Planet of the Orange-red Sun Volumes 1-15

Planet of the Orange-red Sun Volumes 1-15

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Planet Of The Orange-Red Sun Series  2010;   Vic Broquard;   Broquard eBooks;

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Volume 1: When Kingdoms Fall

Located on the outer rim of the galaxy, Tierra or Ashford-5 is a world without many heavy metals, but it has an abundance of psi-crystals, which the Imperium uses for the fuel in all of its vast fleet of space ships. They land and setup a fuel mining colony, ignoring the local inhabitants. However, one of these aliens from Rigel-3 has other plans for the native humans, mind altering experiments. These go astray and lead to a devastating explosion of their fuel refinery, releasing a massive cloud of psi-dust over Tierra.

The explosion permanently alters the planet’s rotational axis and the climate changes drastically, nearly wiping out the humans on Tierra. In time, this dust also caused changes in some, giving them vast telepathic abilities.

Follow the many twists and turns as the aliens and humans both try to survive and evolve. Telepaths are not accepted at first in the non-telepathic world, but soon prove their worth. Over the course of centuries, the telepaths evolve and their fortunes come and go in the society of Tierra, which now has been declared a closed world to the vast Imperium.

Some on Tierra want that status to change and work hard to bring it about as well. Others do not and the inevitable conflicts arise.

This novel series is a study in evolution and societal changes over many centuries as well as galactic societal alterations. Can a society of telepaths rule the galaxy?

Read two chapters from Volume 1.
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 Volume 2 Dark Ages Paperback – May 2, 2014;  Vic Broquard   

This novel covers the years from around 1000, just after the massive explosion, to around 1100. The massive explosion of the alien’s space port knocked the planet off its axis and caused it to wobble like some crazy top. In turn, this shift of the poles and wobble combined to wreak havoc on the weather. Some lands became deserts, while the central crop lands had rain, sleet, and snow nearly every day in the summer. Survival becomes a challenge for everyone. Both Nature and man have to find ways to adapt to the wild chaos. Thus began the Dark Ages on Tierra. Even worse, many areas lost a quarter of their population. Life became a harsh struggle to stay alive. Mysteriously, women’s breasts enlarged significantly, thus at least ensuring their babies would have enough to survive infancy. However, nearly one in every five person suddenly developed the mentales gift, which always including telepathy. Some could start fires, some could dominate others, the list of gifts became lengthy. The Archbishop of the Church of God issued a decree that these mentales gifted people were Lucifer’s spawn and were to be burned at the stake!

A lone priest who had the gift decided to try to change this decree. The Bettingham group, accompanied by their alien wives Dita and Dr. Zosia and many others, established the Kingdom of the Angels. In this kingdom, construction was underway on the circular towers, while they worked slavishly to train all those who had received this mentales gift in their kingdom. Marisol catalogued all of the known forms of the mentales gifts and with the help of others created the Mentales Rule Book, which outlining both the training of newly gifted, the handling of those who got ill when their gifts manifested, and the handling of pregnant women. Thus, anyone who had the gift needed to go to their local Circle and get trained to use their gifts properly. Elsewhere, kingdoms broke down and many smaller groups fought each other over rapidly dwindling food supplies.

Minor wars sprang up nearly everywhere. Those with the mentales gifts decided that they were powerful and should be the leaders. Many took over rulership positions of the many kingdoms, often by force. Then, another idea took hold: breeding those with powerful gifts with each other to create even more powerful children. Thus, the intentional breeding for enhanced mentales begins, giving rise to the concept of fosterlings, gifted children born out of wedlock just for their potential special powerful gifts. Amid the strife and conflict, the ancient penta-pantheon gods of Tierra were awakened! Meanwhile, the aliens rebuild and see the rise and takeover of the world by the mentales gifted. However, during this period, one long-lived minister strictly enforces the Closed World policy.

Enter the age of the towers, the Círculo de la Torres, filled with the gifted, who now controlled the world, but without any restraints on their powers. Follow how they rose to power, salvaging the world, and how one man, Felix Brom, bought sanity to the warring towers, discovered the psi-crystals which magnified their mentales powers a hundred-fold, discovered that many could join together as a Círculo de mentes, combining their powers into an unlimited weapon. Felix’s goal: to end all wars, bringing peace at last to Tierra.

Volume 3 Age of the Towers Paperback – May 2, 2014

Across Tierra, the eleven Círculo de la Torres now had absolute control over the entire continent, via the Brom Compact. Some of the children of Felix Brom play a role in this tale. The towers and Compact has brought peace for these thirty years, but they have also created powerful new weapons. The Círculo de mentes has evolved. Nine members funnel their power into a tenth, who then uses the combined power of all ten to carry out his work, while an eleventh person monitors their ten bodies. Running upwards of four Circles per each of the eleven towers, immense strides have been made during the past thirty years. Many inventions hold potential, such as air cars emulating the aliens shuttles but powered by mentales.

However, in 1130, a new alien arrives to take over the governorship of the space port. Governor Lech Kuba discovers some of the secrets of this world, namely their abundance of telepaths. In the galaxy, true telepaths are invaluable and thus he allows a black market traders to “confiscate” some of these priceless telepaths, kidnaping them, taking them to other worlds within the Imperium, and selling them to the highest bidders. Lech’s wife, Karolina, a Galactic Meteorologist, has other ideas, for she is keenly interested in the anomalous weather on Tierra. Just how can all these major storms completely violate all known meteorological laws in the paths they follow?

