Society: Art and Science – February 29

Today is International Thanksgiving Day. Find a way to celebrate your life today…
Swedish and Norwegian committees bestow Nobel Prizes in recognition of cultural or scientific advances. The 1895 will of Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel established the prizes.
Georgios Seferiades was born on this date in 1900. He was a Greek poet-diplomat. He was one of the most important Greek poets of the 20th century and a Nobel laureate. He was a career diplomat in the Greek Foreign Service, culminating in his appointment as Ambassador to the UK, a post which he held from 1957 to 1962.




There is an Answer

Looking across the breakfast table, Richard said,”I would like to get our own table at the first of the week, Nancy. We have to get moving earlier.”
Nancy sighed,”The elevator took forever this morning. We were first in line for the car, in line before there was space for us to come down. It seems everyone is getting up a little earlier every day.”
“Well, we have to wake a little earlier then.”
“We have had our own place for long enough to have a ticketed breakfast. We have been on the list since we got married. I thought the time we selected the public sleeping tubes gave us extra credit.”
“Yes honey, you are right. It put us in the first hundred. You know we have been rescheduled twice but at least we are still in the top five hundred.”
“Well, enough of this slop then. We can get to work early and get my face in a few more spots to get some more credit to move back up.”
“Eat your breakfast love. When you skip a meal, you just have a snack later and that drops our credits.”
“Okay, I know, follow the plan, every credit counts. There are probably a handful of screens within this room with that message.”
“Yes, Nancy. Practice what you preach.”
“Well sometimes I am tired of preaching and I am always tired of practising.”
“We are not the first shipborn to be in this position and we will not be the last.”
The shipborn were on a migration through the galaxy that began a million years ago and would continue for a billion more. Millions of ships were in the endless caravan of fleets that moved from system to system. From time to time a fleet had resource issues. Not enough ships for too many shipborn was an issue.
While in a system, the fleet ship broke out into great ships that supported individual ships. The fleet might spend lifetimes in a system but a time would come when they must leave for the next system. Another fleet would be coming and the fleet captains would discuss fight or flight options. They knew both options were possible but they also knew the options had been played out countless times. Aggression would favour the fleet that protected its possessions but only once. The next fleet would know about the deception and arrive with the intention of obliterating the abomination, the shipborn in a system they were unwilling to leave. While in a system, the Odrygyec fleet reached the point where there were more shipborn than could be sustained by the system. Hard decisions were ahead.

Serial story by Sylva Richmond
Copyright © 2016 by PICogeneration
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, write to the publisher, addressed “Attention: Permissions Coordinator,” at the address below.
PICogeneration
10639 – 127 St NW
Edmonton, AB
www.picogeneration.com
Ordering Information: Quantity sales. Special discounts are available on quantity purchases by corporations, associations, and others. For details, contact the publisher at the address above.

Please enjoy this story of the fleet Odrygyec and a brief part of the unfolding shipborn and planetbound universe.
Articles, short stories, novellas, and novels based in the universe are in various stages of publication.

Support for this project. Please feel free to contribute and comment about this writing project. It is important to indicate the story name in the message block included in the order form. The minimal cost is meant to reduce trolling that is so common with female artists. In addition, as more and more projects are added to the site, contributions will be used to prioritise which projects will be updated regularly. Thank you for all your support, past and present. Sylva.





