Lugg the Mighty and the Oskilth Civil War

planet-581239__340

*Cresta: A techno-organic race from the planet Crestar with long, soft bodies, tentacles, and large, watery eyes. They speak in a synthesized voice, and their large “brain sack” lays hidden behind a spiral shell. They wear breathing helms when not on their own water-based planet.Cresta Research Laboratory for Advanced Security

*Ingot: A cyborg race from the planet Ingilium that wears bulky techno-organic armor and breather helms built directly into their bodies.

~~~

Lugg leans over a tray of medical-type instruments.

A fellow Cresta lumbers over and taps him with a tentacle.

“Lugg? Lugg!”

“Oh? Yes. Can I help you?”

“It’s time to eat. You coming?”

“Already?”

“Yes, Lugg. Please, you’ll wither away to nothing if you keep working like this.”

“Heh, heh… I doubt that. But, well… I guess you’re right. Here, let me just—”

“Put it down Lugg, or I’ll be forced to call for help.”

“Yes, yes. I’m coming…”

Lugg and his companion shuffle down a long grey tunnel on cushioned flipper-like feet, their tentacles sway at their sides.

A large well-stocked pool behind a thick glass wall swirls with murky sea vegetation and swimming creatures.

Three other Crestas flip their heads out of the water and grin down at the two.

“Come in and feast a while.”

Lugg’s companion climbs up a ladder and leans over the pool, his eyes glowing in anticipation. He darts a glance back at Lugg.

“Aren’t you coming?”

Lugg stares at a fish swimming in the murky depths; he heaves a sigh and turns around.

“Hey! Come back! You’ll die if you don’t eat.”

Lugg lumbers away.

~~~

A huge Ingot lays slumped on the laboratory floor. Lugg holds a flexible disk in his tentacle, aimed at the Ingot. His Cresta companion stares at him through, wide, amazed eyes.

“I never knew you had it in you, Lugg. For such a pacifist, that was quite a move. I thought he’d wreck the place.”

“Don’t be silly. I’m always prepared for invaders. I’ve been working on this weapon for years.”

“You? Create a weapon? I thought you were working on a new breathing mask. You can’t even eat meat. Your vegetables are served cold—on a plate for darkness sake—and far from their natural environment.”

Lugg holds up the disk and grins, though his eyes remain soft and serious.

“This is the most effective weapon ever created. When this Ingot awakes, he’ll feel weak for hours, and all aggression will have left his body. He won’t want to fight.”

“You have altered his—”

“Brain activity. He’ll be useless as a fighter for months, even years, and he certainly won’t come here again. If we use this weapon judiciously, neither will any others. All wars will end.”

“How? I mean; I’m stunned. When did you discover that this…this thing worked?”

“Right after I tried it on myself.”

~~~

Universal Reports:

OSKILTH WAR AT AN END

The island of Oskilth has finally been subdued through the use of the Mighty Lugg Stinger. Unfortunately, the Taser’s mind-altering abilities affected so many active Cresta soldiers that the Crestar governing body, Ingal, has decreed that the Mighty Lugg Stinger is too dangerous to remain in existence.

The scientist behind the mighty invention was ordered to destroy it, but apparently, he and the Tasor have both disappeared…

~~~

A young Cresta enters a small, dim, hole-in-the-wall laboratory.

“Lugg? Sir? Are you here?”

“Lugg shuffles forward from a dark corner and meets the youth.”

“Hmmm? Can I help you?”

“Oh, hi, sir. I live down the hall. My mother sent me over to give this to you. It’s cold sea-pie. We heard that it’s something you like. She just wants to thank you.”

Lugg’s large, luminous, green eyes gleam in the dim light. “Me? Why?”

“Well, my brother was slated for the next trip to Oskilth. He’s of age and was set to fight—”

“Ah, yes. So many were sent over….”

“Well, now, since the war is over, he’s being sent to Cresta Labs for adaptive technologies…something to do with making better breathing masks.”

“Honorable service. I’m happy for him.”

“Anyway, mother’s real glad, and I am too. Maybe things will be different when I am of age.”

“I hope so. But you know…I’m not really here.”

“Yes of course. Mother figured it out, but she’ll keep your secret safe. Do you have the Mighty Lugg Stinger still?

