Category Archives: English

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Repentance

The pain, it was unbearable. Despite his training and his experience, the hooded man couldn’t avoid an impact of a bullet, hitting him near his kidneys. The wound wasn’t fatal, but the hooded man knew if he didn’t treat it soon, his life would be in danger. But… the pain was distracting him, and the bleeding was getting worse each minute. With his left hand on the wound, trying to slow the blood, and his right hand grabbing the handle of a sword, the hooded man was walking through the woods, looking for a town that could help him in his hour of need.

Alas, the hooded man thought that his end would come soon. He was in the middle of the Forest of Flondor, completely away from civilization. And even if he could find other humans—besides the accursed bandits that infested the forest—, it wasn’t guaranteed they would help the hooded man.

While walking, the hooded man stumbled, almost falling to the floor. His vision became blurred, while the pain intensified. Lowering his head, the hooded man saw the skin of his left hand completely red, and the stain of blood in his robes bigger than before. His strength started to falter, and his breathing became heavier. Cursing, the hooded man tried to get up; instead, he fell to the ground. Damn, perhaps… perhaps he might finally die. Perhaps his time was finally up. What an end for a coward like him; dying alone in the middle of nowhere. But he deserved it; especially after he betrayed his master and his kingdom. With a dry smile on his face, the hooded man moved slowly his eyes. Trees… Trees everywhere. All he could see were trunks and green leaves. Not even a single animal was nearby. He knew it well when he ran away so many years ago: his fate was to die alone. Powerless and without anyone at his side. Indeed, that was the ending he deserved. His breathing was raspier than before, his brain wasn’t registering the sound of the wind or the birds singing… anything at all. His vision was getting darker and darker each second. Slowly, he raised his right hand… So much blood on that hand; so many innocent people he killed while he was serving his kingdom and his master. So many people lost their beloved ones thanks to him. So much misery he brought to the world. If there was really a hell after he died, the hooded man knew he would pay for all eternity after all he did to those innocent people. The hooded man’s eyes were starting to shut. Before losing the vision, he saw a silhouette getting close to him. The hooded man couldn’t figure out what that figure was, but the odds that it was an animal like a bear were high. At least his body would serve as food for the bear and its cubs.

Darkness. He was falling in the void. His eyes—if he still had—couldn’t see anything. Silence. He couldn’t hear anything at all. Who he was? The man forgot his name. What was he supposed to do? The man couldn’t remember who he worked for. Where he was? The man was completely lost in that sea of darkness and silence. He couldn’t feel anything, he couldn’t speak, he couldn’t breathe, he couldn’t… do anything at all. Did he even have a body?

Suddenly, a little flame appeared in front of the man. The flame started getting bigger and bigger, until it made the darkness disappear. The smell of charred wood started infiltrating his nostrils. Not only that, also another smell… the smell of burned flesh. And blood. The man was standing, staring the body of a woman who protected her daughter. A sword impaled her heart, killing the woman instantly. Her green eyes were full of dread and pain, but also determination. Meanwhile, the young child was trembling after seeing her own mother die in front of her.

He grabbed grabbed the shoulder of her mother, throwing aside her lifeless body. In front of the little girl appeared a big man, clad with golden armor; the clothes used by the Seven, the elite guards of the king. Without a second thought, the knight raised his sword and impaled the little girl too.

An old man was dumbfounded when he saw his granddaughter dying in front of him and his daughter’s body on the floor. As soon as the life left the eyes of his granddaughter, the knight took out the sword from her body and turned to face the old man. The old man implored mercy to the knight, but his words fell on deaf ears. And just like the other members of his family, the old man died instantly when the knight impaled him with his sword.

When the body of the old man dropped on the floor, the knight raised his right hand; the glove was painted red with the blood of innocent people. People, whose only crime was to be family of the rebels who tried to overthrow the king. They weren’t part of the coup, they didn’t participate in the riots a few days ago. Slowly, the knight’s eyes moved to his blade; its tip was also painted in red, dry and fresh blood. The knight suddenly dropped the sword and fell to his knees. The knight raised his trembling hands, looking at them with disbelief and terror. He became a knight to help people, protect the weak, battle injustice. Instead, he was slaughtering innocent people in the name of his king. The knight put his hands on his helmet and started screaming through his lungs. And his screams echoed throughout the forest, startling the person who was taking care of him.

The former knight woke up panting; his body drenched in sweat. He suddenly felt a great pain near his abdomen. Lowering his sight, he saw that someone took off his robes and opened his shirt to cure the wound. There were bandages there now, and a dark red spot where his wound was located. His body was laid out on a white sheet, covering him from the dirt and the moss.

“So, you woke up,” a female voice said. The knight saw on his left a woman who was tending at that moment a campfire. Since she was turning her back on him, the knight couldn’t see her face or her body; the darkness also helped cover her entire body. Yet, somehow, her voice seemed familiar. “Nightmares?” the knight didn’t answer the question. The first thing he did was look for his gun or sword, but he didn’t find them. Most likely the woman took them away from him. “A few minutes later and I would be burying your corpse by now.” Suddenly, he realized he was missing another item from his body.

“Where is my collar?” demanded the knight harshly. The woman didn’t reply, angering the knight. “Who are you?”

“Me?” the woman finally talked. “I’m just like you, a lone wanderer,” he didn’t believe her. “Are you hungry? What am I saying, you probably are.”

“Give me back my collar.”

“In due time. Now, let’s eat!”

The knight, with some difficulty, sat on the sheet. Now that the woman said those words, he finally realized how weak he felt and how his stomach was growling. He needed energy.

Without saying a word, the woman turned to finally face the man: she was holding a plate with some yellow liquid. “Soup. It will help you.”

The knight studied her face carefully. Her brown eyes showed ingenuity and kindness, something the he hasn’t seen in a long time. Her skin was smooth but with some wounds near her cheeks and a small scar near her upper lips. Her hair was black and messy and quite long, something that he didn’t realize until now. Unlike the knight, she was wearing a brown cape instead of robes, a white linen shirt, brown pants and brown leather boots. The knight couldn’t see any weapon or sheath or gun holster in her body. At first sight anyone would believe this woman was harmless, but the knight’s instincts told him that look was deceiving; she was hiding something. And she was probably dangerous. First, not anyone could wander through the Forest of Flondor without proper training in weapons, it was too dangerous. Not only bandits were lurking in the shadows, waiting the right moment to attack, but also dangerous animals too, hoping to catch their prey when they were unaware of their surroundings.

“Don’t worry, I didn’t poison the food,” with a smile on her face, the woman said that to the knight. Despite that, the man didn’t believe her. He took the plate with one hand and a spoon with the other, but he didn’t bring neither the liquid or the chicken’s leg to his mouth. Frowning, the woman moved her head with disbelief. A few seconds later, she also had a plate and a spoon in her hands. “See, it is safe,” said the woman after drinking some of the liquid. Again, the knight didn’t start eating. “Are your hands wounded too? I can feed you the soup.”

“It’s not necessary,” growled the knight. With apprehension, he lowered the spoon on the yellow liquid. With some difficulty, he raised the spoon with liquid on the bowl and introduced it on his mouth. After swallowing the content, the knight said hoarsely what he had in his mind. “Tasteless.”

The woman laughed. “Aye, you are right. I’m not the best cook. But at least it is nutritive,” she was right in that regard.

In complete silence, both ate the content of their plates. While they were eating, the knight noticed his collar was hanging around the woman’s neck. This angered him greatly. But, since he was weak and didn’t know what the woman was capable of, he didn’t say anything. When he finished, the knight felt his body a little stronger. His stomach stopped growling too. The pain also diminished greatly.

“So, what happened to you?” asked the woman after taking the plate from the knight. Complete silence. If she healed him, she must have an idea of what happened. No need to tell her more details. Now that he thought of that, was the bullet removed? He lowered his head to see the bandages. Completely doubtful; he would need a surgery for remove the bullet from his body. Thinking of it made the color disappear from the knight’s face. “Bandits?” he silently nodded with his head. That, at least, was enough. Sadly, the woman wanted more information. “Strange that someone is wandering this forest alone. It is dangerous,” the knight’s eyes were fixed on the collar with the shape of a rose, something the woman noticed. A grin appeared on her lips. “I’m surprised you are so fixated in this. Why?

“None of your business. Give my collar back. Now!” he was ready to use force if needed.

The woman, sensing danger perhaps, did what he wanted. When the knight got his trinket back, he immediately put it around his neck. The woman frowned but didn’t say anything. Now calmer, he looked at the woman’s face again. He didn’t understand why but that woman seemed familiar. So familiar. But it was impossible, he saw her die. He saw his companion and fellow knight die by the hands of the rebels when they took the kingdom. It was impossible unless… unless… The knight lowered his head again to see the bandages. Thanks to his ancient bloodline, he was healing faster than any normal human. That knight was also a member of the muneidin, so she could have escaped, and if properly tended, survived. Biting his lips, he stared the woman again.

“What?” the woman seemed startled. “Something on my face?” she moved her right hand to one of her cheeks.

“I don’t believe our meeting was coincidence,” the woman’s face changed instantly. Her innocent eyes disappeared, showing now cunning. The same look she had in her eyes when they were younger. This confirmed his suspicions. “How did you survive?”

“No need to answer that to a craven,” replied the woman harshly. Her sweet demeanor changed completely too. Now she was looking coldly at the disgraced knight. “Instead of staying with us to defeat the rebels, you ran away. Not only abandoned your king and your fellow knights, you also abandoned the princess and your master.”

The knight turned away his face. Yes, what he did was a complete disgrace. He betrayed everyone and fled from the city. It was thanks to him that the king was executed, and the princess was in exile right now, running from the usurper. Last he heard, she was hiding in the Diamond Archipelago. But she wasn’t the only one on the run, the disgraced knight was on the run too. The usurper put a price for the head for any muniedin captured or killed. Those years in exile have been some of the worst for the disgraced knight.

“So… Are you going to execute me?” asked the disgraced knight with a wicked smile in his face.

The woman frowned her face while looking at the disgraced knight with disgust. “Believe me, if it were for me I would do that. But our clan is near the point of extinction in these lands thanks to the usurper. It would be foolish of me to kill you.”

“What do you want then?” demanded the disgraced knight. The tone of his voice increased, although he didn’t care. The odds there were other people listening were quite low.

The woman didn’t reply immediately. Just like him, she studied him intently. Her eyes were moving slowly while checking first his face and then going to his body. As her eyes lowered, her face showed more disgust.

“No one would believe you were part of the Seven in the past,” the disgraced knight didn’t say anything. “Your body has lost its shape. No surprise the bandits managed to ambush you… Or you didn’t feel my presence.”

“You were there?” the knight opened his green eyes in surprise.

“Yes. The king would be ashamed of you if he could see you. No bandit should be able to harm a member of the Seven,” again, no reply from the knight. Which, for some reason, made the woman angry. Standing up, she crossed her arms and looked at the disgraced knight with utter disdain. “What have you been doing all these years?” the knight bit his lips. He won’t answer her question. She didn’t have a reason to know what has happened with his life after he defected and abandoned his allies. “Answer me!”

“Be quiet!” yelled the disgraced knight. His green eyes not only showed hate, but also pain and remorse. Memories started to resurface, memories he tried to suppress after what happened in that village. His right hand automatically grabbed the collar “You haven’t changed a bit. You always loved to critic other people and judge them without knowing them. You don’t have a single shed of empathy inside you. Why should I tell you what happened to me in all these years? The only gesture I’ll get from you is scorn and insults.

“On top of being a craven, you are a crybaby now,” the woman moved her head, completely exasperated. “You have disappointed me. The princess won’t be pleased,” just when the knight was going to open his mouth to talk, both heard some sounds. Horse’s hooves. They were getting close. The land was slightly trembling by each step the horses took. Suddenly, a feeling of dread started overtaking the disgraced knight’s body. With horror, he looked at his old companion.

“Don’t tell me…”

The color disappeared from the face of the man as soon as the horses with their riders appeared. Leading them was a woman the disgraced knight hoped to never see again. Despite almost twenty years have passed, she looked the same. And behind her, there was a man with a beard and long hair tied in a ponytail.

“Pri…Pri…Prince…” the name never managed to get out from his mouth.

“You are quite an elusive man, Sir Kail,” said Princess Silvy coldly. Her blue, icy eyes, as cold as the worst and harsher winters Kail has experienced, were looking at him with great disdain. She turned to see the woman. “How did you manage to find him, Dame Aria?”

“He has grown weak, Your Highness,” replied Aria while kneeling. “He was wounded by bandits. Had I not been nearby, the animals would have had a feast tonight and the accursed bandits would have his possessions.”

“Really?” Princess Silvy dismounted from her horse and walked until she got near Sir Kail. She observed him with her arms crossed. The hands of the knight were sweaty, and his heart was throbbing fast. Despite he didn’t feel any murdering feeling from them, Kail knew very well that their presence there wasn’t a good sign.

“Yes,” continued Aria. “But he is still useful. He is still in his prime. He still has some use for us.”

The eyes of the knight lingered on the bearded man who was still mounting his horse. Unlike the princess, Master Anathar only showed disappointment, resentment and sadness in his eyes. Kail wanted to ask for forgiveness, but he knew well that nothing would bring back Master Anathar’s mother. If he only had stayed at his post that day instead of running away…

“Tell me Sir Kail, are you interested in regaining your honor?” asked Princess Silvy.

Kail looked at the princess with a frown in his eyes. “My honor?”

Princess Silvy nodded with her head. “I’m willing to pardon your cowardice and betrayal if you help us retake Braidon. Certainly, we need more men and women with your prowess and skills with a sword.”

