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Gods of Terra | Anger Not the Rani!

This is a story featured in my first book collaboration with Miss Sharmishtha Basu: Gehenna Parables, now for sale on Amazon for Kindle for a steal at only $0.99. Do pick it up for the full collection! – Troy

The ceremony was completed, the Machine’s call to the starry void sent, and the straggling group of humans awaited its answer by the object of both. They did not go disappointed.

The first sign was a chittering sound, like a swarm of insane locusts chirping out of synch.

The next was the gathering nimbus on the altar before them, a pale green misty radiance that soon took the form of an unnaturally tall and slim woman.

Then, She was, the Rani of Stars. Avatara of the King of Shards.

She was garbed in jade green robes of strange yet oddly familiar make and cut, Her head crowned with a headdress reminiscent, vaguely so, of ancient Terran royalty.

But it was Her face that was the most striking: it was filled with distant star fields seemingly in faraway galaxies; nebulae, rogue planets, dead worlds, with brighter stars and nebulae in the place of eyes.

The humans remained where they stood, their gaze respectfully averted as the Rani spoke in their minds, in pictures. For she had no mouth, but a cluster of stars where her mouth should be.

But they would not have been looking, for to behold fully the Rani’s face meant madness and death. Instead, they remained attentive to her advice, eyes cast downward.

Except for Pradeep. He was a novice, inexperienced in ritual etiquette. In a sudden breach of protocol, he cast a quick glance upward, thinking he could quickly look away.

He saw the Rani’s face, and thus entranced, saw the heavens in Her visage. Stars aglow, worlds spinning in the void, alien galaxies, suns and solar systems being born in their stellar nurseries. He saw it all.

And he could not look away. It was far, far too late.

He screamed. He begged for mercy. He desperately tried to look away. He cried to his fellow humans for help.

And all the while, he could feel himself torn from his place on the floor, being pulled into Her star field, shrinking and screaming. The others remained silent and unmoving, fearful of meeting his doom themselves, but wiser.

Then, silence. The Rani stood as She prepared to leave, the humans filing out of the Calling Chamber to implement Her advice. They would survive the coming winter on this alien world after all, minus one colonist.

But if any were unlucky enough to look, they would have seen behind Her face the receding figure of Pradeep, drifting away in the vacuum of space between the stars, just before joining him in his fate.

Gods of Terra | Chadameer

This post is for a version of the Chadameer species existing in the Gods of Terra setting. I’m also using them in a book collaboration with the prolific Sharmishtha Basu, which will be announced in detail once the book goes live online. Enjoy.

phonetic pronunciation: chhadəˈmēr

General Description:

Chadameer are a species of capriform humanoids, also known as “Fauns” to humanity, conquered and enslaved by the Dalazinnu Sodality as their chief scientists, engineers, technicians and emissaries to other species. Chadameer are bipedal, bimanual, and have an endothermic metabolism with a closed circulatory system and 2 two-chambered hearts. Chadameer are long- lived, having almost twice the lifespan of a human, but mature slowly and have a low birthrate, restricting their numbers and under the present set of circumstances – a factor endangering their survival as a species. The beings are unimpressive, standing an average of 1.45 meters tall and massing less than 40 kilograms. The head is vaguely goatish, though with a large cranium, and in both genders adorned with four horns and a short beard. The digitigrade legs end in four-toed hooves and are quite nimble. The arms end in hands with two fingers and two opposable thumbs. The body is covered with short fur ranging from whitish to almost black, generally in neutral tones, and the tail is thin and whiplike, used primarily for communicating emotional states. Chadameer have good hearing, exceptional depth-perception, and an excellent kinesthetic sense useful for climbing and balancing on uneven mountainous terrain. The species has eight lungs, several stomachs, and a unique geodesic rib structure that makes the torso more resistant to injury caused by blunt trauma.

Some Chadameer are telepathically gifted, and these are often genetically “tagged” with black and grey striped coats and silver beards, but are also frequently prone to recessive genetic traits.

Faun young are born sexless, but upon maturity assume either a male or female gender – apparently by choice – which they retain throughout their lives.

Chadameer typically wear robes, tabards, equipment harnesses, or nothing, and use hearing aids tuned to ultrasonic registers. These permit them to hear everything their Dalazinnu masters say to them, question or command, to reduce the likelihood of beatings that come when orders are not heard by those spoken to.

Psychology:

Chadameer have eliminated aggressive traits from their psychology by altering their genome, rendering themselves incapable of intentional violence toward intelligent beings. The species has a paralyzing horror of space-flight because of a vague and ancient legend of “death from the stars,” of something that lives “out there, in the void between worlds.” This horror has never been named or otherwise specified, though all Chadameer legends refer to it in tales of those foolish enough to venture beyond the solid ground and skies of their homeworld. Terror of this “death” has been more than sufficient to keep the Fauns on their homeworld reluctant enough to leave it, as to cause them to go into a state of shock when forcibly removed by spacecraft. A few of the Fauns, in particular, those with unusual mental powers, are not afraid of space travel and indeed, are often addicted to the effects of Maelstrom travel, to the point of eagerly volunteering for off-world assignments at the behest of their masters. Such Chadameer are considered insane by their fellows and closely watched for signs of mental aberration. Many of them cannot properly care for themselves, but are still considered useful by the Dalazinnu, as they are frequently employed as interrogators, messengers and diplomatic agents when their masters deem it necessary to question or parley with aliens.