Samalas Book I : The Testing at Samalas

BOOK 1
CHAPTER I
The shipborn walked the wide main concourse of Saumus while above the markets and homes, others soared against the barely visible roofs on the opposite sectional faces of the fleet ship. The unlovely, complex optimised architecture of the fleet ship always contained spinning cylindrical bubbles of living space but the games at Samalas prompted the largest living space these shipborn had ever seen. The next fleet to leave Samalas, Saumus was tasked with hosting the games and supporting the teams of each fleet.
Three friends went quickly through the crowd. Nomic and Seta tried to go first, to make it easy for Gau. Soon it was clear that Gau saw this as a friendly challenge and all three were doing what they could to lead the others. With a laugh at their exertions, they turned through an arch in the bio-construction of a tavern to a private party as they pushed back their hoods. Large and handsome, Gau was instantly recognisable and the centre of attention.
“Thank you, my friends, said Gau, “your party is a welcome break before the tests tomorrow. I have only a few minutes with you before my coaching team figures out where I have gone.”
Gau strode through the room, spending time with each of his supporters. He shook a hand, grasped a shoulder, hugged or kissed these Saumusians. In a few unhurried minutes, he spent a moment with everyone before pulling up his hood and preparing to leave. Seta and Nomic flanked him as he slipped out again to return to his training rooms.
On their way to the party, two other shipborn strolled towards the tavern. Sub-vocally, they were so deep in communication that they hardly noticed how the crowd passed around them. Many greeted them and every salute received a mechanical flourish from the taller, younger shipborn.
The two shipborn were very different. Esclisto, the younger captain was well dressed, impressing with his distinctive enhancements. His response was frequently a respectful, supportive silent laugh, distinguished by a flash of his teeth and hardly using his lyrical voice. His friend, captain Dineol, was not given to long answers. The captain was a head shorter but thick of chest and heavily muscled. He obviously cared little for personal displays, showing few enhancements under his simple military uniform. His face was scarred from some past conflict. His grey, wise eyes blinked irregularly under beetling brows. A grey braid of hair and tissue wound down his back. He grunted just enough words to assure his friend that he was listening. His skin glowed only slightly but he was one of the most famous of the titar. Far away in the Atraspian fleet, Dineol was encased safely as he focused on this conversation with Esclisto and the difficulties of delays between their words. Saumus was at Samalas and Atrasp had left almost ten years ago, gaining speed as it headed after the fleet Esucrys.
“If they listen and we get support from Cyrocoagh and Esucrys; then Volgine will have logistic issues. We will resist his efforts to move into this system and we will drive them back and away from us. Did you hear anything that would show there is resistance to our plans, Dineol?”
“Too early to know. No room for error, Esclisto,” came the delayed response.
“Yes, it is the fate of us all. Our way of life is threatened. Generations of accomplishments lost in anarchy. We must risk a battle to stand up to Volgine.”
“As winners or losers, we’ll change the shipborn for generations, at least the millions near Samalas.”
“Atrasp was first to learn he was coming. Dineol, you will face him first, your forces will determine his resolve to take away our way of life. You have already forced him to make his move and forced your own Atraspian ships to move together against him. ” The pause took far longer than the delay between the fleets.
“We will do our duty.”
“I know you will. We all know you will. He has marked you for collection first. But that time is ahead of us so we should let it go for now. There will be time this evening to renew our plans, let’s enjoy the next few hours. Is Locny still your choice or have I convinced you that Gau will prevail over–”
The press of the crowd intruded on their conversation. The crowd murmur changed nearby into shouting and yelling.
“Stop thief!” “Hold him!” “A fight!” “A killing!”
The shipborn on the concourse kept moving to see what was going on. As shipborn pushed into the disturbance, Esclisto and Dineol were swept towards the trouble. And they were quite willing to see what was happening. In the confusion, the captains were given little notice except by those they pushed aside to see the disturbance.
They were able to make their way near the front but were held back by several shipborn who allowed the struggles of three shipborn take place. It was two large shipborn struggling with a much smaller titar. One of the large shipborn was identifying as a nearby souvenir stand owner with metal cups to commemorate the upcoming pentathlon.
“Here is my shop and I only turned for a moment when I noticed my finest cup was missing. This one had its hand where it had been…”
The other shipborn had grabbed this small one as the culprit and was demanding that he be prosecuted while the dealer was asking for the cup’s return. The small shipborn was protesting to any and all about his treatment with little effect.
“This is the thief, this halfling took the cup!” yelled the shipborn as he held tightly onto the shipborn who was dressed in an odd style and was screeching innocence. At this moment, someone lifted a cup above the tumult, “Is this it? It was lying on the ground here by the table.”
The dealer retrieved his cup. He moved back to the struggle and the other let him go but then blocked him as he tried to leave.
“Wait, you. He’s recovered his cup but you still stand charged with its theft.”
The small shipborn just stood and looked down as if trying to puzzle out how he could get away from all this. The head scarf fell down his back revealing his glowing skin.
“He’s a titar thief!” began a bellowing bystander.
“He dropped the cup when he was discovered,” yelled another.
“We need to examine this affair,” shouted another.
But the crowd had quieted and now there was a different and darker interest in the titar. Its small size and dull features indicated it was an incomplete, almost unformed construction. Now two or three others grabbed the titar and began to pepper it with questions.
“Are you a servant, a slave? Why are you here? A slave? Who’s your master? When did you arrive? What is with that tunic and gold-laced cap? Tell us, tell us, tell us or we’ll beat it out of you!”
Now a prisoner, the questions seemed beyond the titar and if it knew what was going on, it was unable to defend itself against the accusations that were quickly becoming incomprehensible. It tried to pull loose from those that held it and away from all who reached to grab it. Suddenly it made a quick move and pulled out a rich jewel and held it up. For a second, all held their breath and then the yells went to a different level.