The mere idea of retaking Braidon sounded crazy to the disgraced knight. Something that the usurper made sure was to kill or imprison almost all the forces loyal to King Carmelo. Despite the princess managed to escape with Master Anathar and some of her allies, she didn’t have the strength nor allies to attack the country, even less take control of the capital and kill the usurper. That was impossible. Utter madness. Perhaps all those years in exile affected the mind of the princess.

“I see you don’t believe me, Sir Kail,” said Princess Silvy with a bitter smile on her lips. “That’s the problem of running away and hiding: you don’t know what is happening in the world. Don’t worry, you will soon catch up… If you help me retake my kingdom.”

Sir Kail looked at Aria and then at Master Anathar. The former nodded slightly with her head while Master Anathar ignored his former retainer. Then, he looked at his right hand, the hand that has wielded a sword and caused so much misery and despair. He once swore that he would disappear and avoid killing people, especially innocent ones. He tried his best to have a proper life, working in a village and helping the townsfolk. Alas, despite his best intentions, death always followed him. Death was an invisible companion that was stalking Sir Kail at day and night. Regardless of where he tried to settle down, Death was always at his side, guiding his right hand to a sword and forcing it to impale or slash people. And if he refused, Death made him pay by taking away the people he cared the most. With his left hand, Sir Kail grabbed again the collar with the shape of a rose. It was because of him that Clara and his unborn child died. He had nothing else in the world. He had nothing to lose anyways. Perhaps…perhaps killing was the only purpose he had in his life.

“You win, Your Highness,” Kail accepted Princess Silvy proposal. “I’ll help you retake Braidon from the usurper” and with some luck, die in the process.

“You made an excellent choice today, Sir Kail,” Princess Silvy eye’s glowed with satisfaction when she heard the answer. With a gesture, she motioned Dame Aria to help Kail. “I would order you to bend your knee, but since you are wounded… You are so feeble, Sir Kail. Don’t worry about that, we will make sure you get back in shape before we attack Braidon.”

A few minutes later, Kail was mounted on Aria’s horse, holding the female knight. While most of his wounds were completely healed, he was still lacking the strength to ride a horse by himself.

After making sure Kail was ready, Princess Silvy gave the order to move. The knight turned his head to see the place he was found. To think that he would return to his old life as a knight… A killer. Having said that, perhaps it was for the best. If what he heard is true, the people in Braidon were suffering; the usurper was a terrible leader and was leading the kingdom to ruin. He had to do something.

“I hope you are ready.” muttered the dame while they were moving. “You will notice soon Princess Silvy has changed.”

“I already have,” replied the knight with a dark voice.

Written by J.L. Sarlat

© All Rights Reserved 2019


One of the reasons I started writing was because of World of Warcraft. You see, I loved the story of Warcraft 3. Arthas and his transformation into a Death Knight, his rise to become a Lich King, Kael’Thas and the tragedy that befell to the Blood Elves… World of Warcraft disappointed me, though. Even from The Burning Crusade (I still love the expansion, though. Best experience I have ever had in a MMORPG) the story left me with a sour taste in my mouth. Like what happened to Kael, for example. It angered me because he was my favorite character in Wacraft 3. And after being fed up, I decided to write a fantasy world.

Since I was quite young back then and my experience as a writer was terrible, it was a hot mess. I wrote three books of that stuff, plus some side materials, and whenever I try to read it, I’m like this:

9jUP

It is awful. It is like a bad mix of Lord of the Rings with Bleach, Warcraft and many other stories. Plus the writing is quite juvenile and doesn’t make sense at all.

But certain aspects of it can be salvaged, and that’s what I intend to do. Over time, I hope to continue writing more about this fantasy world and expand it. Right now I have a clear idea of what I intend to do, and that’s awesome.

Hope you liked it. Next post I will go back to Astral Wave, hopefully.

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Rant: Your Lie in April

I am honest: it baffles me people recommend this, and it is considered one of the best anime of these last years. I won’t deny the anime animation is beautiful and the music is also gorgeous, but there are some serious problems that harm the entire series. And these problems are in the characters, since besides music being one of its more important points, the characters are also one of the focus. And its presentation.

Spoilers ahead. I’m going to talk about the entire anime, including the final episodes. You have been warned.

ArimaOpening

Your Lie in April shows us that our main character, Kousei Arima, used to be a famous piano player. A child prodigy. After his mother died, he stopped playing and started isolating himself. He has some friends, but he is still isolated. One day, he meets a girl called Kaori Miyazono, who also plays music using a violin. Kaori then decides to convince Kousei to return to play piano, and here is where the problems come. You see, Kousei not only was traumatized by his mother’s death, but he was also abused by her. The poor kid was abused, both physically and verbally, to the point that Kousei told her, in front of the entire public, that he wished her to die. And he got his wish, causing an even more serious mental damage to him. And like almost all anime protagonists, he lives alone because his father, while still alive, is aboard most of the times.

The trauma of her mother death and abuse left Kousei with a problem that he couldn’t play piano. Well, he could play it, but he couldn’t listen the sound of the piano, meaning he lost his gift to play it with a beautiful sound. And here comes Kaori. Kaori was present in one of Kousei concerts when they were both kids, and at that instant she started admiring him. And fell in love with him. It was because of Kousei that Kaori wanted to become a musician. That’s why she wanted to bring Kousei back to the music world, especially since her time was running short because she was dying. And that’s ok; she didn’t have an idea of his circumstances as to why he stopped playing music and knew that he had a gift not everyone has. She must have been depressed when her inspiration couldn’t play the piano anymore. The problem was the execution.

I won’t deny they were both teenagers, so Kaori didn’t know well how to handle the issue. And Kousei’s friends too. He has traumas, he is depressed and has low self-esteem. Sadly, the problem was that both, Kaori and Kousei childhood friend, Tsubaki, basically started bullying him to force him get back into music. And not only once, but many times, like stalking him, putting music sheets in his house to force him play again, attacking him… Worst is, the anime tries to portray this as funny, which isn’t. And this comes the other big problem of Your Lie into April: slapstick comedy. If a series that deals with serious problems as depression, you can’t be doing that. Especially to the character that has those issues. Kousei was almost always the target of the slapstick comedy, either by Tsubaki or Kaori attacking him physically. You can’t have a serious moment in which a character is in deep thoughts and then being attacked because one of the characters got pissed off for some stupid reason.

ArimaBullied

The second problem is the mother of Kousei. It is shown at first that she was quite abusive and mistreated her son constantly because she wanted him to become a famous musician. Like Kaori, she was also sick and was dying, that’s why she was so desperate to have Kousei learn how to play piano. Fine, we have an abusive mother. But then it is shown she did all that because she cared for him and was afraid of what might become of her son after she died. Again, I won’t deny that being afraid makes us do terrible stuff, but mistreating her own son? He still had his father. Why didn’t anyone report her to the authorities? That said, being Japan, I understand they usually don’t meddle in other people’s private lives. What angers me the most is that the anime tries to portray it that, despite all the abuse she did to Kousei, she had the best intentions to him, and that’s why we Kousei (and by extension, the audience) must forgive her. I disagree. She may have had the best intentions, but that doesn’t excuse what she did to her son. It was awful and left a terrible mark on her son that haunted him for years. That shouldn’t be accepted at all.

Screenshot 2019-06-09 10.56.40

There are other problems, like how the characters aren’t developed well, except for Kousei. I mean, Tsubaki and Kaori are shown as the violent tsundere (why they must be violent? I don’t mind tsundere but they don’t need to harm their love interest either verbally or by using physical force); meanwhile, both girls are in love with him. Yet Kousei is only interested in Kaori, but he believes she is in love with his other male friend, Watari. Oh, why didn’t I mention him before? Because he hardly mattered in the overall plot. Remove him and you won’t even notice it. Neither of the other three main characters get any meaningful development at all. Tsubaki continues being a violent tsundere and Kaori tries to fight against her illness, but her body ultimately can’t against it and she passes away.

There are other characters, like two music rivals Kousei has—and they were better friends to Kousei than his real friends—, a music teacher and a little girl that admires Kousei too and plays a piano too. In fact, Kousei starts teaching her and they both have a duet. That’s all I can think of. And they only play some role in their respective arcs and then their presence diminishes or disappears.

Not everything has to be so negative though: the visuals are beautiful and the music is a joy to listen. In fact, it was thanks to this anime and Devil on the G-String that I started listening to classical music. It is interesting when watching a show, movie or playing videogames, who rely too heavily on a musical genre, can make you like it. Kids on the Slope and Whiplash, for example, made me appreciate Jazz. But I digress. Another good point are the opening and endings. The first opening, Hikaru Nara by Goose House, is gorgeous in almost every regard.

EmiOpening

 

Overall, my biggest grip with this anime is how weak is the main cast and how it deals with a character that has traumas. Personally, I could only empathize with Kouhei and his two rivals, Emi and Takeshi. And Nagi, the little girl that Kousei taught her how to play piano, a little. When Kaori died, I didn’t feel anything at all. Tsubaki, I wanted her to disappear since she was annoying. It is kind of amusing that the supporting cast was more interesting than the main cast, except with the main character. It can’t also decide if it wants to be serious anime or another cheap slapstick comedy.

If you want an anime that deals with these issues better, with a much more memorable cast and more sympathetic characters, then I recommend March Comes in like a Lion. Coincidentally, it is in Netflix since June 2019. I may write about it in the future, since this is an anime I would recommend to anyone.

ReiHina

Kirian IX – Part I

It all happened a few hours ago, while they were awaiting Admiral Nathan’s instructions. Sadie was in her office, writing a report while having her usual cup of coffee. After taking a long pause while deciding which words she would use, the bell of her door sounded.

“Come” said the captain. When the door opened, her first officer entered her room: “Ah Bast, good morning!  What can I do you?”

“You woke in a good mood today Sadie,” said the commander.

“What can I say? Mauro just told me he got hired,” said the Sadie while beaming. “Please, sit.”

“Really? Where?” asked Bast after she sat.

“A company called… if memory serves me well… Rian Enterprises.”

“Oh, I have heard of them!” the First Officer opened her eyes. “Your boyfriend is really smart. They hire a handful of people each year.”

“He spends too much time in front of a computer, typing on a keyboard code,” instead of sounding happy, Sadie’s voice had some sadness in it. But she had to think positive; it was thanks to his love of computers that her boyfriend got a job he wanted. “But let’s change the topic. How can I help you?” said the captain after sitting in a sofa and crossing her legs.

Bast’s expression changed immediately, upsetting Sadie a little. “Admiral Nathans recently contacted us.”

Just like her friend, the smile on Sadie’s face disappeared in an instant. Almost immediately, her green eyes showed the great disdain she felt towards her boss.

“Strange that he didn’t contact me directly” grunted the captain.

“He just sent our next orders. The admiral said we must head to Kirian IX. Allegedly, a Linox was found on the surface and killed some guards. What is surprising is that the Linox surrendered and turned itself in to the authorities,” Sadie raised her eyebrows. “Thankfully, we have some officers stationed on the colony, else… they might have killed the machine. The correct term should be destroyed. Anyways, we must investigate what happened, and try to return the Linox to its region.”

Sadie blinked when she heard those words. There was something amiss “I wonder why is there a Linox in Urlania.”

Bast simply shrugged. “Beats me. But we must investigate this. And avoid something we could all regret in the future.”

“All right. Commander Cortez,” Sadie used the Hololog to call her second officer. Soon, the man’s face appeared on the holographic screen, “plot a course to Kirian IX.”

“Aye, ma’am.”

Sadie placed her right hand on her left shoulder and started rubbing it.

“Something wrong?” asked Bast after seeing the pained expression.

“Didn’t sleep well,” grunted Sadie a few seconds later. “It will be gone after a while.”

“If it continues, visit Doctor Lim,” Bast got up. “Good luck writing your report. I need to decide which Ensign I will promote to the bridge. Man, they are so annoying. Trying to flatter me instead of proving me with their performance why they deserve the promotion.”

“Yeah… Good luck with that,” Sadie was glad she didn’t have to do that anymore.

“Thanks for the encouragement, captain,” Bast winked and then left the room, leaving Sadie alone.

And that was the reason the Minya was going to Kirian IX. Since Bast told her captain what happened, Sadie has been investigating sightings of Linoxes in Urlania, but she hasn’t obtained the information she wanted. The few times they have appeared, it has always been in delegations to meet with the authorities of the alliance. But, situations like this were unheard of. After shutting down the holographic screen, Sadie kept staring the visor. The curiosity was killing her; she wanted to know what that Linox was plotting.

After a while, one of the elevators doors opened, letting Bast enter the bridge. She immediately went to her seat.

“Already picked one?” asked Sadie after her friend sat and opened a holographic screen.

“Almost. Only two candidates left… Perhaps I should use the holographic room to recreate an arena and force them fight to the death for the position,” if Bast expected Sadie to laugh, she was wrong. The silent stare made the first officer shiver a little. “You know ma’am, you don’t need to take everything so seriously; that was a joke.”

“Well, I’m not laughing,” added Sadie coldly. “Arenas? That’s barbaric. Only our ancestors would think of something stupid as that.”

“Come on, cut me some slack. I have been quite stressed… Hang on, you were a first officer too,” Sadie rolled her eyes. At least she remembered that. “How did you deal with them when you were the XO of the Lexington?”

“Easy. Stop pestering me, and I will take you into consideration,” replied Sadie in a soft voice. Then she scratched her head. “Those boot-lickers stopped flattening me almost immediately,” then she sighed and looked her friend. “I have always said you are too soft, Bast. You must be more tough, more assertive. Remember, they are our companions, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be strict with them. As their superiors, we must be the ones to guide them, so they become better people…”

“I know, but…. I worry if I may hurt their feelings.”

