The Orbiter. Part 17

The fury on Madam Nights face was evident as she forced her way into Lord Cammeo’s office, an act that was unheard of on the stations, even not knocking after being invited was unheard of, and Madam Night certainly didn’t have an invitation at this point.

“Where is she!” Madam Night was not usually one for raising her voice, much less shouting.

Lord Cammeo looked up from his desk in surprise. “Madam Night?” he questioned almost silently, before quickly composing himself.

“Don’t give me that look.” Madam Night practically snarled at her fellow committee member. “You made threats at the last meeting to her, and then she goes missing, her shuttle destroyed and in pieces out in space.”

Lord Cammeo slowly sorted the papers in front of him, tapping them into a nice neat pile. “Perhaps you would like to clarify, where is who exactly?”

Madam Night gripped the back of one of the seats tightly, leaning forwards over it. “You know who I’m talking about.”

Lord Cammeo shook his head slightly. “I’m afraid not, so why don’t you tell me what you think I’ve done?”

“Lady Mitch never made it back to her station after our last meeting, and considering the threats you made after the last meeting, it doesn’t take much to put those two together.”

Lord Cammeo blinked. “I made no threats, I only made a comment that I hoped any replacements would be more agreeable, any threat you took away from that was simply your own interpretation.”

Madam Night felt her eyes narrow. “You and I both know that isn’t true, you have always tried to maintain an air of authority over the other members of the committee, and for as long as I have been here always trying to undermine everyone else.”

Lord Cammeo quickly assessed her composure and gestured towards the two vacant seats. “Sit.”

Madam Night felt herself assessing him in return, but chose to sit down in one of the seats.

“Now.” Lord Cammeo continued. “How do you know this has happened?”

“When I tried to contact her the this morning I couldn’t make contact, and when I finally spoke to one of her servants he informed me that she had never even made it back from the metting.

“As such I had the AIMS of Nimura do a biometric scan of the space around itself, and it found the remains of Lady Mitch’s shuttle, in pieces, drifting.”

“Lord Cammeo absorbed this. “And what of Lady Mitch herself?”

Madam Night paused. “She wasn’t found.”

Now it was Lord Cammeo’s turn for his eyes to narrow. “And what does that mean exactly? Maybe it wasn’t her shuttle after all?”

“What I think it means, is that she was taken and had her shuttle destroyed to make it look like an accident.”

Lord Cammeo shook his head. “Be that as it may, even if it was the case I had nothing to do with it, while I may be disappointed in her attempts at causing and uprising against me I would never stoop to such levels.”

“Lady Mitch had her reasons.” Madam Night breathed slowly. “But if you had nothing to do with it then who did? Where is she?”

Lord Cammeo leant forwards onto his desk, meshing his fingers together as he rested gently on his elbows. “I must say though Madam Night, I am surprised to hear you voicing so much concern for Lady Mitch, or is that really the reason you came barging in here?”

Madam Night recoiled slightly, blinking hard. “I don’t know what you mean by that.”

Lord Cammeo let a faint but obvious smirk show. “You don’t? Or do you just wish to claim that you don’t?” Madam Night remained silent, so Lord Cammeo continued. “You came in here claiming that I had threatened yourself and Lady Mitch and that I had likely made strong on that threat. You came in here acting like you were furious that I would dare attack another member of the Committee, knowing full well that I know the repercussions of such a thing. But I know why you really came in here, I know why you were really so angry, and that’s because…” He leant further forwards than before, if the desk hadn’t been there they would have been almost touching. “You were afraid that all the work you had put into befriending Lady Mitch would all be for nothing, that there was an easier option after all.” With that he leant back in his seat, making no effort to hide the fact that he was pleased with himself.

Madam Night said nothing, her eyes refusing to meet his, instead they glazed over, focused on the corner of the room.

“I see I have hit a nerve with you there.” Lord Cammeo continued. “But do not fret, I had nothing to do with the incident, and if you indeed scanned the area, as so you claim, and found no signs of her or her pilot, then I might make the suggestion that they were not in the shuttle at the time, either that or they were collected.” He trailed off for a moment. “If however they weren’t on the ship…” he found himself trailing off as the gears began to turn in his head.

Madam Night looked up at his pause, and was surprised by the expression on his face, one that clearly indicated his being deep in thought. She seized the moment to speak. “So you seem to think they are alive. At least I can take that away from here.”

Lord Cammeo raised an eyebrow as he looked back at her. “Our discussion is now over, I have told you that I had nothing to do with the potential disappearance or harm to fellow committee member Lady Mitch, and that is where I will leave it.” With that he pressed one of the buttons on his desk to open the door to his office, and began filing through his papers again.

Madam Night stood slowly, composing herself as she did so, carefully watching to see what Lord Cammeo would do. He spoke without looking up from his papers. “If I am nothing else I am a man of my word.” He spoke slowly. “Our agreement is still in place despite your little outburst, but if she is still alive out there you find out how she survived and what happened. And…” He looked up at her, Madam Night sure she saw something in his eyes. “Do not ever accuse me of something like that again.”

