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Zombies From the Sky


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I am starting this story because of requests by people, outside of Nexus, to see a zombie centered story by myself but it is for everybody to enjoy and I hope that you enjoy it. This is based on an Alternate Earth and the reasons for this are explained as the story goes on.


Zero 1.1[1]{1}

It could have been worse, far worse!

Before the things fell from the sky, to crash into the sea or the land, many dreamed of the coming of the undead, the unlifen, the living-dead and the living monsters. Artists painted paintings, carved sculptures, and did other foreboding artworks. Some had waking visions and yet others went mad.

Governments could no longer ignore the coming threat for the foreboding 'visions' were amazingly consistent in nature.

The Visioning had begun more lightly in 1921AD but by 1941 had become very strong.

Preparations were growing strong across the world despite the resistance of those who would not, could not, believe the warnings.

Edited by Maharg67
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One 1.1[1]{2}

The green purple comet like projectile exploded into the ocean with a great whoosh of water and a large amount of steam. Then two more struck the same immediate area. In seconds they were gone below the ocean surface.

It was a fishing trawler crew that spotted the comet-projectiles and who hauled up their nets early before departing quickly to the nearest, hopefully, safe haven. The old vessel was well maintained and did good speed. Nothing attacked it, there was no trouble.

The nearest safe haven was a smallish island with an outpost colony of the British Commonwealths Empire, the BCE. Yet it also had a well resourced outpost of the International Watchguardia set up to observe for coming troubles of the more exotic kind. As it was Watchguardia telescope observatories had already spotted such comet-projectiles coming towards the home world.

Two way radio communications were used to send messages to the nearest of the larger Watchguardia bases that leased territories from the Imperial Commonwealth of Australia. An alert briefing went to the British Commonwealths Imperial Governor based in the Imperial City of Perth. Briefings were sent to other destinations, to be on set to yet other places.

A small flotilla of vessels was launched to the coordinates given by the fishing trawler but before that went one of the amazing new liftergas airships; such airships could rise so high so as to fly above storms and most turbulence. Yet, as in other incidences, they found nothing.

Comet-projectiles had so far landed in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans. They might have been taken as being natural but some had been spotted slowing as they fell towards the waters and at least one had visibly changed course, though not greatly.

So far none, leaving trailed of strange green-purple gas behind themselves, had struck land; it was as if they were being aimed at deep sea waters.

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One 2.1[2]{3}


The big tramp-steamer, a mixture of cheap freighter and passenger carrier, moved steadily through the large area of glimmering mist though none were at the helm. Gun shots rang out from mid deck, starboard, towards the aft of the ship. Five desperate figures, immune to the mist's effects, struggled to lower a large wooden lifeboat even as former crew members, and fewer passengers, came shambling towards them as zombies. About half were failing, were crumbling, but the others were transforming into horrific leathery like humanoids that were gaining strength, endurance and resistance to damage.


A couple of ship cats leapt into the lifeboat, followed by some rats, and then the humans were following. Then they were lowering themselves towards the ocean surface. Zombies scrambled after, some falling into the sea where they quickly perished. The failures perished far more quickly than did the others.


Nobody tried to push the rats off the lifeboat; somehow it seemed not right to do so.


Then five unlifen dropped quickly, easily, into the lifeboat. The damphirs had fought back the zombies, had killed two zombie like ghouls that could use guns along with many actual zombies; the failures had proven to be most easy to dispose of. Two unlifen nombies slid down into the lifeboat but there still was room. The powerful unlifen versions of zombies brought big packs of equipment and supplies, mostly supplies.


The living berserker beast, that had been the captain, leapt onto the deck but made no move to get onto the lifeboat. Instead it began to fight zombies, a battle that it could not really win but which it waged for the sake of those in the two lifeboats. Yes, there was another lifeboat with humans, animals and nombies.


Nombies used the long oars with their powerful strength. Soon the two boats were moving steadily away from the doomed tramp-steamer where the abomination, of a former captain, was busy hurling zombies into the ocean.


