Waking the Angel: A Mindlord Novel by Igor Swann


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Waking the Angel: A Mindlord Novel by Igor Swann.
Angel has always felt the world had it in for him, but now he realized the universe felt the same way. Abducted by your every day anal probing aliens, he found himself in a wonderful world where fantasy meets science fiction and mythology stands in for reality. Finding that he has lost his mind, literally, and can now play tic-tac-toe against it seems of little comfort with the difficult choice facing him; attempt to save the universe or attempt to save his home. Joined on this futile quest by a size changing blue monkey, a magic spy, and a hammer wielding little person as well as two dangerous blonds, and a really dangerous little eight-year-old girl he is going to try his utmost to save something. At least he has Skibladne; the amazing ship of legends, to ensure someone is going to be envious of him before the end. An end that might well have occurred two weeks ago, and everybody knows that time travel is a myth.

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Waking the Angel: A Mindlord Novel by Igor Swann

  1. 1. PROLOGUE The universe paused. Somewhere a nerve was being harassed and generallymistreated. It slowly gathered its attention from several nearby galaxies andfocussed its cosmic essence on finding the reason for itsdiscomfort. This event was not a singular occurrence. Every so often, it experienced niggling irritations creep up thecentral nervous system of galaxies. Lately it had become a habit. Still, after the excitement of the beginning, and at this advancedstate of being, very few things made the universe sit up and takenotice. Time in itself remained a quite hypothetical reality to theuniverse, but things tend to start and end, and this universe wassomewhere in the middle right now. Hmmm, I have picked up a few more light-years around thewaist it seems, imagine that, the distracted thoughts rumbledthrough the ancient synaptic web as it noticed its expandingexpanse with disdain. Old memories briefly overpowered the hunt for the annoyanceas it fondly reminisced on a time when it was the centre ofattention on the canvass. It burst onto the scene with a big bang and quickly became theenvy of all the other universes. It had a plan. It was going to do things right. i
  2. 2. This universe would not repeat the mistakes of the others andlet itself slowly slip into eternity. Nevertheless, fate is patient and time is relative with destinybeing inevitable… no one would take that bet. Now a few billion years down the line it had become justanother cranky old universe with an expanding waistline. Now there were other young idealists, with seemingly balancedcreations on the canvass. Losing a few galaxies around the waist seemed to becomeimpossible as time went by, time being hypothetical of course. It cringed at the thought of having to use black holes tomaintain some semblance of dignity and a semi respectabletuxedo size. When did it all get away from me? The universe slowly turned its attention from the memories asits irritation mounted, but only for a moment before slippingaway again. It still headed towards the annoyance. Sentient life, what every universe desired, and he had inabundance. Why, he never understood. They were a nuisance and needed constant supervision. The torment he endured from the prattle of the other universeswith first time newborn sentients usually ended in a galacticheartburn, without the prospect of an antacid tablet. ‘Ooh you know what my sentients did now? They invented fire,’‘Mine are developing legs,’ and ‘My sentients are developingadvanced interpersonal communication skills.’ ‘They are?’ ii
  3. 3. ‘Yes. The female chatters incessantly while the male clubshimself to death.’ ‘Wow!’ The universe continued its search. Since these sentient life forms came to be, the neighbourhoodhas gone to hell. It was not sure where hell was anymore. It felt quite certain itwas in one of the galaxies off to the right. Of course, after the sentients evolve, then the gods move inwith their demands. Do this; create this; and destroy this. It never ends, simply never ends. It found the source of its irritation. The universe sighed, them again… iii
  4. 4. WAKING THE ANGEL A Mindlord Novel IGOR SWANN iv
  5. 5. v
  6. 6. Waking the Angel CHAPTER 1 He dove for cover, landing heavily on his dislocated shouldermere fractions of a second before the shrapnel started to whistleover his properly battered body. He tried hard to remember what madness drove him to set offin aid of this unwilling damsel in distress. He thought that he portrait the role of a hero on a white horsequite admirably; he even remembered his lines for the most part. Being a little more appreciative of his efforts would have beennice. Fine, they might both be in a spot of bother right now. Nevertheless, she could show a touch more gratitude, since hedid save her life, quite frequently following their introduction. Now she had disappeared and he could feel consciousnessslowly slipping from his grasp, which in all honesty might not bethe worst of the two possible endings he envisioned. He was quite sure of a couple of things. Firstly, that the tank like vehicle called a Reaper heading his waywas a serious chunk of metal. Oversized spike tracks, and withturrets and gun barrels all over the place it appeared overdone.Every modern art critic’s worst nightmare and they could reallyhave done something different with the light fixtures. Nevertheless, who ever designed this monstrosity wanted tomake sure that if it did not rip you apart with its awesomefirepower, the mere sight would cause you to rather just give upand go away. Far, far away, quite convinced you forgot to turn offthe stove before leaving home and maybe you should go check. 1
  7. 7. Igor Swann Others, after a hasty glance in its direction, might simply diefrom fear. Another more comforting thought very clear in his mind was hisresolute confidence in his training and by popular belief makinghim one of the most lethal beings in the universe. He should know. He was there. At this moment, his extensive training made him keenly awareof one other important detail. He would shortly be theunfortunately deceased, previously most lethal being in theuniverse; and he is most definitely here. As he slipped from this reality, his thoughts took him back toonly a few short months ago. To a time, he would like to refer to as living in blissful ignorance. The universe made sense then; it was something romantic wayup there. Stars were what got him into intimate moments on ahilltop with a bottle of wine and a blanket. Genes be damned, he thought angrily. He would have happily lived and died of natural causes by now,preferably intimately on a blanket, with a bottle of wine, underthe stars. To avoid more confusion our tale needs to start at a differentpoint in time. In the beginning, No, not that beginning, but rather a beginning we find in thememories of the unconscious human. It was a dark and stormy night… No? Oh well, so much for thatgood old cliché. 2
  8. 8. Waking the Angel In fact, it was a quite pleasant evening. Birds were merrilychirping away in the lane of trees next to his favourite bench.Dogs were walking their owners. People seemingly without a dayjob were picnicking in the park and pigeons were defacing statueswithout fear of arrest. Everything from a distance of more than 20feet seemed tranquil and serene. He often wandered to this bench when he needed time toreflect on a particularly taxing day. Feeding the pigeons calmed him. He stared absentmindedly at the brochure in his hand, which hegrabbed from a pretty girl distributing them outside the gym nextto his office building. He was not entirely sure why. On the front scribbled in bright red letters the words, ‘A greatway to get fit’. He felt it should rather read, ‘A great way to get a fit’. He poured over the wonderfully relaxing things you can do suchas stretching classes, swimming, running, exercise bikes, corestabilization, circuit and free weights. He expected to read wheelbalancing and alignment on the next page. Placing the folded brochure in his pocket, he sighed deeply. Thepeople in the picture looked too depressed. I do not need a gymto feel that way; I just need to wake up in the morning, hethought. Today weighed particularly heavily on his mind. He endured atax audit, which was, as expected, a disaster. Moreover, well, let us just say a substantial pile of otherproblems, very much inconsequential to what his genetic codehad fated his life to become. As in right about… 3
  9. 9. Igor Swann …tick… …tick… …now There were no strange lights in the sky from previouslyunidentified flying objects, a glowing beam surrounding him, oraliens politely requesting him to ‘Take me to your leaderearthling.’ He was there and then he was not. *blink* Life seemed to be doing fine without him. A few pigeons wereannoyed since their waiter inexplicably vanished. However, havingthe attention span of peanut, this lasted only the time needed forthem to spot a statue with less than adequate poop graffiti. He awoke in excruciating pain. Something that resembled giving natural childbirth to aporcupine crossbred with a full-grown gorilla; and it was stuck. It carried through every receptor in his nervous system. Everysingle one competing to get to the brain first, and inform it thatthe problem was in its sector and it had damn well better dosomething quick. His brain however had other concerns. The burning desire to form a thought, which was contrary topopular belief, not, ‘where the hell am I’ but rather, ‘where in hellam I’. 4
  10. 10. Waking the Angel Of course that would have been his thoughts if he had anycontrol over even a single neuron in his cranial cavity, and in factwas his first thought when he found one. Screaming seemed the next logical direction to progress in, butthat also required reflexive mental activity, and a faintrecollection on the general vicinity of his vocal cords. The torture ceased abruptly, after what he could only surmiseto be days… thirty-three seconds to be exact. They were there, surrounding him, staring at him with theirlarge almond eyes imbedded in those pale grey thin faces. They looked exactly like the government said they would notlook even if they did exist, which they did not, you silly conspiracytheorist person. ‘It’s all just weather balloons and stuff, so let that be the end ofthat. Tea with crumpets will be served in the reception area, butbe forewarned, there are balloons in there, so please do notpanic.’ One of the expert weather balloon pilots surrounding himscreeched. He had no idea which one. They were not using sound. The scream was inside his head. The words were like a tsunami,rolling in from the ocean and his brain was a pebble in its way. It smashed into his mind, again, and again. This time he did scream, cradling his head in his arms, pleadingfor the sound to stop. It stopped. 5
