Category Archives: Writing

Meaning

I wonder what it’s like when people remember you. When you aren’t forgotten and nameless. Like this poor child in front of me. Gone before her time should have been up.

The coroner says she died from exposure. That no one cared enough to bring her in from the cold or feed her, not even the other transients out there. And unless someone comes forward she won’t even have a name. Just Jane Doe #3263827.

The only thing I take comfort in is that she probably went quietly. Went to sleep one night and woke up in a better place. Thankfully she doesn’t seem to have been sexually assaulted. Not that anyone in special vics would care about her.

I do what I can for her dignity. To try and ensure that maybe one day someone will give her the real name she deserves. I don’t hold out hope though.

She’s one of a countless pile of forgotten. I look at what to me is a damning sin against my existence. I should at least be able to ensure all these people have something to be remembered by. Even if it’s a true name and not some number for cross-referenceing.

Mayne one day.

Just a Little Bit Further

“All passengers for Transport ‘Odysseus‘ please depart through customs at Station Airlock 3. Any passengers requiring special atmospheric adjustments should declare such to customs officials.”

He was nothing much. Just your average human male, nothing fancy. His hair was slightly receding and had started showing grey at the temples. His cheeks sagged with the stress of a long life as little more than an office drone. If you asked him, he probably couldn’t tell you why he was here. 

He had no wife, no children. Any other family had long since died or forgotten about him. He was no one special. But he had been saving most of his pay for almost thirty years. And when you have nothing to spend it on, it builds up. So there was no issue with resources at the moment.

Thing was, he had just decided one day to quit his job. It hadn’t been any extreme explosion or mental break. He went in, and calmly gave his two weeks notice. Then spent the next few weeks putting his affairs into order. He paid off his lease, sold everything he owned that didn’t hold a sentimental value, and purchased a ticket from the Houston Astrodome to Aldrin Station.

After taking pictures of Earth through the Dome with his personal data terminal and enjoying some of the local cuisine, he purchased a ticket to Syria Planum on Mars. He took more pictures of the red sands, took a transport to Cydonia and gazed upon the pyramid mountains. 

And it continued, from the Titan Subglacial Ocean Colony to the Transfer Point off Io. Once he had reached Pluto he purchased transport to the first Terran Intersteller Colony, The Centari System. Alpha, Beta, and Proxima.

After taking his pictures and experiencing what could be found he would purchase a ticket and proceed further on. Just a little bit further away from Home. From Centauri to the systems beyond. Always just a little bit further. 

Which is how he had gotten here, to Antlantia Station. A place built by the United Nations meant as a meeting place for all the species Earth had made contact with so far. Diplomatic, Economic, and Cultural exchanges between hundreds of thousands of people from every world known.

Once he had cleared customs, he walked through the arrival area and took a tram to the central portion of the station. He took a moment to purchase a human safe treat from a vendor and enjoyed it as the tram took him to where everything public occurred. He watched street performers and artists selling their wares. He saw crystals glowing with an inner light from within them.

He took pictures, he ate a good meal, he listened to the philosophers standing in front of the multitude of temples dedicated to the Gods of a hundred worlds.

And after a few days he went to the out bound transport terminal, and purchased a ticket to another planet. One of the Non-Human worlds safe for Humans to visit.

Just a little bit further. 

A Normal Night

Ever since the internet became a thing, people have been trying to use it to make a quick buck. Some times it worked out. Some times it didn’t.

But the word was spoken, “Monitization.”

It started with just blogs. LIttle quick snippets of text talking about some part of a persons life or sharing a quick story. Then it evolved into video, images, social media, shopping, manual labor. Everything could be monitized.

Somethings didn’t need the internet for this, but it sure made it easier.

So here I am, sitting in my car trying to make a quick buck for something or another while this barely clothed, barely legal to get into a club girl and her new boyfriend are getting hot and heavy in my back seat. It’s not even going to be worth the amount of time it takes to drive them to their next hang out, let alone all the perfume and booze in the air.

But I need just a little bit extra to make it through the month, and they wanted to go dance and drink at another spot somewhere in the middle of downtown.