“What titar holds treasure!!” bawled the shipborn who had first grabbed the suspect.”He’s robbed someone else today and is running away. Sulpid has a shipborn like this as his assistant in the docks. We need an investigation.”
“That’s it!” “A thief!” “Where are the captain’s guard?!” The titar’s protests could not be heard at all as everyone around had an opinion on how to deal with the trouble.
“Hold on now, my friends,” called out a clear voice. “Let it go, I know the titar of Sulpid you are speaking about and this is not it.”
The surprise of the mob was evident and they were instantly ready to turn on this new troublemaker. For many reasons, many of them were eager to see the titar brought to justice. First one and then from many came a growl of annoyance at the interruption and then their voices changed to gasps of recognition.
“It’s Gau!” “What is he doing here?” “He’s even bigger than I thought he was!” “He is a pretty one, even better than he looks in his pictures!”
The young giant was pushing off the hands that pulled at him as he moved closer to the captive and his handlers. His presence had quieted those nearby but others were calling from further away that Gau was in the crowd. The press was starting to increase along with the murmur of the crowd became clamouring for Gau’s notice. He was a shipborn whose every feature was the best measure of beauty and the whole was a combination that exceeded the beauty of the parts! As he moved in, he shook the hood off and threw back his cloak so that as he reached the titar, he stood a head above most. He unconsciously took a challenging pose as the cloak fell in graceful, scarlet folds from his shoulders.
“Let this titar go! It is not that assistant of Sulpid,” he said once again.
In that moment, it appeared that the mob had forgotten the reason for its earlier interest and was content to try and get close to Gau. Those nearest to the disturbance seemed to be frozen in contemplation of Gau, though the titar made a quick move to press against the protector.
“Just wait a minute pretty boy!” said the man who had been holding the presumed thief, “I don’t know what you are doing here or why you are making this your business but we are holding this thief until the captain’s guard comes for him. Why are you here? Are you afraid of Locny and looking for some way out of facing the humiliation of a good beating? Are you not supposed to be surrounding yourself with the illusion that you have some chance of winning an event or at least making a respectable placing?” The man was above average in size himself but the crowd was gasping at the audacious speech.
He reached again for the titar but Gau extended just one hand. With a quick squeeze and a twist, the loud shipborn fell back to the ground. In that moment, everyone looked at their neighbours and measured their chances in a brawl that seemed likely. While Gau stood his ground, no one moved either towards him or to oppose him.
Dineol and Esclisto pushed their way to the front aided by the crowd’s sudden recognition of these noble captains. In a few moments, they were able to make a space for themselves near Gau and the titar cowering behind him.
“What’s going on!” roared Dineol, and the newcomers instantly had everyone’s attention. Esclisto stepped forward and held up his hand. His voice, low but crisp, caused all to strain to hear the words and determine his meaning. “Each of us is here to enjoy the pentathlon, let’s not be casualties of some other game. I saw what happened here and it is just a misunderstanding. You have your cup back sir, and I’m sure you would like to get back to your business? There are many new titars here from fellow fleets and not all were constructed long ago.” He nodded to indicate Dineol who was recognisable and almost indistinguishable from a true shipborn. It was a stark contrast to the small, rough form of the accused.
The shipborn merchant was eager to return to his kiosk and saw that a brawl was likely to ruin him. In these few sentences, Esclisto had disarmed the only shipborn who had any right to pursue the matter further. The merchant gladly nodded.
“If there is no theft and no complaints about anything else, we must all be satisfied to let the matter come to an end. In fact, we are here to enjoy a great contest. Any captain would be glad of the justice that you display here. Thanks to Gau, this titar is safe and we should let the champion return to his training rooms. I know that while I support Gau from my own fleet, I wish all well including Locny,” said Esclisto with a nod to both Gau and Dineol.
The mob dispersed slowly, a few glancing at Gau and the two captains who were now standing alone with the titar.
“Gau, what were you thinking?” laughed Esclisto. “I would think you would be doing something that would make all of your shipmates proud, and instead I find you out and looking for a brawl instead of planning your competition tomorrow. What would have happened if we hadn’t come along? You might have been unable to compete. The captain’s guard would certainly have taken an interest in your playing the protector to a thief if they had come along. Why did you decide to leave the comfort and safety of the training rooms?”
“This was a delightful warm-up,” replied Gau, “it is like the pentathlon – shocking the crowd, striving against all who are against me, putting my skills to work against all others and finally the decision: I am the strongest!” he said with a playful chuckle, “Well, okay, maybe I went too far. The training rooms are empty tonight. I started out looking for some of the other event athletes, to offer them some good wishes and couldn’t find anyone. So I slipped out to see the crowd. I did not expect to let anyone recognise me. But it was more exciting to be out in the crowd than sitting alone waiting for the trainers to sigh or ask if I wanted anything to eat or drink. I was just out having some fun.”
“Hmm, a very funny way to enjoy yourself, I am glad you found delight, but why would you risk so much for so little reason?”
“Okay, I understand. My friends…I was getting bored sitting again in the training room. I came along with a couple of friends and saw that titar being peppered with false accusations – for one thing, I knew he was not the dock assistant someone was describing. In the moment, I said I knew the truth and stepped forward to make the point. I was out in front of them before I had really had time to think about what I was doing. It was just the right thing to do.”
“No doubt it happened as you say and it is certainly to your credit to have stepped forward. I would like to think any of your shipmates would do the same but I think they would rather you went safely to your training room. We will see the titar is safe. Where is it?”
Sure enough, the titar had slipped away unnoticed by the friends as they bantered about this escapade.
“It appears it has a lot of gratitude,” complained Esclisto. He turned to Dineol. “Well, captain Dineol, you hoped to meet with Gau and determine his chances in your own mind. I would say that he proved himself up to everything you heard. What do you say?”
