WiP: Completed draft of first book of trilogy!

Finally got pass this hurdle. Completed the first book of the trilogy (First draft). Only took me a year to do. Reluctantly, I was not as productive as I would like to have been but its done.

I am rewriting the book that I published in 2014. In 2015, I wrote a screen play of the story but modified large parts of the story to work in a movie. I liked what I did so much, I decided to rewrite it, extend it and add sub-plots to it.

My goal is to write all three books, then write screen plays of them, and finally, modify the books to conform to the screen plays. If I am lucky, get Hollywood to purchase the story and book publishers to make the books.



From the web: Reading Level of Writing

So I am cruising through entries in an FB group “Writing Fiction”, using my best procrastination techniques and I come across this blog entry from Shane Snow, “This Surprising Reading Level Analysis Will Change the Way You Write”. This article talks about how many of our great writers write at a middle school level for readability. This translates into higher comprehension and more enjoyment for the reader.

Basically don’t try to write to impress with big words that takes the average reader out of the story. If they have to try and understand the words then it is work and not fun.  The goal is to make it easy for the reader to comprehend the story and then visualize the action in their minds.  Make it easy for the reader to get into the story and stay there for as long as they are reading it.

Makes sense, right?

It is much more enjoyable to use your imagination to see “Chief Grog, swings his mighty club and with a booming thud smashes the knight backwards. The man flies back into the cavern’s wall and crumples to the ground.”

Than something like: “The leader of the orc tribe, Grog, uses a cudgel, in a round house swing, to impart a massively kinetic blow to the chest region of the hapless armored knight.  The forward momentum of the knight was viciously reversed, resulting in the man being thrown backwards, into the wall with bone crushing force.”

For many the second passage might be just as easy to understand. Some might even like the additional detail but it also takes more away from the imagination because it actually details more thoroughly what is happening. This additional detail, with the use of some words that might not be common enough, could stop the flow of the story for the reader and force them to confront the literary reality of reading a story, than living it.

I have read many blogs and articles talking about how the writer should just say enough to give the read the foundation to create the picture in their mind. I like this goal of striving for low detail scenes, for the reader to flesh out.

Well with so much energy going into a blog entry, I should be able to bust out the last few passages of book 1 of my trilogy.  Have a great weekend!

Short Story: At War with Ourselves

John sighed, That’s done, I am home now.  He opened the door and was about to call out to his wife and son, when two men grabbed him. They pulled him through the doorway and slammed him against the wall.

“Traitor!”  One of the assailants yelled into his face as he knocked the wind out of John.

The other assailant smashed his elbow into John’s jaw. John heard a loud popping sound and wondered if his jaw was broken. A salty taste flooded his mouth.

Not able to think about that taste too much because in came another punch to his stomach and an elbow to the shoulder. Driving him down to the floor. In the background, he heard his wife and son screaming and another person yelling at them.

They were kicking him, now that he was on the ground. He was doing all he could to block the kicks with his legs and arms. Punches pummeled his head. He wife and son continued to scream and the assailants continued to hurl abuse.

What seemed like a long time of beatings eventually stopped. Logically, John knew it was only a minute or two, since he still could reason, but it felt like a lifetime. He knew they could have beat him senseless. Silence as the assailants backed off. Even his family stopped yelling.

Only the sounds of boots on wooden floor, approaching, could be heard. John tested his jaw and found it still moved, at least they did not break his jaw.

“Ya fucked up this time, didn’t ya John?” Said a familiar voice but John couldn’t place it in his rattled state. He tried looking up but his head was still spinning.

“What did I do?” He choked out. Yes, a mouth full of blood and at least one tooth knocked out.

“Oh come now John, let’s not play this game.”

“Please, I don’t know what you think I did. I was out..”  He was kicked.

“John… John, that is enough. Lies will just make it worse. You were seen helping that downed pilot. That is treason to help them. You know the Party takes a dim view of this. Especially in light this pilot was part of the attack against the city.”

Fighting to calm himself. “Please, I was out looking for the pilot, like I was supposed to but I didn’t find anyone. I.. I… Please believe me.” He heard his wife start to sob. His son was moaning “No”.   He was starting to lose it too.

Sighing, the unrecognized man directed his men to lift John. He was almost beyond fight at this point.

“John this war is not going to be won by being nice to the other side. They choose this path. I believe you thought you were doing good but we can not allow these radicals leniency. They tried to steal the election last year and see what it got us?” They started to drag him out the door. The man continued. “Cooperate with us and I will try to put in a good word for your wife and son.”

His wife yelled. “How could you?”

John snapped at that moment, his sobbing stopped as the last strength came forth. The accusing tone of his wife drove him crazy.  He knew they would get the truth out of him but his family would never know it. The truth to his family is all that mattered.

Planting his feet, he pushed one handler into the door hard, forcing him to loosen his grip. Then he violently shook off the other man. Turning back into the house, he looked pass the man, who was going for his gun.

To his wife and son. “It was our daughter. My God, I couldn’t turn her in.”

A thought on Fermi’s Paradox

With the idea that our world is probably not so unique among the millions of star systems and billions of planets, in the Milky Way alone. The chances of there being other intelligent races is pretty good.

Also we tend to discover something mind-blowing every decade or so. Things we had no idea existed a generation ago (atoms, quarks, types of planets around other stars, DNA, etc..) are a reality today.

Having said that, I believe there are many alien civilizations in our neighborhood of the Milky Way and faster than light (FTL) travel is possible. We just aren’t there yet.

Many ask. “Why don’t the aliens visit us?”  Well let’s be honest and put the ego aside. We really are not that special are we??  If an alien race has discovered how to travel between the stars in a time frame that is acceptable to them, then what are we to them?  A pre-contact Amazonian tribe?

How many of us are rushing to go say hi to those that remain? Yes, we like to see the occasional article about them and maybe a National Geographic special or a Youtube video but really how often do we think of them?  Please realize this is not to denigrate these tribes, just using as an example we might understand.

If there are millions of earth like planets in our galaxy, then aliens coming here for our resources is probably an idea that should only exist in Hollywood. Humans are the resource they want, you say?  Okay why? We are rather frail, we can not exist easily in many other environments, we are rather annoying and hard to keep in line. Wouldn’t a prospective overlord race think that robots would be better choice of labor than these little meat bags?