“Meh, who cares? Honesty is more important than sugarcoating your words.”

Bast laughed, although a little awkward. “Never expected that from you. In fact, I respect you more now, ma’am. Especially since you are one of the best diplomats we have in the human alliance.”

“Captain, we are arriving at our destination,” informed Ensign Jackson. Sadie nodded and then told her friend they could continue talking later. A few seconds later, the screen showed the planet they were going to land.

“We are being hailed by President Nuvia,” said Lieutenant Patel.

“Oh! Never expected that. Open the communication channel, Ms. Patel,” In front of Sadie, a transparent humanoid figure appeared. In a few seconds, the figure became a female human. Just like she expected, the leader of Kirian IX wasn’t pleased to see them.

“I’m Captain Sadie Carter of the UHA Minya. We request permission to dock in one of your starports.”

“Have you come to destroy the Linox?” asked the woman coldly.

“That depends of what we uncover in our investigations.”

The woman raised her eyebrows and her face turned a little pale. She didn’t reply immediately. After a while, she pressed some buttons on her holographic screen.

“You have been cleared to land on dock four. Captain Carter, wait for me on the platform after you arrive,” the figure of President Nuvia disappeared from the screen. Sadie immediately ordered Paredes to follow the coordinates they were given. The man nodded and then started steering the ship toward its destination.

“Do you need me to prepare a team, captain?” asked a male voice. Sadie turned to her left to see the Chief of Security, Lieutenant Anatoly Petrovski.

“Thanks for the offer Lieutenant, but not this time. I understand the Linox is imprisoned. And, personally, I believe the team presence might hamper my dialogue with it.”

“Understood.”

“I’m also surprised you gave Anatoly that position so soon, Sadie,” whispered Bast after Anatoly returned to his position. “Don’t you think it was too premature?”

The only answer the first officer got was silence. Sadie was tired of being criticized about her decision to promote Anatoly to Chief of Security. She knew why she did it, and while she agreed Anatoly was young, he at least had the rank to take the position.

“And then you complain about Mina Cloud being the captain of the Amiens.”

When Sadie heard that name, her face darkened. She immediately glared Bast, yet the first officer didn’t flinch back. “What? Angry I was being honest with you, ma’am?

“Don’t mention that name again, commander,” grunted the captain.

“If only you understood the hypocrisy,” the two didn’t continue. Deep down, Sadie knew her friend was right, but she didn’t want to admit it. But comparing Anatoly to Cloud… Just thinking that made Sadie’s blood boil. That was insulting. Anatoly didn’t need to rely on an Admiral to be promoted to captain. Cloud cheated; she used her father’s relationship to have Coyote promoter her to captain. She took post as a commanding officer after graduating from the Gunras Military Academy. That was preposterous! An insult to all the captains that had to work hard to get their own starships, or the ones who have failed. Worst of all, she received the Amiens, the first Centaur N-J7 ship on the entire fleet.

“Being the daughter of a hero really has its perks,” muttered Sadie.

“Really captain, you should look yourself in a mirror.”

“What do you mean?” Bast simply rolled her eyes.

Since she was distracted, Sadie didn’t notice they finally entered the violet planet. On the screen the clouds disappeared and were replaced by the surface. Being in the far end of the system, Kirian IX was the same as Ryuu V: a frozen planet, with tundras, icebergs, frozen mountains… By now Sadie knew she would need a coat after she left her ship.

One would think why there were human colonies on such a godforsaken planet, yet the answer was obvious: there were many natural resources inside the planet, and the humans wanted to extract them. Sadie understood it was hard to get permission from the Galactic Senate, but after months of intense lobbying, both chambers of the Senate approved the motion to let humans establish colonies inside the planet. Yet, there were some conditions, like having some Serakiam observe them to make sure they wouldn’t damage the planet ecosystem.

After a while, they soon saw two big towers, which the ship recognized immediately as the two starports of Kirian IX. Below them, on a crater, was built the capital of Kirian IX.

“I certainly wouldn’t want to live here,” commented Ensign Jackson with apprehension in his voice. Most of the crews in the bridge shared the sentiment.

On the surface, many buildings—not as tall as the towers—could be seen. The streets were thin, yet there were vehicles moving through them, carrying metallic boxes with them.

Mr. Paredes approached the ship to one of the docks of the teal structure. When they were close to the metallic platform, four docking clamps started extending to attach themselves to the ship. When they touched the Minya, a slight vibration could be felt. Then a jetbridge attached itself to the ship’s entrance.

“Docking complete,” informed Jackson. Sadie nodded.

“Another happy journey,” she concluded. Then she got up from her seat. “Ms. Patel, can you accompany me? You may be needed if the Linox doesn’t understand me.”

She slightly grimaced, but it was for milliseconds. Then she got up. “Of course, ma’am!”

Another person also got up from his seat, surprising Sadie a little. “Captain, can I accompany you, too?”

“Sure, but why so interested, ensign?”

Suddenly, his face turned red. “I wish… to… to… learn more about this planet.”

“I see. Ok, as long as you follow orders, you can come too.”

Despite still blushing, Jackson’s face turned bright. A smile of excitement soon was drawn on his face. The three then went to one of the elevators. “Bast, the bridge is yours.”

Minutes later, the team, despite wearing coats, gloves and even scarfs, could feel the cold temperatures piercing their bodies. Patel was shivering.

“Can’t you handle well low temperatures, lieutenant?” asked Sadie when she realized Patel’s movement.

“No, ma’am. I absolutely hate the cold,” replied the young woman while still trembling.

“If you want, you can return to the ship. Jackson and I…”

“No, I will be you, captain.”

The doors of the platform opened. From there, five humans appeared, with President Nuvia in the middle. The other four were armed and were also wearing combat armor. Sadie slightly frowned.

“Are you expecting uninvited guests, president?” asked Sadie when she approached the woman. The captain raised her arm to shook hers, but the leader of Kirian IX didn’t take it.

“Just to be cautious. We don’t know if there are more Linox planning to attack us.”

“The ship’s systems didn’t detect any starship nearby,” commented Jackson.

The president didn’t look so sure. After observing the sky and her surroundings for a while, she told Sadie and the others to accompany them. After the doors closed, the temperature increased a little, but it was still low. At least Patel wasn’t shivering.

“So, the thing is, we can’t allow the Linox to leave here alive,” started Nuvia while they were walking towards the elevator. “It killed at least four guards and one civilian. We demand justice.”

“I can understand your anger,” said Sadie, trying to sound emphatic. But, deep down, she couldn’t feel that until she learned what transpired there. “But we can’t take a decision until we talk to the accused and the witnesses.”

“Why would you do that?” demanded the woman. Sadie was taken aback by her reaction. The elevator doors opened, and the president frowned. “Sorry. It’s just… Nevermind.”

That was enough for Sadie to understand why Nuvia was acting that way. She wasn’t the only one; the guards were also staring Sadie and the others coldly.

While the elevator was going down, Sadie tried to learn more, but the president refused to answer. “Wait until you can start your investigation”, she said. After that, Sadie desisted. She felt strange; in those years she has been captain and traveled to many planets and talked with many delegations of those planets, she has never met, until now, someone who has treated them so coldly; almost like if they were enemies. She could accept it if Kirian IX wasn’t a member of the alliance, but they were supposed to be allies. They really must hate we forbade them to destroy the Linox, thought Sadie after they got out of the elevator.

Originally, Sadie thought they would take a vehicle and go to where the Linox was imprisoned, but to their surprise, the prisoner was in the starport. The authorities decided to build a prison in the basement of the building. When the elevator doors opened, they saw a security post. More guards were stationed there. To pass to the next room, they had to be checked by the jailkeepers. The process was fast since Sadie nor her team carried any weapon with them.

After being cleared to pass, President Nuvia escorted them to the place where the Linox was jailed. After passing the only door in the room, they walked through a hall where cells could be seen. Sadie was surprised to see most of them having prisoners inside. Locked behind the energy bars, most of the prisoners were sitting in the only bench of their cell, looking depressed. Sadie didn’t like the fact most of them were too thin… too pale. Neither of them reacted when they passed through. Sadie also noticed the conditions of each cell were… deplorable, to say the least. Completely dirty, with only one sink that made Sadie disgusted and one bench. The walls and the floor were stone only, and they lacked any light source inside. Worst was many of the cells had at least three prisoners inside. Sadie wanted to complain, but Patel touched her captain’s shoulder. With just a look from her, the captain desisted. The authorities of the planet were already disgruntled by their presence. Mentioning that would add more fuel to the fire. That said, President Nuvia must have read Sadie’s mind.

“Captain, I know what you are thinking. For your own sake, I recommend you to not investigate this matter,” Sadie immediately was alert. “Capiche?”

“I don’t take well when I’m being threatened, president,” replied Sadie coldly. Any trace of kindness disappeared immediately.

“Take it as a warning.”

At the end of the passage, they passed another door to enter the cell where the Linox was being imprisoned. Unlike the other ones, there were guards stationed there too. In a small place, also being locked behind energy bars, sat a machine, that Sadie recognized immediately. The first thought that crossed Sadie’s mind was that, while the Linox was clearly humanoid, it didn’t resemble a human at all. Its feet lacked toes, its hands had four fingers, some circuits could be seen in its arms and what was supposed to be the belly; its eyes were big and blue, and its face was expressionless. The machine kind of freaked Sadie a little for some reason.

“Here is your dear Linox,” said President Nuvia coldly. The machine raised his head to see its new guests. “Do your investigations, and fast. I want justice to be served soon. Corporal Chung,” one man stationed in the prison approached her, “aid the captain in whatever she needs. If needed, contact me.”

“Yes, Ms. President.”

“Hope you don’t get blinded by your desire to coexist with the other species, Carter,” said the woman slowly. Then she left the room with her personal guard. Before she left, Sadie turned to see the auburn-haired woman. She was a little taller than Sadie, but not so much. In those minutes, she made herself clear she disagreed with the presence of the Minya and her crew. It has been months since Sadie felt so much hostility from someone while they were talking. Hopefully, after they left Kirian IX, she would never meet her again.

When the door closed, Sadie approached the bars that separated her from the Linox.

“Human, “Sadie was surprised the machine could speak in a language she could understand well. “Female. Height: five feet and three point seven inches. Weight…”

Sadie immediately interrupted the mechanical voice. In a way it reminded her of the Minya’s computer.

“Yeah, that’s more than enough. I am Captain Sadie Carter of the UHA Minya. My companions are Lieutenant Jazmin Patel and Ensign Leonard Jackson,” both nodded slightly when Sadie presented them. “And you are…?”

“This unit doesn’t have a name,” replied the Linox with the same monotonous voice.

“Come on, I don’t believe it. You must have a name.”

“No, we don’t. How can we help you?”

Sadie frowned, but decided to not insist on that. There were more pressing matters than learn how the Linox was called. Sadie scratched her head, wondering if that mission would be harder than what she thought originally. Unlike President Nuvia who clearly hated Sadie, the captain couldn’t sense anything coming from the Linox. Hate, kindness, respect… Nothing. To make matters worse, the expressionless face made it hard for Sadie to read its thoughts. Dealing with Linoxes won’t be easy.

“You are being accused for killing people from this planet. Is that true?” asked Patel, who decided to help her captain.

“Yes, it is true. We killed four people: three male and one female. The female was a teenager.”

“See, I don’t understand why you three are wasting your time,” said Corporal Chung with a smug face. “The Linox admitted it killed. That is more than enough to sentence it.”

Indeed, the Linox recognized he murdered people. Yet, Sadie couldn’t condemn it so swiftly. She needed to learn why it did that. Patel shared the same sentiment, since she asked the Linox why it did that.

“We were defending ourselves,” it replied slowly. “We were caught trying to enter one of the mines. When we tried to surrender to the authorities, they opened fire without asking us our intentions. Sadly, while we tried to defend ourselves, one of the energy blasts impacted the vehicle that was transporting the human teenager. We deeply regret her loss.”

“Lies,” grunted Chung. Like his leader, the corporal’s black eyes were full of hatred towards the machine. “We have proof you attacked us as soon as we spotted you.”

“The camera feeds will be quite helpful to uncover what happened here,” commented Jackson.

Normally, that would be true. But Sadie couldn’t discard the option that the videos were tampered to incriminate the Linox. Considering how they hated its presence, they would do whatever they could to destroy it.

“Ah, the officers finally arrived,” the prison doors opened, letting a serakiam enter the room. Sadie raised her eyebrows when the new visitor approached her. “Finally! I have been waiting for this.”

“Doctor Naoli, why are you here?” demanded Chung. Like with the Linox, he couldn’t hide the disdain in his voice. “We told you…”

“Aw, shut up Yeon-seok,” replied the serakiam. Then her blue hands took Sadie’s. “Captain Sadie Carter, please, promise me nothing bad will happen to JK.”

“JK?”

“Doctor Rakia’Naoli refers to us as JK since this unit’s number is JK-29,” explained the Linox.

“What can you tell me, doctor?” asked Sadie.

“I won’t deny JK killed the three guards and the teenager, but it was because he was trying defend himself. JK himself admitted he feels sorry for the losses, and if he could, he would help their families, especially the teenager’s.”

Sadie then eyed the Linox. The machine couldn’t show its feelings, even if it had them. Yet, somehow, the captain felt JK lamented its actions. But, the word of JK and Naoli couldn’t protect the Linox. Sadie needed more proof before she could reach a conclusion and give her verdict.

