. From Betelquese look west and behold the gigantic Gemini come up. While its neighbor Orion was a beehive of weapons manufacture, the star system Gemini that cast its green radiance on Orion was an empress-its stars Pollux and Castor helped grow medicine that helped our sick and injured. In these wars there would be injuries that would bid the intestines of the observer.

Procyn was a star system that we came to rest in; those that had known so much pain first came to Pollux, we deeply looked after their welfare till they were fit to go back to war. One of the moons of Pollux was also a prison for those of our own; another was prison for the Captured Rallians.

Cancer we used as a radar center, its big planets had long mountain ranges that acted as strong foundations for  radio towers, three of which reached the sky-and then we set up.

Guest post by Vincent Ochen

 
The Rallians
A story by Vincent Ochen
Chapter Seven :  Evolution 
It was when the deportation began that we were to know the true reason why part of Sirius B had been blanketed. The dead were being piled into mass graves dug with super space graders that floated in the air and dug a hundred tons of soil at one go. One tenth would drill the soil as the other scooped it out, and poured it into another ship that would fly with the silt into a mother ship above. The dead were thrown down into the trenches. The Rallians had ships that sucked the dead that floated in the water; those on land were picked by us and loaded into rafts that were burnt to ashes. The ash were similarly picked up by the Rallians and shipped to their mother ship. 
Some of us workers were later on taken up to the Rallian planet. As we journeyed we could see the great mother ship many miles away, it was big, bigger than your wildest dreams.
I felt my heart skip as we approached the massive Jupiter sized Rallian planet. It was a dark planet, black thick smoke covered it. We entered the atmosphere in silence; we saw its dark lakes, interspersed with volcanoes bigger than those we knew. These spewed ash and smoke into the atmosphere. It was this volcanic activity then that made the planet alive and also invisible. This was the exact condition they had created on the planet Tyne.
Below this surface was another world millions of miles below. It seemed the sub surface soil was a roof. Below this roof lay a world more luxurious and more beautiful than our own, a paradise of mystical and Utopian characteristics, one could not imagine that these were the creatures that would dare destroy such pristine beauty even if it was of another planet. Here birds and animals completely different from our own flew; the oceans were pure, there was no pollution here, waterfalls were in abundance; and fell from the gigantic mountains that dotted the landscape; these very mountains acted as anchors for their roof; they had made sets of metallic gliders to hold the roof of their planet.
On top of the roof the Rallians had constructed their factories; here they also made ships; Here the Rallians poured the soil and ash excavated from our planet; these soaked up the toxic waste generated from their factories. 
It was in one of those waste management containment centers that I would meet the men who would define me, men I would spend a long part of my life with. It was in those moments of toil that we happened to eaves drop four Rallians discuss the capture of an Amoan child. The Amoans we came to learn were captured many hundreds of years earlier in one of the Rallian raids and made slaves just as we were; these Amoans it had been rumored were beautiful creatures but most died due to the harsh toil, millions still worked deep down in the Rallian cities. Cities we were often told of but had never seen. This planet had once been an Amoan planet, now it had been taken over. These Amoans were like Penguins, only they were taller. They grew feathers of all colours. Their hands could expand to hold any shape they wanted. Many Amoans it was rumoured had bored tunnels under the Rallian continent and had hid there, here they had created vast network of tunnels across the planet and lived in obscurity. They raided Rallian waste sites- before the wastes were shipped to the roof for incineration. It was mentioned that there were thousands of them deep in the gorges and the only reason the Rallians did not go after them was because these Amoan tunnels contained insects whose bites were fatal to the Rallians. These insects acted as food to the Amoans and these tunnels added much needed air to the Rallian subsurface soil, thus the Amoans were tolerated. The Rallians dared not poison the tunnels as these same insects acted as the first foods to the Rallian food Chain.
One of the four Rallians in the waste containment centre had a beeper placed on his arm-it raised him, all the three left and my supervisor went into the next room. When the three left the table they forgot a picture of a cut away paper that lay on the table. Curiosity took the better of me, I swept the floor and walked to the direction of the table, therein I beheld an Amoan. The very one that had been captured. He was a beautiful creature; purple blue feather coats covered his skin. This encounter introduced me to a form of technology of which we were a million years from.
While we mined our planet for energy, the Rallians mined the sun itself, this time it was Sirius B; Picture in your mind a sun your size, with a whitish brilliance and a few thousand Kilometers from Sirus A. The two stars walked together over endless galactic cycles. I could see from a hole a digital map on the wall in the adjoining room, fixed on this wall was an electronic pictograph that showed ships leave Sirius B and land at various points of the Rallian planet. My mind told me it was impossible to land any ship on a star; let alone a star as hot as yours could possibly be; this was till I could see it happen on the wall. The live telecast showed   large Rallian ships set up dark reflectors a few miles from the stars’ surface; till they completely covered an entire section for the star.
The Rallian ships used special suction tubes made of Tantalum Hafnium to pull the liquid contents of the sun. Tantalum has the highest melting point of over 4,215 degrees centigrade. The liquid would be cooled with a liquid I know not and made into sun blocks; these sun blocks would be placed on other ships that brought them into the Rallian planet and I could see them assemble millions of ships on another sector of the planet.
I asked my comrade Tanlin what these were and he mentioned these were used as energy in ships. One block would last a thousand years. Mini suns in a Rallian Ship.
“It is impossible to land on a sun.” I mentioned
“But you have seen them land.” He said.
“The surface is actually not very hot about five hundred thousand degrees Celsius, the interior is over 25 million degrees Celsius- so it’s technically possible to mine the sun.” He said
These ships were then transported to an awaiting mother ship and transported to where no one knew. The Transports carried about Ten Thousand Ships at ago.
No Sirian was allowed near this area; but I went in due to circumstances I will soon explain
One Night an earthquake shook the building we were in; we ran outside in the dark and emerged in the presence of a creature no one could ever dream of. A being from the black hole that orbited the planet had just returned; we did not hear its arrival earlier. We had wondered what had invaded our planet and smote us, we began to hear stories of beings that the Rallians reported to; beings of natures no one could describe. I knew we were doomed and the same fate that befell the Amoans awaited us. It was mentioned to us that the Rallians waged a war in the edges of the universe, and they needed weapons. These Rallians it was whispered had been created at the edge of time, and they roamed galaxies in search of energy sources. Their gods it was mentioned travelled with them. Beings that had lived in a time no one could mention- a time when there was not yet time.
What we discovered was that the dark ones had come with information for the Rallians. We soon found out what that information was; it was when a mass shipment of new Rallian Prisoners came, that we discovered the immense power of these dark creatures; Many of our people had escaped to distant pockets of the Solar system and asteroids, and there bored homes into the asteroids, many of these were easily caught; those that had run to the asteroids had no food, and as they raided moons for food they were tracked and captured.
It was in those moments of death that news came to us –whispers of a cold strange nature; one that brought a trickle of excitement in the body, one that you hoped would blossom into hoe. This was the news that a Commander had survived the onslaught on the planet;
After five earth years of toil and labor, this was the best news anybody could hear and the way the message was delivered gave us much hope. The Commander, Commander Ein as he was called had amassed a number of followers; some who had fought gallant battles many odd years prior. They knew the Rallian ways and had helped the Commander build many Rallian type air craft’s. It was every ones hope to find the Commander and be saved by him. Fantastic escapades were said to have been fought by him. The Rallians it was mentioned knew about him, he was able to reach nearer to their detaches because he was not bugged and those he freed he un-bugged. They had become a menace and many Rallian columns had been sent into the forest and seas to search for him.
It was in one of those searches that a Jungle island was spotted by the Rallians. This island had specific forms of plants that were good for the Rallian bodies, they rubbed these on their skins and it chased away the many tiny flies whose bites caused boils to the Rallians. As a botanist I had to see this gem. The Rallians wanted to grow these in their planet. And so I was transported from the Rallian planet and sent on the journey back to my world.
We stopped by sky city; it had lost its brightness and became a place where the Rallians did their experiments. There they drained many a Sirian person’s blood into large vats which they then transported to the Mother ship. No one knew why they did this, but whispers mentioned particular oxygen giving plants that were watered with blood. These plants in turn where food for the dark ones.
I cried when I reached the surface of my planet; smoke filled everywhere; it had become a lifeless factory. Millions lined the surface, the once lush forests and marshes were now empty deep brown cesspool filled pits. The eyes of my brothers and sisters were eyes of death; they never smiled and threw the enormous burden on their backs into aerial trucks. That then flew off into the ocean surface where larger centers sorted the ores of their minerals and shipped both the mineral and the discarded ore away to their planet.
After we were briefed by those of our own whom the Rallians had brain washed – mainly children, we were then transported to the tropical island. There we found many Rallians; they meticulously sorted and recorded the plants and animals they found in the island. They ensured  the use of every plant or animal they could find.
Deep in the Island we saw two Rallians lazy about. They wore head scanners that recorded the islands contents. We continued catalogue the plants. Unknown to me this day would redefine life for me. A short while later they walked off out of sight, and they never returned. It was approximately an hour later that we saw about twenty Sirians armed to the teeth walk toward us. On their hands the forest scanners the two Rallians had. 
They walked to us. We stood about –our minds blank.
“Come with us.” One of them whispered. We rushed to them, I and three others-both the lady and Tanlin had been by my side from the Rallian planet. 
We were taken into a submersible that rested a few feet from the ocean. Ten hours later we entered one of the crevices formed by the oceans, these were well hidden. Tunnels bored through it pushed us deeper into blue crystal filled holes, these provided natural light. There we met Commander Ein. He welcomed us with open hands and gave us much to wish for.
“I heard of you and believe you have the ability to help us in more ways than one.” He hugged us.
Commander Ein took us to a section of the enclosure where lay many a sick Sirian soldier, they had no doctors to help. We immediately searched our gear for any plant that could help ease their pain. Some insects sucked their blood and clotted the blood, these were very effective.
Commander Ein would later take us on a tour of his base and into his communications room where giant screens on the walls kept him abreast with the Rallian desecration of our planet. Many a recording of raids he made on Rallian ships he showed us. Some of our satellites were still in orbit and they had been of immense usefulness to the cause. They allowed a lot of communication by the Rallians to be monitored.
 Then we were taken to the ship assembly site and over eight ships were being refurbished. Many of these were discarded Rallian ships that Commander Ein had taken apart piece by piece and re-assembled.
He took us to the chamber where dead Rallians were kept. These were research stations, we could see Rallian drones, Rallian armour suits, gadgets, ship models, Rallian written words were being decoded. One dead Rallian had a child on it belly.
“They are Hermaphrodites he told us.” “Our ancestors encountered these creatures; I happen to discover stories about them drawn in one of the abandoned temples.”
We made this our home and mainly worked on the sick, we also suggested fruits and leaves that offered better nutritional value for the fighters. Fish we hunted and salted for our use. It was on one of those nights that we were woken up. A raid was planned. I and Tanlin volunteered to join Commander Ein.
On the way Commander Ein told us the remarkable story about life; after their raft had been washed away, he had fallen into the sea and lay there many hours, till his body touched a root from one of the marshes. Here he awoke and used the root to climb up to shore. He was hungry and walked about to find fruits to eat. Two Months later as he familiarized himself with his environ he met what would become his home for the last two years. He found an old abandoned temple, possibly built thousands of years in the past; it had been covered by trees. He entered and landed at the lintels of the old palace and used his Nean trees to look inside-It was gigantic-there were open storage areas, prayer areas, baths, burial grounds and the like. Here he explored and here he put his home.
“My wife and child I lost….I still look for them.”
“How did you come to lead the rebellion?” I asked.
“It was in one of the days, two years ago when I hunted to survive, and mainly these were Rats, Rabbits, bush Pigs and many other smaller animals. One day I found a Rallian drone stuck to one of the animal traps I had set; it had twisted and blasted many trees around in an effort to free itself but it failed and its power had run out.
I took it away. Disabled its weapons systems and recharged the battery with all the tree saps I could acquire. It was then I tuned in to their frequency and I learnt their alphabet and with time began to understand why they had come to our planet; it was purely to mine our resources. To them we were beings very low in the evolutionary ladder. They had wanted to destroy us totally but had chosen to use as slaves. Since we were water based; they could not take us to live in their planet as their slaves. They would feed us to their fish for as long as we were still useful.”
 “To complete their work would take about two centuries. They would sail on after they had stored enough energy and packed enough food to last hundreds of years and we would be kept alive in their planet to breed more food for them. This is what led me to action. It was from them that I first heard of the Galactic battle. Here I also heard about the Amoans and also of beings in the Auriga star system that were almost as advanced as we were and had to be given the same medicine as us. They had already sent one Mother ship there-A ship I heard was bigger than an ocean put together, an Inter Galactic ship.”
“I monitored their communications for many months, learnt where they stored their weapons. I easily located some of these centers and helped myself to the largely unguarded weapons, but took the chance to only remove the ones easy to get. These weapons I dismantled and studied well. It was at these times that I began to look for and rescue one Sirian after another-now we number a few thousand.”
A soldier came to him with news.
“The supply train goes to Rallian detaches at the mines. They carry weapons and food.”
“Great, lead us” He responded 
“Prepare yourselves, we will have afight.”
We shipped off into the night; a dozen of us on a twenty meter aerial car, about nine ships carried two hundred of us. We reached the tracks and buried ourselves into the sand. Three hours later the train came by, over 50 wagons long. Our contact had reliably informed us of the particular wagon the food was in and the arms. These were typically at the back of the wagon.
When the train came by we got ourselves ready. These were aerial trains that flew about ten meters up the ground. They needed infra red beacons on the ground to give them direction.
As the train passed us by we shot metal ropes that attached themselves under the wagons, these then pulled us from the ground, we ran along with the train and pulled ourselves up onto the wagons, we used acidic fluids to bore our way in. Then threw the food and arms down the ground for miles and miles till we had got to our hearts contents and we used the detachable ropes to jump down to the ground. From here we radioed a team that had remained with our ships and they came to us, along the way they had packed what we had thrown. Within an hour we were on our way back to base.
From then on the Rallians began to take a keen interest in us. They increased their search; set up heat sensors within marshes and directed satellites to areas they deemed of interest. We used these perilous moments to build more and more aircrafts as well as store enough food. We knew tough times lay ahead of us.. Our plans for the year were to raise a series of hit and run maneuvers on the Rallian bases and recruit more and more people into the movement. Once we had the entire population in arms-there in we would find the opportunity to redeem ourselves over many years.  
Events went very fast over the months; all the news and whispers in the Rallian camps mentioned the escapades of   Commander Ein. The name had become a thorn in the Rallian flesh. They hunted for the Commander for many months without success.
On one of the dark and gloomy months, a massage came from the Rallian planet. This was carried by one of our own who coordinated spy activities up there. He mentioned that the Amoans requested his presence-They had heard of him and new the secret to our species survival. 
Commander Ein stood before thirty six soldiers in the forgotten temple enclosure; he had chosen to go to the Rallian planet and there meet the Amoans, they had offered to reveal secret technologies whose blue print that they had stolen  from the Rallians, but to do so they had to be taken out of the planet. These were days that would shake the foundation of time.
I and Tanlin were chosen to go to the planet; we had been there before and had been slaves who could move from moon to moon, this gave us an immense opportunity to climb aboard Rallian transports. We had captured and reconfigured many a Rallian Ship; and hoped to effortlessly sizzle into their planet; we knew the codes to be used.
Three quarters of us would embark on this journey-we had to find a refuge in the Ice moon, a moon scarcely inhabited. Our location was precariously close to detection by the superior Rallian radars. We thus had to get out of the planet.
There was a Rallian spaceport about a hundred miles from our hideout. We knew it well and had managed to scour its architecture. The Sirians that worked there would give us access. We divided ourselves into to three groups. Those that would help us escape the Sirian orbit and eventually remain behind to keep the incursions active; the other group would travel with the Commander to the Rallian planet. The others would escape to the Ice moon Lait and await any further instructions. Food and medicine were gathered in quantities enough to sustain a four thousand man army for a year.
We marched into the area by submersible crafts about three thousand of us. We would leave two thousand more in the planet. ln our two day Journey we made plans to take over the space port. Plan A was to use the workers therein to enter into the space port and take over the flight control deck. Then block all access to the space port. This would give us the ability to direct the action at our discretion. If this should fail, we had planned to capture the port by force in a massive blitz.
We knew he Rallians loved their fish especially those brought from the planet Tyne. We had secured enough of this food. My being a botanist enabled us to create a bomb with this food. A bomb hat would react with the Rallian internal fluids and burn them up from the inside.
We reached their enclave in the night. Our Subs encircled the Space Port about twenty meters below the water surface.-Then amidst the darkness we gave the servants the food. How they would administer it we awaited to see. Six Rallians manned the space port controls and about a dozen others stood guard on the outside.
It would take about half an hour for the bombs to take effect after it was eaten. We knew the cue we wanted. When we heard it- the Rallians had began to blow up one at a time. Some Rallians jumped from the widows to the ground in a ball of fire. We entered the pace port zones and shot our way through the runways. It was a complete and total surprise. Many of the Rallians were unarmed-some managed to inflict mortal wounds on some of our own, who we evacuated to the ships later. At the controls many of the communication and radar links were shut off. After we had pacified the area we set up defenses around the port. We then floated our submersibles from the water and landed them on the launch stations. It took about seven hours to launch all the eighty crafts we had. We had to pack ourselves in like fish. Three thousand of us in all.  
It would take two days for the Rallians to know what had happened. The little communication devices we kept open were to remotely inform them that the base was under maintenance repair. These messages were set electronically every hour; we had the knowledge of the Rallian language to execute this out. Within this window our ships managed to mingle with the thousands of Rallian ships that plied the planets. Commander Ein, Tanlin and I were among the first to be lunched out to orbit, we then sailed along the route to the Rallian planet.
Those of our own who had remained behind would disappear away to safety in the many subterranean vaults under the continent. Another group of ships –the bulk of our crudely made fleet flew to the ice moon Tyne. This moon was barely a twenty hour journey to the Rallian planet. Here they would remain and await our arrival-if we were successful. If we weren’t they would have to find a means of survival in the many moons of our solar system.
And yes the Rallians did find out and began a frantic search of the night sky; they set up road blocks in every nook of usable territory in space. Many of these were manned by drones.
About a dozen reports came to them about a mass of familiar ships that were sighted on course for the Ice moon Lait. The Rallians sent out a hundred class one frigates-these were faster and stronger and carried enough sun fuel to last millennia’s.
This enabled Commander Ein to approach the Rallian planet with ease as attention was shifted to the Ice moon.
We almost never reached the Great planet; we had stopped to be inspected; and held a cargo of much needed medical plants that the Rallians relied on, as botanists we were given freedom to move to and fro. Effortlessly we reached the roof of the planet. From here we stole our way into another Rallian transport. Our ship was not able to withstand the tension caused by re-entry. Our energy fuse blew up, and we crash landed in dense trees; this gave us the opportunity to escape into the Forest. We moved through this forest at light speed. A forest whose trees seemed to look at us and whose birds made haunting melodies.
From the maps crudely drawn for us we had another twenty miles to go before we would reach the collection point.
Planes flew by over the Rallian sky enroute to their mighty cities. This was heaven itself.
 We traveled in the night for safety; with us we had night visuals; the fruits from the trees were palatable with us, these sustained us for the duration of the journey.
It was in the third night that an unexpected danger visited us; as we crossed the myriads of strange trees. We could see birds flap up into the sky; we had startled them, carefully we moved inland, barely ten minutes later we saw the birds fly again.
“We are being followed Tanlin warned us” “Everyone up the tree and maintain maximum silence.” 
Then we saw the creature, in the darkness; it smelt us and stood wherein we had last been, then it looked up into the trees; whether it could see us we were not sure of. But smell us it did; we dared not move an inch. It could raise chaos for us and blow away our cover.
“We must to neutralize it.” Retorted Commander Ein. “It could be a Rallian tracker Dog.”
Eilda, one of the young and formidable assistants to Commander Ein and Tanlin seemed ahead of us; Eilda jumped down, the beast turned to him; Tanlin too jumped down and threw a rope over the beasts Head; Eilda held its teeth, we also jumped down to kill the beast; it was at such a moment that a net was thrown over us. Then we blacked out.
When we awoke; we were inside a massive cave and a peculiar being hovered above us; it was unmistakable- an Amoan, soon many more Amoans came into the room we were in;
They were a beautiful people, their feather coated skins glowed  with  shades of color in the spectrum, the young were yellow, the old purple, the women green, the men blue, they were birds that walked on two bird like legs, their tail feathers bright and beautiful as a peacocks,.
They told us how the Rallians had destroyed their world, they were captured and cannibalized, and a few of them escaped into the trenches and since that time thousands of generations have lived and died there.
“Some of us still live above, as slaves and occasionally eaten like fowl at a whim.”Said Yolk- he was old, as old as the oldest men in your generation, he was at deaths door and yet he still had the hope that he would die in freedom.
With him was Heetal; he it was who coordinated all within his community, an expert at weapons manufacture. He had found a loophole in the Rallian defenses and made it possible for us to receive his chief’s message.
Jani, a son of Yolk tended to his father and had the strength of character to assume command over many a youth in this underground enclave.
“Who are these people anyway; where do they come from.” Commander Ein inquired from Yolk.
“The Rallians come from our universe; they have been here since the beginning and eventually crossed the divide; in their lust for power they gave their souls to beings we cannot explain, beings that are obscure .We still cannot comprehend.”
“And these beings in the black hole; have you seen them?”
“No, none of us has-I doubt if the Rallians themselves have-perhaps only a few chosen ones.” Mentioned Yolk. “There are beings which though neither compounds nor mixture, are not elements.”
“How can that be?” I inquired- my mind could not comprehend what Yolk had just mentioned.
“There are two types of beings, the visible and the invisible, the Rallians are the visible; their master is of a form we cannot comprehend. We give names to things according to the appearances they assume for ourselves, but these beings are of obscure form. With the ages of the universe estimated in the billions, it is not uncommon for these beings to exist.”
I scratched my head and looked at Yolk with my eyes; he could sense my mind,
“When bodies deemed to be simple, combine with one another they vanish, they are individually annihilated-they have entered into the spiritual. And they live in a black hole.” He pointed up the roof. “Which again defies reason, shall we be right to mention then that a black hole may be that boundary that separates finite from infinite.” He mentioned.
“Only an old Race like the Rallians would have the technology to summon beings in the infinite.” Said Heetal;
“But if the Rallians are of the finite type; we should have been able to detect them; but we discovered when it was too late.” Commander Ein found the opportunity to clear his mind. The Amoans had lived with these space conquers for many millennia; they knew what they dealt with.
“The same occurred with us; by the time we discovered what we delt with they had already landed in our planet and they took it away from its orbit.” “This beloved planet.” Yolk wiped tears off his eyes.
Jani went to comfort his father, Heetal served a meal for us and as we ate he mentioned what I had always thought;
“There is no rest, no chance in nature.” He said. “All happens because they have to happen.” “The arrival of these obscure beings was destined to occur. All creatures were born to fight to survive; we see it in your calm seas and in the bodies that rule space.” “We were very excited when we heard about your resistance.” Mentioned Heetal. “It was not by mistake that you began to fight, not by mistake that you and I sit here together.”
“We understood you had challenges on a fundamental question.” “How do we get out of the Rallian clutches?” “How do we fight them?”  “And after we have slipped through to space, where do we go?” “Answers to these your questions we have. We are the future, we have a map of the way that will lead us to a new home, a new planet, we have the blue print to the Rallian Ships, and we know how to fly them. The Maps are in our minds. Those large Rallian ships have warp technology, to configure it we know, they have the technology to mine the stars, that technology too we have.”
“The winds of change have begun, we cannot let it stop.” Mentioned Yolk “A launch widow approaches and our destination planet is in its correct position. In haste we must leave this planet.”
This was an opportunity we could not pass. Our mission was to get the Amoans out of the planet and into the moon Lait, from there we would devise a strategy to take over the mother ship.
Our first mission was to get a ship and steal our way out of the Rallian planet with selected Amoans. Of these there would be 50 Amoan scientists. 
Rechoas men had by now long landed on the moon Lait. There they hid amidst the trees that grew on the ice moon. A moon that had mountains and rivers, here they kept a deathly silence. Each time their ships lurched about us we dug deep into our hearts and clenched our teeth. Much was at stake-Our intention was to escape from the solar system and live somewhere else, if we failed in this mission our race would be extinct within a matter of a century. 
How fortune loves the prepared. By the time the frigates hovered about the ice moon, Commander Ein radioed. They were at the last phase of the mission. We believe the Rallians heard it for they too began to dial into the frequency-Rechoas transmitters could sense this disturbance. He and his men hid under the tree covered areas on the ice moon’s surface. The Rallians later landed in the droves and detected Rechoas position.
Rechoa prepared an ambush.
Commander Ein and the over one thousand Amoans began to climb the long mountains that covered the middle of the Rallian planet. Put all your mountains together they still cannot match the Rallian ones, in them they curved their great ones, their evolution over millennia, first they were stones, then plants, then dragon like beasts, then they became like us, then some of them became spirits and they said they would become gods eventually.
These were moments of time, moments when life had to be desired. If we were able to pull out of the Rallian planet-then we could possibly survive.
Here we were with 50 Amoans scientists, a thousand more would help us get to the place where ships were assembled. Here ships were painted-grey and they were transported on conveyer belts to larger ships called Aldos that would send these to the mother ship.
The Mother ship itself I once had seen and was as large as a small country. It was huge-all things necessary for life was in here. Endless arrays of machines did most of the work. Their soldiers manned every floor. One Mother ship it was mentioned could carry ten thousand Aldos. We studied its blue print as given us by the Amoans
In the Ice moon. Rechoa had securely hidden his ships a few feet below the ice; he led the Rallians deeper in the trees and laid out a trap for them. They meticulously followed Rechoas group. His fighter’s had by now set up an attack corridor; they camouflaged themselves with the snow and hid till it was dark.
Then the trees began to move, and the Rallians appeared. Rechoa bid his men to take their time till the moment of attack approached. The Rallians walked in single file as they searched the area. Rechoa made sure to leave tracks with their movements which the Rallians followed. Rechoa had earlier on sent half his men seven miles backwards to attack the Rallian ships; he and the men with him launched an attack on the fifty Rallians that walked the darkness. One by one a Rallian was whisked up into the trees and silenced.
An over alert Rallian noticed his immediate soldier had disappeared from the back. He stopped and called. He then walked there and about. He stopped when a liquid droped onto his forehead. When he touched it; a form of blood formed in his hands. He looked up to see his friend and with his friend was Reachoa himself. One bullet to the skull finished him off. Reachoas men then began to shoot disproportionately. The sound of the battle forced the Rallians within the ship to run into the forest to help. This gave an opportunity for the Sirians to capture the Rallian ships. Many a Rallian pilot fought to safeguard his ship but were inundated with Sirian fire power. One to three Rallian ships escaped to the sky.
At this stage Rechoa made an out maneuver and run with his men toward the Rallian ships. These were boarded and to the air they flew. Behind they left many Rallians stranded.
He tailed the three escaped Rallian ships about ten miles into space before his men shot them to tatters. Then he led his ships on to the periphery of the Rallian planet. Behind on the moon other Sirians fought gallantly against the Rallians, hey would enable a safe passage for Rechoa.
We crouched along the rocks in the mountains. This was an extinct volcano where Rallians had started use of as a storage centre. They had bored various vertical holes onto the sides of the volcano and used it partially for research purposes. If we were to reach the Aldo in the planets roof above we had to climb through these enormous holes, careful to carry endless tanks of oxygen. These tunnels were used to send wastes up the roof.
Oxygen tanks we had aplenty. The Amoans needed it every day under the continent and had designed light oxygen tanks that would last a month at the most. We shut off a couple of incinerators in the night. This would cut off black smoke that would normally form inside the tunnels and we wore our life tanks and painfully crawled inside these tunnels. We used special metals to attach our bodies along the perilous soot colored rocks.
We had less than twenty hours to get to the top. In the day the Rallians would restart the incinerators. We would be fried to death if this operation found us inside the vents.
Once we were half way inside the vents we fired our oxygen, this lifted us slowly up. Many died in the tunnel mainly from exhaustion. We left them behind, tied them to metal poles that we fixed on the walls. The warm smoke when released would dissipate them overtime.
By the time we smelt the coarse open air above, we were for the most part exhausted. The sun was a few hours away. Our eyes landed on a military landing site that contained thousands of small ships; ships that were two sitters; five sitters, ten sitters, a hundred sitters.
The Amoans directed us on what to do-they were over a thousand Amoans and only a dozen of us Sirians. These Amoans were masters of camouflage, and could blend like chameleons. Within those few hours they mapped out every intricate detail of the ships; those that were ignitable those with weapons aboard, those that could withstand long journeys. They used ropes to go in these excursions and when they got the opportunity to enter a ship they did and opened the doors ajar for us. Within an hour we rushed to board the ships; the 50 Amoan elders we put in groups of ten per ship, majority of the others took up the smaller ships as there would be many Rallian ships and drones that would came to stop us.
Slowly we floated in the air, up to a hundred or so meters, then we went vamoose and ignited our rocket engines, we scattered our way across the endless Rallian sky. We knew the Rallian air defenses both below the planet and those in space would rain down torrents of missiles at us.
By the time we reached the stratosphere, more than a thousand Rallian drones were on our tail. The Rallian missiles shields in orbit fired endless missiles at us. Many an Amoan flew straight for these missiles-they sacrificed themselves so that the 50 Amoan elders could have a chance to escape. They did this both for missiles that came from space and those from below the planet. Many others veered off and went back down to fight the Rallian drones that menaced their way toward us. We radioed for help from the moon Lait.
Over a quarter of our ships were destroyed before we had even got out of the large planets gravity. A quarter more Amoans remained behind to engage the enemy. All the Fifty Amoans were safe. More Amoans maneuvered and flew to attack the aerial missile launchers in space.
The rest of us with about five hundred ships marched on towards the Asteroids.
At the time when we had emerged into space, our brothers from the moon Lait came to our rescue-They had heard that more Rallian frigates were launched from the planet and had almost taken off the Amoans that had acted as a buffer between them and us. Two thousand Sirians under Rechoa volunteered to fight to the death and bagan to approach the Rallian planet to the help of the last Amoans.
A thousand more we requested to help us capture the Mother ship. Tanlin had already veered off towards the ship with a hundred Amoans manned light ships; the rest would go with Commander Ein towards the Asteroids.
A hundred thousand miles and four hours later we encountered the Mother ship. They thought we were Rallian ships and had not known about the battle that raged on at the margins of their planet. The Amoans had managed to confuse their radar systems. They had earlier raided many a Rallian grave and picked up the identification chip implants that each Rallian carried. This allowed us to pass through the scanners before we were all allowed into the ships range without much ado. When we reached the periphery of the ship, we mentioned to them that we had come on a study tour and would fly about the ships exterior.
We flew hour long sorties along the width and breadth of the ship and used ropes to drop down onto the ships body; therein we searched for their extremely tiny air ducts that were used in those rare occasions to pump bad air out of the ship. Into these air ducts we pumped enormous quantities of sarin, an extremely toxic gas that attacks the central nervous system, causing convulsions and death.
After we had pumped tons of sarin across the ship, we then requested to be let in through their wavy gates. 
We were like bees that flew on the doors of an airport hangar. When we had all entered the ship; we released the sarin that we had with us; we were prepared and still wore the oxygen tanks we had before; these shielded us. This alerted the Rallian sensors that immediately sprinkled water and oxygen into the ship and alerted its inhabitants of the breach and a call for evacuation.
We shot many a Rallian along the way to their communications center; its location at the top edges of the ship.
The sarin had helped us, it weakened many a Rallian, and along the paths we run in we found bodies that littered the corridors. Of these we found many of them at deaths door and helped make their journey quicker. Some Amoans then bored their way into their arms depots and we secured the arsenal needed to capture the ship in totality. We estimated about two thousand Rallians would be in the ship.
“If you do not come in ten hours, we shall leave.” Echoed the words of Commander Ein as we began our attack on the Rallian Mother sip.
By now they had successfully landed on the Asteroids and awaited us for a voyage across the stars. With them were the 50 Amoans with the blue prints to our future. The Amoans had convinced us of many planets capable of harboring life out there and they had visited many at a time when they were free.
The decision to take over the mother ship was one of impulse, as we left the Rallian planet; I asked price Ein via wireless if we would make it to the next star system, he mentioned the idea would be to reach deep space and then remove the sun fuels from the tiny rafts and insert them into two or three larger ships.
I asked him if he would give me the permission to take a few fighters and try to take over the mother ship
He mentioned that he considered it crazy but if we could escape the Rallian atmosphere he was optimistic that we may pull it off, and gave me the go ahead.
Over a thousand of us went into an operation what would become known as the operation of life; for we destroyed enemy life to save our own. Our mission was to penetrate a hornets’ nest, fight our way to their communications center and commandeer the ship.
To be a botanist came handy, I knew certain hostile ants can camouflage into other. And so like a leviathan it awaits the right moment before it strikes with a flash. 
In a typical Rallian battle, the machines do the war. Rallian life was too precious to waste-their women had become old- then they overtime evolved into asexual beings by both evolution and medication. Perhaps one of the unique survival skills of a race among the abundance of space.
By the time we reached their communications center we had fought spirited battles with more than a hundred of them, they killed some of us, and many had covered their faces with gas masks. 
All over the ship we beat them left and right –till we had harassed them to warrant us a pest- and so as they opened more and more of their air vents, more and more sarin streaked through. We had gambled and it had worked.
By the time we blew down the door to their communications center and shot those inside they had sent many messages for help to the home planet to alert them of the situation. Their home planet had problems of their own, many of their space ports had been destroyed by the Amoan fighters and they could not launch fighter ships.
Above them many more Amoan rebels had been joined by thousands of Sirian fighters and had taken a deep hold on their ability to offer any help.
“We will fight it out.” The Rallians in the Mother ship radioed back-and they began to evacuate onto the Aldos-many that were still airtight.
They also released those dreaded spider drones. We feared them and took evasive action. A few of us were killed by these metallic spiders. The Amoan urine helped a lot; it was here we discovered these spiders machines froze on contact with urine. We all began to pee on the floor and walls as our engineers tried to configure the codes to stop these spiders. We succeeded and hot coded them to look at the Rallians as the enemy and they gladly helped us totally defeat their own masters.
About a thousand Rallians had managed to escape aboard about twenty Aldos, there was a pile up when the sarin seeped into many others. And as they ran off into space we went to their engine rooms and finally gained access to their ship control center. We then sent out squads to comb the floors. By the time we took over the ship no Rallian remained alive- the Amoans guided the ship at great speed towards the asteroids. We radioed Commander Ein to be on the ready; we found them already in orbit around the asteroids and instructed them to put on their oxygen masks, then ushered them into the ship. Those that fought in the margins of the Rallian planet radioed to say they would fight on and wished us the very best. We thanked them for their sacrifice and promised to remember them.
The Rallians who had escaped aboard the twenty Aldos began to move towards their home planet; we were later to learn they would complete the destruction of our own that fought gallantly near the Rallian planet. We had heard their last battle cry and wishes of a better future, at this their last moments we radioed to Rechoa and  mentioned we had captured the great Mother ship and would in a few seconds launch to hyperspace, we knew the last of them heard us make this leap.
We quickly began to map the ship. We then took stock of the dead Rallians-we packed them into ice rooms, and also accounted for their electrical grids and energy they had left. We then began to read their literature.-The Amoans taught us how to. Here we delved into their culture and way of life. They were the sons of the universe-one of the few who had lived in the universe of old and they were here to take stock of the resources that were available. They were so old that they could travel from one reality to another. They had evolved over 80 billion Gas ago, those milliards of years they used it to visit other worlds and discovered other portals to other universes. We wondered how we had even managed to pull this escape up. We lost many men and women that day, some who though Amoans had taught us never to lose hope-The Amoans especially after over a hundred centuries in captivity still had hope- a belief that a few men with the right attitude had the ability to create a new dawn.
It would take us many months to reach our next destination-we had chosen a star system next to yours; and then we went to sleep-in shifts of a month each.
We were confident we would reach our destination for by the time we left the Asteroids, we had set many of them into booby traps that exploded into a million pieces after we had gone into hyperspace. The Rallian fighter crafts and Aldos that had managed to defy our fighters had come after us, entered the asteroids and many were smote by the bombs. They halted their chase.
Chapter 8 is available here
Guest post by Vincent Ochen