They want to rule us you think?  I would imagine before they “pushed the button” they would investigate us for a while. Especially since we do not have the technology to detect them. Once they watch us for a while, what do you think?  Would any self-respecting conquering race try to bring a bunch of psychopathic, inventive short lived creatures into their empire?

With the ability to gain any resource anywhere else in the galaxy and us being primitives, what value would we serve?  Also we tend to fight ourselves and not just for mating, we are really good at killing each other. Why bring such a crazy race into your empire with the chance they might infect others or God forbid, learn new technologies where they might challenge the established rule.

No, if anything it would be best to watch us.  Like we do the Amazonian tribes with fly overs. Keep an eye on us. See if we kill off ourselves or actually learn how to work together and get into space. Then they can take us over or if not the conquering type, they might welcome us to the neighborhood.

“We should hear their signals.” One might say.  Well think on it.  We have only been broadcasting roughly 100 years. In that time most of our communications is now via the internet (land lines mostly), mobiles (short range) and satellite (directed communications). Most broadcast medias are being replaced. There is talk of quantum communications, where there is no signal path.  With us doing this in 100 years and still have barely left our planet, what do you think a race that can go between stars is capable of?

Most likely to hear another civilization, we would have to catch them in the first 200 years of their space age. After that, then the chances for them to emit radio waves for us to pick up will drop off significantly.

What we might be able to watch their graviton emissions from spaceships flying near our solar system. We have recently figured out how to measure gravitons. Now it is just for the truly big objects in the Universe. In time we might refine that ability. If the aliens use big ships, then chances are they will cause a disturbance in the gravitational waves as they fly by, snapping their versions of pictures at the primitives.

Like the tribes people looking up at the sound of an airplane and wondering which Gods they might be and what would happen if they come to visit. We will hopefully one day track a graviton emission passing our solar system at speeds well above the normal stellar objects. We too will wonder what god-like beings are doing that and what does that forebode for us, if they decide to stop and say hi.


From the Web: An Idea for Netflix

An article on the Hollywood Reporter from Kim Masters talks about Netflix and its impact on Hollywood. To summarize the article, it’s talking about how much money Netflix is spending buying up original content. Also how the company is changing the game in how things are done.

An interesting read on the new giant in town. Will Hulu and others take a similar route? That remains to be seen. One thing I think they ought to consider is combining different entertainment streams into their basic pricing scheme.

Imagine Netflix, Hulu or others offering books and gaming for the same or slightly higher monthly pricing? Might even be able to add music in there but I must admit I do not know that industries revenue means as well.

Where Amazon and some of the current choices are aggregators of most, if not all types of offerings in those realms, Netflix and the others should be selective. I will talk about the book publishing idea, since that is near and dear to my calling.

If I were at Netflix, I would suggest acquiring a book publishing company. The goal of this endeavor would be two fold. Find and publish original works and acquire the rights to include quality published works.

My model would include the ability to read online any book that is listed on the service. Maybe increase the cost of the basic service or include that as a higher level service offering. Downloading ebooks or ordering physical copies would cost more per ordered copy.

Downloaded ebooks would be very low priced as they really do not differentiate themselves from the online copy. Physical copies on the other hand, should include additional items in  that would entice customers to order. Something like additional internal artwork, background data, collectible type bindings would be included.

Having a publishing house on board would allow Netflix to help the author’s they select to turn out quality books.  Acquired rights to already published works would probably go for online copy or ebooks unless physical copy rights have been returned to the author.

This service would pay the author for the rights of including their book on the Netflix service for a determined amount of time. For original works, Netflix could use their publishing arm to place in other services as their business needs direct.  The author would also get paid a small fee per book read during the period. At the end of the right’s period, Netflix could decide if they wish to continue renting the rights at the current price, a renegotiated price or drop the book altogether.

I would assume some of the original works would be retained for an initial 3 years or so with full rights to Netflix. They might offer exclusively on their service for one year and depending on the popularity, place on other services as well or print for book stores.

The additional advantage of this type of offering is the ability for Netflix to find content that could be turned into Netflix original movie/tv content.Both the original works and acquired published works could be reviewed.

So yes, for authors, more selective and not an option for everyone. For those that get it right, it could be a nice alternative to the traditional publishers or being a new pebble in the ocean that is Amazon.

An idea for Disney

I sit here in the Disney All-Star Music hotel in Orlando, Florida; relaxing after a long day of driving and flying. Tomorrow, I see my daughters and grand-daughter and I can’t wait. While I relax and do some writing and general goofing off, I thought up the following idea for Disney.

With the craze over Pokémon Go, Disney should create something like that for their resort properties/parks. One of the least fun things when going to Disney’s parks is the wait. Waiting for rides is interesting at best.

What if Disney created their own version of Pokémon Go that only worked in the parks/resorts. It would be Disney characters hiding around the waiting lines of rides or maybe restaurants or parade paths before the parades. This should help keep the guests entertained finding the characters or watching them.

Since most of the rides are themed, the characters around the waiting line could be from those rides. Maybe stick in a few of the most popular characters in all types of rides. Maybe collecting these characters could be made into a game where users collect the characters.  Similar to the Disney pins.

More of an augmented reality application based on a WIFI network. This could also have a social network perspective, to keep people always thinking about Disney. Maybe even simple glasses that are Bluetooth enabled to the guest’s phone. This will keep the user from having to hold the phone. They could just look around with the glasses.

Log Lines for My Projects

So I have hit a writer’s block on my “When Atlantis Fell” novel. Instead of continuing to stare at the screen and hope the novel will write itself, I decided to try something else.

I have a few projects I am working on. Mostly at lunch, when I am bored of the Atlantis story or when I day-dream about the one of the stories and I just have to write something.

My exercise today will be around Log Lines. Why not try out a few log lines for each of the current works. A log line being a short 20-60 word description for the story. These are the first things that agents and producers would look at.  For many folks, consider it the elevator pitch.

While most of these are not ready for prime time, if any of them really strike you, please let me know.  Maybe the Atlantis stories are not the ones I should be primarily working on.

Title: When Atlantis Fell    (trilogy)

Book 1: A squadron commander becomes the unlikely leader of a break away colony from war ravaged Atlantis. The problem is Atlantis is not willing to let go and sends his rival to hunt him and the rebels down.

Book 2: The rebuilding of Atlantis brings about the death of many old ways. Some in the military believe that includes the emperor and the remnants of those who pushed for peace. The fiery commander who chased down rebels, will now lead the fight with the old guard.

