May 2005 Archives

Eagle Has Landed

The Izanian War

Essdy continued with his story.

The Izanian ship was towed to a Nimrov space station for study. Scientists from all over the Earth colonies came to discover the many secrets the ship held. Eagle Douglass was not only a top pilot, he was an excellent engineer. Thus, his excellent service in the battle allowed him to gain access to Izanian Battle cruiser. These Nimrovs could learn a great deal about advanced weapon systems, advanced composite materials, complicated computer systems, and many other things from this alien vessel.

They felt some urgency, as there could be other ships on the way. They didn't know when these would be coming, but certainly other ships were going to follow. They were at war with a technologically advanced society, and they had to work together if they were going to survive. They need to assemble more weapons, and prepare for another battle. They knew that their missile technology was effective, but could they assemble the resources before the Izanians returned? Would they be able to ward off a second attack?

The Izanians at the time had already claimed the Nimrov system as their own. The sent a message to the Commonwealth council that the Izanian would not tolerate any outside interference. Clearly, they either sent the message before the battle had even begun or it was an attempt to get more time to engage the Nimrov people. Thus, they would also try to stall the Nimrovs. This is why the Izanians sent a message to the Earth people that arrived shortly after the captured Izanian ship was docked at the Nimrov 4 space station. The message sent by Nek Nam Retek of the Izanian stated:

'Nimrov peasants! Do you like your cities? If you do, you should reconsider your actions against the mighty Izanian. A large fleet of our battle cruisers is currently on its way to your puny little civilization. We shall destroy all that you have built! We ask only that you return our property to us, and we shall leave you alone ... for now.'

'I'm guessing they want their ship back,' stated the President in an address to the congressional body. 'They may mean business, but since we do not speak that strange gestural language nor their verbal language, it is difficult to determine what steps we need to take to avoid further confrontation. So, we will continue as planned. Get our top guys on that ship and lets see what makes that thing tick.'

The Izanian message was sent to all of the top science teams. It was given top priority. Knowing the language, they believed, would strengthen their understanding of the technology of the vessel. One of the teams was under the guidance of an eminent Nimrov scientist named Michael Miller. His team included Eagle Douglass. It also included two of Eagle's closest friends, Laura Capitain and David "Sparky" Daniels. It was this team who noticed the translator signal included with the message. The Commonwealth translator message greatly aided in the translation of the hand gestures of the Commonwealth language. Once it was discovered, the linguists made short order of the two messages.

With the discovery of the messages came an urgency that the Izanian were going to return with a larger force. Thus, more resources were assigned to the study of the ship. If another fleet was on the way, they needed to learn as much as they could about the Izanians technology. They wanted shields and compact beam weapons to aid in their fight. Thus, with his significant computer skills, Eagle Douglass and Michael Miller's team were given more access to the computer systems. With the new knowledge of the Commonwealth language, Eagle and their team could use his expertise to gain whatever information they could from the Izanian computers. With Eagle's vast knowledge and eagerness, Dr. Miller stepped aside and gave Eagle full control of the team.

It took months for the top scientist to figure out miniscule bits of information on any of the systems. However, when they did gain some insight, this technology was instantly turned into advancements for Earth's one and only battleship. The colony on Nimrov 5's moon would have to wait. They had multiple teams and each team was assigned to the various Izanian systems.

With the many teams working hard, the greatest breakthrough was attributed to Eagle Douglass and his team. It was they who discovered the secrets stored in the Izanian computer system. Eagle created a complex computer program that would translate his commands into the commands that the Izanian computer could understand. He was amazed at how similar the two computer systems were at the machine language level. After months of fine tuning, Eagle got in. Once he gained access, Eagle was able to access the file system. The files could be then given to linguists who could attempt to translate the information stored within the computer system. Everyone hoped that this would lead to even more technology.

For their discovery, Eagle was awarded the highest medal that could be stowed upon one of its citizens. The United Nations of Earth's Congressional Medal of Honor was given to him for his work, but he missed the awarding ceremony. It was not important to him. What he wanted was to know more about the advanced computer technology and the advanced space systems on board the Izanian ship. He was working 14 hours a day on various projects for Nimrov Space agency. Plus, he was spending the rest of his waking hours learning about the Izanian. He was eating, sleeping, and breathing Izanian culture.

He was hoping that his hard work and sacrifice would lead to something better. He was hoping the space administration would grant him the privilege of captaining his own ship. After all, he knew more about every system on board the Izanian ship than anyone else. He believed he could put together a much better design than any proposed by the NASA engineers. However, the powers that be would not even let him get close to an Earth ship.

With all of the knowledge gained from the Izanian computer system, the Nimrovs were emboldened. They started making preparations for their own ships. There were several proposals for various ships. Scouts, frigates, cruisers, destroyers, and battleships were all designed in an effort to take on the Izanian threat. Work was done on the various designs, and the months would past. In fact, a few years past and the Izanian never came. The people of Earth wondered if that was that the end of the Izanian? Were there only a handful of members of their species? Were there so few, that they couldn't risk losing more? What was the nature of the Izanian?

Meanwhile, Eagle graduated at the top of his class at the Air Force Academy. He did have some trouble with a few teachers, but he always managed to land on his feet. As you may have guessed, he had a little bit of trouble with authority. He could play along to a point, but he liked being in charge. He often took charge in many situations like he did with the computer team. That was the kind of person he was.

He earned many rewards for his work. He was the most well known engineer on the planetary system. For his work he was given the rank of Ensign and assigned a post on the UNSS Douglass. It was the Nimrov's first scout ship. It was designed to explore the outer reaches of the Nimrov system. If they could manage it, they would go farther than any other Nimrov ship. Perhaps they would even leave the system entirely.

Just great!' Eagle bemoaned to his friend Laura. 'They name the damn thing after me, but I only get to steer it around.'

'At least we're on the same ship together E.J.' replied Laura.

'I know, but I was hoping for more. It will be a grand adventure and all, but I'm just a cab driver on this thing. I do not get to pick where we go. I do not get to work on the systems. I just say 'Yes sir, whatever you say sir!' I'm not cut out for that kind of thing.'

