The Suns of War – Chapter 4 (Serial Story)

Prologue | 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: Meet the Crew, Fix the Ship, Find a Quest

“The planet shouldn’t exist,” Alexandre added after saying it was hailing them. “Without a sun, nothing could live. Not to mention it’s supermassive and shouldn’t be able to support life.”

“Somethings there and hailing and I’m Commander Muldune. Officer,” she said gesturing at the Tyrite Canine standing near coms.

“Master Sergeant Em Frechette, Sir,” he said in a deep and extremely clear voice.

“Put them on the main viewscreen.”

The man turned to the coms panel and his fingers danced across it like he’d been using Martian tech his whole life.

A picture of a woman appeared on the screen. She was pale but healthy, with light brown hair and bright blue eyes. “Welcome Commander. We’ve been waiting for you.”

“You have me at a disadvantage,” Nessa said tentatively. She was trying to figure out if this was a trick and what angle these people might have.

“Of course. I am the Morgaine and this planet is Avalon.” When no one reacted, she said, “We are searching for Arthur and need to find him before the Myrddin or the Blue-Star find him.”

“Good luck,” Nessa said, wondering where this was going.

“We need you to find him. Our movements can be foreseen by Blue-Sun and Arthur must be trained in his powers or the universe will soon be controlled by the suns.”

Trying to sound diplomatic, Nessa said, “We’d love to try and find them but unless we can get repairs and maybe some upgrades, we’re no match for either Blue-Sun or Myrddin.”

“We can help with repairs. What do you need?” The woman asked. 

Nessa was going to ask her to hold, when the young girl started to talk, “The drive is damaged, the outer hull needs patching, the power distribution is cracked, and Blue-Sun put a tracker on us. We could also use some enhanced plating for the hull, better weapons, and a full upgrade of our powercore for shields and drive.”

The woman looked amused and replied, “Is that all?”

The girl must have caught on to the teasing because she blushed, her dark skin turning deep red. Her accent was Martian but her clothes weren’t from anywhere Nessa had seen. Her hair was long and black tied in complicated braids. “From your coms you probably use liquid fusion power derived from pure plasma. We could use that and whatever you’re using to make your planet look dark and dead when it’s obviously not.”

“Impressive from one so young. Yes, we can upgrade your ship. It won’t make you stronger than your enemies, but it’ll give you a fighting chance. We’ll also give you all the data we have on Arthur. Hold for landing coordinates.” 

Em turned off the coms.

Nessa turned to the girl and was about to say something when the girl looked down at her own feet and said, “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have talked without permission.”

This young girl wasn’t an officer in the Martian military and she looked too young to join even if she’d wanted to. Nessa wasn’t going to treat her like a new recruit. “I’d appreciate you checking with me in advance next time, but you did well. Good job kid. What’s your name?”

“Um. Uh. You can call me Zuri. I’m a human from Proserpina.” That explained the odd clothes. Proserpina was a moon of Mars and the people were farmers and engineers who’d dedicated themselves to the goddess of the same name. They rarely left their moon and never allowed visitors beyond the market and landing bays.

“Zuri… did you say that we have a tracking device on the ship?”

She smiled a proud smile that looked a little predatory and answered, “Yes, but I’ve been jamming it since we got to the bridge. They won’t find us.”

“We’re all refugees now and not soldiers,” Nessa said, making sure the sickbay could hear her. “I don’t want to order anyone around, so I’ll leave it up to you. What do we do?”

“I think we should do it. Maybe we can deal a blow to those Blue-Sun bastards,” grunted Em.

Nodding, Tanya added, “If I get to shoot a few of them then I’ll be happy.”

“I am a man of science and this sounds fascinating,” Alexandre added.

“I’m in!” exclaimed Zuri.

Over the coms, Bart’s gravelly voice said, “You might be a dirty Martian but since Mars, Ares, and Tyr have all been destroyed, I’ll follow you.”

“And I’m with you old friend.” The doctor couldn’t keep the smile out of his voice.

They received the coordinates for landing and everyone but Zuri seemed apprehensive. As they approached the planet, everything shifted and went from dark to bright. The planet, which had seemed supermassive, was much smaller and had a tiny sun orbiting it like a moon.

“This is spectacular,” gasped Alexandre.

Avalon was a beautiful planet from what they saw of it. Unfortunately, the Morgaine refused to let them meet in person or see anything but the large field they’d been ordered to land in.

Zuri followed the repair crews like a puppy and the rest of the crew had nothing to do, so they decided to assign roles. Nessa was appointed captain, Bart helmsman and second in command, Alexander science, Tanya tactical, Em coms, and Zuri engineering. Peri, being the doctor, was assigned to medical. The seven of them practised with the ship and read up on Arthur.

He’d been a great leader on old Earth and died in a battle. He’d been resurrected during the great Earth wars where billions escaped the fighting to the stars. Three ships came to this part of the galaxy and formed the three empires.

The Avalonians and the Myrddin believed that Arthur would come back and fight the evil Sun empires. 

When all the repairs and upgrades were complete the ship was renamed the ISS (Independent Starship) Galahad.

The Avalonians were not big on long goodbyes and they were ordered to leave as soon as possible. The data on Arthur said he’d be reincarnated in the Martian system so they headed there to find any signs.

Read Chapter 5 (May 2023)

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

The Suns of War – Chapter 3 (Serial Story)

Prologue | 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: Enemies to Allies

“This was a terrible idea,” the Aresian said. “You being a Martian is one thing, but a Feline as well.” He sounded dire but his tail gave away his excitement at the prospect of a fight.

“Former Commander Nessa Muldune, and yes this is probably the worst idea either of us has ever had but our gods will laugh at the strength of our arrogance.”

They had escaped their bonds and managed to get out of the room. Standing in paper gowns, the two of them looked down on a ten-storey sized room with at least ten thousand soldiers standing in formation. They were facing the other way, receiving orders from someone.

“Lieutenant Bart Shelby,” he said. His fur was a dark blonde and short. His ears were a little floppy but alert. He looked a lot like a man she’d been in the academy with. Canines were similar on both Ares and Mars. That made her more confident that they’d been colonized from Earth.

After a little more staring in awe at the army they backed away and started trying to move stealthily towards the docking bay where the Camlann was docked.

They managed to avoid several patrols, thanks to the ship’s gaudy interior design. Who puts ornate pillars in a ship? she wondered. 