“Where do you suggest we could start our investigations?” asked Sadie directly to the serakiam doctor. This, obviously, angered Corporal Chung.

“Captain, I was given the order to help you in your investigation,” said the man loudly.

“Of course, corporal; in fact, your presence will be needed. But I believe Doctor Naoli will be helpful to the investigation.”

The man simply rolled his eyes but didn’t say anything.

“Thank you, captain!” Naoli was so happy that her good spirits were contagious. Sadie couldn’t help but feel glad seeing the serakiam so happy. Now that she observed her well, the captain wondered how old she was. Serakiam usually lived like two hundred to three hundred years, that was why they aged at a slower pace compared to humans or other races. Yet, her face already wrinkles, and despite she was beaming, Sadie could see she was tired. She was also thin, although most of the people she has seen in Kirian IX, including President Nuvia, were also slim, almost like they were famished. Considering the planet where they lived, that didn’t surprise Sadie too much. Ignoring the fact that their skin colors were different, and that instead of hair the serakiam had tentacles on the back of their heads, they were very similar to the humans. Another important fact about them was that they were mostly females; according to statistics, one of every one hundred serakiam was male.

The first step to uncover the truth was to watch the video feed. After promising the Linox she would do everything to learn what happened, Sadie and her companions accompanied Chung and Doctor Naoli to a partially illuminated room with many traditional screens. Sadie was surprised to see the cameras weren’t meant to be used only on the starport, but also the entire city, especially the mines. Naoli confirmed Sadie’s suspicions that they had multiple security posts in the capital. This, obviously, angered the man.

“You should learn to keep your mouth shut, doctor,” yelled Chung.

Naoli ignored him and then approached one of the tables. She then activated the holographic screen to show Sadie and the others the feeds.

“Activate feed one,” ordered the doctor to the computer.

On the screen, the image of checkpoint could be seen. Many guards were stationed there, making sure no one could pass through the energy barrier. While observing it, Sadie managed to see a figure moving using the shadows. She immediately recognized it as the Linox. JK was moving slowly, managing to avoid detection. Sadie placed her hand on her chin, observing everything carefully. When it approached the wall, the machine placed its hands forward and then a small light could be seen.

“It tried to weaken the structure of the wall,” explained Chung.

And that was how it got caught. While trying to protect himself from the cold, a man took out a cigar from his pocket and then started walking towards JK. The Linox noticed it and stopped immediately. That wasn’t enough though; since it didn’t move to attract attention to itself, it didn’t move. When the man turned on the lighter, the fire eliminated the shadows, letting the guard learn of JK’s presence. For a few seconds the sentry stood where he was, staring the Linox, before he tried to yell and alert of its presence. Yet, before he could scream, JK punched him. Sadie blinked twice before her mind could accept what she saw. Why did it do that? For obvious reason, when the other guards saw their companion flying, they reacted immediately. And a firefight started. Before some of them could react, energy blasts impacted three guards, killing them immediately.

“But this doesn’t explain the teenager,” muttered Sadie.

“Activate feed two.”

The checkpoint was replaced by a view with some buildings; many of them looked to be houses. The door of the middle house opened, and a girl with heavy clothes appeared. Three black vehicles could be seen outside her house, and like at least ten or twenty men and women, with black armor suits, were outside.  Suddenly, two of them grabbed the girl’s arms and forced her to enter one of the vehicles, while the others activated their weapons. While it was still distant, Sadie could hear gunshots. The guards took point behind the vehicles or walls or even the houses while screaming to the residents that they shouldn’t leave their homes. Meanwhile, the vehicle the girl got in turned on, and it started to move. Before it could leave, some green energy blasts impacted it, causing the vehicle to crash on a wall. Fire erupted from the black vehicle, and then smoke covered it. While the guards were still firing towards JK, some of them ran to the vehicle. Sadie could see through the smoke that one person got out, but it wasn’t the girl. It was obvious what happened.

“That was the president’s daughter, Kira,” said Corporal Chung.

Those words explained why President Nuvia wanted the Linox dead. Everything was clear.

“Oh… sorry,” said Jackson a little saddened.

Sadie realized that her ensign was also young. What was he thinking right now, knowing that a teenager lost her life because of crossed fire?

“This certainly complicates everything,” muttered Patel while also staring the screen with a worried expression.

“Doctor, can I ask you something?” Naoli nodded and then Sadie approached her. “I know this is rude, but I need to confirm it: were the feeds tampered?” “asked the captain in a whisper.

“As far as I’m aware, no. But if you need to, I can give you the feeds so you can check them in your ship.”

“Not needed. I trust your word,” Sadie then stared the screen. “Did JK confirm everything shown here happened?”

“Yes,” replied Chung. The officer was staring the captain coldly. “I see you don’t want to accept the facts. Biased?”

“Of course not. But I want to hear why it did that.”

“That can be arranged,” the officer told them to follow him. Again, they returned to the room where JK was imprisoned. The robot was still sitting in the only bench of its cell. When he detected the presence of the captain, it didn’t raise its head.

“How can we help you, Captain Carter?”

“We saw the video feeds,” she said calmly. “We wish to know why you were trying to enter the mines. And why you attacked the guard instead of surrendering yourself.

“We can’t answer those questions,” Sadie couldn’t hide her surprise when the robot decided to not cooperate.

“Don’t waste your time,” interjected Chung. The other guards agreed with him. “Not even the Serakiam has convinced the Linox to confess why it did that.”

Sadie gave Chung an icy stare, making him flinch. Then her eyes returned to the Linox.

“JK, be intelligent. Do you want to lose… your life? If you don’t cooperate…”

“This unit doesn’t have a life, Captain Carter. If this unit is destroyed, its memories won’t be lost. They will go to the Source. The other Linoxes will be able to relive what this unit has experienced.

Sadie frowned and closed her right hand in a fist. Why it didn’t want to reveal its intentions? What was inside the mine that the Linox wanted? She wanted to ask Doctor Naoli what was there, but most likely she didn’t know. And if she asked Chang, the corporal wouldn’t reply. Her only option was President Nuvia, but her chances were still low. Else, she would have to find another method.

The prison door opened, and the person who Sadie was thinking about appeared with her guard and one young man who looked to be the same age as Jackson.

“Carter, this boy was the one who caught the Linox. I leave him here, so you can ask him what happened,” the woman immediately turned around to leave. Sadie didn’t give her the chance, though.

“I wish to know why the Linox tried to enter the mine.”

The president stopped walking, as her personal guard. Without looking the captain, she simply shrugged.

“No idea. Ask the machine.”

“Do you have something inside that attracted the Linox?”

“Minerals, I suppose,” and again she started walking without letting Sadie continue. Again, the captain didn’t let her leave the room.

“When will the Linox be executed?

This time, the president turned her head slightly. Sadie could see again that hate in her eyes.

“In two days,” she replied bluntly. “If I were you, I would hurry if you want to save your dear machine,” and this time, she finally left the room. Soon, the sound of her heels disappeared. Meanwhile, Sadie didn’t move; she was wondering what she could do.

“Captain, I recommend we return to the ship,” suggested Patel in a low voice.

Sadie agreed with her. She felt right now in an impasse. Her only option was return to the Minya to obtain more information. She also needed to contact the fleet to report what has happened. Sadie then turned to the Serakiam.

“Doctor Naoli, I’ll do everything I can to help JK.”

“Take your time. Meanwhile, I’ll be on the planet. Let me give you my contact information,” Sadie nodded and then she registered Naoli on her Hololog.

“Thank you,” now Sadie approached the young man. “Before I return, I wish to talk to you.”

An hour later, while Sadie, Patel and Jackson were walking back to the Minya, the captain wasn’t so sure she could keep her word. Everything appeared that the Linox had to be punished for what it did, but despite being a machine, Sadie was against its execution. There had to be another way to condemn it, yet not destroy it.

Written by J.L. Sarlat

© All Rights Reserved 2019

Review: Fatal Twelve

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Link to Steam store page

Would you do whatever it is necessary to save yourself? Even if it means condemning your opponents to certain death? Even if it means losing your loved ones?

Fatal Twelve is a visual novel developed by aiueoKompany and Sekai Project, published by Sekai Project in 2018. The game puts us in the shoes of Rinka Shishimai, a girl who is taking care of her grandmother café while she is gone for a while. One day, while waiting the train with her friend Naomi, a terrorist attack happens and Rinka dies… Or did she? She later wakes up in her house, and continues her life like usual: going to school, teaching Naomi how to make coffee, taking care of her grandmother café, doing homeworks… All fine. Nothing out of the usual, except a strange book she finds in her room. One night, she wakes up in a ring with other eleven people, and a girl who calls herself a goddess. There Rinka finds out she really died, like the other strangers she saw, and while the goddess undid their death, that isn’t permanent. Only way to undo her death is to defeat the other participants in a battle royale game. Coincidentally, one of the players is also a close friend of Rinka.

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Story and Characters:

Fatal Twelve story is quite interesting. We have many battle royales stories in which only one person can survive in the end; this isn’t an exception: Rinka must do whatever it takes to survive. Unlike others though, the goddess made the participants ‘immortals’ until the game ends. Only way to defeat someone is to reveal to the goddess the opponent’s name, cause of death and regret. The player must also protect their own information, else, they might find themselves eliminated the next time the goddess summons them. This method is quite clever, meaning they need to use their brains instead of brawns to obtain that information. Of course, some characters use force to get what they need. And that comes another part: the moral dilemma. Since they want to survive, some characters won’t mind do anything, like threatening children, to obtain what they need. Of course, some of the players never cared for that from the beginning anyways. Overall, the story is quite interesting, and it will keep you hooked after a while. It starts a little slow, but later it ramps up the speed and you want to know how it will end.

As for the characters, we have our protagonist Rinka. A good girl with a kind heart, who has moral issues in participating the game. She wants to survive and continue with her life, but she hates the idea of eliminating other people for her own sake. The other important character is Miharu, a close friend of Rinka who works as maid. Unlike Rinka, she doesn’t have a qualm eliminating the other players, but she isn’t doing it to save herself. Miharu is also quite straightforward and puts Rinka’s well-being over her own. Rinka’s other friends are Naomi and Mao. The former is the cute clumsy girl while Mao is a girl that loves hanging out with her friends. The two girls will also play an important part in the story.

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Something that I liked about this game is that not only Rinka and Miharu get the focus, also some of the other participants too. We have Alan Scorpion, a guy that prefers to rely on his fists to survive. Another participant has the same attitude as him: Odette, but that’s where the similarities end. Meanwhile, Odette has an ally called Federico that, unlike her, prefers to avoid conflict. Overall, I would say while the cast falls into some clichés, they are quite an interesting bunch. Some of them also get some character development as the story progresses, which is a big plus for me.

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Presentation:

I must give it to the artists of this game, it is quite beautiful. The backgrounds are detailed and have bright colors. Of course, after a while it might get a little repetitive since most of the time Rinka will always be in school or in her house, or of course, the ring where the battle royale takes place. As for the characters, they are also quite detailed, with different expressions on their faces and, with the main characters, different outfits too. CGs are also gorgeous to look too.

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If I had to nitpick about something, is the fact that the backgrounds are… empty. No one is seen in the background. I can understand something like Rinka’s café being empty since she states they don’t have too many customers, but not the school or even the train station or the amusement park.

Lastly, the graphic interface is simple, but neat. It has everything a player needs to play a visual novel like save, load, skip, options, the extra section with the CGIs you have unlocked and a table which you can see what cards with information each participant has. It does its job well.

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Gameplay:

It is a visual novel, so of course gameplay is minimal. There are decisions that doesn’t affect too much how the story progresses, but there are others that, if you pick the wrong choice, you will land into a bad ending. Of course, if you want to unlock all the CGIs and the achievements, you need to watch them. The choices are obvious, so if you pick the wrong one, you MUST be aiming to get one of the bad endings.

Like it was mentioned before, most the story is seen through Rinka’s eyes, and you can only make choices while she is the POV character. The other characters, while they have also their own POV sections, don’t have any choice option to make.

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Sound:

This visual novel is also voiced, which is something neat. Each character, except some minor ones, have their own voice actor and each line they say is voiced. It is only Japanese though, no English dub. As for the characters, I believe the voice actors did a good job. You will also listen other sounds like explosions, gunshots, that help immerse you into the novel.

Not everything is fine, though. The music is the weakest point of this game. All I can say, since I muted the music and started playing my own, is that it was too low, and quite repetitive. But each their own, what others may hate, others may like.

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Verdict: Play it

Fatal Twelve is an interesting visual novel that tries to bring something interesting and enjoyable to the players. And they did it well: players will get hooked to see how Rinka will deal with her moral issues and try to survive. On top of that, she also must deal with the fact that if she wants to live, Miharu must die too. The writers also wanted to develop the characters, so we understood them and their reasons to survive. Not going into spoilers, but most of the participants get some screentime to help players learn more about them, how they died and their regrets. Overall, I would say Fatal Twelve did an excellent job showing us a story that isn’t black and white; each character have their reasons to live and regardless of their actions, we have to accept that anyone will do whatever it takes to survive or protect their loved ones.

It is not perfect, of course, but almost nothing is. Ignoring some facts like the mediocre soundtrack, or some mistakes in writing like grammatical errors, I recommend this game. It is short (the main story can be finished in 10-15 hours) and you don’t need to play too much to get the bad endings if you want to get 100%. The price is also affordable, at $20 MRSP.

Congratulations to the developers for finishing this game and giving us an enjoyable experience. And thanks to Sekai Project for publishing this in Steam. I’m glad that visual novels are getting more and more English releases.

