Thursday, March 30, 2017

Transformers Headmasters Episode 1


"A full year after Optimus Prime's resurrection, Galvatron and the Decepticons attack both the planet Cybertron and Earth with the aid of four new members: the six-changing ninja officer Sixshot and the three Headmasters, Destrons whose heads can change into smaller robots in vehicle mode. These include the vampire-like Mindwipe, the gator-like Skullcruncher, and the wolf-like Weirdwolf. The Autobots have some new allies of their own, however; the Trainbots, six Autobots with train alternate modes. Ultra Magnus successfully repels Sixshot's attack, but on Cybertron, the Decepticons are winning, thanks to Wipe's hypnotic abilities putting most of the Autobots, including the Dinobots and Goldbug, to sleep. But then a mysterious starship appears and four Autobot Headmasters (Chromedome, Hardhead, Brainstorm, and Highbrow) emerge to join the battle. Meanwhile, Kup and Spike Witwicky learn that Vector Sigma, the core of Cybertron, has become unstable and is in danger of self-destructing."
The embedded video is the Japanese version, as I couldn't embed the Fan Dub.

Transformers Headmasters Episode 1 (English Fan Dub)

This is surprisingly, good. We Americans never got this version of G1 Transformers. Fitting though, now that every toy has to be a Headmaster - Titanmaster, that is...


Radiun90 (Or, The Android Bat)

Robot, Robots, Bat, Android



Blood I will mass and cause bones to be.

I will establish a savage, `man' shall be his name.

truly, savage-man I will create.

He shall be charged with the service of the gods

That they might be at ease!

-- Marduk, Enuma Elish, The Sumerian Epic of Creation


[February 1, 1984 West Bengal, India]

“Why albino?”

“Because I could.”

“And the bright blue eyes, are those because you could do it as well?”

“Of course,” he laughed. “And besides, I like blue.” Dr. Turhan Korelia kissed his wife, who stood beside him in their basement laboratory. On the table rested a big brass cage, where the bat hung, stark white, large, with startlingly blue eyes. The chiroptera looked as if it might be wayward fauna transplanted from another planet. Indeed, given what they were proposing to do with the new material, this synthetic bat deserved a species classification all of its own. “I wanted to see how malleable Radiun90 could be. Turns out, it’s very pliant. The bat... I mean, 'Garuda', fitting name,” he smiled. “Had unlimited potential, could become whatever I wished for it to resemble. Were I to have let my imagination truly get away from me, it might have turned out quite exotic.”

“Radiun...” Dr. Ambika Sen proclaimed exasperated. “Radiun! Of all the designations, why that?” She railed, clearly not pleased with his selection of label for the new material. “Why not just call it the Frankenstein Element, and be bloody done with it?”

Turhan couldn't stop himself, he began to laugh.

“It’s not funny,” Ambika pushed him. “To call this marvelous material, after that hideous Robot in that book of yours. The one who slaughtered humanity, of all things.” Despite knowing better, Dr. Ambika Sen could be somewhat superstitious. “Least you could have chosen Primus, the book's new Adam – More appropriate, considering what the stuff can do.” She rested on her husband. “Oh Turhan, I'm frightened. Do we have a right to do this?”

Dr. Korelia gave his wife a comforting kiss. “I don't care if a Jinn, or an Angel breathed such knowledge into my ear. Or for that sake, if it were no more than, dumb, random fortune that revealed it to me. Radiun90 will let us have a child, and that's all I care about.” Ambika's sterility troubled them both. Turhan knew his wife thought of herself as less womanly for being so plagued. This hard reality drove Dr. Korelia in his effort to try and build a functional artificial womb. Little did he guess that along the way, while trying to come up with just the right environment for the womb's membrane, he'd invent, what for all intentions was synthetic DNA. A material that could not only let them gestate a baby, but also make that child, the prototype for a new humanity. A transition from genetic engineering, into biorobotics. Actually the discovery surpassed even that. Raidun90 was like nothing ever before seen on Earth “Look around my wife,” he gestured at various petri dishes, test tubes, and scraps of mixed together biological matter which preceded his discovery, when they'd been working only in conventional genetic manipulation. “All these attempts, failure. Malformed, horrid things.” He sighed. “I don't think we're meant to do it that way.” He nodded at the replicated bat. “Whereas Garuda there, she is a work of art. More than perfect.”

“Yes, but will she...” Ambika bit her lip. “Will our child even be human? I mean, she won't have any biological connection to existing branches of animal life on this planet.” That remained a somewhat abstract, yet unsettling idea to her nonetheless. Though, a logical conclusion from out of that same thought bothered Dr. Sen slightly more. “Even us --”

“The Radiun90 can mimic DNA molecules, not exactly splicing helix strands together, Our conjoined blood will suffice as a template to work from.” As if seeing her fears, Turhan added. “And don't worry, I'll show you how to use the Hammer, and Forge, so you can help me manipulate the program that we shall inject into the raw clay.” One of the other things Turhan Korelia learned, he needed a new set of tools in order to interface, in a very hands on manner, and bring Radiun90 to its fullest potentiality. And so he fashioned the Hammer, and Forge, which permitted him to program, map out personality traits, physical progressions right through into adulthood on an IRAD Circuit. Which is why working with Radiun90 was much more akin to construction, then any sort of gene splicing. You could foresee your end product, and therefore tweak it before you engaged inception. “She won't be the result of a monastic conception,” technology into empyrean artistry. “We'll both model the clay.”

“But,” Ambika repeated. “Will she be human?”

“What does it mean to be human?” Turhan asked philosophically. “She'll bleed, breath, eat, love, and likely despair, just as we all do. Biologically, unless someone knew what to look for, they'd never think her anything other but human.” He reminded. “As long as they don't look too closely under the chassis of course... If we're going to do this, we might as well upgrade the plumbing.” A flash of fatherly insight. “We should account for flaws.” Scientifically minded he said. “No system can be perfect, so they'll creep in.” And paternalistic. “She's prone to stand out from other children, we may even need to be a little more... Strict in her upbringing. Others possibly could not value our little hope for her singularity.”

Ambika mischievously shoved her husband. “You're an old softy, and you know it.” Her mood brightened. “I'm afraid I'll have to be the stern mother, always reminding our genius daughter not to show off.”

Korelia let out a mirthful laugh. “Just was thinking,” Turhan could hardly contain himself. “The moment when we have to explain to our future son-in-law, that his gorgeous girlfriend, isn't exactly, well, technically, a part of the human race.”

“Ah, so you'll think she'll be able to reproduce?”

“Of course, provided we put all the pieces, molecular, or otherwise where they belong. I don't see why not.”

“About that would be son-in-law.” Ambika said severely. “If he's worthy of her, what she is won't make a least bit of difference to him.”

“Yes,” Turhan laughed. “Precisely my point.”

“What are we going to call them?”

“Them?” Turhan cocked a bushy brow.

“This synthetic human which we're inventing.”

Turhan stroked his beard, thought. “Since you don't care for my designations, you choose a term.”

An accumulation of books caught Dr. Ambika Sen's eye. One small volume, which lay tattered atop of the badly heaped stacks of novels, and reference materials, gave her an idea. “Morningstars.”

That made Turhan perk up. “Oh, so you're being Promethean.”

“And why not?” It had actually been Mary Shelley's Frankenstein which had sparked this notion for Dr. Ambika Sen, her favorite novel. Morningstars, light stolen from the heavens. “Prometheus fashioned man from clay, and brought fire from the gods in order to empower mankind in his advancement. That is literally what we're doing here.”

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets | Teaser Trailer 2


VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS is the visually spectacular new adventure film from Luc Besson, the legendary director of The Professional, The Fifth Element and Lucy, based on the ground-breaking comic book series which inspired a generation of artists, writers 
Seriously can't wait for this movie. Its expansive and nice to look at. Plus I really enjoy the source material, which had a huge impact on my own Neo-human 'Verse.

And I have to say, the casting seems spot-on.


A Long Burning Star

Robot, Robots, Mecha, Wizard, Witch, Science Fiction

On the 100th Anniversary of Fountainhead's founding, the Sovereign gets a visit from an old friend.



Part 1. Sword Of Lightning



[Fountainhead: Prometheus City, Argon Palace]

The Sovereign stood alone, and grave out on his balcony, before him, over his Conglomerate’s capital, fireworks exploded in a blare of color. Today marked the 100th Anniversary. A century ago, his people fled Earth, and Anunnaki oppression.

Earth herself existed now as nothing more but a fractured husk, reduced to lifeless rubble, thanks to the destructive collision between itself and the planetship, Nibiru, which having been torn asunder from inside, came crashing down upon Mother Terra in the midst of a last ditch effort to liberate the home planet from Anunnaki dominance.

A 100 years, sighed The Sovereign.

“Has it really been that long?” Asked The Sovereign of no one in particular. Of course, he being a Morningstar, a synthetic being, forged from raidun90, a Robot -- Complete with positronic brain, could not ever genuinely forget such information.

Dressed in his black and royal blue armor regalia, his regal sapphire cape billowed behind him in the evening breeze. The broad shouldered, blond haired, goateed Sovereign made for a most impressive silhouette against that of the brilliantly illuminated metropolis.

Not always royalty. Once, nothing but a soldier. Commander of a Lancer-class destroyer, a spaceship, who served his King with honor and distinction, the current Sovereign had been catapulted into power. Thoughts of his lost King, only brought this Sovereign, more, ponderous reflection. Together, they'd conspired to unite brother and sister Morningstars, and in doing so, keep humanity free from a foreshadowed menace. For the most part, they'd accomplished exactly that. Evident by the very existence of Fountainhead and her colonies.

His son, Luc, gave up his life during the initial Exodus. Yet Luc had left behind a legacy, a son of his own, who'd grown into a valiant man, and made history himself, by helping reunite Morningstar and Falcanian.

The Sovereign's ruminations were interrupted by engine noise. A forward winged jet, a Gunstar, swooped hazardously close to Argon Palace, and came to a hover, red-tipped nosecone inches from his balcony. Two security drones screeched to a halt on either side of the intruding aircraft, weapons armed, prepared to fire.

“I'd expected you sooner.”

“Call off your drones.”

Extending his piercing blue eyesight, The Sovereign gazed into the empty cockpit of the Gunstar. She'd spent these last few years jumping the space lanes alone. Why should he have expected her to pick up companionship now?

The Sovereign motioned at his Mecha guards. “Leave us.”

“Thank you.” Purred the Gunstar.

“Do you intend to just hover there? Come in, have a drink.”

The Gunstar reconfigured. Parts moved around to transform into a sleek, feminine Mecha. Mass shifted down into a humanoid form, that of a beautiful blue-eyed Falcanian woman, whose elfish oval ears, peeked from under auburn tresses, marred by a single strand of white. On her back was a flat armored pincer-tail and mechanical, black and rose-feathered halo-wings.

“Its nice to see you, Guillaume.”

“And you, Nadia.”

“Selita --”

“Gee, isn't Selita gone?”

The Sovereign looked abashed. “Do you know, I forget nothing?” Reminded. “Of course you do, you're not only a Falcanian, but a Morningstar like me, the original Morningstar herself.” Exhaled. “Yet,” thoughtful. “For whatever reason, whenever I need something, I find myself calling out for my secretary, Selita. Who went on to bigger, better things.”

