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By G V CHILLINGSWORTH
Trafford PublishingCopyright © 2012 G V CHILLINGSWORTH
All right reserved.
"Overbeing Blet, it is a great moment in our time to know that with your leadership, we are to cross the great void of space in the knowledge that we will insure the continuation of the mighty Yaglot race."
The statement came from Commandling Zaldark, a well-respected leader from the military forces.
The Commandling struck rather an imposing figure, for even though he was over two metres tall, a height not overly impressive for a Yendorian, he had the broadest shoulders that Blet had seen for some time, and Blet knew that it was from many cycles of hard work in battle and training that had created them.
Also, over the course of time, the leathery Yendorian skin had become thicker and darker, but he would be hard pressed to find someone with skin as dark as Zaldark's.
"You're great fullness is welcomed, Commandling Zaldark. It shows keenness that you wish this mission to be a success" said Blet
"The furthering of the Yaglots through time and space is all that I have ever wanted" replied Zaldark.
"Then let us all move towards that goal, Commandling."
"Overbeing Blet, may I speak with you a moment?"
The request came from chief advisor, Rerkr, and although he was not overly short, standing just less than two metres tall, the fact that Overbeing Blet was two and a half metres in height, tall even by Yendorian standards, meant that he had to strain his neck back when in close proximity, to be able to talk to him.
"Excuse me Commandling Zaldark, it seems I am needed elsewhere."
"Of course Overbeing, I look forward to our departure."
As Blet watched the Commandling walk away, he turned to his advisor and asked, "Are we sure that Zaldark is the correct one for this mission?"
"Of course sir, protocol was followed, and Commandling Zaldark was by far the most obvious choice," replied Rerkr. "Why do you ask?"
"It just seems to me, that he may be thinking that he is getting ready for a major battle." Blet answered.
"I assure you sir, that he is the one that all the troops look too for leadership, has a great strategic mind, and as you do not know what you may encounter on your voyage, we cannot see the sense in leaving anything to chance, and as a superior once told me, if you are looking at it, you are not looking for it." said Rerkr.
"That is good, but what does that have to do with this mission?" Blet then asked.
"It means sir, that if you need someone in a crisis, he will be there."
"Well hopefully, I will not need to look for him."
"That is what we all hope sir."
"Now adviser Rerkr, what was it that you needed to speak to me about?" was the question that was asked with little attempt to hide his impatience.
"It is about the importance of this mission, Overbeing." Rerkr said with his head slightly bowed.
"Every Yaglot knows the importance of this mission." was the terse response.
"My apologies Overbeing," Rerkr quickly replied, "it was not my intention to try and tell you something that was well known by all, but there is something that no-one has been told for the sake of absolute security."
"When the elders were first told of this mission, they realized immediately its importance, and on further discussions, they have come to a decision that you are to be accompanied by some of their number."
After a few seconds, to let the gravity of this statement sink in, Blet replied, "This is indeed of some significance. When am I to be informed of the details?"
"You are to be summoned to the grand hall in one rotation at mid time." said Rerkr, with a feeling of some importance again.
"Thank you Rerkr, I shall be ready."
Whilst at the checkout of the supermarket that he stopped at on his way home that evening, Dr Western looked at a hollo-screen that was playing a news broadcast about the planet shifter program.
On it, the presenter introduced a spokesperson for the Anti-Interference League.
"Mr Rogerson, why is it you're organization, feels so strongly against this program?"
"Well Terry, as well you know, we at the league believe, that everything that happens, does so for a reason, and that reason, no matter how oblivious we are to it, is god's work, and we have no right to try to alter it."
"Even if it means death and destruction on a massive scale?" was the question that the presenter next asked.
"If that is what god wants Terry, then who are we to question him."
"Some would say though, Mr Rogerson, is that the reason we make these decisions, is because god gave us the ability to choose to do so."
"Some might also say Terry, that because children have the ability to play with guns, should they then not be allowed to?"
"So Mr Rogerson, are you saying that we all no more than children?"
"In the presence of god Terry, I am saying we are less."
"Thirteen credits please," came the voice of the counter clerk, taking his attention away from the images floating just above the clerk.
"Sorry, here you are," he said, handing the clerk his identity card.
"Dr Western, I saw you on the news bulletin earlier today. I think it is brilliant what you are going to do, too bad about those nut jobs from the Anti-Interference League."
