FARNHAMS LEGEND: Status update and chapter 8 - 11 Oct 2004 *

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FARNHAMS LEGEND: Status update and chapter 8 - 11 Oct 2004 *

Post by KiwiNZ » Wed, 6. Oct 04, 14:28

Hi everybody,

it is time for another update on the progress of our efforts to translate HelgeK's novella FARNHAMS LEGEND, which is the base to the story line of the X games. The rewrite is done by SteveMill, who does a marvelous job turning our rough diamonds into briliants ;)

Translation progress: COMPLETE
Rewrite progress: UPDATE 26 out of 28 done (including prologue and epilogue)
Proof reading progress: 25 out of 28 done (including prologue and epilogue) once, 14 twice, 11 three times, 10 four times.

So we are slowly approaching the end of it. YAY!

Thanks again to all that contributed and still do! :thumb_up:

Here now is chapter 8:

Therefore the Xenon are better than the Boron: they fight grim and hard. And they are not so unduly friendly, when one opens fire on them!
Thi t'Ggt,
First Warrior of the Honh Family

"Inanias", insisted the computer, "My name is Inanias, not Inanisas!"

"I'm sorry, Inanisas, I don't think I'm totally with it today. What's your full name?"

"Inanias VVVMMCCCLXXVI. No predecessor, no previous model series - but a whole many egg-brothers identical in construction. And my name is Inanias, not Inanisas."

"I beg your pardon."

"Really no problem at all, oh Captain Nipoleos", the on-board computer snapped.

Nopileos blew his nostrils and snorted loudly. Wasn't it enough, that he himself was a know-it-all? A tiny box of a computer that counted keystrokes was the last thing he needed now!

The young Teladi let his eyes wander to the gigantic transparent dome that covered the bridge of the ship he had named Nyana's Fortune. For two Tazuras now the unending void of space had stretched out over his head. Myriads of stars glittered coldly, like tiny splinters of diamond on black velvet, softly veiled in the colourful, elegant swirls of the opulent nebulae for which this sector of space was justly famed. It seemed like he was freefalling in space and Nopileos felt terribly alone.

He had never been so far away from his egg-brothers yet, his teachers - yes, even his detestable classmates for so long. What wouldn't he give at this moment for a stazura of profit science class with lecturer Wohalimis! Or see the indignant expression on Sissandras' face, when once again, despite his lack of attention, Nopileos could answer the teacher's questions without any apparent effort. And finally, what wouldn't he give for the beautiful, sunny stazuras spent on the roof of the egg hatchery, with a reading slate in one claw, and yearning in his hearts. The dark sand up there would now simply flatten out again and hide all trace that a Teladi had ever been so daring as to have climbed up out there. Except if his egg-brothers carried on the tradition of course, but he wasn't placing any bets.

Nopileos sighed.

The Nyana's Fortune was a marvellous and discreetly efficient ship. It came equipped with all imaginable creature comforts housed within a pleasingly calm and elegant, rather than a crass and decadent design.

The middle three decks were equipped for a variety of functions. There was even a medium-sized swimming pool among the other recreational facilities and the on-board computer was quite capable of holding its end of a conversation if Nopileos took it seriously. Nevertheless - homesickness gnawed, a feeling he had never known before and would probably not have even been able to name until now.

But shortly the Nyana's Fortune would dock with the main trade station in sector Teladi Profit and he would fill up her storage bays before he followed the invitation sent by the Queen of Boron - or rather, before he followed the Ceos' order. The old battleaxe Ceo Isemados and Director Sibasomos would have taken precautions, Nopileos was sure of that. They would be constantly apprised of his whereabouts and activities. His freedom was merely borrowed, and whether he would ever be able to buy, steal or scam it back it was written unknowably in the stars.

And yet, a spark of hope still burned in the back of his mind. Although he wasn't practiced in the arts of intrigue, deception and lies he should be able to find a way of getting out of this involuntary stint as a secret agent, but he'd have to rack his scales about it later because outside in space he could see a silhouette, an object of some sort coming slowly, perceptibly closer.

Nopileos' neck started to hurt from looking upwards all the time, so he let the twin-axis pilot seat swing around until the main body of the ship lay behind his back, and the centre of the giant glass dome was right in front of him. The outwards arcing window was so immense that it filled his entire field of view and the illusion of running free in space was real enough to make him tremble and all of a sudden, the distracting thoughts were gone. It was the Trading Station.