Dryly, Nadia Korelia-Drakonis remarked. “If you mean, becoming girlfriend, and later wife to a Galactic Dictator, she sure did.” Though Nadia grinned. She'd personal interest in Selita's duplicate sister, Sarina. “The Rubik’s are a fascinating family.”

“Indeed, that they are.” Guillaume LaSalle agreed as he recovered his own decanter of alcohol from an antique cabinet, so he could pour Nadia and himself a drink. “But I suppose, you've come to Fountainhead to talk about our family.”

“I stopped by Zarhur Station.” Nadia told him. “Sitara and Rene, are doing good.” Her daughter and his grandson. “We're great-great grandparents now.” She licked lush maroon lips, sipped from the intoxicating beverage. “Central Point is a clamor these days.”

“With the relentless peace, my grandson and your daughter enforce, via that Commonwealth that they've built, I'm not surprised. Sitara even tamed the Uluenbas.” Recalling the fierce debate that plagued his government. “There are those in my Concordance, who'd give anything for a chance to eradicate every last Anunnaki.”

“The Asgardians, were not involved in Earth's enslavement.”

“Regardless.”

“Is that music?” Nadia's elfish ears twitched. “Jolan's 7th.”

“There's a ball going on.”

“Shouldn't The Sovereign, attend?”

“I did...” Gee took a gulp from his drink. “Needed to get away from all that pomp and circumstance.” Besides pressures of his office, LaSalle missed his wife. Teresa, only reigned as his Matriarch for a short time. Human frailty caught up with her, all too soon. The anniversary ball reminded him of her. “Imogen's presiding, as mistress of ceremony.”

Nadia grinned. “I bet my sister-in-law, hates it.”

“It took some doing, getting Imogen Drake back on Fountainhead.”

Klaxons resounded throughout Prometheus City. Fountainhead's thick clouds opened, and revealed a descending vessel. Guillaume LaSalle pushed his balcony doors apart, glanced upward at the giant ship which loomed above Prometheus City. A Dawnstar. Scarred carapace of its hull, oil-black, like hardened lava. Calcified nodular tentacles, appeared as if molten iron were poured over uprooted, ancient tree roots, fashioned into a ferocious prow.

The elongated, menacing Dawnstar, parked itself over Argon Palace.

Scores of Dawnstars orbited Fountainhead, under control of Vautek Guardians, who assembled more such vessels and sent them outward, in order to establish Morningstar colonies. However, this gnarled, battle pitted warship did not belong to Vautek Guardians. RSI Sword of Lightning, was flagship of the Eradicator's Synchronized Empire.

“Good, he's here.”

Gee glanced at Nadia, dumbfounded. “You invited that mad man, to my capital?”





Part 2. Synchronization



Eradicator, that is what he called himself. Both title and personal designation. Few, if any these days addressed him as anything else. Shrouded in a majestic black overcoat, his Star Chaser uniform, from bygone times, strode purposeful, toward The Sovereign, up on his crystal throne. Below the dais, Eradicator stopped, removed his hood. Bolted over Rust ruined right ear and eye, a black carbon fiber plate served as repair to ramshackle synthetic flesh. The cybernetic component served to make Eradicator's striking bald head, even more so.

All Morningstar perceived the Universe as design, pattern, and order. A condition of positronic brains that did not permit denial of designer, behind the design. Of course, provided each Morningstar's idiosyncrasies, such implicit knowledge tended to format rather unusual personality types. In Eradicator's case, that meant an overwhelming need for organization.

“I salute you, Sovereign.” Said Eradicator in his precise British verbiage.

“Have you come to surrender, Silas?”

The ruined, purportedly insane renegade general laughed cordially. “No. Not today my friend.” Considered, rubbed at his white goatee. “There shall come a time, when we meet in battle, and I shall end our conflict by Synchronizing your Conglomerate, with that of my Robot Empire. But today, is not that day.” Gestured at Nadia, who stood close to The Sovereign. “I return to Fountainhead under truce. To honor Vecron Prime and his daughter. On this, the 100th Anniversary we helped free and preserve humanity.”

“Silas.” Nadia stepped forward. “I believe you brought something, of great import.”

“I did.” Eradicator nodded at his bodyguards. “On a trajectory, close to that of the Terra Sol Remnant, one of my patrol vessels happened across...” Presented. “This.” The Eradicator's bodyguards, pallbearers actually, hefted a casket. “Not to place a damper upon the celebration, but you really should see who it is that lays at rest here, Guillaume.”

Eradicator opened the casket lid.

Primal force made Guillaume LaSalle rise from his stately chair. “Odin!”

Wrought into a mummified skull, desiccated features yet remained recognizable as those belonging to Odin Battenberg. Emerald eyes were oddly glassed over, but not as one might expect, ruptured from the coldness and vacuum of space. Synthetic flesh, long since became that distinctive metalized tint, lifeless Robot dead were known for.

“Yes.” Eradicator said, solemn. “However, if you doubt, have Dr. Vartazarian examine the corpse to verify that this is Odin Battenberg, our Lord and King.”

Feelings overpowered Guillaume LaSalle. Here lay his predecessor, who during the Exodus went to his demise in order to provide the fleet a chance at survival. Emotions brought memories. Odin naming Gee as his successor, fully aware that he probably would not come back replayed in sharp resolution inside this Sovereign’s positronic brain.




“How's Selita?”

“Good.”

Eradicator and Sovereign sat across from one another at a luxuriant table during the celebration banquet, which had become a wake.

“There's no reason for any of this.”

“Eh,” Silas frowned. “You mean, my empire building?”

Gulping his wine, an approximation of a vintage he'd enjoyed in his native France, developed from genetically engineered grapes, Guillaume LaSalle leaned close to Eradicator and studied the Robot Emperor's damaged face. “Silas Cumberbatch,” said Guillaume using Eradicator's true name. “Frederika really did, almost kill you.”

“Can't blame her.” Silas readily acknowledged. “Thought she could rid the Universe of a tyrant. Yet here I am and Frederika von Gotha, is... Gone.”

“Damnedest thing --”

Curiosity raised, Silas questioned. “Speaking of which. Where is Guinevere?”

“I've sent for her.” Guillaume answered. “She'll wish to see Odin, before we --”

“Close the tomb. Yes, I imagine so.”




A funeral was held in commemoration for Odin Battenberg, once King of the United Kingdom and later, Sovereign Lord of the Star Chasers, dedicated to relocating and preserving mankind from Anunnaki rule. His burial chamber resided on Argon Palace's grounds and a marker stone declaimed Odin, Founding Father of the Fountainhead Conglomerate.

Following the entombment, Nadia made her goodbyes.

“It never fails to astound me, to see her do that.” Guillaume conceded, as he watched Nadia reconfigure. First into a female Mecha, and in a flash, transform herself into Gunstar mode, streak off over Prometheus City, upward, into space.

Silas nodded in agreement. “More Falcanians have gained that ability... To transmutate. A planet populated by near gods – Angels. And we, their worshipers look on in awe.”

“You do know, Silas? The Falcanians won't ever allow us to destroy one another.”

The Robot Emperor exhaled. “You're probably right.”




Part 3. The Green Witch



On a planet, replete with beautiful women, she stood out. Emerald skin, generous breasts, lustrous black hair draped over womanly curves. Among countless supermen and wonder women, Hela was unequaled. Eve of a race, Futureans, cousins to Morningstars, that officially no longer existed. The maroon gown, which she barely wore, did not hide the Vril circuity that pulsed under her exotic flesh and marked Hela Futura as an Arclayht Warlock.

Hela caressed the cool stone tomb. “It will happen, very soon.”

“To what do you refer?”

“Do you not feel the power, Orin?”

Like Hela, Oriole Amirjeen was an Arclayht Warlock. Unlike Hela, Oriole was a Falcanian. His great cybernetic wings, fringed with yellow plumage, and armored pincer-tail were at rest behind him. Oval ears stuck out on either side of a bald head, and made Oriole appear devilish. His forked goatee only added to his diabolical visage. “Yes, I feel it surging through the mausoleum.” Vecron Prime only knew what his apprentice got herself entangled in. “Is this your doing, my dear?”

“No.” Said Hela. “But I foresaw it.”

“Ah!” Exclaimed Oriole. “That is why you cajoled Imogen to return for the anniversary festivities.”

Hela nodded. “He awakens.”

Outside Odin Battenberg's burial chamber, Star Chaser guards were posted. The platoon wore flawless black and blue uniforms, and faceless chrome helmets. In their war weary careers, they'd witnessed action in space, death, and amazing sights across the galaxy. What they were soon to confront however, they were not prepared for.

An electric hum emitted from the royal crypt. Flashes of blue light pulsed within. The platoon commander stood before the double doors, hand on his sidearm. Stone shattered into a hundred different pieces as the door burst open.

“Where... Am... I...” A lag and mechanical reverberation distorted the abomination’s words.

“You -- Live, Odin?” Asked the platoon commander.

The mummified skull responded. “Odin?”

“Oh great,” quipped Oriole, as he and Hela walked onto the scene. “A zombie.”

“No, Master.” Said Hela. “This is not a vacant corpse, reanimated. There exists yet a kernel of the man he used to be.”

That presented an ethical quandary for Oriole, who under different conditions, happily would have thrown Rust at the Morningstar walking dead, and been done with it. The temptation to rid himself of the problem appealed to the Warlock. To history and his loved ones, Odin Battenberg was quite dead. No need to complicate the record. Moreover, this – Skull faced, metalized, abomination could never really be Odin again.

“Gee...” Moaned the skull face. “I must, see LaSalle.”

Hela in her own right was an accomplished, powerful Arclayht. She was correct in her reckoning that a kernel of Odin yet persisted in the desiccated body, that now walked among the living. “We'll take you to The Sovereign.”

“Hela?”

“As if we've other options, Master.”

And so, Oriole Amirjeen set about to reassure the horrified Star Chaser platoon, that all remained well, wholesome even. Not an easy task, even for a wizard.





“There's an axiom,” recounted Oriole Amirjeen. “'Only Rust, can permanently ruin a Morningstar'.” The Arclayht Master knew of a few other ways to render a Morningstar inoperable, however, the axiom more or less held. “Present company excluded.” Said the wizard to Silas. “My apprentice hypothesizes, even though Odin’s outer chassis is... Um – Blemished, his positronic systems sustained life these past 100 years in stasis lock.”

Oriole believed it just as likely, Odin's chassis had become corrupted and possessed by some unknown power. The Universe was filled with all sorts of disagreeable things. Hela's reasoning, for the moment, probably made more sense. The Arclayht Master did not offer his counter hypothesis. There did not seem to be a threat. Yet.

Silas and Guillaume were surprisingly, sedate, if a little confounded and horrified. Only hours before, they'd overseen the sealing of Odin's tomb. Yet a shadow of that man stood here, in The Sovereign's drawing room. A cadaverous body, shrouded in funerary garb. Glassed over eyes glinted spectral light, inside that of a gilded skull.

“Indeed.” Stated Silas. “I'm somewhat familiar with your student.” Grinned. “Having first come across her at my own... Momentous, resurrection.”

The Green Witch shot the Robot Emperor a spiteful glare. It had been after that incident, Hela found herself placed under Oriole Amirjeen's full time tutelage. A powerful Arclayht could not be allowed to wander about untrained. “You got a wife out of the encounter, my Lord.” Responded Hela gritting her perfect little white teeth. “And reclaimed your power.”