And after they get out another person is going to want a drive, and another, and another. I just hope no one is so drunk they puke in here.

Before the Storm – An Introduction

I don’t know if anyone will ever read this. I don’t know if anyone who does will care.

Have you ever wondered why things become cliché? How something gets so over used to the point it annoys and angers people?

I used the hate the idea. Loathed the cliché in the books I found as I went through High School.

The cliché about the girl who met a boy and her entire life changed in that moment. The cliché would have it end up with them together, and the girl finding some meaning just in a simple life of family and home.

I found the idea horrific.

When a similar situation happened to me I understood. Things become cliché not because people can’t be original, or push a traditional idea. They become cliché because we crave them.

I wish that had been the case for me.

Like the cliché, my life changed the day I met Aldebaran. Unlike the cliché, it wasn’t because of the teenaged girls search for self and romance.

There was a twenty plus year age difference, and he pulled me out of a wrecked passenger transport out of Palas Pacifica. That had been the day everything changed, and not in a good way.

Since that day I’ve seen sorrow. I’ve seen the cathedrals of Vatacana leveled and the pyramids of Sahadra crumble. I’ve seen hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children crushed together trying to escape an invading horror.

I’ve seen the fall of Darkness, capital “D”, over my world.

I’ve seen the only hope for our future, if we have one, in the remaining forces of my people, and the remnants of a long dead civilization.

My only constant companion has been Aldebaran, and while our relationship is not the romance of tawdry novels, it has been the only thing that has kept me from falling into despair.
Cliché exists because at the end of the day, we all want it to be true.

I wish I had been so lucky.

This is my story. And if it falls into cliché and repetitive ideas, I can only assume it is some function of history repeating itself.

If you are reading this, then that means we won. It means there is a future for our world after this butchery.

And if no one reads this, it doesn’t matter anyways.

Katarina Bridger

A Beginning

In the beginning, there was darkness.

What comes next is a point of contention.

Some believe that a being of great power came and started creating everything. That our universe emerged from the mind of a Being beyond our comprehension and made all we know. That our universe is less scientific construct and more artistic expression.

This Maker proceeded to create planets, stars, galaxies, life in infinite combinations. And while many worlds may exist similar to our own, we can only see the small planet we reside on.

In one book we believe that this Maker created us in his image. And in this way we are as The Maker was. We see and create. Dream and Nightmare.

For is not the power to imagine and create not the province of a Maker of world?

The Match

History is a lesson in cycles. The cycle repeats over and over again. Civilizations, nations, republics, empires rise and fall. One group dominates another, some try to co-exist, war is followed by peace, expansion is followed by decline. Some people fight it, some welcome it, and others just try to get by.

Whatever the spark had been, it didn’t really matter at this point. Things were falling apart, and while some were using it as an excuse to attack people they hated for even the pettiest of reasons, others were doing their best to bring some order back. We couldn’t stop it from falling apart, but we could try to put it back together.

It all started with one black guy getting taken down. Nothing out of the ordinary, guy had a record big as I was tall. He resisted arrest, attacked both an officer and an elderly woman who was just trying to get some food for her cat. The arresting officer took him down, maybe with a bit more force than usual, but that’s how it goes.

It’s happened before, no one cared about how many people this guy had hurt, or stolen from, or even if he’d almost killed them. He got a booboo when he was taken in so they started screaming about brutality. Protested in the middle of the city. Happens almost all the time it seems these days.

This time though, someone had the bright idea of showing the protestors their place. It was a massacre. Almost a hundred dead, hundreds more maimed and seriously injured. The match had been lit, and it didn’t stop burning until it hit the fuse. Now the bomb was set to blow.

And blow it did. Now the city is in a full on race war. People, just living their lives now having to run in fear, hide from one side or the other. You look white, one side kills you. You look like a criminal, the other side lynches you for “justice.”

The churches, synagogues, and mosques have become refuges for the innocent looking to get out of the firing line. Entire lives burned to ash for the simple crime of not being the same as the arsonist who lit the flame. We aren’t getting any help from the state, or the Feds. It’s on us to go out there and try and bring order to the city.

