This is the very first typed version of Eric Olafson's Story (from 1995) . I put it here out of reguest of my oldest and first fan and reader, who wanted to re-read the first Version that made him start reading "Galactic Chronicles".
I think it is also shows the progress of the story and is a neat way for me to keep the old stuff as a searchable reference.
Limbur came into the dorm right after lunch with a big smile on his broad face. We had learned to eat fast and use the remaining time to polish boots, do small repairs on uniforms or equipment or to catch up on some required reading.” I have awesome news guys!” Narth floated above the floor, his legs folded underneath him and his arms tugged into the sleeves of his robe. A book floated before him. Olia as always fussed with her hair (if it wasn’t her nails) and used a sickly sweet smelling product she liberally sprayed in her this time blue dyed hair. Galmy and Wintsun played chess and Owar slept as usual. I had my all terrain boots on the table and tried to mend a tear. A razor branch sliced the tough material almost to my foot yesterday during an orientation exercise in the jungle. Everyone, except Owar turned their attention to Limbur and Wintsun said:” They serving extra pizza and you managed to score extra pies from the K-bot?” “Not that this would be a bad thing, but I got bigger news!” Galmy rolled her huge and quite beautiful eyes to the ceiling:” Maybe it would be best you simply tell us the news. Otherwise we all keep guessing through the entire menu!” Limbur seemed a bit annoyed:” It has nothing to do with food. Rumor has it we get the weekend off! They going to fly us to Perryton for some R and R!” Wintsun made a skeptical face:” Why would you know about such a rumor and no one else?” “Because I happen to be friends with the Supply Sergeant and he told me there are no food services scheduled for Friday Saturday and Sunday and he said that means we get a weekend off and Friday is tomorrow! ” Owar who still appeared to be in deep sleep said.” Or it means they send us deep in the Jungle and have us find our own food!” Limbur frowned at Owar and said:” You going to owe me a drink and a Pizza when we’re on Perryton for doubting my sources!” “And you owe me an Emergency bar when we stumble around in the swamps and I say, I told you so.” “Deal!” It turned out Limbur was right. Because just then the PA system came on and Commander Letsgo’s voice announced:” Listen up everyone. This is your 5th month and all of you remaining have meet the study and test requirements for this period. To show you that performance and diligence brings rewards, all of you will be flown to the neighbor system and take some R and R at Planet Perryton until Sunday night.” We could hear the joyous cheers of the other cadets and Limbur smiled triumphantly at each of us.” Told you so!” I put the boot down and wondered what Perryton would be like. Narth heard my thoughts and answered. I had gotten so used to him knowing my thoughts that I expected him to say something and he sure did. Narth not only could read minds he seemed to have memorized the entire Encyclopedia Galactica. “Perryton is a garden world colonized over 300 years ago. Famous for its moderate climate and food products. Perryton is also located near eight major Navy bases and installations and the main city makes most of its income by providing recreation facilities to off duty navy personnel.” Narth turned his head to me and added:” I haven’t memorized the entire Encyclopedia Galactica yet, but I am making progress. Since that information data base is constantly growing and updated. I am unable to completely absorb all information.” Now it was my turn to roll my eyes and I muttered:” I had to ask!” –“”-- Jones Port on Perryton was a big city with over 600,000 inhabitants. The town was picturesque located at the bottom of a massive mountain range at the shores of a turquoise ocean. The dominant architecture was Retro Fundamentalism with buildings made of local materials, mostly stone facades of gray granite and old fashioned square windows. Retro fundamentalism was void of frills, statues or integrated art. The buildings had straight lines and angles. The tallest building was perhaps 20 stories high. No slide way bridges cluttered the skyline like they did in many other cites. A few buildings where clearly not of Terran design, like the Saresii Meditation Temple or the Waran Trade Center. The streets between the buildings where tree lined slide ways with various speed lanes. The star port was located on the other side of the mountains (connected via tunnels) and not visible from the town. Commander Letsgo briefed us