  11. 11. Igor Swann A voice came, soft and smooth, a playful stream full of apologyand comfort. The tone your boss would adopt and cause you to panicuncontrollably, because the next words from his mouth weregoing to be ‘unfortunately due to downsizing…’ ‘We apologize for your discomfort. I did not mean to shout butwe could not be sure the procedure succeeded and you couldhear us. I am Qren and we are the Ark council. The pain youexperienced was a side effect to the procedure used to unlockthose parts of your mind you humans do not use. This wasnecessary to release your telepathic abilities. If you wish toaddress us simply think a word or sentence and then direct it atthe recipient.’ They stared at him. He stared back. It spoke again. ‘What is your name?’ The words were robotic. They had no feeling behind them,simply a statement of facts. It was a script perfectly memorized,and seemed alarmingly well rehearsed. He could think of nothing to say or everything to say butnothing made sense. ‘Sweet angel of mercy’ seemed to pop up, and somehow outbecause a buzz went up around the room. The grey figures appeared to enter into a puzzled debate withone another but he did not understand the language. Qren spoke again. 6
  12. 12. Waking the Angel ‘You are ‘Sweet Angel of Mercy’? Strange… we acknowledgeyou Sweet Angel. What is Mercy? May we call you Angel? Good!’ Too tired to argue, and far too angry to care what they calledhim, he simply sighed in hopeless anguish. His brain hurt, and raced. It was too powerful and fast. He couldnot lock onto his own thoughts. He designed light refracted super computers, re-indexed theNational Library, and negotiated peace treaties between India andPakistan at the exact same moment in time. He also levitated anurn type object on the other side of the room for no apparentreason. His mind now calculated how long he could last before hisbladder exploded. The answer made him extremely nervous. Angel became a passenger while his mind drove. His mind,obviously way over the legal alcohol limit, drove a Ferrari over theAlps with a large red letter ‘L’ in the rear windscreen. Qren spoke again, ‘it will be a while before your consciousnessaccepts your mind, so they may again be in harmony. We willdepart and return when you call.’ They left silently, as if floating. Their long grey robes concealedany movement made by their limbs, if they had any limbs. He made a few attempts at grabbing hold of a passing thought,missed by a country mile, gave up and went to sleep. He left hismind to solve world hunger, or perpetual motion or whatever elseit was working on currently. The next conscious period arrived. 7
  13. 13. Igor Swann He had no perception of time, his brain chirped in with ‘7 hours32 minutes 12 seconds and 42 hundreds of a second since yourlast conscious state.’ He took his mind’s word for it. It waited. The realization hit him like an Acme anvil in a cartoon. His mindwas not playing dodge ball with him anymore. It was a dragsterrevving on the start line, just looking for an excuse to throw himthe finger and thunder off in the distance. Angel approached cautiously like a kitten stalking a bird for thefirst time, slowly, carefully, not to scare the bird away. Having chosen an ostrich for this life altering experience mighthave been slightly overoptimistic, but what choice did he have. His brain carefully observed his every move from the corner ofits third eye. It seemed to come to a decision, smiled inwardly, and to Angel’sgreat surprise, moved over and presented him with the driverseat. Angel understood that this came with a promise to be a realpain in the arse back seat driver. For the first time he could examine his surroundings, while itpresented not overly much to examine. Whoever decorated thisplace was on a tight budget, with the imagination of a coconuttree, and not a very bright one at that. It was a dull grey, itradiated dull, shining dull from every corner of the room. Wow, I must get the number of their interior decorator, hesarcastically thought. 8
  14. 14. Waking the Angel They obviously did not fully comprehend the minimalisticapproach to decorating. The grey urn he levitated being the onlyaesthetically enhancing aspect to the room. Great, a toilet, they thought of everything, he groaned. Now if he could just remember how this walking thingmanifests again. His mind refused to help since it was too trivial arequest. He lay stretched out on a slab made of a substance his mindcould not interpret, and it tried desperately. Angel could not remember ever feeling this helpless and alone.He wanted answers, especially to Why me? He had a thought, Iwonder if they can hear me. The door opened and the alien choirwalked in. He now noticed one of the creatures’ robes was a shade of greydarker than the rest. His mind calculated the exact frequency oflight that would cause this deviation. After they took up position around the table, Qren’s voice brokethe silence. ‘Well rested Angel?’ His mind calculated the angle of the incoming thought andsurmised it to come from the darker robed figure. It was the firstsemi useful information his mind produced. Angel; he had no desire to fix this mistake, the less they knewabout him the better. Angel formed a response and pressed the send button. ‘What the hell do you want from me? Where am I? What areyou? Did your decorator die painfully? Is there any chance of adrink? Or an automatic rifle perhaps?’ 9
  15. 15. Igor Swann He stopped his mind short of giving them the calibre, projectilespeed, firing tempo, muzzle velocity and serial number of therequired weapon. Qren’s silky voice entered his mind again, ‘We mean you noharm.’ ‘Is that right?’ Angel interrupted sarcastically. Qren continued unabated, ‘Your abduction was due to ahopeless situation which required a drastic solution. You were theonly suitable candidate in age and genetic makeup. Yourpredecessor met with an untimely demise. He was involved in anunfortunate strata-surfing accident involving a meteor1.’ ‘The normal procedure of infant seizure and training could notbe employed and was not scheduled to commence for quite sometime. This necessitated the procurement of an adult human. Thisis a regrettable and ill-fated arrangement to be sure.’ Angel stared ahead blankly; confused would be anunderstatement of galactic proportions. Predecessor, Genetics, Are they mad? Is he mad? Where wasthat drink? His mind also tried to make sense of this, and seemed bemused. It made no sense of it either. His brain shrugged and continued to calculate the amount ofnose hair needed to fill the room. Qren’s voice droned on.1 Strata surfing required a space suit, a long board, a strata sail and a whole lotof guts. The fact that he managed to sail into a meteor seemed quite suspiciousat the time. It is not easy to overlook a million tons of rock coming straight atyou. 10
  16. 16. Waking the Angel ‘We were fortunate to find a single male possessing DNAsequence TNFR-12, the gene necessary for successful mindtransformation.’ Questions swam in Angel’s mind. He knew he had an exceptional IQ, but why did they need him?Their technology seemed far more advanced than anything hecould hope to imagine. They were obviously a superior race, and what did they mean bypredecessor; and where was that damn drink! Qren must have intercepted part of the thought. He started toconvey a completely different information package. ‘We are called the Ark. We are a race who travels the universein search of technology we may incorporate into our way of life,or we might get lucky and find a new seafood restaurant.’ Qren felt proud of his joke, he was almost sure he got it right.Humans appreciate these things. Angel’s mouth did not even twitch and Qren continued, slightlyoffended in an emotionless kind of way. ‘Even though we possess some of the greatest engineers inexistence, we do not posses what humans call imagination orcreative thinking, the reason why we need to accumulate ideasfrom other species.’ ‘Many millennia ago we came upon the mind enhancingtechnology. The origins were indeterminable. It was found on aremote planet close to the edge of explored space, abandoned byan ancient civilization.’ ‘We experimented with the device, but found that our ownneuron structure was insufficient to be enhanced using this 11
  17. 17. Igor Swanndevice. We conducted tests on all known species but none had anadequate neurological network.’ ‘Hey, take a breath,’ Angel projected. Qren ignored him and continued. ‘Centuries passed and our civilization became stagnant. Havingaccumulated and enhanced all available technology, we weredesperate for an engineering challenge.’ ‘Is there a point somewhere?’ Angel projected. ‘Information came to us from a deep universe explorer of theexistence of your planet.’ ‘Dispatching a research party, news returned that your mindswere compatible. Unfortunately all initial attempts failed ashumans could not control this transformation and lost theirsanity.’ Angel had a revolting image projected into his mind. He couldsympathize with those unfortunate enough to be ‘liberated’ bythe alien technology. He remembered how close he had come to losing control of hismind. He then reminded himself of the fragile truce he currently hadwith his mind, and silently wished that he could lose his mind... orrather part of it. Qren continued without pause, ‘determined to find a solutionour research team, by coincidence or by fate, transformed ahuman child who did not become insane. Many more yearselapsed before the discovery of the illusive gene.’ 12
  18. 18. Waking the Angel ‘From there it was a simple matter of reconfiguring ourscanners. We continued to probe from our ships hidden in yourmoon’s shadow and selected infants with the gene.’ Though fascinated by this he was now also realizing the gravityof his situation. Without the help of his mind, he noted withdisdain. His mind was off calculating all possible proteinsequences. They must need me for a think tank of sort, an imagination fortheir engineers. My body hooked up to machines, with wires and pipes runningfrom me. My intelligence drained. I am going to become a livingthought machine. I am going to be intravenously force fedvegetables… ‘I hate vegetables!’ he screamed. The chill shot down his spine, and cold sweat was dripping fromhis forehead. His mind returned briefly to see what all the commotion wasabout, decided it was unimportant, and went back to its DNAsplicing and constructs. Perceptive as ever Qren hastened his retelling, ‘do not fearAngel. You have not been brought here as a prisoner providingcreative stimulus for our engineers. Perhaps I need to clarify whoyour predecessor was.’ As Qren’s words unfolded in his mind, Angel felt anunimaginable fear tightening around his soul… he preferred thepipes and wires! 13