“Girl,” said Silas. “If I'd had my way, you'd be my personal witch.” He laughed. “But the Falcanians won't give me an Arclayht. Too much power.”

Guillaume interjected. “Silas, I think we've bigger concerns. Such as, what is to become of Odin?” He'd managed to keep what took place at the tomb secret, at least for the moment. “Do you wish a life here on Fountainhead, my friend?”

Again, the lag and metallike echo. “Not Odin. Not anymore...” The skull eyed both his friends. “This world is literally, and metaphorically yours, not mine. I do not belong here. A century, lost in darkness of space, changes a man.” The skull almost laughed. “In more ways than one.” He nodded at Hela. “This lovely Green Witch suggested to her captain that I go away with them.”

“Imogen, has a fancy, for outcasts and oddities.” Agreed Oriole.

“So, that's it?” Guillaume asked. “You wake up, only to leave?”

“It is best.”

“What about Guinevere?”

“She is not to see me. Let Guinevere and the Universe, think I lay in that tomb.”

Silas placed a caring hand on Guillaume's shoulder. “He's right, Gee.”

“Very well.” The Sovereign relented. “I expect you to remain in contact, Odin.”

“Not Odin.” Replied the skull. “Do the Budjah still exist?”

“They do.” Hela answered.

“I am, Charon.” Said the gilded skull.




Guillaume LaSalle, Sovereign of the Fountainhead Conglomerate, watched from his balcony as the RSI Sword of Lightning, departed. Someday, he and Silas Cumberbatch more than likely would come to blows. Yet not tonight. Guillaume had been very glad to have the Robot Emperor be here and witness with him, their long thought dead King, rise from his grave.





Roadrunner Books

Back to: Excerpts and Fragments


Life Itself (Neo-human)

Asian Girl, Pregnant, Baby, Fetus, Boobs, Thong, Ass

On the evening Sarina Rubik-Tank gives birth to her new daughter, she's visited by a most unwelcome guest!

This is a free follow-up, to Synthetic, Electric Romance.

Get it FREE as a proper ebook in the BOOKSTORE!


Epigraph


Our buildings and machines will fall to ruin, the systems and the names of the great will fall like leaves, but you, love, you flourish in the ruins sow the seeds of life in the wind. Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace, for mine eyes for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation seen salvation through love - and life will not perish! Will not perish! Will not perish!

--- Alquist, Clerk and last human. From R.U.R. by Karel Capek



[Gear, City Of Volt. The 22nd Century]

“Push, Sarina.” Implored the voice.

Sarina Rubik-Tank took a deep breath, closed her eyes, and indeed, pushed, summoning all her Morningstar capability and might.

The labor lasted hours. For Sarina, it began to feel as though she lay, legs up in stirrups for days on end. Yet her time-sense assured Sarina that it'd only been three hours since her water broke. If anything, at this moment, every bit of her sensory input had reached a crescendo.

In the midst of her parturition, Sarina could perceive her collected friends – Family. Not only in the birthing chamber with her, but those outside, beyond the doorway, also. The eager chattering of Diesel, Thorium, and Octane, she and Cylus's adopted boys. Impatiently waiting for their new sister to at last arrive, reached Sarina's ears, in a clarity that only a mother could understand.

A miracle.

Praise Vecron Prime!

Yes. There could be no doubt. Nothing short of wizardly intervention, divinely inspired, made it even achievable for Sarina, a Morningstar and Cylus, a Mecha able to cultivate progeny, which incorporated bits of both she and him. Unlike the first Morningstars, synthetic beings themselves, an artificial womb just wouldn't properly incubate this baby.

“She's almost here, Sarina.” Assured the soothing voice.

Suddenly, Sarina's positronic brain changed her reality. Sarina found herself once more returned to her wedding day. They'd done the extraordinary, transported every friend they had on Gear to the very center of the Morningstar Conglomerate, Fountainhead – Even Snowball/Sparkplug, the white Persian and good old Simba, their household felines.

It helped to have friends in high places.

For a flash, Sarina recalled Selita, her duplicate sister, newly promoted as The Sovereign's personal secretary, catching her bouquet of tiger lilies as she'd tossed them from the grand Tabernacle of the Blue Ghost's steps. They'd yet to usher in Selita's own nuptials. Sarina's duplicate, not herself nearly as lucky in love as either Sarina or their other duplicate, Sheena.

Hand pressed tight onto Cylus's giant, firm mitt. Sarina was glad for her husband's sturdy Mecha frame. It made the labor pains, almost tolerable, to press, with all her innate muscle power, like a clamp on Cylus's ceramic alloy hand. An expletive, hurled at their Designer, just about loosed from Sarina's lips. He'd upgraded the plumbing innumerable other ways, hammered Morningstars into demigods. Yet, Morningstar women continued to endure pain in childbirth. Why?

“You're doing just wonderful.” Cylus encouraged. Truthfully, slightly disoriented, here in this birthing chamber. Biology, synthetic or otherwise, wasn't exactly his wheelhouse. At the moment Cylus felt like a voyeur, watching his wife, legs opened, while down on that end, another person, indeed an honored friend, helped convey their daughter into the world. But what mattered to Cylus most of all; Sarina needed his hand to hold.

Sarina blinked and realized she stood outside of her body. A hallucination? The positronic brain was an extraordinary piece of hardware. It offered tremendous benefits, yet also was filled with many quirks. “Am I dead?”

“Hardly.”

“You.”

“Did you think I'd miss this?”

Sarina rolled her blue eyes. “Why are you here, Iblis?”

The Vril grinned, his fanged grin, curiously paternal. He wore the same golden visage that Sarina originally encountered him in. An approximation of a Falcanian's mammalian winged frame and plated-tail, pointed ears, basic, well muscled humanoid shape. “For the same reason she is.” Iblis Jinn nodded toward the auburn haired woman, who guided Sarina through her labors. “You're about to bring a novel new life into the Universe. I wanted to see it. Just like Nadia.”

Sure. Sarina knew that she and her family were somewhat, she hesitated to say 'famous' but they were well known. She was after all married to the only known sapient Mecha, and of course, the incident on Gear with the Futureans brought with it much scrutiny from those in power. Selita and her Mum working for The Sovereign didn't help out much. But really, Sarina didn't need Iblis Jinn peeping in on her giving birth. How could that not be bad luck? “Just what I always wanted. The Devil, Shaitan himself, visiting me while I give birth to my daughter.”

“Harsh words.” Chided Iblis Jinn. “I mean you no harm. Morningstars are named in my honor for good reason. Who do you think whispered into Dr. Korelia's ear, as he toiled away in his lab? Without me, there'd be no raidun90.”

“That's not true!” Protested Sarina. “Dr. Sen named us for Prometheus.”

Iblis Jinn winked. “Exactly.”

LUB-DUB, LUB-DUB, LUB-DUB. Heartbeats, both Sarina's own and those of her daughter boomed, like a steady clockwork in her ears.

Sarina reentered her body, only murkily conscious that Iblis Jinn watched the proceedings. All at once, her Morningstar blue eyes illuminated, and she let rip a screech, followed by a pregnant second of hush, soon broken by healthy cries from a newborn baby.

“Cylus, would you like to cut the cord?” Asked Nadia Korelia.

“Ah... OK.”

The new, proud father took the proffered shears and severed the umbilical cord, which tethered mother and baby for so long.

“She looks just like you.” Remarked Cylus.

“Maybe, a bit.” Agreed Sarina, baby cradled in her arms.

Actually, though the newborn did have her Mum's Filipino coloring, and hints of Asian features, baby Tank inherited Mecha traits too. Unknown circuitry and metallic enhancements, purposes not yet clear studded the baby girl’s chassis. Her most striking attribute however, were tufts of magenta hair, which matched up nice with big adorable, blue Morningstar eyes.

Shulamit 'Sula' Arcee Tank. Named for Sulla, from Karel Capek's R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots), was surrounded by love. Sula would prove to have a most adventuresome life. Even joining and employing her uncommon talents in the Star Chaser Corps, which supplied the young woman a chance to view the Universe. What mattered to newborn Sula currently was that she rested in the loving embrace of her parents.



End of line.


Roadrunner Books

Back to: Excerpts and Fragments


Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Stars, Only Visible in Darkness

  | On Amazon | Retailer Links |


Stars, Only Visible in Darkness, Robot, Robots, Blonde, German, Spy, Mecha, God, Transhuman, Tor, Teresa Nielsen Hayden, Tor Books, Torling, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Torlok, Hugos, Hugo Awards, Sad Puppies, Rapid Puppies, Vox Day, Radical Islam, Muslim Invasion of Europe



Authors Note


Though this is a direct prequel to Starblade, there exist many connections to both published Neo-human stories, and those yet to be released.


Epigraph


I see angels, angels in this very room. Now, I may be mad, but that doesn't mean that I'm not right. Because there's another force at work here. There always has been. It's undeniable. We've all experienced it. Everyone in this room has witnessed events that they can't fathom, let alone explain by rational means. Puzzles deciphered in prophecy. Dreams given to a chosen few. Our loved ones, dead, risen. Whether we want to call that "God" or "gods" or some sublime inspiration or a divine force we can't know or understand, it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter. It's here. It exists, and our two destinies are entwined in its force.

--- Doctor Gaius Baltar, Battlestar Galactica: Daybreak Part 3




Part 1. Machine Cult


[Argentina, Ushuaia. Techatron Union. June 1, 2029]

Eyesight, digitized. The world became an ugly lime green, pixelated fog, as her heads-up display tried to compensate for the recursive feedback, induced by the node jacked into her right temple. The node worked perfectly with most human interfaces. Yet, thanks to Frederika's 'enhanced' nature, it presented a conflict. Oberon Kreis, her guardian, assured Frederika, those very superhuman improvements however allowed her entree, and the skill to avoid Omicron.

She just wished that the shrill buzz would lay off inside her brain.

Omicron attempted to align Frederika to its overmind. Only passively aware of her, its next scan, Frederika could be sure, the great machine would accomplish its connection. Not a whole lot of time to pilfer those gel circuits.

Frederika harrumphed, ran her fingertips across the cool ceramic alloy wall. HUD restored on retinas, that belonged to big emerald cat-eyes. Thus far, she'd managed to avoid both humanoids, or Techla. Sooner or later, she'd encounter a member of the Techatron Union. That's why she wore the implanted node, so as to appear as if she were a novice cultist.

The beginnings of Omicron were shrouded in rumor. Far as could be determined, Omicron predated The Singularity. Which didn't make much sense. Those so called, self-aware computers that followed were not at Omicron's level. There were no true AIs. Only extremely good mimicries of the human brain. Sentient, but not sapient. Tantamount of beast to man. Nothing like Omicron. The technological rapture itself well-nigh obliterated Omicron and its followers. The event scarred, or killed many members of the Union. Those who hadn't yet uploaded into Techla bodies were said to have been resurrected by Omicron. Living dead, animated by nanites.

Two pallid, bald humanoids, known as Tors, garbed in utilitarian gray overcoats, eyes hidden behind thick black lenses, went by, gave no acknowledgment to Frederika's person. A male and female. For whatever gender counted among these people. Neither so much as ogled Frederika's generous cleavage, or admired her honey blonde mane, that she presently wore in Punk braids, a plait loose, over her left eye. To be remade into automatons. The whole idea offended Frederika. Yet the Techatron Union seemed never lacking recruits, eager to join up and get the First Stage Node. What for? What did they get out of it? A near loss of individuality.