Book 3: With the destruction of Atlantis and the new government installed at Luxa, the job of hunting down and retaking the rebel colonies is given to Jana. The rebels know Luxa will not let them go and decide to band together to attack Luxa before they are too strong.

Title: WormHole Earth Universe, no title yet.

She was just an astrophysicist working for the Explorer’s Guild, mapping out new star systems. Until she vaguely remembers discovering an alien race. Then her world becomes a desperate race to remember what happened and, hopefully, why someone wants to kill her.

Title: Empire Earth – working title.

Earth’s supposed friends are not so friendly, as found out by a young scientist on his way to a galactic academy for new space faring races. Unable to mind his own business, the scientist struggles to find a way to get a message back to warn Earth.

Title:  Saviors

They came and slapped Earth into order. They taught us many technologies and let us explore the nearby systems. Then the truth came out. They were running from a more powerful race and we were just cannon fodder to slow the enemy down. Until we decided not to be.

Title: The Last Artist

In the world of Kotor, artist can create masterpieces of magical power. Each one takes part of their soul and after the last one is made, they die. In time, unscrupulous nobles made artists create masterpieces for them with no concern for the artist’s life. So they went into hiding. One young swordmaker was discovered. He and his companions decided to stand and fight rather than run and hide.

Poem: The Artist Takes Over

The gentle sounds of the piano caress my soul,
 A steady beat softly mixing sorrow and passion.

The beat drones on, the anticipation of the singer's mark,
 Rising as I imagine her voice carrying me along.

Timidly she starts, her eyes darting to and fro,
 Licking her lips, on the cusp of faltering.

Then the moment passes. 

Her voice grows stronger, the artist takes over.

The nervousness of singing for her lover banished.
 The artist takes over.

Novel: When Atlantis Fell Chapter 1

Okay here is what I am thinking for chapter 1 of my revised trilogy.  Chapter 1 of book 1, pre-edit. This takes part of Wall of Destruction along with some sub-plot stories.  I am not sure I can succeed with my goal of 3 books and movie scripts by the end of the year but still trying.  At 50,000 words (about 150 pages) so far.  This is about 4,000 words.

So please check it out and drop me a comment if you can.


The men stood silently, as an air battle raged above them. All attired in various styles of armor. Swordsmen with breastplate, shield and helm. Archers, with bow, quiver and short sword. Infantry men with leather brigandine and large Aether spears.

Finally, there were the armored troopers. Men in Aether-powered armored suits that covered them head to toe. They also carried Aether spears.  All of these soldiers, chest emblazoned with a symbol of a Trident, with a fist imposed over it. The look of battle hardened veterans, they sat their awaiting the enemy. Slightly in front of the front row, stood a beautiful woman in leather brigandine. A haughty look, with her hair flowing freely in the night’s breeze. Arms crossed, she stood there staring intently down the beach.

This force stood between the waves and dunes, facing up the beach. The air battle above them raged on between the vailixi of Atlantis and Luxa. The final battle of the civil war was playing out.

The distinctive whirling noise of the vailixi gets louder. Many look up to see a pair of vailixi starting their strafing run on the closed ranks of the force. They get in a few shots before Luxan vailixi attack them and force them to peel off. Three Luxan vailixi chase the two Atlanteans over the dunes and further inland. An explosion is soon heard.

A few of the troopers are killed in the attack but the line remains intact. They stare up the beach, awaiting the enemy they know is coming.

Three Luxan vailixi race pass the formation, going up the beach and out pass the dunes. In the distance, a stream of soldiers come onto the beach from the dunes. They start to form a battle line facing the Luxans.

The Luxans stay stone faced silent while the Atlanteans complete their formation. The Atlanteans were mostly infantry men with few swordsmen or archers. There were roughly an equal number of armored troopers for each side.

The Atlanteans also had a symbol of a Trident emblazoned upon their chest. Just a Trident. They started to move down the beach towards the Luxans. A chant started to pick up to Poseidon, patron god to Atlantis.

The leader of Luxa wore a device on her arm. It started to flash and she brought it to her face. A soft glowing image appeared to talk to her. She nods her head and then turns to the line of men. A soldier steps forward with a horn and blows three blasts.

The woman and the soldier step back into the ranks as large massive shields are brought forward and dug into the ground. The formation closes as the men make themselves as small as they can behind the shields.

The Atlanteans slow their pace and look on in confusion. Their former brothers in arms now cower behind large shields. This was not an action of the rebel forces, they were used to. Separated by idealogical differences, they were still trained the same.

The Atlanteans start to increase their pace forward again. Their leaders, spurring the men on, thought to close with the enemy before whatever plan they have, can be enacted.

The Atlanteans cover half the distance, to the Luxan force when a blinding light occurs. Before the Atlanteans can react, a massive boom, then a powerful wind lifts them off their feet and throws them towards the Luxans. Cries of pain and shouts of alarm from those blinded or burned. A few are still moving. Some get to their feet, Aether spears, shields and weapons forgotten. Only the pain.

The armored troopers pick themselves up and look around confused. Most of their force has been decimated in the explosion. All know now what the Luxans were up to, they used the Hand of Ares on Atlantis.

The woman stands up a few feet behind the great shields and bellows her war cry. A great cry rises up among her men, as they rise and push pass the shields in a full out run towards the enemy. Infantry men and armored troopers fire their Aether spears while archers let forth arrows. All are racing forward to the confused and dazed Atlanteans.

Some Atlanteans realize the danger and start to fire back but most are down with Aether shots before the Luxans reach them. Scattered with many Atlanteans still struggling to get up, the Luxans roll over them like the tide rolls over the beach.

Few can defend themselves and the Luxans butcher them to a man. The woman is walking forward after her men, as they continue up the beach pass the slaughtered defenders. In the distant dark, the glow of fires caused by the Hand of Ares. While night, the outline of a large cloud rises into the darkness. The night stars of the gods have been blotted out.

Many Luxan vailixi stream forward over head. Heading to the doomed city of Atlantis. The war is over and Luxa has destroyed Atlantis. 30,000 years of Atlantis has ended in one night with the weapons of the gods.

