Stories of the Iron Dragons – Awakening Pt. 2

Tezcatlipoca smiled.

 Had there been any to see, it would be enough to tear the final wisps of sanity from any lesser being. During the long search for the shards of his broken crystal staff, the scribes found something even he had not expected.

 An Old One; one who did not die in the war with the Yith but was found sleeping in the dimension known as R’lyeh. It took tremendous and complex manipulations pulling together the demons to salvage those tokens which would release the Great Old One, Cthulhu, from his slumbers. Even now, the humans speed their way toward the magnificent basalt city in the materium where the gateways lay waiting.

 With the claw of one gnarled finger, Tezcatlipoca reached out and drew aside strands of the veil separating realities to enjoy this moment of time.

“My excitement is intense and building. Finally, after weeks of delay we are embarked upon the Iron Dragons Helleater en route to this mysterious city in the Southern Hemisphere of this planet. Accompanying us are the Arkham Confederates in a Capybara. Seems the delay was a result of consternation by the Inquisitor, not something one wishes to be the focus of, regarding an apparently large number of defectors. Rumors swirled they had taken to the jungles of this strange world based upon dreams of service, power and immortality. Inquisitor de Salis was quite wroth at hearing this and spent days interrogating the Arkham Confederates and inhabitants of the Hive City, Innsmouth.

Seems he did root out the corruption; for finally one broke, somehow his dying words echoing throughout the city, ‘Ia! Iä! Shub-Niggurath! The Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young!’, and with that eerie cry, many hundreds fell dead. The remembrance of the event is enough in itself to run my blood cold as icy talons of death caress my spine.

Stories of The Iron Dragons – Awakening Pt. 1

…..File Access 70% Data Available…..

 

Galactic Science Academy XenoArcheological Files

 

Vhoorl XenoArcheological Survey

Binary Star AL-Janubi

Star Chart Vector: Obscura

 

Personal Log: Charles Ward, Lead Xenoarcheologist

 

Star log 0946012.M40

 

“.. en route on board shuttle Hetty from the Cruiser Miskatonic down to meet with Captain Kalmar of Federated Space Force. He is the Commander of an elite company of super soldiers, the Iron Dragons. This planet, clear only a spate of years from the warp storm Hasturang; already shows signs in its Northern Hemisphere of its transformation into a new settlement for the Empire. With the storm cleared, it will be able to support Imperial efforts in the outer reaches of the vector.

 

The Iron Dragons garrison and their allies the Arkham Confederates, an Empire military unit have been stationed here to protect the establishment of the Imperial presence. Indeed, one factory for small arms and ammunition is online with armor and aircraft factories to be online within the next 3 and 6 months. The Ministry has created an administrative miracle, considering the labor source are rejects from the interior worlds.

 

Scouts for the Arkham Confederates report an enormous Xenos Ruin in the Southern Hemisphere on the largest continent. It is like nothing built or classified within Imperial record by any of the known Xenos. So, I travel to this star forsaken world, along with Commissar Lavinia Whatley and the Inquisitor Nathaniel de Salis, to inspect and classify this ruin. The area is described as “a coast-line of mingled mud, ooze, and weedy cyclopean masonry seemingly carved from solid blocks of basalt, possibly not native to the planet” by the Ministry projects geologist. We are tasked with classifying it and its potential threat to the Empire.”

 

End transmission……….

 

This was the last official transmission received from Vhoorl.

 

Thank you for reading,

Ernest

Introducing Tales of the Iron Dragons

Good evening,

Tonight I have the pleasure of introducing you to one of my worlds. A planetary expedition force on the fringes of the galaxy with the goal of preparing the planet for colonization. You have been introduced to one of the characters already in “A Cultists Tale”. A piece of the story will be introduced each week. I hope you enjoy them.

Thank you for reading,

Ernest

Stories of the Iron Dragons – Discovery of Vhoorl

Administratum Planetary Surveys

 

Vhoorl Planetary Survey

Binary Star AL-Janubi

Segmentum Obscurus

 

Personal Log: Donovan Gilman, Lead Planetologist

 

Planet Vhoorl, strategically located on the edge of Segmentum Obscurus is an earth-like planet in many respects. Atmosphere composed primarily of Nitrogen and oxygen, slightly richer in oxygen than Terra with a gravity approx 4/5s that of Terra.

