Point Zero – Chapter 1


Prologue | Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 4.5 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7 | Chapter 8 | Chapter 9 | Chapter 10 | Chapter 11 | Chapter 12


Chapter 1: Changes, Walking, and Helicopters of Death.

Other than the searing pain and the green fire, the thing that is most etched into my memory is the smell of burnt hair. While my hair had been getting shaggy, for me, it had been completely burned away. That stench still makes me wretch any time I smell it.

The five of us were alone on a plane of emerald glass and four of us were moaning in pain. All of us had burn marks on parts of our bodies, but they looked months old. 

“Frank… Oh shit Frank’s not breathing.” James bent over Frank’s now scarred face and tried to do mouth to mouth and chest compressions. We all reached for our phones to discover there was nothing there. After what felt like much too long, he stopped. 

Gasping for air, James asked, “Why is it so hard to breathe?” He reached up to his neck and felt under the corners of his hoodie. It had two otters on it and said, Otterly Adorable; Mel had given it to him. He said a few curse words before adding, “I have gills. How did I get gills?”

“Where are we?” Jane asked, either oblivious to James’s panic or ignoring it. 

I felt the green glass we stood on and looked around. It stretched for almost as far as the eye could see. Far at a distance I saw trees. “I think I see forest over that way.”

“I have webs between my fingers!” James started to hyperventilate. Mel grabbed his hand and tried to calm him by helping him breathe. It wasn’t working. “I couldn’t save him… He’s already cold…” James was gasping for air and crying at the same time.

“It’s not your fault James. Don’t feel Gill-ty,” Mel punned, but had the good taste to cringe. Everyone stopped what they were doing and we just stared at her. She sheepishly said, “Sorry.” We all burst into manic laughter.

When we were done, James was softly sobbing. Mel and I picked up Frank’s body and we started walking towards the trees. 

After the burning feeling, the cold was almost a relief until it became too much. My head was the first part to get cold and I looked at my friends, “Why am I the only one who doesn’t have hair?”

“Hey, at least you don’t have gills. Wait, maybe I’ll actually be able to breathe underwater.” James started to sound excited instead of upset.

We were all dressed for September in Northern Ontario, but the weather was closer to winter now and our long sleeves and hoodies weren’t cutting it. We were all shivering and the sun was hiding from us behind clouds.

“Man, I wish the sun would could out of those clouds. I could at least pretend to be warm,” I said. Trying to be funny was Mel’s thing, but I need to talk.

The others stopped and looked at me funny, Jane tilted her head and said, “It’s the middle of the night? We can barely see each other. The only reason we’re going this way is ‘cause you said you saw trees.” The rest of them nodded in agreement and I looked up. The bright spot behind the clouds wasn’t the sun but the moon.

“I can see clearly all the way past the glass. What the hell happened to us?”

We moved slowly towards the forest and just as we were giving up hope of ever feeling warm again, we were blinded by a bright light and the loud noises of helicopters. Someone over a loud speaker yelled, “This is the RCMP please lay down flat on the floor and don’t make any sudden moves.” We all swore, some of us in surprise and others in fear. Mel’s dad was native and both of them had been harassed by the cops more then they should. RCMP were always called in during a protest to protect land or anything else to do with the local Reserves. We had all been arrested for loitering in a provincial park once while camping; that wasn’t fun.

We started to move but I guess we hadn’t moved fast enough, ’cause I heard gunfire. I was looking at Jane and she turned bright white before completely disappearing. I threw up my arms and bright green lightning formed a dome around us that the bullets just bounced off of.

“How are you doing that?” asked James who was starting to hyperventilate again. “We have to get out of here.”

Whatever I was doing to create the protective dome felt like running at top speed. I tried to breathe like they’d taught us in gym class, not that I paid much attention, but I tried. Unfortunately, the effort was too much and I fell down gasping. “Sorry.”

“We’re not dead, you did great.” Mel put her hand on my shoulder. She was looking fuzzy like a chalk drawing. I assumed I was about to pass out.

“Lay down on the ground and no one gets hurt,” the loudspeakers shouted at us.

A small flash of light appeared beside us and Jane grabbed our hands. “This is going to hurt. Sorry.”

Bright white light and searing pain blocked everything out for me. When it was over I felt like every nerve had been poked with a very sharp stick.

I looked around at the dusty old furniture and asked, “Where are we?” 

