Apocalypse (AU,CC,MATURE) COMPLETE - 9/5/14

Finished stories set in an alternate universe to that introduced in the show, or which alter events from the show significantly, but which include the Roswell characters. Aliens play a role in these fics. All complete stories on the main AU with Aliens board will eventually be moved here.

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ken_r
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Re: Apocalypse, CC, mature, ch 29, pg 16, June 29, 2014

Postby ken_r » Tue Jul 08, 2014 12:34 pm

Roswelllostcause: recently i had a discussion with a young man about slavery, both actual and vocational. I could not get him to look at the situation where a man or woman has to stay with their job to survive. Slavery is bad, but so is a job which you can not afford to leave. Not every responsible person has the right for freedom of choice.

keepsmiling7:

begonia9508: It has been suggested that marriages fall apart because one party or the other has unreal expectations. It takes two to marry, but only one to divorce. Much like Max talks about unstable businesses which fail because those responsible are not forced to see them through. If one or the other part becomes selfish for their own reasons, it is hard to keep a marriage.


Chapter 30

“Max, I don’t believe in slavery, but since I have become queen, Lila has me set up with over a hundred slaves from Krout’s planet,” Liz moaned.

“Maybe, you should quit thinking about slaves from your Earth definition. Think of them as a labor force that you are responsible for,” Max suggested.

“Max, they are a labor force, which will do anything I say. I imagine they would even die, if I commanded it,” Liz stated.

“Then think of yourself as a general with a very loyal army, one, which would die at your command. Don’t think of yourself as a slave owner, rather a commander responsible for the lives of many more souls than yourself,” Max suggested. “Liz, you now have the tremendous responsibility of commanding a work force.”

But Max, I don’t employ them. I don’t pay them wages and they can’t pick up and leave if they don’t like me,” Liz said.

“Oh, you will pay soon enough. You won’t pay wages to waste on luxury babbles, but you will learn that caring for a force such as yours has many responsibilities. I was going to talk to you about managing your people so I guess this is as good a time as any. First, I would assign the responsibility of management details to Lila. Working with me, she has become a very good manager. Liz, what would you say to lending a squad of your commandos to Isabel. They would still take commands from you, but they might strengthen Izzy’s security. She, in turn, would contribute a certain remuneration back to your command. The last time we had trouble with Antar Four, they attacked Isabel rather than me. If they were to destroy me, in a few months a new clone with many of my character traits would be back on the throne. It is known that I love my sister and wouldn’t want anything to hurt her. Therefore, she becomes vulnerable. Say send eight or ten commandos, you should negotiate the number with her. Then, there is Tess. Kyle has his own commando security, but many times Tess is unprotected. That number should be negotiated with Isabel also,” Max stated.

“Max, what about the Angels of Mercy we are training?” Liz asked. “Do I sell their contracts or what?”

“The women from Kraut’s Planet should remain under your command. Think of them as an army. Ships, which have need of them, should pay for their services. You are going to find that recently, many women of the royal court, as well as those from working families, have applied to the training to be Angels of Mercy. They will be free to make their own contracts, but will be charged an amount for their training,” Max explained. “With the industries that Kyle has started in fine metal working and with animal husbandry, Antar’s economy as well as its society, so long stagnant, is beginning to emerge. Antar Four is backing Maria’s university and I am going to suggest that as soon as you feel confidant with your commandos, that you set up a recruitment school on Kraut’s Planet. I am sure that king Theo will support you.”

“Max, you are making me feel more like a corporate CEO (chief executive officer) than a slave owner,” Liz said.

“And, that is what you should be. You do not own people as much as you have responsibilities for people. Maybe, that is the distinction between your Earth thoughts on slavery and what our word is suppose to mean,” Max said. Maybe the difference between the large corporations of Earth and what we have is responsibility. The corporations could lay off any of their workers, you cannot. You must find profitable things for them to do.

“Max you say that, then I think of what Maria and those with her endured. They were simply sex slaves used without their consent,” Liz said sadly.

Max shook his head. “Yes, they were sold by Earth as being failures. As far as Earth was concerned, they would all end up in a house of pleasure, if you can call “equality” a pleasure. It was to their own abilities that they emerged to more than sex slaves. Maria was sold for her body, but Isabel bought her because of her ability to sing and write music. Granted my sister goes through flights of fantasy, she hoped to bring peace to Michael. Maria brought more than peace to Michael, she brought art back to Antar. Many of the women sold out of that lot of slaves have been pledged to the effort on Antar Four. Either they will migrate to Antar Four with their owners, or their owners will loan them to the university starting there. Remember, most of them were bought by professors or patrons of the arts. Many of the royal families have promised to send their children to the university there.”

“Max, what happens if slaves are brought in to help run a business and the business fails?” Liz asked.

“We don’t offer the separate protection for business owners that earth did. When a man or his family starts up a business and they have both contract workers and slaves, they are obligated to make this business succeed. If contractees lose their jobs and cannot find new ones, they must starve or revert to slavery. Slaves would be protected to the extent of the owner’s fortune until they can be sold off for other jobs they can do. The owners themselves could be condemned and indentured if they do not have the resources to protect those they are responsible for. We have very few business failures. Mostly, the families do not allow their members to involve themselves in projects that have little chance of success. Look at Earth, how many businesses that failed could have been saved if the owners had been forced to see them through and how many businesses never should have been started? I think Lord Helous and his family are examples. Tandy could bring them all down. The whole family will do all they can to bring restitutions of any of those hurt by his failure. They well might be harder on Lord Tandy than the monarchy will,” Max explained.

“Max, with all of this how will I ever get anything done?” Liz asked.

“You won’t. That is why you need Lila to manage things for you. Give her permission to set up assistants, either with slaves or contracts. Teach her to make concise reports to you. Her failure, she well knows could lead to serious consequences. Since your group is mostly female, you need to plan for maternity leaves, accommodating contracts to acquired lovers and childcare in the future. Instruct Lila to get advice form Isabel and to inform you if she sees changes or needs in the future,” Max advised.

“Max, does the lack of protection businesses enjoy mean that new ideas don’t have a chance to be born?” Liz asked.

“It means that unless ideas are clearly thought out and have many people who believe in them, their start ups are risky. Not only do you have to have a good idea, you have to prove a need. In our Economics of Earth classes, we were taught that you had thousands of small restaurants. They rose and failed with regularity. There were not enough differences to patronize one over the other. On Antar, we would seriously punish anyone starting a business without proving need and chances for success. We pay for this by having an economy that is not fast moving. The economy grows slowly, but it also contracts slowly. Lord Tandy was trying to beat the system. His plans called for something that he thought would have great appeal and fast return. He did not allow for the legality or the morality of what he was doing. That is also the problem of the rogue space pirates. They always work on ‘get rich quickly’ schemes. It would be good to do away with pirates altogether, but the monarchy knows that it has need for some pirates who agree to work within the system. With the rest, we are constantly at war. We dislike their conduct in their activities and we dislike what contact does to those who deal with them. Most fearful is the chance that a rogue pirate might have contracted a plague. They are not supervised closely enough,” Max, explained.

---------------------------

It was seldom that Diego worked with the commandos any more. His papers were held by Max and at his side, Serina could almost always be found. Her papers were still held by Max with the court order that Liz would be responsible for her. Since Liz had been formally accepted as queen, nobody had seen fit to make any changes. Recently, Serina’s place at Liz’s side had been taken by Lila, so about the only duty she was called to was occasionally with the “Angels of Mercy.” Diego had been called several times into conferences with Max. Alex attended all of these conferences as he had a working knowledge of Earth’s history and unknown to those back on Earth, Alex’s curiosity has led him to many things only known to the highest levels of the historians. On earth knowledge of these secrets would have amounted to treason. Alex didn’t worry, Earth had expressed their displeasure at the loss of Alex, many times to the monarchy of Antar. Alex always laughed because earth wasn’t moaning his loss, rather they were upset at the loss of what Alex could probably do. They gave him that wonderful education and the ingrate defected causing a great loss in the education budget. They would have really been upset if they had known how much power Alex now had, as the indentured mate of the King’s sister and the confidence he had earned with Max, the king himself.

That the king was researching what amounted to the root of religion, would have caused Earth to sever ties to the monarchy if they believed that they had the ability to do such a thing. The Earth government was now a series of islands. The cities with their welfare entitlements were joined only by air travel over the masses, not of equality, but rather the masses of chaos. Central control was nominal at best. Many city governments would make deals on the side just to preserve their own existence. The One World Government might make its ideology, but away from the seat of central control, it was every city for themselves. It could, also, be seen, but not admitted to, that the cities were constantly shrinking. Predations against the entitled population were not looked on as a bad thing. There was a weakness in giving in so easily, but every group taken by the “men from the stars” meant that the masses of equality would last a little longer.

On Earth, Alex like many very smart children, learned to compartmentalize his education in many separate levels. He answered his teachers with what they wanted to hear and filed away truths and theories he found in forbidden ideology. Alex had no formal training in any religion, but he had learned what many societies believed in their past. He didn’t have the apparent drive that the king showed, but he was willing to keep an open mind. Max was determined to learn what his ancestors and those of Earth knew about something greater than themselves.

------------------

“The Maria I, is the most beautiful ship in the Antarian fleet.” That was the exclamation made by Maria. It was big and it was fast and Michael had told her that it had technology developed from both those of Antar and of Earth. The king’s quest for a companion wasn’t the only search made in the systems of Earth. Many students, who had displeased their teachers by their chaotic thinking, found themselves on the way to failure or taking a contract from a completely unknown world. They complemented the ultra conservative technology of the monarchy by their flocks of new ideas. Liz could have told Max that the systems of Antar lost these ideas by their fear of failure. She knew that Max would have simply replied, “Then, we would have as many business failures as Earth and we know what happened to their economy.”

Many other planet systems were rebuilding their fleets of local space ships. The monarchy was making even more distinction between registered pirates and their actions and those of rogue pirates who it was proclaimed were endangering the known universe. The pirate ship, which had dealt with Lord Tandy was found and boarded by hazmat teams followed by Angels of Mercy. The occupants were all tested and placed under the care of the Angels of Mercy until officers of the monarchy arrived. The captain and officers were shoved out into space and the crew was impressed and sent to the mines at the rim. The cargo, mostly slaves from Earth along with some agricultural products were quarantined until their health could be guaranteed. The agricultural products turned out to be what Earth would have classified as forbidden herbs of a narcotic nature. The report wasn’t clear about what had happened to these herbs.

Whenever a cargo of Earth slaves was captured, Maria and the professor, in the fast ship now commanded under Michael, were immediately dispatched to examine the lot and see which of the slaves cold be trained or educated to take a place under any of the royal houses. The remaining might end up in manual labor or in houses of pleasure if they had fallen too far into the entitlement system. If Maria had of had time, she might have understood that she now was the third most powerful woman in the monarchy. The futures of hundreds of Earth slaves were in her hands.

Whether they were dressed in austere black loosely fitting uniforms like the male commandos or in the high stylish fashions designed by Isabel, Liz’s commandos were a formidable force. Wherever Liz was, she knew that several commandos were always near. The girl who brought them their coffee at their office as well as the girl who was in charge of the copy machine were both highly trained operatives. Many offices throughout Antar were augmented by Liz’s commandos. That sweet receptionist could very well blast you to hell and then reach into the flames of hell and bring you back to life as many times as she felt necessary. “Protection under the queen,” became a symbol of solid organizations.

In this chapter we are introduced to the fighting ship "Maria I." Please look at this picture as i worked very hard to make it.

http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q264 ... d762c9.jpg

--------------------------
Stories by Ken
Good teachers are born that way, not made. No! Good human beings, are born that way. Some of them become teachers.

Of course, life is not fair. You shouldn't expect it to be fair, but you should expect it to be ironic.
JKR 1981-2001
History is made of wars, recovering from wars and preparing for the next war.
JJR 1975-

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ken_r
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Re: Apocalypse, CC, mature, ch 30, pg 16, July 8, 2014

Postby ken_r » Sun Jul 13, 2014 11:57 am

Roswelllostcause:

begonia9508:

keepsmiling7:



Chapter 31

The one world government still was in power, back on Earth. Problems were developing. The masses of equality were squeezed by rings of the producing citizens of the major cities. Among these citizens was the basis of government power. Because of problems in entitlement distribution, the inner cities were falling apart like a cancer spreading towards the edges. Because of the lessening of power, the areas outside the cities were being abandoned to whatever their fate. The forces of chaos were appearing here. A closer look might show a different government developing. Warlords and those who followed them were creating a feudal system. So far, they were not ready to challenge the government of the cities, but the Antarian watchers said it was only a matter of time. Outside these rings, there were the dangerous bandits and inside the rings were the areas of entitlement. Land transportation between cities had long been abandon as way too dangerous. You still had air transport in planes with blackened windows so passengers could not see how much territory was not under control between the cities.

Madam Chellez, (pronounced “shall a” with the final “a” a long vowel,) had passed her educational requirements many years ago. She was the first to admit that things had been easier then. Her training had been in dance and drama. Madam Chellez had done it all. She had started in chorus lines where she danced in little more than a G-string. She had been in musical productions; then, video and cinema picked her up to play in dramas. Finally, she made it to legitimate theater including many classics such as Shakespeare. Her last achievement had been teaching. Madam felt that she still had a lot to offer, but she found herself eased out into an entitlement slightly higher than the equality masses. It had been explained that there were younger actors coming along and she had done her part for the state. Now, she could sit back and enjoy a life of leisure. A notice that the state had need of her services one more time lightened the shock of sitting out the rest of her life doing nothing. She was given an address and time for an interview.

