Database of the Ageless Kings (Serial Story) Part 8

2017-serial-story

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 3.5 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7

Part 8: An Emu is Smitten and Completely Useless

“How did you get here?” Sophia asked Dove while eying Hagrid suspiciously.

“Oh my! Philly, her accent is so cute.” She moved towards Phil and ran her hand through his hair. He, unlike the traitorous Emu, had the decency to look embarrassed. “I was in the ship with Princess Samantha when it crashed.”

“That was SpaceForce One?” Phil blanched as he said it.

“Yeah, but don’t worry sweetie.” She emphasised the last word with a soft slap on his cheek. Every move she made looked sexual and Sophia hated it; it made her feel clumsy and ugly. “Most of the crew got off before we crashed. We were on separate ships to escape. With royals dropping like flies, your sister didn’t want to risk both of us in the same shuttle. I’m now sixth in line you know.”

“Sixth?” Phil asked incredulously and Sophia saw his eyes darting from side to side calculating how many people must have died. “Oh wow.”

Grabbing him and pulling him into a hug, Dove cooed, “Oh. Poor you. It’s ok.” He was still sitting and she was standing next to him, but in this position she was only half a head taller than him. She started petting him and he seemed to get calmer every time she touched him.

Sophia didn’t like Dove. “You’ve been trapped on the planet this whole time?”

“Isn’t terrible? At least I had a lot of food and was able to film the whole thing.” Dove ran her nails gently over Phil’s back and moved away. She pouted and then gave a big smile before throwing her arms around Sophia. The moment the other woman touched her skin, Sophia felt tingles of pleasure. “Thank you so much for taking care of my little Philly.” Her breathy voice in Sophia’s ear made legs weak.

With great effort, Sophia stepped out of the hug and asked, “Great. So where can we drop you off?

“Actually…” Dove scrunched her face adorably and said, “I found the black box from the ship and watched it. It shows who tried to kill us and I need to bring it to Queen Samantha.”

“Who was it?” Sophia expected Phil to ask the same thing, but he seemed to enraptured by Dove.

“I don’t know. I didn’t recognize the ship but it had a serial number and if I can get the black box to Samantha, she’ll know what to do.”

“It’s on your ship. Isn’t it?”

Looking embarrassed Dove said, “Yes.”

“We’ll get it for you,” volunteered Phil.

For the first time during the conversation, Dove looked flustered, “Oh. Does it take two of you?”

Bouncing up, Phil said, “We’ll get it. You just wait here.”

Once again, they were outside in suits heading towards a crashed ship. Sophia was pretty sure this was a bad idea and she said so.

“Dove is a little flirty and likes to act incompetent but she’s an accomplished pilot and soldier.”

“Then why are we out here instead of her?” Sophia was tired of walking and just wanted to this over with and set up the gravity generator.

He opened his mouth to speak a few times, making a popping noise through the coms. Eventually he said, “It seemed like what she wanted.”

He looked confused and Sophia suddenly had a bad feeling. “Did you tell her about the Database?”

“Maybe,” he said sheepily.

She cursed, turned around, and ran back towards the ship. They didn’t go far before they saw the ship taking off.

Out of breath and confused, Phil asked, “She took our ship… Why did she take the ship?”

“Oh. I really don’t like her.”

“But… Why?”

“I don’t know, but we need to hurry if we’re going to get the ship, and my emu, back.”

Remembering the fighter ships that were left in the Imperial Battleship, Sophia started to run. She hoped and trusted that Phil would follow. If he didn’t, she’d have to waste time picking him up.

At the Imperial Battleship, it took her longer to find the fighter bay then she’d hoped. There were shuttles that were designed for longer travel but they weren’t as fast and they needed to get to their ship before Dove went to hyperspace.

The bay was in surprisingly good condition. She picked a ship that looked in good condition and activated it. The entrance flashed a message that said, “Access Denied.”

“Overwrite lockout, Prince Phillip access code Delta Pie Donut.” The ship took a second to think and then opened to let them in.

The ship was designed for a pilot and a gunner and was not spacious. Once inside they took off their suits and Sophia asked, “Can you fly this thing?”

Phil snorted and replied, “Hells no.”

Sighing, Sophia sat in the fighter’s cockpit and hoped it wasn’t a big difference from Phil’s ship. The main ship still had enough power to open the bay doors and they were gone. Sophia had a little trouble driving to start with and almost hit a mountain but she got the hang of it eventually.

Their sensors found Phil’s ship and they flew towards it. “Why hasn’t she gone to hyperspace yet?” Wondered Phil aloud.

“Maybe we’re just lucky?” suggested Sophia and she hailed the ship, “Hey jerkface! Give us back our ship and emu.” It was the only thing she could think of in the moment.

A few seconds passed and they were starting to catch up with the ship when they received a reply to their hail. There was no visual and no words, only a loud scream of pain and terror.


If you’re enjoying this year’s serial story why not check out those from past years?

Database of the Ageless Kings (Serial Story) Part 7

2017-serial-story

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 3.5 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6

Part 7: An Emu Falls in Love

The trip to the crashed ship took them ten hours. It was the perfect time to get some sleep, so obviously Sophia spent most of the time reading the fanfiction of the Prince and watching his videos. Most were him talking to the camera and making witty or insightful comments. He was extremely charismatic and she found herself fantasising about him.

“Isn’t it ridiculous Hagrid? I’m sitting here watching him and obsessing about him and he’s sleeping on the other side of this wall.”

