Database of the Ageless Kings (Serial Story) Part 11

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 3.5 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10

Part 11: An Emu is Surprised by what is Found at the Database

The alarms were going crazy and Sophia had to climb over Phil to get out of the small bed. She didn’t want to leave him, but he was snoring peacefully and it seemed cruel to wake him until she knew if they were going to die quickly or slowly.

As the door opened, Hagrid stood up in one quick motion and as if nothing had happened, started to follow her. The bridge was closest and it wasn’t until she reached it that she realized she wasn’t wearing pants. She vaguely remembered being too warm and pushing the blankets and her pants off. Phil gave off a lot of body heat for a skinny guy.

“Pants or no pants, we need to shut off these alarms and save our lives. Right, Hagrid?” she said to the emu. Twisting his head to the side quizzically, he gave her a wark and started to nuzzle her shoulder. “You’re not so bad either, you over-grown turkey.”

Looking over the panels, she gave a deep sigh of relief and shut off the alarms. Nothing was going to kill them. The engines were damaged in the blast and shut themselves down before burning out.

For the first time since she butt dialed hyperspace, they were having some good luck. The ship had stopped in the vast expanses between solar systems. That meant there was little chance of meeting anyone or getting pulled into the atmosphere of a stray planet.

A shiver ran up her spine and she turned up the heat in the ship.

Before she started to fix the ship she needed breakfast. She still felt a little weak from last night and some food would help.

All the cereal from the kitchen was either gone or liberally sprinkled on the floor. She gave Hagrid a nasty look and searched the cupboards. She eventually found some frozen bread and peanut butter. She’d brought them on for the nights she spent in the ship fixing it.

Those days felt so long ago. She ate quickly and started repairs. She started with the external patches which were the easiest to fix but the hardest to get to. She was just stripping from the space suit when Phil stumbled into the engine room with a tray of food.

“Why are you fixing the ship in your underwear?” he asked, blushing as he put the tray of food down on a small table.

“I didn’t want to climb over you to get at my pants. I just turned up the heat. Am I making you uncomfortable?” she was trying to be flirty and she thought she might have succeeded based on his deepening blush.

She sat down across from him and looked at the food. There were fresh eggs, bacon, ham, orange juice, milk, and even rye bread. “How?”

“The replicator,” he said his brow furrowed. They looked at each other for a few moments and his eyes grew wide and he asked, “You didn’t know about the replicator?”

“Like a matter replicator? That can create any kind of food or clothing?”

Nodding he said, “Yes.” A note of awe came into his voice as he said, “You fixed this entire ship from a massive crash without using the replicator?”

“I used what we had on the farm and bought or created anything else I might need.”

“You’re amazing. Absolutely amazing!” It was her turn to blush. She distracted herself by eating a piece of bacon. It was salty and delicious.

“This is good…” She paused and added, “That’s why I could never find where you hid the cereal.”

They laughed and ate and laughed some more.

After they’d eaten, he showed her the replicator and she created a matching set of work clothes. He offered to help her fix the engines and install the gravity generator. He took orders well and it was nice to have him helping. She had loved working on the ship alone, but sharing it with Phil made it even better.

When they’d done all they could for the day she said, “I need a shower.” She headed for the showers and turned when Phil didn’t follow. She walked back to where he was standing and looked him in the eyes. His beautiful eyes looked down at her and she asked, “Can I kiss you?”

Breathlessly he whispered, “Yes.”

She kissed him then and it started out softly in the corridor and continued passionately in the showers.

It took a few days of repairs before the ship was in good enough shape to attempt the trip to the Database of Ageless Kings. During those days they worked, ate, and at the end of the day they fell asleep cuddling.

When the ship was fixed they still had a day to be together before they arrived at the centre of the galaxy and the Database of Ageless Kings. Like all days spent madly in love, it passed too quickly.

The centre of the galaxy is a super-cluster of black holes and super-giant suns; the gravity was incredible and even with the extra gravity generator it was difficult to navigate. They managed it and found a large spherical station positioned perfectly in the overlapping gravity fields.

As they approached, a docking bay opened. “I’m not sure I like this,” Sophia said.

“Me neither. I expected some sort of lock or code would be needed,” Phil said in agreement.

“Wark!” agreed Hagrid.

They entered the docking bay and waited for something to happen. When nothing did, they decided to go out of the ship and explore.

As they exited the ship, a deep voice said, “Welcome to the Database of Ageless Kings. Took you long enough.”

