Monday, March 9, 2009

Return of the Raven

“What is it?” Elara asked, glancing upward. “Oh, no! That’s the bird man again!”

Lubic took a quick look around them. Judging from the speed the Raven was travelling, it would reach them before they got to the library. They could make it back to the car, but the doors were locked. At best they could get into the car before the Raven was on them. But there were other pedestrians around that the Raven could easily grab instead of them.

“Elara, the car!” he yelled, tossing the keys to her. He’d have to stand his ground, and hope that she knew how to unlock the door. At least then there would be one less person to worry about in the coming encounter.

A quick survey revealed nine other people in the vicinity. A woman was trying to pack her two children and all of their newly acquired books into her station wagon a few spaces away from Lubic’s Protégé. The kids should be okay, but the woman was in danger. Four teenagers were just entering the library, so they should be safe. A couple strolled about a block away, heading towards the library, but Lubic hoped they were far enough away that they should be safe.

And then three things happened simultaneously that completely changed everything.

The library doors opened revealing a familiar looking young man helping a wizened old man with a walker leave the building. Lubic immediately realized that the pair would be an easier target for the Raven, and that there was no way he could get to them before the Raven did. “Shit!”

At the same time, Elara screamed, desperately trying to unlock the car door. “Uncle! I can’t get it open!”

And that was when there was a deafening bang as the Raven exploded in a shower of jet black feathers.


What Lubic didn’t see was the large virile man in the distance. He shouldered the rocket launcher he had just fired, chuckling. “I told you I was having barbeque.”

Monday, February 23, 2009

Home Again

Lubic wandered down the stairs, his stomach rumbling. He made it to the kitchen before getting cornered by his grandmother.

“Lubic, where have you been?” Mary yelled at him.

Elara was on her heels. “It is alright. Something must have come up. And he’s here now –“

“You told Elara you’d take her sightseeing and then to the library at ten!” Mary continues, ignoring Elara’s protests. “It’s eleven am now! You two should have both been gone three and a half hours ago!”

Lubic took a deep breath. “Yes, I know. I’m sorry. I’m sorry Elara, that I wasn’t able to take you sightseeing and to the library when I said. And I’m sorry grandma. I know you must have been worried.”

“And just where did you run off to this morning, couldn’t even stop and tell us what came up?”

“I’m sure it’s alright –“ Elara tried again.

“No, it’s not!” Mary yelled. “He knows better than that! Now tell me where you went!”

Lubic shot Elara an apologetic smile. “I was helping out some….friends. They needed some help with a….pest problem.”

“At six in the morning?” Mary asked, unconvinced.

“Yes. My friend, Azalyn, couldn’t wait. It was a…large infestation.”

“You’ve never talked about an Azalyn before.”

“She’s a new friend, grandma. I met her when I was jogging in the park yesterday. And she’s….new around here. I was the only one who could help her under the circumstances.”

“Oh. Well, I guess I can understand. Were you able to get rid of the pests?”


“Well, that’s good. But next time, don’t go running out without even a word! I worry enough as it is.”

“Yes grandma.”

“Good. Now, how about an early lunch? Then you two can go off to the library.”

After lunch, Lubic again brought Elara to his Protégé. He was extremely careful, watching the bushes and the sky in case something was ready to jump out at them. But nothing did, so they got in and drove to the library.

“Where did you go this morning, Uncle?”

“I’m not altogether sure, Elara.”

“My father often had to travel all over the world to help people. I know you’ll have to as well. I don’t mind. Who did you have to help?”

“Like I told you, I had to help my friend Azalyn. Her and another new friend, Blor….”

“Blor? That is a strange name.”

“Yeah. Strange name for a strange person.”

“What is he like?”

“Well, he’s quiet. And big. And, uh, pretty strong.”

“That’s not a very good description.”

“I think it’s pretty good. Strong, silent type. I can totally picture him. Anyway, here we are.”

The library was an old, three-story brick building. The front doors looked imposing, huge double doors with old gargoyle door knockers on them. There were several gargoyles on the roof, adding to the imposing and unwelcoming feel of the building. But the windows were new, adding a more modern touch to the building.

They parked in the lot across the street from the building. As they got about ten steps away from the car, Lubic heard a loud caw. He glanced up to see a familiar form flying towards them.