to stay together in small groups and not to get in fights with Marines or United Stars Army personnel. The Quarter master transferred our first pay since we joined. I was pleasantly surprised to see $12000 credits despite the fact I knew a cadet was making 1500 a month. This was quite some money, especially for me. I hade never made that much. Olia however was quite displeased and complained that this was barley enough for a few decent shoes and a new outfit. For the first time we all wore our Dress uniforms. Navy black with large white bands on the sleeves, indicating to everyone we where just green first year cadets and not real officers. Except Narth who was exempt from regular Navy Dress code. He wore a black robe with a white stripe on his long sleeves. I knew him well enough now to notice he was in better mood than usual despite the mask. And as usual I was never sure if he actually spoke to me or if I heard his voice in my mind directly.” It pleases me that you are able to detect my mood. Having any kind of mood is still new to me and I am proud of our friendship.” The star port was a busy class B port. As we landed I watched in awe as thousand meter tall Octo bots serviced huge transport ships, swarms of cargo drones lifting containers and freight in dazzling speeds through the air. I wished I could have lingered and watched some more. Few things fascinated me more than watching spaceport activity but our transport had touched down and the platform we landed on lowered the ship below the surface. Moments later we debarked and rode a slide-way to the terminal. A security checkpoint manned by a robot and a local uniformed officer checked our Citizen ID and allowed us access. The terminal was as busy as the star port itself. Beings from all over the galaxy moved in any conceivable direction, robots of every design carried out errands, vended food, drinks and services. One side of the terminal had the usual chain stores and restaurants one could find in any mall or star port: Mc Donald’s, Arthur’s Swine and Dine, Harold’s Mercantile, Seven Eleven, Pizza House, Wuerg Exotics and Hoechst Drug and Pharmacy. And there where uniforms everywhere! The white and blue of Medical, Marines in deep blue, Orbital Attack Infantry in green and officers and non commissioned personnel in Navy black. A group of marines plowed through the crowds as if they owned the place. There was no one eager enough to challenge them either. Two enlisted Navy Space men joined a line before a Tattoo parlor. A dozen army cadets proudly displaying their OAI patches held a noisy eating contest at Swine and Dine. “What a zoo!” Remarked Owar, with a disapproving tone in his voice. “I am sure you can still catch the transport back to Camp Idyllic.” Suggested Wintsun with a crocked smile. Owar spread his arms.” I was just saying, look at all that!” “What’s wrong with it?” Wanted Ulna to know.” I am starving for civilization and action. I think I could party around the clock!” Owar stretched his arms.” I am going over there to the Holiday Inn, get me a room and sleep till Sunday. That’s what I am going to do!” “Are you serious?” I asked. “Yep!” Sure enough he went straight to the guest counter and asked the attending robot for a room and two minutes later he held a key card, glanced at it and said:” I be in room 453. Would you guys mind checking on me before you leave?” As it was his habit, Limbur scratched his bald head.” Sure we will. I think his idea isn’t all that bad, but I first need to find me the best All you can eat buffet in town.” With one friend left we boarded a maglev train that connected the Star Port with Jones Port the capital city of the planet. The ride only took a few minutes. We left the train at the down town stop and emerged on shopping and amusement area, just as busy as the star port. After quizzing an info bot we found our way to the water front and a sea food-all you can eat restaurant. The prices where astronomic but Limbur insisted on inviting us all. To my utter delight I found Tyranno Fin Steak on the menu. It was not as good as I remembered it but I still enjoyed a taste of home so far away. I also tried the local fish and it wasn’t bad at all. Narth passed small morsels under his hood. He never really ate. He just sampled foods. I asked him:” Do Narth eat? I mean consume food the way humans do?” “We once did, but we found the process of consuming solid foods and passing waste products very inefficient and quite disgusting. So we changed that and consume energy directly. I am trying to learn more about the way humans and other beings live so I sample small amounts to analyze them. I must say we Narth lost a lot in the process. I learned from you that eating is much more than nourishment but a social event. Associated with flavors and textures it provides pleasure. Experience pleasure is probably the greatest loss”