Hagrid made a snuffling sound and hid his head under his wing.

“You think love is ridiculous?” she said, but Hagrid didn’t reply. “I can’t be in love… I barely know him… Other than the hours of his show and thousands of stories about him.”

The computer interrupted her muttering to let them know that they were approaching planet Dowsett, where the crashed Imperial Battleship was supposed to be.

The planet was once a hub and destination place for writers of all sorts. Unfortunately, a civil war between a group that believed fiction wasn’t real literature and a group that believed non-fiction was boring caused the planet to become unlivable. Little Sister hadn’t explained why there was a crashed warship on the planet.

Prince Phil was already in a protective suit when she reached the airlock. It was the same airlock she’d hidden from a winter storm, so many years ago. Phil helped her suit up as the ship landed itself not far from the crash site on the back side of the ship.

She had already packed any tools she thought she might need, including a hover pallet that would carry the gravity generator from the crash.

Giving each other the thumbs up they activated the door and walked out onto a planet that could have been pulled from the original Star Trek; a bright, colourful desert. She half expected to see a Gorn hiding behind a large foam boulder.

She’d only seen an Imperial Battleship once, and it had been from a view screen. The full size of the ship impressed her. It was taller than most buildings she’d seen and so long that she couldn’t see one end.

The schematics of the ship told her she needed to get to the aft portion near the engines. It was a good thirty minute walk before she saw the entrance to the ship. At this point it filled her entire view.

The sun must have been hot but their suits were air-conditioned. The sun, however, was extremely bright and she was constantly trying to adjust the polarization of the helmet. It was almost like something was reflecting the sun back into her eyes.

Looking around, she saw that was exactly what was happening. There was a small point of light being reflected at them from not far away.

Activating her com, she said, “Someone else is down here,” and pointed towards the light.

“I’ll go check. You get the thing we need.”

“Gravity Generator.”

“Yeah, that.”

They split up there and she headed into the crashed ship. It was in surprisingly good condition considering it had crashed. The same couldn’t be said for what was left of the crew; mostly bones and pieces of material. She was thankful for the suit. It gave her a comfortable barrier between herself and the dead.

Getting the gravity generator wasn’t easy and took her over three hours to take out of the ship carefully. As she was working, she wondered if Phil had found the person flashing them and who it could be. The coms in the suits were short range and she couldn’t contact him.

The battleship wasn’t salvageable without a lot more equipment and work but she was able to get part of the computer working. The ship’s internal diagnostics told her that some of the shuttles and fighters were still in the ship. She was tempted to go check them out, but decided to head back to their ship.

The walk back took a lot longer than the original thirty minutes. Even with the hover pallet, she had to go slowly and push the minivan sized gravity generator.

At the ship, she stowed the gravity generator in a hold, took off her helmet and pressed the internal com button. “Phil, are you back?”

“Sophia. We’re back and in the kitchen. Come join us.” He sounded relaxed and happy; more so than any other point since she’d met him.

When she walked into the kitchen, Phil was sitting at the table. On the table, with her legs dangling next to Phil, was a petite blonde. The woman was strikingly beautiful in a Hollywood type of way. The woman saw Sophia enter and smiled coyly before brushing one of Phil’s stray hairs behind his ear.

Blushing, Phil stood up, almost falling over the chair and said, “Sophia, this is Dove.” Of course it was. She should have realized right away that this was his ex-girlfriend. She’d read a lot about the woman, but she knew she couldn’t trust anything because the fan community had hated Dove and always made her the villain.

Jumping off the table and managing to make it look like a long fall, Dove walked over to Sophia and held out her hand. “Nice to meet you. Philly hasn’t stopped talking about you.”

“Um. Thanks. Nice to meet you.” Sophia wanted to ask all kinds of questions, but that’s when she noticed that Hagrid was quietly standing right next to Dove. When Sophia gave him a funny look, he bent his head down and nuzzled Dove.

“Ah, what a sweetie. I think he likes me.”


If you’re enjoying this year’s serial story why not check out those from past years?

Database of the Ageless Kings (Serial Story) Part 6

2017-serial-story

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 3.5 | Part 4 | Part 5

Part 6: An Emu Gets Bored as People Talk

Sophia was tired, she’d been up most of this whole crazy adventure and that just added to the surreal feel of what was going on.

They were all sitting in a child sized purple house, drinking tea from a floral china tea set, discussing something that couldn’t exist. Sitting next to her, his long legs uncomfortably folded on the tiny chair, was the Prince, one of the Galactic Heirs. On her other side was a tiny robot girl who controlled the black market trading moon they were on. The only normal thing was Hagrid the Emu sitting in the corner of the room looking utterly bored. Somehow knowing an Emu’s emotional state was now normal…

“Stop!” both Sophia and Phil said at the same time as Little Sister was describing the power of the Database of Ageless Kings.

Smiling awkwardly at each other, Phil gestured at Sophia to continue. “What you’re describing is impossible. It goes against physics, common sense, and isn’t possible with the level of technology you or he have.”

“Oh you’re silly. Of course it’s possible. “Any sufficiently advanced’—”

“I know Clark’s three laws. But it’s still no possible.”

Little Sister smiled and said, “I’m happy Arthur made it to your earth. I was worried about him. The Galaxy was once much more advanced then it is. I was built near the end of the decline and even my designs are far beyond what we can accomplish now. The Database exists, whether you believe in it or not.”

Sighing Philip asked, “And why would we want to know where it is?”

