Red Day, Ere the Sun Rises – Chapter 5

The text, "Red Day, Ere the Sun Rises: A Sun Speaker Story" over a red sun.

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


Chapter 5: Obligatory boardroom and planning scene

“Denebola,” I (Hal) said, hoping to get a rise out of someone. It was the sun that the Sun Speaker on the Robinson had said he represented before I flew our ship into Sol and let the plasma work it out. 

The entire crew of the Revenge did a complicated gesture over their hearts. “Let me guess… God of your people?”

It was Diamond that answered, “No. The God of Black-Sun is Spica. Denebola is the god of devouring in the Pantheon. He is the one that eats the rebel suns. His Speakers are twisted and lead armies of Void-Beasts.”

I saw the look in Diamond and Zuri’s eyes a split second before the vision hit me. Our three ships were flying toward the edge of the system when the Denebola fleet arrived. They were the ships I’d been having nightmares about. They were black and shiny like they were covered in tar, their angles were wrong and seemed to shift as I watched.

The Sol fleet had already been decimated by the Sun Fleet. This new influx was the last straw, and I saw them retreat through a portal near Mars.

The Denebola ships started to attack the other sun’s ships, the planets, and anything between them and Sol. By the end of the vision, there was nothing left, the Sol had been extinguished.

The meeting room on the Hey Sunny had really comfy chairs for when this happened. The three of us woke up to our friends looking worried. 

“That was concerning,” I understated.

Zuri ran to the corner and threw up in the garbage. Her captain brought her some water to rinse her mouth, and the girl came back.

I had an idea but I needed more information first. “Zuri, your ship creates an FLT-bubble and moves space around it?”

“Yes. But it takes a lot of energy,” she replied.

“Diamond, you use a jump drive? With a wormhole generator for long distance trips?” The jump drive was similar to the way my ship and most of the Sol system ships worked.

The man nodded. 

I turned to our last guest, Captain Jan, and asked, “You have an actual sun inside your ship, and it propels you how?”

“My people have been using stardrives for millennia. We use the sun’s natural resonance to move the universe around the ship.”

Adric, Zuri, and all the other tech heads started asking questions at the same time. When they’d calmed down, I asked the question I’d been dreading since I’d heard of the stardrive, “Can you make more non-sapient micro stars?”

The captain looked confused as she replied, “Yes, but they’d be useless for stardrives. The mind of the sun is what does all the calculations.”

“I don’t want to use them as stardrives. I want to use them as bombs. We can manipulate the plasma levels in the sun and cause it to go supernova. If we can make enough, I can create a chain reaction that would take out most of that fleet.” 

“Hal! Channelling that sort of energy would kill you!” Suzie exclaimed.

Taking her hand gently, I replied, “It would but I’m not alone anymore. With three people, it’ll be a lot easier.” Turning to Adric, I said, “Can you retrofit the ship to have a stardrive and a wormhole generator?”

“Yeah, with some help,” he seemed confident but overwhelmed. We all were.

“Okay. Captain Ng. How many non-sapient suns can you create in a month?”

She looked over at her crew and spoke in their language before turning to me and saying, “If we can use Sol for extra power, we can probably have a few thousand by that time.”

“Excellent. Let’s all get ready.” Dismissed, everyone started to leave. When there was only me, Suzie, Zuri, and Diamond left, I cocked an eyebrow and asked, “What is it?”  

It was Zuri who spoke first. She tried hard to sound confident but years of being looked down on showed in her tone. “I don’t like the idea of killing trillions.”

“I don’t like the Suns but it seems harsh to kill them like that,” Diamond added.

I gave a theatrical sigh before asking, “What other options do we have? They’re not going to offer us the same courtesy.”

“I don’t know but there has to be another option,” Zuri said and her attitude was like looking into a mirror.

Diamond nodded and his lower lip jutted out in a stubborn pout. I swear the man could have been a male model.