  19. 19. Igor Swann CHAPTER 2 Sweat flowed freely from her brow serving only to accentuateher striking beauty. The girl appear tall, slim and graceful; aquality shared by all her brethren. Her precise movements sent ripples through her toned andslender muscles. An air of aristocracy surrounded her like a fineswirling mist. Her auburn skin glowed with its own light, a side effect of a lifeon a radioactive planet, to which her kind had adapted andbecome immune to long ago. This remarkable quality of Elheimr deterred many would-beinvaders and served to protect her people. Elheimr had anotherunique property, where its gravity would cycle between four andnine times the gravity experienced on earth, making it impossiblefor most species to visit the planet in its upward cycle. Unlike the rest of her kind who became docile and inactive nearthe top of the gravitational cycle, the extraordinary energyrequired to exercise in this gravitational field only made her moredetermined. The girl’s ears pointed sharply upward, as did her eyebrows andeye corners. Her eyes were uncannily large and in the shape of ateardrop, a solid dark platinum coloured teardrop, with no pupilor sclera. Her raven black hair sprayed majestically and hugged her formas she performed an intricate, and to any knowledgeableobserver, quite deadly manoeuvre. 14
  20. 20. Waking the Angel It resembled a flowing seductive dance more than movementdesigned for precision killing. She was El, a race of explorers and warriors, a curious andintelligent people who imagine their kind to be superior beings. Repeatedly she performed the routines. They were completelystored in her muscle memory, available as reflex actions to anythreatening situation. Of course, if no such situation presenteditself she was sure to create one. She handled a strange weapon in the form of a curved metalalloy staff, bent in the centre and towards the ends again in theopposite direction. The end points of the staff were fashioned intoblades like those used on sickles, difference being the sharp sharkteeth-like protrusions on the outward facing side of the blades. This was an awesome weapon of almost unrivalled destructivecapability when compared to any equipped on a single person. In close combat, the El could deploy, twirl and move the bladesat speeds that suggested that there were no blades. Anassumption with severe continued existence limiting implicationsfor any would be assailant. A simply thought would activate an energy shield, which wouldform between the two blades. The shield is able to stop anyprojectile, blaster or small arms ion cannon fire. Gripping the centre of the staff in a bow-like fashion andtapping the centre of the shield released a devastating energybolt. A bolt powerful enough to obliterate light armoured vehiclesand in their expert hands even disable the heavily armouredReapers. What made this weapon so impressive was that it required noreloading. The bow-staff siphoned organic energy from any source 15
  21. 21. Igor Swannin the vicinity. This made the El untouchable in woodland orvegetation-rich environments. ‘Princess,’ someone started to say. ‘I’m busy,’ she rasped in a voice that would on her death makethe devil wonder if he had come at a bad time. ‘But…’ he tried again. He got no further. ‘You have one word left, and then you will hold your tongueand leave. Any words following that word and you will hold yourtongue permanently…’ malice dripped from her perfect lips,mixed with a fair amount of sweat, ‘…in your hand, do not ignorethis warning!’ she added. She did not break her stride or falter on a single movement. ‘Meeting,’ the nervous voice said in haste. ‘What meeting?’ <Silence> ‘Are you deaf?’ she snarled. <Silence> ‘Enough you insolent fool!’ she growled, ‘you may keep yourtongue. Give me the message and go!’ An urgent voice continued, ‘My lady, we have news from theArk council, a replacement has been found. You are summoned toattend an emergency senate meeting.’ He ducked just in case. Sharin gave a sneer of contempt and her eyes appeared evendarker than usual. 16
  22. 22. Waking the Angel ‘Who do these Arks think they are summoning me,SUMMONING ME? What little respect they bestow upon an Elprincess.’ Forced into a truce with the United Galactic Empire, or UGE forshort, because of the inferior El numbers and the growing threatof the Taur, the repulsive alliance was born from necessity. She hated the Vanir, the UGE name for humans, even morethan she hated the rest of the races. She had to admit that theymight be mentally superior. No El was worthy of mind transformation, as was the case withall other UGE member races. Only the Vanir, the despicable vileVanir were worthy. She spat at the thought as if hoping that thiswould remove it from existence. Since her ambassadorial appointment, her duties forced her tosuffer the indignity of consorting with these unworthy UGEspecies, accepting them as sentient, and actually pretending tolisten when they speak. How revolting, she thought. She spared only a fleeting glance at her messenger beforesetting off towards her wing of the palace. The fury radiated fromevery graceful stride. The messenger shared most of the princess’s attributes with themost notable divergence being his blue eyes and blond hair. Thecharacteristic features of the previous rulers of the El, before thecurrent House of El, overthrew them. He displayed the same ageless quality of their kind, which madean estimation of their age quite impossible. 17
  23. 23. Igor Swann The other variation to this ‘El-kind’ theme was dark green eyesand red hair, but these features were the mark of commoners andworkers. Royalty, such as the upset princess, came endowed with thedark platinum colour eyes and midnight black hair. He intently followed her departure, not sharing her unbridledhatred for other species. He could only shake his head, a reactionthat would have found him separated from said head, had certainplatinum eyes observed this. Kainen quickly scanned the surroundings for such eyes, but itwas a futile exercise even for the El-sight. His people were nearinvisible surrounded by forestation, and his home world was onelarge shimmering radiating forest. The cities seamlessly weaved into the trees, with moststructures built either in or around them. This was not surprisingsince the trees provided the energy that sustained their way oflife. Kainen walked back to his quarters, now quite focused on aneven more vexing problem, what was on the menu for dinner. 18
  24. 24. Waking the Angel CHAPTER 3 His senses dulled. Angel would give anything to feel something;even the temperature in the room was dull. His mind hit his hand on the table. ‘Bet you felt that,’ it said as Angel yelped. I have to escape, he thought, there must be a way off this…whatever this was. He had managed to convince his mind to let him use the urn afew minutes earlier. The only reason his mind agreed was soAngel would stop his incessant moaning, and so he couldaccidentally hit Angel in the privates when he levitated the urntowards him. ‘So are we going to escape or what?’ his mind asked, shortlyafter Angel discontinued his contorted pose in the foetal position. ‘How exactly do you propose to do that?’ Angel returned thethought, feeling quite silly speaking to his mind. His mind had told him to sing if that would make him feel betterbut after the first few bars, his mind cut off his control to thevocal cords. ‘Won’t they know what we are thinking?’ he asked his mind. ‘No, they seem to be able to read what is in your consciousmind, and I can control that,’ it smugly stated. ‘They are under theimpression you are thinking about cutting your toenails in theshape of animals.’ ‘Okay, so how do we…’ what am I saying he thought, we? Hewas referring to himself in the plural. ‘Oh god, he was going toend up in an asylum.’ 19
  25. 25. Igor Swann He gathered his thoughts again, ‘how do I open that door?’ ‘Leave that to me,’ his mind said as he walked Angel over to thedoor. It opened. ‘How did you do that?’ ‘Simple, when those things walked in it projected a thought atthe door, and told it to open. I used their brainwave frequencyand did the same,’ his mind explained as if it was the mostobvious thing in the world, and Angel must be the biggest idiot fornot thinking of it himself, which he in essence did but let’s notconfuse the issue. ‘How do we proceed from here?’ he asked. ‘Well walking would be my first choice, but you may run if itwould make you feel better,’ his mind answered sarcastically. ‘Fuunnnyyyy,’ Angel replied. ‘We need a disguise, so let’s open a few rooms and find one.’He walked down endless deserted corridors and visited countlessabandoned rooms.The fatigue enveloped him and he did not even think to usestealth anymore. Finally, he found a room with an unused grey cloak. ‘Good now we find a way off this ship,’ his mind ordered. ‘I should have figured we are on a ship of sorts,’ Angel replied. ‘Nooo… you think?’ his derisive mind replied. ‘I sensed a faint tremor when we accelerated, thus I surmise ourpresent course will take us to the back of the ship. I also judgethat to be the place they would keep any smaller ships since itwould be easier to launch ships from the rear.’ 20
  26. 26. Waking the Angel ‘Makes sense,’ Angel thought wearily. He listlessly embarked on his journey to the back of the ship. ‘Why did I not wear walking shoes?’ Angel groaned, painfullyaware of the blisters forming on the soles of his feet. ‘Yes, I can’t believe you did not know you would be abducted byaliens today,’ another mocking thought came from his mind. An alien blocked their path. ‘Leave this to me,’ his mind’s overconfident thought came tohim, as Angel shrunk back into the hooded cloak praying thecreature do not pay close attention to his unusual shape andheight. Angel could feel thoughts leaving his brain. A few moments later, his mind returned. ‘We need to turn left at the next corridor and then continueanother 100 yards to the docking bays.’ The door slid open silently. ‘Wow,’ Angel thought while his mind whistled. It was huge. Ships lined the hull as far as he could see. ‘Well, pick one so we can get out of here,’ his mind suggestedurgently. ‘Why the rush all of a sudden, and why am I getting worried?’Angel thought back. ‘None of your business!’ his mind replied, ‘now move it!’ ‘You gave us away when you spoke to that alien, didn’t you?’Angel smirked. ‘Would you move already!’ his mind ordered. ‘No, you tell me what you said,’ Angel delighted in thisopportunity for payback. ‘That’s it. Move over I’m driving,’ his mind replied. 21
  27. 27. Igor Swann They ran to one of the ships, and his mind ordered it to open. ‘You know how to fly this thing?’ Angel asked. ‘I am the most intelligent life form in the universe,’ his mindreplied smugly, ‘how hard could it be?’ Angel sat in front of the command console. ‘Where the hell is the on button,’ he heard his mind thinkingaloud. Angel heard the faint sound of the ship’s access door opening. His heart sank. Moments later Qren floated in accompanied by guards. ‘We have followed your progress on the ships monitors. Highlyimpressive,’ he remarked before continuing. ‘We unfortunately cannot allow you to leave. Please understandthe future of the known universe could depend on yourcooperation in fulfilling your destiny.’ ‘And if I refuse to cooperate?’ Angel asked fuming. ‘That is not an option you would wish to consider,’ Qrensuggested without a hint of malice, ‘the guards will escort youback to your quarters. Please remain there until we reach ourdestination. Thank you.’ ‘We’re screwed aren’t we?’ Angel asked his mind while theywere ushered back to their quarters. ‘Yep,’ his mind replied indifferently. 22
