Friday, April 1, 2016

A-to-Z Blog Challenge 2016: The Stargosy

It's April again and I'm breaking my long silence from the blog to participate in the Annual A-toZ Blog Challenge.
Like the one on the right, for example.

This year, I have a short story series planned that will introduce an new SF setting that I'm planning to make some products for.  For those of you that follow me on Google+, these stories will feature my Starfigher design and some of the other artwork I've been doing. So, without further ado-ing, We present the first installment of the Stargosy stories:


“A pouch has just arrived from the Foreign Office, Your Excellency.”
2 Vonday Ginal, Diplomat, frowned at the use of his formal style by his assistant, 1 Donner.  He was new. “Bring it on in, then.” he answered, defiantly casual.
2 Vonday floated in the center of his office, tethered to his workdesk by an idle toe hooked under the rail.  He had a vile headache; unlike most of the crew of the light cruiser that served as his transport, Vonday’s second body wasn’t adapted for variable gravity.  It didn’t matter much.  Soon, the Varangian would transit through the yet another Stargate, enter yet another system, and execute yet another long burn on their trip to the Central Systems and Vonday’s appointment as the Third Gleise Monarchy’s Ambassador to the Galactic Union.
    But damn, his head hurt.
    The aid floated into the compartment with the pouch, placed it over the desk, and kicked off back the way he came in what seemed to be one fluid motion.  Show-off.
    The pouch was in the official colors of 3 Gleise and printed around the one-use tablet the encrypted message - whatever it was - had been downloaded upon.  Vonday cut open the pouch and read the message.
    “Donner!  Summon the Captain at once.  Priority.”
    2 Vonday was able to read the message two more times before Varangian’s Commander, 4 Neuman Kehahn, sailed through Vonday’s door.
“Mr. Ambassador,”  Kehan’s voice was clear of the thickness Vonday’s suffered, “I’ll need to be back in Flight Control before we transit”
Vonday ignored the reproach in his Captain’s voice.  “Apologies, Flight.  I’ve just received some rather disturbing news from home. Disturbing enough to consider altering our itinerary.”
“Invasion?”  Kehan hooked a foot under the bar in front of Vonday’s workdesk.  
“Nothing so dramatic from our friends in the Stellar Administration.  Yet.”  Vonday flicked the classified tablet toward the the Varangian’s Commander, who caught it with some surprise. “Something worse, perhaps.”
4 Neuman read the brief message “You’ve been promoted to Minister of State?”
In Absentia, of all things.”  Vonday confirmed.
“But...The Prime’s appointment of Cabinet Ministers has to be confirmed by the Parliament!”
“Unless the King personally approves the decision.  Scroll down.”
Kehan did so and was confronted with the Royal Cipher.  “Why?”
Vonday looked amused as the Captain flushed. “Begging your pardon, Mr. Amba- I mean, Lord Minister -”
“Relax, Flight.” Vonday smiled without any trace of mirth.“I understand your confusion.  After all, why promote an Ambassador heading to the Central Systems to third in government’s succession?”
Neuman Kehan was quiet for several moments.  “I’ve read reports that several of the Destroyer Constellations from the King’s Own have been sent out on patrol toward Central.  ‘Routine training patrols,’ according to Command. To keep them in fighting trim.”
    “No CapCons?  That’s unfortunate.  Of course, the Joint Cheifs now report to me…”
    4 Neuman smiled sadly.  “It would take months to send a dispatch.  I assume your predecessor was aware of that.”
    Vonday’s answering smile was even less mirthful. “I assume She’s dead and erased.  What’s the closest DesCon to our position?”
    “Five.  I’ll make arraignments to get us underway.”  He proffered the official tablet. “May I?  It’ll get us transit priority.”
    “Do so, yes.  And let’s be economical, shall we?  It may be some time before we reach a friendly port again.”

    As Varangain’s Flight Commander left the office with a straight vector Vonday allowed himself to float away freely.  MiniState 2 Vonday Ginal.  By Royal Confirmation.  He’d met His Majesty exactly once, upon his elevation to Ambassadorial rank, along with twenty others from the Forgien Office.  That’s where 3Gleise was now.
    It would do Vonday no good to dwell on his nation’s fortunes.  It was obvious that that the Stellar Administration was nearly ready to make it’s move.  Just as obvious that sympathizers in Parliment were successful in leaving the Monarchy unprepared.
2 Vonday drifted back over to his workdesk and began to compose a message to his family.  He would appended a current copy of himself so that 1 Vonday could know his state of mind.  Hopefully, 1 could then guess what 2 Vonday would do, and take steps.  
After all, It wouldn’t do to let whomever was planning a coup in advance of AdStar’s invasion to know what the future MiniPrime of the Third Gleise Monarchy was planning.

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