View Full Version : TXU Writing Competition - October 2007 - Less Than 2500 Words Short Stories

09-10-2007, 03:45 PM
Wordcount = 1283 = short story.

Captain Ritel was afraid, It was too late for them to turn back, the whole crew was in tension. He remembered when they previously agreed to meet in the coordinates ahead in that uncharted sector nobody knew about until that day, when the communication arrived. If anything wrong happened to them, they were too far to signal for help now, and the jumpgate was too far already. Was it a trap?

He and his crew were in an mighty capital ship, a prototype of what was going to be the new Titan. And they were there, in one of those sectors nobody ever visited and very far out of trade lanes. In such place they could probably just find nothing, a pirate hideout or... death, but still they decided to go, it was one chance in a million, an oportunity they should never ever let go. Although doubts kept flying around his head, the communication they received earlier appeared to come from "someone" with a very advanced technology, since the communication appeared to come from many light years of distance, such thing was just seen in the sci-fi movies, maybe it was someone who could wipe them out in a second, maybe just friendlies willing to share knowledge, Captain Ritel hoped for the latter.

The system was empty when they arrived, nothing in the gravitar nor the long range sensors, that made the crew even more nervous. For a moment Captain Ritel doubted, but no, he was sure the coordinates were correct, the communication was received crystal clear even considering from the distance where it was coming from, were they late for the meeting? No the deadline was not due yet. Such technology, such opportunity should have never been wasted, it was their chance, their survival as a race was at stake, the war against the other races, the Paranid and the Split was going too far as the Boron (their only allies) were already defeated and they were next, so he ordered his crew to advance to the meeting point.

Captain Ritel was about to request the officer in charge of scanning to another re-scan of the whole sector they were in, when a bright light appeared from the exact coordinates described by the previous comunication.

Their surprise was such that the crew almost went into panic. Captain Ritel, although as scared as his crew kept his cool and ordered everyone with a firm voice to calm down. Luckily they hadnt reached the exact coordinates mentioned because they would have been toasted now.

A behemoth of an alien ship appeared before their eyes, it was so huge that the awesome Titan prototype in comparison was just an ant, an ant that could easily be crushed with hardly any effort, probably just a scratch with such a giant ship would have cost their lives. These unknowns seemed to know what they were doing, their arrival location and timing was perfect.

Even though they didnt open up a channel, the communication came clear: "Greetings Humans".

-"..We come in peace humans". "We are the kkxijjjhhhfsaaloooc, I am what in your language would say Captain Chikiiiijjjka". Said the alien.

- "We as representatives of the human race welcome you and your people to our Galaxy" Captain Ritel Replied.

-"We thank you. It is in our interest to exchange technology with you so Im transmitting data from our weapon technology and medical technology for certain new weapon specs and hull & shield specs as well as new healing techniques you dont know about, for you to use and start manufacturing as soon as possible." Said Captain Chikiiiijjjka.

Captain Ritel felt there was something strange going on, in their first contact this alien race was already transmitting very advanced weapon technology in their favour, what ould they expect from the humans in exchange? And as so he asked.

- "We welcome your kindness and your willingness to the technology you are sharing with the humans right now." Captain Ritel explained.

-"This technology is not just for the "humans", it is for all of your races." The alien replied.

-"But why? You should know we are at war with the other races and one of our allies the Boron has already been defeated, sharing this with them will only bring death on larger scale to all of us." Captain Ritel responded very worried.

- "If you dont share it with the rest of the races it will certainly be the end of your race." Reponded the alien Captain in a serious tone.

- "Is this a threat?" Captain Ritel responded very alerted trying to hide the fear in his tone.

- "It is not "our" threat captain, this for your own races shake, now you must head for the nearest jumpgate and return to your world, share what you have and make progress as fast as you can." Replied Captain Chikiiiijjjka

- "But..." Replied Captain Ritel.

- "Now! Go!" The alien captain ordered him, although his voice had a sweet tone such that the order sounded more like begging.

- "Alright, we are on our way back, Captain Ritel out".

- "Our race will contact you further, we wish you a prosper future." The alien captain dismissed.

Captain Ritel felt he didnt really understand what was going on, thar urgency, sharing with the enemies the new awesome technology that could give them the upper hand in the war.

While the Titan prototype was about to leave through the Jumpgate, the "alien behemoth" started emanating a strange aura around it. Most of the crew went to the Ship visors to admire the wonderful effect, the alien behemoth was shining with a white huge aura. Suddenly red lights started to glow from all points of the ship.

The Captain was also delighted by the light show but suddenly he noticed six strange small glows coming from different points of the sector while the scanner officer mentioned it to the Captain, the new readings looked like mini-jumps from very small ships, six readings in total.