Earlier the three of us had exchanged information in a wholly new way that involved sharing our history together through a telepathic connection. I showed them everything I had learned about being a Sun Speaker, Diamond showed us all the training a Black-Sun Sun Speaker received, and finally Zuri shared her multi-lifetime experience as the reincarnation of King Arthur. It was fascinating to see the difference between everyone’s training and how varied the powers they accessed. One of the reasons me and my predecessors had such short lifespans was that we spent a lot more energy and power than was safe.  

“I’m glad to hear that,” I said and tried to smile reassuringly. “I’m hoping the micro sun bombs can be more of a deterrent until the Denebola ships arrive. If we can keep the Sun’s armies busy without hurting them, they’ll have no choice but to help face off against the void-beasts and their masters.”

“What?” all three of them said at the same time.

“We saw those ships attacking everything. I’m guessing that the Sun fleet has a sense of survival. We just have to delay them until the real nightmares arrive and then hope we can take whoever survives.”

Suzie chuckled and said, “That’s the most Hal plan I’ve ever heard.”

“I’ll take that as a compliment,” I replied.

She chided, “Don’t. It’s still very risky and depends on us being able to distract a fleet of bloodthirsty zealots.”

“Distracting is what I do second best,” I said with as much confidence as I could.

“What do you do first best?” Zuri asked suspiciously.

“Getting into trouble,” I replied. 

Suzie rolled her eyes and the other two Sun Speakers walked out of the meeting room.

“I know you’re keeping something from the rest of the group. Why?” Suzie asked, and I loved her all the more for not asking what.“I’m not sure how much the enemy Sun Speakers can see or how much control they have. If I could watch them planning, I know I would. I want to keep as many surprises as I can.”

Read Chapter 6 (June 2024)


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

Red Day, Ere the Sun Rises – Chapter 4

The text, "Red Day, Ere the Sun Rises: A Sun Speaker Story" over a red sun.

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


Chapter 4: A Flashback to a Diamond

The closer we got to Sol and his system, the more powerful my visions became. The visions were intense and terrifying.

There was more than just Black-Sun massing to attack. There was a whole rainbow of suns. The full spectrum; Black, White, Blue, Violet, Red, Orange, and Yellow. 

The irony is that Sol’s system spawned the humans that comprised these fleets. Old Earth had had three mass exodus, the first two had colonised the Sol System, the third had seen them colonise the galaxy.

As they’d travelled, they’d come across the sapient stars and those same stars saw the human’s potential. It had taken just over five hundred years for the whole thing to go from scattered explorers to trillions of soldiers. The suns worked fast to try and quell the rebels among them.

Sol believed in the sanctity of life and freewill, while the others believed it was their right to rule the universe. I, newly renamed, ironically, Diamond Stars, wanted one thing. The same as the name of my ship, Revenge.

How was my small, mostly unarmed, ship supposed to exact revenge on a fleet counting millions? I had no idea. 

We were cloaked from the fleet, both from their scanners and from their Sun Speakers. I had found a nifty device that blocked the Black-Sun from finding us. From wormhole to wormhole we followed them, since we didn’t have our own wormhole generator, and caused havoc when we could.

It was just me, Onyx, my boyfriend, and his little sister Sphene. We had all the expertise to run the ship and take care of ourselves, but not to cause any major damage to the fleet. After almost two years we got our chance.

Sol gave me the answer in the form of a vision. The Sun Speakers from Black-Sun are trained from birth in how to handle and survive the visions. I had forced the information out of one of their Sun Speakers, which meant I wasn’t in constant pain or slowly killing my brain. That didn’t mean it was pleasant.

After the vision, I ran to a computer terminal and started typing. When I was done, Onyx massaged my shoulders and asked, “What is that?”

“I have no idea,” I said.

“Your sun god is really vague and like I’m not sure he knows what he’s doing,” Sphene said from across the room, lounging in the way only a teenager could. She stood up and walked over. She read the gibberish in front of me and said, “That’s computer code. Looks like a program to hijack their wormhole generator.” 

