View Full Version : The Iskarian Gambit

April 27th, 2013, 06:22 AM
Here are the first 1000 words or so on my book. Initially this was the beginning, but I've written another section that will be as it happens before this. I've also included a brief description of the aliens race here.

Long patrol sucked. Yet it provided ample time and opportunity to do training and finish up on all the paperwork that goes with being a captain. Senior lieutenant Draven Knorr thought on this, as he was doing it. The person who can invent a mental computer so my thoughts can link with one and get this damn paperwork done faster will be set for life or just make it one sheet saying; like simple cruise no problems. It was at this point his chime sounded. Ka’ Jol Zang, his communications and sensor officer, said. “Captain, your presence is needed on the bridge, we’ve detect a battle.”
“On my way lieutenant.” and with that he left his room and a few minutes later reached the bridge. “Report, all stations” he barked
Ka’Jol was first. “Captain, while there is heavy ecm and it is at long range, 25LS, there is a battle between three ships, it’s two on one, the one is the larger.”
“Lt. Jurack, I want ¾ speed as soon as possible.” Draven hit a button and announced over the ships internal speakers as the alarm lights and horns sounded. “This is captain Knorr and this is no drill. All crew to battle stations, fighter crews to their ships and launch when ready and clear. Seal all hatches and make ready for possible vacuum and zero-g conditions. Captain out.” Then he turned to Katho Theng, his 1st officer who was also the tactical officer. “Katho, id those combatants and bring up my sit map. Ka’Jol, send INC a report as follows, I have encountered pirates attacking an unknown merchant, going into help, further details to follow. Draven Knorr.” He then punched in the intercom, “B’thel, sorry about this but you’ll probably have to practice your art.” he told the ship’s doctor, B’thel Illyng.

“I was afraid of that, well were ready captain.” was the reply in his typical gravelly voice.
“Captain, power is up and armor is charged, what little we have that is.” that was Brin Ilthon, the Krang’s chief engineer.
The Krang leapt toward the maelstrom accelerating at ¾ speed. Still the distance they needed to travel took time and 45 minutes later Katho spoke up. “Sir, I have ids on the participants. The larger ship is a Zaheriani vessel, a light raider. The other two are old Kalvari class light cruisers of the Dushakk class about 30 years old. Normal armament would be 8 5cm lasers and 3 double rack 4cm missile launchers. As for the Zaherian, their armament could be anything but, on light raiders it was almost always in the CL range.”
* *

On board D’thoak clan ship War Challenger a brown furred khalvari tech spoke from his chair. “Sir, we’re detecting an approaching ship. At extreme range and with all of this electronic clutter, I can’t tell much about her.”
Captain H’Mik Sulthan swiveled in his chair. His face showing a snarl of anticipation. “Is it the one we are expecting? I don’t care about electronic interference Shinjin.”
Shinjin began refining his signal and entering computer commands before replying. “Captain, the computer feels that there is a 27% chance that it is and a 69% chance that it is an Iskarian patrol ship, most likely one of their new light cruisers.”
Captain Sulthan just scowled at the screen showing their current Zaherian enemy. “That would mean two of those Cave Lord cursed fighters. Can we out run them?’

Shinjin was checking the numbers and wondered how the captain knew that there would be two fighters. The answer was quick in coming; “Maybe if we leave in the next five minutes.”
“Not enough time, we need to destroy the Zaherian prince and his ship first. Okay, ready crews for the new anti-fighter defense and concentrate all missiles of both ships on that approaching Iskarian ship. Launch on my order.”

“Okay. Ka’Jol, open channel all ships.“ after a nod form Ka’Jol he continued, “Attention pirate and Zaherian ships. This is the Iskarian naval ship Krang. You are ordered to cease combat. Iskarian space is a neutral in your conflict and failure to abide by this order will result in the internment of your vessels.”

Sulthan said one word. “Fire!”

Katho Theng saw the blip and announced, “We have missile launch. 4 5cm missiles headed our way. AML’s on line and evasive action being taken. Fighters have been launched, orders?”
“Tell them to concentrate on enemy two, we’ll take enemy one. Now, get us in range. I don’t want be a target for those longer range missiles. Get us in range to return fire.” Draven replied

“Report Kelvarn” Volthan Dyell said, seemingly oblivious to the sparks, fuzzy or blank screens that were the majority of those on the bridge. In fact he seemed to be enjoying himself.
“Yes, high captain. The new ship is an Iskarian ship, I have no size at this time do to our damage. Of our attackers, alpha is hurt but so are we. There is a crack in our power core. Moderately damaging as it is causing us to lose power, the leaking power core is allowing radiation into the ship and we will not be able to replace it here. Our bridge has suffered moderate damage as well. Our long range sensors and communications are heavily damaged. Three of our main turrets are out of commission as well as six of our secondary's, 38% of our AML’s are on line. We can only make 58% of normal K-drive and our H-drive is damaged to the point I’d rather not use it. One launch bay is destroyed. Our crew loses are bad high captain, 187 dead or severely injured and another 57 with moderate injuries. Our Master healer, Jhymdar Cheng says that one of his assistants is dead and two are injured.”
“Why she’s still got some life in her. Besides, it would be less than honorable to not show our appreciation to our rescuer’s by not helping them. Concentrate our attacks on the more damaged Kalvari cruiser.”

Zaherian Physiology and description

Average height is 2.2 meters and weight is 105kg. The most common hair colors are Black and red, followed by yellow(blond) and orange. For the eyes, the most common colors are green, brown blue and red in roughly equal proportions.

The face is wider than human norm and their lips are thin. The nasal cavity/nose is wider. They have eye lids but can also ‘close’ the cartilage around the eyes if the need arises.
The eyes are more to the side and more flush to the face and are capable of independent movement. They have a ‘uni-brow’ eyebrow. They have an extra set of incisors on each side.
Their blood uses iridium as its oxygen transporter. This gives it a brilliant yellow color in arteries, when it is oxygenated and a dull orange in veins when its oxygen content is low. They have three lungs that work as a system of replenishment, blood flows from one back to the heart then to the second and finally to the third. They have a three chamber heart.

Iskarian physiology and description

The average 2 meters in height and 90kg in weight. Their face is more elliptical than round. The nasal bone blends into the brow ridge that runs above the eye socket and then down the side of the face, tapering to the back of the neck. Their ears are also elliptical in shape, though not pointy, they are set at the same level as the jaw bone. Lips are average.
Head/facial hair, though beards and mustaches are less common than human normal. Common colors are: Black, brown and red. Rarer are amber and pink, blonde is very rare.
Eye colors are: Violet, blue, yellow, mauve, violet-yellow an blue-yellow. Those with blonde hair almost always have black eyes.
Iskarian blood has cobalt as its oxygen transporter. This gives it a light pink to clear color in arteries and an amber color in veins. Their heart is located more central in the torso, near the base of the sternum within a bone cage. They have three fingers and an opposed thumb, this leading to a base 8 number system. Hearing is a bit better than normal at the higher pitches.

Kalvari physiology and descriptions

Kalvari are an animal, humanoid life form, descended from a hunter/trapper stock. Basically carnivorous in diet, yet they are actually omnivorous. They average 2.4 meters in height and 150kg for weight.

Very strong and having a better than normal resistance to diseases. Kalvari have a small protruding snout/jaw. Their eyes are normal set and the ears are more to the back of the head and they stick out vs. up.
Their fur is a fine outer layer and a coarse under layer. Their teeth are what you’d expect from an animal, sharp and a lot of them.
They have retractable claws on all four of their appendages as well as a series of retractable spikes/quills on their arms.
Fur colors are: Black, brown, red, white and dark blue. Eye color is almost always black and brown.


Descended from saurian/insectoid stock. Their eyes are compound eyes, and are located on the top rear of their head. They have no neck. They are capable of seeing 300 degrees without the head/face turning. These eyes are similar to that of a praying mantis, in that their eyes have a ‘flat‘ zone that when viewing the direction they are viewing, gives them very acute vision. As with all compound eyes, they do lack on details yet they are able to ’shift’ their sight that is go from apposition to superposition given some preparation time. They have three sensor organs on each side of their neck that function as ears.
Their face has a ‘beak’ like jaw that opens/closes sideways and is more mandible like than teeth, like as in many fish and insects. They have a tail used for balance and it can be used to lash out at those behind or to their side. Openings above the mouth serve as olfactory sensors.
Skin is a tough and leathery. They molt from one to three times a year, depending on their age. It’s coloration can be: Gray, green, tan, rust, brown and white. Eye color is black. Their hands end in claws that need to be trimmed once a month as they constantly grow and aren’t retractable. Average length with tail is 2.2 meters, they stand 1.8 meters tall and weight on the average 110kg.

April 27th, 2013, 05:38 PM
For me the story throws too much information out in too short a time. It feels as if you have rushed it and are trying to cover too much. IMO (humble as it is) I would have found it more interesting if you had concentrated on one ship at a time, in detail, with the "action" by the others more peripheral but ultimately the story coming together after a chapter or two perhaps. Are you intending to include an appendix with the descriptions of the various factions (something I personally hate). If not then I would suggest that it would be better to describe them as you go along (not all at once but in context to the story/action). Also you would have room to describe the various ships & their functions as you go along if you cover one ship's perspective at a time. You also seem not to have decided whether to go with fictional distances etc (ie. 25LS) or "our" understanding as you us cm & minutes thus creating another confusing aspect to what your trying to achieve.

April 27th, 2013, 06:03 PM
Thanks for the read and comments. A point I need to correct is that "LS" is light seconds indicating distance. Focusing on one ship is something I hadn't thought of so I'll try it and see how it looks and feels. Again thanks for the comments.

April 28th, 2013, 09:12 AM
It seems like you've put some thought into the world you're creating, it is noticeable in much of the info dump that you posted as well as the consistent naming style for the characters. However the story part itself needs heavy revision, it feels like it is a first draft that was not read/edited at all prior to posting it. I understand being excited and wanting feedback but this is rife with formatting/grammar/typo issues which made it difficult to read. Due to this I had trouble understanding what was going on, who was speaking, etc. For example, it says "...finish up on all the paperwork that goes with being a captain. Senior lieutenant Draven Knorr thought..."; the confusion between captain and senior lieutenant itself is not so bad but it caused additional confusion in the following dialogue with his communications/sensor officer when the dialogue says "On my way lieutenant."

I think you've done a good job developing a sense of drama that goes well with the Space Opera battle scene, if you clean it up then it will be easier to enjoy your story.

April 28th, 2013, 04:30 PM
My friends who were in the navy informed me that 'captain' is a title for the ship's commander and could also be a rank. So I had the rank of the ship' captain a senior lieutenant. Yes, I spent time fleshing out the worlds as several other friends, who all like sci-fi, had told me that if the world isn't believable it loses something. My wife and daughter didn't like the names as thy found them confusing and hard to pronounce, they are not fans of sci-fi however. What would you suggest as to revise or clean up? Grammar, typing and English were my worst subjects. My thank for the read and comments.

April 28th, 2013, 11:03 PM
First of all, the ambition of taking on a space opera is... well, ambitious. And harrowing. The willingness to take it on is more or less the only thing you need. The rest will come when it comes.

But since patience is overrated, allow me to help you along.

First thing's first, as this is the opening of your story, purge the phone book--- all names and numbers go bye-bye (only for now. You can lay them on us in doses later on). Instead of saying "X number of people died," say "We lost half our crew!" This way, you paint an even clearer, darker picture, and don't even need numbers.

As for names, we need an introduction to the races first before you ask us to start remembering names. So it would take the burden off the reader to say "three races inbound," instead of three names never before heard. I know this can make the scene less clear, but the names wouldn't help. And fortunately, you don't need to be clear. It is not important for the reader to know everything that's going on just yet. In fact, it's best they don't. So long as your hero(s) know, the reader can catch up later. All they need now is a good action scene.

Now the races--- Leave what they look like on the back burner. Instead, choose one distinct physical characteristic (for now) and tack it to a short paragraph about the race's struggle. Why should we love them or hate them, sympathize with their struggle or wish them wiped from the galaxy. For example, if you played Mass Effect, the Krogans were interesting because they were afflicted with a disease called the Genophage, slowly driving their species to extinction. It built sympathy for them, whereas the Reapers were a force bent on the destruction of the galaxy for no reason, bringing the audience to hate them.

Overall, heaps of potential for a good story. I'll certainly stick around to read more.

April 28th, 2013, 11:42 PM
Space Opera is my kinda thing too - i hope to write in that genre. Honest critique here: the names sound a little too generic. Draven - sounds like a name from any sci-fi/fantasy book. Shinjin - sounds like he's from Japan! Ka'Jol / H'Mik - a pet peeve of mine is apostrophes in sci-fi names. There's nothing intrinsically wrong with them, they just seem over done. Zang - i've used the same name! (except i spelled it 'Xang').

April 28th, 2013, 11:47 PM
Zang - i've used the same name! (except i spelled it 'Xang').

Well, dang!

On a more serious note, I do have to concur with the apostrophe problem. I never know how to pronounce them and they drive me n'sane.

April 29th, 2013, 04:07 AM
@Folcro: My thanks, death by details in a story, oh well I hope my remaining 35k words aren't as bad, hate to delete them. I included the races description in the post so as to give something to them, it's not in the book but as mentioned for an appendix. Should've left it out then. On names for the races If I don't describe them yet I shouldn't name them. Seems confusion do this but don't that unless you do this. Maybe just call them Thing 1 and Thing 2.

@Jared77: As for the names, I thought that reader attachment comes from familiarity. If he' just a 1st officer who dies or gets hurt so what, but if he has a name you identify with them. Oh well I was wrong. Also, working with just one language, English, despite how I mangle it typing. There are few options available. However, here are the next 1000 words or so.

The pirate missiles speed in and as they reached attack range, the Krang’s automated defenses clicked in and began the computerized task of defending the ship, AML’s were slaved to its thoughts, ecm and eccm conducted their own battle , yet two of the missiles still got through. One detonated close by about 200km doing some surface damage and jamming the traverse mechanism of a secondary turret. The other slammed into the stern of the ship destroying one fighter bay a secondary turret and opening some of the ship to space as well as causing a fire. In response, hatches sealed, bulkheads slammed shut to isolate those areas. However another salvo of missiles was on its way. Yet this time the Krang was close enough.

