Gladiators in SPACE! – Part 3

Part 1 | Part 2

I knew the wolves were bioengineered since wolves don’t normally have horns on either side of their heads and these ere two metres tall.

They didn’t look happy; on the contrary they looked hungry. I did the only sane thing and ran towards them. It worked and the wolves scattered. It must have been a funny scene because the crowd started laughing.

Sol gives me a lot of guidance and a lot of information but he’s pretty skimpy when it comes to solutions. I knew I needed to survive and save my new Martian friends. They would be important to Sol’s plan, I think.

Lifting my hands above my head I projected my voice, “Friends, Romans, Spectators; tell me what you want! Should I kill these mindless and innocent beasts?” The crowd roared, my heart palpitated at the sound of that many people cheering. When they quieted down I asked, “Or would you rather watch me be devoured?” There was a pause. The crowd wasn’t sure how to react. The wolves, however, howled.

Turning to the wolves, I shook my head dramatically and shushed them saying, “We know what you want.” Again the crowd laughed. I had them right where I wanted them. “My friends. I am not a fighter. I am a prophet abandoned by his church. But the church isn’t the God and I don’t like killing.” I put special emphasis on the “I”. These games were being recorded and could be watched as vids across the system. If I could piss off the church a little I’d be more than happy.

Wolves are not patient animals and the leader of their pack, or the least patient one, what do I know, charged at me. As his great bulk and sharp teeth came towards me, I could only admire the quality of its teeth. Its friends started moving cautiously towards me.

“Stop!” I commanded mentally. When Sol choses a Sun-Speaker, he always chooses someone with telepathic talent, it’s the only way that he can communicate with them. Humanity has limited telepathic abilities and they’ve only been appearing for a few thousand years. I’m convinced that’s why the first Sun-Speaker was chosen two thousand years ago and not earlier.

The wolves all stopped at my order, except for the one charging at me. I needed to stop him quickly to prove to the others that I was the one they should follow. I concentrated in the same way as I had with the Barsoonian, only this time I didn’t go easy. I fully powered my fusion blast and looked at the crowd, “You want death? Fine, have death!” I made sure it was a short blast, no use blowing a hole in the ship, and it disintegrated the wolf, leaving a pile of ash.

The crowd took a collective gasp, the wolves bent their heads and whimpered, and I fought back tears. The poor animal was just doing what it had been bred to do. Telepathically talking to the wolves I said, “Its ok. Food is coming.”

One of the wolves moved towards me; I waited and let it sniff my hand. It licked my hand and nuzzled me. Not an easy feat with its horns. The crowd went wild.

A loud siren told to crowd to be quiet and my new owner, who was apparently the governor of the ship, said, “You are a nuisance but I expected something like this. Send in the pirates.”

Three men walked out of the gladiator gates. They were the space pirate brothers Adam, Aaron, and Alvin. I’d infiltrated their crew once to save a friend. It hadn’t ended will for the brothers. I guess it still wasn’t going well.

They looked pissed and smug, “We meet again Hal. Now you’ll finally get what you deserve.” They weren’t the brightest pirates in the solar system. I’ll spare you the details of the rest of the fight, it wasn’t pretty. Let’s just say the crowd got its violence and the wolves got their meal.

The showing off had taken a lot out of me. I managed to fake being ok until I got back to my cell. Once alone I threw up and passed out, thankfully in that order.

The fights continued along the same vein with me showing off and trying to kill as little as possible. The real work was getting Henrick and the other gladiators to trust me. The ludum wasn’t like jail, you don’t fight anyone unless you have too and no one expects you to be tough outside the arena. It’s a sort of unwritten rule that we’re all going to die in there either way.

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Gladiators in SPACE! – Part 2

Part 1

Not too long ago I went to my own funeral. I didn’t die but I was supposed to. My death was supposed to instigate a solar system wide revolution. Venus would fall and come back stronger as a democratic planet. The first United-Sol council would be formed and the solar system would be united and ready for what was coming.