The three of us were geniuses, me with mechanical devices and ships, Onyx with anything biological, and Sphene with code, although she preferred weapons. 

“Where will it send them?” I knew it was sending them somewhere the moment she described it.

“Looks like the galactic core,” Sphene chuckled. “That many ships that close to the core would definitely get sucked into the black hole.”

Onyx played with my hair, which was making thinking hard, and asked, “How do we get that code to them?”

“We’ll need to infiltrate a ship,” Sphene replied.

I shook my head, “No. We just need a comms antenna. I could do it from outside a ship.”

The strong brown fingers stopped playing with my hair. Onyx said, “Wouldn’t we be stuck here?”

“We have a matter-replicator and the Black-Sun plans. I’m sure I could build a wormhole generator.” I didn’t say that it would have to be one jump and if I screwed up the math, we’d die a horrible death with our atoms spread across a dozen systems.

I suited up and Sphene took us close to one of the ships. The cloak worked better from a distance and the closer we got, the easier it would be for Black-Sun to see us. 

The calm of space is also its scariest attribute. The quiet, cold, and seemingly unending distances seem safe, until you factor in the fact that space wants you dead. Despite this, I jumped out of the ship with nothing but a spacesuit to protect me. I had a little jetpack that propelled me to the ship. 

I floated toward the comms array, and when I got there, I unscrewed the panel and plugged in my small pad. It took me a few moments to download the code and send it to the fleet.

“They’re activating the wormhole generators,” Onix said into my earpiece, sounding worried. “Get out of there!”

It’s called space but it’s pretty full of stuff. Space radiation, debris, and other things fly around at high speeds everywhere. As I headed back to the ship, I was hit by a small meteor and tossed off course.

I was about to get hit by the ship I’d added the code to when a well-aimed grappling hook caught me and pulled me back into the Revenge.

“Thanks, Sphene,” I said panting as I got back into the ship.

“Go to medical. You’re bleeding.” She sounded annoyed but I could hear the worry behind her tone.

In the room that was deemed medical, I watched the last of the Black-Sun ships fly into the wormhole. “Good riddance,” I said. A vision from Sol told me that the fleet would be decimated by the gravity wells and the creatures that lived there. Horrifying humanoid dog alligator creatures, I’d seen them before, they were nightmare creatures we’d called Void-Beasts.

“You look pale, let me sew that up,” Onyx said, gently helping me in bed. “I’ve seen you hurt worse. Why do you look terrified?”

“We just destroyed ninety-percent of the Black-Sun fleet.”

“That’s great!”

“Those ships that survived are going to be joining the fight with void-beasts by their side.” We’d won a victory, but at what cost?Sol gave me a new vision and it was of the same battle I’d been dreaming about, but this time there were less Black-Sun, and I could see a fleet of Sol ships led into battle by three ships; the Warship Ennill, the Hey-Sunny, and the Revenge.

Read Chapter 5


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

Red Day, Ere the Sun Rises – Characters

The text, "Red Day, Ere the Sun Rises: A Sun Speaker Story" over a red sun.

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


I was told the sheer quantity of characters was a little intimidating. I started to understand as I made this list. Hopefully this will help keep the characters straight.

Hal the Sun Speaker

Hal

Born 825 Post First Earthen Emigration. A prophet called the Sun-Speaker, he gets visions from the god Sol that lives in the sun. He was raised on Venus from the age of ten.

Rose

A doctor who was part of Hal’s crew. She is currently in hiding, raising the future King of Mars with her wife Sofia.

Sofia

Former special forces in the Mars militia, she was dishonorably discharged for saving Hal’s life against orders. The first time she met him, she also beat the crap out of him. She is his former bodyguard.

Gwinevere the Second, High Queen of Venus

As a child, found Hal hiding in the luggage of the royal ship. They dated as teenagers. When he was ex-communicated from the church, she broke all ties.