“Captain, the Zaherian is attacking enemy two.” Katho said, his monotone almost soothing.
“Okay, concentrate our attacks on number one as previous.” A series of buttons were pressed and the Krang launched 6 4cm missiles at her target. Her two likhat fighters were also in range, yet they weren’t following normal doctrine and closing. Instead they were staying at a small distance and attacking in tandem, operating as if they were one ship and not two. They launched 4 2cm missiles at the other ship and were strafing her with their 3cm laser bar-bet.
Another pirate missile struck the Krang, this time amidships causing some of the ship to lose power, the destruction of a missile launcher, some AML’s and another secondary turret.
The Krang’s missiles also had their say as two of them struck and another one was a near miss. The pirate cruiser lost a main battery as well as a strike near engineering. Debris was thrown into space and the pirate ship went dark for fifteen seconds, before bouncing back to life. She had three fires raging. Her speed slowed as she was no longer under acceleration and she began to drift.
The ships were now in laser range and the Krang’s two 4 gun turrets, each with 6cm lasers turned their attention on the same pirate ship and eight streaks of mauve-red energy lanced through space, 4 of them hitting. Metal vaporized, as the lasers struck punching holes in to the target like a flaming sword, being stuck into a mythological beast. Yet the Krang was herself a target of pirate lasers as three of them slashed her side, one in engineering, one amid ship and one on the bridge.

The Krang floated motionless, to some perhaps lifeless. A doctor would almost say it would be like a heart skipping a beat, before returning to its assigned task. Captain Draven Knorr opened his eyes and began looking around his bridge. The sparks of damaged and malfunctioning equipment coupled with the yellow and pink alarm lights and limited emergency lighting, created a macabre setting. Several other bodies were starting to move when he heard a voice talking.
“Krang! This is Krang-prime, do you monitor? You have heavy damage. I see two fires and one fighter bay is destroyed. Repeat. Krang! This is Krang-prime, do you monitor? You have heavy damage, two fires and have lost one of the fighter bays.”

“Krang Prime. This is Captain Knorr. I copy you. Keep after those pirates. Ka’Jol! Get me a reading on the enemy. Brin, I need a damage report as soon as possible” he barked as he began removing his crash straps then heading for the navigation console.

My left shoulder feels like it was yanked out its socket. He looked at the body laying there, its head smashed into a screen. He moved it from the chair and began using the key board. Kavath! He thought. H-drive off line and the K drive showing just ¼ power, targeting off line and most weapons. A voice came over the ships intercom

“Draven, this is B‘thel. Glad to hear you’re still among us. Medical has power but were packed and I‘ve lost two of my interns and reports are indicating that there are a lot of injured, yet internal damage is keeping me from having teams reach some parts of the ship and the bridge is one of them.

I’m forming contact teams using personal communications to direct them so everything isn’t all bad. Let you know more when I know more.”

“Glad that you still have that optimistic attitude I remember from the academy. Take care of your patients and I’ll take care of mine.” 1st tech Ka’Jol then reported.

“Captain, our situation is as follows. Enemy A appears disabled and is leaking air from several places and she’s floating free and on fire. Enemy B is streaming vapor but is accelerating away at .2c, our fighters are shadowing her. Neutral C is holding position. She has major damage, leaking vapor in several places, energy fluctuations from here power core and major leakage as well along with major weapons damage. Most of her main lasers are out of commission as well as over half of her secondary. Her communications appear gone as she has yet to respond to our communication attempts. I would also gather that her sensors are also gone. We‘ve identified her as a Zahirian light raider.”
“Or armed merchant Brin, we need to remember that as it was the reason I ordered us into action. Now, anything good to tell me?” Draven added.
“Sir, engineering has been hurt bad. We’ll only be able to make 1/5th speed for now and will be that way for at least another 15 hours. H-drive is off line and will need yard work I’m showing power outages to about half the ship as well as open to vacuum for about 20%. Turret B is off line, unknown status and turret A has only a 90 degree arc of coverage, three secondary turrets are also off line. Three of our missile launchers are on line but with only 6 missiles available as the reloading system is down.

As for good news, 75% of our AML’s are on line and fully functional, don’t how that happened but I’ll take it. If you give me a few hours I’ll have a table with some Y’lare and salmon available.”
“Brin, you have the most unusual sense of humor around, yet I may well hold you to it. I haven’t had Y’lare in some time.”

April 29th, 2013, 09:00 AM
This flowed better for me than the first posting and kept me interested. A much better disemination of information - enough to follow but not enough to overwhelm your reader. The sentance beginning with "My left shoulder" comes across as first person all of a sudden, I assume that it's a thought the Captain is having and, if so, needs to made clearer. IMO a good improvement.

April 29th, 2013, 02:11 PM
Thanks Belderan. I need to remember to use italics for thoughts because that is what that line was.

April 29th, 2013, 05:36 PM
Yeah, if i know a character is going to die soon, i'll put much less thought into his name.

April 30th, 2013, 02:07 AM
Here are the first 1000 words or so on my book. Initially this was the beginning, but I've written another section that will be as it happens before this. I've also included a brief description of the aliens race here.

@Pelwrah, I suggest you put the alien race descriptions before the story so that the reader knows what's going on.
“Report Kelvarn” Volthan Dyell said, seemingly oblivious to the sparks, fuzzy or blank screens that were the majority of those on the bridge. In fact he seemed to be enjoying himself.
“Yes, high captain. The new ship is an Iskarian ship, I have no size at this time do to our damage. Of our attackers, alpha is hurt but so are we. There is a crack in our power core. Moderately damaging as it is causing us to lose power, the leaking power core is allowing radiation into the ship and we will not be able to replace it here. Our bridge has suffered moderate damage as well. Our long range sensors and communications are heavily damaged. Three of our main turrets are out of commission as well as six of our secondary's, 38% of our AML’s are on line. We can only make 58% of normal K-drive and our H-drive is damaged to the point I’d rather not use it. One launch bay is destroyed. Our crew loses are bad high captain, 187 dead or severely injured and another 57 with moderate injuries. Our Master healer, Jhymdar Cheng says that one of his assistants is dead and two are injured.”
“Why she’s still got some life in her. Besides, it would be less than honorable to not show our appreciation to our rescuer’s by not helping them. Concentrate our attacks on the more damaged Kalvari cruiser.”
I like the way you describe what's going on, but it doesn't feel sci-fi to me. For example you say 'alpha is hurt' when you can say 'alpha is damaged' 'there is a crack in our power core' when you can say 'there is a crack in our engine core' I make these suggestions because in sci-fi everything is techy and feels technical, and if the reader cannot relate to the jargon, they loose interest. You do have one hell of a story though, just go over it and edit, edit, edit. Cheers

May 5th, 2013, 03:47 PM
Here is my next section of my book. My thanks for all who've spent the time to read it ad provide me your comments.

“Of course high captain” as she went back to her consoles. A few minutes later the master engineer, presented his report.
“High Captain, our rescuer is an Iskarian light cruiser, the Krang; This known as we have not replied to their requests for communication so far. They’ve suffered severe damage, almost as bad as ours. One of their main batteries is useless and so, I think, are two secondary. She was leaking vapor but that has been stopped. One of her fighter bays is destroyed and both fighters have suffered light damage, but are still capable, they have been reequipped from the functioning bay.
Volthan Dyell, the high captain just nodded and said “Remind me what is our relationship with the Iskarians and are the assault parties ready to head for the Kalvari cruiser? When they get there capture any crew, check for computer records and then leave. We’ll destroy the wreak then.”
“Yes, High Captain. They will depart in 5 minutes and we were able to get three together without any major effect on our repair efforts.”

The Drakkan’s Master of Science replied. “The Iskarians have declared their system as an inviolate neutral. They allow any military craft who enter 3 standard days, that’s 90 hours to leave or face internment. Our ship class is considered a light raider, a military vessel. They have diplomatic relations will the Ghoram Union and the Kalvari Empire.

They also have trade treaties with several other Boarder World systems.”
“Nice but that describes their relationship with us. Now, what is our relationship with them?” Volthan asked.

“As neutrals, they are like merchants, little honor. They are on the list of subject nations that we can raid.” Beltor finished.
“Good, now as for being merchants, they came to our aid, one ship against two, they faught rather well and we are alive. That does seem to me to be an honorable a and un-merchant like action. Perhaps this is a learning experience. Those two Kalvari ships were waiting, perhaps for us as this was a potential stop on my way home. Besides our repairs will need help and wouldn’t merchants be the best people to get it from?”

On board the Krang, a meeting on the bridge had begun. B’thel spoke first. “We have 87 dead and five more seriously injured who may not survive. There are 28 with bad injuries that require their stay in medical until we reach dirt side. Of those 5 won’t return to duty. There are 37 with minor injuries and the last of them will be released within the next 12 hours.”
“Provide me a list of names for those who died so that I can contact their families and let them know the unfortunate news.
Nice job doctor, especially under these conditions. Ka’Jol, update.”
“Sir, communications have been fully restored and a message has been sent to INC. The pirate ship, as we know, is an old Kalvari class light cruiser of the Dushakk class about 30 years old. Many of them were disposed of and they are a common pirate ship.

The Zaherian ship sent three assault shuttles over to the pirate ship they returned about two hours later, after the ship exploded. They have yet to respond to our communications."
“Good, continuing with our ship status. Brin go ahead.”
“Power has been restored and our K-drive is functional to 53% of normal. Our H-drive is still off line. The b turret is a loss and it looks like it will need a full replacement. The A turret is partially functional. Two of our secondary turrets are lost and one has only a 37% firing arc. One missile battery is functional and we’ve reloaded the magazine that supplies it and have fixed the auto reload system. However, life support is low and the ship is effectively divided into three parts. We can communicate with each but not support each other. All leaks have been sealed, yet 15% of the ship is open to space. Several crewmen are unaccounted for and search teams are checking out those areas but they might well have been lost to space when we were hit. Search and repair teams are working a connecting all three sections”
“Okay, keep up the work, I’ve checked regulations and, though we do classify that ship type as a military vessel, it is noted that they do use such as traders. Though the size of a battle cruiser, and the armament of a light cruiser. It does have a fair amount of cargo space. Also, they were engaged by two pirate ships when we arrived. So, while it hasn't been done before ad I've just feel it's wrong to tell a victim of pirates with a badly damaged ship they have 30 hours to leave, I’m declaring them as traders as they were the victims’ of pirates. If they captured any pirates when their shuttles went over I'll request they turn them over." I just hope that this doesn’t cashier my career, politics, why does this just keep getting better. “Okay, see if we can raise their high captain and I’ll see what can be done out here to patch up all of our vessels.”

A few minutes later the screen was filled with a man, who despite the static and being seated, would be at least 6 centimeters taller than Draven. He was also wearing a combat suit but the helmet was back for now.
“Greetings captain, you have the thanks and gratitude of clan Tyr as well as my own personal thanks for your assistance. I am High Captain Volthan Dyell ol’Tyr, of the Zaherian merchant Drakkan, how can I be of help to you?”
As Draven viewed the man and what he could see of the bridge he was on and the damage it had suffered. “High Captain Volthan Dyell ol’Tyr. I am senior lieutenant Draven Knorr of the Iskarian cruiser Krang. “Though my nation has declared its space as inviolate neutrality concerning military ships, it was also apparent that you're merchant was attacked first and that makes you the victim of pirates So, though you are an armed ship, to me, doesn’t alter your peaceful intentions, but I must insist that you turn over any and all prisoners from it to me, so that they may face trial for their acts of piracy. Also, what aid do you require for repairs to the Drakkan? Both of our ships are in bad shape. If we work together, we might well be able to save them all. Is that an acceptable offer?”

Aboard the Drakkan, High Captain Volthan got up from his chair and looked at this senior lieutenant Draven Knorr. He’s not following his own leader’s policy, why do such? “Well then senior lieutenant Draven Knorr. I’ll see that the five Kalvari pirates we captured are sent to you.
As for damage we’ll need some help with our power core and to fix the structural leaks so that we don’t lose all of our air. Our Master Healer is badly hurt and we do have some radiation leaks from the power core. Whatever assistance you can offer will be greatly accepted.”
“I’ll send a couple of repair teams over for your power core and to help with the leaks. Expect them with a half hour. Krang out.”

May 9th, 2013, 03:12 PM
More from my story....

“High Captain.” said Ilysean Weth the sensor operations leader. “Why did you agree to that? Allowing a potential enemy to be aboard the ship? ” As Volthan sat looking over the damage on the bridge, he just said. “As I said earlier, we’ll need major repairs that we can’t make ourselves, in order to leave this system. Their commander did an honorable thing, they have just saved us, besides their captain is taking a chance for us and that’s worth respect. Besides, my father wanted me to pay a courtesy call here, if I could.”

Kelvarn n’Zhig was War Master for the Drakkan. “Delmak.” The terms close meaning being ‘my lord or master’, began “We know from the merchants we pay, that the Iskarian navy has been undergoing a change in their force structure. Their patrol monitors, large gunned heavy cruisers, are being replaced with the new patrol carrier and light cruisers, of which the Krang is one. We’ve little information about them but have saved all sensor data from the battle as you requested. Politically, as mentioned, they have declared their system and that of their two nearest trading partners, Elva and Lira, that any military ships that enter these systems as having just 90 hours to leave or face internment. As far as we know they’ve shown no favoritism since and we have no record of one of our light raiders, being classified as a merchant.

That would suggest that we should face the same internment order. Both the Kalvari and Ghoram have diplomatic relations with Iskaria. They are fairly close to the Kalvari Empire. Yet, this senior lieutenant Draven, has not followed their normal procedures. Perhaps due to the fact we were attacked by enemy forces and he came to our aid and needs to justify his actions. I’m sure our enemies diplomatic representatives would claim that they are rogue elements and that they would never violate Iskarian neutrality.
As for the Kalvari ship, we have no proof that they were actual naval forces. Their computer had been dumped as well as suffering heavy damage. It would be our word against theirs.”
“Their captain, tell me about him.” Volthan requested
“We have some information from public sources. He is Draven Knorr, eldest son of R’Karvin Knorr, who is clan leader and the head of shipping and building firm and a major person in their political system. Draven commanded a destroyer, Shadow Weaver, during our Border World raids, 15 years ago. That led to the current treaty. It turns out that you might have fought against him in the Elva system then. The raid that was launched after the treaty, we didn‘t know, had been signed.”
“Ilysean, please raise the Krang so that I may speak to their captain.”
“Of course sir, link open.”
The screen showed the image of a man in the Iskarian uniform, green shirt with red trim, light blue pants with a gold stripe down the side. He was sitting in his chair.
“Senior lieutenant Draven, again I wish to extend our thanks for your timely help with those pirates. Your repair crews have been most helpful and effective in the repairs they’ve done for us. Your lieutenant Jurack would like to provide an update on those repairs.” The pictured shifted to Lt. Jurack.