'You were always lousy at taking orders that is for sure.'

'You're a riot Alice! One of these days...'

'We're going beyond the moon hot shot! You will have a ship of your own at some point.'

Eagle would often quote lines from common Nimrov entertainment. This is why he said what he did. Laura understood the quote, and thus her response was fitting.

Eagle continued, 'I'm not patient either!'

'Now you're just being silly!'

'OK Boss, I'll behave. For now...'

UNSS Douglass began cruising about their civilization's solar system. They were checking speed, acceleration, and other ship facilities. They were going farther than any other ship from Earth had ever gone. They explored all of their planets and other astronomical bodies.

They were at the edge of their Solar System when the ship's sensors picked up a strange phenomenon. It was a source of energy unknown to the humans. The captain ordered the pilot to enter the phenomenon. Eagle refused. He stated that this energy source is immense, and the shields will not be able to withstand that amount of energy. Eagle felt that at the very least, the shields should be dropped before entering the energy field. The commander of the ship disagreed and ordered the ship to be taken into the field with the shields on maximum. Eagle was ordered to stand down, and he refused this order also. He plotted a course back to the space station on Nimrov 4. Proceedings began immediately for Eagle's court martial. He was removed from his post until a complete investigation was made.

Laura Capitain, Eagle's girlfriend did not want to resign her commission, so she stayed aboard the UNSS Douglass. The Captain's first order of business was to return to the anomaly and explore it. Thus, before the trial was to begin, the UNSS Douglass returned to the edge of the Nimrov solar system.

Once at the edge of the solar system, the commander ordered the pilot to enter the energy field with the shields up and on maximum. Of course, it was a hyper gate. The UNSS Douglass was completely disabled as the hyper gate short-circuited all of the ships electrical systems. The shields could not absorb that much energy. Thus, the ship was dead in space. Fortunately, the dead ship did not set off the Izanian alert sensors. Perhaps if it had working power systems it would have set off these alarms.

However, without any working power systems the ship couldn't maneuver, and it couldn't return into the hypergate. These were brand new systems, and only a very few had a complete understanding of how they worked. However, these engineers were busy designing new ships and not on board the UNSS Douglass. Certainly, the engineers worked hard, but couldn't bring any of the systems back on line. They couldn't even communicate with the Nimrov space central. The ship was drifting in space with no power.

The ship eventually got caught in the outermost planet of the solar system on the far side of this hypergate. Once in this planet's gravity the disabled ship set off the alert sensors of the Izanian. Before the ship could crash onto the surface of the seventh planet, the Izanian defenses destroyed the ship with all hands killed.

A review of the incident exonerated Eagle. He was reinstated with all rights and privileges. However, he was totally disenchanted with the entire system and was making plans to leave Earth's solar system for good. He and a group of adventurers got together and manufactured their own ship. They were going to explore on their own without the blessings of the United Nations Government and without the approval of NASA.

To date, it was the only other major incident between the two civilizations. The Izanian could never muster the resources to return to the Nimrovian system. Of course, the Nimrovs had no intention of dealing with Izanian again. They would do everything in their power to avoid the Izanian. Thus, the 'war' ended in a draw.

However, Eagle had a ship to use for exploration. They would eventually become one of the new members of the Galactic Commonwealth. The Nimrovs are starting to make their mark, but they have a lot to learn yet. There are plenty of stories to tell, but this is the end of this one. Thank you for listening.

"Well spoken Yarnspinner! I'm satisfied. Thanks, but how do you know so much? Yarnspinner? Where'd he go?"

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Because He's There!

Written With Dwayne MacInnes

Journal Entry for 07:14:72 by Dr. Daniel C. Hever, PhD

George Mallory - lost mountain climber.

In 1924 C.E. (in Gregorian calendar) Sir George Mallory and a team of mountain climbers including Andrew Irvine attempted to reach the summit of the mighty Mt. Everest. Sir Mallory and Mr. Irvine did not leave the mountain with the rest of the team. They were lost and presumed dead, but nobody knows whether they made it to the summit.

It had been over 100 years since the recovery of George Mallory's body. It was in 1999 C.E. However, I don't feel like doing the conversion to our current metric calendar, so we'll leave it at about 100 years for now. Mallory was well preserved on the slopes of Mt. Everest, and he had been held in a frozen state since his body was retrieved off the slopes of Everest.

We will hopefully discover the truth about his adventure when he is revived. Did he make it to the summit? What happened on those frigid slopes so long ago? The process of bringing Mr. Mallory back from his suspended animation is nearly finished and he will be awakened in a matter of hours. We have done a great deal of research on the man and his culture to make the transition for Sir Mallory a smooth one.

There have been great technical advances made since the discovery of Sir Mallory's body. I think the biggest advance is in nanotechnology. Our civilization has created processes that can create microscopic robots. This has resulted in huge advances in medicine. Surgical repairs can be made at the cellular level. With this technology, we will revive the long dead Mallory. I can hardly wait for this process to finish.

As a first phase of this experiment we revived individuals from the 20th century. Although most of these individuals died many years after Mallory, we felt that we got a sense of what the culture was back those 100 years ago. From our readings and the information from these cryogenically frozen individuals, we believed we had a good feel for what it was like for Sir George Mallory. They brought us closer to culture of his time, and we could piece together more from other sources.

We were fortunate that several individuals in the 20th century had themselves cryogenically frozen to be revived later in time. Since these individuals were expecting to be awoken at a later time, the same precautions did not need to be made to make them feel they were in their own time. Many were pleased to be revived after many years of frigid hibernation.

Sadly, some former citizens of the 20th century (Gregorian calendar) did not provide a full body, but merely a head. Some of these were greatly disappointed when no suitable biological body would be provided. The building of a body from the DNA of a patient can be done; however in most instances no provisions were made for such a procedure. Further, constructing a body was a long and expensive procedure, and many of these individuals spent all of their money on the freezing process and the storage space. Thus, if someone was revived without an existing body, they often felt they were nothing more than a curious head in a jar. Cybernetic bodies could be provided, but many had difficulty controlling this body. However, these individuals did provide a wealth of information about the culture in and around their time of life.

