Saturday, 19 December 2009

Tales from Sangha Gan'yaka - The Fall Of Adi'Shakta

Fire rained from the sky. Adi’Shakta was burning. The Desacrators had arrived. Shuva piloted the battleship Gayatri up through the lower atmosphere of the planet. He felt the ship groan and shudder as he pushed it to and beyond its limits. The bridge was abuzz with frantic comings and goings. The captain was ever busy absorbing information from various sources, the communications station thrived as constant updates came in. The engineers lamented that the ship could not endure such a rapid ascent. Shuva didn’t listen to them, with the controls set to manual he could feel the entirety of Gayatri as an extension of his being. She could take it! Gazing at the display board he saw great columns of fire blossom forth from the cities of Shakta. His heart burned with anger at the site. Alongside Gayatri two other battleships, the Bhiru and Uopha ascended rapidly through the clouds, like three shining arrow heads. Their purpose, to safe guard the evacuees aboard and those in their own craft that remained desperately close to them. As they reached the upper atmosphere one of the Desacrators’ ships loomed suddenly out of the clouds above and to the left of the fleeing vessels. The very design of their ships invoked fear in those who saw them. They were in the shape of a snake’s hood, poised ready to strike. Several talons curved from a spine into a gapping concave maw round the front.
“Captain, enemy vessel off the starboard bow!” someone cried.
“Prepare all weapons! Have the fighters readied for immediate launch! Pilot, put us between them and the civilians!”
There was an abrupt lunge as, with almost instinctive skill, Shuva swung the starboard side down to act as a shield for any incoming fire. Bhiru and Uopha moved in similarly. The enemy dreadnaught descended upon them. Before it came within range of the battleships’ weapons it opened up with a flurry of its own. Batteries flared with white hot flashes from around the ship’s hood and talons. Missiles flew out of the maw like a swarm of angry insects. They bore down with sickly speed and accuracy. Gunners on all three ships worked feverishly to destroy the incoming projectiles. Gayatri shook violently as two missiles struck her midsection and another exploded just one-thousand meters away. Uopha took five direct hits, grumbling for a moment the ship managed to shrug off its a affliction and continue its ascent. Bhiru was hit the worst. Projectiles ravaged her exoskeleton, punching deep into her interior. Her engines flickered and burned out, a huge, electric blue explosion cascaded out of her engine compartment, ripping cavernous hole in her port side. Bhiru’s ascent slipped to a hault, she seemed to hang sadly for a second in the air and then, surrendering itself to gravity, began a nose first dive back to the ground. Shuva fought internally to keep his horror at bay. Some of his class mates from the academy had been assigned to that ship. He couldn’t believe the enemy could dispatch them with such ease!
“Captain all squads report ready!”
“Launch them! Have squads one and three take out their missiles, I want squads two and four on bombing runs!”
A series of fighters were thrown out of launch tubes into the air, they were joined by their counterparts from Uopha and a small contingent that managed to escape from Bhiru. When the next wave of projectiles came all but one were intercepted by the fighters. The one missile that got through detonated just below Gayatri’s nose, scorching but not penetrating her armour. Another wave and then another were also denied passage. Some of the squads had formed up and made a pass at the dreadnaught. Some explosions rocked the goliath war ship but did no real damage. A second squad was about to make a pass when they were met by a hoard of enemy craft. They set upon the attacking fighters, destroying the majority of them in seconds.
“Have our fighters pull back so we can cover them!” barked the captain.
It was already too late for many, the dozen or so fighters that survived fled back to their fellows. They were pursued by the enemy fighters, once they were in range the gunners let loose, felling some of the enemy, but still they came. The remaining squads twisted and wove into the fray. Their craft were less well armoured than their opponents but made up for this in speed and agility. A few slipped through the brawl, avoided streaks of fire and pelted the battleships with their payloads. Shuva felt each impact, an audible metallic shriek echoed through Gayatri. The ships passed out from the atmosphere now, the sun, Surya, sat half hidden by the curvature of Shakta. Its light illuminated a pitched battle that raged over the north pole of the planet. There was an awful beauty to the sight as shards of debris were pulled down through atmosphere and burned to naught but gas.
“Have the hyper-drive ready, I want to jump out of here as soon as we’re free of the planet’s gravity. Order the fighters back to the hanger.”
The ship rumbled as the hyper-drive charged up. The remaining fighters turned about and fled back to the hanger as did the civilian vessels that would fit. Emboldened by this the enemy pursued them, the dreadnaught closed in for the kill.
“Enemy ship is in range.”
“Fire everything!”
Missiles, lasers, anti-missile turrets, every weapon at Gayatri’s disposal flared off into space. The Desecrators’ vessel replied in kind. Gayatri was struck three more times as was Uopha. Sparks flew out of various components as systems overloaded. Shuva was glad to be strapped in his seat as people were thrown off their feet. Glimpsing the starboard display he saw atmosphere pumping out of Uopha.
“Sir, we can’t take another hit like that!” an engineer wailed.
“Tell the gunners we only need a few more seconds, keep them at bay.”
The fire that streamed from Gayatri intensified, demonstrating the desperation that now gripped all aboard her. All they needed was a few more seconds to free themselves from the pull of Shakta in order for the drive to work. A few more seconds than we might have, thought Shuva. In the barrage one the dreadnaughts talons was severed from the main body. The damage seemed to enraged the enemy for the ship now seemed to burn as it unleashed a terrible wave of missiles.
“Multiple incoming! They’re nuclear!”
“Engage the hyper-drive!” ordered the captain. Shuva glimpsed fear pass over his face.
“We’re not out of the gravity-well yet,” he almost sobbed.
The missiles approached, a few were hit by the gunners but there were too many.
“Impact in ten seconds!” someone shouted.
Shuva pushed at the engines, willing them to give just a bit more thrust.
“...six, five, four...”
Shuva blinked tears from his eyes, a vein pulsed in his temple as he put everything he had into willing the ship to move faster.
“Three, two, one!”
There was a flash and all went deathly quiet as Shuva engaged the hyper-drive and Gayatri sped away.