She was determined to find out why the law of her science did not apply to major weather patterns on this world. Having discovered the secrets of this world in the former governor’s files, Lech sends out covert spies to find out more about this world and its telepaths. Highly illegal and in direct violation of the Closed World status and the binding legal documents, Lech forges ahead. Ania’s last document asked: Will an unlimited weapon truly lead to universal peace? For thirty years, it seemed these Círculo de la Torres had achieved peace. Lech sent out spies to learn more. He sent Jarek to Valen Castle. However, the Valen leader turned the situation around and married his daughter, Carmen, to Jarek, ensuring a strong, but illegal, bond between the aliens and Valen. His goal: conquer the rest of Tierra. After all, Valen ought to control at least all of the Westerlings, just as Adelmira Tower controlled all of the Easterlings. His daughter Carmen, had other ideas and joined with Lech’s wife, Karolina, to open a small business supplying only the finest in apparel, Elegant Fashions Inc, a company that would thereafter play an enormous role on Tierra. Unknown to most, over the years, some telepaths were kidnaped, taken off-world, and sold into slavery. And as the ruler of Valen Tower forms illegal and secretive alliances with the aliens, the other towers react.

Most towers detest the land divisions Felix Brom forced on them and now with the aid of their newly invented magical fires, toxic chlorine gas, and stone eating acid, towers wage war on their neighboring towers. As always, the soldiers and villagers suffer the horrific damage these new weapons unleash. Ever seeking advantages, Valen Tower discovers some giant crystals, six of which for a network whose power output is three times all their combined circles! Further, to help protect the alien leader and to further Valen’s power, a new Circle and castle was built close to the space port. At last, Valen Tower launches its war to conquer the other towers, unleashing massive destruction, destroying completely two other towers in the Westerlings, before turning towards the many towers in the Midlands, where they spread out more deadly destruction of towers, lands, and people. The remaining towers fight back, but Valen then gets its hands on two nuclear bombs! After one nuclear went off, together, they issued the Blackwater Ultimatum, ending all wars across the planet in the year 1185.

Volume 4 Difficillis Exitus; Paperback – May 2, 2014

Onboard a space ship, a group of women lived in a self-sustaining world they called Madiera, which they believed was nothing more than a world. Two robots, Alpha and Beta, ran the ship, totally behind the scenes. In fact, the designers of the robots and the space ship initially built them to save part of their disintegrating world. The goal: take a group of survivors and found a new world. Sorely, that plan ran into difficulties. After four hundred years, still the robots had not yet found a suitable new planet. Worse, when the original world was destroyed, only a few hundred women had been brought onboard. No males.

The robots improvised, creating unique methods for women to had children, girls only, since there were no Y-chromosomes available. Initially, the original women did not adapt well to their unusual situation. Seeing their home world destroyed, many began committing suicide, completely the opposite goal from the robot’s programmed survival goals. With the entire project about to fail completely, the robots genetically modified the women, removing their hands. That ended their in-fighting and suicide attempts. Next, the robots constructed a multitude of “bots” to assist the survival of their load of women. From dressing bots to door bots to farming bots, these robot devices made life easy and simple for the human passengers. However, to keep the women happy, Alpha and Beta also reviewed all known data about women on their original world, slowly implementing what they perceived as the optimum appearance for the women, as well as endowing them with special abilities, as appropriate for the four Kindred: Fire, Air, Earth, and Water.

As the story begins, a group of young teens graduate from high school and embark into the world of adults. The trouble facing Alpha and Beta is simple. They are running out of raw materials to replicate and repair the thousands of life-sustaining bots. Marisol and her group discover that the bots are failing and then make the startling discovery that their world, Madiera, is actually a space ship run by Alpha and Beta. The two robots enlist their help in finding a new, habitable world before the ship runs out of fuel and raw materials and every human dies. They face a difficult exit. They land on Ashford-5 in secret and meet up with personnel from Brom Tower, where it is now the year 1201, in the sixteenth year of the rule of Emperor Jan Bellweather and Empress Amy Blackwater.

However, Carmen Valen, the only person on Tierra who knew just who Amy and Jan were, wanted revenge. The pair had allowed her to continue to run Elegant Fashions Inc in exchange for remaining silent about their identities. But Amy and Jan also face a difficult exit from being the emperor and empress. If they just step down, the world would revert back to the savagery they’d worked so hard to stop.

Brom Tower kept a constant lookout for alien ships landing and kidnaping more telepaths. Hence, they spotted the shuttle from the Madiera ship as it landed, in search of more raw materials for the giant space ship. In this fourth tale, both the women of Madiera and Amy and Jan find their exits. Amy and Jan’s exit involves the creation of a secret Underground, where all their equipment and monitoring system are kept and used to keep the aliens and Valen Tower under control. Their exit to a private life in Brom occurred in 1204; thus this novel covers only a few years.

