C. W. Buechler’s Earth Union Necromancer: Prolog

Many of you may not know this but Earth Union Academy was not meant to be a stand alone story, there are in fact three stories. I have decided to put the second draft of Earth Union Necromancer (book 2) up on this site. What follows is the prolog for this story.

Prolog
“The universe was going along just fine and dandy until some smart ass decided to turn on the lights, then everything went to hell in a hand basket as people realized that there were fundamental differences among themselves. It was these differences that threw the universe into a billion billion years of warfare and political feuding. They, for all conspiracies contain a group known only as “they,” ascertained that it was the big guy, the all father who had turned on the lights. The only problem with turning the lights on was that he decided to start working on a little side project code named “creation” that distracted him from watching over the rest of his brethren and hence chaos was formed.”
This is how the grand unification of religions theory reads in the Galactic Encyclopedia. The theory is considered blasphemous by all major religions for the simple fact that it implies that everyone is correct in worshipping their deity, because all deities exists. Now as strange and controversial as this topic is across the magnitude of space, there is one factor that seems to have smoothed over the religious fervor and united the universe: a single hatred of the Desquar Empire.
The Desquar had decided that the universe would be a much better place if they were in charge of it, so they proceeded to take it over. This is not as easy a task as it may sound, conquering the entirety of the universe isn’t like asking the neighbor for a cup of sugar, the universe is a vastly large place. During this takeover of every race in the known galaxy the Desquar were bound to make a few enemies, and this they did with every population subjugated to their will, but as the great warrior Nameless once said, “You can’t conquer the universe without pissing off someone!” Despite the turmoil and hatred created by the takeover the empire flourished for nearly a thousand years as the Desquar held court over and executed anyone who said they were wrong. Their rule came to an end when one of the elder races of the universe decided that they were sick and tired of being pushed around and were not going to take any more crap from the Desquar.
Normally this type of radical thought would have been meet by half of the Empirical fleet surrounding the offending planet and then blowing it up so that nothing remained of the insurgence. Unfortunately for the Desquar and fortunately for the rest of the universe the Desquar Warlord was busy getting a root canal and by the time the drugs wore off it was too late to try to stop the revolution. The Warlord also didn’t give the revolution much credit since it was being headed up by the Gharphie, a population of people that counted in the hundreds of thousands and had been savagely ravished by a genetic disease that had been engineered to weaken them into submission at the very beginning of the great take over.
The Gharphie managed to unite the disjoined factions of the universe and revolt against the Desquar Empire in a long and epic struggle that lasted for two centuries. The cost of galactic freedom was the loss of nearly half of the population of the universe, and the innocence of a young boy named James. James’ story is a long and arduous one of intrigue and subterfuge that begins with the death of his father and ends in him taking his own life in a state of deep depression caused by his girlfriend’s death. Although many people across the universe rallied behind James and his cause, more people fought for the side of the Gharphie, which is why this isn’t a story about James, but rather the Gharphie.
It all began in a darkened room at the Desquar palace where the sitting Desquar Warlord sat, alone thinking how unfair life was. The warlord had known that his day would come eventually; he had just thought that it would be later, much later. The man was of smallish frame for his people, although next to the average human he would have appeared large. Broad muscular shoulders hung low, burdened by the weight of his father’s cloak. His head hung even lower with the weight of his father’s crown.
The crown’s luster had dimmed in the time after the late Warlord’s death; jewels were missing; sold to keep the empire afloat over the course of the last three years. The man had known that the empire was crumbling and that revolution would soon be knocking at the palace doors, but it had come so soon. His father had held the revolution at bay for the entirety of his rule. It was upon his death that the rebellion surged back into full force. The day of his father’s funeral had seen the fall of the Medusa Armada, which caused an avalanche of defeat for the Empire.
The new Warlord had done his best to keep things in order, but he was unable to put the fear of death into his subjects such as his father had been able to. Maybe it was because he was seen as a runt, small and insignificant, but maybe it was because he had been excessively cruel. Trying to make up for his lack of physical stature the new Warlord had beheaded half the political prisoners his first day on the throne in an attempt to keep the peace, but that had only caused revolutions on the outer limits of the empire. This warlords name is greatly insignificant to the story, with the exception that he oversaw the fall of the Empire. His official name was Warlord Inefficax.
