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Thomas
September 24th, 2002, 03:42 PM
LIGHTMATRIX

Prologue

Xoulinga Excura Third Estate IIX, secret member of the illegal cult Heldasinka slid down a ladder into the watery tunnel networks underneath the crowded, packed alleys of the city-ghetto of Elyundaryia. Looking out for any Creature-fish Xoulinga swan underneath using his lizard fins to power himself through the dense water. Using his highly sensitive eyes on his scaling head, Xoulinga caught a sea-rat ahead and like a predator circling he gradually grew closer, subtly preparing for maximum tactical surprise, he switched his natural fungal weapons on and attacked, the fungal lightbeam smashed through the water into the panicking sea-rat, killing it swiftly. Xoulinga bubbled a sigh of relief, it didn’t seem like it was a Creature since it had been an easy kill but you could never be sure.
Xoulinga was escaping the forces of the Network, which had deemed the humanoid-lizard a threat to be smashed. His cultist beliefs in the existence of the Helda God, the ancient superstitious, the special religious importance of Aritiface belief that had dominated the Gardo species for thousands of years was now restricted to only a dwindling tiny few. The Network, the omniscient, omnipotent artificial intelligence had absolute, autocratic power and saw belief in any God rather its own quasi-demi status a threat to be liquidated. Xoulinga decided to attempt the dangerous route to the Heldasinka safe house northeast of the ghetto-city. Escaping through many of the large, iron cased holes, entrances from other water passages Xoulinga scrambled out of the water, and powering his large, four foot green-blue scaly legs wrenched himself up to the door opening to the surface of the city.
As usual the sky was dark, black and foreboding with the white specks of stars the only light in the horizon and the twenty-five seasons on the Darding home planet were in darkness most of the time. The many dark alleys darting in different directions were dark and shadowry, exactly what Xoulinga needed. He ran quietly and quickly through the murky ally to the north, and without any disturbance so far reached the end of the long alley, over looking the watery–surface of the main ally criss crossing the northern districts of the Elyundaryia. Accessing his internal-awareness map memory after a split second of debate in his biological brain decided that the best route to the safe house was through the watery tunnel-ally before escaping through the many alleys with their tall overriding buildings in addition to their stone surfaces.
Xoulinga ran, jumped into the watery tunnel-ally and traversed into the fourth short, small tunnel. A lingfa Creature, a AI agent of the Network saw the Gardo animal sweep past and sent quick cyber messages to other agents of the Network. A swarm of sea-harpers, highly dangerous tiny killers which were a AI species of fishes congregating in a family of thousands turned and screamed into the water-tunnel after the Gardo creature ahead. Sensing danger, the basic instincts took over and Xoulinga worked his muscles even harder as the Creatures followed him up the tunnel. Turing sharply to the left into a new tunnel the bubbles of the physical exhaustion popped more and more as the sea-harper Creatures got closer to their prey. Xoulinga, knowing the end was near said a last prayer to his Halda God;
Beseeching to your Greatest
I beg as a humble servant
Redemption from the Bowles
The last gasp of the consciousness screamed with agony as the sea-harpers, thousands of thousands of the tiny killers remorsely attacked his body, picking his skin, eating and skinning him. They slammed, forced their way into the creature’s mouth, destroying his organs and finally shot into his brain, dissecting the animal brain before the Gardo creature finally died from the torture of the Creatures.