The Mayor tried to tell us to stand down, to let it burn itself out. The problem is that it’s not. It’s only getting worse. Our duty is to the people, not the politicians, or the ideologies at play here. We’ve got our gear, our guns, and our duty.

Protect and Serve.

May God have mercy on us all.

Hills

We had been riding for days across flat land as far as the eye could see, there were barely any trees, and wild herds of bison roamed without any other real concern as we moved along the land. It had been rather dull really, seeing nothing but grass waving in the breeze as far as the eye could see, but it also made it easier to see any bandits that might cause us any problems along our journey.

It was early spring, the temperature across the plains of Texas had been pleasant enough. The sun not too harsh just yet in the season. Though to be fair the trip from Dallas to Fort Worth had not been to difficult with the mostly flat landscape our horses had to cover. But we were heading towards the south southwest now, towards Granbury. It was just as we were reaching the top of one particularly large rise when we saw it. Spread out for miles in every direction.

Hills and trees covering the whole land. The expanse of country before us seemed to go on forever. Patches of Dark Green blowing in the wind with the lighter grass flowing around like waves on the ocean. We couldn’t help but take a moment to just appreciate this view of God’s creation before continuing on to Granbury.

Hopefully this is a good sign of things to come.

Quick Story

So I’m once again just writing short blog posts every day as I can. I’m trying to get into a rhythm where I create new content and tweet short lines every day as much as I can. Part of the thing that has held me back is that I have problems creating new stuff. I write but I get nowhere sometimes.

I figured I might be well served in just writing out a thought, no real structure or plot line, just a line of thought where I start at something and go from there.

So let us go check the Reddit.com/r/WritingPrompts page and we get this one.

Write the thoughts of a guilty man on death row as he finishes his last meal.


“They denied the appeal, I’m trying to convince the Governor to grant a stay, but it’s not looking good.”

So, this is what it comes down to. A lawyer who was assigned to my case the only one fighting for me. Even now, at the end, he’s still fighting. I have to admire his dedication. Frankly I had given up hope long ago. Not because I thought it was useless, that I was going to be railroaded and executed for a crime I didn’t commit.

I am guilty.

I killed that bastard. He had murdered and raped so many women and children. But because he was never caught, never suspected, always clean, I was the one looked at as the criminal. I ended his life, but due to the fact I had hunted him, found him, and had evidence convicting him it was assumed I was the one guilty of his crimes. And you know what, I can live with that… or in this case die with that.

I know what I did, and what he did. And if it gives his victims some comfort to look at me, damn me, and watch me die than so be it. I don’t have anything worth living for in this world anymore. That animal saw to it.

They even kicked in a hate crime charge because that psychopath was black. I kill a rapist and murder of women and children and I’m guilty of a hate crime.

They aren’t wrong. Ever since he took my little Amelia away from me I’ve had nothing but hate in my heart. It was all that sustained me through the long pursuit. Even now, especially now it’s all I have in my heart. My hatred is not turned towards those who convicted me, or him though.

It is turned towards myself.

I went down that dark road of revenge, or hatred and rage. I will pay for it with my soul. The Priest will be by soon to offer me some comfort before the end. I am not a religious man, but I think, for once, I might ask for something.

The priest is here, the time has come.

Forgive me Father, for I have sinned.

The Terran Confederation – An Introduction

 

The colonization of space. For decades it had been the subject of scientific debate and writers trying to visualize the future. A future where humanity would either join a community of species bound together in peace, or beset by constant warfare. A galaxy either teaming with life, or bereft of it everywhere but our home. At first, intelligence wasn’t the important qualifier of a world. Just that it had some kind of life on it.

The first ships were generational, the times expected to reach another star system so extreme that the original crew would have been long dead before even reaching a fraction of the distance. The ships built were huge, with rotating sections to mimic near-Earth gravity and large fields cultivated for both food and precious oxygen. They would never land on the surface of any world, but serve as a base of operations. A lone space station that would stay in orbit and act as the old forts along the frontiers of Earth.