It was this method that my team and I developed to study a wooly mammoth that we were to revive. The method of studying a subject from afar before revival we felt was a necessary step to lessen the impact of being thrust into the future. Before reviving a creature whether it was animal or human, we studied it with the use of scholarly texts as well as with nanocameras.

Along with the medical uses of these nanobots, this nanotechnology also allowed the creation of a wide variety of useful tiny machines. One such device was a tiny camera. These cameras had a myriad of uses, and not all of them were medical. While these cameras were larger than the medical nanobots, they were still about the size of an ordinary house fly. The extra size was due to the need for mobility and storage of information. However, the manufacturer often claimed that you could now be a fly on the wall. Please note that the use of such a device is highly regulated to prevent abuses.

Excerpt from Journal for 02:06:93 by Daniel C. Hever:

We have proposed a use for several new and existing technologies. First, we will use a widely used technology that was developed by me and my team. We will use existing nanotechnology to repair and revive this mammoth. This wooly mammoth will be gradually thawed in a therapeutic bath and repaired using the nanosurgeon robots. This will be done so this particular specimen can be studied thoroughly in its near natural environment. We have several goals in mind. Many scientists here would like to learn more about the behaviors of this species of animal. We feel that by reviving this creature, she will retain those behaviors and she will be suitable for study in that regard. Also, we would like to determine if she retains memories. In this way, this process could be used to study individuals and cultures that have been dead for many years.

Second, in order to fulfill this goal, we will need to use the nanocameras developed by AOENC, Inc. The cameras in question will be used to study this long extinct mammal that has been frozen in ice for thousands of years. In order to study this mammal in its original habitat, we will need to take advantage of a brand new technology developed by a team from the University of Montana and the University of Northern Iowa.

This third technology will be used to transport this camera back and forth in time. While this process takes a huge amount of energy to perform, we will benefit by studying the exact behavior of the animal in question. Thus, we can determine if the revived subject has the same memories and experiences. Thus, we believe we can learn more about the behaviors of this mammoth from the original beast rather than a facsimile or clone.

I have spoken to Dr. D. Max Wayne of the University of Montana and to Dr. Gogi Tee of the University of Northern Iowa, and they have tested their process on the "fly" camera. Their tests show that they can indeed view images and retrieve audio from previous times. In their tests they have obtained full color video of a few historic moments. With this time shifting technology and along with the cellular regeneration techniques provided by the nanobots, we believe we can learn much about the life of the wooly mammoth.

We have contacted AOENC, Inc. to customize the appearance of their camera to appear even more fly-like. This fly appearance will have a further benefit. The time travel apparatus causes an odd buzzing sound upon entering and leaving a specific time frame. Hence, if this buzzing was heard by a subject being studied, the fly look will help explain the sound.

With our slightly modified nanocamera we have filled out the proper paperwork for governmental approval. We feel that this experiment will have no impact on any timeline. Thus, I'm sure this process will meet governmental approval. If we are successful in our attempts, we plan on reviving other subjects and perhaps even humans. However, we will wish to learn as much about our subjects before reviving them. This will decrease the stress of the strange environment.

End excerpt.

In the above experiment, the wooly mammoth that had been frozen in ice for thousands of years, was revived after studying it in its own environment in time and space. An environment similar to her last known surroundings was synthesized in which to place the mammoth and study her. In previous experiments this particular mammoth had been cloned. However, these clones did not have the same experience as the actual mammoth. Thus, no presumptions of actual behaviors could be made. This was unsatisfying to many researchers.

The mammoth that we revived exhibited the same behaviors observed from the nanocameras. Thus, much could be determined about actual behaviors of this ice age beast. It was a very successful experiment. We believe that this creature retained its memories and experiences, and several tests were performed to help verify this hypothesis. Thus, we could learn a great deal about past cultures by reviving some frozen humans. We had three specimens with interesting questions surrounding them. We are currently studying our third subject, Sir Mallory. The other two experiments involving the frozen individuals turned out less successfully than we had hoped.

Excerpt from Journal for 04:12:43 by Daniel C. Hever:

From our experiments with the wooly mammoth, we believe that when an ancient creature or individual is revived, he/she/it will exhibit the behaviors observed from the nanocamera studies. Thus, we are fairly certain that this individual or creature will retain their memories and will behave as if they never died. It was as if they just went to sleep and then woke up and continued behaving as if living in its previous environment.

In order to prove this hypothesis, we will be studying a frozen man from the late Neolithic period. This man had been discovered in the Otztal Alps between Italy and Austria in the late 20th Century of the old calendar. There was much speculation on how the man came to die on the mountain. Some speculated that this "iceman" was a ritual sacrifice to the mountain. Others believed he was running away from combat and received an arrow in the back during his flight.

This is our first chance to make use of the sound recording possibilities of the nanocamera. We don't know what language our iceman speaks. We have some rough ideas, but the years have been many. We would like to know the exact language in order to make his transition to our time smoother.

We began our research by reading all of the sources that had been collected about our specimen. He had a few artifacts that had long been lost. There was much speculation about our subject, but this was merely speculation. We needed hard facts. Thus, we prepared the nanocameras to send back to the day that he died. From the sources, we had a pretty good idea where he laid down and die. We had to guess his path to his final resting place. We wanted to follow his last several minutes. We hoped to capture a ceremony if he had been sacrificed. In that way, we could capture some of his native language. We would also be able to better replicate his clothes and equipment.

Everything was going well until they sent their camera back to view events. We do not know for sure what happened to our camera, but it was destroyed before returning. I believe that the camera was ingested by a bird and destroyed. In order to prevent any other changes in the timeline, the government has insisted that no further cameras would be allowed back to that time frame. Thus, with the lack of information about our subject, I am afraid we should refrain from reviving him. We will move on to our next subject.

End excerpt

Excerpt from Journal for 04:76:58 by Daniel C. Hever:

Our next ice mummy which we wish to revive comes to our team from Siberia. This female was believed to be a spiritual leader of her people. If this were true, it would show the influence of females of her particular group. She was found with several artifacts and the team wanted to know more about her. While this individual had less information in the archives than our previous subject, she is not as ancient. Thus, we can make some very educated guesses. We have a better idea of her language, and some more information about her culture. However, we will need to verify this information before we revive this "Ice Maiden."

