Friday, July 07, 2006

The Aztec Armada

The state of TIAH

July 7th, 2006

in 1571, an Aztec fleet of nearly a hundred ships sets sail from the Aztec Gulf and heads towards Europe. The Spanish are busy building their own armada in the hope that they will be reinforced by the mighty American empire. English spies among the Spanish take careful note of this ship building activity and send word back to Queen Elizabeth. No word has reached the crown of the Aztec fleet on its way to her coast, so she tells her spies to lay in wait until the threat from the Iberian Peninsula becomes more clear. Some of her court counsel sabotage as a prudent course of action, but she resists this until messengers reach the court telling of an unstoppable fleet of ships sailing across the Atlantic to do battle with her navy. This is when the call goes out for a general draft and Great Britain prepares for a war that looks lost almost from the outset.

in 1947, Mac Brazel's daughter Bessie falls ill. Concerned that it has something to do with the small glowing stick that his sons gave her, he takes it out of his house and buries it with the bodies he had found. He takes his daughter into Roswell to see the doctor, who asks if Bessie has been playing near the Air Force base at all. Brazel tells him she hasn't and Dr. Powell wonders aloud how the young girl could have been exposed to enough radiation to fall as sick as she is. Brazel, terrified that he has doomed his child, tells Dr. Powell about the wreckage, the bodies, and the glowing stick that was on Bessie's nightstand for several days. Dr. Powell asks Brazel to fetch the stick so that he can see what it's made of, which Brazel does immediately. Meanwhile, Powell does his best to ease Bessie's misery, and arranges for a blood transfusion to see if that will cure her. When Brazel returns with the glowing stick, Dr. Powell, who does work on the military base, sticks it into a lead box to keep anyone else from getting sick. “I'll have someone examine this right away, Mac,” he tells Brazel. “I'm afraid we're going to need to put Bessie in the hospital.” The rancher tearfully agrees, and prays that his daughter will recover.

in 2017, not even the engineering skill of three species can break the mystery of the golden device that has brought the Quarai vessel Pokor and the human spaceship Eagle to the Dyson sphere known as Pr't'(whistle). The Pr't'(whistle)ian scientists are positive it is the same device used by the advanced race they call Starwalkers. The scant records of the Starwalkers only say that they were capable of almost magical feats, and that they only stayed on Pr't'(whistle) a few months before using the device to move to another star system. The insect-like Pr't'(whistle)ians almost feel insulted that the device's power is so difficult to tap, and Commander Patterson tells the liaison, “Believe me, I know how you feel. I feel like a monkey who's been handed a spaceship and told to plot my way to a nice star.” The Pr't'(whistle)ians invite the entire crew of the Pokor and Eagle to come inside the sphere and see the vast expanse of their artificial world. “Only a tiny percent can be seen in a lifetime,” the Pr't'(whistle)ian liaison told them, “but we have wonders that will make you long for immortality.” The Quarai, of course, leap at the chance to interact with more Pr't'(whistle)ians, and most of the humans are eager to follow. Commander Patterson makes one request before they leave, though; “I need you to make sure that you guys don't turn that thing on unless we're all here.” The Pr't'(whistle)ian scientists agree.


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2 comments:

Ryan said...

(whistle) is awkward. I suggest another character to represent that sound, maybe a ~ or ^ (or make something new up altogether).

Robbie Taylor said...

It's a sort of homage to Larry Niven - in The Mote in God's Eye there are several sound representations for the Motie language. I take your point, though - it breaks up the sentence in a weird way. I don't know about just using a punctuation symbol, though, because it would be less evocative of the sound that I want you to think of when you think of the Dyson sphere's name.

TIAH Editor says we'd like to move you off the blog, if you're browsing the archives - and most people are - more than half of them are already on the new site. We need to be sure the new web site accomodates your archive browsing needs because we don't want to lose any readers. Please supply any feedback or comments by email to the Editor and please note the blogger site is shutting on December 1st.