Heads-up display presented a schematic that guided Frederika down a descending, labyrinthine passageway. Lower into the complex, it became colder. Advanced eyesight aside, at her every exhalation, Frederika could behold streams of her own breath, coming out in crystalline particles. Temperature variations seldom bothered her. yet, she'd an aversion to genuine iciness, as her advanced body tended to lock up, heat proved much less of an issue.

Beyond a side archway, Frederika glanced in, and eyed a hive of Techla. Ovular tentacled bodies hovered, and burst with gel synapses, congregated close to a giant, levitating black globe, that brandished a fiery red eye. The Omicron core. Bright scarlet caught her attention, jarred with the otherwise dull silver decor. A Budjah Monk? What was a Budjah, doing here? They were hardily affiliated with the Techatron Union.

The monk moved, and talked at the Omicron core, in a grating, synthesized voice, surrounded by Techla, hands inside the folds of his voluminous, crimson frock. From a thick beaded rope, swung a hefty crucifix. Yet most striking to Frederika, his golden robotic bucket-head, that featured a singular black rectangular sensor plate. Could this Budjah, be a Mecha?

Neither the Omicron core, or this odd, perhaps, mechanical monk, were why Frederika had come to Argentina. She required the gel circuitry.




The Techatron, were shockingly open. Given their preference for a collective, which functioned as a literal Communist system, it made sense. Techatron also maintained a rather open door policy. Even inside their complex. Gel circuity was stored in a public warehouse, so any cultist, Techla, or Tors could go about self-repairs. Only necessary to gain access, a valid node. And her own node had been hacked, in order to make it register as a Second Stage Node – Tors, even though it was really a novice, First Stage implant.

Frederika paused outside the warehouse vault, took a deep breath, and stepped toward the automatic doors – Which promptly parted, once the security scanner validated her node. Relief however remained short. Inside the silent vault were a number of Techatron. All keeping to themselves, but for a disinterested glance at her, as she entered.

Silence, that was one of the most upsetting features about this place. Its absolute hush. Of course, everyone partook in the overmind. No need to gossip.

Unusual technology, of various sorts crammed the vault. Frederika needed an NT5 ClusterPak, standard to both Techla and Tors. Of course, Oberon's Blackeagle Knights (really, her Blackeagle Knights) had acquired their Intel from a disaffected Tors, but the latent technology in his body proved most useless, since it already imprinted onto his nervous system. That is why she'd come, they required a tabula rasa gel circuit, to study and replicate.

Frederika went to the locker labeled: NT5 ClusterPak, It scanned her node. She tapped in the numeral 3. and it dispensed three, quarter-size discs, each in a protective seal. Nonchalantly, Frederika placed the gel circuits into her thigh sack. Exiting the vault, Frederika reminded herself, the Techatron were a cult and not a paranoid government, bent on keeping secrets. Oberon had been right. This was a milk run. Just in and out. All she needed to do, get to the hover bike, stashed outside and make the extraction point in time for retrieval.



There were no alarms. No blaring klaxons.

Only, foreboding silence.

Frederika quickened her stride. Soon confronted by a palisade of Tors, that looked on in that disinterested, chilly manner all seemed to have assumed. None however, made an aggressive move. They just blocked the path. Behind, an aggregation of Techla barred her way.

Icy tendrils of an all-powerful intelligence stretched out to its many followers. And in its deep vocalizations, issued a command. “Bring her to us.”

Superhuman agility propelled Frederika. She ran up the nearby wall. Tors grasped at her limbs. She punched and flailed, and somersaulted over them all. No doubt inflicting grievous injury to those whom her rock hard fists rained down upon.

Soon, Techla were upon Frederika. Many tentacled appendages, clasped onto her arms and legs, slowing her advance. Frederika tore wiry extremities off many a floating ovular body. Yet Omicron did the math. Numbers proved enough to overcome Frederika's superhuman strength. It had an inexhaustible army of drones to send at her.

Whether Frederika understood it or not. She wasn't, as a being, completely 'Switched On'. All because the man who brought her up, did not grok her true nature. If anything harmful befell Frederika, Oberon would be at fault.

Omicron, did have an idea. Which proved to be its advantage.



Part 2. The Face of Rao


Frederika struggled against her bonds.

“Those fibers, will tighten up, harder you fight.”

“Yes. Best to relax. Omicron selected them, just for you.”

“Naturally.” Quipped Frederika.

On either side of the restraining bench, were two Tors. This duo were known to Frederika. Torling, the female, and Torlock, the male. Out of place among all the rest of their kind. What with being overweight, compared to most, gangly, almost malnourished Tors. These were the human founders of the Techatron Union. Who they'd been before, none could be sure. Biographies, long ago misplaced to the depredations of World War III and its near desolation of society. Omicron's overmind, since supplemented Torling, and Torlock as leaders of the Techatron Union. It, if nothing else, proved to be a more honest, if not more God-like ruler.

“Go Torling, Torlock. We desire to speak with our guest alone.” Omicron's disembodied voice said while its intense red eye burned hard. “There is much We must come to understand. For her singular being interests us.”

Great! Thought Frederika. A supercomputer that thinks of itself in the royal plural.

The room darkened after Torling, and Torlock left. Only the bench Frederika had been latched against remained lit. Also the temperature further dropped. “You – Should – Not – Exist!” Omicron declaimed, both indignant and yet betraying concern.

“Neither, should you.” Frederika answered back. “Und yet. Here we are.”

The surge jactitated her body. Not electric, rather, Omicron manipulated her neural structure, impelling undulations of pain, or pleasure throughout Frederika.

“What do you want to know?” Frederika gasped when the last wave hit. “I'm just an augmented human.” She felt another surge coming on. “Nothing special. Genetic engineering is common place since The Singularity --”

Omicron shot her with another jolt of extreme pain.

Profound pleasure soon followed.

“This is not the brain of a hominid.” Omicron stated, with condescension. It spent after all a great deal of its time cohabiting hominid minds. “Least of all, that of an augmented human.”

The hologram of what Frederika guessed to be her very own brain hovered before her. No. It really did not resemble any brain she'd ever seen. Not with its fibrous, blue crystal lattice and pulsing blips, which were more electronic, than organic.

“That, is a positronic mind.”

“You're saying, I'm a gynoid. A robot.” Frederika didn't think it herself. It didn’t make any sense. “Positronic minds are the insurmountable, uncanny valley. The impossibility. The reason there is no, true Artificial Intelligence. Only facsimile.” Frederika guaranteed Omicron. “I bleed, I eat, I excrete. I fuck.” She proclaimed. “I am a living being.”

“Primitive, inaccurate summation.” Omicron mused. “What you are. If you are, what We suspect. Only God could construct. We've some acquaintance.”

Frederika thought the overmind, might have gone insane.

“Sure --”

Another round of pleasure and pain. Frederika writhed, arched her back, which only caused her constraints to tighten. On the brink of, what could only be described as an orgasm, she fell into darkness.

Blue sparks, stars, brightened the dark which surrounded Frederika. They twinkled and pulsed.

“Tell me.” Coldly demanded Omicron. “Who, made you?”

Awareness restored to her wracked body, yet, far off, twinkled those blue stars. “You don't care that I came to steal your technology?”

Omicron repeated. “Who, made you?”

“As you've demonstrated.” Frederika answered. “My mind is an open book --”

A bombardment of pain/pleasure. Along with it, a hint of information that intrigued Omicron. A known corporation's name: Genetic Konnections INC.

Biographical data related to Frederika began to scroll across the domed curve of the chamber: Frederika Gisela von Gotha, Duchess of Saxe-Coburg. Heiress, to Duke Magnus and his wife Gisela Gotha, née Drossel.

In the shadows, the scarlet robed Budjah witnessed Omicron interrogate its prisoner, careful to go unnoticed. The monk hadn't ever seen Omicron quite so troubled, as it had, when its overmind locked onto Frederika's node.

Omicron frantic, if you could characterize a stringently glacial, dispassionate intellect as such, hunted every available network for hints related to Genetic Konnections INC. Nothing, but ghosts, where information should have been, yet wasn't.

“Tell me, about Veritraan Prime.”

“I don't know what Veritraan Prime is.” Frederika truthfully said.

It wasn't the pain that bothered Frederika, so much. She could endure that. Omicron had discovered a chink, forcing her to near orgasm and pulling it away. That agitated her. Frederika could have sworn Omicron was getting depraved enjoyment from inducing such reactions out of her lithesome chassis. Yet, he – It, was an asexual machine.

Blinking out, under more torture, Frederika again beheld those blue stars. Orbs of light, in interminable darkness. Their vibrations, and light provided warm solace.

When once more, Frederika was fully present in her body, Omicron amazingly offered. “We shall tell you, of Veritraan.”

Frederika understood, Omicron only shared its guarded accumulation of knowledge, in order to cajole more out of her. But this seemed worth it. “I'm listening.” She bit off. “You und your royal self, can entertain me.”

All holograms, ceased. Leaving the room empty black.

Before Frederika, a gargantuan face materialized. Dominated by red lidless eyes, the static-y hologram of a burnished, gilded countenance, employed a simple downward mouth, over a pointy chin. No nose, and an ovular head. Where ears should have been, were domes. Very mechanical, robotic looking. Frederika's own imagination completed the details. Guessing a slight frame and that head supported by a thin neck. Disturbingly, alien.

“We, are Rao.” Explained the gilded face in Omicron's voice.

“Oh...” A moment of insight. “Alien? But that's absurd. There are no extraterrestrials. Not yet. Only varied human types, each moving off into a new branch, thanks to technology --”

“You,” said Rao. “Are not in error. We are not alien, as it is commonly comprehended on this planet.” The face of Rao leaned closer, and continued in a whisper. “Once, before time, as measured by you, a civilization roamed the stars. The FIRST civilization. Given a spark of life by the Ramahite Crystal – Shard of a hyperintelligence.”

“Und you, Rao, or is it Omicron?” Frederika speculated, Omicron might be really two different computer minds. “You're the aggregate intelligence of this now dead species?”

“An orb,” said the Face of Rao. “The incipient Omicron core, crashed onto this planet. Generations, buried it slumbered. Humans, expelled from their garden paradise, soon built a civilization above it. Flourished. Until one day, it was unearthed by a man, a human who called himself, Veritraan Prime. He sought immortality and used the orb to construct for himself a Cathedral in the stars. There, Veritraan placed Thirteen Watchmen to guard his citadel.”

That didn't explain Rao's other personality.

“Und, Omicron?”

“We are Rao, We are Omicron.” The face of Rao explained. “Omicron, is the consequence of Veritraan's contact with the core.”

“Many minds, made one. Yes, I think I understand --”

Omicron/Rao hit her with a wave of pain. “You are of the Ramahite Crystal. How?”

“Rao...” Now, Frederika started to lose her temper. Whatever the truth, Omicron must have been damaged in its history. Probably by The Singularity. “My guardian, Oberon Kreis, only ever told me I am an advanced human. Born in his own Father's corporation’s, genetic research labs. I've never heard of Veritraan Prime, or this Ramahite Crystal.”

