October 2017 Archives

Asina was born on the fractal demon dominated planet of Calmena, around Epsilon Indi, in one of the 'free' human holds. They are in fact anything but free, having a rigid caste based social structure where you are either a member of the noble classes, or a slave.

Asina was 'rescued' by the first Earth Expedition, and taken back to Earth aboard the Golden Hind, where an Imperial charity took her in and trained her in the operant disciplines when it turned out she was actually operant. She is a very weak Second Order Guardian, just barely able to qualify, but qualify she did.

She has a horrible past. She was an orphan, her parents died of starvation and the brutality of life on Calmena while she was very young. As she matured - at roughly fourteen Earth years - her social position on Calmena became involuntary concubine, getting raped by the male nobles and taking care of noble children in between. She gave birth to a daughter who tested operant, giving her a minor caste boost into privileged slave status, but she was still slowly dying to the brutality of life on Calmena and being a sex toy for the nobles.

However, Asina is a survivor, and Imperial healers are good. Once she escaped and trained to become a Guardian, she accepted a proposed assignment to return to Calmena as a technological missionary of sorts, helping the humans of Calmena throw off the chains of both their human and demonic overlords, because war is coming between the Empire and the fractal demons, and Calmena is the planet squarely in the Imperial crosshairs as an invasion route.

You can read more about Asina in Preparing the Ground Amazon e-book or paperback Books2Read

Asina's Adventures are further continued in Building the People Amazon e-book Amazon Paperback Books2Read

Preparations for War, Book Three, tentatively titled Setting the Board, is in the plotting stages

When we meet Joe, he's a 22 year old community college drop out. He was studying to be an automobile mechanic, but he got lucky in that his aunt Grace was the first person from Earth to become a trained Guardian.

The family is mixed race. His Anglo father was a retired Senior Chief in the US Navy who worked at a defense contractor, his Mexican-American mother was a homemaker who recently got her real estate license as her youngest was getting close to graduating high school. Joe is the third of five children, three boys and two girls. The family has lived in Temecula, California for about the past five years since his father retired from the military.

When his aunt started a business shipping dogs back to the Empire as pets, Joe was one of the first to sign on, ditching his community college classes and part-time job. She taught him and other members of the family what it takes to be a crewman on an Imperial cargo vessel, and he spent about a year working the dog business, both working with the dogs on the ground and as a crewman on her ships. As a consequence, when the Empire made official contact with Earth about six months ago in the wake of a nuclear war between Russia and China, the family is about the only place interested parties on Earth can find people who know anything about Imperial technology. He is sought out and offered a post on Earth's first interstellar mission. His cousin Adela also gets a berth, but on the other ship.

Joe is a fairly typical young man who has been raised well, but not in a particularly genteel fashion. He's used to being middle class, but he's not a gentleman by any stretch of the imagination. For all of that, however, he's a good human being, and he tries to do the right thing when he realizes what it is. He doesn't realize how much his father's military attitude rubbed off on him, despite his father's frequent absences on deployment while he was growing up. The family might well be the richest on Earth under the new Imperial economy (dogs are one of the few things Imperials are willing to pay for, and they own the largest dog rescue operation and control the transport mechanism), but they still act middle class as they haven't had opportunity to adjust their thinking.

You can read more about Joe in Preparing the Ground Amazon e-book or paperback Books2Read

Joe's Adventures are further continued in Building the People Amazon e-book Amazon Paperback Books2Read

Preparations for War, Book Three, tentatively titled Setting the Board, is in the plotting stages

In accordance with M'Dorna's Hypothesis and M'Don's Equations, Imperial government is kept as small as realistically possible. The government provides military service, criminal justice, arbitration between parties in a dispute, investigative services (fee required in some instances), foreign relations, and that's about all.

The first thing to understand is that there are absolutely no inheritable Imperial ranks. The children of Nonuses and Guardians start with zero points, exactly the same as everyone else.