The Rallians

A story by Vincent Ochen

Chapter Seven :  Evolution

It was when the deportation began that we were to know the true reason why part of Sirius B had been blanketed. The dead were being piled into mass graves dug with super space graders that floated in the air and dug a hundred tons of soil at one go. One tenth would drill the soil as the other scooped it out, and poured it into another ship that would fly with the silt into a mother ship above. The dead were thrown down into the trenches. The Rallians had ships that sucked the dead that floated in the water; those on land were picked by us and loaded into rafts that were burnt to ashes. The ash were similarly picked up by the Rallians and shipped to their mother ship.

Some of us workers were later on taken up to the Rallian planet. As we journeyed we could see the great mother ship many miles away, it was big, bigger than your wildest dreams.

I felt my heart skip as we approached the massive Jupiter sized Rallian planet. It was a dark planet, black thick smoke covered it. We entered the atmosphere in silence; we saw its dark lakes, interspersed with volcanoes bigger than those we knew. These spewed ash and smoke into the atmosphere. It was this volcanic activity then that made the planet alive and also invisible. This was the exact condition they had created on the planet Tyne.

Below this surface was another world millions of miles below. It seemed the sub surface soil was a roof. Below this roof lay a world more luxurious and more beautiful than our own, a paradise of mystical and Utopian characteristics, one could not imagine that these were the creatures that would dare destroy such pristine beauty even if it was of another planet. Here birds and animals completely different from our own flew; the oceans were pure, there was no pollution here, waterfalls were in abundance; and fell from the gigantic mountains that dotted the landscape; these very mountains acted as anchors for their roof; they had made sets of metallic gliders to hold the roof of their planet.

On top of the roof the Rallians had constructed their factories; here they also made ships; Here the Rallians poured the soil and ash excavated from our planet; these soaked up the toxic waste generated from their factories.

It was in one of those waste management containment centers that I would meet the men who would define me, men I would spend a long part of my life with. It was in those moments of toil that we happened to eaves drop four Rallians discuss the capture of an Amoan child. The Amoans we came to learn were captured many hundreds of years earlier in one of the Rallian raids and made slaves just as we were; these Amoans it had been rumored were beautiful creatures but most died due to the harsh toil, millions still worked deep down in the Rallian cities. Cities we were often told of but had never seen. This planet had once been an Amoan planet, now it had been taken over. These Amoans were like Penguins, only they were taller. They grew feathers of all colours. Their hands could expand to hold any shape they wanted. Many Amoans it was rumoured had bored tunnels under the Rallian continent and had hid there, here they had created vast network of tunnels across the planet and lived in obscurity. They raided Rallian waste sites- before the wastes were shipped to the roof for incineration. It was mentioned that there were thousands of them deep in the gorges and the only reason the Rallians did not go after them was because these Amoan tunnels contained insects whose bites were fatal to the Rallians. These insects acted as food to the Amoans and these tunnels added much needed air to the Rallian subsurface soil, thus the Amoans were tolerated. The Rallians dared not poison the tunnels as these same insects acted as the first foods to the Rallian food Chain.

One of the four Rallians in the waste containment centre had a beeper placed on his arm-it raised him, all the three left and my supervisor went into the next room. When the three left the table they forgot a picture of a cut away paper that lay on the table. Curiosity took the better of me, I swept the floor and walked to the direction of the table, therein I beheld an Amoan. The very one that had been captured. He was a beautiful creature; purple blue feather coats covered his skin. This encounter introduced me to a form of technology of which we were a million years from.

While we mined our planet for energy, the Rallians mined the sun itself, this time it was Sirius B; Picture in your mind a sun your size, with a whitish brilliance and a few thousand Kilometers from Sirus A. The two stars walked together over endless galactic cycles. I could see from a hole a digital map on the wall in the adjoining room, fixed on this wall was an electronic pictograph that showed ships leave Sirius B and land at various points of the Rallian planet. My mind told me it was impossible to land any ship on a star; let alone a star as hot as yours could possibly be; this was till I could see it happen on the wall. The live telecast showed   large Rallian ships set up dark reflectors a few miles from the stars’ surface; till they completely covered an entire section for the star.

The Rallian ships used special suction tubes made of Tantalum Hafnium to pull the liquid contents of the sun. Tantalum has the highest melting point of over 4,215 degrees centigrade. The liquid would be cooled with a liquid I know not and made into sun blocks; these sun blocks would be placed on other ships that brought them into the Rallian planet and I could see them assemble millions of ships on another sector of the planet.

I asked my comrade Tanlin what these were and he mentioned these were used as energy in ships. One block would last a thousand years. Mini suns in a Rallian Ship.

“It is impossible to land on a sun.” I mentioned

“But you have seen them land.” He said.

“The surface is actually not very hot about five hundred thousand degrees Celsius, the interior is over 25 million degrees Celsius- so it’s technically possible to mine the sun.” He said

These ships were then transported to an awaiting mother ship and transported to where no one knew. The Transports carried about Ten Thousand Ships at ago.

No Sirian was allowed near this area; but I went in due to circumstances I will soon explain

One Night an earthquake shook the building we were in; we ran outside in the dark and emerged in the presence of a creature no one could ever dream of. A being from the black hole that orbited the planet had just returned; we did not hear its arrival earlier. We had wondered what had invaded our planet and smote us, we began to hear stories of beings that the Rallians reported to; beings of natures no one could describe. I knew we were doomed and the same fate that befell the Amoans awaited us. It was mentioned to us that the Rallians waged a war in the edges of the universe, and they needed weapons. These Rallians it was whispered had been created at the edge of time, and they roamed galaxies in search of energy sources. Their gods it was mentioned travelled with them. Beings that had lived in a time no one could mention- a time when there was not yet time.

What we discovered was that the dark ones had come with information for the Rallians. We soon found out what that information was; it was when a mass shipment of new Rallian Prisoners came, that we discovered the immense power of these dark creatures; Many of our people had escaped to distant pockets of the Solar system and asteroids, and there bored homes into the asteroids, many of these were easily caught; those that had run to the asteroids had no food, and as they raided moons for food they were tracked and captured.

It was in those moments of death that news came to us –whispers of a cold strange nature; one that brought a trickle of excitement in the body, one that you hoped would blossom into hoe. This was the news that a Commander had survived the onslaught on the planet;

After five earth years of toil and labor, this was the best news anybody could hear and the way the message was delivered gave us much hope. The Commander, Commander Ein as he was called had amassed a number of followers; some who had fought gallant battles many odd years prior. They knew the Rallian ways and had helped the Commander build many Rallian type air craft’s. It was every ones hope to find the Commander and be saved by him. Fantastic escapades were said to have been fought by him. The Rallians it was mentioned knew about him, he was able to reach nearer to their detaches because he was not bugged and those he freed he un-bugged. They had become a menace and many Rallian columns had been sent into the forest and seas to search for him.

It was in one of those searches that a Jungle island was spotted by the Rallians. This island had specific forms of plants that were good for the Rallian bodies, they rubbed these on their skins and it chased away the many tiny flies whose bites caused boils to the Rallians. As a botanist I had to see this gem. The Rallians wanted to grow these in their planet. And so I was transported from the Rallian planet and sent on the journey back to my world.

We stopped by sky city; it had lost its brightness and became a place where the Rallians did their experiments. There they drained many a Sirian person’s blood into large vats which they then transported to the Mother ship. No one knew why they did this, but whispers mentioned particular oxygen giving plants that were watered with blood. These plants in turn where food for the dark ones.

I cried when I reached the surface of my planet; smoke filled everywhere; it had become a lifeless factory. Millions lined the surface, the once lush forests and marshes were now empty deep brown cesspool filled pits. The eyes of my brothers and sisters were eyes of death; they never smiled and threw the enormous burden on their backs into aerial trucks. That then flew off into the ocean surface where larger centers sorted the ores of their minerals and shipped both the mineral and the discarded ore away to their planet.

After we were briefed by those of our own whom the Rallians had brain washed – mainly children, we were then transported to the tropical island. There we found many Rallians; they meticulously sorted and recorded the plants and animals they found in the island. They ensured  the use of every plant or animal they could find.

Deep in the Island we saw two Rallians lazy about. They wore head scanners that recorded the islands contents. We continued catalogue the plants. Unknown to me this day would redefine life for me. A short while later they walked off out of sight, and they never returned. It was approximately an hour later that we saw about twenty Sirians armed to the teeth walk toward us. On their hands the forest scanners the two Rallians had.

They walked to us. We stood about –our minds blank.

“Come with us.” One of them whispered. We rushed to them, I and three others-both the lady and Tanlin had been by my side from the Rallian planet.

We were taken into a submersible that rested a few feet from the ocean. Ten hours later we entered one of the crevices formed by the oceans, these were well hidden. Tunnels bored through it pushed us deeper into blue crystal filled holes, these provided natural light. There we met Commander Ein. He welcomed us with open hands and gave us much to wish for.

“I heard of you and believe you have the ability to help us in more ways than one.” He hugged us.

Commander Ein took us to a section of the enclosure where lay many a sick Sirian soldier, they had no doctors to help. We immediately searched our gear for any plant that could help ease their pain. Some insects sucked their blood and clotted the blood, these were very effective.

Commander Ein would later take us on a tour of his base and into his communications room where giant screens on the walls kept him abreast with the Rallian desecration of our planet. Many a recording of raids he made on Rallian ships he showed us. Some of our satellites were still in orbit and they had been of immense usefulness to the cause. They allowed a lot of communication by the Rallians to be monitored.

 Then we were taken to the ship assembly site and over eight ships were being refurbished. Many of these were discarded Rallian ships that Commander Ein had taken apart piece by piece and re-assembled.

He took us to the chamber where dead Rallians were kept. These were research stations, we could see Rallian drones, Rallian armour suits, gadgets, ship models, Rallian written words were being decoded. One dead Rallian had a child on it belly.

“They are Hermaphrodites he told us.” “Our ancestors encountered these creatures; I happen to discover stories about them drawn in one of the abandoned temples.”

We made this our home and mainly worked on the sick, we also suggested fruits and leaves that offered better nutritional value for the fighters. Fish we hunted and salted for our use. It was on one of those nights that we were woken up. A raid was planned. I and Tanlin volunteered to join Commander Ein.

On the way Commander Ein told us the remarkable story about life; after their raft had been washed away, he had fallen into the sea and lay there many hours, till his body touched a root from one of the marshes. Here he awoke and used the root to climb up to shore. He was hungry and walked about to find fruits to eat. Two Months later as he familiarized himself with his environ he met what would become his home for the last two years. He found an old abandoned temple, possibly built thousands of years in the past; it had been covered by trees. He entered and landed at the lintels of the old palace and used his Nean trees to look inside-It was gigantic-there were open storage areas, prayer areas, baths, burial grounds and the like. Here he explored and here he put his home.

“My wife and child I lost….I still look for them.”

“How did you come to lead the rebellion?” I asked.

“It was in one of the days, two years ago when I hunted to survive, and mainly these were Rats, Rabbits, bush Pigs and many other smaller animals. One day I found a Rallian drone stuck to one of the animal traps I had set; it had twisted and blasted many trees around in an effort to free itself but it failed and its power had run out.

I took it away. Disabled its weapons systems and recharged the battery with all the tree saps I could acquire. It was then I tuned in to their frequency and I learnt their alphabet and with time began to understand why they had come to our planet; it was purely to mine our resources. To them we were beings very low in the evolutionary ladder. They had wanted to destroy us totally but had chosen to use as slaves. Since we were water based; they could not take us to live in their planet as their slaves. They would feed us to their fish for as long as we were still useful.”

 “To complete their work would take about two centuries. They would sail on after they had stored enough energy and packed enough food to last hundreds of years and we would be kept alive in their planet to breed more food for them. This is what led me to action. It was from them that I first heard of the Galactic battle. Here I also heard about the Amoans and also of beings in the Auriga star system that were almost as advanced as we were and had to be given the same medicine as us. They had already sent one Mother ship there-A ship I heard was bigger than an ocean put together, an Inter Galactic ship.”

“I monitored their communications for many months, learnt where they stored their weapons. I easily located some of these centers and helped myself to the largely unguarded weapons, but took the chance to only remove the ones easy to get. These weapons I dismantled and studied well. It was at these times that I began to look for and rescue one Sirian after another-now we number a few thousand.”

A soldier came to him with news.

“The supply train goes to Rallian detaches at the mines. They carry weapons and food.”

“Great, lead us” He responded

“Prepare yourselves, we will have afight.”

We shipped off into the night; a dozen of us on a twenty meter aerial car, about nine ships carried two hundred of us. We reached the tracks and buried ourselves into the sand. Three hours later the train came by, over 50 wagons long. Our contact had reliably informed us of the particular wagon the food was in and the arms. These were typically at the back of the wagon.

