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Aeroquest… Canto 18

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Canto 18 – Spelunking with Dinosaurs

    Ged had gotten the planetary coordinates from Frieda for the so-called Hammer of God.  As they took instrument readings on the surface, they could accurately determine by use of a gravitometer the device was located in one of the deep places in the Bedrock Undercity.   An expedition would be organized to retrieve it before they believed Trav and his Slaghoople connection would be able to mobilize the criminal element.

Ged took both Tara and Tkriashav along to teach him more about Psions.  He couldn’t help but look longingly at the beautiful teenager, Tara Salongi.  The facts of it made him feel terrible.  Bam-Bam Salongi and Sinbadh went along for muscle.  Ham couldn’t help but bring the beautiful Nebulon Princess and her young son.  The two of them seemed to persistently attach themselves to Ham, though Ged noticed the boy looking at him more than once.

The Slate Cliffs had a huge cavern opening in their northernmost face.  It was there that most people gained access to the Bedrock Undercity.  The rocks there were an oily gray and led into a series of caverns that were torch lit and gloomy.

“Do you know anything about these Ancient artifacts?” asked Ged, looking sternly at Tkriashav.

“Yes,” said the almond-eyed master.   “I know what prophecy says.  The Prophecy of Master Xan says that the White Spider shall be reborn and he shall use the sacred tools of God to remake the Great Web Across Darkness.”

“Good God!” said Ham.  “What does that mean?”

“Ged is the White Spider, the Weaver of Golden Destiny.  I have foreseen this myself.  The tools of God are the ancient relics of Grandfather whom some describe as God Himself.  These would be the Crown of Stars, the Hammer of God, the Celestial Dragon, and the Orb of Essence.  Ged will use these, I believe, to remake the very stars into a new and better Empire.”

Ged sighed.  “That’s a lot to ask of a simple hunter.”

“You will do it, I have seen.”

Tara slipped her hand into Ged’s and smiled up at him shyly, more like a teenager now than when Ged first met her.  He felt uncomfortable, thinking of what they’d already done together.  She was still very much a young girl.  Still, he couldn’t make himself let go of her soft and delicate hand.

They entered a wide and much-traveled stone footpath into the middle of the Undercity.  Many cave men and women were already there, going about stone-age business.  A billboard advertised the big Rock-ball game on Monday night, and another mentioned Stone Cold Cola in glowing terms.

“What will you teach me about being a Psion?” Ged asked morosely.

“I can’t teach you much.  You are already a Master of Shape-changing.  You can control cellular regeneration.  That power alone will make you immortal as long as your brain doesn’t die.  Your power as a hunter will also make you formidable.  And Tara telepathically gifted you with most of the instincts you didn’t already have.  If you know enough about a creature, if you can read its DNA, then you can become that creature.  Unlike most who can change shape, you are not limited by your size.  You can change into things both larger and smaller than yourself.”

“How do you know this?” Ged asked, puzzled and irritated.  “Is it by your vision?”

“Oh, no.  I can also read your mind.”

Ged looked violated and perturbed.  He had not even sensed another’s presence in his head.

“Don’t be offended, my son,” said Tkriashav soothingly.  “It is not as intimate a reading as Tara did.  You still have secrets that I will not violate.  I am as strong a telepath as you are a shape-changer.  I can even read the Nebulon boy, and he’s going to be a very powerful telepath with tutoring.”

Ged looked at the naked blue child clinging to Ham’s reluctant hand.  “What can you tell me about the two Nebulons?” he asked.

“The Princess has a very important father.  He will not be pleased with the boy, a child caused by abuse as a prisoner in the Imperium.  His father was a Galtorrian-fusion bully.  The boy as yet has no name.  What he does have is psionic ability, and a strong connection to your future as the White Spider.”

Ham, on hearing this, stroked the boy’s bright yellow hair with a loving, sympathetic touch.  “What’s the Princess’ name?” Ham asked.

“In her language, she will now be called the Madonna.  She is mother to a fatherless boy.  The name is Inouijuc.  She is very much in love with you Ham.  She believes she owes her life to you, Trav, and Ged.”

“Princess Inouijuc,” said Ham, “What shall we name our boy here?”  Ham put a hand on the blue child’s soft shoulder.

“Hamfast Aero Junior,” said the Madonna clearly and without hesitation.

Ham blushed.  Then he smiled.  He didn’t say another word or protest the decision.  Ged also smiled.  He couldn’t help hoping that Ham decided to settle down with this pretty blue princess.