Giorgio (his fame had dropped his number long ago,) had been a lady killer most of his life. He had passed his education exams mostly by his charm. Cinema and video had cast him as a heartthrob for years. Secretly, he had been worried as offerings had been growing smaller and smaller each year. It didn’t help that in his last cinema he’d had to wear a girdle and in the bedroom scenes, a lot of PhotoShopping had to be done to remove the girdle marks. It hadn’t happened yet, but he feared that he would be asked to step down soon to make room for the younger players. He jumped at the invitation to try out for a massive new production.

Susan 440,235 had passed her exams and was currently in a chorus line with about twenty other women about her age. Eddie Cass was their director. Actually, he was quite good. Eddie had studied for many years in the art of displaying his show girls to their best abilities. The chorus line was lucky to have such a talented man directing their efforts. As went his girls, so went Eddie. When he received the invitation to audition his girls for an extravaganza, he was as excited as the rest of them.

The New Saint Louis Orchestra still had a fan base. A few of the dons and doñas enjoyed or pretended to enjoy the classic renditions of the ages. Maybe it was an artificial social status symbol, but that was what kept the orchestra together. The members and support staff of the New Saint Louis Orchestra were invited to apply for a tour of many capital cities. They were to appear at an address with their instruments and music.

There was a huge crowd in the large gymnasium. Only someone’s high efficiency kept things moving rapidly along. Madam Chellez sat watching as she saw many old friends that she had long ago lost track of along with many young performers, some she knew and some that were strangers. Names were constantly called out and performers were directed to various entrances behind the curtains. Finally, someone called out “Helen 249,334 also known as Madam Chellez,” and she stood up. Now, she would find out what they were offering her. She walked to the front of the room and was kindly directed to a curtain swaying in the slight breeze. Madam Chellez pushed the curtain and saw a small cubical. She entered and saw the sign saying, “Please have a seat.” Madam Chellez had never had contact with a spacer. Yes, she had seen them in videos, but here, she was faced by a real live spacer, a man from out there. The man smiled as he took her hand and Helen 249,334 known as Madam Chellez didn’t remember anything else until she woke up in a large dormitory filled with several other women about her age all trying to get the cobwebs out of their heads. She was wearing a simple shift with nothing under it. On her feet there were sandals that she had never seen before. When the women were all awake, they were marched to showers and the bathrooms and then, to breakfast.

There was some small talk, but most of the women did not yet understand what was happening to them. One by one they were led down the hall to vacant cubicals where again they were invited to take a seat. Madam Chellez was given a quick medical exam and a golden bracelet was fixed to her right arm. Madam Chellez gave up asking questions since no one appeared to speak very good standard English. Madam was led again down a hall to another large dormitory where her bracelet glowed “24 upper.” Walking down the rows of bunks, madam came to number 24 and she climbed to the upper bunk.

All the women were very subdued as they privately contemplated their fates. They had all heard rumors and stories about slavers, but none of them had ever had contact with such. Just before what she judged as suppertime, they were all marched back to the showers and this time when they came out, they found clean shifts along with their sandals and underwear. The next several weeks were much the same. The additional differences were that after breakfast they had lessons in language and after lunch they had physical training. Madam still had a good body and she was proud that she had taken good care of herself. True, she was growing a little soft from age, but with the exercise given, she shaped up quickly. During exercise, they were all taken in small groups down the hall to rooms, where they were met by a man and woman, each in white robes. The man spoke Standard and all wore golden bracelets just like the performers did. The women were spacer women and were silent. Even with the Sexual Equality Act of 2016, doctors on Earth still used the paper gowns with the backs open for modesty in the examination rooms. Here Madam Chellez was told by the doctor to remove her shift and underclothes and sit on the table. She was given a total examination. Finally, when he was through the doctor said, “Madam Chellez, please look into Ariana’s eyes, it is something like hypnotism. Ariana had strange eyes, they were light brown almost like gold or amber. A sleep fell on Madam. She could never remember what happened with Ariana. Later, she might realize what years of smoking had done to her voice. Coming out of the examination, all traces of harshness in her voice was gone.

As did the other women who were taken out of Physical therapy for exams, Madam Chellez continued with her trainer. Quitting smoking wasn’t that hard when there were no traces of tobacco found anywhere on the ship. It was surprising how quickly they learned the new language. With the ability to talk to their trainers, the therapy became more personal. Madam Chellez would never consider a “lift,” but a few times in the presence of Ariana, her trainer, she lost track of time. When she regained her facilities, there was soreness in her face and in different places on her body. Later standing in front of a mirror, Madam thought, she could well be 20 years younger. She could never detect any scars on her skin.

It was about six months subjective time, as Madam Chellez had no calendar, when after dinner, a younger woman called out to her. Madam walked to the door and the woman, whose name was Margret led her to the showers. “Please hurry, they don’t like to wait and we have things to discuss,” Margret told her.

The shower was invigorating and it had a slight floral aroma about it. When Madam stepped out, a warm draft quickly dried her. She was given a clean shift, a pair of hose and a set of high heels. As Margret brushed her hair dry she was talking, “I assume you are a lady of the world. Remember, nothing is free and you need to pay for your passage. The officers and crew have had the younger women to play with and now many of them feel they would like a more mature woman. Do just what they tell you and do not ask any questions.” With that, Margret handed Madam Chellez a slip of paper having a room number on it and directed her down a hallway. As she walked down the hall, Madam thought, yes she had taken lovers to gain experience when she was still in school. Then, she had taken lovers to assure her position in the various productions she was in. Later, she had taken lovers of convenience when she no longer needed the help of others. Now, she was walking down a hallway on the orders of Margret, a slave, but a woman of power, none the less, to have sex with a man she had never seen before. All the other men Madam Chellez had been with had promised something for her. Now, there was nothing this man would or could do for her. She was going to have sex with a man for his benefit alone.

Madam Chellez knocked on the door and heard a voice call out, “Come in.”

She entered a room and stood for a moment looking at a middle aged man sitting on a bed in his shorts. Madam Chellez started to introduce herself, but Margret’s warning held her back. The man made motions with his hands as he said, “Take it off and turn around. Madam pulled the shift over her head and stood there looking at the man. He made hurried motions with his hands as again he said, “Turn around.”

Madam turned slowly and waited for his orders. This could be a hard time if the man wanted to make it rough. Madam hadn’t yet learned that Margret might be slapped around a little, but as a commodity to be sold, Madam Chellez would not be hurt. The man reached out for her and gently pulled her to his bed. He told her what he wanted, but no mention was ever made about her needs. Madam was learning that she was to serve the man, anything about herself was not important. They continued until he finally was winded and released her with the words, “You may go.”

Madam Chellez walked back down the hall where, she was met by Margret. “Please hurry and shower, then, go to bed,” she was ordered and Madam Chellez’s life was now different. For the rest of the voyage, Madam would wear the high heels and hose under her shift. During physical training she would be given track shoes and sweats. The rest of her time she dressed with underwear under her shift with the hose and high heels. That is except for the nights when she was called out and sent down the hallway to service some man.

Susan 440,235 had experienced much the same as Maria, when she was taken by the slaver. As soon as she learned the language, Margret had called her out to meet different crewmen. Susan was still at the stage in life where giving to someone with power was the normal way of business. She did what she was told, as did the rest of the young women, to survive another day.

Giorgio was called out when he had learned enough language to follow orders. Margret led him to the showers and ordered him to get in. There were a few feeble attempts on his part to drag her in with him. Margret nimbly stepped aside saying, “Save it Giorgio, you need all you got when you go down the hall.”

Giorgio disrobed and stepped into the shower. If Margret wanted to watch, that was right with him. When he stepped out, Margret handed him a pair of gray shorts and sandals. She slipped a robe over his shoulders and handed him a slip of paper. Giorgio was used to having women falling all over him. He sighed, that was his curse. He was sure that some woman in the crew had seen him and instantly fallen in love with his person. He would have her panting after him like a puppy.

Giorgio knocked on the indicated door. A voice called out, “Come in.”

Giorgio intended to make a grand entrance let his robe fall open and completely be in control. When he opened the door he saw a tall woman in a robe standing beside her bed. “Take off your clothes,” she ordered.

Giorgio had his speech all made, but her sharp voice cut him short. “Turn around,” she ordered.

When he had complied, she turned, dropped her robe and lay on her bed. “Give me your best,” she ordered and Giorgio climbed on top and tried to prove what a great lover he was.

When Giorgio was totally exhausted, the woman turned over and said, “Rub my back.”

Giorgio straddled her legs and bending forward and back, he rubbed her naked back. His own nakedness soon showed when he, again, became aroused. “Now, you lay on your back and let’s see how much I can take from you,” the woman ordered.

When the woman released him, Giorgio did not have that masterful feeling he usually had when he left a woman’s bedroom. He usually felt he could fight a flight of dragons. This time, he felt more like a dirty wet dish rag. When Margret met him down the hall and ordered him to shower and get to bed, Giorgio could only stumble to comply with her orders.

The Orchestra had language lessons, but they were not as intense. They all had physical training, but again, it wasn’t like the others. They had spent most of their time in practice. They had been told that they would be called on to produce a concert as soon as they landed. They were not called on to walk down the hall as many times as the others, but one by one the women did earn their high heels and the men did lose their dignity. Practice, practice were their orders.

As they got nearer their destination, Eddie Cass was ordered to start drilling his girls. The older women and the girls from the drama schools took up the nightly trips down the hall as the dancers drilled at Eddie’s calls.

Their contract did not specify Antar; rather, it listed their destination as Antar Four.

-------------------------

Maria and the professor had been planning ever since the idea had been hatched. Maria didn’t know where the money was coming from, but the building was rapid and applications were already coming in.

Maria was informed that the delivery had arrived. She and the professor went to the meeting hall already built on the campus. It was crowded with people. Lord Loyola had signed the papers as one of the school directors. Maria walked up to the podium in front of the room. “You are now part of the University of Fine Arts on Antar Four. Living assignments will be given out and department assignments will be made as soon as possible. The dance troop and the orchestra should report to the auditorium as soon as possible. You are scheduled for your first performance in two days. Drama people will meet this afternoon with Antarian linguist to discuss translations of classical productions. Directors and writers will meet with Antarian authorities to discuss social mores, that is do’s and don’t for productions within the monarchy. For now, follow the instructions on your bracelets to settle in.”

Maria felt that things were going pretty well, considering. She returned to her office to check up on a few details. Maria was surprised when she saw the figure of Madam Chellez appear at her doorway.
Good teachers are born that way, not made. No! Good human beings, are born that way. Some of them become teachers.

Of course, life is not fair. You shouldn't expect it to be fair, but you should expect it to be ironic.
JKR 1981-2001
History is made of wars, recovering from wars and preparing for the next war.
JJR 1975-

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ken_r
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Re: Apocalypse, CC, mature, ch 31, pg 17, July 13, 2014

Postby ken_r » Sat Jul 19, 2014 1:21 pm

Roswelllostcause:

begonia9508:

keepsmiling7:


Chapter 32

“Please sit down, Madam,” Maria instructed. “What can I do for you?”

Madam Chellez sat for several minutes. “It is the situation in which we find ourselves. I think personal limits were pretty well defined during the passage to this place. From rumors, I think I understand, that, we have been sold by the politicians on Earth into servitude. I am sure that it might be dangerous approaching anyone not wearing a bracelet with any concerns. You, though, have a bracelet the same as we. You seem to be in authority here, so I thought that maybe you would allow me to talk to you.”

Maria leaned forward as she folded her hands on her desk, “Yes, you may talk to me at any time. I can assure you, confidentially whenever you want it.”

“How much authority do you have?” Madam Chellez asked.

“My master/husband is second to the king and I spend a lot of time at the king’s main house. My papers are held by the clone of the sister of the king,” Maria repeated as she always did when asked her social position.

“You see, not a thing you just said meant anything to me,” the madam stated.

Maria smiled a little, “Yes, I understand. Things are a little difficult until you understand more about the social structure of the monarchy. My bracelet shows that I am not a free person. My papers being held by the clone of the sister of the king place my owner third in line for the throne and place me that close to the seat of power if I need to make requests. My master/husband was a choice I made. Michael was my master for several years, then he wanted to marry me and he offered me freedom, but I wanted to be his wife, and still belong to him. That is a little bit complicated. In most of the monarchy, you can either support yourself by skills, knowledge or position. You can give papers of contract, guaranteeing you will practice that skill or knowledge. There are no insurances, no entitlements, no incorporation papers to insulate yourself from success or failure. The second position of success is that you can be part of a prestigious family, who guarantee your useful position. This may be by blood or adoption. Lastly, you can be a person who has a sponsor who guides, limits and directs all your activities. That condition is translated as indenture or slavery.”

“Indenture and slavery; they are not the same thing.” Madam quickly said.

”With the Antarians, I am afraid they are. Your activities are controlled and guided for Antarians; that is slavery,” Maria replied.

I supposed that if I escaped and ran away, they would set the dogs on me?” Madam asked sarcastically.