Hope you enjoy the game, and if you have already played it, hope you enjoyed it.

Link to Steam store page

Passing the Torch

She knew she had to take it easy, to not let her emotions overtake her, to continue showing a straight face while the commodore was giving his speech, but it was getting harder and harder each minute. And that was because, after he ended, it was Sadie’s turn to get into that podium and face the crew of the Minya… Her new crew.

Personally, she still couldn’t understand how she got promoted to be the new captain of the UHA Minya. A couple of months ago, Admiral Coyote contacted the Lexington to tell her XO the news, Sadie couldn’t believe it. At first, she thought it was a bad joke, but then she realized it wasn’t April Fools. Then she observed the admiral’s face, looking for any sign that would show he was teasing her, or even lying. No, he was as serious as ever. A few seconds later, Sadie had to accept that she received the promotion. Captain of the UHA Minya, the ship that Victor Oklakov commanded, and which he was going to relinquish command soon since he also received a promotion, but to commodore. That was why she was awaiting the moment when Oklakov ended his speech. Keeping that straight face was more difficult than she originally thought.

“And in all these years of services, I finally learned how to be a good captain,” continued Commodore Oklakov, “All of you have proven me that no matter the background, we can all work together as a team. You are my biggest pride. My companions, my friends. If I had to trust you all with my life, I would without a second thought,” applause from the crew, including Commander Martin. Meanwhile, Admiral Coyote was observing Oklakov in complete silence. Sadie lowered her face, expecting soon to be her turn to talk. She had practiced her speech countless times, but she wasn’t ready yet. What if she mispronounced a word? Or if she spoke too fast?

“Is something wrong?” a familiar voice spoke. Sadie realized it was the admiral who was talking. Trying her best to maintain the same expression, she said no. Coyote continued staring at the commodore for a while. “This is your first test, captain. If you fail, it will be harder to connect with your crew,” yes, she knew that very well. That was why she was so nervous. If she somehow messed up her speech… “That said, knowing you, I’m sure your speech will be something memorable. Have faith in yourself, Captain Carter.”

That title still felt odd and funny. She was so used being called commander, but now captain… It certainly would take time get used to it.

“And with this, I’ll leave you to my successor. Come forward, Captain Carter,” that was it. Sadie gulped before forcing her trembling legs to move. Slowly, she approached the podium where her adoptive father was. Before facing the entire crew in the shuttle bay, she approached Commodore Oklakov. Silently, she nodded. While looking his dark blue eyes, Sadie could see pride and respect. Then she approached the podium. When she was in front it, she moved her eyes to see the entire crew. Her new companions. There were dozens of rows with men and women wearing the formal uniform, most of them young like their new captain. Just like Sadie, Oklakov and Coyote, all the crew members were wearing a blue long coat with a yellow stripe in the middle of the piece, and a white shirt behind the coat. Despite using the same style of long coat, not all of them were the same. Depending on the rank inside the navy, an emblem was placed in the right side of the chest. Below the coat, blue leather pants could be seen covering their legs and black shoes their feet. Sadie, Oklakov and Coyote were also wearing white gloves in their hands.

After a few seconds, Sadie opened the holographic screen to read the instructions Coyote sent her.

“From Admiral Bran Coyote to Captain Sadie Carter. You are hereby requested and required to take command of the UHA Minya as of this date, March 20th, 2312 R.SA. Signed by Admiral of the Fleet Bran Coyote and Vice-Admiral Johana Ducreux,” now Sadie closed the screen. Time for the speech. “First of all, I’m honored to be the new commanding officer of this ship. Some of you may know me when I served in the Lexington as the executive officer, others don’t. It doesn’t matter. My name is Sadie Carter. One of the reasons I decided to join the Human Fleet of Gunras was to explore the galaxy and learn more about other civilizations, planets and uncover the mysteries of the final frontier. In the meantime, let’s work together and get to know each other. I’m sure I can expect great things from all of you,” now Sadie approached Commander Martin and shook her hand. Clapping could be heard in the entire shuttle bay. “It is a pleasure to work with you, commander.”

“The pleasure is mine, ma’am.”

“As for the final part of this ceremony, I’ll transfer all my command codes to Captain Carter,” the commodore approached the podium and in the holographic screen he wrote some characters. After he finished, he said some words as voice authentication.

“Voice recognized. Transfer complete. As of this moment, the commanding officer of the UHA Minya is Captain Sadie Carter,” informed the computer.

Now Sadie approached the commodore. “I relieve you, sir.”

“I stand relieved.”

“Thank you, sir.”

“What are your orders, ma’am?” asked Commander Martin.

As protocol, when a captain took command of a ship, they needed to test how the crew worked.

“Everyone, go to your work stations. Commander prepare the bridge. I’ll go soon,” all the crew did the military salute before leaving the shuttle bay, leaving Sadie alone with her two superiors.

“At ease, captain, commodore,” said Coyote when he approached them. “Good speech by the way Carter. Not too long, but not too short either.”

“Thank you, sir.”

“Well, time for us to leave. Hope you first mission goes well.”

Now it was Oklakov’s turn to say goodbye. “Good luck in your first mission, Sadie” without saying anything else, he went to one of the elevators. Coyote followed him.

“Time to work, then,” muttered Sadie. She took another elevator and went straight to the bridge. As soon as she left the lift, the captain felt she took a big important step in her life. Before going to her seat, she observed her new workplace. In many ways, the bridge of the Minya was like the bridge of the Lexington. On the center of the room, in a raised platform, two chairs could be seen next to each other. Commander Martin was sitting on the left chair. In front of the platform two stations were placed, and in each seat an officer was also sitting. At the bottom of the room, a big screen could be seen, showing the space and countless stars and planets on the horizon. Other stations were placed along the walls of the bridge, except on the top where doors could be seen in the corners of the room and the three elevators.

“Captain on the bridge,” said a male voice. Sadie nodded and then approached the Captain’s Chair. After sitting, she faced Martin.

“All right. Our first mission is to extract a group of humans from the Darius system. According to intel, earthquakes have collapsed the entrance to their underground labs. Lieutenant Cortez, send the coordinates of Rana to Lieutenant Duran.

“Done, ma’am.”

“Have the admiral and commodore left the ship?” Martin confirmed they weren’t inside the Minya. “All right. Take out the ship,” a slight vibration occurred in the entire bridge, indicating the docking clamps were released. On the screen, meanwhile, the space was replaced by a metallic door. Soon, it started to open, letting them see again the space. Closely but surely, the door, or what was still visible, was getting closer, until it completely opened, letting the ship leave the spacedock. When they were outside, Duran pushed a button, allowing the ship to enter the hyperspace. On the screen, the black ocean started being replaced by a blue whirlwind. A few seconds later, the entire screen’s background was blue.

“Estimated time of arrival: two hours,” informed Martin. Sadie nodded.

“You have the bridge, commander. I’ll go to my room.”

Unlike the other crew members, the commanding officer had an entire floor for themselves. After taking the elevator and pressing a button to go up, Sadie found herself in her new home. It had everything she needed: a living room, a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and a study. She soon found her bags were already inside. Sighing slightly, she decided to accommodate her room later; she had a mission to do.

“To think this was the room of the commodore,” muttered Sadie after she put on the usual navy uniform—a blue shirt with short sleeves, black pants and black leather boots.

When she returned to the bridge, most of the crewmembers also abandoned the formal dress to wear their usual uniforms. Except for Commander Martin.

“Can I ask you a question, commander? Asked Sadie when she sat on her chair again.

“Sure.”

“Do you like wearing formal clothes?”

Martin’s eyes blinked for a while. Sadie at that moment noticed her eyes were quite different compared to other humans: yellow. That was an unusual color, but not unheard of after the humans started traveling through space.

“If I like it? I mean, we must wear it for formal situations. Whether I like it or not is irrelevant.”

“You are right, but I was expecting you to have changed to your usual uniform.”

“Ah, I see what you mean. Haven’t gotten the chance, yet,” admitted the woman with a smile on her face.

Before Sadie could offer her the chance to return to her quarters, a man approached them. Sadie beamed as soon as she saw him.

“Mr. Oliver, it’s good to see you!” exclaimed the captain while she was shaking his hand.

“The pleasure is mine, ma’am,” said Josh Oliver, the second officer of the Minya.

“How ‘u doing?”

“Captain, maybe you should change some words on your vocabulary,” Sadie realized that wasn’t the proper way for a captain to talk to one of their subordinates. A little ashamed, she coughed and then sat on her chair again. Getting accustomed to her new job wasn’t going to be easy. “Having said that, I’m doing fine. Being honest with you, I was looking forward to this moment.”

“Really? Why?” asked Sadie after raising her eyebrows. Since Commander Martin left, Oliver sat on her seat.

“I mean, you were perhaps one of the finest officers in the Lexington. Not many noticed it, but it was thanks to your plans that we managed to defeat our enemies… No, to convince them to give up. I’m sure that’s the reason the Admiralty Board decided to promote you to captain,” Sadie wanted to be modest, but she had to admit that thought also crossed her mind. She also had to recognize that Captain Okita was disappointed when he heard the news that his first officer was being promoted. Although he soon congratulated Sadie and said she would be a damn good captain. “Have you talked with the members of the crew?” asked Oliver in a low voice.

“Only with you and Commander Martin,” recognized Sadie. “What do you recommend me to do, Josh?”

“If I were you, I would hold a party!” said the second officer, his black eyes glowing of emotion. Sadie simply scowled.

“You only want to drink alcohol.”

“I won’t deny it,” admitted the second officer shamelessly. A smirk appeared in Sadie’s face.

“You’ll never change, won’t you?” muttered the captain.

“Well, I’ll have to, soon,” suddenly, his voice tone changed, becoming deeper and more serious. Sadie raised her eyes to see him. His expression had changed completely, although that didn’t surprise the captain too much. “I have heard some rumors that you weren’t the only one the Admiralty Board took notice. They also wish to promote me as captain of another ship.”

“Oh!” Sadie thought it was something dire. But, that was some great news. “I hope you get promoted too, Josh. You really deserve it.”

“Eh… Thanks, I guess…” for some strange reason, he wasn’t happy by the words of his captain.

They continued talking about the crew and the ship until Martin arrived minutes before the Minya was going to leave hyperspace. When Josh returned to his workplace, the XO leaned her head to talk to Sadie.

“Did the commander tell you that he is being considered to become a captain?”

“Yes,” replied Sadie. Now she looked at Martin. “Do you also want your own ship, commander?”

“Me?” Martin looked surprised. Then she moved her head vigorously. Sadie, certainly, never expected that reaction. “Right now, I’m not interested in becoming a captain. If you recommend me, I would decline immediately.”

Sadie simply shrugged and then stared at the screen; she might tell her later why she preferred to stay as commander. Strange to see someone not interested in becoming a captain. Ever since she joined the fleet, Sadie’s hopes and dreams were to become the captain of one ship. And many of her classmates in the Academy also had the same dream, and perhaps still have it.

A few minutes later, on the screen the blue whirlwind disappeared, being replaced by a big brown planet. Sadie opened her holographic screen to see information about their destination. Rana was a terrestrial planet considered to be a wasteland. Not much is known, but explorations teams have discovered the air is toxic; masks are a must to even land. Since it has minimum water reserves, life conditions were harsh; despite that, there were non-intelligent species on the surface. Not many, but enough to have an ecosystem with its own food chain.

While staring the planet, Sadie wondered if what she read in the database was true. According to the expedition teams, there were traces of an ancient civilization; that was why they decided to place an outpost inside a cave system. At first sight, it seemed impossible the planet had intelligent beings living down there in the past. Besides the toxic air, the winds were harsh and carried with them dust that, accordingly to studies, had toxic substances. Being honest with herself, they were following a fairy tale.

“Situation?” asked Sadie when the ship started orbiting around the planet.

“The ship’s sensing lifeforms inside the planet, but they aren’t moving,” informed a woman. Sadie approached her workstation to see the screen. She was right; there were different dots inside the brown sphere, but they weren’t moving.

“Thanks Ms. Patel. Lieutenant Eren, hail them. Try to open a communication channel.”

“Not working captain. They aren’t responding,” replied the Communications Officer. Sadie expected that.

“Do we have images of the caves?”

“Yes,” Cortez put the images on the screen. There were multiple entrances, although all of them were collapsed. That didn’t seem to be something made by nature. She could accept perhaps one, two, or even three, but not all of them. Something that Martin thought too. When she expressed her suspicions to Sadie, the captain stared the screen again.

“Are you sure there aren’t more intelligent life forms out there?” asked Sadie while approaching Patel.

“Completely sure, ma’am. The ship systems only sense the humans. If I remove the filter, there are obviously more lifeforms, but those are the animals of this planet,” what she said was true. When she did it, on her screen appeared green circles; and unlike the ones that supposedly were the scientists, these circles were moving.

Sadie placed her hand on her chin while thinking the next action to take. No replies meant either something bad happened to the scientist team, or there was interference that blocked communications. It seemed the best course of action would be to send a landing party to the surface and have them investigate.

“Ok. Commander Martin, assemble a team and…” suddenly, Sadie felt a sharp pain on her head.

“Captain?” asked Oliver with a worried expression.

“Like I was saying, commander, assemble,” the pain returned, and more powerful than before. Without realizing it, Sadie fell to the floor, with both hands on her head. Her vision became blurry. Before she realized it, everyone approached her. She could see Martin issuing orders, but what were they, Sadie didn’t know. And not a few seconds later, Sadie lost consciousness.