“It was stolen.”

“Oh. Sorry.”

“Don’t be. Sometimes things need to be stolen.”

“Really? I never…. Well, I better go. Mother said to tell you that she’s sorry you have to leave.”

“It was a small price to pay.”

“Enjoy the pie. Bye.”

Lugg watches the youth lumber away. He stares at the pie, grins, and then lumbers back to his worktable. He lays the pie down next to a new, very different looking weapon.

~~~

Novels by A. K. Frailey

Science Fiction

Last of Her Kind  http://amzn.to/2y1HJvg

Newearth: Justine Awakens http://amzn.to/2pq0vWN

Historical Fiction

Melchior—Vengeance Is Mine http://amzn.to/2taeW2r

Historical Fiction & Science Fiction Blend

OldEarth ARAM Encounter https://amzn.to/2KLhlsN

OldEarth Ishtar Encounter https://amzn.to/2OAkDQF

OldEarth Neb Encounter (In production)

OldEarth Georgios Encounter (In production)

Children’s Book

The Adventures of Tally-Ho http://amzn.to/2sLfcI5

Inspirational Non-Fiction

The Road Goes Ever On—A Christian Journey Through The Lord of the Rings http://amzn.to/2lWBd00

Advertisements

Life of Gorth—Fate of a Weapon Maker

ruin-540830_960_720

Planet – Ingilium

Moglum’s Land Base Rental

Renter: Gorth – practicing war games on the back lot…

“I will not die! At least not today! So take that! And that! And that!”

Bam! Fizzzt!

“Gorth! Hold on would you? You’re turning my back lot into a crater. I know you’re a lean, mean, fighting machine—but please—I need some space that isn’t constantly being bombarded with shrapnel. My poor nerves—”

“What a landlord! Where’s your Ingilum spirit, Moglum? Your mama should’ve packed you off on one of those slave transports.”

“Nice. Real nice, Gorth. Now shut up and listen. Someone from the Imperium just sent a message—”

“From the Imperium? For me?”

“Yeah, and if you’re being transferred, you better fix this mess before you leave!”

~~~

Imperium Central Office for Inter-planetary Security

Hologram message coming through…

“Citizen Iz, secretary for the Imperium, can I help you?”

“Oh, hi, it’s me…I mean…this is citizen Gorth. You sent a message….”

“Gorth! Yes, thank you for checking in so quickly. Good news. We’ve been watching your progress and decided that this is the time to support your… unique skills.”

“Um. What does that mean exactly?”

“Listen, Gorth, there’s a new threat. We’ve received secret information that the Cresta are planning an invasion… and they won’t be coming alone.”

“Annihilate! Really? This is big. How can I help? I mean with the weapons’ ban and all…”

“The ban has been lifted. Your research may continue where you left off. In fact, the Imperium is prepared to assist you by any means necessary.”

Silence.

“Gorth?”

“Oh, yeah… I just had to get back on my feet…I sorta fell over. Honestly, I never expected this. You know, weapons are my passion. I live to evaporate. It’s what I dream about. After the ban, I had to be content with just blowing—”

“We understand. That’s why you have been chosen. You’re gifted and if it hadn’t been for interplanetary pressure, we’d never have agreed to that infernal… Never mind. The fact is, you are now reinstated. Fully. Get back to work, Gorth.”

~~~

Three moon cycles later…

Back at Moglum’s Land Base Rental

Moglum’s Living Space

Moglum and Gorth sit hunched on a steel bench as they lean over a long table strewn with various weapon and weapon parts.

Gorth holds up a small, smooth, and rounded handheld devise, his chest puffs with pride. “I’m calling it the Evaporator.”

Moglum frowns. “Nah… Come on Gorth; don’t be stupid. That name’s already been taken. It blew the entire watching audience to smithereens. Don’t you remember? It was on every hologram from here to the Cresta Divide.”

“Musta repressed it. Hmmm… I’m not so good at naming things. Any ideas?”

“How about the Destroyer? The Atomizer? The Dustbuster?”

“Hey, I like that. The Dustbuster! I’ll call it the Dustbuster I. I mean, I’ve done about a kazillion of these things but nobody needs to know that.”

“Go down in history as the greatest weapon maker of all time… Brilliant. Oh, and when you get paid… You are getting paid for this right?”

“Sure. The Imperium said they’d give me what I deserve.”

“Well, then, you’ll be in a position to rebuild the back lot. I was thinking of turning it into something like that resort on the South Sea. You know, the one with all the foliage and females…”

“Yeah. Yeah… I’ll get to it. But first I got to present this to the Imperium. See what they think.”

“You’ll be a hero. No doubt about it. I always said you’d make the Ingot name great again.”

“Ah… Just following my passion.”