As time passed on developments were made. Years after the generational ships were launched a new technology was created, and ships with the majority of crews in suspended animation were launched. Occasionally a small crew would be awakened to check over the ships course, but aside from that a computer would handle the majority of the trip. This allowed for less room and resources needed for the trip, as there wouldn’t be a constant drain on medicine, air, food, even power. The ships were still intended to stay in orbit however, and the travel times to even the closest of stars numbering in the centuries.

Many missions were sent out with this idea that even if it took longer than the lifespans of ten generations of people, that humanity would still survive if the world suffered a major cataclysm. One ark class mission left Earth with the hope of spending only a century in flight. A nuclear pulse propulsion system had been designed, and enough nuclear ordinance generated for the trip to Proxima Centauri. Though no evidence of planetary bodies existed, this was considered an important mission due only to the relatively short period of time the trip would take.

Several missions of various lengths were launched within twelve light-years of Earth, to include missions to Epsilon Eridani, Wolf 359, Aldebaran, Tau Ceti, and even as far as the Hades Cluster. And though colonization of the Sol System continued, missions such as this were sent out. Earth was slowly being repaired of the damage pollution, war, and overcrowding had caused over the last three centuries. And while many missions had left our home star system, development in making space travel faster still continued. The hope was to one day make interstellar travel possible within a crews life time, and one day even to make it feasible to travel between systems with no more time needed then a year to the nearest systems.

Science had theorized about potential methods of faster than light, or FTL, propulsion since the middle of the twentieth century. With the mining and exploitation of the resources found within Sol System, needed material to experiment was not in short supply. Various experiments were performed in order to, as one scientist put it, crack the light barrier. Research into physical dimensions outside the normal concepts of the average human held promise. However, the technology lagged behind the theoretical concepts for decades. Earth and the Sol System were now entering the year 3257. The Proxima Mission would have reached their destination system by now, however no one would know if it had succeeded or not for another four years due to the speed of radio signals. Assuming that the signal would ever reach Earth in the first place.

Technology progressed however, and not just in the fields of propulsion. Vast sky-hooks littered the orbits of Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune, and Uranus. The valuable minerals and gasses harvested from the Gas Giants and used to fuel to growing Human empire. Cometary debris had its course altered in order to impact on the planets of Mars and Venus. After centuries of work the two inner planets had been made habitable, with green fields and blue oceans now painting the once inhospitable globes. Rain forests and wet lands spread across Venus surface, the warmer yearly climate making for longer year round growing seasons. While at the same time, the planes of Mars were verdant grasslands and red mountains, herds of wild cattle and other animals flourishing outside the manmade dome cities. Many genetically recovered species, flora and fauna, called these two worlds home now.

This is not to say that the centuries had been filled with peace for the Human race. Wars still broke out both on the ground, and in the space between worlds. Where before it had been nations on a map, at times it had become more between various colonies or even entire worlds in the system. Mars would make demands of the Asteroid Miners Collective. Earth would demand fealty from the other colonies. Pirate ships, run more like the ships of old, would scourge across the system flying the colors of their particular band. Discord and Chaos ran rampant across the stars. Peace, in many forms, was in short supply.

Planetary defense forces grew into space based navies. Warships of various designs and concepts rolled out of the shipyards. Carriers, cruisers, destroyers, all types of ships were launched in efforts to defend or attack opposing forces. Fleets of massive warships would slip through the darkness of space taking months to get to any target in the system. It wasn’t until the advent of the wormhole bridge drive that the first movements toward unification of the Sol System began. With travel times shortened to infinitesimal periods of time, travel across the star system and to the various star systems became almost non-existent. Navigation however remained an issue, requiring a series of jumps to get from location to location.

Some of the earlier missions were in fact out paced by the new ships that the recently formed Confederate Alliance sent out to the nearby systems. Many had been forgotten, though the new fleets exploring the surrounding universe were aware of them just in case. Contact was made with the colonists at Proxima Centauri, The colonization of that system had progressed slowly, and a few planets had been declared candidates for terraforming though the process had encountered several setbacks.