There are two types of civil rank or title. There are grades 'in rank' which are official but have no governmental power. 'In rank' designates those who are eligible for appointment to office. With the exception of Octus-in-rank, they carry precisely zero official power (although there are provisions for who takes official precedence and responsibility in the rare cases of an emergency situation out of contact). The 'in rank' designations simply convey that the holder has earned a certain number of civil points towards eligibility for official office. These points are earned by service in the military, successful service as or in service to government officials, successful completion of civil or government contracts, and by discretion of responsible government officials. Points are also lost for failed contracts, failures in service, or by official judgments for specific failures.

A Primus-in-rank is entitled to wear a dark blue equilateral triangle point down, two isixths on a side (slightly over 2cm). Note that they are entitled to wear it, not required (except on military uniforms), but most do. A Secundus-in-rank wears a gold triangle the same size, a Tertius-in-rank wears red, a Quartius wears green, and Quintus wears purple, a Sixtus wears white, a Septimus wears orange, and an Octus-in-rank wears gray. The only one of these ranks that carries any privileges at all is that achieving Octus-in-rank brings automatic membership in the Great Council, the supreme authority in the Empire. Octus-in-rank also carries eligibility for the ranks of Nonus and Guardian. There is one additional proviso, in that you are not required to accept a higher designation even if you have earned the points, as a Quintus-in-rank or higher with an active appointment is eligible to be legally assassinated. This includes all Octus-in-rank as they are members of the Great Council (active appointment!).

In addition to the points for an 'in rank' rating, common criteria for selecting actual 'in-fact' ratings are: time in the military, successful commercial careers, successful completion of contracts as the prime contractor, attainment of ranking in relevant academic disciplines, and successful service at the same or next lower 'in fact' ranking. The selecting official can be as discerning as they want, and the criteria are theirs to determine, as they will be responsible for the conduct of their appointee. That said, it is completely unheard-of for someone to be selected to Primus-in-fact or higher without successful military service at some point in their past.

A Primus-in-fact is responsible for a population district of approximately sixty to the fourth power (12,960,000 decimal) citizens, and they are the only official for that district. When acting in an official capacity, they are required to wear the emblem of a dark blue equilateral triangle, 4 isixths on a side, point up (if they have a higher 'in rank' designation, a smaller triangle is worn point down embedded within the larger triangle). They generally spend most of their official time in two pursuits: the largest portion as a judge, the second looking for opportunities to economically expand their district economy. Their compensation, both monetary and in terms of civil points, is determined bu how well they perform these functions. A Primus-in-fact is appointed by a Secundus-in-fact, and serves as long as both the individual serving desires continuation and the Secundus above them is happy with their performance.

A Secundus-in-fact is responsible for a population of approximately sixty to the fifth power (777,600,000) citizens, including approximately sixty Primus-in-fact. Their emblem of rank is gold. They spend less time as judges than Primus, generally serving as primary judge only when an issue affects the entire Secundus district, but they may also pre-empt jurisdiction if the Primus may have conflict of interest or the issue is particularly sensitive. Instead, they review the actions of their subordinates, and act as a court of appeal. Most civil contracts are awarded and worked at the level of the Secundus-in-fact, including police, investigative and care of legal children. They also spend significant time looking to expand their district economy (as do all levels above them). A Secundus-in-fact appoints their Primus subordinates and is appointed by the .Tertius above them.

A Tertius-in-fact is responsible for approximately sixty to the sixth power people (46 billion plus), and is generally the highest official on an 'ordinary' mature planet. As such, they may oversee and award planetary and even system-wide contracts in many cases. Their emblem of rank is red. They are appointed by the Quartius and in turn appoint their Secundi.

The emblem of the Quartius-in-fact is green. They are responsible for a district of approximately sixty to the seventh people (roughly 2.8 trillion in decimal terms. In general, add a factor of sixty to the population for each additional step up the pyramid).