The planet is majority water with two primary land masses, a northern and southern continent. The ocean separating the continents is primarily salt water.

The Northern Continent has an extensive river system, with eight major drainage basins, all of which drain into the ocean. Two of these basins account for more than half the total drainage area. The largest river system in the Northern Continent originates in a mountainous region and receives tributaries from a basin that covers 45.7% of the continent, principally the north and west. The main river system flows from west to east. Through this basin flows one-fifth of Vhoorls fresh water. This system provides a sufficient supply of potable water for the hive city, Astra Militarum garrison and cooling for the factories.

Although 90% of the continent is within the tropical zone, the climate varies considerably from the mostly tropical North to temperate zones below the 23°27′ S latitude. The Northern Continent has five climatic regions: equatorial, tropical, semiarid, highland tropical, and subtropical.

Temperatures along the equator are high, averaging above 25 °C (77 °F), but not reaching the summer extremes of up to 40 °C (104 °F) in the temperate zones. There is little seasonal variation near the equator. At the country’s other extreme, there are frosts south of the 23°27′ S latitude during the winter and there is snow in the mountainous areas. Temperatures outside the Hive City are moderate (usually between 15 and 30 °C or 59 and 86 °F), despite their relatively low latitude, because of their elevation of approximately 1,000 meters (3,281 ft). The coast has warm climates, with average temperatures ranging from 23 to 27 °C (73.4 to 80.6 °F), but enjoys constant winds. The southern coast has a subtropical climate and temperatures can fall below freezing in winter.

Precipitation levels vary widely. The Northern Continent has moderate rainfall of between 1,000 and 1,500 millimetres (39.4 and 59.1 in) a year, with most of the rain falling in the summer south of the Equator. The region is notoriously humid, with rainfall generally more than 2,000 millimetres (78.7 in) per year and reaching as high as 3,000 millimetres (118.1 in) in parts of the western side of the continent. Despite high annual precipitation, the rain forest can have a three- to five-month dry season, the timing of which varies according to location north or south of the equator.

In contrast to the Southern Continent which rose to elevations of nearly 17,000 meters (55774.3 ft) in a relatively recent epoch and inverted the river flows direction of flow from westward to eastward, the Northern continent geological formation is very old. Crystalline shields cover 36% of the territory, especially its central area. The dramatic granite sugarloaf mountains are an example of the terrain of the shield regions, where continental basement rock has been sculpted into towering domes and columns by tens of millions of years of erosion, untouched by mountain-building events.

The principal mountain ranges average elevations just under 3,500 meters (11482.9 ft). The Murum Mar range hugs the eastern coast, and the Murrum Medius Range, the largest in area, extends through the south-central part of the continent. The highest mountains are in this range, others traverse the northern border.

In addition to mountain ranges (about 0.5% of the country is above 1,200 m or 3,937 ft), the Northern Central Highlands include a vast central plateau (Planalto Central). The plateau’s uneven terrain has an average elevation of 1,000 meters (3,281 ft). The rest of the territory is made up primarily of sedimentary basins.

The Southern Continents  main structural lines show both the east-to-west direction characteristic, at least in the eastern hemisphere, of the more northern parts of the world, and the north-to-south direction seen in the southern peninsulas. The Southern Continent is thus mainly composed of two segments at right angles, the northern running from east to west, and the southern from north to south.

With a heavily grown rainforest and has not been extensively explored at this time. Orbital surveys have shown extremely high mountain ranges circling the central portion of the continent, pictures of which provide the suggestion of jagged teeth biting their way through the planet. The forest canopy prevents the penetration of any light creating a perpetual twilight gloom.

Mean monthly temperatures exceed 18 °C (64 °F) during all months of the year.[5] Average annual rainfall is no less than 168 cm (66 in) and can exceed 1,000 cm (390 in) although it typically lies between 175 cm (69 in) and 200 cm (79 in).[6]

The highest of these peaks reaches nearly 17,000 meters (55774.3 ft). Mons Imperalis as it has been deemed is about two thirds the height of Olympus Mons on Mars.

Inside the ring of mountains, appear the outlines of an ancient city. Preliminary review and exploration by the planetary geologist assigned to the colonization and establishment of munitoriums on Vhoorl indicate the city appears intact and is made of a black rock which may not be native to the planet.

