Here’s a sample chapter from my novel Kyvariz. It’s up online and you can order it now. Here’s the prologue and first chapter from my sci-fi novel!
WARNING: Some language and some suggestive themes are mentioned.
It’s been a blessing for humanity to thrive amongst distant stars and galaxies. Had it not of been for the quasarship project seventy years ago, that one planet known as Earth would have been wiped out along with the rest of all us creatures.
During that time, my grandparents told me that there was enough international chaos to level several countries. They didn’t know all the reasons why all these leaders were fighting, nor did they care; survival was more imperative. Fortunately, the world’s astrophysicists got together to send hundreds of thousands of humans to other planets that can sustain human life. That must have been a great idea. They even had the decency to get people from all levels of social strata to board quasarships. These interstellar vehicles were massive enough to fit entire towns inside of them. Quasarships were smaller than the space stations that orbited earth and other planets, but they were much bigger than those things I think were called shuttles or rockets. I don’t know, I heard that technology was something my great-great-great-great (okay, I can’t tell you how many “greats” belong there exactly) grandparents would have used to go up into the wild black yonder. The scientists back in that old and devastated planet researched into finding distant worlds that could be habited by us humans as they found various places that had a sufficient amount of water, terraforming potential, oxygen levels, and agricultural sustainability. If only they knew how much that last one would be true given where I live and where I work.
Of course, several people would rather find a stable new world than get eradicated by nukes or by giant mechs. I believe that several ships fled the planet much to the dismay of the disgruntled leaders who were throwing tantrums the size of national debt. Not many people who boarded the quasarships wanted to remember how hellish Earth had become during their lifetimes. Sure, they could remember certain countries and the geography of the planet, but they chose to forget about who led them. Shoot, they even don’t address the timeline that Earth used to mark their years. Maybe the astronautical people did, but I couldn’t tell you anything. What I can tell you right now is that the current year is 70 YPE. That little abbreviation stands for Years Post-Exile. It symbolizes how long ago the first generation of humans escaped the third planet from that foreign sun and tried to find a planet to colonize. I was told lots of prep work was done to find open spots on other planets. Each ship had a gigantic crew of pilots, navigators, astrophysicists, astronauts, doctors, and several other people. All of them had to make sure that there weren’t any hazards or anomalies on course with the route that they took. Asteroids, meteors, black holes, supergiants, and other such dangerous starblocks (what those space people called roadblocks during travel) could have killed them all if no one was prepared. Some people have even lived their entire lives on those quasarships and died of old age while on board. All they wanted was for their children and grandchildren to live to see a planet that could be a new home for them.
The vessel that took my grandparents and eventually my own parents was none other than the Quasarship Ellis. I heard that this ship had boarded several people from multiple continents. I guess that explains why I currently live in a diverse area. My grandparents told me that they lived in a country called Algeria before going aboard Ellis. I couldn’t tell you where it was on Earth or what that country was like, so I only had their stories to base it on there. They did tell me that their homeland wasn’t anything like where I’m from in terms of culture or the environment. My parents were actually born on Ellis, which was pretty common with an entire generation of people. Some of them started families as they awaited the day when they could all see a new planet to call home. There was enough synth-food and water to go around; they even had artificial gravity to make sure everyone wouldn’t float around on the ship as they shot through the ether despite it feeling really slow in the ship as many people in the previous generations have told me. So, the Quasarship Ellis took a lot of people all across space. They started out from the galaxy I think was called the Milky Way of all things to this galaxy that we humans called the Omega Frontier. I like that name a little better. Sounds edgier instead of something that sounds like a dairy festival or a candy bar. Ellis trudged through various meteorites which dented the ship, but didn’t destroy it. All of a sudden, they all found what they were looking for: a watery planet with green continents that kind of looked like a cleaner Earth to them albeit with eight different continents and shaped much differently than what their old planet looked like.