“Yes, captain. We’ve done some patch work and helped reroute ships power but their power core is almost worthless and leaking radiation, their medical facilities are also damaged and they are short staffed but the radiation sir, we can’t stop it. Three of our people and over 60 of theirs have radiation exposure and are in sickbay here. Doctor Illyng will need to have them all transferred to our ship. The only way to reduce such exposure is to power down the core and transfer crew to either our ship. It’s possible for us to tow her, I think, provided we used both the linkats and that‘s a fair sized maybe.”
“Thank you lieutenant Jurack, High Captain Volthan, would such an arrangement be acceptable to you if it can be done?“
With a smile all Volthan said was “Of course, but tow us were and for what?.”
"Why to Iskaria so that you can be repaired sir."
"That'll be acceptable, we should meet to arrange such."
Over the next day, preparations were made to tow the Drakkon. The sick crew and most of her crew were transferred to the Krang. A skeleton crew was left on board, in suits to monitor the ship while under tow. This made for cramped quarters on the Krang.
At a conference meeting to discuss the project both senior staffs were present. Draven began “Now Bento have there been any more problems between our crew and the Drakkan’s crew?”
Bento Wrath, the Kang‘s commander of its naval infantry element responded. “Not really sir. There have been some brawls which resulted in a few broken bones, noses and bruised egos all around. Our people have been disciplined for such.”
Draven looked at his counterpart, Volthan who just replied, “But Draven, we are rather packed in here and though we are greatly honored by your hospitality, what’s wrong with a few broken noses and such? We’ve been under tow for what 4 hours and all seems good. Besides that are the crews getting along and isn’t that more important?”
“High Captain Volthan, on board my ship, we maintain discipline and order. I understand that due to these conditions tempers and ego’s get a bit frayed so I’m not asking for any discipline on those involved but I’d appreciate you reminding your crew of the fact.” Draven said.

“Oh Draven, why so strict? Men and women, need to blow off steam, vent I believe is the proper term.” Volthan replied a slight smile on his face as if this was no big deal.
“Discipline is the key to an effective ship, High captain Volthan.”
“In that you are correct, but discipline is not leadership. Men and women follow leaders and leadership is earned respect, not something written on a sheet of paper after four years of sitting at a desk. Now, I will freely say that you do have an efficient and very capable crew, but there are times when you need to understand that rules were made for people with weak minds and limited wisdom, both of which you do not have.”
Draven was about to reply when he was interrupted by the red alert sirens and klaxons, followed very shortly thereafter by Brin Ilthon’s voice. “Captain, we’ve an unfortunate occurrence. It took but 6 hours but the strain of towing the Drakkan was too much for the engines. The N-drive went critical and shut down as a safety precaution. She’ll be down for about 12hrs cooling. I’ll be able to have my teams examine her then. I can say that there’s no damage to the power core so we do have full ship’s power.”
Draven just listened as his face became a bit contorted. “That isn’t what I wanted to hear Brin. How did this happen?”
A sigh was heard and Brin replied. “We are towing a battle cruiser sized ship, she’s almost 5 times our size and we’ve been damaged. Yes, I told you I thought we might be able to do this. Well the engines thought otherwise.” the frustration very evident in his tone.
“Well, you’ve got 10 hours to tell me how far along the repairs are. Ka’jol, any ships in the area?”

May 11th, 2013, 11:28 AM
Hi mate

I'm dashing out of the house soon so I couldn't read all of the replies and what have but I would say not bad for a first draft. Need work but you got your foundation dug.

There were bits I would write different but I'm not sure other people would. I found the discourse on the ship rather wordy for what should be a drilled and polished action. Also you're right I think about not having to be Captain rank to be the captain of a ship but you considered that since you're playing with aliens you might want to muck about with different ranking systems? Just a thought....

May 11th, 2013, 05:49 PM
Jagunco-Thanks for the read. I am using different rankings with those who were rescued. Ship Master, Weapons Master, etc. I'm trying to have the Iskarians use their ranks on them in conversation but I'm sure I missed some. I'm courious what you would have written differently as such might provide me further insight or options.

May 11th, 2013, 08:31 PM
Okay, another section of my story... and my thanks for all who've read, commented and enjoyed it so far.

“Sir, there is a Feather and Shield ship, the Zilwander. They are about 18 hours away. Shall I contact them?”
Draven thought a bit. The Feather and Shield were medical/hospital ships. That name sounds familiar, oh well. “Yes, send them a priority message about having need of their medical assistance due to combat damage and power failure. Do mention that we have some patients with radiation sickness as well as many Zaherian injured.”

Draven returned to Beneto. “So, what’s your opinion of them and their ship?” Beneto looked at Volthan and back at Draven. Volthan just said. “Please continue, I’d be interested in hearing this as well,” as his eyes got a little wider. Bento just shook his head and began.
“Sir, I’ve been on their ship several times and their War Master, Kelvan Zhig, my equivalent, is a formidable man, with an in your face style, like most of his people. He is a master of many weapons, both modern and archaic as well as a strange style of unarmed fighting. They are polite, as long as you accept their definition. Honor is rather important to them, both personal and of their clan. As you know their blood is based on iridium were as ours is based on cobalt, so our supplies of blood for treatments for them is very limited. They enjoy and appreciate war stories and the military does dominate their way of life. To call them crude would be an over simplification, maybe the term Gothic would be more descriptive. They are a war related culture, that we all know, but they do have a society, clan based, with honor, history and loyalty as important parts. They trade, both as a way of inspecting a potential victim for weakness or strength as allies. They make few treaties but honor all that they do agree to; literacy seems limited to symbol recognition and numbers, so that they can use their equipment. Formal education is minimal at best but a long time is spent at apprenticing and on the job training, say in the case of a doctor spending 12 years from age 16 doing just that. It is a nice substitute and effective in what it produces well trained specialists.
Their weapons are well made and well kept, same with their armor, baroque in style, yet murderously effective. The ship as well could fall into the same description. Its weapons and sensors seem in fine shape, yet other aspects of it construction appear lacking or very simplified, fewer redundant systems and damage control is, what I’d put at below average. They have a temper as we’ve seen but for the most part, don’t hold grudges. They’ve been to see many of our crew that were injured during these brawls and have, in several cases, become drinking buddies later. To them a little fist-o-cuffs at a meal, isn’t a problem. Discipline seems to be very lax compared to us yet their ship runs well, orders are followed, yet an element of informality does exist, a rather formidable as well as interesting people.”

Draven just looked at his old friend and then to High Captain Volthan before saying “I agree on both counts, yet full of contradictions and yes, I could see our nations being friends. High Captain, what is your opinion?”
Volthan relaxed in his chain, emptying the glass he was holding. “Well were not currently at war so does that mean we can or should be friends? I could see either or neither, yet to not explore the potential would be a shirking of any leader’s responsibility. Now master Beneto, I found your report rather honest and for such a short time together, rather accurate and unbiased.
It also exposed the major differences between us and most other nations. I was in your space as it was a convenient stop on my way home from Callisto in the Terran Confederacy. Senior Lieutenant Knorr, you’ve taken a risk on our behalf, I am very thankful and will hope that you don’t suffer for it, but I fear that most of your leaders won’t be as unbiased as master Beneto.”

Chapter 2

The Feather and Shield ship Zilwander came within range about 8 hours later. “RIN ship Krang. This is Captain Suip Iro of the Feather and Shield ship Zilwander, permission to send a party to meet with you.”
Draven replied “Of course captain Iro.” A half hour later, the shuttle docked and they were there to greet them. There were four people who emerged from the shuttle. Three men, one obviously captain Iro, one lady doctor and rather attractive in a non-model sort a way. The last two were a guard detail which seemed rather odd for a medical ship. Then Draven noticed their collar detail, two crystal crossed swords, the symbol for the K’Bhar regiment that was the personal guard of the Prince and his family. That meant the doctor is Princess Jeldava who also happens to be the director of the Feather and Sword.
Captain Iro saluted and saying “Permission to come aboard captain Knorr?”

“Granted, captain, please allow me to introduce my 1st officer Lt. Katho Theng” who saluted as his name was mentioned. “This is High captain Volthan Dyell ol'Tyr of the Zahirian vessel Drakkon.” He bowed, then saying, “My pleasure lieutenant, high captain.” with a smile.

Captain Iro replied “Allow me to introduce Doctor Jeldava Khal, our chief surgeon and director of the Feather and Sword branch on Iskaria.” “Yes, your highness.” Draven said as he bowed deeply.
“My thanks captain but no need for such formality; I’m just a doctor here to help. May I have a brief report on the injured and may we see them? Oh and High Captain Tyr, we do have the capacity to treat your injured as well.” Jeldava said a slight smile on her face.
“My thanks doctor Khal.” with just a nod of his head.
Over the next 40 hours, those who had radiation symptoms and those who were seriously injured we’re transferred to the Zilwander. Several doctors and aides were sent to both the Krang and Drakkon, to help out there. The power core of the Krang was restarted and the three ships started back for Iskaria. The next day, a bit before dinner, in Jeldava’s quarters. “My lady, who you share your bed with, is none of my concern, yet this senior lieutenant Knorr is well in trouble for his actions. He’s to be called before a naval tribunal for not impounding the Zaherian ship as it is clearly a military ship and must leave our system within 90 hours.” captain Suip Iro said, his concern rather evident in his tone.
“Captain, your concern is noted but, I’ve had many partners and on a personal level I find the senior lieutenant a nice, interesting and honorable man. What trouble he may or may not be in is just politics and I’m not rely concerned about that.

As for any questions of who shares my bed, you're right, that isn’t your concern, so don’t pry or interfere with the senior lieutenant.” Jeldava said a noticeable bit of irritation, like a smidgen of hot pepper in one’s food, in her tone. Yet, why do the attractive ones, that I’m drawn to, always seem to be the eye of the storm, when I meet them?

May 13th, 2013, 10:30 PM
Well another section and people are reading them so I'll continue and as always, please leave any comments that you may have.

Draven read the directive from Iskarian naval Command.
'Senior lieutenant Draven Knorr of the IKN light cruiser Krang, you’ve exceeded your authority by declaring that a Zahirian light raider, a known type of military vessel, as an armed merchant without any direction from higher command. Please bring all ships records about the encounter, damage and all conversations with their captain, to the INC and report to Fleet Admiral Cindeck Zhan and a tribunal upon your arrival home.'

Well now, no misunderstanding there. They didn‘t like what I did. Dad always says that no good intention goes unrewarded nor is doing the right thing without risk. Would dad help? Why? Don’t want Jeldava involved, not her problem. I wonder if that is part of my problem?

Later that night in Jeldava’a quarters the two lovers were relaxing in each other’s arms, his hand slowing tracing a random pattern on her back. “Hmmm feels nice.” she murmured, her back arched and her hand moved between his legs, finding what she sought.
“Jeldava dear, I need to, well we need to talk.” he said as he raised his head up with his left arm. “About what dear.” as she smiled at him. “You’ve met our guests, treated them as any doctor should, no involvement other than helping the injured at the request of an Iskarian ship’s captain. In case you didn’t know, the Zaherian’s aren’t well perceived and their raiders are considered military vessels. I didn’t follow protocol and I'm to report to naval command upon my return. I don’t want you to feel that I’m using you in this situation and don’t want you involved in this matter.”
She looked at him seriously for about 10 seconds, and then let out a soft laugh. “My dear senior lieutenant.” she said as she sat up. “Are you a crusading knight out to save my virtue? Draven dear, there is no need to be concerned. I’m aware of your situation and I have a fair idea of what kind of man and officer you are. As for any involvement on my account, I have always felt, that we should be friendlier with the Zaherians. Perhaps this action of yours will bring that out. There is no need to worry about any harm to me, though your concern is flattering. I know that I'm a princess, yet fourth in line for the throne and falling farther. My nephew and his wife will have a baby in 4 months, that will make me fifth and his sister is now engaged. When they have children that will push me even farther down the ladder, which is as I want it. I'm not a political person, I'm a doctor and if things go well, I hope to show you what I do care about. My brother, well he treats me like a little girl and views all men who interest me or are interested in me, as either dangerous and/or a threat, or out to profit from the relationship be it to me, him or Iskaria. I know one day he'll see that I've grown up. Other than that he also doesn’t like people picking on me. It’s a protective older brother thing. I can handle myself rather well, thank you. Now, what about you Draven? There are few who don't know of your father.”

“Jeldhava, I do know about politics, yet do my best to keep clear. Despite its complications and technology, I find a star ship much easier understand and command. My dad wasn't very happy at all about my choosing the navy. It's said that he's is proud of me, that may well be so. We talk, barely and get along at holidays for my mother sake, if that's what a relationship is and I doubt I'm his heir, because it hurts him for me to be here and not with him, leading our clan and industries.”
Jeldhava gave him a kiss and said “Now, enough of politics, where was I before being so rudely interrupted.” as her hand again sought out that between his legs.

The prince read the message from his sister. ‘Dear brother, of course I’ll stop by the palace and see you and my dear sister-in-law. Do have my escort waiting for me as you know I always follow protocol when at the palace.’
“Escort huh! Protocol at the palace! Since when Jeldhava? I might just ask for this senior lieutenant as well.” The prince scoffed as he tossed the message in the trash bucket.

Foreign Minister, Askarin Menlo was reviewing the reports of the incident. The more he read, the more he just shook his head. The Zaharian light raider had been attacked by two pirates and had captured some prisoners that had been turned over to the Krang. In and of its self, that was a minor problem. The larger problem was that senior lieutenant Knorr has granted the Zaharian light raider status as an armed merchant, due to their being attacked by pirates and him not knowing the id’s of the ships involved at the time he came upon them.
Such a trivial situational technicality, however violating our policy as classifying them as military ships and creating a political problem for the council and, the princess was now involved. Both ships had suffered major damage with dead and injuries. They were met by a medical ship, the Zilwander, Princess Jeldhava's ship, and are now heading to the Arsenal. Senior lieutenant Knorr has been placed on notice, pending further investigation. He opened the intercom and spoke to his secretary.
“Dorith, please keep me informed on the ships ETA and when we have any contact from our esteemed Kalvari Charge d’Affairs Lord Deskharliot.
His next call was to INC and fleet and fleet admiral Cindeck Zhan. When Cindeck came on he was his normal taciturn self. “What do you want Askarin?” he replied. Admiral Cindeck Zhan was no supporter of ‘table’ diplomacy, his preference were missiles, lasers and as many as possible of both. His background was good yet people skills were a low point in his skill set, some even thought this about his gene pool as well.
“Good afternoon to you admiral, hope that you and the family are all well.” Askarin said with a smile. “Can you provide me any more information about that incident with the Krang?”
Admiral Cindeck sat in his chair, statue like for a few moments, “Mr. Menlo. Why would you even care about them? It's a naval matter. However, yes we’ve received the initial copies of sensor logs of the Krang and the Zahirian light raider, the Drakkan. Nothing has come back from the analysts so far. Just remember that this is my fish to fry, not yours so keep your four fingers out of my business.” the admiral replied.

