A New Beginning A New Threat

Where there is light, there is dark. Where there is good there is evil. Where there is a new beginning there is a new threat.
Scarce decades after the birth of the universe and there is war between UCEF and the Barrens.
Two humans side with UCEF, Zathericus and Jadelith, but their spaceship is shot down on a scouting mission. They crash on a foreign planet filled with hostile creatures and swarming with Barrens. Can they and their friends escape the planet Safalta? And more importantly can UCEF stop the Barrens?
But all is not as it seems as Zathericus learns there is more to him than he realises, as Safalta holds an ancient secret...

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1. A New Beginning

Chapter 1 A New Beginning

 

     The red atom. A huge flash. Sparks and sudden blasts as it expands into a massive ball. An explosion of phenomenal size, flashes of light firing out like gunshots. The blackness split into whirls of colour.

     Far away, things were beginning. Bright blazes of light flying out from the huge red ball, getting bigger and brighter by the moment; then cooling down, turning into earth, water, sand and all sorts of elements scattered across the black void of space.

     Groups of elements pulled each other together into huge burning balls, smaller ones hurtling round at high speed, so making planets, suns and moons.

     Life forms appearing and evolving into animals, their speeded up growth almost comical; people, trees and plants forming.

     So the galaxy began.

     And over it all, a metal gloved fist...

*****

     However, no galaxy with people can be free of evil; as soon as people become involved, so does wickedness.

     A new planet, soon to be known as Koron, had people on it. One of these people was wicked and very, very strong. He possessed strange powers above and beyond those of any normal person. Those who did not fear his name called him Korang. He made an alliance with two others to help him, Garfang and Boron; both also had very strange and strong energy powers. Energy powers are mysterious abilities that some people develop allowing them to do weird and wonderful things.

     Together they used their abilities to take control of other people, making them obey their every word. These controlled and corrupted people were nicknamed ‘the Barrens’, the name stuck and they became officially known as ‘the Barrens’. Boron had many troops now called Barrens; Garfang had fewer troops but stronger ones, Garfang’s elites; which he decided in all his arrogance to call ‘Gafangs’. Korang had few stronger warriors called the Kazma Elite; they received training even further than the ‘Gafangs’. They marshalled and controlled the armies of the Barrens acting as generals.

     All three had a burning desire to rule the new galaxy, so they formed a huge army amassed out of all their troops and twisted people. With this grand force, they took control of the planet within months and turned it into one giant war base, churning out thousands of corrupted and enslaved soldiers.

     With nobody to stop them, they began researching space travel and before long had constructed spaceships and flew to nearby planets. In only three months they controlled all the planets in their solar system, but it wasn’t enough. Things were looking bad as the dark shadow of the Barrens slowly advanced over the galaxy. They had already earned themselves a reputation of fear and dread, ruthlessly enslaving and slaying all in their path, turning new thriving worlds to desolate wastelands.

     So a group of creatures met to stop these evil people, coming from all over the galaxy and gathered on a far off planet, led by a mutant rabbit called Dinamity. So UCEF (Union of Creatures Energy Force) began, made up of three main powerful races, the Dinamitys, the Queaksys and the Tinkles who rallied together to fight the Barrens.

     Dinamity is a huge upright rabbit, standing on two powerful back paws, commonly found wearing purple dungarees. His nose is brown and his eyes bright black and clever, fur as white as fresh snow and straight and sensitive ears. He is also one of the best inventors in the universe; being able to make all kinds of useful devices and machines from nothing other than scrap. This one single rabbit had the power to change the galaxy, to try to stop what was to come. Well, him and all the others of his kind, for he was the leader of a whole race of similar rabbits, known as Dinamitys. They were… rather destructive, in fact, the universal masters of explosives and had invented a ridiculous amount of things that go bang. They had even named an explosive after themselves, they called it dynamite.

