Sunday, February 21, 2016

Death and Beginnings-A Vedic Story.

Miko and Tel ran. The sand was hot on their feet, and the Sun with its warmth had burned their feet weeks earlier couldn't compare to the fire they felt every time the stepped down. Now they ran for their lives even though their breath came high in the their chest and their ears rang with the exertion of their hearts. The second wave of skimmers blew over the top of their heads and launched Lotus Arrows at their city.

“Arrrgh! You bastards stop! Can't you see we pose no more threat. You beat us! Stop killing us!” Miko yelled at the skimmers as they thundered past the two young people. Tel launched herself off the ground and tackled her friend, causing the both of them to hit the ground and roll into a hollow between two sand dunes covered in glass.

Multiple bursts of white light, brighter than the Sun hanging in the sky imprinted their shadows on the ground beneath them. The visors on their Dragon survival suits instantly polarized. Still enough radiation in the form of highly excited photons permeated everything so much so they could see their bodies and bones inside each other's suit.

They crawled into the notch of where the two dunes met and held on to each other. Each Arrow became a towering pillar of light and death where moments earlier they had spent most of their lives living. An already prostate community of thirty three million souls turned to ash in a silicone moment. They could feel the death of their people and their culture burn away in the glare of nuclear fire.And they screamed.

High overhead the Mitra Satellite orientated its optics to a valley where nuclear actinic light  became so brilliant, it caused the Mitra Monitor to automatically slide its filters over its lenses to protect its sensitive optics. Protocols began cascading with each spike of EMP radiation. Simple binary equations of yes/no caused other protocols to activate. In a matter of moments measured in the span between heart beats, the Oathkeeper found it was time to serve its original purpose and keep its promise to a people and a capital city who were even now turning to atoms.

Solar powered panels turned on their brackets, opening like a blossom. Mitra evolved into its true purpose for the first and only time in its existence. It had spent decades sending back agricultural and weather information to the ground as a way of camouflaging; But in the event of certain protocols, it answered its true calling, which it did with a silent dispassionate functionality. 

The station named after the Promise Keeper of Oaths, activated weapon deployment pods. Like the stamen of a Tagar Blossom, Missile pods began silently falling away from the satellite. At first gravity began a gentle pull on their cases and with a burst of transmitted information they orientated themselves to their targets and moved with the precise use of maneuvering chemicals which left ice crystal clouds floating in slowly decaying orbits.

An automated message was sent out on all known channels, it was the last thing Mitra broadcast before going dark: 

“At first the world was covered and void. Then force and heat came to shape the waters.
By this force he who was the Avatar of worlds came into being.
Lo' Shiva the creator and destructor of worlds has been 
called forth once more.
Look upon his mighty works and weep.”

In the deep purple waters where the sun was birthed, the planet rotated into darkness. The last glow of a golden Sun illuminated a lovely volcanic island with a large cinder cone. Placed inside the caldera was an enormous crystal, it collected the solar satellite power streams and distributed the power of the Sun to the citizen of this island nation via the enormous crystal. Homes and palaces ran down Mount Soor's slopes, and man made reefs radiated from the island like the spokes of a wagon wheel.

Some circles of land were given over to agricultural usage other's manufacturing and others housing. From the last and seventh ring, massive piers and warehouses radiated outward. From space it appeared to be an enormous Sun symbol. Which at the last moment was appropriate. All of the flower seeds from Mitra powered their way down through an increasingly thicker and therefore warmer atmosphere.

The ablative shield of the flower pods burned with a red gold glow, appearing as if a shower of light had fallen on their country. Warheads in the 100 kiloton range exploded 300 meters above the
city-island. The force of the explosion vaporized the ocean down to the seabed. In the nanoseconds the second wave of warheads exploded and actually cracked the mantle, punching their way into the living hot magma of the planet itself, causing a massive secondary and tertiary explosion to happen as the eastern ocean rushed back to fill the void.