“Admiral Cindeck. Your senior lieutenant has created a problem for me with his action involving the Zaherian light raider, such that you may no longer be able to protect your precious little officer. Don't put yourself on the same list as his father with me” Askarin replied, his tone terse but with obvious threat.
“Protect! Hah, no such luck, I want him reprimanded but only for his actions. I'm glad you know who his father is for I work with him on the naval design and procurement committees. I do care that he has drawn the navy for, whatever reason, into a political discussion. He broke with protocol and regulation and for that his punishment belongs to the navy, not you for political reasons. Why? I don't want politics in my navy. Also, don't threaten me with being on any of your lists, I don't play well or nice with others.” the admiral said with a slight nod and twist of his head.
“I've had had run-ins with R'Kraven many times in the Moyet's third teract. I will bring this up in council. Since his actions had political ramifications, politics will have a say in his punishment. Glad we had this conversation.” Askarin said as his image faded from the screen.

May 15th, 2013, 08:51 PM
I love the technicality of it. The amount of detail and lore and plot in it is dense and I think ought to satisfy most sci-fi fans (and I count myself only very loosely acquainted with the genre, so please take what I say with a pinch of salt). But in a strange way I feel as though what we have here are more like the notes for some other book, one which I really want to read but can't quite make contact with. You've certainly given yourself a tricky topic. Putting all that technicality into a story without bogging the reader down in made-up names won't be easy, but then I suppose that's all part of the fun. Everyone's got their own way of writing and I tend to go super slow with mine, so don't feel disheartened if it seems like there's a lot to do. Just keep doing it for the fun and things will get clearer and clearer.

May 15th, 2013, 10:40 PM
@Higurro My thanks for your comments. If you ha the time, I'd like your opinion of what you think should be done to improve the readers contact with? I've had a few comments from others that split on the issue of expanding on what has been written, adding more detail and or expanding on some of the scenes so far. Two wanted more detail two said not to worry of excessive detail it's the overall plot/story they liked.

May 15th, 2013, 11:04 PM
My next section....

Two days later, the three ships entered orbit. A message came to the Krang from one of the approaching shuttles, “To senior lieutenant Knorr. You are to be taken to the palace of Prince Thrandal Iskavian Khal.” When he boarded the shuttle, with its Kybar guards, Jeldava was there also. He came to attention and bowed, saying “Princess.”
She just smiled and replied “Thank you Senior Lt. Knorr.” After the shuttle landed, they got out.

Seeing that there was no escort, which wasn’t an unexpected development, she just gave a small smile and turned and said to Draven.
“It would seem my brother has forgotten my escort, would you Senior Lt. Knorr please be my escort?” Draven nodded and held his left hand, upon which she placed her right and they then continued on.
They arrived at a receiving room and the guards let them in. The prince and a very attractive lady were there. This was his wife Miret, Grand Duchess of Iskaria. The prince turned toward them, his eyes fixed on Draven as he said. “Do you know what you've started senior Lt?” Draven just said “No sire.”
“Well, the papers are saying that we are both allies and enemies of the Zaherians. At war with the Kalvari Empire, oh and a joint committee of the three Teracts wants to speak to you and my sister and me as to what devious clandestine meetings were held aboard your ship as they pertain to a secret treaty being signed. Not to mention of how this would help your father’s ship building interests and on and on. By the way the naval tribunal is waiting for you.” his anger being very evident. “Ohhh and to top it all off, this was done as a wedding present to you as my sister has finally decided to get married!! Like a senior Lt. would be good enough. Now for you dear sister, what was going through your mind? Sleeping with this unfortunate senior lieutenant? This at the least is being perceived as lending his action your support, which means my support to a ship’s captain who seems to have less and less common sense. First breaking with protocol and then getting you into bed. Well, at least you’ve seen the last of him. Your dismissed Lt.” Thandal said

Jeldava's eyes got huge and her face flushed and she just did an impersonation of a volcano, but silent, though the lava as boiling as ever. “Draven, if my brother can have his say with you here I’ll have mine so dear stay and hear this. My bombastic brother is also an ass. First and I’ve said this before multiple times; don’t ever attempt to involve yourself with whom I sleep with and my personal life. Second, I got him into bed and it wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be but it was more enjoyable. Third, are you actually mad because you thought he was using me to protect himself from this situation or that you’re thinking I would be that naïve? Fourth, how old will my dear sister-in-law/cousin be on her next birthday dear prince of Iskaria? Miret told me before the wedding, that it would be about two years before she could get her air car license, when she discovered she was with child. That would’ve made her 14.” her arms akimbo on her hips. “I don't care about your politics so don't think any grand deception.”
Prince Thandal was livid. “How dare you say such dear sister! I am the prince, you are a princes and fourth in line to the throne, that makes whomever you sleep with my concern, just as much as a lowly senior lieutenant deciding to deviate from policy. No matter how apolitical you are, you are and always will be a princess of Iskaria and that fact alone makes you a political figure. Do you think that it was just your charming personality that has sparked an increase in donations to the Feather and Shield? Yes, I know where you stand on the Zaherians. So, yes I do think that Draven Knorr is trying to use you to shield himself. It's a benefit of being only slightly paranoid. That’s what I’ve been told by members of your crew as what was overheard on board the ships. You two were quite the topic. Jeldava, is it okay if senior lieutenat Draven Knorr leaves for his other duties?” he asked with a bit a sarcasm. “Yes and Draven, I'll be in touch.” Draven turned and left, just glad to be outside the danger zone.

“The crew of the Zilwander should have kept their mouths shut. You have expressed your opinion of my behavior, so what. All know my penchant for acquiring lovers. Would you believe me if I told you that senior lieutenant Draven Knorr tried to call our relationship off for just such a reason as this investigation.
He didn’t want me involved in what he called a problem of his own creation.” Jeldava said.
“It was and it is, yet, based on your temper tantrum, you actually like this one, don't you? He isn't just another pair of shoes for your closet?” the prince asked.
“I'm not sure. He is different and outside of when we first met, never called me princess or treated me as such. So, if it’s decided that his actions deserve reprimand from a military or diplomatic reason I’ll accept that. I won’t like it but I'll accept it. If on the other hand, I think it’s been done because he and I are an item, as you put it, or if I'm brought into any political arguments, I won’t like that very much at all and as you said I am fourth in line of succession. I know a lot of what goes on in these halls despite my not being concerned with it. Can you imagine me talking to the press?” Jeldava said with a most taunting air and even a challenge in her voice.
The prince just looked at her for a brief moment then said. “Okay Jeldava, you would to. Okay, it'll be judged only on the merits of his actions as an officer and ship’s captain. By the way, I've reviewed his record and he is a promising officer. He graduated eighth in his class, very good scores all around and fairly complementary remarks from his professors. He received a rating a seven out of eight on his ensign cruise. However, his father is a political figure and sometimes the sins of the father are passed on to the son. He is a very noticeable qualitative improvement form your usual acquisition. Any other time or place I just might have approved.”

May 18th, 2013, 05:50 PM
More than what I normally add but I wanted to include the whole meeting. Hope all are enjoying and all are welcome o provide comments.

On the estates of clan Knorr, R'Karvin was livid, the precious gem game pieces of the Ah’Beth set suffered his wrath, as pieces scattered and broke on the floor. The two ladies in the room both jumped at the unexpected outburst. “Dear, what brought that about?” asked his wife Jilada.

“Your son Draven, that’s who. He's gone and blown the whole thing up. Rescuing a Zaherain ship, giving merchant status to them and somehow getting involved with the princess Jeldava.” He ranted as he paced about the room.

“When dear, did he become my son? Ohhh, when he decided to join the navy, must have been the P&E treatment that changed the DNA. Now, please tell me why that is bad?” she asked.

“Bad, oh it’s more than bad. The Speaker of the Main wants a joint terract council and is considering summoning Draven, Jeldava, myself or a combination of the above. Our prince is furious and there are diplomatic messages going back and forth from our Foreign Minister, the Ghoram and Kalvari embassies and the messages they've sent home. There are accusations in the paper that Draven did this to improve the position of our ship building industries. Veritas, did you happen to have anything to do with this?” he asked the younger lady in the room.

“Father, no, besides why would you ask? I wouldn't need my erstwhile brothers’ help to do such. We have many contacts in the navy and foreign ministry. However, since we can't change what has happened, we'd best profit from it, before our competitors do.” she said

He looked at her briefly, “How?”

“Okay, I've had our tech pull up all info on Zaherian ships. The one in question is a light raider, 105,000 tons, generally they have 7 double 6cm laser turrets and 4 double 7cm missile racks. Able to carry up to 2,000 soldiers, 5 to 10 assault shuttles and still has about 4500 tons of cargo. Acquire license to make the ship. It could be modified to be a very nice truly armed merchant. It might also have a possibility of being a naval transport auxiliary. Next, bring the Zaherian crew here. Better to observe and control who has access to them. Lastly, repair your relationship with Draven. Yes, you hate what he did and it was a defiance of your authority, yet, the fact that you've basically kicked him out of the clan might well come to light and it wouldn't look good. Besides, his naval record is a good one. If not repaired some might attempt to use him against you politically. As for how to do that, I’m sure you’ll come up with something” Veritas concluded.

“You support her dear?” he asked his wife.

“Support her in what? I was never asked nor agreed with you almost disinheriting Draven. Veritas has been a better manager than you and deserves to keep that as her inheritance. Draven should be welcome and supported in his career. No problem in being disappointed in his choice but you should accept it as joining the navy is a way to improve trade by making it safer. Besides, though being involved with the princess could be both good or bad, would you want to be on the outside if it's good?”

Chapter 3

The meeting began as Prince Thandal Iskhavium Khal entered the chamber. Baroness Jarset Sharet, the Princess’s 1st cousin and Director of Intelligence, Fleet Admiral Cindeck Zhan, the Commandant of Naval Infantry, General Nlor Quhen, the Foreign Minister Askarin Mnelo, the Speaker of the Moyet, Lord Whythel Dran and the Speaker of the Opposition, Lady Dame Miela Czedra.
The Prince began as he sat his 2.3 meter frame in his chair. “Okay, as this is about the actions of one senior lieutenant Draven Knorr, how to best deal with it and any potential punishment to be given based on said actions. Let's start with the facts of the incident. Now what do we know from the sensor logs Admiral Zhan?”

“Your Highness, though rather damaged, we were able to glean some information from those of the Drakkan and the Krang. They do show that the Drakkan was engaged with two unknown vessels. It appears that the Drakkan was attacked first, though it isn’t totally conclusive. The Krang’s logs don’t have any information on that matter as the fight was already in progress when they came upon it. It is factual that the Krang followed procedure and demanded that all vessels stand down. About a minute later both pirate ships opened fire on the Krang, who then defended herself” the admiral’s raspy voice the result of an injury suffered 14 years ago when he was defending two merchants from an attack by Zaherian raiders.

“That’s nice.” replied the foreign minister Askarin Mnelo. “Yet, my Prince, what does that have to do with the situation. So he followed procedure and defended himself and knowing what procedure is, I might add, who should damn well know better in granting a Zaherian light raider the armed merchant status due to it being the victim of pirates, a vessel clearly listed as an armed combatant and military ship. True it appears that the Drakkan was attacked first, which can’t be definitely proven, even if such could be definitively proven, how does that change his action? Besides, Lord Deskharliot has already inquired about the incident and if it represents a change in our policy?” His demeanor and tone were always formal and he was an excellent foreign minister, even if a by the book person.

Baroness Jarset Sharet, 1st cousin of Prince Thandal, spoke up. “Why shouldn’t it?” she stared Askarin down, her red hair with a tinge of orange almost looking like a flame.
“Are you suggesting that after saving them from pirates he should’ve then interred the Zaherian ship? Are we not honor bound to protect all merchants that enter Iskarian space for peaceful purposes? Don’t we allow Kalvari and Ghoram merchants such trading privileges? I’ve checked the data base and ships like the Drakkan do have a noticeable cargo capacity. Besides, if you‘d checked that we note that these ships are used as merchants. If we note that they have a cargo capacity, our policy doesn't preclude that possibility to be used. The fact that it hasn‘t may or may not be a matter for the diplomatic corps to solve, but and granted this might well be a technicality, the senior lieutenant didn‘t break our policy, he just deviated from standard practice as there is no existing policy in place.”

“Baroness, your political leanings are well known, yet technicalities will not make the Kalvari Empire or The Ghoram Union happy with us. Maintaining our neutrality is paramount. I guess they might decide to attack us but I'd consider that chance small.” replied admiral Zhan.

“Yes, Baroness, the Moyet has only a plurality that favors neutrality. This has already caused debate and shows a divided front, which might create many situations, if other ships captains feel that they can alter policy based on a technicality, or politics. We need to maintain our neutrality or suffer being cast as a supporter of one side or another.” That was the Lord Speaker of the 1st Teract, Lord Whythel Dran, that of the Commons, for the Moyet.

“Lord Speaker, I understand that yet, why does maintaining our neutrality seem to mean ceding authority over our own system?
By being so afraid of possible reprisals or even direct attack, we allow pirates at best or active Kalvari Naval ships at worst to flaunt our systems neutrality and attack, with impunity ships of other nations or in this case our own naval vessels? In lieu of evidence to the contrary, shouldn't the assumption of innocence be presumed for the Zaherian ship Drakkan?” That was General Martock Lynor, commandant of the Iskarian naval Infantry. One who favored the Zaherians over the Kalvari/Ghoram alliance.

“Lord Dran, since when has the 1st Teract or for that matter all of the Moyet, been at a loss for words when we debate? You just don’t want debate because that might lead to a vote, which you don’t want because you aren't sure of what winning might cost you. Besides, isn't our neutrality already in question if we don't allow any Zaherian merchants to trade in our system? They seem to think so” lady Dame Czedra’s wit and sarcasm were both evident as well as her loathing for the Lord speaker.

“Dame Czedra, I’ll not use ‘lady’ for fear of insulting those of honorable employment with that moniker. Do you mean to say that you support the senior lieutenant’s actions, despite how they might cause consternation with the Kalvari Empire and the Ghoram Union!”

“Well Lord Speaker, at least my bed partners all have two legs. Support his actions? I don't know. That would seem to be a naval matter. However, the result of those actions? Yes, I think we should consider a change in our policy. Yet you and your Social-Democrats favor alliance with the Kalvari and Ghoram, because of the Zaherain raids 15 years ago, which I feel is irrelevant to the current situation. If everything we did was based on 15 year old events, wouldn't even your family be in a different position?
This ship was either the victim of a pirate attack or Kalvari naval forces active in our system. The Zaherians deserve the opportunity to conduct peaceful trade. Our nation was itself founded by merchants banding together for protection and fostering of trade, for and by all. Why should our principles be different now? Besides, in any vote you’d only win with the 1st Teract.” Her eyes just filled with comeuppance as she looked at the Lord Speaker. Next heard was the rather loud tenor voice of Prince Thandal.