When the train came by we got ourselves ready. These were aerial trains that flew about ten meters up the ground. They needed infra red beacons on the ground to give them direction.

As the train passed us by we shot metal ropes that attached themselves under the wagons, these then pulled us from the ground, we ran along with the train and pulled ourselves up onto the wagons, we used acidic fluids to bore our way in. Then threw the food and arms down the ground for miles and miles till we had got to our hearts contents and we used the detachable ropes to jump down to the ground. From here we radioed a team that had remained with our ships and they came to us, along the way they had packed what we had thrown. Within an hour we were on our way back to base.

From then on the Rallians began to take a keen interest in us. They increased their search; set up heat sensors within marshes and directed satellites to areas they deemed of interest. We used these perilous moments to build more and more aircrafts as well as store enough food. We knew tough times lay ahead of us.. Our plans for the year were to raise a series of hit and run maneuvers on the Rallian bases and recruit more and more people into the movement. Once we had the entire population in arms-there in we would find the opportunity to redeem ourselves over many years. 

Events went very fast over the months; all the news and whispers in the Rallian camps mentioned the escapades of   Commander Ein. The name had become a thorn in the Rallian flesh. They hunted for the Commander for many months without success.

On one of the dark and gloomy months, a massage came from the Rallian planet. This was carried by one of our own who coordinated spy activities up there. He mentioned that the Amoans requested his presence-They had heard of him and new the secret to our species survival.

Commander Ein stood before thirty six soldiers in the forgotten temple enclosure; he had chosen to go to the Rallian planet and there meet the Amoans, they had offered to reveal secret technologies whose blue print that they had stolen  from the Rallians, but to do so they had to be taken out of the planet. These were days that would shake the foundation of time.

I and Tanlin were chosen to go to the planet; we had been there before and had been slaves who could move from moon to moon, this gave us an immense opportunity to climb aboard Rallian transports. We had captured and reconfigured many a Rallian Ship; and hoped to effortlessly sizzle into their planet; we knew the codes to be used.

Three quarters of us would embark on this journey-we had to find a refuge in the Ice moon, a moon scarcely inhabited. Our location was precariously close to detection by the superior Rallian radars. We thus had to get out of the planet.

There was a Rallian spaceport about a hundred miles from our hideout. We knew it well and had managed to scour its architecture. The Sirians that worked there would give us access. We divided ourselves into to three groups. Those that would help us escape the Sirian orbit and eventually remain behind to keep the incursions active; the other group would travel with the Commander to the Rallian planet. The others would escape to the Ice moon Lait and await any further instructions. Food and medicine were gathered in quantities enough to sustain a four thousand man army for a year.

We marched into the area by submersible crafts about three thousand of us. We would leave two thousand more in the planet. ln our two day Journey we made plans to take over the space port. Plan A was to use the workers therein to enter into the space port and take over the flight control deck. Then block all access to the space port. This would give us the ability to direct the action at our discretion. If this should fail, we had planned to capture the port by force in a massive blitz.

We knew he Rallians loved their fish especially those brought from the planet Tyne. We had secured enough of this food. My being a botanist enabled us to create a bomb with this food. A bomb hat would react with the Rallian internal fluids and burn them up from the inside.

We reached their enclave in the night. Our Subs encircled the Space Port about twenty meters below the water surface.-Then amidst the darkness we gave the servants the food. How they would administer it we awaited to see. Six Rallians manned the space port controls and about a dozen others stood guard on the outside.

It would take about half an hour for the bombs to take effect after it was eaten. We knew the cue we wanted. When we heard it- the Rallians had began to blow up one at a time. Some Rallians jumped from the widows to the ground in a ball of fire. We entered the pace port zones and shot our way through the runways. It was a complete and total surprise. Many of the Rallians were unarmed-some managed to inflict mortal wounds on some of our own, who we evacuated to the ships later. At the controls many of the communication and radar links were shut off. After we had pacified the area we set up defenses around the port. We then floated our submersibles from the water and landed them on the launch stations. It took about seven hours to launch all the eighty crafts we had. We had to pack ourselves in like fish. Three thousand of us in all.  

It would take two days for the Rallians to know what had happened. The little communication devices we kept open were to remotely inform them that the base was under maintenance repair. These messages were set electronically every hour; we had the knowledge of the Rallian language to execute this out. Within this window our ships managed to mingle with the thousands of Rallian ships that plied the planets. Commander Ein, Tanlin and I were among the first to be lunched out to orbit, we then sailed along the route to the Rallian planet.

Those of our own who had remained behind would disappear away to safety in the many subterranean vaults under the continent. Another group of ships –the bulk of our crudely made fleet flew to the ice moon Tyne. This moon was barely a twenty hour journey to the Rallian planet. Here they would remain and await our arrival-if we were successful. If we weren’t they would have to find a means of survival in the many moons of our solar system.

And yes the Rallians did find out and began a frantic search of the night sky; they set up road blocks in every nook of usable territory in space. Many of these were manned by drones.

About a dozen reports came to them about a mass of familiar ships that were sighted on course for the Ice moon Lait. The Rallians sent out a hundred class one frigates-these were faster and stronger and carried enough sun fuel to last millennia’s.

This enabled Commander Ein to approach the Rallian planet with ease as attention was shifted to the Ice moon.

We almost never reached the Great planet; we had stopped to be inspected; and held a cargo of much needed medical plants that the Rallians relied on, as botanists we were given freedom to move to and fro. Effortlessly we reached the roof of the planet. From here we stole our way into another Rallian transport. Our ship was not able to withstand the tension caused by re-entry. Our energy fuse blew up, and we crash landed in dense trees; this gave us the opportunity to escape into the Forest. We moved through this forest at light speed. A forest whose trees seemed to look at us and whose birds made haunting melodies.

From the maps crudely drawn for us we had another twenty miles to go before we would reach the collection point.

Planes flew by over the Rallian sky enroute to their mighty cities. This was heaven itself.

 We traveled in the night for safety; with us we had night visuals; the fruits from the trees were palatable with us, these sustained us for the duration of the journey.

It was in the third night that an unexpected danger visited us; as we crossed the myriads of strange trees. We could see birds flap up into the sky; we had startled them, carefully we moved inland, barely ten minutes later we saw the birds fly again.

“We are being followed Tanlin warned us” “Everyone up the tree and maintain maximum silence.”

Then we saw the creature, in the darkness; it smelt us and stood wherein we had last been, then it looked up into the trees; whether it could see us we were not sure of. But smell us it did; we dared not move an inch. It could raise chaos for us and blow away our cover.

“We must to neutralize it.” Retorted Commander Ein. “It could be a Rallian tracker Dog.”

Eilda, one of the young and formidable assistants to Commander Ein and Tanlin seemed ahead of us; Eilda jumped down, the beast turned to him; Tanlin too jumped down and threw a rope over the beasts Head; Eilda held its teeth, we also jumped down to kill the beast; it was at such a moment that a net was thrown over us. Then we blacked out.

When we awoke; we were inside a massive cave and a peculiar being hovered above us; it was unmistakable- an Amoan, soon many more Amoans came into the room we were in;

They were a beautiful people, their feather coated skins glowed  with  shades of color in the spectrum, the young were yellow, the old purple, the women green, the men blue, they were birds that walked on two bird like legs, their tail feathers bright and beautiful as a peacocks,.

They told us how the Rallians had destroyed their world, they were captured and cannibalized, and a few of them escaped into the trenches and since that time thousands of generations have lived and died there.

“Some of us still live above, as slaves and occasionally eaten like fowl at a whim.”Said Yolk- he was old, as old as the oldest men in your generation, he was at deaths door and yet he still had the hope that he would die in freedom.

With him was Heetal; he it was who coordinated all within his community, an expert at weapons manufacture. He had found a loophole in the Rallian defenses and made it possible for us to receive his chief’s message.

Jani, a son of Yolk tended to his father and had the strength of character to assume command over many a youth in this underground enclave.

“Who are these people anyway; where do they come from.” Commander Ein inquired from Yolk.

“The Rallians come from our universe; they have been here since the beginning and eventually crossed the divide; in their lust for power they gave their souls to beings we cannot explain, beings that are obscure .We still cannot comprehend.”

“And these beings in the black hole; have you seen them?”

“No, none of us has-I doubt if the Rallians themselves have-perhaps only a few chosen ones.” Mentioned Yolk. “There are beings which though neither compounds nor mixture, are not elements.”

“How can that be?” I inquired- my mind could not comprehend what Yolk had just mentioned.

“There are two types of beings, the visible and the invisible, the Rallians are the visible; their master is of a form we cannot comprehend. We give names to things according to the appearances they assume for ourselves, but these beings are of obscure form. With the ages of the universe estimated in the billions, it is not uncommon for these beings to exist.”

I scratched my head and looked at Yolk with my eyes; he could sense my mind,

“When bodies deemed to be simple, combine with one another they vanish, they are individually annihilated-they have entered into the spiritual. And they live in a black hole.” He pointed up the roof. “Which again defies reason, shall we be right to mention then that a black hole may be that boundary that separates finite from infinite.” He mentioned.

“Only an old Race like the Rallians would have the technology to summon beings in the infinite.” Said Heetal;

“But if the Rallians are of the finite type; we should have been able to detect them; but we discovered when it was too late.” Commander Ein found the opportunity to clear his mind. The Amoans had lived with these space conquers for many millennia; they knew what they dealt with.

“The same occurred with us; by the time we discovered what we delt with they had already landed in our planet and they took it away from its orbit.” “This beloved planet.” Yolk wiped tears off his eyes.

Jani went to comfort his father, Heetal served a meal for us and as we ate he mentioned what I had always thought;

“There is no rest, no chance in nature.” He said. “All happens because they have to happen.” “The arrival of these obscure beings was destined to occur. All creatures were born to fight to survive; we see it in your calm seas and in the bodies that rule space.” “We were very excited when we heard about your resistance.” Mentioned Heetal. “It was not by mistake that you began to fight, not by mistake that you and I sit here together.”

“We understood you had challenges on a fundamental question.” “How do we get out of the Rallian clutches?” “How do we fight them?”  “And after we have slipped through to space, where do we go?” “Answers to these your questions we have. We are the future, we have a map of the way that will lead us to a new home, a new planet, we have the blue print to the Rallian Ships, and we know how to fly them. The Maps are in our minds. Those large Rallian ships have warp technology, to configure it we know, they have the technology to mine the stars, that technology too we have.”

“The winds of change have begun, we cannot let it stop.” Mentioned Yolk “A launch widow approaches and our destination planet is in its correct position. In haste we must leave this planet.”

This was an opportunity we could not pass. Our mission was to get the Amoans out of the planet and into the moon Lait, from there we would devise a strategy to take over the mother ship.

Our first mission was to get a ship and steal our way out of the Rallian planet with selected Amoans. Of these there would be 50 Amoan scientists.

Rechoas men had by now long landed on the moon Lait. There they hid amidst the trees that grew on the ice moon. A moon that had mountains and rivers, here they kept a deathly silence. Each time their ships lurched about us we dug deep into our hearts and clenched our teeth. Much was at stake-Our intention was to escape from the solar system and live somewhere else, if we failed in this mission our race would be extinct within a matter of a century.

How fortune loves the prepared. By the time the frigates hovered about the ice moon, Commander Ein radioed. They were at the last phase of the mission. We believe the Rallians heard it for they too began to dial into the frequency-Rechoas transmitters could sense this disturbance. He and his men hid under the tree covered areas on the ice moon’s surface. The Rallians later landed in the droves and detected Rechoas position.

Rechoa prepared an ambush.

Commander Ein and the over one thousand Amoans began to climb the long mountains that covered the middle of the Rallian planet. Put all your mountains together they still cannot match the Rallian ones, in them they curved their great ones, their evolution over millennia, first they were stones, then plants, then dragon like beasts, then they became like us, then some of them became spirits and they said they would become gods eventually.

These were moments of time, moments when life had to be desired. If we were able to pull out of the Rallian planet-then we could possibly survive.

Here we were with 50 Amoans scientists, a thousand more would help us get to the place where ships were assembled. Here ships were painted-grey and they were transported on conveyer belts to larger ships called Aldos that would send these to the mother ship.

The Mother ship itself I once had seen and was as large as a small country. It was huge-all things necessary for life was in here. Endless arrays of machines did most of the work. Their soldiers manned every floor. One Mother ship it was mentioned could carry ten thousand Aldos. We studied its blue print as given us by the Amoans

In the Ice moon. Rechoa had securely hidden his ships a few feet below the ice; he led the Rallians deeper in the trees and laid out a trap for them. They meticulously followed Rechoas group. His fighter’s had by now set up an attack corridor; they camouflaged themselves with the snow and hid till it was dark.

Then the trees began to move, and the Rallians appeared. Rechoa bid his men to take their time till the moment of attack approached. The Rallians walked in single file as they searched the area. Rechoa made sure to leave tracks with their movements which the Rallians followed. Rechoa had earlier on sent half his men seven miles backwards to attack the Rallian ships; he and the men with him launched an attack on the fifty Rallians that walked the darkness. One by one a Rallian was whisked up into the trees and silenced.

An over alert Rallian noticed his immediate soldier had disappeared from the back. He stopped and called. He then walked there and about. He stopped when a liquid droped onto his forehead. When he touched it; a form of blood formed in his hands. He looked up to see his friend and with his friend was Reachoa himself. One bullet to the skull finished him off. Reachoas men then began to shoot disproportionately. The sound of the battle forced the Rallians within the ship to run into the forest to help. This gave an opportunity for the Sirians to capture the Rallian ships. Many a Rallian pilot fought to safeguard his ship but were inundated with Sirian fire power. One to three Rallian ships escaped to the sky.

At this stage Rechoa made an out maneuver and run with his men toward the Rallian ships. These were boarded and to the air they flew. Behind they left many Rallians stranded.

He tailed the three escaped Rallian ships about ten miles into space before his men shot them to tatters. Then he led his ships on to the periphery of the Rallian planet. Behind on the moon other Sirians fought gallantly against the Rallians, hey would enable a safe passage for Rechoa.

We crouched along the rocks in the mountains. This was an extinct volcano where Rallians had started use of as a storage centre. They had bored various vertical holes onto the sides of the volcano and used it partially for research purposes. If we were to reach the Aldo in the planets roof above we had to climb through these enormous holes, careful to carry endless tanks of oxygen. These tunnels were used to send wastes up the roof.

Oxygen tanks we had aplenty. The Amoans needed it every day under the continent and had designed light oxygen tanks that would last a month at the most. We shut off a couple of incinerators in the night. This would cut off black smoke that would normally form inside the tunnels and we wore our life tanks and painfully crawled inside these tunnels. We used special metals to attach our bodies along the perilous soot colored rocks.

We had less than twenty hours to get to the top. In the day the Rallians would restart the incinerators. We would be fried to death if this operation found us inside the vents.

Once we were half way inside the vents we fired our oxygen, this lifted us slowly up. Many died in the tunnel mainly from exhaustion. We left them behind, tied them to metal poles that we fixed on the walls. The warm smoke when released would dissipate them overtime.

By the time we smelt the coarse open air above, we were for the most part exhausted. The sun was a few hours away. Our eyes landed on a military landing site that contained thousands of small ships; ships that were two sitters; five sitters, ten sitters, a hundred sitters.

The Amoans directed us on what to do-they were over a thousand Amoans and only a dozen of us Sirians. These Amoans were masters of camouflage, and could blend like chameleons. Within those few hours they mapped out every intricate detail of the ships; those that were ignitable those with weapons aboard, those that could withstand long journeys. They used ropes to go in these excursions and when they got the opportunity to enter a ship they did and opened the doors ajar for us. Within an hour we rushed to board the ships; the 50 Amoan elders we put in groups of ten per ship, majority of the others took up the smaller ships as there would be many Rallian ships and drones that would came to stop us.

Slowly we floated in the air, up to a hundred or so meters, then we went vamoose and ignited our rocket engines, we scattered our way across the endless Rallian sky. We knew the Rallian air defenses both below the planet and those in space would rain down torrents of missiles at us.

By the time we reached the stratosphere, more than a thousand Rallian drones were on our tail. The Rallian missiles shields in orbit fired endless missiles at us. Many an Amoan flew straight for these missiles-they sacrificed themselves so that the 50 Amoan elders could have a chance to escape. They did this both for missiles that came from space and those from below the planet. Many others veered off and went back down to fight the Rallian drones that menaced their way toward us. We radioed for help from the moon Lait.

Over a quarter of our ships were destroyed before we had even got out of the large planets gravity. A quarter more Amoans remained behind to engage the enemy. All the Fifty Amoans were safe. More Amoans maneuvered and flew to attack the aerial missile launchers in space.

The rest of us with about five hundred ships marched on towards the Asteroids.

At the time when we had emerged into space, our brothers from the moon Lait came to our rescue-They had heard that more Rallian frigates were launched from the planet and had almost taken off the Amoans that had acted as a buffer between them and us. Two thousand Sirians under Rechoa volunteered to fight to the death and bagan to approach the Rallian planet to the help of the last Amoans.

A thousand more we requested to help us capture the Mother ship. Tanlin had already veered off towards the ship with a hundred Amoans manned light ships; the rest would go with Commander Ein towards the Asteroids.

A hundred thousand miles and four hours later we encountered the Mother ship. They thought we were Rallian ships and had not known about the battle that raged on at the margins of their planet. The Amoans had managed to confuse their radar systems. They had earlier raided many a Rallian grave and picked up the identification chip implants that each Rallian carried. This allowed us to pass through the scanners before we were all allowed into the ships range without much ado. When we reached the periphery of the ship, we mentioned to them that we had come on a study tour and would fly about the ships exterior.

We flew hour long sorties along the width and breadth of the ship and used ropes to drop down onto the ships body; therein we searched for their extremely tiny air ducts that were used in those rare occasions to pump bad air out of the ship. Into these air ducts we pumped enormous quantities of sarin, an extremely toxic gas that attacks the central nervous system, causing convulsions and death.

After we had pumped tons of sarin across the ship, we then requested to be let in through their wavy gates.

We were like bees that flew on the doors of an airport hangar. When we had all entered the ship; we released the sarin that we had with us; we were prepared and still wore the oxygen tanks we had before; these shielded us. This alerted the Rallian sensors that immediately sprinkled water and oxygen into the ship and alerted its inhabitants of the breach and a call for evacuation.

We shot many a Rallian along the way to their communications center; its location at the top edges of the ship.

The sarin had helped us, it weakened many a Rallian, and along the paths we run in we found bodies that littered the corridors. Of these we found many of them at deaths door and helped make their journey quicker. Some Amoans then bored their way into their arms depots and we secured the arsenal needed to capture the ship in totality. We estimated about two thousand Rallians would be in the ship.

“If you do not come in ten hours, we shall leave.” Echoed the words of Commander Ein as we began our attack on the Rallian Mother sip.

By now they had successfully landed on the Asteroids and awaited us for a voyage across the stars. With them were the 50 Amoans with the blue prints to our future. The Amoans had convinced us of many planets capable of harboring life out there and they had visited many at a time when they were free.

The decision to take over the mother ship was one of impulse, as we left the Rallian planet; I asked price Ein via wireless if we would make it to the next star system, he mentioned the idea would be to reach deep space and then remove the sun fuels from the tiny rafts and insert them into two or three larger ships.

I asked him if he would give me the permission to take a few fighters and try to take over the mother ship

He mentioned that he considered it crazy but if we could escape the Rallian atmosphere he was optimistic that we may pull it off, and gave me the go ahead.

Over a thousand of us went into an operation what would become known as the operation of life; for we destroyed enemy life to save our own. Our mission was to penetrate a hornets’ nest, fight our way to their communications center and commandeer the ship.

To be a botanist came handy, I knew certain hostile ants can camouflage into other. And so like a leviathan it awaits the right moment before it strikes with a flash.

In a typical Rallian battle, the machines do the war. Rallian life was too precious to waste-their women had become old- then they overtime evolved into asexual beings by both evolution and medication. Perhaps one of the unique survival skills of a race among the abundance of space.

By the time we reached their communications center we had fought spirited battles with more than a hundred of them, they killed some of us, and many had covered their faces with gas masks.

All over the ship we beat them left and right –till we had harassed them to warrant us a pest- and so as they opened more and more of their air vents, more and more sarin streaked through. We had gambled and it had worked.

By the time we blew down the door to their communications center and shot those inside they had sent many messages for help to the home planet to alert them of the situation. Their home planet had problems of their own, many of their space ports had been destroyed by the Amoan fighters and they could not launch fighter ships.

Above them many more Amoan rebels had been joined by thousands of Sirian fighters and had taken a deep hold on their ability to offer any help.

“We will fight it out.” The Rallians in the Mother ship radioed back-and they began to evacuate onto the Aldos-many that were still airtight.

They also released those dreaded spider drones. We feared them and took evasive action. A few of us were killed by these metallic spiders. The Amoan urine helped a lot; it was here we discovered these spiders machines froze on contact with urine. We all began to pee on the floor and walls as our engineers tried to configure the codes to stop these spiders. We succeeded and hot coded them to look at the Rallians as the enemy and they gladly helped us totally defeat their own masters.

About a thousand Rallians had managed to escape aboard about twenty Aldos, there was a pile up when the sarin seeped into many others. And as they ran off into space we went to their engine rooms and finally gained access to their ship control center. We then sent out squads to comb the floors. By the time we took over the ship no Rallian remained alive- the Amoans guided the ship at great speed towards the asteroids. We radioed Commander Ein to be on the ready; we found them already in orbit around the asteroids and instructed them to put on their oxygen masks, then ushered them into the ship. Those that fought in the margins of the Rallian planet radioed to say they would fight on and wished us the very best. We thanked them for their sacrifice and promised to remember them.

The Rallians who had escaped aboard the twenty Aldos began to move towards their home planet; we were later to learn they would complete the destruction of our own that fought gallantly near the Rallian planet. We had heard their last battle cry and wishes of a better future, at this their last moments we radioed to Rechoa and  mentioned we had captured the great Mother ship and would in a few seconds launch to hyperspace, we knew the last of them heard us make this leap.

We quickly began to map the ship. We then took stock of the dead Rallians-we packed them into ice rooms, and also accounted for their electrical grids and energy they had left. We then began to read their literature.-The Amoans taught us how to. Here we delved into their culture and way of life. They were the sons of the universe-one of the few who had lived in the universe of old and they were here to take stock of the resources that were available. They were so old that they could travel from one reality to another. They had evolved over 80 billion Gas ago, those milliards of years they used it to visit other worlds and discovered other portals to other universes. We wondered how we had even managed to pull this escape up. We lost many men and women that day, some who though Amoans had taught us never to lose hope-The Amoans especially after over a hundred centuries in captivity still had hope- a belief that a few men with the right attitude had the ability to create a new dawn.

It would take us many months to reach our next destination-we had chosen a star system next to yours; and then we went to sleep-in shifts of a month each.

We were confident we would reach our destination for by the time we left the Asteroids, we had set many of them into booby traps that exploded into a million pieces after we had gone into hyperspace. The Rallian fighter crafts and Aldos that had managed to defy our fighters had come after us, entered the asteroids and many were smote by the bombs. They halted their chase.