When they got to the docking bay, there were two ships, the Camlann and another one person fighter. “You tried fighting them in that?” she asked in awe.

“I was scouting this sector thinking your people had created some sort of secret weapon when I came across them. I tried to go out in battle but their tractor beams got me.”   

“I think your ship will fit in our hold,” she suggested.

“That’s great, but your ship looks a little big for just the two of us.” He was right. The crew was expected to be twenty and they could operate efficiently at a skeleton crew of six; pilot, engineer, gunner, navigator, medic, and scientist.

“We could probably get it out of here and recruit a new crew,” she said doubtfully. 

Pointing in the general direction of their old cell, Bart said, “Or we could go recruit them now. Shouldn’t your crew be here?” He saw her pained look and said, “Oh… drama huh? Well suck it up kitty-cat, I don’t like them either.”

Getting back to the cells was too easy. The three-guard patrols were predictable and easy to avoid. They managed to get to the first cell and Nessa’s face lit up seeing Perri. “Doctor! Are you comfortable or can we get you out of there?”

He said something, but the force field blocked all sound. There were no obvious controls or any central station for the force fields.

Bart tried hitting the wall but nothing happened. “I guess we need to fight a patrol,” he said enthusiastically.

Waiting for the next patrol they jumped them and managed to take them out with little difficulty.

“They looked surprised. Why is that? Does this all feel too easy to you?” Nessa asked.

Nodding, Bart said, “I think it has to do with why they were testing us. They said something about not seeing me in their future.” He picked the guards’ pockets and found nothing. With a grunt, he picked up a guard and carried him to the doctor’s cell. Nothing happened until he tossed the guard at the forcefield. When he did that, the field collapsed.

“Probably designed to not harm the guards,” she suggested. 

“Commander!” Perri exclaimed and saluted. “What do we do?” 

Bart scoffed and said, “I’m not saluting you.”

Nessa smirked. “Let’s get some more crew.” Her plan had been to get as many people out as she could, but the alarms started to blare and she knew she only had a little time before they were swarmed with guards or soldiers. “Grab the guard, let’s release the closest cells.

They managed to release four more people before they started to hear marching. There was an Aresian lieutenant, who was tall, muscled and looked like she’d been in plenty of fights; a lizard man from the Tyrite Empire who wore their uniform for a science officer; a Canine officer from the same ship as the lizard man; and last was a young girl who looked like she might have been fifteen, wearing strange clothes.

“Follow me and be quick,” Nessa led the way and tried to pick a random path back to her ship. 

They arrived with no fight, to Bart’s disappointment, and found Sun Speaker Aria waiting outside the ship’s hold. “You are hard to predict, but even without my powers I knew you’d come here.” She raised a gun and pointed it at Nessa.

“There’s a lot about Felines and Martians that you don’t know.”

With a smirk, the Sun Speaker replied, “Yes and we’ll find out.” She turned the gun to Bart and shot him. Bart crumpled to the ground.

In the time it took the Sun Speaker to turn the gun back to Nessa, the Feline had closed the distance between them and grabbed at the gun. She punched the other woman in the throat and grabbed the gun, turned it, and shot as the psychic gasped for air.

“He’s breathing, it must be a stun weapon,” the Doctor said and gestured to the Aresian woman and Tyrian to help carry Bart into the ship.

They raced to the bridge, except for the doctor and Bart who stopped in the medbay, and she sat in the pilot’s chair. She was more comfortable in the navigator’s position, but she was the only one who knew the ship. 

“Aresian woman, can you shoot?” Nessa asked.

She was right and the woman replied, “Of course I can. It’s ensign Tanya Brook by the way.”

“You,” Nessa said pointing at the lizard man.

“Alexandre Crowley, senior science officer.” The Tyrian said with a hissing voice. She pointed him to the science consol. 

“Ensign, take out the walls and the forcefield should come down. I’m going to try and activate the star drive the moment the shield is down.”

They all gasped except the young girl and she thought she saw excitement in their eyes.

Tanya was an excellent shot and the forcefield was down just as Nessa finished firing up the engine. They jumped to faster-than-light speed and they all visibly relaxed.

She didn’t want to overtax the engines and cut the throttle when she thought they were far enough away.

Dropping out of FTL, they found themselves in an empty part of space. 

“Captain, there’s a dark planet down there and it’s hailing us,” Alexandre said, sounding shocked.

Read Chapter 4

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

The Suns of War – Chapter 2 (Serial Story)

Prologue | 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: War of Words

“Wow. That is quite the statement,” Nessa scratched behind her furry ears to show disinterest and continued mockingly, “You can join us in our holy mission to rid the universe of the heretic stars, or you can die in a vain display of obduracy.

Aria the Sun Speaker looked surprised. “Are you mocking me?”

“A little,” Nessa admitted before saying, “I’m guessing you’re young. If you were a martian, I’d say early twenties. You don’t have much experience interrogating prisoners. You are relying on the size of your fleet and whatever your title is supposed to mean to intimidate me. Unfortunately for you, I don’t know what a Sun Speaker is, or a heretic star, and I’m an officer of the Martian space fleet. We don’t scare easily.”

The woman visibly deflated and seemed completely taken aback. “You don’t have Sun Speakers in this galaxy? Why can’t I read you?”

The prisoner answered truthfully, “No, and maybe because we’re different species.” A lot of graduates from the Martian academy think that lying to the enemy is the best choice. That wasn’t Nessa’s philosophy; instead she chose to not lie. It was a strategic choice, not a moral one. An enemy can lie to themselves better than anyone else. Give them just enough information and let their bias do the rest.

“A Sun Speaker is the voice of a sun. Each sun is a god and bestows upon its Sun Speakers the ability to see the future, harness its power, and lead its armies. It’s our holy mission to cleanse the universe of heretic suns.”

“So your people still worship sun gods? And you’re going around collapsing other suns?” This all sounded like rantings of a religious fanatic. Martians had a few that called themselves Earthers and worshipped the ancestors that came from Earth, but that was about it. Martians loved war above all else.

“You sound like you don’t believe in gods? Are your people so naive to think stars give life for no reason? We are their children.”

Boy, this woman is chatty, thought Nessa. Maybe I can get her to give me more information on Arthur. “If your all powerful god knows everything then why don’t you know more about the Myrddin or Arthur?”