Read Next Chapter (February 2020)


While you wait for the next chapter, check out previous serial stories:

Serial Story 2020 – Point Zero

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

You voted and were quite clear on what story should become this year’s serial story.

This year’s serial story will be Point Zero!

Point Zero

Setting: Our world after an alien attack that destroys several small towns before the aliens disappear.
Genre: Disaster, Post Apocalyptic, Super Hero

Follow Sam as they and their four best friends must deal with an alien attack that leaves the world irrevocably changed and the superpowers that it’s given them.

Every generation has a disaster that is etched into their memories. My grandparents had JFK, my parents had 9/11, and we had first contact.

It was a cool August night in my childhood hometown. It had a name at the time, something nature related that no one cares about; now it’s called Point Zero. It was a small town barely numbering in the four digits. I sat on the duck in the grade school playground, it sprung back and forwards every time I took a drink from the bottle of vodka in my hand.

Go Read the Rest of Point Zero

What is a Serial Story?

A serial story is a story that I write every month. I don’t plan ahead, I don’t have any idea how it’s going to end.

If I miss a month, you are rewarded with a bonus chapter. Yay!

It’s that simple.


I’ll have have Chapter 1 ready some time this month.

Thanks for voting and reading,

Éric

While you wait for the next chapter, check out previous serial stories:

Serial Story 2020 – FINAL FIGHT

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

That was a close vote. I’m extremely surprised by the outcome.

You have until Sunday the 12th at midnight to vote.

Final Vote

Serial Story 2020 - Final Battle

  • Point Zero (90%, 9 Votes)
  • Sailing the Rubble of Galaxies (10%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 10

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Point Zero

Setting: Our world after an alien attack that destroys several small towns before the aliens disappear.
Genre: Disaster, Post Apocalyptic, Super Hero

Follow Sam as they and their four best friends must deal with an alien attack that leaves the world irrevocably changed and the superpowers that it’s given them.

Every generation has a disaster that is etched into their memories. My grandparents had JFK, my parents had 9/11, and we had first contact.

It was a cool August night in my childhood hometown. It had a name at the time, something nature related that no cares about; now it’s called Point Zero. It was a small town barely numbering in the four digits. I sat on the duck in the grade school playground, it sprung back and forwards every time I took a drink from the bottle of vodka in my hand.

Read More

Sailing the Rubble of Galaxies

Setting: 2000 years in our future. The empires of New Mars and Ares fight for dominance while Earth is thought of as a myth.
Genre: Science Fiction, Epic, Space Opera, Arthurian Myth

Follow former commander Nessa Muldune and the crew of the Camlann as they try and stop an unstoppable enemy and survive on their own against all odds.

“Nice of them to design these cells with portholes,” admired former security commander, Nessa Muldune. It seemed like a strange waste of outer hull but she appreciated being able to see the stars.

“Shut up traitor,” sneered her jailer. Lieutenant Alfred’s disdain was a relief after the months of him awkwardly hitting on her. “We’ll be at New Mars soon and you’ll get what’s coming to you.”

Read more

Thank you for your help and hopefully the more wanted story wins.

Éric

Éric’s 2020 New Years Resolutions

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

2019 was a big year for me and my family. Our son was born, both me and my wife were nominated for Aurora Awards, Everdome was released, and many other great things happened.

It’s hard to live up to or plan after such a good year, but I have to, so here are my resolutions.

Garfield from December 29th, 2017

Writing

1. Finish Writing The Dancing Lights

I’m a third of the way through the book and I really need to finish it and submit it this year if I want a chance at a 2022 slot for the book.

2. Finish Writing Paragenesis

I’m mid way through Chapter 11 of 15 and that means I have less than 15000 words to finish the story. I’d like to get this one done and sent to betas.

3. Write a Monthly Serial Story

I’ve managed it every year I’ve tried and it’s something I really enjoy doing.

Go vote on what I’ll write this year.

JenEric Designs and Coffee

4. Ensure there’s content 5 days a week on JenEric Designs

We’ve missed this once in six years and I don’t want to miss it again.

5. Design and Produce 2 new coffee flavours

I have already tested and have 4-6 flavours ready. I just need names and designs.

6. Print, Package, and Sell Oneshot – The Simplest RPG

I just need to figure out how to put it all together and sell it.

Editing and Marketing

7. Finish Playtesting the higher levels of Fadds

I’ve done a lot of work on this system over the past 10 years and it’s close to done I need to playtest the higher levels and then I can start some cleanup of the wording and other basic editing.

