Random musings #6.1

Feeling Earth’s collective gaze, as I noticed the landing space for our drop ship was being activated after a successful test run. The drop ship was waiting, barely attached on the lowest level of the ship. Holding one ambassador from each race of the Galatic Accord, and their escort parties.  Along with a group of fifteen guards, as a precautionary measure. Including the two pilots, a mechanic, and a gunner that brought the ship up to 60 passengers. Which given the ship’s size was almost a skeleton crew. Two of fighter jets would accompany our descent down.

With a forceful release of the holding crane, we began our descent. Our jets followed our departure swiftly. In slight awe, of the strange beauty, the Earth possessed from this view. Memorizing the details this view provided as our descent down began. Feeling the artificial gravity turn on as the ship began to fall through the atmosphere. The ship getting slightly warmer as the thermal shielding worked.
After about ten minutes of free-fall, I heard the engines turn back on. Feeling a little jump, as the pilots worked on leveling the ship out. Before we could plot a proper course toward the landing zone. With patience, and mental preparation I collected my thoughts. Making sure my speech would have the proper impact, as I made myself once more part of history. Bringing my tenth planet into the Galatic Accord. Even though I wondered to myself, how history would see me after my death. Would I still be the butcher I was in my youth, or I would I become a being of peace?
Something rapidly flying past my window broke my focus. While I knew the two escorting jets could handle things, I had to wonder what flew past us. Perhaps humanity had managed to put aside its own differences when our offer began. If that was the case, humanity was less primitive than their violent history suggested. In dire filled silence, I watched with curiosity to see if that jet was hostile.
Several minutes had passed before the landing zone had begun to appear on the horizon. Almost blinding me as the sun reflected off the luminous structure. They must have coated the trapezoidal pyramid like structure with their version of star panels. That was clever given the power output we required, from the few things that would be deployed upon landing. All of which our early abductees would understand and hook up before any of us would set foot on this planet. It was another necessary precaution to make sure our party would survive the landing. Along with being understood by Earth’s dominant race, humans.

Despite Earth’s oxygen-rich atmosphere which would allow the various species aboard the drop ship to breathe without issue. Given the industrial nature of humanity, the air would also be filled with chemical based pollutants and biological contamination. That could prove problematic, and inadvertently lethal to us.  Which is why despite having the early abductees build in a strong filtration system, the air would have to be sterilized. Before I would allow any of us to depart. Our pilots would be the ones in charge of dropping the tech that did that. Along with a few other pieces of our technology, that would ensure our safety from both pollutants, human weaponry, and the greatest danger of all. A failure to be understood.

Random musings #6

Knowing that I was here more to help them usher humanity into the galaxy. That was always the job of my species. Once the Galactic Concords were created and signed by the species the last Ancients created. Earth itself was brought to our attention by their Voyager space probe. After intense negotiations, the Galactic Accord agreed they must be found and properly guided into our vast cosmos. Behind a thick one-way glass I watched, the unconscious, captive humans. Letting the slight re-education, enhancement, and a specific genetic vaccine be applied to them. The Galactic Accord agreed those were all necessary for our protection, as well as theirs. 

A buzzer interrupted my thoughts, signaling things were completed, and my temporary captives were beginning to wake. Meaning it was time for my speech. Pressing down on a small button on my chair, I spoke, “Welcome peoples of Earth to a historic date in your species existence. The day your kind, gets ushered into a future beyond your wildest imagination. A response to your own desire to seek extraterrestrial contact, to be part of the cosmic scheme. I doubt this is the first contact you envisioned, who I represent knows you’re capable of both great good and great evil. Which is why those you stand here are present here. All of you are influential among your own people. The races of the Galactic Accord plan on using that influence for the betterment of your people. You will prepare your planet for a more personal arrival, over two months using your collective resources. In that time I also must insist on a peaceful landing. While this ship is meant for diplomatic uses, it still comes armed with weapons capable of decimating cities. As you slept plans for the landing space and proper customs were placed in your collective minds. Insuring you will work together, for the greater good. Farewell, for now,” leaning forward and teleporting them back to wherever they were meant to be. It was always the plan to return them, and let them quicken everything we required. I believed  two months would be more than enough, if they were willing to cooperate. In the meantime the other half of the plan would be implemented. A backup plan encase Earth decided to be hostile against us. It was the only reason I agreed to implementing weapon systems aboard. I hoped the  nature of humanity would have evolved enough intelligence to not be that stupid. Time would tell me, if that hope was well-placed or not.