"Yatta!", he cried with delight as it grew larger and larger and soon he could make out the details. The station High Finance was a large, Teladian wheel design, solid, massive and confidence inspiring as she rotated slowly and majestically about her hub. It was far more cost efficient to produce gravity by rotation, instead of artificially, and since a mild coriolis effect couldn't confuse the Teladian equilibrium sense the engineers of the company preferred this style of construction.

This sector of space was by no means empty, a multitude of spaceships of different kinds swarmed around the trade station like insects around a streetlight. A single, giant Boron transporter cast off and accelerated away with slow dignity, passing close enough for Nopileos to pick out hull details. All the other ships were circling in holding patterns, docking or transiting at high speed towards a jumpgate. They were all, from Nopileos' vantage point, no more than small, featureless points, dimly lit by the tiny, distant sun.

As he entered the High Finance's traffic control zone it transmitted an approach trajectory, a gentle curve etched on the gravidar screen. He should, he knew, reduce speed and contact the space traffic controller. Naturally Inanias was fully capable to carry out these manoeuvres by himself, but Nopileos was, for his age, quite a good pilot, and he loved the feeling of the accelerator in his claws. It was a feeling only a few Teladi would understand, but that didn't bother him. With a quick movement of the hand, he set the automatic pilot to manual and shoved his right arm into the hydraulic steering shaft up to its elbow.

The very moment his hand grasped the Teladian equivalent to a flight yoke placed within the hydraulic steering shaft the long-distance gravidar's display flared in warning of an object visible as a clearly defined point of light, moving on an oblique intercept course. In the same instant a collision alarm blared and the defence shield came on to full power with a ghostly flash outside the cockpit window.

The approaching ship was moving at such speed it had escaped detection until it was in immediate range. Before Nopileos could recover from the instant shock, the Gravidar identified the oncoming ship as a Split Destroyer of the Python Class and the Split pilot's image loomed on the communications display. His eyes were just angry slits and his accent thick and heavy with scorn and displeasure.

"Creature begone from our path of approach, now!"

"Battle alert!" cried the on-board computer and flashed the words in blinking grey on the status display for emphasis. The destroyer had activated its weapons and locked them on the Nyana's Fortune. Nopileos silenced the alarm and cleared the screen. He wasn't blind or deaf!

Without being asked, Inanias opened a rear projection window in the middle of Nopileos' field of view. The sight of the sleek warship's glowing purple weapons towers drained the blood from the young Teladi's scale plate as it approached at breakneck speed. Then its engines blazed brightly as it decelerated, with just a few kilometres left between the two ships.

"Egg salad!"

He couldn't defend himself, should the Split fire on him, because the Ceos' yacht had no weapons at all, not even the tiniest of asteroid lasers. The "battle alert", as the computer called it, would be a bad joke, if only the situation wasn't so deadly serious! He had to rely totally and completely on the Argon energy shield, the one Alindreos in the wharf had all but said was impenetrable. He hoped the shipbuilder hadn't exaggerated in his enthusiasm. Would 125 MW be enough for the Nyana's Fortune to be safe from a Python Destroyer's weaponry?

"Evasive manoeuvres!", Nopileos commanded as he withdrew his claws from the controls. While Inanias took care of that; he would try to reason with the Split. The on-board computer acknowledged the instruction.

Exactly why the destroyer took the same approach trajectory to the station as the yacht at such an insane pace he wasn't sure. The Split weren't exactly known as the most logical members of the Community and to try and have a rational argument with them, when they had something stuck in their heads, was almost useless. Still he activated the communications system anyway.

"Dear colleague, to fire on a Teladi ship in a Teladian sector would not only violate interstellar peace treaties, but retaliatory measures would be taken against you immediately as well. Quite apart from the fact your weapons cannot penetrate my shield. You no doubt have instruments that confirm this, just take a look at them."

The destroyer roared relentlessly on. If Inanias couldn't steer the yacht out of the way within the next sezuras the Split spaceship wouldn't just cross her path, it would slam into her! It almost seemed as if the captain of the destroyer had planned on it from the start, but that didn't make any sense at all! Nopileos spread his claws in frustration.

"I am special representative Cho t'Nnt," the Split breathed heavily through Nopileos' console, "on the way to an urgent task for the patriarch of Chin."

The Splits' eyes were a watery blue and his white beard stood out in stark contrast to the sickly green of his scale less skin. The greenish colouring was the sole characteristic the Teladi and the Split had in common. The strange-looking captain looked like a warrior and Nopileos knew that this appearance would not be deceptive. He considered himself quite lucky to not have met him outside the ship.