*****

     Now this is where I come into the story. I hated the Barrens; they were evil destroying people, or rather things; even though I was a person myself. I had so far managed to escape the Barren enslavement. I was about one metre eighty tall, standard measurement, with a crazy unkempt mop of black hair and bright green eyes. I wasn’t what you would call muscular, but then I was relatively fit.

     I used to live on the human world of Huron, the centre of the human empire (Cosmaratic Empire). It was a busy and very built up area covered in huge towns stretching on for kilometres in every direction. Grass was a rather rare thing on this planet because so much of it was urban town. The people there were cruel and unkind. If they got rich then who cares who was harmed in the process? The streets were often dark and ill kept with the town’s low life lying around; failure to walk around without a weapon of some kind was asking for trouble. It wasn’t a happy life on that nasty planet; I try to forget as much of it as I can. Although I was sure there was something else; but even that was better than life under the Barren threat. (The Cosmaratic Empire weren’t Barrens just generally ‘bad’ people. They are now almost as much an enemy of UCEF as the Barrens.)

     I had woken on Huron, the first thing I could remember was lying on my back on the street with a huge headache, not sure how that happened and I am not sure I want to. I had no recollection of what had happened to me before then; I had found Jadelith, my sister and we had tried to work out what had happened, but to no avail. We had scraped a living working in a factory trying to figure out what was going on around us.

     I lived there for about a year before I escaped by stealing a spaceship and went in search of Dinamity and UCEF, which is easier said than done! It took my sister and I a good few months to track them down. Finally, the telltale signs of gathering armies out in the far-flung reaches caught our attention. Following it up, we found UCEF at last.

     The greeting I received was sceptical, not trusted in the slightest, but after the first few interviews and talks with their leader, Dinamity, they allowed me to stay on conditions. I stayed true to them and made sure that I didn’t give them any trouble; finally, they permitted me to join up properly and assigned me to SSG (SSG stands for Secret Spying Gang, which is what our role in the forces of UCEF was spying. It was essential to defeat the Barrens, as their numbers were far superior to ours; we had spies watching the Barrens right at this moment reporting what they did. SSG is a division in UCEF. There are three parts to UCEF, SSG is one of them.) I know, don’t blame me for their naf names; they invented them before I joined.

     I joined them to try to find a happier life. But as I said, I was a person, I had to prove I was loyal, easier said than done. Most of UCEF however thought that I was a traitor and would betray them.

     It was then that I demonstrated my skill in energy powers.

     So the theory goes; when the universe was created a lot of the energy from the red atom was left over. It then seeped into animals, people and some crystallized in certain places, forming energy crystals. This energy allowed the user to do rather interesting things. It wasn’t any form of energy, not heat energy, light energy or anything like that, just pure energy. However, the massive energy leftovers only affected certain people and animals; most races of the UCEF and a few others, such as myself.

     Everybody can tap into this energy; some people, such as Korang and his cronies, are really powerful and can wield incredible powers. Normal people can’t usually use powers, the most they can manage being a bolt of energy. However, some people can do more, sometimes just odd powers such as bolts of electricity or a super human jump. Animals can tap into these powers far more easily, but have fixed abilities depending on what sort of creature they are; most can fire energy blasts, on top of that they can do other things such as levitating, using incredible strength or energy shields.

     I was one of those lucky ones blessed with strange energy powers, allowing me to shoot energy bolts from my fingers and do other odd things that are mostly only talked about in stories.

     The entire battling methods of UCEF revolve around these special energy powers; giving us an elite edge over the Barrens, we needed it.

     Before long, I was known for my special energy powers throughout the ‘gang’, meaning I had a bit of a place in society. This I quickly improved by being kind, helping and generally trying to be a ‘good boy.’

     Half a year later, most of the union respected me and a few friends trusted me; having at least a small bit of trust is very useful.

     We were the only people in the union, my sister and I; no one else wanted to be part of SSG, or join UCEF for that matter. They thought the ever-growing Barrens would destroy us with ease. Misguided fools.

