Seren Plentyn and the Secret of Hokulua Station – Chapter 1


Chapter 1


Chapter 1: All kinds of leaks

The stars were in different places, they always were, but with a little concentration Seren could map out their location. The universe was impossibly large, but her and her people had spent time untold sailing the stars.

Hokulua was a generational exploration and protection space station. Most GEPS were crawling with scientists, soldiers, and their children. Hokulua was quiet but it wouldn’t be for very long. There were a ten million souls on their way to the station and it would be the flagship of the Starchild Family.

“State-of-the-art my ass!” shouted Mr. Plentyn as he paced around the living quarters, angrily tapping at his tablet. “More like experimental and unstable!”

“Did Hoku refuse to give you your coffee again?” Seren’s large smile lit up her face making her skin seem to glow. Her bright green eyes were questioning as well as teasing.

“No, Hokulua Station didn’t refuse to give me coffee… more than once. It’s this blasted power drain. I can’t seem to stop it. The station is using twice as much power as it should and every time I patch a hole a new one opens up.”

“Have you asked Hoku?”

“Dear child. Why would I bother asking a glorified entertainment AI something I know it can’t answer?”

“So you asked and it gave you one of those weird phrases again?”

It was Aern’s turn to smile at his daughter, he shared her dark brown skin and reddish hair but he had light amber eyes. “Yes it said, ‘Plasma Beasts are at the gates’; whatever that means.”

“Wish I could help,” she said and meant it.

Walking over to the wall and the food dispenser, she asked, “Hoku, can I have some orange juice and a breakfast number four please.”

The soft deep voice of the station’s AI replied, “That will take forty percent of your daily recommended rations food intake. Are you sure you want to proceed?”

“I’m doing a space-walk today and will need the extra energy. Please proceed.”

The food appeared in the food slot and she could have sworn she heard Hoku say, “Good luck.”

She ate in silence, watching the stars. It was the way she ate most mornings. Her father was up and fed hours before her and she liked the quiet.

“I’m here to make sure you don’t miss your first shift,” Jan stood at the door in their uniform. Their blonde, almost white, hair and nearly translucent skin glowed slightly in the dim light of the living quarters.

Seren made a rude noise and drank the last of her juice.

“Jan you know that you don’t need to wear your uniform right?”

“Just because the rest of the military isn’t here doesn’t mean I can slack off. Might as well get used to it.” Jan was officially known as Private Jan Ng, they’d graduated and passed military training a week ago. Seren hadn’t applied for the military but instead tested and passed the tests for both the engineering corps and her real passion, the archeological civilian branch. She wanted to follow her passions but didn’t want to leave her father. He’d had too many people leave him already.

“Well I’m not wearing a uniform until I have to.” Instead, Seren wore a deep red button up shirt with a pair of snug kaki pants, with her comfy dark brown boots.

“I love you, Dad. I’m off to find out where our air is disappearing to.”

Barely looking up, he replied, “Love you too. Be careful.”

“Dad! I’m eighteen!”

“The vacuum of space doesn’t care how old you are.”

She kissed his cheek and headed out.

“So, Private, are you excited for everyone to show up?” Jan’s parents were part of the advance team with Seren’s father that were sent ahead to prepare stations or sent in to repair old stations.

“Mother-of-Stars, yes! This quiet is painful; I’m so glad I won’t have to do this again.”

They headed to the nearest transportation pod. A small train-like transportation controlled by the AI. It would seat twenty when the station was fully manned.

Each pod could move along one of the arms of the station. Like all Starchild Stations, Hokulua was built with a micro-star in the centre of four large rings. Each ring touches at least touches the other rings and has four bridges connecting to the micro-star engine and power station.

Each ring is given a designation, Alpha, Beta, Charlie, and Delta. Each quadrant of each disk is given a letter, A, B, C, and D. Finally each quadrant of each ring had a hundred floors. Each of the floors was roughly six hundred square metres.

“So we need to walk the entire alpha-ring today?” asked Jan.

“No just the top of A quadrant,” Seren said and then added, “That’s still four kilometres.” They had been hired to inspect the outside hull of the station and make sure that there were no air leaks. If there was an air leak, even a small one, it would glow a florescent orange when it hit the cold of space.

The transport pod stopped at the spaceport and they reported for duty. There were five of them that had been hired but only four had shown up.

“Just like Annie to be late or forget to come to work,” joked one of the others.

They were given their sections and assigned space suits. Seren went over to hers and something wasn’t quite right. The suit wasn’t hanging like the others, but was put together and leaning in the locker storage.

The visor was oddly tinted dark brown. She was about to disconnect it when Jan grabbed her hand. With a tremor in their voice, they said, “Your suit is leaking blood.”