Gharphie had been the first to claim independence at the beginning of the revolution nearly two hundred years earlier. The Warlord Invictus had thought nothing of it at first; they were a small planet and held very little threat to his rule since they were peace-loving people of learning. Unbeknownst to Invictus, buried deep in the Gharphie’s past, a past he hadn’t cared enough to learn about was a history of violence and hatred that spanned millennia. It was this past that the Gharphie tapped into to forcibly remove the occupying forces from their planet and drive them back to their home world with their tail in between their legs. Invictus was not pleased by the defeat of his occupying forces, but he was incapable of reclaiming the planet in the name of Desquar.
“If only the genetic disease planted over ten centuries earlier had taken effect and killed of the damn blood drinkers” the man thought to himself. It hadn’t, they had grown stronger through the disease then they were before. It took a long time, but the virus caused them to unite with the other race on their planet and their combined strength and knowledge was too great a force to fight. The Warlord suffered his only defeat at the hand of an enemy, this defeat caused him to lose command to his son Patricilicous during the next family movie night.
Patricilicous had killed Invictus with a well placed Magic Eight Ball to the base of the skull. Patricilicous was in turn killed by his son Psychopathia during a mid summer picnic at the park in an event that would find Frisbees banned from all royal family events. As the title of Warlord passed from father to son the Gharphie rebellion grew stronger. This pattern repeated throughout time until Inefficax got lucky with a well placed cricket bat swing to the groin, bringing the Warlord Testiclese to his knees and eventual death.
The light in the room dimmed as the sun set, leaving only the bleak flicker of light provided by the low wattage bulbs in their fixtures. Gazing at the monitors that displayed the protesters outside the palace the Warlord ordered his son to the throne room. He prayed silently that his son would carry on with the family tradition, but he knew secretly that Caliginis was not going to give him the easy out.
A couple of minutes later a young man in his late teens walked into the room. His shoulders were pulled back proud and confident; he looked as though he knew what was going on, and who was in charge. A sharp jaw-line and deep-set eyes gazed at his father with pity. “You called for me father,” inquired the young man.
Staring up at his off spring the Warlord was reminded of the boy’s mother. He looked very much the same. Tall, lean and well poised the Warlord’s son was the picture of dignity and royal nobility. It was clear that he had inherited nothing from his father but for the name, everything else was of his mother’s making. “Leave the palace son, take the cruiser and try to save the empire,” begged the boy’s father. “Save yourself” was the trailing thought that echoed through Inefficax’s head. The old man wished his son could not hear the nagging voice of doom, but the Warlord knew that his son was not deaf to the thunderous roar of the crowd gathered outside the palace.
“Father we will prevail; there is no need for me to flee,” replied the young man. His optimism was strong; his will defiant; the boy was everything his father was not. Many had thought the boy a much preferable heir to the throne when the old Warlord gave up his life, but it could not be done for his weak son survived the battle between the two. The proper sequence of lineage had to be observed; the Empires only prayer was that Inefficax would die quickly leaving only a warm throne for the boy to sit upon. Alas this had not happened and now the Empire was fighting for its very existence, and it was losing more ground everyday to the barbarians now at the palace gate.
The Warlord looked up at his son for the first time in many weeks. This was the first time the old man had looked up at all. Deep dark bags hung under his eyes, they told the tale of many sleepless nights, dreading the inevitable. The father spoke with clarity and decisiveness “We will lose this battle, you must leave or the horde will kill us both.”
Without any further hesitation the young man approached his father and bowed deeply before his lord, before his father. “In your honor I go forth” spoke the young man. With this he stood and embraced his father, thanking him for being with him throughout his life. The boy turned and made his way to the royal cruiser.