“Not unless they really needed you for something. If you ran away, you would quickly die, causing loss of the cost of buying you, but you would have to be pretty important for them to spend resources looking for you,” Maria informed her. Then, Maria continued. Whatever she taught the madam might forestall others from making mistakes. “The monarchy has no charities, welfare or other mechanisms, except for those three conditions: have a paying skill and job, have a family who supports you or be a slave. Madam, through no fault of your own, you are a slave. There are ways to rise to powerful positions if you have the skills. Look at me, on Earth I was a failed music student and here I am the organizer of a university.”

Madam looked down at her hands, “Being on a slaver was a terrible experience.”

“Yes, I know. I was 18 in Earth years, when I was sold by my school and you can imagine what the experience was for me,” Maria said softly.

Madam Chellez sat for several minutes, just thinking and not doing anything else. Had she expected something else from this woman Maria? She really didn’t know. Maria shuffled some papers on her desk and finding what she was looking for said, “We would like you to be the head of the drama department?”

Madam Chellez mumbled, “Does the slave have a choice?”

Maria looked up surprised. She had forgotten her own response about orders and requests. “Of course you do! Slave or free, you couldn’t do a good job unless you had real interest,” Maria answered.

Madam Chellez was again silent for several minutes. “Then, I think it would be exciting to be part of something like this,” she stated.

“Good, good, your first project will be the Shakespeare Project. A lot of our home language is spiced with comments from Shakespeare. We are going to outline his plays looking for universal concepts, then rewrite them using things understood by Antarians. Antar has come out of a very long period of wars. Much of their literature has been lost. The king desires us to reestablish a heritage of legends. For us, it is to look to our greatest and see how that can be universally fit to the known history of Antar. The discussions will be about universal sentient values. You will have Antarians working beside your Earth dramatists. It should be an interesting and far reaching study.

-----------------------------

“Chica, the darkest days of my life were the ones I spent on the slave ship. It wasn’t what I was forced to do, but it was the fact that I was given no consideration in what was happening to me. Isabel has many theories about why, I so easily did what I was ordered. She says that social-moral conditions were already breaking down in the school for the arts. The teachers were always lecturing about suffering angst, in order to express emotion. They wanted failed affairs. That was what was sold to the public. The state didn’t want strong families, at least separate from the dons. The educators were doing all they could to separate the pressures of hormones and sex from having any other meaning. Then, the herd conditioning which was used to manage grade school children, holding hands while crossing the street, made me susceptible to what ever I was told by administrators. The breakdown of romantic love and family, turning into casual sex, made me following instructions, automatic. It was when I recently talked to an older woman who had just arrived by slave ship, that I saw sex to many, is a commodity to be sold or traded for life and comfort. For me, I still hoped for romance even as I was walking down that hall for the first time on the slave ship. Except for the chance of ending up with Michael, I might have slid down a slope without return,” Maria related to Liz.

”I keep remembering Sister Julia,” Maria started. She used that name as if it was from religious order. Sister Julia was such a bitch that I don’t think the government had any fear of her starting any religion. For some reason, I think she picked on me a lot. She was passing out contraceptives and instructing us in birth control. She turned to me and said, ‘Just like your mother, being the whore and refusing to get her problem taken care of.’ That wasn’t the way I chose to see my mother. At that time, I hoped for a real fair chance at music. I saw my mother a heroine, giving up parts of her life so a great musician could be born. I chose to believe that she had been seduced by unfilled promises when she conceived me. Now, I think, maybe, she did have to give sex for her life. I have grown enough to know that not everything is what we want it to be. Maybe, like Margret on the slave ship, my mother lived only to serve those to whom she was sent.”

Michael had returned to Antar for conferences with Max and Kyle. The conferences must have been very important because Alex and all his law books were also at the meeting. Max had informed Liz and Isabel that these discussions were mostly mechanics. When actual adaption of any project was chosen, he would have them in attendance, both for their opinions and their support. For Now, Maria had time to spend with Liz.

“We have both changed, or maybe, the term is grown up. I executed two people, up close and personal. Kyle told me of the shock, while he was holding one of the intruders he caught, the first time he was exercising with Isabel and Tess. The coldness he saw in Isabel as she turned the man’s life support system off with her powers was something even Kyle hadn’t experienced. I didn’t understand then anymore than Kyle, but now, I have done the same thing,” Liz informed Maria.

For the moment, Maria missed the statement made by Liz. Maria the slave girl and Maria the administrator, whose decision brought hundreds of students and teachers to Antar Four, many of them being slaves was still in her own angst. “Does growing up mean that the horror I felt when I arrived on the slave ship, does not stop me from administering hundreds of people, most who were brought to me in like ships? My college is expanding rapidly and every expansion means more slaves from Earth,” Maria moaned.

“Maybe, it isn’t growing up that we are experiencing, rather it is growing more Antarian that governs our actions and feelings,” Liz suggested.

“All I know is that what I have from Michael is not the angst, Madam Sikes, that art teacher was talking about when she said we had to loose, before we could understand art. I didn’t let Michael free me when we got married. Now, I believe that even if Michael brings in a younger or newer model to replace what I give him, I will still support him and by law, I am the one to carry his bloodline. I am becoming comfortable with Annie. I can’t help but watch to see if Michael shows her any interest. I won’t be happy with that, but I will accept whatever Michael does,” Maria confessed.

“That is what I mean. We are becoming more Antarian in our thinking all the time,” Liz stated.

There was silence for a few minutes as the two women digested what they had said to each other. Then, Maria straightened up and said, “Chica, did you say you had killed someone?”

“Yes Maria, twice. The first time was when I confronted a lady we had hired to handle some of the finances of my security school. My first duties are always with Max. He is king, after all. Lila handles most of the administration of our Amazons. Lila had hired an Antarian by contract to administer finances and collections. A discrepancy on accounting appeared and started to rapidly grow. Lila is incredibly intelligent. She immediately contacted accountants from Max’s office. Lytia, the contract employee, was from one of the major houses on Antar. Her family was very respectable, but there were other things about her. It seems that she was one of the contenders for Max’s attention before I arrived. When we confronted her, she threw my earth origins back into my face. Lord Herkama, Max’s head accountant, along with Lyla were present when the lady Lytia began her rant. All the anger she felt about me taking what she considered her rightful place came forth. It was bad enough that, she began calling me names. Then, she began to speak against the king. All I could think of was that time with Rulian. The knife I held when I faced the wampus beast came out of its sheath. Kyle told me to never be without it. I killed her. When I looked up, I saw Lord Herkama going into a defense stance and Lyla had picked up the blaster I have in my desk. If I had failed in handling the problem, they would have done it for me. Everyone, including Max said I was justified. Max moved to charge Lady Lytia’s family with restoring the stolen finances. Still it was me who took her life and watched her blow away as dust,” Liz concluded.

“What was the other time, if I can ask?” Maria inquired.

“Sniler’s Planet is becoming a place of interest to Max’s offices. Lord Kath had been summoned to Antar by the king. I caught him rifling Max’s desk. When I confronted him, he pulled out one of those disrupter things. Of course, all it gave me was a headache. My desk is outside Max’s office so when Lord Kath started coming at me, again, I pulled Kyle’s knife and threw it just like in my training. I really think Lord Kath was surprised that I could defeat him with such a primitive weapon,” Liz finished her story.

“Assistant to the king, leader of the female commandos you call your Amazons and now, power in a person to be reckoned with. Elizabeth 2005, you have become a powerful woman since they tried to fail you back on earth,” Maria said with admiration.

“Isabel once told me that she was the first most powerful woman in the monarchy because if something happened to Max and Michael, she would have to take over. She always dreaded that. She told me that I was the second most powerful woman in the monarchy because I held the bed and blood of the king, but she said you were the third most powerful woman because you held the heart of Michael, the king’s second. I just keep thinking, what if Isabel, Tess or maybe Lyla had been there? What might have happened to one of them? Getting a disrupter into the king’s office was a terrible violation,” Liz repeated Isabel’s statement when she heard about the incident.

“Dorothy, this isn’t Kansas anymore. I think Toto and Auntie Em are light years away. From what Michael says, the Earth we used to know doesn’t even exist anymore,” Maria mused. (Think the Wizard of Oz.)

---------------------

Liz, Isabel and their secretaries, Lyla and Tess were all called into the meeting that Max had been holding. Alex was poring over law books, history books and maps. Michael was playing with something. Liz looked closely, and it was the guidance wing that she had found, the one with the strange writing on it. Kyle was stretched out in his chair, playing with his combat knife, the twin of the one that Liz carried. Apparently they were still in the midst of some previous conversation. Kyle spoke as he balanced the knife point on his finger. “The decision has to come from you, Max. Do you want to open galactic war or do you have other plans?”

“That is what we all are here to decide,” Max stated. “You and Michael are here to inform me if we have the capability to win in whatever we decide to do.” Max turned to Liz and said, “Much of what we have learned is from you. The guidance piece off the missile has been traced to one of our allies for over 5000 years, Siler’s Planet. At least, we thought of them as our allies, now, we are not sure.”

“How did you trace them, Max?” Liz asked.

“There has been one planet which held two parallel cultures, but one specie for many centuries. On Siler’s Planet the Augh and Caugh were always separate, not even sharing DNA exchanges. It was as if they lived on separate planets. We thought that after the monarchy of Zander took over, the two cultures had merged. That would be for the last thousand years. The printing on the missile part is ancient Augh. We are tracing what we have left of our history to date the part. Historians tell us that so far, they can’t pin down the age of that bombardment. We might leave this as a mystery of ancient past, better off forgotten, but Lady Lytia has been found to have ties with the Augh. She was born on Antar and never was a citizen of Sniler’s Planet. We still are not clear about these influences. Lord Kath, of Sniler’s Planet, had been commanded too appear to answer questions we had about the lady. Liz caught him spying on my office even when he was being questioned. Lord Kath was in possession of a disrupter. He used it on Liz. Of course she was only annoyed by the thing. We need to know how far this influence of Augh has gone. What is the stand of the Caugh in Sniler’s Planet politics? Are they even strong enough to have any influence? Also, did the Augh have anything to do with the lady’s interest in me?” Max informed the group.

Alex spoke up, “You have me here to question illegalities and also, to make statements about history. I want to start with Earth history. ‘Keep your friends close, but keep your enemies closer.’ This was attributed to Sun-tzu a Chinese general, but more than likely, it was a politician named Machiavelli from the middle of the ‘Common Era.” This has many interpretations, but for Antar, you have too long been focused on Antar Four, which is essentially a close relation to Antar and the space pirates, who you believe are the major enemies. Sniler’s Planet has fallen off the watch list. The space pirates aren’t that well organized to cause us as much problems as they do. There might be some other force, which is controlling them. On Earth, we once had a period of ‘The Cold War.’ This was a war in every sense, but shooting. The powers did keep very close ties with both friends and foes. The friends and foes did change considerably from time to time.”

“What do you recommend, Alex?” Max asked.

“We need to establish some sort of trade missions with Sniler’s Planet. Anything, maybe, something benign that will get some of our people on the ground and integrated into the society of Sniler’s Planet. We need to establish some sort of control on the space pirates. Destroying them is not the answer,” Alex cautioned. “That may be impossible if their direction comes from some other source,” he continued.
Good teachers are born that way, not made. No! Good human beings, are born that way. Some of them become teachers.

Of course, life is not fair. You shouldn't expect it to be fair, but you should expect it to be ironic.
JKR 1981-2001
History is made of wars, recovering from wars and preparing for the next war.
JJR 1975-

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Re: Apocalypse, CC, mature, ch 32, pg 17, July 19, 2014

Postby ken_r » Tue Jul 29, 2014 10:27 am

Roswelllostcause:

begonia9508:

keepsmiling7:



Chapter 33

The meeting assured that everyone had things to consider. Max asked Liz to remain after everyone else had gone. “Liz, there is more,” Max said.
‘Questions have come up about the fortress where Rath, Zander and Valandra are kept.”

“Max, the word fortress is almost as mysterious as the cloning that you always talk about. No one outside of you and Isabel ever says anything about this fortress. You talk about it housing your clone donors, but no one ever talks about where it is or anything about those people there,” Liz stated.

“The council, to whom I answer and the three of us, including Isabel and Michael are the only ones who know much about the fortress. The bloodline of the kingdom of Zander is preserved there. We bank our genetic material, but if the bloodline runs out, it is to those in the fortress who we turn to in renewing the bloodline. It is common knowledge that the blood of the king is running thin. It has been said that the last time we needed a set of clones, the geneticists had a difficult time in forming the best gene selection. I don’t think the average citizen understands that the blood of the king is preserved at this mysterious fortress in our clone donors and it has withstood countless replications,” Max explained.

“What are you supposed to do about it?” Liz asked.

“What I am supposed to do about it and what I want to do about it are two different things. The old kings would have killed off those in the fortress and installed fresh genes. I don’t want to do that. I would like to allow those in the fortress to die of natural deaths and establish the bloodline in living people. We might need clones to reestablish great leaders in times of emergency, but the direct bloodlines should be allowed to die out and new ones established. Blood lines should be strengthened by choice of mates not manipulation of genetic material,” Max stated. Liz was quiet for several minutes thinking what this meant to her and to the king. Max continued, “We are going to go to the fortress and see the problems first hand. This is a very rare thing for any king to do. Taking his reigning queen has no precedence,” Max replied.