     That was two years ago; now a huge mountain base has been built in the middle of a large mountain range on one of the planets. The planet had been named SSG world, as it was the base of the SSG division (unimaginative name I know... again). The rest of UCEF have bases in different places around the universe, this was the main one.

     The Dinos, or Dinamitys if you call them by their full name, had started the underground base about two years after UCEF was set up. (Pronounced Din-no.) Now it stretched for kilometres through the huge mountain chain that stretched across the middle of the mainland. Inside it was equipped with all the spy gear you could possibly want or dram of and a good amount you would never dream of. There were huge spaceship hangers and construction yards, factories and farms, plus about everything else you would need for a civilisation. We lived in this underground fortress, our homes deep in the tunnelled mass of stone.

*****

     “Hey Zathericus come and look at this,” called Dino Gr 723. They all have a code instead of a name because they are a very logical race and deem names unnecessary preferring just to have a number. ‘Gr’ stands for green. The number is normally on a badge on their top. Some Dinos, important ones, have names, like Delton or something similar.

     I rushed over to see the main computer screen in the center of the base’s control room. The main room was very large without any windows (obviously being in the middle of a mountain). It was circular in shape and had many huge bright screens round it and far more machinery than people. Massive two by five metre screens covered the rock walls, lighting up the cavern with their electronic glow; these in turn were faced by chairs and control desks. Many Dinos sat round the room looking things up, creating plans and maps. Smaller computers lay in between the large ones. The roof was a huge tangled mess of coloured cables strapped to it like the inside of an upside down snake pit; this huge electronic web of cables carried power and information to all the computers.

     “The scanners have picked up that there is a big source of metal in that mountain,” Dino Gr 723 informed me pointing to a nearby mountain on the scanner screen; it showed a view of the mountain and a spot of silvery coloured material. Beside the spot, written in small text, were the words ‘Iron quantity approximately five thousand tons’.

     “That sounds worth investigating,” I said checking the exact location on a tiny map on the side that showed the whole island. On this small map was a red highlighted section for the area the big screen was showing.

     “Sure does. That would help with the metal shortage around here,” Dino Gr replied spinning round on the chair. I grinned to myself, there was always a metal shortage. Put multiple thousands of Dinamitys in one place and they will swiftly use up every scrap of metal in large factories and ingenious machines.

     “Bring me a drilling squad,” I called to a nearby Dinamity who was operating a communication station. I planned to take them out myself to go for a little dig (little in this case would probably involve vast mobile drilling stations at least five metres in height).

     For while I was a member of SSG, meaning I was a spy, at the moment I hadn’t been assigned to a spy team and was currently just working around the base. Currently I just did odd jobs and helped out where I could.

     I walked out of a door to the right, down a small corridor with directions painted in yellow on the stone walls. Lights hung from cables in the ceiling, lighting up the tunnel. Not all the base is like this, only bits that aren’t yet completed. Soon all the lights would be properly fitted and a carpet put down, but Dinos get distracted easily.

     It didn’t take me long to reach the underground transport system. The transport under the mountain is these train like things. The power for the trains comes from huge quad cylinder mark IV Tren engines. (Three things you need to learn about Dinos, they like inventing things, they like blowing things up and they like going fast.) The train station was in an underground cavern. It was long and thin in shape with doors and stairs leading to it from other locations. Waiting there was a long sleek train with an open top and bench like seats. Low walls surrounded the carriage, with a green swing door on either side. Groups of Dinos were milling around the station (well, milling wouldn’t be the correct word for such a precise logical group of creatures).

     All things in UCEF are free; there is no currency, taxes, or wages. EVERYTHING is free. You can take it or use it as long as it is fair, for example don’t randomly help yourself to a crate of diamonds somebody else just mined! Food is all free, but the farmers may want to swap for things, but they have to give their food. So as long as it was my fair share I could take some food. Likewise, there is no payment necessary for transport. If a Dino invented a film then it would be free viewing unless the Dino wanted something you had in exchange. It’s an odd society, but I find that it works perfectly as it encourages an honest and sharing society, making you feel like you a part of one huge family. It was all overseen by the Queen Queaksy, ensuring there was fairness; any thoughts of self-interest or selfishness were removed, with members being taught at a young age how to live in our society.