Princess Lenay

Princess of Venus. She was born with an immune disorder like her mother but both were healed by Hal.

Thomas the sixth, Ruler of Mars

King of Mars being raised in exile on Earth. He was kidnapped as a child by the Venetians.

The Assassin

Suzie (AKA Helena)

Former assassin with the Maidens of Antichthon. Hal helped her uncover the corruption in the organzation and she joined his crew as his new bodyguard. They eventually developed feelings for each other and are now dating.

Samantha

The assassin trainer from the Maidens of the Antichthon. Disgraced, she was tortured and implanted with cybernetics and sent to fight in the arena. Hal healed her and the expelled cybernetics became their own person. Currently both are in charge of the The Mederei Alpha, a former gladiator ship which is now a home for refugees.

Seren Plentyn and the Secret of Hokulua Station

Seren Plentyn

An adventurous twenty-something archeologist and linguist. Member of the Children of the Stars.

Captain Jan Ng

A stern but fair life-long miliary soldier. They are the captain of the MOAS (Mother of all Suns) Warship Ennill.

Annie Musa

Wife of Seren and ace fighter pilot. Annie is sarcastic and loyal. Member of the Children of the Stars.

Mother of All Suns

The last remnants of an ancient civilization downloaded their minds into a great machine. Its power source was a sun and that sun’s consciousness merged with the people.

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to my Funeral

Janet

Plutonian who discovered the secret to eternal youth. Despite looking 18, she is a brilliant doctor and scientist.

Adric

Computer and engineering genius. Helped free Callisto from mob rule with his hacking skills. Currently the engineer on Hal’s ship, the Hey Sunny.

Travis

A Mercurian pilot. Hal served as a medic on his ship. To save his life, Hal had to leave him on a pirate ship to be tortured.

Caro

The system’s strongest telepath and precog. Former member of Hal’s crew currently living on Xanthus.

Gladiators in SPACE!

Henrick Al-Mer of the house of Mers

Royal instructor to the kings and queens of Mars.

Aly

Martian-Barsoonian adviser to the King and former leader of his people.

Diamond Stars and the Galactic Heist

Diamond Stars (AKA Garnet)

Former Black-Sun operative who went rogue. Current incarnation of the Robin Hood style character Diamond Stars and captain of the Revenge. Also a recent Sun Speaker of Sol.

Onyx

Doctor on the Revenge. Boyfriend of Diamond Stars.

Sphene

Younger sister of Onyx. Weapons expert and gunner on the Revenge.

Ghost Ship Robinson

Fry

Ex-soldier and mercenary. Died on the Robinson

Hoff

Ex-soldier and mercenary. Bioscience expert on the Hey Sunny.

Teddy

Former engineer on the Hey Sunny. Died on the Robinson.

The Suns of War

Nessa Muldune

Captain of the ISS Galahad. She’s a Feline Martian who has a strong love for her crew, knowledge, and justice.

Alexandre Crowley

Senior science officer of the ISS Galahad. He’s a Serpant Tyrite who values logic over emotion.

Tanya Brook

Lieutenant weapons officer of the ISS Galahad. She’s a Sapian Martian. She’s tall, muscled, and looks like she’s been in plenty of fights.

Em Frechette

Master Sargent and communications officer of the ISS Galahad. They’re a Sapian Tyrite. 

Peri Anson

Doctor of the ISS Galahad. He’s an older Sapian Martian. His interest lies in his crew and their health above all else.

Bart Shelby

Lieutenant and pilot of the ISS Galahad. He’s Canine Arisian with plenty of years as a fighter pilot.

Arzure Pendreicht (Zuri)

Head Engineer of the ISS Galahad. She’s a young Sapian Martian, the reincarnation of King Arthur, and a Sun Speaker for Sol.

