Archive for April, 2016

Juice Bar.

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Happy Hangov…gnn…you….you know what, frak you!
Whoever came up with the mixture of Apple, Beetroot, Lime (another fraking Citrus, that waste of fructose, time and sunshine should be wiped off the planet together with that nauseating, headache inducing citrus stench. Taters and Apples have more Vitamins, so, NO!) and Basil should be forced to drink this, every day of the week, until kingdom come, no deviation, nothing else.
Just the Happy Hangover drink.

For the love of all that is just and true, who is this catering to?
Alcoholics?
Here’s a tip you marketing twats, alcoholics don’t get hangovers, why? Hangovers only happen to people who are foolish enough to stop drinking.

Want a happy hangover?
Mix yourself a Bloody Mary.
Or pour some Vodka into this abominable waste of fructose and dihydrogenmonoxide.
Jesus fraking Christ!

Most redundant thing in the history of beverages, even worse than the Applestrudel drink…frak…

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Rings of Fate S1xE3 – Explorer – Mined (pt.4)

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“We’ll clear the launch sites for the deliveries first, there is less to do here, thrusters already cleared enough of it on our way down.” Wesley had organized the crew into two teams to clear off the snow. Apparently the drones that had crafted their landing site had compacted the snow, but put plating over it, some kicked up snow would have to be removed from these platings.

“Work begins in an hour, alpha team assembles at the airlock then. Questions?” Anna sat silently in the second row, staring blankly straight ahead. She was supposed to be in the beta team comprised of herself, Helga and Amir. “Alright. Dismissed!” Although the mission was supposed to be civilian, he held authority in vital aspects.

Their safe departure was a vital aspect.

 

Shoveling and sweeping the snow from the launch pads was easier than originally anticipated. According to computer estimates they cleared a safe zone around the pads. Satisfied Wesley looked around the Pod. Beta team would only have to clear a little bit around it, the launch pads were clear.

“Alpha team is back aboard. Are you coming Sir?” Giuseppe’s voice was like a wake up call, alerting him to his supply of air. “Yes. On my way.”

A mere meter from the airlock he stopped. Something about the floor plating was wrong. “Hold the beta team, patch me through to Xiaofeng.” After a moment or two the Chinese scientist had his glasses on an watched Wesley’s transmission.

Another moment or two later Wesley’s concern was confirmed: the plating had cracked or shifted when the pod had set down on it.

 

Wesley watched the firat rocket go up in the air. The view in the unlit clear sky was spectacular. Against a myriad of stars, the band of the milkyway clearly distinguishable, the space craft plowed through the thin atmosphere.

Once in space the chemical burst would stop, a series of small charges would bring the transport to nominal speeds, high enough so it wouldn’t get torn asunder by inertia when docked with the Explorer. That was our plan too. I hope we can pull it off. Returning his attention to the plating underneath the pod Wesley tried to forget that they were all alone on a frozen planet in interstellar space.

“How is your progress?” Better if you wouldn’t disturb me ever now and then. “Not that good Xiaofeng, any suggestions for displaced or broken plates underneath the pod?”

An uncomfortable, and demoralising silence filled his radio. “Can we thrust off with the side thrusters and fire the bottom engines once elevated?” Stopping his efforts for a moment Wesley pondered Xiaofeng’s idea. “Maybe.” Looking down to the plating he cussed silently. “If the plating is indeed damaged or displaced down there, we even could use any catalyst reaction for propulsion.” What the Explorer can do, our sturdy little pod can do too. Deflectors are down there after all.

Feeling little confidence in his plan though Wesley decided to improvise.

 

“It’s not a boy.” Jokingly Wesley giggled, utilizing the way an ultrasound worked, he had managed to get a picture from underneath the pod.

“No. It is a quintuple of trouble.” In his state of mind, Wesley couldn’t tell who had said that. Amir, Giuseppe, Andre or Xiaofeng. All he knew was that is was a man. Anna and Helga were present as well, but relatively quiet.

