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The Unexpected Companion

30 Mar 2024 22:48 #77959 by shadar
The Unexpected Companion was created by shadar
Welcome to a new story called The Unexpected Companion. I've just uploaded it for the Librarian's review. Hopefully, Woodclaw will be able to release it this evening or tomorrow given I'm submitting it only an hour and a half before deadline. 

This is something I've been working on most of the Winter, and is far enough along that I've got the first four parts (and some embedded graphics) ready to post. 

It's an Aurora Universe story that is stylistically similar to what I used to write about 20 years ago. Which is to say, it's for adult readers of this genre, and is the blend of superhuman fantasy and SciFi that I most enjoy writing, using the Velorian and Arion (Supremis) concepts that I invented back in the 90's with a few minor tweaks. 

This is Part One, initially set on a remote Rim World of our Galaxy, at the edge of Terran space. 

For those hoping for the next installment of Nachalnik, I'm still working on that. It's proving to be both harder and slower going than I'd anticipated, so I thought I'd start releasing this story while I still work on Nachalnik. 

Hope you enjoy... I always enjoy hearing your thoughts. You can either reply to this topic (preferred) or insert in the story using the usual comment tool. 

Shadar
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31 Mar 2024 06:58 #77965 by anonxyzus
Replied by anonxyzus on topic The Unexpected Companion
Well, I liked it. I especially like Winston's reaction to her and look forward to reading about him getting to understand more about Miki, and what she can do.

I also like limiting the effects of gold to a particular isotope. On earth there is only one stable isotope of Gold, 197Au. There are no naturally occurring radioisotopes. There are four synthetic radioisotopes, 195AU, 196Au, 198Au and 199Au. Their half lives vary from 2.7 days up to 186 days. So for Miki's purposes, there would have to be another radioisotope with a much longer half life.

So a speculative question, could this hereto-for unknown (by us) isotope be naturally occurring on Velor, our could it be a synthetic isotope they created for the purposes stated in your story?

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31 Mar 2024 08:24 #77966 by shadar
Replied by shadar on topic The Unexpected Companion

Well, I liked it. I especially like Winston's reaction to her and look forward to reading about him getting to understand more about Miki, and what she can do.

I also like limiting the effects of gold to a particular isotope. On earth there is only one stable isotope of Gold, 197Au. There are no naturally occurring radioisotopes. There are four synthetic radioisotopes, 195AU, 196Au, 198Au and 199Au. Their half lives vary from 2.7 days up to 186 days. So for Miki's purposes, there would have to be another radioisotope with a much longer half life.

So a speculative question, could this hereto-for unknown (by us) isotope be naturally occurring on Velor, our could it be a synthetic isotope they created for the purposes stated in your story?
I've been assuming it's the form of gold that largely makes up Velor (and also Aria), both worlds that the Galen either created or tweaked for their purposes.  

Given the Galen were engaged in genetically engineering a new species for their own very specific uses, using much of their own DNA, they needed a control mechanism to keep them on those planets. That way they could always have a ready reservoir of Procreators available who wouldn't just fly away across the universe, causing all kinds of trouble. 

But that's as far as the Galen thought ahead -- using a gold-cored planet with this alien isotope of gold to keep them barefoot and pregnant, essentially. (They would only discover their true powers when the Galen removed them from Velor to use as Procreators.)

But later, after the Galen largely abandoned the Velorians, and refused to acknowledge the Arions, those two groups of Supremis developed their own cultures and relationships with the rest of the galaxy on their own. 

At the time of this story, the Velorians are still selling Companion contracts (arbitrated and executed by the Scalantrans for a fee). It's the only source of development capital on Velor. Essentially selling off their finest young women to become the Companions for the richest Terrans. Women who were vastly more powerful than the men they were contracted to serve.

And that isotope of gold went with them as a control mechanism.

A pretty difficult start for Velorian culture, but which eventually became Protectors and the Enlightenment with the Velorians leading the way to form a huge trading alliance of worlds that were peaceful and protected. Great things sometimes come from difficult of beginnings, and at the time of this story, Velor had not really begun to make the switch to protecting the many evolving worlds from the Empire. But you'll see a hint of the start of that.

But also in doing so, after their 99 year contracts were up, they were also seeding the galaxy with superwomen who could live for a thousand years but could never return home to Velor. They all have stories, most of which involve Terrans, given they are also humans. Of a sort.

The Arions, of course, wanted nothing to do with any of that. Their goal was simple -- galactic domination via their Empire and superior military force. Which over time was opposed by Velorian Protectors, the earliest of which were all Companions who'd completed their contracts and had special training. 

One of the upcoming episodes of this story will deal extensively with Velorian/Arion combat, which is horrifically violent as one might expect given invulnerable fighters. Miki turns out to be quite good at it.

Yet as mighty as she proves to be, her contract says that Winston can limit her with that golden choker whenever he wants. But... if you had a girlfriend/Companion with Supergirl's powers (more or less), would you dampen her powers down near human so you could enjoy intimacy? Or would you exalt in and exploit her powers and use her as your weapon?

As a Patron, you have that choice. (Until her contract is up.)

Winston's challenge is that he just inherited a Companion who still has 70+ years left on her Contract. Talk about life-changing.