8. Figure out how to market my books better

Renaissance Press is a fantastic publisher but, as with any other publisher, a lot of work still needs to be done by the author. I need to figure out how to get my books into the hands of people who will enjoy them.

Personal

9. Read 20 books

Last year I barely made this goal so I’m hoping I can surpass it this time.

10. Don’t Burnout

Two years ago I burned-out pretty bad. I was just doing too much. After being on parental leave for 9 months, going back to work is going to be hard. I have to be careful not to fall into over-doing it again.

11. Be More Patient 

I love my family, kids, and friends but sometimes I just want to scream at them… unfortunately I sometimes do.

I’m working on it. Let’s hope I can continue to improve.

12. Play Some Video games with Dragon

I really enjoy playing with her and I think she does too. It’s a great stress relief.

13. Play Some Board Games with Dragon

She’s still young, but I think she can figure out some of the simpler games we have. We’ll try it out and see.

Hopefully I can succeed and survive this year.

Good 2020 to everyone!

Éric

Serial Story 2020 – Part 2

Hello Imaginary Friends,

Last vote was pretty definitive. Let’s see who wins this next round. You have until New Year’s Day.

Serial Story VS Word of the Day

Serial Story 2020 - Serial Story VS Word of the day

  • Point Zero (55%, 6 Votes)
  • Seren Plentyn and the Secret of Hokulua Station (45%, 5 Votes)

Total Voters: 11

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Seren Plentyn and the Secret of Hokulua Station

Space Mystery, YA, Adventure

Hokulua Station is the newest in generational exploration and protection space stations. Brand new and not quite working right.

Seren’s dad is the head or engineering for the new station and in charge of getting all the bugs worked out before the rest of the colonists arrive. That leaves her with plenty of time to explore. Something isn’t quite right though, weird noise, things going missing, and power drains that no one can explain.

Seren and her best friend Jan are going to do their best to figure out what is going on before someone gets hurt.

Point Zero

Disaster, Post Apocalyptic, Super Hero

Every generation has a disaster that is etched into their memories. My grandparents had JFK, my parents had 9/11, and we had first contact.

Short Stories VS Series

Serial Story 2020 - Short Stories VS Series Bracket

  • Sailing the Rubble of Galaxies (55%, 6 Votes)
  • The Tree of Worlds (45%, 5 Votes)

Total Voters: 11

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Sailing the Rubble of Galaxies

Science Fiction, Epic, Space Opera

“Nice of them to design these cells with portholes,” admired former security commander, Nessa Muldune. It seemed like a strange waste of outer hull but she appreciated being able to see the stars.

The Tree of Worlds

Epic Fantasy, Steampunk

The Tree of the Worlds connects all the realms with it’s branches but there is a wyrm burrowing through trying to conquer or destroy. These are the stories of those that resist the Empire of the Wyrm.

Includes: Little DaggerCiamon of ChymarThe Ruby Child, and Battlemage Taika.


Enjoy Voting and thank you for your help,

Éric

Serial Story 2020

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

For this coming years serial story, I see it as a chance to revisit old stories that are begging for continuation, sequels, or spin-offs. We’re going to do this bracket style and see what happens.

There are 4 categories; Serial Stories, Word of the Day Stories, Short Stories, and Series. Only one of each will move on to the next round.

Click on the title to check out the story. Voting on the first Brackets closes on 19th of December.

Serial story

Serial Story 2020 - Serial Story Bracket

  • Seren Plentyn and the Secret of Hokulua Station (67%, 4 Votes)
  • Only Human (33%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 6

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Only Human

Urban Fantasy, Supernatural, Romance

The story of an ordinary-ish human, who enrols in Monster University to find her sister’s killer but finds love instead.

Seren Plentyn and the Secret of Hokulua Station

Space Mystery, YA, Adventure

Hokulua Station is the newest in generational exploration and protection space stations. Brand new and not quite working right.

Seren’s dad is the head or engineering for the new station and in charge of getting all the bugs worked out before the rest of the colonists arrive. That leaves her with plenty of time to explore. Something isn’t quite right though, weird noise, things going missing, and power drains that no one can explain.

Seren and her best friend Jan are going to do their best to figure out what is going on before someone gets hurt.