Five major displacements showed up on the monitor. “Xiaofeng, what’s your estimate?” the Chinese scientist stared at the screen. “Thrusters on the circumference of the pod, full blast off at ten meters.” Nodding in agreement Wesley turned around to the rest of the crew. “Alright. We have two days, then our window of opportunity is closed. Explorer can’t slam on the breaks, they can’t halt to pick us up. They’re gone forever. We only have two more shots, but they require a long time waiting. I would blast off asap, but I’m not willing to make that decision alone. I’m putting it up for a majority vote.” Sighing he ran his hand through his hair. “All in favour of lift off asap, raise your hands.”

Except for Andre all had raised their hands. “It is decided then.”

Disappointed Andre nodded, bowing to the wish of the majority.

 

Drunk on sleep Admiral Steve Anderson walked into the conference room near the command centre aboard the Explorer. “What news about the Ericsson mission is so important it couldn’t wait for the morning?” Brenda O’learey pushed a button at the head of the table. On the video wall an image sprang to life. Depicted was the bay in which the minig drones had been loaded. “One of them gave off a signal. We’ve opened it. Ten minutes before calling you out of bed.”

Instead of ore, bars and other packages Steve saw a stasis chamber emerge from the drone. Without saying another word Brenda pressed another button on the table. “Do not resuscitate immediately! Doctor Maria Garcia needs medical attention after suffering exposure to the atmosphere on Ericsson. I am Wesley Smith, and I have advanced her in a drone, as we have discovered difficulties concerning our launch. Enclosed find a full report of the mission. If the pod isn’t at the rendezvous coordinates, pray, or at least cross your fingers, that we have survived.”

The audio message turned over into silence.

Steve and Brenda stared at each other for minutes that seemed like an eternity. After the pod had not been detected at rendezvous they had sent out hails to Ericsson. “No reply to our hails?”

“None so far. We must presume them MIA.” Steve nodded. “Continue to send hails, and notify Horizon. They need access codes for the relays, so the drones can deliver them some goods too.” Over the course of the expedition Steve hadn’t lost a single life. It felt like a devastating hole in his heart.

Missing in Action.

 

War Journal – 1 Swift Wings (ep10)

