Restructured and changed Chapters – went through it to break it up so it makes some sense to me.
Social and Computer building has taken most of the time and I’m trying to build a new machine and this is on a Dell refurb and I lost everything on an old Dell before when both disks collapsed.
I put the Chapters in and read them for structure and it does, surprisingly have a structure as a lady once said to a man as he complained, but Drufus has to be born somewhere and somehow.
Yes, I know it should have been a day of writing but I like being married so it all got shoved when I received the demand.
Thanks for putting up with me and to my wife, Jean, especially. 35 years of marriage and I mustn’t remember the day – we take every day as our first.
I’ve tried to just copy the latest bit but the touchpad has a mind of its own so you get more.
Martan’s castle now nestled with the rocks stretching from the south-west to the south-east for as far as the eye could but with the salt lake, there was only a single person path to Matira and the east side of what was now known as Toshonia. Two people could use the path but only if they were very close friends. One was rocks you could climb over, the other side a salt lake you could paddle. The only route left in reality was the other end of the salt lake by David Jamesson’s castle.
David Jamesson had called his territory Ascania whilst James Droga spent most of his time trying to hang onto his undefinable properties to the north-east and the only names he thought of are those usually paraphrased using the 2nd level of the keyboard.
Between the three Admirals and the prisoners there seemed to be a quorum. The reconciliation board, when it met, comprised the three Trons who represented the prisoners, and the three Admirals with six Minuets taking notes for both sides.
Tron leaders also acted as telepathic links between the Admirals which frightened them to a degree as the Trons didn’t edit the true thoughts of the Admirals before they past them on but it worked. Honesty, when all the subtle games you thought to play are made public and documented by the Minuets as everyone laughs and you don’t like to be laughed at.
Life moved on, and people – a generic term on Destraight – built their own kinds of life and worked to build their own dreams.
In space there were five ships that might interfere with those thoughts! Or then again, might never arrive to interfere.
Everyone who dominates, thinks some-one or something else will pay for their amusement … they usually become blind as they play with things – often children and then they store funds and in their blanked off minds, market them … perhaps they don’t think any more of the world … ignore the warnings until even the Politicians learn and act for their own renal ends … the world was never that bad; the fools thought it was; or did they; did they just watch the snow moving down from the mountain and enjoy the view as it moves towards them?
Revenge is often a dish that changes so much but it still festers; distorts, and is disjointed as it moves through emotion, vision and belief until it even becomes religion in its festering state and Gods fester on belief, but everyone doesn’t need a prayer or are trained from childhood that a world will fail if they don’t believe in Gods or Goddesses and on Destraight there is no belief in Religion and these Armada Class prison ships were as silent as the grave.
They slowly moved on with the engines failing by the day and it looked as if four hundred years for the journey was optimistic but everything and everyone was shutdown to save energy. The shields were still at full force but it seemed only a matter of time before they began to fracture but with everyone in stasis and everything reduced to a minimum, the power might last out or they would never know if it didn’t!
On Destraight life was fairly simple. The town around the Lodge was booming. The planted some kind of wheat, trees and had herds of animals held in pens whilst the united to force wolf like animals from the land and they were helped by the Wolfen, who were three times the size and communicated with the Tron leaders who everyone accepted. The Trons also communicated with the Admirals via other Trons and ensured issues were discussed and solved.
After its initial failures the land was finally developing. Mines were being opened up and quartz, iron and minerals were being hewn.
Destraight, however, wasn’t that careful and a lot of mines and deep holes were being left as they dug holes and left them. There was ore running into water supplies and contaminating them, and some of the mines were dug too deeply and poorly supported with them collapsing leaving miners buried underground and a meeting in the main plaza was being held as I write.
It wasn’t only the Lodge that was two hundred foot high; various element to the west and south were two hundred foot high. The town itself was a semi-circle around the Lodge which was its centre but like all of the computer builds from the first landing – odd.
