Augmented B9 Pistol (Weapon)

Creators:  Vivald on the planet Zink

Power:  3
Range:  5
Accuracy:  6

Description:  Not the most powerful of pistols but above average accuracy makes up for this slight flaw.  Like other technology coming from Zink, the Augmented B9 is created from organic substances. It is not a complete weapon in and of itself.  Rather, it's designed to attach to other weapons and "grow" on them.  The end end result is a weapon with an additional firing barrel or an increase in stats from the extra power, range and accuracy the B9 provides.

The Student (Adventure) - Uxel Herum Saga 7

Uxel followed Master Achushnet at an uncomfortable pace.  He was quite a bit taller than her (most species were), so his strides were much longer than hers.  She considered flying but then she would go much faster than him and she had no idea where they were headed.

So Uxel contented herself with examining this new teacher of hers from behind.  Based on what she knew of humans, he had the appearance of one of advanced years.  But he moved with the grace and strength of one much younger.  Like the man she had approached on Corna, this being exuded with power.  Like he was barely containing all the thrumming energy in his body.

They continued to wind their way through the endless Gemshorn caverns.  Occasionally one of the natives would scuttle by.

"Tell me about yourself, Uxel," Master Achushnet asked without turning around.

"There's really not much to tell," Uxel replied while trying not to squawk in fright when she noticed a ramea on the cavern's ceiling.  "I'm a fruit merchant from Corna.  Nothing special."

Master Achushet stopped when she said this and turned to meet Uxel with an unwavering stare.  "No, tell me about yourself, Uxel."

Uxel was taken aback.  No one had ever bothered to ask her this question before.  She considered lying but something told her that this man would know if she did.  "My family died when I was just a hatchling.  I lived most of my life scraping to get by.  I sell fruit as a cover.  Most of my money comes from selling arms and information to the Rebellion.  It's easy work for me since I am often overlooked by the Imperium authorities.  What I crave most is respect.  That is the one thing money cannot buy.  I want others to look at me and not see a lowly merchant from an inferior race."

"To earn respect, you must respect yourself."

Uxel fell into silence and they continued walking until they came to a metallic door imbedded in the rock.

"This is my home.  You are welcome to stay here with me for the time being and, if you prefer, I can arrange for you to have your own quarters since training will take quite a bit of time.  And I think you are wrong, Uxel."


"You do not come from an inferior race.  You come from a race that has lost its sense of purpose.  There's a difference.  I think that you have the potential to become one of the greatest tuners the galaxy has ever seen."

Clarinit Battleship (Ship)

Creators:  Vivald on the planet Zink

Speed:  6
Armor:  7
Maneuverability:  6

Description:  Much like its creators, this is not a normal battleship.  Clarinits are grown rather than built.  The vivald have never divulged their ship designing techniques but it is know for a fact that the Clarinit battlehips are somehow... alive.

There are no standard control panels inside.  Rather, each crew must connect directly to the ship by extending tendrils that take root in the hull.  Though the ship itself is not sentient, it does have basic instincts, making the flying experience a cooperation of sorts between the ship and the crew.

The Clarinit certainly may not be the strongest battleship in existence but what makes it unique is that it doesn't have weaknesses.  It's decently maneuverable and fast for a ship of its size plus the armor can take quite a beating while in combat.  Many species would love to get their hands on such technology and would have stolen it by now if it wasn't for the fact that vivald are needed to pilot the vessel.

The Teacher (Adventure) - Uxel Herum Saga 6

An automated response indicated that Uxel was clear to land on Gemshorn.  For the hundredth time that hour, Uxel wondered if she wasn't making a mistake.  There was a very good reason Gemshorn was not listed on the top tourist destination charts.  There was a high probability she was headed straight to an early demise.  Puffing up her feathers to make herself feel bigger than she really was, Uxel carefully piloted her ship toward one the designated hole in the planet's crust.

All life on Gemshorn was found beneath the planet's surface and Uxel immediately noticed the lack of plant life as she navigated through a seemingly endless dimly lit tunnel.  This planet could not be more opposite from her own homeworld, Corna.

The landing site came into view and Uxel's ship touched down without incident.  She walked out of the cargo vessel and noted with some confusion that the site was completely empty.  No one to greet her.  No one to give her trouble.

One of the native rameans scuttled by, startling her.  The creature paused, tested the air with its pincers and went back to its business, clearly some sort of dock worker.

Uxel shuddered in disgust.  She knew that the rameans were intelligent, sentient beings.  But it didn't change the fact that they looked like the kind of thing one normally avoided in the less habitable portions of her homeworld.

"You get used to them, eventually," a voice said from behind.

Uxel practically jumped out of her skin and whirled around.

"My, my.  A jumpy little thing, aren't you?"

Uxel eyed the elderly human that addressed her.  "A trait that has kept me alive up until now.  I didn't hear you coming."

"Most don't."

"Who are you?"

"You may call me Master Achushnet.  I was told by one of my old pupils that I might expect you."

"And you live her?" Uxel asked, unable to comprehend anyone but the natives wanting to exist in such a place.

"Can you think of a better place for some privacy?  Come and follow me.  I'll take you to my home where we may begin your training."

Vivald (Race)

Home Planet:  Zink

Affiliation:  Rebellion

Description:  The vivald are not your typical sentient life form.  This race does technically qualify as a plant.  They use sunlight to conduct photosynthesis rather than breathe air.  The gas that their body expels after processing the sunlight is considered to be toxic to most species that are non-native to Zink. It is, perhaps, ironic that despite being highly toxic, vivald are considered to be very exotically attractive.

Vivald do not ingest their food but rather absorb the nutrients they need through their planet's soil.  They are grown from seedlings and mature to a standard bipedal form.  Some choose to grow additional arms or legs.  Each extra limb requires more energy and nutrients to maintain so few choose to modify themselves in such a fashion.  They are capable of regrowing their limbs if any happen to be severed.

As a race, the vivald are openly defiant of the Imperium and have made their planet a safe haven for refugees by devoting a generous portion of planetary resources to creating more universally habitable dwellings.  Coming from any other race, this attitude would smack of overconfidence.  But their confidence is not that unreasonable considering any Imperium soldiers sent in would die if exposed to their would-be prisoners.

Zink (Planet)

Affiliation:  Rebellion

Native Race:  Vivald

Main Weapon Produced:  Augmented B9 Pistol

Main Ship Produced:  Clarinit Battleship

Description:  This lush, swampy planet is one of the oldest in the galaxy.  The atmosphere is toxic to most beings but Zink has a unique beauty to it in that many of the native plants are colors one doesn't see elsewhere.  If one is willing to brave the inhospitable air, it is reportedly quite a spectacular site flying over Zink's surface.

The native vivald are quite openly in favor of the Rebellion, a political stance not many planetary governments have been bold enough to take.  The vivald know that their atmosphere would make Zink an expensive planet to occupy and they flaunt this fact in front of the Imperium.