Preparations for visiting the fortress were done in secret. While waiting, Liz established a school for “Angels of Mercy,” on Sniler’s Planet. Those in charge of Sniler’s Planet were happy to accept a chance to get their people recognized in Space commerce. In return, they establish a “Center of Education” on Antar, which was a thinly disguised espionage headquarters. Maybe, that is what Antar needed on Sniler’s. Antar badly needed information on the Augh and the Caugh. It would be up to Liz’s Angels of Mercy to keep watch on the activities of Sniler’s. What Sniler’s Planet would gain from Antar was any body’s guess. Liz was careful to staff the school for the Angels with loyal people and people with some training in espionage.

When Liz and Max entered the ship sent from the fortress, they did so with both trepidation and shock. The ship was painted a dead black. Max explained that even radar type waves would be absorbed rather than reflected. The accommodations were Spartan compared to other royal liners Liz had been privileged to travel in. Once sealed in their cabin, the crew made no other contact with the royal pair. There were no visuals for Max or Liz to see where they were or where they were going. They had walked into a cabin, shut the door and lived in dead silence from the outside, for a number of sleep periods until a crisp announcement was made that they had arrived. Their own voices were the only thing they heard. Liz was far from an expert, but she noticed that even the normal hum from a ship in space had been absent.

Still without speaking, a crewman led them down a dark hallway. Liz was never clear when they left the ship and entered some sort of facility. Finally, they were left at an apartment better furnished than had been their room on the ship. “Where are we, Max?” Liz asked.

“I have no idea, Liz,” Max answered. “We are to remain here until the wake cycle at this location allows for normal, or at least what passes for normal activity.”

“Max what are we supposed to say to your clone donors?” Liz asked.

“Liz,” Max said in surprise, “we won’t be allowed to talk to our donors. Restrictions are very strict as to anything from the outside.” “Then embarrassed from his outburst, Max explained, “I am sorry, Liz. I forgot that this is totally strange to you. Very few ever talk to the donors. They are not aware of anything out side their quarters. Their purpose is biological, nothing else.”

“Max, that is inhuman. How can Antar stand for anything like that?” Liz responded with horror.

“Liz this is one of the secrets of Antar. Since Zander the First, this blood line has been preserved. If one of them dies, an already prepared clone will be hurried to replace it. If one of us dies, clones will be released to take our place. The blood, of those in the fortress always is present to furnish more clones, but the clones must have no outside influence. When Zander the First took over, he killed the clones preserved by those before him and started this line. The procedure has been going on for thousands of years. It is one of the things I would like to stop. Maybe with your help we can do this. Let those here die naturally and no more preserving clones for anything, except medical reasons.”

“Well, what do we expect to learn?” Liz had many questions to ask.

“As King,” Max began, “I can demand a full accounting of the clone program if I make it in person. That is the first reason we are here. The next thing is what I would like your mind to be fresh to make your own decision or discovery. I ran across some very disturbing information. If we both agree that it is true, then we have a lot to do to right a great wrong.”

Finally, they were led down a hall much less austere than what they had seen before. By the time they reached a small meeting room, it could well have been the rooms of any corporate business. The man who welcomed them into the conference room was in a dress uniform that Liz didn’t recognize. There were several other people in the room where they were seated. “I welcome your majesties. It is rare that the king asks for information about the clones,” the leader said, but he made no introductions of the others.

“There are questions which are from the monarchy. We are in battle with rebel forces; we think some of our friends are supporting them. A statement was made that I should view the clones. No reason was given, but the statement was from a reliable source. I have taken a queen from a foreign planet and it is felt that she should be exposed to as much of our situations as possible for her to advise me. So, here we are. I think there is an established report for a king if he so requests. Let’s start there,” Max said.

The leader passed folders to each Max and Liz. “The health report would be best if you reviewed it with a trusted health official. Careful genetic selection has kept the clones healthy as far as biology is concerned. They are drilled daily on mental gymnastics. That, at lest, keeps their minds from atrophying. Their socialization is almost zero. None of our people are allowed to get too close to them. Zander, the First, intended for them to couple in the same manner as those in his household. Of course, they are sterile and the only way they have offspring is in the cloning. I think in their world, coupling has become a convenience. Zander placed clones of himself and his mate along with his sister and her mate. I don’t know what he intended for them. When so ordered, we prepare clones and send them to the king’s household. I understand that you do not follow the arrangements of Zander, the First exactly, either,” the leader stated.

Max looked up. He had caught something that Liz had been afraid to voice. Instead of responding to the leader’s remark, he asked, “What do you mean, do you have four clones?”

The leader nodded his head, “Yes, we have Zander, Ava, Rath and Vilandra.”

Max frowned, “We will have to view the clones and I need the cloning reports since the time of Zander, the twenty-third.”

On the return trip, they had a lot more activity. There were several reports and both Liz and Max needed to talk about what they had seen of the clones. “Max, she looks exactly like Tess,” Liz stated.

“Maybe, with a fresh bath and a lot of scrubbing, we wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. I find it difficult to see these creatures, so important to the monarchy living in such squalor,” Max confessed.

“Max they are like children. They have exercises to take up their time, but they never had anyone to instruct them in hygiene and other social properties. I asked the leader what would happen when you let the clone program die and he told me he was all for it. He makes good money, but he endures a mind scrub at the end of 10 years when he is returned to duty. Nothing they learn here is allowed to return with them. He is not sure if what the guards endure, is worth it,” Liz stated.

“It is hard to think that Vilandra is related to the Isabel we both know. The sex lives of the clones are so indiscriminant, where our Isabel has been so careful as to who gets her favors, Vilandra ruts with either of the other two. Rath is definitely a bully. He pushes all three of them around like he was king. I studied Zander as carefully as I could, but I saw little of myself in him. Ava seems to be the one they all pick on. We must figure out if Tess is a clone of her. Seeing Tess sitting at Isabel’s desk, it is hard to picture what she got from that Ava,” Max voiced his concerns.

They both had been scanning through the reports of orders to clone. “Here it is, Liz. Zander, the twenty-third, was assassinated. His second in command was crippled. It says that the clone of Vilandra kept the government until Zander the twenty-fourth, (that is me,) was prepared to take the throne. After the assassination, there was a time of peace. I didn’t request a second in command until the Vilandra clone insisted on it. She stated that she didn’t want to run the government again. What happened to the crippled Rath clone is not mentioned. The Vilandra clone retired and disappeared. Some years after that, I ordered a clone of my sister. I think I did this at the command of the council. Wait a minute, Liz. Here it is, a request for a clone of Ava, as an infant, was made right after the assassination of Zander. I hadn’t even been quickened, yet. They were still preparing me. Ava appeared somewhere as a baby before I even took the throne. The request is signed Zander, the Twenty-fourth. That signature couldn’t be mine.”

“Does it say who took the baby or who raised her?” Liz asked.

“No, but I am sure that it was the family who raised Tess as a slave for the monarchy,” Max stated.

This was a strong accusation from the king. The present cooperation from Antar Four was a far cry from what could have happened.

“Max, you speak of quickening and the clone as an infant. Could you explain what you mean?” Liz requested.

“Liz, when Zander the twenty-third was assassinated, command of the monarchy should have gone to his second. As you see, the Rath clone was badly hurt also. The command fell upon the Vilandra clone. If I had been prepared as an infant, Vilandra would have had to run the monarchy for at least twenty years. The bodies of our clones are prepared ahead of time to be in puberty when needed. Quickening is the word we use for the final impressing of the brain with characters of previous kings or leaders. That is why outside contact is so restricted. Within about four years, Vilandra could have stepped down and that is what she did. Someone ordered an Ava clone as an infant. It is marked Zander the twenty-fourth. Zander, 23 was dead and I hadn’t been released then, so the order was a fraud. Somehow this wasn’t caught. The Ava child-clone did not have her brain impressed. She was allowed to develop naturally. She had no idea of what she was supposed to be. I remember from when I first took the throne that Antar Four would send a daughter to our household as partial payment for their dept. The rest of the debt was a transfer of much of the gross national product of that planet. That part was secret,” Max explained. “It might be best to ask what the plan was, for the action of sending Tess?” he finished. Max, in his mind, was sure that somehow, Tess was supposed to be a time bomb. Something was to make her servitude an embarrassment to the throne. This was all abandoned as the family that raised Tess was overthrown and then executed before they could even pass on the trigger they had intended to ignite the position of the fallen royal princess of Antar.
Good teachers are born that way, not made. No! Good human beings, are born that way. Some of them become teachers.

Of course, life is not fair. You shouldn't expect it to be fair, but you should expect it to be ironic.
JKR 1981-2001
History is made of wars, recovering from wars and preparing for the next war.
JJR 1975-

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Re: Apocalypse, CC, mature, ch 33, pg 18, July 29, 2014

Postby ken_r » Sun Aug 10, 2014 10:10 am

begonia9508: cloning is one of the poorest ways to preserve genetic lines. Even close relative mating has a chance of introducing new genetic material. Cloning drops out information and is not replaced.

keepsmiling7: To see how Liz fits in you have to go back and study everything that has happened. The most important thing is that Liz is a surprise event. She introduces un-planned for events.

Roswelllostcause:


Chapter 34

“Max, I would never hurt someone who didn’t deserve it,” Isabel stated. “I know that sometimes, I say things that bother, both Tess and Maria. For that, I am sorry. Those remarks are and always were careless and unintentional.”

“The question is what do we do about it?” Max asked.

“I don’t see how you can ask that question. Tess is part of the royal household. No way should she be a slave to anyone,” Isabel cried.

“You are of the royal family and you gave yourself to Alex,” Max reminded her.

“Max, that was an act of love. It is honored between Alex and myself. There is nothing administrative about making Tess a slave; Tess isn’t under any court order. We can never repay the injustice, except to learn of the intent for which she was raised. What if Tess’s family hadn’t lost power and been executed? They were executed because of their long feud with the other family. If they hadn’t been executed, even with the loss of power, they could have demanded an investigation into Tess’s linage. Don’t believe for a minute that they hadn’t already covered themselves.” Isabel conjectured.

“I guess that leaves who and how will Tess be informed of the situation?” Max asked.

“Max, I have been responsible for her welfare ever since she came to our household. It should be me and if there are recriminations she holds, they should fall on me as her sponsor,” Isabel declared. Of course, being Antarian, the interchange of the words, sponsor, master or guide didn’t bother Max. If Liz had been listening to this conversation, she might have seen a progression in Isabel’s thinking as to her relationship with Tess.

It was early morning when Tess received word that she was wanted in Isabel’s office. Remember that no matter how close the master/slave relationship, a request to her master’s office was troublesome. The information and conformation Isabel wanted was easily obtained from the department of health. That same department which took the DNA samples from all the royal family. The evidence of Tess’s linage was always there, but no one had ever requested that information before.

Tess was a highly educated woman. Isabel handed her the genetic documents as she said, “Tess, you never were a citizen of Antar Four. They never had any right to use you as a bond for their debt. You are and always have been a citizen of Antar and a member of the royal house.” Isabel handed Tess another paper. “Here is a certificate of your citizenship and a declaration of freedom. Those who indentured you are dead, so there is little we can do to bring you justice.”

Isabel didn’t know what to expect in Tess from the news. There was first confusion, then a relaxation as the news of her freedom sank in. Then, Isabel saw fear wash over Tess. “Isabel, what am I going to do? My family is dead and now you tell me that I no longer have the protection of the king by being your slave,” Tess whispered as if scared to voice what was happening.

“I think the king will take you under his protection as a family member. As to what to do, I would be pleased if you would continue as my assistant under contract. You are still an Angel of Mercy under the command of the king. I offer my guidance as well as that of the queen and Alex as you move forward in your new/old life,” Isabel said.

For many minutes, Tess sat looking at the three documents, two showing how she fit in the genetics of the royal family and the third a declaration of her citizenship if she was ever questioned. A darkness, fell upon her face as another problem dawned in her mind. “Isabel, who holds the papers for Kyle?” she asked.

“Originally, Max, the king held them. At one time, when we feared an attack from Antar Four, he gave them to me. If your relationship with Kyle is what you fear, then I can request of the king to give the papers to you. Remember that Kyle is always at the call of the king as are you or I,” Isabel informed Tess.

Now other concerns formed in Tess. “Isabel, do you think there might be anything planted in my mind to bring harm to the monarchy?”

“We could do a complete mind search. With your permission I could do it over several days. I think that there was something exterior that was supposed to happen to cause you to bring a problem to the house of Zander. I believe that your family would know that you would be held close by me, but they created the rumor that you might be sold to a house of pleasure to incense the population of Antar Four against the king. Their own mishandling of finances led to their downfall by their historic rivals. We might think about Serina. Did someone on Antar Four make the same plans for her? Isabel asked.

Tess smiled for the first time that morning, “I don’t think that Serina has any triggers unless it is following the quest of Diego. She is taking his beliefs very seriously.

--------------------------

Diego and Serina were in Alex’s office. “You may be right. Antar had lost their belief in something greater than themselves too many years ago for much record to be left. Earth may be the only place where you might make this connection. There used to be a place called the Vatican. The world government destroyed this in the first years of their takeover. They feared what information this place might hold. This is not the first time that information has been lost on Earth. Way back in the time of the common era, a huge library at Alexandra, an ancient city of learning, holding much of the worlds knowledge, was burned,” Alex informed them.