“I expect my council to be civil and respectful to each other, besides dear baroness, I will be the determining factor in what is honorable to us and we all know the founding history of our republic. I don’t like the fact that pirates or privateers, decided to attack one of our patrol ships nor do I like senior lieutenants, who for whatever reasons making diplomatic policy, be it accident or by intent.”

General Lynor spoke up. “If we make an example of the senior lieutenant, it won’t sit well in the 3rd Teract. His father is R’Karvin Knorr, head of clan Knorr and Speaker of the Main, head of the Traders Union and also on the Committee of Naval Design. His clan is one of the three largest ship builders and the developer of our likhat fighter.” reminded General Lynor. Most in the room just nodded their heads.

“You’re Royal Highness, which changes nothing. We still need to reprimand and rebuke his actions and at the same time emphasize that they were his personal actions and therefore not government policy, which resulted in the rebuke. We can't let his family affect our decision, regardless of any potential political fallout. If I may ask, how does your sister factor into this your highness?” Askarin Menlo stated. The Lord Speaker was even more emphatic.

“In all discussions of this matter, the princess is to be left out and not considered, unless her actions also violated our policy. We also can't let his family position to be totally ignored either.” the prince had a very poker neutral facial expression but his eyes were just filled with rage that his sister had been brought in on this.
“Yes, that and he needs to be reduced in rank so no other officers will do anything so foolish.”

Lady Czedra chimed in. “Great, I’ll contact R’Karvin Knorr and we’ll work on breaking up your political alliance with the Conservatives. This will be so easy, once you make an example of his son. My lord Prince, what are your thoughts on this matter?”

“My initial thoughts are of two fold. Ship captains do need to have allowable leeway for their actions and expect their navy and government to support them but the altering of established policy is troubling to me. Is there perhaps a compromise that we can reach? Oh admiral, why do you think the probability of us being attacked is small?” as he scanned those at the table.

Fleet admiral Zhan just nodded his head. “It's a logistical matter my prince. The Kalvari and Ghoram are currently involved in a war with the Zaherians. They most likely don't want us as an enemy. It's not that their fleet isn't large enough to do such but they have plans already in place and to attack us would alter their current plans. That would take time. Also, it's a distance thing. We all know that hyper engines work on time compression. Merchants, due to their desire for large cargo holds use the slowest engines, around 20 hours for each light year traveled. Military ships are faster, they are 10 to 1.
Now add to that the time to reallocate forces and such and it would take some time, doable of course but not a spur of the moment decision. As for a compromise option, perhaps there is your highness. Our trading alliance partner, The People’s Republic of Elvhra has requested through their fleet admiral Martin Heskva, assistance from our navy in dealing with increased piratical activity. What if senior lieutenant Draven Knorr was given this assignment? He’d be removed as a focal point in any debate and we’d be helping a trading partner and keep his father happy.”

Prince Thandal Khal just looked at his Foreign Minister, a very slight smile crossing his face. He‘d also be out of the system as far as my sister is concerned. “I find that agreeable, as long as the navy does. Just a letter of question about his taking such action without gaining approval in his file, no decrease in rank and a public statement, by my council, via the foreign ministry, that our policy hasn’t changed.” as a smile came to his face.
“The navy has no objection, however just what will our policy be, dear Prince, that hasn’t changed Lord Askarin?” spoke Admiral Zhan, a quirky smile coming to his face.

“That any military vessel that enters our system has 90 hours, to leave the system or be interned.” Lady Cezdra spoke with a bit of urgency in her voice.

“My prince,that does seem to be the point here. Just what is a merchant ship? We are a nation built on trade. We should allow all merchants, armed ones as well, the opportunity to trade here. What if all ships needed to have Iskarian certification of their merchant status and capabilities? Any not certified who enter our system would have to apply within 3 days or either leave or be interned? We’ll let our own determine what qualifies as a merchant or armed merchant. This will let us remain fair to all sides keeping to our neutrality and perhaps provide an increase in revenue from the licensing fees generated and keeping military ships out of our system.”

The Lord Speaker was on his feet. “Absolutely not! It would be manipulated to the detriment of the Kalvari Empire and Ghoram Union.”

A most interesting option Lady Dame Czedra brings up. “Well Lord Speaker, that might happen, yet aren’t all of our policies manipulated by some group? This might be a nice bone for the Traders Union and bring in more money and demonstrate our neutrality. Yet, you raise a good point. How would a change like this be perceived, taken and of course manipulated? If the Zaherians are going to be afforded an opportunity to be traders, then they’ll meet our requirements, if not then they only have themselves to blame. If the Kalvari and Ghoram complain too much, just remind them that this is Iskaria and we make such determinations. We are a neutral in their conflict. Also, ask them why old style Kalvari naval ships, with full Kalvari crew, attacked one of our patrol ships? They weren't privateers I hope? Now what do we send to help our trading partner?” Prince Thandal said, effectively ending the discussion.

“Well your Highness,“ said fleet admiral Zhan. “We repair the Krang, then, along with her, we can send the light cruiser Prang along with the destroyers Ikar, Monthar, Winther and Bilzel. It’ll be a Task Force so we could offer him a brevet rank of captain or not, just make him the senior ships commander in system and therefore the task force commander. We provide support to our trading partner and that is always a good thing.”

After a moment pause, nobody objected. As with many political options, not everyone liked it yet they didn’t hate it that much either, in other words acceptance was at least a palatable alternative.

May 23rd, 2013, 04:12 PM
The next section of my story, again hope its enjoyable and all comments are welcome.

In another building in the city of Taphir on Iskaria, there was a meeting as well. This one had a much more lecturing tone to it, Lord Deskharliot Men’Zhalor, Charge’d’Affairs for her sanctity, Empress Alizhohira Ka’Cendila was obviously agitated. His 2.5 meter frame was pacing while the other two in the room just sat in their chairs. Finally he spoke, though the tension really didn’t get any better.
“What in the name of all the Cave Lords were you thinking captain by attacking an Iskarian patrol ship, after she identified herself to you? Do you have quaft as brains! This isn’t a good thing right now. They are a neutral in not favoring us or our enemies, yet there is a noticeable segment that advocates favoring the Zaherians. This action will only serve to encourage them and weaken those that support us. Then on top of it they captured prisoners.”

The captain of the D’Thoak clan ship, War Calleneger, H’mik Sulthan, kept his head up despite his concern, “I have dully issued letters of marquee from our government and signed by the navy. I can attack our enemies anywhere I find them. Besides I’d have won if they didn’t show up.”

“Yes, you just might have and then it wouldn’t be an issue but now, may the Cave Lords help me, I’ve a diplomatic situation here. Our Empress doesn't need new enemies right now. Since you ran like a scared cub. I can't argue such letters here. The Iskarians don’t recognize such letters in their system. That is why all privateers are supposed to inform me when they arrive in system, so I can arrange paper work for their ships as escorts! Remember, those letters don't exist here and in the systems of their trading partners Lira, Elvhra, Borkat, Malapar and Singoroth.” his ears rising up in an obvious show of anger.

“Lord Dekharliot.” spoke the Kalvari in the other chair. “These yellow bloods are just Du’Kuok! Besides I did follow protocol by informing Fleet Lord Frylth Kho’Zhalor of our 8th fleet. If he hasn’t sent the required updates, don’t blame my captain. I’ll of course see that you get such documentation, when I return to my ship, as well as that for any other ships we have out here.“ he then bowed his head in respect. This was Therak Broskar D’thouk, 2nd son of L’vel Brak D’thouk, who was Master of Clan D’thouk.

“Yes, see that you do master in waiting. Now, that does beg the question of just what are you doing out here?”

Therak just developed a slight smile at the off pawed insult. “I’ve been tasked by my father to inspect our clan’s assets and develop any new opportunities that might come to light, Master Ambassador. As you are aware, our clan has an asset on planet here on Iskaria, Telar Imports and Exports.” two can play the game of gahel, that of insults if you wish as his smiled got just a bit larger.

“Master Therak. In Iskaria, I’ll repeat, they don’t recognize any letters of marquee, in the systems I listed, nor do they allow any combatants to stay more than three of their days, 90 hours. Merchants and their escorts are not covered by this. If you had followed procedure, I’d have been able to list all your ships as armed escorts for any merchants you have out here. Now I can do little, but to procure procuring the release of your crew. So, please remember no more attacks in Iskarian space or on Iskarian ships, merchant or naval in the systems of their trading partners or I will report you back to the Empress.” Deskarliot’s ears were twitching in a show of anger.

“Of course Lord. I’ll do exactly as you have requested.”

As H’mik and Therak left the embassy and got into the air car. Therak told the driver to head to the Arsenal. He then hit the privacy button and a glass window came up. He then cuffed H’mik on the side of his head, drawing a slight amount of blood to appear. “You son of a gheft; what possessed you to deviate from our plan? You had information to wait for a ship, capture it and head for base 2.”

H’mik just looked at him, fear apparent in his eyes. “My lord, the Zaherian prince’s ship arrived as I expected and I figured it would be a great boon to your honor if we were able to capture him, then complete the assigned task. I never expected the patrol ship to arrive.”

“No you didn’t and the fact that you were in combat and that would attract attention never occurred to you either. If you had just waited, all would’ve gone as planned, but no you thought about clan honor. Well, if our plan succeeds then we have honor, and this means nothing. I’ve worked for months on our source and now. Okay, when we get to the Cloudmaker we’ll head for base 2.”

Lord Deskharliot arrived at the Foreign Ministry building and then headed for the suite of offices that housed Lord Askarin Mnelo. “Greetings lord minister and good health is desired for both your Prince and your family.” he said as he bowed his head to Askararin.

“Please good friend, no need for such formality here. Sit and I’ll have some refreshments brought.” He contacted his adjutant and asked that some be brought. Returning his attention to his guest “How may I be of service today Lord Deskharliot?”

“It’s come to my attention that there are some Kalvari prisoners, from a pirate ship that was captured recently, in your custody. Such activity is a stain of honor to us and that since it happened in your system and I’d like these honor less beings given into my custody, so that they can be punished in accordance to our law. I’d also like to inquire as the status of the Zaherian raider that is now in port?”

“Well Lord Deskharliot, I can indeed confirm what you’ve said as far as the captured pirates. Though unusual, yes, I’ll see that these vermin are turned over to your mission staff after we‘ve finished questioning them. As for the Zaherian raider, as it was the unfortunate victim of piracy, it will be allowed to repair itself. Once done, the 90 hour clock, will begin. There is also a new policy that affects any and all merchants and armed merchants that visit our system, including any of your empire or those of the Ghoram Union. Our policy has been rather strict when it comes to armed ships of combatants. It’s been decided to allow armed merchants of combatant nations an opportunity to register, under Iskarian law, as armed merchants. There is an application process that could take 30 to 60 days but if a ship qualifies, pays the fee and if they pass inspection, they’ll be certified as a licensed armed merchant to Iskaria. This could well remove the need for the use of many armed escorts. Escorts won’t need to worry about this as our policy of 1 escort to 4 merchants hasn’t changed. We feel that this will allow you to use armed merchants in the less dangerous areas, like those of our trading partners, were piracy hasn’t been as much of a problem. Off the record, well it wasn't my decision.”

Lord Deskharliot fumed on the inside. Though applying to all nations, this could clearly favor the Zaherians. If their raiders were now classified as armed merchants, that would give them a safe port for repairs and for trading, while still keeping active privateers and official naval vessels out of the system. Why such a change.

“Lord Minister. Why such an unexpected change? Does your navy allow its ships captains to make policy? I will of course send word of this new policy to my empress and well my recommendation that we consider revisiting our policy of no privateers in this system and that of your trading partners.” his question had all the politeness and the teeth of a Tsang crawler.

“Representative Deskharliot. May the Cave Lords grant you many cubs and a long life. Policy is, as always, determined by our Prince and his council. In this case, it was considered rude of us to enforce a policy when the ship was so damaged by those pirates, in those old Khalvari cruisers, who also attacked one of our patrol ships. As for your potentially sending privateers into our system or that of our partners, that could have unintended consequences.”

Lord Deskharliot seethed inside. Such a radical change was unexpected and though he knew the Iskarians would apply it fairly to all governments, it helped the Zaherians much more, provide they met the requirements of course.
“Minister Menlo, just what are the conditions of such a status? If you could let me know then I’ll forward them and see that we also avail ourselves of such opportunities. Now, though I sympathize about pirates, how does that allow a ship’s captain to even modify your legal policies? Such action would appear to well exceed his authority. Has he been punished for such?” He knew what he said was out of line, yet he needed to see Askarin Mnelo’s response. The minister was very good at his job and had never shown any favoritism in his politics. This could well let him know if he approves of such a policy.

As he watched, Askarin face, well his eyes narrowed, in typical fashion of the non-furred, indicating displeasure. It was brief, yet there.
Askarin Mnelo, sat straight up and said. “Lord Deskharliot that is none of your concern, it is an internal Iskarian matter! I’ll see that the Kalvari pirates are transferred to your custody, deal with them as your justice would.” he knew that he had been provoked yet he felt the need to reply in kind.

He just nodded his head at Askarin, for his being a good player. “My thanks for the return of the criminals” and with that the visit was over.

May 26th, 2013, 03:52 AM
The story continues.....

DYOGHI SYSTEM, Kalvari Empire

Grand Admiral Bhal Khundra was in his meditation chamber when the chime sounded. “Enter”.

As the portal opened, his adjutant, lieutenant colonel Chima Andor entered. He wore the uniform of the Kalvari marines, but with a silver stripe down the arm. This signified him as a member of the Moon Corps, those who protect the Empress and her family. “Grand Admiral, they are assembled for the meeting.”

“My thanks Chima, how long has it been?”
“How long has it been for what sir?”
“That you’ve been my adjutant“?
“Why, almost seven years now sir.”
“There has been a lot of change in life sense then huh my good friend.” he said.
“That would depend on if you felt the change was worth the notice and yes, some of it has been.” Chima replied

“Good, I can accept that and it reminds me that I need be more specific when conversing with you. So Chima, what is the most significant change for the empire?’ as his head turned slightly toward Chima.
“Why the most noticeable change is the one that has caused the fewest ripples. You are still in command and that is significant with our new dreadnaughts and battleships that have recently been added to our inventory. Now, sense philosophy is a debatable recreational activity with you, your staff is still waiting.”