My friends didn’t let me die and that made the Venusian Revolution burn too hot and too fast. What was going to happen wasn’t pretty but at least I was alive to try and fix it.

Since I died, every time I fall asleep I see the horrors coming for us. It’s not very restful but it makes wakening up a lot easier. I woke up in the hospital, more like medical bay, with a confused doctor and angry owner.

“What the hells’ your game Hal? How did you survive that?” My new owner was a fat Jupiterese man, whose old fashioned suit was bright orange with a green dress shirt and bright pink tie. Even in an angry whisper he was louder than his clothes.

“One of the gifts bestowed on me by Sol was the ability to heal,” I lied. The ability was given to me by my ship’s doctor who swore she’d used the last of the miracle formula on me. In a normal person it gave the eternal appearance of being eighteen. In me it let me heal faster and counteracted the slow painful death of channeling Sol’s power.

“Bullshit. We all know the Church disowned you.”

“The Church did but Sol didn’t.” Disowned was an understatement, they’d faked a funeral to get to me Venus and put me on trial for treason before trying kill me. The Church didn’t have all the blame; the major government authorities had helped.

“What do I do with a Gladiator who can’t fight and looked like he died?” He asked himself or maybe he was trying to speak to Alpha Century, hard to tell with his volume. “I know. I’ll spin it as a curse.”  He turned to me and said, “This won’t work twice. Every gladiator will know to finish the job from now on.”

“I have one question; can I get something to eat?”

They took me back to my cell. It was an eight by eight cube with metal bars. There weren’t any pillows or beds, just the cell. They brought me food that was surprisingly good. It was better than I normally ate. As I enjoyed the dessert of fresh watermelon in cubes I felt a mild ache in my head and knew a vision was coming.

Visions aren’t fun. They hurt, they’re vague, and they always give me too much information. This one was no different and before I could pass out or meditate to process the information, a guard came to get me.

“You’re headed to the training yards, false prophet.” I didn’t want to argue with the guard but he wasn’t wrong. I had never believed that Sol was a God but his powers and ability to see the future let me help people. I have always respected Sol but I don’t think he created the universe. I think of him like a wise old man trying to help his grandkids.

The guard brought me straight to a muscled dark skinned man, most likely Mercurian or Venusian, and then left me and him in the large grassy area. The man was in his late sixties, but was well built and was obviously strong.

“So you’re Hal?”

“That’s me and you are?”

“Henrick,” he smiled and held out his hand. He said something as we grasped hands but my brain decided it was time to give me as much information as possible on Henrick. I teetered, tottered, and almost tumbled for good measure, but he kept me from falling.

“Henrick Al-Mer of the house of Mers. Royal instructor to the kings and queens of Mars. You’re supposed to be dead.”

He laughed and shook his head as he said, “Look who’s talking. That was who I was once but there are no more kings and queens of Mars.”

“About that… Do you need a job?” He wasn’t my mission but I had helped smuggle the infant king of Mars away from the Venusian royalty and he could use an instructor on Mars and its customs.

“You’re a strange one, my friend. Here there’s nothing but the arena and death. If we survive a hundred fights or twenty years we are set free, but few fighters survive that long. I don’t expect to see anything but this ship for the rest of my life. I’m here to instruct you, not encourage your wild imagination.”

Shrugging I said, “Ok. Let’s get this part over with. What are you supposed to teach me?”

“Do you have any experience in hand to hand combat?” He asked and I spent the next week grappling, punching, and everything in between.

My next fight came much too quickly and as I waited outside the arena in my waiting area I turned to Henrick and asked, “Why are you the only person I ever see? There are tens of thousands of fighters but I never interact with them. ”

“The owners believe you’re more trouble then you’re worth and have told everyone to kill you.” He paused took a deep breath and said sadly, “and the fighters think you’re cursed. No one wants to talk with you or fight you.”

They must have raised quite the fuss cause when I walked into the arena I was faced by a jeering crowd and six bioengineered wolves.