The captain had been taking a good look at Gau and despite having made an unaccustomed speech surprised everyone by blurting, “Does not look like much, and I can see why everyone complains he is too pretty.”
Gau laughed with the rest as Esclisto threw up his hands. “Why is he so beautiful and skilled? Just because Locny is ugly, he is no more likely to win than Gau. Is that the best test you could come up with?”
“I guess we will see who wins the pentathlon,” growled Dineol as he suddenly grabbed Gau’s shoulder. The muscles cracked under the captain’s grip but Gau looked coolly down at the shorter, burlier captain’s titar. The captain released his grip and held out his fist, “Open it.” The titar closely matched the strength and skills of his shipborn. Captain Dineol was a well-built warrior although much older than Gau.
Seta and Nomic crowded in without making a sound as Gau and Dineol stood face to face, hands locked. Gau’s blush increased as he applied pressure and as the struggle continued, Dineol’s face reddened too. And then it was over and the captain’s fingers had been forced open.
“He will do,” said the captain after a short delay. Yes, he will do.” With that and a quick nod to the three who stood watching, he started away. Over his shoulder, he said, “Grind Locny’s bones, I hate the brute.”
Esclisto waited for a moment before heading after Dineol. Seta wasted no time in letting everyone know that he was impressed by Gau’s actions on behalf of the titar. The crowd was beginning to press them as the privacy commanded by the captains was now replaced by the interest that the crowd felt in seeing Gau up close.
“It can be fun to hear what wordsmiths will say of you, but I must get back to the training room before my coaches miss me,” Gau said childishly, but with seriousness as he threw his hood to cover his face.
“Well yes, we want you confident and ready to face the others. Stop chattering and you athletes do what delights you most.”
“Perhaps you are right! We all have a role tomorrow and I must get on with mine.” Gau, to the others’ surprise, rubbed his eyes as he passed his hand across his face. “I know I am fortunate to be here today and I am confident of your support tomorrow. I will do my best to deserve your praise.”
Recovering from his moment of alarm at Gau’s show of fatigue, Seta was nonetheless charmed by his openness. “We are distracting you,” stated Seta.
“You are not to be blamed in the least.”
“No, I am a fool on my own merits. I should be relaxing by myself instead of strolling around.”
“All right, let’s get you back,” began Seta. “What happened has happened and we have survived. We should be either distracting you from the pentathlon or helping you concentrate on it, what do you prefer?”
“I just need to get going back,” chuckled Gau lightly.
“This is supposed to be fun for all of us, think about that!” cried Nomic; “I know you are thinking about Eniom. Your day-dreaming caused this distraction. We have to get you thinking about Locny.”
“Can you blame him?” smiled Seta. “We are looking forward to tomorrow’s entertainment, but the victory party will pale compared to their wedding. It has been a developing celebration since they announced their plans.”
“I would like to know why captain Dineol told Gau to grind the bones of the champion of his own fleet?” asked Nomic, curiously.
“I can explain his feelings,” replied Seta, who sat with most of the captains. “Most importantly, Locny’s family is a vocal opposition to Dineol. It began years ago. Not only is he massive, I would have to say that from the soles of his feet, Locny is a rude brute, even to the point of embarrassing himself with Dineol’s wife at his champion’s dinner. And according to some people, he helped delay the news that Volgine was coming to Samalas. All I would say is that he has made some strange friends who had thoughts of aligning with Volgine.”
“Those rumours have been heard at every gambler’s table,” Nomic interrupted promptly. “Locny is not working with Volgine, not that I know him that well, but Volgine makes plans for Volgine.”
“Most of us will have questions for Volgine. Not that I have any time for war, but I guess there will always be those who take what they want and those who go along with them. It seems that way to me. Always some who say it is our nature and there is nothing we can do about nature. There are captains who are with Volgine and they have their reasons, even if I do not know what those reasons are.” Nomic trailed off as he looked to see Seta salute him. “You know these shipborn for a living Seta, but I feel in my gut that some of the captains are with Volgine.”
“Okay, okay, let the war wait!” ordered Gau, with a weary shake of his head. “Today our battle is in the arena, that is war enough for me today!” With that, he went into his rooms with a final, brief wave leaving his friends to look at the closed door.
“There is the weakness” sighed Seta, “within his mind is his own success, his own terms, living only for his own purposes. Such shipborn seem destined for the disappointments of realising their small place in the universe.”
“We have known him since we were children, Seta. You went to classes with him from first days. Perhaps our friendship blinds us, but Gau deserves praise for what he has done and who he is.” Nomic was a bit uncomfortable speaking up but had to support his friend.
“Fair enough, I meant no criticism…I have just seen too many sad things in my life,” said Seta meekly. “Listen, my friends, I have taken advantage of your good nature, I am foolish. We should get back to the party and support Gau’s efforts. He is sure to win tomorrow.”
“Yes, and as friends, we have lightly considered the strengths and weaknesses of our friends. We are still friends. Let’s look forward to the arena and cheer for Gau. What say you, Nomic?” said Seta diplomatically.
“You are right,” said Nomic with a laugh, “let’s get back to the party, my friend!”
As Gau took to his lounge after a shower, he met his secretary, Manes, who was holding a small, brightly wrapped box.
“A strangely dressed titar brought this for you, Gau. There have been all kinds of things left at your door, but it asked that I deliver this immediately to your hands. It seems safe enough.”
The package was opened easily and, inside the box, they found a bracelet in a shiny mount. There was no note or any other marking that identified who had sent the treasure. There was a simple note in an uncertain script, “To the beautiful champion who has served me greatly.”
Manes lifted the bracelet high to catch the light and admire its perfect lustre.
“Esclisto was wrong,” Gau remarked. “the titar was not ungrateful. But what titar has access to the likes of this? And who knows. Make a note, Manes, to let Esclisto know about this gift in case there is a connection to some other plans for the arena. He should know about it as soon as possible. At any rate, there is nothing I can do about it for the moment. Make a note and lock it away. I want nothing to do with such mysteries tonight. Perhaps it is a good sign to arrive now for the battle I face tomorrow and maybe the bracelet will fit Eniom.”