Grand admiral Bhal Khundra and Lt. Commander Chima Andor entered the conference room on the Darkaszial, Bhal Kundra’s flag ship and one of the new dreadnaughts that had been commissioned within the last half year. In attendance were Zel Thari'belk, the director of naval intelligence, with his white and dark blue fur, the commander of 5th fleet, the tactically excellent yet prima Donna, Ysandra Mholvik. The quiet and red furred commander of 7th fleet, Cysark Zhol, aggressive, young, sound in the basics but such a command as he had now was easily twice if not three times the size of anything previous.
They all stood as he came to the podium.

“Please be comfortable. You are here to receive the final briefing and orders for our assault on the ‘orange bloods’. Zel Thari’belk will provide that and answer any questions that will no doubt arise.”
At a little over 2 meters, Zel Thari'belk wasn’t very physically imposing, yet no one in this room would consider attacking him. “Greetings admirals, this will let you know of what we expect when we launch our assault. First, as you all know, this is the most powerful assault fleet ever assembled by our empire and with the new dreadnaughts; we now have parity with the red bloods of the Confederation. The existence of our dreadnaughts will be out once they appear in combat, as nothing secret can stay that way. Their reaction will be interesting yet irrelevant to our purpose, which is the total destruction of the Zaherian raiders. Our allies the Union of Ghoram are also preparing their own assault on the agreed systems.” He pressed a few buttons and a 3-D display appeared showing the Empires border with the Zaherian Clans.
One was in blue and the other in green, the system in green had a designation 5th blue for the one designated 7th.

“Each of you now sees your target system. As shown, each is a Zaherian main system a clan home world. As that being the case, we expect there to be major resistance to our naval attack and follow up military invasion. The loss of these two systems will cause a major reduction in their offensive capabilities and coupled with our Ghoram allies simultaneous attack on three other systems will eliminate all five of their clan home worlds. Our most recent intelligence about defensive forces are between 30-40 heavy raiders, double that in light raiders and a similar number of heavy cruisers and destroyers.
We have no indication that they have any formalized defensive organization. Their typical attacking strategy is to close with the enemy and overwhelm them and then board them. In our last battles we didn’t have enough battleships to strike at long range. Now, each of our attacking fleets has 6 our new Bhalkyeal class dreadnaughts and 12 of our new Trepezial class battleships. Even our older Brazhal class battleships have been upgraded, and each fleet has another 12 of them. With the new long range missiles we expect to be able to noticeably damage their charging ships before their numbers would have a chance to be effective at close range. Once we’ve eliminated or driven off their naval forces, our assault ships move in and begin the planetary invasion phase of the operation. Are there any questions?” as he looked at those in the room.
Ysandra Mholvik stood and asked. “What chance is there that the Terran Confederacy will intervene?” That was always a concern. The Terran’s or red bloods, as some in the Empire called them, had stopped the Empire’s last expansion, after it had occupied only 5 systems. Though the Empire hadn’t been pushed back, their advance had been brought to a rather swift end. The Terran Confederacies Dreadnaughts had been almost impossible to stop.

“A valid question, while a Confederation response is anticipated, we don’t expect them to actually figure out what is going on, as far as the attacks on the Zaherians are concerned. By the time they do, we’ll have occupied all of their clan systems. The distance is much too far for them to launch any response without a major preparation. So, while such might well be forthcoming from them, it is planed that any major military response will take at least six to nine months to begin. We do expect knowledge of our new dreadnaughts to reach the red bloods. It should come as a surprise and hopefully cause pause as they figure out how to adjust their tactics to our new ships.”

May 27th, 2013, 05:14 PM
Continuing with the story....

ASPIATH SYSTEM, Union of The Ghoram

They had all assembled. Despite all those here only four really mattered. There was Nysong Bokhtor, Grand Admiral of the 2nd naval assault force. Sylog Gyrlock, Grand Admiral of the 6th naval assault force. Grand Admiral Byleth Zharnior, Grand Admiral of the 11th naval assault force. The person in charge of this information symposium was Neomyth Tang, the commissioner of military intelligence. There were at least 25 other admirals, adjutants, assistants and others of varying lesser importance to what was the topic, not that they didn’t know, but the details are always lacking. The commissioner looked out at them all. They have no idea what we are getting into. The bell was rung and all took their seats if of rank or just stood using their tail to help balance if not.

Neomyth walked to the speaker’s cage and began.

“You are all here to gain final understanding as to what this campaign is about, receive your final orders, for after this meeting, security will escort you all to your ships and only properly authorized, secure and monitored communication will be allowed. The purpose of this campaign is, primarily to secure new systems for our Union and secondarily, to severely reduce if not eliminate the Zaherian threat to the Ghoram Union. In that purpose, our plans have undergone a recent modification to the attack. As you may have heard, we will be attacking three Zaherian clan home worlds.

That part hasn’t been altered, just modified. Instead of invading three systems, we will only be invading two, the home world to clans Thyria and Umbrea. The home world to clan Chel’Bra, will now be subject to heavy naval raids as a major attempt will be made to eliminate the threat of its naval forces. This will be done by secondary forces of the border patrol and colonial naval command.

The 11th Grand Fleet has now been given the task of securing three systems in the Border Worlds; Urlyal, Malapar and Borkat. The decision for this was made by Union Command Central, after reviewing the resources being spent vs. the potential for gain. As you know, we’ve developed a new ship, the fleet carrier class, Shingarsora. They will carry 200 of our drak fighters and the new check streak interceptors. We have assigned 4 each to the 2nd and 6th Grand Fleets and 3 to the 11th Grand Fleet. These now give us a strategic counter to the Terrans, which we never had before, nor have they had to deal with. There is also the new attack mine to be deployed in these attacks. Yes, mines have traditionally been a defensive weapon but with the new sensor application, and the construction methods of our new fighters, simulations have shown a 78% targeting success rate when used in the attack roll. They will be delivered into combat by missile-pod deployment. With the increased battleships and battle cruiser allotments, we feel that losses will be well within the acceptable range. As for defensive forces, in the Zaherian clan worlds, we expect there to be anywhere from 40 to 70 of their small and large raiders along with an equal number of cruisers and destroyers.

As for the Border Worlds, they have just lighter units, their largest being heavy cruisers, though they do have between 50 and 100 likhat fighters from the Iskarian Republic. Yes, they do have a mutual trade agreement and defensive agreements as well but the potential for them to interfere is irrelevant. If they do their forces are considered light, though they have recently commissioned a new battle cruiser class and will shortly have a small escort carrier to supplement their defensive patrols. Any interference from them is viewed as inconsequential to our overall success, as we'll have local naval superiority and will be dealt with should it happen. As in all operations, losses are rather irrelevant to overall success. Not that we don’t care about losses but winning is the objective, losses are result of combat.

Support elements will be standing by waiting for the signal to begin the invasion phase of the operation. Each Grand Fleet has three armies available to it, again our process is arrive, secure and expand. Invasion and occupation are always long affairs but once on planet, we will stay, for no potential relief force could be sent. The Terran Confederacy is too far away, too complacent in their supposed naval superiority and will have to consider the option of our Khalvari allies and their operation. The Khalvari Empire is closer to them and would most likely be considered a more direct threat, besides; they are not ready for war against both of us.

This will allow us the time to secure our acquisitions. Now, to your ships, review your specific orders and meet with your subordinates.”

Byleth Zharnior knew that to ask a question could be viewed as questioning their orders, besides being rude it was not how to gain favor yet this was an unexpected and surprising deviation from their agreed upon plan with the Khalvari Empire and as a result would mean a repositioning of forces, so she was anticipating a reduction of capital assets and an increase of lighter units in her fleet.

She never agreed with the High Commands willingness to accept large losses for the acquisition of systems, why waste the personnel, resources and the experienced gained in surviving an attack. Contrary to the High Commands view that experience was just data to be recorded and then dispensed to those in school, she felt that the individuals who survived were an asset to be cultivated. However, to directly ask would be rude and perhaps insubordinate, best to see what her orders allowed and how they could be bent.

Two hours later, she was in the command center of the Shingarsora class carrier, Zhil. She was examining her orders and fleet composition, in light of her new task and as expected, she had been noticeably reduced in heavy fleet elements and increased in lighter units.
The 11th Grand Fleet was now composed of 3 Shingarsora fleet carriers, 9 Drelft class battleships, 18 Gornath battle cruisers, 36 of the brand new Tetler heavy cruisers, 72 each of the older Addler light cruisers and Meranth class destroyers.

Thinking on her objectives, “Captain Danulph, please bring up our targets and their estimated naval strength. Also bring up the Singoroth system and its estimated defenders. That would be the closest place for them to run to. Also, what are the defenses forces in this system?”

The captain entered coordinates into the display and the four systems appeared on the map, with notations of their anticipated defenses. She noticed that both the Urlyal and Malapar systems had just 6 heavy cruisers and 12 light cruisers as their heaviest elements, along with 100 of the Iskarian likhat fighters. Borkat was different. They had 12 heavy cruisers, 12 light cruisers and destroyers along with 100 likhats.

The Singoroth system was given 1 battle cruiser, 18 heavy cruisers, 20 light cruisers, 24 destroyers along with 150 lihkats. The Aspiath system defense forces were 8 battle cruisers, 17 heavy cruisers, 25 lights and 36 destroyers. “Captain, bring up Iskaria, along with travel times between them and these four systems.”

Again keys were punched and the Ikarian system and travel times appeared. Their fleet estimates were listed and she became concerned as she examined them, 2-4 battle cruisers, 12-24 Patrol Monitors, 9-12 patrol carriers each with 15-25 lihkats, 18-24 light cruisers, 24-36 destroyers. Each of the ships bore the mark of improvement, unusual. “Captain, what does the improvement designation mean for these units?”
“Grand admiral, they indicate that each of their line units also carries or can carry some lihkats, the destroyers 1, lights 1 or 2, patrol monitors 2 or 3 and battle cruisers 4 to 6. Also that the battle cruisers, patrol carriers and light cruisers are all relatively new classes as they have scrapped or sold their older units in an upgrade of their navy.”

“A very interesting upgrade indeed.” she said with an obvious element of surprise. “So, they could send half their fleet to support one of their allies, like Singoroth and have almost as many fighters as one of our carriers. Be equal to in other ships. A difficult deployment option, we should consider, wouldn't you say captain?”

“Grand admiral, difficult situations are what the navy is supposed to handle, but it would seem obvious that we need to make sure that the Iskarians don't send any relief force.”

“Captain Danulph, you've have seen the obvious and given me an idea. Now, let’s move our forces into three major groups and two minor groups like this.” The map changed as her naval units were moved into four columns, three of which each had a carrier and three battleships, 4 battle cruisers, 10 heavy cruisers and 20 each light cruisers and destroyers. The two remaining columns had a designation for Singoroth and Iskaria. “These will be task Force S and I. They will have 3 battle cruisers, 3 heavy cruisers, 6 lights and 6 destroyers. Sub-prophet, can I requisition half of our Q-ships and inform the local system defense commander that I’ll be transferring half of his command to my fleet as escort and support for the invasion transports?”

Captain Danulph, looked at the map with its force dispositions. So did the other member of the room. Officially he was sub-prophet Ylesdra, in charge of ships morale and function. He spoke up. “Grand admiral, such an action is not covered in your orders concerning the Iskarians.”

“Sub-prophet, with three major invasions under my responsibility, preventing any possible relief force from interfering with any of them on almost equal terms and that would be before the attack, is covered by my orders. Just like the success of all the invasions. I intend to draw a line here. My orders also don’t say that I can’t do such do they sub prophet?”

The map began to show a purple line about 75% of the way to Iskaria but also parallel to their border. “I'll station the Q-ships along here with those lighter units. Their task will be to eliminate any retreating elements from our attack and therefore lengthen the time when the Iskarians and Terrans for that matter, will learn of our actions. This will allow more time to consolidate the systems we are attacking, making defending them that much easier, should a counterattack be made, Right sub-prophet Ylesdra?”

Ylesdra just said. “That is correct Grand Admiral. I'll see about getting you the Q-ships and local system defense ships.”

May 30th, 2013, 06:35 PM
Well the story is getting views so I'll put some more up..thank you for taking the time to read.

Back on Iskaria, Volthan Dyell was going over the yards report of the damage to the Drakkon. It wasn't good. Her power core would need a full replacement and more than half of engineering would need to be rebuilt. All of her main turrets and half of her secondary turrets also would need replacement. The rest of the repairs needed required three pages to list. The time would be 7 months, the cost was expensive and more than he had available to him. So, he was looking at what could be repaired and allows him to get home for the rest to be repaired.

The chime for his room went off. He glanced at the monitor and saw a man in a coat and with a cane…and smiled. He looked at his War Master Kelvarn n'Zhig. “I'm not expecting anyone and it isn't anyone from their military. Let the man in and see why he's here.”
Kelvarn pressed the intercom. “Who are you and why do you disturb us?”

The man pressed the button answering back. “I am R'Karvin Knorr and would like to speak with High Captain and Ship Master Volthon Dyell.”

Kelvarn looked at Volthan, who just nodded. After being searched by Kelvarn, R'Karvin was shown to a seat. “R'Kravin Knorr, Leader of clan Knorr, Speaker of the Main in the 3rd Teract of the Moyet and father of Draven Knorr. I'm honored by your visit. Your son is a fine man and captain. He honors you, your clan and his navy. What is the purpose of your unexpected visit?” and he nodded his head toward the man.

“My thanks, high captain, for such words, my purpose is not political, yet could have an impact on such. I know of the repairs your ship needs. I don't know of your finances but I've an offer for you.
I'll pay for the repairs. I ask two things in exchange, first the permission from you to have the licensed right to make ships of that design. Second, please accept my offer to become an escort ship for my merchants, once the repairs have been completed?”

Volthan looked at R'Karvin, then at the looks of surprise on his friends faces. Beltor F'ghon, the Master of Science just said. “Mercenaries! No shepherds are we to the flock. I for one say no.”
“Master Knorr, the rights to build ships like mine, is no problem, but why escorts? Doesn't your navy have enough? Kelvarn, what do you think?”

The War Master looked at Volthan. “There is no dishonor in such. Clans have taken such jobs in the past.”

Beltor F’ghon spat on the floor saying “The lack of honor can only mean dishonor. What honor is there in watching sheep! If the sheep can’t protect themselves then they deserve to be eaten.”

“Beltor, the honor in watching sheep is the same as for doing any job well. The sheep will still be eaten but if the watcher does his job well, then they will be sold for food and not taken by the wolf. High Captain, for me to escort my own ships would spare the navy such a task. The rights to build such ships like yours, large armed merchants, provides me a way of increasing my profits and yes, potentially, some political options as well.” replied R'Karvin

“Honestly said, but tell me Master Knorr, why should we become a mercenary for you? As I understand it, I might well qualify, with a few small changes, as an armed merchant, approved by your government. What benefit is there for me and my crew to accept your offer?”