“The Myrddin are a scourge. They are unclaimed by any sun and they can not be predicted. We have been at war with them for over a hundred years. They are searching for the reincarnation of their king, Arthur, who was a powerful Sun Speaker for a heretic sun.” 

That was easy. “Who decides what suns are heretics? And does every sun have a god in it?”

Looking delighted to talk, Aria said, “Yes, all suns have gods, but most are sleeping. The more people, the more awake the god becomes. The council of gods is headed by the Black-Sun. He is the oldest and most important god.”

“So they talk to each other?” Nessa asked.

“Enough questions. Will you join us?”

Taking a deep breath, Nessa said, “I am loyal to the United Martian Empire and would never join your sun cult.”

“I should kill you for that, but I can’t see your future or your past. You need to be tested.” She walked away as she spoke, almost as if she was talking to herself.

Nessa shouted, “I hope it’s math or history, I’m rubbish at literature analysis.”

She was expecting this testing to happen quickly, but it seemed they didn’t think she was a threat because they left her alone and she paced. There was nothing in her cell that could help her escape. The walls were plain, metal, smooth, and the forcefield keeping her in might as well have been a wall. She could see the opposite wall and that’s it. No sound penetrated the wall and she found herself missing the porthole in her old cell.

She fell asleep on the floor despite fighting it and woke up to two men standing over her. “I didn’t ask for a wakeup call.” They didn’t respond and gestured with nasty looking blades. She took the hint and followed one of the guards while the other stayed behind her. 

Their posture was relaxed and she knew that unless they had some extra strength or special powers, she could take their weapons and escape. The only problem being in a massive ship in the middle of a massive fleet, with no home to go to.

The tests turned out to not be academic, but medical. She was strapped to an upright bed and they took blood and waved things in her general direction. She was certain Doctor Peri would be able to tell her all about the tests. She missed her crewmate. 

“Are you done poking and prodding me?” asked a scruffy voice in Aresian.

She waited a few moments and replied, “I think it’s either shift change or they didn’t want to move us.”

“Bah. I don’t like being leashed,” the voice replied.

“I guess they captured some of you too. Is your homeworld still intact?” she asked. It was strange talking casually to anyone while being tied up and even stranger having such a casual conversion with her lifelong enemy.

“Ares Prime and the entire solar system has been reduced to rubble. And they had the arrogance to ask me to join them. Bah!” 

“They asked me too. It seems that we only have the choice to join them or die. They say they’re following the order of a god.” She was laying it on thick in case someone was listening.

“Hades to their ultimatum. I’m going to break out and make them understand what real war means. Are you with me, Martian?”

She smiled showing her sharp teeth and said, “First we need to escape and steal a ship, and I know exactly which one.”

Read Chapter 3

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

The Suns of War – Chapter 1 (Serial Story)

Prologue | 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: Vengeance Interrupted

When faced with the complete collapse of civilization, some people freeze, others refuse to believe, and even more break down completely. 

Nessa was in the first category to start with; she just stared, frozen in horror, as her homeworld floated by as countless pieces of rock. 

She was replaying everything she knew about science and weapons and coming up completely blank as to how this could happen, while her jailer kept repeating that it was an Aresian trick.

Nessa had a hard time controlling her tail in her current state. It insisted on puffing up as if there were some imminent threat.

“This is your captain speaking. All hands prepare for combat. Get to your posts, we’ll teach those Aresians what happens when they blow up our homeworld!”

The Camlann’s engines roared to life and the rubble faded into stars. Their stardrive was fast, but it would take them almost a week to reach Ares Prime at maximum thrust. 

“I have to talk to the captain! This is a trick, we’re being tricked,” Alfred was pale as he left her alone. 

No one came to check on her and no one came to feed her for a few days. She wondered if they’d forgotten her. “Maybe they just threw themselves out of an airlock?” she said aloud. Her voice sounded dull and dry. The lack of water was going to get her before anything else happened. 

On the fourth day of travel she was jostled awake by the ship dropping out of lightspeed. Once again she was grateful for the porthole in her cell. It showed a star system she didn’t recognize. It had a white dwarf star and from what she could see, only two planets. She thought there were a lot of asteroids, but upon closer inspection, they weren’t asteroids, they were ships. The ships were so black they seemed to absorb light. Their darkness and the insignia on their hulls were the only things that made them visible. The insignia was a dark blue thirteen pointed star.

There had to be millions of those ships and she had no idea who they were. The Aresian ships were boldly coloured and garish, the Martian ships were silver and sleek, the Tyrite ships were green living things, the ancient Earth ships were grey eyesores, and the other new ship they’d met had been round, red, with three golden crowns as an insignia.

Who are they and how did they manage to amass such a massive fleet without anyone knowing? she wondered to herself.

The lights turned bright purple and the alarms went off. “This is a mauve alert. Battlestations.” The captain’s voice had lost some of its battle lust over the past few days.

The ship’s weapons powered up and they shot at something she couldn’t see. As she looked out the porthole she saw a wave of blueish energy erupt from several ships and fly towards them like an ominous curtain. When the energy hit, the ship lost all power, and she started to float. There was a blast and she heard screams. They’d been boarded.

Her lack of food and water meant she had a hard time not falling asleep. She woke up briefly as men in black robes entered her cell, but didn’t have the energy to argue.

They took the entire ship into their hangar and then took the surviving crew as prisoners. She didn’t understand their language and couldn’t answer any of their questions.

Her cell was plush compared to the brig. Her bed had a pillow and she was given food and water right away. The cells were two metres cubed with one wall that was completely made by an energy forcefield.

Most of them looked like typical Homosapien. They were bipedal, mostly hairless, and their skin varied in colour from pale pink and white to dark brown. There didn’t seem to be any Felisapiens or Canisapiens among them. 

She could see cells just like hers across the hallway with various people in them. She recognized uniforms and people from all three empires. She couldn’t hear them and no matter how much she screamed, no one seemed to hear her.

After a day or two of being a captive, she started to feel better physically. Whatever they put in their food wasn’t very tasty, but it obviously had some healing properties. She was pacing her cell when they lowered the forcefield and a woman walked in. She was pretty with sharp features, pale skin, and short, bright red hair.

“Hello. I’m Sun Speaker Aria of Blue-Star fleet one. Whom am I addressing?” Her Martian was very good, if formal.

