Category Archives: Writing

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.


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 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.


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.


When man went into space, he started close to home. First he went to the moon. Then he traversed the black emptiness to Mars, Venus, and Saturn. Before the first hundred years of our expansion into the cosmos was finished, Humanity had found its way to over twenty new colony worlds. Our home star system, Sol, was packed to the brim. People, plain ordinary people, thrived in enclosed colonies and on the recently terraformed landscapes of what had once been our desolate neighbors. A lot of people spoke out against the geo-engineering programs. They said we didn’t have the right to modify other planets to what we wanted. No one took them seriously.

During this time, new laws were enacted protecting the sanctity of Earth’s precious ecosystem. Much like the days of sea faring explorers and conquerors, Man took from the world he knew and tried to make it apart of the worlds he found. It became illegal to remove things from Earth, like trees and exotic animals. The concern was that in an environment completely alien to them, that these flora and fauna would damage the new worlds. Much like plants that choked the life from fields in the Americas which were under control in their home countries.

That doesn’t stop a lot of people. Even under strict controls, someone always finds a way to play the system. If someone wants a hundred year old redwood, and more importantly had the money to pay, then someone can be convinced to do the job. A lot of very rich people across several colony worlds wanted to transplant parts of Earth for their own enjoyment and status.

This lead to the practice of bio-poaching. In order for it to be profitable, entire acreages of land would be scooped up and placed in a ship. It would then be flown out of Sol, and buyers found for the various plants and animals in whatever star system they were headed for. It wasn’t unusual for someone like me to stumble upon the aftermath of such a theft.

I work in the forest of North America. What was once known as Park Rangers are now just called Rangers. We patrol the thriving forests and plains areas looking for such bio-poachers, as well as provide for the safety of the average person. It’s lonely work, perhaps one ranger per thousand acres of forest. We don’t catch a lot of bio-poachers honestly. As long as they don’t take more than an acre at a time, they can be in and out before one of us is even there.

Therein lies part of the problem. The higher-ups have more than once begged Vienna to increase our resources. It always gets caught up in committee, or the funding just isn’t there. Reminds me of why I took this job in the first place. Because I couldn’t stand people, and even here on Earth I could escape all of it in the trees.

My name is Marcus Wayne. I used to be a part of the greater world. I had a wife and a daughter. The bitch got most everything in the divorce. She even won a “No Influence” order against me. One of the few changes in the family court law over the years. Since we could provide everything for our children at almost no real cost, child support was no longer required. The down side however was that you were denied any contact or influence over your child. The penalties for such a breach of the law were severe. I lost everything I really cared about. Until she turns eighteen my daughter, Susan, will never get to know me. That’s if she even cares enough to.

That was what drove me here. Here I couldn’t be reminded of that separation. I was separated from everything.

As I kept up my patrol I came across an acre of land that had been hit. I wrote it down on the datapad and sent in the report. An entire acre of forest, ground and all, had been taken. There was nothing left but a square hole in the ground that had to go down thirty feet. They had to take that much so they were able to keep the root systems of the plants intact. A dead tree doesn’t sell as much on Alpha Centauri or in the Sparta sector as a live one.

I really hoped that one day we’d be able to stop these guys. If we didn’t then we’d lose the whole planet to the greed of others. Only this time not through pollution of the environment, but by slow patchwork transplanting. A few of the alien races we encountered were more than happy with the idea. A weak Earth was one less threat they didn’t have to worry about.

If that was the only thing these bio-poachers did I would still be angered. But that’s not the only thing they provide to their buyers. Several alien races value humans for certain tasks. Slavery is alive and well out in the depths of the galaxy. Miner colonies worked by sentient aliens evolved from insects and reptiles. Avian sentients used for cargo transport and working farm lands. And those are the lucky ones.

I’ve heard stories from some of my fellow Rangers who went off-world. Stories of red light districts on some alien world where children are bought and sold. Some cultures consider a girl a women the moment she can conceive a child. There aren’t many that hold to the human laws that link maturity to chronological age. Human females are especially valued. No scales, rocks, or any other appendages.