The tramp-steamer had been carrying dynamite to an island mining site and now the ship exploded below the sea line. The ship shuddered and was soon listing as water flooded into it lower decks. More explosions followed and then the big old vessel was soon vanished beneath the waves.


The escapees headed towards the nearest inhabited island, hoping very much for a safe haven.




One 2a


In one boat nombies rowed with great strength while the First Mate steered the lifeboat with its rudder handle. It led and the other lifeboat, almost identical to it, followed quite closely.


With a gruff voice, the First Mate spoke. "Got a feeling that the captain may survive after all, just a feeling but he is one of the hardest, toughest, yet fairest men I have ever met. Smart too, and canny!"


The professor looked to the First Mate. He was very calm, as was his daughter the lecturer, as if they had endured such experiences before in their lives, had become used to them. "Now they he has transformed, into a berserker beast, most would not trust him to be safe. Yet he clearly chose to risk his own life to allow others to get to safety, even for that cat which he carried out of the cabins."


The First Mate snorted. "He always did have a soft spot for cats, which is why there were so many of them in the ship of which all survived, hopefully. We need to make sure that the two lifeboats stay close together for the survival of us all."


The girl child looked out to sea with a solemn, sweet, expression on her face while her small dog was curled up in her lap sleeping off his recent fear and excitement.

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One 3.1[3]{4}


The two lifeboats staid close together as the survivors sought the nearest charted islands. The conditions were harsh but the unlifen put themselves into a kind of survival trance and fresh water supplies became less of an issue. Also they had managed to grab a fair sized quantity of the valuable liquid.


Considering the poorly charted area that the tramp-steamer had been sailing through, far from any of the major sea lanes or even secondary sea lanes, their encounter with an uncharted island was no real surprise; this was despite it being quite large. Skirting dangerous reefs, they managed to get through an opening and then were in more sheltered waters. From there they found a way into a big island lagoon.


Blue sky was clear overhead, the day was warm but not too hot, as the boats were pulled up onto a sandy beach shore of the lagoon. They brought the lifeboats quite high onto the sands, thanks to the extra strength of the nombies, and spent some time resting and getting used to being on solid ground again.


The cats, and rats, staid with the group. The rats got only strangely well with the damphirs and nombies, as did the cats, neither rodents or felines trying to hurt each other.


The small dog staid with the humans, glad to curl up on the lap of the immune girl who sat cross legged on grassy ground as she carefully wrote into her journal, using small print so as to conserve space. She would glance around at times, noting the three damphir teenagers that were two girls and a boy. Clearly they were triplets, by their looks and mannerisms. The other two damphirs were a married couple who now looked younger, than they had done, by a goodly amount of years.


The Second Mate was a thinly muscular, tall white man with a scruffy looking beard and a battered merchant sailor's outfit. He was human, was immune, and understandably upset at the terrible fate of the ship and most of its crew and passengers. He was smoking his pipe, using just a small amount of his carefully rationed tobacco. He did not seem pleased by the presence of the unlifen entities, despite that most of the nombies had been crew members, and yet he was not truly antagonistic either.


Other humans were a professor of archaeology, his daughter assistant, four male deck hands and the ship's doctor, a man.


The first day on the island was a quiet one!







One 3a


Quinn, Katrina and Salina gathered coconuts and bananas that seemed to be oddly abundant in the area. They found traces of animals but also of what could have been humanoids who had made some effort to hide their tracks. Two nombies stood peacefully to take up gathered coconuts and bananas.


The damphir triplets were in casual gear, the femmes in dresses they had cut shorter to give more freedom to their leg movements. Under other circumstances there might have been some complaints at the immodesty shown but not there and then; contrary wise the doctor was too avid to observe the female triplets' legs.


Quinn shook his head. "Something about how the coconut, and banana, palms are gathered here... well I can't quite put my finger on it but..."