Shadar

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31 Mar 2024 19:28 #77969 by anonxyzus
Replied by anonxyzus on topic The Unexpected Companion
If it was me ... until I learned a lot more than Winston has, as of the end of Part 1, if I were Winston I'd only ask her to wear gold if I perceived a reason for it. Which, where things are now, would be when they are being intimate. Otherwise I'd tell her to put it on and take it off as she pleases. At least until I learned enough about her and the situation she is putting Winston into. So ... no gold unless there is a good reason for it, and right now the only good reason is sex.
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10 Apr 2024 03:09 #78007 by jay_manus
Replied by jay_manus on topic The Unexpected Companion
Thanks so much for this, Shadar.  You've really captured the magic of your early stories, and your writing has only become smoother and more refined.  Looking forward to part 2!
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10 Apr 2024 04:06 #78008 by shadar
Replied by shadar on topic The Unexpected Companion

Thanks so much for this, Shadar.  You've really captured the magic of your early stories, and your writing has only become smoother and more refined.  Looking forward to part 2!
Thanks for the feedback, Jay.  That's what I'm trying to do -- take my writing back to the earlier days of the AU, but with some of the benefits of experience. Glad you enjoyed it. 

Part 2 is done and it's ready to be submitted later this week. It answers the question of how does a Velorian stop a train, and how does a Terran get from the ground up into space to a spacecraft without a shuttle or even a pressure suit (no Transporters to beam him up in this universe). And who the hell is Lexi?

Part 3 is basically done, but needs polishing. Most of Part3 is Velorian versus Arion battles. More extreme and intense battles than anything I've written before.  That should be ready the week after. 

Part 4 and beyond get into Game of Thrones territory -- except think GOT with a Velorian Companion supporting a reluctant King with lots of other people wanting to be on that throne who will do anything get there.  That's going to take some work to do justice to.  

Shadar
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10 Apr 2024 19:28 #78011 by Franky
Replied by Franky on topic The Unexpected Companion
Looking forward to Arion vs Velorian battles. Always the best part of the stories.

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14 Apr 2024 02:26 #78018 by shadar
Replied by shadar on topic The Unexpected Companion
Part Two of Unexpected Companion is up, and we discover an entirely new way to fly -- for Winston anyway. As an Astronautical Engineering major hoping to design spacecraft someday, he gets to experience Miki's very Velorian way of getting to orbit. All part of saving lives on Ostremity by taking the fight into space.

This is after Miki physically overpowers a nearly supersonic maglev train, and protects it from a very big explosion. As in seriously big.

We also get to briefly meet Miki's AIP (an Artificially Intelligent Person of a type called an AI Projection), one of her ship's 'motive-units' that fix things and performs irregular tasks that the automation can't do on its own.  While most of those bots look fairly functional, and not always humanoid in form, Lexi turns out to be an android who is not only sentient but self-aware and has a big ego. We'll just see an intro to Lexi here, but we'll see a lot more of her in the future. 

--
The next episode (Part Three) will dive head first into the strange and profoundly violent depths of Arion/Velorian combat as Miki discovers that the ship following her is not exactly what she expected. 

Shadar
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15 Apr 2024 00:04 - 15 Apr 2024 00:25 #78024 by anonxyzus
Replied by anonxyzus on topic The Unexpected Companion
I've done some research. The largest thermonuclear bomb ever detonated, the Tsar bomba, weighed 27,000 kg and had a yield of 50 megatons of TNT

1 kg of antimatter annihilating 1 kg of matter would have a yield of 43 megatons of TNT.

Given these numbers, I am assuming that an antimatter bomb of that yield would be much smaller and much easier to deliver than the Tsar bomba. You could make some very scary bombs that would be very powerful and very small. On the other hand, the current cost, in US dollars, to make 1 gram of antimatter is about $62.5 trillion. So I don't think we have to worry about it anytime soon.
Last edit: 15 Apr 2024 00:25 by anonxyzus. Reason: fixing mistake

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15 Apr 2024 00:27 #78025 by shadar
Replied by shadar on topic The Unexpected Companion

I've done some research. The largest thermonuclear bomb ever detonated, the Tsar bomba, weighed 27,000 kg and had a yield of 50 megatons of TNT

1 gram of antimatter annihilating 1 gram of matter would have a yield of 43 megatons of TNT.

Given these numbers, I am assuming that an antimatter bomb of that yield would be much smaller and much easier to deliver than the Tsar bomba. You could make some very scary bombs that would be very powerful and very small. On the other hand, the current cost, in US dollars, to make 1 gram of antimatter is about $62.5 trillion. So I don't think we have to worry about it anytime soon.
Presumably the cost of AM will drop over the next few hundred years, especially if we Terrans become an interstellar species in that time.

But yeah, in the AU, we’ve got AMATs in the gigaton yield range. I suspect the one that took out the tunnel in Companion was only a few megatons. A backpack bomb.

AMATs are hypothesized to be enormous emitters of x-rays at a level that vaporizes living tissue, even at significant distances.  Very nasty if we or some other planet turns AM into weapons, and not just use them as a compact power source for interstellar ships, ala Star Trek. 

Shadar

 

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