Buildings, as tall as the ones in other civilized worlds, appeared in front of Sadie. The landscape reminded her of Rana… In fact, it was Rana. Stranger was the fact that the terrain looked completely different than what she saw in the images. There were flat lands, hills and even mountains. No sign of caves complexes could be seen. And the ground wasn’t completely brown; she could also green sections.

The orange sun suddenly disappeared, being replaced by three satellites on the dark sky. All the building’s lights turned on, and the city was as lively as it was in the day. Observing them closely, Sadie realized the architecture was completely different compared to the buildings in Gunras. Most of them looked like obelisks, with other had the form of mushrooms or even pyramids. There wasn’t coherency; it was like the architects decided to build whatever came to their minds.

Suddenly, a bright light appeared, blinding Sadie. The yellow light engulfed everything, including the buildings. The land started to shake violently, and then the landscape changed. Slowly, but surely, cracks formed on the surface, orange replaced the blue sky and violent gusts of wind started to blow. What was once a place full of life, now it was a desolate wasteland. A noise could be heard, but Sadie didn’t understand what it was. The noise intensified, and Sadie started to wonder if it was something trying to communicate with her.

“Hello?” said Sadie in English. The noise reacted, and it became faster and much louder. “I can’t understand you,” the noise continued. But… somehow, it started to feel less like a noise and more like a language now. She still couldn’t understand it, but Sadie was sure someone was trying to talk with her. She stood silent, concentrating on the voice. She needed to understand what that person was saying her.

“Get…Away…Our…Planet,” Sadie realized the voice was male… or something like that. It certainly gave her the vibe of being a man who was talking, but the echo was confusing her.

“But we are looking…”

“Leave…Us…Don’t…Hurt…. Planet.”

Sadie felt she was lying in a bed. She slowly opened her eyes, confirming she was in sick bay.

“Doctor Lim, the captain opened her eyes,” said a female voice. She soon saw a girl, close to her age, observing her. Some footsteps approached, and a doctor Sadie recognized immediately was using his equipment to check her health.

“Everything seems fine,” said Doctor Lim. With the help of the nurse, Sadie got up. “What happened? Suddenly you lost consciousness and we had to bring you here.”

“I… don’t know,” muttered Sadie. While frowning, she tried to remember that dream she had. The planet… The civilization… That voice… Sadie then realized everything.

“Doctor, where is Commander Martin?” asked Sadie when she left the bed.

“She went down to the surface with the landing party an hour ago,” replied the doctor. Sadie’s face stiffened immediately. “Is something wrong?”

“Commander Martin, can you hear me?” Sadie activated the hololog in her left wrist. When the holographic screen appeared, the image of the first officer didn’t show. “Commander are you there?” no answer. “Commander Oliver, can you hear me?”

Unlike before, the image of Josh appeared on the holographic screen. “Affirmative, captain. Something wrong?”

“Can you contact Commander Martin’s team?”

A few seconds later, Josh confirmed Sadie her worst fears. “They seem to be fine, but we lost contact with them a few minutes ago. We have been keeping track on their activities, though. Right now, they managed to open an entrance to the caves.”

“I’ll go to the bridge. Doctor is it fine for me to leave?”

Lim used his pen to scan Sadie again. The device’s tip continued being green. “Excellent. No health issues. You are free to go, captain.”

Sadie thanked the doctor. After putting on her boots, she went immediately to the bridge. As soon as she arrived, she saw Josh in the Captain’s Seat. The second officer got up and went to Martin’s seat, but that was unnecessary. Instead of going to her seat, Sadie approached Ms. Patel.

“Can you do a full scan on the planet again? I need to know all the species inside,” the woman nodded and started working immediately. Now Sadie approached Lieutenant Cortez. “Do you know the history of this planet?”

“Only what is stored in the databases, ma’am. Why?”

“Got any idea what is going on?” Josh approached them with a confused expression.

“Yes. While I was unconscious, I saw Rana, but it was completely different. There were buildings, and the atmosphere wasn’t toxic. Something like a nuclear explosion happened on the surface, changing the landscape and transforming Rana into what it is today. And… well, you might think this is crazy, but a voice was trying to contact me. At first, I didn’t understand what it was saying, but after I while I managed to understand some words like it was in English. Leave, get out of here, hut planet… Those were the words I mostly remember.

“Are you implying there is another civilization in Rana?” asked Patel with incredulity in her voice.

“Yes. Or there are at least remnants of that ancient civilization. Can any of you access their logs?”

“I can try,” replied Cortez immediately. After typing keys in the holographic keyboard and issuing orders, multiple logs appeared on the screen. “Here’s the latest. Date, March 19th, 2312 R.SA. Written by the leader of the expedition, Marcos Rolen. It is… kind of hard to read; sentences aren’t finished, and words are missing letters. Let me see… According to the report, the personnel have been listening to voices inside their heads. They have also had nightmares, with people screaming in the middle of the night and sometimes even punching objects. Tensions are high. A group of scientists and archeologists want to leave the planet while the other group is determined to stay here and uncover its secrets, including what happened to an ancient civilization. Doctor Rolen admits he wants to learn more, but he is afraid they might be digging into something they shouldn’t uncover.”

No reference if they had knowledge of the existence of that race. Cortez looked another report, dated three days ago. Unlike the other one, this one didn’t have any grammatical nor spelling mistake.

“Date, March 17th, 2312 R.SA. Perhaps I’m going mad, but each time we uncover more tunnels, the worst my nightmares become. There is a constant noise in my head… It is driving me crazy. I’m not the only one; others are also experiencing the same. Is the damn planet cursed or is there something down there that is trying to keep us away from its lair?”

“They are completely aware something intelligent lives inside the planet,” grunted Sadie. That made her angry for some reason. “Are they stupid or what? They are deliberately violating the First Directive.”

“I’m not so sure about that,” Cortez interrupted Sadie. Now he was reading another report. That one was dated almost a year ago. “We have been investigating some caves in the southern continent, and we found something interesting. There is advanced technology inside. We don’t understand it well since it seems to have fused with the rocks, but observing it closely, we found some machines with holographic screens. The language is something we don’t understand, and not even our linguists know what those screens say. We also found a golden object that resembles a statue.”

“That doesn’t mean they are, or were, capable of FTL travel,” argued Josh. “What if it was another race that landed on the planet?

“You are right commander. But…”

While both men were arguing, Sadie observed Patel’s screen, which was displaying the brown planet at that moment. There were so many unknowns that made the mission more difficult that it should be. Sadie was one hundred percent sure those aliens were the ones interfering the communications, and they were also responsible of collapsing the cave system. And she knew exactly why they did it.

For a moment, Sadie wondered if she should ask what Commodore Oklakov would do in that situation, but she almost immediately regretted even thinking that. That would undermine her tenure as captain; show her weak in front of her crew. She needed to take a decision without relying on her predecessor choices.

“You may be right about other intelligent lifeforms inside this planet, captain,” Patel suddenly said that. Sadie immediately observed her screen. “Since I was only doing a surface scan, the systems couldn’t detect them. But there are more lifeforms in the depths of the planet.”

“What if those are animals?” asked Josh while scowling.

“It is possible, I won’t deny it,” accepted the lieutenant junior. “But it would be troublesome if they are an intelligent species.”

“As long as we don’t interact with them, then we are fine. Right now, we need to rescue those humans and establish contact with Commander Martin and her team. Ideas?”

“We could boost the frequency,” suggested Cortez. “It might work, but it could be more easily intercepted by other parties.”

“No other choice, unless our alien friends have that type of technology. Do it.”

“Well, they certainly have the power to communicate with you…That’s it!” Josh suddenly raised his voice. “How didn’t I see it? Captain, you should communicate with those aliens and ask them to let us take the expedition team.”

Instead of replying, Sadie decided to keep her thoughts. If only she could… The alarm started sounding, surprising everyone.

“What’s going on?” asked Sadie immediately.

“There are massive earthquakes inside the planet,” replied Ensign Paredes, who was monitoring the situation.

“Those must be the aliens,” said Josh with a grave expression. “They must be angry since we didn’t leave the planet.”

“Good job pointing the obvious, sir,” grunted Patel. Sadie grinned; she didn’t expect a lieutenant say that to her superior.

“Tch, you are quite cheeky as of lately, Patel. Miss Captain Oklakov?” Patel’s face turned white, surprising Sadie. She certainly needed to learn more about her crew.

Lieutenant Duran put on the screen images of the planet. While in the space they couldn’t see anything, inside the planet it was obvious the land was shaking. Massive cracks were forming on the surface. Later, he placed an image of the shuttle the landing team used. The entrance of the cave also collapsed again, and part of the vehicle sank beneath a crack. Sadie was watching the screen dumbfounded; it seemed like the planet was swallowing everything it could.

“And how do you expect me to communicate with them, commander?” asked Sadie in a low tone while staring her second officer.

“Well, by sleeping, of course.”

Minutes later, Sadie was again on sick bay, sitting in a bed.

“Captain, I know you already beat the record of being the youngest captain in the fleet, but you don’t need to be remembered also as the captain who spent her first day in sickbay,” said Doctor Lim when he approached his superior.

“Doctor, you really want to pester me with that?” asked Sadie with a frown. A grin appeared on his face.

“I mean, this idea is crazy. No offense ma’am, but I don’t think this will work.”

Sadie shrugged. “Believe me, I don’t think this will work either. But better try something instead of crossing our arms and observing the situation.”

The doctor agreed with her. “Do you want an injection, or another way to go to sleep?” asked Lim.

“I’m not a child,” grunted Sadie. She certainly never expected Doctor Lim to be like that. But, somehow, she didn’t mind his attitude. “That said, if I don’t have to see a needle, it would be great.”

The doctor then offered her a glass full of water and a pill. “In less than a minute, you will be sleeping,” Sadie nodded and then swallowed the gray pill with the water. Just like he said, in mere seconds the effects of the medicine were already affecting the captain. She felt her eyelids heavy and drowsiness. A nurse helped Sadie lay on the bed. Before she knew it, her eyes closed, and darkness engulfed her.

How much time passed when she saw the familiar brown landscape, she didn’t know. But it was clear the aliens were contacting her again. The ground was still shaking violently, and more cracks were forming in the surface. If that continued… Sadie didn’t want to think about it.

“I’m back,” said the captain. Despite the loud sound of the ground crumbling, her voice could be heard perfectly. “We will leave as soon as we rescue our companions and the expedition team.”

Complete silence. The aliens didn’t reply. Sadie wondered if that wasn’t enough for them.

“What else do you want from us?” asked the captain.

“Justice,” the same voice who communicated with her, talked. Unlike before, it was talking in English fluently. “We demand justice. Those scientists have destroyed this planet’s ecosystem while they were looking for us.”

That’s what Sadie suspected. The scientists weren’t there just investigating the planet’s past; they also wanted to find that ancient civilization.

“What have they done?”

It is said that actions are worth more than words, and the aliens just proved that to Sadie. The landscape changed and was replaced by machines drilling inside the caves. Liquid which seemed like water being contaminated by buildings. Smoke rising from chimneys. More quakes generated by the machines; loud noises, animals running while vehicles were passing through their homes… Sadie was trembling. The humans stationed there didn’t learn anything after all the errors they did on Earth. They were destroying a planet just for… just for… Just thinking about it made Sadie’s blood boil. They deserved a harsh punishment for their stupidity and greediness.

“Justice will be served, I promise you,” said Sadie.

“We demand their lives.”

“I understand you are angry, but we don’t kill people to make them pay for their crimes,” Sadie immediately regretted saying that.

“You are lying,” Sadie expected that to happen.

“Well, technically there are laws that still allow authorities to execute criminals, but they are hardly used these days. As to why they still exist, don’t ask me; I’m a captain, not a politician.”

The voice didn’t reply immediately. Sadie grabbed her right arm, wondering what the aliens were thinking.

“What kind of punishment they will receive?”

“Locked behind bars, I can assure you that. They will be indicted of violating the First Directive and then sent to prison. They won’t be able to leave that building for many years.”

“And why do you prefer to lock people you call criminals instead of killing them?”

“Believe me, being imprisoned is an even harsher punishment than death.”

Silence again, yet, unlike a few minutes ago, Sadie didn’t feel anxiety. Somehow, she felt her words managed to convince the aliens.

“We will give you what you call twenty-four hours to take away those humans and your crew. This is your last chance; if you appear again on our planet, there will be dire consequences.”

“I understand, and I’ll make sure to request my superiors that they forbid anyone landing on this planet. Thanks for your understanding and cooperation.”

Then, in front of Sadie, a transparent figure materialized from thin air. It had the appearance of a male human, short and a little overweight. The alien approached Sadie and raised his right hand. Sadie shook it. The alien nodded and then everything became white. Almost immediately, she heard some voices and the sound of the machines inside the sick bay. When she opened her eyes, Sadie saw Doctor Lim and some nurses observing her.

“Did it work?” asked Lim when Sadie sat on the bed.

“We should know soon. Commander Oliver,” the second officer appeared on the holographic screen, “have the temblors stopped?

“Yes captain. And we contacted Commander’s Martin team.

A few hours later, Sadie was in her office, talking with Admiral Coyote.

“So, there is another race inside Rana,” said the admiral after Sadie gave him her report. The man was touching his goatee while scowling.

“Something tells me you already knew that.”

The admiral showed surprise for a few seconds, then an arrogant smile appeared on his lips.

“Why do you say that, captain?”

“We have observed footage and read the expedition team logs, and it was obvious they had knowledge of the species from… like last year. They have also reported to you their findings.”

“Interesting. You did your investigations, captain. You also passed your first test with flying colors.”

