Amidst the stars where empires fell

Wanderers make their living there.

Existence is harsh yet life prevails

While warlords tear away at cosmos.

Along the Spiral Run there dwells

A place known to few along clusters.

Ancients refer to it as the Refuge.

These wanderers call it home.

A name was given to it eons ago

In a tongue no longer spoken.

Where did the name have its origins?

Among the stars like so many others.

Let the wanderers find their home again

Even if it’s a place they’ve never been.

Beckon the gate to open once more,

And unleash the reverie of ages past.

When will all be normal for us?

Will the Age of Decay ever end?

All questions are what we know to speak,

For we’ve forgotten the words to the song.

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Thursday, December 11th, 2008 Poetry No Comments

My Future

Several years ago in college, we were given an assignment to do a write-up of where we saw ourselves in fifty or so years. Naturally, I did mine in story form. This was the result.

It is October the 2nd, 2052. 7 P.M. at night. Scenery scrolls by from the car window on my right side. The smooth hum of the electric engine echoes a soft vibration from beneath my feet. I catch my reflection in the windowpane. Sags have grown under my eyes after years of staring at words all my life. A thick head of gray hair, styled forty years out of date, lies atop my loose scalp – my own head of hair, no less. I tap on the transparent surface with my ring finger. The gold wedding band clinks as it lightly touches the surface.

The car is long with cushioned seats facing each other in the back, the interior of a limo. I’m being driven someplace. Two younger people are in the seats facing me. One is a woman in short cut polymer dress, while the other – a male – sits bow-legged in a color-shifting tuxedo. Both appear chipper, if relaxed, while my expression is a bit vexed. Both appear to be in their late twenties, and slightly resemble me in the face. Yet they have their mother’s dark brown eyes.

“This isn’t what I had in mind,” I say aloud with a grumble.

“You said you’d do it for Mom,” the woman replies. “She’s been planning it for months.”

“I didn’t ask her to plan it, Karen.” I turn away for a moment, gazing out the window again.

“Dad, just view this as something that’s been long in coming,” the younger man chimes in. “I mean, hell, they made a movie about it.”

My eyes close, but I smile a bit. “It was a pretty bad one at that, too.”

“What’d you expect? Look at the director they chose,” he laughs.

The car slows to a stop in front of an amphitheater. Both of my progeny quickly jump out. It takes a bit longer for me to roust myself from the seat – more due to my reluctance than any actual physical impairment. A banner is flying over the Romanesque exterior. It reads:


The series that I’d written over twenty years ago – five books total. All of which chronicled the misadventures of three space-borne outcasts, and was later made into three movies. The characters were horribly miscast, but they kept the story intact somewhat, which surprised me. I never thought it was my best work, but I had the most fun writing it.

On the exterior steps, a dignified brown-haired woman (five years my junior) races down. Even at her age, she still possesses an inhuman sense of grace – the woman who became my muse. She flashes me her token grin. I return her jovial gesture with a partial half-smile – awkward.

“Are you ready?” she asks.

“No,” I respond.

“Good,” she says, kissing me on the cheek as we walk up.

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Thursday, December 11th, 2008 Prose No Comments

“Crossing the Stars” – A Novel Synopsis


The Age of Decay had ended. Denizens of the Tarolis galaxy crossed the stars once more. Warlords became nobles, pirates became kings, and wanderers became heroes. Empires rose and fell, but one kingdom shined above all the others; Algarath.

Five hundred years later, an ancient power awoke and cast its vengeful eyes upon the cosmos.

In one day, it came out of hiding.

In one day, the kingdom fell.

VINTS: (aka. Vintrosu Ridrant) – Ten years ago, Vints – a man of noble lineage – witnessed firsthand the fall of the Algarath Kingdom. When mysterious white ships descended upon Algarath, he was there. Like many that day, he tried desperately to find cover from the strafing runs for himself and one other. A woman.

