Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Paulo R. Mendes question - Billion Year old Civilization

Recently a friend (Paulo R. Mendes) asked this question at Sci Fi Ideas : "I want to write a story about a species / culture that is a billion years old and is evil. What would be their reasons, motivations?"

A civilization that is 1 Billion years old may have entire different concepts and morals than us.

For example could the Billiontilas not just be perceived as evil because their actions are not understood?

for example a sentient ant .

How would it describe a boy burning them with a magnifying glass?

The ant would certainly describe the boy as evil. While the society the boy belongs to,thinks of him as an innocent kid playing. Not even a thought wasted on the ant.

How would you describe the motivations of God?

Sending floods and fire to destroy most of creation? Is God evil or good or simply beyond our grasp of realization?

Imagine a civilization that continuously evolves over a billion years. Do you know the entire concept of Homo Sapiens isn’t around that long?

Our perceptions of morals and ethics have certainly evolved for lets say changed from the early cave men. The entire concepts of all world religions including atheism , had to be discovered and place their influence on people.

Why was it perfectly acceptable to burn a witch or a heretic or behead an American in the name of religion and now it is seen as barbaric and unacceptable?

Now expand this concept of moral and ethic evolution across 1 billion years and you will have a result no one of us could understand.

Could you explain to a Viking why his behavior would not be acceptable in let’s say a big office of today?

Or perhaps explain to a stoneage man how a light bulb works, let alone a computer or a nuclear plant?

I think no matter what Paulo will try as an explanation would be flavored by our perception of morals and ethics. Why not simply leave it a mystery

And explain that whatever motivates them to sterilize lesser life forms is evil from the perspective of the destroyed life form but perhaps beneficial and borne out of necessities never even considered .

A bacteria would never condone oral hygiene and call mouthwash an evil invention (kills 99 % of all germs) Yet the benefits of a clean mouth would be lost to that colony of bacteria under your tongue.

The development gap between a 10,000 year society and a 1,000,000,000 year old society would be so profound different .

I doubt we would compete with them for food, space or any other requirements we would consider necessary or motivators for violent action and war.

I doubt you could explain the needs and motivations of a corporation to a three year old, in terms the child could comprehend.

Either make the species or civilization less advanced and thus more understandable or simply state :

“They came and they exterminated bilions, yet all attempts to communicate failed .When contact was finally made, the explanation given was “The Garum seeks the Igohom therefore all nuff must be netoled.”

Made perfectly sense to the Billionite but puzzled the most advanced thinkers until the end when Graum finally snuffed and all humankind was exterminated.

Young Narth

Young Narth
aka Lt.Narth , aka Narth Officer [1]

Union Citizen, Native to Narth Prime, Race affiliation Narth

Born : around 3589 (according to the Nath Supreme) -[2]

Young Narth refers to the fact that it was the first Narth born not being Arth or Nnnth before, but a real new individual that had not existed previously. This young Narth received a physical body and was prepared to become the first Narth to join the United Stars Military .


11,000 Pages on the GalNet Wiki

While the GalNet Wiki now has 11,000 pages thanks in no small part to Dustin Hicks, I completed the rewrite  and found an editor at  http://www.wisegreyowl.co.uk/

once the edit is done, I will publish the edits at: https://www.smashwords.com/

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Tribute to Leonard Simon Nimoy

If I ever was a fan of anything, I was and am a fan of Star Trek and first and foremost its first and original incarnation (TOS). No other character iin any fictional setting has influenced my life as Spock.
While my love for SF and SciFi started with reading Heinlein's "Space Cadets".It was Leonard Nimoy's character in Star Trek that made me study physics and instilled my passion for Science.

Many years later, my life changed and I became involved in the film industry in Hollywood and I was very fortunate to meet Mr. Nimoy. Of all the Hollywood stars I ever met, he was everything I envisioned and more. Friendly and witty,paired with great talent and great intellect.

On February 27, 2015 he passed away and joined James Dohan and Deforest Kelley in the great beyond.

So it is a personal tribute I include a page about him in my Wiki.

"Of Leonard Nimoy, I can only say this: Of all the actors and celebrities I have encountered in my travels, his was the most....  human."