Society:

The Chadameer are children of a dying world, and themselves a dying race, due to their low birthrate, their abuse at the hands of the Dalazinnu, and the poisoning of the ecology by rampant industrialization and their masters’ initial bombardment of the planet before its conquest. The Dalazinnu consider the Fauns to be a disposable commodity, and are even now looking for another technically advanced, militarily vulnerable species to replace them when they become extinct.

An underground movement has arisen among the Fauns that seeks to reverse this trend, freeing their race from the yoke of their masters by genetically sabotaging the races they have uplifted for them, subtly altering them to turn on the Dalazinnu. This has already begun with such behavioral flaws in slave races as the killing rage of the Maktathuun when losses are taken, the tendency of the Tenebruuta for recklessness when bored, and even attempts to reengineer the genes for aggression back into their genome. So far, the Dalazinnu haven’t caught on just yet, but some of the brighter ones may become suspicious of their servants if the subversives play their hand too soon, which they just might as time for their species grows ever shorter.

Chadameer History:

The Chadameer removed their capacity for violent aggression and lowered their birthrate as a means of making them less likely to commit racial suicide by war or overpopulation. They also lost all desire to explore space, and technology with which to do it in the event that led to the legends of “death from the stars.” At some distant point in the past, they began to explore their home star system, and missions were sent to the other planets and moons. One such mission, however, brought back a strain of lethal microbial life to the homeworld that somehow survived the decontamination protocols, and a deadly plague swept across the planet, nearly destroying the Fauns until an antibiotic was developed to stop it. The social backlash was severe, resulting in a ban on space exploration, and the destruction of the remaining such technology, leading to the legends, and the “fear.” This was reenforced yet again, when their first sentient alien contact, the Dalazinnu, bombarded the planet, and took the Chadameer as a slave race, using them to create more slaves by cloning and uplift, and new weapons technologies to conquer still more territory.

Chadameer Telepaths:

These unusual individuals are considered to be both useful and dangerous. They are afflicted with a rare psychiatric disorder which is genetically cross-linked with such recessive traits as their distinctive grey and black striped coats. The psychotropic drugs used to treat their mental symptoms also serve as the catalyst that triggers and maintains their latent talents, especially telepathic ability, which makes them an asset to their Dalazinnu masters, who use them as go-betweens with aliens, whom the Dalazinnu are psychologically unable to relate to as anything but slaves or enemies in direct personal contact. These Chadameer are the first, and usually the only, Fauns met by most aliens, and are often led by a Dalazinnu master with an unusual gift for self-restraint. Without their drugs, these rare Chadameer are also without their powers as well as subject to rapid swings between fits of aggression and depression. The Dalazinnu use them as their primary interspecies diplomats, when dealing with aliens in a nonviolent manner is absolutely necessary.

My Second Book Collaboration, ‘Missives from the Chimerical’ is Live!

Hey, all. I’ve completed an new book collaboration with the prolific Miss Sharmishtha Basu, a collection of her fantasy stories and her classic story, The Child of Woods. I had a lot of fun generating the cover art for this, with a three-layer process using Ultra Fractal 5.

 

Faeries, animals that speak, humans intruding on an alien world, creatures friendly and hostile alike. This is a collection of stories, many never published elsewhere, some familiar to the authoress’ readers, opening a window to the more humorous and lighthearted.

It may be found by clicking on the cover image or by clicking here, on Amazon

My first book collaboration, ‘Gehenna Parables, Part 1,’ is live on Amazon!

My first book collaboration with the amazing Sharmishtha Basu is now available on Amazon, for only $2.99!

Otherworldly beings from beyond space-time, spirits of darkness, monsters from the dark of the human psyche. These and others populate the pages of this collection of short stories, bringing darkness to the brightest of souls.

Click on image, or here for link to the store page.

My third solo book, ‘Fractal Shards’ is now live on Amazon!

Weapons from the distant past . . . relics of terrifying power created by a dead civilization, now in the hands of a new human species. These are the mysterious hypershards, and their owners possessed of the planet-killing might of the gods themselves. This pair of stories features these relics, and the first to wield one, the Fractus, first Bringer of the End in his baptism of fire, and the events that followed. Who found the ‘shards, and what was their fate? Whatever happened to the Fractus, and what transpired after that fateful first mission?

Find out in this volume bringing these two stories together for the first time!

Click on image, or here for link to the store page.