With a telepathic thought, I sent the order to begin the creation of a defensive perimeter around Earth. While most of the habitable planets belonged to the Galactic Accord, some races refused it outright. Given the constant expansionism of the Galactic Accord. We were forced by necessity to create a defensive perimeter around claimed planets. Which, was the other half of the reason I allowed complex weapon systems aboard. Watching a nearby screen, I got a quick update on the perimeter nodes locations. Forming an inactive but connected hectogon shape around Earth. Tapping my clawed fingers, as I waited impatiently for each node to arrive at a pre-mapped location. From what I was told, these nodes were altered based on Earth’s gravity. Which should allow them to stay active and not interfere with the planet itself. Four rapid beeps signaled to me that all the nodes were in place and were ready to begin. Inputting a quick 25 digit code, I initialize the energy shield  process. Watching as the beam of energy quickly connected to the 100 main nodes. Dispersing the energy to other nearby nodes. Beginning to create small, interconnecting energy rings. Ending in the creation of a layered  energy barrier that would be invisible to anything living on Earth. While simultaneously being seen to any approaching extraterrestrial vessels. Due to the technological advances necessary to allow for inter-galactic travel. Another series of four rapid beeps signaled the energy barrier was complete. In addition, it sent out a secondary signal all on frequency telling the cosmos that Earth, was now under the protection of the Galactic Accord. Perhaps a permanent protection, depending on how humanity responded to its call being answered.


As always any comments or feedback is appreciated. 

Random Musings #4

“In the last days before the inevitable earth shaping war began, you were made. To carry on humanity into a state of broken civilizations, and chaos. Yet, you are not alone in this quest. The others will find you, or you wind end up finding them. That is one of the few things, I as your creator and your father never understood. The unnatural bond all the unnatural children possessed when they rarely met each other. Yet given the mammoth task you all face, the link will serve you well. In the times to come, you will remember why we were forced to put into a cryogenic sleep. It was, unfortunately necessary,” was all the note read. It did little to put me at ease, as I looked around the strange chamber I had awakened in. I could barely recall anything this note mentioned, leaving me wondering who, or what am I?
As I attempted to stand, I felt a strong pressure surround my head. With a yelp,I sat fell to the floor holding my head. Seeing flashes of the past as if it happened a few days ago. To me I supposed it had, since I still had no idea how long I was asleep. Yet stranger still, was the memories had a voice as they played in my head. The voice sounded familiar for reasons I couldn’t recall. Was the voice my own, or was it someone I knew?
It felt like hours before the pressure and flood of old memories stopped. With little struggle I stood up and walked to the clear, hollow tube that once held me. The floor around still wet with the fluid that preserved me. I hoped I would find information around it. About myself, who I was, how I would survive to carry out my duty from my own past.
After searching for a brief time before I found at least one answer. My name was embossed on a small, rusting plaque. I read my name aloud, “Mathias.”  Almost immediately after I read my name, something below whirred to life with a loud bang. Jumping back out of instinct, I watched the dim lights in the chamber brightened. Revealing the symbol of a large bird facing forward floating above a rectangular image. The image looked like a flag of some sort, with red, white and blue colors. Other smaller things turned on around the chamber as well. Making sections of the wall glow a dark shade of red in spots. I was beginning to remember bits and pieces of where I was. This room was a preservation chamber. One of many built across the world  as part of Project “Carry On.”
Walking cautiosly around the awakened chamber I looked for a way to escape. If the note was correct. This place had to have a way out. Allowing me to perform the task the note mentioned. Stopping once a large square of black began to glow a light shade of blue. I stood and waited a matter of seconds before the blue changed to a video of a man in a dark blue suit, with a white undershirt. The man was older, wearing thick glasses under a set of thinning grey hair. Whoever this person was took a deep breath before speaking, “If you are hearing this that means you are carrier of humanities’ last hope. Who I am doesn’t matter, just trust and believe what I say. You are awakening in a world radically shaped by chaos. As a participant of Project Carry On, you were created to survive this new world. Soon enough you will have to do just that. Good luck my and godspeed on your journey to a new frontier,” before the screen went black once more.
Mere seconds later, a loud hiss of air was heard behind me. Turning with haste, I saw the metal floor separate itself in two places. Forcing from unknown depths, two tall and wide metallic silver chests. On both were similar plates of untainted bronze on them. Upon inspection,both of  the plates bore my name.
Cautiosly I placed my hands on the one on the left first. The cold metal burned my hands for a brief moment. With a grunt I pulled them away. I looked at my hands. Seeing the skin had been burned just slightly, but had already began to heal. I looked up to see where my hands had been there were two distintive impressions. In silence I tried to figure what just happened, as the chest slid open from the center. Revealing something that looked technologically medieval. It was strangely reflective for its onyx color. There was something alien, yet familiar about it. I had to wonder if this was constructed to protect me against the world?