The small robot that looked like a child turned her pigtailed head sideways and squinted her eyes. After staring at him for a few seconds she spoke slowly as if she were talking to an idiot. “Someone is trying to kill you. They’ve killed your entire family and several solar systems. Whoever is responsible pretends to be your older sister but rules for afar. Don’t you want to find out what happened?”

“If the Database does record everything that has happened, ignoring the magical reality altering aspects you mentioned, it would be incredibly powerful. Why wouldn’t you go to it yourself?”

“This,” Little Sister pointed at her body, “Isn’t me. This is just my avatar. My database, programing, and essence are all built deep inside the moon. I can’t leave because I am built into this place.”

Getting annoyed with the circuity of Little Sister’s conversation, Sophia snapped, “So what’s your price. We find this magical artifact and turn you into a real girl?”

It was rude and she knew it. She doubly knew it when Hagrid jumped up, made a huffing noise and head-butted her in the shoulder.

“Yuck. Why would I want to be a fleshbag that goes bad after less than a hundred years?” Little Sister seemed genuinely disgusted.

Hagrid started walking around them in the small room.

“You want the tech. Don’t you?” Phil asked.

“Yes. My systems are deteriorating and no one was kind enough to program me with my own design specs. I’m dying for no reason other than the fact that we don’t know how I was made. If I could get the information from the Database, I could repair and improve myself.”

Phil looked at Sophia and his full lips were turned down. Her heart thumped a little faster. He was feeling sad for a moon sized computer being called Little Sister. Even with everything that had happened to him in the past few days, he still took time to feel for her. Sophia knew in that moment that no matter what he chose to do, she’d follow him.

“Ok. How do we get to the Database?” he asked.

“It’s really quite simple. You need to go to the galaxy’s core. You’ll find it on the planet in the exact centre of the galaxy protected from the gravity of hundreds of black holes by a powerful shield.”

“But… how?” Phil sputtered her hands flailed up and down. “The gravity would destroy any ship that goes close to the core, not to mention the time distortions, or the radiation from all the suns.”

Thinking about it Sophia said, “I’m pretty sure I can modify an artificial gravity generators to counteract the gravity of the core. But I don’t think the one on your ship would be strong enough.”

Looking at her, impressed, Little Sister said, “Very clever. I’m impressed. There’s only one kind of ship that has a powerful enough gravity generator for your purposes.”

“An imperial battleship.” Phil’s voice was monotone and defeated.

“Do not despair young Prince. I know where you can find one that was partially destroyed.”

Crinkling his face he asked, “This sounds both much too easy to get too and much too troublesome to use effectively. If it was designed as a surveillance device, shouldn’t there be an easier way to interface with it? And if it’s that powerful, shouldn’t it be harder to get to?”

“Yes to all your questions. The Database can only be used by one of the royal line. They must go to the core, prove their worth, and then the Database will connect with them. Once connected, the royal can use it simply by concentrating.”

“Whoa!” both Sophia and Phil exclaimed. Hagrid gave a similar chirp.

From there on, it was all an exchange of coordinates and signing contracts. As they were leaving, Little Sister pulled Sophia aside and said, “He’s been hurt. He’s lost everything. Be patient with him and make sure he doesn’t do anything stupid.”

Read Next


If you’re enjoying this year’s serial story why not check out those from past years?

Database of the Ageless Kings (Serial Story) Part 3.5

2017-serial-story

Apparently I forgot to write an update for April. So this will be a flashback that happens between part 3 and part 4.


Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

Part 3.5: No Emu in this one; it’s a flashback

“You can’t live the rest of your life making silly videos. Someday you’re going to have to grow the Quiznak up!”

“That’s not how you use that sister,” Phil looked at his older sister and smirked. She was beat red with indignation.

Giving a loud sound of frustration Samantha took a deep breath from her nose and then said, “You are a Prince of the Ageless Kings, start acting like one.”

Snorting in derision, he replied, “I’m eighth in line. Who cares? You should just relax, you’re fifth in line and both our parents are healthy and ruling. It’s most likely to be Elli’s future kids that get the throne anyways.”

A slow smile crept over her face, “Ageless King is only a title brother, we don’t really live forever.” She stomped off as if she’d won an argument. She’d been like this as long as he’d known her. She was twenty years his senior and had spent most of her life in fosterage in some distant duchy.

“She’s right you know,” Alexia had snuck up on him and he had to fight the urge to jump out of his skin.

“Why are you skulking around here?” Here being the royal ship yards. Phil was filming an in depth look as the construction of his personal ship. His fans would love it.

“Brother. I don’t skulk, I’m just not as noisy, or flashy as most of our siblings.” She was right about that, she was the quietest of the family and that’s why everyone thought she was the new spymaster. “I’ve heard that sister dear may be planning something.” Comments like that made it almost painfully obvious that she was the new spymaster or really wanted to be.

“I don’t care. I’m not a player in this game. I don’t want to know.” He’d done his best to stay out of the power games and ridiculous feuds between his siblings. When he was five, his favourite brother died mysteriously. It brought Phil to eleventh place in line for the throne but made him realize what he’d have to do to get there.

“Just make sure to hug mommy and daddy tonight at dinner. You never know what will happen.” She laughed and disappeared into the shadows. If any of their other siblings had said those words, he’d have reported them to their parents (Regicide was kind of a big deal) but she had removed herself from contention saying she didn’t want the trouble of ruling.