Red Day, Ere the Sun Rises: A Sun Speaker Story (Serial Story) — Chapter 3

The text, "Red Day, Ere the Sun Rises: A Sun Speaker Story" over a red sun.

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


Chapter 3: Hope arrives, Sol help us if it’s false hope

People as individuals are only predictable if you know them. People as a group are always predictable. Scared people are even more.

It took me nearly a half hour to get them to shut up and listen to me. It might have taken less time if I’d done more than look at them scathingly. 

When they’d finally calmed down, I said the worst possible thing, “These ships are our Allies, and despite their numbers they are nothing compared to what is coming.” That cost me another ten minutes of their panicking.

“The enemy we are facing wants only one thing, to destroy our sun and anyone it its way.” I thought this was a pretty good call to arms. 

I was surprised by the Venutian Queen saying, “What if we left? The old Earth corporations did it. We could find new homes.”

The head of the Psionic Clans, a thin and gangly man with bug-like eyes, answered, “Old Earth had a few billion people, and most of them probably died in the void between galaxies. Moving the trillion inhabitants of the system is impossible.”

The room was quiet and they all looked around. It didn’t take any special psychic powers for me to know what they were thinking. They were all the rich, the ruling elite. They were trying to decide if they could save themselves.

“You could spend your fortunes on leaving or you could spend them on preparing for what’s to come. With our new allies, we can create defensive turrets, mines, build new ships, and give them more than they bargained for.” I’d hoped for a “Void, Yeah!” or something equally as motivated but instead they all furrowed their brows and thought about it.

I walked out as they argued about who was going to do what.

Again I sat down on the floor and cradled my head. “Any progress?” Suzie asked me. 

“Yes, but we still have a lot of arguing to go through,” I said. She handed me some headache medicine and a bottle with water in it. “Thanks.”

“You’re getting a lot of headaches. Are you dying again?” she was glib but I could tell she was worried. 

“No. Not yet. I’m just tired of all the yelling.”

She sneered at the door and then looked at me in confusion, “But the headaches have been since we found that ghost ship.”

“Not their yelling,” I said and finished the water bottle. “The yelling in my head. Sol is really chatty and the closer our enemy gets, the louder their suns’ voices get. It’s like trying to listen to your loudest friend in front of a speaker at a Martian Metal concert.”

She whistled and replied, “Ouch.” She kissed me on the head and looked uncomfortable. She wanted what any significant other would have wanted, to stop the thing that was hurting me, but as amazing a fighter as she was she couldn’t stop an armada.

Coming back into the room, I was pleasantly surprised to see that Mercurial Guild had volunteered to make the weapons, while the Venusian Empire agreed to build ships.

“Who’s going to build the matter replicators, cloaking devices, micro-sun propulsion engines, and fighter ships?” I asked.

They all looked at me like I had just spouted off a bunch of technology that didn’t exist. To be fair, that’s exactly what I’d done. 

Over the coms, Adric said, “Sir, three more ships just appeared. One of them is massive.”

“Our other allies have arrived,” I said. “They have various technologies that can help us but we have to work together.” A vision hit me and I saw how one of the ships had arrived. “Diamond Stars brought us a gift.” Before they asked, I added, “Diamond Stars is the name of the captain of one of the ships, and he hijacked one of the enemy’s ships. We can use it to try and find their weakness.”

Adric routed a call from one of the ships to the conference hall, “This is Captain Ng of the Warship Ennill. We’ve been sent by the Children of the Stars to help you. Do you accept our help?”

For once, everyone in the room deferred to me. I didn’t like being chosen as the leader but I didn’t have a choice, “This is Hal, Sun Speaker of Sol. You are more than welcome. Make your way to the third planet from the Sun. I hear we have a lot of building to do.”

Captain Ng barked a small laugh and said, “You have no idea.” 

When the coms cut out, I said, “They seem nice. Better than disembodied brains controlling ships.” The comment was ignored and I’m glad I didn’t have to explain about the fleet of Myrddin that had come to help defend us.

