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Diary of a Falconian

Diary of a Falconian

Finally I get to stretch my wings. The strain of having them bent backwards so that they can fit within the envirosuit becomes unbearable after a few hours. This time it was prospecting some ball of rock and ice on the edge of the system.

When I left my aerie and joined the ranks of the Emperor I somehow imagined I would be swooping across alien landscapes, soaring over mountains the hawks back home could only dream of. As I feel the blood slowly seeping back into the tips and groom the feathers I step out onto the gantry and leap out, unfurling as I fall.

Even here in the cargo bay there is only sufficient space for a swoop before having to bank sharply. I do two circles before alighting and heading to the galley for a sip-pocket of something unpalatable. My thoughts sour.

The ship is thankfully geared towards falconians. None of your solid floors, railings and simulated gravity is to be found here and only the constant wind of the ventilation systems give any indication of nominal up and down.


Having consumed the soulless mush I discard the container, watching it drift in the breeze until it hits the wide mesh, pitching a couple of times then disappearing through an intake. The mesh is starting to look a little congested with detritus; another miserable task awaiting one of the newer recruits.

The next few days are pretty much an endless routine of sensor and drive monitoring though prospects are looking good as we are on our way to one of the new worlds that apparently has a breathable atmosphere.

As we enter orbit I find myself drawn to the monitor with an external feed. The sight is breathtaking. The equatorial region is a vast gold colour, almost endless deserts. The poles are little more than white spots, though as we change trajectories, I lose sight of one.

The ground rushes up and I see that we are moving towards a thin strip of green between the small pole and the vast desert. Rivers and small seas become visible and I am transfixed as the surface now completely fills the monitor.
Just coming over the horizon is a smudge of grey and we follow the course of a river between parallel mountain chains towards it.
Along the sides of the river I can now see fields and the smudge is quickly resolving into a most settlement.
I tear myself away from the view in order to deal with the landing preparations – all trivial stuff, but still needing someone to overview and react. It’s just the usual balancing of power and compensating for this, that and the other.

When I next glance at the monitor I find that we have landed in a small base, probably an outpost. Judging by the hunched but huge beings in the starport it belongs to our allies, the dewiek Nation.

While the captain is doing whatever it is that captains do in these circumstances, I find myself with a little time to kill.
I quickly finish the post-landing checks and disembark. The stretching is wonderful. I close my eyes and feel the warmth of the alien sun on my unfurled wings but am immediately brought to my senses by a growl and a shove. Instinct kicks in. My wings drop back, my claws extend. I am staring up into the face of a snarling dewiek. On the ground it can easily rip me limb from limb and it knows it. For a second we stare at each other, then it says, ‘Wing it, birdy, I got work to do.’
That’s dewiek for you. Still, seems sound advice. I launch, powerful thighs lifting me more than three metres before a downbeat carries me up. Just for good measure I defecate into the dewiek’s path enjoying its howl of anger.
We are not scheduled to leave for a few hours so I spend them exploring the valley, enjoying the thermals and simply reveling in the liberation of knowing that I am not going to be facing repercussions for venturing into rival house airspace.
From high up I discover that this settlement appears to be little more than a colony extending a few kilometres along the upper stretch of the river. Beyond there is nothing more than untamed nature.

Food, real food. I am originally from house hawk, not for us seeds and fruits. I prefer my meals meaty and I have just seen my next one down along the banks of the river. It does not stand a chance as I swoop in low over the bank and hit it full in the back, hammering it down into the shallow water. My heel talons have made twin punctures into its back and blood is already bubbling out. That’s when I notice a small stick floating away down the river. Glancing round quickly, I also spot a small box behind a tussock of some native flora and a small stool.

I step off the body and flip it over. It’s not a species I am familiar with. It is small and furry, but not like a dewiek – maybe a wimble or just a native? I pull it part onto the bank and take to the air again. After a quick recon, finding nothing I return.