End excerpt.

Once again, we were unable to retrieve sufficient information about this subject. We had painstakingly determined the best place to put the camera. We had done plenty of calculations about which way to view and where to view. However, this camera was destroyed in a massive blizzard that one of the team members forgot to note. Without proper information about this individual and her surroundings the revival process was aborted and another opportunity lost to the team.

We had one subject left. We knew a great deal about this individual. Again, he was from a time much closer to our own. We knew what language he spoke. We could greatly replicate friendly surroundings for Sir George Mallory. Once and for all, we should be able to determine if he did indeed reach the summit of Mt. Everest. Also, we should learn the circumstances of his death.

It has taken several years of paperwork and study in order for this day to come. Our past failures have made the government reluctant to issue the necessary permits to send the nanocameras back to study our subject, Sir Mallory. However, with much coaxing they have allowed us to send one camera back. However, early on it was decided to revive Sir Mallory even without any video footage. There had been much written about him that survived. We spoke a common language. While our cultures are separated by a great deal of time, we feel that this shouldn't be a great concern.

We accomplished much in our studies. We did send our fly-like camera back onto Everest and successfully retrieved some data. However, we did not see Sir Mallory or his climbing partner Mr. Andrew Irvine. All that was seen was the mountain side and all that was heard was a howling wind. While there was an eerie stillness in the area, we were greatly disappointed in the findings from our time traveling camera. We are sure that Sir Mallory will be comfortable in our provided surroundings. We should be able to determine much from him. I am heading to Sir Mallory's room now. I will fill out a full report for the University when our conversation has ended.

End entry.

"Test. Test. Is this thing on? Hello? Test. Test. This is Dr. Daniel Hever recording. Sir George Mallory is about to be revived, and we are here to record his statements as they happen. The only voices you'll be hearing are mine and Sir Mallory's. Quiet please. Let's begin?"

"Sir Mallory? Wake up. Sir Mallory?"

"Huh? What are you Yanks doing here? Where am I?"

"You're in a hospital; you had a bit of a fall."

"Bloody hell! Tell me about it mate! It was the darnedest thing! There I was at 8200 meters. Bloody thing could have been the end of me!"

"What thing? What happened?"

"As I said mate, I was there at 8200 meters hanging on for my life. Good things you Yanks came along, or I would have likely froze to death. Where's Andrew?"

"Sir Mallory, you were saying? You were at 8200 meters hanging on for your life, and then what happened?"

"Sandy's a right good chap. He must have fetched you directly. Good bloke that Andrew. Where is he?"

"Andrew Irvine? I'm not sure where he is, but please Sir Mallory, tell us what happened."

"Right, right, I was at 8200 meters. What is that? That's about 27,000 feet to you Yanks. Anyway, it was the darnedest thing! I was up in the thinness of the atmosphere, just climbing like always, and there it was. Out of nowhere! It was suddenly there! Out of nowhere I tell you!"

"What was there? What came out of nowhere?"

"A bloody fly! At 8200 meters! I was hanging on for my life, struggling with the thin atmosphere, and this bloody buzzing fly popped out from nowhere! Scared the wits right out of me. I fell quite a ways! Good thing you Yanks showed up, or I'd be dead for sure!"

"Uhhh thanks Sir Mallory. You get some rest and we'll continue this later. Turn the recorder off please!"

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Me, A Roman Slave

I had just hidden my time machine when one of Marius' soldiers spotted me. Not knowing what else to do, I began to run. However, I knew I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. He was on horseback, and I couldn't outrun his horse. Thus, he quickly fell upon me, and I was captured.

This soldier looked for the slave trader that traveled with Marius' army, and he sold me to him for 4 sesterces. I was in big trouble now. I was going to live the old cliche', "while in Rome do as the Romans."

Along with thousands of others, I was herded south. We marched until we reached Naples where there was a large slave-trading establishment.

Once we arrived at the slave trading place, we were all stripped naked and cleaned up. We were all separately interviewed to discover our talents. Unfortunately, I speak neither the language of the Cimbri, nor of the Teutones. I only speak a small amount of Latin, but not enough to effectively communicate. They certainly didn't have anyone that spoke English. Pig Latin was also of no use. So, communication was difficult. They kept repeating a phrase, but I have no idea as to its meaning. They give me the name of Caprimulgus. I don't know what that means, but I hope it is a good label.

We were herded into another room, and the preparations for our sale were completed. Our feet were painted white with chalk. An order of auction was arranged, and I was placed after a young Cambric boy who they gave the name of Eros. There were lots of people that were sold before they got to me. Some of them had the same name Caprimulgus, so I got a little worried.

I decided to do something to indicate some of my skills since communication during the interview process was negligible. There was a tree nearby, so I grabbed some branches with the intent of building a makeshift piece of furniture. I'm a fair wood worker, and I'd rather do that than be purchased for the gladiatorial games.

The bidding for Eros went for quite a long time. He went for a pretty high price. I was beginning to wonder why I was set up behind him. I certainly wasn't going to fetch that high a price. I think the phrase that they used to describe me was compelling enough to think that I would be valuable.

I fashioned a makeshift couch from the few twigs I gathered. It wasn't anything special, but it was enough to show them that I had some woodworking skills. It surprised the auctioneer, but he went along with it. I hoped that this little item would ensure that I wouldn't be sold into gladiatorial service. I'm too old to be an effective fighter. My reflexes are significantly slower than they were 10 years ago. I wouldn't last long as a gladiator.

The bidding went back and forth for quite a while. I was greatly surprised. I think my makeshift twig couch was making a difference. They could see that I had a skill, and I could be put to good use. Eventually, I was sold to a well to do furniture maker. I was grateful to not have to go with a large portion of these captives to be trained as gladiators. Some of them may make a large amount of money, but it wasn't the life for me.

The furniture maker made luxurious furniture to be sold to the senatorial and equestrian classes of Rome. His furniture was of very fine quality, and he was renown throughout Rome as the premiere furniture maker. I felt very lucky joining such a prestigious furniture maker in Naples. He also bought a young woman to help with the housework. She was very striking, and I wonder how his wife will react to this purchase.