One year earlier, the people of Adi’Shakta had lived in peace. The people of the Sangha Ganyaka – The Ganayakan Consortium, had prospered. The arts, education, sciences, these had thrived under the council of the Grahas. Then, in the year 1222 After Exodus, from the cold reaches of space they had come. Planet after planet, system after system was conquered and laid waste to. Many had perished. The enemy destroyed much of the beauty that the Ganyakan’s had strived to create since their ancestors had settled on Adi’Shakta. The enemy were dubbed Shivas’narak – The Desecrators. Now the people of The Consortium lived in fear, not knowing where the next attack would come from, not knowing if there was an end to the vast multitude of the enemy armada. Refugees numbered in their billions, as did the war dead. And now Adi’Shakta – the Great Mother had also suffered the fury of the Shivas’narak. Hope seemed lost. Many had given over to despair. Now they strive to find a weakness in the enemy, a way of defending that and those they held dear. The fate of The Consortium teeters on the edge of a blooded sword.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Battle for Iam - The Patriarch's Address

“My people. Children of Iam. The Harvelk Hordes are at our gates. They have torn through our territory, pillaging, destroying, massacring and butchering; now they are here. They have dared to step onto the sacred ground of Vordis-Iam! They kill our women and children, lay waste to all that we have built. In doing so they have paid their final insult. They think to destroy us, they believe that We are weak, that they can merely brush us aside like a minor inconvenience. I say No! I say that we shall drive them from Iam, we shall cleanse all Iamum of their taint and show them just how mistaken they are. We fight for our very existence for the enemy would see us wiped from history. But we will not be forgotten! In eras yet to come unborn generations will ask in wonder of this glorious fight. They will be told how we endured, steadfast in our duty to rid ourselves of the Harvelk affliction. How we unleashed such terrible and ferocious vengeance upon them that their ancestors still weep when they remember that once they were foolish enough to bring war upon us. They may splinter our bodies but our spirit and duty to Iamum will never be broken! When this struggle ends they will know the name of Iam and the price of disturbing our peace!”

Ruben. Confesions Of An Addict.