     I got in a carriage alongside another Dino who wore red dungarees and something that looked like a jet pack on his back, in all likelihood it was. After a few minutes of tedious waiting, the train jerked and started to slide forwards.

     Leaving the platform behind we entered a long tunnel lit overhead by dull hanging lights. The tunnel had been created at one point by a mining pod as it tunnelled through the rock. They have a huge pointed front, which rotates at some incredible speed. The debris are then collected on a conveyer belt running down either side of the pod, these are then quickly sorted and processed and left in heaps of similar ore behind the pod. Because of this, the wall had been left marked with strange cuts where the drill had spun leaving gashes behind it; the tunnel was yet to be smoothed down.

     The journey was short and rather enjoyable, whizzing along at great speed down curving tunnels, going far too fast for safety.

     The next stop was at a station similar to the one I had started at, except that there was a platform on both sides. I got off on the right. A stairway led up through the caves to yet another corridor. This led through a different mountain, for while I was underground I had travelled into a different mountain linked in the mountain chain that crosses the centre of the island.

     Soon the notices on the wall showed I was nearing the surface. I ran through what Dino Gr 723 had said, “meet the mining squad at the corridor crossroads, level six, mountain Santina.” So here I was and there were no signs of any Dinos. You could normally hear them coming, with the common thumps and crashes and heavy paw falls.

     Just as I was thinking this, ten Dinos came in from the side door. I jumped at the sudden arrival; they seemed just to appear out of mid-air! I wouldn’t have put it past them.

     “Where did you come from?” I asked recovering my posture.

     “From the door perhaps?” the Dinamity in the front joked.

     “No... Well, err, yes well, anyway, about the transport?” I mumbled.

     “Yes we brought it with us. Hop in, unless you want to walk,” the leader Dino, otherwise known as Dino Y 348, said pointing to a transport vehicle. We jumped onto the vehicle. It was purple and like a train, just smaller with carriages, a front control bit and a very very big engine. The carriages had ten seats in each, arranged in five rows of two.

     “Dino Y 348,” he said sticking his paw out, I shook it taking the seat next to him.

     “Zathericus, a pleasure to meet you,” I replied.

     We were following a map, which Dino Gr 723 had printed out. The wheels ran on tracks in the floor, little grooves cut in so they wouldn’t cause accidents if anybody tripped over them. It took us a matter of minutes to reach a door in the mountain wall. Several steel doors slid open as we passed after identifying us; great big plates of reinforced steel sliding on metallic wheels like a huge roller-skate.

     There was a buffer just ahead, where we stopped and got off, (as if we had much choice since I didn’t want to argue with a solid steel bumper!) A Dino guard led us through a small door to the outside. It was in the side of the cliff and guarded by series of hi-tec codes. About fifty Dinos sat in the neighbouring room doing odd jobs, all alert and heavily armed. (Heavily armed in this case means weapons weighing at least thirty kilograms, being a metre in length and having enough force to punch through the side of a tank, out of the other side and into another tank, likely as not out the other side again.) In total I had to type in five codes, press about three concealed buttons and talk to a further two Dinos over a radio to open just one door. Security was tight, even if it was pointless; but then it’s good to get into routine.

     So finally, with a good bit of relief, the door at last opened, letting bright sunshine pour into the tunnel. I blinked a few times before adjusting to the bright light.

     It was a pretty landscape. Grass ran down the end of the mountain to where it came to the ground, it was dotted with dull grey stones. Further away from the mountain stretched a vast expanse of hot sand. The sun glinted off the huge desert making it shimmer like tinfoil. Following the directions of my energy pole we went round to the right.