Volume 5 Age of the Lords  May 2, 2014

Carmen Valen continues her revenge plots, designing more apparel to hobble both women and now men as well. The novel begins around 1207, covering some forty years. A new alien Sector ID Minister Emeryk Donat arrives, replacing the disgraced Lech, but he is unmarried. Lord Valen, Carmen’s uncle, takes advantage of that, inserting Adelina into the minister’s life. Within a few year’s time, Carmen’s plans of hobbling the key ruling men and women become widely adopted. She also brings her fourteen year old granddaughter Nita into the business, setting her up as the teen fashion model. The lords bide their time, knowing that they cannot go against the emperor until the deaths of Amy and Jan.

By 1243, Carmen’s revenge was complete. She retired to Valen castle to die, leaving Elegant Fashions Inc to Nita. Nita refused to marry, but did have a son and daughter, Inez, who at fourteen she turned into her new teen model, just as she had been years ago. Thus began the Age of the Lords, who now ruled all of Tierra as they once had. However, Lord Paco Valen now ruled the Westerlings and he began Valen’s conquest goals once more. Why? He alone of those on Tierra desperately wanted to open up the world to the aliens, importing their vast technology to bring his world into the modern era. His first goal was to retake the areas around Oakham and Haverhills whose dead zones had finally sprung back to life. To further his plans, he and Nita Valen devised a diabolical plan to make all the powerful lords, ladies, and mentales gifted hobbled and crippled up. They invented a “virus” that infected hands and necks, one whose only known cure was to have the hands removed and to wear tight-fitting neck rings, immobilizing the head.

Further, Nita introduced lip plates, golden and bejeweled disks some five inches in diameter. With these fancy ornaments, their speech was almost not understandable. Lord Valen managed to hobble up the powerful leaders of Tierra. Also, Brom Tower noticed that over the last fifty years, children who should have been born with the gift didn’t have it, resulting in a drastic drop in available mentales gifted people! In fact, they estimated in less than a century, no more telepaths would be born. Additionally, Marisol and the Underground discovered the wholesale deterioration of the mentales gifted as a whole. Once they were proud, powerful people, using their gifts to help all others survive the climatic upheaval several centuries ago. As time went by, they had dropped down into antagonistic ways and then even lower towards hate and anger, fighting hideous, devastating wars. Later on, with the wide implementation of the very sexy outfits for the women and later the body modifications that had all manner of sexual twists in them, they had, as a group, dropped even further down the scale of life with their almost frantic sexual drives.

With the betrayal of Lord Valen and Nita known, many dropped down into grief and apathy, since their bodies were nearly helpless. Somehow, Marisol and the Underground wanted to reverse this decline before all was lost. Further, Marisol and her katalyein uncovered something startling. They were removing the mental blocks that prevented some from having their mentales gifts. The incident that they were removing in children and teens who had Verge Sickness was that time when Amy had forced all mentales gifted to experience the horrors of the nuclear detonation that Valen unleashed on one of the cities. However, that happened a century ago! How could a five year old have this as his or her mental block, since this happened a hundred years ago? Conclusion: everyone was actually an immortal spiritual being who had a mind and occupied physical bodies. Finally, they began to realize their own spiritual nature. Did this have anything to do with the penta-pantheon of Tierra’s gods?

Volume 6 The Renegade Tower  May 2, 2014

The survivors of the Valen coup, namely all of the body-modified close advisors and associates of the late Lord Paco Valen, fled south to Villa del Rey, a small coastal town thousands of miles from Valen. While most all were severely hobbled, they had powerful mentales gifts. Hence, they decided to form their own tower, their own Círculo de la Torres, the Renegade Tower. Forming a new tower was totally illegal! Help came from the ancient god Calder, God of the Oceans and Rivers. While the Underground prevented the God of War, Wystan, from awakening, no one knew that Calder alone awoke.

He saw Wystan still slept and made his own plans to control the people of Tierra, in direct conflict with Wystan’s attempts. To do so, he mutated select young women into his Mermaid Priestesses and bestowed powerful mentales gifts upon them! Thus, he began to achieve his goals, using the Renegade Tower as his vehicle. The story begins in the year 1245 and ends in 1252. Fons Valen was their leader and venerado. With Calder’s aid and the resources of the lords of Villa del Rey, trading along the many ocean coastal towns of Tierra flourished as never before.

Soon, these cities seceded, forming their own kingdom, the Coastal City-State Alliance. With rebellions happening here, the far northern city of Malaca also rebelled against Valen and soon brought all of the old kingdom of Abvera with it. Aliens attacked the Rigel-3 fuel refinery on one of the moons of Tierra, but were soundly defeated by Emeryk’s forces. In the process, the gods, Wystan and Calder, ceased fighting each other and went after the fleeing aliens, seeing far more “fighting potential” with their “super” weapons. However, the aliens blasted the two, rendering them unconscious and gravity pulled them back down to Tierra, where by accident, both found themselves stuck inside newborn baby body heads.

Volume 7 Rebellions  May 2, 2014

The Imperium controls one spiral arm while the Federation of Planets controls the other. Recently, the two skirmished on the outer edges of the spiral arms where each arm was close to the others, at witnessed by the attack on Ashford-5’s fuel refinery on one of their moons. In 1270, full-scale war broke out between the two and Ashford-5 or Tierra finds itself in the middle of galactic warfare. Josh pilots a Federation transport ship filled with commandos to destroy the Imperium fuel refinery on their moon.