All those people aboard Ellis rejoiced as they found this strange, yet suitable planet to land on. They all threw parties aboard the ship, sang, danced around, and anything else one could imagine. Those humans in exile finally found what they were looking for: that watery planet with four moons in its orbit and located within a decent distance away from its sun. This planet is known as Nesotauri. They called it the blue diamond of the Omega Frontier and it became a symbol of hope for everyone aboard the Quasarship Ellis. The navigators found open land that was unpopulated on a continent that was called D’Jhem [Da-Gem]. Better yet, they found some abandoned, yet surprisingly stable buildings and homes in the areas that they looked at, so the terraforming process became a lot easier for everyone involved. The oxygen levels and overall atmosphere were considered safe for human sustainability, so they landed right on these rural ghost towns. It was thirty years ago when mankind made that giant leap onto Nesotauri.
Shortly, human civilization was thriving in these country towns. People set up more buildings, businesses, a hospital, and loads of farm land. You couldn’t walk anywhere in this general area without seeing some farmers riding hover tractors, agricultural mechs the size of houses that wield giant combines for arms instead of guns or swords, and also laser sickles to cut various crops. Everyone here is directly or indirectly involved in the agricultural business in the area. Especially right here in my hometown of Kyvariz [Ky-Vahr-Iz].
This little town on planet Nesotauri has roughly three thousand people living in it. Everyone knows each other in some way, shape, or form. We’ve got a tiny downtown full of local businesses, schools, some local festivals during certain times of the year, and of course…loads of farmland. One can be surrounded by cornfields and wheat even when one is in the more populated parts of Kyvariz. Sure, this town may seem like some hick place compared to all these cybernetic cities and upscale space stations that I’ve been told about on different planets or those ones found in sci-fi movies, but I have few qualms with it.
This town is one of the few places I know since I’ve lived here all twenty-three years of my life. I’m part of the first generation of humans born on Nesotauri, so this planet is all I know. My parents told me stories about living inside Quasarship Ellis and my grandparents told me about the borderline apocalyptic things that happened on Earth during their last few years as citizens on that planet, but it’s all so foreign to me. Now that I’m grown, I’m trying to make it here on my own. I’m living on my own with my friend Carmichael and I’ve got a job that pays the bills, but I wish things could be a little bit better, you know? At least things will be a little bit better all around since I know we’ve got the thirtieth anniversary of finding Kyvariz coming up, so I know there’s going to be a lot of crazy things happening. Hopefully, all those drunk party people wouldn’t cross paths with me. The last thing I need are some unruly people invading my space as they are all liquored up. Other than that, I know there are going to be some games, some picnics, local star-grass bands, and other things to do. Normally, Kyvariz is what people would consider a quiet town (Kyvariz is Nesotaurian for “peaceful”), but things are going to get a little noisy here.
Oh, how stupid of me to not say who I am. I haven’t introduced myself yet. My name is Fayiz El-Amin. My buddy and roommate Carmichael tends to call me Izzy. Either name is fine by me. I really don’t mind all that much. People tell me that I have some average qualities. I’ve always had an average height and average body type, so I don’t expect to look like some stud-muffin here in Kyvariz. My skin tone has a medium-to-dark tan hue depending on how sunny this town is. My hair is short, wavy, and as black as outer space itself. My eyesight was always myopic, so I have some thin-rimmed glasses on most of the time. I never saw myself as much of a contacts guy, and I’m also too broke to get some cybernetic eye surgery. I currently work at the local diner called the Tree King where I’m one of the cooks. The restaurant is built inside a hollowed out tree in the center of town. We typically serve some breakfast foods all day in addition to sandwiches, simple meals, and other things with a lot of the food and ingredients we get from a lot of the local farmers. That’s a win-win for the businesses involved because both parties get their fair share of money involved. Personally, things could be better on my end of the work front, but things will become clearer over time. Truth is that my work life would be the last of my worries as time went on, as some of my fellow Kyvarizites and I would soon find out in this little rural town on the blue diamond of the Omega Frontier.