A xeno-archeologist has been requested for further review. All exploration of the Southern Continent has been placed on hold pending his arrival. As a footnote the geologist came down with a strange malady after the visit to the Southern Continent. In his delirium he even decried his faith in the Emperor and was exterminated before further contamination could occur.

 

 

Thank you for reading,

Ernest

DEATH

This is a topic all writers handle in different ways. Writers are known for is killing characters. Some writers even seem to make a career of it, yes, I’m looking at you Mr. Martin. Death has certainly occurred in several of my stories and I have been threatened upon pain of death if I killed particular characters. In one my first stories published, “Birds of a Feather”, a teacher friend and my editor were both very pleased with the obvious depth of relationship between the main character and his mule. As far as we know the mule survived.

Sometimes, dying might have been a better option. In a gothic horror/romance, this was my most Lovecraftian story, a young lady was meant to be a sacrifice. My editor pleaded and cajoled for me to allow her to live. Yes, she survived. But sometimes, dying might have been preferable to her new quality of life. And yes after the re-write, my editor agreed, the young lady would have been better off dead.

As a writer, part of making the characters come alive for the reader is in making them relatable. For that to happen most of us turn to our own experiences. There have been deaths in my life, any of us who life very long on this Earth will have the experience of a pet, a friend, loved one, or other family member passing from this mortal coil. One death which struck me particularly hard was loss of a pet.

When we met, my partner had two cats. Both have died during the nine years we have been together. One was an older orange tabby named Scutter; the other a tiger-striped named Cheshire. Scutter and I bonded strongly over six years until her stroke. Her quality of life dropped instantly and within forty-eight hours we decided to euthanize her. It was my privilege for her to curl in my lap as two drugs were administered. The first was a muscle relaxant meant to slow her heart and ease any pain, its effect was unmistakable. Within a minute she relaxed in a way that way only a cat is able too. Being a part of my life daily, I knew she was getting older and had begun to endure physical ailments, yet in the daily progression of aging I had not realized how much had her physical being had deteriorated. It dawned upon me how long it had been since I heard her purr; my heart broke when she did. In those seconds of relaxation, I appreciated just how much of a struggle daily life had become for her. For the briefest of moments, in full selfishness, I did not want the second drug administered. The wonderful and caring veterinarian administered the second drug, the one to stop her heart. I caressed her until death came. It was as if one moment she was there, the next she wasn’t. I recall saying she was gone and the veterinarian saying it usually took longer. She listened for a heartbeat. There was none. My friend was gone.

I called the office and reported out sick. I cried. For two days I cried a lot. My partner and I both did. When we give to something with a lifespan shorter than ours, and it gives back to you unconditionally, losing that bond can be a devastating blow. Three years later we have our moments of  what has become known as a “small orange sad”.

That is one of the well springs I draw upon when I wrote about the death of a character. Feeling numb, maybe a bit of shock at the loss, and how I related to people and I try to imbue my characters with some of it.

Sometimes Death is handled by being a character. Death has been a favorite of mine since Ingmar Berman’s “The Seventh Seal”. Terry Pritchett’s character of Death is one I always enjoy. Truly trying to understand the poor mortals he so meticulously watches over. Really, Piers Anthony’s personification of Death from “On a Pale Horse”, a part of the Incarnations of Immortality series, where Death is a job, is probably my favorite. After reading it, I wanted his job.

Death, the character, allows the writer to create a little distance in the narrative. Perhaps it allows us to see or show a different, maybe more objective, perspective on a situation. Death can be many things in this way: a friend, a hunter, a businessman, travel agent, or teacher as needed for story. Often personifying Death gives the freedom for a narrator to be present, to alleviate or create a fear factor.

In one of his essays, H.P. Lovecraft wrote, “The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown”. What, pray tell, is more unknown than death? Religions, not touting any one over any other, all have an answer regarding death. Some people seek out a deity when it is believed death is imminent.

Whether a writer treats Death as part of a life cycle, a force of nature, a person, or an agent of fear one thing is certain. Death is now and will likely always be one of my favorite plot devices.

Thank you for reading,

Ernest

P.S. One of my goals is to write everyday. I did begin this on 3/16/2017 though currently there is an illness in the house which cause unavoidable delays. Flash Friday will be posted later in the day.

Good night