Katrina nodded in an absent minded fashion as if largely lost in her own thoughts. "There is something odd about the whole island, or at least this area of it we have explored so far. We need to find a source of fresh water and to consider doing some fishing at the lagoon."


Something shot through the air very high above them. They only caught a glimpse of a winged thing, so fast was it moving in the slowly growing darkness. There was something about it had none of them liked, not even the nombies who moved restlessly for a moment.


Salina grimaced. "I strongly suggest that we get back to the camp and warn the others about that thing that flew so fast, so high, through the sky. I am glad that we brought the life boats well up from the open beach and placed them amongst the palm trees. We will have to be very careful in future, all of us."


They returned to the camp, even more carefully than they had left it, taking their gathered prizes with them.

Edited by Maharg67
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One 4.1[4]{5}


Was it fate, or luck, that led the berserker monster to find the same island as the lifeboats did? What ever the answer was, the creature clung to a barrel and, with seemingly impossible strength and endurance, made its way across the ocean. The island was large and the former captain got through the reef but climbed up onto a shore line of the island. He came onto the island a goodly distance from the lagoon.


There the creature opened the barrel to find it mostly empty except for some sacks of raw potatoes and, surprisingly, two hidden away bottles of rum. Captain Monster, as he had come to call himself, took swigs of rum and bites of raw potato while sitting with his back to a banana palm. Then he fell asleep with the sound of waves crashing onto the beach, seagulls and other exotic island noises coming to his ears.








One 4a


The black flying creature noted stuff floating up onto the shore, driven by the waves, and some animans beach combing for anything they could find that was even semi-useful. They fell fearfully into crouching positions, upon seeing the flying thing, but the undead wingpire had no interest them. Nor did it spot anything but the typical type ocean provided stuff that somehow got past the reefs at times. The rather simple minded creature did not have the capacity to even consider such mysteries and no desire to do so. Its lords, and masters, sent it to spy out the islands for anything unusual and that it did.


On the sands below and animan dogman quietly cursed the creature as he stood up in his raggedy outfit. Yet he also held a powerful bolt-action rifle hidden by more ragged cloth. His raggedy outfit hid leather body-armour and a compact podleather backpack along with podleather webbing of pouch dotted belts.


He spoke to others there, who were also disguised rebels, in the language known as Esperanto, and in a very strong voice. "The Oracle saw things important come up upon the waves here. We must do our best to find them, both the non living and the living."


Sanchi, a female adult catman, pointed to where there were some odd marks in the sand. "Those look odd, as if something dragged itself up the beach while trying to conceal its tracks. Not like anything I have ever seen before, Roger!"


Roger looked and saw what she was indicating. Then he noted some real beach comber animans and began heading towards them to ask some questions. It turned out to be a good idea for both of the ottermans had seen a monstrous figure come out of the ocean water and, with amazing speed, make its way up into amongst the palms. Yet it was not the same thing that had left the strange tracks behind that Sanchi had spotted.


The adult female otterman shuddered. "It was like an octopus thing but with very leathery skin. It slithered and used its tentacles, of which it had three at the front and three in the middle and three at the end. It had smaller tentacles on its body and at the end of its big tentacles. We ran away and so we did not see where it went from there, where we saw it."


Roger was pleased by the information and gave the pair of ottermans each a copper glowcoin, a thing of value through out the Paradise Isles. He would have to get a message to the Oracle as soon as he could do so.

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One 5.1[5]{6}


Quinn, Katrina and Salina were the now paler damphir triplets who had lost their parents to the strange glittering mist, they becoming zombies, yet they had never really been close to their mother and father so did not miss them much. In truth their parents had exploited their older children's talents to make a fortune that they had stolen for themselves. For the first time the three of them felt free. That is except for being stranded on a mysterious, uncharted, island.


Why mysterious? They found the first signs of the island's strangeness when they spotted the black flying creature; the second one was when they found the first of the exotic plants. The large meatpod bush was not only odd in its features but a metal plaque gave information about it in several languages along with dates of several calendars. It was very broad with many branches and seemed to be very mature of growth, having many of the odd meatpods. The plaque was bolted to a large boulder that seemed to have been placed close to the meatpod bush to display the plaque.