While sweetwater Naga were not equipped with lethal poison. “And unlike them, we like to lay with men year round.” she had grinned then, obviously herself having a strong libido. “So their north coastal regions might be contested area, the Galnerran fleet lying at Both’anah and all.””East coast it is then.” he steered the ship towards the thin crust off the backboard prow. Dense forests greeted them from afar, lining at the coast south and north, occasionally broken by a landing, mostly tiny fisher villages, or even smaller settlements, but Fathala had them going further south, towards a port town called Wellenheim. According to her and a crude map she drew from memory of a detailed map drawn up by the Albin traders, it had a shorter route to the sweetwater sea, connecting to Reedheim, and further to an Albin settlement on the shore, where they had built the ferries to Naga’na and back. What the two had heard of the humans had baffled them. Whilst Albin and Naga, or Fungals and Florals did most of what they did for the deed itself, except providing services and the likes for trade, humans traded only for money. Their explorers, soldiers, fishermen, farmers, smiths, did their daily deeds only for gold, silver and copper. Sure traders in the other races did as well, but the majority of them worked for the betterment of themselves. As had Eric for all his life, as had Leif. “Even asking questions costs,” she paused, “well, answers to these questions cost.” she corrected herself a heartbeat later. “Queer people. How did that text go you found in the old quarters?” Eric looked over to Leif, the young eunuch had difficulty keeping pace with his father, either he was too fast, or became too slow when limiting his rows. “Friend, give me some wine to quench my thirst,give me some bread to sate my hunger, beauty for my sore eyes to behold and a garden’s blossoms to play my nose. What more can i ask than this?” Leif panted, he had to restrain his strokes, which cost him strength even more than the rowing itself. “Exactly!” Eric was glad that Leif had left out the last part of it. “What more does any man, or woman need?” he turned over his shoulder to Fathala, which kept the rudder in place. Although here was a wind blowing, the two used he oars as it blew down the shore out to sea. Though it would’ve been of use, Eric didn’t want to constantly correct course. “There!” Fathala cried out joyously, pointing south. Through the autumnly colored forest, some place barren branches and twigs, a belltower appeared. It belonged to the church in the port town, the tallest structure in Wellenheim, home to preachers, priests and mages of the circle. After a few more strokes the radiant smile on Fathalas lips died away, a few gusts if wind brought her ill news. “I think it best we land outside the town.” she steered them in a steep angle towards the shore. Alarmed Eric and Leif stopped rowing, retrieved the oars. “Are you mad? That rocky shore could tear the bow of his ship open like a butchers knife the belly of a lamb!” Leif barked. Eric’s hand reached for Leif’s arm to tug him on his sleeve, buteif withdrew his ha.d quick enough. “I won’t be silent father!” he stepped away from Eric to chase Fathala away from the rudder. “I hadn’t raised my voice when you defiled mothers memory mere quarter a year after she had died, but she nigh killed us, or at keast our ship!” Fathala stared at Leif with tears in her eyes, she had jumped away from the eunuch knight, sought to take refuge behind Eric. “I never meant,” she squirmed, but Leif grabbed the rudder jerking it around again so the ship turned to face south once more. “I don’t care what you meant, or meant not sea wench.” he grumbled.”Shut your mouth or I’ll do it for you! On ny ship you will do as I say, speak as I say and behave as I see fit.” Eric stood protective over Fathala, who had managed to reach a point behind him. Normally she would’ve stood her ground, but Leif’s sudden maniacal outburst left her to shocked and surprised. “Your ship?” Leif stepped from rudder towards his father. “My ship.” Eric’s voice was calm, but had strong undertone to it that warned his son to leave it at that. Grinding his teeth Leuf stood defiant and stared at his father. “I built it, I command it. It us my ship, if you do not like it, jump off and swim back to the order.” that was salt in an open wound, Eric knew but his son still sat down next to the rudder, his jaw locked tight. “Orders, captain?” Sick of being bossed around Leif hissed like a snake. First, during his childhood it was his father, mother and older brothers who told him what to do and when, then his acolyte years he was treated like an unknowing halfwit, after his training had completed the order still treated him like a hot headed lackwit. He had, had the idea to build the ship, to fibd women for the villages, so more girls would be born henceforth, and maybe to find the bane. His idea! Yet, hus father assumed control over his mission. Just as he had when he decided to send Leif to the order. “Maneuver to shore, we can land here, she is built for landing in the wild.” Eric lowered tge blades if the oars back into the water, with a gesture he bud Fathala to aid him in rowing. To see his father court the Naga was an additional insult, it grieved him to know that his mother hadn’t been dead so long and yet Eric chased the first female he had encountered. “Aye!” he hissed between his clenched teeth. “Pray forgive my son, my lady.” he mumbled low enough for Leif not to hear. “He is young, and his temper us as bad as mine in his age.” Still shaking Fathala gave a court nod. “You were surely not as angry as him.” she whispered, her lisp only showed when whispering. Why am I this shaky? I could’ve bested him, despite his training, arms and armor, she thought while stroking the oar in rhythm with Eric, slowly, carefully. Edging towards the shore.A rumble went through the small vessel, Leif’s stern expression, with the clenched jaw and anger in his eyes did not twitch. “Leif! Come.” Eric still sounded distantly cold when addressing his eunuch son. The two men went to the prow of the ship, jumped over board. Fathala heard the splash, they pulled it up the stony shore with a tow. Quickly Fathala had left the ship, landing gracefully behind them, reaching for the tow as well, but hesitated. “Stand back, please.” she stood upright. As the two men stood back from the ship she bowed her head and spread open her arms and wings, gesturing with her hands, slowly, but noticeable, the ship yanked forward, slid weightless over the stones way above the tide line, there she rested it against a dead tree that had washed ashore. “I wouldn’t have damaged your ship, even if she hadn’t been build to withstand a rough landing.” addressing Leif her voice was accusing.

Earth day…

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Happy STFU day, Facebook!

Okay, maybe that was harsh, but completely justified. Let me elaborate on that.

First, for each and every dump the calendar has to offer, you come to me about it. Soooo STFU.

Secondly, fuck the earth!
The earth, as a planet, as an ecosystem, is doing perfectly fine. It has done so for aeons, and will for aeons more until the sun expands.
We, us humans, might face some difficulties though. The ecosystem is changing, partly (most of it actually) due to our own activities in it. That change is happening more and more rapidly.
That change threatens OUR survival.