Ahead of the party, a row of raptor riders lined themselves up across the road.  Nine of them.  The riders were armed with stone-flingers and spears.

“What do you want, Goober?” Bam-Bam Salongi asked of the beady-eyed leader.

“We mean to help you and your friends, Bam-Bam,” Goober Slaghoople answered the silver-haired caveman.  “A friend of mine witnessed the death of Rocko Slaghoople.  That other group after the Hammer is evil and foul.  They must not have the thing.”

“We welcome your help,” said Tkriashav.  “As Rocko’s nephew and only living male relative…”

“I am now leader of Don’t Go Here! Yes,” proclaimed Goober Slaghoople.

“We are honored to have your help,” added Ged.  “My brother, Ham, and I are the new owners of the Don’t Go Here Space Port and the Grange Station.  We will be working with you from now on for the planet’s own good.”

“Don’t Go Here has a star port?” asked Goober Slaghoople, flabbergasted.

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Aeroquest… Canto 17

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Canto 17 – Wraiths and Pinwheels

      Trav was the kind of guy who easily gets led by the nose if a pretty woman decides she wants him to do something for her.  Dana Cole with her strawberry-blond hair and luminous blue eyes was perfect in the role of that kind of woman.  She got Trav from Flintstone land into the clutches of the dangerous and powerful Synthezoid, Sorcerer 3.  She got him to reveal the location of the Crown of Stars.  She led him by the nose to Sorcerer 3’s hidden starship in a back alley of a slum in the outskirts of Bedrock.

“We will help Sorcerer 3 by giving him the Crown of Stars, and then he will help us get the Hammer of God,” said Dana in Trav’s ear.

“Sounds good,” said Trav, nodding his doody-head stupidly.

“You know,” said the artificial man with a bright electrical spark orbiting his head, “The Crown really belongs to us anyway, since it was stolen from one of our starships at Mingo Downport.”

“Oh, well… ah…ah,” stuttered Trav, “It was actually Tron’s idea.  I’d never heard of Ancient artifacts before that.”

“Yes,” hissed the Synthezoid with a red spark in his pupil-less eyes, “we forgive you for that.”

The spaceship, hidden behind piles of trash cans, was a sleek black merchant clipper, built for traveling fast in the outer darkness and well-defended from pirates with an impressive weapons array.

Sorcerer 3 turned to face Rocko Slaghoople and his two goons, Thing and Thog.  “You know I don’t have room enough for the three of you in this ship.  You told me where to find the Hammer of God, and I need to make sure no one else finds out where it is.  I think it’s time I gave you your rightful reward as we discussed.

“Uh… Thank you,” said Rocko stupidly.

“How nice!  I rarely get thanked for this kind of service!”  He plucked an illegal Skortch Raygun out of his robe and popped the beam three times, once into the head of each of the three cavemen.  All three of them disintegrated with looks of ignorant surprise on their faces.

Trav was a great fan of extremely destructive weapons.  He recognized the weapon for what it was.

“Ooh!  Can I see that Skortch Ray?  I’ve always wanted one of those.  You do know they are illegal in the Galtorr Imperium?”

“Yes, Trav.  I know about Skortch Rays.  They come from a time when only the Telleron Frog People of the Planet Telleri could travel faster than light and that at a very slow pace.  You may not see it just now, however.   We are in a hurry.  I promise to show you exactly how it works after we have retrieved the Crown of Stars.”

“Well!  Let’s get there then, old Jester!”

The sleek black craft was up and out of the planetary gravity well in a matter of minutes.  It effortlessly pulled itself into docking range with the rebuilt space station.

“I’m impressed by what you did with the place in the short time you’ve been here,” said Sorcerer 3.

“Oh, I didn’t do much.  I got Frieda to do it for me!”

“Hmmm, tell me more about your invisible friend Frieda.”

“Oh, well, I…”

Suddenly they realized that the newly opened starport was surrounded by Pinwheel Corsairs.  Now, a Pinwheel Corsair is a deadly fighting vessel.  Each of the spinning pinwheel arms rotating around the cockpit bore a large, ship-to-ship laser.  The green beams could bore a hole in the side of its victims large enough to fly into, and boarding parties could deploy in vacuum suits.  The only defenses against pinwheel lasers were really thick ablative coatings that evaporated as they absorbed the laser fire, and really large sand-casters that could cloud space with opaque bits to block the rays.  Neither defense would work after the first couple of hits.

“So, Trav,” came the familiar voice over the commo system, “this is where you and the Aeros leaped to?”