The Split who had identified himself as Cho t'Nnt continued. "Diplomatic complications with the Teladi creatures are undesirable at this point in time. However, I will not hesitate to destroy this ugly ship if it does not immediately clear out of the way of my flight trajectory."

The flames of the destroyer's engines kicked at the Nyana's Fortune's shield with relish as the sleek, menacing spaceship disappeared from the stern camera's view. The glow of its drive caused the lower rim of the giant cockpit dome to darken as the hostile ship skimmed underneath his yacht, missing it by just a few fathoms.

The controls glowed bright green as the two ships' defence shields came in contact with each other; sparks flew and the window went totally dark for a fraction of a sezura. The Split's countenance was swept from the console in a snowstorm of static, before Inanias finally cut the projection. Nopileos dug his claws into the pilot seat's armrests in reflex, expecting a murderous lurch, but nothing happened. The displays showed that the Nyana's Fortune was now off course by a few Teladian fathoms, but the defence shield had not come close to being overloaded at any moment of the crisis.

As it became possible to look outside into space again, Nopileos saw that the Python was already some distance away, its engines glowing, superheating under the strain of rapid deceleration. But his instruments told him something that made him "Ts!", in amazement. The Python's defence shield was gone; even its weapons systems were powered down to the barest minimum needed to deflect micrometeorites.

"Inansias - was that us?"

"Oh yes, Captain Nipoleos."

"Then Alindreos didn't exaggerate?"

"Why no - Colleague Asalayas Hominides Alindreos never tends to exaggerate, Captain."

"I can't believe this", mumbled Nopileos. Under normal circumstances his scale fin might have flicked erect, but the excitement stuck to his limbs.

Maybe the computer had not understood his last question or perhaps it declined to answer for other reasons - in any case it fell silent and let the trajectory of approach on the gravidar screen blink orange instead, indicating a change of course transmitted by traffic control.

The communications system beeped for attention and a Teladi in the uniform of the trade fleet appeared on screen at Nopileos' command. "I am Aolekosis Kissandras Minosos I, Flight Safety. We welcome you to the Trade Station High Finance and ask that you excuse the small incident. The captain of the Split Python Bone Scout rather liberally re-interpreted our explicit flight instructions. Since his ship has experienced potentially dangerous engine problems we cannot grant its usual extended stay permission so we are allocating you his landing bay. We hope that you agree with this decision."

Nopileos didn't have to think twice. "Yes, I believe I can live with that", he replied, his ironic streak reasserting itself. Flight Safety Teladi Minosos looked irritated for a moment, then he cocked his head and broke transmission.

Why of course Nopileos could live with it, it meant a permanent stay permit! The space in the docking area of a trade station was always in short supply and was almost exclusively reserved for cargo freighters that only needed a short time to unload or load and cast off again. Permanent docks could only be obtained through chance, personal connections or, of course, credits. Without the inadvertent assistance of Cho t'Nnt, Nopileos would have had to remain in a parking orbit far outside the station, waiting for the signal telling him he could dock and load supplies. Now he had a chance to look around the station at his leisure.

Inanias corrected the Nyana's Fortune's trajectory. It was almost lost against the enormous gates opening to swallow the ship into the space station's hub. By the time he was walking down the transparent gangway to the docking area, the feeling of exhilaration that had been his almost constant companion for the past tazuras had almost driven the incident with the Split from his head. This was the first time he had entered a space station as the captain of his own - well, almost own - cruiser, instead of as a humble passenger! He felt like he'd grown a couple of talons since he had first stepped onto the Nyana's Fortune!

The docking bay of the trade station was large but nowhere near the scale of the assembly hall of the shipyard hangar. Alongside his yacht sat another three small to medium spacecraft, all of which must have been private vehicles because time was money and no trader would keep his ship permanently docked. One thing was apparent though, the Nyana's Fortune was without doubt the tallest and most beautiful ship here, at least in his eyes.

Behind the observation window overlooking the docking area, Nopileos could discern many different species. While the aliens didn't seem to be giving his magnificent ship a second look the Teladi onlookers could not tear their eyes from the gently curved flanks of the egg-shaped yacht. Could one Teladi be so lucky? The question was written in their envious gaze.
He tried to whistle a confident, cocky tune in imitation of an Argon he'd once witnessed, 'strutting his stuff', whatever that was. His reptilian jaws failed miserably to produce any sort of melody and hissing with self-mockery he stepped off the gangway and nodded respectfully to a passing Boron, looking even more bizarre than usual thanks to its environment suit.