Madam Night said nothing in response but slowly walked out of the room, and as soon as she had, she felt it swing shut behind her.

At his desk, Lord Cammeo removed his finger from the door control switch and keyed his intercom. “Ember.” He spoke into it calmly.

“Yes Lord Cammeo.” Came the immediate and eager response.

“Tell Byrd to get the shuttle ready.” Lord Cammeo ordered as he stared at the closed door. “I need to make an unscheduled stop.”

“Right away Lord Cammeo.” Ember chirped before ending the call.

Lord Cammeo sat still for a few moments, pondering over his next move, a missing committee member could swing either way, as his opposition would be dwindling and this would strengthen his hand moving forwards. But on the other hand if the other members thought he was responsible then he could lose strength, or worse, be evicted by WES and RUI.

He stood, his mind made up, first he was to find out who had been on Lady Mitch’s side, and then work out who he could trust to support him, as he knew he had the support of some, if though nothing other than intimidation and bargaining.

His mind made up about his next course of action, he stood and left the room, and walked the short distance down the corridor to where his Shuttle was parked. His pilot, Byrd, had already positioned himself in the cockpit, and as such, the moment Lord Cammeo had seated himself, the engines lit up, and the Shuttle left its dock and powered off into space, its destination, Station Scorpion.

Here we go, I sure hope this lives up to expectations!

Uninventive

Part 16

Part One 

 

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Updates part 2

Hello everyone.

Once again I must apologise for my tardiness, I am still drowing under work and have had a manic couple of weeks where I wasn’t even living at home, instead housesitting for some friends of mine, which really threw my schedule off balance, worst of all, disrupting my sleep which means for the last two weeks I’ve been pretty much exhausted all the time. Including right now.

What this means is that the next chunk of the Orbiter is only really half ready, but to be honest as much as it should be, it’s not even my main priority right now, as I still have to sift through and mark potential candidates for a multi-person contribution book for Lent the committee I am a part of are working on, and so far due to being uprooted and tired I’ve done very little sifting, however I do have a four day weekend approaching which I plan to use to do so, as well as hopefully completing the next part of the Orbiter, which I hope will now live up to standards, as well as hopefully more than that, two months is long enough I think.

Instead, I thought this time around I would tell you all a story, as It’s been a while since I’ve done that.

Little over a month ago, I was in Newcastle for a writing conference, well more like a seminar really, but we had a really interesting speaker who trained as an actor, not sure how much I got out of it but it was certainly an interesting take.

During the lunch break I nipped out to get some food, and on the way got stopped by one of those people on the street, I think we’ve all been there right?

Turns out she wasn’t part of any charity, but was instead selling this discount card that offers discounts in many places in exchange for a small subscription fee.

I wasn’t really interested but I always feel bad for the fact that they often get ignored so I stopped to find out what it was all about.

That was when the probing began, asking me questions about where I shop and go out to eat and hobbies and things like that, I suppose in an effort to find out if I would benefit from it.

But, in my panic, there was a certain point where she asked me how much I spent on shopping each week, and when I said I wasn’t sure, she asked if my Girlfriend did it for me, in my panic I said yes.

Now baring in mind that I’ve been single for a good few years now, I had to run with this story, creating new bogus at every turn. including such things as we’ve been together for three months but live apart (fortunately she didn’t pick up on how little sense this made considering I said that she bought the food)

Most of what I said to her was based upon some kind of reality, I said that we went swing and ballroom dancing, which, while not something I do, are something I want to take up. I did make a comment, when she asked if I took out my other half and treated her, which went something along the lines of “Sometimes, but I like to be pampered too, I expect to be treated just as much.” (I paraphrase because I can’t recall exactly, but it was certainly words to that effect) which garnered laughter from us both as she commented that she could learn from that attitude.

This conversation lasted probably a good 10 minutes, me bluffing my way through various questions to gain a discount card I didn’t even want, but did end up with (though I canceled it straight away, sorry darling, but even your charm didn’t change my mind about not actually wanting the thing)

Weirdly enough though, even though most of what I said was total bull, (even if based off something true) I did learn a thing or two about myself, the things I want out of a potential relationship and my my general attitude towards strangers. My work colleague pointed out to me the other day that I would happily talk to anyone (this was after I had a friendly chat with a chap who was drunk on the bus we were both on) and there is a lot of truth to this.

Most people perceive me as being shy and reserved and quiet, of which I will give them the second two, but I don’t consider myself shy, I’m better one-on-one but give me the chance and I will talk your ear off. I don’t often initiate conversations out of the blue (I can often strike up chats with people serving behind bars or on the cash register (on more than one occasion I’ve held people up as a result. And I think this conversation is a prime example, I was able to happily chat away to someone about a topic I essentially made up, and even got a few laughs out of it, certainly growth on my part coming from where I used to be. Sure I’m still quiet but I don’t view it as a bad thing.