Vanessa Ravencroft, 28/02/2015

Monday, 3 November 2014

Page 9000

Another great Milestone reached.
The Galnet Wiki now contains 9000 pages

In no small part due to Hicksdustin who added 652 PAGES
OCTOBER 14, 2014

Thursday, 9 October 2014

The next day of school was different. The news of the escalated clan feud had spread fast.
Even the older kids in the school flyer came up to me and wanted to know every detail. Dietmar looked especially pleased." You know they interviewed me for Nilfeheim Radio? They wanted to know how you are and all that! I think it is time you graduate to assistant pilot!"
Dietmar pointed at the always empty Control seat next to him and explained to me the controls, there weren't that many and most of the flying was done by the on board Computronic but since Nilfeheim did not have a central controlled traffic net, operators were still required. I learned that the school flyer was a Leyland CF 65 (Commuter Flyer) and already 200 years old. He told me full of pride that he also was the maintenance technician and actually worked at the Leyland Main Factory on Sumner Planet for over 15 years after he left Nilfeheim as a Stowaway on an Agra product freighter."
After we landed at the school yard there was much nodding and signs of respect by other boys. Yngve waiting next to the entrance was not alone this time, both Annar and Gunnar stood behind him with their arms crossed before their chests. Yngve actually smiled and thumbed across his shoulders. "Meet my personal body guard."
Annar nodded towards me and Gunnar said." Your father declared clan feud against our clan and by tradition we cannot be friends and we are not supposed to talk to you but you saved my life and I won't forget that. My father said it will be okay if we treat you with respect. Even an enemy can be respected according to tradition!"
I shrugged." That's a definite improvement form the past and I take that gladly!"
Yngve reached into my shirt pocket without asking and swiped his PDD against mine." I bet you forgot the assignment Mr. Walters gave us yesterday. I wrote yours as well and tried as good as I could to emulate your limited knowledge."
I frowned at him." You are the only one who can insult me and I know you had no intention doing so and actually mean it well!"
As we found our seats he thought for a second and then blushed." I am sorry. I analyzed my statement and now realize how it sounded!"
Sigvard also came in and took his seat. His face was badly swollen and I saw the clear signs of a broken jaw. He must have been beaten by his father. He glared at me only for an instant and then looked away. I knew there and without a doubt he was looking to kill me.
Mr. Walters was on time as usual and looked us over." Mr. Olafson and Mr. Elhir you report to the School nurse and are back here as soon as possible. I will contact the nurse to see when you are done. Should either of you even so much as raise a fist against the other, be prepared to face trouble you could not even dream about in your worst night mares."
I was not sure why he wanted me at the Nurses office, but there was no sense arguing with Mr. Walters.
We walked side by side down the corridor and I had the distinct feeling of being watched. Sigvard kept staring straight ahead but hissed from between clenched teeth." You better hide in your burg for the rest of your life! Leave that burg and I am there to kill you!"
I hissed back." Just have the guts and challenge me and I be there, not that Gunnar will leave much behind after he is done with you!"
"Gunnar dies and so will you!"
We reached the nurses office. She scanned Sigvard first." Broken jaw, broken ribs, scratched lungs, Testicular torsion, torn ligaments and a severe head trauma. Why did you not come in yesterday to be treated?"
Sigvard hissed his answer." Because my father worked me over after this Nubhir snatcher attacked me!"
"I will keep you here for a while, till the doctor has time for you." She took him to the adjuring room and had him lay down. The doctor of the Hospital in town formed as a Holo almost right away, the Nurse closed the door and scanned me." Uh, that is a nasty cut Mr. Olafson, it's already infected! We better Re-gen that part of your skin, it seems the Derma-Patcher has your name written on it as much as I use it on you!"
As I saw myself in the mirror I saw my shirt was blood soaked. The bandage I had applied to my chest had come loose.
Father of course had beaten me after he had returned from the exchange. Not that he  had ever needed a reason for that, but he claimed that the damage to the boat was substantial and he did not get the money he hoped to gain from the sale.
“ I am sorry Nurse Olga, I ran out of adhesive bandaging last night and I was not permitted to the kitchen to get more."
She sighed as she applied the Derma Patch, thousands of medical nanites repairing the cut by weaving new tissue, replicating mine exactly down to the molecule. The entire process took less than ten minutes and the only sensation was if hundreds of fingers were circling around my chest.
The Nurse said." I want you to stay so the doctor can look you over, just to make sure I didn't miss anything."
The doctor's projection declared me fit but I had missed most of the morning class. Mr. Walter collected the reports and told me he added the missed class to my download.
Yngve and I went topside to enjoy the wind and the clear sunny weather as we did every day since Shortsummer started. . Climbing on top of it was our favorite spot; it was not far from where I had fought Sigvard.
Here we were away from the others and their teasing, not that they were teasing us today. The wind was blowing hard but the air was not cold and I spread my arms into the gale and felt it took at my sleeves." Don't you want to fly sometimes like Loki did when he had Freya's feathered cloak?" I had to almost yell my question and Yngve shrugged." Not really. Those Norse God myths did never hold my attention much. Besides if you want to fly' all you have to do is order a flight belt from Techno Shack. They come complete with Arti grav and propulsion units."
"Do you remember who you are talking to? It's me Eric. No GalNet at home, the no allowance and no tech Eric!"
"I bet a bunch of Union marines in heavy destroyer suits and armed with TKU's would take all Asgard apart, stuff Thor's hammer deep in his behind and shave Odin's beard before chow time."
I stared at him." You better never let anyone hear what you just said."
"Did you see Pluribus? Did you see how insignificant Nilfeheim is? I am going to leave this planet as soon as I can. I piss on the opinion of the Elders."
"Wow you sound quite angry today. It isn't like you at all!"
Yngve shoved his hands into his pockets and his face relaxed and he said." I am still angry at Annar and Gunnar. I was scared to death . Then I was scared for you and as I saw you fight those fish. Now everyone speaks of you taking on a boat load of adult warriors and come out on top. I could never do that!
I am I am a Neo Viking by birth Eric, but nothing in me seems to be in tune with it all. I feel like a stranger every day I am on my own world and every time I take a Virtu and I am away I fell I belong!"
I knew all too well what he meant." I am scared every time to go home, I too going to leave Nilfeheim and I am going to be a Star ship Commander just like Captain Ironhand."
"And then you return and you land the Starblazer right next to the Burg and kill your father by blasting the Burg to bits." Yngve said rolling his eyes." I hate to break it to you but Captain Ironhand is a fictional character and there is no Starblazer Spaceship either."
"I know that, but there is a real Union Fleet and there is a real Academy. Speaking of, did you ever get another episode?" I asked hoping he would have gotten another Virtu Upload of my favorite Virtu Experience. Yngve would bring them to school and I would use the library hook up.
"Sorry I didn't buy any this month. I spend all my allowance on Virtus about Pluribus!" He blinked into the wind and shaded his eyes to see me better. "You need to improve your grades quite a bit if you want to join the Academy and not become an enlisted. Only an Officer can become a Star ship Captain you know."
"How much do you think I have to improve them?"
"I don't know but to be accepted at the Academy to become an officer I bet they expect you to be the best of the best!"
That dampened my mood but I promised myself to increase my efforts.
He boxed me in the side. “Well then let's go back in, break is over and even though Mr. Flensburger, isn't as punctual as Mr. Walthers, he does expect us to be in class.”
Mr. Flensburger, our history teacher was a little late as usual. He came into the classroom dressed like a Harpooner in the middle of Longnight. He wore a heavy hooded Fangsnapper fur coat, over a padded Iso-Tex Jacket and beneath the hood a heated wind mask. Underneath all that a Union Fleet Issue extreme climate suit with active heating. He was dressed like that despite the fact it was already Short Summer now. It was only three degrees below zero on the C-scale. Bare chest weather my Uncle Hogun would say.
It took him long moments to get undressed and I was certain the pile of clothing next to his desk grew just a little bigger every day.
"It is still quite cold this morning, class," he greeted us and twenty seven Neo Vikings rose form their seats and responded. "Good morning Mr. Flensburger."
I couldn't help myself and said, "We have been told that you have been on Nilfeheim for over thirty years, Mr. Flensburger. Haven't you gotten used to our weather by now?"
He took off his cold mask, revealing his slate ice gray eyes and his long pointed nose and looked at me, then shook his head. "Mr. Olafson, it took me all this time to get used to the barbaric customs of you Neo Vikings. I had no time to get used to the weather yet."
That caused the class to laugh. He walked to the large windows clasped his hands behind his back and looked over the churning waves of the ocean. "It is a beautiful planet. It has lots of cold water, teaming with an abundance of life, blue oceans and very, very long winters. I come from a planet called New Algiers. There is no open water and dusty red deserts as far as you can see. The only thing worth mentioning living in our deserts is a centipede like scorpion and so far we were unsuccessful to find anyone who would try to eat one."
He turned back to face us and the front wall and the windows disappeared and the high detailed holo of a red featureless desert with rolling dunes appeared, even the sky appeared to have a reddish haze. The Class room computronic has taken his queue and projected a visual of New Algiers.
He gestured towards the image. "You have winds bringing ice crystals, snow and rain. Our storms bring dust, lots of it and can pile dust and sand two meters high over night. However the temperature never drops below forty degrees on the C scale." He brushed his hand through the air and the image disappeared.
I tried to imagine how it would be, to live in bread oven conditions like that. I glanced at my PDD and checked GalNet about New Algiers.
Our teacher turned to face the class.
"In a few years from now you graduate and perhaps some of you might actually leave this world and become real Union Citizens, not that I have big hopes for that. However this is my last school year. Thirty years teaching you Neo Vikings about the rest of the Universe was a challenge to say the least." His eyes became dreamy and he smiled." First I am going to Para-Para and simply sit on the beach for maybe a year or so. I believe it will take at least that long for my bones to thaw."
Leif Swenkjard sitting across the aisle from me waved his hand."I've been to Para-Para actually. When my Father had to go there for an ocean produce trade show he took me along."
Leif's father was a Freeman living in town and if I recalled it correctly he was working for an Off World Seafood Company. Leif was one of the few in class who didn't care if I was an Olafson. The sons of Clans never talked to him. Him being off planet was news to me.
Mr. Flensburger encouraged him to tell us about his trip and Leif said.
"They don't even have a little snow anywhere and their largest fish is about the size of a Surface Finner. On Para-Para there are no weapons allowed; no one carries even a knife. If you use your fist to make an argument stick you get in trouble and arrested. No one wears much clothing all day, even outside and in the city." He snorted in discontent. "And all everyone does is smile all the time."
Peter Langstom next to him drew the outlines of a woman into the air."How about the girls, do they wear little?"
"You could bunch up what they wear in your fist and nothing showing."
Peter now grinned from one ear to the other."I think I go there for a visit too!"
"You wouldn't like it. Because the guys don't wear much either and you barely see any blonde tall girls with braids anywhere. Those girls can't cook a decent meal, won't clean up after you and want to be equal to men and sit at the same table!"
His comment caused quite a few gasps of disbelieve.
Flensburger shook his head putting his right hand before his eyes."You are hopeless."
Then he sat down on the edge of his desk and he stared at me.
"You look different, Eric. What are you wearing on your head?"
"It is the Helmet of the Hunt; I received it from the Elders."
"I am somewhat familiar with it. I was under the impression only someone completing the Hunt the ancient way was allowed to wear one."
Gunnar Peerson turned and gave me a thankful nod." Eric killed two Tyranno Fins  saving my life a few days ago."
Flensburger got up and came closer."As you know I was on vacation the last two weeks. I did hear something about it, but just consider me an ignorant Off -Worlder for now, but would you explain that to me again? I thought The hunt part of the Ancient Challenge was considered too dangerous even by your standards and no longer required."