There were streets, a court, some other buildings that range from a hundred foot to thirty foot in height. It had evolved as its people evolved and like them, seemed a mess but it helped as they led real and not fictitious lives. Some of them were strange and no-one asked the wooden Trons about their young or the Minuets – they both essentially lived in the forests and were only seen at meetings – and being telepaths often didn’t need to be anywhere but both were fundamental to the working of Destraight and were tolerated and trusted, even though they didn’t mix but life moved on, on Destraight and it did this for nearly five hundred years until once, they its people saw five red objects appearing in the sky and headed to their bunkers.
After the loss of life when the first rocks appeared in the sky the people of Destraight had, almost as a religion, created and buried supplies of water and food. This was changed regularly and used as animal feed. The safety buildings were designed to be watertight and could take, in theory, the earth moving, with emergency tunnels and exits leading from them.
The aim was to allow enough people to survive. The Trons being wood, would float, and the Minuets and Rocs could fly but the Rocs and Rock Trolls had taken refuge in the high mountains and should be safe against anything.
The biggest danger was to the Wolfen. No matter how people adjusted, they had never adjusted to the Wolfen who were now virtually driven to extinction although people claimed to have seen them at times. The Wolfen for their part, could also claim to have seen people at times but they kept to themselves and the old ways and they knew how to hide, often calling themselves ‘the Old Folk’. They tended to only speak to the Rocs, Trons and Minuets so it wasn’t that surprising that they seemed to decrease in numbers.
Possibly the same could said for the Armada slowly approaching Destraight but if anything was knocked off the ships in their space travel, no-one was awake to know and the Admirals had made sure there were no telepaths amongst the prisoners, although the prisoners did not contradict this assumption.
Life just slowly moved on as Destraight worked; there were problems but when everyone is told what the leaders are really thinking it embarrasses everyone.
Finally five red ships arrived in the sky and scout ships descended.
The Admirals stayed in the skies and the scout ships mapped the territories and reported to the five Admirals who sat in a conference which like a lot of meetings where the same person takes the notes moves in one direction – as domination by the Admirals – the Admirals weren’t even interested in Government bullying via a democracy; they would build their empires and dominate them, as they had, dominated so many planets. Control would be absolute and they would rule and in between arguing with each other there was only topic on the table and that was where to put the Clean Bombs.
They didn’t want their planet messed up; just everyone cleaned out but as with every plan it always fine in theory, however the prisoners weren’t in their correct positions and that made the Admirals uneasy. There was water where land should have been and a dispersed population which interfered with their ideas of clean bombs and a clean slate.
It had taken a while for them to decide to use a clean bomb; most of the Admirals favoured dirty weapons and coming back at some point when they had destroyed a planet but there was no coming back to this planet and they had agreed to change the texture of the bomb casings.
This way, when the thermonuclear explosives are detonated, the power would not be contained within the warhead but move ahead of the warhead and explosive force thus reducing the main force but putting the radiation ahead of the bomb while weakening it so the radiation killed people but left the buildings standing and the Admirals loved this idea as they could immediately move in and so it wasn’t Scout Ships that were scouting Destraight but attack ships seeking the targets.
The people of Destraight watched as the ships circled above them and most immediately panicked and run for the bolt holes – the politicians ran for their castles and the bombs reigned on the castles; the prisoner drop points and because at least one Admiral could not resist destroying, lethal bombs also rained as he turn the air and land into something no-one could endure … his name was Percival de Bowed – a name now remembered.
The various races had already moved as much as the could but the Trons above ground were burnt alive and so were the Minuets. The Rocs and Rock Trolls had protection but the bombs of the other Admirals penetrated and killed whilst Percival de Bowed’s bombs destroyed the land and the races.
Those who’d managed to get deep enough survived by instinct but a land and its people were being killed for glory and possession.
Four of the Admiral’s bombs were targeted at the Castles to kill everyone in them but Percival de Bowed’s bombs seemed to be random. One was between his and James Droga’s castle with a second and third to the north-east of his castle and ten to twenty miles away. He had in fact cut himself and the Droga castle off from everything but a route to the east.
A fourth bomb exploded near the prisoners camp some ten miles from Toshon castle and the final bomb landed some ten miles from the Lodge. The Admirals had not known of the move to Toshon but by accident Percival de Bowed had nearly destroyed it whilst Matira, deserted in the floods some four hundred years before had been cleaned bombed. The computer built castles had protection build into the structure and would survive but a dirty bomb had already taken out one prisoners camp, whilst another hit the area around the Lodge.