Muffled clicks sounded through the creature's breathing mask as Nopileos walked by. He knew that practically every member of the Boron people was somehow informed on the most important events on his home planet at all times; therefore he expected the Boron to recognise him. How had Director Sibasomos put it? Nopileos had been declared the "Hero of all Boron", or something like that. But as bizarre as the Boron might look, they were actually quite discreet, likable beings that were always anxious not to embarrass anyone and the creature walked on by.

Nopileos looked around. The station's interior was coloured in a friendly light green, not quite like home but still comforting. The walkways were busy but not overcrowded and everyone moved purposefully, like they knew exactly what they wanted. Each Teladi was guaranteed to have a tight but well-organized schedule because as every Teladi knows; 'extreme haste leads to mistakes and mistakes shrink profits'.

Nopileos didn't have a perfectly worked out schedule, or in fact, any schedule at all. He simply kept to the principle not to rush anything. The signposts, written in Argon standard lettering, indicated that the office of the port administration was some distance away. There, he would register, pay the docking fee and arrange for his ship to take onboard the necessary goods.

Despite not completely sharing his people's single-minded quest for profit, the Trade Station nevertheless exerted a certain fascination. The giant wheel was basically nothing more than a gigantic warehouse, a trans-shipment centre for goods of every kind, complete with an administration, presenting few possibilities for rest and recreation, however there were a few small retail outlets targeting crewmen who stayed for more than the few quazuras it took to load cargo. Naturally these businesses established themselves in the vicinity of the permanent docking area to trap that kind of walk-in customer. Nopileos took his time to reach the port administration office.

Upon arrival he was greeted by a Teladi in the uniform of the trade fleet who accepted his orders and paid him more deference than he was comfortable with. His grandfather's name - Ceo Isemados - shouldn't actually lead to him being handled more courteously than any other random Teladi, at least, that's what he had been taught in the hatchery. But it seemed he still had many things to learn about his own people, things that Lecturer Wohalimis and his colleagues had never brought to light in the incubated, exclusive Hatchery of Company Pride.

After some considerable time, with the paperwork completed, Nopileos made his way back to his spaceship. He wouldn't be leaving the station until the middle of the next half-tazura and until then he had a whole tazura to look around. But before that, he could really use a clawful of sleep and a long session with a scale-scraper! The anticipation put a spring in his step as he headed for the hub walkway and the busy inner promenade ring.

The walkway circled the docking areas and allowed a view of the resting spaceships through large, transparent panels and Nopileos could already see the gangway that connected his proud yacht with the promenade like an umbilical cord. Someone was standing right in front of it and even through the distorting lens of distance the build could only be Split!

He sensed trouble and inconspicuously joined a group of three Argon and a fairly young Teladi in front of the window, haggling over the cargo of the ship being unloaded below. Nopileos pretended to look down as well, as he examined the Split from the corner of his eye. It was studying the data board on the gangway to the Nyana's Fortune. Split looked so much alike, like one freshly laid egg among others but Nopileos would bet one of his squawk cubes, maybe even both, that this Split was the very same one that had caused him the totally unprovoked distress during his approach to the station.

What did he call himself again? Right, Cho t'Nnt, special representative of the Patriarch of Chin.

The massive, stocky Split didn't have a particularly pleasant expression on his face. But then again, when had anyone heard of a happy Split?

"Daiyobu desuka?"

"Tsshh-hh-sh?" Nopileos looked up in surprise. One of the Argon looked at him with a questioning but friendly face, at least he presumed it was friendly as Argon facial expressions weren't always easy for a Teladi to decipher. The Argon, who didn't seem overly tall for his species, had long golden hair that fell straight from his head down to his back. In addition, he had - well maybe he was a female instead? With Argon it was so hard to tell.

The other two Argon and the Teladi now also regarded him with interest.

"Oh... shhhh... thanks a lot, everything's in order. I was just a little... lost in thought", Nopileos finally answered the question the Argon had asked him in the trade language.

The Argon laughed in a bright voice. "Well, that was hard to miss. You were watching that shady guy over there, weren't you?"


The Argon laughed even more, and his brothers or colleagues contorted their faces likewise. The scale fin of the younger Teladi twitched; he didn't seem to feel the least bit unsure of himself in the presence of the Argons. Nopileos took this to mean that their strange facial expressions actually matched the Teladian sense of humour.