The other two ships introduced themselves. There was the Galavant captained by Captain Muldune; they had just come from a devastating war against the same enemy but all three of their solar systems were destroyed. The second was the Revenge captained by Diamond Stars. They followed and managed to get past part of the enemy fleet.

Through the noise of Sol and the other suns in my head, I heard, Hal? Can you hear me? This is Diamond Stars. Sol called for my help. His voice was deep and full.

Diamond Stars? I love that name! another voice in my head said. I’m Arzure Pendreicht but call me Zuri. Her voice was young and enthusiastic.

With that, I was no longer the only Sun Speaker of Sol. I had backup. Why didn’t that make me feel better?

Read Chapter 4


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

Red Day, Ere the Sun Rises: A Sun Speaker Story (Serial Story) — Chapter 2

The text, "Red Day, Ere the Sun Rises: A Sun Speaker Story" over a red sun.

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


Chapter 2: Seren and friends get a call for help

The Children of the Stars had been travelling the universe for ten thousand years. Annie could swear that’s how long they’d been assigned to the Mother of all Star’s planet. She was sick of sitting still and wanted to be moving again. It had only been five years in reality, but it had been a very uneventful five years.

“Can’t you sit still for two seconds?” Seren asked. She was sitting on the couch with her tablet translating the ancient language of the Mother. 

In the five years since they’d discovered this place, their entire civilization had gone from hoarding technology and enslaving micro-suns to sharing their knowledge and working with the suns as equals.

When the Children of the Stars were still just crawling out into the universe, they’d discovered a planet that had been hollowed out to make room for a micro-sun. The sun had been created to power a massive computer that housed the consciousness of the original inhabitants of the planet. Something had happened and the minds merged with the sapience of the sun. They melded into a wonderful and powerful mind. 

Instead of marvelling at what they’d discovered, they stole the technology and then pushed the planet into a void between galaxies. They monopolized the technology and travelled the universe.

Since Annie and Seren had re-discovered the Mother, they’d made a lot of fascinating discoveries. The largest being the ability to speak with suns. Every sun is sapient but until recently, they’d only been able to talk to the Mother and her children.

“The suns say anything interesting?” Annie asked.

Seren pointed at what she was working on and said, “This is just a novel I’m translating. It relaxes me.” 

Laughing, Annie walked over to her wife and kissed her head, saying, “Okay. That’s weird. Cute, but weird.”

A message beeped on both their watches. It was their friend and boss, Jan, or as they were supposed to call them, Captain Ng. Emergency meeting, my office. Now!

The captain’s office was sparsely decorated and Annie would normally tease them about it, but when she and Seren entered, they saw that the room was filled with high level military.

Annie saluted and said, “Generals!”

Seren only nodded politely since she wasn’t military. 

“Good. Thank you for coming,” said the soft voice of the Mother coming from a speaker in the walls. “I have been speaking with the suns and they are concerned about what is happening in the Milky Way Galaxy.” She brought up a starmap. 

“That’s one of the old galaxies,” Seren said, looking almost hungry. “Our home galaxy, Abell 1689, is roughly five hundred million years old. Most of the galaxies we’ve travelled to are between that and five billion. The Milky Way and the old quadrant are between ten and fifteen billion years old. Who knows what we could find.” An archeologist’s dream.

“Yes, exactly,” said the large man who was head of the military in this section of the galaxy. “And something is happening there?” 

Annie appreciated the general trying to get Seren and Mother back on topic.

“Yes,” said Mother and when no one said anything she continued, “Suns have fantastic powers. When a star explodes, everything it’s made of gets scattered, but eventually enough of it comes back and starts a new star. That means that the stars in the Milky Way have died and been reborn so often that their powers are closer to a god.”

“That’s ridiculous,” said Jan. “There’s no such thing as a god.” The Children of the Stars didn’t believe there was a deity, but they did believe in being reborn.