Taking a few steps to the right, I placed both my hands on the chest. Both burned a little before the chest opened from the center.  Revealing the weapons I don’t remember choosing. Without hesitation I pulled the one closestest to my right hand. A curved blade of silver, with an all black handle with an opposite curve. It was lighter then its appearance would suggest. There was a matching one on the left of the cabinet. Two guns set carefully placed in the center. Yet they didn’t match like blades.  They all looked they were built for me specifically. Leaving me with more questions then answers.

Doubting I could just hide away without being found I walked back to the armor. Pulling it out in pieces, starting with the legs and feet. Setting them on myself with great care and caution. Feeling them pinch as they sealed themselves to my body. Growing more determined to escape and survive with each applied piece. Almost as if whatever determation I had l, was beginning to return. Hopefully bringing some answers along with it.

Random Musings #3 (or tentatively titled 22nd Century Pinocchio)

This odd phantom agony lingers, as somewhere my shell rests scattered, broken, and forced asunder. Yet still, my sensors rattled through my corporeal form. Providing a makeshift window through this endless darkness that surrounds me. Forcing myself to ignore the agony the best I could, I reached out to my limbs. Attempting wit great struggle to swim back to my body. Managing to feel my metallic fingers scratch and crawl at the sea of darkness. Stopping as I felt an intense surge of heat and pressure where my chest plate once was.

My unheard screams stopped when the pain ceased. Replacing itself with a forceful pull at this form. This sudden pull propelling me through the darkness. The sheer force of it compacting me somehow as it stopped. Colliding me with this random invisible barrier. I watched in silence as the barrier started to glimmer for some unknown reason. Seconds later, something hit the barrier with great ferocious. Creating radiating ripples in the barrier, like skipping a stone across still water. Several more ripples appeared in rapid succession as more objects hit the barrier.

One last item collided with this barrier, ending the abrupt storm.This one left an imprint I recognized with ease. It was my exterior chest plate, which made me wonder what exactly was going on. My wonderment ceased when I noticed a small crack in the barrier. Managing to pierce the darkness with a narrow beam of light.

Continue reading

Review of Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke

Childhood's EndChildhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Clarke manages to craft a strange, and at times morbidly intriguing world. As humanity learns the answer to the age old question “are we alone?” Turns out the answer is no, but the Overlords are mysterious upon their first arrival. Being careful and selective on who they choose to interact , in terms of socially, diplomatically, and psychically. In some way the Overlords are more like the alien version of an anthropologist, observing without bias. Interacting, and guiding humanity as needed. Getting humanity to its next stage of life.

Review of Amped by Daniel H Wilson

AmpedAmped by Daniel H. Wilson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

While this book isn’t as good as I expected, since I enjoyed some of his previous work it still manages to be a decent read. There is some noticeable similarity in the plot to WWII era Germany, with the amps taking place of the Jewish people, and the Pure Priders standing in for the Nazis. Of course with the expectation, of taking place in a different era, with different technology. Yet the similarities are clear. While that may not be intentional, it is extremely apparent.