  28. 28. Waking the Angel CHAPTER 4 ‘Victory!’ the cry echoed along the cavern walls bouncing offinto the distance. ‘Care to wager another ounce of Zellion brother?’ the warmdeep voice asked, ‘you still have much to learn about the game ofDigs, but you will in time.’ Two small black beads stared out from under bushy eyebrowsat the one who made this statement before replying. ‘Yes brother dearest, but who could foresee a fate carddestroying my number one shaft?’ ‘Ah, as the saying goes putting your coal all in one bucket. Nocontingency plan, which was admittedly a brave move, butfoolish.’ ‘Let us not forget that this youth has cried victory before.’ ‘True brother, very true, and what a famous victory that was.’ ‘It will not be the last,’ a determined voice came from theyounger player. ‘That I do not doubt, and I look forward to the day it will be aregular occurrence.’ Brom proceeded to reset the pieces and shuffle the fate cards.He loved this game. It gave him endless satisfaction to out-minehis opponents, and none except for Kirom once, has ever tastedthe sweetness of victory when playing him. His only regret was cheating to let his brother win. He dealt afate card from the bottom of the deck. He already knew what itwould be; a plague card that wiped out half his own workforce 23
  29. 29. Igor Swannand left key areas severely weakened. This took careful planningand positioning without his brother realizing what he was doing.Kirom had won, and he did not stop smiling for a week after,while Brom pretended to sulk. It was necessary. He had to keep his brother’s interest in thegame. Adequate playing partners were hard to come by. Even inthe Universal Digs Championship, none came close to challengehis skill. The thought seem to amuse Brom and he let out a thunderinglaugh that shook a few crystals loose from the ceiling. One particularly large crystal unceremoniously dropped on hisbrother’s oversized foot. Kirom swore and bounced off into an unlit tunnel. It took a while for his curses to die down in the distance. A disappointed older brother watched him depart. Brom waslooking forward to testing out a new strategy he was working on. As he returned his gaze to the board, he only now noticed thelarge gist1, perched on the playing field, twitching his nose atBrom. Brom held out his hand and the gist scrambled on. He touchedthe creature’s head lightly where he knew the hidden recordingdot resided.1 A furry little rat creature. However, he had a much more relaxedtemperament and was a heck of a lot faster. They created their own tunnelstructure in the Dwar maze and trained easily, thus they were the preferredcarrier of information, since radio waves did not travel well in these ore-richcaverns. 24
  30. 30. Waking the Angel A monotonous voice arose from his hand, ‘Brom, Grand MasterDwar, your presence is hereby requested for an emergencysenate meeting.’ Brom immediately grasped the meaning of this, the Vanir hasbeen located. ‘Excellent,’ he thought. He loathed being on the surface, too much fresh air. He missedthe damp musty smell of his beloved caverns, tunnels and shaftswhen he was unfortunate enough to be off-planet. Topside Nidavellir was completely devoid of life. Acid andsulphur pits covered its entire surface and one gigantic electricstorm fully describes the planet’s weather patterns. This was one planet where the weatherman had an easy job. Hecould predict the weather curled up in bed 10 miles underground. The Dwar were a stocky, hairy race turned so by evolution fromliving underground. As miners and traders, they were well known.Their cities frequently visited by offworlders seeking a tradeagreement and a chance to lay their hands on the precious metalsand minerals only the Dwar seem to be able to get hold of. They were rich, rich beyond the imagination even Angel nowpossessed. They loved their underground dwellings, so much so that theydecorated the inside of their interstellar cruisers in the fashion oftheir caverns. Stalactites and stalagmites were painstakingly‘grown’, and all the ships were equipped with burrowing tools sothat they do not physically land on a planet so much as inside aplanet. 25
  31. 31. Igor Swann The race hierarchy was simple. You had miners and captains,masters of mines, masters of planets and him, Dwar GrandMaster. He gave the gist a few scraps from those left on the table. ‘Off with you now little one,’ he commanded. He picked up his gigantic hammer, and set off to pack. In peacetime, they banned the use of these hammers on thesurface of any habitable planet. It had a tendency to causedevastating electric storms, not unlike the ones raging onNidavellir. This was due to the build-up of electromagnetic energy in thehammer core enabling the hammer to cut through solid rock ormetal like a hot knife through butter. It did not only shatter therock. The hammer in fact ripped apart the strong and weak forcesholding the atoms and molecules together. This would release the electromagnetic energy that binds theelectron to its nucleus, which the hammer absorbs and use torecharge. The hammer would direct the rest of the energy awayfrom the user and this energy subsequently collect in thestratosphere. In a very short time, the energy builds to such magnitude that itcreates the electric storms. Precise prospecting was the Dwar creed. The few Dwar thatwere unlucky enough to hit a uranium or plutonium deposit werenever heard from again, neither was the planet. Brom’s hammer, a particularly powerful example, needed only afew blows to cause a super-storm of continentally devastatingproportions. The name of this hammer was Mjolnir. 26
  32. 32. Waking the Angel Mjolnir, handed down from generation to generation alwaysbelonged to the Grand Master Dwar. It was the most exquisitelycrafted tool in the entire Dwar Empire, and it was the first. Allother hammers were fashioned from it. Mjolnir was the symbol ofDwar power. 27
  33. 33. Igor Swann CHAPTER 5 A freezing early dawn broke on Arken. It would be another 2hours before late dawn, and the rising of the second sun with anorbit far closer to the planet, providing most of the heat. Angel rubbed his chest as he aimlessly sauntered down theendless corridor. He arrived on the planet three days ago andsince been allowed to wander the palace grounds unescorted. Noone bothered him and he felt invisible, almost as if he was back atwork, only here he did not have to pretend to be working. Still he wished he could wake up. He stared at his own reflection in one of the palace’s mirroredwalls. It was still his face staring back. Angel was tall at almost six foot four inches, and had a decentenough bone structure. Angel had a naturally athletic build, eventhough fitness was not one of his main concerns, he maintained asemblance of a decent shape. His dark hair, and grey blue eyesthat had a constant naughty glint to them, along with his well-chiselled face and broad shoulders made him a very attractiveman indeed. Even the scar running from the corner of his righteye about half an inch down his temple just made him appearmore handsome in a rugged way. He had never believed himself an attractive male specimen buthe received constant compliments and attention, which shouldhave given him a clue. Confused and lonely he kept walking. 28
  34. 34. Waking the Angel Walking gave him something to do, something to dull thelonging for home. He missed earth, his bench, the pigeons, eventhe tax audit would be welcome relief from this nightmare. He had so many questions, most of which he did not wantanswered. A large memorial stone drew his attention and he ambledacross lethargically. A strange hieroglyphic language covered the stone. As he staredat the writing, the symbols started swimming in front of his eyes. Here we go again, he sighed. His mind was at it once more. Qren had told him that it would take months before his mindwould feel like part of him. Apparently, he still controlled his mind, only it operated at suchan enhanced level of processing, using so many previously unusedsectors, that it felt as if detached. His mind had found a cryptic puzzle and it would be damned if itwould let this go by unsolved. 12.23 seconds later, it had very disappointingly cracked thecipher. Sulking, it returned to a state of complete and utterboredom. <Sigh> Angel gaped at that which his brain had revealed to him. Howcould this be, he wondered. Carved on the memorial-stone were the surnames of some ofthe most renowned forward thinkers in earth history, stretchingback thousands of years. He slowly read the latter ones he recognized. ‘… Einstein, Newton, da Vinci, Alexander, Michelangelo, Freyr…’ 29
  35. 35. Igor Swann That last name rang a bell, but he could not place it. Angel shrugged, confident his mind would come up with ananswer shortly, and indeed, he did not need to wait long beforehis mind head-butted his consciousness out of the way andstarted chirping. ‘137 hits found on Freyr, to narrow the search, please supplymore parameters.’ When none was forth coming, it got back to calculating theangle between the two suns and the second they would overtakeeach other. He made a mental note to ask Qren about these carvings andthe Arks’ interest in the greatest minds of his planet. They already possessed the knowledge of the gene long beforeany of these men were born, and the transformed humans weremuch more intelligent, he thought, with his freezing limbs nowmostly forgotten, he walked on, quite puzzled. He noticed the ion trails of a few personal cruisers arrivingduring the course of day, but did not pay them much heed. He had more questions than answers in any event, and had noenthusiasm for compounding his confusion. The revelation Qren imparted on him while en route to Arkenwas too profound. There were also a few other insignificant little details, such asstanding on a planet a zillion light-years from a place he reallyliked to call home, looking at an alien sky, surrounded by beingsthat did not exist a few days ago. Then finally coming to therealization that this represents only the tip of the iceberg and hewas certainly in for a few more surprises. 30
  36. 36. Waking the Angel He walked to the gardens on the other side of the palace,kicking absentmindedly at anything unlucky enough to be in thepath of his foot’s pendulum. I am only one man, one insignificant man, how can they expectthis of me, how can they expect me to command galaxies,countless races, and lead them into war. ‘Why me!’ he screamed. He fell into a brooding silence. Angel tried waking from this nightmare every chance he got. His mind has even helped on occasion, thinking of clever waysto shock him back to reality. Angel was sure his brain was only doing this because deepdown it had a nasty homicidal streak. 31