The Captain ordered an indentification, "identification negative", they seemed to be more alien ships.

The Captain then ordered visual zoom on the ships. They look small, black color with green glowed spots around it, the size of an M6 maybe but much more rounded or bean like than any other M6 they knew. They were on route to the Alien behemoth at very fast speed, readings were 780m/s. The green glowing spots were pulsing and gaining in brightness while approaching the huge ship.

Suddenly they started shooting the Behemoth with beams and shots of weapons that could not be identified either.

The Captain rapidly opened a channel to the Alien ship they just met. "Whats happening?"

The reply was clear "This is, Captain, a scouting group of what awaits you if you dont leave now and dont do what we requested, scape before they lock into you, once they do, you wont be able to scape..."

In 10 seconds the behemoth was falling apart!!! Such tiny ships in comparisons, just 6 formed a ring that focused a single beam that went through the behemoth taking it down.

The Captain went into panic and shouted to increase speed through the jump gate and to get the hell out of there.

As soon as they crossed the jumpgate he ordered to jump to the farest unpopulated sector available from that point, wishing the new menace would not follow.

The Captain found himsef wondering: "Power is what we wanted, and now we have it, just to have a bigger war, If that is the future that awaits us, our war in comparison... was just a child's play, God save us all."

23-10-2007, 11:25 AM
An old Buster, obviously having seen better days, came to a stop next to Argon One.

"Sir, a call from an argon ship asking permission to dock." The young Lt. said to Commander Ban Danna.

"Anyone we have dealt with before?" Commander Danna asks.

"No sir! It appears to be a negotiator of some kind, by his questions and attitude." replyed the young officer.

Ban drops his head and smiles, everyone is a negotiator these days. "very well, send him in." Ban Danna Said.

The young man walks into the office a few minutes later, Ban Danna rises to greet him but is surprised to see a man dressed in a rather odd outfit, with a large, possibly gold, medalion around his neck.

"I am Commander Ban Danna, of the Argon Intelligence office, whom my I have the pleasure of greeting, sir?" He says very officially.

The young officer smiles widely, at his quick aceptance, its been many months travel and he is glad to be greeted warmly.

"Thank you sir, I am Kev'on, and I am a professional adventurer and explorer. I found evidence several..(he looks at his PDA for assistance)..Mazuras.. ago that there was an Human colony here. It is my greatest honor to meet you." He says with a slight bow.

Ban is slightly taken aback, argon has explorers who train and look mostly for new gates and sectors, but here stand the same officer from a new human sector of space, and he just walked right in...amazing. He waves the young man to take a seat, who graciously accepts.

"It is our way to greet the leaders of any new colony, of any kind, before we begin our investigation of it." The young officer says."I was pleased you were so easy to find, and so very friendly too." He says smiling.

Ban smiles back acting less shocked by the conversation than he is.

"What investigation would that be?" he asks.

"It is our way to very carefully investigate any new civilization we incounter to see what their intentions are in space, as well as to see what help they could give us.."he looks up quickly and then away.." Or we can give them." he finishes.

Ban smiles widely, help is one thing Argon could certainly use.

"I would be more than glad to help you in any way possible." Ban says, but the new officer just smiles and waves it off.

"I have been educated especially for this work, Commander, please allow me to do this job by the specifications my people have set out for me to use. I only ask permission to travel, even work here in Argon space for a short time while I invetigate your culture..I assure you my report will be fair and honest." He says smiling.

Ban is not so happy with this turn of events , but he is sure the argons this young man will meet will show him the same courtisy Ban has so he allows it.

"Thank you very much, Commander, I will take my leave of you now, and return in a few mazuras with my official report." He stands and sticks out his hand to Ban Danna, who sticks his out in return. The young man smiles, leaning foreward and, grasping Bans hand shakes it up and down for a moment before letting it go. 'We have a deal." he says smiling at the puzzled look on the Commanders face.

"After my investigation, I will report, via long range communications to MY Commander, I am sure with what I have learned so far the Argon will have no trouble being accepted. I hope to be able to sit with you then and tell you all about us and our history. Until then, Commander."

He turns quickly and Ban can see the movement of an officer in his appearance for the first time, as he turns on his heal and leaves as quickly as he came. Ban is not sure what to think. What in Bezany is he talking about? Obviously the Argon and even Earth are not alone in the Universe, only time will tell now, perhaps with a little help..Ban punches a coms button as a young Lt walks sharply in.

