Bellum In Astra

Posted: June 30, 2011 in critique, sci fi
Tags: , , ,

Blatant Rip-off and Re-Imagining, with Thinly Veiled Name Changes. One day, perhaps when a certain baby-boomer has relinquished control over a property concerning a series of conflicts, or wars, in the stars, someone might do a re-boot. If for no other reason than to erase the memory of certain prequels.

Chapter One Cast

Ibn Juan McNulty:
Oblate of the Balance. Warrior, diplomat, teacher. As a young member of the Church of The Balance, McNulty is skilled in all the teachings of the Way. He uses his mastery to clear his mind and focus before any battle or any negotiations. His belief is that anytime he has to resort to violence, he has failed. Being a realist, however, he is adept with a wide variety of weaponry and fighting skills.

Mahalaleel Cloudbourne:
Balance Initiate, student and friend to Ibn Juan McNulty. Cloudbourne is a native of the island planet Archipelago. He is like a brother to McNulty, and though he often shares his views about the failure of violence, he is not averse to opening up a can of whoop ass from time to time. Cloudbourne, however heroic he may be, hides a deep secret from nearly everybody, including himself.

Piers Hel:
Operative of the secretive Sunnum Bonu. In keeping with his affiliation with the Bonu, Hel wears a mask and hood, with only his eyes exposed. Hel is perhaps the most formidable of the Bonu, that organization of Way sensitives that have pledged their abilities to the establishment of a government that will bend the Galaxy to their will.

Prao Wat Mbele:
Royalty of the non aligned world of Mbele Beni Beni, Prao is the first queen of her people in five centuries. She is an idealist, struggling to bring much needed reforms to her people and the Iis, the amphibious beings that share her world. She may be young and seems to be naive, but has still managed to evade much of the palace intrigues that have surrounded her since birth. She shares a secret love with the heroic Mahalaleel Cloudbourne.

Emperor Claudius IV Platinus :
Nicknamed “The Beloved” by the masses of the Galactic Empire (with some not too insignificant prodding from the Imperial P.R. machine), Claudius strives to portray himself as a folksy and benevolent ruler. His love of sprint flyer racing and good eats is well documented, as is his devotion to his family. Most galactic citizens are charmed by him, especially when contrasted with the corrupt administrations of the previous Claudii I – III. This Claudius, however, is no genial family man. His schemes are merely hidden better than those of his predecessors, his aspirations for power and control that much greater for their seeming invisibility.

Shenne Wat Orinoco:
Wife of Samuel Wat Orinoco, the Viceroy of Ori, and a closeted Way adept. Shenne is a hidden Sunnum Bonu sympathizer, and uses her influence with that body to further her husband’s political objectives. She is having an affair with Piers Hel.

Samuel Wat Orinoco:
Viceroy of Ori, Wat Orinoco has his own designs on overthrowing Claudius. To that end, he has cultivated covert alliances with the Kiiruk Trade Federation, the Ptlah’ht Syndicate, and Amalgamated Industries. His plans include a scheme to box the Emperor into surrender by using the combined forces of his allies, but he does n’t realize that he is merely playing into his wife’s (and therefore, the Sunnum Bonu’s) plans.

Brings His Father Joy:
Son of Born With Auspicious Signs, ruler of the amphibious Iis. Brings His Father Joy cultivates an air of clownish weakness, portraying the bumbling oaf to a tee. This is only to draw attention away from himself, so that he survives the treachery of Ii politics. In reality, Brings His Father Joy is a shrewd and ruthless manipulator whose schemes could net for him not just leadership of the Iis, not just all of Mbele Beni Beni, but even the carving out of his own empire. Brings His Father Joy is a Way sensitive, but aligns himself neither with Bonu or the Balance. He may in fact be the most dangerous character of the entire saga.

Imperial Prime Minister Yudit Makonen:
As her title suggests, Yudit Makonen is second in power to the Emperor. She is something of an amateur historian, and perceives a cyclic ebb and flow in the nature of Galactic civilization. Makonen is concerned that events are building to a head that will culminate in a disastrous war that could rival the Great Die Off of thirty centuries ago.