So thank you Woman in Newcastle I never got the name of, thank you for an interesting chat, thank you for actually laughing at the terrible jokes and puns I made, but thank you most of all for the opportunity to view this as a part of my growth as a person.

Anyway, this was a semi-interesting story for you all about a recent experience of mine, It’s not much but I found it interesting to look back on.

Stay frosty y’all

Uninventive

Updates

So, it has been a long time hasn’t it? A long time since I’ve sat down and done any kind of update or information, so here goes.

First off, I want to apologise  for my lack of blog post this month, June and July hit me with an absolute mountain of deadlines that I was barely able to climb over, and it just meant that all of my time and resources were (and still are being) poured into that.

This has basically been the reason for why there has been no update to the Orbiter, I’ve simply not had the time, and instead of rushing one out haphazardly  I left it until I could do a post that would I hope meet expectations.

I probably should have done a post at the time explaining this but, as with everything I kept putting it off and eventually left it too late, in fact it took prompting for even this post to appear.

So, in the spirit of updates, lets go:

I am still going my current training, the one I started back in January 2016, and am set to finish February 2018, so nearing the end now, though that does mean things will likely get more intense as time goes on, but hopefully I will be more prepared (fingers crossed)

On the evening of Tuesday 11th July, my cat, Boyfriend (yes that was his name) passed away. My Neighbor and I took him in a few years ago off the streets, and it took him a while to get used to human contact, we speculate he may have spent 7 years or so living on the streets, but we have no way of knowing, but his last five years were spent in what we hope was comfort for him. As such loosing him struck us both hard, but, I still had to work and remain professional, but it may be a while yet before I get used to not seeing him when I come home.

In more positive news, (but equally more terrifying) I have taken up driving, and in fact had my second lesson yesterday. It’s scary as shit and I tense up every four seconds or something, and as it stands, when I panic, I relinquish control, which obviously isn’t the best idea behind the wheel of a hefty 40mph vehicle. But at least I know where I want to improve, and I’m still annoyed that I have yet to learn how to brake properly, remember the clutch dammit!

I don’t think there is a great deal else to say at this point, well there would be if I were the sort of person to expose my feelings towards others openly, but I am not yet one of those people, my idea of flirting is just talking to the person I like and hoping they are braver! haha!

Take care Y;all

Uninventive

The Orbiter. Part 16

“Raika?” Radim repeated. “You named your ship after the asteroid that nearly decimated our planet?”

Tandan shifted his weight onto his remaining left foot. “Sometimes the heritage you carry means you need a big name.”

Radim narrowed his eyes. “Are you talking about yourself now or the ship?”

Tandan smiled back at him. “I already have the big name to match my heritage, Raika never had that, but she’s got a history I’ll tell you that.”

Lady Mitch had spent the past few moments gazing out the window, inspecting the wing above their heads. “You mention that Raika came from a time before the asteroid hit, but there isn’t much in the way of history books documenting that time. Although there is enough to determine that she is some form of older aircraft.”

“Correct.” Tandan smiled. “She belonged to one of the core members of team Ogni-Ratha, even before they joined forces, that’s part of the reason that you would have had a difficult time spotting me on your radar, not only is she small and narrow, but her first owner had stealth materials built into her frame.”

“So how did you come across her?” Lady Mitch leant forwards slightly.

“She was stored in a bunker underground before the asteroid hit, actually the same bunker that Mackiavelli and high lady Andli were stored in, and I discovered and removed her from there, and converted her for space travel so I could visit the stations.”

“How could you have left the stations to find her? No shuttle goes that far.” Stana let her confusion show.

“Not all people are born upon the stations my dear.” Tandan shook his head. “In fact a lot of people were left behind when the stations moved into orbit.”

“I wasn’t taught about that.” Lady Mitch protested. “I was always taught that everyone boarded.”

“I’m afraid it’s not that simple, in fact most of those who boarded the stations were New Earthians, very few Gaelithians were collected, and those that were, were treated with discontent and most hoarded onto Nimura.” Tandan sighed. “My Gaelithian heritage meant I was left behind, but once I found Raika I was able to come and see them, and even ferry some people over as well.”

“You mean you brought people over to the stations illegally?” Lady Mitch made no effort to hide her disdain.

Tandan gave her a sideways look. “You know for a station leader who is determined to fight for her people, you have an odd way of expressing that love to people who live even worse lives than those on Nimura.”

Lady Mitch frowned. “I didn’t even know that anyone even existed outside of the stations until you rescued us, so forgive me for not just dropping my entire worldview in a manner of seconds.”

Stana’s eyes widened as she sensed the approaching conflict, and jumped in. “Why did you save us?” All three eyes turned to face her, but none said anything. “I mean, I know how you did, you followed them for months, but why? What do you gain from it?”

Tandan looked at the three of them slowly, gauging their expressions, before responding. “I gain allies.”

“What do you need allies for? You live outside the system?” Lady Mitch tilted her head as she looked at him.

Tandan frowned. “Why do you think? To make the all important changes. Don’t forget what I said before, I’ve been spying on the meetings for years, and there are only two members of the Committee who fully understand what their position means, and you are one of them.”