“I’m sorry, I don’t understand…”

“I was ready to send some teams to apprehend those scientists and archaeologists, but I determined it was better you handled the issue. I’m pleased to see you decided to respect the First Directive than let them walk away scot-free. You did good today, Captain Carter. Rest assured, they will be severely punished by their actions, and I will inform the other fleets that Rana should be left alone from now on.”

“Thank you, admiral.”

“Treat the Minya well, captain. Treat her well, and she will treat you well in return. She will show the entire galaxy, shining, shimmering, splendid,“ Sadie nodded, knowing well that the ship had a long history. Oklakov always said wonders about his starship when Sadie visited him. “Coyote out,” the image of the admiral disappeared, leaving Sadie alone in her office. She leaned back on her chair and observed the office. She had to admit it needed some touches, but overall, the entire room was ample enough to work.

A bell sounded. When Sadie said ‘Come’, the door opened, letting Commander Martin enter the room.

“Ah commander, I was waiting you. Please, sit,” the woman nodded and then approached one of the two chairs in front of Sadie’s desk.

“I have to admit it feels strange to see a new owner in this room. A few weeks ago, Commodore Oklakov was sitting in that chair.”

“You aren’t the only one, commander. Being honest with you, it still feels so surreal being a captain. Going to what I called you: how are the guests?

Martin giggled. “Healthy, although angry. They claim they deserve somewhere better to stay.”

“They should enjoy them. After the authorities take them, their new home won’t be as nice as our brig,” now Sadie’s expression turned serious. “Laws are laws; if you decide to break them then be ready for the consequences. Is something wrong?” Commander Martin’s was biting her lips, and she was grabbing her pants with her hands. She looked tense for some reason.

“It… It angers me that humans are still doing this. I don’t get it; I thought we learned from our mistakes in Earth. Yet, we are destroying other planets. No wonder the other races inside the alliance look us down.”

“Sadly, humans still allow greediness to control them. Hopefully this sends a message to people like them: we won’t tolerate these acts again. Glad to see you share the same view as me, Bast.”

“How did you know…” the woman opened her eyes while observing with incredulity her captain.

“Well, your girlfriend is my sister. Or something like that. Don’t you mind, right?”

“Not at all. In fact, I’m glad you are calling me by my nickname.”

Sadie was glad she already made a connection with someone of the crew. While observing the blue whirlwind in the window behind her, Sadie sensed that more adventures were waiting her and her companions. It was understandable, considering the space held so many secrets and mysteries. With a smile, Sadie continued talking with Bast, getting to know her better.

Astral Wave: Minya characters

Date: 4-12-2314 R.SA

 

Intergalactic Alliance of Free Planets

Gunras Human Fleet

Confidential

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Selected starship: United Human Alliance Minya

Model Gryphin HI-2

Type Cruiser

Built in: Space Station Earnest

Maiden’s Voyage date: 2307 R.SA

Specifications:

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Crew:

Officials:

  • Commanding Officer: Captain Sadie Carter
  • Executive Officer: Commander Felicia Martin
  • Second Officer: Lieutenant Commander Tallulah Cortez
  • Engineering Chief: Engineer Irwing Sakamoto
  • Medical Chief: Doctor Hai Lim
  • Security Chief: Lieutenant Anatoly Petrovski
  • Communications Officer: Lieutenant Jazmin Patel
  • Navigator: Lieutenant Junior Jeanette Thompson
  • Pilot: Lieutenant junior Gabriel Paredes
  • Copilot: Ensign Leonard Jackson

 

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Select Biography:

 

Sadie Carter:

Rank: Captain

Age: 28 years old

Position: Commanding officer

History: Sadie Carter was born on New Anat. She lost her parents when she was young, forcing her to live in the city streets. Because life in the city was hard, Carter was forced to join a criminal group known as the Blood Lads for survive. A friend of her, Elena Orlando, lost her life while they were young, but it is still not known the identity or the location of the killer. When she was twelve years old, she tried to steal money from Captain Viktor Oklakov since she needed it to feed another kid called Anatoly Petrovski. Oklakov was surprised to see how cunning the girl was, that’s why he decided to adopt both kids.

After graduating from Gunras Military Academy with honors for having high grades, the cadet joins the Human Fleet. She is then assigned to the UHA Ophelia, joining the security team.

Something that needs to be mentioned is that the ensign was quite proactive, and she took any opportunity she could get. When the Ophelia was boarded by members of the terrorist group The Brotherhood of Darstan, Ensign Carter, after the leader of her squad died, took command of her unit to help capture the terrorists. Because of her job, she was promoted to lieutenant junior. Other feats that can be mentioned are she helped in the defense of Utaka, she captured many criminals hidden in the galaxy and she was the one who introduced the ensigns to the security team. In 2309 R.SA, the Lieutenant Commander Carter was promoted to commander and she was transferred to the UHA Lexington as the first officer by petition of Captain Makoto Okita. As his first officer, Commander Carter continued giving her best. Because of that, in 2311 R.SA, Sadie Carter was promoted to captain and was assigned as the commanding officer of the UHA Minya. Since she took her new post, Sadie Carter has shown she has all the qualities required to be a captain of the fleet, like when she impeded a war between the Eurialian Federation and the IAFP.

 

Felicia Martin

Rank: Commander

Age: 30 years old

Position: Executive officer

History: Felicia Martin was born in Agamand, the capital of Gunras. She is the eldest child of the Martin marriage. Since she was young, she had interest in joining the fleet; according to her, her uncle inspired her to enroll in the fleet. Records indicate that the uncle she mentioned was Justin Martin, who currently works as the commander of the space station New Borders.

Her career as cadet in the Gunras Military Academy wasn’t something to talk about. After graduating, Ensign Martin was assigned to the space station Galathea. For five years she had an excellent performance after being placed as an official in Ops. Her perseverance in doing a good job, and helping her superiors, gave her many promotions until she became a lieutenant. In 2307 R.SA, Lieutenant Martin was transferred to the UHA Minya, whose commanding officer was Captain Viktor Oklakov. The lieutenant was then assigned as the second officer of the ship. A year later she was promoted to lieutenant commander thanks to her work in collaborating the Serakiam Fleet of Kibou in the rescue of the HSF Djikitra. In the year 2310 R.SA, Martin was promoted to commander and she becomes the executive officer of the Minya. A year later, Sadie Carter is assigned as the commanding officer of the Minya. Commander Martin keeps her post as XO.

Two years later, the UHA Minya and the UHA Tromper are involved in a diplomatic mission where the bitter relationship between the IAFP and the Eurialian Federation almost starts a war. Thanks to the team lead by Commander Martin under the orders of her captain, they capture the conspirators that were inciting the Eurialians. Martin was given the opportunity to be promoted as captain and have her own ship, but she declined the offer. She is still in her post as executive officer of the Minya.

 

Tallulah Cortez

Rank: Lieutenant Commander

Age: 35 years old

Position: Second officer

History: Cortez is a descendant of the Americas natives, specifically from Panama; his tribe were the Gunas. His family was one of the first that emigrated when the Serakiam made the first contact with the humans in the year 2232 R.SA.

Lieutenant Cortez doesn’t have any family in the human fleet because they are focused in helping their tribe. The reason the man decided to enroll in the fleet was because he desired to explore the galaxy and travel to places ‘his own imagination couldn’t even imagine’. His interest in joining the fleet could be noticed when he graduated with the highest ranking of his class.

After graduating, the ensign was assigned to Ops in the space station Earnest. Ensign Cortez didn’t like this decision because Earnest is one of Gunras space stations. Nevertheless, the ensign didn’t give up his dream; instead he worked exceptionally, impressing his superiors. It wasn’t until the year 2300 R.SA that the lieutenant junior was assigned to the UHA Athena. In those years of service on the ship, Captain Gloria Streisand reported the lieutenant junior was one of the most valued members of the crew. Assigned to the science team, Cortez was quite useful to discover events happening in the space. Sadly, by 2306 R.SA, Lieutenant Cortez, who was close to receive his promotion as lieutenant commander, had to abandon his post because there were problems in his tribe. His rank as lieutenant was kept wit the hopes he would return to the fleet in the future. And it became a reality in 2310 R.SA. Captain Oklakov requested that he was assigned to the UHA Minya as the ship’s navigator. He kept this post when Captain Carter took command of the ship.

A year later, Cortez was promoted to lieutenant commander and was given the position of second officer when Commander Josh Oliver was transferred to the UHA Owens. According to the logs of Captain Carter, Lieutenant Commander Cortez is one of the most valuable members of her crew.

 

Anatoly Petrovski

Rank: Lieutenant

Age: 27 years old

Position: Chief of Security.

History: Anatoly Petrovski was born in New Anat. Like his commanding officer, he lost his family when he was young because of the gang wars. Unlike Captain Carter, he didn’t join a criminal group, although he has admitted he tried to. Carter and her friend, Orlando, who were taking care of him, forbade him to join one of the gangs. When he was eleven years old, by request of Carter, Anatoly Petrovski was adopted by the Oklakovs. Months later he enrolls in the Military Academy of Gunras.

It isn’t usual to make comparisons, but unlike Carter and Oklakov children, Petrovski grades were mediocre. What he stood out was in the classes that required physical activity. The instructors also noted that he handled well the guns. They also reported that unlike Cadet Carter, Cadet Petrovski had problems socializing with his classmates, and that Carter protected him too much.

After graduating, the cadet requested to be assigned in the UHA Ophelia. Because Ensign Carter was there, his request was denied, and he was instead assigned to the UHA Ardennes.

It can’t be denied that Petrovski was an exceptional soldier thanks to his physical abilities, but he lacked the desire to progress in his career. It wasn’t until 2310 R.SA that the ensign decided to take the initiative and lead squadrons in the missions he was given. This allowed him to be promoted to lieutenant in 2312 R.SA. That same year, the lieutenant asked to be transferred to the UHA Minya. At first the admirals didn’t like the idea, but after reviewing his record, they gave him permission to serve his people in the Minya. In 2314 R.SA, because Lieutenant Commander Tomas Kane was transferred to another ship, Captain Carter gave Petrovski the position of Chief of Security. All that’s left to say is that he has done an excellent job in that post.

 

Jazmin Patel

Rank: Lieutenant

Age: 27 years old

Position: Communications Officer

History: Lieutenant Patel is the daughter of Captain Patel of the Gunras Army. Despite her father’s awards, and two of her brothers followed their father steps, she didn’t enroll in the army, instead opting to enroll in the fleet. After graduating from the academy, Ensign Patel was assigned, after she asked for it, to the space station Requiem.

While she was in the station, Commander Smith reported that the ensign possessed interest in surpassing her own limits; she was quite proactive and ambitious. Captain Oklakov, while he was picking his new crew, noticed Patel’s performance, and for that reason, when she was nineteen years old, the ensign was reassigned to the UHA Minya, working again in Ops. Capitan Oklakov noticed in his logs the same that Commander Smith mentioned: the ensign was a person who did her best to stand out above the others. She worked more than her companions, she gave her best, she tried to take any opportunity to advance her career, and she even asked many times to participate in the landing missions. When Captain Oklakov was promoted to commodore, Patel already had the rank of lieutenant junior.

Because Captain Carter is less strict than the commodore, Lieutenant Junior Patel worked better under the command of Carter. After being reassigned to Communications Officer, Patel supports her companions and senior officers with valuable information that she manages to obtain by intercepting other calls or by communicating with other species that don’t use the universal translator. Patel received a promotion because of her job when the Minya needed to find the conspirators. She was searching through different frequencies to find the hideout of the conspirators.

 

Irwing Sakamoto

Rank: Commander

Age: 41 years old

Position: Chief of Engineering

History: Commander Sakamoto’s case is special because he didn’t plan to work on the fleet, much less be an engineer. According to him, when he was a child he desired to work as a scientist focused in studying the stars. But life always take unexpected turns, and Irwing Sakamoto wasn’t an exception. While he was studying in school, he finds his love for engineering when he had to create a robot for the science fair. His creation was so impressive that it was mentioned in the media. It was at that moment that Sakamoto decided to become an engineer, although he still didn’t have any interest in enrolling in the fleet. After graduating from high school and enrolling in college, Sakamoto obtained his bachelor’s degree from University of Liria in 2298 R.SA. To obtain his title, Sakamoto wrote and presented his thesis where he explained it was possible to diminish the energy spent by a Macrorb refining Gesperine with crystals of Rethedium instead of Nailth compound. This essay was done along with a serakiam, an irian and a nigtros. His contribution to the thesis was valuable, allowing him to enter the association of astroengineers of the IAFP. Sakamoto, instead of getting his master’s degree and then PhD, he decided to enroll in the fleet. While doing his essay, he realized that his love was the engineering room of the starships. After joining the fleet, he was assigned to work on the UHA Brudhyl. In 2307 R.SA, Engineer Sakamoto was transferred to the UHA Minya, having by then the rank of lieutenant. Sakamoto continued doing an excellent job, and in less than five years he was promoted to commander. After Captain Carter took command of the Minya, and Commander Namu was reassigned to another ship, she makes Sakamoto the new Chief of Engineering of the Minya. According to her, after Sakamoto took command of the section, the Minya has become a more powerful ship.

 

Hai Lim

Rank: Lieutenant commander

Age: 41 years old

Position: Medical Chief

History: Doctor Lim is a man dedicated to save others. Because his parents are doctors, Hai decided to practice the same profession as them. Unlike them, instead of working in a hospital, he decided to be a doctor of the fleet because he wanted to travel through the galaxy.