The power of the Attack and Scout ships however, was a drain on the Admiral’s space support systems and as power now dropped to various low levels tubes automatically appeared onto the planet without waiting and prisoners and associates were dropped in, in more ways than one, before the Admirals realised.
Where the clean bombs had gone the old prisoner camps still existed – kept almost as monuments – but where de Bowed’s dirty bombs had gone there were now large radioactive holes.
The four Admirals faced disaster as their power ran out and they were running for the tubes with protective suits on and down to the polluted planet as all the ships started loosing power but one Admiral also had nuclear protection and a very limited lifespan if the other Admirals found him and Percival de Bowed was already at a castle to the north-west.
The new prisoners and associates were dumped at the site near Toshon; the one near Ascan and near the Lodge. The Toshon site some miles from a Percival de Bowed dirty bomb but the sites near castle Jamesson, and between the Lodge and Matira were clear.
Once the prisoners near Toshon had been wiped out – four hundred years by the sea sweeping in and now by a dirty bomb but already the waters were sweeping into the hole left by the bomb and debris, bodies and radiation were floated together. Toshon once again was a seaside castle to the west.
I suppose, if you were alive, life became interesting. Dwarfs normally live very long lives and now Marcel Droga was meeting an old James Droga; Stefen Matira was in Matira whilst Martan Matira was in Toshon and Peter Jamesson was meeting David Jamesson. No-one was meeting Percival de Bowed however that was by his choice and although Angus du Storme’s castle was shielded by mountains, his castle had been bracketed by two of Percival’s dirty bombs.
When the Admirals thought about it looked fairly obvious that Percival’s main target for his bombs had been to destroy the Droga and Du Storme castles; leaving his own as the castle in the north-west. Percival’s dinner invitations had now reached zero and the only punch served would come from a fist.
One other result of Percival de Bowed’s actions was the bomb by the Lodge also destroyed the sea defences and while the water sweeping in hadn’t touched the Lodge it had cut off the north-east and north-west sections of Destraight. Matira was cut off, apart a narrow causeway to the west.
The prisoners in the camp were now literally prisoners with in theory, no where they could go and that was nearly forty thousand people. They couldn’t touch the fish as they were radioactive and whilst the explosion site was now under the sea, and they were forty miles from the site they were now eight miles away from the water and they as their predecessors had been, were manacled; unable to move at speed or with any precision.
The Trons had nowhere to escape as the forests burnt, nor the Minuets although the Trons ran for the water and Minuets tried to fly to safety.
The Rocs in the mountains near Toshon were partially shielded from the blast but not the radiation however the people in the towns near the castles were obliterated.
The castles had protection designed into them from the beginning but outside, the towns had none and whilst the buildings remained intact, the people died; the food, the animals and those who hadn’t bolt holes and didn’t bolt became the Admiral’s main destruction dish of death. No-one had ever told them of the clean bombs that kill everything but not the buildings. Dirty bombs normally kill by immediate blast and then by radiation, either directly or carried on the wind that the bomb creates.
The castles survived but everything else either died immediately or slowly, afterwards – there was no clean solution. The sea swept in at various places and once again the country was cut off as if it were strategic bombing and several bombs did in fact miss their targets completely. Over the next twenty four hours all bomb sites were flooded as the seas poured in however a new map of Destraight would show Percival de Bowed’s castle surrounded by water with the nearest land some ten miles to the east as it seemed to have been detached from the land.
Droga and Du Storme’s castles just escaped but De Bowed’s castle was not even on land any more and the prisoner’s camp outside Toshon was under water however a De Bowed dirty bomb had killed them before the waters flowed in so at least it was probably quicker than drowning.
The major issue for James Droga and Marcel Droga that both were alive but now in the same place.
With the dirty bombs, Argus du Storme also wanted revenge and Percival de Bowed might not think he was lucky, stuck in sea but the other Admirals wished to stick him somewhere else.
Stefen and Martan Matira still didn’t know the other existed and Stefen was locked away in the south-east of the country, in an abandoned castle with only one habitable floor created four hundred years ago.