How did it come to this? Like the scars that line my wrists it's self inflicted if I'm honest, I knew the risks but I played the game anyway. At first it was sweet I was in control and I gave in to my curiosity, thing is in this particular game control and experimentation can give way to addiction. The burning desire that makes you sick to your stomach causing you to break out in a cold for just one more hit. Of course one is never enough. Sometimes I wonder if any of us are really truly in control of our lives. We're all subject to circumstance whether we like it or not. Some might call it fate, others would call it the uncertainty of some fuck-wit with a chip on his shoulder coming round the corner of some shady back alley one night and slipping a hunting knife into the base of the skull. It doesn't kill you out right but instead killing off parts of your brain turning you into a vegetable for the rest of your supported life. In fact it would have been a kindness if the vicious bastard had finished you off after he'd taken your wallet that contained baby pictures of your children.
It wasn't always like this, I admit I was never the perfect kid I'd be lying through my rotting teeth if I made such a claim but I had dreams and ambition and that can be enough to get you somewhere. They're gone now. All's faded and gone like the patterns on the peeling , damp wall paper in this shitty house. It's funny in a morbid way, the place is a giant metaphor for my life. That is; it has so much potential, well it did now it's just a festering mess held together by... well that's just it, I have no idea how either haven't completely caved in. The place is a disgrace, I can't remember what colour the carpet was when I first moved myself in here, now it's a mish-mash of different stains and burns some from booze, some from food, dirt from shoes, hot-rocks, random pyromanicy and the rest I just don't want to know about. There's used needles scattered all about the place just waiting for you to tread on, which is why there are so many shoe tracks, they are a must if you don't want your feet poked and stabbed to ribbons. The only cutlery I have are spoons; vital if you want to burn up some rock. If you were to actually cook a meal in the kitchen you'd be lucky if all you came away with was salmonella, bits of fat spat out of the frying pan are stuck all over the ceiling, the microwave's front is broken so you have to run to the other room if you don't want a good dose of radiation from it. I remember one night Morphine Sue was round, pregnant, again; fuck knows whose it is. Anyway the microwave is on the counter at about stomach height and she decides she wants a Rustler's burger after smoking a few J's with me, so she bangs it in and wacks it on. Meanwhile I'm watching in a sort of bemused terror as she stretches putting her swelling abdomen even closer to it. I didn't say anything all I could think was Fuck me, she's gonna give birth to a Flap-Jack. I think I was just too baked at the time doesn't really matter because with the amount of dope and other shit that woman is on if her spawn doesn't come out as a flap-jack it'll be a fucking cabbage. Moving on the bathroom looks like a bomb site, the tank to the toilet was smashed a long time ago, courtesy Drop Dead Fred: he's not called that because he fondly reminds me of Rik Mayall's character in the film of the same name but because he did actually drop dead of a heart attack, Fred was a fiend for coke. If you want to flush the toilet you have to fill up a jug and poor it in what remains of the tank. The shower has some sort of fungus developing in the corners, there's no curtain so the water which is cold because I can't afford heating as well as my drug habit goes all over the bare floor boards, they're starting to get quite rotten. The room stinks of mildew and mould, most of the tiles have come away as well, there used to be some quaint ceramic patterns of boats and boat related items on them; anchors for example, you know the stupid sort of decorations that your grandma would love if she saw them and would say "Oh look at that, isn't that lovely". And now we come to the mirror on the wall, so many time it's been pulled off and been used to cut up and hoover lines up off. It's a resilient mirror I must admit, I can't count the number of times it's been clumsily trod on, it's even survived Drop Dead Fred raving to some Dub-step all over it. It's a scanner and like Keanu Reaves in that film I see myself through it, darkly. It's seen a few too many rough nights, the cracks are clearly visible round the edges and if things carry on like they have been it's only a matter of time, which will probably be sooner rather than later, till it is completely and irrevocably broken.


It was a cool autumn evening. Bethany was making her way home from her boyfriend, Liam’s flat. She pulled her jacket in close around her as a shrill breeze kicked up. Wiping a solitary tear away from her cheek she tried not to think about the argument still ringing in her ears. Normally she and Liam couldn’t see enough of each other, but every now and again. . . Tonight had been a complete disaster; she’d gone round his to get ready before going out. Bethany had been under the impression it would just be the two of them there for a bit of take-out before going to the pub. As it has turned out Liam hadn’t had the exact same idea. There was a take-out meal but Liam’s friends were round and they were already drunk. When she let herself in she’d had to shout over the noise of some video game they were boisterously playing to get his attention. He got pissed off at her for distracting him and then even more annoyed when she kept pestering him to go out! Eventually while he opened at least his eighth can he’d turned to her and said.

“Cant we just skip going out tonight?”

Bethany started having a go at him. About how he had promised they’d go out tonight. That it just be the two of them. That the meal he’d not even bothered to cook for the two of them had already been raided by his drunken, inconsiderate friends! He said to stop embarrassing him in front of them! That had been the final straw and she’d left, slamming the door behind her. She heard Liam’s friends cat calling after her and teasing him. What bastards! Especially Liam for not running after her to apologise, he was clearly the bad guy here, not her! They had argued like this before and patched it up within a day or two, but this time. . .this time felt different. There was a finality about the way she’d left. Maybe her mother had been right about Liam, she had never taken to him. She was a good judge of character like that.