Debris, dust, smoke ashes, were carried aloft. Soon darkness spread across the planet like black ink being poured into a bowl of clear water. Tsunamis rolled across the deep and entire regions of the planet sank beneath the waves. Beasts who had fought and clawed their way up the evolutionary time line found their environments altered beyond adapting. Entire continents changed and altered. What was once cool and temperate now had massive heat waves and droughts. Places who had never known ice and snow were buried under tons of it, with more falling everyday. The time of Now ceased to exist. It  had become the Breaking time. And at last the poles reversed themselves as the planet wobbled and was temporarily knocked from its familiar path.

For Kahur and Myah-Toc his commander , it was a time of horror. They watched as the two greatest empires of man had destroyed themselves. Witnessing intercontinental ballistic missiles crawl back and forth in an orgy of death was almost more than they could bear to view. but it was their duty to stand watch on Chaand Station. They were the moon's station keepers

It was their duty to continue to send messages of hope to those left behind on Earth and of warning to those of the deep space fleet around the water moon of Chaand Kab, and to the manufacturing plants in the Khsdrugah region. The Hegemony of Hasturah had created the space elevator and the markets has been flooded with micro circuitry products made outside the gravity well. 

Then the hegemony had been able to create the Kaar Adan Napat Dvaar The jump station at the limits of solar system, far enough away it appeared as a small star shining in the watery light of the Sun-even under magnification. Myah-Toc thought this might be the very reason for the war. When the Atlantes realized they were going to lose the race to far and distant star systems it was time to remove their mortal enemies. But it was just an errant thought.

Kahur turned to his commander, “May the Gods and Goddess preserve us. It is all gone. They annihilated themselves. It's all just gone...” he momentarily broke down.

“What is not gone Kahur is the Hastin Class Freighter in bound from Khash Manufacturing on the outer rim of Varuna. They have been inbound for two months with a load of equipment destined for the Gravity Ladder, and they are almost out of reaction fuel for docking. They have requested clearance to land so they can refuel for the last leg. Tell them to come on.” Myah-Toc replied, as she scrubbed her face and ran her hands through her shiny blue black hair and continued on with a grim voice, “Keep all news of this off their channel until we have a chance to meet with the Captain and her officers. They will find out soon enough.”

“Yes Ma'am at your command.” He replied.

“how long are they going to be in arriving?”

“ At least not until Chaar Gante. About four hours from now.”

“Good this will give us time to call all divisions and do an assembly. Carry on Sub-Commander.”


“I said quiet!” Myah-Toc said to the assembled men and women of Chaand Base of the Hegemony of Hasturah. Known informally as the Hegemony. Her assembled officers and department heads were panicking, knowing their home along the Indus were gone. Myah-Toc rapped sharply on the fused plastic table top with her gold command ring showing she was in charge of the installation. 

“Pay attention. We are in a precarious position. We have huge naval stores for a fleet that is not here. We have rations and water for a force twenty times our size. But we have hundreds of people who are friendly and not so friendly bouncing around looking for a place to come home to. Not mention the Grand Fleet under Admiral A'adarshini Bharadwaja has jumped and they are not expected back for three years. Even so she is our best hope for a rescue in the distant future... we need to be worthy of being rescued. However we are now on our own and we need to have options for ourselves and anyone we might allow to come into our docking bays. Most importantly you need to realize something very important. We are not dead. Not. Dead. Repeat it over and over in your head. Not. Dead. So I want plans I want contingencies and we need to know how well or badly we are going to be several years from now.”

Just as Myah started to outline her plan for the stations long term survival, Lt Lakshmi Paradawan of Orbital Command sent a message. “Pardon me Commander for interrupting. But the Altanteas have used their submersible crab ships to launch an attack on Mahisa base. They are going after the Ladder. Our missile defenses have been swamped. They are going to severe it.” Paradawan said in a voice crawling with horror.

“Do you have a video or telemetry link?”

“Aye ma'am! On its way!”

What the Hegemony called Crab ships were large vaguely crustacean shaped robotic ships which did manual labor in deep waters where chemical chimneys spewed forth massive amounts of strategic mineral wealth from the earth's mantle. Instead of having the bulbous egg sack arrangements of harvested chemical effluent they normally towed, they bristled with missile launchers.