“Ah!  Tron, old Jester!  I am so happy to see you here.”  Trav put on the view screen before Dana or Sorcerer could stop him.  The one-eyed face of Tron and the beautiful face of Maggie the Knife glared down at them.  “This is my new playmate, Sorcerer 3, and my girlfriend Dana Cole.”

Tron lifted an eyebrow at the sight of Trav’s new friends.  “You again!” He sighed.  “Goofy, you are playing with the worst kind of fire.”

“And you’re too near the dynamite, love,” added Maggie.

Three pinwheels opened up on the sleek black space clipper.  The boring beams came down from three different angles, blazing bright green light and deadly heat.  Then, by some miracle of technology, the skin of the black clipper absorbed it like a bikini babe soaks up sunlight on the beach.

“Hey, cool!” said Trav.  “How did you do that?  We should be dead by now.”

“Ah, no,” growled Sorcerer 3.  “Tron Blastarr is the one who needs to sweat now!”

Forty black ships materialized out of nowhere.  Wraith Corsairs!  They de-cloaked on cue and took Tron’s pirates by surprise.  Three pinwheels were blasted into debris and dust in seconds, before they could react.  Tron himself was moving from the moment he first spotted Sorcerer 3.  There was no better pilot than Tron Blastarr.  He immediately began taking the wraiths to school.

“Why don’t you just die, Tron?” said Sorcerer with a sneer.

“It’s still your turn, Sorcie, old buddy!” Tron growled back.

The battle had only just begun.

 

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Aeroquest… Adagio 5

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Adagio 5 – Psion Society

     Now, I told you before that I wasn’t a Psion myself.  I, Professor Googol Marou, expert on practically everything, must rely on testimony and speculation to tell you about the Psions themselves.  Strange people they are, with unnatural powers.  Oooh!  Spooky!  It’s little wonder the Galtorr Imperium was so deathly afraid of them.  Still, I suspect that Grand Admiral Brona Tang of the Imperium was himself a Psion, him and all of his clones.  So, I believe that the Imperium only feared Psions they couldn’t control.  It turns out that Ged and Ham were not the only ones to seek escape from persecution of Psions by leaping outside of known space.  It seems it had been going on for so long that an entire Psion Empire had blossomed in the stars just beyond the Imperial Border.

Of the nine billion people living on the planet Don’t Go Here, only a handful were Psions.  The few I came to know well seemed to originate from the cavern-world beneath the surface of the planet that bore more than two thirds of the dense population of the planet.

Most of the Psions in our galaxy lived on the worlds of Zanatas and Zarane in the Phoebus IV Star System.  It was a good 40 light years beyond Don’t Go Here in the Unknown Regions.  It took at least 10 Jumps in space to get there with a good starship, and the Don’t Go Hereians had no ships at all.  The Psion Colony Worlds were Tfriash, Kvarii VI, and Rhaskoo.  All three worlds were many light years further away.  You may have noticed that they are also hard to say.  They seemed to have a thing for names with too few vowels in them. Kinda like Poles and Czechs, I suppose.

So the fact that Don’t Go Here had a Psion Master living on it was nothing short of a miracle.  The thing is, though, that Tkriashav was himself capable of telepathy, teleportation, and clairvoyance.  He had been anticipating Ged Aero’s arrival on Don’t Go Here since well before he found himself marooned upon the planet.

I like Tkriashav.  I count him as a friend of mine.  But I find him creepy in many ways.  It is very unsettling to be around someone who can, in a sudden flash of insight, at any moment reveal to you the manner and place of your death.  Oooh!  Spooky again!  Some things I really wish I didn’t know.

Tkriashav had been the mentor and teacher of several Psions as he lived on the planet Don’t Go Here.  He had brought his sister’s family along on the space voyage that had resulted in his being marooned on the planet.  Young Friashquazatl, Freddie they called him, was a shape-changer like Ged.  He was Tkriashav’s nephew and Tkriashav had raised him since he was an infant, teaching him to control his power.

Tara Salongi, the beautiful girl who saved Ged’s life the first time he completely transformed into another species, was a gifted telepath.  Tkriashav had taught her how to use her mind power to heal and to help.  She was probably the one student he was proudest of.  Bam-Bam Salongi’s only daughter was destined to be one of the most important Psions in the history of known space.  That should raise some tremendous expectations in your humble imaginations.