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Gladiators in SPACE! – Part 1

Hello My Imaginary Friends!

I’m writing to you from the past. (Spooky!)

Baby Dragon was due on the 9th and Can-Con (Which I’m sure will be awesome) was the 9, 10, and 11.

That means today I’m either cuddling the little Dragon or at work compulsively checking my phone. Either way I’m in no state to write a post.

Since I’m busy, I’ve written you a story. It’s Heavily influenced by a book I just beta-read by S.M. Carrière. Thanks for the inspiration!

This is the fourth story in the Sun Speaker Universe but it’s written so that you could read it without having read the others. If you are interested in reading the rest check out my Stories Page.

Enjoy!

Read moreGladiators in SPACE! – Part 1

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to my Funeral – Part 6 (Final)

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

The transporter was set to drop me into the middle of the funerary celebrations. I had planned to land on the stage next to the priest giving my eulogy. I missed, even being a prophet isn’t fool-proof and I’m certainly more of a fool than I like to admit.

Instead of the stage, I materialized front and centre on the casket. Standing and looking over the crowds I said, “Closed casket was a good idea.”

The priest on the stage blanched, kneeled, and said, “But you’re supposed to be dead.”

“The reports of my death were exaggerated.” As I spoke, I looked around. We were in the anti-grav stadium, the only structure on Venus large enough to hold several million viewers. It was home to the Venusian Vultures, the greatest anti-grav team in the solar system. I’d snuck into more games here as a child than I could remember. I hadn’t seen the playing field this close since I’d first become Sun-Speaker. There were large thrones set up around the stage and casket for each Solar-Monarch. The Venusian Empire had two delegates, their king and queen. I nodded to their queen and my ex-best friends. The Martian thrones were empty and I shook my head. The independent Republic of the Asteroid belt had their president and her wife. The Jupiter Protectorate had their monarchs, and the Uranus Confederate had their current warlord. I did a double take when I saw that the Trans-Neptunian Parliament had sent two of its representatives. The androgynous TNP members nodded at me and were cheeky enough to wink at me.

The crowd had started to applaud quietly when I appeared. Unsure if they should be celebrating or booing. “Friends, Venusians, Countrymen,” some openings for speeches were classic for a reason, “I am alive and I have come here for an explanation. Why have I been declared dead when blood still rushes through my veins?” I paused, turning away from the crowd I spoke to the centre chairs holding the Venusians, “Why?” a few seconds and I repeated, “Why?” The crowd got the idea and soon I had near two million voices chanting with me. It was pretty amazing.

Rising from her chair, Gwindolyn, whom I’d always known as Gwin, the high Queen of Venus and protector of the inner planets lifted her hands silencing the crowd.

“Sun-Speaker, this is not a funeral, this is a trial. We knew your ego would force you to come and face us.” The casket sprouted arms and clasped itself to each of my limbs and my neck. You shouldn’t have come. You knew it was a trap. Gwin spoke to me in my mind, her limited telepathic powers and more than a decade with me allowed her that.

“What are the charges?” I demanded.

Sighing she said, “You are charged with impersonating a Sun-Speaker and abusing the holy rights of that office.”

Dramatically I threw my head back and laughed. “Did you need proof of my office?” I started collecting heat around me slowly preparing for a blast of pure energy.

All the delegates are shielded from heat based attacks.

I know Gwin but it’ll startle the smug little jerks.

“We all know you are powerful. That is not in question. The church of Sol has repealed your status and it is the opinion of this council that you are a fraud.”

“The only frauds I see on sitting on thrones,” I spat out the words with contempt. The crowd cheered, unfortunately they didn’t decide my fate.

“Your contempt for authority of all kinds is well documented.” The Venusian King laughed, sitting as if he were at a show and not a trial.

“Hal, formerly known as the Sun-Speaker, on the charge of impersonating a Sun-Speaker, how do you plead?”

“Not guilty, but you’ve already made up your minds.”

