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Star Blade Refugees Episode VI

Star Blade Refugees Episode VI

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Published by Benjamin F. Kaye
episode VI
episode VI

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Published by: Benjamin F. Kaye on Jun 09, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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08/07/2013

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1
 
New Neighbors
U
 
“Orange with black stars?” Shev walked around my jet bike, slowly, ins
pecting every inch.
“That’s how this whole adventure started. I thought it was appropriate.I gently settled the
nuclear reactor into the ignition matrix. As it clicked into place I smiled.
“I thought the whole purpose of your homecoming was to be more Nethasian.”
 
“Can’t I be Nethasian and myself at the same time?” I hopped on my bike.
 
“I don’t know…not many have tried it.”
 
I started my bike; the high pitched whine of the engine made my spines quiver. “I’ll let youknow how it works out.” Then
I was gone.I had seen him travel that way before, on a rusty, sputtering bike. I had better things to do (at
least that’s what Uncle Zarphan liked to remind me).
There were alliances to forge and alliances toshatter. There were allies to support and enemies to kill. There was even an occasional crime tothwart, but that was mostly petty theft and politically incorrect kidnapping.
But the old one wasn’t
affected by all that, he was fascinated by the
wastelands. Didn’t he care about what
people said about
him? Didn’t he care about what people said about his family tree?
Apparently not. So, while thepolitical process worked itself out back in town, I sought the old one out, more for my own peace of mind than for his safety.
“Bloar Goathan Shuzthoar!
 
Voag Nauf Omkaon Nugruz?” The old Nethasian hissed and then
knelt down in the dusty wilderness.
“Translating speech –
 
please wait”
 
[“Good day Sherriff! How may I help you?”]
 
 
2
 
“Note formal sentence case usage combined with age differential. Note the u
se of the word
Goarthan: day. Note the multiple uses of the word Bloar: Good, happy, victorious, or successful.”
 
“Klyph uz mushu loaz niosh murg nata’ushba?” Which hopefully meant “Why are you alone outhere?”
 
“Nata’ushba ufoargok Juktoath Corox.”
 
“T
ranslating speech
 –
 
please wait”
 
[“Out here I look for the forgotten past.”]
 
“Note that subject is disconnected from usual cultural references. Sentence case is early
Nuthgoarian Dynasty. Note the use of the word Juktoath: forgotten. Not the use of the word Corox:
past.”
 Now what? Leave the old one to his business and hope that no one robs him? Drag him back tothe relative safety of town? He was different, this one. After several months here, I could tell who hadseen their share of victories and who had not. The physical scars extended beyond the body andtwisted and shaped the relationships one had with their compatriots. The social hierarchy was complexand always subtly shifting depending on who killed who. But this old one was removed from all that.Many days he would be out here in the middle of nowhere, digging in the dirt. Even when he walkedthrough town, no one noticed him.To me it was just dirt and rocks, rocks and dirt. I looked at the old one as he scrabbled aroundin the meaningless jumble of dusty stones. He was busy bending over certain outcroppings and takingnotes. At times he took out a small shovel and brush, to clear away centuries of sediment. He wouldhem and haw; then toss whatever he found over his shoulder. He would look around, as if to make surethis was where he wanted to be, and begin all over again. This all made sense to him, but not to me.
“Well, old ghost, I’ll leave you to your work. I’ll see you in town tonight.” I muttered.
 
He laughed. [“Old ghost, eh?”]
Before I could say another word, he pointed to his ear. Why the
crafty old Nethasian had his own translator. [“Come back tomorrow, seedling
,
and I’ll teach you the old
language, what was spoken before the Great U
pheaval.”]
 But the day took an unexpected turn. In the distance, a bright flash of light, shaped like asquare, lit up the landscape. I looked and what I saw I could barely understand: I was staring intoinfinite reflections, like being caught between two mirrors. These infinite landscapes started to collapseinto one another; as they did so, huge towers started to appear. The buildings were many stories highand filled with a light blue liquid. Domes appeared, each one reflecting the red sky perfectly. Finally, aseries of square planes of light, arranged horizontally, shimmered into view. When the landscapereturned to normal, a new city lay before us, like a scattering of precious jewels.
 
3
 I put the old man on my
bike. “You’re coming with me old one. You’re the
smartest one around
here and I’ll need all the brains I can round up to deal with this.”
 
[“I have nothing else to do. I am Professor Qonthoar, of the tree of Qon.”]
 
“Let’s go say ‘howdy’ to our new neighbors, professor.”
 
[“You’re assuming they have ears, Sheriff.”]
 I gunned the bike. We zipped over the rocks and through the canyons. This is what I missed:the adventure, the mystery. Months and months of listening to trivial bickering and breaking up pettyfights had dulled my soul. Now I felt alive, truly awake. My mind was racing with a million questions:Who were we going to meet? Why had they come here? Were they peaceful or hostile? Where werethey from? Did the government know that they were coming?I stopped the bike just a few hundred yards from the city. We got off the bike and slowlyadvanced. However, after a few steps, our progress was halted by a force field of some sort. I walkedback and forth, examining the barrier and the city beyond. The towers had square particles floatingthrough them, as well as larger objects. The larger objects appeared to be swimming up and down. Themirror like skin on the domes retracted and then recovered the buildings, like the blinking of an eyelid.
[“What are you looking for?”]
 
“A doorbell.”
 
[“Door
-
Bell?”]
 
I poked my finger at the empty air. “It’s an ancient earth device, used to announce one’spresence.”
 A one meter cube formed itself from the very essence of the force field; it started out as aglowing blue box but eventually became totally white. Characters suddenly appeared on the cube.They were jumbled and scattered. They shifted and organized themselves into several differentstructures, but they still appeared unfamiliar. The characters were also accompanied by pictures of animals, planets, and geometric designs. A wide variety of sounds played in the background; someseemed totally random, but others had a definite pattern. There were also smells emitted from the
cube. Even the cube’s surface changed in temperature and texture.
After several moments, a different(and equally alien) set of characters and stimuli appeared. It was several minutes before somethingrecognizable appeared.
“Hello. We The People greet you. We are peaceful.”
 
“Hello. I am Sheriff Zarthithy of Coal To
wn. You are in the Nethasian Cluster. Please state your
purpose here.”
 
“We are….seeking a place to live.”
 

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