The following is a traditional Ashkathi fable.
Long ago, in the time before time, the world was a dark place. The nights were long and cold, the days were short and brought little light to the depths below. The clouds covered the sky constantly. People lived in fear of the darkness, of beasts like the Gaaka-den. They wondered what lie above the clouds, that cast such a dark shadow upon the world. Torra decided that he would be the one to find out. He built up speed, and with a charge he made a great leap out of the water, high up to the clouds. As soon as he jumped past the clouds, he splashed back into water. There was another sea above the clouds! However, this sea, unlike the dark sea below it, was a brilliantly lit paradise. In this sea…
Chryna Rezal was a thirty-two year old human female. She had spent the last several years of her life as a pilot for the Royal Izeran Space Force, having flown everything from sluggish cargo shuttles to strategic bombers and even the prestigious and nimble TX-170 Tarokai. There was true joy in piloting that craft; it was so responsive that she’d often found herself wondering if it was telepathic, and the advanced G-Diffusion systems made any maneuver seem possible. Though, she was also glad that she wasn’t the one who had to recalibrate all of its complicated innards every week.
Regardless, and as much as she’d enjoyed her time in the Space Force, she had never planned for it to be her career. What she truly wanted in life was to be a polic…
"Thank you all for coming to my Super Special Treaty Negotiation/Birthday Party." Serru said to every VIP woman in the galaxy. "Business will proceed until 8, whereupon we will transition into Party Mode. There will be Spooky Ghost Stories by a campfire and later an optional pillow fight."
"I do love a good pillow fight." Said Empress Tanis.
"Do the ghost stories have to take place in the dark?" Asked Queen Amelia.
"Not to worry, I have personally taken the liberty of crossing all the dimensional thresholds and beating the ever-loving shit out of any monsters. But if it would make you feel better, I will tell the sun not to set until later. The sun owes me a few favours, you see."
"Thanks, Serru!" Said Amelia. "You're the best!"
"I am pretty gre…
Among the great powers of the Known Galaxy, the Verandi Empire is a unique anomaly. Whereas others attribute their right to govern or exist to being the legacy nation-states from their worlds of origin, or in the case of Siria, the dual legacy of the Sirian states and the Uplifters, Verandi made no attempt to legitimize its power by historical right. From a nation-building perspective, this proved a boon to the empire. Free from the baggage of history, inbred prejudices, and obsolete social divides, Verandi was able to pick and choose what it wanted to incorporate into the national and cultural practices of its newly spawned state. This was a great risk, for in rejecting their world of origin, Verandi had also lost the unifying ties that no…
Natalie gave the room they had commandeered another look around. It was more like an empty storage space than a room though. Bare wooden floor boards had been collecting dust. A single, dim, light strip across the doorway was the only source of illumination. The stale air suggested no one had bothered with the room in some time before Marco had hustled her in.
"Why am I here?" Natalie asked as she took a seat on the plain wooden chair that was the only piece of furniture inside the small room. "Isn't this a closet?"
"Yeah, sorta." Marco said without turning his attention away from the camera drone he was setting up. "But it's the only place we can get some privacy. Is the red light blinking?"
Natalie looked for and failed to see any blinking …
January 12, 2997
Wake Up! Wake Up! Wake Up!
From underneath a thick yellow comforter Chelsie semi-consciously reached for the palm computer resting next to her pillow without bothering to open her eyes. After several attempts that ended with grabbing empty air she finally felt the PC’s plastic frame and narrowed in on the alarm mode’s snooze button. One pounded button latter and the annoying chirp ceased. Chelsie brought her hand back underneath the blanket and went back to sleep. Sleep that ended about ten minutes later.
Wake Up! Wake Up! Wake Up!
With a groan, a somewhat more awake Chelsie reached out and hit the snooze button once again, only taking two tries before she reached the computer. The room became quiet once more.
After this scenar…