Word of the Day

Serial Story 2020 - Word of the Day Bracket

  • Point Zero (67%, 4 Votes)
  • Blue Victory VS Doctor D.U.M.B. (33%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 6

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Point Zero

Disaster, Post Apocalyptic, Super Hero

Every generation has a disaster that is etched into their memories. My grandparents had JFK, my parents had 9/11, and we had first contact.

Blue Victory VS Doctor D.U.M.B.

Superhero, Comedy, Romance

“You have besmirched my good name!” The man in a long purple lab coat bellowed as he took a step closer to the edge of the building.

“What name is that?” I asked, trying to sound calm. I had no idea who this person was or why he’d taken my date hostage.

Short Stories

Serial Story 2020 - Short Story Bracket

  • Sailing the Rubble of Galaxies (80%, 4 Votes)
  • The Cosmic Cuckoos (20%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 5

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Sailing the Rubble of Galaxies

Science Fiction, Epic, Space Opera

“Nice of them to design these cells with portholes,” admired former security commander, Nessa Muldune. It seemed like a strange waste of outer hull but she appreciated being able to see the stars.

The Cosmic Cuckoos

Mystery, Science Fiction, YA

While some children dreamt of candy, school, or some other mundane things; Helen dreamt of the stars. Not literally the large balls of gas, but of everything that was and could be between them. She’d curl up, with a blanket, on her parents’ balcony and stare up wondering what was waiting for her up there.

Series

Serial Story 2020 - Series Bracket

  • The Tree of Worlds (60%, 3 Votes)
  • Sun Speaker (40%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 5

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Sun Speaker

Space Opera, Adventure

In the distant future humanity has spread to the other planets in our solar system. These stories follow Hal (a prophet for a godlike entity that lives in the sun), and his friends, as they try to make the solar system a better place.

Includes: Hal The Sun Speaker, The Assassin, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to my Funeral, Gladiators in SPACE!, and Ghost Ship Robinson

The Tree of Worlds

Epic Fantasy, Steampunk

The Tree of the Worlds connects all the realms with it’s branches but there is a wyrm burrowing through trying to conquer or destroy. These are the stories of those that resist the Empire of the Wyrm.

Includes: Little Dagger, Ciamon of Chymar, The Ruby Child, and Battlemage Taika.


Good reading and Voting.

Thank you for your help,

Éric

Seren Plentyn and the Secret of Hokulua Station – Chapter 12 – Conclusion


Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 4.5 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7 | Chapter 8 | Chapter 9 | Chapter 10 | Chapter 11 | Chapter 12


Chapter 12: An Imposible Mission and a Conclusion?

The Techno-Mage ships sat in space like darker versions of themselves. “What are they waiting for?” Jan asked. The ships had arrived almost an hour ago and seemed idle.

“The Techno-Mage had said about a day and it’s only been half that,” suggested Annie.

“Okay. That means we have less than half a day to get us a way out of this. Any thoughts?” The Captain rubbed his bald head as he asked. The man was a decorated stations captain and this was supposed to be his last command. When Hokulua Station was finished inspections, the real captain was going to take over and he was going to retire to a cushy quarters.

Seren raised her hand. The senior crew looked at her father and he shrugged. She started by explaining a little about the repository, “The repository runs like a translation AI for the Mother-of-All-Suns just like Hoku does now for our micro-sun. Hoku proved that they can take over some of the stations systems and that was before they had complete integration with the AI. Now they could take over any system they want.”

“So it can kill us at any time? How can we trust it?” the Doctor asked, sounding incredulous.

Annie laughed loudly enough to stop people murmuring and said, “I can kill you at any time too. Any of us is capable of murder. Why would a micro-sun be more inclined?”

“Yes, but we enslaved it.”

“We can either give up space travel or take the suns at their word that they don’t hold a grudge and won’t kill us,” Seren said before going on, “The only reason that Hoku was able to communicate and take us here was because of a glitch in the AI that let them access it. The changes we’ve made since to help relieve their pain, give them better control, and better communicate are all easy software updates.”

Mr. Plentyn smiled and added, “She’s right. It’s a small update and could easily be applied to other ships. The update would also allow the station’s suns to talk to each other. What my daughter is suggesting is that we upgrade the Techno-Mage ships and let their micro-suns take over.”

The Captain smiled, “We’d have to leave the Techno-Mages to the mercy and justice of the Mother. Great, sounds like a plan. Push the update to them.”