“I’m former Commander Nessa Hath of the United Martian Empire ship Camlann,” I tried to control my physical reactions to the woman, but there was something about her that didn’t smell right.

“You say former. Why is that?”

There was no harm in explaining. “I was stripped of my rank when I chose historical curiosity over duty to my captain.”

For a long time the woman said nothing as she looked through Nessa, then she said, “Yes. I see. You’ve made contact with the Myrddin. Do you know what it is and what it was searching for?”

Nessa shook her head, remembering that the ship had transmitted a message that said, Myrddin searches for Arthur. “It was searching for someone or something called Arthur.”

“Hm.” The redhead paused and then asked, “Do you know where to find Arthur?”


“A pity. Your crew mostly said the same thing. Those that didn’t die fighting.” She paused as if for dramatic effect. She must have thought it would shock Nessa to hear that some of her crewmates had died. She obviously didn’t understand Martians and their love of war. 

“Okay. Is this the point where you kill me?”

“You have a choice, former Commander Nessa Muldune. You can join us in our holy mission to rid the universe of the heretic stars, or you can die in a vain display of obduracy.

Read Chapter 2

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

The Suns of War – Prologue (Serial Story)

Hello Readers,

This year for the serial story I’m going to be continuing an old story from 2016. I’ve edited and added information.


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

Prologue: Sailing the Rubble of Galaxies 

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

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

The United Martian Empire (UME) Camlann was a brand new Starcruiser class ship, with a crew of twenty-three. Her mission was to explore the outer edges of the galaxy for resources that could help in their war against the Ares Republic.

“Alfred, take a walk.” Doctor Anson’s commanding tone ensured he knew it wasn’t a suggestion.

Waiting until they were alone, Nessa said, “Peri, if you’re here to tell me how much you’ve always hated me, you’re an hour late for the parade.” Her tail wanted to tuck between her legs as she remembered the half dozen crew that had come to berate and insult their former commander.

The doctor’s hairless face broke into a smile. “You’re an idiot Muldune, but I don’t hate you. I agree with what you did, but they expect us medical types to be Peacers.” It was one of the worst insults for a Martian to be called a Peacer. Peace would only happen when the Empire’s enemies were all dead. Any other opinion was heresy.

The Doctor shook their head in either annoyance or amusement. Nessa couldn’t tell, humans were hard to read, and added, “I’ve looked over the logs and I’m going to testify for you at your court-martial.”

“Don’t be an idiot. It’ll just get you thrown into whatever hole they put me.”

“Doubt it. There are perks to one of my fathers being an Admiral. I’m not the only one who thinks the Captain went too far this time.”

Lifting her hand, Nessa said, “No. Shut up. Until we’re safely in dock on New Mars, I don’t want to hear about it and I don’t think you should talk about it either.” Pointing at her furry ears and then the walls, Nessa added, “What you’re saying could be taken as the M word and you know how the Captain doesn’t like that word.” The last person to hint at mutiny had been spaced without a trial. Her multiple commendations, stellar military record, and Red Star of Honour were the only reason Nessa wasn’t sleeping with meteors.

”Fine, but you’re not alone and I wanted you to know that.” Peri smiled again and turned to leave.

“Thank you, old friend.” They’d served together since Nessa’s first tour of duty when she was barely out of kittenhood at fifteen.

Alfred strode back in and started saying crude things about the Doctor. Nessa ignored him; doing the same thing she’d done countless times since she’d been put in here. She went over the incident to see what she could have done differently.

They were pushing the limits of known space when they’d gotten a distress call. It was ancient code. When they arrived at the coordinates they found three ships; an Ares Bird-of-Prey, an ancient frigate and a third ship they’d never seen before.

The ancient frigate was giving off the distress code. It must have been five hundred or more years old. Nessa’s first mistake was to suggest that the frigate might have star-maps that could lead them back to Earth. The Captain had laughed at her and mocked her for her silly superstitions. He was one of the many Martians who were convinced all sentient life had evolved on New Mars.

They’d hailed the Aresian ship and received no answer, but when they hailed the unknown ship, it answered with what sounded like a riddle.

Myrddin searches for Arthur

The message repeated itself as if it were a recording. When the mysterious ship opened its gunports, the Captain had ordered her to open fire. She hesitated and she still didn’t know why. It was like she froze. The Captain had thrown her to the side and fired on the ship himself.

It had done nothing, their weapons didn’t even leave a mark on the ship. The Captain was furious and ordered her to fire on the Aresian ship. Their stardrive was powered by antimatter and the explosion should wipe out all three ships.

That’s when she’d ruined her career by saying, “Sir, we can’t. If those aliens are powerful enough to take a full blast from our ion cannons, we need to get access to their tech, not blow it up.” And she’d made it worse by adding, “Not to mention that the frigate could hold the key to finding our original home world.”

“New Mars is our home world, you Peacer trash. Take the traitor to the brig.” To the security guards’ credit, they both looked uncomfortable jailing their commanding officer. The captain had blown up the Aresian ship and the frigate with one hit. The alien ship had given off one unintelligible message before it exploded. The Camlann barely made it out on time, despite its cutting edge stardrive.

She was now on her way to a court martial. If she was lucky, a life sentence on some mining asteroid. If she was unlucky, she’d be put in the Colosseum for sport.

Nessa felt the telltale wobble of the Camlann’s stardrive powering down. She was excited, despite the situation, to see the planets of the New Mars system; the crown jewels of the empire.

The ship shook violently and all she could see out the porthole was an asteroid field. Something was wrong.

“Brace for impact. We seem to have gone off course.” The Captain’s voice sounded calm, almost bored.

Nessa felt sick. There’s no way they’d been off course. Out her porthole, all Nessa could see was darkness and rocks. Where were the planets? Where was the sun? 

A large semi-spherical chunk of rock flew towards the ship. As it got closer, she could see the ruins of a city flying toward them. 

The Captain’s voice came back on, “Oh Gods! What have they done!” He was no longer calm.

Read Chapter 1

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

Birth of the Aetherverse – Chapter 3 (Serial Story)

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: God, Trickster, and Coward

We quickly realized, the other four and I, that we were different from the Fay. Our magic was inside and the world was linked to us. The Fay realms bent to our every whim and fantasy, while the Fay had immense magical power, but needed to pull it from the Aether. It limited them since they had to pull magic through the barrier.

