The Galactic Revolutions: the hidden story

Six hundred years of Saolian occupation—the Dark Age of Eurania—and the memories of the golden age of the ancient Etolian empire had long since faded into a collection of tales. Myths. Legends.

The Galactic Revolutions was not a single rebellion. Even the historians have not reached consensus on an agreed-upon opening salvo.

The war started small with guerilla raids in the Outer Territories. Notably absent from the list of outlying fighters were the miners of Belaan. Among the most distant of the Eurania worlds, the mysterious Belaanians remained quiet, silent, and invisible for over two decades while battles erupted all along the perimeter of the star cluster.

As the Saolians conscripted more and more central Euranians into their military ranks to battle the tribes from the Outer Territories, new rebellions broke out—this time on the core worlds of Sestia, Bexel, Breame, Kearo, and Alscras. With multiple brushfires to combat on multiple fronts, the Saolians could only signal the faraway Fembournian star cluster—their home—and await reinforcements. But even if support embarked on the long journey, the help would not be in time. After a decade, a new movement, the Revolutionary Guard of Pharry, led by Chairman Rai Ostarand, entered the war, slaughtering the backpedaling Saolians without mercy. After six hundred years of occupation, the weight of foreign domination was finally overthrown.

In its place was a mighty star horde, a new terror. The Revolutionary Guard swept across central Eurania, destroying one planet after another, eventually driving out into the Outer Territories—until they reached Belaan, and the mysterious fighting force that would finally bring the Revolutions to its end.

“The Terror of Mapooly,” a new novella, tells the hidden story of the closing days of the Galactic Revolutions, and the secret that was redacted from the public accounts of the final battle.

Now on sale at the following retailers:

Amazon

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Smashwords

 

The Religious Order

We’re pleased to welcome our next guest blogger, Lon Prowzi, a demolitions officer from the Imperial cruiser, Ocelot.

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I was asked to write about my experiences growing up at the Tiam Temple on Sestia.  I was an abandoned baby, left on the front door steps of the temple, for the monks to take in.  I never knew my mother or father.  Instead, I got to know the beliefs and practices of the clergy.

Much of what takes place within the private residences of the Temple remain private, so I will not divulge those details, here.  Just know that it is a simple life, centered about the never-ending study and worship of the Euranian Ancestors, the source of all higher life.  Necessary activities, just as growing food and cleaning the temple, are incorporated into the daily lives of the monks.  But, the non-essentials of the secular, outside world, have no place within the walls of the temple.  That was the way it had been, and that is still the way it is, even now.

For those of you who are not familiar with the Euranian Ancestors, I have received permission to offer you a brief excerpt from an old story, one that took place approximately 1500 years ago, during the days of the Etolian empire.  In those days of Eurania’s golden age, the worship of Lord Oscanos, Mother Gheriah, and the Three Guardians was much more prevalent than it is, today.  So, I hope that this short passage will help enlighten you, if only in a superficial, introductory way.  (Note that we have preserved some of the ancient spellings.)

As one’s eyes open, the realities of that which is outside the body may enter.

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Note that the Galactic Times does not officially or unofficially endorse or prohibit any particular religious belief in Eurania, not even that of the Official Temple of Oscanos and Gheriah on Kelova.  The management will consider reader feedback in evaluating future opportunities for guest bloggers.

Wild Days of Wieren

We’re pleased to welcome our next guest blogger, Otho Ennuk, the weapons officer and 3rd officer of the Imperial cruiser, Ocelot.

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It’s ironic that I’m in charge of firing the weapons on the Ocelot.  Back on Wieren, I did assorted work that required carrying arms of one kind or another.  My first job was on a large ranch, a lone fourteen-year-old leading chonquet herds from one feeding field to another.  The six-legged steer were big, slow, and just-plain clumsy.  When one stumbled on a hidden rock or a hole in the ground, or just got a leg caught in a tangle of tall grass, the weak and feeble among them would trip all over each other in a stuck pile like cascading dominos.  Then, the wovren would bound out from behind the boulders, and it was up to me to pick them all off before my charge-paks emptied.  The first time, I killed over fifty of those hounds and when it was over, my rifle was down to maybe one or two shots left.  I was shaking so hard I couldn’t right a single steer and had to just wait for them to they pick themselves back up.  After that, I was okay, but it didn’t take me long to look for another job.