“Well…” Mr. Plentyn started but trailed off.

“We’d have to push it locally,” Seren finished.

“You’re telling me you have the perfect solution but we have to somehow get onto each of those ships to implement it? That’s suicide.” The Captain sat down.

“It can be done by drones but they’d still have to get close.”

Annie stood up, smiling, this caused her brother and her flight group to groan and look worried. “I can get the drones there. The new ship has limited stealth tech. All we would need is a distraction.”

“Can the repository make more of those ships? Or maybe a cruiser?” the Captain asked.

“I’ve already requisitioned a dozen. They’ll be ready within the hour but that’s the best it can do. It only has that design because of Annie’s help.”

Standing up again and looking not at all confident, the Captain said, “You all have until those ships arrive to be ready. Commander, with Annie’s help, prepare a dozen pilots for the new ships and a battleplan that the Techno-Mages won’t expect. Plentyn, get everything ready to deploy. The rest of you, prepare for combat.”

As they were leaving, the Captain stopped Mr. Plentyn and Seren. “The Techno-Mages have a reputation of being all knowing and able to hijack computers. Are you sure they don’t know what’s coming?”

“When we linked up with the repository I had it and Hoku scan for bugs, trojans, and any back doors. We cleared them out before the meeting.”

“So you’re sure?”

“As much as I can be.”

The next hour on the station almost made it feel like it was fully crewed. People were rushing everywhere and getting everything ready. When the ships arrived and it was time to go, Seren brought Annie the drones. 

“You have four drones per ship. Try to space them out…” Seren trailed off looking worried.

“Don’t worry. I’m the best pilot here.” Annie took Seren’s hand and kissed it. “I’ll come back.”

“You’d better.”

The hardest part of the mission was being quiet. Annie missed the radio chatter, but she had to disable her coms both incoming and outgoing in order to avoid detection.

The trip was quiet and space felt bigger than it ever had to her, despite the relative smallness of that solar system. When she arrived at the first ship, she gently dropped her charges. She expected resistance but her stealth tech seemed to be working. The same near boring procedure occurred for the next two ships.

On the way to the last, and furthest ship, she wondered if she should have started on the far end. Her thoughts were interrupted by a blast to her aft. A small pirate ship had seen her and now she was being chased by a squadron of fighters. 

She dodged and evaded the ships and thanked the Mother for her shielding. One impressive dodge also had her avoid a direct shot from the last station. Had she not avoided it, she would have been destroyed. The Techno-Mage ships had weapons that could implode a sun; her shield meant nothing to it.

It was starting to look and feel useless. Every time she got close, the station would fire and she’d have to move back. She was about to retreat when the other stations started firing at the last one. They took out all the guns and Annie was able to fly down and drop the drones.

As she flew back towards Hoku she saw hundreds of fighters and escape pods leave the stations. It seemed the Mother-of-All-Suns was feeling merciful and they weren’t shot out of the sky. By the time she made it back to the station the cloud of pirate and Techno-Mage ships had left the system.

Seren was waiting for Annie when she landed. They hugged and both blushed. Jan rolled their eyes at their friends.

The Captain came by and shook Annie’s hand. “With the stations and Hoku no longer blocking coms we reached the council and given them all our information. I think the Techno-Mages are done. The council has also agreed to work with the Mother to make things right.” He smiled and sighed. “Alright. You two get some rest. We’re headed back on our original course. We have a few million crew to pick up.”

Surprisingly, it was Jan who spoke up, “Sir. Are we leaving a team to work with the Mother and the Repository?”

“Yes we are. A small engineering group, some archeologists, and a fighter wing.” The Captain smirked.

All three of them started volunteering at the same time.


Thank you for reading.

If you’d like to read more serial stories please have a look at the previous years versions.

Seren Plentyn and the Secret of Hokulua Station – Chapter 11


Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 4.5 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7 | Chapter 8 | Chapter 9 | Chapter 10 | Chapter 11 | Chapter 12


Chapter 11: Mothers and Suns

“Pirates? How did they find us?” Jan sounded annoyed. “How do we stop a sun from exploding and defend against pirates?”

There was silence over the private channel. Seren was thinking. The situation did seem dire. With the Techno-mage gone, there was no way of interrogating him to figure out what he’d done. He’d said, “You can die when the sun implodes.” But hadn’t specified which sun. There was the micro-sun that powered Hokulua Station, the Mother-Of-All-Stars in the centre of the planet, and the small yellow sun that planet was orbiting.