On Earth, women from developing countries trying to escape to a better life ended up forced into slavery as sex objects during the latter part of the twentieth and the beginning of the twenty-first centuries. It’s not much different now, only those looking for a better life find something worse than death. Drugs from other planets that subvert the conscious mind. Other drugs that enhance their senses, especially touch.

Then there are those that end up simply killed, valued not for what they are alive, but what they can be as spare parts. The genetic black market is another nightmare. DNA from every species known being traded and spliced together. Some even look back to the dormant genes of a million years ago, trying to find something interesting.

I hate to say it, but my taste for non-humans is as sour as it is for my own species. The only race we’ve encountered that fits the benevolent stereotype from old science fiction and fantasies are the Zancari. I’ve never met one, but their home world of Zancara Prime is said to be what Earth was only a hundred thousand years ago. Any sane sentient would call it a paradise. For now, they are the oldest space faring race we’ve encountered. The other races, older and younger, are not so benevolent in their ways.

I sometimes wonder if the miracle that is intelligence isn’t just a cosmic joke. For years people thought that anything that had mastered space travel had to be of high moral fiber. The other side of that were those who expected a full out invasion by an enslaving alien armada. Neither was true, but it was still a letdown to many. Finding out that the universe is for the most part untamed frontier and vast reaches filled with pirates and raiders hurt. Now we have people pillaging our world for the more impressive natural wonders in it.

I keep driving, damning whatever raider it was that just dumped a mountain of paperwork on my desk. There wasn’t much I could do about the acre that was gone. That didn’t mean I didn’t have to send in a supplementary report that indicated exactly how much was gone. Hopefully the department would get around to fixing that patch of ground in the near future. Where they would find tons of soil I didn’t know, didn’t frankly want to know.

Earth wasn’t the only planet that had this problem. You could find parts of various world scooped up and sold off part and parcel all over. There was even rumor that someone had taken a piece of most of the other worlds and created a patchwork planet. I’ll let the engineers figure that one out.

Frankly I don’t understand half of the technology behind the things we use in this world. I’m certain that scientists back only two hundred years ago would say everything here is virtually impossible. After all, the jeep I’m in has no wheels, just an anti-gravity field to keep it off the ground. Space ships and star fighters operate in ways I couldn’t even begin to explain. And don’t bother asking me to tell you how interstellar travel works. Like every other layman I just call it hyperspace and leave it at that.

It wasn’t always like this, I wasn’t always like this. I had always felt a need to serve my planet. Enlisted with the Marines when I had just finished high school. I believed in something more than just myself. I had faith in more than just myself. The part of the oath to defend against all threats foreign and domestic were more than words to me. I’m sad to say that the truth didn’t live up to the ideal. I didn’t live up to the ideal. Not really. I went and I killed the sentients I was ordered to kill. I tried to tell myself it was for the greater good. That I was a protector more than a butcher. It was a lie to help me sleep at night, even if it wasn’t as restful as I would like.

Maybe I deserved the life I’d ended up with. The loneliness, the cynicism, slowly fading away into eternity.

The sound of landing thrusters firing breaks me from this cycle of thought and forces me to look up. An atlas-class heavy cargo vessel slowly makes its way across the sky, the hull showing signs of heavy modification. The markings on its hull though are what tell me what I need to know. The picture of a snake eating the world. The mark of the Jormagard Pirates. One of the worst Bio-Poacher cartels. Scum of the universe, and they had to come to MY jurisdiction. Lucky me.

I pull out my radio, the real name being an Omni-purpose information pad or o-pip. Standard procedure in these cases is to call it in and provide enough information for a rapid deployment team to take care of the problem. They have the tools needed to take down a heavily armed pirate vessel. Theoretically at least.

A lot of us have been convinced that there are a few moles in the Defense Network. There really shouldn’t be a way for these thieves to get anywhere on the ground without It someone knowing about it. And all I could do was document it.