“High Captain Volthan, your ship will be repaired faster, better and at no cost. I can even see to having some upgrades installed, sensors and communications. As an escort for my company, you would receive a portion of any profits, maintenance and other expenses would be covered. Not as exciting as doing it on your own for sure. You'd also be a unit of my company and any attack on your ship is an attack on me. It would also provide an opportunity to improve relations between our people from both directions.”

“Master Knorr, if your people require us to be mercenaries instead of honest merchants to improve relations that is unfortunate. However, I'll offer the following. Repair of my ship and license to make more for your company. In return I'll offer up to 25% of my cargo capacity for two years, no charge or questions. Is that acceptable Master Knorr?” Volthan extended his left arm. R'Karvin grasped it with his left arm and they both came together, their clasped arms between them.

“I'll see that the Arsenal begins your repairs as soon as they can move the Drakkan into a slip. If you'd like, your crew is welcome to stay at my estate while repairs are being made. I'll see that air cars are available for you to go observe them or any other place you'd like to go.”

“That is most generous Master Knorr.” a few minutes later he left.

Beltor F'ghon just shook his head. “He's using us and figures that money will cover it. I don't like him, little honor in dealing with him. His son is the better man and on top of it all he's a terrible negotiator. He agreed to your offer far too easily.”

“That was for several reasons my science master. First, yes he is using us but I don't think to our detriment, though we are some sort of part in their game of politics. As for agreeing to my offer, that only means he had what he considered important. The man is a clan leader a political figure as well and respected and wealthy. Things weak men and those with little honor become and hold. As for him being like his son, his son is in the military he is not. People adapt to the conditions their environment places upon them. Staying there gets us out of here. Do you enjoy their press with the interviews, stupid questions, insults and government visitations? Some should stay here of course. Besides, this gives us all a chance to examine how the Iskarians live, work and play, what they think of us and the Kalvari and Ghoram. Ilysean, please see that that all the paperwork to apply for armed merchant status is filed, properly. Also, let the crew know who will be relocating to new accommodations for about a half year. Let us see that we put that time to good use, learning about the Iskarians and what they have to offer, be it as allies or enemies.”

June 2nd, 2013, 04:56 PM
You lean very heavily on dialogue to explain what is going on, which isn't always such a terrible thing, but in your case I would try taking a moment or two throughout the opening chapters. Have the captain look around his bridge, perhaps out of habit, at the inner workings. People working on a computer, a technician sneezing on a radar, a man carrying papers to a beautiful blond lieutenant. Show me a living, breathing world the captain occupies and leads. Show me his responsibility for human lives. Take me into his head--- what he thinks about all of it. Perhaps, briefly and sparingly, his philosophies. Make me like this guy... or make me hate him... both?

Another danger with leaning on the quotations marks is expository dialogue. I would omit lines like "We know this because..." or "Remind me of..." Try to keep such exposition (if such exposition is integral to understanding the scene) to the narrator.

Al D
June 4th, 2013, 03:36 PM
There's a lot to admire here but I urge you to pay closer attention to the technical aspects of your writing. Your paragraph construction and punctuation are distracting but with practice will become second nature.
I'd also try to avoid the huge info-dumps you've inserted into the narrative. If reader knowledge of these is essential and their inclusion is unavoidable, try to have concurrent actions along with the exposition. This will improve your flow and can also comment upon the information.

I like the imagination on display and the general flow of the tale is good. War and diplomacy is a compelling topic and introducing aliens into the mix lends an extra layer of dramatic uncertainty.

June 7th, 2013, 11:16 PM
The next section of my story. I am most thankful for the comments to improve the story and the fact that there are parts that are liked.

In the Arsenal at the Iskarian naval command center, senior lieutenant Draven Knorr, was in a meeting with Admiral Cindeck Zhan, chief of Iskarian Naval Defense and Jesperin Hind, Minister of Naval Affairs. “Well senior lieutenant Knorr.” Jesperin started. ”Do you really expect me to believe that you didn't know and only responded to what you thought was a pirate attack? You are obviously an intelligent man, so the fact that all your sensor and communications corroborate your story is no surprise. Yet your treatment of the Zaherian raiders’ crew reveals your true intent, such friendly treatment, repair assistance and that just coincidental request for aid from that Feather & Shield ship.”

Admiral Zhan's ears peaked up at that mention and he interrupted. “Careful minister, I suggest we keep this on a purely military and or naval discussion, otherwise we might involve other elements in anything we do. Besides this meeting is at my request, in my office, to talk with one of my ship captains. So keep your aspersions about his motives in the realm of logic.” The minister just looked at Zhan, smiled as his facial expression softened.
“You are correct of course, thank you for keeping me on subject. Okay, while the Krang is being repaired, that'll take about 5 months. During that time you're residence is restricted to the naval yard or your family estates. You are under a censure as to speaking to the press We're working on a new assignment for you and when finalized, you'll be informed. In the meantime, take 2 weeks shore leave. Now, I've got to go, admiral Zhan has and you will inform me of any interactions you have with the Zaherians, do you understand these instructions?”
“Yes minister.” Draven replied He hates me, because of my dad so its personal with him and he came to attention and saluted as the minister left.

“Okay Senior lieutenant, at ease. Now, let’s understand something here, I didn't like what you did. Now, unlike the minister, I don't feel that you had anything but the desire to do the right and honorable thing, as a ship’s captain. However, you dragged the navy into the press and politics, your dad's been very much probing into your case and the fact that any fully detailed investigation would bring the princess into any discussion and that is something the Prince wants avoided. The minister wants your head, I'm sure more due to your father than your actions. I don't like that. I don't like or want Askarin poking his nose into my navy, or your father So, what am I to do with you?” He tapped a pencil on the table flipping it between two fingers.

“First, you'll not be reduced; there is no formal or other reason to do such for your deviation. You broke no policy, order or operational directive. You actually followed them. Granted there was no official directive about what constitutes a merchant. Oh, I could, but that would tend to make all ships captains more concerned with the results of every action they might do. I don't want to squash innovative thinking. So, a note of question for making a political decision without requesting clearance, that such an action deviated from accepted practice, without requesting permission of higher command authority, will be in your file.
No reduction in rank either. Now, just so you know, there were some who wanted to do a lot more. If you keep your head low and mouth shut, you just might come out from under this cloud in four or five years. You've attracted a lot of attention and I'm a bit impressed with how you've handled it only because I expected you to not be able to handle it, dismissed.”

Draven saluted and then left the office. That’s great, an unofficial official letter of reprimand and the personal ire of a minister and the commander of my navy. Even the princess has been unavailable and not returned my calls. Welcome to life as an outcast senior lieutenant. I could always resign and work for dad. He's always said that I had a job if I needed one. Draven thought as he walked outside and headed for an air car shuttle when he heard his name being called.
“Draven Knorr.” He thought the voice was familiar and as he looked around he saw no one inparticular, just the normal naval crowd. Then he heard it again. “Draven Knorr.” This time he saw its source. A man standing next to a private air car, he had a cane and fur timed shoulder mantle over a long coat, R'Karvin Knorr, his father. What the hell does he want? Just stopping by to say I told you so?

“Would you, Draven, please come here? I wish to talk to you.”

Draven went over and when he got up to him he said. “Yes master of clan Knorr, to what do I owe this honor?”

“Draven, please get in. I’d like to talk in as private an area as possible. Would the Ylthon Ah’Beth center be okay?”

That’s a fine choice sir.” They went to the center and got a booth for the two of them, indicating that they were not interested in accepting new players.

Ah’Beth is a game played on a 5 sided board. There are five sides, green, blue, clear, amber and yellow. Each side has ten pieces, 4 soldiers, 3 lancers, 2 nobles and 1 flag. The game board has 62 spaces. Each space is worth 1 point, except for a number of spaces equal to the number of players. Those are worth 10. A space is captured when occupied, the same with capturing another player’s piece. A flag is worth 25, nobles worth 3, lancers worth 2 and soldiers worth 1, which also correspond to their movement ability. The player who has the most points wins.

R’Karvin began. “Draven, I’m sorry to hear about your current situation. Yet, I do agree and support your action. You helped an unknown merchant from a pirate attack, saved lives and well your grandparents would be proud of that. Your mother isn’t proud or happy of how I treated you. I hear it more often than you’d think. I’d like to start over…no that would be wrong. I’d like to begin again having a relationship with my son. I’ve always followed your career and it is impressive. True, it wasn’t what I wanted you to do and I don’t take ‘no’ very well. However, even an old man like me can learn or should be able to learn from his mistakes.” R’Karvin just sat there looking at Draven.

“Father, I’m not sure. You, to my knowledge, have never told anyone you made a mistake. Yet, I also know that you aren’t one to lie to family as our code says ‘Truth and family above all but the sun.’ I’m sure there is an element of gain to you yet that doesn’t invalidate you asking, so in answer yes, we can. I’ll ask for three things, I don’t know what yet. You’ll do them, these three things. One for grandma and grandpa and one for me, agreed?”

R’Karvin looked at his son and considered his game strategy, capturing spaces, not destroying his opponent’s pieces. Interesting, yet when one has no army, one can capture nothing. “Okay Draven and I thank you for me and mother. Now, it seems you’ve lost your flag.” As his noble captured Draven’s last piece which ends the game. “Well now father let us see the point total shall we?” The tally computer showed the final score, Draven 41 and R’Karvan 39. “Father, remember the rules, that should dictate your purpose. I’m surprised that I beat you. Your skill at Ah’Beth is well known.”

“Why thank you Draven but perhaps the fact that I haven’t played you in about 16 years. Oh well, even defeat can be a learning experience. I’d like you to take a look at a new design for a large carrier for the navy. I’m having a problem with its cost and size, as our yards can only build naval ships of cruiser or our new patrol carrier.”

He handed over a video reader with the ships blue prints on it. Draven scanned the blue prints and after about ten minutes of only some minor comments and mumbling. “Okay father, the first problem is why are you putting heavy lasers and missiles on it? There is no need for such. Oh, perhaps two or three large missile racks, for long range attacks, otherwise it should only have AMM’s and AML’s. As for building it, build it as if it was a Q-ship. It would have some armor but as a carrier its purpose is to deliver its fighters for they are its offensive weapons. That way it would be cheaper to build, faster and be able to carry oh maybe 125 fighters. Your only problem is selling the navy on it. Now, I’ve got a few things to do father and oh thanks for the game.”

June 12th, 2013, 11:49 PM
Again my thanks for those who've been reading and all comments I've received, either posted or as messages.

Draven decided to continue walking in the street for a while, and ended up in Talos Park. As he was leaving he saw a Feather and Shield donation and volunteer booth, which got him to thinking about Jeldava, again. Why hasn’t she hasn’t returned my calls? She is a princess, which might well explain why she hasn’t returned my calls. That and her brothers total lack of support for me.

As he walked in the park he dwelled on what had happened recently. Amazing what fame is and isn’t. How many in this park have seen my face or heard my name in the last ten days and yet nobody recognizes me. I’m just another naval officer in the crowd. If I was recognized would I be happy about it? He saw a Feather and Shield booth, as he went to the booth and looked at the small line there.
He filled out a donation form for 2,000 stellars, submitted it and headed for the exit, walking toward the Arsenal, to check on the Krang.

About an hour later he heard “senior lieutenant Draven Knorr, need a lift?” as Draven turned toward the voice, he saw Jeldava Khal. “Are you so preoccupied that you didn’t see me drive by?” as she came over and gave him a kiss on his cheek. His face blushing slightly he responded “Not that I'm not appreciative but ah what are you doing here? Where are your guards?” Draven asked, very much surprised, as he looked for her security detail and surprisingly didn’t see any.

“Why Draven, I'm here to see the person who donated 2,000 stellars to the Feather and Shield and as for my guards, I’ve been sneaking out of the palace for many years, just to be alone and not a ‘princess’. I see that you've been very much talked about in the press, almost as much as me. I've some free time and decided to see if you'd like to get something to eat while I explain a few things. While we talk about our impending wedding, if you believe the gossip pages.” she said with a smile and a wink.

They ended up at The Koriander, an eclectic restaurant. “Draven, I never called for two reasons, one, that my brother is the prince and expressed his noticeable displeasure. Two, that I needed some time to see if this would all settle down, which unfortunately it really hasn’t. So, when I was called about a 2,000 stellar donation form a rather cute naval officer and I checked the name. I decided that my brother doesn’t matter nor the news vids and shows and what they say. I came to you.”

They finished their meal amid pleasant conversation. “Now, that was a nice meal and company. So, with only the wine left, what needs explanation?' Jeldava asked. Draven noticed that by the end of their meal, many of the other eating here had begun staring at them. Draven was always uncomfortable when groundside and being on the introverted side never helped when there were crowds or unexpected attention. He began fidgeting with a napkin.

“Jeldava, normally I get a bit upset when my calls aren’t returned. A habit of being a ship’s captain, yet, here you are and that is much better than a vid call. In case you didn't figure it out, your brother is the de-facto commander of the navy and therefore my true superior commander. However, just suffice it to be that whatever happens in our relationship I want to have no effect on you. If they bring you into it, how will we or you handle it? Now, if I may ask, is there a relationship?”

She looked at him, a light smile on her face. “How can I refuse? Yes Draven, we have a relationship. As for being brought into anything, we’ll handle it when and if it occurs. As for my brother being your de-facto superior commander, I’ve had that conversation with him. He’s your commander and prince of course but not my keeper nor a big brother to scare away my suitors. So, what are your plans for the rest of the day?”

“Why nothing right now, why?” he said as his eye got just a small bit larger.

“Good. I'd like to show you something.” They got into her air car just as the vid and newsies were arriving and drove to a Feather & Shield hospital. As they got out Jeldava began explaining, as they entered the emergency room. It was crowded, the nurses and doctors moving about in organized chaos. Injured and several bleeding patients were visible, blood, vomit and excrement on the floor. He saw two Zaherians and a Ghorm. The scene reminded him of his bridge after the battle. The same feeling of hopelessness came to him, not as strong yet his inability to help bothered him.

“Draven, this is my patient, my passion, the people who are falling through the cracks. The clans don't care for all as they used to. The poor have no clan any more or none that claim them. No money for the Purge and Extend treatments. Natural disasters, the government has few programs to help, the same with the clans, they help their own, most of the time but if they can't or don’t, who then? Did you know that there are over a million Zaherians who live on Iskaria, along with 250,000 Kalvari and even some Ghorm, most don’t hear of them, I see them when they need medical help. This is what I saw when I did my medicum practicum, the two years before I graduated medical school. This is what drove me to join the Feather and Shield. I know that who I am has helped me raise money and draw attention to the situation. Yet that has only shown me how much larger the problem is, well not exactly, but how large it has become. Why have the clans slowly stopped taking care of their own? Why have many clans just ceased to exists, save in name?”