We were gods among them and they loved us. For countless years, we were benevolent deities to adoring masses. I say we, but it was mostly the other four; I liked to disguise myself and live amongst the Fay. They were fascinating and overly serious. I spent most of the godly reign of my siblings pulling pranks and tricks throughout the realm.

I was a menace and I fully admit it. I’m not proud of those years, but everyone has some embarrassing moments tucked into their past. Mine just happen to be the basis for every trickster god in multiple realms. 

The problem with complete power is that it corrupts, even the gods. The four became capricious and mean. They treated the Fay like bugs and slaves. I’m not completely blameless either. 

The Fay grew angry and frustrated, as they should, and rose up. They discovered that worked metal hurt our magic as much as theirs and they took arms against us. The first great Fay civil war was a horrible thing where most of the Fay died. The fighting only stopped when Mav died, her heart pierced by cold iron.

That’s when the realm itself expelled all worked metal. I’m not sure what happens to the metal, but when it’s brought into Fay, it bubbles and boils and goes into the ground.

After Mav’s death, the remaining three disappeared, and we discovered that certain Fay had the strength and will to carve a kingdom out of the wild realm around them; they were the Fay Lords. And so was born the Fay Kingdoms, ruled by those who had killed their own gods. 

Again, I am not proud of my actions, but I left Fay completely. First I travelled to Earth, but it was controlled by wild magic and large reptiles, so I tried Everworld. It had been created with magic similar to my own and I had assumed it would greet me kindly. Although the people were kind, the realm itself fought my every move and one morning I awoke back in Fay. Everworld had expelled me the way Fay expels metal.

I had been gone long enough that when I returned there were nine kingdoms, the greatest of all being called Mav. After a few enquiries, I discovered its king and queen were Oberon and Titania. They had reinvented themselves as Fay Lords and started a kingdom. I was shocked to hear that they also had a son, Melchior.

In our time as gods, we’d had many children with the regular Fay. Most of those children went mad with power, so we stopped. In those countless days and nights, we had never successfully mated with each other.  

I had to see for myself what the child was. I’d convinced myself that he was just another Fay until I saw him. I looked at his magic; he had the same core of power as myself, but he was also capable of pulling power from the Aether.

That made him extremely dangerous and I grew fearful. With his power, he could rewrite the universe, maybe all universes. I did the only thing I knew what to do and I ran. I ran into the Deep realms until I couldn’t breath, think, or stay awake.

I woke up when someone slapped me. It was Peaseblossom and they looked different. Their magic was subdued and they looked peaceful. “Wake up, Robin,” they said, punctuating it with another slap.

“What if I don’t?” I asked petulantly. 

“Then the Deep realms will eat you, maybe.”

I laughed as much at their uncertainty as their joke. “What have you done to yourself, Sibling?”

Smiling, they said, “I travelled the Deep realms and came across a fox that walked in the shadows. I followed her and found her, I thought, eating another fox. When I approached I saw that she was transforming the fox’s core magic from internal to external. I watched her do it multiple times and finally with enough practice I was able to do it to myself. I am no better now than a common Fay.”

“Are you happy?” I asked, not sure how to respond. They nodded and I asked if they could show me where the fox had been.

My sibling did not explain the beauty that was this fox. She had fur as dark as night with shocks of bright red, her eyes were intelligent, and most interestingly, her magical core was the same as ours.

“Hello, my lady. You are magnificent. I thank you for teaching my sibling your magic.” I thought it best to be polite. I didn’t expect the fox to respond and I was surprised when she rushed forward and bit my leg. She yowled at me and bit again before turning and running.

“I think you’ve insulted her,” Peaseblossom said.

“I think she wants us to follow,” I replied and ran after the beauty.

I had no idea where we were going. I knew that to wander too far into the Deep was to lose yourself in time, but all that mattered was that fox. When I finally caught up with her she gave me a look that was what I assume was the fox equivalent to, About time. 

After that, we ran together until we reached the other end of the Deep realms, where reality just gave up, and it’s there that I saw the first gate. It was an arch of stone two stories high with sigils of magic all around it.

But it wasn’t the arch that chilled my blood and stopped my heart; it’s what was visible through the arch. An army dressed in some sort of silver metal lined up in rows that reached so far in the distance that together, they looked like a giant metal serpent.

“Mulciber,” I whispered in horror.

Read Chapter 4

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

Birth of the Aetherverse – Chapter 2 (Serial Story)

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: The Oldest Merlin

“Ooo-ooo-ooo the heroes of Westmeath, The Phantom and the Wraith!” sang Merlin as they slowly walked towards the forest. “I’ve had that stuck in my head, this time, for over a millenia.”

“What is this about and why are you so old?” Oberon asked.

Laughing slightly as if the man had made a great joke, Merlin replied, “Don’t be hasty. I am very old, but we’ll get there in time.”

Titania looked like she was going to say something, but instead rolled her eyes. 

“This is about magic isn’t it?” I asked.

“Astute observation, Robin,” Merlin replied. “Can you feel it?”

I shook my head. “You’re a wizard, so I assumed.”

We walked for a long time until the Fay realms started to thin. They were young and hadn’t solidified; they weren’t a planet like Everworld or Earth. They were just a giant plain of existence.

We came to the end where the Fay realms reverted into pure Aether and Merlin, with the ease of a school teacher, explained, “The Fay realms were built of pure inner power, magic from another universe completely. It’s not compatible with the magic from this universe. It’s too…” He paused and looked around.

When he didn’t say anything, I ventured, “Organized?”

“Yes,” he said and clapped his hands together. “Aether is partially sentient and always trying to convert order into chaos. The nascent universe over there—” he gestured back where we’d come from. “—It has a natural defence against Aether called a barrier. You do not have one.”

That’s when I saw that the ground in front of us was receding slowly. 

Peaseblossom made a high pitched sound and said, “Fay is being eaten?”

Merlin only nodded as the rest of us stared at him, wide-eyed. It was Titania that finally said, “What do we do?”

“Nothing. It’ll slowly eat at Fay until a barrier is put up or it consumes everything,” Merlin said casually.

“Can you do anything?” Mav asked, somehow sounding bored and worried at the same time.