Serial story by Sylva Richmond
Copyright © 2016 by PICogeneration
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, write to the publisher, addressed “Attention: Permissions Coordinator,” at the address below.
PICogeneration
10639 – 127 St NW
Edmonton, AB
www.picogeneration.com
Ordering Information: Quantity sales. Special discounts are available on quantity purchases by corporations, associations, and others. For details, contact the publisher at the address above.

Please enjoy this story of the Samalas region where along with others, there was a struggle between the Atrasp, Saumus, and Volgine fleets. It is a brief part of the unfolding history of the shipborn and the planetbound universe.
Articles, short stories, novellas, and novels based in the universe are in various stages of publication.

Support for this project. Please feel free to contribute and comment about this writing project. It is important to indicate the story name in the message block included in the order form. The minimal cost is meant to reduce trolling that is so common with female artists. In addition, as more and more projects are added to the site, contributions will be used to prioritise which projects will be updated regularly. Thank you for all your support, past and present. Sylva.





Sometimes We Help Ourselves

Taking a seat down the wardroom table, anthropology department head Aidryought said, “Captain, Poadayov indicates we should wake Roycara.”
“Really, what indicators were triggered?” replied the fleet captain. Poadayov designated the fleet, its resources, and his family. The captain received briefs on shipborn in cryogenesis and the situations in which they woke. Roycara was expected.
“Why wake Roycara now?” responded his executive officer, “The department has been making the measurements required by the Roycara contracting.” As the captain nodded in agreement, she continued, “The key indicators, in my opinion, are that the fleet arrived in the system forty-eight years ago, we accommodated the terraformers left by previous fleets, reactivated the great ships and their crews, reactivated the rest of the ships and their crews, all are under your orders.”
The captain shook his head, “Surely there is something about our situation…”
“Yes, sir. You were born into the out-system population and seen the changes. As the crew woke in-system and began to have children, the out-system population has aged and passed on. The demographics are important indicators in the Roycara contracting. In particular, the activities on off-shifts are causing some concern. Other indicators include the number of psychopaths and their interactions in the population. There are violence measures that we have been tracking and a change in the nature of addictions.”
“And this is the situation that Roycara wants to be part of?”
“I am sure we will have more information after waking, but Roycara wakes about this time each time the fleet is in-system. An in-system adviser only and this is the eighth waking.”
“Fine, reporting as an advisor to you, wake Roycara, with family and staff,” almost offhanded, as his interest waned. “Anything else of note?”
“My reports are on file, captain. There are no other milestones for this shift.”
“Good, good. Thank you.”
“Have a good shift, sir.”
“And you too, Aidry.”


Over the next few shifts, Roycara woke along with her family and staff. Aidry was surprised when Roycara woke as an athletic, mature female. Most advisors who travelled from system to system were lean, young males or females who threw themselves into activities as soon as rejuvenation allowed. Roycara was a physical specimen who did all that was required for her rejuvenation but otherwise observed what was happening. She was almost contemplative. Her staff were several dozen youngsters and she had a mate.
At the first orientation meeting, Aidry asked how the rejuvenation was going.
Roycara replied, “The rejuvenation and waking are completed. I am ready to get to work. According to my contract, the anthropology department has reached several markers, is that right?”

Serial story by Sylva Richmond
Copyright © 2016 by PICogeneration
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, write to the publisher, addressed “Attention: Permissions Coordinator,” at the address below.
PICogeneration
10639 – 127 St NW
Edmonton, AB
www.picogeneration.com
Ordering Information: Quantity sales. Special discounts are available on quantity purchases by corporations, associations, and others. For details, contact the publisher at the address above.

Please enjoy this story of the fleet Poadayov and a brief part of the unfolding shipborn and planetbound universe.
Articles, short stories, novellas, and novels based in the universe are in various stages of publication.

Support for this project. Please feel free to contribute and comment about this writing project. It is important to indicate the story name in the message block included in the order form. The minimal cost is meant to reduce trolling that is so common with female artists. In addition, as more and more projects are added to the site, contributions will be used to prioritise which projects will be updated regularly. Thank you for all your support, past and present. Sylva.