The Psions themselves were only about two percent of the population of their own empire, but their planets were fertile and heavily populated.  A large number of people with mind powers were available there to accomplish things that ordinary people could only dream of doing.  Therefore, one has to conclude that Ged Aero was not only the right man on the right planet at the right time, but gifted with the right powers and teaching skills as well.  Teaching skills, you say?  Yes, he was a scout, a hunter, a spacer, and a psion before he met Tkriashav.  But after meeting him, he became the most important teacher in all of known space.

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Aeroquest… Canto 14

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Canto 14 – Sorcerer 3

 

Trav thought this Dana Cole girl was hot stuff.  She seemed to like him.  She talked nice to him.  She made him feel at home in Slaghoople Manor.  She looked really sexy in a fake fur bikini.

“So,” she said, “your name is Trav Dalgoda and you seek the fabled Hammer of God.  Why do you seek it here?”

Trav slouched back comfortably on the synthetic rock sofa.  “My friend Frieda told me it was here.”

“Who is this Frieda?”

“Oh, she was my invisible friend in third grade at school on the planet Questor.  No one else could see her, but she was always nice to me.”

Dana took his hand and slipped an electronic ring on his finger.

“What’s this, then?”

“That is a little something to help me get to know you,” she said.  “Now, you say this friend was invisible?  Did others think you were crazy?”

“Well, yes.  Actually, I sometimes thought I was crazy myself.  It’s hard to believe anyone as handsome as me could be as truly wonderful as I tend to be.”

“He speaks truthfully,” said a tiny voice from the ring on Trav’s finger.  “At least he believes it is so.”

“How interesting,” said Dana.  “I know a man named Count Appleby that you must meet some day.”

“Is he wonderful too?”

“Oh, yes.  He believes he’s the reincarnation of Napoleon.”

“Who would that be?”

“Didn’t you study ancient history back on the planet Questor?”

“Oh!  Well, I…  You know, sometimes there isn’t enough time for study when you’re growing up to become one of the most important men in the Milky Way!”

“He is now untruthful,” said the ring.

“Well, isn’t that something!” marveled Trav, ogling the talking ring.

“Here comes the boss,” said Dana in a purr of dark intent.

“Oh, good!” said Trav.

Rocko Slaghoople was a balding, but massively-muscled cave man who looked quite dangerous.  His brutish face had but one thick eyebrow across his beady-eyed visage.  His powerful arms looked like they were dragging on the floor.  His arms seemed even longer than his legs.

Traveling next to Rocko on metal legs came a white-robed Synthezoid, or artificial man.  His soulless white eyes had no pupils and his head came to a point like some kind of conehead.

“Hello, boss,” said Dana Cole.

“Hello, my beauty,” answered the Synthezoid.

“Hello, Mr. Rocko,” said Trav.  “I understand that you might know something about the Hammer of God.”

“Whu…?” grunted Slaghoople.

“The Hammer of God!  The Ancient artifact!  Everyone says you’re the man to see about such things.”  Trav’s voice cracked with sudden desperation.

Rocko looked stupidly at the Synthezoid.

“Yes,” said the artificial man, “and my intel claims that you know something about the Crown of Stars.  Weren’t you with the infamous Tron Blastarr when he stole it?”

“Well, I…”

“I am even told that you came away with the item.”

“Who… who are you?”

“I am called Sorcerer 3, and I am your new partner in this little quest.”

sorcerer

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Aeroquest… Canto 11

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Canto 11 – Planet of the Cave Man

      The planet itself was smaller than Earth, but possessed a lot more land space.  Its oceans were limited to five vast and separate land-locked lakes.  Vegetation was remarkably sparse, but what grew was tenacious and very much alive.  What truly shocked the brothers, though, were the scan signs of over nine billion humans living on the surface and in vast caverns. This was a frontier planet with no record of being developed by the Galtorr Imperium or any of its predecessors.  So how did they get there?

“Are we detected yet?” asked Ham nervously.

Ged looked over the scan and signal data on the commo screen.  “I get no scans, beams, or even radar from them.  There’s electricity of a sort, but nothing to indicate tracking or weapons ability.  It’s low tech.”

“Are we sure they are human?”

“Definitely human, but Nebulons register as humans too.”  Ged looked over at the Nebulon Princess as she sat looking admiringly at Ham.

“I think I moight know where they be from,” said Sinbadh.

“Oh,” said Ged sarcastically.  “What do you know?”

“They be marooned ones from Stardog raids.  It’s been a right while, it has, but this planet used to get lots of use from them Stardogs.  Treasure buried here too, I’ll wager.”