The sun light danced off the waters of Tia Yolan, or what is now called the Mississippi River, in such a way that Risor had a hard time listening to his sister, Rina. Peaceful, he thought. Altai is his home, a small city of around eight thousand Atlanteans and the local tribes that pay homage to the Atlanteans. Located a day’s trip from the mouth of the great river, on the landmass of Alta. This city, like many of the other colonies in Alta; has been spared the pain of war. The Raman Empire does not consider these outposts of Atlantis worthy targets.

Far away from the battlegrounds, these quiet backwaters of the empire go about their daily life with little worry of war. Closing his eyes, Risor, takes in the sounds and smells of home. He leaves the next day, to go back to his base. Back to his command, a squadron of the Atlantean aerial fighting machines, known as the vailixi.

Breathing deeply he concentrates on the sounds and smells, like he will never again smell or hear them. He smiles to himself. Thoughts of the simple life he will leave behind play over and over in his mind.

“Are you listening to me, Risor!” cried Rina. Sitting up straight on the couch and starring intently at him, with a look that dares him to give the wrong answer.

She was beautiful, even when mad. Long, black hair, emerald green eyes and milky white skin; common of the true people of Atlantis. His little sister, many years his junior, had grown up a beautiful lady of the House of Tarnor. Yes his friend, Tolen, was a lucky man. Once he figures it out, that is.

Quickly placing his drink on the table and raising his hands in defense. Risor playfully says, “Yes my dear sister, I hang on every word!”

“Ha, don’t be mean” she quips, returning to a more relaxed posture. “I know you don’t care about the stars as much as you do your silly war but they are important to me!”

“Yes, I know they are,” dropping his hands to a more conciliatory gesture, “but I never really paid attention to our teachers and thus am lost when you talk about them.”

He gets off the couch, grabs his drink and walks to the balcony rail. Turning back to Rina, “It is you and Tolen that liked the mysteries, not me.”

Joining him, quietly she asks, “You will see him tonight?” Risor nods and suppresses a smile. A servant comes in to the room and fills both of their drinks before bowing and departing. Rina contemplates her drink then looks at him.

Casually, “May I join you tonight?” Then turns to watch the sun setting. “It is your last night and even the boring talk of war would be bearable.”

Turning back to him with her most winning smile, “Besides, I can see our friends again before they also go back.”

Ah, the game is on now, Risor merrily thought. “Even boring talk of war?” he purred, as she innocently nodded. “Funny, you didn’t seem to want to join earlier this week.” Unable to hide a grin, “Could it be that Tolen will be there tonight?”

It was worth all the pain and revenge she will inflict on him for cornering her like this. The look of absolute horror that came across her face when the realization that he might have a clue to what her reasons were, was priceless. To her credit she recovered quickly, “Oh, Tolen will be there? How nice.” It was a forced performance but almost believable.

Risor decided to let her off the hook, as it would soon be time to go.
“I see. Shall we get ready then?”
The tavern was on a riverside bluff that overlooked a little island in the middle of the river. The river was very wide, at least four miles at this point, with a strong flow. On a clear day you might be able to glimpse the opposite shore, from the tavern. With evening coming, the lights of Altai could be seen up the river about a mile away. Occasionally, a vailixi would come or go, adding to the spectacular view of the night sky.

Risor and Rina joined his friends at their balcony table, to enjoy a meal, drinks and good company. Rina was actually quite excited to be there but when they arrived, she visibly deflated. Tolen was not there yet and Risor had to consciously control a laugh.

Joining them was Rogat, a tall mountain of a man standing at least a hand taller than Risor. As black as Risor and Rina’s hair was, Rogat’s skin was the same. From the colony of Atlanta Luxa, which would one day be Egypt. His family came to Altai when he was just a child. Rogat was in the army and was fighting in Atlanta Nado, or what would become known as eastern Europe, near the great inland sea of Tes Naldo.

Tes Naldo was a combination of the Black and Caspian Seas and included large parts of Siberia. During this time frame the massive ice sheets in the north blocked northern flowing rivers from flowing into the Arctic Ocean. This caused a backup of the rivers into a large sea. Over thousands of years this created a navigable sea possible from the coasts of the Black Sea to deep into Siberia near the borders of Mongolia and close to the Kamchatka Peninsula.

The other friend was Niko. Unlike Rogat, Niko was a small man with a rat like face. A gloomy look to him but ever the loyal friend to Risor. His father also worked for Risor’s father.

Once greetings were done and everyone settled, Rogat summarized the beginning of his story and then began were he left off. “So, as I was saying, wasn’t long before those archers couldn’t stand it and ran.”

Risor asked, “Did you take the hold?”

“Yeah, but our casualties were so high, we had to go back to base. Another company marched out and took over garrison duties. Those damn Dolrinas over ran them a few weeks later.” Then in a whisper. “No one survived.”

It was quiet around the table, then looking confused Rina asked, “Rogat, if you had Aether spears and power armor, how could these barbarians defeat you?”

Gently, “Not us Rina, our replacements. They were locals, loyal to us. No Aether weapons.”
Still seeing some confusion on Rina’s face, Risor offers, “Only Atlantean citizens may use our weapons. They are too powerful to trust with others.”

Niko fell back into his chair with an explosive sigh, “Too bad the Ramans do not believe that. They arm the Greeks and Hu with Aether weapons.”

Raising his cup, Risor countered, “Only in the last few years of the war.” Silence, everyone was pondering their drinks again.

Rogat turned to Rina, “Plus most infantry, like my unit, do not have power armor. Just the Home Guard and other special units.”

Risor chimed in, “Also vailixi squadrons, like mine. The armor is just very complex and expensive to make. That is why…”

Interrupting Risor, was Tolen entering the balcony. He was wearing the blue robes of his office, First Shilot of Altai. Shilots being the scientists of the Atlantean Empire. “Hello everyone, did I miss something?”

Rina brightens at Tolen’s entrance. All get up and greet, then settle down back into chairs. Tolen sits between Risor and Rina.

Risor, turns to Tolen and puts his hand on Tolen’s shoulder. “Rogat was just regaling us with one of his stories.”

Tolen performs a dramatic sigh, “Not the one about the stronghold again, is it?”

Rogat doesn’t miss a beat, he toys with his cup, looks up at Tolen and calmly speaks, “Why Tolen, you look like you could use a swim.”

Laughing and throwing his hands up in defensive gesture, “Peace Rogat, the waters are too cold at this time of year.” The rest of the group joins in the laugh.