“Me, yes. Me now, no. I wasn’t expecting to be here yet, but since I was the only me here, I figured I’d warn you. Just don’t go into the Aether and you’ll be okay for a while. I’ll be back after I see a girl about a ring.” He fidgeted with a large crystal ring before turning back and slowly walking back towards the Deep realms.

The other others walked away from Merlin to do whatever it was they wanted to do. I stayed back to walk with him. After a long time of walking, I asked him something that had bothered me my whole life, or less than a few hours, I suppose. “Why us? Who made us? Why are we here? What’s the goal?”

Merlin seemed to think it over and finally answered, “Chaos thrives on imbalance. The Fay balance out the Humans just like New Albion will balance Everdome.” When I looked confused, he said, “Fay are important to creating a balanced universe that won’t collapse back into chaos.” 

He went back to walking as if that had explained anything and just when I thought he’d forgotten what I’d asked he added, “You were magical crystals created when powerful creatures died. The Mulciber took those souls and experimented, creating superpowered crystals they could use as a powersource. A group of brave people fought them and took the crystals, redirecting a great gate into this universe and planned on building a better, less dangerous home. They succeeded in creating the universe, but not so much with the safer.”

“So I’m a rebirth of a bunch of magical souls?” I asked.

“Yes,” he replied with a smile. “You were always my favourite Robin.” 

I watched Merlin walk towards the Deep realms forest as another version of him, somehow older, walked out. As they crossed each other, the younger said, “You dawdled.”

The elder replied, “Yes and you would have, will, do the same thing.”

They both burst into chuckles and then walked away from one another. The elder Merlin saw me and smiled like we’d not seen each other in a long time. “Robin, my old friend. If I had to choose who would be there when I die, you would have made the top one-hundred for sure.”

I ignored the bitterness in his voice and asked, “Die? Are you dying? What can I do to help you?” 

He patted my shoulder and said, “You’re so young. I’ve lived a long time. Not as long as you will, but longer than most humans should.”

“Why are you here if you’re dying?”

“I am the Guardian of Reality. The universe has given me everything I have ever wanted and it’s time I pay it back for that.” He said it as if it answered my question, but I felt like I was missing parts. 

“Are all wizards this cryptic?” I asked.

“Only the good ones and those that forget how much information they’re supposed to give.” We reached the fading parts of Fay again and I was alarmed to see how much had been lost. He nodded to me and said, “This is my stop. I’m going to become the barrier for Fay. The only advice I have for you is to take time to truly enjoy life. Sometimes we’re too busy living that we forget how much fun it is and take it too seriously.”

With that, and before I could ask any questions, he stepped back, and with a flash of white light, disappeared. When my vision cleared, the thinning was gone. I walked forward to where it had been and there was nothing but more of the realm. 

Our realm was complete and the universe set into motion. I didn’t appreciate what that meant at the time, but I wasn’t even a day old.

Read Chapter 3

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

Read more about Merlin in his Holiday Stories

Birth of the Aetherverse – Chapter 1 (Serial Story)

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: The Voices of Time and Reality

The first thing I remember is the voice of a young man saying, “Where are we?”

A second voice answered him, this time a young woman, “It’s not where but when, big brother.”

“Fine, Morgan. When are we?”

“We are at the beginning of our universe. This is the Aether, but the question is, what are those?”

A gentle, dark brown hand picked me up and the young man asked, “Don’t you know?”

“No. You never told me. Spoilers and all that.”

I tried to speak, but with no mouth or body per-say, I couldn’t. “These look a lot like the  Aetheria crystals. Its magic signature feels familiar.” The man finished what he was saying and I felt myself changing.

If you’ve never gone from crystal to humanoid, it sort of feels like the best stretch you’ve ever had. 

The woman, who I saw was dark with beautiful blue eyes said, “Ah. Robin Goodfellow.”

That is my name. I was named by the Guardian of Time. I am Robin, or Puck. Yes, that one, but my old friend William used little but my name.

“If this is the beginning of our universe, where’s Everworld?” the boy asked. He had the scraggly beginnings of a beard and close-cut brown hair. His skin was as dark as his sister’s.

I pointed at a large stone gate that seemed to float in the nothingness that surrounded us.

There were people walking through, lots of people. They were obviously carrying everything they owned into a vast nothingness. I felt bad for them and I didn’t know why.

“Wow. The original settlers of Everworld.” The man sounded awed. 

There were thousands walking through the gate and I started walking towards them, but the woman stopped me. “No, Robin. Those events are already decided and you aren’t part of them.”

I watched them walk away for what seemed like a very long time before seeing one man closing the gate with magic. He looked sad while he clung to two crystals. He turned to us; he and his crystals disappeared, replaced by a ball of golden light.

“I think we just watched the big bang,” Morgan said, her voice serene. 

“What about all these other crystals?” I asked, proud to have finally found my voice. “Are they like me?”

There were five other crystals, one of which had been shattered into three pieces. Morgana said to her brother, “Pick them up, you’ll know their names.”

In order, he picked them up and named them, “Oberon, Titania, Mav, and Peaseblossom.” As he touched and named them they became real and flesh like me. 

Oberon was of brown skin with a deep red beard, I knew him then as the king of all Fay, even if there were only five of us. His first sound was a deep rumble of laughter, it flowed from him and filled the Fay realms with water.

Titania was dark skinned and the queen of the day. Her eyes and smile became the sun.

Mav was as pale as the moonlight, queen of night and shadows. Her hair blanketed the night. 

Peaseblossom wasn’t tall and statuesque like the other three, they were short and furtive looking like a rabbit caught in the open. From them came all the plants and wildlife. They were the monarch of nature.  

They all looked at me expectantly. What was I compared to the kings and queens? I was all the rest, I was magic, hope, joy, luck, power, cunning, and everything in between. I wasn’t a king or queen, I was the first Fay lord. From me came the Fay themselves, in all their many forms and failures.

To the three pieces of the last crystal, Merlin whispered,” Charites, Horae, and Moirai, the Three Sisters. You belong in Everworld.” Their forms didn’t fill out, instead turning into balls of light that sped towards where Everworld had been.

“What are we?” I asked Merlin.

He looked pensive and answered, “You are souls made of magic from the old realms. You were brought here to kickstart a new universe where magic wasn’t based on the spiritual energy of its people, but was a fundamental element of the universe.”

Morgana cocked her head sideways and asked, “How did you figure it out? It took me millennia of studying the old texts.”