Chapter 8 is available here

Guest post by Vincent Ochen

 
The Rallians
A story by Vincent Ochen
 Chapter Six : The Final Solution
In one of the stretches in the million mile long marshes that bordered the seas, a clam hunter gathered his prize from the shallow swells along the edges of the seas. Suddenly he could hear movements a hundred meters away; till he saw it. It was the strangest creature he had seen. It matched a picture of the new being he had seen in the city. He held his breath. The Rallian walked and passed him by. The hunter crawled among the bushes and swam to the city by the sea; there he sent a message to the local military detach. An hour later a force of a hundred soldiers came by with submarines The Rallians were still there. They had landed on swampy ground and walked around and carried out experiments on our water and trees; we could see them carry soils samples into their ship; and there were four Rallians in all.
Being water borne, we swam our way through the swamp and got as close as possible to the Rallian ship. We inserted our bombs all around it; we had a good understanding of the weaknesses of their ships and put enough explosives to partially destroy it.
Then we swam away and waited.
When the Rallians were done, they walked back into their bus sized ship and prepared to jump to orbit; we allowed them to ascend and when they were barely three miles from the ground we detonated the bombs, a bright flash came from the explosion and the ship came tumbling down, it landed on marshes, a few miles away. We swam to the area and saw amass of wreckage; all the four Rallians were dead, one was badly burnt. We took these corpses into the submarine, and rushed away deep inside the ocean to our research centers. Other teams remained to gather what was left of the ship.
The Emperor had been alerted of our success and had arrived in time to see these dead Rallians.
At the laboratory deep in the Ocean Floor our physicians began to examine the anatomy of the space invaders. They were like an egg, a tough outer skin entirely made up of snake like scaly skin, they were right to say we would evolve into them, under this skin lay a bluish, yellowish mixture of heavy fluids that smelt worse than Amonia, and then their internal components were remarkably different from us. They could be separated and reinserted with ease. Even the joints on their legs could be removed and re-inserted. Most striking of all was their heads could be unscrewed, not entirely, but the one that shocked us was that they had a third eye at the top of their head-the eye was large and hidden; this was a creature designed for war. A giant lizard with the head and eyes of Cobra 
The Rallian Emissary had promised to return; he never arrived; that night we increased our vigilance across the country.
Two nights passed us by; and on the third night we were blighted with a weapon so terrible we do not wish to remember.
That fateful night a storm as mighty as the storms that frequently form above our planet came into form, it was strong, with winds that blew in the hundreds of miles per second. This storm came in with meteor showers and occasionally meteorites hit out planet. Many of us went to the safety of the Ocean, and this was a mistake. The sky above was as red as ever. When the rains began to fall, it fell with not just its water but the Rallians had seeded it with all manners of gas and other toxic biologic agents that burnt our planet to toast; Every single drop of rain ignited a forest fire within the land, every single drop of the rain on the ocean came with a red colored poison that covered our waters, destroyed our oxygen and suffocated millions. The Rallians had used the meteor showers to land in droves into our planet-our defenses confused. Many a Sirian in the marshes swam back to the oceans to escape this Armageddon, but they were shot at from the hundreds of thousands of Rallian drones that plied the sky. Many had run into the buildings. These were set on fire by the Rallians, building after building collapsed. Those that had sought refuge in them died. We went deeper and deeper into the Ocean, to where we could find oxygen, but the rivers that fell from the forests and mountains and entered the sea brought more of the poison. It rained for twenty nights; the billions of the dead creatures covered the oceans and began to rot; these further worsened the oxygen situation, we were forced to swim up to the land and there surrender. The Rallians had sent telepathic messages to us through the children they had kidnapped. All who wanted to survive had to go to the centers selected by the Rallians.  Here the Rallians awaited us; and with thousands of ships they gathered survivors from the Oceans.
Our Emperor and his Family were nowhere to be seen; our Generals and wise men dead, the entire armed forces in disarray, our ships sank in the ocean. In twenty nights we had lost all we had. My sister and the hospital she lay in were obliterated.
Those of us who wanted to survive run into the deepest areas of our planet, we ended in deep subterranean vaults bored through by the sea. But the Rallians were not done, they sent thousands of small spider like robots after us, these crawled on the walls and sniffed off heat. Then the Rallians would explode these robots. They would first release an enormous amount of connected electric sparks that would create a flash in the darkness, then they would explode and release both deadly shrapnel and poisonous gas-it was the gas that forced us out into the hands of the Rallians who gladly took us into their ships, some who could not bear this fell to their death from the cliff edges.
But the Rallian nature was to reveal itself when those captured were transported by plane to the planet Tyne. The Rallians had completely transformed the planet, they had created conditions necessary for them, and the ocean had been disposed off most Sirians, what was left was fish. The Rallians went a step better they brought in a new type of piranha fish that would feed on other fish but that preferred beings like us, these fish even flew in the air and so many of us were taken and thrown into the sea in the planet and many a Sirian was snatched from the air. We were now bread for this purpose. It was this same fish that was cooked for us.
At about his time when tunnels were raided in search of our people, an enclave underneath the seas in the catacombs hid close to 3,000 soldiers who guarded the royal family. The Emperor had been killed in the onslaught, it was his harem that had survived the poison; Here they held fort. The Rallian sub marine ships went deep and sniffed the seas. Rather than be captured the 3,000 fighters came out of their catacombs and engaged the Rallian ships. They knew the waters well and were able to sink many a ship; these they held in invisible nets colored blue to match the sea and when the Rallian crafts were entangled soldiers shot enormous metal spears that would open holes in the Rallian ships and cause them to drown.
But the Rallian ships were a plenty, more and more were sent down to the area of the action. The Queen mother and her broods were burnt when the Rallians poured chemicals we know not and set it on fire-deep in the ocean. Till today we do not know what chemical it was that could feed fire in the midst of the sea. Those that managed to survive floated into the ocean surface but were dead. A few survived only to be picked up by the Rallian ships.
The Rallian Emperor’s Harem went deeper into the sea to avoid capture; But the Kidnapped Rallian children knew about this abode and guided their masters ships deep here; and caught them.
Of the few royal guards who survived-Commander Ein was one; He was shot on the chest as he escaped with his pregnant wife. He swam and placed them in a raft. She tried to help him survive and took control of the raft. His wife rescued him away from the veracious birds of prey introduced by the Rallians. These birds were bigger than ostriches and ate flesh. It was only when she hit one of the airborne birds with a lone wooden log that had a nail protrude from it that they were left alone. The Log got stuck on the face of the bird of prey; the other birds began to devour their injured companion.
That very night a storm brewed over the ocean; she fought to keep them alive but the gigantic waves destroyed their boat and threw her into the water-here she lost her husband. This battle brought for her labour pains; with her body burnt red, she held on to her belly that had a child and she neared the surface of the ocean. She swam her way slowly to the mangrove forest that she could see many miles ahead of her, many a Rallian ship flew above her, they did not spot her even when she miraculously gave birth to baby boy amidst the water. Somehow she managed to swim with her baby underneath her.  By the time she reached the shore she was at the whims of unconsciousness. She bit the dangling umbilical cord and got the baby free, then she put him on her breast and she died.
It became dark. Rats rushed towards her, they mauled her; climbed on the baby, only when he began to cry did they jump off him. His cry had alerted many other strange creatures, some came and looked and walked away; other cats and mammalian types of scavengers went straight for the mother. It was cold. This ordeal lasted the entire night. By daylight the child lay helpless next to its mother, her dress bloody, the child’s body full of sores, bites ad scratch marks.
A lone hunter walked by, he spotted a Rabbit and he chased after it, the Rabbit run fast and led him to the unconscious woman and child. 
The Hunter rushed for the boy, saw its dead mother. He took the child, and walked away. 
Chapter 7 is available here
Guest post by Vincent Ochen

The Rallians

A story by Vincent Ochen

Chapter Six : The Final Solution

In one of the stretches in the million mile long marshes that bordered the seas, a clam hunter gathered his prize from the shallow swells along the edges of the seas. Suddenly he could hear movements a hundred meters away; till he saw it. It was the strangest creature he had seen. It matched a picture of the new being he had seen in the city. He held his breath. The Rallian walked and passed him by. The hunter crawled among the bushes and swam to the city by the sea; there he sent a message to the local military detach. An hour later a force of a hundred soldiers came by with submarines The Rallians were still there. They had landed on swampy ground and walked around and carried out experiments on our water and trees; we could see them carry soils samples into their ship; and there were four Rallians in all.

Being water borne, we swam our way through the swamp and got as close as possible to the Rallian ship. We inserted our bombs all around it; we had a good understanding of the weaknesses of their ships and put enough explosives to partially destroy it.

Then we swam away and waited.

When the Rallians were done, they walked back into their bus sized ship and prepared to jump to orbit; we allowed them to ascend and when they were barely three miles from the ground we detonated the bombs, a bright flash came from the explosion and the ship came tumbling down, it landed on marshes, a few miles away. We swam to the area and saw amass of wreckage; all the four Rallians were dead, one was badly burnt. We took these corpses into the submarine, and rushed away deep inside the ocean to our research centers. Other teams remained to gather what was left of the ship.

The Emperor had been alerted of our success and had arrived in time to see these dead Rallians.

At the laboratory deep in the Ocean Floor our physicians began to examine the anatomy of the space invaders. They were like an egg, a tough outer skin entirely made up of snake like scaly skin, they were right to say we would evolve into them, under this skin lay a bluish, yellowish mixture of heavy fluids that smelt worse than Amonia, and then their internal components were remarkably different from us. They could be separated and reinserted with ease. Even the joints on their legs could be removed and re-inserted. Most striking of all was their heads could be unscrewed, not entirely, but the one that shocked us was that they had a third eye at the top of their head-the eye was large and hidden; this was a creature designed for war. A giant lizard with the head and eyes of Cobra

The Rallian Emissary had promised to return; he never arrived; that night we increased our vigilance across the country.

Two nights passed us by; and on the third night we were blighted with a weapon so terrible we do not wish to remember.

That fateful night a storm as mighty as the storms that frequently form above our planet came into form, it was strong, with winds that blew in the hundreds of miles per second. This storm came in with meteor showers and occasionally meteorites hit out planet. Many of us went to the safety of the Ocean, and this was a mistake. The sky above was as red as ever. When the rains began to fall, it fell with not just its water but the Rallians had seeded it with all manners of gas and other toxic biologic agents that burnt our planet to toast; Every single drop of rain ignited a forest fire within the land, every single drop of the rain on the ocean came with a red colored poison that covered our waters, destroyed our oxygen and suffocated millions. The Rallians had used the meteor showers to land in droves into our planet-our defenses confused. Many a Sirian in the marshes swam back to the oceans to escape this Armageddon, but they were shot at from the hundreds of thousands of Rallian drones that plied the sky. Many had run into the buildings. These were set on fire by the Rallians, building after building collapsed. Those that had sought refuge in them died. We went deeper and deeper into the Ocean, to where we could find oxygen, but the rivers that fell from the forests and mountains and entered the sea brought more of the poison. It rained for twenty nights; the billions of the dead creatures covered the oceans and began to rot; these further worsened the oxygen situation, we were forced to swim up to the land and there surrender. The Rallians had sent telepathic messages to us through the children they had kidnapped. All who wanted to survive had to go to the centers selected by the Rallians.  Here the Rallians awaited us; and with thousands of ships they gathered survivors from the Oceans.

Our Emperor and his Family were nowhere to be seen; our Generals and wise men dead, the entire armed forces in disarray, our ships sank in the ocean. In twenty nights we had lost all we had. My sister and the hospital she lay in were obliterated.

Those of us who wanted to survive run into the deepest areas of our planet, we ended in deep subterranean vaults bored through by the sea. But the Rallians were not done, they sent thousands of small spider like robots after us, these crawled on the walls and sniffed off heat. Then the Rallians would explode these robots. They would first release an enormous amount of connected electric sparks that would create a flash in the darkness, then they would explode and release both deadly shrapnel and poisonous gas-it was the gas that forced us out into the hands of the Rallians who gladly took us into their ships, some who could not bear this fell to their death from the cliff edges.

But the Rallian nature was to reveal itself when those captured were transported by plane to the planet Tyne. The Rallians had completely transformed the planet, they had created conditions necessary for them, and the ocean had been disposed off most Sirians, what was left was fish. The Rallians went a step better they brought in a new type of piranha fish that would feed on other fish but that preferred beings like us, these fish even flew in the air and so many of us were taken and thrown into the sea in the planet and many a Sirian was snatched from the air. We were now bread for this purpose. It was this same fish that was cooked for us.

At about his time when tunnels were raided in search of our people, an enclave underneath the seas in the catacombs hid close to 3,000 soldiers who guarded the royal family. The Emperor had been killed in the onslaught, it was his harem that had survived the poison; Here they held fort. The Rallian sub marine ships went deep and sniffed the seas. Rather than be captured the 3,000 fighters came out of their catacombs and engaged the Rallian ships. They knew the waters well and were able to sink many a ship; these they held in invisible nets colored blue to match the sea and when the Rallian crafts were entangled soldiers shot enormous metal spears that would open holes in the Rallian ships and cause them to drown.

But the Rallian ships were a plenty, more and more were sent down to the area of the action. The Queen mother and her broods were burnt when the Rallians poured chemicals we know not and set it on fire-deep in the ocean. Till today we do not know what chemical it was that could feed fire in the midst of the sea. Those that managed to survive floated into the ocean surface but were dead. A few survived only to be picked up by the Rallian ships.

The Rallian Emperor’s Harem went deeper into the sea to avoid capture; But the Kidnapped Rallian children knew about this abode and guided their masters ships deep here; and caught them.

Of the few royal guards who survived-Commander Ein was one; He was shot on the chest as he escaped with his pregnant wife. He swam and placed them in a raft. She tried to help him survive and took control of the raft. His wife rescued him away from the veracious birds of prey introduced by the Rallians. These birds were bigger than ostriches and ate flesh. It was only when she hit one of the airborne birds with a lone wooden log that had a nail protrude from it that they were left alone. The Log got stuck on the face of the bird of prey; the other birds began to devour their injured companion.

That very night a storm brewed over the ocean; she fought to keep them alive but the gigantic waves destroyed their boat and threw her into the water-here she lost her husband. This battle brought for her labour pains; with her body burnt red, she held on to her belly that had a child and she neared the surface of the ocean. She swam her way slowly to the mangrove forest that she could see many miles ahead of her, many a Rallian ship flew above her, they did not spot her even when she miraculously gave birth to baby boy amidst the water. Somehow she managed to swim with her baby underneath her.  By the time she reached the shore she was at the whims of unconsciousness. She bit the dangling umbilical cord and got the baby free, then she put him on her breast and she died.

It became dark. Rats rushed towards her, they mauled her; climbed on the baby, only when he began to cry did they jump off him. His cry had alerted many other strange creatures, some came and looked and walked away; other cats and mammalian types of scavengers went straight for the mother. It was cold. This ordeal lasted the entire night. By daylight the child lay helpless next to its mother, her dress bloody, the child’s body full of sores, bites ad scratch marks.

A lone hunter walked by, he spotted a Rabbit and he chased after it, the Rabbit run fast and led him to the unconscious woman and child.

The Hunter rushed for the boy, saw its dead mother. He took the child, and walked away.

Chapter 7 is available here

Guest post by Vincent Ochen

 
The Rallians
A story by Vincent Ochen
 Chapter Five :  Survival of the Fittest
Earth tremors began in earnest in the planet Tyne. Cats, Dogs and animals disappeared from view, these were small tremors, and many Sirians ran away into make shift camps in the open, majority run to the buildings in the sky.
 The Volcanoes began to spew larvae for many days till one night a Tsunami more than a hundred meters high pushed its way into the continent. Miles of land inland was covered; space sports were subdued, millions of lives were lost. The death blow would not come from the Tsunami, that prize went to the volcanoes; one super volcano after another exploded in a mathematical chain, before we knew it the entire planet was on fire, forest and scrubland alike. With a force of a million nuclear explosions these super volcanoes tore the planet apart and spewed trillions of tons of ash that blanketed the sky. We took to the sky in entire rocket buildings as pillars of other buildings fell. 
Within days the greatest upheavals of our time came to pass in the planet, earthquakes continued to  shake the planet, gigantic  hurricanes swept the lands, the seas swept over continents, carried they gravel and sand and marine animals, and cast them onto land. Rocks melted, lava covered the lands. Mountains sprang up from the plains, lakes were tilted and emptied, and rivers changed their beds; large land areas and all their inhabitants were washed under the sea. Forests burnt, and the hurricanes and wild seas uprooted them from the ground on which they grew and piled them, branch and root, in heaps. Seas turned into deserts, their waters rolled away.
We sent drones below to the surface and identified isolated communities of survivors. Thousands of these were picked up when conditions permitted. But there was no way our crafts could function with the glass like nature of the ash, a few crashes forced the cancellation of the rescue missions, the beings that had remained behind were on their own. 
Our only recourse was to use infrared light to send food as close as possible to those still alive. We had not been fast enough, a few days later these warms spots became cold, the sea had engulfed the entire territory of the planet Tyne. All its trapped citizens were presumed dead.
Runtt, the moon of Tyne began prepare to receive the millions of survivors who fled from the deluge in the planet. By now all had been lost, a vast paradise destroyed, ten thousand years of civilization had been wiped out in one week. With their belongings on their body and their children tucked safely on their hands they arrived in the many rescue ships. A few carried their pets, we had  heard many an animal cry out for help-most had to be taken away from their masters during the rescues and thrown back to forage in the ground and buildings not yet covered by water or destroyed. There was enough food in the planet for them, majority of which were dead Sirians. 
Then the Rallians arrived on the moon, they threw bombs at us; these bombs landed and studied the area before they exploded with maximum effect. Designed to send its trajectories to where Sirians were. Its trajectories would pass around corners to hit its target. There was nowhere to go; those who survived this initial bombardment run from place to place on the moon, they dug up small holes for refuge. Families were separated.
Those survivor ships that had not reached the moon were driven back to space by the defense drones the Rallians had deployed. These fired sound waves that would cut a ship like a see saw. Rallian clean up vehicles began to completely clear off ships that had eluded the sound waves; this consisted of inter planetary ballistic missiles that would blow a ship to its bare components. Some survivor ships flew back to planet Tyne and were never heard from again.
It was impossible for these ships to fly back to the planet Heli, they were completely blockaded by the many Rallian ships. I was in one of such ships but a Military one.
After the events in Jairs farm, I was posted to the military intelligence department. I was part of a team that worked day and night to find out more about these phenomena. And when the Tsunami hit Tyne; we were sent to rescue.
In the Rallian onslaught in the moon Runtt, where I had fought battles with the Rallian drones, the ship I had initially been in was a small Frigate type with children aboard. It was not of much use militarily and we survived narrowly being destroyed. I had scarted the cold space around the moon about twice; dodged two Ralian drones on my tail and passed by hundreds of destroyed ships before we were rescued by one of the Large Sirian military ships. The Rallian drones had got lost in the maze of tangled metal.
We first landed in space city to refuel. It was an area were space farers came to get supplies. No ship could enter the main planet before being inspected and registered here. It was a man made beacon of light in the night, its energy was a mixture of solar and nuclear and it had over a million inhabitants. Since we did not want nuclear stations in the land, we created them in space and stored the energy generated for onward transmission back to the planet. The space trains connected to the planet eased its transport.
By this time the Rallians had destroyed the moon Runtt completely, satellites on the moon were disabled, any contact that we still had were cut off. At this moment we evacuated as many persons as possible back to Heli.
The Rallians came to Space City, from what we were to eventually learn, they wanted this as  a base from which they would later make incursions into the planet. They surrounded the twenty four square mile city and disabled its power supply. We Increased Heli’s planetary defenses and massed troops to ward of an imminent attack. A thousand ships flew to the sky to take the Rallians head on and possibly destroy space city itself as a last resort. None of these ships returned. They were frozen in space by Rallian electric weapons that disabled all our engines and communications gear; then the ships began to blow up one at a time aided by Rallian Missiles.
News of the Rallians were met with a degree of fear only seen in those who were a few moments from death.
Leaflets began to surface in our cites with messages that spoke of evils beyond human imagination. The Rallians, these messages mentioned were prepared to obliterate the planet with nuclear weapons.
We waited many days for any direct link with the Rallians; the long awaited meeting did take place at the Emperors terraced gardens- hundred of acres long.
The Rallian Ambassador came fully costumed in Military gear. His large bus sized ship landed fifty feet in the air. He disembarked on a flight of light stairs. His entourage included our Sons and daughters; two male and two female.
“We have come in peace.” He blurted out. “My people and your people are the same. We all survive by using up resources in the universe. In the same way you need energy to evolve, the same way we look for it.” “We were in this sector when you were but worms-many Gas ago.” “Do not fight us.” “We come only for minerals for our sustenance.”
The Emperor looked at this Rallian, he was out of words to reply.
“The manner of your arrival betrays your intentions.” He said.
To which the Rallian replied.
“It has come to our knowledge that a great culture in many cases is misunderstood by primitive cultures like yours. We seek only to create; The future belongs to us.”
“If by abductions and destruction of a planet you call culture then we cannot ally with you. The resources you talk about are not unlimited and will need to be carefully preserved for our children -for the future.”  “ Unlike you we are not space nomads and have to balance whatever little we have and keep for posterity.”
“I have heard your cries great Sirians. I warn you I smite any dissenters. Your decision not to cooperate has made one of your planets loosed what progress was made in 10 Millenia. What should I do with your Helis.” “We Rallians are lenient one; if you all can give in to our demands then you shall see loosed your burdens.”
“Much is at stake, Great Rallian, and if we should refuse to cooperate.” A defiant Gallis opened his eyes in fury.
“That I shall consider, being no solution. You have a fortnight to discuss amongst yourselves, failure of which- I shall return.”
He went with the Sirian beings and blasted they out of our planet.
That moment all the sages were called for a conference and deliberations were held in essence.
The ever ready Ertas was quick to remind the Guardian council of the punitive events that awaited them.
“Gentlemen, we now enter into the end of time itself. Only by an act of God shall we see another year.” “Moments like this put us at the cusp of time. We may either glow or fade. They were expected, we did not think they would this soon. Picture yourself in deep space-as you look at that those gigantic planets; and beyond them a planet so huge within it a band of sky that swallows asteroids. The skies now become red with what force we do not know-cooperate I say, cooperate.”
Veldaboth added a word of caution. “Er of Gas have we been, totally unprepared for these events; shall we despair then; whatever the gods have planned for us must truly be one we can handle. To destroy a race because they are weak and because they stand in your way goes contrary to the purpose of the universe. And that is to create life so that the universe may understand itself.”
“Or is it to create balance more like.” Ladro Interjected.
“Yes Ladro, balance is necessary for life, but needn’t make the end this painful.”
“Gentle fish, what faces us is evil, the abduction of the children and the events in Tyne confirm this.” Ladro gave his concern.
“We must send representative-in a shuttle- with pictures of children and flowers.” Said Gandel. ” “let them see the world they want to destroy; what little compassion they have surely they will spare us.”
A silent Mahlah found the courage to talk, a man of wisdom as he was- all paid attention to him;
“These kinds of events happen, throughout our history we have seen examples of one specie of Sirian conquer and lord over another; we have witnessed these, these moments have made the vanquished stronger. Let us hope this is not one of those moments-let us hope we will become better if we cooperate with these people.”
A once pessimistic Ladro had seen the sense in Mahlahs advice. He was a soldier and had been in command over the army that had gone to attack the Rallian at space city-therein he had met in defeat.
“Gentlefish, while our military ships have a cluster of twelve nuclear engines with twenty two million pounds of thrust from a thermal output of three hundred million meters per second, these new beings can do what our ships do a million times over. We cannot fight them; but like Mahlah has mentioned; we can learn from them and with time have the ability to chase them out of our system.”
I agree, mentioned Tiriki, A race of conquerors like them will become stronger if we try to break the yoke that enslaves us.  The ideal would be to allow them do what they want and then leave.”
“Allow them do what they want.” “Typical.” Mentioned Gallis. “Typical.” “Can’t you see what they have done to our children; they have zombified them. They are now abnormal oddities and will the Rallians not do the same to us; they will eventually create a new type of Sirian, one stupid enough. Once they can control our minds then forever we are finished.”
After a long silence -Gillia rose up 
“We shall cooperate; to approach a god you must be a god yourself. And this gentlemen is where we fail.”“Send the Ambassadors; let us hope –for it is all we have left.”
Within a day we had selected the ambassadors-One was a linguist with hopes that his intelligence could unravel the minds of the new ones. With him was a code breaker-the finest. We sent two soldiers along both trained in the art of insight-they could try to understand what the enemy’s’ thoughts were. We sent a professor of history, a professor of geography, a physicist, an astrologer, a chemist, a doctor, a teacher of music, a mystic, one politician, and to crown it the most beautiful damsel we could find.
They set off from the planet amidst a trend of good byes-They sailed skyward to sky city and then there met with the Rallian ship; it opened its mouth for them, they entered in. The ships door closed and within moments sailed off toward the Rallian Planet. 
We clasped our hands together and hoped for the best.
Chapter 6 is available here. 
Guest Post by Vincent Ochen

The Rallians

A story by Vincent Ochen

Chapter Five :  Survival of the Fittest

Earth tremors began in earnest in the planet Tyne. Cats, Dogs and animals disappeared from view, these were small tremors, and many Sirians ran away into make shift camps in the open, majority run to the buildings in the sky.

 The Volcanoes began to spew larvae for many days till one night a Tsunami more than a hundred meters high pushed its way into the continent. Miles of land inland was covered; space sports were subdued, millions of lives were lost. The death blow would not come from the Tsunami, that prize went to the volcanoes; one super volcano after another exploded in a mathematical chain, before we knew it the entire planet was on fire, forest and scrubland alike. With a force of a million nuclear explosions these super volcanoes tore the planet apart and spewed trillions of tons of ash that blanketed the sky. We took to the sky in entire rocket buildings as pillars of other buildings fell.