Lady Mitch looked up at him solemnly. “But I can do nothing, if you’ve been observing you know how WES works, it has to be a unanimous vote, and I’m not going to get all of them behind me.”

Tandan shook his head. “You don’t need all of them.” He began walking towards the cockpit. “The most recent vote was to change from unanimous to majority correct, that vote must go ahead for the livelihood of the stations to improve.”

“How does that work?” Lady Mitch countered. “Allowing the majority vote to go ahead will allow them to further alter the rules to better their own causes, stations like Nimura will suffer.”

Tandan stopped and turned to face them all again. “The best of rules are made under compromise, and I know from my research that there has been almost none of that in a long time.”

“But but how do I get people behind me?” Lady Mitch protested.

Tandan let a smile show in the corner of his mouth. “When people know that there is another option, the way they vote changes. Besides, you already have people behind you.”

Lady Mitch’s eyes narrowed. “I do?”

“What am I, invisible?” Radim frowned. “I’ve always backed you Elora.”

Lady Mitch turned, shocked at hearing him say her first name. “Radim?” she spoke softly.

Radim stood, smiling in the process. “I’m Radim Spurling, and I’m behind you all the way.”

Stana quickly followed suit. “I’m Stana Prithrauck, and I’m glad to have met a station leader I can back, I’m behind you Elora.”

All three eyes turned to face Tandan. Who smirked in response. “I’m not announcing myself that way.” He rapped his knuckles against the ceiling of his ship again. “But Raika and I support you completely.” He turned and approached the cockpit again. “But you need to meet more of your supporters, and then, once we’ve done that, we will work on the Committee members.”

“But where are they?” Lady Mitch questioned.

“Where we are going.” Tandan was now stood in the cockpit. “Earth.”

“We’re going to Earth?” Radim stepped forwards, a mix of emotions spreading across his face.

“Yes.” Tandan smiled. “Now I would suggest sitting and strapping in, as we are about to lose gravity.”

The three exchanged quick glances, before rapidly strapping themselves into the seats.

Satisfied, Tandan steadied himself, and stretched up, flicking a switch on the controls.

Immediately, unseen to all of them, the three grappling magnets on the underside of Raika detached, launching the former aircraft away from the station and into the vastness of space.

Inside, Tandan quickly took advantage of the change in gravity to hoist himself into his pilot’s seat,  powered up the engines, and turned the little ship to face the blue planet of Earth.

As the ship was manoeuvring itself, the inner flooring rotated round 180 degrees, until all the seats were level with each other.

Tandan looked back over his shoulder. “Let’s go.” and, without waiting for confirmation, pushed his throttles forward. The two inner engines lit up powerfully, launching the shuttle forwards, its destination clear.

 

 

So Raika and Tandan have a history it seems.

Uninventive

Part 17

Part 15

Part 1

The Orbiter. Part 15

 

Radim bolted himself upright, his eyes flew open and he found himself gasping for air, breathing sharply, but it only took him a few moments to realise that he was no longer in the vast darkness of space, but instead inside the confines of a small, cylindrical room.

He blinked a few times as he took in his surroundings, the shallow bed he was currently sat on was pressed right up against the wall, but then, he realised as he looked closer, it wasn’t so much a bed as it was just a thin mattress resting on a raised area of floor.  Trying to hold back his surprise, he leant forwards to look out one of the circular windows that lined the wall, and saw, much to his surprise, the exterior of one of the Stations. Except the station wasn’t where it would be expected, for it was above his head, stretching out into the distance, beneath him sat the empty confines of space.

He couldn’t contain the confusion as it spread across his face, so he continued to scan outside the window, hoping to find something to clear the matter up.

The two things he did spot however, only served to raise more questions than they actually answered. Behind his window on the exterior were what appeared to be two engines, the further of the two from him was open and exposed, revealing a large multi-bladed fan that took up the entire opening. The second engine, closer to his position, looked more familiar to him, looking like an oversized version of the ones used to power the shuttles.

The other thing he saw was in front of his position, and was something else he recognised, resembling the wings on the shuttles, however this one was much longer, and seemed to be angled backwards slightly. He could also see an array of objects both on top of and beneath the wing, but they didn’t look like the engines he was used to seeing there, and one of these objects suspended beneath extended far in front of and behind the wing.

“This might be an old shuttle.” Radim thought aloud. “But even our old shuttles looked nothing like this.”

He glanced at the door that was sealing off the small room he was currently in from whatever was in the rest of this structure, and made his decision, as surprised and confused as he was, he had to find out where he was.

He stepped down off the bed onto the lowered walkway, and, composing himself, pushed open the door.

What greeted him surprised him even more. The structure he was in did appear to be a shuttle based on the cockpit he could see at the far end of the room, although it was the fact that the cockpit seating and controls appeared to be on the ceiling that only served to aid his confusion.

However his entrance had piped the interest of three people sitting round a table in the centre of the room, two of whom he recognised.