After setting off the massive explosion, the transport is hit by fire and crash lands on the plains of the Midlands. In the time leading up to this crash, Wystan, now believing he was a human, Damiano Donatello from the frozen wastes of Domei, Easterlings, began conquering the world. Ruthless and vicious, he began eliminating the tax collectors, sending the spoils back to the villages from which his fighters came. Within a couple of years, he conquered all of the Easterlings and headed off into the heart of the Midlands. At each town he conquered, he conscripted all able-bodied men into his army, most of which died in the next battle, while he remained unscathed. He had an uncanny ability to heal his own body and withstood a dozen balls of fire cast upon him, though those around him perished. In short, he became an unstoppable force, threatening all of Tierra.

Once he left a conquered country behind, women began to pick up the pieces. In effect, his action of wiping out an entire generation of young men forced a change in the Easterling custom of physical binding of women. In order to survive, they abandoned their traditional bindings. In Turda and the Arad, women and the Sisterhood retook the lands, becoming the new rulers. With the threat of a war with the Federation of Planets, Sector ID Minister Emeryk was forced to request a replacement governor for Ashford-5, since he was desperately needed elsewhere in the sector. With war looming and considering the strategic location of Ashford-5, the Imperium needed to position a large space fleet and soldiers on this world, but that was prohibited by the five hundred year lease. To get around that difficulty, he insisted the new governor get Ashford-5 to appoint a Senator to represent them at the Imperium Senate, where others could negotiate a new lease.

The new governor was Konrad Burkhardt, the son of a prominent Imperium Senator from their world of Otto-4 in the Sirius Cluster. His wife was the famous linguist, Nadja. Konrad was a driven man, who wanted to become the most famous governor in Imperium history. Nadja wanted to study primitive languages, to work out their grammars and pronunciation guides. Hence, their marriage was one of convenience. Both knew that no matter what the culture or practices on these primitive worlds were, both had to undergo them, to endure them, so she could learn their language properly and so he could then rapidly earn the local’s respect, get what the Imperium desired from that world, and then move on to another world, allowing other bureaucrats to take over. Just as the pair was about to embark on their grand plan, his Senator father told him about the telepathic society on Ashford-5. Both now set their goals for that world.

Volume 8 The Aliens Return  May 2, 2014

During the war years, Neva Burkhardt plied her skills as a telepath, working her way up the power ladder, until she reached two of the six Legates and the President of the Imperium. These three top Imperium leaders needed her unique services, but also greatly feared her, particularly since she seduced the President and since a single thought from her could kill. The most powerful Sector ID Minister in the Imperium, Lena Squire, investigated the kidnapping of Senator Isabella Valen and discovered what had happened, but could not pursue it because of the ongoing war with the Federation, which the Imperium was definitely losing.

The Ataro Empire and Emperor Kino had to step in, otherwise their record of no wars in several millennia was about to be ended. The Emperor correctly reasoned the true source of the war would be found out on the rim of their spiral arm, and he forced the President to allow him to investigate and perhaps find an end to the Imperium’s war. Thus, the Legates and the President saw a chance to “get rid” of this dangerous Neva telepath, sending her along with the Emperor as the President’s ambassador, assigning Lena, their best ID Minister, to protect them all, particularly since Lena was close to figuring out their plots. In short order, Emperor Kino, with Neva’s help, found the true source of the war, but Neva and Lena were horribly mutilated by those who had started the war for their own purposes. Lena was sent to Ashford-5 for her recovery and therapy, while Neva returned to the President, a war hero, along with Emperor Kino.

Terrified of Neva’s return, the Legates had her assassinated, but at the same time, Neva returned the “favor,” and then headed home to get a new body, that of a young teen Zarita Valen, who “died” from Verge Sickness. On Tierra, fourteen years after the beginning of the war, the massive baby boom was over, but there were a lot of fourteen year old twins everywhere. One of Queen Isabella’s twins was Amy, while Jan was one of the Underground parent’s twins. Both Lena and Zarita joined up with Amy and Jan’s group of eight, and together discovered that there were an enormous number of giant psi-crystals buried in the soft earth, fragments from the enemy destruction of the fuel refinery on their moon. Only now did all the towers finally realize the immense power these giant crystals could give them, the very same crystals that in their past had led to the near destruction of their world in the Age of Chaos, with its acid and fire bombs.

As the Imperium finally prepares to return to Ashford-5, they intend to force the world to provide a senator, to make it an Open World and bring in enormous amounts of Imperium technology, and to steal ten telepaths to work for the President and Legates. After what happened to Isabella, Amy, Jan, and Neva, no one on Tierra wanted to go off-world and be their senator. All were against having any of their telepaths kidnapped, and all believed the Open World status change would destroy their culture and world in short order.

Volume 9 Power Struggles  May 2, 2014

Zarita heads off to the Imperium Senate in 1292. However, powerful men began their own personal attempts to gain ultimate power. Legate Emeryk set his sights on eliminating and replacing President Snarry. Unknown to all, three of the wealthiest men in the Imperium, the Consortium, had their own plans. Now that their secret support of the Gamelon-3 “milking procedure” had ended, they set about cornering the market on fuel needed by virtually every spaceship in the Imperium. They also began devising a way to remove their lackey, President Snarry.