Let’s face it people, let’s face it Facebook.
It’s NOT earth we are worried about, it’s us. Fuck those birds, bees, whales and crabs. We are in danger, we will become endangered.
So let’s collectively drop the pretentious bullshit here, and stop calling it “Earth Day”, because if it were possible (and easy enough) to just pack our shit and move to Mars – we’d do it.
Let’s call it what it really is “Comfortzone, and Human-species preservance day”.

Now, bugger off, and remember, that there is only change, whether it is perceived as positive or negative, doesn’t matter, there is no adjective to change, just change itself,  and things are changing.

Take care,
A.

Life ain’t that hard, love.

Since I’ve been reading in the newspaper recently about a new “edgy” dating show on TV, where the single individual and the applicants to win her heart, are all blindfolded and kiss, so she can, in the end, select one of the kissers based on his “oral”skills, despite never having seen one of them nor knowing anything about their personality, I have decided to break out the old advice column.

Look people, finding love isn’t that hard, to find someone to date, follow these simple instructions:

♥”To know where you’re going, you must know where you come from.”, meaning: define your own fucking interests! Write that shit down if you have to. (For example: “I like wading through manure naked, bathing in swine intestines and reading racist manifestos of psychotoc mass murderers.”)
♥Your standards are not everything. If you are single for a considerably long time (5+ years, I’d say; a year and a half is a hiatus, not a drama) and you desperately want to change it, but can’t seem to find the right one, maybe the problem isn’t “them”, but you and your standards. Tweak them. (For example, if you are looking for a super nerdy Taylor Swift lookalike that is into fat older guys whose most romantic activity is taking long walks on the beach in warcraft, and could name every character ever in Star Trek, Star Wars and Dr.Who – give up.)
♥Now that you have your interests and tweaked standards ready, go out. Meet people (of your preferred gender) and talk to them. During online dating just make sure that you’re chatting with whom you think you are. (Video chats are a thing.)
♥Do not fuck right away! Sure before you eventually invest a ton of time in the other person, or even consider marriage, you want to know whether they are any good in bed. On the second or third date. For the first one the following applies: You can kiss, but no fucking.
That’s desperate, or cheap. Which brings me to…
♥”I’m running this monkey farm now Frankenstein, and I want to know what the fuck you’re doing with my time?!” Meaning, don’t waste everybody’s time. You need someone who has brains. Let’s be honest, the purchase and maintenance of a blowup(fuck)doll is cheaper in the long run, than supporting a bimbo (of any gender) that looks good, but is dumber than dog shit floating on piss, who is good for one thing, and one thing alone – intercourse.
♥Times goes by. Do not rush things. If you get pregnant right away, or married after a month or two of you two meeting – shit might hit the fan! Take your time!
♥Pink glasses – it may irritate you if a jaded old frak like me says this, but of you don’t have the pink glasses feeling, you ain’t in love. Additionally, once the pink glasses feeling fades away, and the shininess of the relationship has been replaced by the same old routine, and you still couldn’t live without the other person – congratulations! That, is love.

There. Fixed that problem before it could fester and give you an inflammation of the heart. One last thing: a healthy, stable relationship needs trust, effort and work. You’ll need to compromise on many things, and share both laughter and tears.

Addendum:
Now I know that none of these “dating shows” are real. They’re highly scripted mini series depicting people with various damages to their psyche. But the idea(l)s and themes they transplant into people’s heads are real, and the consequences are. 
Stop watching any of this gobshite.

Take care, A.

Rings of Fate S1xE3 – Explorer – Mined (pt.3)

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Still sitting in front of the relay station, staring at the display, Maria had activated the cameras in the mining drones. Mostly to look around so she would see any more bodies, or signs of survivors. After two thousand years, give or take a little, the chances for that were pretty slim, but she hoped that they had made it.

“In a few hours the shipment of silicates and rare earths should arrive.” Sighing in boredom Wesley sat down on the ground next to her. Anna joined him, tired after hours upon hours of working inside the heavy clothes. It wasn’t a full spacesuit, but close.

“I need to take a dump.” She announced as if they had lived in that cavern for a month and were used to one another saying these things. “Go ahead, the suit is equipped to handle that.” Sounding just as glum as he felt Wesley buried his face in his hands.