“Had you pleaded guilty we could have shown mercy. Since you deny the obvious, your sentence is immediate death.” I’m sorry Hal. I tried to stop them.

I know Gwin, I smiled up at her. Turning to the crowd I said, “I have acted as the Sun-Speaker for twenty-three glorious years. I regret only that I couldn’t do more.” I took off my official garb and revealed a simple Venusian’s peasants outfit. “Let me die as I was born, one of the nameless, faceless mass, of glorious Venusian people.” I paused. “You are the empire; you are its lifeblood, its strength, and its beauty. Long live the Venusian People. May they someday taste freedom.”

I heard the plasma gun a moment before the searing pain passed through my back and exposed my chest. In my last few moments of life I heard two-million voices rising up in anger chanting, “Freedom.”

***

When my eyes opened again I saw grey ceiling tiles and smelled antiseptic. “If this is the afterlife it needs more interior decorators.” My chest hurt, but when I looked down, the hole I’d seen was gone.

Standing around my bed, Janet, Suzie, Travis, Adric, and Caro smiled down at me. Even dead, they didn’t laugh at my jokes.

“You’re not dead Hal. I used my blood to synthesize more of my serum. You’ll live.” Janet, with the prophetic powers of Caro, had worked up a serum that could heal me.

“I was supposed to die. The revolution…”

“Is twice as strong with a martyr that rose from the grave in front of them,” Caro’s voice echoed in my head.

“What about Sol? Do I…” Sol interrupted me with a huge dump of information, but it only hurt a little. Nothing like it had before.

“Hal, your body reacted oddly to the serum, instead of making you younger it has boosted your natural healing ability to amazing levels.” Janet’s mouth was open.

Sitting up and feeling a phantom ache in my chest I said, “Since I’m not dead, we might as well do some good. Who’s up for saving the Venusian Royal family from an angry mob?”

 

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to my Funeral – Part 5

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

I’m not a great man. I’m a glorified do-gooder with a soft spot for underdogs. I’ve made small changes and big changes. All of these have been at the orders of my God and Master Sol but they’ve all been for humanity.

When I die, a small group will mourn and a much larger group will celebrate. Ten years later I’ll be remembered fondly by some and forgotten by most. I’m ok with that. My closest friends will always remember me. They are a loyal, no I mean ridiculously loyal, group.

That’s why I needed to get them away from my funeral and death. If I gave them any chance to save me, they’d all die with me. I couldn’t stomach that idea.

“Where to next, boss?” asked Adric. He’d been on the ship for less than a day and he’d already made it twenty times more efficient and got rid of that annoying rattle in the life support.

“We need one last member of the crew to survive this.” I paused for dramatic effect and the coms bleeped. I pressed the button and a person with shoulder length purple hair appeared on the vid screens.

“Everyone,” I said. “This is Caro. They are the systems strongest telepath and precog.” They all looked from the androgynous figure on the screen and me. “Yes, they are stronger than I am. With the two of us, how could we possibly lose?”

Smiling, the ethereally attractive figure said, “Hal. You’ll have to pick me up on Eris.”

I don’t like this old friend. They spoke to me in my mind from over eighty astronomical units away.

You’ve seen what will happen if you save me. They’ll need your guidance. You’ve always been more careful and wise than me. I was buttering them up and they knew it.

Fine. I’ll do this because I know we will make a better solar system, but I don’t like it.

I know. Neither do I. Goodbye my friend. See you on the other side.

As we’d been speaking they had introduced themselves to the crew and given me coordinates to pick them up.

I must have looked as bad as I felt, for I felt Janet’s hand on my shoulder. I patted the hand and said, “I’m feeling tired. Been a long couple of days. I’ll take a nap. Travis, do you mind?”

“You must be feeling bad if you’re letting me take over.” Travis knew I was a little bit of a control freak.

Standing shakily, I headed to my room. When I’d turned the corner, Suzie walked up behind me and took my arm. “How bad is it?” she asked.

“Bad. One more episode will probably kill me.” I lied. I could have survived at least three more. I leaned on her for support.