At first I was assigned the task of building tables. I'm a decent wood worker, but I'm used to having modern tools. I would have done wonders if I had my woodshop with me. However, I had to work with the equipment available. I was still handy with the hand tools.

I knew that if I worked hard and crafted desirable furniture, I could earn my freedom rather quickly. So, I painstakingly crafted each piece I was assigned and I made some items on my own. Since our furniture was greatly desired throughout the republic, we sold numerous pieces and were very successful.

As the months past, I learned more and more Latin and some of the local dialect. I also learned more about my passage into slavery. One thing I did finally learn was the phrase they kept repeating at the slave interview. The interviewer kept saying "He must be an expert on animal husbandry. Look how fat he is!" Thus, they named me Caprimulgus or "Goat-milker" with designs on selling me as a shepherd.

I've never lived on a farm, and I don't have a lot of experience with animals. I don't know how long I would have lasted in the country. I'm certain that anyone who would have purchased me with those designs would have been greatly disappointed.

The man who purchased my services was named Gaius Libertus Lignarius. He had multiple ex-slaves who were paying him commission. He was earning a lot of money with all of the artisans under his tutelage. He wasn't a Roman citizen, and he very much wanted to be. He was very prosperous, and he hadn't actually made any furniture himself for quite a while. If he were given citizenship he would have easily been a member of the Equestrian order.

He lived on a large estate on the hills of Naples. Naturally, it was well furnished. Occasionally, he would invite his free tradesmen up for dinner. Those of us that hadn't purchased our freedom yet were hired to serve some of the dinner guests. Generally, we would only serve the freedmen. His regular staff would serve the more respected guests.

Several Roman Senators had lands in Campania. He often had dinner at their estates. Often in these instances, he was the one served by the less competent waiters. However, many times he would bring a reclining couch as a gift. We made some of the best in the Roman world. He would insist on dining on this couch in order to make sure it was "up to standards." Thus, he would at least dine in comfort. Often times, it was the finest reclining couch that the host had. Thus, it was odd to have the finest furniture in the rear of the dining area. This often brought notice of others. Thus, in order for his host to feel less foolish, he began to move up in rank. These hosts wanted the finest furniture at the front for all to see. Thus, Libertus would gain in rank simply because of the nature of his fine gifts.

I lived in a small loft above the shop. It was on the third floor, and it was rather small. Another slave with more experience lived in the apartment below. Since I was in the furniture business, I could spend my time furnishing it as I pleased. Thus, although it wasn't a great place to live, it was nicely furnished. The building had a distinct lean towards the street. You had to take care in which direction you slept otherwise the blood might rush to your head by morning.

After furnishing my place, I started to save my peculium, which is extra money, to earn my freedom. In the years after Marius' victories, our products were in great demand. Every battle abroad brought more wealth to a few citizens. They would use some of this wealth to purchase luxury items. Thus, we had plenty of demand for our products.

After working for Libertus for 5 years, I earned enough to buy my freedom. He agreed to grant my freedom with the agreement to pay him a percentage of my pay. It was a pretty standard agreement. He found a location a short distance from his shop to establish my shop. This time, I would live in the first floor above the shop. I agreed to house a few of his slaves in the upper floors. This reduced the amount I had to pay him.

At this time, I thought about changing my name to something more appropriate to my profession, but it had grown on me and I decided to keep it. Besides, my reputation was built upon my unusual name for a carpenter. However, as was somewhat traditional for freed men to take on the name of their emancipator, I became Caprimulgus Liberius.

The five years after purchasing my freedom were successful. The demand for Naples furniture came from other places besides Rome. Furniture from Naples was sold to the King of Parthia and to the Egyptian royal family. Throughout the civilized world, people looked for furniture built by us.

I was making an excellent living, and I even considered purchasing some slaves to help out in my shop. However, there was growing unrest in the Republic and it was affecting our trade. Some of the allies of Rome felt they were being treated unfairly. Libertus was one who felt that he should be considered for full citizenship. His requests in this area were regularly denied.

Revolts became regular occurrences. The Samnites in Campania revolted, and the trade routes between Naples and Rome were cut off. Soon, most of Campania had separated from Rome. The Samnites established themselves as a separate state. With all this unrest, it wouldn't be a good time to increase production.

Being non-Roman I had a few advantages. Since I had earned a great deal of money up to this point and I had an excellent reputation, I could begin looking at my options. One of the things that I considered was to find my time machine and return home. However, it had been many years and I was quite happy with the way my life was going. I also wasn't too concerned about joining Roman society and I still did things in my own way. My attitude about things was far different than many Romans.

I felt that my shop was too close to Libertus' ship. He had some individuals who were ready to purchase their freedom, so I sold my shop and apartment back to Libertus. With this money and some that I had saved, I was able to purchase a small plot of land in a bit of a nicer part of the city. This parcel of land that I purchased used to hold a shop, but it had burned to the ground. Since the furniture business was suffering, I decided to construct the new shop and home by myself. I had enough to purchase the materials. I had saved enough to take the time build a new building.

It took a while to build the building on my own, but in the end it was worth it. My building was just going to have a small shop and living quarters above. I couldn't quite afford an estate, but I would be more comfortable in the new building.

Shortly after I finished, Lucius Cornelius Sulla began his consulship to take back Campania. Sulla punished many of the Samnite rebels. Unfortunately, Libertus was labeled one of the rebels. He went into hiding, but was betrayed by a slave. He was crucified along the road to Rome to teach the Samnites a lesson. This released me of all of my former obligations, but it cost me several fine pieces of furniture to remain alive. I am glad that I was able to communicate at this point. Otherwise, I certainly would have been put to death as well.

With Libertus dieing in disgrace, that hurt my business with Rome. However, Egypt and other wealthy foreign customers turned to me and the other former slaves of Libertus for their business, but this did not mean a lot of business.

With the strife in the Republic during this time, furniture purchases were way down, and when the Sulla's proscriptions started, furniture sales took a turn for the worse. I wasn't pleased with Sulla killing off well to do Roman citizens. They were my core business. However, I didn't voice any opposition.

