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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. Its 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.
Thats 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 dewieks 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. Thats 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. Its 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
Is open for business...
 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** Stellar Empire Re-United ***

Celebrations were held across the vast territories of the Stellar Empire as the two-halves represented by the governments of the Imperials and Caliphate determined to unite. This followed almost inevitably from the assassination of the Caliph, a crime that has gone mysteriously unresolved. The old Caliphate ministers were ‘retired’ and at first it seemed the Imperials had managed what had alluded them for decades.

However, just as orders to claim systems for the IMP went in some places, conflicting orders to claim for the CIA came from Laton. In other systems, it seems overwhelming civilian support lies with the defunct CAL government and there are a number of CIV and CAL bases that seem to have not heeded the CIA nor IMP orders. With all the Caliphate's armaments now in the CIA’s hand and no political leadership in the old government, it seems inevitable that the civilians will be dragged kicking and screaming into the future.

A muted and cautious response from the rest of the galaxy was only to be expected given the formation of a new unrivalled superpower. The chilling effect on public discourse as the Imperial war machine taps into the substantial, if stunted, economies of the former Caliphate will surely be felt for years to come. Does this mark the 'end of history' as we know it?

More on this story inside this issue of the SSS along with: * KAS v IMP/GTT v FLZ * DEN v MRC * FOCed by IMP * BHD v DEN * &etc

 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** Imperials Declare War Against Flagritz ***

A declaration of war came last week after an unsatisfactory reply to Imperial ultimatums that the FLZ accept resolution of the previous war. J. Jones issued the following proclamation, "We hope this reminder will prompt them to rethink the status they removed them selves from and come back to more peaceful co-existence.” Doublegood, Viceroy, doublegood!

More on this story inside this issue of the SSS along with: * Species Guide * FEL Barter With GIants * High Times &etc

 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** Orion Spur Special Edition ***

Explorers of the galaxy rejoiced as knowledge of a new periphery became common knowledge, revealing charts to forty star systems. The Orion Spur is connected to the massive Coreward Arm with rumours that the locals of the Monument system at the heart of this new periphery may have been responsible for the collapse of the HarCorp civilisation.

We have in-depth analysis and information about the new periphery inside this special issue of the SSS.

Also inside this issue of the SSS: * Naplian Liberation Front Reality Show * FLZ v FEL * Mercs in Graydown * DOM Scare Stories * &etc

 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** Hoedown in Graydown ***

Wimbles in the Graydown system have come under repeated attacks by mercenaries. The Wimbles having already lost two outposts have had their ships come under attack by boarders. The Wimbles are pointing a hairy finger at the GTT whilst the DEN are itching to get their paws in.

Pleasantly rotund Wolf Lord Lyceum reported the destruction of one mercenary ship, a Corsair class explorer called "Eye of the Chosen" which had earlier dropped off ground forces flying the banner of "God Hates Wimbles.” Which God and why he or she hates Wimbles has yet to be revealed. We suspect its corporation-loving Mammon.

Inside this issue of the SSS: * Sargasso Update * Wakerians * Naplian Liberation Front * &etc

 
***** 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


 

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