Within days the greatest upheavals of our time came to pass in the planet, earthquakes continued to  shake the planet, gigantic  hurricanes swept the lands, the seas swept over continents, carried they gravel and sand and marine animals, and cast them onto land. Rocks melted, lava covered the lands. Mountains sprang up from the plains, lakes were tilted and emptied, and rivers changed their beds; large land areas and all their inhabitants were washed under the sea. Forests burnt, and the hurricanes and wild seas uprooted them from the ground on which they grew and piled them, branch and root, in heaps. Seas turned into deserts, their waters rolled away.

We sent drones below to the surface and identified isolated communities of survivors. Thousands of these were picked up when conditions permitted. But there was no way our crafts could function with the glass like nature of the ash, a few crashes forced the cancellation of the rescue missions, the beings that had remained behind were on their own.

Our only recourse was to use infrared light to send food as close as possible to those still alive. We had not been fast enough, a few days later these warms spots became cold, the sea had engulfed the entire territory of the planet Tyne. All its trapped citizens were presumed dead.

Runtt, the moon of Tyne began prepare to receive the millions of survivors who fled from the deluge in the planet. By now all had been lost, a vast paradise destroyed, ten thousand years of civilization had been wiped out in one week. With their belongings on their body and their children tucked safely on their hands they arrived in the many rescue ships. A few carried their pets, we had  heard many an animal cry out for help-most had to be taken away from their masters during the rescues and thrown back to forage in the ground and buildings not yet covered by water or destroyed. There was enough food in the planet for them, majority of which were dead Sirians.

Then the Rallians arrived on the moon, they threw bombs at us; these bombs landed and studied the area before they exploded with maximum effect. Designed to send its trajectories to where Sirians were. Its trajectories would pass around corners to hit its target. There was nowhere to go; those who survived this initial bombardment run from place to place on the moon, they dug up small holes for refuge. Families were separated.

Those survivor ships that had not reached the moon were driven back to space by the defense drones the Rallians had deployed. These fired sound waves that would cut a ship like a see saw. Rallian clean up vehicles began to completely clear off ships that had eluded the sound waves; this consisted of inter planetary ballistic missiles that would blow a ship to its bare components. Some survivor ships flew back to planet Tyne and were never heard from again.

It was impossible for these ships to fly back to the planet Heli, they were completely blockaded by the many Rallian ships. I was in one of such ships but a Military one.

After the events in Jairs farm, I was posted to the military intelligence department. I was part of a team that worked day and night to find out more about these phenomena. And when the Tsunami hit Tyne; we were sent to rescue.

In the Rallian onslaught in the moon Runtt, where I had fought battles with the Rallian drones, the ship I had initially been in was a small Frigate type with children aboard. It was not of much use militarily and we survived narrowly being destroyed. I had scarted the cold space around the moon about twice; dodged two Ralian drones on my tail and passed by hundreds of destroyed ships before we were rescued by one of the Large Sirian military ships. The Rallian drones had got lost in the maze of tangled metal.

We first landed in space city to refuel. It was an area were space farers came to get supplies. No ship could enter the main planet before being inspected and registered here. It was a man made beacon of light in the night, its energy was a mixture of solar and nuclear and it had over a million inhabitants. Since we did not want nuclear stations in the land, we created them in space and stored the energy generated for onward transmission back to the planet. The space trains connected to the planet eased its transport.

By this time the Rallians had destroyed the moon Runtt completely, satellites on the moon were disabled, any contact that we still had were cut off. At this moment we evacuated as many persons as possible back to Heli.

The Rallians came to Space City, from what we were to eventually learn, they wanted this as  a base from which they would later make incursions into the planet. They surrounded the twenty four square mile city and disabled its power supply. We Increased Heli’s planetary defenses and massed troops to ward of an imminent attack. A thousand ships flew to the sky to take the Rallians head on and possibly destroy space city itself as a last resort. None of these ships returned. They were frozen in space by Rallian electric weapons that disabled all our engines and communications gear; then the ships began to blow up one at a time aided by Rallian Missiles.

News of the Rallians were met with a degree of fear only seen in those who were a few moments from death.

Leaflets began to surface in our cites with messages that spoke of evils beyond human imagination. The Rallians, these messages mentioned were prepared to obliterate the planet with nuclear weapons.

We waited many days for any direct link with the Rallians; the long awaited meeting did take place at the Emperors terraced gardens- hundred of acres long.

The Rallian Ambassador came fully costumed in Military gear. His large bus sized ship landed fifty feet in the air. He disembarked on a flight of light stairs. His entourage included our Sons and daughters; two male and two female.

“We have come in peace.” He blurted out. “My people and your people are the same. We all survive by using up resources in the universe. In the same way you need energy to evolve, the same way we look for it.” “We were in this sector when you were but worms-many Gas ago.” “Do not fight us.” “We come only for minerals for our sustenance.”

The Emperor looked at this Rallian, he was out of words to reply.

“The manner of your arrival betrays your intentions.” He said.

To which the Rallian replied.

“It has come to our knowledge that a great culture in many cases is misunderstood by primitive cultures like yours. We seek only to create; The future belongs to us.”

“If by abductions and destruction of a planet you call culture then we cannot ally with you. The resources you talk about are not unlimited and will need to be carefully preserved for our children -for the future.”  “ Unlike you we are not space nomads and have to balance whatever little we have and keep for posterity.”

“I have heard your cries great Sirians. I warn you I smite any dissenters. Your decision not to cooperate has made one of your planets loosed what progress was made in 10 Millenia. What should I do with your Helis.” “We Rallians are lenient one; if you all can give in to our demands then you shall see loosed your burdens.”

“Much is at stake, Great Rallian, and if we should refuse to cooperate.” A defiant Gallis opened his eyes in fury.

“That I shall consider, being no solution. You have a fortnight to discuss amongst yourselves, failure of which- I shall return.”

He went with the Sirian beings and blasted they out of our planet.

That moment all the sages were called for a conference and deliberations were held in essence.

The ever ready Ertas was quick to remind the Guardian council of the punitive events that awaited them.

“Gentlemen, we now enter into the end of time itself. Only by an act of God shall we see another year.” “Moments like this put us at the cusp of time. We may either glow or fade. They were expected, we did not think they would this soon. Picture yourself in deep space-as you look at that those gigantic planets; and beyond them a planet so huge within it a band of sky that swallows asteroids. The skies now become red with what force we do not know-cooperate I say, cooperate.”

Veldaboth added a word of caution. “Er of Gas have we been, totally unprepared for these events; shall we despair then; whatever the gods have planned for us must truly be one we can handle. To destroy a race because they are weak and because they stand in your way goes contrary to the purpose of the universe. And that is to create life so that the universe may understand itself.”

“Or is it to create balance more like.” Ladro Interjected.

“Yes Ladro, balance is necessary for life, but needn’t make the end this painful.”

“Gentle fish, what faces us is evil, the abduction of the children and the events in Tyne confirm this.” Ladro gave his concern.

“We must send representative-in a shuttle- with pictures of children and flowers.” Said Gandel. ” “let them see the world they want to destroy; what little compassion they have surely they will spare us.”

A silent Mahlah found the courage to talk, a man of wisdom as he was- all paid attention to him;

“These kinds of events happen, throughout our history we have seen examples of one specie of Sirian conquer and lord over another; we have witnessed these, these moments have made the vanquished stronger. Let us hope this is not one of those moments-let us hope we will become better if we cooperate with these people.”

A once pessimistic Ladro had seen the sense in Mahlahs advice. He was a soldier and had been in command over the army that had gone to attack the Rallian at space city-therein he had met in defeat.

“Gentlefish, while our military ships have a cluster of twelve nuclear engines with twenty two million pounds of thrust from a thermal output of three hundred million meters per second, these new beings can do what our ships do a million times over. We cannot fight them; but like Mahlah has mentioned; we can learn from them and with time have the ability to chase them out of our system.”

I agree, mentioned Tiriki, A race of conquerors like them will become stronger if we try to break the yoke that enslaves us.  The ideal would be to allow them do what they want and then leave.”

“Allow them do what they want.” “Typical.” Mentioned Gallis. “Typical.” “Can’t you see what they have done to our children; they have zombified them. They are now abnormal oddities and will the Rallians not do the same to us; they will eventually create a new type of Sirian, one stupid enough. Once they can control our minds then forever we are finished.”

After a long silence -Gillia rose up

“We shall cooperate; to approach a god you must be a god yourself. And this gentlemen is where we fail.”“Send the Ambassadors; let us hope –for it is all we have left.”

Within a day we had selected the ambassadors-One was a linguist with hopes that his intelligence could unravel the minds of the new ones. With him was a code breaker-the finest. We sent two soldiers along both trained in the art of insight-they could try to understand what the enemy’s’ thoughts were. We sent a professor of history, a professor of geography, a physicist, an astrologer, a chemist, a doctor, a teacher of music, a mystic, one politician, and to crown it the most beautiful damsel we could find.

They set off from the planet amidst a trend of good byes-They sailed skyward to sky city and then there met with the Rallian ship; it opened its mouth for them, they entered in. The ships door closed and within moments sailed off toward the Rallian Planet.

We clasped our hands together and hoped for the best.

Chapter 6 is available here.

Guest Post by Vincent Ochen

 
The Rallians
A story by Vincent Ochen
Chapter Four :  Dark Secrets 
A few days later the interrogation of the two kidnappers began in earnest. They were taken to the main temple, gigantic buildings that crossed the cloud cover. Beneath it, catacombs dedicated to the sages that had come before. Deeper below it were the underground experimental stations. No one knew what went down there-just whispers.
“Six bodies were found in your estate; All children.” “You robbed; kidnapped and tortured children, over Two hundred disappeared the last year alone-why?”
“Where were you taking them?”
The two had been questioned over and over; we did not beat our prisoners-we made them uncomfortable!-mild drugs did the effect. They approached delirium, and as was the practice once the spirits of the suspects had been broken-we applied the next step- anesthetics of the mind-suspects were thrown in liquid and here you could see a person’s memory come to life at the top of the liquid. We could choose which part of their memory we wanted to explore further. We entered their mind and saw in vivid detail what they had been up to. 
We discovered that they had actually been captured in the past, and somehow were brain washed and later made to bring children to the Rallians. From their Memory we learnt what would befall the children. When the children were in the Rallian ship, they would be taken into a room that was white and bright. One minute the children would stand in a freezer the next in an oven. The children were never allowed to sleep nor eat till their spirit was broken, they would be bombarded with loud noise and occasional dark spells, all this took place while the ship was in transit to a larger invisible ship that would be anchored in deep space. Within a few hours the children were totally brainwashed. Once they arrived in the mother ship no one knew what ever fate awaited them.
We transported the three to the Ice Moon Reneb.  Here we found traces of footprints; some human, some we could not identify. The space craft had not actually landed. The gas fissures that presumably came from it kept it afloat and had created numerous holes in the ice. Several patches of gas landings overlaid one another. Both space craft’s had come in many times. The two suspects could not say what had taken the children; they only brought the children; got their pay on the ground and left. 
The two were taken to the judicial courts-still a process controlled by the sages. Vast towers of literature and knowledge these had. Our criminal law was very fair, and very clear, murder was punished with murder, It was forbidden for infants to suffer-no woman had a child she could not sustain, it was against the law. An unborn child was the property of the state and was protected, if a woman with a child in her belly was sentenced to death, the sentence could only be carried out when the child had reached his twenty first birthday- by your time scales. A woman who killed her child would be forced to carry the child on her back for two months; till the smell had made her aware that infanticide was not accepted. General murder was punishable with murder. Any false accusation was punishable with the same fate that would have come to the person accused. Men and Women who commit adultery had their libidos suppressed; this would bar them from sex for five years. Those that falsified weights and measures would have their tongues cut off. Only after they had fully atoned those they hurt would they be allowed to have a new tongue given them. The same happened to those who could not pay their debts.
We believed that good and evil had to exist if there was to be order in the universe, just as day follows night, and death follows life, so was good and evil; they were one and the same to us but evil still had to be punishable. 
The only exception were robbers. These were given carte blanche to rob, but not to kill those they robbed; all robbers had to be registered into a local association and could only steal from territories that their licenses permitted. All goods stolen were taken to a central place, the robber earned twenty percent of the spoil, the association got fourty percent and the rest had to be given to the state. Those robed had to come to the robbery centre and pay a thirty percent fine for not  having properly kept their belongings, after which they would be given back the stolen items.
Legal proceedings in the law courts in the catacombs was very strange. No one knew what happened there-it was forbidden to talk about it; for after judgment had been made the memories of the accuser and accused would be washed away. It was however mentioned that legal proceedings were carried out on pen and paper so that decisions would not be judged upon good oratory skills. An accuser would write on the air with a special air pen his complaint against a defendant, and would mention the part of the law he felt was violated. The defendant would reply and used an air pen to refute or agree point by point against the accusation. If this process failed then the sages would start to mind read.
As expected our kidnappers refused to talk; they were subsequently incarcerated in a mental hospital many miles high in the sky; it did not float like many other buildings but was a prison that towered its way across the cloud layer. Here they would reconcile themselves. All prisoners were kept for a maximum of twenty five years and thereafter executed. We did not believe in life sentences as these were deemed very cruel. Death however sad was a gift from the universe; everyone had the opportunity to end his or her pain if they so wished. Special clinics offered euthanasia but a request in writing had to be submitted to the state first. 
These events led me to enlist into the paramilitary guards, guardians of the Solar system. My memory had showed there was an entity I had seen, but our scientists and military could not fathom if it was actually so. Theories of a secret society in action were rife, others mentioned poachers and smugglers of rich minerals from the far out moons, while still others believed these were military experiments. For the next few years all went silent and these escapes did occur occasionally.
As I trained in the Mountains under the sea, I learn more about our states socio-political setup. The social, political and economic structure of our society was organized and set into motion by mathematical formulae’s. There was no free enterprise, everything belonged to everyone, and no one slept hungry all had to work for the state that had a democratically elected Emperor-A son or daughter could inherit a father’s throne by vote as the current Emperor had. One could buy and sell many items too but on behalf of the state. A token commission was given to these state agents.
Our religious aspirations were bordered by the sun, who we still worshipped; for we believed our ancestors lived there. Apart from the sun we still revered various animals, those that had in the early days of our civilization proved the most useful; we worshipped the bull because of its service to our communities, through milk production, and as a provider of hides and meat. The dog we worshipped because of its usefulness in hunting and companionship. The cat was worshipped because it helped keep serpents at bay and because it warned us when earth tremors were to occur even faster that our own scientific instruments. With its pupils following the transitions of the three moons we would know the position of the planet even when our dense atmosphere would not permit us to view the moons. The goat gave us the gift of freedom, when tied to a pole one can sense its misery, when free in the hills it jumped from cliff to cliff, we never tied our animals with ropes on this account.
The Crocodile was however our earliest god, we believed it was our mother that created and protected us in our evolutionary days. An old creature it was- it had no tongue, and when its eyes are in water it can see from a small membrane that protects its eyes. The whales and dolphins are our brothers we consider them one with us. These various beliefs can still be seen today in the many cults that dot our lands cape, but the official religion is the worship of electricity; for it was electricity that brought life in to the universe, it is electricity that fills all the void in the universe, it lives in dark matter, it is dark energy, it binds all . The Sirian sun’s rays cannot reach our planets unless the sun acting like magnets attracts it and brings it to us. Electricity then is the universal magnetic fluid that binds all things together-it is light.  This is that makes the sun shine bright, for the sun is a body just like the earth but with quantities of hydrogen that attracts the electricity inherent in space. This space between the sun and our planet is filled up with this substance –the one we call God. Thus it is not the sun at all that we are indebted to but electricity whose friction and magnetism warms up planets. The sun is only a giant magnet that pulls electricity from space and thus enables us to sustain ourselves. 
We formed a great society, with trillions of species of beings. We created one language, a new view of thought, with sage temples in every village, in the sea on land, in the air and in space and in other moons and planets, the visions of the guardian council was one of a self sustaining society with no prejudice, no racism, no strife, no hunger, no want, only peace and progress and development.
Weeks and months did pass by and then the news began to come in. Journey men along the different planets reported they had sighted Unidentified Flying Objects; some radioed and mentioned they had just encountered a strange gigantic space ship. And contact was lost. We sent our armies to investigate these phenomena; all reports correlated each other .There were strange occurrences on this sector of the sky.
It was later on that work by scientists began to unveil results that were unpredictable   and quite surprised us; the first evidence that something was amiss occurred when we detected irregular movements of the tides, our three moons did exert tidal effects not only on the sea but also over plants. Our sensors began to detect increased geological activity in all our planets and moons; The tidal effects of the moons stretched along an axis that was three parts in nature, as the moons came out at specific times so did our sea levels rise and fall three times a night. This order we noticed had been changed to include a fourth one, exerted by a body we did not know about.
In the Palace of the Emperor Gallis, he and three eminent scientists discussed the occurrences.
“Tiriki, is it the sun?” The Emperor inquired from the grey haired three hundred year old Scientist.
“No the sun affects the planet sparingly, because even though it is massive it is very far away.”
“Perhaps the Earth’s rotation has slowed, or one of the moon has moved nearer to us.” Emperor Gallis raised his concerns.
“The sun still rotates at the same rate as the moon, this has not happened.”
“But your report mentioned a problem with the moons.” Ladro the Emperors adviser chipped in, an acute scholar; he had earlier read Tirikis report. A report he now held on his hands and placed on a table next to the Emperor.
“The moons are warming up-yes.”Mentioned Tiriki. “Their ice distressed, form they rings around our planet; the answers to this should be sought not in the sun, neither in the moons but far way in the distance. Stellar heat is not the only thing that can trigger a runway greenhouse climate catastrophe; tidal heating too can.” He continued.
“Whatever lies out there must be new, an object our instruments cannot detect.”
“All our resources are at your disposal Tiriki, find out what causes all this.”
These events started to cause problems. First land based animals became restless, attacks by pets on their masters became common; Creatures from the sea began to beach themselves, the waters had become warmer, birds fell from the sky en-masse, millions migrated to the colder areas, we had to hide these occurrences from the public. Even food grown in space began to wither and die; an effect of a strong radiation pull that we believed came from the sun, solar storms increased and frequently blocked communication.
Representatives from the many districts of Helis came to the Emperors palace; they were afraid and wanted answers. A lot of rumors and counter rumors had made life very uneasy for the people. The Emperor they believed would tell them in no uncertain terms what could have caused these recent problems.
 “Welcome, sons of light, children of Helis.” The Emperor greeted his visitors after 
he had sat on his lofty chair.
One of the ushers shouted,   “Live forever Emperor Gallis. Sailor of the highs seas.  Builder of cities.”
 The populace recited a similar welcome note; “Live forever Emperor Gallis. Sailor of the highs seas.  Builder of cities.”
The Emperor raised his hand to summon Ertas, the leader of the district Governors. A man old by any standards, over eight hundred years he had lived. Ertas walked to within five meters of the King then went on a diatribe.
“Lord Gallis, the people of Helis salute you, many thousands of years have your fathers ruled us, well has it been.  A thousand years of peace it has been, united us your father has. But times are not good O- Gallis, no more laughter is heard in the lands of Helis. The eradiation from the lights above has begun to impact.”
“I have been briefed of the occurrences in your district. Ertas” Gallis stood up to talk; he walked down the twelve golden steps to his guests who stood before him. 
“Say they the sages-there has been a rain in torrents never witnessed in all our history, entire cities have been deserted on account, crops have failed, and disease rife.”
“It is as your say great Lord.” Mentioned Mahlah another male visitor. Spectacularly robbed he was, with purple all over-the colour of the gods for he was an administrative priest and officiated at civil and political ceremonies all over the planet.
“Children and women die by the day.” Mentioned Veldaboth another of the district councilors, also old in age with extremely white hair that fell to his shoulders “Pray we for help with food and medicine.” He continued.
Emperor Gallis raised his hands and held the shoulders of Veldaboth.
“The gods forbid.” He mentioned. “The problems of Helis well aware I am. Said they the sages and priests, it has become colder and hotter in regions were it was the opposite. Many an explanations they make, unclear it is to me at this time.”
Ertas clasped his hand together and looked at the Emperor. 
“O –Emperor Gallis, there is but a breach in the sky above. A hole so big, our air and atmosphere are being sucked into space, radiations from Sirius -Kill us they are with poisonous rays. Our sons and daughters sterile they become.”
“Yes, I know. Ages have we tried to close these holes, and we still try. Come with me; Come I show you.” Emperor Gallis walked with them to his radar centers. 
All the visitors could see was a large room-almost as large as a football stadium, here men and women kept a log of the night sky in giant screens on the walls.
“We believe this radiation comes from far away in our system; our best minds are at work to find a cause and a solution. I have equally sent many research ships to the edges of our system. Let us await their return-when the clouds are calm-thirty months from today.”
 “Great Lahma, the way I see it, in thirty months we shall be in an oven.” Mentioned Veldaboth
“By the gods we will not.” “The future we cannot predict, but we can control- sure I am we can.”
Mahlah looked at the king and breathed in and out heavily; and when he spoke it was in a slow tone.
“The future of Helis was written long a Ga in the annals of the seven of the council at a time long gone.”
“Where?” A perturbed Gallis inquired.
“In the temple of the light at the depths of Mount Rener in the regions of the North.” Mentioned Mahlah.  “Gas of years have the priests there monitored our system, hold them the Secrets of our destinies.”
“Tell me Mahlah, what the oracles say about our future.”
“It is but doom that awaits us. Long a Ga were we created, millions of millennia have we evolved from the deep. Within skins of bacteria and worms we grew, till we walked on two, intelligent were we, and created we civilizations and appetites to match them. Evolve we from fish into semi gods.”
 “It is said in the oracle that at a time when the children of Helis have become like gods, that the end of end for us shall come. Transient shall we become. The children of Helis shall live in the spaces above in huge castles of ships, mighty and bigger than planets we shall create them.”
“ Millions of Galactic ship planets we shall build, fashion them after the conditions below we shall, food we shall grow from up in space, millions of miles of plantations we shall dig.”
“Conquer other worlds will the children of Helis. Helis dead it will be till the fullness of time.”
Veldaboth immediately added. “That prophecy comes true. Signs of it but we now see.”
“Nonsense, hearsay.” Gallis turned and began to walk towards the screen.
“I will not permit the dreams of priests long gone to impair the reasoning’s of men.”
“It is not Nonsense, I warn you.” Mentioned Mahlah. “A time shall come when life in Helis will be like living in the hottest of ovens”
“Helis dies it is, great Lord, a dark unseen phantom it becomes.” A soft spoken Ertas bowed to the Emperor.
“Interesting.” “I will send my men to the temple at Mount Rener, many a thing we could learn from there. Go to your districts, thirty months from today I shall summon you, a solution I shall have.”
The Councilors bowed to the Emperor and were ushered out of the space research centre.
“Priests.” Was all Emperor Gallis could whisper from his mouth. He looked at the paintings atop the roof and marveled at the ancestors of old, they did have their challenges and to think they could have foreseen this occurrence. 
“Call me Tiriki, and bring the maps to mount Rener.” He commanded his attendant.
A month  later, the Guardians of the council were awakened, a lone sage in a remote observer station in the moon Lait had detected Gama ray bursts from a sector seven region of space It was very intense and it was at the periphery of our solar system barely a light year away.
“The object emits very large amounts of energy.” He told the council. The only thing that provides such would have been a gravitational collapse of a sun into a black hole.” Gandel the scientist who had discovered this anomaly briefed the Emperor in the research station in Helis. With him were Ladro and Tiriki.
Ladro, a master of the stars himself raised his disbelief.
“But this one does not pulsate, a black hole pulsates.”
“Technically a black hole can settle into a situation where it can rotate but does not pulsate.” Mentioned Gandel. “This black hole was created by stellar death. But of a different kind, it has less mass than the sun. It consumes asteroids and planets, by doing this it reduces its mass, and the lower the mass of a black hole the higher its temperature and hence it does not pulsate because its temperature becomes absolute zero.”
“I agree.”  Tiriki put his finger on the map in the wall. “We have identified other heavy objects that create gravitational waves and ripples in space time. They are very hard to detect-like light they carry energy away from the objects that emit them. I firmly believe it is a mysterious kind of a black hole we are dealing with.”
“When we detected these, we launched light lazers to scour this sector.” Said Gandel, “The first two lazers we sent were lost; others sent back information that was contradictory-that there could be life around the margins of the black hole.”
“I do not understand.” Mentioned Emperor Gallis.
“Any atomic specie would undergo a transitory state from one to another; and all species however advanced are merely particles that can be penetrated through, like waves, however this black hole distorted our instruments.”
“And how do you know then, despite our instruments being distorted; how do you postulate that there are beings that live in this black hole Gandel.” A pessimistic Ladro inquired more.
“At excessively high temperatures matter exists in a state of dissociation-That is no chemical combination can exist. Beyond certain limits of visible matter, no spectrum, no telescope and no microscope are of any use. We could not deploy counter measure like wobbles, radio velocity, astrometry, transit photometry because the black hole was incandescent. We however knew that certain materials get excited by internal processes in a planet that emits photons of varying width and we already know the technology that goes with Gamma rays, Ultraviolet rays, infrared, microwave and radio signals, these we sent with probes into sector 7.”
“Our beams upon a strike of its targets transmitted clearly that an object revolved around this black hole, a round object-perhaps a captured asteroid or planet. The transmissions we sent through absorbed certain molecules within these areas and proved that some form of life was in the round ball. We double checked and a third attempt revealed life forms that were microscopic. We could not find out because our technology could not pass through this event horizon.”
Great Lord Tiriki came in to make Gandels mind clearer. “In the scientific community we always believed that an advanced race could actually capture a black hole and make it encircle around it. This could be done if we placed an object like an asteroid in front of it.  It is also believed that some planets were so massive that they did not need the sun and would have volcanoes active deep below its thick atmosphere. These eruptions would create over time a stable condition for life.”
Gandel continued with his explanations.
 “Afraid we should be. Soon the flower of fire that turns eternally will chnage course, and Helis’  balance will be lost.”
“Gandel.” “Tiriki.” A doubtful Ladro called to their names and made his reservations known. “A hundred times a thousand years have we watched the cycles of Helis, and every thirty three million years it stops on its axis, reaching as we say its fullness, but this, this is not an account of the end.”
“It is Ladro.” “It is”. Tiriki corrected him. “There is a black hole out there that approaches our system. In less than ten months it will be within a hundred thousand miles from us, when it comes near to us as we have calculated, all life in Helis will be obliterated. Helis and its outlying planets at this moment shake. North and South poles shift zones. North will become South, South will become North. Soon the deluge waters will cover the planet.”
Tiriki immediately unrolled a Culi plant and placed it on the wall.
 “I happen to visit the Temple at Mount Rener; copy did I the prophecy of the sages and true do they say of these days. Mention they that millions of years ago a similar occurrence was experienced, strange sightings of magnificent space ships and tales of beings as old as the universe itself were seen, these it was said scoured planets for blood. Some said these beings reared humans like they reared cattle. And the signs of their arrival are exactly what we experience now.”
“True these words may be; what do we do now.” Gallis inquired from his officers.
Great Emperor, Gandel bowed to him. “We have but ten months to make ships and in them store food, weapons, medicine and all that is needed to sustain us. If I believe what I believe then there will be war and destruction the likes of which we have never seen. Only a few will be saved, these few we must take to space. Mine should we the Asteroids and create cities in them. Push these Asteroids out of this system and live in space for a while till it is safe to return.”
“And where do we go Gandel.” Said Ladro. “How do we feed ourselves out in that cold wilderness?”
“The universe has order, once in safety we can always make incursions in the moons for food.”
“And my people in Heli and Tyne.” Gallis inquired from his advisors.
“Afraid I am of for them.” A sorrowful Gandel looked at the Emperor. “let them make cities under the undergrowth and await the deluge, submarine planes we should grant them to survive the radiation till the conclusion of events.” “Let them make dwellings underneath the oceans’ and fill it with the lights from above; there they should live till the evil ones leave.”
“And the animals.” An ever watchful Gallis seemed unsettled. “Is there no hope for them then?” “They have the breath of our ancestors.” 
“There is no hope Great Lord.” Gandel told him “The ones we take to the underground shall be of food; the rest we have to leave to the whims of time.”
“I see then, there is no hope. Mention not but a thing to the populace. Assemble the military.”
And with this last command, preparation and drills were made; the days head would test the limits of our society.
Chapter 5 is available here.
Guest Post by Vincent Ochen