“Radim!” Stana all but yelled out as she stumbled out of her seat, grabbing hold of him and embracing him tightly.

Radim struggled to breathe as she squeezed him, but he managed to speak nonetheless. “I’m glad to see that you are okay Stana.” He looked over at the other person he recognised. “You too Lady Mitch.”

Lady Mitch smiled back at him gently, raising her glass in the process. “We’ve been worried, when you didn’t wake up as soon as me or Stana, but you must have exerted yourself more than we did with all that quick thinking of yours.”

“You did well lad.” The third person spoke up. “Your quick thinking and telling them not to hold their breaths almost certainly saved all your lives. Though I must ask, what on earth possessed you to not keep spare breathing devices on your shuttle.”

Radim looked him up and down slowly. He sat with a facial expression that somehow managed to make him both appear friendly and intimidating at the same time.  His hair was dark and long, a trait matched by the coat he seemed to be wearing. But his most distinguishing feature was his clear lack of right foot. “I have breathing devices.” Radim spoke slowly. “But they are kept in the cockpit and I wasn’t in there at the time.”

The man shook his head slightly. “Foolhardy, but y’all alright now so that’s the main thing.”

Lady Mitch tilted her head slightly to look at him. “On that note, how did you get to us so quickly?”

The man opened his mouth to respond, but Radim cut him off. “No before we go there, who are you?”

Stana finally let go of him upon hearing the question, and hit him in the chest in response. “Radim! That’s no way to speak to the person who saved our lives.”

The man just smiled at Stana’s abrupt response. “It’s a fair question, given the circumstances you would be expected to want to know.” He paused and looked at the three of them. “My name is Tandan, Tandan Kulosio-Da, however people call me ‘Toothy’.”

“Toothy?” Lady Mitch mouthed silently, a confused expression showing clearly.

Radim stiffened slightly upon hearing the name. “Kulosio-Da, you mean to tell me that you are of…”

“The line of Da?” Tandan cut him off. “That is correct.”

Radim’s eyes narrowed. “I was actually focusing on the ‘Kulosio,’ you’re also of the line of Kulos?”

Tandan let out a single chuckle. “I’m impressed, the line of Kulos is certainly not as well known. You are correct though, I am actually of both lines.”

Stana finally let go of Radim and looked at the three in the room in confusion. “What lines are these?”

“Radim stepped forwards and leant on the back of one of the chairs in the room. “From the history books. The line of Da comes from the years of Mackiavelli, as Froyk-Da was one of the three dragons involved in assisting High Lady Andli in defeating him, and afterwards was also one of the three that brought the new moon to Earth. I remember what I read correctly he was also the first to gift powers, before living out the rest of his life as a human.”

Tandan Nodded. “You do know your history.”

Radim smiled slightly. “I also know that the line of Kulosio is descended from Kulos Olagnis, one of the defenders of Gaelith and New Earth during Vermabay’s rise to power.”

Tandan once again gave an impressed nod. “I’m impressed, very few people know of the old tales.”

Radim shrugged. “I read a lot.”

Tandan’s eyes perked up. “So do I, and you wouldn’t believe how many old history books are stored on Station Scorpion.”

“Before we go any further,” Lady Mitch interjected. “I still want to know how you found us in space so quickly when our shuttle was attacked.”

Tandan’s face returned to being serious. “You were never attacked.”

“Then what happened?” The station leader questioned. “Why did our shuttle break apart?”

“You had a hull failure, but you weren’t attacked.” Tandan gestured to Stana and Radim, before gesturing towards the empty seats. “Please, sit.” Once they had all sat he continued. “You’ve no doubt all noticed that we are docked to the outside of Station Nimura, and that is because I don’t have permission to land inside any stations. I am not a legal citizen of any, but, along with my great interest in history, I take interest in how these stations run, and the changes the committee make. I have multiple bugs planted into the meeting rooms and I have a permanent linkup to WES, RUI and AIMS, so if they do anything or change anything, the printer in my cockpit alerts me.

“It was during one of my sessions scoping out the meetings that I noticed a breach in the hull of your shuttle, not huge, but big enough for me to see clearly. At first I assumed that it would be spotted and repaired, but after seeing it a few times, each time slightly bigger, I took it upon myself to help.

“Needless to say I couldn’t come forward, it would raise too many questions as to how I had seen it and I might be arrested as a non-citizen. So instead for the last three months I have been following your shuttle to and from every meeting, so that if the hull did breach, I could grab you and bring you to safety right away.”

“But how did we not pick you up on our scanners? Or even see you, if you have been following us all this time?” Lady Mitch leant forwards in her seat as she asked the question.

“My ship isn’t like any of the shuttles you are used to. “Tandan responded simply. “It has a sleek shape that makes it hard to detect.”

Radim snapped his fingers, the realisation occurring to him. “Lady Mitch! His ship must have been the anomaly that kept appearing on my radar, and that’s why the repair crews could find no problem, there wasn’t one, it was working all along.”

Tandan nodded. “That seems probable.”