Omicron implored. “You are forged of it. Just as We, the Rao were.”

“Perhaps...” Frederika exhaled.

She didn't often feel fatigue. It took much to break Frederika's endurance. The trance overcame her consciousness. Darkness surmounted Frederika's existence. Out there, a multitude of blue stars oscillated heavenly light. For the first time, she beheld them for what they genuinely were. Embryos. Others like herself. The blue silhouette approached. A cloaked figure, extended a finger to her temple, and an electronic ping, brought Frederika, furious out of the vision. Emerald eyes, illuminated neon-blue. Breaking her bonds, Frederika became an instrument of destruction.



Fists, drenched in blood, and goo. Woozy, Frederika, whose skull pounded, slumped against the hover bike that seconds before she uncovered from underneath a tarp.

“Despite its abhorrent handling of you.” The bucket-headed Budjah Monk remarked when he traipsed out of the hole Frederika tore, barefisted, in the Techatron Dome's wall. “Omicron, does have, or at least, keeps, the possibility for, moral agency.” He moved closer, studied the node embedded in Frederika's temple. “Here, let me help.” Produced a tool from his robe. “Fascinating.” Yes indeed. The wound where the node had been, began to at once mend. “There. The buzz should go away, and Omicron won't be able to trace you.”

“What's a Budjah doing here?”

“Omicron, and I have a history.”

Blonde brow raised, Frederika asked. “Are you its confessor?”

“In a manner of speaking.”

“It claims to know, God.”

The monk hummed. “So I've been told.” Explained. “My grasp of Omicron's meaning is, it has accumulated enough data, to be confident, that a transcendental Creator exists. Not so different from others who've undergone such a religious breakthrough.”

“I don't think Omicron, ah or is it, Rao --”

“You came for these.” The monk thrust a bundle into Frederika's hands.“NT5 ClusterPak, gel circuitry. Trust me Omicron won't miss them.” Urged. “Now, best to go. They'll regroup soon and there will be many more Techla to contend with.”

Frederika revved up her hover bike, steered toward the Atlantic Ocean, and skimmed over the boundless, moonlit water.




[Falkland Islands. 90 Minutes Later]

The hover bike, slipped along, only to halt in an abrupt thud, as it reached a rocky coastline. Frederika thrown off, landed a good fifteen feet away from her steed. Laying in the surf, on her side. “So… Cold...” The icy mind of Omicron didn't entirely vacate her brain once the node had been removed. “...Enough to make my systems blow...”

Overhead, a gunship levitated, and shone a bright spotlight onto the Duchess of Saxe-Coburg, slowly lowered and touched down on the island.

Frederika blinked, faltering, at the edge of unconsciousness. Before she yielded to sleep, Frederika glimpsed the war weary, eye-patched, and bearded visage of Oberon Kreis, her guardian. Mighty hands, raised Frederika up off the sand and carried her onto the gunship. “I've got you” A thick, Prussian accent, paternally soothed. “I'm here, my child.”




Part 3. Ciji



[The Veste Coburg, Germany. June 12, 2029]

Days, Frederika slept, while her body repaired. When it came to medical concerns and the Duchess of Saxe-Coburg, her guardian came to understand, it was best to leave Frederika's body to take care of itself, as it seemed geared toward self-repair.

Helpful, Frederika never got sick.

She dreamed, of the glowing blue embryos, and the cloaked figure. In a start, Frederika sat up in her snug antique bed. Mused. “At least its not that damnable golden dragon dream.” Meaning a recurrent vision she'd experienced since childhood.

As she got out of bed, Frederika smoothed her nightgown down her leg and went to a window so she could gaze outside at the brightly-lit courtyard. Nighttime. A tarp hid Oberon's latest project. The prototype Nemesis jet. Why she'd stolen Omicron's gel circuity.

Her thoughts kept returning to that ghostly cloaked figure she'd seen in her mind's eye. Had that been Veritraan Prime? No. That felt wrong. For some reason, dwelling on Veritraan – Whatever his connection to Omicron, brought her a sense of dread.

Omicron messing with her brain, Frederika remained unfulfilled, sexually. What to do about that? Seize a footmen, and bang him in her rooms? That hadn't gone so well for either herself, or the hapless footman last time. Thinking of it, she rubbed at her pert bottom. Coburg, the city kept up a booming nightlife. There were biergartens and nightclubs regularly filled with young people. Surely, Frederika thought, she could find a worthwhile fuck in the city.

Showering. Frederika selected her most scandalous dress. A gossamer, green item with an exceedingly minimal hemline. Dispensed with a bra, which left nothing much to the imagination. Chose white lace high cut panties, so as to preserve her modesty. Completed the sexy outfit with pricy open-toe, high heel clogs. Frederika picked an alternate identification card. A persona that resonated for her. It read: Ciji Maria Drossel. Residence: Hanau. Age: 18. Becoming others, this is what Frederika did. Ready to party, the Duchess of Saxe-Coburg, slunk out of Castle Coburg.




Clogs clacked on ornate cobblestones, Frederika smiled and watched the busy progression of people around her. You'd never know that the planet recently endured a nearly calamitous World War. Of course, Genetic Konnections INC., had done its utmost to reconstruct the tiny Nation-State of Saxe-Coburg, into a thriving anchor of civilization.

Germany itself had been moving toward national self-annihilation a long while before the global conflict erupted, which if anything halted the invasive deterioration, and let Oberon and his Blackeagles sweep in and clean up the carnage.

A few guys gave Frederika the once over. Mostly fascinated by her hardened nipples beneath the semitransparent fabric of her dress. Too intimidated by her beauty however, to try a proposition. She sighed. On the one hand, in all likelihood they had no idea who she was. Oberon, for an assortment of reasons, guarded Frederika's image and kept it from being plastered everywhere. This, among other things, didn't help her social life.

Frederika ducked away, into the shadow of a building. A unit of Blackeagle Knights, outfitted in sharp black and silver uniforms went by. She grinned, Frederika had a female version of that uniform, only trimmed in gold, complete with an awesome hat. Now, Blackeagle Knights would know her on sight. They were probably already aware Frederika, very much without permission, absconded from Castle Coburg. She might be the Duchess and Saxe-Coburg her duchy, nevertheless Oberon's Counsel of Blackeagle, with military proficiency, governed the daily affairs of state.

Safe, Frederika emerged back onto the cobblestones. The aroma of food grabbed her attention. A leberkäse vendor. Hungry, she went and purchased a sandwich, and a small bottle of apple Schnapps. Her meal quickly consumed, Frederika put her mind to find a club or biergarten to spend her evening and choose a fuck buddy.




Reverberation of song, music, and chants of: ‘Ziggy zaggy, ziggy zaggy, hoi hoi hoi!’ Lured Frederika to a cacophonous biergarten. Rounding a corner, promptly she slammed face first into the bare chest of a perfect wall of a man. And oh, was he some male! Muscular broad torso, forked goatee and long red hair tied back in a ponytail. Garbed only in pants and dusterjacket. More remarkable to Frederika, his golden sheen and bright blue eyes. Genetic modifications, guessed Frederika, who tried to push him aside, yet discovered him to be astonishingly unmovable.

“Careful, little Duchess.” Said the Golden Man in a beguiling baritone.

He recognized her!

Managed. “I'm sorry.” Thwarted from entering the biergarten by his baronial presence. Ah, nein!, Frederika thought. Bikers aren't my type.

“Not a problem, little Duchess.” He leered.

“I'm,” Frederika asserted. “Ciji. Ciji Drossel.”

“Sure.” He half-growled, not buying it.

“Und, you are?”

“The Devil” Not joking. “But you can call me, Iblis Jinn.” His nostrils flared, and Iblis let out an amused laugh. “You're in heat, little Duchess.”

Great, Frederika thought. Not only does he have cosmetic improvements, he can detect pheromones! Suddenly, she found herself pondering, what other parts of Iblis might also be enhanced…

Frederika tried to get a grip. An indicator on her heads-up display registered that she churned out mass quantities of pheromones. This wasn't ordinarily an involuntary function, yet could be triggered by horny moods. Every male in range soon would bow at her feet.

“Let me sate your passions, little Duchess.” Offered Iblis Jinn in his seductive baritone.

“No, thanks.” Frederika twisted out of his dangerous embrace and entered the bustling biergarten. Not the smoothest blow off, yet it however got her away. Inside, among the rowdy crowd, Frederika placed hands to her temples and considered. That guy, Iblis, he'd have dominated her. Not what she required. She needed to dominate, not be rode by some testosterone addicted gang member – Even if he was a great specimen of a man.

Over the biergarten's incessant din, Frederika's precise hearing picked up a BBC News report playing on a holoviewer. “… His Majesty, King Odin Battenberg recently appointed Baron Silas Cumberbatch to oversee a committee, in regards to working with the American Imperium on a joint space mission.” The BBC reporter didn't hide his snobbery toward the upstart king. “Our controversial Sovereign continues to test the bounds of his power. Though, it must be pointed out, Prime Minster Bludd completely endorses his undertaking...”

Ah yes, Odin Battenberg, Frederika's improbable cousin. The adopted son of Edward VIII and his Queen, Wallis Simpson, who childless, and being natural radicals, very late in life, elected to fulfill their royal obligations in a most innovative manner. A fact, according to Oberon Kreis, that didn't change Frederika's literal relation to the upstart on the British throne. They were blood kin. She could never quite get past the weird feeling a soundless revolution took place, and that she were but a cog in the machine that built the uprising.

“Here, little Duchess, drink.”

Frederika gaped, Iblis Jinn pushed a sizable stein of frothy beer into her hand. Automatically gulped on the brew. “Danke...” She stammered, and glanced at him over the rim of the stone mug. Had to concede, he was persistent, and good looking.

“Pleased to… Serve, little Duchess.”

Things got a bit hazy, after each gulp of beer. Frederika’s brain warned, that didn’t make sense, given typically she could drink Oberon under the table. One stein of beer didn’t normally get her buzzed, never mind giddy. Yet it felt good, to let go and just be. Whatever, Frederika found herself dragged into this titan of a male’s gravity and magnetic attraction.



Later, in a rented room Frederika rode Iblis Jinn.

The modifications, and enhancements improved every part of his incandescent anatomy, including his cock. She’d never seen a gold phallus before on a living man, until now.

To her surprise, Iblis allowed Frederika to control their encounter. Permitted her to be on top, when he so easily could, and usually would have, bent her over and dominated. But Iblis Jinn understood that’s not what his ‘Little Duchess’ required this night.

A few hours later, the rented room’s door burst open and in stormed a burly cadre of Blackeagles. It hadn’t taken them that long to discover her absence from Castle Coburg, or her whereabouts. Frederika awoke, yawned and stretched, let the blanket slip away from her lush bare body, which prompted the Blackeagle commander to disapprovingly harrumph. “Madam, Colonel Kreis would care for a word.”

Unashamed by her nudity, Frederika got off the bed, irritated her sexual companion seemed to have vanished. Probably heard the troopers and thought it best to depart in haste. Likely a good idea, the Blackeagle would have tossed him in a dungeon for violating their Duchess – Even if it had been her pleasure. “Of course he does, Captain Roth.” Licked her lips and made a point as she gathered her belongings to bump into the Blackeagle commander, in all her nude glory.