********************************
Chapter 1: Starship Glory to Man
Part I

In deep space, surrounded by the vast mass of nothing the great starship Glory to Man powered forward. The starship was a long, sleek black creation with its name etched on its side. The superstructure was over four kilometres long and the great behemoth of carbo-steel and silk-endryne was the sixth greatest starship-state of the Diaspora. Its 1.1 billion inhabitants, all democratic citizens of the ship-State lived, worked, played and died on this ship in the many huge zones throughout the starship. There were huge internal parks, woodlands, protected wildlife, zoos, and exotic rainforests and other miniature worlds which fascinated the citizens of the starship. Many of the people worked in the great starship building industries where in huge hangers starships of very size from titanic liners, to cruisers to small warships were at differing levels of construction. The port was permanently busy with workers scurrying around while different ships waited so that their produce could be unloaded or loaded on for new worlds and ship-states. Many more its millions of inhabitants were employed in the vast commercial and finance centres to the west of the starship where money was traded, loaned and travelled cyber-electronically throughout the Diaspora. It was confirmed that the ship-state Glory to Man had the best finance centre in the pan-civilisation. Many more of the citizens walked or flyed around the vast entertainment zones where arcades, casinos, whorehouses, restaurants, sport stadiums, bars, disco, clubs and pools were situated. The majority of the starship was devoted to the residential needs of the billion or more citizens and rooms, apartments and palaces of differing size had been developed. As in any other society where money was the key to your standard of living the rich elite lived in the vast luxury palaces and villas with the most hi tech and spacious fittings while the poorer industrial workers had to do with small but comfortable apartments or collectives.
The starship was its own State, one of the thousands of ship-states of the Diaspora. This was a pan-galactic civilisational grouping of ship-states and every major ship-state had usually over hundred million citizens. As befitting the rights of absolute autonomous ships, each ship-state had its own societal-governmental model and although the capitalist-liberal-democratic model was standard for most states, other ship-states had experimented with different models, including in the past a primitive communism, command style socialism, a hippiedom paradise and numerous religious monasteries-communities. There was a vigorous commercial trade between the different ship-states, dealing with valuable goods, metals, and other resources traded in the economic nexus of Diaspora.
This day, 20th Othergove (human time September) was a special one, Election Day on the starship Glory to Man for the Starship Command. These elected politicians of thirty ran the ships business with the help of an army of drones while the citizens directly elected the Commander of the ship-state. For over three decades there had been a bitter conflict in the political class of Glory to Man over the future of the starship. The older politicians wanted the status quo to continue peaceful economic expansion but a new generation of ambitious politicians wanted something more, Power. Their ideology was a planned expansion of the Glory to Man war industry and its sister navy, aggressive expansion over other ship-states and other orbitals and a new strategy of greater power within the Diaspora. Heading this faction within the Starship Command was the young soon-to-be Commander Vladmier Kernov, a highly clever, ruthless, ambitious, man in his late thirties who with the will of his personality took over the leadership of the Young Turks as they were called. From a rich political family and a brilliant second degree at the Levi Academia he had been well placed to go high in politics.
At the grand room of the Starship Command the leader of his motley faction twitched his moustache nervously and waited for the Election result. At his side was his trusted lieutenant Zingkrin Udel, who fiddled with his squashy ball in his pockets. Vladmier Kernov believed that he would win, his new expansionist, aggressive, militarist strategy appealed to the industrial workers who worked in the shipbuilding plants and war industries while his laize faire attitude to social mores and gambling had gained the majority of the votes from the powerful Hedonist Lobby. The results flashed onto the vast screen on front of the thousands of party workers, politicians and press, it was a massive victory for Commander Vladmier Kernov. He turned to his friend Udel and hugged him with joy as the victory came to him. The new Commander walked to the babble of press-corps shouting questions and exclaimed,

“This is a epic moment for the great ship-state Glory to Man, I promise to do my best of my abilities, thank you people, I will not let you down”,

With that the new Commander of the sixth most powerful starship in the Diaspora shook hands with his predecessor and was taken to his new Commander HQ/palace by his new personal assistants and his drone-bodyguards. Others watching at their holograms across the Diaspora watched in trepidation, what would the Starship Glory to Man do…?





What do you think? Should i continue?:)

choppy
September 24th, 2002, 08:50 PM
Okay, I had a look and here are some thoughts:

My first impression is that you've got a whole lot of information crammed into a little tiny space. In my experience the best stories are driven by characters, so concentrate more on connecting the reader to them. Any excess information is best saved for later.

Your world seems very well-developed. I enjoyed the themes of religious suppression and the struggle for freedom.

Something that I find works well when you want to depict action is to break the piece into smaller paragraphs. Personally I read faster this way, and it gives a sense of a faster pace.

Oh and by the way, I'm sure one of the administrators will probably mention it, but it seems to be that proper form at this site is to submit work as a short story. Then once it gets posted you can come and put up a note asking for reviews.

Keep writing.