Gunnar answered."That is true, but Sigvard threw me into the ocean and poured Tyranno Scent into the water. I am sure the other teachers can tell you the details. I think they even recorded some of it.”
His twin brother nodded to that and continued. "To slay a Tyranno Fin even in a modern Sub is no easy task, but to do it the old way by diving and using a Hand harpoon is almost suicide and because so many sons died that way this part of the Ancient Challenge is no longer required. However anyone can still do it the old way and that is the highest honor and test of skill. Eric did it to save my brother."
The teacher looked at me and said. "And you killed two of them?" He asked visibly astounded.
"Yes Sir. I had not planned on it. It all happened quite fast. That the one I killed wasn't hunting alone became apparent when its brother or father showed up k, I had to kill it or it would have done so with us."
Yngve sitting next to me said. "I heard the Eldest say it was an Eight Tri," He sounded quite proud as he said. "And no Eight Tri has been slain by hand in over 200 years. It was all over the Nilfeheim Radio."
Flensburger shook his head once again."You are one crazy species of humans. Going against the biggest and fastest Predator fish in the Galaxy armed with a toothpick and hope to kill it by hitting a fist size target behind their eyes."
I made a circle with my hands. "The Mark was about that big, not fist size."
He rolled his eyes and sighed. "Right, that makes it so much easier.”
Annar said. “And yesterday he was abducted by the Elhir Clan and fought adult warriors and captured a boat, but no one is allowed to talk about it much until the Elders and the Chiefs decided on the outcome of the incident.”
Flensburger sighed deeply. “And you wonder why all this sounds like madness to an off worlder.” He threw his hands in the air. "Very well then."
He turned to the class and said, "Have you ever wondered why we have school? Why we have classes? Why we don't simply use neural uploading for everything, like we do for language and general knowledge?"
There was silence. He pointed at Sven.
"You questioned the need for schooling many times before. Would you not rather have all what you need uploaded in your brain and be done with it?"
Sven shook his long red hair. "No I don't see the need for all this off world garbage in my head in the first place. I am going to be a harpooner like my Father and my brothers and my son will be a harpooner too. I will be a very good harpooner and one day, if Odin wills it, my father will give me my own boat and I become Clan Chief when he dies. What do I need to know about the rest of the Galaxy?"
Flensburger smiled a sad looking smile and said "I know you think that way. Many Neo Viking's coming to school think that way. But you are members of the Union and you do business with the Union. What good is a harpooner without a Harpoon? Or what good is a Hunt boat that can't sell its catch?"
Sven was still not convinced and crossed his big forearms across his barrel chest.
"We make our own Harpoons and we can eat our own catch."
Mr. Flensburger sighed. "Your skull is as dense as the ice out there. What is your harpoon made off? What do you use to propel your boats and hunting subs?"
Sven was not so sure about himself anymore and his voice changed as he answered: "Harpoons are made of Ultronit, and we use Zero point cubes to power the boats."
I could see Sven was suddenly thinking. We all knew Sven wasn't the sharpest harpoon on the boat, even though he was as strong as a Fangsnapper.
Flensburger asked.. "And where does the Ultronit and the power cubes come from?"
He responded to the question, saying, "My father orders metals, knives and boat parts at the XChange."
"How does he pay for it?"
"With Union Creds of course."
"How does he get Union Creds?"
"We're selling Tyranno meat, Flasher fish and lots of Fanger Fur to the XChange in town." Even Sven realized what he was saying and nodded. "Alright we do need the Off-Worlders. You made your point, Mr. Flensburger, but why do we have to learn it this way?"
The skinny teacher sat down again on the edge of his desk. His favorite position when he was about to explain something to us.
"Our Union is a little over 3000 years old and we have over 4,500 member civilizations. There are millions of settled planets and locations. There are non humanoids, methane breathers, insectoids, and even a non corporal species. There are a very few things that are common to all. One of those things most societies have in common is the need to educate the young, to prepare them for the world. There are only a few species we know of who do not need to educate their offspring. The Bellebee for example. Those gas bag friends of ours have a collective mind they share all experiences, a Bellebee hatches with all knowledge he needs. But even the Bellebee send their young to Union schools mostly to prepare them to interact with us. "
Mr. Flensburger folded his hands. "For most civilizations however schooling is necessary and after many millennia of experience and experimenting with all those various other education techniques it turned out that the old way of class interaction resulted in the best education. It's not knowledge that we try to instill, but teach you ways to obtain knowledge and to prepare you to be Union Citizens, know about your rights and duties and of course for the same reason the Bellebee and all the others go to school, to learn how to interact with others and realize that we are all part of something bigger"
Again he looked across the class and pointed at Peter. "Why do you think these old methods  might be superior?"
Peter, the son of a Fish merchant and one of the few who had plans to leave Nilfeheim after graduation for college answered after a short moment of thought.
"I believe even the smartest computronic can't answer a real question by analyzing the reason for the question in relationship to the environment and background of the student. Only a real teacher can do that."
"Not bad at all, Peter. I would give you a straight A for that answer. Except that this is the textbook answer you just read. But finding the right answer so fast and skillfully hiding your PDD under your sleeve I still give you a B."
He nodded more to himself than to anyone in particular. "It is the environment in which we learn that makes the difference. Uploaded knowledge and implanted memories can supply you with all the data you need. While you won't find a Data head here on Nilfeheim, having your mind direct linked to GalNet is not uncommon elsewhere. So knowledge isn't the reason for schools and teachers but the environment in which you take it in to give you the tools to use the information your mind processes." He stabbed his finger at me."Mr. Olafson, what happens when you graduate?"
"We can become citizens, Sir!"
"Very good, now regardless of your grades that determine your further career and education options, everyone becomes a Citizen after graduating Basic school and completing the Citizen Test. This is why you are here; this is why your parents want you here to become citizens. Only as a citizen can you freely travel, open a bank account, transfer UnionCreds, use GalNet, vote, get free health care and most of all, get the full protection of the law! Due to the so called Nilfeheim exception you don't have to serve the required 22 month, unless of course you leave Nilfeheim.”
Sven still wasn't convinced, "I still don't see why an Off-Worlder like you has to come and teach us all that. My father told me that before we were forced to join the Union we would learn all that we needed from our parents or the Clan Elders."
"So you think you were forced to join?"
"What else do you call a Battleships with Planet-Buster bombs ready to vaporize our planet in orbit?"
"Before we go into that and since it seems you are quite the history expert, do you know the reason why the United Stars send Battleships in the first place?"
"Yes of course! Our glorious forefathers caused mayhem and terror by raiding other colonies and spaceships for everything we needed. "He laughed loudly." Neo Vikings were feared in this sector!"
"Indeed. Your glorious forefathers realized they would not survive another decade without things the outside world could supply. So they hijacked a freighter and a few Gunboats and resorted to piracy."
Sven shrugged. "We just were stronger and better warriors and so we had the right to take it."
"Well since the Union Fleet was stronger than your pirate boats and arguing entirely by your logic, they had the right to bomb you. But your forefathers where given a choice, no one forced them to join. The choice was cease all pirate activity and remain isolated on this planet of yours with no contact with others at all, or to join the United Stars and accept Federal Law. Your forefathers didn't even debate one hour and filed for membership."
As he turned to the window Sven leaned over to Peter. "One of these days I'll stuff his face with my fist. That arrogant Off-Worlder, such a wimp has no right to teach us anything!"
Mr. Flensburger turned. "So you want to stuff my face and you think I am a wimp. I accept your challenge, this is what you Vikings do right? "
Sven looked around as if he wanted to make sure everyone heard the same. "You can't be serious. A tap of me would kill you, besides fighting is prohibited in school."
"Fighting among students is,indeed. Now lets call this a demonstration and again, I accept your challenge, Mr. Espeland ."
I said, "I would not do it, Sven. He's from New Algiers."
Sven snorted in my direction. "When I am done with him,you're going to be next. Your father will give me a great reward if I twist your head off."
Gunnar yelled, "He might be an enemy of our clan, but by our laws and traditions. Eric was pronounced a warrior born by the Elders and he saved my life! I will not sit idle while you insult a Viking Warrior.  I will kill you!"
Sigvard Elhir, glared at his direction. "You lift an arm for the Olafson and I will break your neck before we meet before the Elders."
Sven got up, showing everybody his muscles and then stepped forward towards the teacher. "I am going to rip your head off, Mr Flensburger. Then I will take care of a few others around here!"
Mr. Flensburger was totally calm and relaxed and smiled. "Then do it Sven and don't talk too much! You challenged me and all you do is boast and talk."
Sven literally flew forward and swung his huge fist. Mr. Flensburger caught Sven's wrist and stopped the punch right before his nose, then twisted it fast and in such a fashion that Sven had to go to his knees. The smaller teacher held the massive arm of Sven with no effort and said to the class, "You see Sven, on New Algiers we have a gravitation of 3.6 that means my muscles are 3.6 times denser than yours and before I became a teacher, I served the Navy and received intensive combat training. It does not have to be an Off-Worlder that teaches you, but every teacher in Basic School has to be a Citizen with a service record."
He still held Sven by the wrist and kept his arm painfully twisted and explained to us in his usual soft voice. "Because of this special deal your Planet Representative has managed to get for Nilfeheim, you are Citizens after you graduate but do not have to serve the 22 month in a Federal Service as it is required for almost all other Union Citizens. No Neo Viking ever served in the fleet or in any of the other services as far as I know and thus cannot become Union Teachers." He put a little more pressure on the twisted arm. "Now I could break every bone in your body without losing a drop of sweat."
Sven groaned in pain. "I am going to kill you!"
"It is unwise to make threats to someone holding your arm in such a fashion." Mr. Flensburger twisted a little more and this time Sven yelped in pain. The teacher let him go.
Sven immediately lunged forward but the teacher stepped aside in a swift, elegant move and grabbed Sven by the shoulders, added to the momentum and made him crash into the wall. Sven shook his head dazed, got up on shaky legs and turned raging with anger, pulling his Harpooner Knife. I jumped up and so did almost everybody.
Peter yelled. "This is not honorable. He beat you fair and square, put your knife away!"
Sven's face was deep red and he pointed the wicked knife at Peter.
"I will slice you like Tyranno-bait, after I am done with that Off-Worlder!"
I jumped forward holding my chair like a shield. "Mr. Flensburger get back!"
Sven laughed. "Splendid! Your Father will reward me if I kill you. He'll give me a boat for sure!"
Flensburger was completely calm. "I appreciate your assistance Eric, but let me finish this. I ask you all to sit back down. I also give you Sven a chance to sit down and we will continue with our discussion. Do that and  we forget the whole situation. However if I am forced to take that knife from you, you will be expelled from school."
"No one takes my knife and I could care less if I fail your stupid class."
"I didn't say fail class. I said you will be expelled."
Sven attacked and again Flensburger moved fast. He got hold of Sven's wrist again, just like before and with his other hand he grabbed Sven by the throat. Sven gargled, the knife fell and Mr. Flensburger lifted Sven off his feet holding the heavy teenager by the throat without any visible effort.
"You had your choice and you made it. Now I have no other choice. You are expelled! Do you know that this means you will not become a Citizen? Now I give you a second choice: Yield and surrender or die!"
Sven now turned purple struggled and gargled. "I give in. I surrender!"
The teacher let him go and said. "You are to leave school immediately. You got your wish; there won't be any school for you anymore."
Sven grabbed his knife and stumbled to the exit. "Who needs to be a stupid citizen anyway? I am a Neo Viking!"
With those words he left. Mr. Flensburger sat back down on his desk as if nothing happened and said, "Dial your PDDs to Blank page and write me a one page report about what Citizenship means to you."