Standing at a door not too far away from their ship was an emu in a tiny top hat and bowtie. “My name is Hagrid and you have no idea how difficult it was to get you here.”


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 10

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 3.5 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9

Part 10: An Emu Knows that Bombs are SO Five Chapters Ago

In the hall behind her, Hagrid, the Emu, was snoring. The sound was enough to cover anything Prince Phil or Fake Dove were saying. He was still blocking the doorway while fighting off the doppelganger of his ex-girlfriend with an electrified sword.

Meanwhile, the only word Sophia had heard was, “bomb.” This was the third bomb she’d been close to in as many days. It lost its novelty but not its terror. She was holding a gun that could stun, kill, or disintegrate and she knew what she needed to do. If only Phil would get out of her way.

She tapped the gun to stun and waited for her chance. He parried and moved back against a brutal assault from his opponent and was almost all the way out of the door. She grabbed his shirt and yanked him out of the way.

A quick look to aim and she fired the gun. It hit Fake Dove, the Crimbils, and she was pushed back. It took four more shots before the woman fell down to one knee and turned into a small grey alien with a big head. “A grey alien? I guess Mulder was right.” Sophia shot her two more times and the Crimbils fell to the ground.

“I was supposed to save you for once,” said Phil dejectedly.

“You’re adorable, but how does this gun work?”

“I’ve told you everything I know.”

A quick glance at the bomb told her it was like the first one that had been on the hull of the ship. A small bomb that had a little antimatter inside it, making it extremely dangerous. She’d studied the design and physics behind that bomb as much as she could in her free time.

The computer told her that the gun worked by disrupting the molecular bonds of its target. Doing so would destroy the bomb but release the antimatter and the ensuing explosion would kill them.

“Damn, if we move it; it explodes. If we shoot it; it explodes. If I try to disarm it; it explodes.” Sophia sighed in frustration.

“What if you shoot it at the same time it releases the antimatter? Couldn’t you contain it in the energy of the gun?” he asked.

Sophia was going to dismiss the idea but thought about it. If she could make sure nothing touched the antimatter except the energy from the gun she might be able to guide it out an airlock. Thankfully there was an airlock on the bridge.

“Once it’s out the airlock I can throw it and the gun right as we jump to hyperspace. Ok, get ready to hit the hyperspace button.”

The plan was crazy, but she had no other choice and didn’t have any more time. She quickly set the gun to disintegrate and waited. The bomb had a convenient countdown timer and she was able to time her shot perfectly.

With the antimatter in tow she headed for the airlock. Stepping inside she held on to the gun with one hand and closed the inside door. With the inside door closed she wrapped her arm around the security bar and kicked the outer door open. The air rushed out and she threw the gun, hoping Phil’s timing was good.

The second she threw the gun she kicked the door close button and felt the now familiar pull of hyperspace. It was followed by the ship rocking back and forth.

Opening the inner door wasn’t easy. All the air had been drained from her lungs, and combined with the stress of the past few hours, made her feel weak. She barely managed to pull herself up into a sitting position and closing the door.

“You’re bleeding,” Phil ran over to her and helped her to the captain’s chair. “I’ll go get the med kit.”

The objection died as the blood dripped over her left eye. All she could think of was the work that she still needed to do. They needed to reach the Database of Ageless Kings before one of these bombs succeeded.

She must have fallen unconscious, because one moment she was on the brightly lit bridge in a lot of pain and the next thing she knew she was in her bed with a bandage on her head. Phil was holding her hand and he sat in an awkward crumpled position next to the bed.

“Phil,” she whispered and pulled on his hand.

“Yes?”

“Why are you on the floor?”

“I didn’t want to leave you and I didn’t want…” She couldn’t see him clearly but she could hear the blush in his voice.

“Am I dying?”

“No. Absolutely not.” He paused before adding softly, “Please.”

Tugging on his arm she shuffled to the far end of the bunk. He took the hint and joined her on the bed. He curled up and she snuggled into him hugging him. He smelled of sweat, deodorant, and emu. He must have moved Hagrid.

She hugged him and they fell asleep cuddling.

The lights flickering woke her up. The flickering lasted a few moments before they died completely along with the hum of the hyperdrive. Sophia was all for ignoring it when the alarms started going crazy.

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 9

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 3.5 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8

Part 9: An Emu Proves Dangerous

“Did you change the administrative passwords on the ship?” Phil asked. Sophia couldn’t see him since he was sitting behind her in the fighter ship, but his voice sounded worried.

“Sorry. I had to do a fresh restart and that wiped the original codes.”