  37. 37. Igor Swann CHAPTER 6 Teral stood on the bridge of his battle cruiser, a giganticspaceship. He calmly gave orders while a battle raged on the view screen infront of him. The raiders, mostly Taur bombers and a few fighters,were attacking from all sides, but held at bay by his cruiser’sheavy shield and directional turrets. He had been hunting this raiding party for weeks. Theyslaughtered settlements on more than a dozen worlds, and somehe could only surmise to be for sport. These settlers had no valuables or commodities that would beof interest to the Taur. He inwardly smiled a wry smile, as he watched the murderousfools taking the bait. They were so gullible, but then again, dangling the seeminglyunescorted Imperial Battle Cruiser as lure, how could they resist? He even gave them a few added incentives. The broken ion trailof a crippled ship and taking his forward defensive array off-line,something he knew their sensors would detect. True, they might stand a measly few percent chance of takingher but he was counting on this greed. Why would they not want to return home as heroes havingdestroyed the flagship of the Aesir. The raiders pressed on in the attack and Teral let them getclose, he wanted to draw them all in. 32
  38. 38. Waking the Angel Some were still hanging back, tentative, careful, not trustingtheir luck, but more and more joined the attack after seeing theapparent success of their brothers. Everything was going according to plan. Nearly there, just a few more, a few more, he thought tohimself. He wanted the two Taur capital ships within range. They mustnot get the opportunity to escape, he thought. That’s it, ‘Commander, give the order for the corvettes todecloak and commence fire,’ Teral barked. The Aesir were the only race whose ships had this ability, exceptfor one other very special craft. The cloak was not so much technology as it was magic. Theresult of Aesir mages seated in the hulls of the corvettes pluggedinto a thought amplifier. This enabled them to generate a hugemagical field around the ships, which made them invisible to anyobserver or sensor. This however presented one serious problem, since for anyoneinside the field there was no way to observe the outside either. This necessitated one decloaked ship with a senior mageonboard to mind guide the cloaked ships. The development of this strategy took many years, and manyships. They were flying blind and kept on crashing into each other,quite embarrassing really, but the captain of the ship only had afew seconds to feel embarrassed about their manoeuvring skills. Teral tapped his mindcom to broadcast his orders to his ships,‘bring the forward array online, all stations fire at will! Launch allsquadrons! Destroy them! Destroy them all!’ 33
  39. 39. Igor Swann He sat back in the command chair with pleasant thoughtsspiralling in his mind; did this scum really think the imperial battlecruiser would travel without an escort? How simple-minded theymust be. At least he will have revenge for his people’s needlessdeaths. The mindcom projected thoughts as voices directly into Teral’smind and he was listening with satisfaction. He kept switchingwavelengths, listening in on stations across his fleet. ‘Forward array is on line, commencing fire.’ <Click> ‘Corvette Astor in position, decloaking.’ <Click> ‘Alpha squadron completed flanking manoeuvre, commencingattack.’ ‘Delta 3 and 4 break left, on my command… go,’ ‘What the heck is that Taur doing? He is going straight into thecruiser, must be Mino’t, sleep tight baby.’ <Click> ‘Oh shit, oh shit oh shit; get him off my tail… AND STOPSHOOTING AT ME!’ ‘Sorry, I thought you were the one, who looked like he knewhow to fly.’ ‘I’ll fly this thing up your big ugly butt, asshole.’ <Click> ‘WHO IS CONTROLLING TURRET 4? Tell the idiot to shoot at themoving things; he can’t hit the pretty little lights from here!’…‘Yes, I mean the STARS MORON!’ 34
  40. 40. Waking the Angel ‘HE FORGOT HIS GLASSES AT HOME? Get that C^@%$ off thatturret NOW, and eject him through the airlock… of course I waskidding, eject him through the refuse disposal, we’ll give his familya medal later.’ ‘He’s your friend? Just send him to his quarters for Odin’s sake,and choose your friends more carefully in future.’ <Click> ‘Bring the Corvette round.’ ‘No, the other way idiot, never give your flank to the enemy.’ ‘What is wrong with you? Are you auditioning to be a bus driverat the old age home? I saw that!’ <Click> ‘Alpha three to Alpha two, I am on three, you?’ ‘Stopped counting at 10,’ ‘Bull.’ ‘No really, last one was named Trac’y; she was a really hotwaitress at Blongs on Keras2.’ ‘Idiot,’ <Click> ‘Sigma 1 you break left and I’ll go right, we’ll box him in.’ ‘No, your other left, F*****, oops sorry my mistake, did not seeyou were inverted.’ <Click> ‘Corvette Brondir Turret 7 acquiring target, target in range,target locked. Firing plasma cannon…’ ‘Sir, do they have battle cruisers?’ ‘No?’ ‘Then that’s… oh shit!’ <Click> 35
  41. 41. Igor Swann Teral watched as his cruiser and the corvettes rained a barrageof plasma, ion cannon fire and an assortment of missiles on themurderous trash. His fighters outflanked them and his corvettes formed acorridor of death trapping the entire marauder fleet. He hoped they have some idea of what his people felt beforedying, hopelessly awaiting death. His people, the Aesir were a peace loving society of mages, whoembraced combat training only as a means to defend themselves. Renowned as entertainers they were a flamboyant race withmagic being to them what air is to humans. They were shape shifters; able to take on the appearance ofalmost anything they touched. Though they could not duplicateintricate machinery or complex cell structures, in outwardappearance, they were perfect replicas. In their natural state, they had no prominent features. Their‘skin’ and eyes appeared dark blue in colour with a metal-likesheen. They have no hair, nails, or any orifices. The Aesirassimilated food by phagocytosis. This means the outer layer ofthe skin, with the magic field surrounding it, constantly attracts‘edible’ particles, which the ingested through the cell membrane. Their preferred means of communication like the Arks wasmental telepathy. Although, when taking the form of an entityusing any other means of communication, they would use thisinstead. 36
  42. 42. Waking the Angel The commander’s voice interrupted Teral’s thoughts, ‘sir, theyare running! We got at least 68 of the marauder ships, includingboth Taur capital ships. There were only a few casualties on ourside. Your plan was a resounding success, congratulations sir.’ ‘Your congratulations are premature commander,’ Teralthought, ‘they will all die today, every single one. Send the fighterwings after them, and I want an account of every Taur ship’sdestruction,’ and to be sure he added, ‘did I make myself clearCommander?’ ‘Crystal sir,’ the Commander turned on his heel and left. Teral was not blood thirsty by nature, none of his people was,but after seeing the mindless slaughtering of the Aesir, his people,his blood, something snapped inside. Now he wanted vengeance and he wanted blood to flow, theblood of the Taur. Today he will cleanse this vile smudges on theuniverse’s floor. He had the soap and brush, and he was not goingto stop scrubbing until it was spotless. The mindcom beeped in his head, ‘Speak,’ he commanded. ‘Sorry to interrupt Sir, but we just received an encrypted deepspace transmission from the Arks. You are required to attend anemergency senate meeting,’ the nervous voice squeaked, ‘shall Irespond in the positive?’ This did not amuse Teral in the least. He savoured thesemoments of retribution but alas duty called. He took a minutebefore answering. ‘Do so.’ He still did not recall his fighters until he was sure he destroyedall remnants of the Taur raiders. Only then did he order theirdeparture for Arken. 37
  43. 43. Igor Swann Teral relaxed in his chair even though a terrible sense offoreboding plagued his thoughts. The Taur had become more organized, deliberate and arrogant.It felt as if some force controlled them, gave them courage. Hecould sense an evil mastermind behind their movements and itwas not their current leader Kra’st, who would start tophotosynthesize if his IQ fell by one point. No, something waswrong, very wrong. His cruiser gave a faint shudder as the massive hyper-driveengines came online and propelled them towards Arken. 38
  44. 44. Waking the Angel CHAPTER 7 It was not until nightfall that Angel had a chance to catch upwith Qren. He took up stride alongside the leader of the Arks, andcontinued to examine the face of his abductor. Qren seemed oblivious to Angel’s presence. He did not wish to interrupt, sensing a great weight on Qren’sshoulders as even the alien’s expressionless face displayedconcern. They walked together for a while in silence before he felt Qren’svoice enter his head. ‘Did you have a pleasant day my lord?’ This startled Angel. He was not ready to accept such a title. ‘Please Qren no more, I need time,’ he shook his head andturned to leave. He was in no mood to get into a debate on thisabsurd subject. Qren would not understand. How could hewithout an imagination. He was about to turn and leave having completely forgottenwhy he wanted to see Qren in the first place, but got a reminderfrom his now manically depressed brain. It could not find a single thing worth dissecting and exploring. Ithas even calculated the atoms in Angel’s body, but got frustratedwhen Angel had a coughing fit and kept on throwing off his countby expelling atoms. It bing’ed politely and said, ‘Meeting with Qren, Subject: Stonecarvings, 5 minutes overdue.’ Angel pulled a face at his mind. 39
  45. 45. Igor Swann ‘I came upon a memorial stone today listing the last names ofearth’s geniuses. What does it mean?’ he asked. ‘Who told you what was written on the stone?’ Qren askedwith genuine surprise. Qren seemed concerned and Angel tookthis as being something that is not because he has donesomething right. ‘No one, I read it, or rather my mind did,’ he answered inearnest not knowing if he should lie or not. Qren took a moment before replying. He was surprised at how efficiently Angel’s brain haddeveloped. Breaking the cipher so quickly was truly unimaginable. He did not feel the necessity to inform Angel of this small detail,but rather gave him the information he requested. ‘Oh? Well, to answer your question. The names on the stoneare not those of whom you are thinking. The names were those ofthe UGE Lords, but to explain this I need to start with how andwhy.’ Angel’s mind jumped into an armchair, ‘popcorn check, earsclean, check, storage cells, check, reception… testing… testing…check; Okay WE’RE READY,’ it announced. Qren seemed thoughtful as he started to explain, ‘I did not fully explain the gene’s occurrence on the ship. Pleasebear with me and all will become clear.’ ‘Damn another long lecture,’ Angel thought. At least his mindmight get off its suicidal streak for a little while. ‘The gene is only found in the male of what you call twinbrothers, two males born from the same female in the same birth.The gene would only be present in one of the twins, never both, 40