Quinn spoke of the plaque. "Date, and the slight rustiness of the steel, indicates that the bush was planted here about 41 years ago as part of something called Project Flora Divine. There is a name here being Project Director Esmaralda Moreau along with some codes and numbers."


Katrina carefully picked a meatpod, with its thick looking skin, and took a sniff at it. She then nodded. "I 'sense' no threat in tasting it. Perhaps we should take a couple to show the professor and his daughter."


When they heard the gun shots, from the encampment that was not too far away, they set out at once to return to the others. They found that one of the deck hands had gone into a strange fit and then had died; instead of staying dead he had become a zombie, lurching clumsily to its feet with obvious aggression. The Second Mate had put a bullet through its head, killing it at once.


The doctor scowled. "The man had some type of stroke, it appeared, died and then the poor devil became a zombie."


The triplets came into the area of the encampment, having moved with amazing speed to get there, in time to hear the Second Mate respond. "It looked more like one of those fits that some scientists say has something to do with the brain. Epilepsy is what they call it."


The doctor frowned hard at the Second Mate, clearly thinking that the man was 'going above his station' to dare to question a medical practitioner.


Quinn spoke. "Perhaps there is more than one kind of immune. Let's hope so because we do not want all immunes turning into zombies."


Katrina held up one of three meatpods that she had brought with her. "We have found something important and it is not just these odd looking meatpods."


The group was soon holding a meeting to discuss various matters including the horrible zombification incident and the find that the triplets had made.








One 5a


In a glowcrystal cavern the Oracle stood, a human damphir woman of amazingly silken smooth albino skin and pink eyes that quietly observed the animan dancers before her. They were doing their best to be disciplined but often made small mistakes. Yet she beamed a deep smile as if they were doing just perfectly.


Hairless oomans were there also, very quiet and organised so as to be the opposite of the generally noisy and chaotic animans though there were exceptions to the latter. Wolfmans, predatory guards, stood in small sentry groups close to entrances into the cavern, at positions amongst the gardens and small buildings, as did oomans in body-armour. Leather armoured wolfmans were armed with bows and short spears, along with knives; the metallic armoured oomans had bolt-action rifles, revolver pistols and knives.


Amongst the others were a minority of humans, refugee survivors from the Paradise Heartland and the great madness caused by the arrival of the comet-projectile. The Oracle had allowed them to take refuge amongst her people though many animans had opposed it because to them humans were nothing but slave masters. That was many years ago when the Oracle herself had been much different in nature, before she had become a powerful damphir.


An empathic-telepathic message had come to her, from a rebel soldier leader, warning of two strange things having out of the ocean waters. She was concerned about the report. Other reports had come of a group, of outsiders, arriving in two life boats that had probably come from a sinking vessel. The outsiders were of many kinds, including damphirs and nombies. There were unlifen amongst her people but none were in that great chamber, at that time, but herself.


The dancers continued to dance while animans happily played a tune that seemed to have little to what the wildly dancing dancers were actually doing. She sighed inwardly, releasing that the dancers were dancing to a tune that the bards were not playing, being happily oblivious to the fact while the bards seemingly did not care either. So much for all of the practise sessions and lessons! Still, the animans were pleased and that was what really mattered.


Then came an animan with a special package sent all the way from the city of London by even more special means. The metallic box package was still warm from the teleportation and the courier wore gloves to protect her damphir hands, despite the extreme toughness of her hands. She was the adopted daughter of the Oracle and her role was as courier of such packages with their heat and odd radiances of energies; such packages were too dangerous for the living to handle, or at least most of them.


The Oracle smiled welcome to her daughter and wondered, yet again, why great surprises often came in bunches.