The Rallians

A story by Vincent Ochen

Chapter Four :  Dark Secrets

A few days later the interrogation of the two kidnappers began in earnest. They were taken to the main temple, gigantic buildings that crossed the cloud cover. Beneath it, catacombs dedicated to the sages that had come before. Deeper below it were the underground experimental stations. No one knew what went down there-just whispers.

“Six bodies were found in your estate; All children.” “You robbed; kidnapped and tortured children, over Two hundred disappeared the last year alone-why?”

“Where were you taking them?”

The two had been questioned over and over; we did not beat our prisoners-we made them uncomfortable!-mild drugs did the effect. They approached delirium, and as was the practice once the spirits of the suspects had been broken-we applied the next step- anesthetics of the mind-suspects were thrown in liquid and here you could see a person’s memory come to life at the top of the liquid. We could choose which part of their memory we wanted to explore further. We entered their mind and saw in vivid detail what they had been up to.

We discovered that they had actually been captured in the past, and somehow were brain washed and later made to bring children to the Rallians. From their Memory we learnt what would befall the children. When the children were in the Rallian ship, they would be taken into a room that was white and bright. One minute the children would stand in a freezer the next in an oven. The children were never allowed to sleep nor eat till their spirit was broken, they would be bombarded with loud noise and occasional dark spells, all this took place while the ship was in transit to a larger invisible ship that would be anchored in deep space. Within a few hours the children were totally brainwashed. Once they arrived in the mother ship no one knew what ever fate awaited them.

We transported the three to the Ice Moon Reneb.  Here we found traces of footprints; some human, some we could not identify. The space craft had not actually landed. The gas fissures that presumably came from it kept it afloat and had created numerous holes in the ice. Several patches of gas landings overlaid one another. Both space craft’s had come in many times. The two suspects could not say what had taken the children; they only brought the children; got their pay on the ground and left.

The two were taken to the judicial courts-still a process controlled by the sages. Vast towers of literature and knowledge these had. Our criminal law was very fair, and very clear, murder was punished with murder, It was forbidden for infants to suffer-no woman had a child she could not sustain, it was against the law. An unborn child was the property of the state and was protected, if a woman with a child in her belly was sentenced to death, the sentence could only be carried out when the child had reached his twenty first birthday- by your time scales. A woman who killed her child would be forced to carry the child on her back for two months; till the smell had made her aware that infanticide was not accepted. General murder was punishable with murder. Any false accusation was punishable with the same fate that would have come to the person accused. Men and Women who commit adultery had their libidos suppressed; this would bar them from sex for five years. Those that falsified weights and measures would have their tongues cut off. Only after they had fully atoned those they hurt would they be allowed to have a new tongue given them. The same happened to those who could not pay their debts.

We believed that good and evil had to exist if there was to be order in the universe, just as day follows night, and death follows life, so was good and evil; they were one and the same to us but evil still had to be punishable.

The only exception were robbers. These were given carte blanche to rob, but not to kill those they robbed; all robbers had to be registered into a local association and could only steal from territories that their licenses permitted. All goods stolen were taken to a central place, the robber earned twenty percent of the spoil, the association got fourty percent and the rest had to be given to the state. Those robed had to come to the robbery centre and pay a thirty percent fine for not  having properly kept their belongings, after which they would be given back the stolen items.

Legal proceedings in the law courts in the catacombs was very strange. No one knew what happened there-it was forbidden to talk about it; for after judgment had been made the memories of the accuser and accused would be washed away. It was however mentioned that legal proceedings were carried out on pen and paper so that decisions would not be judged upon good oratory skills. An accuser would write on the air with a special air pen his complaint against a defendant, and would mention the part of the law he felt was violated. The defendant would reply and used an air pen to refute or agree point by point against the accusation. If this process failed then the sages would start to mind read.

As expected our kidnappers refused to talk; they were subsequently incarcerated in a mental hospital many miles high in the sky; it did not float like many other buildings but was a prison that towered its way across the cloud layer. Here they would reconcile themselves. All prisoners were kept for a maximum of twenty five years and thereafter executed. We did not believe in life sentences as these were deemed very cruel. Death however sad was a gift from the universe; everyone had the opportunity to end his or her pain if they so wished. Special clinics offered euthanasia but a request in writing had to be submitted to the state first.

These events led me to enlist into the paramilitary guards, guardians of the Solar system. My memory had showed there was an entity I had seen, but our scientists and military could not fathom if it was actually so. Theories of a secret society in action were rife, others mentioned poachers and smugglers of rich minerals from the far out moons, while still others believed these were military experiments. For the next few years all went silent and these escapes did occur occasionally.

As I trained in the Mountains under the sea, I learn more about our states socio-political setup. The social, political and economic structure of our society was organized and set into motion by mathematical formulae’s. There was no free enterprise, everything belonged to everyone, and no one slept hungry all had to work for the state that had a democratically elected Emperor-A son or daughter could inherit a father’s throne by vote as the current Emperor had. One could buy and sell many items too but on behalf of the state. A token commission was given to these state agents.

Our religious aspirations were bordered by the sun, who we still worshipped; for we believed our ancestors lived there. Apart from the sun we still revered various animals, those that had in the early days of our civilization proved the most useful; we worshipped the bull because of its service to our communities, through milk production, and as a provider of hides and meat. The dog we worshipped because of its usefulness in hunting and companionship. The cat was worshipped because it helped keep serpents at bay and because it warned us when earth tremors were to occur even faster that our own scientific instruments. With its pupils following the transitions of the three moons we would know the position of the planet even when our dense atmosphere would not permit us to view the moons. The goat gave us the gift of freedom, when tied to a pole one can sense its misery, when free in the hills it jumped from cliff to cliff, we never tied our animals with ropes on this account.

The Crocodile was however our earliest god, we believed it was our mother that created and protected us in our evolutionary days. An old creature it was- it had no tongue, and when its eyes are in water it can see from a small membrane that protects its eyes. The whales and dolphins are our brothers we consider them one with us. These various beliefs can still be seen today in the many cults that dot our lands cape, but the official religion is the worship of electricity; for it was electricity that brought life in to the universe, it is electricity that fills all the void in the universe, it lives in dark matter, it is dark energy, it binds all . The Sirian sun’s rays cannot reach our planets unless the sun acting like magnets attracts it and brings it to us. Electricity then is the universal magnetic fluid that binds all things together-it is light.  This is that makes the sun shine bright, for the sun is a body just like the earth but with quantities of hydrogen that attracts the electricity inherent in space. This space between the sun and our planet is filled up with this substance –the one we call God. Thus it is not the sun at all that we are indebted to but electricity whose friction and magnetism warms up planets. The sun is only a giant magnet that pulls electricity from space and thus enables us to sustain ourselves.

We formed a great society, with trillions of species of beings. We created one language, a new view of thought, with sage temples in every village, in the sea on land, in the air and in space and in other moons and planets, the visions of the guardian council was one of a self sustaining society with no prejudice, no racism, no strife, no hunger, no want, only peace and progress and development.

Weeks and months did pass by and then the news began to come in. Journey men along the different planets reported they had sighted Unidentified Flying Objects; some radioed and mentioned they had just encountered a strange gigantic space ship. And contact was lost. We sent our armies to investigate these phenomena; all reports correlated each other .There were strange occurrences on this sector of the sky.

It was later on that work by scientists began to unveil results that were unpredictable   and quite surprised us; the first evidence that something was amiss occurred when we detected irregular movements of the tides, our three moons did exert tidal effects not only on the sea but also over plants. Our sensors began to detect increased geological activity in all our planets and moons; The tidal effects of the moons stretched along an axis that was three parts in nature, as the moons came out at specific times so did our sea levels rise and fall three times a night. This order we noticed had been changed to include a fourth one, exerted by a body we did not know about.

In the Palace of the Emperor Gallis, he and three eminent scientists discussed the occurrences.

“Tiriki, is it the sun?” The Emperor inquired from the grey haired three hundred year old Scientist.

“No the sun affects the planet sparingly, because even though it is massive it is very far away.”

“Perhaps the Earth’s rotation has slowed, or one of the moon has moved nearer to us.” Emperor Gallis raised his concerns.

“The sun still rotates at the same rate as the moon, this has not happened.”

“But your report mentioned a problem with the moons.” Ladro the Emperors adviser chipped in, an acute scholar; he had earlier read Tirikis report. A report he now held on his hands and placed on a table next to the Emperor.

“The moons are warming up-yes.”Mentioned Tiriki. “Their ice distressed, form they rings around our planet; the answers to this should be sought not in the sun, neither in the moons but far way in the distance. Stellar heat is not the only thing that can trigger a runway greenhouse climate catastrophe; tidal heating too can.” He continued.

“Whatever lies out there must be new, an object our instruments cannot detect.”

“All our resources are at your disposal Tiriki, find out what causes all this.”

These events started to cause problems. First land based animals became restless, attacks by pets on their masters became common; Creatures from the sea began to beach themselves, the waters had become warmer, birds fell from the sky en-masse, millions migrated to the colder areas, we had to hide these occurrences from the public. Even food grown in space began to wither and die; an effect of a strong radiation pull that we believed came from the sun, solar storms increased and frequently blocked communication.

Representatives from the many districts of Helis came to the Emperors palace; they were afraid and wanted answers. A lot of rumors and counter rumors had made life very uneasy for the people. The Emperor they believed would tell them in no uncertain terms what could have caused these recent problems.

 “Welcome, sons of light, children of Helis.” The Emperor greeted his visitors after

he had sat on his lofty chair.

One of the ushers shouted,   “Live forever Emperor Gallis. Sailor of the highs seas.  Builder of cities.”

 The populace recited a similar welcome note; “Live forever Emperor Gallis. Sailor of the highs seas.  Builder of cities.”

The Emperor raised his hand to summon Ertas, the leader of the district Governors. A man old by any standards, over eight hundred years he had lived. Ertas walked to within five meters of the King then went on a diatribe.

“Lord Gallis, the people of Helis salute you, many thousands of years have your fathers ruled us, well has it been.  A thousand years of peace it has been, united us your father has. But times are not good O- Gallis, no more laughter is heard in the lands of Helis. The eradiation from the lights above has begun to impact.”

“I have been briefed of the occurrences in your district. Ertas” Gallis stood up to talk; he walked down the twelve golden steps to his guests who stood before him.

“Say they the sages-there has been a rain in torrents never witnessed in all our history, entire cities have been deserted on account, crops have failed, and disease rife.”

“It is as your say great Lord.” Mentioned Mahlah another male visitor. Spectacularly robbed he was, with purple all over-the colour of the gods for he was an administrative priest and officiated at civil and political ceremonies all over the planet.

“Children and women die by the day.” Mentioned Veldaboth another of the district councilors, also old in age with extremely white hair that fell to his shoulders “Pray we for help with food and medicine.” He continued.

Emperor Gallis raised his hands and held the shoulders of Veldaboth.

“The gods forbid.” He mentioned. “The problems of Helis well aware I am. Said they the sages and priests, it has become colder and hotter in regions were it was the opposite. Many an explanations they make, unclear it is to me at this time.”

Ertas clasped his hand together and looked at the Emperor.

“O –Emperor Gallis, there is but a breach in the sky above. A hole so big, our air and atmosphere are being sucked into space, radiations from Sirius -Kill us they are with poisonous rays. Our sons and daughters sterile they become.”

“Yes, I know. Ages have we tried to close these holes, and we still try. Come with me; Come I show you.” Emperor Gallis walked with them to his radar centers.

All the visitors could see was a large room-almost as large as a football stadium, here men and women kept a log of the night sky in giant screens on the walls.

“We believe this radiation comes from far away in our system; our best minds are at work to find a cause and a solution. I have equally sent many research ships to the edges of our system. Let us await their return-when the clouds are calm-thirty months from today.”

 “Great Lahma, the way I see it, in thirty months we shall be in an oven.” Mentioned Veldaboth

“By the gods we will not.” “The future we cannot predict, but we can control- sure I am we can.”

Mahlah looked at the king and breathed in and out heavily; and when he spoke it was in a slow tone.

“The future of Helis was written long a Ga in the annals of the seven of the council at a time long gone.”

“Where?” A perturbed Gallis inquired.

“In the temple of the light at the depths of Mount Rener in the regions of the North.” Mentioned Mahlah.  “Gas of years have the priests there monitored our system, hold them the Secrets of our destinies.”

“Tell me Mahlah, what the oracles say about our future.”

“It is but doom that awaits us. Long a Ga were we created, millions of millennia have we evolved from the deep. Within skins of bacteria and worms we grew, till we walked on two, intelligent were we, and created we civilizations and appetites to match them. Evolve we from fish into semi gods.”

 “It is said in the oracle that at a time when the children of Helis have become like gods, that the end of end for us shall come. Transient shall we become. The children of Helis shall live in the spaces above in huge castles of ships, mighty and bigger than planets we shall create them.”

“ Millions of Galactic ship planets we shall build, fashion them after the conditions below we shall, food we shall grow from up in space, millions of miles of plantations we shall dig.”

“Conquer other worlds will the children of Helis. Helis dead it will be till the fullness of time.”

Veldaboth immediately added. “That prophecy comes true. Signs of it but we now see.”

“Nonsense, hearsay.” Gallis turned and began to walk towards the screen.

“I will not permit the dreams of priests long gone to impair the reasoning’s of men.”

“It is not Nonsense, I warn you.” Mentioned Mahlah. “A time shall come when life in Helis will be like living in the hottest of ovens”

“Helis dies it is, great Lord, a dark unseen phantom it becomes.” A soft spoken Ertas bowed to the Emperor.

“Interesting.” “I will send my men to the temple at Mount Rener, many a thing we could learn from there. Go to your districts, thirty months from today I shall summon you, a solution I shall have.”

The Councilors bowed to the Emperor and were ushered out of the space research centre.

“Priests.” Was all Emperor Gallis could whisper from his mouth. He looked at the paintings atop the roof and marveled at the ancestors of old, they did have their challenges and to think they could have foreseen this occurrence.

“Call me Tiriki, and bring the maps to mount Rener.” He commanded his attendant.

A month  later, the Guardians of the council were awakened, a lone sage in a remote observer station in the moon Lait had detected Gama ray bursts from a sector seven region of space It was very intense and it was at the periphery of our solar system barely a light year away.

“The object emits very large amounts of energy.” He told the council. The only thing that provides such would have been a gravitational collapse of a sun into a black hole.” Gandel the scientist who had discovered this anomaly briefed the Emperor in the research station in Helis. With him were Ladro and Tiriki.

Ladro, a master of the stars himself raised his disbelief.

“But this one does not pulsate, a black hole pulsates.”

“Technically a black hole can settle into a situation where it can rotate but does not pulsate.” Mentioned Gandel. “This black hole was created by stellar death. But of a different kind, it has less mass than the sun. It consumes asteroids and planets, by doing this it reduces its mass, and the lower the mass of a black hole the higher its temperature and hence it does not pulsate because its temperature becomes absolute zero.”

“I agree.”  Tiriki put his finger on the map in the wall. “We have identified other heavy objects that create gravitational waves and ripples in space time. They are very hard to detect-like light they carry energy away from the objects that emit them. I firmly believe it is a mysterious kind of a black hole we are dealing with.”

“When we detected these, we launched light lazers to scour this sector.” Said Gandel, “The first two lazers we sent were lost; others sent back information that was contradictory-that there could be life around the margins of the black hole.”

“I do not understand.” Mentioned Emperor Gallis.

“Any atomic specie would undergo a transitory state from one to another; and all species however advanced are merely particles that can be penetrated through, like waves, however this black hole distorted our instruments.”

“And how do you know then, despite our instruments being distorted; how do you postulate that there are beings that live in this black hole Gandel.” A pessimistic Ladro inquired more.

“At excessively high temperatures matter exists in a state of dissociation-That is no chemical combination can exist. Beyond certain limits of visible matter, no spectrum, no telescope and no microscope are of any use. We could not deploy counter measure like wobbles, radio velocity, astrometry, transit photometry because the black hole was incandescent. We however knew that certain materials get excited by internal processes in a planet that emits photons of varying width and we already know the technology that goes with Gamma rays, Ultraviolet rays, infrared, microwave and radio signals, these we sent with probes into sector 7.”

“Our beams upon a strike of its targets transmitted clearly that an object revolved around this black hole, a round object-perhaps a captured asteroid or planet. The transmissions we sent through absorbed certain molecules within these areas and proved that some form of life was in the round ball. We double checked and a third attempt revealed life forms that were microscopic. We could not find out because our technology could not pass through this event horizon.”

Great Lord Tiriki came in to make Gandels mind clearer. “In the scientific community we always believed that an advanced race could actually capture a black hole and make it encircle around it. This could be done if we placed an object like an asteroid in front of it.  It is also believed that some planets were so massive that they did not need the sun and would have volcanoes active deep below its thick atmosphere. These eruptions would create over time a stable condition for life.”

Gandel continued with his explanations.

 “Afraid we should be. Soon the flower of fire that turns eternally will chnage course, and Helis’  balance will be lost.”

“Gandel.” “Tiriki.” A doubtful Ladro called to their names and made his reservations known. “A hundred times a thousand years have we watched the cycles of Helis, and every thirty three million years it stops on its axis, reaching as we say its fullness, but this, this is not an account of the end.”

“It is Ladro.” “It is”. Tiriki corrected him. “There is a black hole out there that approaches our system. In less than ten months it will be within a hundred thousand miles from us, when it comes near to us as we have calculated, all life in Helis will be obliterated. Helis and its outlying planets at this moment shake. North and South poles shift zones. North will become South, South will become North. Soon the deluge waters will cover the planet.”

Tiriki immediately unrolled a Culi plant and placed it on the wall.

 “I happen to visit the Temple at Mount Rener; copy did I the prophecy of the sages and true do they say of these days. Mention they that millions of years ago a similar occurrence was experienced, strange sightings of magnificent space ships and tales of beings as old as the universe itself were seen, these it was said scoured planets for blood. Some said these beings reared humans like they reared cattle. And the signs of their arrival are exactly what we experience now.”

“True these words may be; what do we do now.” Gallis inquired from his officers.

Great Emperor, Gandel bowed to him. “We have but ten months to make ships and in them store food, weapons, medicine and all that is needed to sustain us. If I believe what I believe then there will be war and destruction the likes of which we have never seen. Only a few will be saved, these few we must take to space. Mine should we the Asteroids and create cities in them. Push these Asteroids out of this system and live in space for a while till it is safe to return.”

“And where do we go Gandel.” Said Ladro. “How do we feed ourselves out in that cold wilderness?”

“The universe has order, once in safety we can always make incursions in the moons for food.”

“And my people in Heli and Tyne.” Gallis inquired from his advisors.

“Afraid I am of for them.” A sorrowful Gandel looked at the Emperor. “let them make cities under the undergrowth and await the deluge, submarine planes we should grant them to survive the radiation till the conclusion of events.” “Let them make dwellings underneath the oceans’ and fill it with the lights from above; there they should live till the evil ones leave.”

“And the animals.” An ever watchful Gallis seemed unsettled. “Is there no hope for them then?” “They have the breath of our ancestors.”

“There is no hope Great Lord.” Gandel told him “The ones we take to the underground shall be of food; the rest we have to leave to the whims of time.”

“I see then, there is no hope. Mention not but a thing to the populace. Assemble the military.”

And with this last command, preparation and drills were made; the days head would test the limits of our society.

Chapter 5 is available here.