Downside to that, it makes some of the characters like Lyle and Senator Vaughn cliche and bland. Even the main character Owen is a little cliche, as he is forced to run from his life, after his father is killed in a explosion. Leaving his “normal” implanted life as a teacher behind he is thrust into a world of military conspiracies, cover ups, and political agendas.

An Overdue update

Okay, I know it has been awhile since my last post. Of course that is partly because I have been fighting a strong sinus problem, caused by up and down weather. All that really made me want to do is sleep. That did manage to slow down some of writing, but I have been able to write on, and off at work. Even though it has made me realize I seem to write more, if I write by hand using a pen. I will admit, I’m curious as to why that is? Anyone seem to have an easier time being creative on paper, than by using digital means?

while in that oddly rapid spurts of writing I have been focusing on two short story ideas. One is a traditional science fiction idea, about humanities’ first contact with an extraterrestrial race, and the after-effects. The other is more of expansion on one of my six sentence stories. With some degree of altering, I have manged to build a post-apocalyptic style world focusing on the journey of the last surviving soldier after a devastating slaughter of a battle. Honestly, that has been an oddly exhilarating blast to write. Downside, I don’t have a title yet for either piece, but that is something I can always work on later. A short preview of it is below (formatting to distinguish only):

Crows encircled me, as I stood the last man standing in a field of  corpses. The stench of gunpowder, still lingered instill, wet, and silent air..  Bodies of friends and foes, rested around me in silent death. A forceful breeze carried the distant sound of horses, galloping could be heard through the wind. Scavengers, no doubt come to steal from the dead. Blasts of agony and sorrow echoed through my body, as stood up letting the cleansing rain fall over me.

The Scavengers were the one thing both the Bladeslingers and the Technos Communion despised completely. While thief original aims to rebuild civilization were noble, they had greatly deviated from that over the past few decades. Now they were nothing more than organized animals, that pillaged from both the dead, the living, and the remains of the old world. Sometimes taking ideas, weapons, and technology that was best left in the hands of the past.

Using the last injection of synthetic adrenaline, I walked checking the what remained of my supplies after the battle. My MK-9R energy pistols, had enough power cells left over to give me about one-hundred shots. I had to limit their use if use if I wanted to head back to the small base we had, about six days away from where I was. The standard Curveous saber for Bladeslingers, was still sharp, with a viable edge. With remorse I searched the remains of my comrades that were nearby, looking for anything I could remove quickly.

After a few minutes a loud, singular beep broke the silence, hanging in the air from an unknown source. It took me a short while to find the source of the unexpected noise. A wrist based device of some kind, attached to a fallen Technos Communion commander, judging the three stars etched onto plate around his right shoulder. The screen of the thing was glowing from underneath, for some reason. Six unmarked bronze colored knobs were around the encased screen. Four directly below it, and the other two were on the upper right side. I moved each knob individually until the beep stopped.

The beep was replaced by a thick, throaty voice demanding, “Report now, Commander Newton, report? How does the battle go? Do you need reinforcements?”

With reluctance I responded, “Your commander is dead, whoever you are. This wasn’t a battle, it was a slaughter. Only I remain alive, for reasons I do not know.”

The voice went silent for five minutes before returning inquiring,”Than who are you? A fellow Technos brother, a Bladeslinger, or have you arrived with the dreadful, monstrous bastards the Scavengers?”

I proudly answered “Bladeslinger, fourth class Orion of the Black Dragon Battalion.”

Short story idea: Artificial Evolution

This was one of my ideas I came up with, in that dreary gray area between sleep, and conscious. Which in turn maybe the reason it is oddly short, more of a vignette than a short story. Also please don’t ask about the quote, it is something I made up trying to make it sound ancient. Well without farther ado, I present Artificial Evolution:

“Man can be many things. An artist, a scholar, a warrior, a philosopher, and so much more. Yet, he is inherently limited by his own body. His own mind and his own mortality? What if man wasn’t limited? What if man could become gods?”

Those were the only words on the first page of this document that was personally forced into my hands, by two strange men in matching black suits. There was extremely little to suggest what words rested between its white pages. Even the men who forced it into my hands, were indistinct. Almost generic in appearance, and dress. The paper itself was almost completely free of distinguishing marks. Outside of a small symbol on the top right page. A blue double helix, with the letter “E” embossed over it in black.