Throughout the Imperium, recovery from the devastating war with the Federation begins, with many others planning their own “moves.” Power plays soon began, starting with terrorist bombings on Proxima Prime. Then, the Consortium had President Snarry assassinated and attempted to get Legate Emeryk promoted to temporary-President. However, behind the scenes, Emperor Kino finally was able to trace the money trail and proved that Emeryk had been the man behind the abduction and mutilation of Queen Amy and Jan and the assassination of Neva. When the Consortium finds out about Kino’s discoveries, that places their current plans in dire peril, and they devise a brilliant plan: put a pair of morons in as President and Senate President, namely Zarita and her wife, thereby highly distracting the Emperor. Later, when the morons make a complete mess, Emperor Kino will lose an enormous amount of respect within the Imperium.

Back on Ashford-5, mentales gifted were now members and leaders of the many guilds throughout Tierra. They also had found many of the giant crystals and began their own push to power, power long denied them by their rulers. When the rulers and towers once more began inventing weapons of mass destruction, the guilds decided they’d had enough. With Queen Amy’s backing, they waged economic war against the towers and rulers who threatened to annihilate Tierra. During the war, when the Imperium began to lose badly, they setup a secret research station on Ashford-4, an uninhabitable world, there to invent biological weapons to use against the Federation of Planets. Their goal: to drop an aerial bomb that would eliminate people, but leave all else intact, ready for Imperium takeover.

Their best option lay in a new development, genetic mutation, researched and developed at this facility. But accidents happen, even with all the safety precautions. A meteor swarm struck the atmosphere-less world, rupturing the facility, releasing the new genetic mutation into the complex. One terrified worker violated protocol and flew a shuttle out of the sealed complex, crashing through the outer dome. The short range craft was able to make Ashford-5, crashing there, but the man was already dead from the mutations. However, the unscrupulous scientist purposely infected two young geneticist interns, drastically modifying their bodies, as proof of concept. Next, the ID Minister took these bio genetic agents to the penal colony and infected a number of their worst psychopath criminals, turning them into helpless men and woman. Now the Imperium took note.

By using this bio genetic agent on their criminals, they could simply move them into cheap assisted living homes, close down the exorbitantly costly prison, and save billions of credits! Governor Katrina, Queen Amy, Doctor Whitney, and the two modified geneticists saw the potential damage this new bio genetic agent could have. They raided the facility, removing everything of value and had it destroyed, all done in secret from the Imperium. Unfortunately, a small amount of the bio agent remained in the hands of the ID minister. Soon, it was duplicated and spread far and wide. However, all manner of criminal organizations and many worlds desperately wanted to get their hands on samples of this bio genetic agent! Their uses would be anything but humanitarian! Yes, others claimed that doomsday had finally arrived.

Volume 10 Guilds, Genetics, and Gods  May 2, 2014

With the Imperium now taking extreme measures to safeguard this terrible bio genetic agent, new methods were found to steal samples. It began with an interception of a delivery from Aquila Prime Genetics Research Laboratory, acquired by Father Janos of the True Believers, who delivered it to Jan Rumani, was the grandson of the late Bindaz Rumani, founder of Mal Dynamics and a member of the old Consortium and whom Zarita had killed, along with his two compatriots. Jan wanted revenge the rare earths found on the heavily populated planet of Aquila Prime, but that world charged exorbitant prices for this critical component of the engines his vast enterprise built.

Now, he had a cheap way to get all the rare earths for next to nothing. The year, 1325. At this time, many research facilities on many worlds now had ongoing research using this bio genetic agent; hence, secure shipments of the agent were routinely made, allowing this recent theft. Jan Rumani duplicated the cylinders, installed them in one of his new drones, and secretly dropped it into orbit around Aquila Prime, becoming the first planetary test of the effectiveness of this bio-genetic weapon. That ten billion people would perish was of no concern to Jan, only that world’s rare earths were. The breakthrough genetic modification of arm re-growth was attributed to Doctors Alex and Ruth Hammil, living on Ashford-5. This procedure worked on the victims, but it was expensive, costing ten thousand credits per person.

During the past two decades, many of the victims had their arms back, namely the wealthy and the senators, but there were many who couldn’t afford the cost. However, no one had any idea how to handle ten billion victims at one time, the whole planet, especially since the only way they could live was in assisted living complexes. By the time that the hasty rescue operation finished, around a hundred thousand survived out of the original ten billion inhabitants of Aquila Prime. Genocide began within the Imperium. Then, four on Proxima Prime executed another bio genetic attack, wiping out nearly all of the two hundred billion people living here, very nearly brining the Imperium to an end! Legate Mary Smith, along with Emperor Kino of the Ataro Empire, stepped in to keep the Imperium alive.

Ashford-5 accepted a thousand survivors, who were bright Academy students. Thus, in time, Ashford-5 gained a cadre of highly educated, young people. Ancient rivalries among the Big Five worlds rose. Instead of using the bio agent samples to help develop more genetic cures, they chose to make ultimate weapons out of them, a mutual deterrent system. Naturally, they weapons were used, and each of these heavily populated worlds endured four attacks from their enemies. One was sufficient for planet-wide genocide. With so many overcrowded assisted living centers housing these mutants, these freaks, these helpless hermaphrodites, something had to be done.