  46. 46. Waking the Angeland rarely occur more than twice per generation. We were luckyin that your generation had two occurrences.’ ‘This however is not the case with the female of your species.The gene could occur in a single birth and occurs more frequently.Unfortunately the mind transformation on females has a morephysical effect.’ ‘The transformation machine seems to focus not as with themale on the central nervous system but rather the somaticnervous system. That is the motor neurons connected to the muscle andexternal sensory receptors. This makes them more agile, fasterand stronger. They develop enhanced senses and it seemed to augment whatyou call their sixth sense as well.’ Angel quietly thought how dangerous this sixth senseenhancement would make them. No more going out with theboys, slipping away to go play golf, flirting with the secretary…men would become slaves. What horror. ‘This does not however mean that there is no significantincrease in intelligence, but it would solely make themcomparable to the geniuses of your world, which does not meetour requirements.’ Again Qren took a moment before continuing, it seemed he wasabout to divulge information that he was not comfortable with. Something he did not agree with completely but partook in as anecessity. ‘At birth we would take the gene bearing twin from the motherand bring him to Arken. The current UGE Lord raises him until he 41
  47. 47. Igor Swannis ready to take over as the new UGE Lord. Humans age veryslowly on Arken, as you will experience yourself. Therefore wehad ample time for the new lord to reach maturity and be fullytrained before accepting his position.’ ‘Thanks Qren, but this still does not answer my question on thememorial stone,’ Angel said. ‘I was getting to that. The names you saw on the memorialstone were those of the twin brought to Arken. The name of theearth family was given to our ruler, though you are correct inassuming they were also the last names of your earth’s greatestminds, the twin brother left on earth.’ This made no sense to Angel; he had no twin brother. His fatherdisappeared right after his birth. His mother had skilfully avoidedthe subject whenever he approached it. He froze… it was as if someone hurled icy water into his face. A memory peeked thoughtfully into his consciousness. Couldthis be the secret, his mother would not tell him? He had a twinbrother and his twin lives with his father? He was surely going tolose his sanity. This is madness, all madness. Deep down Angel felt it was true; he had to believe it was true.He had a brother. He believed in a lot more, in what exactly he had not decidedyet, but as soon as he did, he was definitely going to believe thattoo. Hallelujah. Angel’s mind on the other hand was on a completely differenttrain of thought. 42
  48. 48. Waking the Angel A train heading in a completely different direction and movingat break neck speed. Mind link, a link between twins, it thought. Could it be that thegenius of the transformed brother on Arken had somehow filtereddown to the twin, enlightening him in some cosmic twist of fate?Stranger things have happened, especially to it, especially in thelast couple of weeks. Angel hastily said goodnight before Qren had a chance to throwanother curve ball into the mix. He had had enough. His mind blown so many times it felt like ahopscotch team having a game in a minefield, and they were notdoing particularly well. That night disturbing visions marred his dreams. It seems hismind now equipped with the knowledge of him being a twin,searched for the mind link. It seemed to have found it. Visions came and went. Apparently, his mind was struggling to‘tune’ into his brother’s consciousness. The images weredistorted; a horror movie created by a demented mind. You mightfind the same thing if you gave a monkey a video camera to playwith at a nightclub. He woke in a pool of sweat. Overcome with nausea and asplitting headache, with his thoughts haunted by the images ofwhat he assumed to be his father or a 1942 Dracula movie. Sitting up and desperately wishing to remove the meat cleaverfrom his cranial cavity and he assumed that an aspirin would be asdifficult to find on this planet as a decent steak dinner or a flighthome. 43
  49. 49. Igor Swann Angel slowly got out of bed, and struggled towards thebathroom. His was the only quarters equipped with this featuresince the Arks had no need for brushed teeth or combed hair asthey had neither. The room had a shower, one of the few pleasures he stillenjoyed. It had hundreds of directional nozzles covering 360degrees and from his head to toe. The water massaged his aching body and slowly he could feelthe tension leaving him and his headache dissipating. He stoodthere for what might have been half an hour. Quite a number oftimes he told his brain to shut the <some choice French words>up. His mind was acting like a 5 year old kid on a road trip ‘Are wethere yet… are we there yet,’ only it was complaining aboutboredom. He heard Qren speaking inside his head, ‘Angel I sense you hada difficult night for which I am truly sorry.’ It would have felt as if he meant it if he had actually pausedbefore continuing. ‘There is unfortunately a matter of great urgency that needs tobe attended to. There is a senate meeting scheduled for later thismorning and you would be the reason. I would ask you to remainin your quarters till an escort arrives to collect you.’ Angel did not care, he wanted to be alone, and staying in hisquarters would be a welcome relief. He also had an excuse nownot to take his mind for a walk. His room was comfortable, decorated in a number of earthycolours, which he accidentally chose while examining all theswitches in his room. This was calming. 44
  50. 50. Waking the Angel The human who created this room spend a lot of time ensuringit resembled the world he never knew. A world he only saw in hisdreams at night. Drapes adorned the windows and thelampshades had designs on them, matching the duvet covers. Thefloor covered in a thick soft rug and the walls were a cream colourat present. It had a distinct 1930s feel to it. It was easy enough tochange. Turning a dial next to his bed changed the room colourscheme to shades of blues or greens. They provided him with clothes, which were nothing more thannormal slacks and plain cotton shirts, clean underwear, socks andcomfortable shoes. He felt sure Einstein’s twin had a hand in thistoo, well either that or they raided an old age home last time theyvisited earth. He sat down at the foot of the bed, absentmindedly staring atthe clock next to his bed. ‘Why do these aliens have the same notion of time as we haveon earth?’ he asked his mind curiously. ‘If you hadn’t noticed a second here is almost 1.76 earthseconds, and a day is synchronized to the sun’s movement aroundArken. They used this same model on earth to express days,hours, minutes and seconds. I have to deduce that the concept oftime on earth must have originated here, and filtered downthrough the mind link,’ his mind surmised in a half-hearted tone. Angel sighed. He had hoped his mind would be able to reinitialize the mindlink with his twin but from what he understood on his mindsmindless babble, it could only be useful if his brainwaves were indelta around 1.5 to 4 cycles. 45
  51. 51. Igor Swann It explained that this was the reason for the distorted pictures.As soon as Angel became actively involved in what he saw, hisbrainwaves increased to a theta state where it was not possiblefor his brain to keep the connection. Angel stood up and slowly walked to the bathroom to get aglass of water, where the tap handle broke off in his hand. Heexamined the handle perplexed. It really looked like a solidenough metal. His mind whistled, and then added sarcastically, ‘That was a great trick. Do it again! Do it again!’ 46
  52. 52. Waking the Angel CHAPTER 8 A noticeable tension prevailed in the council chambers,something which resembling a rap concert from the brothers inthe hood at a Ku Klux Klan convention. ‘What do you mean it will take years, I thought he wassupposed to be the most intelligent being in the universe?’Princess Sharin, Ambassador to the El coldly exclaimed. Qren frowned, as much as an expressionless face could. ‘He must learn our lore, adjust to his new mind, be trained incombat and in our technology, vessels and weapons. This takestime. Our previous leaders were raised from infants,’ he patientlyexplained. It was no use and he was getting Sharin even more upset. ‘How is he adjusting so far?’ Grand Master Brom of the Dwarasked genuinely concerned. Qren shrugged. ‘As well as can be expected, he still needs to clarify many thingsin his own mind.’ ‘When will training commence? Will he be able to handle thephysical strain?’ chirped Sharin, annoyed that someone darespeak while she was interrupting. ‘When he adapts to his new nervous system, we will commencetraining. The mind transform has enhanced his synaptic pathwaysand motor neurons to such an extent that he is most probably notonly the most intelligent, but might well become the mostpowerful UGE Lord ever,’ Qren quoted. 47
  53. 53. Igor Swann ‘This is not the normal reaction to the procedure, but we neveruse the procedure on adult males. He has reacted quitedifferently to what is observed in infants.’ ‘This physical transformation will take time unfortunately, wehave been monitoring him and his muscle mass is slowlyincreasing, so is his speed but he might not have noticed this yet,’Qren continued. Teral seemed troubled. ‘What if he cannot be controlled, you have already mentionedhe cracked the cipher on the stone in seconds. This took hispredecessors weeks to break down.’ This also concerned Qren. The Arks used the memorial stone asa final test when the students were ready to become the UGELord. They placed the stone in the square for the new UGE Lord tostudy. When he broke the cipher and wrote his own name on thestone in the code, there was a party of galactic proportions withlots of dancing, drinks, and crowns flying all over the place. ‘We don’t know yet, a lot is new in his situation. He needs todeal with a cerebrum that has somehow managed to disconnectitself from his consciousness, becoming a voice in his head.’ Qren knew this happens to some extent in the infants theyabducted. They noticed the infants kept talking to themselves justafter the transformation; they learned to speak several languagesin a few days. It was always just one side of the conversation that was audibleas if speaking to something else in their heads. Unfortunately, theArks could not hear or rather mind read the other voice since itwas not in the conscious mind. This lasted a week at most beforethe two combined into one. 48
  54. 54. Waking the Angel ‘You might see the consciousness as what he remembers hismind’s abilities to be,’ he continued. ‘The other voice is all his mind is now capable of. Theconsciousness actually does not understand how to control thisnew power so it has given it a personality and kept it separate. Itwill only gradually accept it and become one, when it realizes thechange is permanent.’ The others now shared his concern. What if they have a ruler,whose decision-making abilities do not lie within his genius side? What if he did not consort with his new intellect and madeemotional decisions? Sharin was as always the first to start throwing her toys,preferably not her bow-staff as it might cause a few heads to roll. ‘The El will never stand for this! We joined this alliance andsubjected ourselves to the rule of the Vanir because of theirsuperior standing. The El will never be subjected to an inferiorspecimen.’ She gave a satisfied smile at the murmur of approval from the10 junior senators that were not part of the head. She always hadthem eating from her hand, after all she was El; they wereinferior. There were only six chief senators namely herself, Brom, Teral,Qren, the Vanir, and Noone. Nobody knew anything about Noone. His origin, what race he was and how old were secrets he kepthidden from everyone. All they know is that he has the wisdom of the ancients and hewas responsible for the creation of the alliance, before even thegreat grandfather of Sharin was born. 49