"Don't worry - we're on your side. By the way, my name's Ninu Gardna. I'm the freight master of the Aladna Hill. Down there." She pointed to the large transporter that was being unloaded. "Please meet Hal Nedrong and Lona Brant, First Officer and Captain of the Aladna and, of course, our good friend Iliminos." She pointed to the young Teladi.

"Business partner," the Teladi corrected promptly.

"Oh, of course", Ninu laughed.

Nopileos peered through the window in the direction of the gangway that led to the Nyana's Fortune. The Split was gone.

The Argon that Ninu introduced as Hal Nedrong caught Nopileos' eye. "His name is Cho t'Nnt. An unpleasant character. We had a little… confrontation with him when we were registering the Aladna in the port administration office."

Hal Nedrong carefully moved his hand over his right eye, which stood out against a patch of dark blue skin.

Nopileos was slightly surprised, not having realised the Argon could change their epidermal colouring at will. "Well, I had a small confrontation with him too - one that ruined his destroyer's shield generators," he quickly explained.

Lona Brant, whom he had tentatively labelled a female, said: "That was a Python-Class destroyer wasn't it? I'm impressed. What's your name?"

Before Nopileos could open his mouth, Iliminos answered for him. "His name is Isemados Sibasomos Nopileos IV, grandson of the Ceo - and the richest Teladi in the entire universe!"

'Great Egg!' Nopileos thought to himself as an embarrassed silence fell. Iliminos was still very young - much younger than twelve suns and he probably had a second job as an advisor. Therefore, one should excuse him for throwing out things that would be better kept to himself, but - egg salad! That every Boron knew about him didn't bother him much; but having each and every Teladi that crossed his path recognise his face was frustrating.

He snorted through his nostrils and wiggled his ears. "Certainly not the richest Teladi. But, as it seems, the most famous, unfortunately."

"Brother!" he added after a short pause and shot Iliminos a sharp look. The young Teladi didn't know what to make of it but fell silent.

Nopileos pointed through the window with his claw. "That's my ship over there, the Nyana's Fortune."

"Nyana's Fortune," Nedrong said, "Curious name for a Teladi ship?"

"Nyana and Martinus, the great heroes of the Battle of Antigone!" Ninu shouted with enthusiasm, "a beautiful, tragic love story!"

Nedrong wrinkled his nose. "As beautiful as that ship…"

"Yes, that it is… wonderful, like an egg," Iliminos emphasized, his gaze fixed on the yacht.

The Argon threw him a look, the meaning of which would remain a mystery to the two Teladi. He looked down at his freighter and raised his eyebrows, crumpling his forehead.

"Be that as it may - the Aladna Hill's cargo will be finished unloading soon and we're going back empty for a change so we're going to have to say goodbye now - we don't want to be fined for a delayed departure."

Ninu Gardna nodded in agreement and stroked a thick strand of her long hair out of her face.

"Back to the Cloudbase - back home", she said.

Nopileos was surprised. "I would have guessed Argon Prime."

A vague smile tugged at the corners of Ninu's mouth. Her eyes dropped and she hesitated a tiny moment, as if she weren't sure if she should really say what was on the tip of her tongue.

"No, I am a Goner", she finally said. "My mother is a Beholder of Truth at the temple." The weak smile suddenly gave way to deep worry. "She's very sick. My Argon friends here are refusing a really good deal to bring me to her as fast as possible."

Iliminos wiggled his ears and made a snort that was barely audible. No one noticed him. In a gesture of sympathy Lona Brant took Ninu's hand and squeezed it reassuringly. Nopileos didn't understand much of inter-human relationships, but the small gesture touched his hearts and suddenly he realized that humans - whether Goners or Argons - weren't such strange and incomprehensible beings, like many Teladi seemed to believe. Maybe - just maybe - his supposed colleagues were the stranger beings?

"If there is anything I can do for you, Brother Gardna, please let me know. Anytime!"

A small tear formed in Ninu's eye and rolled down her cheek. But she brushed it away quickly and a faint smile settled on her face once more.

"Thank you, Nopileos. And it's Sister Gardna."

"Oh… I beg your pardon! Isn't that the same thing?" Embarrassed, Nopileos twisted his ear back and forth between two fingers. Ninu shook her head. She made a soft laugh. "No, not in the least!"

Nopileos apologized again and said goodbye to the four, wishing Iliminos "good profit", which made him marvel at himself in hindsight. He hadn't even meant it ironically!