Perhaps it was a time to look for other work. Marcus Crassus was purchasing slaves in the field of home construction. I could sell myself back into slavery to him. My house and shop turned out pretty nice, and it was well thought of in the neighborhood. Thus, I thought about taking the trip to Rome, but the violence there was too great. I figured if I could stick it out, business would pick up. I also started building more modest pieces for the locals. However, I couldn't do this alone.

There was a slave auction, and I decided to see what was available. Some of the Samnite civilians were being sold into slavery. There were lots of women and children on the blocks. I purchased a slave woman to work in the front of my store. She would give me the opportunity to concentrate more on my construction.

She wasn't particularly attractive, but she was quite competent in terms of running a store and a home. She didn't cost a great deal, so I think she was a very good deal. She was a decent cook, and quite a loving person. We grew very close, and eventually, she became pregnant with my first child. Before he was born, I freed her and married her. We wed on the day Marius died. Shortly after that day, our free son was born. He was called Marcus Caprimulius Liberius.

With Marius dead, tensions were somewhat relaxed. Sulla killed off a great deal of the Aristocracy. However, Soldiers with newfound wealth and property began ordering luxurious furniture again. Thus, business began to pick up. The aristocracy in Rome was once again noticing my services. I built several pieces for Crassus. He wanted furniture to put in some of the real estate that he had been acquiring.

Crassus began to demand more and more furniture. Thus, I looked for purchasing more artisans. I began to frequent the slave auctions. I managed to purchase a few Greek artisans. They were very expensive, but they were well worth it. They had skills already, and I could steer them towards the style my customers had grown accustomed.

I began to have more time for leisure. So, I began to take more time to visit the gladiatorial games. I was beginning to bring in a lot of money. I did not have enough money to sit in the front, but I was able to sit in decent seats. I wondered how some of the slaves that were sold on the same day that I was faired in the games.

I found that I was becoming more Roman. I enjoyed the games, and I started to look towards eating out more. I had more internal pressure to act more Roman and to shed my strange future ways.

When Sulla retired to Campania, he also purchased some furniture from my shop. I was once again one of the premiere furniture makers in Rome. People throughout the Republic began to seek me out for fine furniture.

I began to go to more and more slave auctions trying to keep up with demand. I allowed some artisans their freedom with the same agreement I had with Libertus. They would pay me a commission on everything they sold. I used the money from their purchase of freedom to purchase more slaves.

I hoped the tensions between the government and the armies would soon subside. It was much better for my business to have internal stability. However, this was not to be. Marcus Aemilius Lepidus decided to march on Rome with his army, and Gnius Pompanius Magnus was given the task to put down his rebellion.

Things were good when the armies fought external forces. The army would take wealth from others and have purchasing power to buy our goods. However, whenever there was internal fighting, a large number of wealthy men ended up dead. This is very bad for business.

Luckily, Sulla didn't march on Rome. We didn't need any more aristocratic bloodshed. However, his campaign in Spain was disastrous. With Luculus in Asia Minor, and Pompey having troubles in Spain, a revolt of country slaves took place.

My men were happy with their lot. They were well fed, and they had a place to live. They earned plenty of money, and could purchase their freedom at any time. Thus, they were not on the side of Spartacus. I offered them their freedom if they wished it. I turned 66, and the years had taken their toll upon me. I didn't need some slaves rebelling against me. They unanimously decided to continue working in my shop.

I had a pretty large amount of money built up. I purchased a modest estate for my children to live. My wife was several years my junior, and she gave me 3 strong boys. They would continue on with my work once I was gone. I made sure all of my possessions were divisible by three. I had 6 slaves working for me, and I had 15 paying commission. It was agreed that they would continue to pay my heirs upon my death.

It is hard to believe that I lived in Ancient Rome for 30 years. The estate I purchased needs a lot of work. In my youth I would have started from scratch. However, I just don't have the energy. The boys are too young to fix the house, and it is drafty. I long for my old apartment above the shop. Even with its lean it was at least warm.

I am trying to fix up this place, but my age prevents me from several activities. I can't scramble up a ladder like I used to. This cough just won't go away. So, I have decided to return to my time machine. I have a feeling that I don't have much longer to live. I have family and friends here, so I won't be returning myself. However, I hope to send the machine back with this report. My English is quite rusty, and I'm sure my penmanship needs a lot of work. However, I feel that I should try to send this report back through. Thus, people there will know what happened to me.

This cough will not go away, I wish there was something I could do. My guess is that I caught pneumonia. I'm glad that my time machine was undisturbed. This long walk back to it took a lot out of me. I'm afraid that I won't be able to return to Naples. That trip would be just too much for me. I hope you get this report without any difficulty. I think I'll wonder off in the mountains and spend my last days there. I wonder how much impact my life will have. I've got a few great kids, and I had a good life in the Roman Republic. Farewell everyone!

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The Last War

By Dwayne MacInnes

I am the Historian of our race. I fear that I shall be the last chronicler. We are a dying people. We, to be brutally honest, have slowly been dying for eons. In fact, our fate is closely tied to that of our world. It has been know for millennium upon millennium that our planet has been dying. Our atmosphere is rarified, the seas have vanished from the surface. The only vegetation that has survived on the surface is a red creeping vine.

I suppose that is why for nearly as many years we have coveted the young blue planet next to ours. Great oceans cover this fresh world. It is alive with various flora and fauna. Alas, it has always remained tantalizingly outside our grasp. For though we are quite advanced in many sciences, space travel has only been perfected in the last couple of centuries.

I suppose some explanation is in order as to why we have not progressed as far in space travel as we have in the other sciences. Simply put we are a warring race. Martial skill is highly regarded in our culture. We have made wonderful weapons that efficiently kill our opponent. For example, we have a high-energy beam that will instantly reduce nearly everything it touches to ash. We have also created a black gas that hangs low to the ground and will kill any breathing beast that can also just as easily be washed away with a hot jet of steam after it settles.