“Why haven’t you told Janet?”

“She’ll want to use inhibiters to prevent my contact with Sol. It would save my life but I’d be utterly useless to everyone.”

“Do you really think you’d be useless?” she asked.

“I’m nothing without Sol,” I said, thinking of the boy I was before I became the Sun-Speaker, an orphaned street kid with more brains than sense. Compared to the crew I’d assembled, I was an intellectual dwarf, they didn’t need me.

We reached my room and Suzie let me down on my bunk a little harder than she should have. “You’re an idiot Hal. None of us give a damn about Sol or the messages he gives you. It’s you that we respect and…” she hesitated, trying to decide if she should say what she wanted to.

Reaching out a hand and caressing her cheek, I said what she was too proud to say, “I love you too.”

“Get some rest. We’re going to your funeral but I’d like you to stick around for a while.” She stood up and left.

Waiting until I was sure no one was going to interrupt me I changed into the official draperies of my office as Sun-Speaker and snuck down to the cargo hold. Once inside I went straight for the matter transporter and programmed my coordinates. The mathematical formulae needed to dissolve my form and reassemble it were extra tricky but I had Sol to help.

As I pressed the button, I whispered, “Goodbye, my friends.”

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A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to my Funeral – Part 4

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

The forests of Mercury, through a twist of optics and evolution, were a bright pink colour. Unlike the green of Earth or the dark brown of Mars, you end up feeling pretty silly being terrified by bright pink trees. I knew nothing as going to kill us in the New-Black Forest, stupid name, but I was a city and spaceship kind of person. Walking the wilds of Mercury looking for a small town that shouldn’t exist wasn’t my idea of fun.

“Would you stop jumping at every twig and shadow?” Suzie was the only crew member to come with me. Janet didn’t want to be recognized and Adric said he needed to work on the ship. I knew what they really wanted to do, but I also knew it wasn’t going to happen for a few more years. They would take my death very hard.

“There are things everywhere on this planet that want to kill me.”

“We’re not on Earth. The biggest wildlife they have here are cats.”

“Did you know that cats will eat their owners if the owner dies? That means they want to kill me.”

“I’ve seen you stare down some of the most dangerous people in the system and you’re afraid of a cat?” Suzie rolled her eyes as we approached Green Lake. I really need to have a terse word with the person who named these things.

Green Lake was neither a lake nor green. In fact it was a small jungle town with a river running through it. The ground was brown and the trees were still pink. The native people, having absorbed millennia of radiation, were nearly completely black.

This semi-tropical area was considered ideal, especially by people who didn’t want to be found. We checked the bar first. Some things never change. The man I was looking for was an old friend and that’s why when I found him, his fist found my face.

“Nice to see you too, Travis.” I mumbled through a few napkins quickly filling with blood. His pale grey eyes almost glowed in their dark sockets. Suzie had her sword out and it sang with power.

“What do you want, Hal?”

“I need a pilot and I want the best.”

“Do you have any idea what they did to me in that Pirate Ship?” he looked at me with anger and I returned his look with my own. I knew every pain and every injustice that the Pirates had inflicted on him. I had experienced each second with him. I knew his pain as if it was my own.

“Yes. I know, and trust me, worse would have happened to you if I’d taken you with me.”

“How much does this job pay?” I could see his anger soften as he started to understand how intimately I understood his pain.

“It pays room, board, and a small salary. It also lets you pilot the greatest ship in the solar system.” Both he and Suzie laughed at that. When he laughed I could see through the pain that made him look much older than his forty years. “I’m not joking. I’m assembling the best crew and ship possible to go back to Venus.”

“What’s on Venus?” he asked.

“We’re going to my funeral.”

Another hearty chuckle and he replied, “I’m in!”

On the uncomfortable trek back to the ship, I hate nature, Suzie walked ahead and Travis walked next to me. He asked the question I didn’t want to answer, “You’re dying aren’t you?”

