Monday, January 25, 2016

August 23

I heard from Clan Aslada today. Jaon’s contacts reported a Nang sighting on a small outpost at the far end of Alneusian space. That was a couple of weeks ago. He’s moving slowly, but he’s still coming. Jaon continued to insist Nang won’t get anywhere near me once I’m on Kalquor because he’ll keep an eye on things.

The rest of their message was just what I’d asked for: sharing everyday events. Jaon was about to go on a trip to track down a Nobek suspected of terrorist threats against Joshada. Good heavens, who threatens Joshadans? Those pretty little furballs are as peaceful a race as can be imagined.

Aslada is campaigning for a second Matara Complex, this one to be built on his continent ... and specifically in his territory. “Once other Earther women know how much we wish to take care of you, we will need the second facility. In the long run, we’ll need several. I think many of you will come,” he said with proud assurance. Ah, just wait until he discovers what complicated creatures we Earthers are. I think he might be in for a few surprises, but I believe his heart is in the right place. Who knows? Maybe he’s right.

Meyso has three surgeries scheduled this week. “I’m tired just thinking about it,” he grinned. “That’s what I get for working so close to a Nobek advanced training camp.”

“As long as you operate better than you cook,” Jaon snorted.

Meyso rolled his eyes. “I burned breakfast this morning. I’ll have to listen to Jaon’s complaints about it for at least two days.”

“Well all you had to do was hit the monitor switch to keep it from happening. How hard is that?”

“And you’ve never forgotten anything, have you?” Meyso winked at me. “Someone has a terrible habit of leaving his portable com everywhere he goes. Last week Jaon ‘lost’ his at three restaurants, the shuttle service garage...”

“Yeah, yeah, I know.”

“...the local police station, the courthouse...”

Jaon bared fangs at his clanmate. “People have permanently disappeared for telling my secrets, you know.”

Meyso was not impressed. “...under the seat in his shuttle, at the gym – am I forgetting any others?”

Jaon made a rude gesture at the Imdiko. Aslada laughed at the pair. It’s good to see the guys loosening up more and more. Betra’s idea to regularly send messages has been a good one.

For all the lightheartedness I enjoyed however, Jaon had reminded me that I still had a big problem on the loose. Nang was a long way off, but he weighed heavily on my mind.

I’d come up against a problem in my knife training lately. It’s my favorite form of combat and everyone has been pleased with my progress in it for the most part. As far as form and basic skills, I’m doing great. I can defend myself pretty good against a blade attack now. Still, Kalquorians are much bigger than me. My instructor Nobek Idow and I have worked hard to overcome the issue of reach. I’m finding it hard to get in close enough to make a hit without him tagging me first. No matter what we do, I can’t seem to mount a decent offensive unless it’s by surprise. Idow and I are getting frustrated, because he’s never had to train someone as short as me. He’s only dealt with adult male Kalquorians.

Idow had already mentioned it might be time to get the advice of my circle’s best expert in the matter. With Jaon’s report fresh on my mind, I shot off a message to Nobek Larten. I described to him what we’d tried and how our attempts were coming up ... no pun intended ... short. Hopefully he’ll have some kind of fix for the trouble I’m having.

Having finished that bit of business, I turned to check on Anrel who was lying on a blanket in the middle of the sitting room floor. I’d set up the vid recorder, along with the monitor so that she could see herself. It was recording, just because there is never a moment not worth preserving when it comes to Anrel. I’m a little crazy when it comes to that. I’ve never met a picture of her I didn’t like.

She’d been laying on her back, kicking her feet in the air and gurgling at her own image to her right, occasionally squealing with seeming delight. I think she liked seeing the ‘other baby’ next to her.

My mouth dropped open. Anrel had rolled over on her tummy, the first time she’d done so. She faced her doppelganger, making chattering sounds as if telling her new friend all the secrets of the world. She raised herself on her elbows as I watched, jerking with excitement. Apparently she’d gotten to the adventure portion of her tale. She sank back down, but never lost a beat in her ‘conversation’.

I got down on the floor and crawled over. “Look at you! Look at my big girl rolling over and raising herself up. Good girl, Anrel! What a big girl. I’m going to have to send this to your granddads and grandmom Joelle. They’ll be so proud!”

She gave me a big toothless smile. Oh, she is so amazing. I am the luckiest woman ever.


  1. I think Shalia needs a sword not a knife. That would help her reach. Even a foil with a touch of electricity or dipped in a sleeping agent would help. Nang is still an issue to me he might be moving slow but,...... I don't know. I just feel Shalia guard needs to be at 120% 24/7 until they get dirt side.

    1. I was worried about issues like this coming up, as Kalquorians aren't used to training smaller males or females.

      She might also consider Asian style weapons like kitanas, as the style doesn't rely on brute tactics, but agility and skill, primarily as it was required/developed due to their weaker steel which could shatter upon a direct strike. I started out with European medieval sword fighting, both light and heavy, as a preteen in Germany as part of a medieval reenactment group, but switched to Asian swords because of these types of issues. Perfectly suited for women and a good equalizer. Ditto for bowstaff, which with their technology, could be formed in an extendedable ASP type device for easy carry; a decent bowstaffman can easily defeat an equivalent swordsman given reach, flexibility, dual sided weapon that's equally both offensive and defensive- and the skills carry over to mops, sticks, etc.

      I hope their hand to hand considers both the reach and strength issues too, and go for techniques vs strength. For example, Kung Fu doesn't teach you to directly block strikes like Karate does, but rather redirect, then use opponents momentum against them.

  2. Great post. love hearing about Anrel and its nice to hear more about Clan Aslada, glad they are loosening up and showing a sense of humor. I can picture Shalia with them more now.

    I think Nang is closer than we think, not sure how but I do. Can't wait to hear more about him.

  3. Great post. love hearing about Anrel and its nice to hear more about Clan Aslada, glad they are loosening up and showing a sense of humor. I can picture Shalia with them more now.

    I think Nang is closer than we think, not sure how but I do. Can't wait to hear more about him.