It was during the 6th hour ,Mr. Flensburger was telling us about the Klack Society when the class room door opened and Sven's father Elik Espeland stepped in.
Elik was known for his foul temper and it was said he had smashed more than a few skulls, but he appeared with his harpooner's helmet in hands.
"Mr. Flensburger, I apologize for the interruption, but it is true that you expelled my son?"
"Indeed. He had made his choice. I gladly show you the visuals of the incident. So you can see how it came to this." To us he said, "While I discuss these matters with Mr. Espeland you can take a break."
Sven was standing outside the door, he looked like a herd of Fangsnappers had trampled over him, his face was swollen and he had bruises and marks all over. He looked to the ground and said nothing as we filed past him.
About ten minutes later, Mr. Flensburger and Mr. Espeland come out of the classroom, both smiling and shaking hands and I could see Sven apologizing to the teacher.
Yngve came up to me and said..
"They still don't like you but no one is going to bully you anymore with that helmet and all. I wish I could do something like that."
"But you have an awesome family and a good father and a mother who loves you and you can buy things."
He grinned and handed me a Data Chip. "I got you the latest adventures of Captain Ironhand after all. I wanted to surprise you."
I thanked him with a wide grin and said. "I love the smell of Blaster Fire in the Morning."
"I am certain blaster fire has no distinctive smell. Olfactory molecules would be destroyed as any other matter,"
"It's what Captain Ironhand always says."
"You do know he is a fictional character that has absolutely nothing to do with reality, right?"
"I know but watching these gives me a little vacation from my own life and I tell you it sucks to be me."
Sigvard must have my last comment and pushed Yngve with a shoulder push to the side and snatched the Data Chip out of my hand.
"I agree it sucks to be you. Our clans are at war and I am going to make your life a living hell for what you did to my brothers and my clan!"
"You can always challenge  me. Now give me back that chip!"
"My father said, your father is a coward. Not Viking enough to an open Challenge."
"I challenge you, right here and now."
"And get me expelled fighting a looser like you?"
"Anywhere anytime, it seems you are the coward!"
Gunnar and Annar the Peerson twins also came closer and others followed. Sigvard could no longer back out with so many witnesses and him being the strongest right after Sven poked his finger into my chest. "Alright, Olafson. Right now in the Gym, we wrestle!"
Technically Gilma wrestling was permitted and not considered fighting when it is was done in the Gym as exercise. Gilma was a from of wrestling with complicated rules of fairness we called drengskapur and had a strict code of honor.
Without further words we went down in the Schools basement area where the gyms and sports facilities were. It was not a Union School program of course but a local thing.
As I took a Gilma belt harness from a wall hook , he grabbed his belt and snapped the heavy leather belt like a whip across my back and laughed.
Gunnar yelled . "This isn't Gilma and it isn't honorable!"
He hit me again. "I never said Gilma, I am not going to soil my hands on an Olafson. I do what his father does all the time. He should be us.."
He could no longer talk. I had flung myself back and smacked the back of my head right where I thought his nose should be and followed up with an elbow to his stomach. He was much stronger than me, but him using the leather harness like a whip opened a feeling of rage and anger in me he could not even begin to fathom.
He stumbled back, giving me time to turn, blood was gushing from his nose. He was still dazzled so it appeared and swung his ham sized against me but the way he announced it gave me time to duck and hammer my fist in a short uppercut against his chin. I did not stop there and buried by other fist right at the center of his rib cage. Sven fell!
I kicked him again the temple and then wrapped the leather belt around his neck and started twisting. He blinked at me and gargled something and I said.
"If you ever insult me again, if you ever take something from me , I will kill you!"
A strong hand pulled me up and Mr. Flensburger said with an angry stern tone. "You are about to kill him now!"
Sigvard coughed and gargled and Flensburger said to Gunnar. "Take him to the School nurse."
To the rest he said. “School is out for today. You all need to cool down.”