“I don’t know, but we need to figure out what sun he meant.” Seren said.

“Any of them imploding would cause enough damage to trigger either a black hole or a chain effect in the other suns,” Mr. Plentyn theorized.

“Yes, but he’d have to use some sort of tech to collapse the yellow sun and that seems unlikely.”

“Right, and if the repository is as sophisticated as you say, it should have defences.”

Jan exclaimed. “So it has to be Hoku.”

“We have to get the repository talking to the station instead of just receiving data. If we can do that then we can hopefully get the station to figure out what the Techno-mage did.” The first enemy fire hit the station as he was explaining.

Jan cursed and explained, “This is a massive fleet. We’re outnumbered fifty to one. The captain says we’re not going to survive this and recommends evacuation.”

The words hung heavy over them and both Seren and her father said the same thing, “What if we get the star-ships to help?” It would still mean being outnumbered ten to one but those were better odds.

They were about to formulate a plan when Jan cheered, “Whatever you two did, it worked. The star-ships and the repository just joined the fight.”

“We didn’t—”

The sound of Annie’s voice flooded to coms, “Woohoo! This is MOAS fighter A, requesting permission to join the fight.”

While Jan and Seren had been teleported to the station and where they’d been thinking of before teleportation, Annie had been thinking of piloting a ship.

Deep in the repository was a fabricator that could create nearly anything. With Annie’s knowledge of fighters and the repository’s impressive fabricating, they’d created a new type of fighter.

“Annie is that you?” Tower command asked.

“Yes big bro it’s me and I’m bringing some friends. You concentrate on defence and we’ll start picking off the bombers and long range gunners.”

The new ship slipped around the pirates, making them look slow and clumsy. The weapons from the repository were its biggest weakness. They were half as effective as those from the pirates and the defending force. The people who became the Mother-of-All-Stars weren’t as vicious as those who’d enslaved her children.

Annie relied on her speed, shields, and gravity ray. The gravity ray worked like her tractor beam on her regular fighter but faster and with bigger objects. She quickly discovered that weapons were not as effective as hurling the enemy’s ships at each other.

Everything was quiet while Seren and her father worked to network Hoku to the repository and the rest of the station worked on repairs and defence.

“I got it!” Mr. Plentyn cried over the sound of alarms.

“Jan, tell the captain that Hoku is running a diagnostic as we speak.” Seren turned from the coms to her Dad. “So do we turn off the AI interface?”

“No. The micro-sun has been interacting with it and the two are working together. It’s like the repository and the MOAS. The AI will interpret and help us understand each other.”

The computerized voice of Hoku said, “Thank you, Mr. Plentyn. You have been quite kind. Diagnostics are complete. I did not find anything in my systems that could create a chain effect big enough to destroy me and mother. Mother has done the same. I’ve also scanned my brother and he has no technology or way of being imploded.”

“Then what has the Techno-mage done?” Seren asked.

“I do not know. However, I have compiled a list of systems that cause me pain and how to alter them to not hurt me.”

Not knowing what else to do, they looked over the list.

The battle outside the station was quickly ending. The Pirates were taking heavy casualties and the Hoku fighters weren’t. Annie’s tactics made her a target, but the advanced shield made her almost invulnerable. Even with that, the ship would need some serious repairs.

The Hoku pilots cheered as the remaining pirate fighters retreated and the entire fleet moved away.

“Why aren’t they leaving the system?” Annie asked as she held patrol while the other ships returned to the station.

Her answer came quickly when four massive cruisers appeared in the system between the pirates and the station. These cruisers looked like the standard stations, if they’d been built for war instead of exploration.

The pirate flag on the side of the ships was quickly replaced by the Techno-Mage flag.

“They didn’t have some sort of bomb of self destruct! They’re just planning on blowing us up the old fashioned way.”

Read Conclusion


While you wait for the next chapter, check out previous serial stories:

Seren Plentyn and the Secret of Hokulua Station – Chapter 10


Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 4.5 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7 | Chapter 8 | Chapter 9 | Chapter 10 | Chapter 11 | Chapter 12


Chapter 10: Trapped, Escaped, and Pirates (again) 

“And now, so must you!” Annie mimicked. “That’s overdramatic and a little clichéd.” She’d met the Technomancer a few times before. He’d always come off as a nerdy goof. That wasn’t the air he was projecting today though. 