Running down the hallway the young man saw that the horde outside was turning increasingly violent. The people were now attempting to break through the large steel doors of the palace with a beheaded statue of his father, its feet slamming up against the steel doors to the palace. The boy knew that there would be nothing that his father could do about the outcome of the battle, many of his troops lay dead in the courtyard, and those that had survived huddled in small groups surrounded by the angry mob.
In the throne room the old man sat, he figured if he gave himself freely to the mob their thirst for royal blood may be quenched and his dear Caliginis could escape destiny. He sat in his throne all alone; he had ordered all that could leave to evacuate the palace immediately. Only a small garrison of his guards refused to leave the Warlord’s side, they had been well trained and even better paid then the average soldier. Their loyalty had been bought with the sweat and blood of others, and it was because of this that they sided with the Warlord for the angry mob would not take them.
The odds that those twenty men and women faced were too great though, the Warlord knew this as fact. The horde numbered in the tens of thousands and there was little hope for his troops to defend the palace. When the doors finally broke down the Warlord gave his last order to his guards to lay down their weapons and join the horde to save themselves.
None of the twenty followed the man’s orders; they would not or could not let their sovereign fall without at least a token of resistance. It was over swiftly for those soldiers, the plasma flew from throwers on both sides and filled the air with blue electricity. Then it was quiet. The horde, having removed the last obstacle to the throne room, was marching towards the main doors. The Warlord didn’t have a clue what to expect, but he knew that he wouldn’t have long to wait for it to come to pass.
The main doors to the room swung open and a tall Gharphie male strode through them. He wore the uniform of a general, yet he had been fighting at the forefront of the battle “how strange” thought the old man. The general was young looking, maybe in his late twenties, but the Warlord knew that this meant the Gharphie was in his late third century. “Those damn long lived vamps” thought the Warlord; “this boy was probably alive when we conquered his backward little planet.”
The general approached the Warlord without the slightest bit of fear; he understood the old man was giving up, surrendering as it were. “You know why we have come, do you not?” inquired the general. He was standing tall and proud and despite the blood of his friends spattered across his uniform he carried himself with an air of dignity that the Warlord respected.
The old man nodded his head in agreement, words were not needed at this time, and he would have his chance to speak one last time to his subjects. His head bowed low in submission to the hordes leader. The whole time the old man tried to conceal thoughts of his son fleeing in the royal cruiser, he knew that there was bound to be a telepathic in the room somewhere and he feared retribution being placed on the boy. He could not bear to think of his only son being hunted throughout the galaxy like a rabid dog.
The old Warlord stood from the throne and moved slowly towards the general, despite only being in his late forties the Warlord was sickly and not at his best. The long harsh winters of the capitol and the lack of proper heating in the building had all taken their toll on him.
The general would have normally taken pity on such a man, but this was not a time for pity and this man was deserving of none. Anyway the horde outside would not accept pity for the man responsible for the murder of an entire generation. Pity was not to be found for the man that had slain thousands of political prisoners, the horde’s heroes, their sons and daughters, all in the name of maintaining a cruel and unjust government that had long outlived its usefulness.
The general led the disposed Warlord from the chambers and ordered his guards to search the rest of the building for any other members of the royal family. Guards armed with plasma riffles scattered down the hallways, knocking on long deserted rooms. The staff and family members had all left in secrecy under the cover of night, sure some might be found, but the majority would escape. Those who escaped were left to rot in hiding for the rest of their lives, ever fearing the knock on the door that would end their life.
Walking out onto the balcony that the Warlord had delivered many a speech from the last bit of hope dwindled from the man’s eyes. For as far as the eyes could see there was a mass of bodies churned bellow the balcony of the palace. The horde of people carried whatever crude weapons they could find, most of them had projectile weapons that used gunpowder, but there were some form the outer edges of the empire that carried bows and arrows. Some of the people had fought with only their bare hands and claws as their weapons.
The beleaguered man took one last gaze up at the stars over his home and saw what he hoped to see. There, buried in the stars was a single moving light, streaking upwards into the safety of space. It was the royal cruiser; at least that’s what he told himself.