The Mother sighed, something that sounded strange from a digitised voice, and said, “Powers like a god not an actual god. Either way, one of them is screaming for help.”

Everyone stood in silence until Annie asked, “Why is a sun that has god-like powers asking for help from us?”

“He says that the other suns have banded together to destroy him and his people. He says there are two trillion people that will die.” The Mother sounded sad and disgusted at the same time.

“How can we help?” asked Seren.

“I propose we send every ship at our disposal to help them out,” the Mother replied.

The general huffed and said, “That’s not up to you alone. We need to assemble the council for something this big. An emergency meeting can happen by tonight.” He marched off muttering about logistics.

When he was gone, Seren got a huge smile on her face and asked, “What’s the real plan?”

Annie and Jan looked at her confused but Mother replied, “The council will probably refuse. I have been working on a new ship design that is smaller but could hold a few hundred fighters and a small crew. I believe I could change it into a warship and repository of knowledge. We could help upgrade their technology, which is quite primitive from the datastream the sun sent.”

“How big is this datastream?” Seren asked excitedly.

“It’s a complete history of his people, only half a million years of data. I’ll send you the compressed files.” 

The answer and offer was enough to make Seren sit down. She made the face that Annie jokingly called, “acheologasm” and started to scroll through the data.

Annie rolled her eyes and said, “If the council says no then who’s going on the ship?” She knew the answer but had to ask. The Children of the Stars had been ruled for ten thousand years by the Technomages who had been generous but brutal. When they’d found the Mother of All Stars, they’d briefly treated her as a new ruler. Mother had found the idea horrifying and they’d worked on a form of democracy. There was a ruling council but any major decisions could be voted on instantly through the star-communication network.

Jan sighed, “Whoever volunteers.”

The three friends looked at each other and nodded in agreement. They’d volunteer.Well, I wanted something exciting, thought Annie.

Read Chapter 3


While you wait for the next chapter, you can read some related stories:

Red Day, Ere the Sun Rises: A Sun Speaker Story (Serial Story)

The text, "Red Day, Ere the Sun Rises: A Sun Speaker Story" over a red sun.

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


Chapter 1: When all other negotiation tactics fail, scare the pants off them

Have you ever tried holding onto melting ice cream? No matter how hard you hold on or try to force it back into shape, it just keeps dripping. That’s what it felt like trying to convince the rulers of the solar system to listen to me.

There were members from all the systems empires: The Mercurial Guild, The Venusian Empire, The Martian Empire, The Free Peoples of Ceres, The Jupiter Protectorate, The Titan Federation, The United Moons of Uranus, the Neptunia Commonwealth, Pluto, the TNO Alliance, The Republic of Kuiper, and last but not least, the nomadic Psionic Clans.

That’s a lot of names, and frankly I wouldn’t remember them all either if I were you. Just picture a room with a lot of people who’ve hated each other for longer than anyone can remember why, and add a very tired Sun Speaker, that’s me, in the centre of the yelling. 

Let me recap what’s going on, just in case you haven’t been following. I am Hal, and when I was young I was chosen by the great god Sol, who lives in our sun, to speak for him. I am the Sun Speaker, and in millenia past, that has meant being the head of a massive system-spanning church.

Unfortunately for me, the church didn’t approve of my style of leadership and declared me a heretic. The church then appointed a jerk who would say whatever they wanted and I stole a spaceship and did my best to serve Sol and help people.

Real Sun Speakers are given special powers. We can heal the sick, summon great cleansing fire, and purify water. We also get glimpses into the future and vague orders from Sol themselves. The human body wasn’t made to channel such power and most die by thirty.

I am now almost fifty and still look thirty, thanks to the last known vial of an immortality serum given to me by my friend, doctor, and resident mad scientist.

Things were going pretty well for me until Sol started showing me visions of devastation on a system-wide level. Black ships filled with other Sun Speakers and endless soldiers. And here I thought I was unique… Unfortunately I’m not, and the other Suns are older and able to have more than one Speaker.