“Don’t mock me child.” The man looked frustrated.

“So… what’s your plan? Are you going to rip us apart atom by atom?” Seren seemed annoyed and more curious than frightened.

“No. Absolutely not. I will turn off this section of the repository and you can die when the sun implodes. It’ll be a little over a day.” With those words he stepped back and the door closed. Annie ran for the door but couldn’t get out. The lights and computer terminal went dark.

The only light was from their headlamps and portable computers. 

“So what are you two planning?” Jan asked. When Seren and Annie didn’t say anything Jan scoffed and said, “I’ve known both of you since we were kids. There’s no way you sat through that without thinking of a plan.”

“Well…” Seren said. “Maybe if we can connect with another part of the repository with our computers we can reroute power.”

“I was going to use the battery in my computer to try and power the door,” Annie replied.

“Great, both of you get to work and I’ll take a nap,” Jan said, stretching out on the floor.

It was a few hours before Jan heard a pair of curses. Neither method had worked. 

Seren said, “There’s some sort of interference, every time I think I’ve connected, something cuts me off.”

Annie said, “I can power the door but it’s locked somehow and I can’t power it and disable the lock.”

“What if we asked for help?” Jan’s question seemed to surprise the other two. They swung their heads around to stare at them.

“Um… Who are we going to ask?” Annie questioned. 

“Isn’t there anyway to ask the repository or Hoku?”

It looked like Annie was going to argue but then she just smiled and said, “Yes. That’s brilliant. You’re brilliant. All we have to do is connect to the repository not the systems.”

“Wouldn’t the Technomancer have thought of that?” asked Annie skeptically.

“That arrogant gas planet wouldn’t think of talking to the repository like it was a person. He still refers to her as an it like the Mother-of-All-Stars was only some sort of computer instead of the spirit of an entire civilization.” Jan started calmly but as they spoke, they became angrier at the thoughtlessness of the Technomancers and their ancestors. 

“Okay let’s give it a try,” Seren tapped away at her computer. After what felt like too long a time the same black screen with green text appeared on Seren’s computer.

“Hello again. Why have you disabled terminal 13?”

“We didn’t. The technomancer did.”

“Designation not recognized.” 

Seren looked around and wondered how to explain that they were not the same. “There were four of us in this room. Now there are three. The other isn’t our friend, he wants to destroy the mother-of-stars.”

“That is illogical. Can you stop him?”

The three friends looked at each other and shrugged. “I don’t know, but we have to try.”

It must have been the right answer, the doors opened and the floor showed arrows. Jan smilled and said, “Lets follow. Seren, can you keep the link on your computer?”

“I think so. Why?” 

As they ran following the arrows, Jan said, “If the Technomancers learned everything from the repository than we, and your Dad, are going to need to study quickly to beat him.”

Laughing, Annie said, “And you say we’re the ones that always have a plan.”

The arrows didn’t lead them back to the transportation room they’d been in. Instead it brought them to a larger but almost identical room. Again, nothing was in the room but a raised circular platform and that’s where the arrows ended.

Shrugging, the three of them stood on the platform and waited. The first time they teleported there was no sound or feeling but this time there was a bright flash of light and a slight feeling of nausea. 

When Seren’s eyes adjusted she was in her father’s lab. Her father was looking at her like she’d just appeared out of thin air, which she had. “Matter teleportation is supposed to be impossible. How, where…” he trailed off as he pulled her in for a hug. 

“It’s a lot to explain. We need to stop the Technomancer from destroying the planet and the station.” She shoved the computer at him and started to explain. When she was done she looked around and said, “Where are the others?”

“You’re the only one that teleported here.”

Just as she was reaching for her communicator, Jan’s voice came over the intercom, “Seren and Annie, are you there?”

“I’m here but I don’t know where Annie went. I’ve filled my Dad in on what’s happening.” She saw that her Dad was already talking with the repository.

“Great. I’m with the Captain. Apparently teleporting into his office was enough to convince him. Whatever the Technomancer did, his ship is already gone. The captain has no idea what he did.”

Mr. Plentyn interrupted with, “I’m trying to get a more direct link between us, the station’s sun, and the repository. I think the station’s sun is like a toddler and if I can get the repository to help it, it can run a diagnostic.”

The alarms went off and another voice came over the intercom, “Pirates have been spotted. All pilots to fighters, everyone else to your stations.”