Slowly Humanity as a whole came together, colonizing and digging in to the systems nearest to Sol. Massive fleets of warships patrolled the infinite vacuum of space, focusing more towards the core worlds of the Confederacy. Smaller fleets patrolled the frontier, looking for any signs of non-human intelligence. Though no sentient life had been found yet, that hadn’t discounted the possibility of life being found. The hope was that First Contact would be a peaceful affair, and not a fight for survival.

As new ecosystems were discovered new laws were enacted. The Alliance made it illegal to ravage the naturally developed biospheres of any world they found already suitable for habitation. The possibility of another naturally occurring sentient life form was too precious to risk. This is not to say that that poachers wouldn’t ravage a world and strip it of its resources. The Confed Navy patrolled all systems in order to at least capture and prevent such things. It also had come too late to prevent a group of scientists from using a proto-life world as part of an experiment.

This group wanted to be able to see how life evolved, over a period that would allow them to know the answer potentially within their lifetimes. They had setup several observatories around this world, all programmed to record the experiment and send information back to Sol System. Nanotechnology, much like all other sciences in the last millennium had advanced in ways not thought of when they were conceived. A batch of nanites, small machines smaller then a human cell were specially crafted and give one overriding directive.

Survive.

The Farmers Market

“We are approaching Point Zankathie. Everyone get ready for customs,” William announced over the intercom. The merchant vessel, Bread Basket, Was in a way a large cylinder with rockets on the back and a cockpit on the front from the outside. The center of the ship however rotated, providing a gravity effect for everyone and thing within the vessel. Bread Basket was an Earth vessel, one of many privately owned merchant ships within the Terran Fleet. The news spoke most often of pirates and smugglers, enough so you would be understandably under the impression that that was the only type of ship Earth sent out aside from military cruisers and transports to hunt them. It did not talk about the families and groups who crossed the stars engaging in free trade and commerce, the simple folk who wanted nothing more than to make an honest living for themselves and their families.

There was nothing sexy about a flying farmers market. Bread Basket wasn’t even the only ship of its type. The interior cylinder of the Bread Basket was covered in hydroponic crops and trees. The oxygen produced by the various plants within the main ship made life support less of a worry. It helped that the entire ships systems were based around the farming area. It was only at most a mile long including the expanse of the engines propelling them through space and the control area up front. Due to the design, based off an O’Neil Cylinder, there was a modest sized farm carried in the ship.

Fresh fruits and vegetables were considered luxury items in most space stations due to how they were designed. Life support, docks for incoming and outgoing ships, equipment to relay signals across the known galaxy, and efficient quarters for personnel and their families had been considered more important.

They sold staples, but the thing that made most ships like Bread Basket so treasured to the various stations both of Human and Xenomorphic personnel were the more pleasant items. Fresh fruits, sweets, natural flowers, things of that nature. The chance for a walk through the interior of the ship was something wonderful for those who only saw the dull metal walls of a station. A self-contained world where one could almost be tricked into thinking they had set foot on a habitable planet. After months in space with nothing but the site of stars and bulkheads to fill ones time a walk through a beautiful park.

Considering how long most people were on these stations it was no wonder that you had children, teenagers, families there just for support. So the arrival of a ship like Bread Basket was also a time for couples to spend with each other in pleasant surroundings. It wasn’t unusual for the ship to make a little extra money with more recreational areas on their inner hull. It wasn’t too difficult to create a good sized lake with a small beach. Most of the ships water had to be reclaimed, and once it was purified from whatever it had been used from it was as safe as anything else. In space you recycled everything.

So while Bread Basket was docked at Point Zankathie there would be a constant stream of beings going back and forth, either for recreation or commerce. There was even a Wedding that had been scheduled for the stopover this time in the Forest. It wasn’t unusual, and Bread Basket had an Ordained Minister on board for just such an occasion.

Ships like her were a piece of the world flying through the night, providing more than just supplies and cargo. They provided moments of peace, moments of joy, and moments of happiness. While the Destroyers and Carriers of the Terran Starfleet were the giants of the Galaxy, vessels like Bread Basket were its soul.