Edited by Maharg67
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One 6.1[6]{7}

The long distance, high altitude, observation airship was officially a climate-weather observation vessel. In truth it served a secretive organisation known as the British Imperial Special Security Agency. The name gave no real clue to the agency's purpose but it was designed not to do so, being a convenient label for people to use. The day before, in the same area, a long distance spotter float-plane had found the tramp-steamer. Its observer had also spotted a glittering mist and that it was heading dangerously towards the aged ship.

The airship observed no glittering mist, which may have dissipated as such tended to do after a very few days, but spotted something in the ocean. Carefully going down for a closer look, the observers discovered an oil slick and debris of a kind that would come from a sunken tramp-steamer. Photographs were taken, films were taken, a sketch was made of where viewed objects where objects were spotted in relation to one another, forming a pattern along with the oil. Other details were added to the report such as current wind direction and speed, the direction of the waves and the way the floating objects were moving.


The crew, and field team, worked together to pick up some of the debris including a wooden oar with blood on it. Then they began to leave.


They then returned quickly to rescue a large, wet, cat who was looking very miserable for himself. The feline was carefully handled by two BISSA Troopers in special body-armour suits and placed into a small, heavily sealed off, quarantine chamber.


The airship headed off to meet with three disguised BISSA ships, including one that was the mobile base for the float-plane that had discovered the tramp-steamer earlier on, along with the disturbing mist.








One 6a


Three ships moved steadily towards where the airship had reported the site of debris, where they had grabbed up samples and where they had rescued a large tomcat that was being greatly spoilt by a few airship crew members. It was expected that the big, disguised, ships would intercept the airship soon as the flying vessel was going faster than the ships could. The disguise was a clever one being as research vessels, this explaining many of the features on the vessels and even the canvas tarp covering of other details taken to be valuable equipment; they were valuable bits of equipment but not as the official documents described them to be.


One vessel was the biggest, being the command ship with the main research facilities including laboratories, workshops, and special work spaces. That ship had very powerful radio equipment along with some very secret devices along with special radar and sonar. The existence of the comet entities, as they were called for convenience, was well known of. Most of the world did not know they existed and none seemed to know much at all.


The second biggest vessel was a disguised fighting machine focusing on a wide array of weapons and a contingent of elite soldiers with some very interesting hardware. The ship itself had some very interesting hardware.


The third ship was only slightly smaller than the second and had the task of service support to all of the ships. Yet it had its secrets. It was also where the float-plane was currently up on deck, in its own hanger. It would not go out for some time thanks to the worsening weather that even the airship might have some difficulty with.


All three vessels had special equipment, some of it very secret and exotic. All had soldiers, weapons and armour. All were on the watch out for threats from above, below and on the ocean surface.


There was some tension for, despite all the careful preparations made for the mission, they were dealing with dangerous possibilities, with the unknown.

Edited by Maharg67
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Zero 2.1[2]{8}


While governments were reluctant to face another big war, after the destructive 13 year long Great World War had swept across much of the world, the growing evidence of approaching trouble could not be easily ignored. Also there was the influences of the mysterious immortals who had helped the Free Alliance to defeat the PanAxis and Zaztek Empire. The League of Nations had somehow survived the Great World War and, to the surprise of most, had grown stronger with more nations as member states. The LN Security Council reluctantly pushed for on going international efforts against increasing troubles and further preparations for more troubles.


The secret super weapons, of the Great World War, were brought out of their hidden arsenals and were dusted off for more use. The SSWs had been used to finally destroy the Zaztek Empire in a way that still horrified those who had used them. The Zazteks were no longer in position to complain, or so it was assumed.


At the end of the Great World War, GWW, those who had created the SSWs vanished except for a minority. They were the Genius13 and most of them vanished into hiding despite government, and other extensive efforts, to find them.


Peace time had meant the understandable shrinkage of military forces around the world but military spending remained fairly substantial; this was because nobody wanted to be taken by surprise again, as they had been at the start of the GWW. This included funding on research and development such as the new liftergas airships, airbarges and airboats that were starting to influence the human world in a big way; that was along with hybrid electric cars, electric monorail trains, tape player-recorders, coloured photography and film, diesel engines, black-white television, crude regenerative rejuvenative treatments, modern enclosed monoplanes, new plastics, new metal alloys, metal melding, and more including special secretive technologies.