As the laughter dies down, Rina asks, “How is your research coming along Tolen? You are up north way too much.”

Smiling at Rina, ” As you might have guessed, it is getting warmer and the ice sheets are melting. There is a large body of water, trapped on the ice sheet. It could present a danger some day, if the ice barrier fails.”

A concerned look, Niko asks, “What do you mean, Tolen?”

Everyone is concerned now and all look at Tolen. Rogat speaks first, “So this ice sheet is breaking now?”

Realizing that he alarmed everyone, Tolen raises his hands and with a calming gesture, “Not now. In time it will.”

Everyone seems relieved but Niko is not satisfied. “How much water is there in these ice lakes?”

“It is a huge connected lake. I am not sure how deep the connections go but if the barrier fails in this direction, it would send a wall of water down the Tia Yolan. That would destroy Altai.”

Shock, everyone is stunned to silence. Eventually Risor finds his voice, “Tolen, what has the council said about this?”

Tolen’s easy smile disappears as he remembers his last unsuccessful attempt to get the council to act. “The council acknowledges the problem but since we do not know when this will occur and the ice barrier is still pretty thick, they will do nothing. We can only monitor.”

Shaking her head, Rina looks around the table, “But, if all that water crashes down on Altai, our families are doomed.” Looking for confirmation from Tolen, who nods. “How can they justify this?”

Tolen toys with his cup for a second before picking it up and slamming it down in frustration. Scornfully, “Why, the Shigar party believes this is a local problem of Altai. And, since Altai is a Nalos stronghold, they don’t really care. They don’t believe this will raise the sea levels, but the evidence states it will.”

In a timid voice Rina asks, “Raise the sea levels?”

Feeling a little silly for his display, Tolen explosively sighs. Looking at everyone with a shy smile then settling his gaze onto Rina’s worried face, “Yes, Rina. That water is not accounted for in the sea levels today. When it is released, it will flow into the oceans and add to the sea level.”

To prove his point, Tolen selects a bowl, fills it with water almost to the rim and then puts his hand in the bowl. The water overflows. Everyone silently sits and watches the bowl while staff clean up the mess. Risor stands and walks to the rail. Peering out at the river.
After the staff leaves, Tolen continued. “Depending on the total volume, even Atlantis will sink.”

Niko, ever the worrier, cries out. “Atlantis will sink? The Council of Elders will not allow that.”

Rina puts her hand on Niko’s shoulder to try and comfort him as Rogat does the same on his other side. Tolen, trying to be reassuring to Niko’s fear, “We don’t know when that will happen, Niko. That is the problem. The Shigar say once the war is over they will work on it and the council listens to them.”

Risor, seeing the mood at the table disappear, decides its time to call the evening. He returns to the table, “Regardless, we can not solve the problem tonight and there is little time before we must go our separate ways again. So, a toast to our friendship.”

Raising their glasses they finish their drinks and get up to leave. Risor looks around at each of them. Rogat, heading back into the fight in Atlanta Nado. Niko accompanies his father on work of the local Altai council. Tolen with his Shilot work for Altai and Atlantis. Then Rina, his little sister, that is following Tolen into the realm of the Shilot, or maybe just after Tolen.


The rain was pouring off Demetri’s helmet. With his head slightly bowed, so the water would pour down the sides rather than onto his face, he was able to have a decent view of the ravine below. He could barely see his men around him. His Companions.

Artos, his trusted second, was next to him. Peering intently into the downpour trying to discern the enemy. They were told the Atlanteans would come this way. When the scouts reported it, Demetri quickly gathered his Companions and struck out to set an ambush.

The Atlanteans were very brutally driving the inhabitants up the river valley. Demetri and his Companions were sent by his king, King Agos, to help their allies, the Tugar. With no Heroes of the Gods amongst the Tugar and few Aether weapons, the Tugar were mostly outmatched by the Atlanteans.

The signal came through the downpour, the enemy was approaching. Bows were pretty much useless but spears and Spirit Bows would do the trick. Demetri didn’t like using his Spirit Bows in such weather. They were a gift from Apollo, the Sun God, but needed their lord’s sun rays to recharge. Using them now could make them unavailable for later, when they were really needed.

Demetri could hear the Atlanteans complaining. To Artos, “Sounds like they don’t like the rain, eh?”

“I am sure they will like it a whole lot less in a few minutes.” Artos said as he turned, raising his arm as the signal to fire.

Looking back at Demetri, “My Lord?”

Demetri nodded, rose and adjusting the grip of his spear, launched it at the leader of the main body of Atlanteans. With his God-gifted strength, the spear went through the leader and into the man behind him.

Artos yelled “Now!” rose and launched his spear at another Atlantean. His spear skewered the man but did not pass through him like Demetri’s had.

Many yells of alarm and pain arose from the Atlanteans, as the surprise was complete. With the initial strike, many of the Atlanteans were down. Blasts from the Spirit Bows started to ring out with a small but growing number of Atlantean Aether spears answering.

The Atlanteans, while surprised, were professional and started to have an effect, in their response. They could not see the Greeks above them but they could return fire. All of their scouts and the lead contingent were down. The rest were starting to move back down the ravine, to get out of the death trap.

Demetri, knowing that they could be in trouble if the Atlanteans were able to get down towards the end of the ravine and organize a counter-strike, decided to close with the enemy. Pulling his Sun Sword, which started to glow, he raced down the edge of the ravine towards the enemy.

While the Atlanteans could not see the Companions unless they fired, they could see the glow from the Sun Sword racing towards them, from above. They fired at Demetri but he was able to deflect all blasts that were aimed at him.

“My Lord, no, wait for us!” Seeing that Demetri was not going to listen to him, Artos bellowed, “Companions, to our Lord!” He got up and started to race after Demetri. Those around him also did the same. Some falling, as the Atlanteans now had some targets.

Demetri, having caught up to the Atlanteans still in the ravine, jumped into their formation. As he landed on one unlucky soul, he started to whirl with his blade’s glow becoming even stronger. With speed, that was enhanced by the Gods, he was dashing between Atlanteans. Cutting them down quicker than they could bring their Aether spears to bear on him.

Atlanteans were dropping quickly, as Demetri continued his dance of death amongst them. Some of them, trying to get off shots at him, shot their comrades. He was too quick for them to get a bearing on. Those near him realized their peril and tried to get away.