Draven just looked at her, the passion in her voice and in her face,especially her amber hair and violet-yellow eyes, for what she believed. “I didn't know Jeldava. What would you like of me?”

“Oh Draven, this wasn't a pitch for sympathy, donations or volunteers. I wanted you to know more about me the doctor and woman, not me the princess. The navy, well the military takes care of its own, active and retired. Why don’t the clans? This hospital is in the Pentath district, the poorest in the city. They have a few small food stores yet many small liquor stores, as for what can you do, first just understand them. They're Iskarians also, even the Zaherians and Ghorm, for they live here because they have to. Support and understand me when you can. But more importantly, don't forget them.” she said as she took his hands in hers.

“Of course Jeldava, I'll do that as best as I can.”

June 18th, 2013, 12:07 AM
Okay the next section and I do hope it's being enjoyed.

R'Karvin Knorr arrived at the Palace of Ministers for his appointment with Jesperin Hind, the minister of naval affairs and Askarin Menlo, the foreign minister. As he entered the room he greeted them “Good afternoon Jesperin and you also Askarin, the grandkids doing well?”

“Yes they are R'Karvin, thanks for asking.” Jesperin replied.

“Well Master Knorr, for what purpose did you want this meeting? I sure hope that it isn't to affect the much lesser than deserved reprimand your son received. Oh, I know that officially it isn't that but I do have a long memory and we'll see just how it affects his career.” The foreign minister said, his eyes never wavering from R'Karvin.

“Listen Askarin, the reason why you hate what happened escapes me, but I have my suspicions. However, this isn't for that. As far as I can tell and I can tell a lot, his case is being handled based on the merits as it relates to naval and somewhat diplomatic protocol, which is as it should. Make no mistake, I'm proud of Draven, so do yourself a favor and just drop it. Now, as for my purpose, I know of his upcoming assignment to Elvra.”

Before he could continue Askarin interrupted, “Just how! That is top secret information that even he doesn't know yet. I'll find any leak you have and prosecute if I can.” the bulge in his neck was very evident.

“Leak! Why you ignorant ass. I'm Speaker for the Main of the 3rd Teract and I'm 2nd chair of the naval design committee. I have full access to all naval assignments. Askarin, you have either a sanctimonious streak a vindictive streak or both. You'd better get them under control. However, it's in that capacity I'm here. I'd like one of our patrol carriers assigned to my son’s task force.”

Jesparin just smiled and shook his head. “No way, that just isn't going to happen. Too many upset at what has or hasn't happened and a few, like Askarin here, have an obvious problem with association between you and your son. Me? All I care about is my navy and I'll be damn sure that it's a fair, well equipped and trained navy, to defend ourselves.
I'm not sure that a patrol carrier would really be needed in Elvhra. We’re just supposed to supplement their navy. Now, what did you want to say?” as he gestured with open arms to him.

“Yeah, and as Minister of Foreign Affairs, I'll never approve it R'Karvin so get back to your estates and play with your Zaherian toys, hope that your insurance is paid up.” his face just the picture of victory.

“That's what I always liked and respected about you Jesparin, fair and loyal to your job and the people. Why you hang out with kafrani birds I don't know but; to each their own. Now, if you can see your way to assigning a patrol carrier, I'll see that a battle cruiser sized ship, perhaps even a carrier, is built for your precious navy, at no cost to you.
You'll need to provide a crew and fighters if it’s a carrier and they could be either the lihkats or the newly operational prhanz. I can have it ready for trials in 9 to 10 months, is that enough for your navy, for a patrol carrier to help our trading partner Jesparin?” R'karvin finished, his arms folded.

“Bribery, R'karvin? Well I'll just see that charges are brought against you....” before he could finish, Jesparin interrupted, his eyes just widened a bit. A battle-cruiser sized carrier. He knows we've talked about building one, but that is still a good two years away. Can he do it? He's has no military capacity above our patrol carrier, so how?

”Askarin, just be quiet. You do realize the importance of having such a ship in our navy? As for it being a bribe, I doubt it, and even if it was you'd be stupid to bring charges. As for your request, the navy and the government appreciate any and all contributions by its citizens. Let me see the specs and maybe I'll be able to see to what you ask R'Karvin.”

R'Karvin reached into his coat pocket and brought out a packet, which he handed to the admiral. “Thanks R'Karvin, now the minister and I have some talking to do, would you mind and oh, please shut the door on the way out.”
R'Karvin could hear the shouting at the end of the hall as he got on the elevator.

His Excellency Jaquin DeVillers, Protector-General of the Ghidra Sector of the Terran Confederation, its capital of Calisto, was having his regular weekly briefing. “Okay ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to start with the status on the Kalvari/Ghoram-Zaherian war. Maya, what does my Director of Military Intelligence have to say.”

Maya, a late 40's lady in the uniform of an army colonel opened a folder, despite modern technology; she held to old fashion items, like hard copy reports and such.
“Excellency, the war has been going on now for 8 months and little has been done to change our estimate. There have been raids, by both sides into the boundaries of the other. Encounters in the Border Worlds have increased dramatically as well as piracy. From what our sources report, the piracy is done by the Kalvari and Ghoram elements or those with LoM's from them. Of course the Zaherians are also pirating but not on the same scale, at least in the boarder worlds. Which would follow SOP for them, don’t make new enemies when you already have one or two in this case. The Principality of Iskaria and its trading partners have issued a statement of neutrality. We feel due primarily due to their proximity to the Kalvari Empire, though there is a plurality of support for the Kalvari/Ghoram, yet it is about 40%. However, even some of their ships have been victimized. Our assessment remains the same. The Zaherians just can't win. They don't have the industrial capacity and cohesive government to win against the combined Klavari/Ghoram navies. Oh, the war could last a long time but without outside aid they should lose.”

“Good, Thanks colonel Maya. Now, Admiral Jeffers, your report.”

Admiral Jeffers began, his cigar, now unlit, he put in an ashtray. “Excellency, we have no reports of new units of any significance deployed, at least by the Kalvari/Ghoram. The Iskarians have deployed a new light cruiser and a patrol carrier of a size similar to our escort carrier. We are still attempting to better estimate their capabilities before we issue any formal estimate, yet the light cruiser is approximately 35k tons. The Kalvari have been using a new destroyer and light cruiser, in individual and small units. No verifiable reports of capabilities. The tin can is estimated to be 17k tons and the light around 30k. That concerns some of my analysts. They have expressed concern, in any war new units and tactics will be used or would be expected to be used. So, it is the opinion of NavInt that each side has new units and tactics that have not been revealed or perhaps their existence has yet to be reported. We are reviewing several possibilities of new units and their effects on the conflict, based on previous ship deployments by all sides. However, with current standards, militarily, I concur with Colonel Maya's conclusion. I just want to add that, NavInt feels that there is a possibility that Islkaria will be next and that we should form some plan for that eventuality. Our forces are more than adequate to hold against even the combined naval strength of the Klavari Empire and the Union of the Ghoram. However, should the Kalvari Empire and Ghoram Union be able to fully absorb the Zaherian clan systems and some Border Worlds, including Iskaria, well that would provide them a significant change in their ability to confront the Confederation. We should prepare for a response in that eventuality.

I would like permission to activate our Int-Ops so as to give a better knowledge capability and to bring a quarter of the reserve fleet to readiness. The estimated time frame for this is of course dependent on the units readied. I would like it to be limited to tin cans, lights, heavies and battle cruisers and fast carriers, each in equal proportion. If done then a 10 month prep time till they begin to come available and will finish reactivation in 16 months. ”

Jaquin DeVillers sat there for a moment, his head resting on his entwined hands. “Okay admiral, do it, next, our Director of Foreign Relations, Matthew Stryker. Director, you have the floor.”

Matt stood up, he never liked being called Matthew, except by his parents as that generally meant he might be in trouble, and began.
“Obviously the current state of affairs between the Terran Confederacy and both the Ghoram Union and Kalvari Empire is peaceful, though tense. There have been no recorded violations of the treaty. The Ghoram and Klavari have said this is a war of retribution for the Zaherian raids, though we don't see any realistic chance for a conclusive outcome to the war. We also don't feel that there is any significant future threat to the Terran Confederacy. Even if they are able to conquer the Zaherian worlds, the time, and economic cost of holding and making them useful will occupy a major element of their budget, be it in replacing destroyed ships and the expense of a long term occupation of several enemy worlds. Oh, say twenty, thirty years down the road, yes, they would have an increased potential for rivalry with the Confederacy, but this will move many border worlds closer to us, economically and politically.” his update finished, he sat down.

“Okay.” Jaquin said “No need for us to be surprised but this increase in piracy, due to their war, does need to be addressed. Let’s extend our anti-piracy patrols for 20 LY beyond our borders. Have Int-Ops operate in the Border Worlds but emphasize the area of space near the Iskarian Principality and boarders of both the Kalvari Empire and Ghoram Union. I want the diplomatic corps to make inquiries about trade treaties and a possible defensive treaty, in case any of the boarder worlds are attacked or desire some help with anti-piracy patrols. Now about the economic problems on Hypha.”

June 23rd, 2013, 02:27 PM
More of my story and again my thanks for those who've stopped in to check it out and leave comments.

The room was in a third string hotel in the suburbs, a place that at times rented by the hour as well as by the night. The young lady was sitting on the bed as the Kalvari male sat, uncomfortably, in a chair. “So, Ms. Krona, your boss has sent you to tell me what?”

“Master Boskar D'Thouk. As you desired, the request for naval help in dealing with pirates, has been granted. It appears that a small task force of 2 light cruisers and 4 destroyers will be sent.
They are expected to arrive in nine to twelve weeks.”

“Good, will your master be ready at that time?” Boskar asked

“It is being worked on. Not having direct control over naval commands has made things difficult but she is managing. At present, it is not known how much of the navy will support or oppose the action. However, that being said, there is a noticeable population of ethnic Iskarians who live on planet. Plans are being made to prevent any interference by them as well and that takes time, especially when you don’t want such plans existence becoming public.”

The moyet was in session, all three teracts in their respective houses. The Republic of Iskaria's politics was old and in basic form, had carried over from their ancestors for over 3000 years. It was a tri-cameral legislature; each house was called a teract. Representation was on a provincial basis, 5 from each province in the 1st teract, and 3 for each of the other two. Iskaria had 31 provinces. Tradition had given each teract the responsibility for initializing legislation for a certain area. For any bill to become law it had to pass two of the teracts. The 1st teract was responsible for money, taxation and citizen rights. The 2nd was for diplomacy and trade, while the 3rd was for civil law and punishment. The Social Democrats and Conservatives controlled the 1st teract. Lord Whythel Dran was on the floor.

“Honored representatives, today we consider the proposed legislation, for clarification, of foreign merchant requirements and status therefor as it pertains to allowed entry into Iskaria and our trading partners.
Our prince has requested such a change so that we remove any question as to our favoring the Ghoran Union, Kalvari Empire or Zaherian States during their conflict. The details of what would constitute a merchant or armed merchant are in the document, as well as the certification process, which has all been condensed from previous debate. Now I turn the floor over to my counterpart, Lady Dame Miela Czedra.”

A red haired lady stood and moved to the speaker’s post. “Ladies and gentlemen, while our history with the Zaherains is one of recent war, that ended just 13 years ago after two years of brutal conflict. Now, they are involved in a war with both the Union of Ghoram and the Kalvari Empire and while such a war may or may not be justified, it is a fact and, we have stated our neutrality. We currently have made clear and reiterated to all participants that our status has not changed. Now, we are all aware of the recent incident involving one of our patrol ships, a Zaherian vessel and two pirate ships, crew by Kalvari citizens. Naval intelligence has reviewed interviewed and examined all aspects of it and determined that our patrol ship acted within accepted parameters in protecting an unidentified ship from the attacks of the two pirate vessels. That the victim of this attack was a Zaherain vessel is irrelevant. Our navy is clearly charged with defending Iskarian space from all threats to all merchant traffic. That being the case, as said our prince has requested that we modify our definition of a non Iskarian merchant and armed merchant. Our own parameters have become the guide and any non Iskarian merchant can apply for such status. There are already over 70 applications for such. So, I also support this request. The Progressive party and the Traders Union have joined in approving such in the 2nd teract and the 3rd will vote later. The floor is now open for and questions and debate.” Dame Cezdra then returned to her seat.

Next a man of noted girth walked to the speaker’s post. “Well then we seem to have the Speaker of the Main and the Speaker of the Opposition all agreed on this. I'd say that the old adage of bedfellows and politics being right but with those two I'd be sure to check the temperature outside.” The remark from Mikeal Baldren, leader of the Conservative party drew a nice laugh from the assembly.

“I am opposed to this. Not for any suspicion of the details of the incident. We've seen or have had the ability to see the report and it all looks well and good. No, I'm against it as it seems to be very much a political payoff to the Traders Union so that a person doesn't cause problems. I'll also point out that recently, R’Kharvin Knorr has committed his construction firms to begin building, at no cost to the navy or government a new battle cruiser. Why?" He looked at the two Speakers and though brief, did see that they were surprised by this. Good! They didn't know. It's nice to have friends in informed places.

"Yes, if such is approved there would be more revenue for us but would not we then be inviting more pirates in, and in all honesty this would realistically benefit the Zaherians much more than either the Ghoram Union or Kalvari Empire. True, the Terran confederation could benefit, but again, why should we invite more potential danger? Increased pirate activity or maybe even from privateers might bring us into conflict with either the Ghoram Union or the Kalvari Empire. If such does happens then what for Iskaria? No, we need to maintain the status quo.” Mikeal returned to his seat.

The debate lasted far longer that it was expected and even though the outcome was pretty much assured, it only passed 95 to 60, which was 10 votes short of what the two Speakers expected.

June 23rd, 2013, 04:29 PM
Just a quick note to say that I would be careful about posting too much of this - by posting in this section of the forum, you lose your First Rights, and this can possibly harm your chances of publication.

June 23rd, 2013, 05:19 PM
Just a quick note to say that I would be careful about posting too much of this - by posting in this section of the forum, you lose your First Rights, and this can possibly harm your chances of publication.

I wouldn't post more than a set percentage of the work, maybe 10, for obvious marketing reasons. But rights wouldn't be an issue, so long as you can prove it's yours.

June 23rd, 2013, 06:33 PM
My thanks to both of you for that bit of information, much appreciated and I may need to hold up on posting more then. Is there a forum here were 1st rights aren't at risk or another site?

June 23rd, 2013, 07:30 PM
Hi Pelwrah,

You can post your work at:

The workshop is invisible to search engines, so your first rights are protected in that way.

Hope this helps


June 23rd, 2013, 09:34 PM
Carole, thanks for the link.