Therefore Zink has become a refuge for those fleeing Imperium persecution.  The multitude of species now found on the planet has made the culture as colorful as the foliage.   

Temporary Allies (Adventure) - Calen Natari Saga 13

"What makes you think I'm going to tell you anything?" the zelenca asked as he warily let go of Calen.  You're a long way from home and from the looks of it a little too young to be doing the job of an experienced assassin."

"I'm not as inexperienced as you think.  It's not every day that I'm asked to infiltrated an underwater city."

"I suppose you have a point there."

"I've been watching you at your bar.  I think you and I have some common ground."

"What do you mean?"

"Don't play stupid with me.  As I said, I'm an experienced hunter.  I may be hampered in this environmental suit but I can still read the signs.  You're working with a resistance movement."

It was difficult to read a zelenca's facial expressions, but the man's body language told Calen that her guess had been correct.  "So what if I am?" he asked, casually.  "Do you know how easy it would be for me to kill you and no one would even know?"

"Probably quite easy.  But you don't want to do that."

"I don't?"

"I'm on your side.  I've been hired by a member of your government to... shall we say... find proof of Imperium spies on your planet.  Something tells me that this would be an appealing prospect for you."

The zelenca was silent for long moments, only the slight opening and closing of his gills moved.  Finally he said, "My race is an old one.  But our leaders our fools.  They fail to see the danger we face. What do you want from me?"

Calen shrugged.  "Nothing much.  Food and supplies.  A corner to sleep in.  Your silence and discretion."

The bartender's eyes gleamed.  He was becoming excited.  For years this resistance had been trying to think of ways to penetrate Shawm's spy network and here this young assassin was the solution to all of their problems and with almost no risk to their movement. "I think I can help you."

Uninvited Guest (Adventure) - Calen Natari Saga 12

Calen followed the bartender to his home but had to put off paying a visit for a few hours while her cloaking device recharged.  She sighed with exasperation.  This demand for secrecy in an underwater city was going to make every task three times longer than it really had to be.

At last, the power bar reached full charge and Calen pushed herself away from the small crevice she had hid in and swam toward the dwelling.  There was only a single door and no windows, a feature Calen found to be extremely alien as her people lived in wide-open tents.  But given water currents and pressure, the lack of windows made sense.

The door was locked by a basic keypad.  On land, Calen would have easily been able to bypass such security measures with a trick she learned from raiding with her tribe.  Unfortunately,  the trick required a pistol.... how was she going t--

The door slid open, startling her.  The bartender swam out, very nearly running into Calen as he deposited what looked to be a pile of trash in a receptacle a few meters away.  Calen had been a breath away from reacting but then remembered that she was invisible.  But there was no telling how accurate these zelenca were with their other senses.

Never one to waste an opportunity, Calen slipped into the dwelling, taking care to disturb the water around her as little as possible.  She moved to a dark corner and watched as the bartender returned and paused for a moment in his doorway as if he sensed something.  Could he have seen her slip inside?  She was almost positive that he hadn't.

Calen forced herself to stop moving in order to avoid detection, causing her to float freely around the cave.  The effect was difficult for her to handle.  As a land hunter she felt more than a little vulnerable floating above her potential target.

Her plan seemed to have worked.  The bartender shrugged and swam over to what appeared to be some sort of food preparation area.  Attacking this man was not going to be easy.  Calen was completely out of her element here.  Her normally lightning-fast reflexes would be slowed.

She carefully removed her knife from her boot and allowed herself to drift all the way to the ceiling.  Then, lining herself up as best she could, she pushed off with all of her might.  It was only a short distance to charge but the bartender must have felt the movement in the water because he dodged to one side, easily evading Calen's assault.

Calen retaliated but the bartender was able to move around her with the natural grace of one born for the water.  He was still not able to see Calen but as soon as she attempted to stab, he deflected.  Foregoing the knife, Calen attempted to grab her target and wrestle him into submission.

They were evenly matched, each vying for the dominant position.  The bartender was slowed only by his inability to see Calen's limbs and Calen was unable to get a firm grasp on the zelenca's slippery skin.  As they thrashed and tumbled about the cave, Calen's cloaking device somehow got knocked off of her wrist.

Calen flickered into full view and the man stopped mid choke-hold when he saw who is assailant was.

"You're not from around here," he said, his voice sounding like a gurgle in the water.

"No, I'm not."

"A zelenca would have known better than to make direct attacks underwater.  Always move with the current.  Why are you here?"

"I need information.  And you're going to give it to me."

Resonator (Weapon)

Description:  The weapon of choice for most tuners.  It is a large, two-pronged metal weapon given to a tuner once they finish their apprenticeship.  Traditionally, the master would make it as a parting gift for their apprentice.

Each resonator is custom built to vibrate at the same frequency level the tuner does, which thereby allowing the tuner to potentially amplify his/her powers when in a combat situation.  On a more basic fighting level, the resonator is wielded like a staff.

The special metal used to design resonators has unique properties to it and is only found on Gemshorn.  The metal is almost indestructible and will adopt a faint color based on what frequency level it is designed to vibrate.

A New Direction (Adventure) - Uxel Herum Saga 5

Uxel starred blankly at the walls of her small nest, lost in thought.  Her life had come to a crossroad and she was going to have to make a decision.  As much as she loathed to admit it, the human had been correct about her.

She was a bac, a race considered by most to be inferior.  She had always been a nobody and used money and information to feel powerful.  But she realized now that being a weapon merchant had gained her money but little else.

But the human had made her an intriguing offer... one that offered a true chance at the power and recognition that she so desperately craved.

"Have you heard of tuners?" he asked.

"Yes, yes I have," she had said.  "But I always thought them to be more myth than fact."

"No.  They are very real.  Few in number, yes.  But real.  I think you have it in you to become one, my feathered friend."


"There has never before been a bac tuner.  Most of your kind are too skittish to take on such a task.  But I see in you ambition and drive.  Plus, I believe that your genetic makeup will give you advantages."

The human smiled.  "You must take my word on it and find out for yourself.  I want you to meet someone on Gemshorn if this interests you."

"Gemshorn!" she had asked, startled.  She had heard stories about the planet through her line of work, none of them good.

"Yes.  I'll send word so he'll be expecting you.  You shouldn't have any trouble making contact.  Just think about it."

And so Uxel had been thinking about it ever since.  This would be an incredible risk on her part.  Many  beings never returned alive from Gemshorn.  But if she had learned anything as a merchant it was nothing ventured, nothing gained.

She got up off her perch.  This prospect was too tempting to resist.

Edim Rifle (Weapon)

Creators: Ramea on the planet Gemshorn

Power:  9
Range:  1
Accuracy:  3

Summary:  An extremely powerful short-range rifle.  Originally designed to be a pistol to help miners get through especially dense ore, the ramea quickly discovered that the blasts were too powerful coming from such a short-barreled weapon.  So the Edim was modified into a rifle, making it slightly more accurate.