However, as the onslaught raged on, they were separated. An energy discharge left him horribly scarred, his left leg burnt to ash. His last visible memory of that day was watching her departure, her unconscious form cradled in the arms of a figure in black.

Vints awakens each morning to that last memory fading to black. To him, the dream is his waking world and reality his purgatorial nightmare. The life of a spacer replaced the life of a nobleman. He sullies it away with alcohol, minor crime and brawls. If it weren’t for the empathy of a local bartender, no place would be home.

A person from his past jolts him from his masochistic reverie…

Another woman; one he had saved so long ago.

VEK’SIRAHL – An orphan of a massacre, Sirahl wandered the halls of a battered space station for most of her childhood eking out an existence on littered food and the kindness of other displaced spacefarers. This had been the pattern since the death of her mother at the hands of mercenaries.

This changed with the chance meeting with a scarred spacer – a teenager with a talon-like burn mark across half his visage, and a left leg gleaming of metal. There eyes met, and unlike the countless times when her pleading expression surfaced, this time it did not. She did not beg. Sirahl studied him. He regarded her the same way.

Since that day, she called him Vints, and he called her sister. For over ten years, they formed a lucrative smuggling partnership. Sirahl thrived on the thrill of the chase, while Vints viewed it as a passable distraction from inner pain.

They parted ways when she chose to delve into another profession – piracy. He wandered the free territories of the Spiral Run, while she eased her way into the ranks of the infamous The Aquarian Queen. A ship captained by…

THAKRIEN THE DRAY (a.k.a. Thakrien DiSarra) – Five years ago a man proud of his pirate lineage learned of an excavation in the heart of the Noble territories. A mysterious vessel dating back over ten thousand years had been discovered. The Nobles themselves were in an uproar. No technology from prior to the Age of Decay had ever been discovered intact!

Thakrien decided then and there that he had to relieve them of their quarry. With a ragtag group of other Spiral Run misfits, he infiltrated Noble space and commandeered the vessel. What he learned upon entering shocked him. The ship was alive yet not organic. An empath among his crewmates informed him that although the ship itself was not made of anything biological, it did possess a soul.

He had heard of such ships before, legends passed down his family line for generations – starships that ran on the rarest of renewable energy sources, a lifeforce of its own. Another surprise was in store.

The vessel knew him.

Now, he and his newfound spaceworthy companion – the soulship The Aquarian Queen – wreak havoc upon the fringe of Noble territories, exclusively worlds with ties to his ancestry. For somewhere along the Spiral Run lies his legacy, one that has eluded him for decades. Help arrives from an unlikely source. All he has to do is go back into the heart of Noble space, snatch up a noblewoman, and deliver her to the Borderguard – the self-appointed militia of the Spiral Run.

To accomplish this, he needs someone who looks like a noble to go in and find her. Sirahl, a newer member of his crew knows of such a man. A drunken spacer by the name of Vints.

DATHEDRA PREVANE (a.k.a. Dathedra Senai) – Ten years ago, the world she called home was laid to waste. The invaders didn’t even destroy the planet, occupy it, or remove anything. Their goal was single-minded, cold and efficient: eliminate all sentient life on Algarath. Thankfully, their attempt had left pockets of civilization intact. Somehow she survived but at a very high price. The youth she was betrothed to – Vintrosu Ridrant – was nowhere to be found.

Her rescuer, clad in black, announced herself as High Defender Ro Taal – the military head for her family, the Royal House of Senai. The darkly-dressed woman informed her that she was the last royal alive.

They made it off Algarath with the help of the few remaining members of the Algarathi military. The ragtag convoy escaped undetected, much to the surprise of the High Defender. Dathedra – barely fifteen – was left in the care of the Noble House of Prevane. Ro Taal gave her two warnings: “Never reveal who you are”…and… “In ten years time, I will come for you.”