The Gharphie general was speaking to his people, the people of many planets, united as one against the empire. The Warlord heard reference to a great day, as well as a fair and just trial and retribution. He laughed internally, there would be no fair and just trial; the conclusion was already known. Even the Gharphie general knew this as fact and he hated the mob for it; for they would act just as the Warlord had in dealing with prisoners. He would be sentenced to public execution even if it were proven that he had done nothing wrong.
Three days later a court convened and pronounced its verdict the next day. After two more days rotting in jail the Warlord was dragged out into the plaza in front of the masses. Television crews captured the images for the people who could not attend the “celebration.” Over three hundred million people of all races gathered to see the man die uncounted billions watched the spectacle on vid screens around the empire.
The guards thrust the former Warlord into the de-mat chamber and shut the door. “At least they are making it as painless as possible” thought the man to himself. Again the Gharphie general approached the prisoner, this time there were signs of fatigue and remorse in his eyes. The years of rebellion had taken their toll on him as well, but it would soon be over. The death of the last warlord of Desquar would signal the end of the rebellion, Inefficax must be brought to death.
“It gives me no pleasure to do this” was all that the general said to the Warlord. “In accordance” spoke the general, this time to the crowd “with the ruling of the court, and with the power invested in me by the tribunal, I carry out this sentence of death. I, General Vladimir Van Plurgh witness the termination of the life of Inefficax of Desquar, former Warlord and dictator of the Desquar empire, by means of de-mat.”
The general turned to the condemned man and spoke “Do you have any last requests?” Bowing his head down Inefficax indicated that there was nothing left for him on this plane of existence and he was prepared for the next life. The general walked over to a small control panel on the side of the de-mat chamber and pressed the small red button.
A veil of blue light covered the condemned man inside the chamber. Then, with little more ceremony than micro waving a burrito at the convenience store, the man’s atoms were separated and vented out the top of the device. When the light dimmed inside the chamber there was nothing left of the former leader, not even trace DNA that could be used to clone the man.
So the reign of the evil Desquar came to a close, the last remnants of their race being driven to the far reaches of the universe and hunted like rabid animals until no sign of them existed. With the tyranny that had suppressed them for a millennia gone the galaxy rivaled in their newfound freedom. Great voyages of exploration and discovery took place until one day the wise and noble beings of the galaxy decided that a central form of government was truly needed and with the help of a group of evolved monkeys another galactic union was formed. Although unlike those that had come before it, the Earth Union was based on a democratic form of representation and followed the arcane rules of a long forgotten empire on the planet Earth.
All in all life was pretty good for the newfound union, outside of some religious tensions and an outbreak of small pox in a delegation from the outer rings that wiped out the already devastated race, the Earth union was proving to be a valuable organization. Once these initial growing pains were overcome the Earth Union embarked on its first great outing, the formation of the Earth Union Academy. Ironically the academy would be the first trial of the new union when the crowned prince of Gharphie was very nearly prosecuted wrongly for the murder of a female cadet.
During this time a brave young cadet and an ingenious legal figure prove that another off-worlder was responsible for the death of the cadet and a professor on the campus of the Academy. It was also during this time that the cadet and an officer from the military police saved the life of the Ambassador, despite losses to themselves.
The Ambassador and the rest of his group began their trip up the stairs to the main door of the council building. As they did so a barrage of camera flashes blinded the delegates and the five officers that surrounded them. As the flashes went off Ethan was subject to a quick impression of an upcoming event.
The quick flash was nothing more than the sight of a plasma thrower being leveled at the Ambassador. As quickly as it came it was gone, leaving the young cadet with little time to react. From his position behind the ambassador the cadet couldn’t see what was going on in front of Vincent, but he had the feeling he wasn’t going to like it.
Moving quickly Ethan put his hand on the ambassador’s shoulder and pushed Cynthia out of the way with the other. As he did so the young cadet could see one of the officers at the front of the party begin to turn to face the young prince. There was a flash of steel and a plasma thrower appeared in the officer’s hand leveled at the Ambassador’s chest. It was instinct that drove the cadet next. With all of his force Ethan pushed on the shoulder of his friend. The thrower discharged and someone screamed on the near fringe of the crowd as the ambassadors right arm and Ethan’s left hand fell to the ground, cleanly severed by the plasma blast.