Waiting for Captain Colxico

Four hours before her alarm was scheduled to go off, Lilia woke to the announcement that the ship Proferia was docking. She was advised to strap in so that an unexpected movement would not cause her an injury. With a chuckle, she thought about her father’s ship and his yelling if they were free-boarding into a dock.
“Oh well, we survive our childhood so that we can impose improvements on our children. My children will always strap in before docking,” she said to herself.
When she was strapped in, she tilted the chair and scanned the ship’s readings at the screen on the wall. She opened her room door to check on any activity in the corridor. There was a slight delay in the door opening that irritated her. She expected that someone had been outside the door but after waiting for a few moments, hearing and seeing nothing reassured her. She returned to look at the ship’s readings. Her readings were on the screen as well and she recognised some telltale markers that she was still half asleep. She stretched as best she could in the chair. Pulling her knees up to her chin felt so good.
She felt a little bump that ran through Proferia as it’s inertia was transferred to the great ship Anifkol. She released the tension in her shoulders, allowed herself to wriggle in the chair, and after unstrapping, went through her waking routine. She rolled every muscle from her toes to her fingertips until she was standing tall, then bending and rolling down to the floor. Nothing was happening in the corridor so she shut it, stripped and had a shower. She finished her morning routine by zipping into her travelling clothes and finished packing up. With a last look around to be sure she had everything, she went into the corridor with the pack-bag over her shoulder.
Stepping on the Anifkol concourse, she immediately heard her name from a screen on the wall. She walked up to it and tapped in to see the message. On the screen was directions to a hotel entrance just a few steps away. She went in and up to the room assigned to her. She unpacked, flipped back the covers, and went back to sleep.
After another shower, she dressed, put together a few things in a shoulder bag and headed out for breakfast. Just as she turned to leave, there was a knock at the door. She gave the open code and a young woman was standing there with a plate of food.
“Good day Lilia. My name is Grahis. Here is your complimentary breakfast. Please get comfortable and enjoy the day. Is there anything else I can do for you?”
“Thank you, Grahis. I am meeting Captain Colxico here. What room is he in?”
“I am advised that Captain Colxico has not checked in yet. I will send you a message when he arrives. Is there anything else?”
“Thank you, no. Thank you for the breakfast. I guess I will see you later.”
“Yes, Lilia. Have a great day.”
“Thank you, I will.”
Grahis made a final look around and left the room.

Serial story by Sylva Richmond
Copyright © 2016 by PICogeneration
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, write to the publisher, addressed “Attention: Permissions Coordinator,” at the address below.
PICogeneration
10639 – 127 St NW
Edmonton, AB
www.picogeneration.com
Ordering Information: Quantity sales. Special discounts are available on quantity purchases by corporations, associations, and others. For details, contact the publisher at the address above.

Please enjoy this story of the great ship Anifkol and a brief part of the unfolding shipborn and planetbound universe.
Articles, short stories, novellas, and novels based in the universe are in various stages of publication.

Support for this project. Please feel free to contribute and comment about this writing project. It is important to indicate the story name in the message block included in the order form. The minimal cost is meant to reduce trolling that is so common with female artists. In addition, as more and more projects are added to the site, contributions will be used to prioritise which projects will be updated regularly. Thank you for all your support, past and present. Sylva.





What We Become

Karl1A tapped his ear lobe,”Okay crew, we are up!” His communicator picked up on targets for his message and opened their channels. “Sound off!”
“Okay chief,” chirped Jim1A,”When do we start?”
“Great, where are you?” hummed Hugh1A.
“Let us know when and where,” chirped Gaston1A,”Jim1A and I are up with the pilot checking on our schedule.”
Franka1A could barely be heard as she chimed in,”Oh good, I was wondering if or when Desxaco would hear.”
“Thanks, team leaders, your schedules will be updated shortly so that we can get started. This thing snuck up on us all. Jim1A, let the pilot know we will be dropping fleetward for this project. I will let our neighbours know they will have to cover for us. Your thanks will be passed along as well. This was a tough one to take the spin off. We have a lot of mass to control. We needed all of them to make it work.”
Hugh1A cut in with a chuckle,”their invoices will be here as soon as they know we won the salvage rights.”
Karl1A barked,”Let the captains worry about the invoicing. We needed their help on this one and we still do. Once we see the details, Hugh1A, you will coordinate with your buddies to place the wreck.”
Hugh1A was gliding up the central corridor towards Karl1A and nodded to show he heard the instruction. He knew it was too early to do anything more than they were doing until they had the details of the salvage work.
Karl1A continued,”The captain just got word that our salvage application has been accepted by the fleet. We will be working on the derelict full time. The fleet will send the details in an hour or so. Check it out and we will start on it next onshift. If you want some day on the transfers, make your calls.”
The shipborn spent decades, sometimes generations moving from system to system. Systems have them anchors for the neverending migration of the shipborn but they were constantly responding to the fields that surrounded them. Systems were defined by the region of increased matter they could detect. Between systems, there was less matter but all the fields existed there.
In these travel phases, most shipborn crewed the lattice of scavenger ships that served as the forward shield of the Piok fleet. They detected matter as soon as possible and salvaged it as raw material for other processes in the fleet Piokjytres. They also detected the changing fields and shaped those fields for use by the rest of the fleet. Larger ships operated safely and efficiently when the salvagers provided a steady, known fieldset to travel through.
The captain Desxaco had several teams to lead but the largest at the moment was the team Karl1A led. He was a good superintendent with an excellent record. Karl1A had moved around the leading wave of salvage ships his whole life and he loved the work they did. His long career was only half done and he never expected to reach the next system. Karl1A expected to improve and protect the fleet all day, every day for his whole life. He was dedicated to the four hours onshift, four hours offshift, four hours restshift for the cycle that allowed him to build his reputation. Perhaps he was not as popular as some others but no one doubted that his presence had improved the Desxaco application.