  55. 55. Igor Swann He brought the knowledge to understand the mind transformdevice. He also found the Vanir gene and he discoveredstrawberry ice cream. He was brilliant. He refused to carry a name. They called him ‘no one’, whichover many generations and millennia became Noone. Nobody knew what his face looked like because of the dark greyhooded robe he always wore. His face remained cast in a shadowdeep within the hood. Only when he looked directly at you couldyou see two glowing orbs inside the darkness of the hood. Somespeculated it to be two torches he has strapped on his head forreading. The other 10 senators comprised of races, which either werecolonists or ungoverned. They were numerous in number but tooscattered and poor to exclude them from the protection of theUGE against the Taur. Brom spoke up, ‘you forget princess that we are on the brink ofwar. You have heard Arch-Chancellor Teral’s recount of the battle.The Taur are openly aggressive and do not share the respect forthe alliance they had in the past. For some reason they are underthe impression we can now be beaten…’ Teral broke into their minds, ‘our spies have heard rumours of aforce that would destroy the alliance. However, it is a well-guarded secret, known in only the top Taur circles. Our spiescannot infiltrate this war council because they possess a scanner,which can detect our cell structure.’ ‘Our long range scout ships have found massive fleets beingreadied in the far sectors of Taur space. Not enough to take onthe combined strength of the UGE but if they managed to divide 50
  56. 56. Waking the Angelus we would make easy targets,’ the concern in Teral’s thoughtsclearly audible. ‘So what you are saying is if we do not accept this Vanir, andkeep the alliance under him we are doomed?’ Sharin made this astatement less than a question. She was ready to withdraw the El from the alliance a fewmoments ago but now doubt clouded her mind. If this were true,the El would not survive. The El was the most powerful race along with the Dwar. No oneknew who would win an all out confrontation between these twoUGE races, and no one was keen to find out. That is except for the punters, who have on several occasionsattempted to initiate a confrontation accidentally. The reason the alliance was successful was the introduction ofthe Vanir. Nobody would willingly be subject to the rule of the El. Especially not the Dwar, who has always felt the El wascolonizing planets, they saw first. By a UGE decree, Dwar may not mine a planet if there werealready colonists on the planet. However, they could continuemining, if the introduction of colonists happened after theystarted mining operations. Unfortunately, for the Dwar, prospecting takes time, and once arace registers a planet with the senate, that race was responsiblefor the planet’s inhabitants and upkeep. Due to financial constraints, they can only register once theyhave struck ore, and by then the El had jumped in and registeredthe planet, if there was ample forestation on the planet. The converse was also true. 51
  57. 57. Igor Swann No El would agree to the command of the other inferiorspecies. The Vanir was the only exception. He was superior in intellect,but did not belong to their worlds. There was no chance of bumping into another Vanir in a pubwho would tell them they are not allowed in the VIP section ormake them feel they need to buy the drinks so they could ‘fit in’. The El would submit to his rule, while he did not make amistake in judgment. No Vanir ever did… to date. The only other option was Noone. He however refused to rule since by his own admission, he wasno ruler, and reluctantly the others had to agree. Even though he was a brilliant advisor and spoke with thewisdom of the ancients, he did not have the presence of the Vanirto rule. He had dignity, and he could make mistakes. No, the Vanir would have to do. The only mistake ever made by the Vanir, was the loss of thesymbol of Vanir power many centuries ago. Each race had a symbol in the form of a weapon. The Vanir had a sword. This caused some division in the ranks of the UGE and caused afew of the member states to go rogue or neutral, as they liked tocall themselves. This was a huge blow to the UGE as they presented a sizablepart of the UGE defence strategy in the outer rim planets. Sharin sighed, bowed her head slightly, and with a weary voicesaid, ‘so Qren lets meet this protégé of yours.’ 52
  58. 58. Waking the Angel Qren waited and silently prayed for this conclusion. He gave anod to his guards who promptly left for Angel’s quarters. Angel was playing noughts and crosses with His Worship theLord of the Brain Elite as his mind referred to himself now or LOBEto his friends. He reluctantly allowed Angel to call him that aswell. Angel was deep in thought and LOBE was getting irritatedbecause Angel was just randomly putting down X’s, even when hewas playing noughts. LOBE vowed if it happened again he was going to start amigraine. Angel laughed until his belly ached. ‘That’s it, I’m leaving,’ LOBE said. ‘So where would you be going then?’ Angel asked still laughing. ‘Hmmm forgetful are we, you have been driving too long I see.Shall I remind you that you are only in control because I allow youto be, and because I had more important things to do,’ LOBE saidwithout malice, but Angel could feel the smile burn into the backof his head, from inside his head. ‘Okay, okay, let’s just play, shall we? Have you had any luck infiguring out why I could break the handle that easily?’ Angelasked, trying hard to get off the previous subject. LOBE started an explanation in his professorial voice, ‘I haveanalyzed our nervous system and have deduced that thetransformation did not only affect me. Our motor, inter andsensory neurons seem to be multiplying exponentially. Thesynaptic clefts have decreased in size. Dendrites branchedextensively. The neurotransmitters changed in composition and 53
  59. 59. Igor Swannincreased in density. Action time has decreased from the normalrange of 0.5 and 1 millisecond. It is now less than a nanosecond.’ ‘Protein absorption has increased dramatically and hypertrophyis occurring without resistance,’ LOBE smugly answered. Angel was NOT impressed. ‘English please!’ he replied irritably. ‘LOBE talks to muscles quick-quick. Muscles get biiig. Angelstrong like bull, run like deer, leap tall buildings in a single bound,’sarcasm dripped from LOBE’s medulla oblongata. ‘Really,’ Angel asked. ‘No.’ Angel felt like strangling him, or at least cutting off the oxygensupply to LOBE for a while. A knock at the door placed a damper on his plans. He made amental note, Suffocate LOBE, and walked over to answer thedoor. 54
  60. 60. Waking the Angel CHAPTER 9 Angel gingerly entered the great hall as his ushers took upposition on either side of the doors. Again, he could see anunmistakable human influence. The décor of the chamber was inthe fashion of the Michelangelo ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. He stood in front of a half moon shaped table with the top sixchairs and that part of the table forming a dais. The seats weremore like thrones than chairs. A low hum came from themembers of the senate. They were obviously talking, those whohad vocal cords, but he could not understand them. He tentatively walked into the middle of the half-moon. A court attendant placed a small piece of metal behind his ear,and it seemed to be absorbed into his skin, because when he feltfor it, there was nothing there. The hum started to become words, and the words becamesense. Angel felt like a racehorse on parade, and judging by the buyers’reactions as he scanned the room one by one, they thought hewas an old plough horse. Revise that, a crippled old plough horse.No rather a blind and cripple old plough horse. Fortunately, Qren choose that moment to speak distracting hissurvey of the council, for the next person his eyes would turn towould have been Sharin, and if he saw her face, he would havefelt like the rotting broken tooth of the aforementioned ploughhorse. 55
  61. 61. Igor Swann ‘Lords and ladies of the senate, may I introduce to you, Angel ofthe Vanir,’ he turned to Angel, ‘Angel this is the Senate of theUnited Galactic Empire.’ Qren began to introduce the senate indicating each as hepresented them. ‘Firstly we have Arch-Chancellor Teral of the Aesir, next to him,Brom, Grand Master of the Dwar,’ for a moment Angel felt heheard something strange, but dismissed it as a misunderstanding. Qren continued, ‘Noone of the Ancients, Princess Sharin of theEl.’ This time there was no mistake, he had definitely heard Elf, andhe heard Dwarf when Qren introduced Brom. He had seen the words El and Dwar written on the memorialstone, but when Qren pronounced it, the wave coming into hisbrain made an ‘F’ sound while it withdrew. He started to laugh and walk around the room, looking undertables, behind potted plants, curtains, chairs, even examiningsome of the junior senators. This must be the most elaborate hidden camera show everdevised. He was on to them now. What did they do to make his mind react funny, see things, hearvoices? It was most probably some designer drug that will wearoff in a day or two. What would they want him to believe next? Kidnapped by alienswas far-fetched but now they wanted him to believe there wereElves, Dwarves and whatever Aesir and Noone were? 56
  62. 62. Waking the Angel He expected to find Godzilla, King Kong and Barney theDinosaur playing destructo-monopoly1 in the closet. ‘So where are the cameras?’ he asked, ‘great acting though, youhad me going there. Wow, I thought the alien abduction was real.What a relief,’ he gave a mock applause. Sharin reacted so quickly that it was almost impossible to seeher move. Angel felt something thin, cold and obviously deadlypush against his neck. A faint trickle of blood dripped on his shoe.‘You dare mock an El Princess,’ she spat. The venom in her voice clearly audible, no mistakes this time,she was great at making a point. Angel believed some more. ‘This is real?’ he stammered, ‘You are Elf and he is Dwarf?’ ‘We are El, Vanir, El not Elf,’ her icy voice could freeze anerupting volcano, if it had enough guts to erupt while she spoke. ‘On earth you are called Elf your greatness,’ Angel stupidlyreplied. He felt foolish and very scared. ‘What made him say that?’ he wondered, ‘they look like elves,but that was coincidental was it not?’ ‘Elf, how could Vanir know about the El or Dwar for thatmatter? Neither race has ever been to Vanaheimr. The Ark are theonly ones who know, or care,’ Sharin sneered, ‘where thatprimitive planet is, and they have no means to communicate with1 Destructo-monopoly is where they start with the hotels and houses and thendestroy them as the game progresses. 57