As I came home that afternoon I found that Father, my brothers and most men of the Clan were gone with the Family Subs  to hunt Tyrannos and Three Fins. They went to the Uhim Grounds, almost 2000 clicks from the burg and would be gone for most of the month. I had never gone hunting or fishing, even during school breaks. The prospect being pinned up in the small boat with my father for weeks on end was not something would have looked forward to. So I wasn't feeling disappointed at all.
It appeared he had forgotten to instruct the remaining staff to give me any chores. So I decided to take a long swim.
Not many Neo Vikings went diving anymore, and it was said our gills would dry out and maybe even disappear in future generations.
However I used them every chance I got. Down here in the cold water I felt free. The cold water rushing through my gills always invigorated me and I wished I could stay submerged forever, but while a Neo Viking could stay under water for a very long time, the loss of body heat even through the insulated dive suit limited the time I could stay submerged. Nilfeheims oceans teamed with life and there were quite a few life forms down here, dangerous to an unprotected diver, but nothing was as dangerous as a Tyranno Fin. Our teacher said they are bigger and faster than even the biggest Whales on Terra and as aggressive as Sharks. We did have a fish we called Sharks too, and Rock Sharks as we called them were fast and could be dangerous to a diver, especially since they attacked in packs, but they weren't anything like the Tyrannos.
Ragnarsson rock was in a region of ocean where Tyrannos could be found only during the first month of Shortsummer. They migrated all to the southern half of our planet where the great kelp and seaweed patches where. They did that because the docile and herbivore Three-fin fish would feed on the rich starchy kelp buts and stems to fatten themselves for the long years of Longnight.
The Three fins were the preferred prey of Tyrannos. Then they would fight, mate and lay eggs. Female Tyrannos would stuff seaweed in rock crevices and caves to lay one or maybe two eggs, and then guard their nests with ferocity.
Fang snappers would dive from the small rock islands or floating ice bergs trying to get to these eggs or snatch a young Tyranno. Rock sharks circling it all, to either catch a Snapper in the water or feast on the leftovers of a Tyranno Kill.
Nilfeheims oceans were vast and even though they teemed with life, to actually find Tyrannos outside of Tyranno Season and outside the Uhim grounds  was not as easy as one would think.
The Uhim grounds were in the only area of the planet that stayed ice free even during Longnight, due to the fact that the planets main fault line was located beneath the surface and several dozen underwater volcanoes , thousands of black smokers and underwater vents kept the water temperature even at the surface above freezing.
I must have been out for hours, but I finally had to get back out, as I felt my legs and arms starting to go numb. I knew it was high time.
I swam through the tunnel that connected our Sub Pen with the ocean. The Sub Pen had enough room for eight boats, but currently we had only five. Hunting Subs were expensive and many Clans had perhaps one, or even used the cheaper surface vessels, like the Olafsons did before they merged with the Ragnarssons. Besides only the  Old Clans still went Tyranno Hunting. Others were fishing or operating Fish and Snapper Farms, however the Tyranno Hunters were considered to be the elite.
Now that most men were gone either hunting with father or tending our Farms, the Burg was eerie silent even during the day. While the burg had a central heating system, father preferred the old fashioned Tyranno Oil ovens and fire places.
While he was gone the servants kept the fires on a minimum and despite Short Summer, the Burg was always cold. Why I ended up in my mother's drawing room I could not really say, mostly perhaps I looked for warmth. I had stayed longer in the water than I should have and was shivering. It was unused ever since the night he had killed her. His new wife did not use it and stayed most of the time in her suite of rooms where was busy with her needle crafts or she left the burg to socialize with other Clan Chief wives, a part she enjoyed greatly so I heard Midril say.
The old book was still lying on her dresser. My mother's closet door was not closed entirely and I went to close it, but instead I opened it. Her dresses and things were still there. My hands touching the soft fabrics and I could smell her wonderful perfume. I suddenly could almost hear her voice, no words or anything just the tone of her voice. I missed her so much! Something cold ran down my cheeks and even alone I felt embarrassed by my tears. Men did not cry! Before I really knew it held one of her dresses in my hands and then held it before me and remembered the story of Thor dressing up as Freya to fool the Giants. Following a strange impulse I put on the dress. It fit me and it felt so soft. I opened my braided hair and somehow I could see my mother in my own reflection in the large mirror. It was and I could not say it any other way like a religious mysterious experience. Eric the looser and the unwanted son had disappeared and a blonde Viking girl stood there before me in the mirror. She wore a beautiful gown and I was certain now I could feel my mother's presence. I now cried and did not feel ashamed at all. That day my life had changed forever and whenever I could I sneaked into my mother's room and put on one of her dresses. I even started to wear the female undergarments and sat down reading in the old book. I knew it was wrong somehow, but Thor had done it at least once and more so I felt connected to her. She was there just out of sight, but she was there.
Clan Feud