“You can’t tell me the Stardog Corsairs captured that many ships!”  Ged was on the verge of anger.

“Nay.  But they was men, women, an’ children got left here.  They’d no choice but to colonize.”

“Where do you want to set down, Ged?” Ham asked.

“Out of sight of the nearest community, I’d say,” Ged answered.  He didn’t fancy being met by an angry mob, or even a worshipful mob.  Mob was not a good word for planet arrival.

“Okay, I have the spot.”  Ham settled the sleek safari craft down in a clearing amongst the strange gray trees that made up the brittle and somewhat spiky jungle.  Ged put on a light set of harsh environment armor and dismounted through the underbelly portal in the nose of the Leaping Shadowcat.

Sinbadh picked up a set of laser pistols and headed out after Ged.  Ham brought up the rear with the Princess and her small son right on his heel.  He normally took the back on a hunting expedition, but he wasn’t used to this kind of attention from a pretty humanoid female.

Ged’s nose changed imperceptibly as he started tracking.  The tingling he felt there meant he was transforming it into something akin to Sinbadh’s nose.  The scent pictures it was taking in began to appear in Ged’s inner eye.

“We are on a strange trail,” Ged announced.  “Two humans and a Dion-raptor.”

“How could there be a Dionysus dinosaur out here?” asked Ham.  “I hated those things back on the jungle safaris to Dionysus.  I don’t want to tangle with them here!”

“Well,” chided Ged. “It’s here plain enough.  You’ll just have to be prepared to scream like a little girl again and work on your tree-climbing.”

Sinbadh laughed his growly canine laugh at Ged’s slammer.  Ged smiled at the wolfman for the first time.

Over the next rise, they came upon the trio Ged had scented.  It was a young human male with no clothing but a fake fur loin cover and an even younger human female with a fake fur bikini and plastic bone in her hair.  They were riding on the back of a large dinosaur predator, perfectly at ease riding bareback on their meat-eating friend.

Ged knew the raptor species well.  He had hunted them on the jungle planet of Dionysus.  They lived there in a loose symbiotic relationship with the humans and the dinosaurian humanoids called the Dions that populated that jungle world.  These creatures were smart enough to operate machinery and even communicate in a limited sort of sign language.  They also turned rogue fairly easily and developed a taste for Dion flesh or even man flesh.

“Do we hail?” asked Ham in sign.

“Yes,” said Ged.  He stood up from where he had been crouching behind a bush.  “Hey!  You there!  Can we talk to you?”

The boy and the girl both looked at Ged and smiled.  The raptor licked its toothy smile with a snaky tongue.

“My name is Fred3576 Flintstone,” said the boy.  “This is my girlfriend Wilma456.  And this is our dog, Dino6478. We’ve never seen anyone that wasn’t from Bedrock before!”

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Aeroquest… Canto 10

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Canto 10 – Planetfall

      Once back at the docking port on Frieda, Ged noticed that the new space ship Goofy had asked Frieda to make was gone.  His concern spiked like an EKG from a surviving victim of electrocution.

“Calm down, Ged,” soothed Ham.  “Goofy is unpredictable, but he hasn’t gotten me killed yet.”

“You know what he’s doing, don’t you?”

“What?”

Ged Aero

“He’s going after those artifacts the alien computer was talking about.”

“So?”

“Ham!  Ancient devices with unfathomable powers?  In the hands of a pyromaniac and lunatic?  Don’t you see what comes next?”

“Well,” said Ham, looking down at his spaceship controls, “I do kinda see a disaster looming, if that’s what you mean.”

“Exactly what I mean!”

Ham Aero

“Oi believes ye need to track yer shipmate down, what?” offered Sinbadh.

In minutes the Leaping Shadowcat was docked and the three teammates were aboard Frieda.  In the main control room, they found the Nebulon Princess in a red jumpsuit, her small son sitting on the floor at her feet.  She smiled beautifully at Ham as the two brothers entered the room.

“I… am… free…” she announced in halting, yet clear Galactic English.

“Ah… Good,” said Ged.  “Goofy at least started the task I set him.”

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“I… am… love…” added the Princess cryptically, moving directly toward Ham.

“Err… What?” stammered Ham.

“Oi thinks ye have an admirer, me bucko!” said Sinbadh helpfully.

The Princess reached up to touch one of Ham’s blond curls.  “Nebulonin?” she cooed.

“Wha…?  No.  Human!  Definitely Earther.  I just have yellow hair.”  Ham pinched the skin on the back of his right hand.  “See, no blue!”