Bethany turned down a long narrow ally that she used as a short cut back to her place. The wind had died down now but for some reason she felt a chill that gave her goose bumps. Her footsteps echoed hauntingly around her making it sound like she was being followed. Her paranoia got the best of her and she couldn’t resist looking over her shoulder. As she turned she could have sworn she saw something dart across the entrance to the ally. Bethany stopped to look, no, there was no one there; just a trick of the light. She hadn’t been scared of walking down this ally for years. Up until the age of fourteen she’d skirted round it adding on another twenty minutes to her walk. That was till one night she plucked up the courage to walk through the ally. Well, the first time she actually ran as fast as she could to the other end, but after that she’d walked all the way. Her mum had told her that ‘nasty’ men hung round down there but Bethany had never had any trouble. She was tough enough anyway, with two older brothers she knew a swift kick in between the legs could work wonders. Still, she felt that she wasn’t quite alone. She turned to look behind her again. This time her heart caught in her chest as she saw a figure at the entrance of the ally-way. She couldn’t tell if it was a man or a woman; it was shrouded in shadows. Bethany began to get scared, the figure, whoever it was, just stood there absolutely still. Even though she couldn’t see its face she could tell it was staring at her. She carried on uneasily and at a brisker pace not sure what to do; maybe she was just being paranoid. Fumbling around in her bag she found her phone and dialled 999, just in case. She glanced behind her a third time and saw that the figure was gone. Her fear started to dissipate but immediately rose again as something landed heavily and scrambled across the sheet metal roof of a garage next to the path. Icy fingers of terror rapped round her stomach now. It was a cat, it must be, she tried to reason, but then whatever landed on the roof sounded much heavier than any cat. Her thumb hovered over the dial button on her phone. Turning to carry on Bethany took two steps before stopping again and was rooted to the spot in horror. A few feet in front her stood a man, at least she thought it was a man. The light distorted his features casting shadows and making his savage grin even more terrifying. Bethany knew instantly that he meant her harm.

“I have mace!” she threatened, feigning confidence but couldn’t help her voice shaking.

The man just smiled at her all the more. She could see his front teeth now, they were sharp and yellow. His clothes were tattered and dirty like he’d been living off the land and his breaths came in deep, short, excited rasps. As he took a step toward her she hit the dial button and put the phone to her ear.

“Hello!” she said desperately when the operator answered. “There’s a man and he’s. . .” she stopped. The man was at arm’s length from her now. He stared into her eyes, it was deep piercing glare. His eyes were an ice cold blue, as cold as his purpose, she understood from the way he was looking at her; like a piece of meat. It was that stare! It froze her completely, it felt as though he had somehow reached into her mind and had complete control. The phone slipped from her hand and broke into pieces when it hit the ground. He circled her now sniffing at her and caressing her skin with his fingers, they were dry and rough. After circling her a couple of times he stopped in front of her and brushed her blonde hair to one the side. Putting his fore-finger on the soft skin of her neck it felt like he was searching for something. It came to rest on her artery, where he scratched at it slightly. It tickled a bit at first, had she not been frozen in terror Bethany might have laughed. The man then brought his left hand up in between their faces so she could see as his nails elongated into blade like spikes. He chuckled deeply when her eyes widened in fear and threatened to free themselves from her skull. She wanted to run, to scream, to do something, anything, but she couldn’t. With a flash her tormentor brought his hand down across her throat ripping it wide open. She heard a sloshing, gurgling sound. Next thing she knew she was laying on the ground, the man’s face buried in her neck, slurping away on her blood! Slowly her conciseness ebbed away, her final thoughts cursed her inability to escape and Liam, if he hadn’t been such a dick she wouldn’t have died like this. Then they settled on her mother, her mother being informed that her only daughter had been found brutally murdered in a ally-way five minutes from home, from safety. Finally she knew nothing and was gone.

Her attacker carried on drinking until it was satisfied, when it was finished it stood over her for a second, blood dripping from its chin. The creature then leapt up to a chimney. Gazing back down at the scene it took in a lustful breath of the cool night air. . .and smiled.


My refuge and sanctity, you liberate me from the shackles of this world. You banish selfish and ugly thoughts, shield me from my own ego and selter me from a world that can be really strange! You break me down so I'm not there but in the abyss where time and space cease and all knowledge of the physical melt away I am whole. You are like a warm bath, welcoming and tranquil if I'm pissed off or just want to chill before bed. Like a mother's warmth you scare away inner and outter demons and seem to whisper "you are at peace".