Alarmed calls of “Hero” started to come from the Atlanteans. Soon they were all moving back, knowing their hope was in getting distance to concentrate large amounts of fire on the Godspawn and hope they hit him.

The Atlanteans fell back, some just giving up and running, dropping weapons in the desire to get away from him. That is when Artos and the rest of the Companions jumped down into the ravine, onto the demoralized Atlanteans.

Where before they were demoralized and frightened, now they broke in terror as the Hero and his troops were amongst them. Those that could turn and ran, others fell. The much larger Atlantean force was no more.

Decapitating his last foe, Demetri stopped to take measure of his surroundings. No Atlantean remained alive. Most of his Companions had run past him to chase down the fleeing foe. Artos, covered in gore, even in the rain, walked up to him.

“One of these days, my Lord, you will not be so lucky. King Agos will skin me alive if you die in one of these stunts.” Artos said, wiping his face of blood.

“I would think you would be more worried by my mother than our king, my friend.” Demetri said with a laugh.

“Aye, either way I would be better off taking a blast from one of the Atlantean spears.”

“Sound recall Artos, let us not get too scattered in this downpour.” Demetri said as he picked up one of the dead Atlantean’s Aether spears. “At least we have more weapons now and we can give some to the Tugar.”


It was a beautiful day, if not a sad one. Lena looked at the vailixi taking off from the aeroport. It gently rose in the air, turned south and sped off to some unknown destination. She looked at Tilor Togolan, studying his face.

A rugged but handsome looking man. Short dark hair, chiseled jaw with dark brown eyes that made her melt. She stared at him, memorizing every detail of his face. His broad shoulders and barrel chest. She reached for his hand and gently touched him.

“Lena, it is only for two months. Then I will be back. I promise.” he said in his deep but tender voice. Putting his other hand on top of hers.

“I know my love, but I always worry.” She grabbed his hand fiercely. “I never know when you will not come back.”

Taking her hand in both of his. “I will be fine. We have a good crew and Risor is a good leader.”

She looked at his smiling face. “Will we ever be together, Tilor?”

His smile turned to a frown. “I want to, but I do not know.” Sighing, he cupped her hands inside his, “I am expected to succeed my father, when his time comes.”

Feeling the loving warmth of his hands slip away with his words. With a tinge of despair, “Tilor, am I to be your mistress forever? To be cast away when you marry another noble to fulfill your duty?”

The momentary satisfaction of making him hurt, as she hurt, was immediately replaced by guilt of spending their last moments together making him suffer.

Removing her hands from his, she took his head in her hands. Looking into his eyes. There was pain there, Lena felt worse now, she knew she caused that pain. “I am sorry Tilor. I know you are trying to work something out for us, but I sometimes feel it will never work out.”

He wrapped his arms around her and with their noses touching, fiercely, “I will make you happy.” He pulled her in, lifting her slightly so she was on the balls of her feet.

Gently, she felt his lips touch hers. Then the tingle came, as it always does when he kisses her. She moved her hands further back on his head, softly digging her fingers into his scalp, while their lips pressed harder together.

One of his hands moved up her back, pressing her breasts closer to him while the other continued to balance her on the balls of her feet. She felt the heat rising in her. Desire for this man was starting to overwhelm her, as they continued to passionately kiss.

His tongue touched her lips, pushing into her mouth. A soft moan escaped, but whose it was, she was not sure. She thought only of him and wanted to go back to her apartment with him to relive their lovemaking they shared earlier that morning.

His upper hand moved to the back of her head and firmly grabbed her hair, further tilting her head back. He separated their kiss, their mouths both partially open and as she exhaled, he inhaled. Their lips gently touched as he starred into her eyes. She felt more heat welling up inside her, encompassing her whole body. Those eyes showed he wanted her and she was willing to give him everything to keep looking into his eyes.

He lowered his head to hers, touching foreheads then lowered her and took her hands in his. The passion of the moment started to drain. Looking down, he whispered, “My flight will leave soon.”

Not trusting to talk, Lena just nodded.

“My sun and moon, I will be back.” Untangling his arms from her and cupping her face in his hands, “By the Gods, we will be together.” A tear started to gather in the corner of his eye. “I love you Lena.”

Tears were starting to overwhelm her as well. She touched his tear as it started to run down his cheek. He was wiping her tears away with his fingers as well. Then he bent down and kissed each eyelid and the tears around them.


Rogat walks into the barracks at Chido Mendu and sees his friends. He walks to them with his bag and throws it at Noko, who was lounging on his bed. “Get off my bed, you turd.” He yells.

“Rogat, the Gods be blessed, you made it in time.” Cries Migu. “Now I don’t have to be promoted to take your place, because you decided to be late.”

General laughing around the barracks. Senior Trooper Rogat was well liked within the company, especially since he helped save those that remained from a particularly bad ambush they were in a few months ago. The unit was rebuilding and many in the barracks were not familiar to Rogat. Most being new recruits that he would have to teach to live in the war.

Noko got off his bunk. He, Teado and Migu were sitting on the next bunk smiling at Rogat. Not what Rogat wanted, as these guys never really smiled that much. Something was up and they were waiting to surprise him.

“So, what are you three cut-throats planning?” Rogat said with some trepidation.

Trooper Migu spoke up, “Dogat wants to see you. You have been blessed.” He started to smile in a most vicious way. The others smiled more, if that was possible.

Rogat didn’t like what this meant. They have been friends for the last few years in this unit and are the only survivors of the original piilo. Their company came from Altai when it was originally formed. The 3rd Alta Faltan Infantry company has a history of hard fighting and winning but also of heavy losses.

In Altantean infantry forces, each unit is a company that consists of five hundred soldiers divided into four piilo or one hundred swordman units, one seventy man archer unit and a thirty man command unit. Men and women served together, although women tended to be archers because of their generally better shooting skills.

Each piilo was divided into four sections with a Senior Trooper leading three of the sections and a Troop Leader leading the piilo. Rogat was a Senior Trooper leading the 2nd section, 3rd piilo of the 3rd Alta Faltan Infantry.

These units were led by a noble, hero or veteran warrior of many campaigns and years. Dogat was of the last group. A veteran of many years, who was elevated to the lowest level of nobility. Still not allowed a Family name, as most commoners. Nobles like Risor were high nobility and have a Family name, like Tarnor. Rogat being a commoner could aspire to being a noble like Dogat but probably after many more campaigns.