The emblem of a Quintus-in-fact is purple. At this level and above, additional direct assistants rather than just contractors start becoming necessary. They act only on the orders of the Quintus unless the Quintus gives them direct viceregal authority (a Quintus can bestow authority up to Quartius grade). The most important of these are the so-called 'roving' assistants, intended as independent checks upon the ability of the lower levels of Imperial administration.

The emblem of a Sixtus-in-fact is white, of a Septimus-in-fact is orange, of an Octus-in-fact is gray, of a Nonus is brown, and of the Guardian is black. Since the population of the Empire is currently approximately equal to what would be expected of 120 Nonus districts, there is discussion of adding a new rank (Decius) between Nonus and Guardian. Note that ranks above Octus-in-fact do not include the 'in fact' designation, as there are no 'in rank' equivalents.

Technically above the Guardian is the Small Council, although the Guardian appoints all of the members of it, and therefore the Small Council never has and is not expected to ever over-rule the Guardian.

Above the Small Council is the Council of Heads. Membership in the Council of Heads is determined by net taxes paid and how much in tax proxies you have behind you. Voting power within the Council of Heads is restricted to the sixty members with the most in proxies, and is determined by total net taxes paid by proxies rather than per capita. The Council of Heads meets once per year and at additional times as determined by the membership, and is usually where the broadest issues of economic policy are decided. Unless an issue is raised within a session, the Council of Heads requires a three-fourths majority to over-rule the Guardian or the Small Council. The Council of Heads does not have the legal authority to remove the Guardian, but a Guardian without the confidence of the Council of Heads is unlikely to last long.

The highest body of all is the Great Council, consisting of all living humans who are currently Octus-in-rank. It meets at least once every two years or whenever called. The Great Council is the supreme authority of the Empire, but it is unwieldy and rarely acts, having too many members to undertake any but the most important policy decisions. Unless an issue is originally raised within a session of this Council, the Great Council requires a three-fourths majority to over-rule the Guardian or either of the subordinate councils. The Great Council elects the Guardian by two-thirds majority, and the Great Council may remove a Guardian (or any lesser official) by three-fourths vote. Like the Council of Heads, voting is not per capita among the members, but by however many service points they currently possess.

When we meet her at the beginning of The Man From Empire, Grace is 28 years old. She is five foot four, roughly 145 pounds, with medium brown skin, brown eyes and dark brown, almost black shoulder length hair. She's on the chubby side, not fit. She calls herself a couch potato, from studying for her biochemistry degree and working full time. She is youngest of five children, four girls and one boy. Even though she has a wild history, she is a bit of an introvert, driven by the realization she's wasted several years of her life and wants to focus on finishing college and starting her career. She's trying to prove to herself she's grown up now, by the standards of her Mexican family's upbringing. She's above average smart but no genius and she knows it. Sometimes she gets by in her studies by sheer dogged determination. Right now, she has very little social life, mostly visits with family, most importantly her parents and her oldest sister. She is specifically NOT a fan of science fiction.

Grace Quote Number One:
If you know Mexican families, there really isn't any response to the husband and children thing unless you've got the ring and at least a child on the way. That didn't keep me from trying, "Mama, you've got fifteen grandchildren already. Peter is almost my age and sure looks serious about that new girlfriend of his." Peter had finished his MBA the previous summer and Mama couldn't be more proud. He wasn't making much yet, but he did have a good job putting his degree to work. She crowed over him for a couple minutes, and let me get off the phone.

Grace Quote Number 2
As he had responded to my last, I realized I had made a real mistake that caused him to drastically lower his opinion of me. And I was more certain all the time that I wanted his good opinion. "I'm sorry. Yes, I think we do, but evidently I'm not one of them." I saw his point perfectly, intellectually. It's just that it's damned hard to imagine someone who'd jump into a hole like that, with risk like that on a moment's notice, simply because it was necessary or expected under the circumstances. It would be necessary to change some of my most basic thinking. "Yet," I added, chastened.