This rifle is still primarily used for mining.  Though it is rather effective at blasting away inconvenient walls if one has a mind to do so.

Training Day 142 (Adventure) - Reuben Calloway Saga 13

Reuben cracked his eyes open despite the throbbing behind his temples.  Somehow he was in his bunk.  Straining to recall how he got there he remembered being on the training mission... going after one of the ambushers... and then nothing.

The barrack door opened and Ruben struggled to an upright position to see who approached.

"Sergeant!" he began to push himself up off the bed to issue a formal salute.

"At ease, cadet.  I know the stun setting on those V7s pack a pretty serious punch.  The first time I got hit with one I was unconscious for three days.  You've only been out for a few hours.  You got lucky."

Reuben collapsed back onto the bed.  "Yes, sir."

Bamtrob crossed his arms the way he always did when he was about to issue a serious lecture.  "That was a pretty crazy stunt you pulled out there, cadet.  It was reckless.  You should have spent far more time surveying your attack position, your distraction tactic was childish and you got yourself knocked out in the process."

Well, there goes the rest of my career in Special Assault.  "Yes, sir."

"But you got results and I can't argue with that.  You alerted your squad to the ambush in time and they managed to successfully complete the objective.  You can wipe that 'vertin grin off your face because it's not like you were even awake to see the victory."

Reben tried and failed to assume a sober expression.

"The higher ups liked your little stunt even though I said you're still too green.  But they wanted to give you a promotion.  Congratulations, cadet.  You're third degree.  Don't make them regret this decision."

Reuben saluted from his prone position.  "Yes, sir!  And thank you, sir!"

"Yeah, whatever.  Let's just hope that reckless streak doesn't get you killed on Gittern."

Training Day 141 (Adventure) - Reuben Calloway Saga 12

The darkness began to lace with shades of pink and orange as the sun rose.  It would have been a beautiful morning if Reuben hadn't had this mission to think about.  Despite it being his turn to sleep, he could only lightly doze.  His nerves kept him semi-alert the entire night.

The scouts had returned, reporting that Bamtrob and six others were holed up in a bunker not too far from their location.  That made the the fight an easy one-on-one.  Reuben was immediately suspicious.  There was no way Bamtrob would make this this easy.   One of the first things he had been taught was know your enemy.  And he knew that Bamtrob probably had backup waiting in ambush somewhere.

"Did you do scans of the area?" he asked one of the scouts.

"We did, sir.  The only sentient life forms detected where in that bunker.  If the sergeant has backup they would have to be flown in or take at least twenty minutes to arrive on foot.  As far as we can tell, they're just waiting to shoot it out."

"Hmm... well, it would be foolish to do a direct assault.  Too many unknowns.  What's the terrain like, cadet?"

"Rocky.  Some cover from larger boulders but not much."

"Well, that makes things tricky.  All right, we're going to have to use diversion rather than brut force. Listen closely..."

It was nightfall again when Ruben settled into his position.  In exactly three minutes the attack would begin.  He was counting on the fact that there were reinforcements hidden somewhere.  But his scout had been correct in that they probably wouldn't arrive by air.

Therefore, their first job would be to draw them out.

Unhooking his V7 from his back, Reuben turned on his visor and adjusted his scope at the bunker.  The first phase of his plan was somewhat simplistic.  He and the other cadets had positioned themselves just out of their accurate distance range.  The point was create commotion rather than hit targets.  Plus, it would make counter-attacks difficult for Bamtrob.

The three minutes were up.  Reuben looked through his scope, aimed as best he could and began to squeeze off shots.  The energy bolts (set to low power so no one was killed in the exercise) hit wide.  Soon a rain of bolts came from seemingly all directions as the other cadets began to fire at random.

There was return fire from the bunker but their attempt at deception seemed to be paying off.  The random spread made it difficult to tell exactly where the shots were coming from.

Reuben checked his scanner and blinked into surprise.  It was now detecting three sentient life forms.

'Vert!  They must have faked their life form signature as they waited in hiding.

Thinking quickly, he got up from his position and headed to the closest one on his scanner, using the darkness to cover his movements as best he could.  The main objective was to advance on the bunker.  So he would let the other cadets continue their assault as planned.

There was a flutter of movement that he caught out of the corner of his eye.  Without thinking, he whirled and fired.

The man dropped to the ground in an unconscious heap.

One down...

The other cadets continued their assault, as ordered.  They all continued to fire while one of them advanced forward a few paces.  Then another one would advance a few more paces, slowly closing in on the bunker with cold efficiency.

Reuben noticed on his scanner that the two other sentient life forms were starting to move in on his squad.  He would have to work faster.

He sent a warning signal for his squad to be on the alert for ambushers.  Then began to sprint to the next target figuring they were already aware of his presence.  He should be coming up on the target soon...


Ruben took aim... and a stinging sensation washed over his body.  His body stiffed and he felt himself crumple into blackness...

Training Day 140 (Adventure) - Reuben Calloway Saga 11

The water was impossibly dark.  Reuben centered himself, remembering what Bamtrob had told him about situations like this.  He had to get over relying on his vision.  Eyes were weak and there were four other senses, all equally perceptive if you give him the chance.

He could feel the water ripple around him.  His squad members were near and maintaining formation.  Checking his wrist nav computer, he continued toward the landing site.  The environmental suit he wore allowed him to breathe under water.  Visibility had to be sacrificed for stealth in this training mission.

Reuben had to make this mission count.  He had been placed in charge of running the operation.  This was his team and his plan.  If they managed to successfully complete their objective he would be well on his way to earning his third degree.

For this mission he and the other cadets had been allowed free reign.  Bamtrob and a few other training sergeants would be playing the role of enemy.  Therefore detection must be avoided at all costs.  They would have to use their collective skills flawlessly.

They slipped out of the water silently, keeping all movements to a minimum.  Reuben signaled for his squad to scan the area.  No sentient life signs detected.  As one they striped off their enviro suits and switched on their visors.  Normally equipment such at this was not issued to grunts.  But special attack teams were the exception to this rule.

The squad moved to a heavy cluster of rocks.  They were going to need more information about their area before attempting their land attack.  Reuben gave the signal to set up camp.  Two were on watch, two went to scout.

Then he would assess how best to outmaneuver  Bamtrob...

Biss Fighter (Ship)

Creators:  Ramea on the planet Gemshorn

Speed: 3
Armor:  8
Maneuverability:  3

Description:    The Biss vessel is a fighter in name only.  The ramea have achieved space flight but seem to have little interest in advancing their technology in this field.  The Biss does have fighting capabilities but its primary assest is its heavy armor.  Generally, this ship is only used for cargo transportation.

This ship does, however, have a sort of cult following among hot-shot pilots.  Due to its simplicity, the Biss fighter is easy to modify.  Many claim that in the right hands, this ship can turn into one of the most dangerous fighters in the galaxy.  The trick, though, is acquiring one.