     “Right then you lot, let’s get this metal out,” I said as we approached the tall rock face reaching into the clouds. We began mining about fifty metres away from the door to the right. I used an energy pick, similar to an energy pole, which is an extendable energised pole; it can cut clean through pretty much anything but zarnk and nitrul, two special metals. Zarnk is rare on this island so it’s a very special commodity. The pick did pretty much the same thing, allowing me to hack great chunks out of the cliff with next to no difficulty.

     Energy poles, or variants of energy weapons, are the main weapons used in UCEF. They are pretty much highly energised blades; the standard issue is in the shape of a simple pole, good for duelling with and working with. However, it’s more common for members to change their pole into a weapon more suited to them, a sword or axe for example. Energy poles also serve as multipurpose device, having a built in mini computer and communication device along with a shed load of other helpful devices. They were originally called energy staffs, but for some reason Dinos didn’t like the idea of their weapons being called walking sticks!

     Between us, we cut out tons of stone, pilling it up in heaps ready for sorting. The Dinos used rather more crude methods, smashing the rock with their immense strength or with the end of some unfortunate blunt implement that served as a pick. (For Dinamity rabbits have supernatural strength as one of their energy abilities, allowing them to augment their natural strength.)

     I had been busy for about twenty minutes when the mining machine arrived. Arrived is too weak a word. I think ‘thundered’ would be slightly better. It had obviously come from somewhere further round the mountain at some other point where it had been mining.

     It was a massive construct, easily five metres tall. It consisted of two huge almost tube like arms that ended in three drill pieces and a giant main drill, each carefully designed to cut through all rock with ease. The tube was hollow allowing all the rock that was mined to be taken down the tube via an internal conveyer belt and into the machine for sorting.

     But it wasn’t just these giant arms that were noticeable, it was the fact that the main section of it looked like an oversized bulldozer, a gigantic behemoth on two giant caterpillar treads. Mounted at the front was an enormous drill; the drive cabin was situated behind this drill, meaning that unless the drill was lowered you were driving blind. Not that you would see much while you were digging a tunnel anyway.

     All the Dinos stopped work and turned to look at it. I could just see the wicked grins spreading across their faces as they all considered the sort of destructive fun they could have with such a device.

     I could see it would make short work of the mountainside, easily doing as much work as we had done in seconds, but at least we had managed to clear a path up to the cliff face for it.

     “Who’s driving first?” I asked, then sighed as at least twelve of the Dinos shouted “ME!” at the same time.

     In the end, they decided and one of them went up to relieve the previous driver who had driven it over. With much revving of engines and whoops of delight, he ploughed the machine into the side of the cliff, following the rough tunnel that we had cut into the rock.

     Our plan was to follow the vain of ore that we had discovered up, at the same time making a tunnel for the Queaksys and others to come along later and transform into a working section of the base.

     The grinding of metal on rock was almost unbelievable and before long piles of ore were being pumped out of the back of the machine.

     “It would appear we’re out of a job,” one of the Dinos joked.

     “Not likely, now we get clearing up duty!” I announced with a grin running for one of the ore hoppers before somebody else got it.

     Work then continued with me and the other Dinos loading ore into the hopper and then driving it round through one of the other tunnels, opened for this reason and dumping it in the large hoppers that would then take the ore on for refining.

     The vast machine was doing basically all the work, making a refreshing change after having to hack away at the cliff with energy picks.

     The tunnel got deeper and darker as we moved further in; we had to light huge work lights so that we could see what we were doing and not trip over piles of rock.

     It was tiring work, not strenuous, but repetitive. I mopped my brow as sweat trickled down my forehead; the sun was now blazing down on us from up high, well at least it was when we weren’t in the tunnel. I was pleased when I was in the shelter of the tunnel, its dark shadow shielding us from the unrelenting sun, giving a cool and welcome relief.

     Two Dinos at the back of the group were scanning the produce with a metal detector, with which they could tell what was good quality ore and what was just plain rock. The pile of ore was growing rapidly in size the deeper we went, giving me even more work ferrying it around.