“Not again!” Lubic signed.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Another Pledge

“What the hell was that?” Lubic asked.

Blorgscht had just returned, letting them know that the monster had gotten away and was now off planet.

“It looked like a Lavydalar,” Azalyn said.

“But why here? Eating us?” Blorgscht asked.

“What’s a Lavydalar?” Lubic asked.

“You don’t know what a Lavydalar is?” Azalyn asked him.


“Lubic, where have you been all this time? The Lavydalars are the most renowned race in the universe. They are one of the oldest space-faring people. They have been peace keepers, have helped other races to the stars, and have just generally shaped the universe through time.”

“You’re trying to tell me that giant water dinosaurs have been running the universe?”

Azalyn ignored him. “But how could that have been one of them? Why would a Lavydalar be trying to start a war between our people?”

“Not of the pod?” Blorgscht speculated.

“Not of what pod?” Lubic asked.

“He means that maybe this one was kicked from their tribe or family or city or whatever. Maybe it was acting against its people. You know, a rogue. If it even was a Lavydalar.”

“So what happens now?”

“Well, for now, the crisis is over. Thank you for coming to help me, Spacelord,” Azalyn said. She then turned to Blorgscht. “And I am sorry, Starlord. I was ready to reignite the wars between our people. I was blinded by hate, and refused to look into the matter more.”

“Forgiven,” Blorgscht said. “Both of us did not see.”

“Well, then I guess I’m off,” Lubic said. “I’m glad that you two are friends now. I will see you both some other time.”

“Before you go,” Blorgscht said, “I would pledge to you.”

“Whoa, what? You want to pledge allegiance to me?”

“Yes. You are fair. Not blinded. Willing to see.”

“He’s right, Lubic. For someone who always seemed very thick-headed, you remained remarkably objective about this whole thing. And you were able to stop a war.”

Lubic took a deep breath. “Very well. If you guys think this is a good idea, then I will accept your pledge of allegiance, Starlord.”

Monday, January 26, 2009

Monster of the Deep

Ath'enialla was drifting through the deep of Immezza, satisfied with a job well done. Everything had gone according to plan - the Immezzan and Camathu Starlords were ready to reignite the war between their people. And all it had taken was a couple of well timed attacks on Ath'enialla's part.

Ath'enialla had found a large cave, well away from where the Immezzans and Camathu frequented. She had been on this rock for the better part of three months, planning and plotting. When she had discovered how easy it would be to start this war, Ath'enialla had rejoiced - she would be able to return home much sooner than anticipated. So now she waited to hear from her people, and hopefully to return home.

She was just dozing off when something sharp struck her left flank. Ath'enialla let out a scream of rage and pain. Her head swung around on her long neck in time to see an Immezzan getting ready for a second attack, shell-tipped spear raised and ready to strike. As Ath'enialla was about to retaliate, something ripped a chunk out of her right pectoral fin. Her large head swiveled in time to see a Camathu swim off. She let off another hate-filled scream. A Camathu and Immezzan working together?

And then the third assailant stabbed her tail. There, directly behind her, was a human. A human! Ath'enialla, though enraged, knew she had to make a run for it. For a human to be beneath the waves of Immezza meant one thing: the new Spacelord was here! And the other two must be the local Starlords of Immezza. Ath'enialla knew she had to make a run for it; if she were lucky, she might be able to kill one of them, but not all three.

"Ath'enialla," a voice spoke suddenly within her mind, "a gate is ready. Return home immediately or you will die!"

"But Lord, I have failed! The Camathu and the Immezzan attack together! Somehow they have discovered that I killed their people!"

"That does not matter. It is a set back, but we can recover nonetheless. But, you must make it to the gate if you want to live! Swim!"

Ath'enialla swam. Her three assailants were fortunately caught off guard by the move, which meant that only the Camathu now had a chance of catching her. Luckily, Ath'enialla didn't have far to go. Normally she would have had no problem outracing the smaller Camathu, but that human must have known what he was doing when he stabbed her tail! It was bleeding freely and hurt like hell! If she could not make it to the gate, then she was done for; the Camathu would be able to follow her blood trail.