“Oh, thank the Gods.” She could hear him relaxing. “Dove knew all the codes and she can’t change them without knowing them. Connect to the ship and have it open the airlock.”

“I have a better idea.” Sophia sent a lockdown command to the ship and then had it open the airlock. It was barely big enough for the fighter ship and she squished some cleaning supplies. “I didn’t think I’d ever need this room so I used it as a closet.”

Between the tight quarters and the abundance of cleaning supplies, even with the sensors shut down, there was no way Dove could not have heard them.

Despite the certainty of discovery, they tried to be quiet as they exited the fighter ship, stripped off the suits, and moved towards the bridge.

The lights flickered on and off, in the way Sophia had only ever seen in horror movies.

Whispering, Phil asked, “Did you do something to the lights?”

Sophia shook her head as they entered the hub of the ship, the dining area. It connected to each part of the ship. It was disaster. There was food everywhere, her favourite cereal was scattered around, and there seemed to be thick green goo on the walls.

“Oh no!” Phil was white and he sat down on the nearest chair. Sophia cringed at the smooshing sound the chair made as he sat. He jumped up and looked at the seat, smelled it, and finally sat back down. “I just sat in milk…” He sounded relieved and just stared at the wall with the green goo. “I’m sorry.”

“Why are you sorry? Phil… What’s going on?” Sophia was worried. He’d reacted better to certain death by bomb, twice, than he was now. Whatever he was thinking it must be scary.

“Dove is dead.”

“How do you know?”

“The blood. It’s from a Crimbils.” He gestured at the goo, indicating it was blood.

“Dove is a Crimbils?” Sophia asked, confused.

“No. Yes.” He gave a big sigh. “The Crimbils are a shape shifting race that eat their victim’s brains and change into them. They know everything their victim did and can mimic them almost perfectly. On top of that, they can manipulate others into liking or lusting after them.”

The full meaning of what he said hit her, and all she could think of saying was, “Sorry.”

Taking a deep breath he stood up and said, “This means she’s probably an assassin. I guess this means we can kill her.” He sounded sad, but his brow was crinkled determinedly. He walked over to the wall and pressed a place that looked like everything else. A panel opened showing a gun and what looked like a fencing sword. Seeing her surprise, he said, “This ship and I were together for years before you. We still have a few secrets.” He tossed her the gun, “Point and click. The button on the side prevents accidental discharge; tap it once to set it to stun, twice to kill, and three times to disintegrate.”

They walked down the still creepily flickering corridors in silence. As they walked, they started hearing a loud rhythmic banging sound. It got louder as they got closer.

All kinds of things could have been making that noise and Sophia imagined all the more farfetched and scariest possibilities. The absolute last thing she expected was what they found.

With a dented metal mixing bowl on his head, Hagrid was ramming the door to the bridge. Every time he hit the door he’d jump back and run back at it.

“Hagrid. Please stop,” she pleaded. The sound of her voice made him stop, but instead of reacting like the lovable, if mischievous, Emu that she’d grown to tolerate… and love, he turned and ran towards her.

She tapped the button on the side of the gun once and barely managed to get a shot off before he hit her. A line of energy flew out of the gun and stopped him in his tracks. He didn’t fall, however, and started moving towards her again. It took three more shots before he gingerly curled up and went to sleep. Loud snoring and all.

It wasn’t until she was stepping over him that she saw the green blood on his wings.

They walked to the door and released the lock. Phil opened the door and went in first. It was a good thing; as he walked in an identical blade to his, glowing green, sliced down in front of the door. He blocked it as if it was nothing and turned to face the person on the other side of the door. Since he was still in the doorway, Sophia couldn’t see Dove.

“Who sent you?” he asked.

A soft chuckle answered him and Sophia watched as he defended himself against more attacks. She tried to squeeze around and fire but couldn’t get a good shot.

“Who sent you?” he repeated.

She was tempted to pull him out or push him in but was worried that he’d get hit. She didn’t know what the glowing, humming swords could do but she didn’t want to get him killed.

The chuckling stopped and a voice that sounded like Dove, but without any of the bounciness or false joy, said, “The Queen, your sister, sends her regards!” The statement was followed by a series of beeping sounds.

“Amazing,” Phil said, sounding both tired and annoyed. “Another bomb.”

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 8

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.

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 7

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.”

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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

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.”

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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

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.

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Database of the Ageless Kings (Serial Story) Part 5

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.”

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Database of the Ageless Kings (Serial Story) Part 4

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.”

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Database of the Ageless Kings (Serial Story) Part 3

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.

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