Family dinners were a monthly duty as far as his parents were concerned. All the fosterlings, siblings, and cousins had to attend. There weren’t as many as there should have been. The Ageless Kings procreated like rabbits but died like flies.

Dinner was always a formal and frustratingly pompous event, streamed live to bored people all over the galaxy. He’d once joked that he could get better viewing numbers in his sleep and then proceeded to prove it by filming himself sleep for eight hours.

It was after dinner that was always his favourite time. They’d all move into the large family room and spend time together, playing games, watching vids, or just chatting. The family split into groups and each of the children would be called up to spend time with their parents.

“You look worried. What’s wrong?” his mother asked while sipping on her drink. She looked like an ordinary woman sitting in her high backed chair, not like the ruler of the galaxy.

“I’m worried about Samantha. We argued at the docks and I think she’s planning something.” He felt like a kid tattling.

“I know she is.” His mother smiled and the warmth of it comforted him.

“How?”

“Your siblings are always planning something. I’m sure whatever she has planned isn’t that bad.”

Hearing his mother talk about it made any worries he had seem distant and silly. His parents were fine and they were going to be there for a long time.

They weren’t, and their deaths less than a year later made Phil paranoid about his siblings. He was convinced one of them had them killed but no one believed him, least of all the newly crowned Ageless King Eli. He didn’t hate his family; he both feared them and feared for them. It got so bad that he moved to another planet and avoided them and any form of politics he could.

Now being held by the young, and pretty, earth woman; he wondered if he should have been more involved. If that meant they’d all still be alive.

Read Next


If you’re enjoying this year’s serial story why not check out those from past years?

Database of the Ageless Kings (Serial Story) Part 5

2017-serial-story

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 3.5 | Part 4

Part 5: An Emu Causes a Ruckus

The trader called Buck looked apologetic as he said, “This has your sister’s royal signature all over it. Your sister was trying to kill you.”

The Prince must have been expecting it because his face drooped sadly as he asked, “Which one?”

“Oh wow! You’ve really been out of circulation haven’t you? Wowee!”

“Listen Buck. I’ve been shot at, tracked, almost exploded, and threatened multiple times by a large bird. That’s just recently. Stop with the gee-golly routine and tell me what’s going on.”

Looking a little hurt, Buck said, “About the same time you disappeared, your other family members started dying. The Ageless King and Queen started getting paranoid and stopped going out in public or filming their family events. About two years ago, your uncle Benedict challenged Elizabeth’s claim to the throne with six super-heavy-destroyers. It wiped out your home world and sent your sister into deep hiding. Benedict’s execution was mandatory viewing for the year after.” He shuddered. “Still gives me nightmares.” After a small pause he added, “Congrats on being second in line to the throne. Figuratively speaking… I think the actual throne blew up with the planet.”

“Great! My entire family is dead except my oldest sister and she’s trying to have me killed. What else could go wrong?”

The statement was immediately followed by a large Emu wark and a crash.

Shuddering visibly, Sophia said, “Why’d you have to say that?”

Running outside they saw Hagrid, with a fish in his mouth, being chased by a small group of people calling for “Little Sister.”

Swearing Phil and Sophia ran after Hagrid. They were a little ahead of the mob but not by much. Sophia yelled, “Hagrid you stupid bird. What did you do and why are you heading away from the ship?”

As if in answer Hagrid stopped, gently deposited the fish on the ground, turned towards her and vomited a football-sized silver egg that was blinking with pink light. Sophia stopped chasing him and stood trying to understand what had just happened.

The mob arrived and one person screamed, “BOMB!” and the entire group turned and ran.

Sounding utterly defeated Phil sat down and said, “That’s a planet buster… We’re dead.”

“You’re awfully pessimistic Prince Phillip.” At first Sophia thought the voice was coming from Hagrid and she fought the urge to giggle. The voice was high pitched and squeaky, the kind of voice used by grown women to imitate young girls.

The voice came from a small child that was walking towards them with a silver tube that looked like a large Tupperware. Looking closer Sophia saw that it wasn’t a girl but some sort of robot toy. She was three feet tall with red yarn hair, a plush face, and silver metal limbs. She wore a bright yellow sundress and her face smiling the creepy smile that only dolls can accomplish.

The doll took the container and placed it around the bomb closing the lid and pressing a large red button on the side of it.

“This will contain the blast and disperse the energy wirelessly into our power grid.” The explanation sounded ridiculously cute. Sophia found herself fighting the urge to pat the doll on the head.

“Hello Little Sister,” said Phil in the same sad, deadpan voice. “Sophia, this is Little Sister. She’s the AI that runs this moon. She’s as ruthless as she is adorable.”

“Hello Prince Phillip and Sophia. Thank you for the flattery. Can any of you explain how this bird swallowed a planet buster?” She smiled.

They all looked at Hagrid and for a split second Sophia expected him to speak. Instead he started to preen the feathers on his butt.

When no one answered and it was obvious Hagrid was ignoring them Little Sister said, “I think someone is trying to kill you and I think I can help.”

“Oh?” Phil asked still sitting on the ground looking mopey.

“Have you heard of the Database of the Ageless Kings?”

“It’s just a story and not a particularly coherent or good one at that.”

Ignoring him, Little Sister continued, “The Database of Ageless Kings is a repository of information that is only accessible to the Galactic rulers. It’s a massive computer that records everything that happens in the galaxy. It’s said that it has over a billion years’ worth of data.”

“It’s a myth that my family liked to spread to make us seem nearly omnipotent.”