Luckily, she made it to the gate just as the Camathu started to gain on her. He had just entered the cavern when the gate disappeared, leaving only a small trace of her blood behind her.

Monday, January 12, 2009

A Bigger Fish?

"Yup. Those sharks are dead."

Lubic, Azalyn and Blorgscht were looking at the corpses of the two dead Camathu. To Lubic, their bodies looked mangled. "Lubic, you have to remember that they have been dead for some time. Blorgscht did not think to preserve them." "The sea claims their bodies. I do not interfere." Lubic was ignoring the other two. The two bodies had many large gashes all over them. "What weapon could have done this?"

"I do not know," Azalyn finally answered. "I have never seen anything like this before. The Camathu scales are tough. It would take a lot for any of our shell weapons to pierce their hides. To do this would be nearly impossible!"

“Do you have any other weapons at all?”

“No,” Azalyn replied. “We use that which the sea provides.”

At first glance, it looked possible that the lacerations were caused by a sharp weapon of some sort. But whatever had done this was much stronger than a shell. In fact, on closer inspection, the gashes appeared similar to the lacerations found on the dead Immezzan. "It looks to me like whatever killed the Immezzan also killed these two." "But they do not look like they were bitten! These marks are not the same!” Azalyn cried.

“Well, whatever killed these two took a lot of care to make it look different than the Immezzan. Plus you have to take into account the decay on these two, as the Starlord didn’t preserve them the way you preserved your guy, Azalyn. But these markings here,” Lubic indicated a few prominent gashes across the trunk of one of the Camathu, “are very similar in size and shape to some of the ones on the Immezzan. And if the Starlord here is a large Camathu, then whatever killed these three is larger than any of his people, judging from the size of these gashes.”

Azalyn was staring at Lubic in amazement. “Something bigger than a Camathu? Nothing is bigger than a Camathu on Immezza!”

“Well, the easiest way to prove it would be to see our friend here attack something. We could compare the size of his bite marks with those on these sharks.”

“If that helps,” Blorgscht said.

“It will. At the very least, it will prove to Azalyn that your people are innocent. Then the three of us can figure out what actually did kill your people.”

Azalyn was still staring in amazement. “You think you can prove the Camathu are innocent here?”

“Azalyn,” Lubic said, “I can see that they are too small to have inflected those wounds on your man. And I highly doubt that your shell weapons could tear through these two, especially after you said it would take a lot for your shell weapons to pierce their hides. Whatever killed these two ripped through their skin like a knife through butter.”

“But Lubic, you’re not listening to me! The Camathu are the largest creatures on Immezza! If they did not kill him, then what did?”

“You asked me here to figure out what happened. And that’s what I’m going to do. We’re going to find this thing.”

“If something bigger than Camathu,” Blorgscht began, “I can find it.”

“Azalyn, it’s up to you. Do you need proof that the Camathu did not kill your man? Or do you want us to stop whatever is hunting both the Camathu and your people?”

Azalyn glared at Lubic. “If there really is something larger than the Camathu hurting all of us, then we need to find it. Find it and kill it!”

“We are agreed,” Blorgscht said. “Follow.”

Monday, December 29, 2008


Lubic slowly turned, coming face to face with a wicked grin. Sure enough, there was a shark in front of him. But this shark was unlike anything he had ever seen before. For one thing, antennae grew out of the shark’s forehead, two esca with bioluminescent tips. But besides the esca, Lubic could barely make out the shark’s outline; the shark’s body was camouflaged, blending in with its surroundings.

Lubic took a deep breath. “You are the Camathu Starlord?”

“Yes,” the voice said. “I am Blorgscht.”

Lubic stared at the creature in front of him. Blorgscht was not exactly what the Camathu’s name was, but it was the closest thing that Lubic’s mind could make out. “Well, Starlord,” Lubic said after a moment, deciding not to offend the shark by attempting to pronounce his name, “will you tell me your version of events?”

“Now wait a minute!” Azalyn interjected. “You can see it as plain as the sun through the waves! A shark bit him, and so the Camathu are at fault! There are no other sharks on Immezza!”

“Hey, you asked me to look into this, Azalyn. Let me do my job.” He turned back to the Camathu. “What do you know about the death of this Immezzan?”