I could not have been out for very long, as I could hear the yells and shouts of alarm form our rock while I was tossed onto a hard surface.
The wild and angry face of Hilfheim was the first thing that came into focus as my blurred vision subsided. He was bend over me.”Don't move Olafson scum!”
I did anyway by kicking him as hard as I could between the legs, whatever I was on moved, my kick and the moving floor made Hilfheim stumble back, while it gave me a precious few moments to orient myself.
I was on the deck of a boat, from the looks of it a sixty footer with harpoon gun and a wheel house.
Two of the other men tended to the wounded Gansbaf.
Not giving them any time to react I catapulted my self forward and hit Hilfheim with  a shoulder tackle. The man still fighting the most likely unpleasant sensations caused by my kick in that quite sensitive region, was a full grown Nilfeheim viking, but perhaps the rolling deck added to the momentum of my rage filled attack. Hilfheim went over board.
In all this madness that had given me no chance to really think, I had to laugh., but the other two men had dropped their wounded friend and what they would do next was not hard to guess.
Whatever possessed me not to jump over board myself, was certainly not the smartest thing to do, but I ran and with four or five strides I reached the Harpoon gun swung it around. It was the same model as our boats used. While I never was along fishing, I had scrubbed decks and greased the mechanical parts of these guns. Left lever down floated the magnetic rails. It took only a heart beat and the light became green.
The two men were close, but not close enough to prevent me from pointing the razor sharp point of the barbed harpoon at one of them. “Come closer and I spit one of you.”
They stopped. At this range I could not miss and the slightest turn was enough to line it up with either one.
They weren't the only ones. More men scrambled out of the wheel house at the rear. Armed with harpoon guns as well.
I fired.
The men threw themselves on the deck , while the harpoon designed to kill a Tyranno smacked into the wheel house right where I suspected the rudder control was.
The projectile had an explosive tip and whatever it struck made the boat shudder and change course in a steep angle. Only now, I noticed that we were going at full speed.
Such a drastic course change at full speed tilted the deck and to my delight tossed two  more men right over board, and made the rest coming to their feet, tumble and slide, unable to bring their weapons to bear. I did not fare much better, but was able to hold onto the gun shoulder supports.
The boat had lost steering and was still making it steep turn.
Holding onto the line the harpoon  had trailed to the wheel house. Balanced over the still steep tilting deck.
On eof the men managed to shoot his spear gun, but the shaft missed me y a good meter..
A tackle block that had came loose from somewhere slid over the deck . I snatched it up. The thing was use dto guide rope or cable over a set of wheels ,  as part of a oist
It was made of metal and  had a length of rope, tangled up in it.
One of the men had managed tolunge forward  and grab my legs, while he was raising a fighting knife to stab me.
More out of instinct than any other reason I swung the tackle block and smashed it across his head. The thing turned out to be a devastating weapon in close combat,
His helmet flew and with it it blood amd teeth.
Now I heard magnified voices, and turned to look. A second fishing boat was close and a man with megaphone leaning over the railing shouted .” Cut the engine or you going to plow into the keel rippers.”
One of the Elhir men rushed to the wheel house struggled as fast as he could up the short ladder and disappeared in the smoke belching steering compartment. Moments later the tilting deck righted itself up and we lost speed fast. It was too late.
With an ear piercing sound of tearing metal and harsh jolt that made me hold on the  harpoon  line and almost loose my improvised weapon; the  boat had hit something.
There were still five Elhir men, including the one in the wheel house. Four of them now had their swords drawn and came rushing close.
There was no talking , no chance of  stopping them, their faces pure rage.  For some strange reason I was not afraid, “Come ye, I am but a boy and stand firm against Elhir cowardice.  I will die before I surrender!”
“Halt!” The booming voice from before commanded.
The Elhir men stopped, not because of me swinging the tackle block  but because of the armed men that swung over the sided and because of a man in the robe and furs of an elder. Against the wind he yelled. “Men of Elhir, stand down or ye shall answer before the Circle of Elders. A clan feud ends and becomes a war when abduction is committed.”
One of the Elhir protested. “What recourse do we have if the Olafson cowards whip our sons, in the cover of night and masked like cowards?”
“The recourse of challenge! Let the Elhir chief challenge the Chief of the Olafsons.    However we witnessed  unwavering courage, the hallmark of a true Norse in this young Olafson. “
to me the Elder said. “vestu heil ok sæl- Hail the young warrior!”
More men came on deck.
Now I could see their colors. It was a boat of the Holmquist Clan. Staunch allies of the Ragnarsson Clan.
The Elder said. “This is now a matter of the Elders and the Chiefs of Nilfeheim. You Eric of Nilfeheim however will be remembered as warrior born.”
“One of the Holmquist men said. “We must evacuate this boat, it is sinking fast.”