“I can’t.” She stammered. “I just can’t do that.”

Annoyance in his eyes Wesley looked to her. “Fine.” He grunted. The two got up and retreated from Maria’s presence.

 

After two hours they returned. They found that Maria hadn’t changed position all the time. Carefully Anna approached her fellow geologist. “You all right?”

“Had to think of my kids on the Explorer. What if we end up like that guard?” In her eyes utter panic. Getting no reply from the irish woman Maria started to sob.

“Results should be up an a few minutes. I’m pretty sure that we’re clear.” Anna finally found her words. With a hopeful glance she turned back to the relay station.

With some surprise she noticed that the analysis had completed as they spoke. “He had cancer.” She stated dryly, “Or she. Otherwise the alien was healthy as a horse.” Feeling relieved she suddenly realised how much she too had dreaded a possible contamination.

“Great!” Maria sprang so sudden to life that neither Anna nor Wesley were able to stop her. Neglecting her helmet, Maria ran to the exit. The airlock door fell in aplace just as the two reached it, a moment later Maria rushed outside.

“How long can she survive these temperatures?”

“A few breaths.” Still sounding dry Anna couldn’t help but stare at the door with a blank expression.

 

Beeping the pod’s airlock closed behind Wesley and Anna. In his arms he carried Maria, they hoped that she was merely unconscious. As the airlock in the mine had allowed them to leave, Wesley had woken Anna from her shock with a slap, then they followed Maria with her helmet in hand, in the hopes not to be too late.

“She has kids. I didn’t know she had kids.” Communicating over the wireless allowed Wesley to think through any reply to Anna. He didn’t finish with that as they arrived in the pod.

Once the thin icy air in the airlock had been replaced by warm thick air from the ship, they removed their helmets, and Maria’s.

A pale almost blue face greeted them, her lips were dark violet. “Is she,” Anna didn’t finish her question, already tears were welding up in her eyes.

Clumsily Wesley freed his hand from the glove. “She’s ice cold, but breathing!” Inner doors of the airlock made a pneumatic hiss as the opened. “Medic! Lindstroem, Mustafa, get your asses in here!” Especially trained for cold related injuries and emergencies for this mission, the two rushed into the airlock.

A moment later they carried Maria away.

“What happened sir?” D’aggio saluted him lazily, months ago the strictness in the military part of the Explorer’s crew had been loosened.

“She panicked, although we’re clean. The dead alien guard frightened her.” Finally peeling himself out of the suit, with D’Aggio’s assistance, he sighed in relief. “Afraid that she might end up like him, half skeleton, half ice mummy, she heard that there were no pathogens, and ran.”

D’Aggio nodded, he had heard of such things happening. And worse things. “The delivery system is close to completion.” Over the air he didn’t want to report that, as it might have brought the frenchman to thinking they could scavenge through the archives of the newspapers more. “I’m starting inspections tomorrow, or the day after if anything else arises.”

“Fine, I,” Wesley paused, he turned around. Anna stood still in the airlock, crying silently. With a nod he dismissed the private. Slowly he strode back to her.

“Jenkins? Anna?” Not even a flinch.

Calm handed he opened the clasps and strips of her suit. Peeled her shoulders and arms free. “Now,” he cleared his throat, “I’m just wearing this ridiculous hempen underwear for the suit, and sadly you can see more than just my beer belly right now.” He tried smiling at her, still she didn’t flinch. “I’m not making a move on you, nor should you feel I’m somehow sexually harassing you. Just ignore that thing.” He opened more straps, clasps and the ring that sealed her boots to her trousers.

“Why?”

Surprised he looked up as he wrenched one of her feet free. “Why what?”

“Ignore it.” Her voice was thin, but still carrying the spice and fire of her irish accent he loved so much.

“Because,” he started working on the other foot, “even if you don’t feel harassed, and my dreams should come true of us hooking up, it wouldn’t be the right time. If this wouldn’t have happened, maybe. But you are in emotional turmoil right now.” Why did I say that? If she’s interested I’m still going to say no? Am I retarded?

“Thanks.” Anna sighed, more tears welded up, broke free. Sinking down to the ground, to where he kneeled before her, she started sobbing uncontrollably.