“So what makes your shuttle so special?” now it was Stana’s turn to speak. “Why is yours so different?”

Tandan looked at all three solemnly for a moment before responding. “I’m afraid Raika isn’t a shuttle my dear. She stems from a time in history long before my heritage, even before the asteroid impact in fact.”

Lady Mitch gave him a confused look. “Did you name your shuttle? I mean ship?” quickly correcting her mistake.

Tandan stood slowly, before rapping his knuckles on the ceiling of the ship. “Of course.” He smiled and looked back at them all. “All the best ships have names, and my girl here.” He paused. “Is Raika.”

 

So they were saved by someone who was there from the beginning? Take that Deus ex machina’s everywhere!

Uninventive

Part 16

Part 14

Part One

 

The Orbiter. Part 14

The layout of Lord Cammeo’s office had been designed to give total control over to him. From the more obvious features such as the door blending into the wall so guests could not see it to leave without his permission, to the more subtle factors such as the lighting, which was angled over the Lords shoulder to bear down on his guests. This latter feature made the room uncomfortably bright for his guests, but also cloaked him in darkness, as the high back of his chair cast a shadow over him. He had also designed the room to only have two guest chairs for his meetings, as he found that he could easily intimidate a single person on their own, and even two people he had no problem with. However he had found that any more than two and he began to lose control. So he made sure to never have more than two guests in his office at a time.

At this moment both of these seats were filled, one by Lord Abultrates of Station Greene, the other by Duke Ovthrow of Station Andrews.

Lord Cammeo observed the two of them silently, watching as Duke Ovthrow shifted slightly as he struggled to see him. But most of his attention went to Lord Abultrates, the resolve of whom amazed Lord Cammeo, as even the layout of his office didn’t seem to faze his fellow Lord.

Eventually he stopped observing and spoke. “Lord Abultrates, you called me to instigate this meeting almost as soon as you left Station Scorpion. Why was this?”

Lord Abultrates cast his eyes briefly at Duke Ovthrow before speaking. “Why is he here?”

Lord Cammeo leant forwards in his seat slightly. “I instructed Duke Ovthrow to come and mediate our meeting.”

Lord Abultrates narrowed his eyes sharply. “There is no need for a mediator, I only called this meeting to instruct you to stop threatening other members of the Committee.”

“You come to instruct me?” Lord Cammeo feigned amusement.

“Yes.” Lord Abultrates’ expression did not change.

Lord Cammeo’s expression however, did change. “You expect to instruct me and get away with it?” He frowned sharply. “You forget your place on this Committee Lord Abultrates.”

“And you forget yours.” Lord Abultrates leant forwards slightly. “This is a position of service, not of power. We are here to serve the people of our stations, and yet you threated other members just because the last vote didn’t go the way you wanted it to.”

Lord Cammeo scowled further. “You may do well to remember that my family were amongst the first to set foot on these stations, we held power on the ground, and I hold power up here too, more so than the others. So you do not chastise me.”

“It is true that your family held power on earth. However you will do well yourself to remember that it was my family that gave yours the power it held. The only reason that we both hold the title of ‘Lord’ is because I do not want the attention that the title ‘King’ would bring.

“We have a duty to not only ourselves, but to our fellow Committee members, and those on our stations. Let me ask you, when was the last time you even so much as looked at a VanOrre worker with some decency, and without turning up your nose at them. Do not forget, without our workers, the stations would not function, we owe them that respect.”

Lord Cammeo scowled. “You ask me when I spoke to the workers of VanOrre, but need I remind you in return that you hail from Station Greene, when exactly do you heed your own words and speak to the crop farmers there?”

Lord Abultrates shook his head slowly. “You disappoint me Lord Cammeo. That is a question to which you should know the answer. But I’ll let Duke Ovthrow answer for me.” He gestured over to the Duke.

Duke Ovthrow’s eyes widened in surprise and for a few moments he did nothing but quickly glance back and forth between the two Lords, before stammering to start speaking. “Well, you see Lord Cammeo, it is kept no secret that once a month Lord Abultrates opens up his home to the residents of Station Greene, and always makes an effort to stay acquainted with the families of the workers as they grow.”

Lord Abultrates smiled at the response, an act which sent a chill down Duke Ovthrow’s spine and he silenced himself. “You are correct Duke, thank you.” He turned his attention back to the other Lord in the room. “The people in the stations are what make them work, and the people on our Committee are what allow the stations to function. You need to learn and remember that.”

Lord Cammeo’s scowl grew heavier. “I see, you instigated this meeting to insult and threaten me.”

Lord Abultrates shook his head. “Not at all, I instigated  this meeting to point out your character flaws.” He smiled a sinister smile at his fellow Lord before standing. “I feel that there is nothing more to be said now, however, I am now glad that you invited Duke Ovthrow after all, it has been good to have a witness here.” He stood and took a step towards where the door was. “Come Duke Ovthrow, it is time we returned to our stations. Lord Cammeo has a lot to take in and work on.”