     “I’d say that’s enough for today,” I said leaning on the steering wheel a few hours later.

     “Yes I think so, don’t want to overwork before a battle,” Dino Y348 said.

     “You mean the coming battle?” another Dino asked.

     “Yeah, Barren troops are gathering, we still don’t know where they’ll attack though,” a different Dino explained.

     So it was true. I had heard rumours round the base that there was a fight coming, but so soon?

     “Dino Y 348 put up the rock door, wire the controls to H.Q,” I called. To hide the base, we had built huge blast doors over tunnels so that they looked like the cliff. Therefore, if you flew by you wouldn’t see anything but a normal mountain.

     The idea is that our base has the ability to be completely camouflaged, so that should the Barrens come looking for us we can hide our base. So everything was carefully built so as to be able to hide from detection.

     Two more Dinos took out a sheet of metal covered with a film of plastic, this they peeled off revealing a super strong sticky surface. They cut several pieces of rock flat at the back and stuck them onto the metal. Next, they shaped it with their energy poles, cutting it to the right size and placing it over the hole. They then fastened a (huge) hinge onto it so that it would swing. Finally, they put a control on it, so the door would open if a signal came from base. (It was a bit more complicated, involving large bulky bits of metal, but as far as I could understand, that’s what they did.)

     So that left our concealed cave all ready for another mining expedition. One of the Dinos opened the blast door to check it worked, they swung shut without a squeak. I then drove the hopper into the cave and jumped down, before trudging back to the daylight.

     We all trooped back into the base, without too much security bother.

     “Good work lads, that should please the Tinkles no end, what with all their building going on. Can you take the ore from here?” I asked, referring to the large amount of construction requiring metal that was taking place all round the island.

     “Sure, Higher Command will appreciate any more metal they can lay their hands on. We’ll take it to the furnace, because I’m sure you have more important things to do,” Dino Y 348 replied. Higher Command is the leaders of each division of Dinos, these are Dino 1 of all the colours, apart from purple, because Dino one of purple was Big D himself.

     “Thanks, you’re quite right I do,” I thanked.

     “Well bye, till another time perhaps? Remember Y 348 and his squad,” Dino Y 348 said saluting. I saluted back.

     “I will, if I ever come out on another little mining trip I’ll give you guys a call. Nice work there guys.”

     After leaving the Dinos bantering about who was to drive the gigantic transport spaceship to the furnaces, I headed for my own transport. The main hanger was situated near the top of the huge base; inside it were hundreds of spaceships all ready for take-off. Mine lay in a special area cornered off for my sister’s use and mine, although it was only on loan.

     The ship I was using was a normal UCEF fighter type in the shape of a stretched ‘U’. It had two engines at the back; not very fast ones, but sufficient to fly around the island. It had a large cockpit that gave a one hundred and eighty view from the front; inside this were all the controls and slung underneath was a set of dual energy cannons. It wasn’t exactly mine, but I could use it until I got my own ship.

     After another similar train journey, I arrived in the hanger. A few Dinos were just finishing safety checks.

     “Thanks guys. I’m only going over to the shore to see the Tinkles,” I explained to their puzzled faces.

     “Ahh I wondered what you’d be up to,” A light blue dungarees Dino mused walking away from the ship tapping a spanner on his left leg. I leapt into the cockpit and settled myself for a short flight; it was a nice feeling, almost like coming home. The seat was padded and inclined slightly back, it smelt strongly of a smell I couldn’t quite describe, it was a cross between plastic and oil; it was the smell of space travel. There were two pedals and two joysticks, one for one engine, one for the other. Then all round the dashboard a series of flashing displays showing readouts and maps.

     I pressed the button marked ‘cockpit’ to close the top of the ship. The way the reinforced glass top slid down made it look like it was coated in oil, not even the slightest hint of a squeak.