Infiltration (Adventure) - Calen Natari Saga 11

As an air breathing scarlati, this underwater city was not going to be the most hospitable of environments.  But if there was one thing being a desert nomad had instilled in Calen it was survival instincts.  And she knew if she was going to survive, she was going to have to quickly adapt to her surroundings.

Activating her cloaking device, her first order of business was going to have to be to figure out where she was going to hole up for the foreseeable future.  This mission would require deep penetration into the spy network on Shawm.  Certainly a daunting task.

Her environmental suit help her propel through the water as she pushed off from the parking dock.  She headed for what appeared to be a cantina of sorts.  It was as good a place as any to start.  Local watering holes were fertile grounds for gossip.

She slipped in, careful not to touch anyone so they weren't alerted to her presence.  One thing that would definitely take some getting used to on this planet was the potential of having to move up and down.  The cantina tables were spread out so there were a few floating above and below Calen.  This was going to make observation more difficult since there would be no possibility of watching the whole room from a single vantage point.

Choosing an abandoned corner, she decided to position herself in a way that would allow her to observe the bartender.  It was Calen's experience that bartenders usually knew more than they let on.  Also, the patrons would probably venture back every so often for more drinks.

Calen stayed in her corner until closing time, carefully watching the comings and goings of the customers with a trained eye.  The establishment was clearly busy but she saw nothing out of the ordinary except for the occasional private conversation with the bartender.

She had a feeling that her hunch was correct about the bartender.  At the very least he could maybe be persuaded to part with some food and supplies.

This evening he was going to receive an unexpected visitor at his home.

Tuner (Profession)

Description:  The Tuning System is based on the principle that everything in the universe has its own natural vibration.  With training and discipline a being can learn to harness this power and control their body's vibrations.  Those that have mastered this skill are called tuners.

By controlling their own body's vibrations a tuner may, therefore, control the objects around them.  The limitations of this power are solely hinged upon the tuner's own knowledge and creativity.  In order to control a substance, the tuner must know both the properties of the substance and what it naturally vibrates to.

Though true master tuners are rare, they may be found in every walk of life.  In learning to master this art, tuners are taught a code of ethics.  However, it seems that the ethics are more concerned with uses of power than whatever government rules happen to be in place at the time.

More Than Meets the Eye (Adventure) - Uxel Herum Saga 4

"Excuse me good sirs... yes, I couldn't help but notice the both of you from across the marketplace."

The two men gave each other a speaking glance and then looked at her.  Uxel was treading dangerous ground here and they all knew it.

"What's your name?" the human asked suspiciously.

"Oh... names!  Such trivial things aren't they?  Trust me, you'll forget all about names when you hear my offer."

A faint noise floated about the air and a strange power seemed to vibrate from the human.  An interesting sensation, nothing Uxel had ever felt before.  Not unpleasant but still not all together enjoyable.  She felt compelled to trust this stranger.  Like they could work together.

"You will tell me your name and then we will hear what you have to say."

"Uxel.  Uxel Herum," she said, unable to help herself.  The noise stopped.

"Very well Uxel, what would you have of us?"

She shook herself, trying to puff her feathers a bit to look bigger, more confident.  "Nothing much... I just thought you two looked to be the types interested in... information."

"What kind of information?"

"Good information.  Involving, say, important Imperium activities."

The human crossed his arms.  "I am an Imperium citizen as are you.  What would make you suppose that I had any interest in information of this nature?"

"You were speaking to this zelenca here," Uxel pointed.  "Something most humans won't lower themselves to for casual conversation.  You spoke to this zelenca as an equal as well not some servant class.  Also unusual for your species."

The human laughed.  "Well, you're very observant.  We are not, unfortunately, interested in your information right now, little friend.  However...."

The noise started again.  Uxel realized now that it was coming from the human.  She felt power exude from him.  Like he was producing invisible waves and they were enveloping her own body.  She again felt connected to him.  As if they were moving together on a molecular level.

The human's gaze was very intense.  Uxel felt immobilized.  He was connected to her essence and there as nothing she could do about it.

The noise stopped as suddenly as it began.  The human breathed in deeply and then spoke.  "You're an interesting being, Uxel.  So full of petty greed yet so full of untapped potential.  You've been overlooked often.  Money makes you feel important."

Uxel gaped.  She felt completely exposed.  She had not been prepared for a conversation such as this.  All she had wanted was to sell the information she had.

"I think you should meet a friend of ours, Uxel.  He would be the person to help you."

Uxel was confused.  Help her?  Did this mean he would be buying her information?

Slicer (Profession)

Description:  They are gone long before you realize they were there.  Slicing requires skill, concentration and extreme patience.  The long hours it takes to break into a computer system can be more than worthwhile if the hacked information can be sold on the black market to interested parties.  Most slicers try and operate remotely, their expertise falling squarely in the realm of computers rather than combat.  But the truly bold -the truly successful- slicers prefer a more... hands on... approach. 

Narrow Vision (Adventure) - Gorg Chum Saga 5

"Councilor Chum, I fail to see where you're going with this point."

Gorg turned from the accusation, desperate to keep his emotions under control.  The view from the council chamber was truly spectacular.  One could see the entire capital city.  Schools of brightly colored fish swam by and sunlight trickled through the ocean depths.

There had been no news of Calen's arrival.  A good sign.  Outsiders were always of note so he probably would have hear a rumor by now if his people suspected.

"The council has already made clear that we are to take no offensive action against the Imperium," Gorg said finally.  "But given the current galactic political instability, it would be prudent to build up our planetary defenses."

"That would be a waste of resources," another council member observed.  "Resources we could well use for other projects."

Gorg swam away from the window to the center of the room.  "And what if the Imperium attacks?  We will have no planet left to develop!  My fellow councilors, I beg you to consider this matter with a broader viewpoint.  Our planet is generally viewed to be impenetrable by most but we cannot rely on our reputation to defend!  All it would take is one spy to report our weaknesses and we would be finished."

"Again, we have no reason to suspect the Imperium will attack.  We even have peaceful trading negotiations with them."

"And when has that ever been enough for the Imperium?  They won't rest until all planets are under their control.  They have made this clear by their actions.  Shawm is one of the few planets that could offer serious resistance.  Councilors, it's not a matter of if they attack, it's when."

They murmured.  "Your argument is strong.  But peace requires trust.  If we start to prepare for war, it would surely incite the Imperium to do the same.  No, we must do nothing."

Training Day 76 (Adventure) - Reuben Calloway Saga 10

Reuben thought he was going to be sick.  His C.O. had drilled the safety and tactical instructions into his head until he was muttering them in his sleep.  But nothing could prepare him for... the view.

The transport shuttle had taken Reuben up to the topmost layer of atmosphere and then opened the cargo doors.

"The first jump is the worst," Reuben heard Sargent Bamtrob say in his suit's earpiece.  "Then it becomes easer once you know what to expect."

"But... it looks like a planet!" Reuben blurted out.

This wrung a rare laugh from Bamtrob.  "You're doing a high altitude drop.  What did you expect?"