What to do? Report the event to the captain. Not likely to go down too well, he is a seed eater. Report it to the outpost – not a bloody chance. Local authorities, presuming that there are some are also unlikely to be understanding. It may have been an accident, but on these backwater worlds, they tend to have very flexible laws and a penchant for execution.
I do the only sensible thing, I drag the body back into the river and out where the current is strong and let it float away.

The shock of murdering a sentient being has killed my appetite, that is until I reach the bank and find a holding net in which there are few aquatic creatures.

I return and keep a low profile in the ship but overhear that one of the crew, house eagle, suffered some terrible wounds after an altercation with an employee of the starbase over some alleged insult.

I do not react when there is also a small news item about the possibility that the world may after all have apex predators capable of posing a threat to colonists.

Next world, I intend to stay onboard.




 
News
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** Breaking News: Caliph Samuel Assassinated ***

The nominal head of the Caliphate, Samuel has been murdered in broad daylight at the starbase CAL Sidon in the Fortress system. The allegedly mad zealot was on his way to meet representatives of various civilian factions when a shadowy figure *cough*CIA agent*cough* shot him dead.

The CIA issued the following statement to the SSS with a customary nudge and a wink: "In these difficult times, as we come to terms with the loss of Samuel, we are taking things one day at a time.

"Samuel was not only our Caliph, but our leader during the Second Civil War which laid the foundations for the Confederacy after he left the Human Empire and settled in the Darkfold. It is truly a sad day and one that will be marked in history as one of many great leaders who were cut down in their prime.

"We will strive now to look to the future, whilst remembering our past”

Speculation is rife that this is the first step towards a unification of the two-halves of the Stellar Empire. Others are more hopeful this is a return to the Confederacy or the mark of greater separation with the Imperial bloc. Time will tell what nebulous motives the shadowy puppet-master Laton turned out to have had and which alien faction will be blamed for the Caliph’s murder.

Inside this issue of the SSS: * HEX / FET Invade Sargasso * Magnus v Nevets Fight! * Dewiek Black Hole Disaster * FLZ Correction * &etc

 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** STOP PRESS: Felini Victory ***

In an unexpected development, the FEL have scored a decisive victory against the FLZ. Destroying or maiming some 20 Flagritz Baseships in the Onwards system.

What is more remarkable than the victory was there was no subsequent comment by Crazy Uncle Flagritz. We might need to have a lie down now.

Inside this issue of the SSS: * DEN and FEL * Valhalla Fighting Pits * RIP smacked * &etc


 
***** Christmas Special Edition *****

*** Ho Ho Ho ***

Welcome to the SSS Christmas Special Edition! We the Editors have put together a nostalgic pudding treat intended to delight and tickle even the scroogiest megacorp executive. So gather your cubs, squidlets and larvae for some silliness and song. Time to catch up with some classics from years gone by, raise your glasses and drink your gluttony and shame away!

Wishing you all a merry Christmas free from Krampus Jones's invading armies!

The Editors


 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** Claws Out in Valhalla ***

In a bold rebuke of Crazy Uncle Flagritz’s attacks in the Avalon system, the cunning Felini Nevets ordered a hit on a FLZ outpost in the Valhalla system. Claiming miscommunication with his warships, the mischevious Avatar cocked a snook at the washed-out Dewiek warrior in charge of the system whilst claiming an important victory in the often one-sided conflict against the FLZ.

This isn’t the first time the foxy Feline has masked daring-do in the shroud of incompetence. It remains to be seen whether this turns out as disastrously as the time when the FEL had to pay the costs of a war started by Prince-turned-meklan LiQuan.

Meower-in-chief Chamiah apologised for the incident in a public address laced with snickering subtext and unconcealed laughter when she got to the bit about the unfortunate loss of “5 FLZ Warships in Onwards.”

A second incident in Valhalla was reported the next day with mardy Magnus complaining he wasn’t getting his claws in on the action. Could this be the pithy ploy that puts the cat on the mat?