     After I pressed my energy pole into the side of the ship, I took off. The open doors of the hanger weren’t too hard to miss, nor were the take-off lights; green down one side, red down the other used to guide pilots out down the runway, so not even I could mess up a take-off. I flew off in to the blue sky like a bird, albeit a large metal one armed with weapons strong enough to turn a tank into scrap. The landscape laid out below me, a great big desert ahead.

     After making sure I was clear of the mountain, I flicked a red switch. The surroundings suddenly blurred whizzing past at silly speeds that only Dinos would care to calculate. I was presently hurtling along at well over ten times the speed of sound.

     When I released the switch, everything slowed down and soon started looking like the real world again. Now I was over green plains, the sea shimmering in the distance like a blue light.

     Slowing right down so I was hovering over the top of plains about ten metres from the cliff I began the landing cycle. The ship now hovered then started to come down slowly, the engines giving an upwards thrust so I didn’t come down too fast. Three claw like feet slid out of the bottom of the steel hull, softly thudding into the soft earth. I switched the engine off and jumped out.

     I was on top of a high cliff overlooking the calm sparkling sea. Grassy plains stretched in all other directions broken by the occasional tree or bush.

     I was now approaching the home of a species of rather colourful six legged crabs called Tinkles. They lived in the coastal regions of the island, especially in the east sea, where I was now. Grinkles, one variant of the Tinkles, are brightly coloured crabs; their shells a mix of green, yellow, blue, dark blue and dark green. The colours are just randomly scattered in splodges over their back, making them look almost comical. But when you’re fighting alongside an army made up of talking rabbits wielding massive rocket launchers, a few colourful crabs passes for normal.

     They are called Grinkles because they are a light shade of green underneath. Tinkles have little tongues, some only have one like the Grinkles (males); some have two like the Pinkles (females). (If you hadn’t already realised, its green-Tinkle and pink-Tinkle.) Male Tinkles have one tongue females have two.

     The other most common sort of Tinkle is pink with dark blue and dark pink spot these, surprise surprise, are called Pinkles. There are other types of Tinkles but I won’t go into them now, we would be here for a long time.

     I went down a trampled mud path, which led to the sandy bay where a collection of Tinkles were mining out some iron ore from the cliff side were the waves had washed away the earth.

     Tinkles that weren’t doing that were building crab shaped spaceships, or fixing them, or some other sort of job involving spaceships, I couldn’t quite tell. The spaceships were all painted the same colour as the Tinkle that owned them.

     “Hello everyone, busy making things?” I said walking up. I had been asked to help working on spaceships earlier this morning.

     “Es Zathericus,” a little Tinkle replied as she fiddled with some coloured wires twirling them round in her claws. (Their speech is strange because they miss out letters so ‘es’ means yes.) I bent down and picked up a screwdriver. (Yes Zathericus.)

     “I’ll hold these while you screw them in,” I offered holding some blue wires out. The Tinkle shaped spaceship was very big; several bits still didn’t have a covering where wires stuck out.

     It would appear that this was going to be my afternoons work, since I wasn’t assigned to any particular job; I just went around offering help where I could.

     Soon the pair of us had the craft ready for use. The Sinkle scuttled back to admire her work (Sinkles are silver, gold and bronze coloured Tinkles).

     It was a very good ship, smooth and neatly painted, looking like an enlarged version of the Sinkle.

     I stayed there all day, helping and chatting, building and mining. I helped finish three more spaceships and mine out a good load more ore. It was a hard working but rewarding day. As I sat down to eat an early tea, I had that warm satisfied feeling inside me of a day well spent.

     Night was falling when I returned from the sandy beach. The sun was low casting long shadows over the now dark beach, the purple sky looking beautiful. I got a lift on a passing space ship driven by a Lyddeit transporting supplies back to the base (my own ship had been flown back earlier by a Tinkle who needed to see to some duties in the base, so I let him fly it back). Lyddeits are small bears that help drive transport ships; they hardly battle or do anything too active. However, they are a great help when the time comes to fix ships after war. War, which we all knew, was coming and coming fast.

 

 

 

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