“The king has made many historians available and what few literary sources remain for our study. Antar had some beliefs, but they were lost thousands of cycles ago. I am sure that in sites where the world government was strong on Earth will be sterile. I am sure that the government got to those, but maybe in some of the wilder lands, we might find information as to what we seek,” Diego stated.

“Those places would be difficult and dangerous to visit,” Alex stated.

“It would have to be Serina and me along with a few volunteers from the army of the king’s second. I don’t think that Michael completely agrees with us, but he has had experiences which do not allow him to overlook something else out there,” Diego said.

“Then you would be a scientific group searching for artifacts in Earth’s history,” Alex said.

“Something like that.” Diego agreed.

The king had already agreed to Diego’s request and was only waiting for Alex to second its importance.

-----------------

“Isabel, being free is just another word for slavery. I am swamped with my work for you as well as the additional correspondence of my status change,” Tess moaned.

“Tess, you should request that Liz include an administrator in your bodyguard,” Isabel offer her advice.

“That is something else, I can’t emotionally manage indentured people very well. Most of the body guard are handled by Liz’s assistant, Lyla, but an indentured assistant would be hard for me to work with,” Tess stated.

“Then ask Lyla to find a contract person for an assistant. They could manage your bodyguard staff which ultimately would still be under Liz’s and Lyla’s control,” Isabel suggested. Privately, Isabel would suggest to Lyla that the office staff be given more authority to manage the things which Tess was facing.

To Isabel, this was interesting. Liz hated slavery, but as the queen, she had inured herself to managing the Amazons at her command. Maria had been taken as a slave, but now she was managing the staff of the university and most of it was composed of Earth slaves. The difference was that Tess was now free. She couldn’t identify with owning slaves as a free woman. Maybe there was some guilt built into the fact that suddenly she became free. Isabel had been brought up in the Antarian government as a member of the royal house. Her training had been to treat slaves with respect, but to realize that in the Antarian worlds, everyone had to fit into one of the three classes. Contract skilled workers, members of some responsible family, or slaves under some responsible guidance.

Isabel was an intelligent woman. She well knew that her attitude to respect slaves as entities who were not only under her guidance, but that trusted to her for their health and happiness, was not universal. Mistreatment of slaves would incur extreme wrath of the king. There were signs all around that not everyone followed the king’s rules. It had been her own mutually indentured husband, Alex who had suggested that maybe, slaves needed some sort of bill of rights and some mechanism for redress for assaults against these rights.

----------------------

Most of Maria’s bodyguards were from Lyla’s tribe. They admired the women of Antar and were very loyal to the queen for the chance to work off their planet. If you didn’t want to be part of a harem and didn’t want to rot by being someone’s maiden aunt, never having anything but gratuities, Lyla offered a chance for adventure, training and possible chances for families. Liz had insisted that Lyla not make this last thing a part of her recruitment. Finding and establishing families was still up to the women finding partners. Maria was their assignment, Maria was a close friend of the queen and Maria led an exciting life within her university.

When the family who had raised Tess was removed, the rivals had executed them. They even tried to execute Tess as a last member of that family, not knowing the truth that Tess was a royal clone of Antar. Now, Max had overthrown the rival family, but he held no executions. “That Damned Golden Bitch from Earth,” was their name for Maria. “She brings in foreigners from all over the galaxy. She over-runs our educational system with Earther scumb. What purpose does that university serve, anyway?”

Remember, that this wasn’t a large family and most of Antar Four were delighted for the recognition they were getting for their school. Still, four young men had enrolled in the drama department run by Madam Chellez. They played the game, they caused fair maidens to swoon over their dark personalities. They endeared themselves to the department. They didn’t fool Madam Chelez for a minute. “Maria, remember you said I could talk to you in confidence any time I needed?” madam said.

“Of course, first I would like to convey the appreciation from the university board. The Shakespeare project is coming along very well. Now, what can I do for you?” Maria asked.

“I taught at a lot of places where world government was not loved. No one ever had the money or leadership to do anything, but I did learn to recognize rebellion when I saw it. I have four men who work hard, but they are not actors. They do not have the heart for it. They do everything that is asked by their class, but they aren’t and won’t ever be actors. They work too hard at something they do not believe in. They are citizens of Antar Four. It has been pointed out to me that there is a minute minority who do not support the days of the King’s Regent. You are closest to the Regent, Maybe, you should warn him or something,” the madam suggested.

--------------------

“The golden bitch, she and that fucking queen from Earth they are the ones who brought all of this to us,” the leader said.

“I don’t know if we could ever get to the queen. Our friends from the Augh tried to get to her. She killed two agents. She is more powerful than we could handle,” the second one said.

“That golden singer, she is the mate to the cursed regent and a close friend to the queen. Maybe, she would be the best target to start,” the third one stated.

“Yes, and I am sure that once rebellion is started, Antar Four will arise. We have the superstructure for the university. The university could well be a launching pad for rebellion against the king. Our friends, the Augh, promised us a disrupter and training in its use. We could easily take out a bunch of women who surround the golden one,” It was not noticed that the fourth rebel was not as insulting to Maria as the other three. He was more serious and thus more dangerous.

Education, freedom to think and freedom to dream might well have always been a danger. The difference between freedom and anarchy is that thing called responsibility. Responsibility had been one of the deciding traits the styla had seen in the queen. Here, the lack of responsibility might well mean the death of Maria.

Michael was well aware of the seething in the underbelly of Antar Four. It was too small for him to worry about as agent of the king. He hadn’t realized that it wasn’t too small to affect his own family.

Maria turned over what Madam Chellez had told her to Michael. He noted that, but he replied, “Maria, I receive a hundred of these a day. The threat, so far, isn’t big enough to threaten the king.”

When Maria’s personal secretary heard Maria talking to Michael, she immediately contacted Lyla back on Antar. On receiving this report from Lyla, Liz sent 5 extra troopers to the university. They fit in as students, laborers and assistants who took up position near Maria while she was at the university.

It came on a night when Michael was home. Silently as the four men approached the housing for the university professors, the leader, known as Suak, carried a heavy backpack. Alph, Path and Grammed were all carrying duffel bags. “One more time,” Suak said. “The king’s second is to be killed as fast as possible. The golden witch is to be captured and brought to Sniler’s Planet. She is what we are being paid for. I will start the first disrupter as soon as we enter the halls. Anyone who challenges us is to be fried. Especially these Earth creatures.”

There was a security station just inside the doorway. It was manned by an Antarian who crumbled at the first hum of the disrupter. Most of the Earth slaves were still recuperating from the rigorous life they were finding on Antar Four. They were healthier and sleeping better and would probably live decades longer than they would have on Earth, even if the world government had given them permission. A peaceful death was still the promise of the World Government. None of the Earth professors had awakened at any disturbances the rebels might have raised.

Michael reacted to the hum by blasting through their apartment door. Path didn’t know what his name meant in standard English, but Path he was and path is what Michael burned through the hallway. By that time, Michael had exhausted his power and was lying on the floor his mind in limbo as things not understandable were happening all around him. Maria screamed and she was sure that Liz, almost a light year away could hear her cry.

The first order was to kill the king’s second. He was the hated enemy who for so long had been a symbol of the king’s rule. Sniler’s Planet had already planned to capture a new clone from the fortress. The witch who was the king’s consort had killed the operative, but Lord Kath had confirmed the location of the fortress before she stabbed him. What an inglorious way to die, as if, there was a glorious way to go. A reigning queen who was also a commando with the security force was unprecedented.

Michael down and Maria’s scream dying from lack of breath, Maria fled the bedroom to the kitchen. Maria had been taken from her mother at the age of three Earth years. It is surprising what very small children catalogue in their minds. Maria had no idea of when her mother said it or why she said it, but the phrase, “Maria, honey, a woman is safest in the kitchen.” To the kitchen Maria did go.

Orders were to capture the golden witch who was rapidly becoming a dangerous aggravating golden “Bitch.” Throw a knife like Liz. Maria couldn’t succeed at this if her life depended upon it, and right now it did. Throw a drawer full of knives; statistically at least one would stick in your target. Grammed was writhing on the floor, his green tinted blood spurting from his neck.

Maria’s scream did alert the security forces, especially her own private following of Liz’s Amazons. They were led by the Earth women who blasted anything that made a buzz, hum or any other noise. If your lover had given you a white noise machine to let you sleep to the sound of the sea, too bad. The lasers were blasting everything. As soon as the disrupters were down, the Antarian Amazons followed. Their resident Angel of Mercy quickly ran to Michael, but with the disrupters out, he was coming around. The angel looked around and saw that Maria was badly burned and there were several gashes in her night clothes. It took two amazons to subdue the frightened woman. When they had pinned her down, the angel went through her mind to start a healing process.

Path was only a burning crisp. Grammed was moaning as his life flowed from his wound. How could such a primitive woman using such primitive methods and not even using them very well, take out a trained terrorist? Madam Chellez and several other earth slaves came running out their doors. Madam was sure that any sound of change would not benefit those from Earth. Maria was the best friend they had on this planet.

The authorities had two terrorists. That was enough. Grammed would be executed if he had been captured, but it was for Maria to sit and watch his blood flow from his body. The Angels showed no mercy to the fallen rebel. It was for Maria to see his body shrink and then seem to dissolve and finally blow away. Maria had had discussions with Isabel about death. “Don’t worry, Maria, when you die your body will last for years in what ever care Michael decides to give it. It is for us to blow away when our life force ends. Our life force is all that holds us together,” Isabel explained. Still when the reality set in for Maria, she shuddered as she asked herself was that all there was to life. Maria had never faced her own mortality and facing that of the rebel, knowing that it was she who took that force away, was devastating.

Alph and Suak were the only two left and before they could do anything else, a commando quickly slipped each of them a drug so they couldn’t escape or cause any other trouble.
Good teachers are born that way, not made. No! Good human beings, are born that way. Some of them become teachers.

Of course, life is not fair. You shouldn't expect it to be fair, but you should expect it to be ironic.
JKR 1981-2001
History is made of wars, recovering from wars and preparing for the next war.
JJR 1975-

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Re: Apocalypse, CC, mature, ch 34, pg 18, Aug 10, 2014

Postby ken_r » Mon Aug 18, 2014 10:07 am

begonia9508: An old country western song called "Me and Bobby Magee," says that "Freedom is nothing more than nothing more to loose." There is confusion about Tess because she was introduced in a non expected manner. She is a member of the royal family and thus will be cared for by them. At this point she doesn't see what is to happen to her.

Roswellianlostcause:

keepsmiling7: She doesn't know what to do with freedom.

Chapter 35

Max had called Liz to his bed and the family who had raised Tess to be given as a slave of the royal family had been executed before anyone learned of their plan. Genetically, Ava was always chosen to be with Zander. To accomplish this it would, also, have taken training, which Tess had never received because she left the laboratory as an infant. There was no one to trigger a genetically intended wife into the king’s life. When Tess first faced Max, it was as a slave being given to Max by Isabel. Max had other plans.

As Isabel tried to find a more comfortable place next to Alex, with these thoughts, her purposes in life had already changed. The clone of the sister of the king was the third in line to rule. Look at Zander the 23rd. It had fallen to Vilandra to hold the government together until Zander the 24th was ready to assume control. When Vilandra retired, it was for Max to bring forth Rath as Michael and the newest edition of Vilandra as Isabel.

Isabel already had made contact with the entity within her body. Her baby would be a girl, the first in many hundreds of years in the royal family. Her daughter would be sheltered within the king’s family, but she would never be a princess. Isabel’s daughter would be educated and cultured to be of value in this family. Word had already come from Serisa and Eban that a colt had been born to Elta the styla, a colt to grow up beside the child in Isabel’s womb. Isabel’s child, Isabel and Alex’s child, what would they name her; not Vilandra for sure? Not Isabel either, Izzy’s child would have her own name and be part of a new blood line.

It had vexed Isabel that neither Max nor Liz would tell her more about the Vilandra they saw at the fortress. Max had been very plain about his comment. “Izzy, they are going to be allowed a peaceful and natural death. They will not be any part of Antar anymore. None of us are them and they shouldn’t effect our lives anymore,” Max stated.

By the command of the styla, Isabel was to bring forth a child to play with their colt.

“At the command of the king,” it was slow coming that Alex understood what these words really meant. The few courtiers who ever made it to Isabel’s bed were like puppets. The courtiers desperately wanted her favors and only by gaining these favors did they believe they could dominate the princess. Getting access to her bed, they had been made to be at her every command. Isabel never let them get any further. At the command of the king and word from Alex, Isabel quickly made accommodation. The old Isabel only arose when they were in social discussions; there never was any argument about sex or her faith in Alex.

In his sleep Alex threw a careless arm across her body. He involuntarily pulled her closer. Wasn’t this what he had been after back on Earth, a wife, a family and a job. Back on Earth Alex had been in line to join the Dons. He would have had a wife by now. She would have been a professional earning the rank of Doña by her own skills, or she might have been a young woman still in school who wanted security and help with her studies. Either way, they would have been in converse as to how she was going to handle Motherhood and her social position. Maybe, that was one reason the birth rates had drastically declined.

Alex had been so disappointed back on Earth, when he learned that his efforts were so negated by the wills of the system to which he was only an ornament. Men did not go to jail and men did not go free by his labors. On Antar, men, rich men, did stare and wonder what prowess Alex did possess to be the escort of the sister of the king. They also learned to fear his presence in court.

