Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Lance DeMoi and the Phases of Phobos

Jack walked into the study, brushing the red sand from his boots and coat.  The Professor waited for him, sitting straight-backed behind his mahogany desk.  Hanging his immaculately dusted traveling coat on the hatstand by the door, Jack strode up to the desk and the Professor in the winged-back chair.
"Are the plans on schedule, Jack?"  the Professor asked reclining in his chair, long, pale fingers steepled.
"The unearthing continues, Professor.  This world is old and the rock is tough."
The two men looked out the casement windows: the red winds of Mars scouring the jutting rock pinnacles and stonework that reached like ancient fingers up into the light cyan sky.  Droids, spherical and roughly 32 inches across, droned to and fro, hauling loads of ruddy brown rocks away with their pneumatic claws; their circular, grate-protected eyes peering into the gloom of the terraced quarry.
"Yes," the Professor said as he stood from his leather chair, crossing over to the window in one stride, gazing out across the red desert, "this world is old.  Many secrets lie beneath the surface, similar to Earth.  But the artifacts that hide here are more potent, many times older, but much more dangerous.  Ah, here comes one of the natives."
A tall, taller than the largest man on earth, long armed and legged man came gliding across the rusty sands of Mars toward the laboratory built into the cliffside.  The blue veins and pale organs visible through his translucent skin, skeleton and muscles lying under the cloudy complexion.  A gold and rusty colored mantle covered his golden-armor clad shoulders, a similar red toga covered his torso, it's dusty hem snapping about in the wind.  A pointed, geometric, gold hafted double-bladed axe was held commandingly in his right hand.  He pushed open the polished door to the study, stooping down almost halfway; clouds of red dirt puffing up as he stomped his cleated boots on the mat.  The Aryan warrior straightened to his full height of nine feet and seven inches, his gilded war cap almost gouging the wood of the paneled ceiling.  The pale blues eyes in the transparent sockets focused on the Professor.
"Laerkasa, the muftaqora have dug down one kilo-meter.  They have found something.  A relic of the empires of old.  Perhaps you should come and investigate."  the Aryan spoke with a strange accent, rolling his R's and emphasizing his O's.
The Professor smiled, a smile that filled Jack and the Aryan with apprehension.  He stroked the gray stubble cropping up on his chin with a bony hand.
"Good, good.  Let me just get my coat.  Assemble your clan by the dig site within the hour."
The Martian warrior nodded his head sharply, then hunched out the door.
"Jack, hand me my coat will you?  I think we have finally found what the University has searched for for two centuries!"

Bacca peered around the column of weathered rock, making sure he was behind the automaton.  It was seven years ago, Bacca was only eight, when these strange, circle-footed quadrupeds rained from the sky.  One they exterminated rather quickly to examine.  The elders declared them a threat.  Another had gotten stuck in sand, so the Takkasa tribe had salvaged it.  But this one had waddled for many strides across the desert, the tribes let it go, curious as to it's destination.  It examined the cradles of the fallen gods and dug in the dirt.  Searching for something.  And that was why Bacca was sent by the elders to hunt it down; it was seeking something beneath the surface.  And the remnants of the Old Empires should stay hidden.  Bacca raised his phase rifle, adjusting the sight to make up for the eye-burning winds.  He pulled the phase igniter lever, putting the butt of his rifle against his semiopaque shoulder.  Once he destroyed this alien android and came out of the Rettssak as the victor, Bacca would be given the golden and russet mantle and toga of an Aryan warrior.  A rock clattered down a cliff behind him.  Bacca snapped his head around.  Tyasing, his blood-brother, towered over him.
"Come, Bacca," Tyasing whispered, glancing warily at the white and yellow rover, "'tis not safe for a youngling to wander alone anymore.  Our scouts tell us that the invaders have found a powerful relic.  All the clans of the Aryans are assembling for war."                        

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