~~~

Universal News Today:

It has been verified that the missing inventor of the Dustbuster I, Gorth, has finally been tracked to the back lot of Moglum’s Land Base Rental. Apparently, his newest weapon had been used against him and then stolen.

The Imperium requests that any information concerning Gorth’s demise be sent directly to their Central Security Office.

On the interplanetary front, it appears that Crestas are once again up to no good….

~~~

Novels by A. K. Frailey

Science Fiction

Last of Her Kind  http://amzn.to/2y1HJvg

Newearth: Justine Awakens http://amzn.to/2pq0vWN

Historical Fiction

Melchior—Vengeance Is Mine http://amzn.to/2taeW2r

Historical Fiction & Science Fiction Blend

OldEarth ARAM Encounter https://amzn.to/2KLhlsN

OldEarth Ishtar Encounter https://amzn.to/2OAkDQF

OldEarth Neb Encounter (In production)

OldEarth Georgios Encounter (In production)

Children’s Book

The Adventures of Tally-Ho http://amzn.to/2sLfcI5

Inspirational Non-Fiction

The Road Goes Ever On—A Christian Journey Through The Lord of the Rings http://amzn.to/2lWBd00

Invasion

hiding-1209131_960_720

“Angelina! Angelia, where are you?”

Blasted Crestas! What was Raymond thinking? Governor of a multi-race? Idiot! Pound up these porch steps one last time; I’ll probably never see… Damn! Don’t think! Just—

“Here, Peter! Everyone’s accounted for. Cerulean and Roux are running the—  Isn’t Paul with you?”

My heart has stopped. Really stopped.

“No. I thought he was helping you.”

“He was. But I sent him to find you.”

“I’ve been doing a perimeter check. Everything’s down. Crestas certainly know how to blast their way into—”

Tears are filling her eyes. Focus! No tears—not yet…Her voice cracks.

“Where’s Paul?”

“He’s probably helping with the last of the evacs. Don’t worry, honey, I’ll find him.”

Yeah, sure. The whole planet is blowing to pieces… okay. Stop! Exaggeration won’t help. Think!

“Where was he heading?”

Good, she’s getting a hold of herself.

“To Capitol Hill.”

“You go ahead. I’m sure he’s around. Cerulean’s probably got everyone else in transport. He snagged a friendly Bhuac trader who was heading home to Helm, but she said she’d take us to Lux first.”

“I’m not leaving without my son!”

“Me neither. But it won’t help having the two of us wandering— Wait. Holy Hill! I know where he is. Go on! Tell that Bhuac to wait. I’ll be right back!”

“Peter!”

~~~

The whole world is falling into enemy hands, but my son wants a last private moment with his hero.

“Paul!”

He’s so little for eleven. The Crestas would tower over him like a mountain. But not a hint of fear in those eyes.

“Hey, son, come on! Your mother’s worried sick, and Cerulean’s holding a Bhuac trading ship for us. We’ve got to hurry.”

“I’m not leaving.”

“What? Don’t be insane. You’re leaving if I have to pick you up and carry you!”

“This is our home. Our planet. The Crestas have no right!”

He’s hugging Doctor Mike’s statue as if he thinks it’ll protect him. So young… So foolish.

“They have much bigger weapons, and they’re going to use them. Now quit acting like a child and hurry up. Once their scout teams come this way, they’ll take us prisoners…if we’re lucky.”

“I don’t care.”

“Well, I care! We can’t win. Not this time. We’ve got to leave—now!”

“Doctor Mike wouldn’t. He’d stay and fight.”