Inside this issue of the SSS: * Merc-y Wimbles * Valhalla Fighting Pits Get Weird * Profile of Lyceum Amaguk * &etc


 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** Nun on the Run ***

Alleged cosplayer Carmilla D’Morenta got the vicars in the Brotherhood all hot and bothered when she made a run for it. Possibly tired of being tied up by the reverends and denied the love that dare not howl its name. With a sizeable, almost unbelievable, bounty on her head, the barking sister took refuge with the Dewiek Elder Nation.

In possibly the shortest chase in history, the BHD managed to strike a blow for oppressed collars everywhere when they squared off with the naughty doggy-wannabe at the Valhalla stargate. The cheeky chaplains blew their hyperdrive at close range and both the BHD and DEN flagged ships were reported to be lost in space.

Inside this issue of the SSS: * DEN Ban BHD * Ulian * FLZ in Avalon * Valhalla Fighting Pits * Interview with Carmilla * And more


 
***** Inter Galactic News *****


*** Message From The New Editors ***

Dear Reader,

It has been a long time since we had the exquisite joy of Sub Space Static beaming mind-altering information into our retinas. Like you, we craved word from the offices of the IGN when the next edition would hit our Nexus terminals. We waited and waited. Then we got curious.

We fundraised a simple surveyor and sent it to the last sighting of the IGN. It was not where we expected it to be, in the Yank system. We asked the Junta but they were their usual helpful selves. Weeks, turned into months and still no sign.

Then we found it. The singularity. With a sign. The scrawl of a demented child that read "Kang woz 'ere." What could we do but enter. Our ship went in. Where, we cannot say. The air around us popped. Our faces folded and our bodies fused together. Our minds interconnected. Vast knowledge at our disposal. Yet, we became as stupid as the least of us. As greedy as the worst of us. As forgetful as the dumbest of us. As horribly biased as a partisan hack in a post-truth universe.

We became, in short, your Editors.

Welcome to the new SSS. It won't be as funny as before. It won't be clever by half. It won't be any better in any way. But it will be regular. As a mohache on refined laxatives. It will be informative. Oh it will be full of facts! Even if we have to make them up.

Send us your delicious exploration reports. Tell us about your pointless battles. Spread your vile anonymous rumours. Tell us how your mother didn't love you and that's why <insert Affiliation here> must be destroyed! Feed us, your Editors. Nurture us. Our Singularity opens to receive your offering.

Now here is the news.

 
****** Caliphate Syndicated News Network (CSNN) ******

user image

Welcome to another edition of news and views from the CSNN's favourite reporter and news anchor, Ainsley Moore, the peripheries' most favourite unbiased publication in the known universe, after an extended tour of the Inner Empire and all the delights within,

And so with the news, and there has been a lot of it!


Old News - FLZ/ GTT Break Ceasefire Agreement
 
****** Caliphate Syndicated News Network (CSNN) ******

user image

Welcome to another edition of news and views from the CSNN's favourite reporter and news anchor, Ainsley Moore, the peripheries' most favourite unbiased publication in the known universe,

And so with the news,

Alien Wars - Ulian Peace Agreements
 
****** Caliphate Syndicated News Network (CSNN) ******

user image

Welcome to another edition of news and views from the CSNN's favourite reporter and news anchor, Ainsley Moore, the peripheries' most favourite unbiased publication in the known universe, after a period of "secured safety training" for the CSNN team who was taken in by Caliphate security forces,

And so with the news,

Alien Wars - Empire Takes Ulian System, Empire Fleet Deployed
 
****** Caliphate Syndicated News Network (CSNN) ******

user image

Welcome to another edition of news and views from the CSNN's favourite reporter and news anchor, Ainsley Moore, the peripheries' most favourite unbiased publication in the known universe, continuing with a shortened "No News makes Good news?" special!

And so with the news,
 

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