Little Sister leaned in with a smirk, she looked excited, exactly like a young child about to tell a secret, “It’s also said that database can affect reality, not just record it. It’s said that an heir can re-rewrite history.”

“It’s just a story. Even if it existed only the crowned heir would be told where it is. I mean —” Phil was cut off by Hagrid head butting him.

Little Sister giggled and said, “I know where it is and I’ll tell you… for a price.”

Read Next


If you’re enjoying this year’s serial story why not check out those from past years?

Database of the Ageless Kings (Serial Story) Part 4

2017-serial-story

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 3.5

Part 4: An Emu Goes to The Market

They stood hugging for what felt like a long time. Sophia didn’t know what else to do to comfort him. In their little ship in the middle of an asteroid field that was once his home, all she could do was hug him back. The more she tried to avoid thinking about her body being against his the more she noticed how shapely he was. Under his slightly loose clothing, he was in very good condition.

An alarm pulled her out of her thoughts.

She sat back down at the navigation controls and saw that there was another ship coming towards them. “That ship has its weapons aimed at us.” It was big, at ten times the size of their ship.

“I don’t understand. That’s a royal cruiser,” Phil’s red teary eyes looked at the ship in utter confusion.

“That’s a cruiser? I’d hate to see a battleship.” She hit a few buttons on the control panel and said, “Royal Cruiser. This is the Phillip Two. We are unarmed please advise.” She’d meant to ask why it was the Phillip-Two and what had happened to the first. In the stories she’d read there were ten different ways the first had been destroyed.

“Phillip-Two, you are in a stolen royal yacht. Lower your shields and prepare for boarding.”

Looking up at the Prince, she waited for him to say something. When he didn’t she said, “They think I stole your ship. What do you want to do?”

“Um… I guess we surrender?”

Shaking her head, she said to him, “Are you sure? They could just as easily shoot us when our shields go down.”

He opened his mouth and nothing came out. Before he could say anything the cruiser hailed them again, “In the name of his highness Abernathy First of his name and rightful ruler of the galaxy, lower your shields.”

Without hesitation, she pushed them back into hyperspace. Once again without coordinates but this time she knew she could change them as they travelled.

“We’re running? Why are we running?” Phil’s voice became shrill and his eyes tried their best to imitate a kicked puppy’s.

“Abernathy isn’t one of your siblings and the only Abernathy in the stories was a rich mining tycoon. I had a bad feeling about them.”

His eyes widened and he just stared at her. Finally he yelled, “You just turned us into fugitives!”

“Better than dead!” she yelled back.

“WARK! WARK!” yelled Hagrid.

Both Sophia and Phil jumped and turned to the door. Hagrid was swaying left and right and making choking noises. Eventually he just gagged and spit up a large ball of feathers and something electronic.

“That’s the tracker.” Phil bent down and picked it up wiping it off on his jeans. “We have the tracker. I know someone who can help us. We need to get to The Market.”

She gave him a disdainful look and waited for him to tell her where it was.

“Oh right it’s um… the ship should know.” She searched the database and found that it wasn’t on a planet, it was an entire solar system. Twelve planets, three hundred moons, and several floating ships. It was immense. “Thank you for saving our lives.”

“My pleasure. I like being alive. I hate to be practical when our lives are being threatened ever five minutes but we need fuel and food. Hagrid has eaten most of what was here before and you’ve eaten all the cereal I brought.”

“We’ll be able to get everything we need at The Market.”

* * *

“We need the moon called Shimerman.” The moon was located closest to the sun and the databanks said it was one of the roughest places in The Market.

“Do you have any weapons?” Sophia asked as the were getting ready to go.

“No and if I did, I’d leave them behind. There’s only two laws on Shimerman and the first is that if you want to kill someone you do it with your fists.”

“What’s the second?”

“Don’t piss off Little Sister.”

“Who?”

He reached for the button that opened the airlock and looked at Hagrid. He opened his mouth like he was going to ask a question and then closed it and shook his head. “She runs the place. We’re not going anywhere near her.”

There was something thrilling about stepping off the ship onto an alien moon. She was less thrilled when she noticed the rest of the shoppers. They were human, or at least human looking. They were different shades of brown, pink and beige but they could all be from different places on earth. Where they differed was the style of clothing, tattoo, and piercings.

The entire planet looked like a bad Blade Runner rip off. It was the grimy future that eighties movies loved.

Part way to their destination Hagrid made a strange whistling noise and walked away from them in the wrong direction. Phil looked like he was going to try and stop the bird but didn’t. Sophia wasn’t worried, she’d placed a short-range tracker on him. Hopefully he’d stay out of trouble.

They were going was a little shop called Buck’s. The owner, who she assumed was called Buck, sat in the back of a large room that looked vaguely like a trash yard, if everything in the yard had a little tag with a price.

“You, My Friend are supposed to be dead!”

Buck and Phil hugged a quickly and awkwardly. The hug of people who’d once been close but now didn’t know what was acceptable.

“Not yet but someone is trying hard. I took this tracker off my hull it was laced with explosives.” When Buck gave him a sceptical look he added, “Ok well… she took it off. Can you tell me who’s tech this is?”

Buck took the tracker and looked at if for a little before getting an eyepiece that looked like the ones jewelers used. After what felt like years he said, “You really don’t know?”

“No I don’t. Who’s tech is it?”

“It’s Galactic Royal Tech.” Buck paused frowning. “This has your sisters royal signature all over it. Your sister was trying to kill you.”