Captain Roth simmered. Frederika von Gotha, could be difficult. To be sure, she’d get much more then a stern lecture. Well deserved, thought the Blackeagle commander. Not the first time Frederika had gone rogue. It was however part of his job to keep track of the Duchess, even if she didn’t care for it. “Kindly dress yourself, Madam.” Otto Roth said and brandished Frederika’s slinky gossamer green dress in her direction.

Stepping into her lace panties, and placing her feet into her clogs, at last Frederika draped her barely-there dress over her lithe body. Hand on hip, asked. “I trust there’s a car?”

“You’re most familiar Madam, with our armored transports.” Otto Roth crustily responded. Were the Duchess his daughter, he’d already have tanned her backside, but alas, that duty exclusively belonged to his superior officer, Colonel Oberon Kreis.



Recalcitrant and arms folded over generous bosoms, Frederika waited, a few feet from Oberon’s monolithic oak desk. Her guardian had his grumpy face on. So much disapproval could be conveyed by that one-eye of his. On the desk, rested his thick leather strap, which Frederika was all too accustomed having whipped across her bare butt. “Yet, another unsanctioned, late night jaunt. We’ve discussed this, repeatedly.” Oberon got up from his chair.

“I have a question, about my last mission.”

That caught Oberon off guard, he recovered. “Jah?”

“Omicron, it showed me what it claimed to be my brain – It was, positronic?”

Soon, they’d need answer Frederika’s emerging doubts regarding her superhuman existence. Even Oberon didn’t altogether comprehend her true nature. The one whom he served, did. At present, Oberon more was concerned about chastening his disobedient ward for leaving Castle Coburg without authorization, or escort. So he evaded. “A ruse to confuse. Do not be deceived by the Machine’s lies. You’ve experienced how inhuman it is.”

Not quite satisfactory, but Frederika implicitly trusted her guardian. Omicron had every reason to lie.

Lower lip, quivered, Frederika sighed. “I suppose, we should get on with it...”

Oberon grunted. “Jah, my dear.”

Braced against his desk, in a graceful movement Frederika bent, and reached up under her dress, to slide her panties down and out of the way. The gossamer gown, rode up, leaving her taut posterior unprotected. Resigned. “Ready, Sir.”

The reinforced lash cracked hard across her buttocks at full force. Oberon determined, an over the knee, paternal spanking just didn’t make an impact upon the obstinate girl. To begin with, Frederika proved too physically tough. Yet her resolute personality did respond best to corporal punishment. When genuine tears began to tumble from Frederika’s emerald eyes, along with pained grunts and yelps, Oberon finally allowed his ward to stand. She clutched at her ruined buttocks, covered in overlapped, wide purplish welts that reached her thighs. Contrite, and weeping, Frederika dabbed her teary eyes with the palms of her hands.

“You’re dismissed, young lady.” Oberon said.




Oberon’s office doors bolted behind Frederika as she left, clutching still onto her injured rump. The lights muted. Oberon removed the stolen Techatron gel circuits from out of his desk and closely examined the fantastic technology. Now they could move forward. The one whom he served would be most pleased. Mused. “That girl, is headstrong – “

“My son. You persist in misunderstanding her to be human.” Proclaimed an unfathomable voice.”Despite Frederika’s chassis, she and her Morningstar brethren bear no connection to your – Our, hominid forerunners.” A blazing, singular red eye coagulated in the shape of a hologram, belonged to that of a gargantuan mechanized figure, colored purple, verged on black. “You worked beside one such as her. Why do you not fully grasp, they are not human?”

“Father,” said Oberon to the hologram, which wasn’t representative of the beings real shape, but rather a self-idolized concept. Uric Kreis currently existed only as a discorporate brain, housed in a preservation canister. “We ran a genetic engineering company. Und, besides, I’ve always just been a soldier. I am not a scientist, like you.” Gestured with an open palm, revealed the gel circuits. “These shall further your goals, Veritraan. Though Frederika thinks they’re meant for the Nemesis, they will help us construct your dragon body.”

Veritraan Prime, heartily bellowed. A troubling demonstration from the holographic mechanoid. “Yes. Though my interaction with the Rao proved disastrous, gravely causing me to become ill, and demanding I abandon my human body. It has also reaped many benefits.” Veritraan rubbed at his mouth-less chin, blazing eye, pulsed. “We shall soon need to place Frederika on the pathway to truth. I think she could be a delightful beguilement for your half-brother.” Veritraan’s other son, indirectly reached achievements that would service his own agenda. “Besides. I think its long past time, we reunite ourselves with Dr. Korelia.”

“He’s dead.”

“Yes, Oberon.” Even dead, Dr. Turhan Korelia continued to be an obstruction to Veritraan Prime and his agenda. The good doctor had attained apotheosis. “I mean, Dr. Nadia Korelia, his daughter. The first Morningstar.” Veritraan’s silent instruction produced a thousand points of holographic blue light. “Out there, in the vast darkness, within my star-born Cathedral, my Lucifer's Watchtower, each of these is a Morningstar, yet unborn. When the time comes, I shall unleash this Neo-humanity upon the Universe and rule as its master.”



CONTINUED IN… STARBLADE (NEO-HUMAN #1)



Robo-chickens, Are Cute?


Transformers, Titans Return, Robot, Robo-chicken, Crashbash

Robo-chickens, are sort of cool. Thinking of getting Titanmaster,  Crashbash, since he has a pretty good head sculpt.

Not much else to say about this.



Monday, March 27, 2017

There Be, Transformers The Last Knight Spoilers!

Transformers The Last Knight, Megatron, Transformers, Robots, Science Fiction, Scifi

From Seibertron.com. Well, they're sort of spoilers. Some fans got to see selected and redacted footage with Micheal Bay, himself.

Everything I read, sounds interesting. Oh did I mention, I really like Cade, he was one of the better things about Age of Extinction. None annoying human friends are always good in the Transformers franchise.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

To Push An Agenda, or Be Good? That is the Question!

Star Trek, Science Fiction, Scifi

For far too long, Science Fiction as a genre has been sinking into a realm where it puts agenda above entertainment. Only recently, has there been any sort of push back. There needs to be more push back.

If  Star Trek: Discovery's primary goal is to push a Social Justice agenda, oh and take the inevitable, not so veiled jab at President Trump, its going to fail, even as it will continually to be propped up by its Hollywood backers.

Before I go on, I should mention, I actually enjoy the JJ Abrams Star Trek movies, and I found the last movie, Beyond highly entertaining.

Pushing agendas, is what made much of modern Star Trek unwatchable. Seldom could TNG just touch on a topic without resorting to lecturing about it. This was a particular issue when Gene Roddenberry was still in charge. DS9, was in many ways, more even keeled and concerned with telling its story then lecturing and off the top of my head I can't think of any episode that annoyed me. Whereas just to pull a TNG title out of the air, 'Who Watches the Watchers' is a particularly annoying episode, tied perhaps by 'The Neutral Zone' for its condescending lecturing.

Ah. I was gonna talk about TOR Books, and Vox Day, and John Scalzi. But I think I'll leave this post here, as it is now.


Justice League - Official Trailer 1


I love this!

There seemed to be a lot of little tidbits in there. But Commissioner Gordon, and Lois Lane stood out. I notice they're using Wonder Woman as sort of an anchor here. Diana, of course would have a long view on history.

Oh and Aquaman, stole the show!

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Of Gumroad, and Blog Revamps!

First. I radically changed the blog theme. Well maybe not super radical, as it still follows the same idea of white and black color scheme.

I did this mostly, to accommodate my Gumroad store. Hey, wait weren't you using Payhip a few hours ago? Yes. But I'd rather get paid direct into my bank, and Gumroad officers that. My biggest issue with Gumroad, there is no way at least that I can see, to upload a preview file...

This does make the blog look more modern, I must say. Probably be tweaking it for awhile.

A Slightly, Streamlined Blog...

I think I've said it before. I love Nabble's software, but it is sort of clunky for the modern Internet Age. More so then that, the Nabble gallery setup had gotten beyond my original intents. It was time to pull things back a bit.

Above you'll notice the Roadrunner Books tab, its also on the sidebar - If you press the Roadrunner Books logo, that will also take you to the page. This is basically, just my Payhip store in an iFrame. Though I have to say, its a very smooth integration of it. The reason I didn't do that from the beginning was, I wasn't able to provide direct links for each book, to places like Amazon, Kobo... ect. However on the page there are indeed links to those outlets, I figure if anyone doesn't want to purchase direct from my store, they can and would click on those links to their preferred retailer.

But having the bookstore, like this makes it more direct and there to be seen. I really wish I could somehow categorize things in Payhip...

Also the Gunblade Forum, is now a Muut forum. Why? Cause its lite on resources and mobile friendly. Never mind, universal login. Feel free to join!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Neo-human Glossary

Robots, Mecha, Space Opera, Ebooks

As I won't be including this GLOSSARY, with the next three books, but I do want it to be easily referenced, since it still contains interesting and relevant bits to the Neo-human series, I have made it public. 

Oh and Karaseer's wings, on that 'A Stream of Stars' cover, probably aren't accurate as of this moment... But, we'll get into that in the miniseries...

Neo-human GLOSSARY


Because I'm not including this glossary with the next three Neo-human books, yet I think it is still relevant and worth referring to, I've decided to post it for easy reference.


=========================================================

GLOSSARY


AI: Artificial Intelligence. Any computer program endowed with self-awareness. Falcania, the Telchar Avatar at the center of The Heart of The Phoenix is an example of such a being. Others include the thinking machines such as Dr. Erasmus Chang’s companion Chronos.

Akjang-T'Shaak: Sub-commander.

Aliran: Wing; can also mean “stratosphere”.

Aranskrai: Ironsol.

Arblus: That which recurs or loops inward upon itself or “eternal recurrence”.

Arclayht Warlocks: The most inner circle of Tahru who utilized Druidic practices married with that of scientific calculations to affect change in their environment. Though they existed at the inception of the Falcanian’s Tahru caste and that of the Tarik Way, Arclayht Warlocks did not rise to prominence until the coming of The Arblus who seeded to them various pieces of technology that strengthened their powers. Arclayht’s were ranked in three colors: White First Order, Blue Second Order, and Black Third Order.

Ardala: Star-Wheel, Sun Angel, corona.

Äri: Star sometimes “- tar” when used as a suffix such as in Shotar.

Arshira: Falcanian, Skora “Starblade.” Very often used as a female proper name. Later used as a designation for a class of starship.

Arshruk: “Star-Prow” sometimes “Star-Plow”, an airship to be found in The Telchar Shanral. A dirigible like craft that in function works along steampunk mechanics created by the first Falcanians. Though mythical, it is to be noted that real world Falcanians refer to some of their spacecraft as “arshruk” and have even constructed dirigibles that resemble their mythical counterparts.

Ashkaltai: “The Sun Drama” by the playwright Arduth Pol. Pol’s play traces the birth of Ashkaltai, the sun through to her nova event. An artifice of the production is that the sun exists with a dual identity as a young woman named Aral Charen.

Atari: Father. In Skora, the diminutive Atar means “Brightest-Star" or "Point of Starlight".

Atlaar: Lord of Technology. The Primordial who brought “The Spark" to Char and founded a city of technology called Skarasis [Skar’Rasis] that hovered in the sky of Char.