"Oh, is that a professional assessment?" Inquired Dr Western with a wry smile on his face.
"No, it's just that, you are going to do what you are doing, because if we do not do anything, the whole world is in trouble, and those people at the 'league', are only interested in their own agenda." was the clerks impassioned response.
"That is as maybe," said Dr Western, "but even nut jobs have a right to their own opinion."
"Well in my opinion, they should all be used as fuel for your rockets, then they will finally be a help to humanity."
"Seems a little extreme, but I think we are going to be all right for fuel anyway." Was Dr Westerns attempt at a diplomatic reply.
"Thank you for your custom, Dr Western, here is your card and receipt, have a wonderful evening."
"Thank you" was Dr Westerns reply as he gathered his groceries and headed out to his car.
As Dr Western pulled into his driveway, he noticed his daughter peering out of the window of the living room, and he could not supress a smile that spread across his face.
As he entered his house, the first thing he saw, was his daughter, jumping up and down excitedly exclaiming, "Dad, dad, dad, I saw you on hollo-vision today, and Tania said that I could call Tracy and Leah."
Tania was the name of his current wife and Ellie's step mother, as his first wife, Ellie's birth mother, was killed in a car accident, nine years earlier.
Tracy and Leah were her class mates.
"Really, how did I look, was I the mostest handsomest man ever?" he asked, as he picked her up, whilst the smile on his face seemed to be growing bigger and bigger with every passing moment.
"Well, nearly as handsome as Frederick Peers Varn." was the reply.
High praise indeed, as Frederick Peers Varn, was the latest singing/ acting sensation to almost every English speaking pre-teen on the planet.
As his wife entered the room, she explained that Ellie was just so engrossed when she saw his press conference, and that she could not wait to call her friends.
After he had put Ellie down, Dr Western and Tania were putting away the groceries, when Tania said "I saw that horrid Graeme Rogerson in an interview, just before you got back."
"Yes, I saw it at the supermarket." was his reply.
"Why won't he just mind his own business and stop trying to enforce his ideals on others" said Tania, with more than a little annoyance in her voice.
"Sounds like you should be speaking to Trevor at the supermarket."
"Why do you say that?" asked Tania.
"It is just that he said the same thing." explained Dr Western.
"Yes, well obviously a lot of people think the same way" was his wife's response.
"And I will say the same thing that I said to Trevor," said Dr Western, "and that is, that everyone is entitled to their own opinion."
"Leah says that her dad said that a rabbit did a pooh in his head, and now he can't think properly." said Ellie, trying to contribute to the conversation.
"Even if someone did say that, it does not mean that you should repeat it. You know better than that Ellie." said Dr Western, with what he hoped was a stern look on his face.
"Yes dad" was the sorrowful reply.
"When can I go and see the space ship you are building dad?" was Ellie's next, not so subtle, conversation changing question.
"It is not a space ship sweetie, it's a satellite that is going to put the moon back where it belongs."
"What are you going to do with it after you put the moon back?" was Ellie's next question.
"Well, after that, it will be used as a space station for experiments, but it is not going to be ready for a couple of years yet, but when it is, I promise that I will take you" Dr Western replied, seeing the excitement in Ellie's eyes.
"Butterfly promise?" asked Ellie, holding up her right arm, with her fingers extended towards her father.
Holding up his own arm and extending his wiggling fingers until they just touched the tips of Ellie's fingers, he said, "Butterfly promise", and he knew that was one promise he could not break.
As Blet entered the hall, he could not help but feel the presence of all the Sayers that had passed through the building before this time.
It may have been helped by the fact that the walls were covered in the carvings of the Sayers throughout the ages.
Blet turned to see Rerkr coming out of the door leading to the inner sanctum, which was a place that very few Yaglots got to go.
As he walked through the door [for the second time, the first being when he was honoured with the title, Overbeing] he was struck, as he was the first time, with an almost overwhelming sense of awe and tradition, for on the other side of the room, were the council of Sayers.
And even though they could not be thought of as young, the Sayers had a presence about them, that made them seem larger than life itself.
They were dressed in the finest flowing garments, that could only be created by master craftsmen, as they were seated in their large, ornately carved chairs, that were behind a magnificent table, carved in one piece from a huge Bandagar tree, that was said to have fallen in a storm, thus allowing many Yaglots, including members of the first council of Sayers, to use it to cross a ravine and escape to higher ground, and therefore avoid being swept away in a massive flash flood.