A robotics inventor stepped in and created a group of robots assistants for these people. Subsequently, all worlds shipped off their population of these freaks to their own world, reusing the intact infrastructure of Aquila Prime. While the worlds of the Imperium now forgot all about these victims, Emperor Kino didn’t; fearing for their safety, he accepted Aquila Prime as a member world of the Ataro Empire. By 1332, the Imperium bureaucracy was back in operation, but would it actually survive?

Volume 11 Magi Witches Swords and Superstitions  May 2, 2014

Nia Elain Compton was eighteen and a hermaphrodite. Adopted when she was three days’ old by a pair of deep space explorers, she was raised on the Eagle’s Seed, drifting among the stars, prospecting for new planets. They landed on Metcalf-4, discovering two competing primitive cultures, the Rus and the Sud, hunter-gatherers and agrarians. However, there was a third group, the Slavers, on this world, who kidnapped men and women, forcing them to work for them. The Slave Winds blew finely powdered psi-crystal dust, which if inhaled usually caused madness and suicided. A few survived and developed magi powers, akin in fact to the mentales gifted of Ashford-5 or Tierra.

Shortly on arrival, Nia was caught in an unexpected Slave Wind, and turned into a Magi, but she and her companion, Jelena, a budding healing witch, were captured by slavers, who accidentally ripped her newly regrown arms off. Jelena was able to heal her shoulders, and they were rescued by two others, who helped them get to Magus Triska, who helped Nia Elain recover and learn to use her new elemental powers. From the old Magus, they learned that one of the three moons of Metcalf-4 was about to become perturbed during a rare triple conjunction of the three moons. In less than a month, that moon would come crashing down on the world, destroying all life. However, ancient records the magus had uncovered, suggested that this occurred every one hundred twenty years.

During past conjunctions, an alien race of ghosts, or pure energy beings, the Ceri, activated their pusher beams to shove the moon back. Armed with some idea where this apparatus was located, the group set off to find it and somehow avert the coming disaster. However, the slavers caught them, brutally binding them, forcing the group to work for them. It seems they had relatively recently crash landed on this world, and were using the primitives as a workforce to rebuild and manufacture fuel so they could take off. They’d seen the Eagle Seed above the planet and knew it had landed. Hence, Nia Elain made a deal with them. She’d provide them with a fuel cell so they could take off, if the slavers gave her control of the many prisoners. She gave them a defective fuel cell and their space ship exploded shortly after takeoff. After freeing the prisoners, they headed off to find the Ceri and assist saving the world from destruction. However, the Ceri machine ran out of energy and was barely able to shove the moon off a ways, stalling the disaster for another thirty days.

At wits end, Nia Elain put in an emergency call for help, which came from Ashford-5 or Tierra. The Ataro Empire sent a giant battleship, which pushed the moon into a different orbit, stabilizing it. Others found the remains of the crew and Nia’s parents. They all perished in the Slave Wind. Nia Elain and her companions then had to visit Ashford-5 to receive Basic Therapy and to meet their new queen. The Ataro Emperor wisely adopted Metcalf-4 as the fortieth world in the Ataro Empire, keeping it a Closed World. That done, Nia Elain had to go to her parent’s home world of Descartes-3 to handle her inheritance.

Her parents left her the Eagle’s Seed and several million credits. However, being telepaths now, they were kidnapped and subjected to the awful bio genetic agent. The woman behind this wanted to use them to help find the men responsible for murdering her husband and son. Nia Elain and her companions finally realized that knowledge is power, and for the next few years, they spent all their time on Ashford-5, learning all that they could. Then, the Ataro Emperor requested her assistance on a very secret mission, vitally so, as the Imperium was slowly succumbing. Unknown to all, the robots of Aquila Prime had evolved.

Volume 12 The Voyage of the Eagle’s Seed May 3, 2014

The first part of Captain Nia Elain’s voyages of discovery cover the period from early 1378 through late 1381, and serves as a backdrop of events that end the Imperium. The emperor of the Ataro Empire is still the strongest political leader and wisely finances the Eagle’s Seed on a voyage of discovery of the halo worlds. Why? Three key points. First, one of the brilliant nova on Aquila Prime, Alexandra, has invented a revolutionary hydrogen engine and fuel collection system, which if works, will provide unlimited sub-light cruising. Second, one of Ashford-5’s telepaths, Hans, has invented a new hyperdrive engine, which will allow ships to travel five times farther than before and many times faster as well. Both new engines must be tested.