Chapter Two Cast

John Cloudbourne:
Twelve years old, John is a native of Hepiptlah with a precocious sensitivity to the Way. John has been raised by his aunt and uncle, and has been led to believe that his father Mahalaleel was a freighter pilot killed in an asteroid field crash. All his life, John has felt that someone, somewhere has been watching him. This has caused him to be somewhat paranoid and withdrawn, always observant of his surroundings. He has few friends, and because of his small size and seeming prescience, he is quick to fight anybody he sees as a threat.

London Wat Orinoco
Nineteen years old, London is the supposed daughter of Samuel and Shenne Wat Orinoco. As the daughter (and only surviving offspring) of the Viceroy, she has spent much of her life evading the impending responsibilities to be foisted upon her. She runs with a fast crowd of the well-to-do children of the famous, infamous and powerful, and has been branded as a hard core party girl, a typical “princess”.

Jambres Smith
Former Imperial officer turned smuggler, Captain Smith is desperately trying to escape his storied past, his dizzying fall from grace and several bounty hunters. He flies mostly for the shady Ptlah’ht Syndicate, running weapons, drugs and slaves to worlds both inside and outside the Empire. His ship, the Jade Phoenix Ascende, is surprisingly fast and well armed, considering its current function.

When He Dies He Will Send It
Co-pilot of the Jade Phoenix Ascende, When He Dies He Will Send It (or “When” for short) is from a planet whose name is unpronounceable. Imperial Cartography refers to it as Planet KSH-003-003CY, and the indigenous sentient creatures as Fuzz. When seems to be the second fiddle to Jambres, but in actuality When is a spy for the nascent Rebellion against the Empire. He has maneuvered Jambres into working with the Ptlah’ht Syndicate in order to gather intel on the outlying systems, and especially Hepiptlah.

YA-El-49 (Yale):
Ambassador series android, fluent in over 3 million forms of communication. If it weren’t for the fact that YA model androids are common and thus look more or less the same, Yale would be indistinguishable from a human. In many of the worlds of the outer rim, there is a distinct antipathy towards YA model androids because of this. Yale attempts to take it all in stride, philosophically reasoning that if the tables were turned, he would probably be afraid of the superior intellect, senses and strength of the YA models as well.

Fix-it robot, partnered with Yale. Owen communicates in Binary, and looks less human that his partner. His limbs transform into various tools needed for his trade. Fix-it robots are not generally thought of as sentient in the way that ambassador series androids are, and as such are generally seen as expendable. Owen, however, has secretly been upgraded into sentience and intelligence levels rivaling the YA series. His role as an Fix-it robot is his cover as a spy for the Rebellion forces. He and When have secretly worked together on many campaigns, often right under the noses of their respective partners.

Baez McNulty:
Crazy old hermit wandering the harsh and forbidden Deadman Brother’s Wastes of Hepiptlah, or hidden Way Oblate? Is he Ibn Juan, somehow risen from the dead? A relative? Or, perhaps, something far stranger? Only time will tell.

Piers Hel:
Last of the Sunnum Bonu, hidden right hand of Emperor Claudius IV Platinus. Some…incident…has left him more machine than man, has scarred his mind into madness. A lost love fuels his obsession with the afterlife, his considerable Way- sensitive abilities focused on dark arts of re-animation. He harbors a secret grudge against the Emperor, biding his time until he can find a way to get revenge on him for the death of Shenne Wat Orinoco.

Grand Mufti Yeshimabet Tar:
With the abolishment of the Imperial Senate and the re-structuring of the Galactic Empire, the Mufti system of rule took over. Muftis, or sector governors, rule over 100 worlds. These answer to the Great Muftis, who oversee 70 of the sector governors. Tar is a Grand Mufti, of which there are ten. She, like the other grand Muftis, oversees 70 of the Great Muftis. Tar’s jurisdiction includes Orbis Magnus, the Imperial Capitol, and as such, she is, under the Mufti system, second only to the Emperor in power and prestige. And, with no Imperial Prime minister to temper her rule, Tar exercises absolute authority. It was her initiative that led to the creation of the War Moons, orbital war platforms capable of destroying whole planets.

Who will appear in Chapter Three? A mentor to John, whose power is disguised by her tiny stature and weird speech patterns? A suave space pirate turned “respectable” businessman and part-time alcoholic beverage endorser? The most badass bounty hunter in the galaxy (who gets devoured by a Freudian stand-in for the horror of  female genitalia before we actually ever get to see him do anything badass?) Only time will tell, folks!  


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