“My thesis supervisor told me. He lived through the Fay and Mulciber wars.” He looked at us and shrugged before adding, “Oops. Spoilers.”

Something about the word, Mulciber, made me shiver in disgust and fear. An image of a long line of metal, snaking around a mountain, popped into my mind. 

“So what do we do now?” asked Oberon. 

“Be Fay,” said Merlin. When we looked confused, he added, “You get to decide what that means and try to be kind.”

Oberon, Titania, and Mav scoffed at Merlin’s comment, but I’m not sure they understood it. Peaseblossom had wandered off part way through the conversation and was talking to a tree.

“Goodbye and good luck.” Merlin turned to Morgana and asked, “Is this where you…”

Giving him a dirty look, she replied, “No, it’s further in. Follow me.” They walked into the forest and they hugged each other. It was the kind of hug where they knew they’d never see each other again. As they hugged, the world melted around her and everything went a little distorted. Both of them disappeared.

That forest and it’s boundaries where Morgana died became the Deep realms of Fay, a place of wild magic and even wilder temporal effects. 

An old man walked out of the forest and looked at us in surprise. He looked like Merlin, but much older. His brown scruff had become a white beard, his brown skin turned a little grey, but his eyes hadn’t changed; they were still filled with mischief and curiosity. 

He smiled and said, “Oh my. I’ve gone a little too far back this time. Glad I stopped or I would have met myself. That would be awkward.”

Read Chapter 2

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

Read more about Merlin in his Holiday Stories

Diamond Stars and the Galactic Heist – Chapter 12 (Finale)

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 12

I was taken as a child from my parents, raised by a military cult, trained to be one of the galaxy’s greatest killers. The greatest fear any Black-Sun soldier has is of the Sun Speakers and their terrifying powers.

Because of all that, there was a large part of me that was convinced we would fail. That the physical and magical might of Black-Sun would come and stop us like a parent with an unruly toddler. 

We arrived at home base and I felt them before the sensors started beeping. “We have company,” I said and jumped on the sensors in the ship. Diamond and Flint had run off to the satellite arrays to upload the information on the matter replicator, the anti-Sun Speaker device, and Black-Sun stealing babies.

“Ah and I haven’t dusted the living room yet,” quipped Onyx.

Trying not to get distracted by the mental image of him dusting in very little clothing, I concentrated on the terminal in front of me. The sensors were telling me that there were two Black-Sun destroyers in orbit. 

Heading to the pilot’s chair, Sphene said, “Only two. I guess we’re not that important. If we launch now, we can maybe lead them away from home base.”

I was going to agree when a wave of nausea made me regret being born. “Wait!” I managed to say without gagging.

Putting the sensor view onto the ship’s main screen showed something weird. A small black mass coalesced into a ship. The Mountain’s voice came over the coms, “You’re having a party and didn’t invite us? That’s just rude.”

The Black-Sun should have fired on him the moment he arrived, but they hesitated, looking at the patchwork and frankly ugly ship. That gave the Mountain and his crew enough time to fire two bombs at the destroyers. 

The bombs hit the Black-Sun ships and instead of exploding they stuck to the hull for a moment before imploding. “Where did you get Plasma-Gravity Bombs?” I asked in disbelief as the mass of the ships was crushed into a dense ball of metal.

Sheepishly, the Mountain said, “I’m a scavenger. Blackbird and his crew are dead; they didn’t need all their stuff in that secret base.” He paused before adding, “I brought a whole bunch of stuff for Ronnie. Just ’cause her old man was a dick doesn’t mean she should suffer.” I doubted that Ronnie was suffering, from what Diamond said they were both extremely happy together.

“Thank you,” I said earnestly.

“It’s only a matter of time before more Black-Sun show up.” He stopped for a second and I saw that Diamond had managed to send the message out. The Mountain started to swear.

The message went out and wherever it went, it was spread as far as possible. Soon the entire system had the tools to fend for themselves and defend themselves against Black-Sun.

We all braced for a fight, but they’d relied on the Sun Speakers and their psychic powers for so long they didn’t know how to fight regular people. When the military turned against them, they retreated to the edges of the system where they had their bases. 

The acolytes of the sun were dealt with in bloody and terrifying ways. Regular doctors started taking care of childbirth and infant mortality dropped to nearly nothing. That meant a lot more mouths to feed, but the matter replicators made sure that wasn’t a problem.

We stayed with Diamond, whose real name was Ruby, for the first month. She came to see me while I was doing upgrades on the Revenge. 

“Everything okay, Dia—Ruby?” I asked.

She put the Diamond Stars holo-emitter next to me and said, “I’d be honoured if you would take on the mantle of Diamond.”

Every night since we’d sent out the broadcast, I’d had nightmares. I tried to convince myself they were just dreams, but I knew they were psychic visions.

“I can’t,” I said.

“Bullshit. I see in your face that there’s something you need to do and no matter what it is, you can do it as Diamond.”

“I think I’m meant to leave the system,” I said.

That took her a few seconds to process. “Well, this system has had Diamond Stars for several centuries. Time we shared with the universe.”

I put my hand on the device and thought of all the people who’d used it and the hope they’d brought to the system. “Thank you.” I turned and hugged her. “Thank you for everything.”

“This ship is called Revenge because the first Diamond wanted revenge on Black-Sun for everything they’d done. The name is a promise and it’s your turn to fulfill it.” With that, she walked off the ship.

I didn’t know why a Sun from so far away had chosen me to be its speaker, or why I’d gotten so lucky as to be kidnapped by this crew, but I was thankful.

It took me a few more months to upgrade the ship to both survive deep space and defend itself. When I was done, I dressed the part of Diamond Stars and went to say goodbye to Ruby.

“Diamond,” she greeted me. “It’s been an honour getting to know you. Are you going to tell the doctor?”

I shook my head and said, “He deserves a better, and longer, life than I can offer.”

“Good luck,” she said and I left.

On the bridge, I closed the hatches and ran through the preflight checks. I felt a pang of guilt and loneliness as I took off. They’d be better off without me and my crusade.

With stealth activated, I took the closest jump gate to the system’s edge. It would take a little time for me to reach the Black-Sun fleet that was massing. My plan was to follow them, piggybacking on their wormhole, and help whoever they were attacking.