"I don't know... like I was flying really high in the sky? But I can see the curve of the planet! What if I miss?"

Reuben had no idea why seeing Tabor from what seemed like space scared him so.  But it did.  All the confidence in his abilities that he had painstakingly acquired were swept away in one quick second.

"It just looks that way," Bamtrob assured.  "We're still well within the planet's gravitational pull.  You won't miss.  Don't think.  Just jump."

Reuben took a breath and then ran out the cargo bay doors.

For one perfect moment he was suspended above his home planet.  He felt an unexpected sense of peace wash over him.  There was no one to fall back on.  It was only him.

Angling his body downward, he began plummeting toward the distant ground with increasing speed.  High altitude jumps such as this were done for the sake of speed and secrecy, not sight seeing.

His jump suit regulated his air but seemed to do little for the massive force against his body as he continued his decent.  Reuben tried to relax his breathing as best he could.  If he started hyperventilating as this altitude, there was a good chance he would pass out.

Carefully watching the coordinates displayed on the corder of his faceplate, Reuben aimed himself toward the landing site.

Just a few more seconds and he would have to engage his landing gear.

Almost.... almost...


He spread his arms and legs, activating the superfine material on his suit that connected them.  It almost felt as if he slammed to a halt as the material did its job catching air and slowing his decent.

The view had gone from terrifying to spectacular.  If only he wasn't doing a training exercise and getting marks, he might actually be enjoying himself.  Reuben relaxed a little, allowing the currents to catch him and help direct his movements.

The landing site was close.

He allowed himself to drift and then used the repulsors in the feet and hands of his suit try and complete the job.  He felt himself wobble as he struggled for balance and then dropped to the ground just a little too soon.

Reuben landed on his back with a thud and tried to blink away the stars that were dazedly floating before his eyes.  "Ow...."

"Good work, cadet," Bambtrob's voice said over the earpiece.  "You landed right on target.  We'll wait a few hours and then attempt a nighttime jump."

Saraband Cloaking Device (Weapon)

Creators:  Humans on Tabor

Description:  Cloaking technology is still very much in its infancy.  This particular device is only issued to soldiers on delicate missions in the Special Assault Corp as they are far too expensive for the average grunt.  The Saraband is a wristband but it could, in theory, attach to almost any limb.  It detects the surrounding light levels and reflects them before the rays have a chance to hit the wearer.

It is far from perfect, however.  This device works on a charge and must work harder where there is more light to reflect.  Therefore, nighttime use is recommended.  The Saraband also only makes the wearer visually invisible.  So one must take care to avoid those with excellent senses of smell or hearing.

The Imperium is very protective of the Saraband for obvious reasons.  Only trusted soldiers with solid service records are allowed to use them.  There have been rumors, however, that somehow a few of these devices have disappeared and are now on the black market.

Artwork by Andrew de Guzman

Scouting the Situation (Adventure) - Calen Natari Saga 11

Shawm's ocean depths hummed with life and activity.  Schools of fish swam by and underwater plants danced with the current.  Occasionally Calen noticed a distant, hulking shape and she tightened her grip on the Oboi's controls, preferring not to think about what the creature could be.

But soon all thoughts of the unknown threat left as she took in her first view of a zelenca city.  It was much larger than she had expected.  She was well aware that the zelenca were politically respected but the rumors of their military might were based solely on speculation.

Calen was not one to pick sides.  But she realized now that the Imperium vastly underestimated these zelenca.  This highly advanced city was no "fish tank" as she had heard many Imperium soldiers crudely term it.  If it was any indication of what the other cities on Shawm were like... they would be a force to be reckoned with.

Not wanting to attract attention to herself she nudged the Oboi into what seemed to be the main flow of traffic.  Calen flipped a switch to turn on the sun reflectors, hoping it would more or less cover her face from curious onlookers piloting by.  This planet, for obvious reasons, did not have a lot of tourists.  The presence of a non-zelenca would certainly be noted.

Most of the dwellings were made out of the natural surroundings.  Calen was vaguely reminded of the coral reefs she had seen holo pictures of on data pads when she was young.  Only this was exponentially larger than anything she had seen before in pictures.

Following the coordinates on her nav-screen Calen noted that the portion of the city she was piloting through was looking less and less glamorous.  The dwellings were not quite so well-maintained and there was less sunlight.

Calen pulled her Oboi to a halt on what seemed to be a long abandoned docking station.  Upon looking around she realized grimly that the councilor had led her to the slums; the underbelly of this thriving metropolis.  The type of area where life was cheap and a being could disappear for the right price.


Menut Enviromental Suit (Weapon)

Creators: Zelenca on the planet Shawm

Description: An environment suit designed to fit most bipedals. The suit was designed by the zelenca for when, on those rare occasions, they had distinguished air-breathing visitors. Essentially it is a second skin that filters the oxygen out of the water for the visitor.

Artwork by Andrew de Guzman

Nothing to See Here (Adventure) Uxel Herum Saga 3

"Fine fruits, yes, very fine," Uxel chirped at the passersby.  "The best on Corna!  Best flavor, best price!"

Every so often a being would stop and make a show of examining the exotic fruit.  Occasionally they would buy.  Normally Uxel reveled in selling the fruit she gathered every morning at such a high price. But today she was distracted.

Today she was scouting for a very special kind of potential buyer.

A few Imperium soliders paced by, completely ignoring her as they did most of her kind.  "Nothing to see here except the best fruits in the galaxy!" she continued.

Then something caught her eye.  A zelenca and a human had been conversing on the other side of the marketplace.  But when the soldiers appeared they stopped abruptly and made a casual attempt to cover their features.

Very interesting indeed.

Ramea (Race)

Home Planet:  Gemshorn

Affiliation:  Imperium

Description:  Though sentient, the ramea did not end up evolving into a more humanoid form as many intelligent species in the galaxy seem to have done.  Ramea may be noted by their hard exoskeleton, six legs and pincers.  As their entire race exists below Gemshorn's crust, ramea have no optical sensors.  Instead, they "see" using super sensitive hairs on their legs to detect vibrations and sound.

 Ramea are perfectly intelligent but have thus far seemed content to submit to Imperium rule.  They achieved space flight before most but never made any move to explore.  Instead, they seem content with their mining operations.  Their prominent pincers serve as the perfect digging tool.

The Imperium has grown reliant on the raw materials produced by the ramea.  But despite their complacency, the ramea are not to be trusted.  It has been rumored that no ambassador has ever returned from a diplomatic mission to the planet.

Gemshorn (Planet)

Affiliation:  Imperium

Native Race:  Ramea

Main Weapon Produced:  Edim Rifle

Main Ship Produced:  Biss Fighter

Description:  Essentially a gigantic rock. The most notable feature about Gemshorn is the distinct lack of vegetation and terrain life.   Termal vents found beneath the crust have allow allowed gases from the core to escape and form a subterranean atmosphere in the caves formed by volcanic eruptions.