Guardian: Originally a natural state (inoperant) human who undertook an exhaustive course of study and physical preparation intended to prepare them to compete with operants. Now generalized to include various level of operant. Modern usage for natural state humans who qualify via the traditional means is First Order Guardian, but almost nobody bothers with the full course.

Second Order Guardian: born natural state human who has become operant and qualified to a minimum basic level in all operant disciplines including teleportation. As knowledge has expanded and new ways of using operant disciplines more efficiently have been discovered, current operants are all strong enough to learn to teleport. By far the largest group of operants, numbers-wise, well over half of the total number.

Third Order Guardian: born operant to operant parents who has qualified to a minimum basic level in all operant disciplines including teleportation. Being born operant in this fashion is an advantage over Second Order Guardians, but not an insurmountable one. A little more than one sixtieth of the Imperial population.

Fourth Order Guardian: second power tier (counting up) of natural state humans who become operant. Those who advance in raw power past the threshold for Fourth Order report that absolute power requirements drop for the same effect, and that it becomes easier to maintain passive ongoing defenses. Fourth Order Guardians typically continue to claim Second Order status for as long as they practically can. Roughly one sixtieth of the Imperial population is Fourth Order or above, and the vast majority of those are approximately equally split between Fourth and Fifth Order.

Fifth Order Guardian: second power tier (counting up) of born operants. Third Order Guardians become Fifth Order at a slightly higher power threshold (roughly 1 isquare thirty or 1/40th) than Second Order transition to Fourth Order, otherwise they are analogous. Generally pretend to be Third Order as long as they practically can. Roughly equal in numbers to Fourth Order Guardians.

Sixth Order Guardian: third power tier (counting up) of natural state humans who become operant. Rarest of all operant types - a total of nineteen known in the entire Empire. There is a second qualitative change that occurs with increasing power. Capable of producing splinters, an energy based extension of the Guardian's personality. Usually pretend to be Fourth or even Second Order if their publicly known capabilities do not give them away to be Sixth Order.

Seventh Order Guardian: third power tier (counting up) of born operants. Approximately 120 known, all descended of Merphon, the first emperor. All known children of Seventh Order Guardians have been born at Seventh Order power, otherwise the relationship between Seventh, Fifth, and Third Order Guardians is analogous to the relationship between Sixth, Fourth, and Second. Also capable of producing splinters.

Eighth and Ninth Order Guardians: Theorized fourth power tier of those originally natural state humans and those born operant, respectively. No known examples exist.

mindlord (historical): any human who was operant. Still known due to historical means, but rarely used.

operant (historical and current): any human whose mindlord powers have been switched on. Current connotation is an incompletely trained operant, or one that is too weak to teleport, therefore not yet qualified either Second or Third Order Guardian.

predecessor man or predecessor human (historical): one who did not carry any of the genetic markers for operancy. Original meaning now extinct; the markers are universal within Imperial humanity. This term was revived during the Ston Rebellion and Interregnum, applied to those who were inoperant, whether they carried the markers or not. Often used as term of contempt by the stons. Current use is highly frowned upon, and generally results in social ostracism.

natural state human: someone who is not operant, whether they carry the genetic markers for operancy or not.

martsi (historic) a weak operant, born a natural state human but who has had their operancy activated by a subsequent event. Vaguely analogous to Second Order Guardians except only operancy was required to be designated martsi.

nattsi (historic) born operant, albeit weak. In broad, equivalent to a Third Order Guardian without the tests of their ability.

teltsi (historic) operant who was born a natural state human, but is now capable of teleportation. Somewhat analogous to a modern Fourth Order Guardian

tantsi (historic) born operant capable of teleportation. Somewhat analogous to a modern Fifth Order Guardian

pentsi (historic) extremely rare operant born a natural state human, but has hit the power boundary of the third level of operancy. Similar to a modern Sixth Order Guardian.