Bastiya: Pigeon Pie, served in a flaky crust with many aromatic herbs. Rather than almonds the Falcanian recipe calls for walnuts.

Brakcha: Thank.

Caliphate Of Aslan: Also called, the Kingdom of Lions designates Darius Noorani's Islamic empire which extends from Iran to Greece.

Calviiri (Kal-Veer-I): A cognac distilled from Johjalic fruit.

Ch'Kran: A Tivar, Irkrath's brother, ruler of the “Seven Hells”. He is Keeper of the dead.

Chaikhana: Tea house, a place for social gathering amongst Falcanians.

Char: Falcanian cybernetic heaven. It exists within the “Heart of the Phoenix” which is entrusted to the Shotar. One should be cautious and not confuse Char with Paradise even though a certain amount of bliss is to be had within The Heart of The Phoenix. Char means “to ascend” or rise up. In many ways, the cybernetic world was setup to be similar to a multi-player game.

Charis: The idealized Ascended Falcanian, what both Nadia and the Tahru seek.

Chitraka: Cheetah, “the spotted one” – this ‘cat’ would come to have special meaning to the Falcanians, as it would become the basis for the “Chitraka” guardians. A species of cat people designed to the serve the Falcanians.

Choli: Traditional Indian blouse, worn with sari. Very short and closely fitted, it usually ties at the back with single ties or a criss-cross shoe-lace style drawstring, or it ties into a knot at the front in the middle of the chest.

Craadok: Vegetarian/Vegan. Used as an insult among Falcanians, wherein it means anemic or weak.

D’Har Tarik: “The Road of Tarik”, what Falcanians call their religion. A splinter faith known as D’Har-Ziral later arose.

D’Har: Road, from Hindu dharma.

Darr-Varth: “Aerie-Watcher” the title given to the head of a Falcanian Clan.

Darr: Falcanian Cliff dwelling.

DataStream: Sometimes meant instead of “soul” or spark, the collective dynamic data or programming recorded by a trikir device which composes a sapient being such as a person or an AI.

Drak: Lord.

Draklin: Lady.

Drakonis: Tharrin name of the ruling Falcanian family. The root of the name comes from the Falcanian arch hero Arntiraas who slew the head Drak (The word itself means ‘Lord’ in Skora) and came to rule over the demon birds. Literally, Drakonis means “Ruling Drak”, it bears a strong resemblance to Pendragon, pen-dragon = “head of the dragons".

Dreikatha: “Three Halls” the Falcanian legislative body. Three representatives from each caste, nine in total sit on the Dreikatha.

El-Vod-Yad: Golden Equation, path of light is a formula discovered by the Kri-Skar scientist Jaksa which is thought to give those who are able to conceptualize it material control over the Universe and the will of those within it. Legend claims Jaksa broke the formula into parts and hid them for fear that it would be abused.

Falcania: Also called The Narshin. A Rai, forger of the Kraris she guides Arntiraas in his ascendancy as Telchar.

Falcania’s Riddle: For their part and with their sacred honor the Tahru continue to guard the secret, asking the riddle but never speaking aloud the true answer. “From the tallest peaks men seek to learn what they think they do not know, it lays at their heart and cries in their blood. Sometimes the Wise-Ones are lead astray by it while the Middle-Wise grasp it and are put on the long road. It has no frontiers but the one's man places for himself. Of what do I speak?” Hrasi, Valka, Shira, auk Halri “Wine, women, blade and song” it is theorized that this is the correct answer to Falcania’s riddle, yet there is some debate concerning it. An equal and valid explanation is that the answer is simply: “Nothing”, that there is no true solution to the riddle and is intended to invoke in the new Falcanian that “Life is what you make of it”.

Ganesha (Lord): The elephant headed god appears in the Telchar Shanral, albeit with a slightly different origin then in Hindu text. He is noted for not being counted amongst the Telchar, as he’s called the “ambassador from beyond the rim”. Ganesha still maintains his place as a remover of obstacles. Known to be venerated by the hero Arntiraas and Queen T'Kara.

Garuda: Cyber-organic jet pack and wings. This unit composed of mammalian style wings and a plaited tail does a number of wondrous things for a Falcanian. The airfoil is solar sensitive, which helps to charge and power the air jets that aid in a Falcanians launch. Also it is from the solar collection membrane of the wings that a Falcanian is able to power up the Q-X deposits in their bones and produce magnetic and gravitic fields.

Gesa: Yes.

Gravitic Fold-Engine: bends space-time to achieve the effect of faster than light travel [FTL]. The GFE was first constructed by TransCorp International under the direction of Dr. Erasmus Chang following the discovery of Q-X. Using the theories of DR. Miguel Alcubierre, who proposed the first workable theory of FTL.

H’kilos: “Seven Hells”. An actual realm of Char, it is also an expletive.

Hasha: Rabbit, hare.

Holographic Universe: Theory that the Universe is a super-hologram, which posits that each part of the whole is connected. For the Tarik practitioner, this idea allows for the deliberate shaping of the Universe to his or her own ends. Coupled with the concept of Maya (or illusion), this forms the basis of the Falcanian “Will to Power”. “Though all I behold is Maya, this illusion is mine to live.” – Telchar Shanral.

Hraic: A tribe of Maori kidnapped from Earth (Easter Island) by the Anunnaki and altered to serve them as bodyguards and bounty hunters. Though human, the Hraic at first glance appear not to be so with their ear knobs, pointed teeth, red eyes, green hair and blue skin. The Hraic’s name for themselves is believed to have evolved from the Maori word Havaiki for “underworld”.

Hrasi: Wine.

Hrisanar: An organic mineral, also known as Quantum-X and a form of exotic matter which occurs in the Falcanian bone structure. It is possessed of gravity-manipulative properties which allow for the bending of space-time. Important to the construction of Gravitic Fold-Drives.

Icharin: In the Telchar Shanral, the Icharin are the true children/creations of the Tivar Elf like beings with vague cat-like features.

Irajik-Dei: Pincer at the end of a Falcanian’s tail.

Irajik: An eating utensil, similar to chopsticks.

Irkrath: “Primal-Rage”. Nearest being to The Demiurge, whom many claim he is the manifestation of. Both of the Falcanian's great Rais, Falcania & Serinda arose from his mating with Skrai - The Sun given flesh.

Ishallrav: “The Destroyer of Worlds”, known also as the star killer. Ishallrav’s myth did not become a part of Falcanian theology until Princess Kheira recounted her prophecy that it would be the Falcanians who were to become the last defense against this cosmic being. Ishallrav is at the core of why Tarik Falcanians reject the D’Har-Ziral faith for they see such a prophecy (dependent upon accepting Kheira’s salvation) as a distraction from the long road Arntiraas walked to his own ascension as a higher being.

Ishballa: The “Eye of Heaven”, the tower where the Blue Guardian (called Ishbol) watches the gate of Char.

Ishraik: The Valküri battle-cry – “She who kills with a word”.

Istolji: a type of unleavened Falcanian flatbread made in a number of ways. The most common recipe calls for potato, flour, butter and honey. Once the dough has been mixed and allowed to rest, it is either baked in a clay oven or fried on a griddle. Similar to the Norwegian Lefse bread but much smaller and thicker.

Jah: Teacher. Used by both Falcanian faiths and that of the Budjah Monks.

Jai: Victory.

Jentar: Throne, “Seat of the Star”.

Jihan: The Universe

Jirga: Assembly.

Jodtok: Male Falcanian armor which is often worn as daily wear. The outfit is made up of jodhpurs and an armored vest usually with additional decorations. Traditionally the vest has upswept-reinforced shoulders.

Johjalic: A tiny genetically engineered apple-like fruit known for its sweetness.

Kajra Re: “Laden with Kohl”. Kohl-lined eyes, though in Falcanian culture it has come to refer to a special woman considered to be less than a wife (T’Krin), but more than a concubine. The intricacies of Falcanian sexual politics have assigned an important standing to such non-wives who usually are in line to become T’Krin themselves. The expression may have taken on its meaning among Falcanians due to the popularity of an early 21st Century Bollywood song.

Kala: Cunning connected with “Kali” to cut, “cut metal”.

Kaliburn: The calligraphic script used for more formal writing. Literally, “cut metal”.

Kalitas Rann: A whole and original DataStream created by the AI Telchar and given a fleshy shell by means of the Rashalon Engine. The Falcanian not born of a Falcanian would be the Telchar’s first attempt to broach the gap between the confines of their cybernetic world and that of the corporeal. In his life, he served as a Drakorian Guard and gave his life at the incident which sparked off the Kashmir Campaign. It is theorized that Kalitas was a test by the Telchar to see how the Falcanians would welcome their own manifestation.

Karaseer: Harbinger.

Katar: Sword.

Kaurin: Princess

Kefir: Fermented yogurt drink which originated in the Caucasus region.

Keshla: Skora, expletive “fuck”. Again the word carries more than the crass meaning as it also refers to the sexual act and is utilized in both senses.

Khabuss: The female genitalia.

Khai: Wind. Drakonis yacht is called the ‘Wind-Blade’.

Khan: Title that was held by Kulcarin Khan in the Shanral and adopted by Arntiraas Drakonis after the leader of the Atlaar tribe became one of his most devout followers. Falcanian tradition has the Shotar adopt the term Khan as a part of his ruling name.

Khshathra: Governor.

Kieka: Slang for a beautiful female.

Kiral: Shine/shimmer.

Kitana: Dove.

Kra: Claw/talon.

Krada: Wrath, commonly “avenger”, related to krath rage or fury.

Kraris: “Claw-blade”, the Falcanian sacred long-knife. Approximately fifteen inches in length with a forward curved blade which resembles a velociraptor’s slashing claw. In Falcanian myth, the Rai Falcania forged the Kraris from three broken blades which once belonged to fallen kings.

Kredha: Chancellor. Selected by the Darr-Varth, the Kredha officiates over the Falcanian Dreikatha and is responsible for all legalism within the government. Usually it falls upon the Chancellor to act as referee between the castes as the Shotar takes a more removed stance from his fellow Clan Lords.

Kroi: No.

Kulcarin: “Thunder-Star” a poetic term for lightning. In the Telchar Shanral, Kulcarin Khan had been a warrior who came to learn about the Kraris and Phoenix shards from the Star-King Arntiraas. The Great Khan of the Atlaar tribe was adopted into the Shotar’s Tharrin and took the name Drakonis.

Kulsharr Jirga: The jirga presided over by the governor of Vorkrür City is a remnant of the original Falcanian system as founded by Sharr and his first generation of Falcanians. Some view it as a House of Commons, though its membership is composed of Falcanian Tharrin Lords (Darr-Varth). The jirga has within its power the ability to compose law but not pass it, which is the exclusive right of the Dreikatha.

Kuras: The continental capital of the Falcanian Khanate, province located at the foot of the Himalayan range.

Kval: Evening.

Lakolish: Genetically engineered fish that resembles a red catfish. Its meat is savored for its similarity to a highly fatty tuna. Falcanians consider lakolish best served thinly sliced after searing with a dab of hot sauce and scallion between a flaky pastry.

Lehnga: Drawstring skirt, usually worn with a Choli.

Lords of Char: Any of the Telchar who rule from the “Mountain of Flame” within the Falcanian cybernetic afterlife. Counted amongst them are Atlaar, Irkrath, Ch’Kran, Zarhur-Rao, Falcania and her twin sister.