While generally avoided by tourists, Gemshorn is one of the top producers of raw metals for the Imperium.  The entire crust of the planet contains the crucial materials used for ship and weapon construction.  The rameans must be careful when mining, however.  If too many holes are made through the crust, the stability of their atmosphere could be compromised as gases escape into space.

Training Day 5 (Adventure) - Reuben Calloway Saga 9

Reuben swore under his breath as he missed his target yet again.  These mock space fights were completely different from fighting on land.  Firing a rifle was more tactile.  Swiveling around in a Cillo gunner's chair made him feel completely out of control.

"You're trying too hard, again," Sergeant Bamtrob commented casually over the ship's comm.

Easy for him to say.  He's piloting the 'verting thing.

"Stop trying to fight the motion of the ship.  Work with it."

Reuben squeezed his eyes shut in frustration.  He had been at this for 5 days straight.  He almost missed the intense physical aspect of basic training.  That had been nothing more than an endurance contest.  This required skill.  Skills he didn't have.

But he knew he wouldn't be able to move on until he got this.  He wouldn't give up now.  Not this early in his military career.

"The next round of targets are being launched.  Get ready, cadet."

Reuben opened his eyes and forced himself to relax.  He felt Bamtrob adjust the ship's heading and allowed his body to follow the motion rather than move how he wanted to move.

Out of the corner of his eye he caught the small motion of one of the targets.  He felt the ship adjust.  Using the motion of the roll to his advantage, he aimed ahead of the target and fired.

It exploded in a small cloud.

Elated, Reuben aimed again at the next target but missed.  He missed two more times before he finally hit another target.

Another round of targets launched.

Reuben felt himself become part of the ship.  He was completely focused.  All that existed was his gunner's chair and the targets flying by.

Two more hits.

Another miss.

"Good," Bamtrob comment.

Reuben was startled.  He had forgotten about the sergeant.

"You're improving.  Might be some hope for you yet, cadet."

Descending through the Depths (Adventure) - Calen Natari Saga 10

Artwork by Andrew de Guzman

Calen couldn't help but be a tiny bit flattered by the job the councilor had offered her.  Such an assassination could only be entrusted to someone highly skilled.

Or... highly expendable...

She had little doubt as to which the councilor thought she was.  But Calen fully intended to prove her worth as a hunter.  If the The Spirits guided her well she would achieve a kill that no other scarlati could ever hope to achieve.  There would be glory in the afterlife for her.

Her first order of business was penetrating the zelenca's underwater city.  Not an easy feat since she could neither breathe underwater or swim.  The next thing she would have to do is procure a method of avoid detection while she tried to discover the spies.

Fortunately, Councilor Chum had provided a solution on both counts.  Calen had to give him credit for thoroughness.  Her data pad indicated a location on one of the larger islands where she could find her supplies.

It was a quick flight.  She landed Blue Sun, jumped out and then touched a button on her wrist control panel to send the ship into autopilot.

Calen eyed the Oboi sub warily.  The councilor had assured her that it would be just like flying her own starfighter.  Only in water.  In truth, the prospect terrified her.  Coming from a desert planet, her people viewed water with awe.  It was something to be respected and feared.  And now she was about to pilot through it.

She opened the small cabin and found the remaining supplies.  An environment suit designed to fit most bipedals and a cloaking wristband.  The suit was designed by the zelenca for when, on those rare occasions, they had distinguished air-breathing visitors.  Essentially it was a second skin that filtered the oxygen out of the water for the visitor.

Doning the suit, she climbed into the submarine's cabin and powered up the engines.  The ship hummed to life and lifted off the ground.  Gripping the controls a little tighter than normal, Calen aimed the ship toward the vast ocean and plunged into the water.

For a moment she forgot about the suit and panic briefly took hold as the cabin filled with water.

But the suit seemed to have no trouble with its job because despite being surrounded by liquid she had no trouble breathing.  Calen calmed herself and then adjusted the ship's heading toward the zelenca city.

As the ship sliced through the ocean's depths effortlessly, Calen couldn't help but pause and absorb her surroundings.  She had never before seen anything so alien.  Or so beautiful.

Smuggler (Profession)

Description:  A line of work that is thriving despite the Imperium's crackdown on the illegal transportation of goods.  The Rebellion is constantly in need of weapons and food to supply their underground movements.  While skill with hand-to-hand combat is certainly useful, the best smugglers are the ones that happen to be gifted pilots.

Artwork by Andrew de Guzman

The Factory (Adventure) - Uxel Herum Saga 2

Ah yes... the factory was still there.  Her little secret.  Her fortune.

To any Imperium official that asked, Uxel was a simple fruit merchant.  She sold native foods that most tourists considered to be novelties.  But this business was nothing.  She made enough to make her business appear legitimate, nothing more.

No, the real money was in selling weapons.  The Rebellion was constantly in need of supplies and she was more than happy to sell them.  She never went out of her way to smuggle the weapons.  No, that was a job for beings bolder than her.

She preferred to think of herself as a distribution agent.  Corna was the perfect spot.  So many tourists came and went that no one thought twice about the comings and goings of different species.

But this factory... this would put all of that to shame.  She had long heard rumors of such a place.  That the Imperium had set up a factory in the dark forest.  The lower levels of the forest that no bac dared to venture.

It was the perfect spot, really.  Ego combined with a sizable compliment of guards must have made the Imperium believe that they were impervious to the perils of the dark forest.

For the past standard month, she had flown to the factory location and crept as close as she dared to take notes on her data pad.  The more notes, the more this information would be worth to the Rebellion.

It was a ship factory.  They seemed to mostly focus on the smaller fighters so as not to attract too much attention.  Uxel had already counted the number of guards and was now trying to figure out guard rotations and worker schedules.

She sat on her perch and took a calming breath as she prepared to spend yet another day taking notes and comparing them to her old ones.  It was tedious work.  But her patience would pay off.  She was sure of it.

Gittern (Planet)

Affiliation:  Imperium

Native Race:  None

Main Weapon Produced:  None

Main Ship Produced:   None

Description:  Arguably one of the most interesting planets yet discovered.  Due to a unique combination of planet rotation speed and proximity to various solar bodies, the seasons on Gittern change at an extremely rapid pace.  Each "day" on Gittern lasts about eight standard hours and the seasons change about every three days.

With the constant switching between thick snow storms, rain and intense heat, the only native inhabitants to Gittern are several species of fungus.  The fungus seems to have no trouble adapting to the rapid changing environment.

Technically under Imperium jurisdiction, this unique planet serves a unique role for Imperium troops: it is used as for survival training when cadets finish their year of basic training.  The cadets are dropped off with only the most basic of supplies and are expected to survive for two standard weeks.  Those that do become full-fledged members of the Imperium military and must serve for another four years to complete the mandatory service requirement.

According to Plan (Adventure) - Gorg Chum Saga 4

His meeting with Calen Natari had gone better than he had expected.  She was a fascinating young woman; both observant and thorough.  Precisely the sort of qualities he needed for such a delicate mission.