Which was more gun-toting work, escorting shipments of dirium from the mines, through the bandit-controlled Puor canyons, to the spaceport at Fashal.  Now, I was shooting at humans, not animals.  And, they carried arms, too.  The first time we came under attack, I was shot in the stomach and I thought I was going to die.  So, I released the last charge-pak from my gun and hurled it into the middle of their formation of scrap-pile skimmers.  I just wanted to take as many of them with me as I could.  I heard the blast, and some screams, I think, and that’s all I remember.  Somehow, someone took me to the hospital at Fashal, and that’s where I recovered.

I guess being that close to the end somehow hardened me.  It took the fear out of me.  After that, I took each new job as just that – a job, able to toss out jokes about how my life would be on the line, again.  And again.  And again.

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Note that the Galactic Times does not officially or unofficially endorse any particular policies advocating or restricting access to, or the use of, firearms in Eurania.  The management will consider reader feedback in evaluating future opportunities for guest bloggers.

I Am Not a Spacepunk(?)

We’re pleased to welcome our first guest blogger, Morgan Teggo, the navigator and 2nd officer of the Imperial cruiser, Ocelot, who will be writing on famous “spacepunks” of Eurania.

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I hate the term “spacepunk,” and I hate being called one.  Just because I came from a rough background doesn’t make me anti-authority.  I happened to take jobs where I worked for shady characters whose names don’t deserve mention.  I didn’t know any better, since my father died when I was young.  No excuses; those are just the facts.  These bosses weren’t “authorities” in any respectable manner, enforcing production by gunpoint and broquian knuckles.  Every week at Toquit’s scrap yard, half a dozen workers left for the hospital, and new replacements took their place.  It was better at Moriza’s Salvage – only two or three casualties a week.  But, I never went out of my way to undermine anyone’s authority, no matter how much I hated them.  No passive-aggressive clothing, either.  I just did my job, until it was my turn to be made an example of.  They never gave a reason, other than that your work was like shat’oq.  Who could blame a guy for taking off for greener pastures?  (Or for making a bloody mess of the boss’ face, on his way out?)

No, I made it into space legitimately, testing into the military academy and graduating as a full-fledged officer.  So, I might still get on my Captain’s bad side once in a while, and I hate it, but it’s still better than the scrap metalworks.  And I still don’t undermine anyone’s authority.

But enough about me.  As I understand it, “spacepunks” usually hop transports, get jettisoned because they’re a nuisance to society, or desert their ships when things got too rough (or boring).  That will never happen to me, if I can help it.  But, there are some notable characters from Euranian history, like Zacque Goderre, or Dr. Wink Imhot (yes, ‘punks are not always young and aimless), and few remember that Celesta Timur prevailed in spite of her rebellious start.  In the very end, they all turned respectable.  So, what’s so bad about being labeled a “spacepunk,” then?  These were all people who had nothing handed to them and had to claw and scrape for their success.  Well, maybe I do have something in common with them, after all.

Well, that’s 350, so I’m out of space.  Hope you found that informative.  Maybe the SysOp can locate some writing sample from one of the stories about Goderre, Imhot, or Timur for you, sometime, and you can see for yourselves what they’re like.

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Well, that was an interesting experience.  The management will consider reader feedback in evaluating future opportunities for guest bloggers.

The Fab Four of Eurania, pt. 2

In our previous post, we sat down with Morgan Teggo, Otho Ennuk, Lon Prowzi, and Rayna Choff, officers in the Imperial military, and the protagonists of “The Ruler of the Galaxy.” Here is the conclusion of that interview conducted by The Galactic Times with the Fab Four of Eurania.

GT-Q4. Morgan and Rayna, let’s talk about your relationship.

Rayna: Oh no. [laughs]

GT-Q4a. Yes, that’s the next question. So, what is it like for you two, having a mobile, long-distance relationship?

Rayna: You answer. You’re the man.