ultsi (historic) Merphon's descendants of the Fifteen Houses (his fifteen surviving children). The acid test of an ultsi was whether all of their children were born ultsi. It was (is) possible to be born nattsi or tantsi and progress to ultsi, but extremely rare, and the Fifteen Houses were not kind to competition, especially from without. Very similar to a modern Seventh Order Guardian.

cot (historic) operant who became operant through natural means. Usually highly trained, more focused, and more efficient than stons.

ston (historic) operant whose operancy was triggered in utero by specialized treatment. Generally less controlled and less efficient than cots, but vastly outnumbering them for a time, resulting in the Ston Rebellion and Interregnum, during which time the Empire was destroyed as a political unit and the population of humans fell to a point roughly 1/3000th of the former level. As a result, the ston activation treatments are no longer offered and even surviving former rebels agree that they should not be.

The Empire of Humanity has a history of over 100,000 years by their reckoning, roughly 80,000 by Earth's. Here are a few major events and the eras they fall into, including major characters.

Roughly 15,000 years before Empire: Human Confederacy defeated by C'Tangi. Some life survives on 21 human worlds within a radius of about 480 light years of the center of human space. Refugees flee in any way they can.

Roughly 200 years before Empire: Arakota conquered on Weircol by Alrassa. Arakotans become subservient to Alrassans, but are prized as servants for their general level of education

Roughly 100 years before Empire: The Rediscovery, when Weircol discovers the lost technology and the reason why the Confederacy fell. Breeding program for what were then known as mindlords began, concentrating on males. The successes are adopted into the Alrassan royal family.

Year Zero: Merphon becomes Emperor. His own surviving children (eventually 15, all male) effectively become princes of the Empire, those descended of other mindlords are cast out of the succession, but Merphon resists naming an actual heir. Second generation mindlords, most notably Baryan, Yokel, Jehob, M'Dorna, and J'Pit.

Year 115: C'Tangi defeated. End of the Rediscovery. Humanity begins expanding in earnest into First Galaxy. Minor wars over the rest of this era, but nothing major. M'Dorna's Hypothesis posited.

Roughly 5000 years: Third generation mindlords begin to be born to Merphon's children. Really the first generation where the powers are mature and more or less fully understood. YokNos is born in this era. Scimtar is also born, of a bastard line from another first generation mindlord.

Roughly 30,000 years: Start of the Outsider Wars. Major wars, running hot and cold over the next 70,000 years. For as long as they run, the central fact of Imperial life. Beginning of the Empire's movement to Vector Drive for interstellar travel, as enough operants become available to make it viable. Mindlords born into this era are generally considered to be Fourth Generation, differentiated from the third in that they grew up waging the Outsider Wars. Important survivors born in this era include Ierd and Antro Baryan, Drashin M'Dorna, Nom Cor, and Sarba JeNor (formerly Jehob). Osh Scimtar was also born into this era

Roughly 100,000 years: Final victory of the Empire in the Outsider Wars. First Galaxy completely under the dominion of Empire. Beginning of significant colonizations outside First Galaxy. Mindlords born into this period are generally considered Fifth Generation

Roughly 103,000 years: First major war since end of Outsider Wars. For the first time since the C'Tangi were defeated, Empire begins 'switching on' operant abilities of new children, resulting in the bifurcation of operants into cots and stons. Cot survivors born in this period are usually considered Sixth Generation, and include Iaren, Amras, Anara, and Anana Scimtar.

104203 (Imperial 28:56:43): Ston Rebellion. Interregnum begins.

105780 (Imperial 29:23:00): Empire Re-declared, Sarba JeNor (formerly Jehob) as Guardian.

105804 (Imperial 29:23:24) Effective resistance to Imperial Re-establishment ends in First Galaxy; aggressive effort to re-acquire territories in other galaxies of Home Instance begins, new expansion efforts both into other galaxies of Home Instance and into other Instances.