Nevertheless, our constant warfare has done little to help our plight. So in the last few centuries our various warlords have united for the common goal of finding a way to alleviate our problem. Fortunately, we are as gifted scientist as we are warriors. There has not been a deadly germ on our world for as long as anyone can care to read these historical records. So it is of no surprise that it was decided that we would transplant our people on a new world. A world that is ripe for the picking, a world where we would thrive once again, a world that just happens to be our neighbor.

Therefore, we began our studies of this blue gem that beckoned to us in the night sky. We watched and learned everything we could about this planet. Through our telescopes we saw that the dominate species was a strangely jointed creature that resembled our own herds of food stock. These primitive creatures would be easy to subdue and it was obvious that there was a side benefit of knowing that food was readily available once we landed.

After centuries of constant and meticulous study, we began research in space flight. We developed a cylindrical capsule that was large enough to house some of our great war machines, unassembled of course. Nevertheless, assembly could be done in a matter of a day or so after landfall. After the beachhead was established, some of the capsules would begin transporting basic manufacturing tools and machines to help speed up the conquest of this new world.

A landing site was picked out on the azure planet. It was a small island off the coast of the largest land mass. It was figured that once our base of operation was established here the rest of the world would soon fall to our juggernauts. Sure the dominate species had some simple sea going vessels but it concerned us little as our battle walkers were virtually impervious to any primitive ballistic weapon.

All that remained was the perfect time to launch our assault. It had to be carefully chosen to minimize the risk of space flight. Therefore, when our two worlds were at their closest the fleet was finally launched. For days on end, we fired our space capsules into space until our atmosphere was choked with the gasses resulting from the launching process. After the skies cleared up, we started our vigil at the telescopes. It would take months to cross the great distances of space. But we are a patient people considering the hundreds of years of studies we had invested in the venture.

Finally, that fateful day arrived. One clear night we observed our first capsule land exactly where we had wanted it to. It was humorous to observe the dominate species curiously gather around the crater of our capsule. It is only fair to say that their curiosity was gratified the next day when our first walker fired its energy ray and destroyed all around it. The poor pathetic creatures vainly tried to retaliate, but their projectiles only bounce harmlessly off the armor skin of the walker before they were in turn reduced to hot ash.

The capsules began landing regularly after the first. Things were going along perfectly. Our first two assault forces were joining up to enable them to clear out all resistance and completely to subdue the world. Everything so far was going to plan. That was when the unthinkable happened. One of the projectiles from the creatures had found a weak point in one of the walker's cockpit, killing the pilot.

After that, more caution was used around these creatures. Before they could fire their projectiles, our walkers would fire off canisters of our deadly black gas wherever it was suspected that they might be hiding. That effectively put a stop to any further mishaps on land. The wretched creatures began to leave their residences in droves. They began even to flee their island home.

The walkers of course tried destroy as many of the primitive sea vessels as they could. That was when the second mishap happened. One of the vessels not only charged three of our walkers but actually attacked. The vessel had destroyed two of our walkers before being destroyed itself by the remaining walker. Fortunately, that was the last walker to be lost to the pathetic natives.

This also marked the time that consolidation of the island began. It was not long before the tools and machines began to arrive so that manufacturing could be done on this planet. The little creatures that had shown so much resistance in the first few days fighting were broken. Several were gathered up and their nutrients were consumed.

These were grand days. As a final show that we were in fact, masters of this new world the red creeping vine began to conquer the planet in its own right. Soon the island resembled the comforting red of our home world. Perhaps it was our own arrogance or maybe we were too drunk with our own invulnerability to notice the change.

It was not a major thing at first. We were still busy with making this world our new home. Aircraft and gathering machines were being built. Nevertheless, if we had maybe paid a little bit of more attention, we might have noticed. If we had just given the same care on observing our conquest as we did in preparing for it we could have seen it. The red vines were slowly dying.

At first when we did notice, we did not think anything of it. Then the death rate rapidly increased. Then the unthinkable happened. Not in time immemorial has such a thing happen to one of our kind. But it did. The assault force was getting sick. First, like the vine, it was one. Soon it was spreading uncontrollable. The germs!!! In our arrogance, we had forgotten about the germs.

We could have possibly produced some antibodies for our young budlings if we had even thought about it. But how could we. Germs were something of the primordial past. We did not even really comprehend what they could do until our entire assault force was devastated by their relentless attacks.

Nothing could stop us. We had beaten the dominate species only to be stopped at the zenith of our conquest by an organism that can't be seen by the unaided eye. Here on our planet. The planet the creatures of the blue world call Mars. We could only stare and watch helplessly through our telescopes as our forces quickly died off. Only to be eaten by that planet's scavengers.

Now the creatures (they call themselves humans), have our wrecked and abandoned vehicles and manufacturing facilities. Though it has taken them time, they are figuring everything out. What had taken us eons has only taken them a century. Now they are approaching our planet. There is nothing that we can do to stop them. For, we are a dying people.

Dedicated to and inspired by H.G. Wells

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Eagle Has Landed

Exploration - Part 1

"Hey Barkeep, could I get a carbonic acid and sucrose?" asked Eagle.

"Sure thing Eagle. How are things?" returned the bartender.

"Just great! Thanks for asking. Did you get your supplies okay?

"Yes I did. Thanks. Those pirates haven't given me any more trouble thanks to you. Here's your drink."

"Thanks! Take care." replied Eagle.

"Carbonic acid and sucrose?" inquired a patron of the bartender.

"It is a common drink on his planet," replied the bartender. "I believe they call it 'soda pop' or something to that effect."

"Is it intoxicating?"

"Nah! That is Eagle Douglass. He doesn't drink intoxicating beverages."

"Those Nimrovs are a strange bunch. It is a wonder they are even out this far."

"Eagle is unique among his people," interrupted Essdy Yarnspinner.

"How so?"

"He is one of only a handful of his kind out this far."

"Aren't you the story teller?" asked the patron.

"Yes I am," replied Essdy.

"I'll set you up for a story."

"Do you want to hear anything in particular?"

"Well, you can tell me how this here Eagle fella came to be one of these unique Nimrovs and be out so far from home."

"Fair enough, did you get that tender?"

"You're covered Yarnspinner."