Duke Ovthrow recoiled slightly, his eyes once again darting between the two Lords, but he quickly chose the slightly friendlier look on Lord Abultrates’ face and also stood up.

Lord Cammeo glared at the two men as they left the room, but said nothing further, instead simply pushing a button on his desk to close the door once they had left.

On the other side of the door, Lord Abultrates couldn’t help but let a slight smile break through his usually blank face.

Duke Ovthrow noticed the change in expression and gave the Lord a quizzical look. “Not to question you Lord Abultrates, but was aggravating him really the best idea?”

The smile faded from the Lords face. “Cammeo is not as threatening as he appears to be, he won’t harm anyone on the Committee, he knows the backlash that would come back at him. He could easily be evicted and replaced on our Committee if WES and RUI think that he is manipulating or harming the other Committee members. That is the only authority they have that doesn’t require unanimous input from us.”

Duke Ovthrow shook his head in confusion. “But I don’t understand, how do you know this? And what gives them that authority?”

Lord Abultrates gestured towards the shuttle bay and the two men began walking. “My family were involved in the designing and construction of these stations. My ancestors were involved in the downfall of both Vermabay and Excaburil who threatened the New Earth and Gaelith, the peace treaty may not have lasted long after the fall, but my ancestors had the research of team Ogni-ratha, and details from High Lady Andli.

“WES and RUI were built to be the peacekeepers on the stations, it’s a mutual power we hold over one another. They hold the power to remove and replace members who are threatening the sanctity of the stations, but they cannot make any other decisions without our unanimous input. The system is designed to keep both sides in line, a lesson learned the hard way by High Lady Andli after the rise of Mackiavelli.”

By this time both men had reached their shuttles. Lord Abultrates turned to face the Duke, his face stern and serious. “Head back to your station, as will I do. But what happened here today doesn’t get out to the other members, and nor does what I just told you about WES and RUI.”

Duke Ovthrow bowed and nodded in quick succession. “Yes my Lord, it will stay with me.” With which he turned on his heel and entered his shuttle, which after a few short moments, took off.

Lord Abultrates nodded to the shuttle as it launched, an action he knew no-one could see, before slowly boarding his own shuttle. “Home.” Was the only word he spoke to his pilot, before settling down in his seat to await transport.

 

Uninventive

Part 15

Part 13

Part One

The Orbiter. Part 13

While the meeting was taking place, Radim’s passage though the other door had led him into the back passages of Station Scorpion, leading through vast storage compartments and the external cargo capsules, a feature unique to Scorpion, although the other stations were equipped to receive and return the capsules on a daily basis.

But the schematics Lady Mitch had printed into the base of the lid of the box he was carrying made it clear as to which direction to travel, for the storage and housing for the Artificial Intelligence’s that run the stations were stored near the rear of the station. As he passed the main entry room for the station mortuary, a room he daren’t even think about what lay inside, he rounded the dimly-lit and secluded corner of the corridor, and was almost immediately greeted by three doors, lined up, trailing away from him.

His initial concern that he could not be able to work out which door led to which room was quickly erased, as the large black print above each door made it abundantly clear. The first door, with the name AIMS above it, he walked past, repeating this action with the second door, with the name RUI. Instead he found what he was looking for in the third door, with the name WES printed clearly above it. Composing himself, he quickly pushed open the door and slipped inside.

The inside of the room was small and compact, only occupied by two separate things, a large triple-drawered filing cabinet sat in one corner, while most of the room was taken up by WES himself, a tower computer that stood taller than Radim, and almost as wide as it was tall. At the moment WES did nothing, but made a gentle humming, and Radim knew he would have a while to wait before he could see what he came to. He looked over at the screen on the terminal, which currently sat blank, so instead turned his attention to the filing cabinet, opened the top drawer, and began sifting through the papers. The first thing he noticed was how old most of the papers were; all were from around time that Station Scorpion was first launched. He switched his attention to the second drawer, and found the same situation, although some of these were from even before the construction of the stations had begun.

He switched his attention back to the top drawer, for a nagging feeling told him he had missed something the first time. Something he quickly found, a divider with the name “Ogni-Ratha” sat empty, despite the fact it showed clear makings of usually holding a heavy load.

Before he could question the disappearance of the documents however, WES suddenly lit up, his humming increased and the screen quickly scrolled through a rapid start-up screen before showing a basic image of the Conference room, the half-moon table and nine circles around its outer edge representing the committee members. Radim slowly closed the cabinet drawer and walked up to the screen. For a few long moments, nothing happened. Before one-by-one the circles began to light up, most lit up green, but two stood out, instead lighting up with a completely different colour, red.

The moment all nine had lit up, Radim quickly typed some commands into the screen,  and a printout was quickly ejected from the base of the machine, which he promptly scooped up and stuffed into the box. He then proceeded to grab one of the papers from the filing cabinet and cover the printout with it, closing both the cabinet and the box afterwards.