I took my o-pip and took images, documenting any identifying marks I could, and made sure to measure what was being taken. An acre when you think about it is pretty small after all. This one was mostly just a clearing and a couple of trees. Rather nice and picturesque all things considered. The pirates used laser cutters and energy field stabilizers to separate the segment of ground from the rest of the planet. It frankly would take over two hours to just cut through down to the base of the roots of the trees.

I doubt my report will be seen before tomorrow morning.

All I could do was observe them as they finished their work. I kept watch and out of sight for the better part of 6 hours. Then using an anti-gravity field and tether cables they pulled the segment from Earth and stored it in their cargo hold. I watched as yet another piece of our world was stolen from us. The hole would end up being filled with a combination of dirt from construction and organic waste material that had been composted. Some grass seed and some saplings, over time the damage could be repaired. Over time.

I just pack up my gear, get back in my jeep, and head along on my way. All I could do was shake my head, and hope that eventually we’d either get these poachers, or at least stop pretending it wasn’t happening. But what can I do? I’ve got my own problems.


“You know, you are wasting oxygen.”

It was an interesting thing, weightlessness. When you just hang there in the vastness watching the whole of the universe as you slowly drift. The cargo vessel U.S.S. Bounty was drifting through space near the Carina Nebula, almost ten-thousand light-years from Earth. The outer colonies this far out needed cargo haulers to almost constantly move needed goods from planet to planet, mostly medicines and food. The occasional super-carrier or Military convoy would come out with newer technology and terraforming equipment for the colonies.

But at the moment, Bill was just drifting next to the ship, an umbilical cable feeding him power and air the only thing keeping him from floating out into the eternal black. He had been working on a drive plate, ensuring it as properly secured. He had just finished putting his tools up and rotating in the zero gravity in order to return to the safety of the ship when he caught the view.

“You should come in now, we don’t have any other work to be done out there.”

Bill just sighed as he took in the sight. The sound of Officer Hastings voice grating on his nerves. Alec Hastings was not very interested in the universe around him. All he cared about was getting to their next destination, unloaded, then back on course for wherever was next. No time to take in the grandeur of the Universe they passed through.

“Just taking a moment to admire the scenery,” Bill said, slowly starting to make his way to the airlock along his umbilical line.

“There is no scenery, just dust and rock.”

Bill just shook his head. Hastings just couldn’t appreciate the true beauty of the expanse of space. Everything was just dust, rock, or maybe ice if you had a comet. How someone like that could end up on a long haul freight like this and not be able to appreciate the natural wonder puzzled him.

He was just reaching the airlock when he turned and took one last look. It was just as he turn that he saw it. A once in a lifetime occurrence. All of the sudden, in the dust of the nebula a new point of light emerged. IT was dim at first, but slowly grew brighter and brighter until Bill could see it very clearly, illuminating the nebula from within.

The birth of a new star. Maybe one day a new sun.

The event was so moving, so astounding that Bill couldn’t even think of how to put it into words. The Spark of new light in the darkness was such an event, never before witnessed but known to occur. Bill shed a single tear at the beauty of what had occurred before him.

“Get in, I want to increase speed by ten percent. Maybe cut some time off our trip.”

And of course Hastings had to ruin the moment. Back to the grindstone.

An Idea – Oregon Trail

The upheaval of the early Twenty-First Century, the socio-political strife and constant warfare eventually broke the larger governments ability to maintain order. Militaries deployed to help maintain order fail in their attempts to end the chaos. Roving bands of gangs in the major cities start attacking the authorties with impunity.

As time goes on, things settle down. While the Federal Governments of the world, the nations have all but dissapeared, smaller local communities have remained intact. In some case, like the Republic of Texas, larger collectives of city-states have banded together to form a new nation. In others, like the Island of Manhattan, there is only constant Gang Warfare.

Some have evolved around political ideologies that are similar to the past, while others have moved in extreme ways along all spectra. This is the story not just of this chaos, but of trying to do the right thing. And trying to figure out what it means to find home.