“Not why I come here now,” Blorscht began after a moment, talking rather slowly. “The carcass, he was a friend. He brought us things we cannot make ourselves. He was friends with two Camathu. They always met here.”

“After which they killed him!” Azalyn snarled. “It was no yaash that ripped his insides out!”

“What is a yaash?” Lubic asked her.

“A yaash is a tiny predator fish. They have sharp teeth and usually swim in schools. They will swarm fish that are a bit bigger than themselves.”

“No, it definitely couldn’t have been them,” Lubic mused.

“Of course it couldn’t have been them! They’re tiny!”

Lubic ignored her, turning back to the Camathu. “What did you come here to talk to me about?”

Blorgscht regarded Lubic with an eye that was black as shadow. “The Camathu friends of the carcass are dead.”

“How did they die?”

“By Imezzan hand.”

“Lies!” shrieked Azalyn. “We would not violate the treaty!”

“We would not either,” Blorgscht stated.

“Okay, let me get this straight. Both of your people only met with very specific members of each other’s races. Now all of them are dead, and it looks like they killed each other?”

“Yes,” said Blorgscht.

“Before this gets too far out of hand, will you take me to see their bodies, Starlord?” Lubic asked Blorgscht.

“Yes,” said Blorgscht. “Follow.”

“Oh, and Starlord, I needed to ask you another thing. Are you an average sized Camathu, or a large one?”

“I am biggest.”

“Thank you. Lead the way.”

“Lubic, what are you doing?” Azalyn asked him. “His people attacked and killed one of my own! Why are you looking into the deaths of his people?”

“Azalyn, I want to know what happened here. It’s a little hard to believe that your one guy killed two of them at once.” Lubic started to swim after Blorgscht. “And anyway, I’m not entirely convinced this is as simple as it seems.”

Azalyn stared after him in amazement for a bit, and then had to hurry to catch up to their disappearing forms.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Body

The treaty lands were relatively barren. At first Lubic wanted to refer to them as a desert, but he quickly revised that thought. The barrens were a wasteland. In deserts, life is still present; in this wasteland, there was nothing. No colour. No movement. No life.

“It’s just a little further,” Azalyn called back to him.

“How can you tell?” Lubic was swimming hard, trying to keep up with her. “It all looks the same to me.”

“Remember what I told you about being able to feel where your people are?”

“Never mind. Forget I asked.”

Suddenly, Azalyn stopped, pointing ahead of her. Lubic was still looking around and almost ploughed into her. Luckily her attention was riveted on the area her webbed finger indicated. “He is there.”

Azalyn was indicating a hill, much like all the others they had passed. Lubic moved forward cautiously. As he came closer, a body gradually took shape before him. It was humanoid, but like Azalyn, rather fishlike. The scales on the body were a dull brown. Even the hair was a mousy brown colour.

“Do your people turn brown when you die?”

“What kind of question is that? Of course we don’t! Are all humans the same colour?”

“Look Azalyn, I have no idea how things work with your people.”

Getting a little closer to the body, he was able to see the mess of the torso. There were gashes across the man’s chest, where something had ripped chunks out of him. The left side of his body was a torn up mess. His right foot was almost severed.

“Wow. Whatever did this must have large teeth!” Lubic exclaimed after taking a closer look. He was amazed that everything looked so well preserved; being under the sea, he thought it would have decomposed a lot more by now.

“The Camathu are sharks. What do you expect?”

“Just because they are sharks doesn’t necessarily mean they’re big, Azalyn.” The marks from the teeth were relatively clear. Whatever did this knew exactly what it was doing; this man died very quickly. “Wait, you told me about some kind of war. Did the Camathu eat your people? Or did they just kill them like this?”

“I’m honestly not sure. Like I said, the war was before my time.”

“Can the Camathu see very well?”

“As far as I know, they smell better than they see.”

“Have you ever seen a Camathu attack anything before?”

“We try to leave them alone so they’ll leave us alone.”

“That didn’t answer my question.”

“Look Lubic,” Azalyn was darting back and forth in a controlled line, like she was pacing. “Why don’t we go and talk to their Starlord? He can answer your questions better than I can.”

Lubic took another look at the body in case he missed anything important. “Okay. Where can we find him?”

“I am here, Spacelord” said a voice from right behind Lubic.