“By the Divide! He didn’t. When humanity lost the first time, he left. And for good reason! There’s a time to walk away…or run away and come back later. Right now we’ve got a real good reason to run.”

“Will we come back…later?”

If my heart keeps falling like this, I’ll never find it again.

“I hope so. Come on, son. Your mother’s frantic. And Cerulean will have my head.”

Good boy… Ah, dang it, he’s wiping his eyes with his sleeve. I hate that. I can’t feel, I’ve got to think.

“Stop!”

Damn! Cresta scouts…

“Hold still. We’ll not accept resistance.”

“Resistance? Look, my hands are up. Put your hands up, Paul. Listen, we’re just leaving. No need to worry about us resisting…”

“Hold still.”

Oh, God! He’s leveling his weapon.

“Tamir! Is that you?”

Thank God, Cerulean! I can breathe again… The scout’s not pleased though. Still, Cerulean could charm an Ingoti water rat…

“Do I know you, human?”

Gotta love Cerulean’s smile.

“Luxonian. Though I can see how you might make the mistake. Don’t you remember me? Cerulean. I was in the leadership council between the Ingal and the Supreme Judges back on Cresta in 04.”

“Oh, my apologies. I didn’t realize. Are these your—”

“Yes, they’re mine. Thank you for holding them. I’ve been looking for them everywhere. Please, go about your business. I don’t think you’ll find anyone else. Emergency transportation has been arranged. Next time… you might like to give a little more notice.

“We gave the humans a full day. We’re not always so courteous with our enemies.”

“Enemies! You’re the ene—”

I have to stopper my son’s mouth. Sorry, but there’s a time to shut up. Cerulean glares at him but swings a full grin at the Cresta. Man, he’s good.

“Forgive the youth. He’s inexperienced.”

“Take him or I’ll give him an experience.”

~~~

 On board the Bhuac transport. Peter leans back with his eyes closed on the cushioned bench with Angelina’s sleeping head resting on his shoulder. Paul hunches between crates at his father’s feet.

Cerulean steps into the small cargo space. His eyes travel from Peter to Angelina—to Paul. He beckons to Paul in silence.

Paul lumbers to his feet. His red, swollen gaze scrapes the floor.

“Yes, sir?”

Cerulean lifts Paul’s chin so that their gaze locks.

“This is not the end. You’ll return home. Luxonians will work things out with the Crestas.”

“And what if another race decides they want Newearth? Will you save us again? There will always be more of them than us.”

True, but defeat isn’t the answer. Grieve, as you must, but when you recover, I’ll be waiting. There will come a day. You’ll return. And I’ll come with you.”

“Why?”

“Because…it’s my home too.”

~~~

Novels by A. K. Frailey

Science Fiction

Last of Her Kind  http://amzn.to/2y1HJvg

Newearth: Justine Awakens http://amzn.to/2pq0vWN

Historical Fiction

Melchior—Vengeance Is Mine http://amzn.to/2taeW2r

Historical Fiction & Science Fiction Blend

OldEarth ARAM Encounter https://amzn.to/2KLhlsN

OldEarth Ishtar Encounter https://amzn.to/2OAkDQF

OldEarth Neb Encounter (In production)

OldEarth Georgios Encounter (In production)

Children’s Book

The Adventures of Tally-Ho http://amzn.to/2sLfcI5

Inspirational Non-Fiction

The Road Goes Ever On—A Christian Journey Through The Lord of the Rings http://amzn.to/2lWBd00

Enemy Self

cyborg-binary-1536624_1280

Intergalactic Trading Ship: Bountiful

Captain: Lu Kimberling

Hired Protection—Androids: Justine Santana and Max Wheeler

Justine’s private internal record:

Ship’s Lounge, Captain Kimberling steps in.

“Hey, you two, one last stop at Ingilium, and you can look for other work. I’m going to take a breather on Helm. The Bhuaci are harmless, so I won’t be needing your services for a while.”

Oh, joy! Wheeler is going to give his opinion. Like the captain cares….

“Are you certain that’s wise, sir? The Bhuaci may be harmless, but they are frequently attacked. The Telathot incursion nearly decimated—”

Brilliant. Get the highest paying ship’s captain irritated while light years from the next hope of employment.