“Yep, but these visions aren’t going to kill me yet.”

“What will?” He looked at me and added, “You’re preparing a ship of people to continue your work. Aren’t you?”

“How did you know?” I said, sighing in fatigue. I always felt weak now.

“I was your captain for two years, I know you.”

“Sol let me know that I would die at my funeral, feels almost ironic.”

“Can we stop it?” he asked and it sent a shiver up my spine. My premonition told me that if anyone tried to stop my death, it would lead to terrible things. Empires falling terrible.

“No, and I don’t want you to try.”

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A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to my Funeral – Part 3

Part 1 | Part 2

“‘Hey Sunny’, please stand down and prepare for boarding,” an authoritative voice ordered and I snickered. It was the main reason I’d called my ship, “Hey Sunny.”

“You’re a dork,” Suzie laughed.

I made a gesture for them to be quiet and opened the communication channel, “Hey Gramps. This is Hal of the ‘Hey Sunny’ requesting permission to land on Callisto.”

“You’re dead?” asked the person on the other side. Looks like new of my death had spread quickly.

“Not last time I checked,” I replied, trying not to sound like I was laughing at him, and failing.

“Prepare for boarding. Lower your weapons.”

“Nope, not going to happen. I have complete diplomatic immunity.” It was one of the few perks of being the Sun-Speaker. Like all the other perks, it only worked occasionally.

“All immunities have been revoked due to your death.” I could hear the man on the other side chuckling.

I set the coms to receive only and Janet asked, “What now?”

“Short jump into a field on the planet.”

“No one has ever been stupid enough to attempt a jump onto a planet. If you’re off by a billionth of a calculation we’re embedded into the bedrock of the planet. Can’t we just use your teleporter?” Suzie sounded panicked.

“Sorry Suzie, using the teleporter would be messy this time.” Matter teleportation was highly experimental and teleporting living matter only worked once in a million times. Being a prophet meant I could make the odds a little better.

“Trust me,” I said reaching out and gently massaging her shoulder. “Everything will be fine, we’re too pretty to die.” I winked and activated the Alcubierre Drive, better known as the Jump Drive.

“Where’d they go?” The voice from one of the battleships asked and I cut the coms. We’d made perfect jump, more or less. We’d landed in a tall field of grass about a little closer to the city than I would have liked, but they didn’t really need that overpass did they?

“Hal? Is that your ship parked next to my house?” The coms picked up short range radio frequencies, and this one was coming from the building next to the ship.

“Hey Adric. How’s life?”

“You’d damn well know if you ever sent an email!” Adric didn’t sound amused.

“I’m a prophet. I know either way. I was just being polite. Are you coming or not?” The only answer I got was the hatch door opening and closing.

“We have several police and two fighters on their way to us, I hope you have a plan,” Suzie sounded like she wanted to throttle me. I think it’s the way she says she cares.

The controls told me that the engines needed a half hour to recover from the last jump and that Adric had closed the hatch door.

I turned my chair around and when Adric walked in, I stood up shakily. I gave the boy a big hug and said, “Welcome to the crew.” I let him go, the hug had given me the chance to check his health with my telepathic abilities and make sure he didn’t have any weapons.

“Adric, this is Suzie, security expert, and that’s Janet, medical prodigy. Ladies, this is Adric, mechanical and computer genius.” I introduced everyone and Suzie just scowled. Adric’s mouth gaped when he saw Janet and she had the nerve to blush. I hadn’t seen this coming.

“Adric, the engines need twenty five minutes before we can jump again, could you check and see if you can shave some time off that?”

“Sure boss!” he said semi sarcastically and winked at Janet.

When he’d left, Janet said, “He’s pretty.”

“Doc, he’s a fourth your age,” I warned.

“Only if you’re into the tall skinny pale underwear model type,” laughed Suzie ignoring me.

“I am I really am.” Janet also ignored me. I swear, I get no respect on this ship.

“Five minutes before the fighter’s on top of us.” Suzie said, getting back to business.