Before the video feeds cut out, Myah-Toc Commander of Chaand Station watched in horrified fascination as the Crab Ships crawled from the ocean spewing death and destruction from their pintle kinetic energy mounts as rocket after rocket slammed into the root structure of the Hegemony's Gravity Ladder. Then it was gone. A base which tethered the earth to the stars was wiped out. Along with most of the Island of Mastoon. Gone. As if it never existed.

“Turn it off Lt Paradawan.”

Mercifully the hellish images from the slowly spinning planet died on the flat screen...

“Give me inventories of what we have. Down to the amount of toothpaste. If it isn't here on station then unless it is floating in space, it is not going to magically show up. I want know what we have down to the nuts and bolts holding this place together.” Seeing their shocked and horrified looks on their faces she rapped one more time with her gold ring of command.

“Remember! We. Are. Not. Dead! Now get to moving!”

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Destiny found on a battlefield.-Story

Harald Fairhair receiving the kingdom of Norway from his father
Halfdan the Black.

First it started with the boys. Too small to carry a shield or heft an axe. They ran out behind the shield wall of their fathers and uncles with whirling slings and leather bags full of round river rocks. The oncoming line of men had to keep their shields up or risk catching a duck egg shaped blue stone in eye. Several were already down and Floki the Navigator lay dying.

The raiding party didn't bring enough archers to drive the boys off. The steady rain of rocks upon their shields sounded like spring time sleet on the roof of their longhouses next to the fjord. Growling with frustration they marched, hunkering against their shields as a man might against a blowing storm. 

Finally when a trio of local men appeared carrying light spears with blue heron feather fetishes, It gave the raider chieftain a target he could aim for. 

Halfdan the Black threw his spear with a shouted "Ha La Odin!"

It transfixed the biggest of the three. Acting like a tripod leg, Halfdan's spear went through the man's body and into the ground behind him. Bowed back with his arms thrown wide he remained upright and wiggling on the spear.

"All Father I give you this field. Reap the brave and take our offerings to Valhalla!" Halfdan cried. 

With a snarl of rage the men closed upon the ranks of terrified farmers and herdsmen cowering behind their shields. Sword and axe beat upon ox hide faced shields. Like shipwrights building a wave skimmer in Tonsberg, hammer like sounds of mallets striking wood or beating into flesh filled the clearing. 

Blood and the slaughter yard stench of human waste ran thick in the men's nose. Screams of death and pain came as a counterpoint to the rhythm of slaughter. Knives flashed as quick as serpent tongues. And still those whey faced farmers held their line knowing they were the only protection their families had from a slave collar or worse.

Snorri Gudmundsson growing impatient hewed his way through men with his aptly named bearded axe 'Manreaper.' Moving like an Orca cutting a bait ball of mackerel in two, he carved his way through their ranks. Once behind their shields and into their unprotected rear he became the stuff of nightmares.

Shortly the onslaught brought most of the farmers to their knees. Halfdan drew back his sword to give a mercy stroke to a Jarl who had lead his people bravely. The Jarl's death wound in his belly had brought him low, when a small boy with hair the color of summer wheat rolled from behind the press of bodies and drove his small belt knife into Halfdan's leg. 

"Aggh! your puppy has teeth!" Halfdan cried, as he took his fist and knocked the young boy to the ground senseless. He looked the dying Jarl in the eyes and said, "He has spirit. I shall take him as my own. No slave pen for your whelp. What is his name?"

The dying man clutching his intestines hissed, "His name is Harald." And his eyes rolled back in his head as his spirit fled from his ruined earthly shell.

Bending down and picking the small boy off the bloody battlefield where he had been knocked unconscious  defending his father, Halfdan The Black threw the small child over his shoulder and said to him, "Ja Harald...we will have some adventures you and I!"

DS Baker

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Brother's in Arms-Story

It gets better they tell you. Like growing a scab over a wound. Eventually scar tissue forms and you can move with only the memory of pain and a shiny patch of skin to mark your travels.

At least that's what they say...