He covered the last few fathoms to the gangway with quick steps and directly opposite the entrance to the transparent docking tunnel he discovered a few shops that he had overlooked. The businesses were built into the wall of the station, and their displays, behind transparent energy barriers that cracked and fizzed at the edge of his hearing, displayed a smorgasbord of the strangest things.

The sign above the first shop read 'Iginaras Communications and Modern Sorcery' - electronics, in other words. Next to it sat a cafe called 'The Moneypit'.

Moneypit? Nopileos pondered. The tenant definitely wasn't a Teladi! He planned to visit the cafe sometime later because the absurd humour tickled his scale fin.

The third and last shop in the immediate vicinity was modestly called Ebelon Souvenir. Acting on a sudden impulse, Nopileos stepped up closer to the display window. Here were the most peculiar things laid out - a scale-scraper in the shape of the station; a message drone, which really belonged in the electronics shop next door, but had obviously landed here because of its tasteless, bright yellow colour; postcards of a bird's eye view of the paradisiacal island archipelago Hila-Ambriel on Desolum VII; two ugly ceramic nitsus, one far more hideous-looking than the other; an inconspicuous, functional rectangular jobber in a depressing shade of grey; and an unusual round-bellied device with a long neck strung with wires. A little card sat next to the item and something was written in phonetic Argon: Gi/tar. Nopileos couldn't make heads nor tails of it.

But what finally grabbed his attention and refused to let go, was a handmade sculpture that was half as high and wide as the peculiar argon device and did not seem to represent anything in particular. It stood on a dark green base, slowly changing form like a big chunk of liquid rubber that couldn't quite decide which form it wanted to solidify in. Its colours flowed hypnotically in muted tones around the artwork's top.

Nopileos felt almost irresistibly drawn into the shop. It was filled with all sorts of odds and ends that confirmed what the display window hinted. No clear common theme marked the items offered for sale. An old Teladi with dark red eyes wearing, in contrast to the younger generation, nothing but bare scales, scuffled towards Nopileos.

"What can I help you with, Colleague?" He asked in a drawl. If the old lizard recognized him, he didn't let it show, which was quite alright with Nopileos.

"Well…" Nopileos hesitated for a moment. His eyes wandered to the display window.

"The sculpture?" asked the old reptile. "Many of our people inquire but no one wants to buy." He laboriously shuffled to the display window with scraping claws, and took the sculpture in his hands.

"Who made it?" Nopileos asked.

"A crazy Teladi. Who else but a lunatic would make something that fascinates members of our species, but which no one would ever buy because it has no purpose? Whose colours repulse Boron, and which all others simply find ugly?"

The old reptile handed over the sculpture to Nopileos. It felt exactly the way it looked - soft, warm rubber that writhed a little in his claws, as if it were alive. On it's base, Nopileos discovered a tiny, silvery engraving written in ancient Teladian hieroglyphs: Ianusis Gonareos Ianusis VIII. The name of its creator.

"An artist," Nopileos answered the old Teladi's rhetorical question.

The old lizard snorted through his nostrils. "Artists, lunatics… an Argon might think otherwise. But profit is what counts for us Teladi, and art…" He stopped to take the sculpture from Nopileos' claws, "Art is only profitable if someone buys it." He turned to place the strange object back in the display window. "But this piece of art" - he emphasized the words with irony - "is priceless as an eye catcher and therefore, young colleague, it's not for sale."

"Not even…" Nopileos began.

"Not even for the Ceos' offspring, no," the old trades reptile interrupted, giving a cunning wink with his red eyes. "But feel free to look around, perhaps you would like to purchase something else, oh honourable Isemados Sibasomos Nopileos IV?"

"Thank you very much, but I'm really perfectly happy," Nopileos declined.

He made a mental note of the artist's name. Perhaps he would be able to find him? It was possible that he still lived or at least had descendants. On the basis of direct succession of Teladian genes it was not a rare occurrence that artistic abilities, intelligence or business instincts would show up repeatedly in subsequent generations of a family line.

Nopileos made a snap decision: he would not rest until he had found every last Teladi who had a talent that didn't rely on careful management of credits. Artists, musicians, free thinkers of every kind - yes, he could already picture the first ever Teladian non-profit organisation! And he would begin the search with the sculpture's creator, Ianusis Gonareos Ianusis VIII!