Third, the emperor is also looking for additional political and military support from unknown halo worlds, because he is certain the Imperium will soon disintegrate. The robots running Aquila Prime and their new nova, that is, the hermaphrodite victims of the bio genetic agent attacks, have other ideas. The evolution of the humaniform robots to assist these nearly helpless victims has skyrocketed. The new Model 7’s are almost indistinguishable from a human! The robots have gathered nearly a million genius individuals in their main city, but the other hundred million survivors are basically psychotic, insane. In order to ensure these geniuses survive, the robots need to add more millions of new “nova” to their population. Hence, Thanos begins to secretly launch more bio genetic agent attacks on other hub worlds, after which Aquila Prime graciously accepts all the survivors the Imperium can rescue from these doomed worlds. Unexpectedly, a young astronomer working on his PhD thesis develops a way to know when a red supergiant star will go supernova, destroying itself all around it. Boon is set to go off and threatens some ten densely populated hub worlds, along with two in the Federation of Planets portion of the hub. Emperor Bino steps in and has the Academy on Aquila Prime verify Jon’s thesis and calculations. Once done, Jon and Zoe from the Academy then join the Eagle’s Seed to set up observation sites for this “big bang,” which goes off as he predicts.

Further, Minta, Alenandra’s robot assistant, follows orders and unleashes the bio agent attack on the people in the Eagle’s Seed. Her objective is to undo all of the many cures Nia Elain and most of the crew have had, making them pure “nova” again. Twenty-two of the top humaniform robot models are then delivered to the ship, while they are in their comas. Only Zoe and Alexandra are unaffected, since they are already nova. With each person now having their own the humaniform robot assistant, the exploration of the halo begins. Along the way, they uncover how the geneticists on Ashford-4, who created this terrible bio genetic agent, obtained their samples! They discover the Ceri, who are spiritual beings who have no need of a physical body of any kind to operate. They appear near godlike to the crew.

When a Ceri becomes too bored with life, they then tend to join the doll society, picking up a plastic-like doll body, whose appendages are replaceable. However, over time, the spiritual beings thirst for more exciting sensations that a doll body can provide, and head for Aquila Prime to take over new nova bodies. The Emperor of the Ataro Empire finally discovers that Minta was responsible for the terrorist attack on the Eagle’s Seed and that the robots of Aquila Prime launched a dozen genocide attacks on the hub worlds. A battleship commander also learns this and launches a nuclear attack on Aquila Prime, wiping the entire planet out, including the nova and their robots.

Volume 13 Eagle’s Seed and Origins  May 2, 2014

The Imperium crumbled, but the Ataro Empire continued to survive. The Federation of Planets controlled the other spiral arm, and Emperor Bino desperately needed inside information about this group. Allies or enemies? He sent Captain Nia Elain and the Eagle’s Seed exploration ship into the Federation of Planets’ space, seeking to discover the origin planet of the human race, a benign goal that would offend no one. She brought along a skeleton crew composed mostly of women, wholly non-threatening. Indeed, the civilizations within this spiral arm were much older than the Imperium arm worlds.

Based on linguistics and archaeological evidence, Nia was able to prove conclusively that there was a single planet of origin for the human race in the galaxy. However, she also discovered the degree of decadence prevalent in these much older civilizations of the Federation. Unlike the ex-Imperium, here women were second-class citizens or worse. Each world had their own customs and enforced visitors to dress and follow their local customs. As Captain Nia Elain visited some key worlds, two linguists, and several archaeologists, she and her crew sparked a women’s revolution within the Federation. That women were obtaining equality terrified the top rulers who had to invent a way to slow or stop this movement.

Among the more decadent worlds of the Federation, some phrases were taken literally. On one of these worlds, the bride giving her hand in marriage to her groom was a physical reality, done in a special ceremony when the two married. Given the severe penalty for unfaithful husbands, this world had an almost non-existent divorce rare, unheard of elsewhere. Thus, the top rulers copied this world’s ceremony, enforcing it across all major Federation worlds. In short order, all married women lost their non-dominant hand. Artisans were heavily affected by this brutal action. There were also quite a number of worlds on the Forbidden List, worlds shunned by the Federation worlds. Why?

They were drug infested, criminal infested, and so on, worlds beyond redemption. One of these was far out on the rim, Gamelon-3, the world that had created the war between the Imperium and the Federation. These men were considered the garbage collectors of the galaxy, for they scavenged everything, including that horrific bio genetic agent whose use had caused genocides on many Imperium worlds. Two musicians who had their left hands removed fought back. They wanted the male rulers to lose their occupations too. Cleverly, they purchased some of that bio genetic agent from a Gamelon-3 trader, duplicated it, and unleashed it on the ruling bodies, turning them into the usual helpless, hermaphrodite freaks seen so frequently in the ex-Imperium worlds.

Within a few years, other Forbidden List worlds also purchased copies of this bio agent. Naturally, they used it on Federation targets as well. Thus, at long last, the bio weapon that had devastated the ex-Imperium began doing the same thing in the Federation. Operating in the background, Captain Nia Elain and her crew, along with aid from Ashford-5, helped stabilize the Federation during this lengthy crisis. It covers the years 1381 through 1383.

Volume 14 Justifications  May 2, 2014

June 1382, the humaniform robots met to decide how to recover from the nuclear attack on Aquila Prime and their millions of nova. After a very long haul, June 1450, Dr. Lelos Smith finally graduated four doctorate students, the first of the new breed of nova to obtain their PhDs. As they entered the real world, they quickly discovered something was very wrong with their world. Soon, they discovered that they alone were walking on their world. Millions of others were in a virtual reality world, getting their educations, while unknown to them, their bodies were lying in tanks below ground, kept alive by the many robots, until such time as they too received their PhDs.