Ten years came and went, and the former High Defender never contacted her. At the time of her betrothal age, she took matters into her own hands by hiring spacers to track Ro Taal down. She discovered that the few remaining members of the royal military had defected to the free territories of the Spiral Run and were now defending it in the guise of the Borderguard militia.

Contact was made.

Ro Taal informed Dathedra that she had not forgotten her promise, and that as they spoke plans were being made to bring her to the Spiral Run. The only hitch was finding a pirate or spacer crazy enough to do it.

Enter Thakrien the Dray.

RO TAAL: The world, the family, and the kingdom she had sworn to protect crumbled before her eyes in a matter of hours. Majestic vessels of unknown origin descended upon Algarath like sentient clouds and rained fire upon the once pristine world. High Defender Ro Taal’s first thought upon watching the destruction was the haphazard nature of the attack – thousands of ships surrounding the globe uprooting pockets of citizenry. It seemed more like an act of fear rather than precision.

That was how her mind worked. Amidst the savage landscape, the screams of agony, and the macabre array, she questioned the motivation. Their timing seemed far too convenient; mere days before a peace accord with key Spiral Run systems, one week to the day after she had made the greatest discovery in centuries.

The cause of the Age of Decay.

Ten thousand years of darkness were suddenly brought to light, and the family she guarded with her life held a connection to it. However, with the connection to the reason came with it the knowledge of an ancient enemy – one that roamed the stars long before humankind ever conceived of spaceflight. Ever since unearthing lost knowledge, she pondered the best way to reveal it to the masses. The invasion of her world forced her hand.

Her duty was clear now: protect whatever remained of the Senai family, and if none remained, find a way to fight against to the coming tide. By sheer luck or fate, she found one member of the royal family alive – the youngest daughter, Dathedra. Another factor in her favor was the knowledge that underground bunkers with contingents of her troops were also still intact.

Contact with the others were made, ships were found, a route of safety was plotted. Summoning all of her combat training, and pushing her loyal followers to the brink of exhaustion, they made it off Algarath. Heavy casualties resulted from the suicide run out of the system, but the core ships in her makeshift convoy still flew.

The Noble House of Prevane, ever-loyal and indebted, agreed to shelter the young princess until the time was right for her summons. The former High Defender then took to the stars again leaving Noble space behind her. She and her troops relocated to the Spiral Run and swore to guard the free territories from the inevitable arrival of a powerful nemesis.

Ten years have passed, and the time is upon them. Ro Taal – once the most respected High Defender in the Algarath Kingdom, now a scarred Borderguard general – again has a duty to fulfill. To defeat an ancient evil, one must awaken an ancient good.

For a poem about the discovery of The Aquarian Queen, go HERE!

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Monday, December 1st, 2008 Prose No Comments

The Aquarian Queen

The Aquarian Queen

The sky bleeds a faint crimson of sunset
As he and his followers walk the reliquary,
The marble pillars of a vast city greet them.
The wind scours their stark and spiry facades
Of shadows.

Why does he feel welcome?

A pirate, he was, a plunderer of planets
Guided by that which fueled his hubris,
Yet here upon Aquaria’s terrestrial soil –
Eyes glazed and mouth agape – he admits to a growth
Of awe.

Where did that voice come from?

Atop the mount littered with effigies,
A sentinel overlooks a vast ruin.
Gleaming of aqua-blue ore forged before humankind
Conceived of flight, she is a guardian
Of nothing.

Was she the one who spoke his name?

“It was me,” she says. No one hears her but him.
“Who are you?” he asks through his mind’s eye.
“I’ve been waiting for you,” she intones. “Return us…
…to the stars.” He nods slowly, sensing no malice,
“Of course.”

Will she be the one to save him?

He dubs her The Aquarian Queen, granting her flight
Once more upon the star-strewn void.
A new-found sense of Self buds within,
A lotus given form by a soothing voice
Of hope.

“May I never leave her care,” he sighs.

Charcoal Sketch by Robert E. Norman

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Monday, December 1st, 2008 Poetry No Comments

I work for tea money.


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