Everything was going according to plan.  It was only a matter of time before Calen was able to root out his enemies.  And it was his job now to distract the board and local law enforcement.  Trying to keep news of an outsider such as Calen under wraps would be no small feat.  But... not impossible.

In the end, the effort would be worth it.  He refused to let his planet fall prey to the Imperium as so many others had done.  So long as Calen was successful, the end would justify the means.  

The Real Work Begins (Adventure) - Reuben Calloway Saga 8

In the few hours Reuben had to himself before being shipped off to Special Assault Corp training, he was able to vid-comm his parents.  They had been thrilled by the news of his assignment.  It was the kind of news every Imperium parent hoped to hear from their child.

Their approval had made Reuben burst with pride.  Finally it felt like he was doing something with his life.  Things could only go up from here.

The shuttle finally arrived to pick up the next batch of cadets to their respective assignments.  The trip to the Special Assault training grounds was surprisingly short.  Reuben could feel the other trainees staring at him when he was the only one to leave the shuttle at this stop.

I wonder what they are thinking of me?

The large building looming before him was clearly labeled the command center.  The guard stationed out front told Reuben with a smirk that Sergent Bamtrob's office was down the hallway, second door on the left.

Though the guard was too well trained to say anything else, Reuben could tell the guard was silently laughing at him.  As if to say: "there's the office, it's your funeral."

With trepidation Ruben walked to the office and knocked.  A voice bade him to enter and he walked in confidently hoping his body language would cover up the uncertainty he truly felt.

To his surprise, there was no one sitting at the desk.

"Sergent Bamtrob...?"

Before he even had a chance to look around a grip of iron grabbed him from behind and threw him to the ground with bruising force.

Reuben felt the breath get knocked out of his lungs and his vision was momentarily blurred.  It was apparently a moment too long because his assailant was instantly upon him, pinning his arms and pushing a knife against his throat.  If his attacker so much as twitched, the blade would pierce his skin.

"Are you Cadet Calloway?"

"Yes," Reuben croaked out, not daring to move.

"I'm Sergent Bamtrob and today your real work begins starting with replacing ever instinct you've ever had."

Overlooked (Adventure) - Uxel Herum Saga 1

The soliders always overlooked her.  If only they knew.  It would serve them right.

Uxel's eyes darted to left and right.  The Imperium soldiers thought they were so high and mighty.  They called her people bird faces or flock of freaks.  Like having feathers made you lesser.

If only they knew what she knew.

She really couldn't understand how the flightless could get so superior.  They were probably just angry about being stuck on land.

The Imperium didn't bother her much.  She was, after all, just a lowly merchant.  For all they knew.

Her eyes darted around again and she quickly glanced up and down.

But she had now intention of being a lowly merchant forever.  She knew things now.  She had figured out what the Imperium was really up to.  And she was going to make a tidy profit from it.

She just had to figure out who would want to pay to know what she knew.

Bounty Hunter (Profession)

Description:  Profit is the bottom line in this particular profession.  Though the bounty hunter may be hired to do the occasional assassination, they are mostly trying to find those that don't wish to be found.  A successful bounty hunter must be tough, proficient in almost every type of weapon and immune to begging and pleading.

The Meeting (Adventure) - Calen Natari Saga 9

Calen stood on a small island and clenched her fists in an effort to control the need to pace restlessly.  She didn't like this situation.  A zelenca councilor had contacted her and told her to meet him at this precise location on his home planet.

Most of the planet was entirely covered with water but there were still a few small islands.  The one Calen stood on was completely bare of any features and was just large enough for her to land her ship.

She felt totally exposed.

She had no idea how friendly the zelenca were but she imagined it would probably be fairly easy to pick her off right now if anyone felt so inclined.

Calen had been standing in this spot for over one standard hour with no sign of the councilor.  If she hadn't been so on edge the gentle sound of the lapping waves might have lulled her to sleep.  She found her reaction to the sound odd since this was the first time in her life that she had ever seen so much water in one place.

Out of the corner of her eye she caught a small movement beneath the ocean surface.  She responded instantly by pulling out her pistol.

The being seemed to be swimming toward her.  Calen climbed on top of her ship for a better angle and aimed her gun at the movement.  She wasn't sure what it was but she refused to die a coward's death.

Councilor Chum emerged from the water.  Calen watched with interest as he stood up on land and his fin separated into two legs.

She holstered her gun and jumped down.  "You're late, councilor."

"I've been in this area for some time.  I had to make sure neither of us were followed."

Calen put her hands on her hips, hoping to convey her annoyance.  "Get to the point."

"You understand that I am counting on your absolute discretion?"

She nodded.

"My planet is in danger, Ms. Natari, and I need your help.  Suffice to say that I... know... there are Imperium spies here.  However, the board refuses to listen to me unless I have more... shall we say... hard proof?"

"I see.  So wish for me to expose these spies.  And my compensation...?"

The councilor handed her a data pad.  "These are some leads along with the price I am willing to pay for such a service."

Calen scrolled through the data pad for a moment.  "You must care about this a great deal.  Your price is more than acceptable.  I'll take the job."

"My planet means everything to me, Ms. Natari.  I refuse to let it fall to those Imperium scum."

Muzik Chronicles is Getting a New Look!

Dear Muzik Chronicles Readers,

I have thoroughly enjoyed writing these installments and I feel like it's time to take this blog to the next level.  I have been working with graphic artist Andrew de Guzman to create concept art for the various descriptions I have already made.

Click on the links to see some of the completed projects:

C6 Sniper Rifle

Cillo Fighter


I'm very excited to be working with Andrew.  I think he's incredibly talented and puts a lot of attention into incorporating the details I've described.  The goal is to eventually have a picture on every post.



Courant Visor (Weapon)

Creators:  Scarlati on the planet Rebec

Description:  Though not technically a weapon, the Courant visor is considered by most hunters to be an extremely useful accessory.  The visor is pulled down over the eyes and allows for both night vision and a complete 360 degree view of your surroundings regardless of which way one is actually looking.

The 360 degree view allows a hunter to remain motionless but still be completely aware of his surroundings.  The scarlati as a species already have natural night vision and the earlier versions of this visor did not include this feature.  However, they decided to add it once the visor started to attract a wider audience (such as bounty hunters and assassins).

Delicate Request (Adventure) - Gorg Chum Saga 3

Councilor Chum sat working at his desk when the vid-comm alerted him to an incoming message.  An incoming secure message.  He accepted the call.

"Calen Natari," he said without preamble.

"Councilor," she nodded in assent.

"You're younger than I expected."

"And you're wasting my time."

Gorg smiled.  No messing with this one.  Perfect.  "I trust I can count on your discretion?"

Calen nodded in assent once again.

"I need you to come to Shawm and collect some... proof... for me."

Calen clearly looked annoyed.  "That's not really in my line of work.  Contact your local security for that."

"I will be blunt, Ms. Natari.  The Imperium is here on my planet but I need hard proof.  I would be willing to pay quite well for you to, shall we say, dig up their spies?"