With a threatening look to his three “friends”, Rogat left the barracks to seek Dogat.
He enters Dogat’s office, comes to attention, with right fist over heart. “Senior Trooper Rogat reporting, sir.”

“At ease Rogat.” Dogat looks at him with a measuring gaze. “Rogat, how long have you served the 3rd?”

Relaxing his stance, “8 years sir.”

“And very hard fighting, even leading some.”

“Yes sir. What are you getting at sir?”

Dogat chuckles, “What you feared the most my friend, I am promoting you to Troop Leader of the 3rd piilo.” He sits back and watches Rogat.

Feeling like someone just ran a sword through his gut, Rogat chokes out, “But sir, I can’t do this? I am just a junior section leader.”

“You are the senior section leader now.” He picks up a view tablet. “While you were knee deep in the whores of your home town, Skerios was knee deep in his guts. The piilo went on a raid and was ambushed by some Greeks. Their bad luck, the fuckers had a damn Hero with them.”

Loss for words Rogat unconsciously took a seat. Dogat had an amused look.
“Yes Rogat, you are now Troop Leader of the 3rd piilo by virtue of being the senior surviving member of the piilo. Congrats.”

“I was wondering where most of the guys were. No one told me.”

“Well yes, I told them not to. I didn’t want you to come up with a good excuse not to accept the promotion. We all know how you like just being a trooper. Sorry, no more.” Putting his hand on the view tablet, he activates it. “Promotion of Rogat of Altai to Troop Leader of the 3rd piilo of the 3rd Alta Faltan. Witnessed by the Gods, promotion granted by Dogat, Commander of the 3rd Alta Faltan. May Poseidon watch over you.”

Putting down the view tablet and standing, he offers his hand to Rogat. “There all done.”

Rogat stumbles out of the headquarters to the sight of his three “friends”.

“Did he make you a noble?” chortled Migu to the laughs of the others.

“Fuck yall.” Rogat responded.

Short Story: “Detection Lost.”

With the innovation that allows us to detect gravitational waves, new things will be discovered. Maybe………..

2052 AD The mission control room was silent. Everyone was watching the main monitors, as the last of the Cosmic Interferometer Gravitational Directional Array (CIGDA)nodes was to report taking its position. This node was the furthest out, at 80 million km. The other eleven nodes had already reached their position. The last a few hours before this node.

The feed the controllers were watching was almost five minutes in the past due to the distance light had to travel. Government and civilian officials were on hand besides the mission control room team. These worthies were up in the visitor’s box. Out of the way of those that actually worked but near enough to see when the last node linked up.

Doctor Tanya Hirano was extremely nervous, staring intently at Jay Garrett’s back. He was the Director of Node Communications, responsible for ensuring the direction finding system actually worked. From a technical perspective. Doctor Hirano was the brains behind the use of gravitational waves to detect space object movement.

The idea had been in Sci-Fi for nearly a hundred years. With the dream of detecting gravitational waves becoming a reality in 2016. All that was left was for refinement of the detecting method and for someone to come up with the means to detect things. James Grimm, a writer in 2016, came up with the basic method.

Many of the control room engineers were staring at Lena Romano. She was monitoring the communications from Node Omega, the twelfth node. She turned to Jay and smiled with a thumbs up. Tanya was watching and saw the signal. She could breath again.

Turning back to the assembled officials. “Thirty-six years ago, in 2016, detecting gravitational waves became a reality. In that year, an unknown Sci-Fi writer, published a story about using gravitational waves to detect interstellar traveling objects.”

She walked to the podium and looked back down at Jay to see if things were still going as planned. Jay, smiled back at her, nodded his head. She continued, “By creating a group of twelve receivers and linking them back to a correlation engine on Earth, we will be able to determine the direction of massive objects many light years away and smaller objects much closer. Additionally, we should be able to further identify and track objects much further out in our solar system.”

Jay turned back to his team and via the speaker in the visitor’s room, Tanya and the others could hear him. “Alright team, let’s sync them up.”

Everyone was silent, while the large viewing screens in the control room displayed large bars with each node’s name above one of the bars. Tanya turns down the speaker volume and turns towards the crowd, “We are now trying to sync each of the nodes to the core. The core, here in Tokyo, is sending out sequenced messages to each of the nodes. The nodes time stamp the receiving of these messages and then send back the resulting time stamp. They will do this a few hundred times until the core has a sufficient number to build the off set time difference between each node and the core. Once that is done a few time samplings of what the nodes are hearing will be sent back for further sync analysis. When the core believes it has all nodes properly sync’d up, then we will start recording what we hear.”

A military officer in the crowd asks, “How long will this take Doctor?”

“We should be sync’d in approximately fifteen minutes.”

A news reporter off to the side asks, “Doctor, is it true we will hear aliens?” A polite laugh from the crowd.

Not missing a beat, Tanya responds, “That was one of the questions we wanted to answer. If the aliens are traveling in large mass ships, at a high percentage of the speed of light, we should be able to detect them. If close enough.”

“How close Doctor?” Another news person. Everyone was quiet and interested in her responses.

“We estimate we can detect a million ton object three light years away. That would put it almost near Alpha Centauri.”

“A million tons? That is about 4 USS Trump class aircraft carriers.” Said one of the US Admirals in the crowd. All the news people were furiously writing down or speaking into their recorders.

One of the Chinese diplomats came forth. In an exasperated voice, “Doctor, do you really believe this is possible? My government believes this project was a waste of money and hearing this nonsense is further insult.”

Taking a calming breath, Tanya responded, “Ambassador Xi, the Chinese government’s position is well known. It has also agreed to wait and see what is produced before further comments. Correct?”

In the background, the display on the viewing screen blinked a few times. Before Ambassador Xi could respond, Tanya turned the volume back up, on the speaker, since Jay was talking. “…chronization has completed and now we are recording live data. The viewing screen will start to display all objects, as we get hits. Over time these objects will have their data refined when we detect more waves against them.”

The screen changed to a display of the solar system with large blips coming from all over the place. Every planet and the Sun had large blips over them, along with the asteroid belt. The Kuiper Belt and Oort Cloud were large glowing rings of overlapping blips. As was most of interstellar space. The crowd was bubbling with comments among themselves. Even Ambassador Xi was excitedly talking to one of his assistants.