Read Chapter 2 (Coming in February)


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

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Serial Story 2019 – Results

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

You voted and this year’s serial story will be an Adventure Mystery, written in the third person, with 2 regular human main characters in an original setting.

That turned out to be pretty vague and I decided a few things.

  1. I want to write a classic YA style mystery
  2. I want it to be on a space station
  3. The Welsh words for Star Child translates into the perfect name for a YA mystery.

So without further ado I give you the description of this year’s serial story:

Seren Plentyn and the Secret of Hokulua Station

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 noises, 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.

This should be an interesting and fun year.

Later Days,

Éric

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Vote for the Travelling TARDIS

Hello Everyone,

My wife has worked hard over the years to take entertaining pictures of her awesome Travels of the crocheted TARDIS!.

This year it’s been nominated for an Aurora Award and I’d love to see it win.

Please, if you enjoy the pictures, go vote for the Travelling TARDIS in the category of Best Fan Writing and Publications.

There are only 2 days left to vote.

GO VOTE HERE!

Thank you!

Éric

P.S. Everyone on the ballot is absolutely fantastic and deserves to win.

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Go VOTE!

Hello,

It’s election day in Ontario and for the first time Millennials are the largest voting block. That means nothing if we don’t vote.

GO VOTE!

We voted in the advance polls because the polling station was practically next door.

Please please please go vote.

The issues that the parties are promising are huge and will impact every aspect of Health, Education, Environment, City infrastructure, and much more.

Thank you in advance,

Éric

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Changing the Voting Age

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

The Elections Chief said that Parliament could look into bringing the voting age down. That’s according to this CBC article.  Scotland and Austria already have a voting age of 16.

The argument being that allowing younger voters will help get people more engaged in our electoral system. Canada’s voting turnout has hovered between 60%-70% since the 1980’s.

I think that with a boost to our civics classes it could create a new generation of people who understand and care. The class would have to be politically neutral and concentrate on having people read the platforms and make responsible choices. Not just vote for whoever their parents voted for.

 

What do you think? Should we lower the voting age to 16?

Éric

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Voting in the 2015 Canadian Elections

Hello,

If you’ve read my blog, even for a few months, you know I lean left ideologically. This isn’t going to be about whom to vote for but how to make up your mind.
federal-leaders

Where and what do I need to vote?

Let’s start at the basics. To find your riding go to Elections Canada. All you need to find your riding, who’s running, and where to vote, is your postal code.

As for what you need, here’s what Elections Canada says:

You must prove your identity and address to register and vote in a federal election. Here are your ID options when you are voting in person – at an Elections Canada office, at advance polls or on election day.

In other words, you need a piece of ID with your address on it and your face. If you don’t have that, you need two forms of ID.

Check out this nifty infographic:

voterID_e

How do I know who I agree with?

You are going to hear all kinds of things. One candidate will say the other likes stealing monkeys, and the other will say he doesn’t steal monkeys but that the first is anti-monkey… etc etc. Ad Nauseum!

Political ads do nothing to give you information, especially honest information.

Don’t fret, there are tools out there that can help.

vote-compass-logo

The CBC’s Vote Compass will ask you all your opinions and tell you what most matches the current platforms of the major parties.

If you’re willing to put in the time, all the major parties have their platforms on their websites. They are filled with propaganda, but they give you an ok idea.

The Maclean’s Leaders debate was mildly enlightening and is available on youtube.

Last but not least, talk to your friends and family. They will have something to say. I promise.

What about strategic voting?

Although I see the appeal, it goes fundamentally against what I believe in. People should vote FOR something not AGAINST something. Read more about why I LOATH strategic voting.

Not to mention that it’s both ineffective if most people don’t vote and easily manipulated. Search around enough and you’ll start to see that each strategic voting site has a bias and that’s born of flawed methodology in their polling (if they poll at all) and the fact that they’re often funded by parties.

I’m not saying this is happening, but if I were in power and had lots of money, I’d invest into funding a strategic voting site in order to make sure the vote went my way.

Vote with your heart!

My vote doesn’t matter so why even do it?

Let’s look at numbers. The current government has a majority, which means they were elected in more than half of the ridings in Canada.

A total of 61.1% of eligible voters actually voted and the ruling party received 39.62% of the total vote.

So the ruling party got 39.62% of 61.1%… or 24.2% of the eligible voters.

The difference between the ruling party and second place was 8.9% of the vote. So our ruling party won by a margin of 5.4%.

To put this into perspective… if half the people who chose not to vote had voted for an imaginary party they would have gotten second place in total votes.

VOTE!

These people represent you, whether you like it or not. If you don’t vote, you give to power to those that do.

By not voting, that 38.9% in the last election made everyone else’s vote count for 38.9% more.

This is your country, make a difference, make a choice, and let your voice be heard.

On Monday October 19th, please go out and vote!

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