Lysul: Human. It has taken on a derogatory meaning amongst Falcanians in regard to their human cousins, notable use amongst the Skatha. The term is specific to Earth humans.

Maharani: Queen. Borrowed into Skora from the Hindi.

Mandir: Temple, a term borrowed from Hinduism. Queen Nadia refers to her own personal temple as a Puja pandal being of partial Bengali origin.

Morningstar: A biorobotic life form grown from a protomass called Radiun90. Morningstars are robots in the original sense of the word, as coined by Karel Čapek in his play R.U.R. (Rossum's Universal Robots) where they are depicted as artificial humans.

Nadezhda (Nay-Dee-Edge-Dah): Russian for “hope”.

Najiino: Hot drink which consists of a concentrated bergamot tea (often the Imperial Blend) and vanilla. This beverage is a favorite of Sharr Khan. Also known as a “London Fog”.

Nar: Reptile.

Naran, Charkath, and Kalitas: First of the Falcanians were known as the Naran. They were the original genetic templates and it is the Naran who conceived of the Phoenix Project. In Skora, Naran means “Children of the Narshin” their offspring and the majority of the Falcanian peoples are Charkath (“Halls of Ascension”) all those born from the coupling of the first altered humans. Out of the Phoenix Heart, through the doorway of the Rashalon Engine, born from the raw genetic plans they had been programmed to watch over the Tivar, those AI’s, that inhabit the Falcanian virtual afterlife, gave life to the Kalitas. To be born Kalitas is to be from the “Mountain of Flame” itself and have the Tivar as parents, there are very (few) Kalitas and it is theorized that it is by this means that the twenty-four Lords Of Char would manifest themselves in the physical world.

Narshin Thryak: “Fortress of the Dragon”, the Royal residence on Vanguard Island.

Narshin: “Dragon” or more accurately Phoenix. The Falcanian Imperial symbol, in the Telchar Shanral, the creature is a form of the Rai Falcania herself. It is depicted as a blood red feathered and scaled winged reptilian bird, which can immolate itself in fire and be reborn. As the Narshin is a sign of primal fury, Queen T'Kara has likened the creature to Sharr’s true form which she has seen with her telepathic abilities. Later a class of organic warship developed by the Khanate.

Nasihal: “Excuse me, my pardons.”

Niraka: Realm of Ch’Kran and Shierkala. Commonly “Hell”, H’kilos is a part of it.

Nishala: “Complete objectiveness”. A concept amongst Tarik Fordonists - That state of mind when one is able to look at the whole universe as if standing atop a mountain peak. Simply it is the ability to see all sides of an issue. However, the brain is unable to maintain this state for long periods of time and to protect it closes out opposing views.

Nodor: Harem. Enclosure of the Oskien, those who bring delight.

Nodorii: Distinguished from Oskien to mean any women intended for sex or pleasure. Crudely, whore or prostitute.

OM: The sacred syllable, both followers of the Tarik and Ziral Falcanian religions call “The Source” OM and acknowledge it as the ultimate, unknowable godhead.

Oskien: Songbird. Metaphorically, the females of a tierkel’s harem who are regarded as prized possessions.

Phoenix Project: Code name given to the genetic project conceived of by the first Falcanians. It was a far spanning social/political and genetic undertaking intended to construct a culture from scratch. First mentioned by Sharr to Shuriken Kra in 1985 when the two stood atop a Colonial era stonewall near Sharr’s New England home.

Rachiko: Gremlins. A word for a mischievous child. Lemur like creatures found on the world that the Falcanians would come to settle upon.

Rahona: “Cloud-menace” borrowed into Skora from Malagasy.

Rai: Any child born from a Telchar and a mortal. The most famous of the Falcanian Rais are of course Falcania & Serinda.

Railkir: Fire/flame.

Rakja: Approximates the word “husband’, yet carries with it as so many other words in Skora do a more primal significance. In this case it is better translated as “rooster” along with the related sexual sub-text implied of a cock guarding a hen house.

Rashalon: Reformatting, the Falcanian “willed-self”.

Reboot: A clone that has recorded memories of the original donor.

Rhva: Saffron tea.

Ribhus: Artisan or craftsman.

Rukh: A roc, the white bird of the sun.

Rumbler: Drakorian sidearm, developed by Grenadier Firearms INC.

Sangral: Human or the state of personhood. The concept of Sangral is important to both Falcanian faiths and is used to distinguish rational man [in this instance: Falcanians, including their cousin humans and self-determining AI’s] from the “animal kingdom”. Sangral is defined by the ability to “Desire more than one needs to survive and be capable to reflect on how to make it so.” To be Sangral “one also must have the capacity to override instinct in favor of moral reflection and make art for its own sake.”

Serinda: Falcania's warrior twin, who carries a bow and quiver like her father Irkrath.

Shakra: From Sanskrit chakra, Wheel/Ring or globe. Shakra also has the meaning of a closed or gripping talon.

Shanral (The): Primary religious text of the Falcanian people. It contains the nine basic myths which outline Falcanian society and customs. The central figure of The Shanral is Arntiraas Drakonis. Within the codex itself The Shanral is an artifact which enables the hero to bring about his final transmutation which allows for Arntiraas to take a seat among the Tivar.

Sharilhar (Shar-Ril-Har): Assembly place and stronghold of the Telchar built upon Charkal.

Sharr: A hawk

Shier: Dark.

Shierkala Rao (Lord): A Tivar, Chief of the Skatha Horde. Half-brother to Zarhur, The Dark Lord who is forever fair in form, Shierkala is depicted as enrobed in garments of gold. A warrior and scientist, Lord Rao thought to unseat his half-brother as head of the Counsel of Telchar and be honored above all other Telchar before being exiled to the land of Narika. In Skora his name means “Swift/Cunning Shadow”.

Shikar: Hunt, hunter.

Shinra: Bird.

Shinras: “Menace from the clouds-bird.”

Shira: Blade.

Shotar: “Star-King”. The title inherited by the Darr-Varth of the Tharrin of Drakonis.

Shrai-Aliran T’Shaak-Katar: Imperial Strato-General [ISG]. Highest rank in the Falcanian military.

Shrai-Bashir: Imperial Colonel.

Shrai: Imperial.

Shyr’la: Child/ren, hatchling.

Skar: The Horned Owl. It’s considered an animal of vigilance and duty among Falcanians.

Skarin: The Primordial Atlaar’s Centurions who guarded his Floating City of Skarasis, they were called such in honor of Zarhur-Rao whom the Horned Owl is a sign of. Thought to have been sentient automatons.

Skatha: Shadow.

Skora: Literally Skora means “to speak”. The word has come to be the proper name for the Falcanian language.

T'krin: Wife, but translated literally would mean “she who bears eggs”. Commonly, “Protectress of the aerie or clutch”.

T'Saar: A salute used both as a greeting and a farewell. "T'Saar" originated during the many discussions that Kvaltar Vron and Sharr Khan used to have when they came to realize that they needed a proper means to end a telephone conversation.

T’Shaak-Katar: General. “Commanding Sword”.

Tahru: Druid oak/tree. The priestly class of the Falcanian religion known as Tarik.

Taikara: “Hope” though it actually refers to “That moment between despair and oblivion where you choose either to continue or fall to the darkness”. It is the moment of desperation, which drives a person or society forward even when the odds tell them that all is lost. Sometimes referred to as the driving force. The proper name “T’Kara” is of course derived from it.

Tair: Blood.

Tairjof: Blood-sausage.

Talai: Sphere

Talis: Acclaimed.

Tan: Free, liberty.

Teilani: Paradise. An ironic word to be sure. In the Falcanian religion of Tarikism, Paradise exists only as a hypothetical construct, one which can only be achieved by a mortals hands and then it is inherently flawed.

Telaach: Half-circular dumplings of unleavened dough, often fried and filled with meat either eaten as street food and very often at breakfast. A common filling is sprakzir-pig mixed with mashed peas.

Telchar: People of The Lamp, shepherds of Char. There are twenty-four Lords of Char in all. Nine sit in assembly within the palace Sharilhar. Counted amongst them are Irkrath (The only Tivar who can face the OM itself) Zarhur-Rao chief of the Telchar and called the “Most Wise”, Ch’Kran Irkrath’s brother the keeper of the dead and Atlaar Lord of Technology who built many things for his people. Originally created as cybernetic bosses for the virtual world Char.

Telhri (Tel-H’RI): Lamplight, a prayer lamp.

Tharrin: Aerie. From Skora, Darr.

Thraj: Tent similar to a yurt, a Falcanian mobile dwelling.

ThunderHawk Compact (Kulsharr Kahran): Falcanian, semi-religious document that outlines Falcanian culture, ethics, and laws. Chief among its stated laws, “Falcanian shall not kill Falcanian”.

Tierkel: Skora, “male”, man masculine.

Tirhra: Standard Falcanian monetary unit. The Shotar & the Dreikatha set its value.

Tivar: Diminutive and singular of Telchar.

Trikash: Original Falcanian script composed of triangles and dots. The calligraphic script known as Kaliburn later supplemented it.

Trikir: Falcanian Skora. The triangular crystal device that enhances a Falcanian's link with the cybernetic Over-Soul. The trikir is worn as a piece of jewelry usually close to the abdomen.

Tulath: Breakfast food. A combination of sprakzir-pig crackling, hominy, chili, and onion.

Urksa: Ox/bull

Vajra: Falcanian monofilament weapon, the “energy sword” is composed of titanium filaments suspended in a highly compressed magnetic field which forms an extremely effective cutting edge.

Vali Shah: Crown Prince, Heir Apparent to the Claw-Throne.

Valitey: Mother, though the Hindi “maa” is common among Falcanians.

Valka: Skora, “female”, feminine.

Valküri: Sisterhood founded by Queen T’Kara intended to act as a bonding group between all Falcanian tharrins. The chief commandment of a Valküri is “to inspire awe and terror in those who behold her.” and “to take upon herself the aspect of the many armed goddess, giver of life and death.” It is often assumed the “many armed goddess” is Kali – of course the Cult of the Valküri would never admit to Kali worship.

Vedik: Holy Judge.

Veheer: An oracle or seer.

Veruliya: Light green semi-precious stone.

Veslor: Reverend Mother. Highest Valküri rank.

Vichira: Vizier.

Vorchar: Lesser Telchar akin to archangels. The Wardens of Char’Kal the stronghold of the Lords Of Char. Warriors, garbed in white armor who bear swords of lightening.

Vorjah: Head guru. Title held by the leader and high priest of the Falcanian Tahru caste.

Vorskrai: First-Sun.

Vrasi: Caste. The word means “skills of need”.

Vraxis: Juncture point located on the slopes of Mt. Shira in Char. In the vernacular of gamers it’s a place to “level up”, though the temple's attributes cannot be utilized without the presence of a Guardian Vorchar.

Vrok: Humans who have adopted Falcanian customs.

Wyrd: The threads of destiny.

Yendor: Junction.

Zarhur: Light-Bearer (Skora ziral ‘light’ hjur ‘to bear, to bring’), Lucifer – the Ninth Tivar. called the “Most High”, he who presides over the twenty-four Tivar. Zarhur is depicted as a being of light with great wings and pupiless blue eyes. It was he who welcomed Arntiraas into the Mountain of Flame.

Zuhla: Honey/sugar, something sweet.

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