The other officers in the leading group tried to react, but by the time they recognized the threat the officer was gone, a dark pool of oil like substance was flowing down the stairs of the building and into a nearby sewer grate. In their hazy eyes Vincent and Ethan were able to tell that it was the same being that had attacked the Embassy the night before. Lipton had the same recollection of the being he had watched on the security footage and he ordered his men not to advance on the creature but to open fire. The commander knew that his men would stand little chance against this assassin. “Shoot to kill!” screamed the commander at the top of his lungs, but it was too late Angela had escaped down a drainage pipe and was nowhere to be seen.
Ethan and Vincent both collapsed in pain on the stairway to the building, Cynthia ran to the side of her lover and tried to comfort the young noble in his moment of need. The young woman bared her wrist so that the Ambassador could take the needed blood from her to sustain his own life, but the young ruler pushed her arm aside and said he would be all right. Ethan on the other hand was holding the cauterized stump at the end of his left arm, writhing in pain.
As the delegates from the farthest reaches of the universe watched the injured aristocrat deliver his speech the face of the union changed forever. Gone was the bigotry and racial differences, all that remained was a people united against tyranny. As the Prince concluded his speech he collapsed and did not awake until several days later. He was in the hospital, without a clue if he had influenced the delegates in any way.
Vincent sat up in his bed and asked that Lipton be called for. Half an hour later the commander walked into the ambassador’s hospital room. It had been a busy twenty-four hours and the commander was not sure it was over yet. There had been no sign of the alien intruder after the attack. He figured when the assassination attempt failed the killer must have seen the futility of battling the entire police force and fled for its life. Speaking softly Vincent motioned for the commander to come closer. “You will be rewarded for your valor,” was all that the prince said.
Lipton was confused, he hadn’t really done anything to stop the attack, but when the ambassador spoke Lipton was able to sense the sincerity in the man’s voice. The commander remained in the hospital room until a doctor came in and announced that the cadet had come to.
Ethan was sitting up in his bed by the time Vincent, Cynthia and Lipton entered. He had been heavily drugged to stop an infection from setting into his stump. Still a little groggy from the drugs the cadet looked at his friends, it was a moment that everyone expected to last forever.
Several hours later the doctors cleared both patients for a brief outing to the Council chambers. It had taken a little political push from Vincent’s father to expedite the situation, but it was agreed upon that there was little more that could be done for the two men. The heat of the plasma blast had instantly sealed their wounds, and the risk of shock was now over.
Armed with bottles of painkillers the men walked out of the hospital together to a waiting crowed of reporters. Lipton had arranged for a car to pick all of them up at the hospital and drive directly to the council building. The trip was short and uneventful, yet the group wondered about their safety. Only Vincent seemed sure the danger was over, any attack made now would not alter the outcome of the debate. The others would not or could not share his optimism, especially since the assassin was still at large.
Walking up the stairs to the council building the group walked with confidence into the main building. Whatever the council had decided the outcome was no longer important to them on a personal note. Walking into the main chamber of the council the men sat down together in the designated Gharphie box.
Tohmas was there as well sitting with his people in their box. He exchanged a smile with his friends sitting across the aisle from him. The exchange was brief, but it had not gone unnoticed by several of the other delegates. The Chamber councilor called the meeting to order with the bang of a heavy gavel.
With the fate of the Earth Union decided for the time being the community of planets flourished. Trade disputes were settled, racial tensions subsided and prosperity seemed to be the law of the land. Colonies spread out, far and wide stretching the domain of the Earth union. Like a rubber band that has been stretched, the forces of the Earth Union had a hard time maintaining security on the frontier and were pulled backward toward the center of the union. The forces that would protect the far stretched domains could not keep up with the demands for security and law enforcement and were pulled back. The colonies were left to protect their own boundaries and citizens, and so was formed the galactic rangers

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