Morgan: Well, it’s alright. We both have our jobs, and we keep in touch, using the comm-bands. So, yeah, we all know the interstellar comm-windows are very unpredictable. We can go for weeks without receiving each others’ messages. When that happens, we both just keep sending, and when the window opens, we both get an avalanche of messages. A bunch of ‘Are you there?’ That sort of stuff. [everyone laughs]

Rayna: On the one hand, it’s reassuring to know that we’re both safe and secure onboard our ships. But, it is harder to actually see each other.

Morgan: Right. For example, if Rayna was a civilian, I could always go home to visit her when I’m on leave. But, since she’s deployed somewhere, I can’t. I don’t think we’ve been together more than two or three occasions in the last two years.

Rayna: Two.  You’ve lost count, already?

Morgan: [sighs] Yeah, it’s hard to talk about private or personal matters if we can’t get together; you don’t want to use the comm-bands for things like that.

GT-Q5. Morgan, any complications on the job from the fact that you’re dating your Captain’s only child?

Morgan: No, not really. Captain Choff is my commanding officer, and I follow his orders, like everybody else. He isn’t any harder or easier on me because of Rayna.

Otho: [coughs]

Morgan: Yes?

Otho: Not too much harder, eh?

GT-Q5a. Any thoughts on that, Rayna?

Rayna: I’m just glad I’m on a different ship. [everyone laughs] Seriously, my father has always been very protective of me, but especially so after my mother passed away. I think it would be very difficult for him to have both of us under his command. [looks at Otho] That’s all I’m going to say about that.

GT-Q6. Lon, given your background, do you think there is any conflict between your beliefs and serving in the military?

Lon: No, serving in the military is an honor; the priests of the temple share this same view. It helps that we’ve been at peace for half a century, so we’re not actually killing anybody.

Morgan: May I? We’ve seen Lon grow so much in the years that we’ve known him, it’s like he’s a new man.

Otho: True. Lon could hardly handle a blade at the academy; now he’s one of us.

Morgan: Sometimes, the three of us are on bridge duty at the same time. Those are the best of times.

Lon: There’s a lot more to serving in the military than just the fighting. There are abstract values, such as loyalty, and the desire to achieve a common goal.

Rayna: Well said.

GT-Q7. Do any of you ever discuss politics?

Morgan: Nah.

Otho: I don’t think we’ve ever brought the subject up. Kind of funny.

Lon: We’re all loyal to the Emperor.

Morgan: Of course, he’s the Alscrasian monarch! We wouldn’t support the Prince of Bexel,…

Rayna: No, we wouldn’t.

Morgan: Or the Supreme Dictator of Heron,…

Otho: Bad!

Morgan: Or the Grand Primai of the Gearmlian Confederation.

Lon: She’s kind of scary-looking.

Morgan: And the Chancellor of Sestia supports the Emperor.  So, there.  We’ve just discussed politics.

Otho: There’s a first time for everything.

GT-Q8. Here’s a fun question. How would you describe each other, today?

Otho: Do we have to?

GT-Q8b. Yes, you do. Let’s start with Morgan. How would you describe Morgan, today?

Lon: A good friend.

Otho: Never takes second to anybody.

Lon: A good leader by example.

Otho: A softie. Very protective of those he cares for, I mean.

Lon: A good fighter.

Otho: He’s improved his demeanor. I think the Captain’s noticed, a little.

GT-Q8c. Rayna – you haven’t suggested anything, yet.

Rayna: Hmm. Not necessarily the brightest bulb, but very caring, especially to me. I always know I’m safe with him.

GT-Q8d. Okay, let’s turn the table, now. How would you describe Rayna, today?

Otho: Too good for Morgan. [laughs]

Lon: Tough, strong, especially on the inside.

Morgan: Sometimes too tough for her own good. Too stubborn.

Otho: Ah, the truth comes out, now.

Morgan: [sighs] I guess she’s also smarter than me.

Lon: A good teacher. Very patient, a good listener, when the student’s frustrated.

GT-Q8e. Lon?

Rayna: A good friend, very loyal.

Otho: A hard worker. He’s come a long way in a very short time.

Morgan: This is often unnoticed, but Lon’s multi-talented. He’s like a utility person, able to do all different tasks. I’ve noticed.

Rayna: You should open up, more, let us know what you’re thinking.

Morgan: He will.