I was half way when I started smelling something delicious. I walked towards the kitchen and said, “Whoever you are, you’re obviously not Galactic Police or Army. They don’t use that much garlic in their tomato sauce.”

Onyx turned to me as I walked into the kitchen, “Oh shut up. You love my spaghetti sauce.”

“I do,” I said before adding softly, “You shouldn’t be here.”

Sphene looked up from her datapad and said, “You’re an idiot, Diamond.”

“What my little sister means is that you’re not getting rid of us that easily.” Onyx walked over to me and gently smacked my shoulder. “Stop being all dramatic and come sit down for dinner. We’re family now.” He bent over and kissed my cheek. “Please don’t try to leave me again. I don’t think my heart could take it.”

I took his beautiful face in my hands and pulled him into a deep, passionate kiss. “I love you, too.” Somewhere between the smell and the kiss, I’d started crying. 

We were going to help fight the most powerful people I knew of, but we would do it together and together there was hope.

I am Diamond Stars, I’m a Sun Speaker of Sol, and I’m going to make sure Black-Sun knows the name of my ship.

While you wait for 2022’s serial story, check out the previous ones:

Want to learn more about what Sun Speakers are? Check out what the one in our solar system is up to.

Sun Speaker

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

Hal The Sun Speaker

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

The Assassin

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to my Funeral

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6

Gladiators in SPACE!

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6

Ghost Ship Robinson

Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7

Diamond Stars and the Galactic Heist – Chapter 11

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 11

“Where did they go?” yelled a voice. It was the Black-Sun encrypted frequency and either this was the greatest actor in the galaxy or our trick had worked.

“If we move, they’ll shoot us down,” said Diamond, looking perplexed.

I shrugged and said, “We’d better hope they give up or search somewhere else for us because this emitter can’t handle our disguise for more than another ten minutes.”

Sphene made a little squeaking sound and said, “I get that this was the plan and we didn’t expect it to work.” Her brother gave her a surprised look and she continued, “Oh, come on, Diamond had her ‘we’re going to die’ face on. And there was the whole proposal from Garnet.” She turned back to me and Diamond and finished, “We need a next part of the plan.”

Diamond shook her head and said, “Youth today. Always in a hurry. I’ll be glad to retire. Anyway. The moon behind us is hiding a jump gate. We just have to figure out how to use it without alerting the giant, super advanced fleet of psychics.”

“Sounds easy to me,” Flint hooted from the front.

Diamond nodded and asked me, “Can we switch from our disguise to the cloak without them noticing?”

“If anyone is looking at us or any scans pass by us, they’ll notice. You wouldn’t have another distraction up your sleeve?” It was a long shot, but I had to ask. She shook her head and we all paused for a second. 

I’ll never forget that second. It’s when my whole life changed. One moment, I was a deserter turned mechanic, turned thief; the next, I was flooded with images, sounds, smells, thoughts, and emotions. It was all extremely overwhelming and I needed to sit down.

“What just happened?” Onyx asked. He must have asked a few times because he looked worried.

I wasn’t sure how to answer him so I just said, “I feel like I just watched a hundred movies at once.”

Flint turned around and looked at me wide eyed. “Did you see anything about what’s going on right now?”

An image of us going through the gate and the moon exploding popped into my memory and I explained it to the group. When I was done I added, “I think there’s a self destruct in the gates. If we send an altered code just as we go through, it’ll blow up behind us.”

“What are we talking about here?” Diamond asked and then added, “Are we destroying the whole fleet?”

I shrugged. “It wasn’t that specific.”

“Well, dang. Little grease monkey here’s a baby Sun Speaker,” Flint sounded both reverent and highly amused.

We moved slowly towards the moon like a toddler trying to be sneaky, switched from disguise to cloak, and went through the gate at a speed that was completely reckless. I punched in the code myself and we watched as the entire fleet shot at us.

Once on the other side of the gate, it exploded moments before some of the missiles would have come through. We all whooped with joy and hugged. When I got to Onyx, I took his beautiful face into my hands and leaned forward to kiss him. He smelled of cooking, disinfectant, and sweat. I hesitated and he said, “Yes, please.” 

Our kiss started off soft and gentle and progressed to hungry. I lost all thought of the horrors of Black-Sun or the worries of being a Sun Speaker.

Diamond’s gleeful laughter pulled us out of the kiss and when we gave her a confused look, she said, “I bet Flint you’d kiss before we made it to home base.” Flint pulled out some credit chips and passed them over. We all laughed a little and Diamond asked, “If I get you to Viol, would you have the parts to build a ship-sized version of the anti-Sun Speaker tech?”

“Wait a second,” Sphene said. “If you had that thing on, how did he get that vision?”

“Each Sun has a separate frequency,” started Flint. “Ours is blocked by the tech and whatever Sun is talking to Garnet is not. You must be in contact with some sort of Rebel Sun.”

“Right. Why else would it want us to send this information out?” I added. Another image from the flash jumped to mind and I added, “There are other Suns and most of them are not on our side.” I then remembered Diamond’s question and replied, “Yes I can, but we’ll have to hurry. They might not be able to track us, but they certainly can figure out where you’ve been from flight and docking records.”

We hurried to Viol, where I had thought I’d spend the rest of my life, and everything felt smaller. Like when I’d visited the training academy after my first tour. 

I built the device and installed it on the ship. I also upgraded the holo-emitter and brought my favourite tools on board.

“So, you’ve decided to join us full time?” asked Onyx, obviously trying to look casual and failing.

“Yes. This may have started as a kidnapping, but you make really good spaghetti.” 

 “Even though I add too much garlic?”

“I never said that, I just said it was more than the military or galactic police put in theirs.”

We smiled at each other and he took my hand as I brought my stuff on board. We might be getting ready to destabilize the system by exposing the horrors of Black-Sun and we were about to become the number one most wanted by an army of psychics, but I was happy. That might sound selfish, but love is a wonderful motivator for hope.

“Alright. Let’s get to home base and finish this,” Diamond said. “Who’s ready to pick a fight with the biggest, baddest jerks in the galaxy?”

Read Chapter 12

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

Want to learn more about what Sun Speakers are? Check out what the one in our solar system is up to.

Sun Speaker

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

Hal The Sun Speaker

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

The Assassin

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to my Funeral

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6

Gladiators in SPACE!

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6

Ghost Ship Robinson

Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7