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Seren Plentyn and the Secret of Hokulua Station – Chapter 9


Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 4.5 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7 | Chapter 8 | Chapter 9 | Chapter 10 | Chapter 11 | Chapter 12


Chapter 9: Research, Reveals, and Reactions.

The screen sat there blinking, “Hello.” 

The three of them looked at each other and eventually it was Seren who said, “Hello.” They all watched the screen waiting for something to happen.

Nothing did and Jan asked, “How does it know our language?” The others shrugged and they added, “It even has the same configuration as our keyboards.” They point to the old-fashioned looking keyboard in front of the screen.

Feeling silly, Seren said, “Maybe it’s not voice activated?” She typed in, “Hello”.

They once again looked at the screen, this time their text appeared under the first hello and the screen replied with, “It has been 3,920,002 planetary rotations since your last session. Welcome back.”

“Assuming the same amount of days in a year that’s just shy of ten thousand seven hundred and forty years.” Annie thought that number sounded familiar as she said it, but couldn’t place it.

“Would you like to continue with your last session?” The screen’s green text blinked.

Seren looked at the other two and typed, “Yes.”

What appeared next was an interactive, multimedia document that showed the creation of a micro-star. It was absolutely fascinating. Seren had always assumed that the stars were created by compressing the planet or moon until it was so dense it self-combusted. She was completely wrong. The process involved taking a small piece of a micro-stars plasma and introducing it into the planet. Over the next year the piece grew and expanded, eating the planet from the inside and finally bursting through the crust to become a viable micro-star for space travel.

“Ten thousand years. The Great Techo-Mage! This is where they got all their information.”

“That means that this is the birth place of our civilisation,” Jan sat back and rubbed their face absently.

“Do you know anything about the Children of the Stars?” Seren typed.

“Each micro-star is a unique part of the parent and therefore equivalent to a child.” 

“That’s not helpful,” quipped Annie.

Seren tried something different, “What are you?”

“I am the Mother of Stars. Born from the collective of my people.” The screen changed again to a long text with images and information about the original inhabitants of this planet. They’d been very similar to Seren and the other Children but instead of taking to space they discovered a way to save their minds into a giant supercomputer. They developed alloys that could self-heal and an army of sentient robots to protect it. They hollowed out their own planet and installed a micro-star.

When they uploaded themselves, they discovered that the micro-star was sentient. All suns were sentient. Over time and interfacing they learned from each other and in the end the consciousness of the people merged with that of the star becoming something else completely.

This new entity made it it’s goal to teach others how to speak with and become stars.

“But what happened? Why did it stop?” Jan asked.

“According to this it got stuck in the void between galaxies. Something to do with a gravity well,” Seren did some more typing. 

“So Hokulua was just coming home to tell mum what was going on?” Annie sounded sad.

The screen flicked and moved quickly as Seren typed question after question. Finally she said, “Oh Mother… We did this.”

“What?” the other two said at once.

“The Great Techno-Mage did this. They trapped the Mother so she couldn’t tell anyone else and then took all the information and a plasma sample. All the technology our civilization is built on is from here and we hid it.” Seren felt sick at the idea.

“But why did the micro-stars not come back before Hokulua?” Annie asked.

From behind them someone cleared their throat. The man was tall and thin, his dark cloak and robe sparkled like the stars. His eyes were cold and distant, his sneer and disgust weren’t. “Because the Mother wants to teach everyone to be like her. We can’t let the other tribes and the pirates have the same technology as us.”

“Why not?” Annie stood defiantly in front of their ship’s Techno-Mage.

“We were almost wiped out. There were less than a thousand of us on half a dozen crumbling stations. We were the first to escape our dying planet but we were not meant for space. We were dying and if the others had the same technology, we’d be no better than we were. Our first mission as Techno-Mages was to protect the Children.”

“That was ten thousand years ago. We’re spread out over the entire universe. There are billions of us with powerful stations and… surely we can let the Mother go.” Seren felt disgusted. Her love of archeology was born from a civilization that used it to enslave. Their whole way of life was based on stealing and exploiting.

“We’ve spent ten thousand years trying to make sure the micro-stars stay quiet, subdued, and controllable. We hadn’t anticipated that the new AI would allow the stars to communicate. Once the Mother analyzes the data from the station it will know what we’ve done and it will be furious. It must be contained or destroyed. And now… so must you.”

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