"Have that young officer followed." He says quickly, "But make no move to stop or curtail his movements in any way, I just want to know who he sees and where he goes,dismissed." Ban sits down to consider what he has seen and heard,a second later the Lt calls again on a com line.

"Commander Danna, we're sorry, but the young officer you ask us to follow is gone, he just vanished..we had no time to sit up survalence. Sorry sir." Ban sits back with a smile, obviously these new people are very skilled, he has many things to consider before his meeting again when the representative of the Great Colonies returns.

29-10-2007, 10:59 PM
Short story-2326 words-by equinox

Controlled Rage

To say “the pit” is dangerous would be an understatement, there are few who survive, but those that do are held in high regard across the split sectors. Zyrt Gwliza didn’t just survive, he thrived in the arena, and the pundits would pay high dividends to watch him butcher his opposition. He first entered “the pit” at only 16 jazuras of age, as the property of Chrt Rgyll who captured him in open space after destroying the ship carrying his family to the mines of Ore Belt. His father who’d had hopes of establishing a silicon empire was now space dust, and his mother became Chrts’ concubine, much to Zyrts’ dismay and revulsion. Why had she not killed the low life pirate, or died rather than surrender her honour? That had been his first reaction to their situation, but the thugs Chrt had surrounding him had, only just, managed to keep Chrt safe. “One day will be one day and you loathsome creature will be dead” Zyrt had vowed. Chrt seeing the rage in the youngsters’ eyes called up Jryn the notorious gladiator trainer of Family Pride and sent Zyrt off to learn the art of pit fighting, why not profit from the young fools rage.

Under Jryn’s superb tutelage Zyrt learned quickly to keep his rage in check, it was this ability which kept him alive through his early years. Jryn was a master of arts, his advantage over the opponents of his youth had been the strict discipline he had observed over every aspect of the fighting arts. He was a retired pit champion and a decorated pilot of the Xenon wars. He’d never had traditional wishes for status; his lifelong ambition had be the ultimate warrior, many jazuras of conscientious training and countless competitions had made him into the most feared opponent in split space. He'd retired undefeated but his ambition persisted, though now it had become to train another in the ways of warriorship.
“Strategy is the craft of the warrior. There is no warrior in the world today who really understands the Way of strategy.” Jryn spoke, almost in a whisper though his voice carried to all of the ten top students who were straining in an uncomfortable posture. “Conditioning stretches the muscles, giving them immense strength without adding bulk.”
The pain was excruciating, but the exercise continued, “The sweat you spill now will ensure that it's another whose blood will be spilled in the pit, be strong or would you squirm like the Boron?” It was only when they were on the verge of collapse that the class was given permission to relax.
“If you lead an army to battle you should take into account the abilities and limitations of your men, circulating among them and asking nothing unreasonable. You should know their morale and spirit, and encourage them when necessary. This is the principle of strategy.”
Although the training was intense and many of his fellow students quit for an easier life as guards of the great families or mercenaries, Zyrt thrived knowing that he was learnings the skills to enact his revenge. The young splits courage and fighting prowess astounded everyone and soon won his handler’s respect, then admiration and finally his devotion. After 9 jazuras and many contests, Zyrt, with Jryns’ guidance had formulated a plan for the demise of the creature which had defiled his families’ name.

Chrt had been forced out of Split space in disgrace having failed to appear for an honour duel and had pursued a carrier as a pirate, he'd hit the jackpot with the capture of an intact Elephant complete with the spp, crystal fab, and silicone mine with which Zyrts father had hoped to start his empire. Chrt had forged Zyrts documents adding 3 jazuras to his age to get him into the fray, hoping no doubt that he would die young. In the years of Zyrts adolescence Chrt had begun to build up a small empire with the proceeds of Zyrts rigorous fight schedule, always staying several sectors away. Besides the normal owners fees he’d also managed to get large odds betting on his young slave to win, for Jryn had advised him that the youth was a born gladiator. He’d first bought himself a 125Mj Shield Factory in Priest Rings, then had further developed his Ore Belt complex to produce AHEPTs. His latest acquisition was the most precarious and possibly most lucrative, a huge
complex consisting of a factory producing10Gj shields, an A Flak forge and another which produced APPCs. Unfortunately it was located in Oracoke’s storm, and he’d also had to invest in a fleet to protect his interests. His favourite was an Argon Centaur, unlike others of his race he valued heavy shielding from the vacuum, he'd also he recruited a full compliment of crack mercenaries to man his fleet and keep him safe. He had not been shy in spending the credits from Zyrts campaign of destruction, on rigging the ship out with the best arsenal available.

