Gladiators in SPACE! – Part 4

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

I was sleeping off my fight with the wolves when a woman who had more cybernetic implants than I had thought possible came to see me.

She looked vaguely familiar but I couldn’t place her. She looked at me with a combination of anger and embarrassment. “I’m dying,” she said and she was right. As I probed her mind I could see that it was failing, as were all her cybernetics.

“I’ll do what I can.”

“Despite what I’ve done?” That’s when I recognised her. She was Samantha, the assassin trainer from the Maidens of the Antichthon. I thought she’d been killed by Suzie when they’d escaped the Maiden’s mother ship.

“I’ll do what I can.” She lay on the ground and I placed my hands on her. I could feel her body dying and rejecting the cybernetics that kept her alive at the same time. I have pretty powerful healing powers but what happened next was a shock to me.

I concentrated on healing and felt the warmth of Sol wash over me. That’s the part where I burst into flames and need new clothes. This was different than normal, more intense, like I was healing more than one person.

As I healed her I felt everything that had happened to her. They’d brought her back to life and punished her for failing to stop us. They’d taken her apart piece by piece, including parts of her mind. The made sure to dig out the pieces of her mind that had any information on the Maidens. She’d been a horrible person but no one deserved what they did to her.

When the healing was over I was shocked to see two bodies. One was Samantha, put back together and the other was her cybernetics. They had become self-conscious and were accidentaly killing her by trying to become indipendant. There was an allegory in there that I’d have to remember for later.

Both looked up at me and smiled. The cybernetic one cocked her head to the side and said, “I’m a robot. Fascinating.”

***

It took another month for the fighters to open up to me. Each owner owned a couple hundred fighters and there were hundreds of owners. Some of the owners were based on the Mederei, others went from ship to ship. Owners never let their fighters fight each other, which meant I had a hard time getting in contact with my Barsoonian friend.

The more I fought the more people seemed to like me and I started getting gifts. They were indulgences from silk sheets to alcohol and everything in between. I gave it all away except for any chocolate or coffee; I have my vices. The more I fought, the more I had things to trade or give away.

The alcohol was particularly useful for trading. As a mild telepath and strong precognitive, it’s a terrible idea to drink. Alcohol breaks down walls as well as inhibitions. When I studied at the Psionic Clan Academy, I’d gotten drunk and spent the next two days in the hospital seeing one person’s possible lifetimes over and over again. They had to put me into a medically induced coma to save my life. The Psionic Clans may be no better than common thugs with super powers, but they take care of their own. Thankfully they didn’t know I wasn’t one of them.

The alcohol got me a special training session with my friend.

“You again. What do you want?”

“Do you know who I am? I’m here to save you and bring you back to your people.”

They looked around at the guards and locked doors, cocked an eyebrow and said, “Right, what’s your plan? Going to just teleport me out?”

“So you do know who I am. Teleport is out of the question. They have blockers all over the ship.”

“Of course I know who you are, Hal Sun-Speaker. I’m Aly. Why do you want to save me?”

“I’m not the Sun-Speaker. I’m just Hal. I’m here to save you because it’s what Sol wants and it’s what Mars needs.”

“Why in the nine hells would Mars need me?”

“Something is coming and Mars needs to be united. The future Emperor will need you to advise him.” I waved away any questions and asked one of my own, “How many Martians are on this ship?”

“Maybe a couple of thousand…” They looked confused.

“It’s not enough. We need more people.” I started wondering if the other people would help Martians or if humanities natural, and idiotic, racism would get in the way.

Aly laughed a deep rumbling laugh as if I’d said something hilarious, “It’s true what they say about you. The seer who doesn’t see himself.”

“What?” I hate being confused or surprised, it’s just not right and hurt my fragile ego.

“Just because the church disowned you doesn’t mean those who believe in Sol have.” Seeing my puzzled face they added, “Many believe you’re the true word of Sol and would follow you. On this ship, those who’ve seen both your power and your humanity would follow you out an airlock. You say you don’t have enough people but you have an army.”

“An army of gladiators might be useful…” The idea that I had an army made my skin crawl. I don’t like blind obedience, which is why I filled my crew with people way smarter than me, and almost as stubborn. I didn’t want an army but I could use one.

“It’s not just the gladiators.”

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If you like this story, why not read the rest of the stories in the Sun Speaker Universe ?

Gladiators in SPACE! – Part 3

Part 1 | Part 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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If you like this story, why not read the rest of the stories in the Sun Speaker Universe ?

Gladiators in SPACE! – Part 2

Part 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“So you’re Hal?”

“That’s me and you are?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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If you like this story, why not read the rest of the stories in the Sun Speaker Universe ?

Gladiators in SPACE! – Part 1

Hello My Imaginary Friends!

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy!

Read moreGladiators in SPACE! – Part 1

Back from Vacation

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

Feels like it’s been a long time. Hope you enjoyed A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to my Funeral and are enjoying the Serial Story Only Human.