After a long meal we finally left the restaurant and lingered for a little while at the beach watching waves roll in. Galmy spoke very little and she looked quite lovely tonight, she wore make up that enhanced her big eyes and her long black hair had a precious shine.” I thought Limbur would ever stop eating!” She put her hand over her lips and giggled. Limbur laughed.” I noticed the worried glances of the server too!” Olia padded her belly.” I ate like a pig as well. I had no idea I could eat that much!” “Wonders never cease!” I said looking at Galmy.” I had no idea you actually could smile!” She blushed and it was especially noticeable on her usually snow white skin. “ I am not used to express my emotions openly as humans do.” “I thought Maltyrs are human.” “We have human characteristics. Two hands, five fingers, stereo vision and all that. I am sure Maltyrs and all the other humanoid species have some common ancestry, but we are not human. Expressing emotions openly is something we don’t like to do. It is part of our religious believes.” “I am sorry. I didn’t mean to offend you or diminish your culture. I was merely expressing my delight to see you smile.” “I know Eric. I am not offended.” A stranger approached us and he bowed deeply before Narth.” Are you the Dark One? Have you finally come back? I am here to serve you!” Narth moved a step back.” No I am not! Human why do you worship this ancient evil and how do you know about it?” There was something going on I didn’t understand. The man was human and appeared to be at least 200 years old. He still seemed quite vital. His skin was wrinkled and his hair was thin and gray with a hint of sulfur yellow. He wore a black garment not unlike the robe Narth wore, but without a hood and with a white skull like symbol on his chest. The man’s face first showed disappointment then anger and then it changed to a clear expression of disdain.” Everyone should know about the Dark One! Everyone should worship him and pray for his return!” The man made a sharp turn and walked away not quite running but with considerable speed. “What was this all about?” wanted Olia to know. Narth as always was completely shrouded, but I could feel he was quite disturbed by the event.” When the Narth where still a young civilization, when we still ate and procreated the natural way. When we explored the Universe much like you do today, in space ships, an evil dark force came to this galaxy from somewhere far beyond, perhaps even from another reality or universe. An avatar of evil and death itself and it spread into this galaxy, devouring civilizations that existed for millennia just as easy as it destroyed the most primitive ones it came across. No other motivation than destruction and death seemed its purpose. There was a vastly advanced civilization ruling most of this galaxy back then they stood against the Dark Ones in a war unlike anything witnessed since. This civilization today is just ruins and artifacts. The Mythor are gone, nothing but legends and broken objects can be found of a civilization that once ruled this galaxy!” I gasped at this:” We learned in school no one knew why or how the Mythor disappeared and you know?” Wintsun nodded.” It’s one of those great mysteries.” Limbur, as usually scratched his head:” But if the Mythor lost and those Dark Ones won. Why aren’t they still around or why has no one found any artifacts left by them?” Narth made a sound that sounded almost like a human sigh:” We do not know what happened to the Dark Ones. Only the Narth Supreme, guardian of the Deep Vault might know. It is said that the Deep Vault holds artifacts of the Dark Ones.” Galmy blinked:” I would dismiss this as legend and fairytale if it wasn’t Narth who told us this. What are the Dark Ones?” Narth didn’t answer at first but then he said:” There are no human concepts I know that would express it correctly, but perhaps God or Demon would be somewhat accurate. I am very old compared to you, but I have not been alive when the Dark Ones where here. I never seen a Dark One and the Supreme has not found it necessary to share his memory with me!” Wintsun stared into the direction where the old man disappeared.” I wonder how he knew about it. He didn’t look like a Narth.” “I was unable to see much of his thoughts. It was as he had an effective Psionic shield. I must contact Narth.” “I saw a public GalNet terminal not far back.” Said Olia. “I will not require a terminal. Merely a quiet place.”