---------------------

Tess still hadn’t completely recovered from the information Max and Liz had brought back home. Genetically, she was the mate of the king. The king had hurt her feelings, but he had been much kinder than had his second. Tess knew that she didn’t have the drive that she saw in the queen. Tess, also, didn’t have the skills found in Maria to sooth the demons, which plagued Michael. Isabel had told her to find out all she could about the new slave, Kyle. This was a command, as much as if it had come from Max. Tess did have considerable mental abilities. No one had then realized that she was close to Isabel in what she could do. Tess was just a political slave given to the royal family to partially satisfy a debt. Growing up as a child, Tess had formed casual relationships with those around her. When she first saw Kyle, she knew that with sex she could put Kyle off his program, if he had any program, and quickly learn all about him. Tess was no longer a child. She found out what Isabel wanted to know, but the price for Tess wasn’t considered. Tess fell in love. In a slave, this wasn’t allowed without permission.

Kyle was a soldier. He was loyal to those for whom he fought. He was not a fool and when he felt that he wasn’t being supported or maybe being betrayed by those on Earth, Kyle was out the door. Kyle was now free of the perversion of the slavers. He had no idea of what lay in front of him. The typical thing for a soldier is to keep security tight and loins loose. A beautiful woman in front of him was an opportunity. It would be later when he realized how much they meant to each other. Being with Tess made things different for Kyle. No more when on campaign did he look for any opportunity for sex. Kyle only wanted to finish his assignment and return to the woman who loved him. Even as a slave, Kyle had no doubt about which world offered him the best life. Kyle would only return to Earth to pillage or gain intelligence.

Kyle wasn’t much better than Michael with words, but Tess had one advantage that Maria didn’t. Tess had studied Kyle’s mind so much that she knew every feeling. As Isabel’s slave, Tess’s life had been quite celibate for much of her life. Her youth back on Antar Four had been filled with stories of infidelity. Antarians, especially the royals, were not particularly faithful. Now, there was one new factor. Tess was no longer a slave and she held Kyle’s papers. “Does this mean you can command me or anyone else to your bed?” Kyle had inquired.

“No,” she answered. “Holding your papers only means that if there is a change in government, you can’t be taken away from me. How could you think I could ever find another such as you?”

---------------------

The trip to the fortress had no effect on Michael and Maria. They spent many nights away from each other. Whatever Michael did, Maria had determined that it was within his right. On trips she made with the professor, Michael knew that both his age and good sense gave Maria protection. No matter what your age, messing with the wife or slave of the king’s second would be way too dangerous. Maria could feel the child moving in side of her. Michael had told her that their first one would be a boy and they would see what came after that. Michael was within his right to have as many children with Maria as she could produce. Younger, serving a public back on Earth, Maria could see motherhood being an inconvenience. Here, Maria only could see that for the most part, Michael’s wishes coincided with her own. Mother, director of a university and wife/slave to Michael was all she could want.

--------------------

Back on Earth, Diego had taken up with the rebels when his family had been massacred by the One World Government because they held to their religious beliefs. His anger was to the enemy. Whoever that enemy chose to be. His parents beliefs which had not protected them, stayed away from Diego until his time with Kyle and Michael fighting on on Kraut’s Planet. The disrupters mowed down the Antarians, but Diego and the Earthies charged with their blasters and withered the enemy. Diego caught the final power blast from the pirates and went down. Diego was sure that he was dying and he didn’t care. Everyone he knew and loved had been killed back on Earth. Like most of the Earthies, Diego hadn’t paid any attention to stories about the Angels of Mercy. Only when he reopened his eyes, teased by the gentle slaps against his face and saw her looking deep within him did he change. She was dressed in white, she was called an angel and she had brought Diego back to life.

That she had been a convict, looking at one time toward execution didn’t mean anything to Diego. Neither had the stories of her torchure in the prisons mattered. She gave him back his life and his faith. None of the Earthies understood the term slavery as applied to their condition. These men were soldiers and they fought for each other under leaders they had learned to trust. Serina wore the same bracelet as did he. She tried to explain that she was serving indenture because of a crime she had committed. As far as he could see she was serving the same fate as the soldiers. As he explained his faith to Serina, Diego rebuilt what his family had believed. That was when he learned the king was interested in guiding spirits. “Michael got word to me that he had five volunteers for the Earth trip. It is now up to the king to give us a time,” he whispered to Serina.

“Are you sure that you want me to come with you?” Serina asked.

“Of course, why wouldn’t I want you to come?” He replied.

“I was and still am a political slave. I have no background in what you are seeking and I have no training in physical difficulties,” she said.

“Then you will be an even better judge when I find what I am looking for,” he stated. After a few minutes of silence Diego started again. “The Antarians don’t know what I am seeking. They are just willing to keep an open mind and to remember that the king thinks it is important that we find something bigger than ourselves,” he continued.

“I have already found so many things and people bigger than myself and anyone else I ever knew,” Serina affirmed. There is the queen, a lady from a foreign planet. There is the king, who is all powerful, but he listens to those around him. The royal court I grew up in looks so shallow now when I see those around me. There is always you, who are so patient with your explanations. Now, you want me to find something bigger than any of this. I hope I can measure up to this trial,” Serina murmured.

“You will be with me and we will find what we are looking for somewhere lost in the wilds of Earth,” Diego finished.

----------------------

Maria would soon return to Antar and Michael return to the king. Maria was excited to retell her story to Liz. Liz the commando would appreciate Maria’s efforts at defense. The two rebels would be turned over to authorities of Antar Four. They would have ways to search their minds. A few on Antar Four still practiced the art of mind rape perfected decades before by a minor rebel named Kivar. The authorities of Antar Four would seek out these practitioners and give them a job. Search whatever they could find in the minds of these two men.

Maria was still shaking at the recent experience. She could only applaud whoever had sent her the extra commandos. The queen’s guard was earning an excellent reputation. Their first loyalty was to the queen. Next, they gave their loyalty to the king and then to whomever they were entrusted to defend. Liz had so many times told Maria that she couldn’t imagine the trials Maria had suffered getting to Antar, but Maria couldn’t imagine what it had taken to change that slender little girl back when she was twelve to the powerful queen Maria could now call, her best friend.

They would be off to Antar soon. Maria had met with the directors of the different departments and she was sure that she could be gone for a few days. Maria the director of the university might well be the third most powerful woman in the kingdom, but when Michael fell to the disrupters, Maria thought her world was falling apart, also. Max, Michael and Liz had all promised that if something happened to Michael, Maria, would be cared for by the king. This was a promise that Maria truly hoped she would never have to test.

-------------------------

Max lay thinking in the royal bed. He could hear the queen breathing softly and evenly showing that she was sleeping. At least some one was getting their deserved rest. Usually, Max on nights like this, would get up and pace about. Looking across the compound towards the glow of the city gave him a perspective of his position, responsibility and power. Zander the 23 had been a very bad king. He fought the council, the people and even those of the royal family. One of the reasons that the council thought Max was reasonable when he asked for his fire and a log to burn was the expense that Zander 23 had run up for his comforts, Max was indeed, a “cheap date.”

Max still had to worry about Tess, the Ava clone lost for so long. If in the middle of negotiations, word that the royal family was keeping one of their members in servitude for no legal reason, Max’s government would be badly weakened. True, Max had been seeking someone like Liz, but Maria and Kyle and what they did for their partners was fortuitous beyond simple statistics.

That brought Max to the one thing he knew was dear to his wife’s heart and that was the repulsion to slavery. Maybe without Liz, it would have been easy for Max to slip into the belief that Life on Antar was so much better than what the slaves had back on their own planet. Even as she administered her commandos, Liz still questioned slavery. Indenture, slavery, employment all meant that someone was controlling others. The free Antarians were very individual in their actions. Lord Tandy was an example of a bad Antarian. The family of Lord Selous ran most of the houses of pleasure. Because he ran his business by Antarian law was he any better than Lord Tandy? Difference, Lord Selous cared for the health and well being of his slaves where Lord Tandy only wanted work from them, work that they were incapable of doing. Lord Tandy was completely against Antarian law. Max saw the first attack Liz would make. “Max, the women do not want to be in houses of pleasure for someone else,” she would state.

Even with the sex equality act of 2016, Liz still had some vestiges of sex being a sacred thing. Antarians would probably never understand that. Procreation, now that was sacred. That was something that took planning, permissions and then biological luck. Now, there is something second class to slaves working at a house of pleasure as most of Lord Selous’ people were second or third chance slaves. That is they did not end up here unless they had caused trouble at other stations.

Max wasn’t sure how to feel about the soldiers Michael and Kyle had brought to Antar. The military anywhere was and always had been a form of slavery. Kyle had given the promise that he would greatly contain the casualties in any action lower than any soldier ever had any expectations for. Soldiers, fought for the “brand,” much like the declaration Liz had made long ago to Isabel. Antarians didn’t have retirement like they had on Earth. The Angels of Mercy were so good that they could keep repairing bodies until there was nothing left to repair. Then, death followed shortly. Antar could promise soldiers long and healthy lives.

It was the raids Antar was making on the falling Earth. Max had told Liz that it had been a thousand years since Antar felt the need to plunder another planet. The One World Government had badly misused many of its citizens. If an Antarian had cared to research into Antarian history, it would have shown many of the actions Earth was going through now. Every darkage had seen Antar pull itself through. There had been times of industry, times of merchants and times of brutal dictators. Antar had lived through all of these. The system they had now of contracts, families and slaves had been arrived at by much fire and sacrifice. It wasn’t the best, maybe, but it was what worked for the moment.

Then Max’s mind wandered to Maria’s university. Max knew that there had been a time on Earth when Intellectual freedom was the prize of most institutions of learning. This was more in theory than fact. Usually the institutions of learning were held hostage by one faction, belief or theory. Freedom was more of a goal than a reachable condition.

Maria was giving her people the freedom to create. They hadn’t had that for decades on earth. They would have the same life benefits that the soldiers had, without the dangerous action.

Now, this was all fine. The slaves stayed where they were put because there was no other place to go. They did what they were told because unless they worked, they wouldn’t get fed. Of course, Antarian law would insist that their work be within their abilities.

-------------------------
Good teachers are born that way, not made. No! Good human beings, are born that way. Some of them become teachers.

Of course, life is not fair. You shouldn't expect it to be fair, but you should expect it to be ironic.
JKR 1981-2001
History is made of wars, recovering from wars and preparing for the next war.
JJR 1975-

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Re: Apocalypse, CC, mature, ch 34, pg 18, Aug 10, 2014

Postby ken_r » Wed Aug 27, 2014 10:14 am

Roswelllostcause:

begonia9508: At the first of the story it was asked if Antar would be better or just different.

keepsmiling7: Tess was supposed to be a scandal that would bring down the king. Things changed, a lot because of who Liz became.


Chapter 36

Word had come from Earth that the World Government had finally fallen with a whisper. They had contracted to a few major cities and were still trying to keep up the farce that they were in control of Earth. That is, in charge of Earth and bringing the true freedom and equality to the world. Travel to points outside of the city was unrestricted as Antarians ships landing in the wild lands didn’t pay the dying government much attention.

Diego, Serina and the five Antarians who assisted them had landed in Central America or what used be called Central America. Tribesmen and warlords, who hated the World Government, saw Diego’s group as holy people, holy people who were banished by the World Government. Therefore those following Diego were allowed their freedom to travel among the outlaws. Occasionally, they healed and, many times, they respectfully ` asked to talk to the wise men of the area. The news that they were searching for something lost by the World Government aided them.

-------------------------

Max had instituted a new office of “Rights of Indentured Persons.” He had placed Tess in charge of this because she had the best perspective on a slave’s condition. Abuse complaints were investigated and inspections were to be made of large work forces, which might have many indentured persons. Counselors were created to council and advise Earth slaves in their new situations. This took Tess away from working with Isabel, but Lyla was quick to find a commando who had administrative abilities to replace Tess.

Tess had been in the presence of the king many times when representing Isabel. Now, she was being called for a special position. With Isabel, Tess carried out her duties calmly. Being selected to represent herself, she was very nervous. “Tess, we want this writ of Indentured Rights to spread across the monarchy. Now, you need to concentrate on Antar and work closely with Alex and his team of Antarian lawyers and historians to perfect it,” Max said.

Tess saw that the indentured rights were not that much different from what should be the treatment received from reasonable Antarians. Tess also saw that even if they were registered and under Antarian law, this writ would be impossible to enforce on the slavers themselves. There was one point all agreed to enforce by capital punishment, if necessary, and that was if the cargo became sick, the ship needed to put into a quarantine port and apply for health services. Any proof of “deep spacing” cargo was punishable by immediate execution.

First, Antarians didn’t feel that sex was that personal of an act and second, the slaver crews had the custom of using the slaves so ingrained in their culture, it was doubtful that there would ever be any redress for these conditions. Until a person had their papers held by a third party, who would defend them; their rights were very ill defined.

Actions by rogue slavers were to be pursued and these ships and crew would be considered traitorous to be confiscated and the crew incarcerated. Some accommodation had to be made for cargo on any of these vessels. Liz made it clear that she didn’t like it, but any slaves unable to fit into a usable category, would be consigned to having their bodies sent to houses of pleasure or hard labor. Teachable, usable or trainable subjects were salvaged to the indentured workforce. Those who had no skills, and showed no abilities had no other choice. From her perspective, Tess saw nothing wrong with that part of the system. She had known from the first she was to be a political slave so her studies as a child were carefully followed. Remember, Tess was the only Clone who actually had a childhood.