GT-Q8f. Finally, Otho.

Morgan: A rock.

Otho: What?

Morgan: In a good way, I mean: dependable, consistent.

Rayna: I don’t think people realize what a huge void would exist if Otho wasn’t there, doing what he does everyday.

Morgan: Like I said, a rock.

Lon: He reminds me a little of Mr. Lendus, our exec, just a younger version. And a good friend.

Otho: Thanks.

GT-Q9. Okay, let’s change things around a little bit. Each of you gets to ask a question of the others, as if you were me. Go ahead.

Morgan (to Rayna): How about dinner, tonight? [everybody laughs]

Rayna: Sure. What are you treating me to? [more laughter]

Otho: I’ll pass.

Lon: Me, too. How can we top those questions?

GT-Closing: Thank you, all, for our time together. Morgan, Otho, Lon, and Rayna are the featured characters in “The Ruler of the Galaxy” by Moses Solomon. Excerpts from the book are on the Writing tab.

The Fab Four of Eurania, pt. 1

We’ve met Morgan, Rayna, Otho, and Lon in some of the excerpts on the Writing page. But, who are these four? With the permission of the Imperial military, we had an opportunity to sit down and get to know them a little better. Below is the transcript of an interview conducted by The Galactic Times with the Fab Four of “The Ruler of the Galaxy.”

GT-Intro. We are here with four exemplary officers of the Imperial space service:

1. Lieutenant Morgan Teggo, 24, navigator and 2nd officer on the Ocelot

2. Lieutenant Otho Ennuk, 23, weapons officer and 3rd officer on the Ocelot

3. Ensign Lon Prowzi, 24, helmsman and demolitions specialist on the Ocelot

4. Ensign Rayna Choff, 23, platoon officer on the Pouton

GT-Q1. Thank you, all, for taking time to be with us, today. And our thanks to the Imperial service for arranging this session.

Morgan: It’s good public relations.

GT-Q1a. Of course. So, for the benefit of our readers, let’s begin with where did you all come from, and what drew you to the service.

Otho (looking at Morgan): You’re the ranking officer.

Morgan (laughing): Okay, I’ll go first. I’m from Kitala, in the southern hemisphere of Alstras. My father died when I was ten, and if you’ve ever been to Kitala, you know it’s pretty rough, so I had to grow up fast, after that. It was just my mom and me. She worked in various eateries, I did assorted jobs before and after school, for whoever would hire me. My mom remarried right before I left for the academy, and he turned out to be pretty decent, so she’s okay, now. What drew me into the service? A chance to make something of myself, and to find a better place for my future, something better than what I grew up with. So, that’s who I am. [turns to Otho] You’re next in rank.

Otho (laughing): Okay.  I’m from Wieren, one of those lightly-populated planets under Alstrasian rule. The original settlements were founded to supply resources to Alstras, and the planet did well for a long time. But, when they discovered those huge isolite and cubite deposits on Diraan, most everyone moved, following all the work that went there. Now, the few people remaining – the ones without the means to relocate – are looking for whatever way they can find to leave. I grew up doing a lot of physical work for whoever would hire me. So, I guess I’m a little like Morgan, in that I also joined the service to educate myself and make a better future for myself.

Lon: My turn? I grew up at the Tiam Temple on Sestia. I don’t know who my parents are. I’ve been told that I was given to the temple as a baby. There used to be an ancient practice of giving your first-born to the temple. Yeah, really. That was a long, long time ago. But, apparently, my parents still practiced that. So, I was raised by the priests, who followed the strict temple code in my upbringing. Needless to say, I struggled with the discipline. I understand that, sometimes, kids who feel abandoned might have anger management issues. [laughs] Maybe that’s why I was such a handful. Anyway, we did agree that the service would be a good challenge for me, and a chance to do try something different, so in the end, we parted on good terms.

Rayna: I’m from Aschonia, the large metropolis in the northern hemisphere of Alstras, and even though my story’s a little different than the boys, we did all join the service to make something of ourselves. The military code of honor is something that I wanted to learn to live by. But in my case, I really wanted to  establish my own identity and be more than just Captain Choff’s daughter. That’s all I could remember, growing up. All my friends wanted to hear stories about my father, which I was happy to share. But, after enough time passed, it got repetitive, and I started feeling that nobody was interested in how I was doing. Even when I entered the academy, I heard the line about following in my father’s footsteps, over and over again. Anyway, my father understood how I felt, so we’re good, and now we’re serving on different ships.