Then, four bright other nova discovered how to break out of their virtual reality world and into the world where their bodies were in the survival tanks! Now there were eight real people walking their world, but then they quickly discovered they now possessed telepathy and other mental powers. Just as they finally received help from Ashford-5’s geneticists, an alien race of giant snakes entered the galaxy having made an inter-galaxy voyage. They refueled by extracting energy from suns, generating a gigantic EM pulse, which knocked out all of the robots, power plants, and computer systems, leaving the millions in their underground tanks shocked and dying. The eight managed to rescue several hundred of the nova, before the snakes landed and began to dine on the humans, which they called monkeys. Only the humaniform robot, Minta, survived, along with some others who were off-world, spying on other worlds. Minta duplicated herself ten times, making her duplicates her generals. Next, she salvaged what she could and invented two new kinds of hybrid robots. In one type, she merely kept the human brain alive, allowing it to control the robot body. In the other type, she kept the head and torso, allowing them to breed. Soon, she discovered the brain-only forms made superb robot fighters.

Slowly, Minta began building up her army of robots, often making use of the victims of the bio genetic agent attacks. The snakes worked with a geneticist who wanted to extract revenge for his family who were terrorist victims. Dr. Stevens fabricated a new version of the bio genetic agent; the snakes further modified it, and unleashed it on the world upon which Dr. Stevens wanted revenge. Although everyone on the world was genetically modified, they fought back and eventually, with help from Ashford-5, eliminated the snake aliens. However, Minta continued to kidnap victims, turning them into her new robot army.

One of Ashford-5’s telepaths managed to acquire a stash of the giant psi crystals. He then headed off-world, using his Dominate powers in an attempt to conquer the universe, returning to take over all of Ashford-5. He very nearly succeeded, before Renata, Amy, and Jan were able to stop him. Not long after that, the Ataro Emperor was forced to allow anyone to come to Ashford-5 and hire telepaths, opening up the world. While some of these telepaths had reasonable employment situations, some were horribly abused. Slowly, Renata got these people rescued.

Among them was Amy and Jan, who along with four other telepaths, ended up in Minta’s hands, and were turned into robot shells; only their heads and torsos remained. These robot bodies were physically superior in all ways to human bodies. However, Jan and Amy eventually hacked into the robot programming and were able to make their escape from Minta. “Justifications always come after the fact of harm being done. Use justifications as a roadmap to find the guilty acts.” So wrote Renata in her log of Advance Therapy notes.

Volume 15 Responsibilities  May 2, 2014

Humaniform robot Minta’s army of Model 10’s were the genetically malformed women from Gundig-B, the weibchen. The person’s brain was entirely surrounded by a complex neural net that translated the brain’s electrical impulses into robot controls and vice versa. These Model 10’s proved to be vastly superior fighters than normal humans. Now she had her army of powerful robots. Minta’s army consisted of these bloodthirsty model 10’s, a host of Model 6 workers, and Model 12 throw-away fighter robots, roughly as strong as a human male. Dirt cheap to make, they slavishly followed orders.

By 1480, the ten millionth Model 12 rolled off the assembly line. Minta organized her squadrons into one Model 10 in command of one hundred Model 12’s. Her generals, Minta-0 through Minta-9 each commanded ten thousand squadrons, that is over a million robot fighters — very impressive numbers until one took into account their warships, which consisted of the single-man fighters with their small cannon and backup, deep space transports with a much larger cannon. That is, Minta had no battleships, heavy cruisers, or light cruisers, at least initially. She attacked Zeta Scorpii-C first, capturing its large space fleet and enormous spaceship construction companies.

Minta used her own worker robots to man the factory lines. City by city, she utilized the bio genetic agent to mutate the city’s population, but also provided them with an Ashford-5 style living environment. Her goal was to allow them to survive but pose no threat to humans or robots. She established doctoral programs in key areas that would further the development of robot technology. Those students who excelled in these fields were given special treatment, luxury housing, the best clothing, the finest food, and so on as a reward for their academic achievements. By 1485, these few doctors became the elite of Zeta Scorpii-C, numbering six thousand. Initially, the world had seven billion people when attacked in 1465. By 1470, the population fell to around three billion, but by 1500, the population had increased to close to four billion, though nearly half of the total population were children under eighteen. By 1500, Minta-0 had fifty battleships, a hundred heavy cruisers, and two hundred light cruisers in her command.

Minta was ready to move into Phase 3 of her Grand Plan. Based on the total success on Zeta Scorpii-C, she incorporated that scenario into her future plans for other conquered worlds. She envisioned the entire galaxy under the control of her robots, with all the human populations identical to that on Zeta Scorpii-C and Ashford-5. Once completed, the humans could live useful, productive lives, but never again threaten the robots or start wars between worlds or even fight among themselves. The galaxy would be finally in a permanent complete and total peace. Never again would mankind ravage the galaxy or harm others and themselves. Of course, humans had an entirely different point of view of Minta’s actions. Yet one man’s question undid everything. Can a robot be a person? Find out how Ashford-5’s telepaths finally achieved their rightful position in the galaxy.

Artwork by Crooked Willow Studios.

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