Serial story by Sylva Richmond
Copyright © 2016 by PICogeneration
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, write to the publisher, addressed “Attention: Permissions Coordinator,” at the address below.
PICogeneration
10639 – 127 St NW
Edmonton, AB
www.picogeneration.com
Ordering Information: Quantity sales. Special discounts are available on quantity purchases by corporations, associations, and others. For details, contact the publisher at the address above.

Please enjoy this story of the fleet Piokjytres and a brief part of the unfolding shipborn and planetbound universe.
Articles, short stories, novellas, and novels based in the universe are in various stages of publication.

Support for this project. Please feel free to contribute and comment about this writing project. It is important to indicate the story name in the message block included in the order form. The minimal cost is meant to reduce trolling that is so common with female artists. In addition, as more and more projects are added to the site, contributions will be used to prioritise which projects will be updated regularly. Thank you for all your support, past and present. Sylva.





Save Me Sweet Savior

She came into the tavern and sat by the door. She ordered a glass of wine and pulled a fold of sheets out of a sling bag. She looked up at the tavern door after a minute. She looked down at the sheets and then picked up her glass and moved to a table near the back of the tavern. She sat facing the entrance with the kitchen and bar in front and to her right.
He noticed her when she first took her seat. She was pretty and young. He had his own problems and consumed by the decision to find his answers in a cup of cha or a mug of ale. Both sat in front of him, barely touched. He noticed again, when she moved to the table in the back. He turned on his chair so that he could see both the doorway and the female.
She saw him for the first time when he moved astride the chair. He must have been there all along but she had not noticed there was anyone else seated in the tavern. He was pretty and young.
They were only a couple of tables apart. Both were looking at the doorway and then sweeping their attention around the tavern. Their eyes met. He was wondering why she had moved. She was wondering why he was there. Then he wondered where she was from. She wondered where he was from.
“Are you okay?” he asked.
“Oh yes,” she said, “just getting my bearings.”
“Did you just embark?”
“Yes, my father is loading up some supplies and I went for a walk?”
“May I join you?” he said, flashing his biggest smile.
“Please, let me come to your table, there is no reason why I should mess up another table here.”
“Of course, I would be pleased to receive you. I wondered when all these chairs would serve some purpose.”
She supposed he was trying to make a joke, to make her feel comfortable. She felt comfortable. The wine was warm and smooth, with a fruity flavor and a comfortable glow that seemed to be moving from head to toe.
He stood and took her glass of wine with one hand and moved a chair under her so that they were sitting next to each other at his table.
“What are you having?” she asked.
“I have cha and ale,” he answered, “not a common mixture for me.”
“It does not sound like a combination that many would enjoy,” she giggled.
“No, I have been trying to decide if I should be good, have a relaxing cup of cha and head off to bed or have mugs of ale until I fall asleep right here.”
“How long have you been thinking about it? Your cha looks cold and your ale warm.”
“I think you have saved me from my indecision. I am going to join you with a glass of wine.” He ordered two of the same, pushed away the cup and the mug and was gratified to see the two wine glasses arrive.
“My lady, my thanks, you have saved me from this indecision you noted. I am free to enjoy your company and your fine choice of libations is another sign of your impeccable taste and charms.”
“You are laying it on a little thick, my new friend,” she responded with a chuckle. “But fine, I was lonely and you were lonely. We will enjoy a glass of wine and get to know each other.”
“I will start. My name is Evan. I serve this great ship Yartal, but was born on my father’s ship Apmarmac.”
“What a great beginning, I have so many questions for you, Evan. First, I am Michline. I serve on my father’s ship Nemerite, and am looking for a position on Yartal.”
“I think I know how you feel. I grew up in a family that loved me, gave me a job I loved and everything else I could wish for. Yet I wanted to serve all shipborn.”
“That is true. My family loves me although this is a cruel life. I am well trained but I want to serve all shipborn.”
“Michline, why is your life cruel?”
“I am always training, my father is always teaching me, he hides me when we come to other ships, I know he is looking for me now, to take me back to his ship,” she banged the table with the roll of sheet she was holding.
“Finish your wine, we will find a place to hide you,” he said with a note of alarm in his voice. There were stories of strange behavior on a few ships where its captain made all the rules and the crew was more captive than family.
She looked at him with wide eyes as she sipped at her wine. She laid the sheets on the table and smoothed them out. “Yes, he is looking for me, he will be here soon. But he is a good captain.” She looked into his eyes for a moment before blinking and looking to her sheets. She looked to her sheets and started turning pages as if looking for some particular information.
He drained his wine and asked, “Are you ready to go? You are lovely and I will not let anything happen to you.”
“My father loves me too,” she said uncertainly, “He tells me many times each day and always just before he locks me in for the night.”
“What do you mean?”
“Every sleep shift he locks my door so that he can find me when he wakes up.”
“Come on, we are going to my rooms. We can lock the doors so shipborn like your captain can not get in.”
“What?” she was flipping from page to page looking for something written there.
“He might be able to find you here in a tavern or in the corridors, but your captain will not find you in my rooms.”