I had hoped I would have a few more decades before the attack arrived, but then I checked out a derelict ship and almost died fighting one Sun Speaker, and he said they were coming.

I’ve seen the fleet of ships covering everything inside the Kuiper Belt with death. They aren’t just coming for Sol, they’re coming for everything and everyone they protect.

The Grande Adjudicator of the Jupiter Protectorate screeched in frustration in the face of the Queen of Venus. She followed up with a comment about the faithfulness of his husband.

I should have interceded and stopped them from kicking off a system-wide war that would leave us weaker against the imminent threat. Instead, I left the room.

The air in the hall was cooler by several degrees. The royal palace of Mars wasn’t used to that many people in one room and was struggling to keep the temperature even. 

I put my back to the wall and slid down to the stone floor. I curled my legs up and debated crying, laughing, or locking the doors from the outside.

“Aren’t you supposed to be organizing them into a coherent defence plan?” Suzie said gently, kicking my foot. She looked like she was wearing a simple business suit, but I knew it was her light armour that projected a disguise. Her long curly black hair was pulled into a thick braid, which I knew held several spikes to dissuade anyone from pulling on it.

“Yeah. I’m not the right person for this. I’m a meddler, I pull small strings and help people. I don’t think I can do this.” I wouldn’t confide that to anyone else. Suzie and I had been together for four years now, four years of struggling to get to these negotiations.

She kicked me again. “Don’t do this. You’re the only one who can do this. You have allies in there, leverage that. Use some of that charm you keep saying you have. Do what you have to. Or would you rather I deal with them?”

“No!” I exclaimed, standing up. She was the love of my life, but as an ex-assassin, her way of dealing with people was a lot more violent than mine. I kissed her gently and added, “Thank you for believing in me.”

I turned to head toward the door and Sol chose to send me some interesting information. The worst visions can leave me crying on the floor in pain but most aren’t that bad; this was the equivalent of getting slapped behind the head.

I walked into the room and I’m not sure any of them even noticed me.

Into my comms earpiece, I said, “Adric, can you put our guests on the main viewscreen in the conference room.” The large screen had been used as a visual aid for explaining what was coming early in the conference. 

“How did you know? A ship just appeared outside Xanthus,” The asteroid past Pluto was populated by people who didn’t want to deal with groups like this. It was also home to the, arguably, best psychic in the system Caro, one of my good friends.

The screen flickered to life and a large saucer shaped ship came into view. The room fell silent for a second before they all started demanding answers at the same time.

They were cut off when Adric played the audio message that was coming from the ship. A loud deep mechanical voice said, “The Myrddin have arrived to protect Sol from the Council of Suns. Please do not resist the Myrddin, we will only harm you in self defence. The fleet shall arrive momentarily.”

Adric cut into the audio. With awe in his voice, he said, “Every trans-Neptunian outpost is reading ships. There’s tens of thousands… no, millions. The system is surrounded.”

Read Chapter 2 (February 2024)


While you wait for the next chapter, you can read some related stories:

The Most Ambitious Crossover Event (on this blog)

The text, "Red Day, Ere the Sun Rises: A Sun Speaker Story" over a red sun.

Hello Friends, Family, and Fans;

Prepare yourselves for the most ambitious crossover this blog has ever seen. Prepare for Red Day, Ere the Sun Rises: A Sun Speaker Story.

This galactic event will span 12 months with 1000 words each month. You will follow Hal the Sun Speaker after the events of his last story as he tries to unite the warlike factions of the Sol system before it’s attacked by the fleets of The Council of the Gods. Every other month will follow a linked story you may recognize from previous serial stories.

I will try to make sure that the story is self-contained and you can follow even if you haven’t read the previous stories.

If you want to get caught up, here are all the stories that have led up to this event:

The first chapter is planned for the 29th of January.

Stay safe and be kind,

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