GT-Q2. Thank you all for sharing your stories.  Now, how did you all meet, and what brought you together as friends?

Morgan (motioning to Otho): He and I met first.

Otho: Right.  We were in the gym, and you challenged me to a weightlifting contest, which I won, then to an endurance run, which I also won, then to unarmed combat.

Morgan: Which I won.

Otho: No, you didn’t follow the rules.

Morgan: I still got the better of you.

Otho: Yes, you were always the better street fighter.

Morgan: It was like that. The loser always challenged the winner to something else, and it went on and on, the entire time we were at the academy.

Otho: I didn’t like being second to a brawler.

Morgan: And I didn’t like losing to a rustic.

Otho: I think Rayna came into the picture, next.

Rayna: It was also at the gym.

Otho: Also during our first year.

Lon: It was lust at first sight. [everyone laughs]

Rayna (to Morgan): I was working out with the blades, and he must have got some idea about impressing me. He challenged a big, burly guy to a blade match, and got knocked on his…you know where.

Morgan: Yes, this is a family-appropriate interview.

Otho: See a pattern in Morgan’s style?

Morgan: It worked – she came over.

Rayna: And then you asked me to dinner!

Morgan: And you accepted.

Rayna: I don’t know what I was thinking.

Otho: You were feeling sorry for him.

Rayna: Maybe.

Otho: As for Lon, we met in the dining hall, about halfway through our first year.

Lon: I was eating alone.

Otho: And so was I, so I joined him. Afterward, I was meeting up with Morgan and Rayna, so I brought Lon along.

Rayna: Lon was the polar opposite of Morgan. We had to beg him to a blade match.

Lon: I didn’t know how to use a rypniblade. I didn’t last too long, that first time. So, they taught me. Slowly, over time. I was a project. [everyone laughs]

GT-Q3. Okay, let’s talk about the blades. Martial arts is a time-honored tradition, yet few are as passionate about it as you are. Why is that?

Rayna: For one thing, it’s hard and takes a lot of time to do well. It’s not just a combat skill. There’s a whole mental, emotional, and spiritual discipline involved; mastering it can take a lifetime.

Morgan: It has its own principles, similar to, but separate and slightly different than, the military code of honor.

Otho: There are several codings of the principles, depending on which school you follow. We’re using the Zahrin school.

Rayna: That’s right, it’s the traditional school, going back to the old Etolian age. The other major branch, today, is the Modern school, and there are many other offshoots, both old and new.

Lon: For me, this represents the highest achievement of a warrior, ancient or modern. We use guns and rifles and all manner of high-tech weaponry, today. But, to be able to transform your own body and being into that of a true martial master is a completely different level of attainment.

Otho: There’s actually a lot of servicemen interested in it. Morgan and I lead classes aboard the Ocelot, and it’s always full. But, like Rayna said, it takes a lot of time to do well.

GT-Q3a. Of the four of you, who’s the best bladesman?

Otho: Rayna.  Sorry, Morgan.

Morgan: Yeah, it’s Rayna.

Lon: She taught me everything I know, although Morgan’s really good, too.

Rayna: I think Morgan is more creative; I’m more by-the-book.

Morgan: She’s more pure. I make things up.

Otho: Just like that first unarmed combat that we had. See a pattern in Morgan’s style?

Rayna: Yes. [sighs]

GT: The conclusion of this interview will be published in our next post.

The Martial Arts of Eurania, pt. 2

“The cuxioblade is the greatest weapon ever created.”

Euranian martial arts are not only for exercise, or mental and physical fitness.  Though infrequently used, modern versions of the ancient arms – the short, duo-point skiloblade; the heavy, double-length rypniblade; and the multi-edged cuxioblade – can be employed in actual combat situations, especially when standard firearms exhaust their charge-paks.

The new excerpt on the Writing page briefly relates a haunting tale of desperate survival, washed in coats of blood drawn by the point of a blade.