From the engine room, Adric said, “Nice stuff down here Hal. I can give you jump drive in ten minutes.”

“Do better. I’ll try to outrun them.”

“Same old Hal.” Adric laughed. I didn’t offer him a job, and he didn’t tell me what had happened to him. We both knew the other one knew.

I lifted the ship off the ground. “Don’t shoot down the fighters.”

“What? But they’re coming in hot!” Suzie didn’t sound happy.

“Trust me, you want these two to live,” The fighter pilots were going to be the great-great-great grandparents of the first human to make contact with an alien civilization which would change the way we see the universe and ourselves.

We took several hits on our way out but I eventually got us out of there. Our jump took us to Mercury.

“I thought the funeral was on Venus?” asked Janet.

“It is, but we need some repairs and I need to pay off an old debt.” It wasn’t a complete lie. The ship had a doctor, a weapons expert, and engineer, now it only needed a pilot.

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A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to my Funeral – Part 2

Part 1

“I’m sure they’ve forgotten all about that by now.” The two women gave me identical looks. I don’t think I’d ever told them what happened, but they apparently knew me well enough to know it was dramatic. I like dramatic; it’s fun.

Looking that the two women and giving my best dramatic sigh, I told them the story, “When I first discovered I was slowly dying, I didn’t take it well and decided to take a vacation. What better place than Callisto. It had soft sand, endless beaches and the grandest casinos in the system.

“While I was winning at the poker tables which had some of the best poker chips I’d ever seen, I swear I wasn’t using any telepathic or prophetic powers, I started chatting with the other players and discovered that the casinos were run by a syndicate of the organized crime variety. That got me exploring the less touristy areas and discovering that while the syndicate was making lot of money with the casinos and resorts, that money wasn’t coming anywhere near the locals.”

We walked towards the bridge and they both smiled knowing me enough to know I’d meddle. What can I say? I’m a meddler.

“Before I had much of a chance to snoop, they found me, stripped me and dumped me in less than mint condition on top of a landfill. As I lay naked on some really uncomfortable garbage, Sol decided to give me some extra information. I couldn’t do anything to incite a revolution and I couldn’t do anything to attack the syndicate directly. Doing that would end with them being stronger, or one of the empires claiming the planet.

“Obviously, I couldn’t leave things the way they were. Sol works in mysterious ways and that’s when I met Adric.

“Besides helping me out of the garbage pile and helping me find some decent quality if not smelly, clothing, he built me a mini computer to contact my ship. I was travelling alone at the time. I took the brilliant eight year old onto my ship, fed him and had a brilliant idea. What if the casinos and resorts belonged to the people of Callisto and not the Syndicate?

“From there, it was just a matter of hacking the Syndicate, the banks, the Inter-Solar monetary fund, and the Jupiter Alliance Protectorate.”

We all sat down at our designated posts. Me in the pilot chair, Janet on sensors, and Suzie on weapons.

“In one brilliant coup, Adric managed to make the syndicate broke and the people of Callisto rich. I made sure they were protected with heavy bribes to the Jupiter Protectorate and the Solar-Monetary fund.

“The next day’s stock market showed a marked increase in business to Callisto and they’ve been living happily, and profitably, ever since. The planet was filled with the well off and every tourist they encouraged to visit made them more money.

“After a long talk, Adric decided he’d rather stay on the planet and attend school. I may have helped him along by paying for a private education,” I finished.

“So why is there a warrant for your arrest on the planet then?” asked Suzie.

“People are afraid of power, and I had just rearranged a planets financial and political landscape in one brilliant move…” I drifted off knowing the women would figure it out.

“They were afraid that you’d do it again.” Janet shook her head.

“And they didn’t trust my benevolence. Isn’t this face trustworthy?”

“I’ve learned one thing in my long life, it’s that men as handsome as you are never trustworthy.” Janet said it with a gravitas that only fools and those who’ve lived long enough to gather true wisdom could pull off. It made me almost giggle. Bartenders on most worlds wouldn’t serve her anything with alcohol in it.