Isabel was still third in line for leading the monarchy and she closely advised Max. Max had learned that if both the queen and his sister were against his plans, it paid to carefully study their objections. Again with Lyla’s help, Liz carefully studied reports from Sniler’s Planet and the recruiting station they maintained there. The Caugh, or they all believed they were Caugh, had an exchange station on Antar. Kyle had delegated people to carefully observe and report on the activities of this station.

The Caugh from Sniler’s Planet were very happy at the attention their center was gaining from the Antarians. Of course, a time of studying at the Caugh station, was now a requirement for commando training. Antarian and human soldiers continued to fight side by side. The Antarians had power blasts and tremendous healing power. The disrupters only angered the humans. Of course the Antarians couldn’t join in the debauchery the humans held time after time with the koolaid Kyle supplied.

Diego put in a request to Michael for any more Antarian soldiers who would like to join him in his cause. Diego, on Earth, was recruiting human followers as he went. Men, not of this Earth, just added intellect and sincerity to his effort. Diego hoped that, soon, he could be exporting Antarians back home to continue searches through Antarian history and fable.

Unforeseen things were happening. Intermarriage and mixed families were creating several interesting cultures. The best and the strongest of the styla were matched with the hardiest of fighters from Kyle’s cowboys and now the whompus beast was on the run. Stories of the styla, Alt, and the king, told that with styla and knife, the king saved the queen who probably didn’t really need his help.

Karaks were being exported to other planets as well as Kyle’s cowboys looking at other food beasts that might be cultivated. Stories were of cowboys becoming very close to their styla. Each rider needed about five styla to carry out their work. Styla couldn’t play poker at night and the they had terrible singing voices, but let a fair maiden walk within a hundred meters of the cowboy and the five styla would conference and sometimes try to implant suggestions of their riders prowess in the fair maiden’s mind. The styla cared for their riders as much as the rider cared for the styla.

Kyle’s metal workers had built a large industry. A man needed a “Kyle knife” only once in his life. If he lost his treasure, great amounts of time would be spent finding it. No Kyle knife had ever broken. Ancient Japanese metal work along with Antarian molecular manipulation made the knives sought after all across the galaxy.

The many types of hand fighting had been lost when power blasts were being incorporated within the military. Kyle explained that you didn’t use a blowtorch to light a candle. Kyle and Michael had the most capable commandos in the monarchy. They could carry out many levels of destruction.

It had been centuries since children had been part of the royal family. Most of the royal additions had been clones brought to the puberty level of age and education by synthetic means. Now, Max and Liz had a little prince. The prince was not assured of becoming king, he had to prove himself first. Watching her son, Liz thought of the rigors of her own education. Antarian education was superior, but the little prince had a hard trail to follow before he could be considered a king.

As busy as Maria found herself, she became a mother several times. Her children were given training at the university where their mother worked. The people on Antar Four called these children their own. From their father, they learned about leadership and from their mother they learned about music and dedication. It was hard on Maria, but several of her children returned to Antar where Alex, with the help of many Antarians, had started a college of law and history. Alex was able, with the help of Diego, to get several books of history from the wilderness of Earth about older forms of law from Earth. They made law a living thing that constantly needed tweeking.

Tess and Kyle had several children, a blessing, because Tess had never considered that she would be allowed a family. Kyle tried to impress, as much as possible on his family the wisdom he thought he remembered from his father. How much does a child of three retain? With Tess’s help, they dragged quite a bit from the depths of his memory.

Antar had changed. The centuries of cloning bloodlines and many civil wars had caused the Antarian culture to become stagnant. The Earth influence brought about many new things. The Antarian elders monitored the changes with the command, not to import the things that they believed brought the Earth culture down.

----------------------

Back on Earth things couldn’t be much worse. Rebels and outlaws held the rural areas surrounding the cities and the masses of equality ruled, if you can call it that, the centers of the cities. Much like the first millennium of the “Common Era,” rogue slavers swooped down like Viking Warriors. They raided for slaves, machines and anything else of value. Their only fears were the ships of the Antarian monarchy. A new ship had been seen and those who ever saw it never forgot. Long and slender, it dwarfed pirate ships. The ship was painted dead black, like most ships of the line. This one, though, had a gigantic woman painted on it, reclining on her side. The woman’s golden tresses streamed almost the entire length of the ship. She had ruby lips and light, tanned skin. On first visuals it would be seen as a woman in a golden dress, flying through space. The “Maria I” was the latest ship of the line.

The captain was young and sensitive to his crew. He had earned their loyalty. He told his crew that they sailed under the blessing of the wife of the king’s second.

------------------------------

Like at the first of the story, on Earth a girl was born. By the time she was removed from her parents at the age of three, she could read, write and had a fair understanding of Mathematics. Her parents gave her the name of Christine and the government applied the number 20267 to the name.

They were of the masses of equality and thus the only hold they had on each other was that brief time of copulation when they made a baby. Offerings of contraceptives had always been made, but if you were too stupid or maybe selfish, the letter of the law could only offer you this opportunity. Abortions were also offered and they fell into the same category. The One World government had never demanded that their offerings had to be accepted.

Easy to see that no teacher wanted Christine 20267 in their classes. They had taught Liz to question when they were preparing her as a researcher. Christine only questioned mistakes, and those were something she never made. “Don’t put her in my class,” Mr. Hammet the history teacher stated. “I have enough trouble without some smart-alecky girl checking my every word.”

Christine never outgrew her uniforms. She would be in a higher level by the time they were too small. She was giving the committee fits. Where would they direct her. There were no subjects which were her best. She had a perfect memory, her logic was unfathomable and skills in art and music were profound. Christine was a freak of nature. She was a genius.

“She is female and probably fertile, can you imagine what would happen if she reproduced and we had many little Christines running around?” one counselor said.

“How ‘bout we declare her surplus and send her off in some slave harvest?” another suggested.

“The harvesters are getting down right particular, recently. They want girls in entertainment, art and music. I get the drift they don’t see our intellectual talent as any big cheese,” another counselor mumbled.

“We could stretch our abortion laws and declare her as not normal. There is surely enough evidence to show that she should be put away,” the chairman suggested.

“We tried that on a child a few decades ago. It didn’t go over so well then, either. What about ending her education, we don’t have that much more to offer her and then we assign her to be our liaison to that king of Antar,” someone made the suggestion.

“The Antarians made it clear that they didn’t want any diplomatic missions from us on their planet. We could declare her surplus and send her as a gift to that king. Slap a bracelet on her and let him decide what to do with her.” That was the final decision.

The first time a registered slaver was around, arrangements were made to send her as a gift to the king of Antar. The argument was made that this was a gift for Antar. There was no place on the present Earth for a girl with her abilities.

The first night, Christine huddled in a corner of the ship’s dorm. None of the girls were sure, but rumor was that they were on a slaver. When they woke up they were all dressed in the same plain shift and the girls started to mumble stories they had all heard about slavers. Unlike the time when Maria was taken, most of these girls were very young and hadn’t experienced lovers back at school, yet. “I hear that they gang rape us and only if we survive do they sell us off to some slaver whorehouse.”

“I don’t think it is quite that bad. The economics would say that any real damage to our health would make us unsalable. I imagine we will have some new and disturbing experiences, but I don’t think pregnancy, disease or permanent damage would be our lot.”

They had been showered and fed; then, they went to the individual evaluating places where the golden bracelet was given to each woman/girl. That was where the ships purser caught the manifest concerning Christine. “That one girl is a present for the king. What do you want to do with her?” he asked.

“Do you think the king would think she was despoiled if we left her with the rest of the women?” another asked.

“Leave her with the class during lessons, but clean out that storage closet and set her up there as a private dorm. We want to keep the king happy. His queen hates us enough as it is,” the purser declared.

That was how the ships company found out about Christine. She went through the lessons faster than the tutors could produce them. When they got to the hard stuff, things they didn’t usually give to slaves, Christine found the three valued logic almost child’s play and when she got hold of the physics texts, she could only demand more.

More as a curiosity, the ships engineer took a time unit off every day to lecture her in celestial mechanics and space jumps. She mastered his whole lifetime of training in a short time. Some of the other department heads also took time to tutor Christine.

Christine still saw the other girls at food breaks and some times, in the gym. Christine now wore the tan slacks and white shirt of the Antarian educational system. She watched as the other women slowly were given their high heels and she heard the gossip of the women talking about their nighttime travels. Christine was very naive, but she had attended the sex education classes just like the rest. Of course being accelerated in her classes, she was probably too young to have complete understanding at the time. Now, in puberty, she heard the stories and wasn’t sure how she felt about them. Christine didn’t envy the girls at all in their clumsy high heels. It wasn’t certain what they thought about Christine. “Is she being kept back for someone special?” they asked each other. The free attitudes that Earth’s “Free Education” and the direction they had now, none of them could imagine a slave’s value separated from sex.

At the slave market, Christine was separated from the other girls. Off the ship and walking down the long hall, Christine saw in the individual dressing rooms, girls standing naked in high heels being fixed with a golden chain about their waists. She saw little creatures with ladders swarming about the women, applying makeup and styling their hair. Finally, they reached an empty room where the slave leading Christine stated, “Strip and shower. You must be prepared.”

Christine was very logical. “Why did the Antarians waste so much of their and her time with the lessons, if all they wanted was to use her body? What use was all that knowledge if the rest of her life was only going to be for sex?” Christine thought.

Showered and her body rubbed down with various oils, Christine was given a pair of hose, some soft underwear and a pair of only slightly raised shoes. Her dark skirt was at her knee and a white blouse with a dark matching jacket topped it. Normally, Christine would have had two more years of education because she was going to work for the king, but frankly, the Antarians didn’t have much more to teach her. The slave in charge of Christine walked her across the floor of the slave market. Christine, pushing her way through the crowd, saw naked women standing in lights and bids being shouted out by members of the crowd. “Is that the way I am to be sold?” she asked her guide.

The slave gave a wounded smile and said, “No, m’lady. Your future has all ready been decided.”

They crossed the crowded floors and entered a lounge. Christine thought, “This must be a very important person lounge.”

That was amplified by the fact that a single woman was sitting waiting, Christine guessed, for her arrival. “Hello, Christine. I am to take you to the office and later show you to your apartment,” the woman said in a clearly human accent. “My name is Liz,” the woman continued. “I am the assistant, wife, and bedmate to the king. I am also the mother of he whom you will serve.”

This introduction was very confusing for Christine. She only was able to mumble something she hoped the woman, who clearly was important, understood.

The woman showed Christine to a land vehicle and she opened the door indicating for Christine to enter. The driver was a soldier and sitting beside him was a third woman. “Lyla is my personal assistant and bodyguard. She will help you along with Isabel, the clone of the sister to the king, who supervises all fashions and living arrangements,” Liz explained. Christine noticed that Lyla also wore the golden bracelet of slavery.

He who would be Zander 25th took the simple name of Ben. He had the benefit of all the training and knowledge that Alex had brought to Antar. He was the first prince who would come from a real family in thousands of years. Ben was the first to admit that many people were responsible for his position and if he was a success, for his legacy.

Christine noticed that wherever she went, two women followed her closely. Now, standing beside the queen and meeting the man for whom she would work, Christine was confused. Was she his assistant or his slave and if his slave, what did he expect of her?

Christine was still a child. She wasn’t the youngest of those taken on the slave ship, but whatever happened to the others, Christine’s experiences were different. Christine lowered her head as Ben was introduced to her. “What do you want of me?” she asked.

Ben smiled, “You are my assistant. Between the wishes of my mother, the queen, and my father, the king, I am subjected to two agendas. It will be part of your duties to sort this out. I understand you have knowledge in all subjects. What I don’t know or I forget, you must supply. You are the only person who has complete and continued access to me.”

Ben was probably about ten years older than Christine. She was told that, soon, he would assume the throne and Max and Liz would retire to raise styla and oversee a produce garden of great size. When they were alone again, except for the two women who always remained close, Christine asked the queen, “Will he expect me to be his mistress?”

Liz smiled, remembering the time long ago when she asked the same question. “Men and women working together often become lovers. This has to be a mutual decision between them. Only time and fate will tell what will happen.”
Good teachers are born that way, not made. No! Good human beings, are born that way. Some of them become teachers.

Of course, life is not fair. You shouldn't expect it to be fair, but you should expect it to be ironic.
JKR 1981-2001
History is made of wars, recovering from wars and preparing for the next war.
JJR 1975-

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ken_r
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Re: Apocalypse, CC, mature, ch 36, pg, 19, Aug 27, 2014

Postby ken_r » Fri Sep 05, 2014 11:02 am

begonia 9508: Yes, when and if are big questions. Usually someone gives them a nudge.

Roswelllostcause:

keepsmiling7: It was true even to her that she was for some great cause.

Epilog

Alex was the first of the king’s family to die. He had lived many lifetimes given to Earthmen. Isabel and many times Max would heal him as he aged. Finally his body wouldn’t take manipulation anymore. Until his life force left him, he appeared middle aged and in the peak of health. His cries of, “Please just let me go,``” were honored by Isabel and Max. As his life slipped away, his body seemed to shrivel. He was surrounded by several children, many grandchildren and a few great-grandchildren. The boy who had left Earth had never looked back.