The Watchguardia was created along with many other organisations, such as the BISSA, to deal with the increasing troubles of the things falling from the sky and the glimmering mists that came from them.







Zero 2a


In a massive hanger, disguised as a normal ten level factory building, workers were bring out into the open strange globe shaped gravity-globes, chunky saucer shaped gravity-saucers, hulking atomic landships, atomic cannons, atomic rockets, atomic rocketships, atomic train locomotives and other such devices. Massive forklifts, electric trucks, rail vehicles, cranes, and other such machines were used with extreme care.


Professor Mechanius, formerly of the Genius13, had never wanted to see such mechanisms brought out of storage; instead he had advocated for their destruction along with all information pertaining to them. Governments had ignored him, including the League of Nations Security Council, and big corporations had pressured to have the secrets, of such technologies, passed to them; thankfully the League of Nations had refused. He stood on a high raised semi-enclosed observation platform


Why? Because all of the supposed wonder technologies had intrinsic instabilities to them and also dangerous side effects on those that used them.


Mechanius turned and frowned at the other white lab coated man there, who was somebody he detested as a self centred, greedy, overly ambitious fool. Yes he was smart but Professor Bedmore was not the genius that he assumed that he was, far from it.


Bedmore grinned. "We will have all of this up and running by the end of this month."


"That is not going to happen!" Mechanius responded dryly. "I have told you this more than once. We will be more careful, in our progress, than that. There will have to be a period of careful checking of all of the machines. There is always the chance that while in storage, as very carefully stored as they were, that their instability has increased. Your attempt to publish sensitive information, in a rubbish public science rag, has been blocked. You should have known better than to pass such information to a science tabloid reporter. He is now dead because of you."


Bedmore shrugged. "He was nothing! Nobody will miss him! It was worth it to try to bring the truth to the people."


The super genius sighed. "You really should have listened to my warnings. The reporter had a wife and a child."


Mechanius moved with amazing speed and power, snapping Bedmore's neck in seconds. The dead man dropped to the metal deck of the observation platform. The super genius calmly went back to observing what was going on. There was no need to him to intercede for everybody knew what they were doing.

Edited by Maharg67
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One 7.1[7]{9}


The animal-humans sent scouts, hunters, to quietly observe the monstrous former captain, of the SS Bravenis, the tramp-steamer he had come to know well and to love in his own way. The monstrous humanoid pretended to be unaware of the smallish, sneaky, humanoids but could smell them well enough. Yet he knew well enough, could 'sense' it, that there was something more powerful in the area; it was a lifeform that could truly threaten him.


As if 'sensing' he was not really a threat to him, some of the animamans dropped fruit off for him to eat, even briefly showing themselves at first. By the end of the second day he was sitting with some of the odd variety of creatures, having limited but interesting conversations. He gained valuable information but some things they feared to talk of.


Early on, with the conversations, he confirmed what he 'sensed' about the island; that it was more than just an island. As it was the visitors had spotted an even bigger island in the distance, though the one they were on was very big. They had also spotted some signs of other newcomers to the island but gave not enough clues to say if they were also from the tramp-steamer.


The animans led him around the area, showing him incredibly ancient artefacts of metallic stone. All were shaped as four sided pyramids, spheres or cubes being often part buried into ground or even into hard rock. The former captain had always seen himself as a practical oriented man but even he could 'sense' the exotic, ageless, feel of the artefacts and was awed by it.


It was the metallic stone chamber that surprised him the most. The very big space had lighting in the form of glowcrystal spheres melded to the ceiling, water flowing down slanted channels, and other interesting exotic resources. A dispenser cube gave out a variety of foam substances that the animans had learned to use in a wide variety of ways but which the former captain suspected were meant for more refined uses than those. Still, the animans were being practical and, to the man, that was good. He would soon be showing them other uses that they could put the foams to.