Because he was a doctor, before he was assigned to a ship, Hai Lim had to take an internship of seven years to practice his career. It wasn’t until 2298 R.SA that Doctor Lim finally enrolled in the fleet. Before being assigned to the UHA Minya, he served on two ships and one space station: the UHA Brudhyl, the UHA Ardennes and the space station Earnest. Captain Oklakov picked him up in 2307 R.SA when he was deciding who would join his crew. By then the doctor had the rank of lieutenant. Two years later, Captain Oklakov promoted him to medical chief of the ship. In 2311 R.SA, before the ship’s command was given to Sadie Carter, Doctor Lim was promoted to lieutenant commander because he saved the lives of the of the UHA Hydie crew after the life support system of the ship failed. Only two crewmembers died, and that was before the Minya could arrive to rescue the crew.

 

Gabriel Paredes

Age: 32 years old

Rank: lieutenant junior

Position: pilot

History:

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Leonard Jackson

Age: 23 years old

Rank: Ensign

Position: Copilot

History:

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Jeanette Thompson

Age: 31 years old

Rank: Lieutenant junior

Position: Navigator.

History:

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After graduating from college with a bachelor’s degree of astronomy, Thompson decided to enroll in the fleet. After three years or hard training in the military academy, Cadet Thompson officially becomes another member of the fleet. Her reasons to join were to put to practice the knowledge she obtained in the university. In 2309 R.SA, Ensign Thompson was assigned to the UHA Beagle as navigator of the ship. Something that Captain Lou reported in her logs was that the ensign had problems socializing with others. She also mentioned that Jeanette Thompson wanted to impose her will and force others to eat the same food as her to ‘keep their bodies healthy’. This caused problems, forcing Captain Lou to call Thompson to her office many times. According to Captain Lou, Ensign Thompson was a brilliant woman, but her desire to force other people to eat healthy was causing problems in the crew. Captain Lou also admitted she felt relieved when the ensign asked to be transferred to the UHA Minya, and that Captain Carter and Commander Martin accepted her petition.

In the UHA Minya, Thompson was assigned to be the ship’s navigator too. Unlike Captain Lou, Captain Carter in her logs hasn’t mentioned that Thompson was problematic; on the contrary, she was quite satisfied by her work. That same year, the ensign was promoted to lieutenant junior after helping in the capture of the conspirators that wanted to start a war with the Eurialian Federation.

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What I have been up to?

First of all, I have to admit I forgot about this website. Recently, I wanted to create a new blog, so I was comparing hosting websites used as portfolios like Wix or Squarespace, or even develop my own website and upload it using Dreamhost. While deciding where to post my writing, I stumbled on WordPress. No need to explain more.

What happened? I might say I drifted apart. Back in 2013, I was busy with college and then, before I knew, I graduated. Yet, I had some difficulties trying to find a job. Those days were awful, to say the least: going to multiple interviews each week with the hope they would call me back. But that didn’t happen, until I got my first job as a software tester. And while I was glad I finally got a job and income, I couldn’t practice my career as programmer. Long story short, before 2015 ended, I got a job as a programmer.

But, while I was trying to get a job, I didn’t forget about my hobby as a writer. That said, I wasn’t confident about my writing back then. But experience is obtained by continued practice, and that’s what I did. Now, after sharing some chapters to family members and friends, and getting good feedback, I can say for sure I will start posting chapters and other important info about the universe, like the characters. You can be sure that I expanded the universe of Astral Wave and created new ones.

What now? Like I mentioned before, I will post chapters of Astral Wave, but also about other works I have written throughout these years. Not only that, I also intend to start drawing since one of my objectives is to develop a visual novel and release it in Steam, so you may see some fanart and original art, even if it is terrible at the beginning. Also, I plan to post reviews of videogames, animes, tv series, books I have read and also artbooks.

Secondary Characters of Astral Wave

Good day. Like I said in my last post, this one will be about important secondary characters for each protagonist of the book. Almost in all the stories secondary characters are important and in many ways they help the protagonists in many ways.

Let’s start with the most important characters from Mina Cloud’s side of the story.

Sam Arce: he is the lieutenant of the Amiens ship and at the same time he verifies that the ship works perfectly. Mina and Sam are childhood friends; they knew each other when they were one year old, and since then they have never been separated. Thanks to Sam the young captain has managed to overcome the traumas of her past.

Rod Pavlichenko: this young man is the official cook of the Amiens ship and one of the friends of Mina. Between him and the captain there is a great trust since Mina knows she can trust Rod parts of her life she doesn’t want to share with Sam.

Rei Granger: she is the navigator of the Amiens Ship (each ship must have a navigator since they give the pilots the coordinates of their new destiny for go), and the only female friend that Mina has. Rei is another person that supports unconditionally her friend and captain.

Since Mina is the captain of a ship and has a crew there will be many other secondary characters in her side of the story.

Now, let’s go to secondary characters from the side of Daniel Abel.

Serena Abel: she is the twin sister of Daniel, and in certain ways, a maternal figure to the young boy. Because Dan occasionally acts in a reckless way for save everyone that is in problems the child usually got himself beaten up by the other boys of the colony of hurt by doing risky stuff. Serena was in charge of healing Dan and give his brother counsels since their father only arrived at his home at nights. Despite Serena is quite young in many aspects she is an adult.

Talir: she is a character that will be introduced much later on the story. All I can say is that she will play an important role for the development of Dan.

 

Dei’Talon’s important secondary characters:

Christa Baum: she is the human assistant that the senator Talon has. Since Christa is one of the few humans inside the senate she is a constant victim of insults and mockery from the other senators and workers from the senate because she is a human. Despite that, Christa doesn’t mind that since she ignores them and continue doing her job without complaining. Talon respects her willpower and admires her. The relationship between these two is of mutual respect and trust.

Mio’Talon: from the Talon marriage nine girls and one boy were born. Since Dei is the only boy from the marriage his parents became the focus of attention for them and in some ways they totally forgot their daughters. Because of this Dei’s sisters started to hate him; they played some terrible pranks on him, with only one sole exception: Mio’Talon. Despite she is the youngest daughter many times she stood against her sisters for protect her younger brother. Mio is a quiet serakiam woman that loves to read books. Recently Mio and Dei haven’t talked too much since a rupture happened between them but despite being separated there is a strong string between these siblings.

Iri: he is the master of the Bounty Hunter Guild in Davaos. He is another important character for Dei’Talon.

And now let’s start with Maiara Yinoris:

Margery Makise: if someone asked if Mia has a friend one could say the closest figure to a friend she has is Margery Makise. Margery is a scientist and the chief of the R&D department of Ryuk, the Adaro. She is in charge of helping Mia by giving her new gadgets or upgrades to her combat suit. Mia and Margery have a complete professional relationship, nevertheless, both of them has trusted each other with important parts of their life when they have a chance.

Through her journeys through the galaxy Mia will find many other characters that will help the bounty hunter. Unlike Daniel and Talon these characters won’t be mentioned on this post.

With this I conclude with the section of secondary characters. In the next entry I hope to post important concepts like the Intergalactic Senate of Davaos, the system the ships use for move, and the most important, the effect known as Astral Wave.

Main Characters of Astral Wave

Like I promised on my last entry, this post will be a brief introduction to the four point of view (and protagonists) of Astral Wave: A Chess Match. Originally there was going to be only one point of view character but as time passed I thought it would be better for add more PoV characters for explore more Aegis Nebula.

Now, let’s start with the introductions:

Mina Cloud: Mina Cloud is the young captain of the Amiens. Despite she is only nineteen years old, Mina is considered by many to be one of the most important captains of the Human Fleet of Gunras. She is a prodigious young woman who is trying her best to overcome the traumas of her dark past.

Personal Notes:With Mina the idea of Astral Wave began. Originally she was going to be the only point of view character in the entire book. Since the beginning she has passed through many changes in personality, past and even jobs before becoming the youngest captain of the Human Fleet of Gunras.

Daniel Abel:  Many kids have a dream: become heroes so they can save the world. Through time, when they start growing, the kids stop having these dreams and because they start seeing how reality is. Sadly, Daniel Abel isn’t one of them. Sure, he is thirteen years old but despite he knows how cruel the real world is because of the civil war in the space colony Zero he still believes he will be able to become a hero of justice.

Personal  Notes: Like Mina, Daniel has passed through many changes. Originally, he was going to be a traumatized child because his father died but in the end that idea was scrapped. Now he is a small boy that will fiercely try to fulfill the promise he made to his father the night before he died. Since his father tried to save all the Europeans back when he was on Earth Dan believes he can do the same even in his young age. Since many people disagree with his ideal the young boy believes they are his enemies. Through this tale we will see if Dan changes and accepts that his ideal is a dream that can’t be accomplished.

Maiara Yinoris: One of the most ancient professions in the Astral Wave universe is bounty hunting. As a bounty hunter, a person must kill or capture a target. For this, the hunter must have a cold personality and a strong will. Maiara Yinoris is one of the most renowned bounty hunters in Aegis Nebula, and perhaps the most famous human bounty hunter. She is a professional hunter who will not doubt a second for accomplish her objectives.

Personal Notes:Maiara, or also known as Mia, is what originally Mina was going to be, in some ways. Cloud was going to be part of the IFPA but instead of having a big ship and a crew Mina was a person who worked alone. Important characteristics of Mia are that she is quite cold and a person that doesn’t doubt a second: if she has to kill someone she will not hesitate. Like other characters, Mia has a dark and troubled past, something she is trying to forget yet it still haunts her. It can be seen easily when she finds slaves on her travels: if she see people forcing other to work then she will start acting in a reckless way. Something to note about Mia: despite she doesn’t doubt about killing she tries her best to not kill people unless that person is a target she must kill or if someone tries to impede her work.

Dei’Talon: Talon is a serakiam minor senator from the Senate of Davaos. This senator is one of the most particular because he is the only one that has an human assistant. Despite almost everyone laughs at his back Talon doesn’t care because his only concern is the welfare of the IFPA.

Personal Notes: Talon is the only PoV character that isn’t a human on this book. Because the Senate plays an important role on the events of this book it was a good idea to have a character that sees personally what happens in Davaos. Like many other characters Talon has received some changes in his personality, feelings and backstory.

These are the four characters that will narrate the events of Astral Wave, in some sense. The narration will be in third person, not first person.

My next entry will include some other important supporting characters to this book.

Before ending, I wish you all a Happy New Year.

Introduction to Astral Wave

Thanks for your time by reading this blog.

In this post I’m going to explain what is Astral Wave and a little introduction about me.

Why I wanted to create this book? Since I was a little kid I have always loved fiction stories. The idea of make my own stories started when I was playing World of Warcraft in 2008; back then I thought: “hey, I can create a fantasy setting like Warcraft.” Since then I tried to make a fantasy book set in the past. Needless to say, since I was younger the story I created “borrowed” many elements from many other games and TV Series so for now I’ll put it on hold. It is finished, but right now I don’t like the state of the book. Sometime in the future I’ll look the story again and fix many of the problems, especially the names of the characters. Some of them sound lame.

Also I created two slice of life books but the first one is also another cliché storm and in some ways it looks a lot to another series (an anime and visual novel). The second one I can say proudly is my first job I took completely seriously. Perhaps I’ll release it sometime in the future.

Now, unto Astral Wave. The idea of Astral Wave started in 2009 since I wanted to play with a female protagonist. On top of that, the idea of creating a new Space Opera was kind of interesting so I started writing some stuff about it, but it wasn’t until 2011 that I committed myself to Astral Wave.

What is Astral Wave?

Astral Wave is a Space Opera set in an alternate universe in which the human history changed. In this story the humans not only live on the Earth, they also live in some other planets (like other Space Operas series I gotta admit) in the galaxy, The Milky Way or also, known by the aliens, Aegis Nebula. Now, the humans are divided in three great factions which are the following:

  • The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics or USSR
  • The Empire of New Granada
  • The Human Fleet of Gunras

Of these three factions the only ones that live on the Earth are the soviets and the people of New Granada. The humans that live in Gunras are the Europeans, Asians, Africans and also people from the American continent that lost the Third World War. They were forced to leave the planet because the soviets were close to eliminate them, and also, because the Earth is in bad conditions and it isn’t apt for the live there (the humans had to create domes for protect themselves from the contamination of the planet).

Besides the three human factions there are many another organizations.  The Intergalactic Free Planet Alliance (or also known by IFPA) is the most powerful organization in Aegis Nebula and one of the oldest to still exist. The humans of Gunras are protected by said faction, it is because of them that the soviets don’t dare to launch a full scale offensive to Gunras. The IFPA consists of Mayor Races and Minor Races, sadly, the humans are one of the minor races.

The mayor races of the IFPA are the following:

  • Serakiam
  • Nigtros
  • Irian

These are the three most powerful races in the IFPA. Some examples of minor races are the pantheur and the humans. Surprisingly, of all the minor races the humans are perceived as beings of destruction by the other races, that’s why there is a big discrimination to the humans in the IFPA. Despite how badly treated they are, the humans are still inside the alliance.

Of course, there are many other factions in Astral Wave but I’ll talk about them in a new post.

The main events of the books will start in the year 3709 of the Intergalactic Calendar, or if we use the same calendar as we use now, the year is 2126. The first book will have four point of view characters; each one of them will see the most important events of Astral Wave.

And that’s it for the small introduction of Astral Wave. In the next post I’m going to do a brief introduction to the four point of view characters and other important characters. Also I’ll post info about the book of the first book.

A brief note: even though I’m posting this on English the book is only written in Spanish at the moment (you can see because the other posts are in Spanish. That language is my native language). I’ll try to release it where I live and hopefully sometime in the future the book will be translated to English and other languages.