Am I my brother's keeper? I don't know. But they have been keeping me for a long time. Running and gunning is all I know. Been hiding from my shadow all my life and it just wears on a body. I tried to drink it away or sleep it away with dozens of women. Thinking I left it in the dirt as I marched away with another army crossing to fight on the other side. Turning around I see my shadow sitting at my feet.

My brothers find me down in the dirt once more. They pick me up. Dust me off, give me my gear and tell me it is time to soldier on. And so I shoulder my load and carry on. And in the dust behind me matching my tread the devil follows my every step.

"The man is too big and the man is too strong." I hear them say, little do they know I am just a shadow myself.  

Hollow in the core, hoping to find my way out. The soldiers of my vanity and the commanders of my sin, have dragged me from bloody mountain tops and down through many swamps of desperation. 

And when I couldn't run and gun my son, I laid my load down, and told them I had humped my last klick.They told me I would hear the drummer boy playing soon and they would see me in the Vanguard stepping to the beat with the rest.  I waved them on, sad to see them go. I laid my weapons down in the dirt and fell on my knees.

When I thought I had been stabbing and slashing others, I found I had been killing me. I couldn't go on, and my hatred and my fear poured out of me. I knew I was going to die, and maybe this time I would welcome death, just to be free from my wounds. I was so tired of fighting.

I surrendered my sin. I gave away my fear and felt the muscles relax as my spirit began to leave my body, I felt God's breath blow life into my body and I was suspended in a state where I had all my sins laid bare and held up to the light. I wept. And I was made anew. 

When I awoke I found new brother's in arms. They bound my wounds and buried my weapons. They are teaching me to carry other's loads, and I build sheep pens to protect the flock when wolves come calling. Satisfaction can be found in a well built wall of stacked stone, or an honest earned meal. 

When those old soldier boys come around, I don't open my door to them anymore. I nod politely acknowledging their presence in my life, and I wish them an honest journey. My new comrades tell me I am not too big nor am I too strong. Being humble keeps me safe, sane and healing. Sometimes though in the darkest nights I can hear those drums rolling over the distant hills and I still wish I could pick up my rifle and join them...Then I see my children's faces and my wife's eyes. 

Thanking the Lord I stack my stones as I build a better life for others. That's my struggle now. I fight in an army of love. And I have learned to let my spirit dance. Shhhh... it likes to boogaloo. 

* For RB Go Easy Shipmate*

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Corpus Christi Cowboy-Story

 I am fifty now. Been out here in the dirt building casinos and working at places were they blow up bombs in the desert till the jack rabbits have night vision eyes. Creating other folk's dreams while mine have been waking me up in the middle of the night.
I remember the rigs of Corpus Christi Bay, I worked them from three to midnight, drank the sun up and slept the day away. My dreams are haunted by gas fires on the water and drinking on white sandy beaches and chasing girls from Houston down on the bay.
If I could live my life over, I would go back and never leave the Corpus Christi Bay. Now I am pulling wire in the Mojave sweating on a beach with damn few girls and no water. Yeah if I could live my life over, it wouldn't matter any way I couldn't stay sober on the Corpus Christi Bay.
I went to bed last night in my trailer with the wind blowing and the grit peppering my windows . A red headed woman with a soft smile and a six pack of Pearl asked me to take her to the water. We made love under a rising moon. I woke up with the taste of sea salt in my mouth and a heart breaking longing for home.
Living on the road my friend it's damn difficult to stay sober and clean. Been tramping long enough my skin is rough like iron and my breath's like kerosene. And yet the farther I go the more I want to come home. I keep hearing the guide wires on the derrick moaning in a high wind.
So my brothers don't be surprised if you find me someday dead in a man camp on a project out in the back of beyond; I made sure to leave some money under my mattress so you could send my ashes back to Corpus Christi Bay.
Find a nice spot in the sea oats and dump me out on the grass and pour a Pearl or an Ice Cold Jax over my mortal remains and think of me when you look out to sea. Give my regards to the boys down at the hall and send my money to LU-278 2301 Saratoga Ave, Corpus Christi, TX 78417.