“Yes, Evan, that is how he finds me,” she looked up from the sheets to the doorway and then to Evan. “I go to a tavern for something to eat or drink and then he finds me.”
“We have to go.”He stops and reached out to her.”Take my hand. We will go before he can find you.”
“You are sweet,” dropping the sheets into her sling bag. “This is an adventure.”
Hand in hand, they left the tavern and headed down the corridor to his rooms. They did not have far to go. He felt good. There was no indecisiveness now. He was holding the hand of a pretty, young female. He had purpose. She was looking at everything, getting her bearings again, holding the hand of this pretty, young male. He was taking her where the captain could not find her.
He lived close to the tavern. They had just a quick short walk down the shopping corridor from the tavern to a main corridor leading to the main areas of Yartal. They slowed at the flow of shipborn moving in every direction as they headed for the corridor leading to his residence. Just as they turned into the residence corridor, unexpectedly he felt a hand on his shoulder.
“Where do you think you are going?”
She turned and screamed, “Captain!”
Evan turned and stood between them, “Run Michline, I will catch up in a minute.”
She scampered down the corridor as Evan shifted to block her father from following.
“Who are you?” asked the captain, with some exasperation. The captain was a mature male, dressed indiscriminately and was not forcing his way past Evan. Evan thought the captain seemed confident and more amused than distressed that Michline was running away down the corridor.
“Who are you to be locking her up in your ship, who are you to prevent her from serving all shipborn on Yartal?” He raised his voice to get the attention of the shipborn milling around them but his voice was lost in the sounds of shipborn movement and their own conversations. He could see that only a few interested glances came his way and that interest lasted only a second. He shifted as if he were going to throw a punch and then turned away to run after Michline. In a moment, he could see her walking quickly ahead. He was able to catch up, grab her hand and pull her after him. They were only a few meters from his door. He caught a glimpse of the captain over his shoulder. It would be close but he had the advantage of knowing where they were going. Again, he felt a hand on his shoulder and the captain moved in front of them.
“Enough of this exercise, Michline, we have to get back to Nemerite.”
“Father, please, I like talking with Evan and he is showing me around the ship.”
“I am happy for your enjoyment but we have to go.”
Evan pushed between them again, “She is not going back with you. You are not going to lock her up again.”
The captain took his time to respond. It was clear he was not comfortable being asked to explain his actions. “Is there a tavern where you would like to continue this conversation?”
“So you can meet up with your crew to take her away, no, leave us alone.”
“I am sorry but I cannot leave you alone. Michline, it is time to say goodbye. It is time to come with me.”
“Do not listen, Michline. I will take care of you. Stay away from him.”
“Captain, where am I?”
“Check your sheets, Michline, go to sheet eight and head home.”
Michline rustled the sheets out of the sling bag again and squatted down against the corridor wall to look through them.
“Stop, Michline, we can get away, just jump up and come with me. No one will stand in our way.”
“Okay now,” said the captain, “She is already confused, just let her do what she needs to do.”
“I will not let you hurt her. She said you were cruel.”
“I do not think she said I was cruel…she usually says life is cruel. Am I right?”
Evan remembered when she said life was cruel. He felt his anger at the captain draining and now he was confused too. Michline stood and walked back towards the main corridor. The captain lifted a hand when Evan was about to follow her.
“Not even a goodbye now. I hope you enjoyed the afternoon because I hope she enjoyed the afternoon. Perhaps she will remember you.”
“What are you talking about?”
“My daughter had an accident when she was even younger. Something in her wants to go exploring all the time. When we dock with another ship, she often gets away. A long time ago, I made sure I could find her and that she could find her way home. She likes to use the sheets to solve problems. They tell her where to go so I can find her. They tell her how to get home.”
“We had so little time together. I wanted to know more about her. I wanted her to learn more about me.”
“You are special, perhaps when we return, you will meet Michline again.”
“I want to meet her again.”
“I will do what I can,” said the captain with a wry grin. Again, he grasped Evan’s shoulder and then made his way to follow Michline.
Evan watched him walk quickly after Michline. He was about to follow when he realized how little time they had spent together, how little they had said to one another. He was about to return to the tavern when he realized he had more to do than choose between cha and ale. He turned and went up to his rooms.

Serial story by Sylva Richmond
Copyright © 2016 by PICogeneration
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, write to the publisher, addressed “Attention: Permissions Coordinator,” at the address below.
PICogeneration
10639 – 127 St NW
Edmonton, AB
www.picogeneration.com
Ordering Information: Quantity sales. Special discounts are available on quantity purchases by corporations, associations, and others. For details, contact the publisher at the address above.

Please enjoy this story of the great ship Yartal and a brief part of the unfolding shipborn and planetbound universe.
Articles, short stories, novellas, and novels based in the universe are in various stages of publication.

Support for this project. Please feel free to contribute and comment about this writing project. It is important to indicate the story name in the message block included in the order form. The minimal cost is meant to reduce trolling that is so common with female artists. In addition, as more and more projects are added to the site, contributions will be used to prioritise which projects will be updated regularly. Thank you for all your support, past and present. Sylva.