Guest Post by Vincent Ochen

 
The Rallians
A story by Vincent Ochen
Chapter Three : On Dangerous Ground
It was in this mighty city that I haggled my way into history. I had walked from the Library that contained vast sums of knowledge, digital libraries dotted our cities. Our universities were areas were we went for research, due to the endless sum of knowledge accessible by anyone through our binary brain computers; there was no need to go to school to learn, parents self taught their children; it was only at religious schools were children discovered who they really wanted to become, and this was after the age of fifteen your time. We would camp for one year in the religious schools up in the lake covered mountains away from civilization. There I had chosen to be a botanist; I loved plants and talked to them; they were alive and responded to my songs, they have the ability to smell you and change color when you touch them warmly, these colors are invisible but the right senses will make you see them.
I was then 21 your time. In our time the planet Heli took seven hundred twenty days to revolve around our sun, the days and nights were over 16 hours each. It was nearly night fall and from the library I walked across the street to the zoology lab. Here I admired species of sea Snakes, Frogs in bottles, as well as fetuses of Opossums, bones of Elephant like beings, stuffed sea Vultures and Coyote like Dogs. It was the marsh Butterflies that took my attention, about seventy large specimen were left to dry on the glass cabinet. I sat down to draw in intricate detail their moth like skins and bright hued colors. I was in such a state of deep focus that I did not notice the lab attendant walk towards me;
“Siriana, you have a visitor.” She said.
“A visitor.”I lamented; such distractions take the better of you. I wondered who this could be and drudgingly put my books on the table nearby.
“Who is it?”I inquired
“A gentle fish-says it is urgent”
I followed her as I dragged my feet and rolled my eyes to the moist air; angry.
It was Jair; my uncle. 
“Hello Uncle.” I greeted him a nod of my forehead, as was the custom.
“Is all okay Uncle.” I could see his eyes were red.
“Your Sister.”, “She fell down a Dreen tree.”
Dreens are fruits more like berries and come in all colors; one tree can have green, red, black and blue Dreen fruits in the thousands.These grow far from the ground like your Papaya trees.
I closed my mouth and anticipated the worst.
“Is she okay?” The lab attendant stood on and looked at us.
I could not talk; to fall from a Dreen tree was a huge fall; given the soft nature of our skins, and what with the Dreen fruits thorny skins spread all across the ground.
“The doctors mention she will be okay; she is still unconscious but will recover.”
He tried to reassure his sister in law.
 “I am so sorry uncle.” I comforted him and put my neck on his neck; the Lab attendant came and held my hands-already watery due to fear.
“I came to request you to come help with the little boy, for a few days.”
“By all means Uncle?”
I looked at the Lab attendant and communicated to her telepathically as your Dolphins do-she understood, and thereafter I entered Jair’s water craft and sped off across the great Arain Sea, a sea twenty times bigger than your oceans. One of the seven we have. Arain was the largest.
Jairs water craft was huge, over thirty meters in length and ten in width. It had its pilot enclosure, sleep quarters, medical wings and being as high as a one storied apartment- it could fly out into inter planetary space.

The large hospital twenty nautical miles under the sea was full to the ream, patients with different medical conditions came here-it was a centre of research and excellence. I had been here many times during study tours. The most common diseases in our planet were water based-Zit a form of disease like your typhoid was the commonest-caused by decomposed dead organism when not properly vanished. When our dead died we sent them to the land and the sun burnt their bodies to ash; but a few vultures here and there sometimes threw these bodies back to the oceans; these would be eaten by the fish in the food chain and on wards to us.
“Watch your step.” Jair pointed at used rubber blubbers thrown across the floor. Pungent smells of decayed blubber and medicine seemed to tickle my nose and was the common smell from hospitals; we passed from the incinerator that burnt medical equipments and operated body parts till we reached a corridor that went on for miles; along it photos of missing children being looked for; here we took a land roller that brought us to the main reception for casualty cases.
When I reached my sisters room, she was immersed in a blue liquid fluid. Blue was a gift from the sun and often patients were later on transported up to the sky so that the  rays from the sun could shine its light on them, all our hospitals were made of blue cartilages. Cartilages were our main building materials and were stronger than metal. These were got from the rocks created from the millions of marine organism that had died in our over seventy billion years of evolution. 
My Sister slept like a baby and was aided to breathe through tubes inserted in her neck.
 The youngling Loe, a being barely two years old slept in his watery bed, he was awake and rose up when he heard my voice from the corridor, he run to me and I carried him high. You could feel his pain. I embraced him deeply for he needed it-our hearts connected and he told me telepathically how he missed me and how he hoped I could place him next to his mother-I calmly mentioned to him that his mother needed to rest and would be with him very soon. He understood.
 We left the hospital with Loe and rose up to the marshes; a few miles inland Jair had made a home in a large farm, here besides the hundreds of acres of Dreen trees he cultivated, he also kept water Goats, water Pigs, Buffaloes, and  reared thousands of Sangu fish-more like your Salmon.
He had attendants who worked for him in the day, there being no need for watchmen as he had set up Gerone trees; these trees would glow with a green hue whenever an intruder came into the marshes. This would immediately alert the Gerone leaves which  would fly about –if it were a man being they had their call; if it were an animal predator like the Dog -Cayote like creatures that came to eat the Sangu they would have a separate call for it and would actually attack the intruders-you could not escape from these leaf birds. The only option would be to run away to the land boundary and the tree birds would go back to their Gerone tree.
As we landed on the estate compound, I could see four domesticated coyote dogs lurk near the water craft. Their eyes shone in the green darkness. As I removed groceries from the water craft I took notice of a girl’s dress- torn and soiled with blood. I looked at it-but then Jair came to help with the luggage; I immediately looked busy.
We entered the house; I put Loe on the water based couch- these couches were also made of cartilage and would bring moist water across our bodies once we sat on it. I made a drink for the baby with the Dreen fruits earlier picked by his mother and helped him feed on many Sat fish; these were tiny ant like fish that would swim inside our intestinal ducks; there they would blend with our skins and become one with our bodies. They would reproduce asexually and remain alive within us for the rest of our lives.
Jair brought a few of my sister’s clothes. I went to the visitor enclosure and slept in the bed tub, one with many tiny Sat fish; these fish also ate away worms and bacteria that would lurk in our skin and web feet alike; here I slept. All our beds were as such. There I opened the roof with my mind and basked in the beauty of our moons-Rochephant, Eilda and Raen.
That night, the low pitch cry of Loe woke me up; I got out of my watery bed, naked and clothed myself with a tree bark towel. I picked up the shiny Nean trees; short trees that gave out light when touched; these we used to light our way. I walked with it to Loe’s room. Our moons were bright and they shone on cartilaginous light beings that drifted across the compound. It had begun to rain and these microscopic beings loved the rain.
I was afraid of the dark, and walked quietly-what I feared I did not know; just that the shadows in the night revealed shapes of beings that even my fertile imagination could not conjure up. 
When I opened his room, there he sat on his baby cot; it was moist but he still cried and looked at me; I put the Nean tree close to his face; and could see the tears that had flowed from his face, just then I noticed a chair in the baby’s room. It was his mother’s favorite chair; one she used to breast feed him. I was surprised to see the chair rock, and then I noticed that the window was open and a cold glow had fed its way into the room, if one looked carefully, one would see the millions of tiny aerial light beings excited by the rain. The cold wind had woken up Loe. So I thought.
I fed him after I had securely locked the window and sang him a lullaby-the most beautiful in the universe –a lullaby that sang praises to the wonders of the guardians of our planet; beings that had gone on before us; beings that protected us; beings who we believed showed themselves to babies like Loe; pure spirits that had good hearts and were kind. He slept like a log.
I had barely slept for thirty minutes when Loe began to cry again; I got up and walked across the corridor. In my mind I wondered why he was so restless. When I opened his room and placed the Nean torch before me –I could see him cry and put his arms up for me to carry him. Suddenly to my stark surprise-the window was wide open.
“But.” I exclaimed-I was terrified for I had personally secured the window. There was no possibility that someone from the inside had opened it-Jair was asleep. Somehow my mind did not run to him. I carried the baby, closed the window again and as I turned to walk I saw the chair rock-I almost collapsed. I was not alone in this room. I put Loe on his bed and walked to the cupboard.
I carefully opened the cupboard with an apprehension of doom, but there was no one there-just a few toys; and a child’s water craft. Just as I closed the door did I notice a shadow next to me; I shouted and dropped the Nean tree to the ground-terrified.
The baby began to cry,
“It’s me.” “It’s me.” Jair raised his voice. I held my heart-it wanted to beat its way out of my chest.
“Jair, you scared the death out of me.” I exclaimed–I was out of breath. I looked at Loe-he knew I wanted him not to cry and he stopped.
“I am sorry; my car got stuck in the mud.” “Go and sleep, I will take care of the baby.”
I looked at Jair; beat upon my chest and shook my head-and laughed-he laughed too.
“Good night.” I said to him, 
“Good night.” He replied- I smiled at Loe and walked away. 
The next morning when I awoke-it was still dark-I put on my sisters clothes and went to Loe’s room, he was asleep. There being no activity in Jair’s room I walked to the windows-also made of cartilage. The water Goats and Buffaloes were already restless; they had to be let out to roam the marshes. I opened the barn door and did just that. They scampered and almost threw kilos of dirt onto me. I rounded the house to the main compound and could see many footsteps across the mud. I ignored them. Then I looked towards Loe’s window and I could see a distinct set of footmarks. These came from directly below the baby’s window, and meandered its way to the back of the house. It was the footmarks of a person, and looked like someone was on a tiptoe. One set of legs emerged from the bushes and onto the window; another led away from the window and meandered around the compound and then went into the bushes. I followed this foot mark; around it were evidently other smaller footmarks-those of Coyote Dogs. This spurned me on, very rarely do humans walk hand in hand with Coyote Dogs. This was until I smelt smoke come from my left-the dustbin. We could not stand light- but created special machines to incinerate our rubbish. This used gas to dry the waste into ash which was then fed to the marshes. I walked casually toward it-and saw the torn dress I had earlier seen in Jairs water craft. I wanted to remove it and inspect it -as I pondered this I heard men talk; Jair and two men pushed the water craft –It was sodden through with mud. I wondered where he had been. They waved to me; I raised my hands and could see the baby perched on the driver’s seat; he played with a duckling toy.
I then walked to the kitchen and watched the men clean the water craft. As I went on to wash the dishes; I noticed a blockage; I checked the bottom of the sink and it was not filled up; I walked out of the house to the point the drain met the water tunnel and found a lot of sludge there, as well as bones and mud. I used a stick on the ground to clear off these-very vile and smelly stuff. Then I heard Moa like birds make their usual flappy noise-I turned to look and to my dismay one of the men Preld plucked the green feathers off the bird while it was still alive. He was one of those men who drifted from place to place; he looked a thief and one who was always up to no good.
“Stop it.”  I said, twice; the fool looked at me and said demurely, 
“What.” 
I felt I should pick all the smelly stuff from the ground and shove them onto his face.
“Are you normal Preld”; I walked to him and took away the bird; both of them and decided to prepare them myself. They all stood there and looked at me in silence-
“Men.” I sighed.
From the kitchen I could see them talk; Preld then walked over and composed himself;
“Siriana- my apologies.”, “This is how I always do this thing.”
I turned and looked at this Fishman; I could not believe he had done this to other birds.
“Honestly Preld you know its wrong.” “Imagine If I pluck your hair- would you like that.” We did have hair more like your Sea lions do.
He bowed and looked at me; whatever advances he had in his mind would never work; he had failed the test already.
I shook my head as he turned and walked back to wash the water craft.
They three helped with house chores that day; attended to the animals and later ate the bird-as I served them, mine eyes  and that fools met; I spurned him-he smiled-love was brewing in him, not in me. They later went on to siesta in the sun room, a room where the sun rays passed through water and onto their skins-it was mild and warm. There they slept.

That night Jair took the two men into the sea; It was late; the first moon Rochephant had already arisen; I had been asleep and dreamt that crabs had played me an opera; I walked to the baby’s room; he lay there-asleep-I was impressed with him. Then I found myself in Jairs’ room. I wanted to get busy; my gaze went around his room. I noticed his water bed tub had not been cleaned of dredges at the bottom. I did this for him using a special living sponge that attracted all the dirt in the water; sucked them into it and ate them. This was its sole purpose. 
That done, I saw a wall screen; this was a gadget that was alive; it was like grass that grew on a wall; in it was stored memories-our collective memory. They lived a life of their own; one could project his entire memory into it. When our elders died after a thousand years or more we took their brains and connected them to the Culi plant; it retrieved all their memories-good and bad and stored it here; we had giant libraries of these living cells; they would live for over twenty thousand years. They were like the mosses and lichens of sorts; simply by touching one spot you could spool all information from them and you would see it in your mind, not exactly inside your mind, but outside your mind, it would beam the information in the air and you could see many things; of course this is if you were alone; if there were people you could decide to see them inside your mind. I raced my fingers through it; the nerves connected to my mind and I could see many a thing- pages of farm reports; land titles; fertilizer types; an occasional video of a music recorded from the annual inter-planetary festivals. There were of course the usual topics from naked women to guns and gambling; photos of them with drink. In fact these Culi’s could store every word ever spoken, even thought could be stored.
As I slowly placed my hands on the Culi tree; I saw it; the dress, the dress in the water craft. I had seen it in the garbage incinerator. This was strange, who was the girl in the photo? Young and beautiful; could have been about six years old with a dimple on her cheeks, she was well fed-with round cheeks; The dress she wore had the exact designs as the one I saw being incinerated-with blood on it. The photo seemed to have been taken at a children’s function in a school; our schools were under the ocean. I stopped the session and walked out of the room.
I went and sat out my confusion-the second moon Raen had emerged; it was at ten your time, here I gazed at the milliards of stars in the sky; the satellites and the cities above. People moved here and there with all types, designs and sizes of water craft; some carried two people, others ten, and others a thousand.
I later sat with the baby. Jair came home early and we talked many issues-Politics; the farm, my Sister! We later toured the farm as the third moon was coming up among the thick clouds.
That night I lay in my water bed; my senses alert; the events of the day remained etched deep into my mind; I had to know who that girl was-but I could not ask Jair; some deep instinct told me he was up to no good.
A few hours later I heard him open his door; he walked straight to my room; tried to open the door-it was locked; I could sense him stand still as he tried to hear movement in my room.
Then I heard him walk slowly away. I opened my eyes. I could hear him in the kitchen-he opened the ice keeper-here we kept many of the fish and fruits picked from the farm. And out through the kitchen door he went into the marshes.
I tiptoed to the kitchen; he had taken many a thing, especially fruits; dried dates and water. These were things unrelated to the farm. I went back to my room-but never slept. I knew there was evil around.
 Shortly before dawn, when I awoke; I found he had made an early meal for me; the baby was already on his lap. 
Hours later we flew down to sea and to the hospital. My sister was much better-she could open her eyes and move her fingers and would respond when one talked to her.
Over the next two nights Jair did his movements. The next day after an eventful night I sought solace with myself; carried the baby and walked to the forest alone. It was in such a moment of tranquility that planet Heli opened its secrets to me; a Cayote came towards me-I almost run; I had a weapon that would freeze it on its tracks and immobilize it for a few hours but I chose not to use it; it walked to me, placed its tail around me; licked my feet and barked; it walked away and it barked. I stood still; it still barked. It wanted me to follow him. I followed. The Coyote took me to a tree barn in the marshes and stood at the entrance. It was an old barn. I opened it. It had the usual items a hunter had, metal traps and a few lizard skins. There was not much to look at. I got one dried up lizard skin and threw it to the Coyote who proceeded to tear it with precision.
A few minutes later a thunderous noise came from above-It was Jair- I ran with the baby back home and left the Coyote. On my way I picked Dreen’s and other fruits. I met Jair in the house and he did not ask where I was from. He had forgotten documents to a piece of land he intended to purchase.
That night-as expected he walked out in the wee hours of the night; I followed him into the darkness. And noticed a man with a Nean torch with his back on a tree. They went and exchanged items, and then went on deeper into the marshes. Two kilometers away I saw them roll a light limestone stone from the ground; and then they walked down a hole. It was here that they kept whatever they kept. The second man was actually Wieldos, also a drifter though already old in age. He had been with Preid the night Jair’s water craft got stuck on the swamps. I run back to the house.
At about noon when Jair had left for his sojourn; I took the baby and walked to the same spot. I pushed away the boulder-there was a step that led deep into the hole. The stench that came from it clogged my nose- I persevered only to meet the shock of my life. There were five children-three girls; two boys all below the age of ten. The Hole was soggy and dirty; large squirrel sized Sirian rats run up here and there and nibbled at the little crumbs. The children looked at me in fear; their arms and legs tied to metallic poles securely anchored to the ground. I could sense they feared I would kill them. I talked to each one of them, cleaned their wounds. They spoke of pain and hunger to me.
I told them I would come back and save them; I went back home and tried to unravel from the Culi plant what I could have missed. I fund nothing. I knew I had to leave that very day-I could easily end up like those little children.
I ransacked my sister’s belongings; looked for whatever I could use to cause the arrest of Jair; whatever happened to my sister must have been a direct result of these background events. I feared for the baby and also made arrangements to run away with him. A few miles down the swamps I knew I could get transport. There was a boat I could use; the children would help row it.
I knew Jair would return late; thus I made arrangements for him. I had noticed a few leaves of a sleeping plant, when mixed with water it would put the drinker into a state of deep sleep. This I mixed in Dreen juice and placed in the Ice Tab.
I went back to the children, fed them and informed them. I would come and take them away in the night.
Jair returned later on; I warmly received him, gave him food and the sleep Juice. He drank it all. I bid my time-minutes turned to hours; he slowly lay on the warm chair and slept.
I quickly took the food I had packed earlier on, carried a machete to aid in passage through the marshes, and carried Loe. I untied the children; and told them to run up the ladder. By the time I was done with the last one; I climbed up the ladder only to see Preid and Wieldos hold the children. I almost sank. My reflexes were quick to react; I began to run. They chased after me; I fell down many times as I tripped on tree roots. Preid threw a trunk at me-this threw me to the ground and there I lay unconscious.
When I awoke; the children were nowhere to be seen; my hands had been tied together; Wieldos was nowhere to be seen, I reckoned he had gone to get Jair.
Preid hovered like a raven over me, I noticed a coyote look at me; Preid ransacked the items in the bag I carried; then the unexpected happened. He walked toward me, grabbed me by the neck and pushed me down; slapped me; and then tore my clothes and raped me. I cried every time he pushed himself into me; I shouted for help but no one could hear me. He raped me hard-It was torment. He only got up when he heard Wieldos arrive. 
Jair though sleepy; could not look at me-he was ashamed it seemed; I pleaded telepathically for him to release me-he shut his mind out. I could then see them walk with spades towards a few mounds; it was then that I realized these were graves. Six graves-and they dug a hole.
Thirty minutes later Preid and Wieldos grabbed hold of me-I tried to resist-they slapped me profusely and dragged me to the edges of the grave. I was forced to kneel on the edge of the grave as I pleaded with Jair –he turned away from me; Wieldos then got a metallic spade and hit my head with it. I fell down into the grave. Blood gushed out of my head. I could hear Jair beat the children. I was conscious and could feel the men pour soil and mud on top of me; where I lay I could see a skeleton; still of a child.
My acute senses awoke an instinct to survive in me, I could hear them take the children into Jairs water craft, a few minutes I could here its engine rumble. I removed the soil that covered me and crawled out of the grave. I gathered my strength, pulled myself up and ran towards the craft. I immersed myself into the swamp and swam to the crafts edges. With luck I saw Preld throw rubbish onto the swamp. He switched on the electric trap door, before it could close- I managed with effort to climb aboard the water craft. I peeped over the corridor, I could see Preld walk to the cockpit. 
 I then run to the medical wing of the craft. Familiar I was to this ship as I had ridden in it earlier with Jair. My first act when I entered the medical cabin was to remove my wet cloth and get dry. I also had to clean my watery footsteps, which I did with considerable speed. Then I activated the medical drone. When I switched this on, its Sirian like mind opened up and it tended to my injury. .I could not sedate myself but I bit onto my cloth and braved the pain. Somehow the drone had sent a message to the captain of its activity-this was necessary to conserve power. I could hear Jair speak to Preld to check the drone out. I quickly cleaned the medical table, removed what few medicines and painkillers I needed and run into the hidden chambers in the ship. I had leant of this secret area when I saw the craft at the great air shows held in the cities every year.
 Preld came and found all was normal. A few minutes and I heard them talk to each other; they did not know I had escaped. I was weak and slept with one eye open. They flew off into space city and as was custom for ships that flew off Heli, they need not land onto the facilities in sky city, only ships that returned from whatever sojourn had to declare its cargo.
A few hours later we reached the destination point. It was the ice moon Reneb. A moon so far from Sirius that it was dark, icy and cold. No one lived there apart from a few crawling creatures and eternal sedges, plants that lived millennia’s in the cold and the dark. We only kept scientific research stations there. 
We landed safely in a sedge less area of snow. Where all was white and dark. What would happen next? I waited like I would never wait again. Around us ghostly creatures that lurked in these forsaken reaches of the Sirian system played with my mind. I could swear to you that I almost ran from giant spiders and worms that were endemic to that area. They too had followed the scent of a heat source, it was invisible. The train of spiders below made Jair and his companions aware that the entity they had come to meet had arrived. Then it revealed its hidden self. It was a ship, one I had never imaged-its design did not exist in our vocabulary. The ship had been designed to pierce into any atmosphere. With most of it hidden in its cloak. The visible parts we could see was when suited beings over twelve feet tall walked out onto the ice. On their hands they held what looked like giant buckets. I could see Jair lead the children to the two giant beings, they walked on twos but of whatever make they were-flesh or otherwise, this I could not fathom, for they were fully clothed in metallic armour. 
Jair led the children and placed them in the space between him and the visitors, then he stepped back. The visitors sprayed a cobweb like fluid onto the children; this completely entombed the children into a silk like cocoon. Then they carried the children into the craft.
Minutes later they dropped some peculiar box onto the ice-payment -for my uncle I presumed. It was gold I could see, liquid gold. This had not yet been invented by us-but when drunk as we would get to know,  it would become a powerful elixir that brought out the divine in all who partook of it-it made them dance into the minds of the gods.
I retuned into the ship and expected the worst-I had been drained of blood and was exhausted. I went back to the hidden chamber and tried to remain awake.
After what seemed like twelve earth hours, we finally reached Helis atmosphere, here as was the usual occurrence, all waste was jettisoned and would burn up before it reached the atmosphere. I pulled a life boat kept in the medical wing and took it to the ship jettison area, and climbed aboard it. Preld had already put there spent fuel containers. When he jettisoned the fuel containers, I went down with the life boat .The water craft rallied on to sky city
I landed safely in a forested area of the planet, launched myself into the safety of the giant trees. Over many millennia our sages had lived with the idea that plants were unique and could be grown into whatever design we wanted. Thus from time immemorial, plants were engineered to grow into houses. This technology was what we had eventually used to grow plants in space and tests had began in earnest to fuse plants into our ships so they would power space craft’s for long haul flights. In a few hundred years we would fuse plants with our bodies and completely have no need to feed, this would enable us survive the long years needed for inter galactic travel.
I sat in the damp room inside the giant tree alongside the marshes. Here were equally other gigantic trees; I would be a fly in comparison to them. It was cold and dark and a good time for sleep. I was a student of botany. I loved plants and saw our future in them. They told of human history, they were there with the lichens in the billions of years that it took us to evolve into who we are today and yet we are already advanced. One and half billion years before you are even able to understand what I write here. Though I come from the past, I am also your future. The past has lessons we should follow- there is nothing that will thrust us more into the future than a study of the past, and these are only stored in plants. Eventually we shall write our history as a genetic code in plants. Lost cultures have ever been the demise of men, forgotten tongues meant forgotten dreams. Plants however live forever.
From plants, to insects to fish to us, the waters of the deep had spawned an entire galaxy of creatures of forms. Now I had seen a newer reality, an entity vastly different from us-had they come to illuminate or to destroy us? I had to let my professor know. 
When I had rested and the blood on my cartilaginous skull had finally clotted-another being lived inside me and it was as excited and apprehensive as I was. I could not wait till daylight. I walked many miles and reached an air hanger and sent word to my professor.
He was as much surprised by what I told him. Days later he took me to the military establishment in the city. They looked into my mind and managed to trace my uncle’s hideout. When they raided his lair-he had expected an intrusion and had together with Preld and Wieldos tied the kidnapped children in their care onto their bodies. Here they demanded to be left to go aboard their water craft.
The Sirian paramilitary had weapons that even regular soldiers had never heard of-DNA guns. The paramilitary dug up the kidnappers DNA profile and fed them into the guns. This weapon apparently only killed those it had been programmed to kill. When it was fired it bored through walls without any explosion, then it turned into vapour and condensed once it had reached the targets’ bodies. From here like an acid it tore its way into the bodies of the villains and choked them to unconsciousness. The children were not hurt.
Chapter 4 is available here.
Guest post by Vincent Ochen

The Rallians

A story by Vincent Ochen

Chapter Three : On Dangerous Ground

It was in this mighty city that I haggled my way into history. I had walked from the Library that contained vast sums of knowledge, digital libraries dotted our cities. Our universities were areas were we went for research, due to the endless sum of knowledge accessible by anyone through our binary brain computers; there was no need to go to school to learn, parents self taught their children; it was only at religious schools were children discovered who they really wanted to become, and this was after the age of fifteen your time. We would camp for one year in the religious schools up in the lake covered mountains away from civilization. There I had chosen to be a botanist; I loved plants and talked to them; they were alive and responded to my songs, they have the ability to smell you and change color when you touch them warmly, these colors are invisible but the right senses will make you see them.