“Hush.” He took her into his arms, repeating himself several times. “We’ll all get back. Garcia will see her kids again, you and I will see our respective friends again. Maybe you and I will go on a date or two, until you realize what horrible decision that was, and we’ll go our separate ways.” Between sobs he distinctly heard a chuckle, making himself smile a little.

“So, come on now. For all that to happen we need to get going, and to get going we need sleep.”

 

Sleep had not come easy.

Not the night after their return, not the nights there after.

It seemed to Wesley that sleep eluded them even more after more words had been translated. The newspapers revealed that indeed the Ericssons had a run in with a netron star. Had the star passed their solar system half a year earlier or later the planet would’ve been destroyed, just as it would happen to earth.

Instead the star passed by, and through its immense gravitational pull it flung Ericsson out of orbit, out of its home system.

Wesley stared outside the door, he wore again the pseudo spacesuit, a long shift at the launch site for the payload delivery just had ended.

The tragedy of the Ericssons had occurred long before mankind even knew what space was. Would some species one day find the remnants of earths civilisation just to discover that earth was wiped out?

“Concentrate on the tasks at hand, Wes!” Gnarling at himself he waited for the airlock doors to close and pressurize the, small room. “Welcome back skipper.” Lindstroem awaited him. “I have grim news.” She bowed her head.

“Garcia?”

The blonde womanwoman nodded. “We had to put her in stasis. But unless a real doctor sees her, that won’t save her for long.”

At least the first batch of mined material can be sent on its way in two days. “Crap.” Unscrewing and opening straps he breathed in the air. “Are the air filters working? This stuff smells rather stale.”

Helga looked at her glasses. “Running low, but within parameters.”

Pondering for a moment Wesley enjoyed being free of the suit. “Run a diagnosis, sift through the data package that Misses Nye Charles has left for us to increase that. Just in case something goes awry, I don’t want to heat up heaps of the snow outside for air.” Seeing her confused expression he quickly explained to her that the stuff outside was not snow kike they knew it, but condensed air, at least that’s what he had learned before their departure.

 

Anna stayed close to the computers, didn’t go on any of the EVAs since the initial one, so it was not hard for Wesley to find her there. Xiaofeng spent the day at the processing and relay station at the mine, analysing the rare-earths brought in by a duo of drones.

Since the initial EVA Anna had hardly done anything other than work. Watching her analyse samples remotely Wesley leaned in the door. “Got dinner plans?” Somehow his courage had increased. For four days in a row he had asked her to dinner. A fifth now.

For a fifth time she declined, with a few words only.

“Maria is in suspended animation.” He checked his glasses. “I was thinking about sending her ahead in one of the payload transports.”

Like struck by lightning Anna turned around. “Why? Is there something wrong with the ship?” Clearly she was close to panic. “Nothing. Just want to make sure she gets to the Explorer in time for treatment by real doctors.”

The panic in Anna’s eyes did not vanish. In a calm way Wesley strode over to her, embracing her. “We will make it too. I’m certain of it.” He said in a tone as to lull her to sleep.

He received no reply. Worried he glanced down to her face, only to find her asleep. Worked through the night again, haven’t you? Gently he managed to pick her up and carried her to her bed.

As he shuffled away from her bunk, trying not to make a sound that could wake her, his glasses started alerting him to a desperate call from Xiaofeng. Slowly the door closed. “Yes?”

“We might have a problem.” A greeting like that usually meant that there was definitely a problem. Wesley rolled his eyes.

“What knind of problem?” He was well down the corridor, out of hearing range for Anna. “The condensed air snow, it might react violently with the propulsion of our payload delivery.”, an uncomfortable pause followed those words. “And our propulsion.” There we have it, problems. “As some sort of catalyst?” An agreeing noise from Xiaofeng’s end of the line confirmed his suspicion.

On descent the engines of their pod had not used as much power as they’d use for lift off, so they would have to clear off the launch sites.

