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.
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.