Nopileos politely thanked the old Teladi and said goodbye. Deep in inspired thought, he left the shop on fast claws without looking to either side and immediately ran into someone and stumbled to the floor. Unhurt, but surprised, he looked up and found himself staring right into an energy weapon's emitter.

"Creature! I crush it under my feet!"

It was Cho t'Nnt. The stocky, massive Split barely felt the collision but had irritatedly drawn his weapon in a fraction of a sezura. How dare this lowly life form get in his way, let alone touch him? His orders were of utmost importance and he had suffered enough delays already and the patriarch was unforgiving of failure. This green pile of misery wouldn't get in his way ever again though; he would free him from his miserable lot.

Cho deactivated the trigger safety but he didn't get to fire. A thin, towering figure with leathery, yellow skin and three watery eyes set into a strangely shaped skull, was suddenly behind Cho, striking the weapon out of his hand with a bony multi-jointed arm and then shoving the Split roughly aside.

"This soulless creature is not holy enough for it to be killed!" the Paranid proclaimed with a growl.

"How dare you!" Cho screamed, inflamed with rage.

Not caring that his weapon lay within easy reach at his feet or that the Paranid was at least two heads taller, he dropped into a fighting stance. It was a mismatch as Paranids are extremely fast and deadly close-quarter fighters. Only a Split would dare to attack one with bare fists.

However, this Paranid was not looking for a fight and he simply snaked his long, jointed bony arms around the enraged Split and pinned Cho's hands against his back.

"The Split should calm down. To kill a Teladi in this station would endanger our sacred mission."

Cho t'Nnt struggled futilely against the powerful Paranid.

Nopileos, whose scale-plate had taken on an ashen hue, shook himself out of his fear-induced paralysis and saw his chance to get away while the two beings were still bickering. The transparent bulkhead barring entrance to his ship was only a few Teladian fathoms away. Grabbing a small, grey object that had fallen unnoticed out of the Paranids' pocket he then crawled to the gate as fast as he could. The mechanism acknowledged him immediately and opened automatically. Nopileos rolled through and the gate slid shut behind him. He stood up on shaky legs and, without taking a single look around, ran as fast as they would take him until he had reached the Nyana's Fortune's airlock and the welcoming red lighting of the ship's elevator.

"Inani… Computer, take off! Destination: Boron. Immediately! Full thrust! Now! And shields!"

By the time the hover platform brought Nopileos to the pilot's pedestal, Inanias had already received clearance, paid the inevitable penalty for the unscheduled launch, and preheated the engines. As the still trembling Teladi threw himself into the pilot seat, the gigantic airlock gates opened and let the yacht out into free space.

It wasn't before the trade station was just another tiny star among many on the rear screen that Nopileos found himself able to think clearly again. Inanias tactfully had left him in peace and silence. Only then did Nopileos notice he was still clinging compulsively to the small object the Paranid had lost during the uneven fight with the Split. It was a data octahedron of Paranid design.

"Can you make something of this?" Nopileos asked the computer softly and held the octahedron up high. He didn't feel at all well, having been brought to within a scale of his life. Adventure is all well and good, he thought, but that was more than just a bit too much! Maybe he should become a respectable trades-lizard after all, instead of trying to found a non-profit organization! He snorted and gave instructions to the automatic kitchen to prepare some green wonton soup. That would put him right.

"Captain Nopileos, I've downloaded the data octahedron's contents to my memory banks and broken the ridiculously primitive encryption. Should I summarize while you eat?"

Nopileos agreed and as he made his way to the kitchen on Deck Four, the computer reported the information the data octahedron contained:

Several Split, Paranid and other species' stations had detected and verified the arrival of an alien spaceship no more than half a tazura ago, at the outermost edge of the Teladian realm. The craft didn't correspond to any known designs and had appeared without any advance warning, without the use of a jumpgate. It had emitted a multi-frequency radiation burst that had caused a strong gravitational pulse of a type produced only by collapsing neutron stars and it was this alone that drew attention to the unknown vessel.

Naturally the spacecraft's appearance had awakened the Paranids' greed, but they were much too far away from the event to be able to intervene at an opportune time. Thus, they had used diplomatic channels to ask the Split - or, to be more exact, the Patriarch of Chin - for help. The octahedron even held the exact coordinates at which the alien spaceship could be located at this point of time.