 

War Journal – 1 Swift Wings (ep9)

Only a silent spectator from behind someone else’s eyes. A group of tall men and women carried a crate out of the pyramid, the set it down at the base of the pyramid and opened it, sitting in the crate he found a crystal sphere, a root of glass sat on top of it like a single antler, it seemed to drink up any ray of light that fell upon it, around sphere and antler root was honey, strangely alive with motion it rippled and moved. “The bane!” the crowd cheered on as they were presented with it. Studying the old Albin Leif sat with his eyes wide open, he had barely moved since Danarien had taken his hands. “You were there some ten thousand years ago.” he finally stated, receiving a short nod, barely noticeable, as a reply. “Just how old are you?” he tried to shake off the effects of both Nectar and the memory shared by Danarien. “It is impolite to ask.” Danarien faked a smile, with a digh she took hold of a cup containing an herbal tea. “But if you must know, I was there. I had been there when that Succubi wandered into the camp and together with five others I had formed a pact. The group of the Succubus. We had forged these,” she showed him her pendant, “in her shape. Only the millennia have taken its features off.” shifting uncomfortably in her seat she went on “Ironic, isn’t it? Anyhow, after your ancestors had defeated the Sphinxes we separated, and lay in waiting. I have seen my people grow, shrink, grow again, and turn to their present state.” again she sipped on her tea. “What happened to the others from your group?” Leif asked after she didn’t continue for a few moments.”What happens to all, what should have happened to me too, they died. Don’t ask me why I still live, how I could live for close to ten thousand years.” in her blind eyes Leif saw that she knew, that she was boldly lying to his face, but he bit his tongue. “All I know, I will fight once again. This time I won’t wait until they come to me, I will face them at the only gateway they can pass in masses.” she hinted at both their size and their numbers. Ponderous Leif nodded, the sudden giggling of Fathala steered his thoughts away from the bane and the Dragons it was made to slay. “It’s kind of you to present these changes to our craftsmen,” he heard her trabslate the words of a man. “but grabt us one more attempt, we have scouted good weather more an dmore around the pole.””At least transfer the weight down to the lowest possible point and bulk ship compartments.” she relayed the information spoken. “So when will we be leaving?” she asked Eric directly after the captain had thanked Eric for the suggestions, in the background commands were barked, by Danariens expression Leif could tell that his father’s suggestions were carried out.”Cone nightfall.” Eric’s voice sounded strange to Leif’s ears. Strangely flirtatious, he had heard Thorsten speak like that when courting his wife. Puzzled he got up, the Naga was leaning against his father, who had his arms wrapped around her waist, she in turn had hers laid around his shoulders, her wings engulfed most of the tall lean man. “Father?” startled Eric turned his head to Leif. “Yes?” “I’ve seen the bane!” he whispered. What are you doing with this wench? Mother hasn’t been dead for long and you grope a serpentine sea wench? His eyes did not let on to all his thoughts, but some. “Maybe we should travel there and put it to use with the knowledge you gathered?” Eric replied, If only you knew, he thought.”Back to Naga’na then?” Fathala had not noticed the looks Eric and Leif had exchanged. “For us it’s not going back, but yes. To your Naga’na.” he smiled, pulling her closer, ignoring Leif’s looks.Gently rocking on the waves as Eric and Leif rowed, the boat moved slowly through the sea, shortly after they parted ways with the Albin ship, the Guiding Star, a calmness had settled on the sea, depriving them of any winds that could fill the sail and push the ship onward. Thankfully the ancestral designs had included oars, from time to time Eric glanced eastward, to find only the horizon, without any clouds, sails, or signs of life other than their own. Weather conditions around the pole might have been just perfect for the Guiding Star to reach its destination. If it has oars to move onward. Eric turned his gaze to the bow. Faint, but definitely not an illusion, land crusted the horizon, like a faint crust of ice. “Winter will be coming soon.” Fathala sniffed the air. “In a few weeks the passes to the north of the sweetwater sea will be snowed in, better we approach from the east.” Eric nodded, from their distant vantage point he could clearly distinguish the two landmasses and the calm sea between them. From Fathala he had learned that the calm sea was named because winds and currents did not grow too strong there, keeping the waters calm enough to freeze over in deep winter.”Besides,” she had sighed cuddled against Eric wrapped underneath a woolen blanket, “the Norsers are at war with the Galnerrans, started by a Norser lordling who killed the Galnerran queenmother. Some say it was done with Naga poison.” before she had explained that sea Naga were deadly poisonous, liquifying there victims after a boost to their libido.