Read Next


If you’re enjoying this year’s serial story why not check out those from past years?

Database of the Ageless Kings (Serial Story) Part 3

2017-serial-story

Part 1 | Part 2

Part 3: An Emu Takes a Nap

“At least your emu’s suit is still tethered to the ship,” Phil said, running a hand through his hair.

Sometimes when odd things happened to Sophia, she tried not to think about them until her brain, like a browser with too many tabs open, crashed. She’d managed to accept and push back that they were in space going faster than the speed of light. She’d even managed to accept that she was on this ship with the dreamy character from the ship’s stories.

Seeing Hagrid floating outside of the ship, wearing a spacesuit, and flopping around, was just a little to far for her. She sat down on the ground and said, “Gah!” a little too loudly.

The Prince jumped up and alternated his gaze from her to the space walking emu. His wide eyes and head movements meant he was having the same sort of mental freeze or he was replaying a particularly traumatic ping-pong game.

The two of them contemplated the farce that had become their day when Prince Phil looked out the window and said, “What the hell is that? That’s not part of my ship.” Then looking at Sophia he asked, “Did you put that there?”

She stood up shook her head clear and looked out the portal. Ignoring Hagrid flopping around, she looked for what Phil was pointing at. It was a small grayish box with a blinking purple light. “No, what is it?”

“I don’t know but your bird is going straight for it.”

Hagrid’s flailing turned to flouncing and suddenly he moved with purpose. He reached the place where the box was and started trying to peck at it. Since his head was in a spacesuit helmet it just looked like he was headbutting the ship. His head hit the ship, but the momentum of the hit pushed his entire body away from it.

His mask stuck onto the device and the rest of him just floated there like a disturbing and misshapen space accident.

“He’s still tethered,” she said, reaching for the controls to reel him in.

“I already said that.”

“Sorry, I have breakdown.”

Reeling him in was much easier than she’d expected. He just stayed there and didn’t move.

Once the emu was in the airlock and the air had been pumped back in, Phil opened the hatch and took a tentative step inside before turning to her and saying, “You may want to be the one to come in first… it’s a very large bird.”

Hagrid, however, offered no resistance to them taking the suit off. Once it was off, he gave a happy chirp and wobbled out of the airlock.

“It’s a good thing I have spare suits… this one is completely ruined.” His eyes widened as he picked up the helmet. “Holy nebulas! The thing is in the mask.”

The small box had embedded itself in the mask. It took her a little work and the right tools to take it out. “So engineering girl, what is it?”

She was about to tell him she didn’t know, but decided to see if there was some sort of transmission coming from it. It did. “It’s a tracking beacon!” she exclaimed in English.

“What barbaric language is that?” The Prince asked his mouth frowning as if he’d eaten something disgusting.

“English. The box is sending signal. Someone following us.” She grabbed a hammer and was about to smash it, but he picked it up and looked at it.

“I’ve never seen this tech… Can you tell where it’s sending information?”

“It send everywhere.”

“Oh… can you disable it without destroying it?”

Nodding she took the box and started studying it. The ship had sensors that let her see inside the box and she took her time trying to understand how it worked. Phil was right that it didn’t look like it was made by the same people as his ship.

Her study and tinkering took several hours. Eventually she figured out how to sever a small wire to stop it from transmitting.

When she was done, she looked up to see that both Phil and Hagrid had left her in the engine room. She found them in the small kitchen where Phil was eating something that looked like cereal and Hagrid was asleep in the corner, his head under his wing.

“Did you do it?” Phil asked, almost knocking over the bowl of cereal.

“Yes. It is disabled.” She gave it to him and went to the food replicator and ordered a muffin. When she turned around, Phil was gone and Hagrid was snoring.

Phil was on the bridge and looked really upset. “Why aren’t we there yet?”

Looking at the instruments she replied, “We are. We circle coordinates until we have exit coordinates.” Without a safe place to exit they could appear next to a ship or inside a planet.

Pulling up the map, Phil pointed at a place slightly out of the way of this solar systems fourth planet. She punched in the coordinates and they dropped out of hyperspace.

Scanning around she looked back at Phil and asked, “Are you sure this home? No radio signals or signs of life.”

She looked back at the large view screen in time too see that the planet was surrounded by a halo of metal debris. A large asteroid flew by them and the proximity alarms started going nuts.

“We are in an asteroid field,” she told Phil.

“That’s not possible. Where are the stations? Where are the ships? Where’s Innas?”

“There is too much things. We must go back to hyperspace.” She pushed a few buttons and lacking any idea where to go, she headed back to Earth.

They said nothing for a little while and finally Phil said, “There should have been people… how could this happen? My home is destroyed. My family is gone…”

She could think of nothing else to say, so she stood up and gave him a hug.

Read Next


If you’re enjoying this year’s serial story why not check out those from past years?

Database of the Ageless Kings (Serial Story) Part 2

2017-serial-story

Part 1

Part 2: An Emu in SPACE!

“What you’ve done is launch us into hyperspace with no exit coordinates.” The Prince sat up from his glass coffin and shook his head. “Now who the hell are you and what are you doing on my ship?”

Sophia just stared at him. He was just as handsome as the stories had described. His black hair contrasted with his pale skin and he had a lopsided grin that made her feel weak. His words made sense to her, but he spoke much faster than the computer had when she’d been learning his language.

“I Sophia. You Prince. Me fix ship.”