“Max, children, give me a few minutes alone with my lover,” Isabel asked.

Max shooed the many descendants and friends out of the room. They all gathered quietly in the great room of the main house. They were honoring a man who had made many changes to Antar and the monarchy. Suddenly, Max stiffened and quietly said, “She is gone.”

Lying beside the body of Alex was a pile of dust. Isabel had relinquished her hold on her life force. It was usual for Antarians too allow the dust to blow away. Quickly Liz stepped up. “Gather the dust which was once Isabel. We will place it in the box where we place the remains of Alex. Whatever happens after death, let them face that together.

Max and Liz had several children. Both of them were getting old. Retirement looked good. Few rulers of the monarchy were ever given this gift. Most rulers either wouldn’t give up the power or they were assassinated by a disgruntled populace. The clones at the fortress had long been allowed to quietly die. The monarchy still kept clones of the royal family and others who paid for the privilege. There were many medical reasons for the availability of genetic material, things, which couldn’t be fixed by healers. These clones were never allowed to quicken to life. Max and Liz’s oldest son had been selected and groomed to be the next king. The king’s second had been chosen also, but the identity was still a state secret. One of Isabel and Alex’s daughters had been chosen as third in line.

-------------------

“Ah, me hearties, I wasn’t supposed to get past 35 earth revolutions. Here you see that I have probably lived a couple hundred revolutions, if that old planet even revolves anymore. Earth promised retirement after 20 revolutions and then, they did everything to kill us. I guess my Earth genes finally got to me. Angels of mercy, whom Tess is one of the leaders, say that the old bod is just worn out, too many laser burns, too many knife cuts. Me and the little woman are going to live a spell out at the styla camp with Serisa and Eban. Tess says as long as she don’t have to ride one, she really admires the beautiful beasts. I have a good legacy, Earth soldiers, indentured and free, fight right beside the best Antar has. Me and old Mikie have deep spaced a slew of pirates. No, I haven’t know a bunch of women, at least since I got to Antar. The King’s sister done give me a woman I could never better. Miss the excitement, hell no! Give me peace and quiet any day.” Kyle was surrounded by friends and comrades in arms. They were giving him a farewell party. The healers said there wasn’t much more they could do for him. After all, Tess was one of the best healers around. “I took me a woman, the king’s bride. Then, I turned her into a trooper. She goes and recruits an army of amazons; now, she has power all over the monarchy. There ain’t much more I want to do. Izzy, dear Izzy, she said I butchered the Antarian language and I guess I did when I wasn’t working. Now, me and my little woman want to live out our days out on the farm.” Kyle thanked all his friends and associates.

It was almost a year revolution of Antar when Tess wrote the king and family.

Kyle died last night.

He said he didn’t want me to follow Isabel and
have my dust placed in a box with his remains.
There aren’t any remains. Kyle rides out with
the cowboys from time to time. Especially
when they are hunting wampus beasts. Kyle
went out last night on foot. He said he didn’t
want to endanger one of the styla. There has
been an especially large wampus beast prodding
our compound trying to find a weak spot. The
noise last night was horrendous. Kyle always
said the king didn’t have to rescue the queen that
time, she could have probably taken out the beast
alone. Kyle was carrying one of the first knives
he had commissioned. He must have severed
several arteries within the beast. It bleed out only
a short distance from the main gate. Trouble was
that there must have been more than one beast.
There was blood everywhere and two other beasts
were badly wounded. The cowboys took care of
those. Kyle’s body must have been carried off.
The day’s searching, turned up a lot more blood,
but no body of Kyle. Kyle truly was a warrior.
He should be remembered in story and song. I will
return soon to the king’s compound. With every body’s
permission; I would like to live out my days serving my king.

Tess, Clone of the royal mother.

----------------------------

The death of Kyle upset Michael the most. They had done battle together. Michael was the first to admit that Kyle had made many changes in the monarchy’s armies. There was too much dying and talking of dying.

It was almost two year revolutions later. Word had come that the pirates with the help from Sniler’s planet had moved against the capital of one of the outer planets. Michael prepared to move out with troops from the Isabella II. Michael’s group would consist of half human and half Antarian. As usual the night before they embarked, Michael spent with his lover, Maria. Maria had given him several children. He might sometimes joke that she was the best birthday present he ever received. Yes, she could sing, she could play and she could do many things. They had moved their apartment into the main house, but when Michael went off, Maria usually moved closer to the bedroom of the king, Max and her best friend, Liz.

Several ships of the line would take part in this exercise. Many of the other planets had contributed ships and troops. Intelligence stated that a rogue pirate ship had just returned from Earth with a load of slaves. They had also stopped at one of the smaller planets belonging to the monarchy. The pirates had raided a small town and included citizens from the monarchy with the other slaves. This was what Max had warned all the counsel about. When the pirates ran out of humans, they would start to prey on cities within the monarchy. The queen had outfitted a freighter and sent a large group of Angels of Mercy, of course protected by her Amazons. This confrontation might be a lot more bloody than any they had fought before.

In the end, it wasn’t the disrupters, which hurt. It was something else. The leaders of Sniler’s Planet had been plotting against the monarchy for over a thousand years, all the time pretending that they were close allies and friends. They found themselves on a small planet, when a weapon came up which destroyed the life force. Humans were held together with flesh and blood. Antarians and many races related to them had a conscious hold on to their life force. If this force was destroyed, the Antarian would simply dissolve into a pile of dust.

The first wave of soldiers hit the ground running and it was as magic, they dissolved halfway to their objective. The second wave was mixed Antarian and human. Soldiers don’t fight for race. They don’t fight for ideas. They fight for their brothers.

The fall of the Antarians did nothing more than infuriate the humans. Kyle had promised them lesser odds than ten percent causalities. More than that had occurred with the death of the Antarians. Kyle had backed his promise with the attention to medical personnel. The humans didn’t care what you called those women in white, they made sick troopers well and that is what counted. Where ever the troopers fighting for Sniler’s Planet came from, they were civilized. Not so with those Kyle recruited. Some of his oldest troopers even remembered how to shrink a head. All of them had fathers who had believed at one time in some spirit who guided you in battle. The World government could not crush this out of the warriors. With the dust of their Antarian brothers clinging to their boots, the humans waded into the enemy. There was nothing civilized about their behavior. The lucky ones, fighting for Sniler’s got burned by laser blasts. The others felt hot fingers and cold steel as the humans tore flesh, took coup and mutilated bodies to send them into the after life, sexless.

Michael didn’t like it, but he held back the Antarians until the humans had subdued the pirates. The “mop up,” gained a large amount of information. The pulling off of fingernails, fingers and finally arms and legs had that effect on prisoners. There was no doubt now. Sniler’s Planet had come out of the closet and they were not going to be allowed to return, in some name of friendship. They had done this on a strange planet, not choosing to defile their own.

“Max, I don’t know how to say this, but we think Sniler’s Planet deserves a planet burn. Some faction on Sniler’s Planet has pretended to be our ally for over a thousand years. They have developed a weapon of unbelievable destruction,” Michael explained.

“Pull your people together, Michael. I am sending both the ‘Lucille II’ and the ‘Maria I.’ Take the ‘Maria I’ and use it for your flag ship. I will try to have more information by the time you get there. You are right, something has to be finalized with Sniler’s Planet.”

With a command like this Michael, had only one recourse. He would attack Sniler’s Planet and overthrow the government. If this became impossible, then Michael would again unleash the power of Antar. Michael was already infected by the ghosts from before. Again, he would see the invisible souls as they left, screaming, the agony of the death of a whole planet. If it had been possible, Michael would have dragged Kyle out of retirement, if for nothing more than for Kyle to stand beside him, in this promised holocaust. Kyle was dead. Michael still hadn’t gotten over Kyle’s hand to hand combat with that wampus beast. Kyle had lived with his own burdens of combat, known only to Tess, his wife and long time lover. Michael was sure that the memories of Kyle were why Tess returned to the main house on Antar. Of all the things that happened to Tess, The security of the king was still her strongest anchor.

Michael led forces who were fueled by pure savagery. To the men who were related to Antarians, a devise, which could so easily steal their life force, was an anathema. The humans were savage, maybe, because humans were after all savages, or maybe, because they had built bonds by combat with their fellow soldiers and to see them destroyed so easily returned the humans to feelings so long repressed by the “One World Government.”

Michael called in two men, one human and the other Antarian. “Jacko, Ditz, you are not going on this mission,” he stated. Both men showed in their faces disappointment and a trace of anger. “You are ordered to stand on the command bridge of the Maria I. I am going to lead ground forces and try to keep this a surgical strike. If I fail, you give cover to our retreating forces and then toast the planet. I am not giving you an honor, rather I am giving you a curse. Taking this many lives at one time will remain with you forever. Whatever you decide to do, I want you both to swear that you both will be at peace with the action.” Michael took a small visual representation out of his pocket. It was a visual of Maria that first night when she sat on blood red sheets playing her guitar as he looked upon her for the first time. “Tell my lover that she has always held my heart and now, she will hold my soul, if I have one. Treat this visual with respect and give it only to Maria.” With that Michael went below to lead the first wave of his troops against what they all believed was the center of their problems with Sniler’s.

It was the bloodiest affair in the history of the monarchy. Humans led, because of their immunity to the weapon. They led in more than just position, the Antarian soldiers followed more than the human lead. They followed in the savagery as well. The humans were not touching their blasters. They were tearing the soldiers of Sniler’s apart with bare hands and with their knives. There was only one disrupter fired. It hit Michael.

You don’t tickle the nose of a rattlesnake. Again, the history of the monarchy had never seen what happened next. No surrenders were accepted. Being a soldier of Sniler’s Planet was a death sentence. As the army of the monarchy entered to place of the Sniler’s government, men stood and of one voice stated, “We are here to give our terms of surrender.”

That voice might as well been addressing a convention of the deaf. Of course, most of the population was untouched. That all because of the sacrifice of Michael. A human soldier and an Antarian were chosen to oversee planet reconstruction as a property of the monarchy. There would be a purge of any who could be proven to have dealings with the Augh. This, of course, caused turmoil and discord as the citizens scrambled to disavow any knowledge or connection to the Augh. Houses and palaces were surrounded with bodies of those considered to be Augh. Sniler’s Planet was over. It was best now to be seen as a closet enemy of those who opposed the monarchy. It would be a time before the king’s morning of his number two and his best friend allowed him to order the chaos on Sniler’s to cease.

Maria didn’t dress in black. This wasn’t the custom of Antar. She dressed in the simple shift of a slave and went into seclusion at the main house. “My lady,” one of the two soldiers spoke. “We were commanded to treat this visual with respect. The only time either of us has seen it was when the commander, himself, placed his final command upon us.” The two men stepped back and saluted Maria. “My lady, you were always in his thoughts. He said you were the third most powerful lady in the monarchy,” were their parting words.

Epilog part II

Liz didn’t see Maria much anymore. Maria usually spent her time on Antar Four. From time to time, Tess did request official help from the queen to bolster her department of Indentured Affairs. When Max and Liz finally did retire, one of Isabel and Alex’s daughters, Georgette, went with them to the compound of Serisa and Eban. She was the one with the most interest in raising styla. It was said that she became the wife of the son of one of Kyle’s cowboys. The blood of the king now ran through the veins of those who raised styla.

Tex had jumped at the chance to get out of that one world crap. Kyle promised that he would soon be back in the saddle. Styla were not quarter horses, but Eban and Serisa were not government stooges. Tex married a human girl, Stell, who on applying, had told Kyle that she wanted the freedom of being part of a ranch. At first, Kyle thought she must be some romantic, but soon, he learned that she truly loved the animals and the outdoors. When she killed her first wampus beast, no one had anymore doubt. Tex and Stell had a son, named Teddy. Working with Isabel’s daughter, Georgette, it could be seen that more than a work relationship was being formed.

King Zander 25th and his queen Christine had a long reign. They saw changes in both the wasted planet Earth and the monarchy of Antar. From time to time, they received missives from Diego and Serina on Earth. The first missive was a carefully coached curse on those who destroyed knowledge because they feared knowledge. They had reached the location of that place called the Vatican so long ago. The church protecting the history there was burned down for several stories below ground. It was the same in many places they traveled. Only in small villages were collections of books and knowledge partially preserved. Diego sent a small group of his Antarian followers back to the monarchy. They diligently scoured history and folk history for stories of spirits leading the monarchy. There was a long way to go, but Max’s dream of finding something bigger than themselves, slowly took form.

As Ben took his position of Zander 25th, he chose one of Maria and Michael’s younger sons to be his second. Educated in tactics, science and even the arts, this young man took the common name of Steve. The reputation of his father, his mother and even his own education made him a formidable foe against those against the monarchy.

The universe would continue as long as the creatures in it amused what ever it was that controlled it. Someday, Max would be looked on as a saint for his mission to see something greater than the living people.

Earth would probably rebuild and they would mess up some other form of government. A small girl from a small planet once became the queen of a galactic empire.
Good teachers are born that way, not made. No! Good human beings, are born that way. Some of them become teachers.

Of course, life is not fair. You shouldn't expect it to be fair, but you should expect it to be ironic.
JKR 1981-2001
History is made of wars, recovering from wars and preparing for the next war.
JJR 1975-


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