The Elhir boat did not sink. The men managed to patch it with emergency foam and the Holmquist boat was towing it. to the Burg.
 I was certain almost everyone was up now as I saw the crowd waiting, in the center of course the frightening shape of my big father. The Holmquists had used Nilfeheim Radio to call ahead.
As we came ashore, father did not even look at me, as he clasped underarms with the Elder “Honored Goði, my Isle is blessed with thy presence. Has this failure I must call my son, caused any problems? I shall of course punish him and lay open his hide.”
“Your hatred of your own son has even reached the Elders, your Son has bestowed great honor upon the name Olafson today.
Despite his youth he stood against warriors, fought a warrior with a sword and by our laws captured a boat. The details of this clan feud are now subject to the Circle of Elders. Unless you want to settle this manner by an open challenge.”
“Nay, I would have lauded the Elhir  for exterminating this failure. Their attack was against the Ragnarsson Rock. I wager once its still distant lord, returns such a challenge is uttered.”
“By slaying two Tyrannos and facing warriors like a true Viking, your son has earned the right to wear the helmet of a warrior . Do you object to this tradition, Isegrim of the Olafsons?”
“How I raise my sons is not the concern of anyone, not even that of the Elders. Lothar is my true heir and this cretin has outlived his usefulness when he turns 16 and inherits. He sneaked out of the burg without my permission and will receive his punishment.”
The elder stepped back. “The Elders concern themselves with all matters of tradition as they are our laws. Have you indeed declared Lothar your heir in front of me and Clan chiefs? We could declare Eric adult today, after slaying Tyrannos  and fighting like a warrior born. You do know what this means,right?”
It was clear that Father realized what he was about to do and said.
 “I will forgo any punishment and allow him to wear the Helmet. Eric is my first born until Lothar will challenge and kill him.”
The Elder gave father a long look. “You realize that all this will reach the ear of Erik Gustav Ragnarsson.”
Father gasped and his hand dropped to his whip.
 “What business is it for elders to gossip to those who hide themselves on other worlds? There is no need to involve his Grandfather. He did well and as expected.” The Holmquists  Clan leader said. “We were on our way to bring this Elder to our rock and witnessed your sons deeds. Eric may come to our shores at any time. He will be welcome with highest honors.”
“You, Isegrim took on the ring of the Clan Chief. Now this feud between Olafson and  Ehir can not escalate any further.  We Elders have called for all Clan chiefs to attend a meeting at the Thing and your presence is required.”
“It was the Elhir who snatched my weak son and wounded my beloved Lothar. What business do I have before the Elders?”
“The business of a Clan Chief. You are hereby summoned to appear before the Elders. You and the Elhir are to come before us tonight.”
Father had dragged me by the hair, all the way to the High Halls. I was steeling myself for the worst.
He had not spoken a sinle word, but we weren't alone, many of the Clans warriors had followed us.
With an  air of importance and dressed in a deep red gown, Gretel appeared with her hands stemmed in her hips. “Whatis the menaing of allthis? Why are you dragging that thing in our Halls?”
“These are matters of war and clan feud and not the realm of women. I am summoned bfore the Elders and so is Eric.”
My mind was still reeling from the unusual events. I could not decide what I should make of it all, but this was the first time at least since I could remember that I was recognized as a member of the Clan.
I was sitting across father in our Volvo flyer.  He was flanked by Gerhard, an Olafson warrior I knew little about and the always silent Orkimg, wearing Ragnarsson black.
Greifen had helped me get dressed , and again for the first time I wore Olafson red and a real leather tunic.
Father clenched his fist and then said. “You will not speak, not open your mouth unless I say so and don't have any hope. Your thrashing is only postponed. Once this is over I will break every bone and tan your misearble hide. I need you alive, but it matters not if you see your sixteenth birthday as a cripple.”
Orking resting his hands on the handle of a battle axe grunted with a smile. “Who knows what the day will bring , Sire. The Elders also summoned the Elhir Chief,  and  Challenges might be spoken.”
Father reached for his whip. “Then I add what is Elhir to what is mine.”
His voice was strong and matter of fact, but I could see his bluster and boast did not reach his eyes.
Gerhard tugged on his leather gauntlets. “The eyes of Nilfeheim will follow what transpires on the isle of the Elders, Sire. The Olafsons do not have a voce among the Elders. Your son however does.”
Father looked at me . “This is why you are here, “