Nopileos sat open-snouted in the kitchen, the wonton soup untouched. He wasn't hungry anymore and had even forgotten about the frightening meeting with Cho t'Nnt. A strange, wholly unknown spaceship - here, within the sectors of the Community of Planets! Totally exotic life forms - perhaps they held the solution to the unanswered riddle of the jumpgates? Maybe a new technology that didn't need them? At any rate, this was certainly evidence that the species of the Community weren't alone in the entire universe and that alone would change the world-view of the many billion inhabitants of this galaxy forever!

"Inanias, set course to the alien jump ship's coordinates!" The computer obeyed. "And send the contents of the data octahedron to the Ceo," Nopileos added after a brief hesitation.

"Why certainly, oh Captain Nopileos," Inanias studiously replied. The computer didn't find it necessary to mention the fact that he had sent a message drone to Company Pride with the octahedron's content already, even before Nopileos realized that he still held the device in his claw. It just didn't seem worth mentioning, especially since the Ceo's explicit instructions coincided with Nopileos' commands. Nopileos was eccentric, no doubt about it, but he would never withhold important information that could harm the Teladi people. The computer composed a note to this effect, to send to Ceo Isemados at the next opportunity.

Nopileos gulped down the now lukewarm soup. Soon he would meet beings that no one had ever seen before. Egg Salad!!!
Last edited by KiwiNZ on Mon, 11. Oct 04, 18:37, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by The_Abyss » Wed, 6. Oct 04, 14:33

Strung out on Britain's high, hitting an all time low

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Post by Rapier » Wed, 6. Oct 04, 23:57

So where's my copy of chapters 16-25 to proof? :wink:
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Post by KiwiNZ » Thu, 7. Oct 04, 09:55

Rapier wrote:So where's my copy of chapters 16-25 to proof? :wink:
Hi Ray, did I miss an email of yours? I was waiting for the other chapters before I send out the next batch. So I thought you were too busy. Sorry for that. Will send them now. :oops:

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Post by THESPEEKER » Fri, 8. Oct 04, 02:45

:thumb_up: :thumb_up:

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Post by thrangar » Sat, 9. Oct 04, 21:19


good work everone!


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Post by Jimmy Jazz » Mon, 25. Oct 04, 00:09

Hello, I have started readiing the story and like it a lot. Are you releasing it chapter by chapter. I saw that you have translated most of the book. Please excuse my impatience but as I said, I like the book.
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Brain : "The same thing we do every night Pinky. Try to take over the world!"

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Post by KiwiNZ » Mon, 25. Oct 04, 10:16

I will release one chapter every month untill the book is being published. At the moment it looks like there is a very good chance for that to happen.

Everything is translated, now we are in the process of proof-reading it. After that it goes back to Steve for a second rewrite.

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Post by (/\)arped » Thu, 4. Nov 04, 19:49

Woooo! More!!!!

Great story! :D

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Post by reanor » Wed, 22. Oct 08, 22:52

hey guys, where do I buy Helge kautz books translated to English and sol for US dollars? I see X-Universe Volume One on Amazon.com but can't find Farnham's Legend for US dollars. I don't like reading on PC, I want couple of books, but I live in US.

Also what book should I read first... Or they are not story-connected?

“The dark and the light, they exist side by side." ... “It is often in the darkest skies that we see the brightest stars."

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Post by KiwiNZ » Fri, 24. Oct 08, 02:37

Google for "farnham's legend" including quotation marks!) will give you a ling to Amazon.co.uk where there are a few second hand copies for sale. I did a search on amazon.com but couldn't find any. So you may have to check if the book can be shipped across the pond.

Farnham's Legend is kinda the background story to the games and it is considered as such quite officially. We haven't translated the subsequent X books that Helge wrote, there are two more. All the fan fiction that you can find here on the forums is just that, fan fiction. It was written after game release, as opposed to prior.

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Post by reanor » Fri, 24. Oct 08, 20:31

So there is only 2 officially translated to englished and published books - Farnham's Legend and X-Universe Volume I, correct?
“The dark and the light, they exist side by side." ... “It is often in the darkest skies that we see the brightest stars."

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Post by KiwiNZ » Sat, 25. Oct 08, 11:47

X Universe volume 1 isn't translated. It was originally written in English and contains the stories of Steve Miller (Rogue) and Darren Astles aka Steel (Final Dominion). It is fan fiction that developed on these boards, very good fiction indeed. Part of the content of Dominion (e.g., some names) has been used in X2, which Darren was involved in. PDFs of both can be found on my website (-> signature) and the printed version does appear to be still available on Amazon. So go and get it, well worth the few coins it costs.

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