Many think it was the great protector that made the tree fall, and therefore, the desk should always be.
"Overbeing Blet, we are honoured by your presence."
The statement came from elder Bnotkl.
"The honour is mine alone respected one" was Blet's subservient reply.
"Please, let us be a little less formal, and hopefully this meeting will be more productive" said Bnotkl.
"As you wish" was the only reply that Blet could give.
"Overbeing Blet," this time it was elder Ciotkr speaking, "we have asked you here, because we feel that we have made a decision that you should be told of before we tell others."
"That of course, is you're decision to make" said Blet, with lowered eyes, knowing that the Sayers did not need, or would ever ask, for his permission.
"It is, but as it does impact on you, we thought it right that you be the first to be told" said Ciotkr.
Blet did not reply but just waited for the explanation he knew was forthcoming.
"Overbeing Blet, we chose you for this mission, because we knew you had the authority, respect and knowledge, to bring about a successful conclusion" explained Ciotkr.
"As everyone knows, our star is dying, and that is why we are looking to new colonies, but what no-one else knows, is that according to our knowledge seekers, the dying star is going to have a severe effect on the sky hole."
"May I ask what that effect might be?" asked Blet.
"Of course" said Ciotkr, "They are telling us, that as the star is deteriorating, the impulse field that gives the skyhole it's stability, is somewhat weakened, and the number of passages that we will be able to take through it, are going to be reduced significantly."
"Will we still be able to send the full number of ships through to start the new colony?" asked Blet, sensing that he already knew the answer.
Bnotkl was the one to answer.
"As we cannot be sure when the skyhole will become too unstable, we have agreed that your journey will be one that cannot return."
Blet was trying to comprehend what he was just told, and formulate questions that would help to try and understand, what it was that he was just told, when Bnotkl explained further.
"As you will not be returning, you will now be taking the newest design of our skyships, allowing you to take three times the number of citizens and supplies, thus allowing you to be able to set up the new colony, much easier, then, if we are able, we will send more ships through until the skyhole becomes too unstable."
"What will happen to those that are left behind?" asked Blet, feeling numb at the thought that countless numbers of his fellow citizens, would be left to perish on a doomed planet.
"The knowledge seekers are searching the skies, and have already located three possible sites for new colonies."
"Also," added Bnotkl "the skyship builders, have already created new plans for even bigger ships so that we will be able to transfer as many citizens as we possibly can."
"The disadvantage is, that without a skyhole, it will take many cycles to reach then return."
"Then once we have established the new colony, we shall seek out you're colony, but again, because this will take many cycles*, it has been decided, that three of our number are to accompany you, so that when you arrive, there will be a council."
"It has also been decided," continued Bnotkl, "that as well as taking you're core group, that is, both sharebeings and three younglings, you shall be able to take twenty others of your choosing."
"Do we know when we are to begin our journey?" asked Blet.
This time, the question was answered by elder Aletrot.
"The time that has been set for your departure, is one half of one cycle from this time."
"How easily will I be able to locate a suitable area for the new colony?" was Blet's next question.
"Several sites have already been located by the surveillance ship, and the crew will be able to relay this information to you, once you come out of the skyhole" explained Aletrot.
"How long after we leave the skyhole, will we arrive at the new colony?" asked Blet, knowing, that to ask too many questions at this meeting, would be counterproductive, as he would not be able to remember every detail, and to ask the same question again at a later date, could harm the perception that others have of him, as a strong minded and confident leader of the people.
"That time will take 18 rotations" said Aletrot.
"Then if that is what is to be done, I can do no more, than to be ready for when that time comes" replied Blet.
"Thank you for your time Overbeing Blet" said Ciotkr, "I look forward to our next meeting."
"I am at you're call as always" said Blet, with a slight bow before turning to leave, as he knew the meeting was over.
Once back in the Grand Hall, Blet saw Rerkr waiting.
As he approached, Rerkr said "The Sayers have told me to assure you, that you will be the first to be told of any further decisions they make pertaining to the mission."
"Let them know, that I thank them for the honour of being taken into their confidence, and that I eagerly await their instructions" was Blet's reply, before leaving the Grand Hall and heading back to his official residence to inform his family about, and start preparing for, their epic journey.
Excerpted from MOONSHAKER by G V CHILLINGSWORTH Copyright © 2012 by G V CHILLINGSWORTH. Excerpted by permission of Trafford Publishing. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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