He turned to leave the room, but then suddenly stopped himself, and turned to face WES again, the feeling that he was being watched suddenly overcoming his need to leave. He slowly gazed around the room, but could see no cameras or signs of peepholes in the walls, just a red bulging light in the centre of WES’s tower. Radim watched it closely for a moment, before finally managing to pry himself away and leave the room.

Composing himself, he quickly retraced his steps, heading back towards the main hangar. Except he stopped himself before he reached it, and instead waited, hidden behind the door opposite the Committee meeting room. He pushed open the door slightly, allowing himself to see down the main hall through the crack, and watched as one-by-one the members left the room.

He didn’t have to wait long however before the one he was waiting for left, and as soon as she had, he quickly followed after her, catching up with her mere moments after she had closed the door behind her.

“Mission accomplished.” He spoke the moment he was by her side.

“Fantastic.” Lady Mitch gave him a half nod. “We shall review the information once the shuttle has left Scorpion.”

Radim smiled in response, but said nothing.

The two continued to walk in silence until they reached  the shuttle, at which point Stana had re-positioned herself by the shuttle door, and reached out her hand, which Lady Mitch took hold of. “Welcome back to the shuttle Lady Mitch. I do hope the meeting was a pleasant one.”

“It was productive.” Lady Mitch responded as she stepped into the shuttle, she then turned around to face the two of them. “Shall we go?”

Radim tipped his hat. “Of course Lady Mitch.”  and once Stana was on board, he stepped on himself, closing the door behind him, and a few moments later, the engines lit up and the shuttle left the hangar of Station Scorpion.

Within moments of the shuttle having left the boundaries of the station, Radim pointed it in the general direction of Nimura Station and engaged the autopilot, before leaving the cabin and heading to join Lady Mitch and Stana in the rear of the shuttle.

By this time Lady Mitch had already opened the box and was looking at the printout Radim had collected.

“I didn’t get a chance to look at that properly.” He admitted as he stepped into the compartment. “What does it tell you?”

Lady Mitch stared at it in silence for a few moments, before dropping it back into the box again. “It tells me that the only people who voted against this rule were Madam Night and I. I had hoped that Sir Fisiio might be in opposition to the rule too.”

Stana leant back into the corner of her seat. “Do you suppose that he just agreed with it?”

Lady Mitch sighed heavily. “It was his suggestion at the last meeting. But he is often very impartial so I had hoped we could work that in our favour.”

Radim gave a gentle nod before leaning back against the cockpit door. “Well I think that either one of two things will happen here, don’t you?” Stana and Lady Mitch turned to look at him, but said nothing. “Don’t you see? Either they will drop this now that it hasn’t passed, or you can continue to stall this for as long as it takes.”

Lady Mitch sighed again and rubbed her forehead. “I wish it were that simple. But I will say that I think Lord Abultrates and Lord Cammeo are planning something. They gave quite an eerie threat about our successors being more cooperative than we are, I think he knows who voted against it, or at least has a hunch.”

“That does sound daunting.” Stana weighed in. “So where do we go from here?”

“I don’t know.” Lady Mitch admitted. “I’m out of suggestions at this point, we have nothing more to use.”

For a long few moments, the threesome sat in silence, eyes darting between each other as they considered their options.

The shuttle shook.

The sound of an explosion rocked the tiny shuttle, and its three occupants were thrown to the side as she began to spin wildly.

The moment the explosion had sounded, alarms began to go off in the cockpit, accompanied by a series of flashing lights. Radim, having been thrown aside with Lady Mitch and Stana, struggled to stand, but the rapidly increasing spin prevented him from moving any closer to the cockpit door, his body feeling increasingly heavier with each passing moment.

“Radim! What’s happening?” Stana yelled out over the sound of the alarms, the panic in her voice as evident as the fear on her face.

“We’ve been struck!” Lady Mitch responded. “I knew those threats weren’t hollow.”

Radim didn’t respond to either, instead trying desperately to reach the door frame, fighting against a body that could no longer support its own weight.

“We aren’t going to make it are we?” Stana was now as pale as the white wall behind her.

“We’re venting air.” Lady Mitch responded as she noticed a growing hiss.

Radim finally grabbed hold of the door frame and pulled himself upwards slightly, just enough to peer into the cockpit and see the control panels. One in particular caught his eye. “Incoming object!” he strained his voice to be heard by the others. “We’re going to be hit again.” He let go off the door and dropped down between the two women, grabbing hold of them both tightly. “Don’t hold your breath out there, your lungs will burst.”

The two women nodded in understanding and gripped him tightly.

There was a moment’s pause.

The ship shuddered again.

And tore apart.

The three tumbled around in the utter blackness, watching as sections of the shuttle peeled off in all directions. Radim pulled the other two in closer, before realising he hadn’t heeded his own advice, and exhaled.

For a few moments he just drifted, before his vision blurred, he saw a flash of light, heard a garbled sound he couldn’t place, and all he saw was black.

I think this might be my longest chunk of the story thus far, but it’s out on time this time which is good.

Uninventive

Part 14

Part 12

Part ONE