I was then 21 your time. In our time the planet Heli took seven hundred twenty days to revolve around our sun, the days and nights were over 16 hours each. It was nearly night fall and from the library I walked across the street to the zoology lab. Here I admired species of sea Snakes, Frogs in bottles, as well as fetuses of Opossums, bones of Elephant like beings, stuffed sea Vultures and Coyote like Dogs. It was the marsh Butterflies that took my attention, about seventy large specimen were left to dry on the glass cabinet. I sat down to draw in intricate detail their moth like skins and bright hued colors. I was in such a state of deep focus that I did not notice the lab attendant walk towards me;

“Siriana, you have a visitor.” She said.

“A visitor.”I lamented; such distractions take the better of you. I wondered who this could be and drudgingly put my books on the table nearby.

“Who is it?”I inquired

“A gentle fish-says it is urgent”

I followed her as I dragged my feet and rolled my eyes to the moist air; angry.

It was Jair; my uncle.

“Hello Uncle.” I greeted him a nod of my forehead, as was the custom.

“Is all okay Uncle.” I could see his eyes were red.

“Your Sister.”, “She fell down a Dreen tree.”

Dreens are fruits more like berries and come in all colors; one tree can have green, red, black and blue Dreen fruits in the thousands.These grow far from the ground like your Papaya trees.

I closed my mouth and anticipated the worst.

“Is she okay?” The lab attendant stood on and looked at us.

I could not talk; to fall from a Dreen tree was a huge fall; given the soft nature of our skins, and what with the Dreen fruits thorny skins spread all across the ground.

“The doctors mention she will be okay; she is still unconscious but will recover.”

He tried to reassure his sister in law.

 “I am so sorry uncle.” I comforted him and put my neck on his neck; the Lab attendant came and held my hands-already watery due to fear.

“I came to request you to come help with the little boy, for a few days.”

“By all means Uncle?”

I looked at the Lab attendant and communicated to her telepathically as your Dolphins do-she understood, and thereafter I entered Jair’s water craft and sped off across the great Arain Sea, a sea twenty times bigger than your oceans. One of the seven we have. Arain was the largest.

Jairs water craft was huge, over thirty meters in length and ten in width. It had its pilot enclosure, sleep quarters, medical wings and being as high as a one storied apartment- it could fly out into inter planetary space.

The large hospital twenty nautical miles under the sea was full to the ream, patients with different medical conditions came here-it was a centre of research and excellence. I had been here many times during study tours. The most common diseases in our planet were water based-Zit a form of disease like your typhoid was the commonest-caused by decomposed dead organism when not properly vanished. When our dead died we sent them to the land and the sun burnt their bodies to ash; but a few vultures here and there sometimes threw these bodies back to the oceans; these would be eaten by the fish in the food chain and on wards to us.

“Watch your step.” Jair pointed at used rubber blubbers thrown across the floor. Pungent smells of decayed blubber and medicine seemed to tickle my nose and was the common smell from hospitals; we passed from the incinerator that burnt medical equipments and operated body parts till we reached a corridor that went on for miles; along it photos of missing children being looked for; here we took a land roller that brought us to the main reception for casualty cases.

When I reached my sisters room, she was immersed in a blue liquid fluid. Blue was a gift from the sun and often patients were later on transported up to the sky so that the  rays from the sun could shine its light on them, all our hospitals were made of blue cartilages. Cartilages were our main building materials and were stronger than metal. These were got from the rocks created from the millions of marine organism that had died in our over seventy billion years of evolution.

My Sister slept like a baby and was aided to breathe through tubes inserted in her neck.

 The youngling Loe, a being barely two years old slept in his watery bed, he was awake and rose up when he heard my voice from the corridor, he run to me and I carried him high. You could feel his pain. I embraced him deeply for he needed it-our hearts connected and he told me telepathically how he missed me and how he hoped I could place him next to his mother-I calmly mentioned to him that his mother needed to rest and would be with him very soon. He understood.

 We left the hospital with Loe and rose up to the marshes; a few miles inland Jair had made a home in a large farm, here besides the hundreds of acres of Dreen trees he cultivated, he also kept water Goats, water Pigs, Buffaloes, and  reared thousands of Sangu fish-more like your Salmon.

He had attendants who worked for him in the day, there being no need for watchmen as he had set up Gerone trees; these trees would glow with a green hue whenever an intruder came into the marshes. This would immediately alert the Gerone leaves which  would fly about –if it were a man being they had their call; if it were an animal predator like the Dog -Cayote like creatures that came to eat the Sangu they would have a separate call for it and would actually attack the intruders-you could not escape from these leaf birds. The only option would be to run away to the land boundary and the tree birds would go back to their Gerone tree.

As we landed on the estate compound, I could see four domesticated coyote dogs lurk near the water craft. Their eyes shone in the green darkness. As I removed groceries from the water craft I took notice of a girl’s dress- torn and soiled with blood. I looked at it-but then Jair came to help with the luggage; I immediately looked busy.

We entered the house; I put Loe on the water based couch- these couches were also made of cartilage and would bring moist water across our bodies once we sat on it. I made a drink for the baby with the Dreen fruits earlier picked by his mother and helped him feed on many Sat fish; these were tiny ant like fish that would swim inside our intestinal ducks; there they would blend with our skins and become one with our bodies. They would reproduce asexually and remain alive within us for the rest of our lives.

Jair brought a few of my sister’s clothes. I went to the visitor enclosure and slept in the bed tub, one with many tiny Sat fish; these fish also ate away worms and bacteria that would lurk in our skin and web feet alike; here I slept. All our beds were as such. There I opened the roof with my mind and basked in the beauty of our moons-Rochephant, Eilda and Raen.

That night, the low pitch cry of Loe woke me up; I got out of my watery bed, naked and clothed myself with a tree bark towel. I picked up the shiny Nean trees; short trees that gave out light when touched; these we used to light our way. I walked with it to Loe’s room. Our moons were bright and they shone on cartilaginous light beings that drifted across the compound. It had begun to rain and these microscopic beings loved the rain.

I was afraid of the dark, and walked quietly-what I feared I did not know; just that the shadows in the night revealed shapes of beings that even my fertile imagination could not conjure up.

When I opened his room, there he sat on his baby cot; it was moist but he still cried and looked at me; I put the Nean tree close to his face; and could see the tears that had flowed from his face, just then I noticed a chair in the baby’s room. It was his mother’s favorite chair; one she used to breast feed him. I was surprised to see the chair rock, and then I noticed that the window was open and a cold glow had fed its way into the room, if one looked carefully, one would see the millions of tiny aerial light beings excited by the rain. The cold wind had woken up Loe. So I thought.

I fed him after I had securely locked the window and sang him a lullaby-the most beautiful in the universe –a lullaby that sang praises to the wonders of the guardians of our planet; beings that had gone on before us; beings that protected us; beings who we believed showed themselves to babies like Loe; pure spirits that had good hearts and were kind. He slept like a log.

I had barely slept for thirty minutes when Loe began to cry again; I got up and walked across the corridor. In my mind I wondered why he was so restless. When I opened his room and placed the Nean torch before me –I could see him cry and put his arms up for me to carry him. Suddenly to my stark surprise-the window was wide open.

“But.” I exclaimed-I was terrified for I had personally secured the window. There was no possibility that someone from the inside had opened it-Jair was asleep. Somehow my mind did not run to him. I carried the baby, closed the window again and as I turned to walk I saw the chair rock-I almost collapsed. I was not alone in this room. I put Loe on his bed and walked to the cupboard.

I carefully opened the cupboard with an apprehension of doom, but there was no one there-just a few toys; and a child’s water craft. Just as I closed the door did I notice a shadow next to me; I shouted and dropped the Nean tree to the ground-terrified.

The baby began to cry,

“It’s me.” “It’s me.” Jair raised his voice. I held my heart-it wanted to beat its way out of my chest.

“Jair, you scared the death out of me.” I exclaimed–I was out of breath. I looked at Loe-he knew I wanted him not to cry and he stopped.

“I am sorry; my car got stuck in the mud.” “Go and sleep, I will take care of the baby.”

I looked at Jair; beat upon my chest and shook my head-and laughed-he laughed too.

“Good night.” I said to him,

“Good night.” He replied- I smiled at Loe and walked away.

The next morning when I awoke-it was still dark-I put on my sisters clothes and went to Loe’s room, he was asleep. There being no activity in Jair’s room I walked to the windows-also made of cartilage. The water Goats and Buffaloes were already restless; they had to be let out to roam the marshes. I opened the barn door and did just that. They scampered and almost threw kilos of dirt onto me. I rounded the house to the main compound and could see many footsteps across the mud. I ignored them. Then I looked towards Loe’s window and I could see a distinct set of footmarks. These came from directly below the baby’s window, and meandered its way to the back of the house. It was the footmarks of a person, and looked like someone was on a tiptoe. One set of legs emerged from the bushes and onto the window; another led away from the window and meandered around the compound and then went into the bushes. I followed this foot mark; around it were evidently other smaller footmarks-those of Coyote Dogs. This spurned me on, very rarely do humans walk hand in hand with Coyote Dogs. This was until I smelt smoke come from my left-the dustbin. We could not stand light- but created special machines to incinerate our rubbish. This used gas to dry the waste into ash which was then fed to the marshes. I walked casually toward it-and saw the torn dress I had earlier seen in Jairs water craft. I wanted to remove it and inspect it -as I pondered this I heard men talk; Jair and two men pushed the water craft –It was sodden through with mud. I wondered where he had been. They waved to me; I raised my hands and could see the baby perched on the driver’s seat; he played with a duckling toy.

I then walked to the kitchen and watched the men clean the water craft. As I went on to wash the dishes; I noticed a blockage; I checked the bottom of the sink and it was not filled up; I walked out of the house to the point the drain met the water tunnel and found a lot of sludge there, as well as bones and mud. I used a stick on the ground to clear off these-very vile and smelly stuff. Then I heard Moa like birds make their usual flappy noise-I turned to look and to my dismay one of the men Preld plucked the green feathers off the bird while it was still alive. He was one of those men who drifted from place to place; he looked a thief and one who was always up to no good.

“Stop it.”  I said, twice; the fool looked at me and said demurely,

“What.”

I felt I should pick all the smelly stuff from the ground and shove them onto his face.

“Are you normal Preld”; I walked to him and took away the bird; both of them and decided to prepare them myself. They all stood there and looked at me in silence-

“Men.” I sighed.

From the kitchen I could see them talk; Preld then walked over and composed himself;

“Siriana- my apologies.”, “This is how I always do this thing.”

I turned and looked at this Fishman; I could not believe he had done this to other birds.

“Honestly Preld you know its wrong.” “Imagine If I pluck your hair- would you like that.” We did have hair more like your Sea lions do.

He bowed and looked at me; whatever advances he had in his mind would never work; he had failed the test already.

I shook my head as he turned and walked back to wash the water craft.

They three helped with house chores that day; attended to the animals and later ate the bird-as I served them, mine eyes  and that fools met; I spurned him-he smiled-love was brewing in him, not in me. They later went on to siesta in the sun room, a room where the sun rays passed through water and onto their skins-it was mild and warm. There they slept.

That night Jair took the two men into the sea; It was late; the first moon Rochephant had already arisen; I had been asleep and dreamt that crabs had played me an opera; I walked to the baby’s room; he lay there-asleep-I was impressed with him. Then I found myself in Jairs’ room. I wanted to get busy; my gaze went around his room. I noticed his water bed tub had not been cleaned of dredges at the bottom. I did this for him using a special living sponge that attracted all the dirt in the water; sucked them into it and ate them. This was its sole purpose.

That done, I saw a wall screen; this was a gadget that was alive; it was like grass that grew on a wall; in it was stored memories-our collective memory. They lived a life of their own; one could project his entire memory into it. When our elders died after a thousand years or more we took their brains and connected them to the Culi plant; it retrieved all their memories-good and bad and stored it here; we had giant libraries of these living cells; they would live for over twenty thousand years. They were like the mosses and lichens of sorts; simply by touching one spot you could spool all information from them and you would see it in your mind, not exactly inside your mind, but outside your mind, it would beam the information in the air and you could see many things; of course this is if you were alone; if there were people you could decide to see them inside your mind. I raced my fingers through it; the nerves connected to my mind and I could see many a thing- pages of farm reports; land titles; fertilizer types; an occasional video of a music recorded from the annual inter-planetary festivals. There were of course the usual topics from naked women to guns and gambling; photos of them with drink. In fact these Culi’s could store every word ever spoken, even thought could be stored.

As I slowly placed my hands on the Culi tree; I saw it; the dress, the dress in the water craft. I had seen it in the garbage incinerator. This was strange, who was the girl in the photo? Young and beautiful; could have been about six years old with a dimple on her cheeks, she was well fed-with round cheeks; The dress she wore had the exact designs as the one I saw being incinerated-with blood on it. The photo seemed to have been taken at a children’s function in a school; our schools were under the ocean. I stopped the session and walked out of the room.

I went and sat out my confusion-the second moon Raen had emerged; it was at ten your time, here I gazed at the milliards of stars in the sky; the satellites and the cities above. People moved here and there with all types, designs and sizes of water craft; some carried two people, others ten, and others a thousand.

I later sat with the baby. Jair came home early and we talked many issues-Politics; the farm, my Sister! We later toured the farm as the third moon was coming up among the thick clouds.

That night I lay in my water bed; my senses alert; the events of the day remained etched deep into my mind; I had to know who that girl was-but I could not ask Jair; some deep instinct told me he was up to no good.

A few hours later I heard him open his door; he walked straight to my room; tried to open the door-it was locked; I could sense him stand still as he tried to hear movement in my room.

Then I heard him walk slowly away. I opened my eyes. I could hear him in the kitchen-he opened the ice keeper-here we kept many of the fish and fruits picked from the farm. And out through the kitchen door he went into the marshes.

I tiptoed to the kitchen; he had taken many a thing, especially fruits; dried dates and water. These were things unrelated to the farm. I went back to my room-but never slept. I knew there was evil around.

 Shortly before dawn, when I awoke; I found he had made an early meal for me; the baby was already on his lap.

Hours later we flew down to sea and to the hospital. My sister was much better-she could open her eyes and move her fingers and would respond when one talked to her.

Over the next two nights Jair did his movements. The next day after an eventful night I sought solace with myself; carried the baby and walked to the forest alone. It was in such a moment of tranquility that planet Heli opened its secrets to me; a Cayote came towards me-I almost run; I had a weapon that would freeze it on its tracks and immobilize it for a few hours but I chose not to use it; it walked to me, placed its tail around me; licked my feet and barked; it walked away and it barked. I stood still; it still barked. It wanted me to follow him. I followed. The Coyote took me to a tree barn in the marshes and stood at the entrance. It was an old barn. I opened it. It had the usual items a hunter had, metal traps and a few lizard skins. There was not much to look at. I got one dried up lizard skin and threw it to the Coyote who proceeded to tear it with precision.

A few minutes later a thunderous noise came from above-It was Jair- I ran with the baby back home and left the Coyote. On my way I picked Dreen’s and other fruits. I met Jair in the house and he did not ask where I was from. He had forgotten documents to a piece of land he intended to purchase.

That night-as expected he walked out in the wee hours of the night; I followed him into the darkness. And noticed a man with a Nean torch with his back on a tree. They went and exchanged items, and then went on deeper into the marshes. Two kilometers away I saw them roll a light limestone stone from the ground; and then they walked down a hole. It was here that they kept whatever they kept. The second man was actually Wieldos, also a drifter though already old in age. He had been with Preid the night Jair’s water craft got stuck on the swamps. I run back to the house.

At about noon when Jair had left for his sojourn; I took the baby and walked to the same spot. I pushed away the boulder-there was a step that led deep into the hole. The stench that came from it clogged my nose- I persevered only to meet the shock of my life. There were five children-three girls; two boys all below the age of ten. The Hole was soggy and dirty; large squirrel sized Sirian rats run up here and there and nibbled at the little crumbs. The children looked at me in fear; their arms and legs tied to metallic poles securely anchored to the ground. I could sense they feared I would kill them. I talked to each one of them, cleaned their wounds. They spoke of pain and hunger to me.

I told them I would come back and save them; I went back home and tried to unravel from the Culi plant what I could have missed. I fund nothing. I knew I had to leave that very day-I could easily end up like those little children.

I ransacked my sister’s belongings; looked for whatever I could use to cause the arrest of Jair; whatever happened to my sister must have been a direct result of these background events. I feared for the baby and also made arrangements to run away with him. A few miles down the swamps I knew I could get transport. There was a boat I could use; the children would help row it.

I knew Jair would return late; thus I made arrangements for him. I had noticed a few leaves of a sleeping plant, when mixed with water it would put the drinker into a state of deep sleep. This I mixed in Dreen juice and placed in the Ice Tab.

I went back to the children, fed them and informed them. I would come and take them away in the night.

Jair returned later on; I warmly received him, gave him food and the sleep Juice. He drank it all. I bid my time-minutes turned to hours; he slowly lay on the warm chair and slept.

I quickly took the food I had packed earlier on, carried a machete to aid in passage through the marshes, and carried Loe. I untied the children; and told them to run up the ladder. By the time I was done with the last one; I climbed up the ladder only to see Preid and Wieldos hold the children. I almost sank. My reflexes were quick to react; I began to run. They chased after me; I fell down many times as I tripped on tree roots. Preid threw a trunk at me-this threw me to the ground and there I lay unconscious.

When I awoke; the children were nowhere to be seen; my hands had been tied together; Wieldos was nowhere to be seen, I reckoned he had gone to get Jair.

Preid hovered like a raven over me, I noticed a coyote look at me; Preid ransacked the items in the bag I carried; then the unexpected happened. He walked toward me, grabbed me by the neck and pushed me down; slapped me; and then tore my clothes and raped me. I cried every time he pushed himself into me; I shouted for help but no one could hear me. He raped me hard-It was torment. He only got up when he heard Wieldos arrive.

Jair though sleepy; could not look at me-he was ashamed it seemed; I pleaded telepathically for him to release me-he shut his mind out. I could then see them walk with spades towards a few mounds; it was then that I realized these were graves. Six graves-and they dug a hole.

Thirty minutes later Preid and Wieldos grabbed hold of me-I tried to resist-they slapped me profusely and dragged me to the edges of the grave. I was forced to kneel on the edge of the grave as I pleaded with Jair –he turned away from me; Wieldos then got a metallic spade and hit my head with it. I fell down into the grave. Blood gushed out of my head. I could hear Jair beat the children. I was conscious and could feel the men pour soil and mud on top of me; where I lay I could see a skeleton; still of a child.

My acute senses awoke an instinct to survive in me, I could hear them take the children into Jairs water craft, a few minutes I could here its engine rumble. I removed the soil that covered me and crawled out of the grave. I gathered my strength, pulled myself up and ran towards the craft. I immersed myself into the swamp and swam to the crafts edges. With luck I saw Preld throw rubbish onto the swamp. He switched on the electric trap door, before it could close- I managed with effort to climb aboard the water craft. I peeped over the corridor, I could see Preld walk to the cockpit.

 I then run to the medical wing of the craft. Familiar I was to this ship as I had ridden in it earlier with Jair. My first act when I entered the medical cabin was to remove my wet cloth and get dry. I also had to clean my watery footsteps, which I did with considerable speed. Then I activated the medical drone. When I switched this on, its Sirian like mind opened up and it tended to my injury. .I could not sedate myself but I bit onto my cloth and braved the pain. Somehow the drone had sent a message to the captain of its activity-this was necessary to conserve power. I could hear Jair speak to Preld to check the drone out. I quickly cleaned the medical table, removed what few medicines and painkillers I needed and run into the hidden chambers in the ship. I had leant of this secret area when I saw the craft at the great air shows held in the cities every year.

 Preld came and found all was normal. A few minutes and I heard them talk to each other; they did not know I had escaped. I was weak and slept with one eye open. They flew off into space city and as was custom for ships that flew off Heli, they need not land onto the facilities in sky city, only ships that returned from whatever sojourn had to declare its cargo.

A few hours later we reached the destination point. It was the ice moon Reneb. A moon so far from Sirius that it was dark, icy and cold. No one lived there apart from a few crawling creatures and eternal sedges, plants that lived millennia’s in the cold and the dark. We only kept scientific research stations there.

We landed safely in a sedge less area of snow. Where all was white and dark. What would happen next? I waited like I would never wait again. Around us ghostly creatures that lurked in these forsaken reaches of the Sirian system played with my mind. I could swear to you that I almost ran from giant spiders and worms that were endemic to that area. They too had followed the scent of a heat source, it was invisible. The train of spiders below made Jair and his companions aware that the entity they had come to meet had arrived. Then it revealed its hidden self. It was a ship, one I had never imaged-its design did not exist in our vocabulary. The ship had been designed to pierce into any atmosphere. With most of it hidden in its cloak. The visible parts we could see was when suited beings over twelve feet tall walked out onto the ice. On their hands they held what looked like giant buckets. I could see Jair lead the children to the two giant beings, they walked on twos but of whatever make they were-flesh or otherwise, this I could not fathom, for they were fully clothed in metallic armour.

Jair led the children and placed them in the space between him and the visitors, then he stepped back. The visitors sprayed a cobweb like fluid onto the children; this completely entombed the children into a silk like cocoon. Then they carried the children into the craft.

Minutes later they dropped some peculiar box onto the ice-payment -for my uncle I presumed. It was gold I could see, liquid gold. This had not yet been invented by us-but when drunk as we would get to know,  it would become a powerful elixir that brought out the divine in all who partook of it-it made them dance into the minds of the gods.

I retuned into the ship and expected the worst-I had been drained of blood and was exhausted. I went back to the hidden chamber and tried to remain awake.

After what seemed like twelve earth hours, we finally reached Helis atmosphere, here as was the usual occurrence, all waste was jettisoned and would burn up before it reached the atmosphere. I pulled a life boat kept in the medical wing and took it to the ship jettison area, and climbed aboard it. Preld had already put there spent fuel containers. When he jettisoned the fuel containers, I went down with the life boat .The water craft rallied on to sky city

I landed safely in a forested area of the planet, launched myself into the safety of the giant trees. Over many millennia our sages had lived with the idea that plants were unique and could be grown into whatever design we wanted. Thus from time immemorial, plants were engineered to grow into houses. This technology was what we had eventually used to grow plants in space and tests had began in earnest to fuse plants into our ships so they would power space craft’s for long haul flights. In a few hundred years we would fuse plants with our bodies and completely have no need to feed, this would enable us survive the long years needed for inter galactic travel.

I sat in the damp room inside the giant tree alongside the marshes. Here were equally other gigantic trees; I would be a fly in comparison to them. It was cold and dark and a good time for sleep. I was a student of botany. I loved plants and saw our future in them. They told of human history, they were there with the lichens in the billions of years that it took us to evolve into who we are today and yet we are already advanced. One and half billion years before you are even able to understand what I write here. Though I come from the past, I am also your future. The past has lessons we should follow- there is nothing that will thrust us more into the future than a study of the past, and these are only stored in plants. Eventually we shall write our history as a genetic code in plants. Lost cultures have ever been the demise of men, forgotten tongues meant forgotten dreams. Plants however live forever.

From plants, to insects to fish to us, the waters of the deep had spawned an entire galaxy of creatures of forms. Now I had seen a newer reality, an entity vastly different from us-had they come to illuminate or to destroy us? I had to let my professor know.

When I had rested and the blood on my cartilaginous skull had finally clotted-another being lived inside me and it was as excited and apprehensive as I was. I could not wait till daylight. I walked many miles and reached an air hanger and sent word to my professor.

He was as much surprised by what I told him. Days later he took me to the military establishment in the city. They looked into my mind and managed to trace my uncle’s hideout. When they raided his lair-he had expected an intrusion and had together with Preld and Wieldos tied the kidnapped children in their care onto their bodies. Here they demanded to be left to go aboard their water craft.

The Sirian paramilitary had weapons that even regular soldiers had never heard of-DNA guns. The paramilitary dug up the kidnappers DNA profile and fed them into the guns. This weapon apparently only killed those it had been programmed to kill. When it was fired it bored through walls without any explosion, then it turned into vapour and condensed once it had reached the targets’ bodies. From here like an acid it tore its way into the bodies of the villains and choked them to unconsciousness. The children were not hurt.

Chapter 4 is available here.

Guest post by Vincent Ochen

 

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