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The Iskarian Gambit (2 Viewers)


WF Veterans
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.


Senior Member
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.


WF Veterans
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.


Senior Member
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.


WF Veterans
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.


Creative Area Specialist (Fiction)
WF Veterans
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.
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Senior Member
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').


Creative Area Specialist (Fiction)
WF Veterans
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.
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WF Veterans
@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.”


Senior Member
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.


Senior Member
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


WF Veterans
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.”


WF Veterans
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?”


Senior Member
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....


WF Veterans
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.


WF Veterans
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?


WF Veterans
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.


Senior Member
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.

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