Captain ManMonster, as the animans came to fondly call him, sat with his back to a metallic stone wall where he observed a variety of animans working with dispenser cube foams, and natural materials, to make up foods and handy items. An animan child was curled up in his lap, sleeping, and he held another in his arms. Despite his appearance he had always been fond of children and gentle with them. Adult animans were using foams, and a kind of bamboo along with tough grass stems, to make him a cleverly designed mattress but one far bigger than any that they had made before; it was thicker, wider and longer to fit his great body and to make him more comfortable. Realising he could think of no worthwhile improvements, he remained humbly quiet, which was not easy for him to do.







One 7a


She, the Oracle, who was once the loyal immortal daughter of Professor Frankenstein, viewed Captain ManMonster through her mindeye, in a faded fashion, and was pleased with what she observed. The same was true of her visions of the arrivals, who had come in two life boats. She was not displeased with the strange creature that had come out of the ocean, using its tentacles to move up the beach and through dunes. It had met with somebody she loved, and trusted, and who befriended it very quickly.


Yet there were a few events taking place that she was not at all pleased by, hints of more troubles to come, that she could only distance view with extreme care. For she had gained powerful enemies when she had turned upon her father, when she had become a damphir though not by choice, when she had refused to ally herself with new power factions or the traditional ones. That is five factions all together, two being traditional and two being new while one was strange and hard to classify. There was no possibility of being an ally with the last faction for it was beyond such things.


The Oracle had difficult decisions to make, and risky plans to carry out, but was determined to protect her people.

Edited by Maharg67
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One 8.1[8]{10}


Quinn, Salina and Katrina went with others to return to the meatpod plant and soon found other bushes identical to it, each with its own metal plaque fixed to a small moved boulder. They found other such plants like fruitpod, breadpod, juicepod and others. They had clearly been part of some kind of botanic experiment but if they were just modified, or were created, was not shown. They could even have just been moved.


The damphir triplets took the girl with them, having adopted her, along with her small dog. Nombies went with the expedition. The First Mate had staid back at the camp, along with the doctor, but the professor and his daughter had come along. The surviving three deck hands remained at camp as the First Mate carefully listed all of their resources at hand. The older damphirs assisted him with the task for both had strong experience in managing plantations and retail businesses.


A sack, of assorted bushpods, was sent back to the encampment with the advise that they could be eaten, or even drunk from, once the thick skins were dealt with carefully. They turned out to be more like thin shells than skins.


The girl was Dorothy and the dog was Toto, having having been named after characters in the novel the Wizard of Oz; their parents had adored the book before both dying in a vintage car crash. Dorothy smiled when she spoke of being with her parents, and others special, in amazing dreams that she dreamt, along with Toto. She stood with a partly eaten fruitpod in one hand, Quinn having wiped some juice off her face.


She spoke. "This island is on the world and not on the world. This island is on many worlds. My maternal grandmother told me so. She is very wise and was in a women's university. She was famous because she worked as a professor with physics and things like that. She worked with the Genius13 but she did not like all of them!"


Professor Aratach spoke from where he stood, close to a carefully planted breadpod bush. "That would be true of any common sense person. Some of the Genius13 were monsters and it was feared that at least one treacherously served the PanAxis." He smiled at Dorothy. "Your grandmother was very wise. I met her when I was a member of the Genius13. I am immortal and so is my daughter; we are only lesser immortals, all of us linked with the Immortal Factions of this world, with extended life spans. True immortals, greater immortals, live ever onwards unless killed by other reasons than aging."


Dorothy nodded. “So you must be very old.”


Aratach nodded. “Not so much by the standards of the universe. I was born in the Romanard Empire about 1,200 years ago just in time to witness it starting to collapse. I still have family in Romanardia, the surviving nation of the lost empire. What I need to mention is that there is an ancient, secret underground city in the Romanardia Highlands; I have been there many times and there you find bushpod plants just like the ones here.”

Edited by Maharg67
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