  63. 63. Igor Swannthe Vanir except after he has been successfully transformed,where after he is the UGE Lord and never returns home,’ she spat. No one else he knew could make ‘lord’ sound like ‘he whowashes my feet, with his tongue.’ This made no sense to Angel. Their descriptions fit perfectly intowhat he remembered from his fantasy novels, and a little hobbyhe had on Norse mythology at university. LOBE’s voice rose inside his head, ‘Freyr, Vanir, Elf, 1 hit,’ hewas pleased with himself. LOBE proceeded, after imitating a drum roll. ‘The god Freyr was the bravest and strongest of all the gods. Agreat leader, he was of the Vanir, a tribe associated with fertilityand prosperity. He was the god of the Alfkind or Elven,’ he pausedfor dramatic effect. ‘He lived in Vanaheimr. Swedish royalty still believe that Freyrwas one of their Ancestors,’ LOBE was on fire, and did not intendto relinquish the floor. ‘Freyr is second only to Thor in popularity in Iceland, and one ofthe three most popular mythological gods of all time. The thirdbeing Odin.’ Angel understood. It made so much sense, even to him; insanity rocks. Angel remembered. However, the concept, what it would imply was unbelievable. Angel believed. He wanted to speak privately to LOBE but it came out audible tothe entire senate, ‘Freyr was the first human ruler right?’ 58
  64. 64. Waking the Angel To his surprise, the senate responded, and a nodding of headsaround the room confirmed this assumption. Angel shrugged. ‘Well what do you know,’ he whispered to LOBE and continuedaudibly, ‘he had a twin sister on earth.’ Disbelief was as thick inthe room as marijuana smoke at a Bob Marley concert. The sweet smell of success, but he had LOBE to confirmeverything, and he knew Norse Mythology, now that LOBEallowed him access to the memories. It was definitely a sister. LOBE nodded. Angel felt his brain move inside his cranial cavity. Qren interrupted, ‘it is true,’ he announced. ‘He was the first and it was an anomaly.’ ‘He was the only male gene-carrier whose sibling was female.We still do not understand how, but the anomaly has neverresurfaced.’ Angel continued unabated, ‘a twin sister called Freyja, whom hewas mind linked to.’ He could see the puzzled expression on their faces. He smiled,how could they know? The mind link between twins was an unobserved concept, evenif one of the infants experienced the mind link while he was here,he would not know what it was and assume it a dream. He andLOBE had had long conversations on the subject after LOBEbecame aware of this strange phenomenon. ‘So the twins have a mental link? Like telepathy?’ he had askedLOBE. ‘Yes, only much stronger and over an almost infinite distance.’ 59
  65. 65. Igor Swann ‘But won’t brainwaves fade and dissipate after a while. Aren’tthey just energy and waves?’ Angel wondered, ‘I mean they werecommunication over zillions of light-years?’ ‘How do I explain this to a halfwit, actually more like a fractionof a halfwit,’ LOBE patiently replied while snickering. ‘It is as if the souls are connected by a ‘cable’ on a differentplane of existence where distance and time does not matter, theycommunicate through this cable.’ ‘Oh!’ was Angel’s only disappointing response. Irritably LOBE continued, on… and on… until he realized Angelhad probably nodded off after ‘oh!’ Growing in confidence Angel continued speaking to the senate,but first he gently pushed the blade away from his neck. Sharin did not object, and he started pacing, as she returned toher seat. ‘She saw what he saw through the mind link they shared,’ hepaused to catch his breath and savour their expressions. ‘I assume your Freyr was closely befriended with the El?’ Angelasked. Again, the spellbound nods greeted him. He had unearthed a crucial piece of this mystery. ‘Now Freyr’s sister on Earth or Vanaheimr as you call my planet,dreamt of strange worlds filled with El. She dreamt of the onewhom the El saw as their ruler and friend, which shemisinterpreted as a god. She did not recognize the Vanir as beingan earthling or her brother for that matter. She just assumed hemust be of some deity race worshipped by Elves. She called this 60
  66. 66. Waking the Angelrace Vanir, but you confirmed now that Vanir were in fact yourword for human.’ The faces in front of him were filled with fascination and he wasnot about to disappoint them. ‘She must have had suspicions at some later stage that Freyrwas related to her in some way, because in some later recordsthey were mentioned as siblings as well as husband and wife.Marriage between siblings, especially royalty was not frownedupon then.’ Qren gave Angel a knowing look. Was it because he was doing well? No, there was somethingelse! He knew a lot more than he let on. The story might not be asstraightforward as Angel thought it to be. ‘Mental note,’ Lobe chipped in. ‘I think so,’ Angel remarked before he continued. ‘These were probably just a tail added to the story, but themind link between some twins could be very strong. So strong,that if one experienced pain, love, sadness so would the other.This closeness between the two was most probablymisinterpreted as a union between them.’ ‘You see Freyr’s life here became the basis for a belief structurecreated by Freyja on earth thanks to the mind link which is sharedbetween twins.’ ‘The mispronunciation Freyja got was the same one that I hadwhen Qren mentioned your races. El and Dwar when thoughttransmitted sounds like Elf and Dwarf.’ The story of Freyja had a few unexplained sections he had notsorted out yet. 61
  67. 67. Igor Swann It did not quite fit completely into his retelling. She wasapparently the chief of the Valkyries and a goddess herself. He kept this to himself not wanting to confuse the issue, but hefelt there were more to this story and he felt Qren had at leastsome of the answers. Angel accidentally caught a grumbling thought from the Arch-Chancellor of the Aesir. He could see Teral did not enjoy his race’sexclusion. Angel thought hard and took a chance. ‘In most earth tales of glory and honour, there was a greatfriendship between Vanir, El and Dwar. They were alwaystravelling together on quests and adventure. However, the partywas never only three; there is always a fourth member, the mageor wizard. This wise and powerful mage was a key figure, withoutwhom there would be no victory.’ He was looking intently at Teral and saw he had hit a goodnerve, a faint twitch as Teral’s head moved. Angel felt confident to throw the final dice. ‘The party of four forms the basis for earth’s mightiest tales. Nostory is complete without all four. Against the four, fearsomearmies would fall and unthinkable legions conquered. No onecould stand against the four when they stood as one.’ He saw Qren smile; he was becoming quite proficient in seeingsomeone without a mouth smile. He knew he had won a small battle, but a very important one. Brom was the first to shake his hand. Sharin and Teral followed close behind. Noone paused a second to whisper one word in Angel’s ear,‘congratulations.’ 62
  68. 68. Waking the Angel The rest of the senate all followed suite and the celebrationsbegan. Qren seemed the happiest of the lot. The weight on his shoulders, Angel sensed the day before, wasgone. ‘Happy?’ Angel projected. ‘Ecstatic,’ Qren responded. 63
  69. 69. Igor Swann CHAPTER 10 Guival tried to walk with as much confidence as possible, or atleast as much as his new form allowed him. He was afraid, deadly afraid. He had just disembarked the Taur cruiser and his next obstaclewas customs. ‘Next,’ the gruff call came from the officer. ‘Cru’t, bound for Evergal’t,’ Guival lied. ‘And what is your business in our capital, Cru’t?’ came the curtquestion from the customs official. ‘Trade agreement, Zellion imports for the military,’ Guivalreplied without hesitation. The official handed him back his documentation and ID badge. ‘Next!’ he barked. The Aesir spy shakily walked off with his heart pounding in histhroat. He turned the corner to leave the spaceport and go into thebusy street. Only now did he heave a sigh of relief, knowing this was theeasy part, but still traumatising. He impatiently waited for the rail-train to come. It was a dark and desperate city; there was no hope left here.The wars were all that mattered, for these were people driven bythe sword. They fought for fun, and killed for pleasure. He took a seat in the back, uncomfortably trying to push all thelimbs and horns into the space available. 64
  70. 70. Waking the Angel There are three subspecies of Taur. Guival decided on the easiest form of the three namely theMino’t. The Cen’t and Sa’t’s leg configuration were difficult tomaster, although he was quite proficient in imitating both theother species. The Mino’t however, as specie had the combined IQ of a rock,therefore none of the other two species took much notice ofthem. They also stood about 10 feet in their hoofs and had anenormous build. They were the muscle of the organization. It wasthe easiest form to travel in; only other Mino’t would intentionallyget in your way. None of the species had hair on their body, although all threespecies were subject to this dull brown pigmentation from headto toe. All three races had growths on their foreheads, which seemedto increase in size and number with age. The size varied fromspecies to specie, but a Taur could have as many as six horns. The strangest part of these races was below the waist. Their legs where more like bended spikes, broad near the topending in a sharp hoofed point where their feet should be. Both the Sa’t and Mino’t had two spikes. Both these races’ knees constantly bent, like a kangaroo. TheMino’t’s legs bent to the front like most earth animals; however,the Sa’t’s knees bent to the back, similar to a grasshopper’s hindlegs. The Cen’t was the only one of the species with four legs spacedaround their body almost like a horse-crab’s legs divide by two. 65
  71. 71. Igor Swann Both the Cen’t and Sa’t had very sharp noses, their mouthswhen closed showed no visible slit, but could open as wide as ahuman’s head and seemed to break open to their sharp pointedears. This would display hundreds of razor sharp triangular teethwhen open. The Sa’t also had a sharp chin, which resembled the beard of aBilly goat. The Mino’t faces although similar in discoloration had a jaw linethat protruded forward like most earth animals, closest would bethe bulldog. Their noses were flat, snout like and they had a muchlarger mouth housing many more teeth. The Taur’s most intimidating feature however, was their eyes,which were black as midnight. It gave the impression thatsomeone gorged them from their skull. This happened quite frequently in any event, when their handswere busy and their eyes were itchy. The Mino’t and the Sa’t were probably the closest relatives,where the Mino’t had the brawn the Sa’t had the brains. TheSa’t’s chosen professions included science and engineering alsoserving as advisors to the Cen’t. The Cen’t were born leaders, they were also born killers andbrilliant strategists. The Mino’t mostly guard things and carry things. It is advisable though to refrain from calling the Mino’t stupid totheir face, or you might find their face around yours and thatwould be slightly detrimental to your health or soon to be lackthereof. 66