Tanya spoke over the crowd, into a mic, “Congratulations Doctor Garrett and team.” “Congratulations Doctor Hirano.” Responded Jay as the control room cheered.

Back to the crowd, Tanya continued, “Over the next few weeks we expect to have the solar system completely mapped out. The CIGDA Ring, as we are affectionately calling it, covers 100 million square kilometers. The closer an object is, the higher the frequency of the gravitational waves. The farther the object, the lower the frequency. Additionally, other characteristics tell us how massive the object is.”

The representative of the European Confederacy spoke up, “Congratulations Doctor, you did it. When will we all be able to get feeds off the data?”

US Admiral McKinley responded, “First we need to refine the data before passing to all the signatories.”

An argument erupted over the American attempt to control the data flow. Tanya looked at the previously happy officials, now in a heated argument over who gets the data. Shaking her head at the lunacy of these control freaks. The data should be for everyone, she thought.

Looking at the viewing monitors, How can you hold this data secret, it will benefit the world. The newsies were floating around the edge of the arguing officials, trying to get sound bites of the juicy, newsworthy comments and insults. The world had become more peaceful but just barely.

Watching some of the blips become more solid, Tanya was mesmerized by the objects. Let the idiots argue, they can not ruin my day. Looking down at Jay, she saw him smiling at her, shrug his shoulders and turn back to one of the engineers.

She realized the speaker was still on so the control room engineers could hear the bickering going on in the visitor’s room. She turned off the speaker, causing many of the engineers to look up at her. She shrugged her shoulders too, a few engineers smiled then returned to their work. The bickering continued unabated. You said, we said, we paid, etc…

It was the one blot on an otherwise fantastic day for her. She had spent ten years arguing for and selling this idea. Now, here it was. The tracks kept clogging the screen up with only a few becoming more defined. In time, she thought.

Then one track in the upper right corner of the map caught her eye. It moved. Things should not be moving this soon. Over weeks yes, unless it was a Near Earth object. She continued to concentrate on that object, while the crowd argued and the control room engineers worked their consoles.

It moved again!

Tanya was thinking, The team should be noticing this. Maybe no one is thinking of anything at this time. We all thought it would take weeks to clear up the pictures beyond the local planets. She looked at the station that was responsible for tracking fast moving objects. The person was talking to his neighbor.

She looked up again and the object was no longer where she expected. What happened to it? She searched around the region of the screen, finally seeing it as it moved to another spot.

Object 1321f1.

Quickly moving to a console in the visitor’s room, she started to enter her credentials. Some in the room stopped bickering to watch her. Assuming she will present a new view for them. Others continued the argument with gusto.

Getting into the system, she started the viewing application and entered the object’s number. The main view screen cleared away all the blips less that one. Which moved again. Now replaced with 1321g1.

The room was silent as everyone was wondering what this object was. The control room went silent too. Jay reacted quicker than most, knowing Tanya well as they worked together most of these last ten years. Also as lovers, she had told him her desire to really find evidence of aliens. He hoped she was onto something and not desiring to see things that could be a detriment for her future career.

He started to shout orders to the engineers to start recording and evaluating the object being concentrated on.

“Doctor, what are you doing and what does this mean?” Asked one of the officials.

Not turning around to see who talked, “This object has already moved seven times since we recorded it. It is close but not sure how close.”

Another person, “Could this be a Near Earth Object? Should we worry?”

The object moved again, 1321h1.

Seeing the speaker light, she turned on the control room speaker. Still not answering the speaker. “Yes Jay?”

“Doctor Hirano, preliminary estimates are projecting this object at 15 million tons and about one light year away.”


The object’s track was displayed and it seemed to be cutting across the inside corner of the Oort cloud. A few more tracks and it would be off the view of this screen. Tanya was doing the calculations in her head but wanted to hear it from the core.

“What is the speed?”

Jay turned to another engineer and as they were calculating, the object updated.


Jay turned to Tanya with shock on his face. Hitting the mic button, “It was traveling at approximately 30% of the speed of light. But it stopped.”

Noise erupted behind Tanya. Everyone was trying to ask her what was meant by that and what was going on. She tried to signal for quiet and after a few minutes she finally achieved it.“The number 1321 is the object number. The letter is the number of instances the track has moved around. We built the system to only update this when an object moves more than ten million miles relative to its last position. This ensures we are not getting crazy with the movement markers. The raw data can show us that later. The last number represents the number of waves we have detected the object at the current location. As you can see, this object was moving along rather quickly and then stopped.”

“How is that possible?” someone in the crowd cried out.

Shaking her head,”I am not sure. People please realize that we need to build up a knowledge base of what is being recorded. I can not truthfully answer with any degree of certainty.”


“So it’s probably nothing right?” asked one of the reporters.

Shrugging her shoulders, she hit the mic button, “Doctor Garrett, any additional information?”

“The raw data suggests it has decreased its speed to 10% of light speed.”


Over the next hour it sat in the J position, while the gathered officials and engineers tried to guess what was going on. Calls out to observatories, to governments and SETI were made to try and see if anyone can zoom in on the area and find out additional information. No one responded that they could. Discussions over the data feeds intensified as many of the governments wanted to the data so they can do their own analysis against other forms of data they had.

After another three hours, the data feeds were being passed to many interested parties. Other tracks were checked to see if any other objects acted similarly. Four and a half hours later, the object started moving again.


The crowd had only lessened a little. Everyone was trying to determine the import of Object 1321. No one really wanted to leave what could be a historical moment in the history of humanity and Earth.

Over the next hour, Object 1321 moved off the display. Tanya had the display expand further out from 2 light years to 4 light years. The next control room shift came on but the retiring shift did not leave. An hour and a half later, the object was listed as “Detection Lost”.

Many started to leave, many questions remaining unanswered. Was it a craft, a natural object or just some wackiness in the system? Tanya and Jay left that day, excited about what that might mean. How their system found that and the idea they might see more like it.

The excitement continued into the night in their love making. In the early morning hours, a satisfied Tanya, listening to Jay’s breathing, took in the view of the stars through the window. Her last thoughts before sleep took her were, I wonder why it stopped?

Around 5am that morning, a new object appeared near where Object 1321 held it’s position. This object was labeled Object 2912. It moved slightly over the next few hours but in the excitement of Object 1321, no one really noticed that Object 2912 came in to the solar system from a start point near one light year to near the orbit of Pluto. And there it sat.

Maybe the beginning of a new story?