“You speak galactic standard? But I landed on Sol-oh-three. There’s never been contact with that disturbing branch of humanity.” He looked scared and angry, and he awkwardly hopped out of the coffin almost falling on his face. “Who the hell are you and where are you taking me?”

There was an arm lengths distance between them but somehow Hagrid managed to stuff his girth between them. He squawked at the Prince, his head bobbing in every possible direction, like a helium balloon in a storm.

Jumping back, the Prince said a string of words that she didn’t understand but were obviously curses. “What is that thing?” His hands raised up in an awkward defensive posture.

“Hagrid. Down boy,” she told her Emu sternly. To her great surprise, he listened to her. Possibly for the first time. “This Hagrid, he’s an Emu.”

Apparently happy that she was safe, Hagrid, the picture of poise, bobbed towards the exit and slipped, falling to his side, and then jumping back up with a low, “Wark!”

“Is he your protector? I’ve never encountered an Emu but he looks a lot like a Manu.” When she didn’t say anything, he added, “Large flightless bird body guards. Hyper intelligent and ridiculously graceful.”

Laughing she replied, “Hyper? Yes. Intelligent; graceful? No.”

“Yeah.” He joined in with the laughter before adding, “Sorry for coming off so harshly. Before I went into cryosleep I was being chased by someone bent on killing me.”

Blushing despite herself, she said, “It’s okay. How long you sleep?”

Shrugging he walked over to a computer terminal and looked at the screen. She was about to interrupt him when he turned and said, “Twenty of your years.” He paused and asked, “Where are you taking me?”

“I accidentally pressed buttons. You tell me.” She was doing her best to match his wording and structure. The language was simple but had a few quirks that confused her. She was proud at the progress she was already making.

“How would I know? I just press where I want to go. This is only giving me coordinates and that means nothing to me.”

She shook her head; he sounded just like her father. He couldn’t figure out where he was without the GPS on his phone. “Coordinates are based off galaxy centre and the galaxy as seen from above. Using four digits representing; Quadrant, Depth, Horizontal axis, and Vertical axis.” She said it exactly the way the computer had pronounced it. Going to the navigation computer she added, “Combine with the map, we go to planet called Centuras Prime.”

“Oh thank goodness. We’re going home. Centuras Prime is the seat of the Galactic Queen. My sister.”

Nodding was the only thing Sophia could think of doing. The two looked at each other in an awkward silence that was thankfully interrupted by the ship’s alarm.

“Warning! Explosives detected on outer hull,” the voice of the computer said with the calm of someone who stopped caring a long time ago.

The Prince’s face went paler then normal and he slumped in the chair he was sitting in.

“Prince. Stay here. I go fix.” She knew this ship back and forth. She knew that in case of something getting stuck to the hull, the ship had small drones that could clear it off.

Part way to the engineering room, Sophia noticed that the Prince was following her. When she turned to him he shrugged and said, “I’d rather not be alone right now.”

“You the Prince,” She replied without turning.

“Please stop calling me that. My name is Phillip. Call me Phil.”

The ship was right and there was a bomb placed on the outside of the hull. It was just over the nacelles of the ship. If the bomb went off, it would create a reaction in the nacelles and then the engine that would not only blow up the ship, but cause an explosion that half the quadrant would see.

“Do you know anything about bombs?” Sophia asked.

“They explode?” Phil replied. This was the suave heartthrob from the stories she’d read so much about? He wasn’t living up to her expectations.

Picking up a drone that looked like it had a large shovel on the front of it she put it on a work table and started making changes. After twenty minutes of work, Phil asked, “What are you doing?”

“Changing drone.”

“Is it really a great time to be tinkering?”

Picking up the drone, she brought it to the airlock and prepared to open the outer doors. When she was comfortably sitting at the control panel she explained, “Drone is going to take bomb off ship.”

“But–”

She cut him off with a hand gesture. “Ship is inside Hyperspace bubble. Inside bubble ship moving slow. Outside bubble moving fast. If we can take bomb off ship and out of bubble, it blow up too far to hurt us.”

“What if it blow up right after you touch it with that thing?”

“We use drone like spatula. It have thrusters that push away from ship and scoop bomb. At worst it might redirect blast.”

“Isn’t that dangerous?” He asked his eyes wide in either fear or admiration. Sophia wasn’t sure. She gave him a look that she hoped was universal in saying, “Duh!” and continued to maneuver the drone.

Both of them held their breath as her hands flew over the controls. A small screen on the panel showed a video from the drone. Her plan worked perfectly and she lost contact with the drone.

They both waited, and after a few seconds sighed as the ship said, “Detonation at eight light years aft of the ship.”

“That was brilliant,” Phil said, his hands shaking.

She was debating giving him a victory hug when a loud boom echoed through the room. Running to the porthole, they looked out to see Hagrid flapping his useless wings inside the floppy arms of a humanoid shaped space suit.

“How did he get out there?” Sophia asked.

“How did he get into a spacesuit?” asked Phil.


If you’re enjoying this year’s serial story why not check out those from past years?

Database of the Ageless Kings (Serial Story) Part 1

2017-serial-story

Part 1: An Emu in the Cold

“For the last time, no! You’re not going away to any fancy school. You’re staying here!” Sophia’s father’s words rang in her ears as she chased Hagrid through the snow-covered fields.

“Emus are supposed to hate the cold!” she yelled at the idiot bird. The snow was up to her knees and was falling fast enough that the emu’s tracks were getting harder and harder to follow.