“The Pit” is an open arena basically a ring of stones set in a hollow, where contests are settled in public. Many of the contests are played out for matters of honour, sparing the split judiciary the chore of settling personal disputes. The rules are simple, once entering the pit, there are three ways to leave, you’re either dead, victorious or have submitted. These rules are absolute and even accidental entry into The Pit makes you subject to the laws. For this reason there are no referees and front row places are not always desirable. Submission to your opponent in honour disputes means that you become his slave, and all of your possessions are transferred into his name. The highest proportion of pit contests is of the professional gladiator variety, of which there are several flavours. The most dangerous were those involving the personal guards of the great families, these were warriors of the highest calibre whose calibre had been tested both on the battlefield and in the pit. By ancient split tradition a champion could be nominated into battle on behalf of those powerful enough to afford it. Under these conditions the champion would have a specific price allocated to the contest, and would keep the spoils of victory, or forfeit his liberty and price in defeat. The most common contests are those fought by the various schools of martial arts. These are mostly sponsored fights, with gladiator slaves competing for a purse made up from entrance fees to the event and fees paid by the sponsors to establish the contest. The purse went to the owner of the slave after a deduction was made for admin and school fees.

The relatively light gravity made Zyrts movement around the circle effortless, Jryn had fitted an artificial gravity generator to the dojo making any physical exertion very difficult. In the pit the benefits were inestimable, his energy levels were huge and his power without peer. He kept his focus on his peripheral vision as he gazed into his opponents heart, giving him a glazed expression and keeping his opponents extremities in focus. This simultaneously hid any intent from his adversary and allowed him to react before his enemy was decided on his attack. His opponents eyes also had a glazed expression, but his was due to the stims he’d consumed to boost his reflexes. Zyrt was careful not to let his disdain cloud his judgement, Ghst hailed from the Rvyll School of the Family Whi. Rvyll School was known for its pit dominance over the past two jazuras, and also for the dirty tricks used by its gladiators. Ghsts attack was hard and low, testing for a weakness in the youngsters defence, only to find his arm twisted along the path of least resistance and forcing him into an escape roll. Zyrt had only used the move as a feint and predicting Ghsts position on landing he smashed his palm heal into his face, shattering his nose and causing him momentary blindness. He followed through on his move, attempting a headlock, only to be blinded by a handful of sand thrown in his face. Abandoning the headlock Zyrt did a quick dive roll, blinking his vision back into focus and narrowly avoiding the keen poisoned blade aimed at his arm. Keeping his focus on the enemy he neutralised the weapon, because now Ghsts focus was on the weapon, allowing Zyrt to move in close and ride his opponent. Again the pair was circling, waiting for the smallest lapse, when Zyrt noticed a blowpipe pointing at him in his peripheral vision from a spectator in the second row; he fainted left, then deftly dived right. Both the blowpipe and Ghst fell for the faint and Zyrt was amongst the spectators throwing the failed assassin into the ring. Within two sezuras Ghst was frothing at the mouth as the neurotoxin took effect and Zyrt had a slave.

”If you have no anti-dote your death will be more agonising than his” Zyrt growled keeping the writhing split pinned to the ground with a tight three quarters lock.
“I have none, but the poison is plesht snake venom, he will survive if you douse the wound with ammonia.” came the shaky reply
“You're a disgrace to the Split, resorting to Boron poison to assassinate me, so now you piece of dirt scum you will apply the ammonia before everyone here in attendance” with that he forced Kzvrn-tu to his knees and slashing open Ghsts wound forced him to urinate on the wound.
“Who was it that hired you to assassinate me?” Zyrt asked when they were back at the dojo.
“Chrt hired me via the Rvyll school, it seems he'd bet against his own fighter and I think he's afraid that you might be a threat to him”
“Damn right I'm a threat and soon he will see how, so how did you travel here from Family Whi?” the contest had been held in Rhonkars Clouds many sectors from the Rvyll schools base.
“I have a Mamba raider which is fitted with a jump drive”
“Good and do you know the whereabouts of the despicable coward who hired you?”
“He was taking a detour through The Ore Belt on his way back to Oracles Storm and his main base of operations.”
“Ha! knowing him he will travel through the Boron territories we should be able to cut him off at Farnhams Legend for he will probably be catching up with his old cronies there, I've asked that in view of the events of the contest that the details of the outcome be altered on the bbs so he will think that you have succeeded in your mission”
Jryn agreed to accompany him and they left without delay