“Don’t lecture me, Wheeler. I’ve stopped there often enough and found myself a secure place. Cresta’s and Ingots could invade till the sun explodes, and they wouldn’t nudge me a millimeter.”

Know the meaning of the word vaporized? If Wheeler were human, he’d be bright red right now.

“As you say, sir.”

“Sure, compliance always makes up for being a total idiot—”

“Listen, I’m going to sleep. The crew just changed shifts and we’re in dead space, so it should be nice an’ boring for a while.”

“As you say, sir.”

“By the time I need you again, Wheeler, learn a few new expressions, would you?”

“As you—”

“Ah, shut up.”

Poor Captain Kimberling. He hasn’t got one itsy, bitsy clue…

~~~

One hour later…

Wheeler may be huge, but he’s as bulky as an Ingot and lumbers like a Cresta. His brown, steady eyes peer straight through the lounge bay window displaying our bright, red spectrum universe as it swirls amid black space. I’d like to paint that view. Someday.

 What does Wheeler think about in that tectonic brain of his? Here goes nothing… I’ll be subtle. Promise.

“You do that on purpose, don’t you?”

“What?”

“Egg him on.”

“Egg. Him. On. What is that supposed to mean? No, don’t tell me. Another one of your human colloquialisms? You need to decide what you are, Cyborg.”

“Like you?”

“I have an identity. I know my role and I—”

“Play the fool.”

“Who’s the fool? You’re the one pretending to be human. ‘Look at me, I have a moral code…’ You were lucky to come out in one piece on Terra Seventeen.”

“I am human. At least…genetically.”

His grip is stronger than I anticipated. Good to know….

“Shall I rip your arm off and show you the technology that holds you together?”

Twist, turn and elbow to the mid-section. Leg sweep under the knees. Pinch Wheeler by the soft spot at the base of his neck…

 “Let me remind you that when they put me together, they included the DNA of a brilliant human mind. Not a Cresta—”

“I’m not Cresta!”

“Ingoti then.”

“Damn you!”

Pity on the fool. Oops, didn’t mean to shove that hard.

“That almost sounded human.”

“DNA means nothing!”

There he goes again. He really ought to turn beet red just to clarify himself.

“So, you’re human too? Genetically speaking?”

“I’m a cyborg. Humanity never claimed me. I never claimed them.”

“But your cyborg family welcomed you with open arms, right?”

“Go to Bothmal!”

“Please—watch your language.”

“Like anything could offend you.”

“I have sensibilities.”

“Just no sense. Being human—genetically speaking—won’t protect you. Only a cyborg—”

“You won’t live forever.”

“Near enough. Better than anyone else.”

“Uanyi and Ingots live for millenniums. Luxonians too. Are they happy?”

“Hades! Who’s looking for happiness? I want to survive for as long as possible.”

“Someday…you’ll die.”

“Not if I can keep getting parts. Besides, who really cares?”

“That’s the question, isn’t it? You’ve never given anyone a reason to care—”

Uh, oh… blinking, blaring sirens! As usual, humans typically overstate the obvious. Here comes the captain, charging ahead like a Cresta at a science convention.

“Hey, you two, looks like we’ve got unexpected visitors. Power up!”

Sigh. Wheeler’s got bloodlust in his eyes again.

“Ready, Human?”

“As much as you, Cyborg.”

“Don’t look so grim. We’ll come out of this alive. Probably. It’s a living.”

I wonder…

“Or a really long death sentence.”

~~~

Novels by A. K. Frailey

Science Fiction

Last of Her Kind  http://amzn.to/2y1HJvg

Newearth: Justine Awakens http://amzn.to/2pq0vWN

Historical Fiction

Melchior—Vengeance Is Mine http://amzn.to/2taeW2r

Historical Fiction & Science Fiction Blend

OldEarth ARAM Encounter https://amzn.to/2KLhlsN

OldEarth Ishtar Encounter https://amzn.to/2OAkDQF

OldEarth Neb Encounter (In production)

OldEarth Georgios Encounter (In production)

Children’s Book

The Adventures of Tally-Ho http://amzn.to/2sLfcI5

Inspirational Non-Fiction

The Road Goes Ever On—A Christian Journey Through The Lord of the Rings http://amzn.to/2lWBd00