Of course, her father was right. Without her, who would fix the farm’s equipment and computers? They’d have to start paying for replacements and the new school, and that was ridiculous.

She was so concentrated on Hagrid’s tracks and her own thoughts that she had gotten completely lost. It wasn’t hard getting lost in a snowstorm when you couldn’t see your hands in front of your face. I wasn’t snowing that hard but the wind was strong, blowing the snow everywhere and biting through her coat.

“Fine! Freeze out here, you stupid bird!” she yelled and turned to head back the way she’d come. At least, she hoped it was the way she’d come; her tracks were gone. The world was a constantly shifting curtain of white in every direction.

She’d take two steps when she heard the tell tale grunting of Hagrid. She didn’t have many choices and decided to follow him. She caught up to him and he bobbed side to side, his head going in the opposite direction of his body. He gave another grunt and pecked at her playfully before turning around and running away again.

When she lost sight of him again he would grunt and come back to her, like he was leading her somewhere. “It better be home,” she mumbled.

It wasn’t home; it was a small cave entrance that barely fit a full-grown emu and a twelve year old girl. The cave itself wasn’t much bigger and offered so little protection from the wind that she tried to leave. Hagrid wouldn’t have any of it and pecked.

In trying to avoid another emu bruise, she fell back and hit the wall. She landed with a thump but it was followed by an odd swishing noise and a smell like old books.

Looking at the wall, Sophia found that it had opened into a doorway. There was no inner struggle; her curiosity pushed her through the door metaphorically, while Hagrid pushed her literally.

Dim lights turned on and the door closed. The smell of dust being heated came with blissfully warm air. “Where are we?” she asked Hagrid. He responded by bobbing his head excitedly and shaking his feathers.

The walls seemed to glow on their own and several colours flashed over another door. The flashes were accompanied by weird symbols. Sounds came from all around them and Hagrid ducked his head looking around.

The voice was calm and monotone, reminding Sophia of the pre-recorded voices on the subway in Toronto. She assumed the voice was giving her some sort of information and she walked towards the door. It slid into the wall with a hiss the way doors in Star Trek, or at the Timmins Square, did.

One door led to another and she walked for a good twenty minutes following the lights and unknown language. She tried a few times to enter doors that didn’t have the lights and they never opened for her. She saw plenty of corridors, but she knew she was at her destination when she walked into a room that had all sorts of knobs, buttons, and a computer screen.

The screen showed symbols, colours, and patterns she didn’t recognize. One of the screens had the solar system, another had dots that looked like her math homework, and another had shapes.

When the storm cleared, she brought Hagrid home, but every day she found her way back to the cave. Slowly over time, with the help of the computer, she learned its language. When she’d mastered the basics, she found a folder of stories. Slowly she learned to read them. They were all stories about a Prince. They described him as tall, strong, handsome, and a little awkward. Each story was different and often they contradicted themselves. Some had the Prince in intimate situations.

When she graduated high school, she was fluent in the language and had re-read the stories multiple times. She also used it to teach herself about the ship, because that’s what it was; a starship from a distant world.

As she attended the local college for automotive and computer repair, she learned about star drives and how to repair the ship. By the time she was twenty-two she was certain she’d repaired the ship to almost new. She’d had to invent or manufacture several parts, but she’d managed to fix it.

Despite her ten years of work and exploration, there was one room the ship had never let her see; the bridge. When she was confident she’d finished repairs, she forced the computer to open the door.

The bridge looked like the cockpit of a plane but was the size of a small meeting room. There were four workstations and lots of computer screens, including a view screen. She’d studied the plans before going in but there was something extra that hadn’t been in the plans.

A flat table was at the back of the room. The tablecloth on it had the Prince’s seal which made her heart beat a little faster. She went over to the table to get a better look and saw that it wasn’t a table at all, but some sort of coffin. Inside, the beautiful face of the prince looked like it was sleeping.

Putting a hand on the coffin, she wondered what had happened. A grunt and squawk from behind her made her jump, pushing on the coffin.

“Hagrid, what are you doing here?” she asked the now old, but still troublesome, emu.

Recovering from her shock, she turned back to the coffin and found the cover open and the prince sitting up. He stared at her with unseeing eyes and she did the only sensible thing and screamed. As she fell backwards onto one of the workstations, she heard the engines start.

“Oh no,” she said in the alien language she’d taught herself, “what have I done?”

Results: 2017 Serial Story – You Vote, I Write

2017-serial-story

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

Last month I announced that this year’s serial story would be decided by your votes. I received 14 different voters and this year’s serial story will be:

A Science-Fiction Romance combined with a Comedy Fantasy. It will be told in the third person, will have 2 or 3 main characters who are human, must overcome some sort of Person VS Nature conflict, and there will be no time travel.

2017-serial-story

Database of the Ageless Kings

On a small emu farm in Northern-Ontario, Sophia, a twelve year old emu farmer, dreams of seeing the world. When she chases the escaped Hagrid (a particularly bad tempered emu) through a snowstorm, she gets lost and must seek shelter in a cave. However, this isn’t a normal cave but the crashed starship of the last Prince of the Galaxy.

She spends the next ten years visiting the ship, reading the royal fanfictions about the Prince, and slowly repairing the ship.

Things get interesting when, startled from finding the Prince in cryostasis, she accidentally launches the ship into hyperspace.

Look for Part 1: An Emu in the Cold, on January 17th.

Thank you for all your help,
Éric