The first three chapters of a science fiction novel I'm writing, hoping that people could give some constructive criticism. Rotates Amon three different characters and storylines.
“In every age, there comes a time where human nature begins to conflict. Those in a status of power and money desire more of this, while the lower common folk desire the freedom possessed by the rich. So, a rebellion or uprising occurs, usually won by the lower class, not due to any sort of resiliency but more to their higher numbers. Then the victors busy themselves by establishing a government based on ‘freedom’ and ‘equality’ in which the majority will rule. But as it always ends up, another powerful minority rises to power, and thus we find ourselves back where we began. this is the cycle of freedom.”
-from “Human Nature in Politics” by Xenos Arrakis, published 14,000 S.A. or 1,000 P.E.
Note:All dates given in Standard Reckoning (S.A., or Star Age) and New Reckoning (P.E., or Post Empire)
The lush landscape of Lucem, capital of the sovereign interstellar nation of Ignis, stood out in sharp contrast to the rocky, barren planets that made up the rest of the system Alpha-2A. The other planets had long been deemed uninhabitable, although chemical rockets were often flying to and from the government base, leading many to think secret operations were being held on them.
Legend had always been cautious around those people.
Out the window, the vastness of the galaxy was speckled with stars, stars that seemed like just blips in the sky, and yet among them rose the human race, a civilization that had risen from humble beginnings, much like the man’s own. And now the sprawled themselves throughout the stars, a population of a staggering 150 quintillion. It dizzied Legend, made him feel small insignificant, and a mere drop in an ocean of humanity.
Briskly, he walked down the ramp, finding himself in an enormous airlock, the air humming with energy, the cavernous space seemingly magnifying every aspect of the bustling through a lrge metal arch, and heard a loud buzz as the
Wow! He couldn’t believe he was here, upon the space station Sol. The craft had served as the hub for the country’s military for a long while, and had no other equal in spatial architecture. Legend had once considered a career in spatial architecture, and poured countless times over the diagrams of the spaceship, admiring it’s beautiful, magnificent curves, gazing upon the simple beauty.
But that had been from a time long past, and soon after his parents had died, he found himself needing to support himself and his three siblings. So he had abandoned any hope oof his and gotten a job at the nuclear power plant downtown. there he spent hours upon hours regulating the energy output to his entire home planet.
And now he was on Sol… wow!
He stood nervously in the lobby, not sure whether to sit down or whether it would be appropriate to lean on the wall. After all, he was merely a peasant from the power station. He stared warily at the burly guards near the airlock door, their plasma blasters holstered, theior safeties off.
So his mind circled to a question that had been nagging him: What did I do to get here?
Legend stood up. A young blonde secretary stood near the opening of the hall.
“Mr. Pitter will see you now.”
Legend followed the woman, his heart pumping with excitement. He could hear the blood going through his head.
The secretary opened a white door at the end of the white door. She gestured for him to enter, and Legend walked into the room. The door immediately shut behind him.
He found himself facing a rich mahogany desk, elegantly decorated with carvings of stars and planets. A lamp and a stack of papers were set on the desk, and a chair stood behind it, it’s back turned to Legend.
“Hello, Mr. Whistler.” The chair turned around, revealing a man in his mid-50’s, with a slightly graying beard. He wore glasses tinted a deep shade of pink. He wore a tan jacket with
a black and white striped tie. He pushed his glasses up from the tip of his nose. ‘My name is Janus Whistler.”
“Yes, I’ve heard of you.”
Janus chuckled. “So you know what I do here?”
“You’re the director of defense. You manage all of the starships assigned to protecting the kingdom.”
Janus smiled. “That’s not all a director of defense does. Not all threats are external.”
As he spoke those last few words, Legend’s sweat glands began to work. No. How could they know?
Janus noticed Legend’s obvious worry and smiled. He walked around his desk, slowly, with emphasis. “The Ignisian government has ears everywhere. We’ve heard of your ideas: toppling the fief system, equality for peasants.” He picked up one of the papers off his desk and glanced at it.”This nation runs on a strict order. It’s like a game of… Jenga i believe it was called. If one piece is out of place, the whole system collapses.”
Quietly, Legend whispered “Did you call me here to arrest me, sir?”
Janus laughed. The sound resonated off of the carbon nanotube walls and the man shook his head. “Quite to the contrary. I called you here to recruit you.”
Legend stood still, his mind still processing the direcotrs last words. The man approached him and spoke quietly.
“I’m organizing a rebellion, Mr. Whistler. An usurpation of our current feudal order.” He took a step back. “When we are finished, there will be no talk of lords and ladies, but instead a government that is based on equality and justice: a republic.”
Legend thought on this for a moment, then spoke. “Are familiar with what the philosopher Xenos Arrakis had to say on rebellion?”
“Mr. whistler, I am politician.”
“I thought that you controlled the military.”
“One does not get themselves into a position of power these days without knowing politics. Anyways, as a rule, those in politics read his book at least twice. I know what he has to say on the subject, and I have my solutions. Now,” he paused for moment, partially for dramatic effect, partially to let what he had said sink in. He continued, “Are you in?”
“What if I was to walk out of here and tell everyone about this idea of yours.”
“Oh come now. i know you won’t do so since you asked. I’s beasic psychology. And besides, I have the whole intelligence network of our country at my command. I could, say, have you accidently die in a failure at the power plant. I could have you die of radiation poisoning from all the uranium you handle. I could have you killed right here and now and tell your family that you never arrived.”
“Fair enough, you’ve made your point. What would I have to do if I agreed to this.””
“Are you aware of what your Lord Varael has in his possession at this moment?”
Legend thought on this a moment. What didn’t his accursed Lord posses? Credits, power, and army of peasants, freedom…”I don’t know.”
“A ship from the Old Empire.”
Legend stopped for a moment. The Old Empire. It was a time little spoken of, and he only remembered the little they had taught him about it in school. He recalled terrifying tales of massacres, cadavers lying among the scarred remains of planets, chests filled with holes from plasma rays. It had terrified.the young boy, and he had been too aghast to remember much of anything else.
"What's so special about a ship from the Empire? What about a modern day ship?"
"Empirical have more firepower?"
"When the Galaxy was unified, the government had access to all of the available resources we had. Thus, the Empire could afford to build ships much more powerful than the ones we build today.
Legend wasn’t convinced. It was incongruous to suggest this. “Won’t the ship have deteoriated?”
“Possibly,yes.” Janus lumbered around the table and sat down once again, resting his aching back against the soft chair. “Probably, in fact.”
“Then, why not just take a ship from one of their navies?"
"They'd suspect something obviously. A ship disappearing is not so etching that goes unnoticed. In a galaxy where the resources are divided in three, it isn't always profitable for ships to be built, meaning they keep very careful tabs on their numbers. No it must be this ship, the only ship not recorded by the Kingdom."
"You mean they don't know about it."
"in an age where a King could be assassinated at any moment. Where battles over succession can last ages, having a ship or two of your own can turn out to be very beneficial."
Legend looked Janus straight in the eye, and sternly said "One last question: why me?"
"Legend, we have observed you for a while. I've seen what you can do with the men at the power plant, particularly after you led that strike a year back.You're a leader, someone who can sway the minds of feeble men, who can stir something up, create a following. You speak to them, and they fall under your words like a man under the waves of the oceans of Ghashanal. You've done it before. I want you to do it again."
Legend stood there, his face showing no expression, not betraying any of his thoughts.
His father had always told him to be wary, that motives were never straightforward, hat there was always something ulterior in the background. And yet...
"Okay, I'll do it."
Janus smiled. "Excellent, young man. Your world and nation will thank you by the time his is over."