109410 (Imperial 30:23:30) Events of The Man From Empire, (Amazon kindle or paperback other e-books) (Rediscovery Book One), followed by A Guardian from Earth (Book Two Amazon kindle or paperbackother e-books) and Empire and Earth (Book Three Amazon kindle or paperbackother e-books)

109412 (Imperial 30:23:32) Preparing the Ground (Preparations for War, Book One Amazon kindle or paperback other e-books)

109417 (Imperial 30:23:37) Working the Trenches (Rediscovery Book Four Amazon kindle or paperback other e-books)

109432 (Imperial 30:23:52) Building the People (Preparations for War Book Two Amazon kindle or paperback other e-books)

109436 (Imperial 30:23:56) Events of The Invention of Motherhood (Politics of Empire, Book One)
Amazon kindle or paperback other e-books

My Author's Brand

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One thing I should try and make clear to you, the reader, is what my author's brand is about.

First and foremost, I want to entertain you. I will happily give up everything else in order to entertain. If you don't come away from the book with a sense of "That was fun!" and wanting to read the next book, I've failed. I am trying to entertain you, and if I don't do that, you shouldn't give me any more of your money. Since I want you to buy more of my books and tell your friends I'm an entertaining writer, I'm going to try to entertain you. I don't try to have flippant smart-asses tossing off one-liners every three words, but I do try to slide a few in.

Second, I want the characters to think. I want you to come away from the book thinking that everyone did what they did for rational reasons or at least motivations real people have. Nobody in my books is evil because it says so on their character card. The antagonists are pursuing their own best interests as best they see them. Sometimes the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Similarly, I try really hard to avoid violations of the Evil Overlord's Principles. If it were possible to game the antagonist with a cheap shot, someone would already have done it. I want you to have the feeling that it took some real thought to plot this story - that all the characters all thought and worked for their chosen ends, and that the resolution reflects this.

Third, I want the ending to be something good that the characters have earned. I'm not going to promise that they all live to get there, but all that work and risk should earn them a better place than they started from according to what they value. I'm also not going to promise it's the place they thought they were going in the first place. But if the work and risk wasn't going to earn them a better place, why should they bother? Even if it's just saving other people from a disaster, the characters should get something out of it. The ones who survive and persevere, anyway.

Fourth and finally, I'd like to think that I maybe gave you a little bit of a different way to think about things. I'm not looking to preach at you like a tenured professor, I just want to illustrate that there are different ways of looking at the same issue. I don't think I'm going to change your mind. But maybe - just maybe - I can induce you to have a thoughtful conversation with someone who doesn't agree with you. There's far too little of that these days.

Official Launch Day!

Graciela Juarez di Scimtar and her husband Asto have decided it is time to start their family. For many thousands of years, Imperial women have used artificial gestation to free themselves from nine months of discomfort. But Grace was born on barbarian, pre-contact Earth. She can't call herself a mother in front of her sisters without doing it once the hard way. And she discovers that however troublesome the process, there are compensations. There may even be actual benefits to both her unborn son and herself. But neither one eliminates the dangers from rival families.

The results will change the Empire forever.

$2.99 e-book from your favorite retailer! (For paperback, see Amazon)

Book One of Politics of Empire
Invention of Motherhood Amazon

Invention of Motherhood Books2Read (Apple, Barnes and Noble, etcetera)

fetal development cracked open.jpg


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The Man From Empire
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A Guardian From Earth
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Empire and Earth
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Working The Trenches
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Rediscovery 4 novel set
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Preparing The Ground
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Building the People
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Setting The Board

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Moving The Pieces

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The Invention of Motherhood
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The Price of Power
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The End Of Childhood
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Measure Of Adulthood
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The Fountains of Aescalon
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The Monad Trap
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The Gates To Faerie
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Gifts Of The Mother
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The Book on Mortgages Everyone Should Have!
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The Book on Buying Real Estate Everyone Should Have
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