The Isle of the Elders was located near the Uhim grounds, a good two thousand klicks from our burg.
I had never been here before and  knew very little about this region, other than it was always ice free, and the hunting ground for Tyrannos.
Our flyer had landed before a burg like complex and the first thing I noticed were the many flyers and boats. I recognized many of the colors and heralds, from the looks of it most Clans were reprsented.
I was told to follow and trailed behind. I contemplated to run, and hide. Maybe I could find shelter among the Clans of the East, and I was starting to look for an opportunity to make my idea a reality, but with Gerhard right behind me none was reprenting itself.
We entered a large hall through an open double door. The ceiling was at least twenty meters above us,
I counted twenty four white robed Elders sitting on an elevated  semi circle of chairs .
Behind them on a even further elevated tier elven more, only one seat, the one in the middle was empty.
Before that elevated assembly stood Leif Elhir, accompanied by several warriors of his clan.
To the each side of the hall were Clan chiefs and warriors standing there with serious faces, decked out in fur, leather, helmets and weapons.
Not even a Nubhir puppy would have found a gap to escape. I silently prayed to Odin  to let this be over with and stay cursed Lokis hand who was without doubt responsible fr getting me into situations like this.
One of the Elders got oup from his seat and his voice silenced the whispered conversations that emenated from all the ones present.
“Now that Isegrim of the Olafson clan is here, let us begin.”
The Elder waited a moment and then continued, “We have summoned the Chiefs of the Elhir and the Olafson Clan before the Circle as this clan feud of theirs is escalating fast and since each clan has allies and friends, this has the makings of  a new War of Clans.”
The Old man's voice rose in intensity and volume . “The last Clan War has brought weapons and evil from the other worlds and escalated fast to a point where the very existence of all Nilfeheim was in jeopardy. You all know what happened to the Uhim clan and its burg. This is why all Clans; new and old ones , West and East have agreed upon that we no longer fight Clan wars.
We Neo Vikings are too stuborn too violent and we know no boundaries once our anger is raised, to be allowed to fight war against each other.”
Many of the present men nodded to these words.
“Tthat we are not a peaceful lot is evident in our history even before we left distant Earth so long ago and that Clan feuds are part of our traditions no one denies, but there must be a limt,”
He pointed his finger at the Elhir chief. “Your clan is mighty and many clans will heed thy call, as there are old oaths. It is not a well kept secret that the Elhir eye with worry to the North, as the Olafson C;an is becoming one with the Ragnarsson Clan.
And no one with eyes and ears knows of thy posion and temper Isegrim of the Olafsons.  Who of you has started it, or if it as boiling condition that has existed before you took on the mantles of clan chiefs, is not the subject of this summon.The potential that it grows out of control however is.
The abduction of clan members, violence and murder in the guise of masks and wee hours is not our way and must cease. Now you may utter challenges, you may draw arms in the open and defend honor and clan.”
The elders rose from their seats and crossed their arms.
The Old man that had spoken nodded and continued. “Be warned , both of you.  Bring your grief into the open, attack in the open, but cease all this cowardly business or your clans shall be judged and you expelled from the assmembly of chiefs.”
The Elhir chief spoke first. “I found my own son beaten towithin an inch of his life and two freemen murdered before the gates of my burg.  Yet I have not given my son Hilfheim permission to attack the Ragnarasson rock or the minions of this cowardly steward. I acknowledge the council of the Elders and declare to abide.”
Father was next. “Cowards dropped a raging beast in our court yard, causing damage before my son dispatched the Fangsnapper. Cowards landed on our shores bringing a beaten and wounded warrior and to cause whatever mayhem they planned and have been soundly beaten by the least and weakest of my clan. I do not fear open conflict and welcome it. So I too acknowledge the Elders and abide by their council.”
The Old man that had spoken brushed over his beard. “Now do you want to settle this   like chiefs? There is the questionof the boat for one.”
The Elhir chief gestured to me. “Hilfheim has acted without my consent or knowledge. The son of Isegrim has fought well and by our traditions the boat is his. However it is known that the Clan Chief of the Olafsons shuns his first born and favors others. Declare him a warrior and I shall welcome him in my clan. There is no shame in acknowleding valor even fromn an enemies son.”
The elder said . “True words have been spoken, Isegrim of the Olafsons. What sayest you?”
“I have declared him my first born upon the Altar of Odin, I do not pamper my son and raise him as I see fit. That my way is the right one, is evident.”
The Elhir chief and father kept bickering and calling each other names, but neither man went as far as actually challenge the other. It appeard neither man was to certain about their own powress .
But I was more than surprised by the Elhir's offer and of course my father's admission that I was indeed his first born.
The grand affiar was actually fizzling out into another hour of empty threats and speeches.
In all this I was not asked anything and after the last words had been spoken, we went back to the flyer. The onlooking chiefs clearly disapointed for not seeing the two men fight.
On our way back Father seemed pleased and he said to the men. “Take the whelp back to the rock. I have business to attend to and tow the boat to the Xchange.”