“Yes, blue…” she said smiling.

“Oh, what does that mean?”  Ham blushed furiously.

“Your Nebulon slave girl has been set free by Trav,” supplied Frieda.  “She means she is grateful.  Your on-board library suggests she suffers from something called Stockholm Syndrome.  She believes she is in love with you because you were her captors, but have been nice to her.  She was apparently violated numerous times by those who held her hostage in the Imperium.”

“Erm, thank you, Frieda.” Ham said.

“Frieda,” said Ged, as if he had at that moment realized something, “Where did Trav Dalgoda go?”

“I supplied him with coordinates to find the Hammer on the surface of the planet.  He went down there to find it.”

“I knew it!” swore Ged.  “We have to beat him to the thing!  Come on, guys!  We go now!”

“Can we leave the Princess here?” asked Ham nervously as the Nebulon girl looked at him lovingly.

“Sinbadh?  Can we trust that your corsair friends won’t come back?”

“Nah.  Them buccaneers is moighty unpredictable like.”

“Everybody goes aboard the Shadowcat, then,” said Ged.

“Dang!” swore Ham as the Nebulon Princess took one hand, and her little boy took hold of the other.

 

 

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Aeroquest… Adagio 3

Adagio 3 – Homo Lupines

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It was during the founding years of the Galtorr Imperium that genetically altered mutates, more commonly called “Freaks” were created in the laboratories of Faulkner Genetics.  The lessons of Dr. Frankenstein were completely lost on those poor doody-heads. Most artificial races were created to fill very specific slots in the colonial plan.  They first got away with monster making in the forgotten past.   When the Galtorrian lizard people and the Earther primates were both struggling to make their way into space, they somehow managed to splice their genomes together to make one race that had the worst qualities of both.  This melded race, of uncertain origin, is probably the fault of early Earther explorers who found the Galtorrian homeworld,  and scared out of their pants by the warlike reptilians, began crazy-mad experiments the way witless Earth humans do.  Having a mutual genetic link in the Galtorrian Lizard-Men meant that both the Galtorrs and the Earthers could feel like part of one people.  Well, that was the big idea, anyway.  These masters, though, having established an artificial ruling race, soon found use for slave races.

They created the tiny, elfin Peris of the planet Djinnistan to do immense computations in their overlarge heads with an edge of extreme creativity.  The winged Eagle-men, also of Djinnistan, were used for jungle warfare and air patrol duty.  They created the simian Security Beasts of the planet Karridon for obscure reasons, something about the Earther obsession with gorilla-like monkey violence.  Even the speedy Longlegs of the planet Nestor’s Palace were not a natural race and kept as work slaves.

Some science geek (not like me, I’m a nerd rather than a geek, I have never eaten a light bulb) in the days of the Gene-Splicer Renaissance thought it was a natural idea to combine the genes of Earth men with the genes of Earth dogs.  They reasoned that since dogs were man’s best friend, they would make a race of friendly, loyal dog-men.  They could then be their own best friends!  What a stupid concept!  They overlooked the fact that all dogs on Earth originated from wolves.  Wolves, if you didn’t already know, get hungry enough to eat you.

With my handy telescope I saw the Lupin Rebellion.  Waves of wolfmen turned on their masters and stole spacecraft and weapons.  Blood was shed as they threw off their collars and turned to wolf-pack piracy among the stars.  They were carnivores and totally uncontrollable.

The furry man-wolves formed fleets of corsair raiders known collectively as Stardogs and laid waste among poorly protected colonies.  Then, during the Second Unification War the Galtorr Jihad launched their war fleets against Stardog colonies and outposts, nearly making the Homo Lupines race extinct.  The Galtorrian hero, Sir Echo Saurol, had every intention of wiping them out like fleas in a flea-powder factory.  Only the Lupins who fled into deep space survived the wrath of the Galtorrians.

The first Aero-base, the sentient starport called Frieda, had originally been a Galtorrian Exploration Command Center.  A surviving pack of Lupins and Stardogs descended upon it and slew everyone in the planetary command before fleeing further into the unknown.  It had, however, been 329 years since the attack when the Aero brothers landed and claimed the base.  They knew nothing of the Stardog Freaks and their Lupin Rebellion.  All Ged knew was that Lupins were a creature he had hunted before, a very intelligent and dangerous creature to hunt.  Soon both brothers would learn more than they ever wanted to know about Lupins, especially the one that had been marooned on the Don’t Go Here Grange station.

 

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