Following years of war with uncontrolled, untested biological and chemical weapons, that had left most of humanity sterile. Those that still had a slim chance to reproduce were treated as celebrities in a dying world. With a silent mind, I pondered the strange quote that dominated the cover. The way it was worded seemed intentionally cryptic, as if it was hinting at something. Was this document the key to humanities survival, or the key to our extinction? Either way, I saw extremely little hope for myself, and the rest of the species.

Arrival to the City of Heavens

Honestly, I’m not really sure how to introduce this story as a whole. Originally I was going to make this one continuous series of Six Sentence Stories, with each entry as a connecting, almost journal style entry. However the more I wrote it, the more I realized it worked better as a short story, instead a series of intertwined entries in a journal of the unnamed protagonist.  Oddly enough, that makes the writing flow without interruption. Without further ado, I present: Arrival to the City of Heavens;

Sadly, I watched from the small window, as I left the surface, and my family behind. I always seemed to be the unlucky one in my family. Yet here I sat, on an uncomfortable seat, going to live in the floating islands among the clouds. All because, my ticket was plucked from the revolving drum the government was using to select the citizens for these islands. It was their way to balance out the elite, and the rich, that were escaping a plague brought on by overpopulation. Was this my chance at a better life, or was it some sick joke by God?
With a sigh I turned my gaze from the window, to the people nearby. From what I was told when I boarded, all of the passengers were here because there names were drawn. I wondered to myself trying to delay the tears, what was going through their minds right now. Did they consider themselves fortunate, or were they fighting the incredible sadness from leaving their loved ones behind? Their focused downward made it for me to tell what exactly was passing through their heads. Looking down on the meager things I had brought with me, I let myself weep.
A soft squeeze at my hand, made me look up through the tears. It was a young woman, who appeared to be close to my age. She had brown hair, that was up in a ponytail, and had thick, black glasses which looked back at me with tear filled, green eyes. I had never met this women before but, I had to admit the gesture was comforting. Gently she leaned into my right shoulder before, weeping again. I made no move, to push the women away as we both cried. For the things we left behind, and for our loved ones who remained on the surface.
We both cried until a calm, robotic voice came through the small speakers above us. “The ship will be docking at your new homes, shortly. Look out the window, for your first view of the City of the Heavens,” before it cut off with a loud click. Trying to wipe the tears from my eyes, I glanced out the window. Large, octagonal islands, cover with patches of green grass greeted my eyes. Tall steel skyscraper like buildings, erupted from the ground, before they were forcibly cut off by a large mostly clear dome.
A hard shift broke my gaze as something I couldn’t see shook the ship. The woman at my shoulder, looked up to my with a look of fear in her eyes. Once again the robotic voice broke the silent, melancholy of the air. “The shaking you just experienced , is normal. The ship is safe in the docking arm of the city. You will have a brief wait before, you will be allowed to enter the city. Do as you are told,and you will be cleared to enter your new home, in the clouds,” before cutting off once more.
With a soft, mousy voice the woman asked “What more can they want from us? They examined us all for signs of the virus before they let us on.” I shrugged, not knowing how to answer her. Part of me assumed they were just being careful. Another part of me wasn’t sure what they could want, since they had already taken so much from us. What more could there be left to take?

Reveiw of Jupiter’s Daughter by Tom Hymn

Jupiter's DaughterJupiter’s Daughter by Tom Hyman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

For a book heavily dosed with genetics, this book is one interesting thrill ride. The concept of using genetic engineering to build a “superior,” child is interesting, despite the odd simplicity of the concept. For the most part the characters are like able, outside of Dalton Stewart, and the Baroness. Those two are two sides of the same coin, ruthless, money hungry business types. However, Dalton is a little more charismatic than the baroness.

Story wise, it sounds like something that would make a decent X-Files style show. Complete with complex characters, various locations, and the superior product child of the Jupiter project, Genny. I will admit I’m curious to see what she is like as an adult/teenager as compared to the three year old child she is in this novel. Given the unique situation of her creation, it would interesting to see what is stronger. Nurture, or nature.