“Don’t tell him he’s handsome,” Suzie said, misinterpreting my smirk. “How he’ll be insufferable for days.”

As I had told them my story I had also calculated the jump that would put us in close orbit with Callisto. Sol had shown me that Adric needed help and I needed a mechanic, there was only so much I could do to keep this boat flying.

The ship’s panels started making panicked noises. “What did you do?” asked both women at the same time. Suzie sat down.

“It’s just three Jupiter Protectorate battleships. I’ll deal with it.”

Read Next

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to my Funeral – Part 1

Hello,

I am currently on blog vacation either at Disney or Editing my books. Here’s a fun little story following Hal the Sun Speaker. It’s the third in a series but completely stand alone.

If you’d like you can read Hal the Sun Speaker, or The Assassin. If not continue after the cut.

Thank you for reading!

Read moreA Funny Thing Happened on the Way to my Funeral – Part 1

Resolutions Mid-Year Review

Hello,

A few changes have been happening in my life. I’ve started a new freelance position as a Layout Artist and my day job has just changed offices. This has made me introspective.

My Original Resolutions

I will Write 500+ words a day and complete 1 novel

I’ll be honest that I’m a little behind on this one. I’ve had a bunch of issues that have slowed my writing down but I’m trying my best to get back into the writing habit. I’m at 40,000 words (or 40%) in Everdome and I’m hoping to be done by the end of August. So on track ish…

I will continue to read regularly and attempt to read 30 or so books

According to GoodReads I’m 6 books ahead on this resolution. YAY! Six of those are Graphic novels that are much shorter than the rest but I’m definitely on track.

I will submit Parasomnia to at least 3 publishers and 3 agents

Currently Parasomnia is with Beta-Reader 2, who’s being extremely thorough and giving me great praise. I look forward to seeing what he sends back. Once I get through his changes I’ll find a third beta-reader and hopefully have something to pitch at Can-Con. I’d say I’m on track but everything is slow in publishing.

I will start a web-show and update regularly

Yeah… Sorry. This one has totally fallen by the wayside. I think I might have lapped it a few times…

I’m not sure what I’m going to do about this one. It’s been on my resolution list for two years now. I’ll get back to you. Maybe.

I will write a serialized story that I will update every month (Wattpad maybe?)

Although I haven’t signed up for Wattpad yet I have been writing and putting up a Serial story every month. I may break this one at some point and write 2 in a month.

If you haven’t had the chance to read last year’s, time traveling adventure check out The Ridiculous Adventures of Felix Felicis. It’s 10 parts and reads quickly.

This year’s story is a Supernatural Romance / College story, go read the first two parts of Only Human.

Mid-Year Resolutions

I’m going to keep all the previous resolutions and add a few.

Re-Submit A Study in Aether

I’m going to try and re-submit A Study in Aether to the publisher that has shown interest. It’s currently with a beta-reader and will hopefully be back soon. Then one more and it should be ready for a re-read from the Weditor.

Re-Design and keep updating Website

I think the colour scheme for JenEric Designs is getting a little dated and I’d like to update it to something a little more modern.

I also want to add Buttons and Coffee to our products pages and allow people to order them online. I’ll also be adding a section on Fandom Travel.

Short Stories

I want to write the third story in the Hal universe, it’s called “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to my Funeral.” Find the first two are here: Hal the Sun Speaker and The Assassin.

I also have a few other short stories that I’d like to write hopefully I’ll get the chance.

Versus

Before the year is through, if I’ve managed to finish Everdome, I’d like to do an extensive plotting of a new novel.

I want to write a Disaster novel following several groups of characters trying to survive during a super villain attack on their city. I’d treat the heroes and villains more like forces of nature and concentrate on the poor normal people who have to try to survive the devastation of their conflict. I’d like to mix a glib tone that makes fun of super hero tropes and the terror/horror of a natural disaster.

 

How are your resolutions holding up? Did you add any along the way?

Éric