Chapter III – Settlement
The Admirals were not achieving their goals and already the old keys were passing amongst the some of the new prisoners near David Jamesson’s castle – freeing them from the manacles as the Rocs managed to communicate and used the keys from previous Admirals.
The new Admirals were not only losing their ideas as the previous Admirals had but a slave force supposed to be bonded to them for being released from their manacles wasn’t happening.
Dwarf politics were not only vicious but also often terminal and they started with James Droga and his small guard overwhelmed; the same for David Jamesson – leaving Droga castle with Marcel Droga and Ascan castle with Peter Jamesson as leaders – in their own eyes at least.
Two Dwarfs, they say is an argument, three, a war, Marcel Droga and Peter Jamesson upped the ante!
For Argus du Storme however, all he needed to do was concentrate on his castle which like the other computer glitched castles was all laid out on one floor but this time underground. Cursing computer glitches he’d already started work on vents to the surface and getting air into the vaults but creating vents was a chicken and egg process with the people running around as if they were … well … chickens.
Stefen Matira had woken Griselda Matira – his wife – an assassin who was probably a necessity in clearing out the deadwood and Griselda was good at wood clearing but near himself he wondered whether he wanted a woman who put a knife to his throat whilst making love or in a lot of other throats as a hobby.
He’d also woken Runnel – a daughter from Griselda.
He was already considering a second wife as Griselda would rather kill than make love and he did wonder whether there was enough killing to keep Griselda happy as again and again he found reasons to keep her from his bedchamber … it had all seemed so easy to wake her up and then he realised his mistake.
They had wiped out the Trons and Minuets telepathy so anyone’s knowledge of the true thoughts of the Admirals ceased … yet, some of the Trons and Minuets with their telepathy survived in the north-east and the north – there were rumours of them around Toshon as well but they were hunted and killed by Griselda.
Stefen, however, seemed unaware that the Minuets could fly, and the Trons – being wood – could float, whilst the Wolfen could shape-change, so some of the old races were finding refuge although one of Percival’s dirty bombs had landed some twenty miles from the Lodge which is where most were heading for and Stefen laughed at what they would find.
Had he know that the Lodge had refuges and bolt-holes and when the sea swept in – yet again – it diluted the radiation as the bomb hit some twenty miles away – near the sea – and the floods protected the survivors in various ways including sweeping the radiation away but most inhabitants of the Lodge were now completely underground although the radiation had affected some and who knew what that affect would be in years to come.
Above ground people scrabbled for life and anything else they could find.
Chapter IV – Love
Rafus – once one of Griselda’s lovers, and with Griselda you were either be dead or a ‘Lover’ and love was always with a knife at your throat for performance or in it, if you failed or lacked interest … with luck you could managed both and escape … you’d better be fast, although not too fast in bed.
Rafus believed in magic and liked its allure and Dwarfs lived a long time unless they’d met Griselda, and to Rafus, any night was a bad night when you met Griselda.
Still, performing gave him time to research some magic although he could have done with a lot more as he tried to keep her happy however with belief flooding in, people were building temples and Gods were said to be appearing or so the new Priests claimed; especially after several fiery occurrences that Rafus knew were the Priests using fireworks to inspired belief, but belief inspired people and the priests, and in due course, in inspired belief in Gods … but what Gods and were they worth it?
Druncheon for some reason had appeared as the Dwarf God and did seem to be there – probably a result the of people Griselda had used and disposed of.
Humans looked to Astoron – usually after a bad day’s trading … especially when caught for short measure and short-changing. Hanging by your thumbs while you balance on your toes was an introduction to hanging the next time by your neck.
An Elven God had also appeared although no-one saw any Elves and the Elven temple never saw anyone but Priests, still it kept them off the streets and there was obviously money coming from somewhere.
It’s often difficult with folk who don’t really fit in to understand that they are People; often attacked for being different. They might be Wolfen; they might be Wood, or Large Beautiful Insects but are they Elven – no!
They are just natural People or perhaps not as you construe them – they are not Dwarfs; not Human; not animals despite the Dwarf’s beliefs as an excuse to kill them … they exist and should although the Dwarfs disagree, yet again.