Essdy started:

Eagle was saving as much money as he could during his working days on Nimrov 4. He was a war hero, but he was no longer in the military. His court martial, while it exonerated him, left a sour taste in his mouth about military service. Thus, he had to find other sources of revenue. He was working at a number of different jobs and saving as much money as possible. In most cases, you cannot earn a great deal of money working in the Nimrov colonies. However, Eagle's jobs gave him access to things that he needed to achieve his goal. That goal was to get himself a ship. Since he was part of the team that explored the technology of the Izanians, he had some knowledge of advanced technology required for space travel. Nevertheless, a ship would not come cheap. He lived for the dream of exploring his galaxy. With this in mind, he scrounged and traded to gather parts for a ship.

With his experience upon the UNSS Douglass, he had many designs in mind. However, his final design would greatly depend upon what he could obtain. He could fabricate many things himself, but even these parts would require components. Thus, he would spend hours refining the design for his ship. After a few years of trading and fabricating, Eagle had finally created his own spacecraft. It was not a spectacular craft, but it was a relatively fast scout ship even by Commonwealth standards.

One minor design flaw with Eagle's ship was its size. It was very small, and could hold very little cargo. Thus, it was mostly unacceptable to be a freighter. It was what it was designed to be; it was a scout ship. Thus, this ship was only good for looking around. Eagle and the crew of this ship would not likely be able to use it for trading or making a living in the Commonwealth.

Regardless, Eagle Douglass recruited some Nimrov adventurers who were willing to explore beyond their own solar system. One of these adventurers was his long time school friend Sparky Daniels. With the crew ready and willing, Eagle was finally the Captain of his own ship. He planned to take his ragtag crew to explore as much of the vast galaxy as he could. Their ship was by far the fastest and most technically advanced ship run by humans. However, his first obstacle was how to navigate the hypergates. Eagle and his crew were only aware of the one on the fringes of their solar system. They were sure that it led to Izanian space. They were sure that they did not want to put their shields up against that hypergate and be destroyed like the UNSS Douglass.

Eagle dubbed this ship "The Iguana," and after testing the systems of the ship in their own solar system, they felt they were ready to tackle the hypergate challenge. Eagle powered down all of the Iguanas systems and drifted into the hypergate. They entered undetected into Izanian space. As usual, the Izanian sensors didn't detect the ship leaving a hypergate unpowered. However, they scrambled when Eagle powered up his ship's engines. From the sensors he developed based on the Izanian model, they were able to scan the area. Sparky Daniels notified Eagle of the Izanian fighters on an intercept course. They had to get out of their fast.

Luckily, the Izanian intruder scanners detect engine thruster ionization, and the crew had powered up the engines last. Therefore, the Iguana had its navigational computer and its sensors going before they were detected. They didn't know where they were going, but they needed to make good time. Eagle chose a course and heading at random and the chase was on. The Izanians were in hot pursuit, and they were none too friendly.

The guarding Izanian ships were very maneuverable, but they couldn't match the speed of the Iguana. Occasionally, the guard ships would lock a weapon on the Iguana and fire. The Iguana had energy shields, so they were somewhat protected from the occasional blast. Many of the Iguana's systems were getting a workout as they were frantically trying to escape the hostile ships.

It was fortunate that Eagle designed the Iguana to be a fast ship. A slower, less agile ship would have certainly been destroyed. They were in an old fashion dog-fight with nowhere to go. They were beginning to feel that they should head back into Nimrov space. They needed to find someplace to go quickly.

As they were running from the Izanians, Sparky was scanning the area for anything that would aid in their escape. After much maneuvering and evasive flying, Sparky discovered another hypergate. This gate wasn't going to lead them back home, but hopefully it would lead to a more friendly welcome. Eagle decided that they should try to make a break for it. However, they needed their shields to protect themselves from the Izanian energy weapons. Timing had to be perfect. There wouldn't be time to shut down all systems when entering this gate, so hopefully only the shields needed to be shut down.

At first they flew away from the gate. They wanted to create the maximum distance between themselves and the enemy ships. They also did not want the Izanians to block off their escape route, so it had to be done just right. When the Iguana had the Izanian ships behind it, and clear space between it and the hypergate, Eagle knew the time was right. He set the engines at full speed and made a bee line towards the gate. With that burst of speed, he generated a widening gap between the Iguana and the opposing ships. He asked Sparky to keep an eye on the sensors; when they indicated 10 meters, Sparky was to inform Eagle so he could power down the shields. The Iguana was going quite fast with the Izanians lagging behind when they powered down their shields and entered the gate.

They were now much farther than any other Nimrov had ever traveled, but where were they? These bold adventurers needed to keep records so they could find their way back to Nimrov space. Sparky Daniels did numerous scans and noticed the gate indicator GC73:54:11.

This was Commonwealth space. In fact, it was one of the few unmanned gates. The Commonwealth was notified of any entering ship, but any spaceship was free to pass into Commonwealth space using this particular gate. Naturally, this gate was rarely used because the Izanians had little use for the Commonwealth.

They successfully escaped from the Izanians and could do a bit of exploring. Sparky noted the position of the gate so they could make a return trip. After a bit of exploration, Eagle and his crew came upon the Enilmah shipyards. This shipyard is mostly a salvage yard for old ships. However, entry is by appointment only. Thus, despite wanting to check out the outdated space ships, Eagle had to examine them from a distance. The Iguana explored the area for a few days, and discovered a few more gates.

Very little trade comes through gate GC73:54:11 being located where it is, but it was the Nimrov gateway into galactic space. The supplies were running low and these Nimrovs still did not meet any Commonwealth members, but they needed to head back. There was much more to explore, but they had to be heading back to Nimrov space. However, they learned how to "run the Izanian gauntlet" to get into Commonwealth space and that was a first step.

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Recent Comments

  • Douglas Gogerty: Thanks for the kind words Kerry. I too am very read more
  • Douglas Gogerty: Thanks Christian! I too had a DOS computer. read more
  • Christian: A great story, i remember my first computer with DOS read more
  • Kerry Glasscock: Good story. I love that Dwayne. nice work! read more
  • Douglas Gogerty: Thanks Susanne. You are correct, the OS of computers has read more
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