Today's blog is the beginning of the story that introduces our third faction in Star Crush. The pirates are a group that continue to plague the space lanes of the Federated Republic of Planets. They operate within the Commorium Quadrant and continually baffle the military and government in their ability to cause mayhem within interstellar transportation. Enjoy this story arc over the next few weeks.
PAL is a completely useless fabricator. I typed in the words ‘Soki juice over cold cubes’ and it asked me about my day. What is it, a psychiatrist now?
“PAL, every night it’s the same thing…just probe your memory banks…what did I have last night? Got it? There’s a good PAL…pffft…”
Personal Automation Labs supply all the pod assistant software for this building and most others in the city. Mine has zero clue when it comes to working the fabricator. But I couldn’t afford the new software update, so I spend half my time explaining to PAL, the help, what it should do.
* * *
I press my palm to the comms panel. ’88 new messages’, the phoney girl bot says.
Message…1: “Grazza, from Total VR dating. We notice that you haven’t visited us in…3 years…75 days…and…26 seconds….and you have…unread messages from 76-Hunnie4U, Gurtwen30Eva, 20-IwonaIwona-20…and…Ralpurto101Winkie…press 1…to access your account…2 to repeat message…3 to delete…”
Message…2: “Quigg, you know better than to access government files without my permission…of course you do…I’m just messaging to remind you of that…and to tell you that there is a meeting tonight…it’s big…be there…you know, Quigg, you’re not the only journalist in town who can work this gig…”
I hung up and heard the fabricator leap to life.
I took my soki juice to the armchair and gazed out at the disaster of a city. It was falling apart. I thought about barricading myself in and printing a bunch of weapons which I could snipe the Xothic with. Or perhaps I could turn the pod into a huge turret and launch myself into the exhaust funnel of an Ul-Raddyik fighter and take down a whole load of the gruunts.
My view of the city made it look like a coral reef at war.
Patrol bots stutter across the horizon, their mini jets leaving a blue streak across the fading orange sky. The buildings act as prisons now. People are afraid to leave their pods. Who can blame them? They have nowhere to go and no one to turn to.
My role in all this? To report. Report on the collapse of the Commorium people.
It’s an old story. And one that has repeated itself across the galaxy and will, in all likelihood, continue on and on until we’re all swallowed up by one giant vortex.
“Your take on that mess out there please?”
“I see no mess out there, I only see mess in here. Quigg, shall I order a team of psyche bots to talk to you and perhaps administer tranquillisers?”
“You know PAL, I find you to be one of the most dreadful fopp holes I’ve ever had the misfortune of knowing.” I was ranting. I knew it. PAL knew it.
“Quigg, I’m sorry, I’m not programmed for confrontational scenarios, I’m here to help you in any way I can.” PAL actually sounded hurt.
“Okay, PAL. Do me a favour and stop making talking sounds for the night.”
I heard something crackle, then the lights dimmed.
In the sky outside the blue was overtaking the orange. The stars popped out, one after the other. I watched the lights dance and grow, like a storm in space, something was happening. Perhaps the Admiral had rallied his meagre fleet and launched his attack. Maybe that flash of light was the entire Commorium fleet turning to star dust.
From the stardust, back to the stardust.
I thought about the meeting with Guir and watched the city slowly crumble beneath me.
Quigg, La-La Land