Friday, August 31, 2012

No Love Lost on the Dark Star, Ep. 5: Fluid Dynamics

Golke wakes up wondering why he still bothers to wake up.

"I don't suppose you fine gentlemen have some rations you'd care to share with a hungry prisoner?"

"Get him a torb pack, Liske." Balistoi non-nonchalantly orders his apprentice. Liske retrieves a small tin of greenish meat, with an oily ground texture. He pulls the tab, and then stirs the contents around a bit.

"You don't really expect me to eat that, do you?" Golke says. "That stuff tastes like a charodon's ass, only someone tried to mask it with soy sauce and sugar. Torbs ain't meant for humans."

"Nonsense." Liske replies. "It's formula meets all of a human's dietary needs."

"Then why does my body react like it's poison?" Golke snaps back.

"It's torb or nothing." Balis adds, calmly. "We don't carry much else in the way of human food."

"I'll tell you what, you can untie me, and I can do a little hunting. I bet I can shoot enough Anci in that plain to feed the three of us for a week." Golke says, gesturing to the area just beyond the gray desert.

"You don't think much of me, do you?" Balis replies. "I let you free with a sidearm, why would you ever come back?"

"You know what, that hadn't even occurred to me, but you're right, I probably couldn't pass up that opportunity." Golke says, smiling. "We're on the same team now though, right? If we want to be ready to collect this bounty and make our getaway, I'm going to need to have a hand free."

Balistoi sighs.

"It does seem... inevitable." He replies.

"What are you saying?" Liske is taken aback. "We can't trust this hominid!"

"You're still young." Balis answers. "You will eventually begin to understand that nothing is exactly what it seems on the surface."

"You surprise me, Nonck." Liske answers using the respectful title for his master, to show his submission.

"I know, Orso. I know. You'll have to be prepared to adjust to fluid situations. The rules change all the time."

"Hey guys." Golke breaks in. "This is real sweet and all, but aren't you forgetting something?"

"That's right." Liske replies, before shoving a spoonful of the torb into Golke's mouth.

"GACK, ugh.." Golke tries to spit it out, but liske covers his mouth and massages his throat. Eventually he swallows.

"What did I ever do to you, kid?" Golke says weakly, sweating and turning pale.

"That should render him safe to untie." Liske says, looking to Balistoi.

"You're learning fast." Balistoi says, moving to untie their prisoner. "Snap out of it, Golke. You'll survive."

"That's the worst part." Golke replies, groaning.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

No Love Lost on the Dark Star, Ep 4: In Exile

Golke sleeps through the warm night, still bound.

"Why is it that the humans call this planet a star, Balis?" Liske asks, laying next to the fire.

"Because humans are simple creatures." He replies. "Technically the star at the heart of this solar system is the Dark Star, and this planet is DSK1299-01; it's a mouthful for these homonidae. Instead, they speak generally of this planet as the Dark Star, as it is the only one they can successfully land on."

"Why don't they just rename the planet something that they can pronounce?" Liske prods further.

"Hah. Humans can't get anything done without ages of bureaucracy first." Balistoi answers. "Now get some rest. You'll be on guard soon enough."

Liske turns and buries his head in the sand to cool his head. Balistoi sits on the other side of the campfire, keeping an eye on his two travel companions.

"All over a few human lives." He thinks, reflecting on the events that brought him to this gratlackt shithole in the first place. He wandered Ghulral for years after his exile, being cheated from and lied to by any friendly face in the deserts. Eventually, he grew thick skin, but over scarred tissue.

Back on Prrux, so many years ago, he was a promising young warrior. He was hailed by his people, one of the top athletes in their hunts. He was flawed though. The prisons on his planet held many political prisoners and civilians. He sympathized with the humans who were held without rights or charges. He publicly decried their treatment, arguing that they had become the devils they hunted. This was controversial.

One day, after enough death threats, he made a decision. He needed to back up his words. Balistoi unlocked the prisons and unleashed the humans into the streets to riot. He filled his private transport vessel, a rare thing on Prrux, and left for a human colony on Claevick. Upon his arrival though, he was not met with open arms. Wise to his scheme, the Prru leaders had warned the humans of a rogue attack ship, and he was shot down, crash landing on the small agricultural planet. When they found him, surrounded by dead humans, he was put in a cage and treated like an animal.

He was to be returned to his people for sentencing. He stood, silently, in his cage, bearing all the guilt for his failed attempt. His only friend was a small boy who brought him marqilis fruit every morning. Biting into the fruit, as he had done everyday, he was surprised by a solid metal clang between his bony gnashers. The kid snuck him a key, hidden in the fruit. He didn't know why, and he didn't question it. He let himself out and made a run for Ghulral, or the Dark Star as human's know it, and he's been running ever since.

Monday, August 6, 2012

No Love Lost on the Dark Star, Ep 3: The Black Hole Alliance

Night fell on the weary travelers. Golke looks up into the dark sky, giving him a clear view of the stars. He can see Prrux and Yeal, the fighting brothers. On the other side of the sky, two spinning galaxies begin to merge. Thelep and Blesdar, twist in opposite directions at the pull of two different gravities, but side by side they form spinning gears, interlocking at the teeth. Dead center in the sky was the void. The void fell between Earth and the Dark Star, and it absorbed any light in it's path, leaving nothing to look at but an outstretched arm of mass reaching into the massive black hole.

"It'll take us all, eventually." Liske remarks.

The Dark Star is impossible to police due to it's proximity to the black hole. The planet itself is very slowly moving toward the empty center, and only small quick crafts can evade it's pull and land on the surface. This makes it a popular spot for outlaws and illegal arms and drug dealers. Golke is neither, but there's still a price on his head.

"Why so glib?" Golke Asks. "There's at least another millenia before Prrux gets pulled in. Probably twice as long for Earth."

"Because, it's inevitable. No matter what happens, we will all be lost to it eventually."

"Don't mind him." Balistoi says. "He's not use to staring death in the face."

"It's not that." Liske says, muttering to himself.

"Yes, it is. Go clean the charodon's mask, and stop bothering our cargo."

Liske grimaces as he thinks about the smell that the leathery charodon mask absorbs after a full day in the hot sun.

"Listen, Golke." Balis stands over him with his booted heels next to Golke's head. "When we get to Gorvin, we're going to need your assistance."

"What's this?" Golke says, incredulous at the notion of doing the bidding of his captors.

"You know what will happen if we try to take you in there; we'll get killed by every greedy bounty hunter in the city for the reward. I have a better idea. I want you to help us get that bounty, and then we split it three ways."

"Un-fucking-believable. You've been dragging me for a full day, and now you want my help? Fuck you. You can get yourself killed like every other fool who tries to collect my bounty."

"I'm prepared to do it the hard way if you refuse, but keep in mind, your bounty is dead or alive."

"Just once, I'd love to have a partnership that didn't begin with a threat on my life." Golke replies.

"Is that a yes?" Balis remarks.

"I guess it is."

Balis hisses and cracks his tendrils in celebratory joy.