"Now that is something I could handle.  I'll be at Shawm in seven standard hours."

"Excellent.  I thank you.  I'll make sure you have no trouble with the landing procedures."

Assignment (Adventure) - Reuben Calloway Saga 7

Reuben found himself yet again standing outside Sergent Vert's office.  His every muscle was tense and he hadn't been able to eat breakfast that morning due to nerves.  This was it.  His whole life was going to be determined in these next few minutes.

Sergent Vert hollered for him to enter.

"First Degree Cadet Calloway reporting in, sir!"

"Yes, yes," Sergent Vert gestured dismissively as he looked over a report.  "You've had a unexemplary training so far, cadet.  But during your division tests..."

"I know, sir..."

"You know, cadet?  You know what?"

"I didn't follow the rules during the division tests."

"What rules?  We told you to stay alive and take out your opponents.  And you did.  You did that alarmingly well.  I don't know if it rose from some streak of cleverness or cowardice but you did it, cadet."

"I did.... what, sir?"

"You did well enough to be assigned to Special Assault Corp.  That branch needs thinkers like you.  Soldiers that aren't afraid to run in a different direction."

Reuben was stunned.  He had been preparing himself to be sent to the front.  Or, worse, be kicked out and sent home humiliated.   But Special Assault Corp!  Only the most highly skilled were sent there!

"Here are your orders, cadet.  You'll be reporting to Special Assault Sergent Bamtrob from now on."

"Thank you, sir!"

"Oh... and here," Sergent Vert handed him a small box that contained a rank pin.  "You've been promoted to second degree.  Nice work, cadet.  Dismissed."

Tumpet Battleship (Ship)

Creators:  Bac on the planet Corna

Speed:  2
Armor:  9
Maneuverability: 1

Description:  The Tumpet battleship is essentially a space tank.  The bac are not best known for their technology advances.  Though perfectly capable of coming up with something, they choose to focus on other aspects of their culture.

The speed and maneuverability are laughable with the Tumpet.  However, the armoring is nothing to sneer at.  While this battleship may be slow to weave and run, it counts on the fact that it can sit in a fight and take a beating for quite some time.

First Flight (Adventure) - Calen Natari Saga 8

Calen's former employer had left her alone in the warehouse/hangar with her new ship.  She was still in awe of her new acquisition.  The ship was perfect.  Everything and more she could have ever hoped for.

She climbed up the side and touched a small button that make the cockpit slide open.  She lowered herself into the pilot's chair.  Everything fit perfectly.  As if it had been custom made for her alone.

Calen had some experience with flying.  She had flown interplanetary shuttles and hover taxis.  But this was her first lightspeed ship.  Her first chance at real freedom.

Her employer must have told someone that a ship would be departing because the hangar doors began to slowly grind open, letting the outside heat and sun pour in.  It was time to leave this place and make a name for herself.

Calen turned on the power and the ship thrummed to life.

She slid her hands over the controls, enjoying the rough, metallic texture.  She raised the landing gear and urged the ship forward slowly.  Calen could feel Blue Sun's energy.  As if the ship was as eager to leave as she.

As soon as she cleared the hangar doors, she threw the throttle forward and blasted toward Rebec's upper atmosphere.

Db Mounted Pistol (Weapon)

Creators:  Bac on the planet Corna

Power: 3
Range: 3
Accuracy: 5

Description:  With barely average accuracy and unimpressive power or range, the Db pistol is seemingly unimpressive on paper.  However its developer did give it one decided advantage: it is a hands free weapon.

While bac are mobile on land, they generally fly from place to place.  Therefore, having a weapon that does not require the use of their upper or lower limbs is exceedingly useful.  The pistol has a wire that may be inserted into a muscle area of choice on one's body.  When the muscle is tensed, the pistol fires.

Such an unorthodox firing mechanism does take quite a bit of getting used to less one shoots the pistol by accident.  Many bounty hunters and other beings in less than reputable professions have adopted this weapon claiming it to be an extremely useful backup in fighting situations.

Corna (Planet)

Affiliation:  Imperium

Native Race:  Bac

Main Weapon Produced:  Db Mounted Pistol

Main Ship Produced:  Tumpet Battleship

Description:  Corna was one of the first planets to be "initiated" into the Imperium.  The planet's native inhabitants are friendly enough but certainly not known for their strategic expertise.  They surrendered control almost the moment the Imperium set foot on their planet.

Corna is primarily known for being almost entirely covered by forests and is a popular tourist destination. The bird-like bac live in large nests that most species find fun and/or romantic to stay in.  Because of this the Imperium rarely bothers Corna for anything other than taxes.  They like to think that they are keeping the morale of their citizens high.

Corna is an average sized planet however only a very small portion of it is deemed habitable.  Much of the forest contains deadly plants that can consume a human-sized being.  The ancient bac used to have a tradition of venturing into these more hazardous areas to kill such a plant and claim a trophy of honor.  However, it has been centuries since anyone has attempted such a feat.

Unexpected Talent (Adventure) - Reuben Calloway Saga 6

"Alright, cadets, listen up!  You've got one last test before we start assigning your sorry hides!"

Reuben stood stiffly at attention trying to simultaneously listen to Sargent Vert's instructions and steady his heart rate.  Assignment trials were even more difficult than basic training.  For three solid days the cadets had been pushed to their physical limits.

They had just finished an extremely long run when Sargent Vert had shouted for them to line up in rank order.

"This will be mock combat!  Live ammo will not be used but we will be monitoring who shot who.  Is that clear?"

"Yes, sir!"

"You will be scored based on how long you last.  As soon as you receive your weapon, go!"

"Yes, sir!"

Sergent Kon handed Reuben his weapon and he felt himself immediately go into a sort of automatic pilot state.  He supposed this was want the wanted: very little thinking and all instinct.

A few of the cadets had already charged into the main field and had already shot each other.  A few made an effort to hide behind a rock or a tree.  But for some reason Reuben immediately noticed that they were all running in the same direction to find hiding places.  They were following the pack.

At that point he figured that his best bet was to take a different direction.  He slowed down his running on purpose to let the rest of the cadets pass him up as they charged into the field.  Once he was behind everyone, he veered off the right; taking care to stay out of sight.

He may not be the best shot, but he wasn't terrible and could at least use the element of surprise.  He cautiously made his way from tree to tree until he found one that had limbs low enough to climb.  The tree had thick foliage which seemed to be both good and bad.  The others couldn't see him, but he would have an even harder time aiming.

At last he managed to position himself where he could see through leaves.  It was a perfect spot.  He was just far enough away that his V7 would still be accurate but at the same time the other cadets probably wouldn't be able to tell who shot them.

Lining up his sights, he began to pick off his fellow cadets one by one as they ran by on the field.  He missed about half of the time.  But it didn't matter because, as he suspected, the other cadets where too distracted to notice his shots.

He just hoped he wouldn't get docked for unconventional combat tactics...