Farnhams Legend is favoured by pirates because it is a perfect place to ambush unwary traders and it was easy for Jryn to find a hiding place in the asteroid field. Zyrt had no such problems and merely hid in the cockpit and let Kzvrn-tu pilot the ship and handle the comms. “One false move and you're space-fly meat” he warned “just get us landing rights to that ship”
“SM-2535-KT requesting docking permission” hailed Kzvrn-tu
“What are you doing here? If anyone finds out that we're acquainted they will suspect that I sponsored Zyrts death.”
“My lord, no one knows that I'm here and besides Ghst was given the credit for the kill.”
“There is something funny going on here, although the bbs states Ghst was victorious my credit balance doesn't show the proceeds of my wager, do you know why that is”
“The reasons for this is why I would speak with you, my lord”
“Well speak they you worthless imbecile”
“It is something which cannot be discussed over the open comms channels, my lord”
“Very well then landing permission granted, you Zlrz-da get your ship out of the landing bay and give this oaf room to land” Chrt had left his comms open as he issued his orders to his crewman.
As soon as the mamba landed Jryn appeared from his place of concealment and unloaded a volley of green plasma into the departing M5 blowing it to smithereens.
“Action stations, were under attack,”wailed Chrt”launch all the escorts, on the double.”
In the ensuing mayhem no one noticed the hooded figure of Zyrt making his way with Kzvrn-tu towards the bridge. On their arrival Chrt spun around and shouted,”WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE GET OUT THERE AND DEAL WITH THAT IDIOT ASSAULTING MY SHIP!!” The panic in his voice was plainly evident and his shock became even more intense when Zyrt threw bad he hood and said,”the day is today you loathsome boron loving puke breath.” As he dive-rolled over the console before him and landed inches from his hated enemy. “Today is the day you suffer, the day you die will be weeks away.” his arm shot out with a crushing blow to Chrts' larynx, his knee came up smashing into the stunned splits groin, the next blow landed on the shoulder spinning Chrt around and Zyrt locked his arm behind his back and the flash of a blade was at Chryts throat.
“OK! If anyone makes one wrong move this blade slices off this skull and I will pass on the punishment that has been reserved for this despicable excuse of a split.” his voice was even more menacing because it was so calm. “Now call in those fighters, tell them it was a drill.”
The orders were issued and the fighters returned, there was even space for Jryn as he'd made space dust of another two whilst the bridge action was happening.

Ok I didn't have time to make the word count this was intended to go on longer, but the deadline is up

30-10-2007, 05:48 AM
!!COMPETITION VOTING STAGE!! - The Short Stories under 2500 words section

The voting stage of the competition has finally arrived. The entrants have worked hard, so let's show our appreciation for their work.

Rules are as follows.

- It is expected for all entrants to vote. Not voting counts as a negative on the end result (it's the same as cheating in our eyes).
- You must not vote for your own entry
- There is one week to vote for the entrants (Midnight Monday 5th November is closing date)
- Votes should be formatted as follows:

1. Person who you think should win
2. Person who you think should come second
3. Person who you think should come third

Links to the posts that now have the entrants works of art in are here:

Unknown Threat (http://www.thexuniverse.com/forum/showthread.php?p=80110#post80110) - by ezra-r
In Honour Of... (http://www.thexuniverse.com/forum/showthread.php?p=82064#post82064) - by krm398
Controlled Rage (http://www.thexuniverse.com/forum/showthread.php?p=82979#post82979) - by equinox

Let the voting begin...

30-10-2007, 08:50 AM

30-10-2007, 09:05 AM
1. ezra-r

Anon loyalist
30-10-2007, 03:36 PM
1 KRM 398- Go...Go... :)
2 Equinox
3 Ezra-r

30-10-2007, 06:15 PM
1 Equinox
2 krm398
3 ezra-r

Well done mate's.Cya ;)

31-10-2007, 02:30 PM
1. Ezra-r
2. Equinox
3. krm398

I would however like to say that although I have put krm398 in 3rd position, when taken in context with his second part, the story becomes much more interesting and I would have scored him higher...
However, this competition is restricted to the entry in this thread, and reluctantly, I have to mark it in isolation.

Well done chaps.

31-10-2007, 02:52 PM
Hi ya

First great job to all contesties..:)

1. Ezra-r
2. Equinox
3. krm398

31-10-2007, 06:57 PM
1st - equinox
2nd - krm

02-11-2007, 06:08 PM
1. Equinox
2. Ezra-r
3. krm398

Equinox, fantastic job (as did everyone) but I love how you didn't stay to plain space action. Really good job and well worth the read.

Look forward to the ending now... :)

04-11-2007, 10:59 AM
Waay Haay, i can see those spanglies coming my way.lol. sorry i haven't been around much lately, but thanks for the support, it's really given me inspiration to write a little more. so look out for more fanficts from me soon as i get some free time.