The family and I had a great time in Disney World, which has given me an interesting idea for a series of short stories. Travelling has always given me inspiration, last time I went to Disney I got a great idea for a supernatural fight in an airport that I added to A Memory of Faust, the second Elizabeth Investigates book.

A Study in Aether

Speaking of Elizabeth Investigates, I’ve finished my first pass through the multiple comments from a bunch of Beta-Readers for A Study in Aether. They were super helpful but a little discouraging. The book was written 5 years ago and over 400,000 words ago. (I know right? I’m almost halfway to mythical Million Word rule.) If you want to discourage someone who creates things, show them their first few tries. Ok so a bunch of people who I respect have told me it was good. It just needs a little polishing. Next phase is to fix the large structural issues and then to do a line by line clean-up. Final phase will be to do some re-writing of the prologue, epilogue, and a few clunky scenes. I’ll hopefully be done by Christmas. Sigh.

Conventions

Cap-Con

I’m feverishly roasting coffee for this weekend when we’ll be selling at Cap-Con, Ottawa’s premier model building competition and convention. Come check us out if you have a chance. I’ll have the following Flavours available in limited quantities.

Pop Expo

We’ve also added another event to our plans. We’ll be selling at Ottawa Pop Expo in November. YAY!

FADDS

We finished our summer long playtest and I’ve ironed out a lot of the kinks in the main system and created a kickass enemy system.

The magic items unbalance the game a little and the creation is overly arcane (pun intended).

I’m currently building a story for my next campaign and I’m considering using FADDS. I get more work done on it when I’m testing it.

 

How was your summer?

Éric

What has Eric Been Doing?

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

It feels like a while since I’ve written a real update about everything going on, so here’s an update on what I’m working on.

Novels

A Study in Aether

The book is currently with Beta Reader 1 (or 12 depending on how you’re counting.)

I plan on sending it to Beta Reader 2 by the end of January and 3 by the end of February. If all goes well I’ll be able to resubmit in April. Yay!

Parasomnia

I’m roughly 36% done editing and it’s taking a long time. It’s all about motivation unfortunately. I’ll start working more on in it next week. I’d like to get it to the Weditor by the end of next week. Yikes!

Everdome

I’ve been planning and prepping and wishing I could write instead of editing. So yesterday I caved and started writing a little. I’ve now got 3000 words total of a novel I haven’t technically started.

I’ll start writing it officially once I finish editing Parasomnia, so hopefully Christmas week and then in the New Year.

Stories

Sun-Speaker Universe

I’ve written a sequel to Hal The Sun-Speaker and it should be edited and serial posted here sometime in the future.

Crystal Death Multiverse

I previously called this Project Kitchen Sink. I haven’t worked much on it but I do have 3 completed stories that I’m considering serial posting here.

The Cosmic Cuckoos

The Adventures of Helen will be returning soon. I really enjoyed this story but got distracted by Felix Felicis.

The Ridiculous Adventures of Felix Felicis

This story started as a one off word of the day and turned into a time spanning epic which makes me giggle every time I re-read it. I hope it’s made you laugh as well.

I’m planning on wrapping this one up around April Fools.

Games

The Simplest RPG

I’ve done a little work on fine tuning this game and I have a playtest on Saturday that should give me an idea how well it’s works. I’ve created a cute little character sheet and everything. I’ll post more next week.

FADDS

I won’t have a website up for FADDS this year but I have been hard at work fine tuning the system. I’m very close to the editing phase.

I have a playtest for FADDS this weekend too so I should be good to make some edits and then go through the whole thing to fix issues and clean up language.

Coffee

Next step

I’m ready to call my coffee experiments a success. The product is good and I’ve had some good reviews. I’m planning on upping my production capabilities and next convention I plan on having a giant thermos to let people test the coffee.

My next phase in production is to test out weird flavours. My best sellers were Cinnamon and Banana so I’d like to try some unlikely flavours. I’ll try out some of the fruity stuff and see what happens.

Flavours

I’m keeping the Raktajino, rebranding the Banana Cream as Minion Coffee, and adding Jabba the Peanut a peanut butter flavoured coffee.

I think, unless I hear different, I’ll retire the Spiked and Davroast.

Want Some?

I still have some Spiked(Butter Rum) and Davroast(Chocolate Hazelnut) left over if you’re interested.

Youtube

Silver Stag

I’m still volunteering with Silver Stag Entertainment. Go check out the shows. We’re really quite funny.

JenEric Designs

Things have been quieter than the night before Christmas on the JenEric Designs Youtube page.

All is not lost. I have an idea that is both easy and cheap to produce. Bonus is that my antiquated Premier will be able to handle it easily. I just have to get it set up. More on that later.

 

Well I’ve been busy lately…

What project, that I’ve been working on, would you like to see more of?

Éric