Cycle 1: Life in Kyvariz
“One order of feta cheese omelets with hash browns!”
“Yes, sir!” It was another day here in the Tree King. It was 11:45 AM, and things were winding up for the impending lunch rush even though most people typically get our breakfast orders since that’s our specialty. The omelets were a cinch to make. I was just doing my thing by adding the right amounts of feta cheese and egg on the skillet. All my concentration was on all my dishes I made on the auto-stove: a floating red circle that burned in what looks like mid-air, but it was part of a thin and transparent part of an oven set. I brought out the potatoes and diced them up nicely before throwing them in to get cooked. All I heard were the sounds of bubbling, boiling, and the clashing of metal against these floating red rings and utensils. My co-workers’ eyes were on their current projects just like myself. Green digital letters lit up above our stoves to show what our customers were ordering. Suddenly, I got more notifications as I was working on those omelets. I suddenly saw those letters spelling “Blueberry pancakes,” “Chorizo Deluxe,” and “Kyvariz Special” all at once. Geez, it looked like we were in for a busy day up in here.
Then, my boss came in to check on how we were doing. He was a muscular guy wearing a white apron that said Chief Chef on it, and he had a blonde mullet under a hair net made out of tiny lasers. It was a miracle those lights didn’t burn this guy’s scalp. He walked around the kitchen with a scowl on his face as we were all cooking our respective dishes to serve to all our current guests. I wouldn’t be surprised if my co-workers were all sweating because of his presence and not because of the obligatory heat given where we all worked in the Tree King. All of my cooking compatriots kept their mouths shut as he eyed each dish that was being prepared for our customers.
Sure, Tree King wasn’t some chic haute cuisine place with five-star meals, but this was going overboard. I heard that people used to have TV shows like this centuries ago back in my history class where some strict chefs completely destroy aspiring cooks in these contests. Must have been hell for those guys and girls as they cook these impossible meals or else they get chopped in front of millions of people. Maybe what I was facing wasn’t too different from those people on those shows from ancient times. I just focused on my omelet to make sure everything was good. It was almost done, too. Just when I was finishing up this dish, he decided to bark at my culinary skills.
“Fayiz, what’s taking you so long?” He sharply spoke to me.
“Sir, I am finishing right now with all due respect.” I responded as quickly as his orders.
“I don’t pay you enough to dilly dally in the kitchen. That feta cheese omelet should have been done a minute ago.” He continued to intimidate me.
I got out the dish with everything on it, and I placed it on the nearest dish deck. These things teleport the food over to our servers to ensure that the food goes from the kitchen, to whoever is waiting that table, and then to the people that dine at our little restaurant. I couldn’t imagine us turning the food in by hand. The feta cheese omelet with the hash browns vanished. It left a green afterimage that was a silhouette of the meal I just prepared. “See, that meal is done, sir.” I said while politely proving my point.
“Whatever, you better focus on the other stuff that’s on your meal queue.” He said with a softer tone. Then again, his inflections would still be able to cut metal even when he used an indoor voice. I saw that even more orders popped up in my face in those ominous green holographic letters like tangible text messages. “Get back to work, slacker.” He said before going to the other cooks.
“Yes, sir.” I said quarter-heartedly as I worked on the next dishes on my to-do list.
The only thing that kept my attention were the ingredients in front of me. I eavesdropped some gibberish that I perceived was my boss yelling at another soul doing their job. Was he really that uptight or was his laser hairnet constricting the circulation in his brain? So what if I was allegedly a minute late? I’m sorry for being careful in my work to take that extra minute to make sure that I’m not serving a crappy meal for anyone in Kyvariz. If only he’d learn that people have their own speeds and styles when it came to doing their own things. I’ll even admit that I’m not the fastest chef on the team or even in restaurant history, but I can guaran-freaking-tee anybody that I put effort in everything I cook even when it takes me a few extra seconds or extra minutes to insure quality food.
I brought out the blueberries and some handmade batter. I tossed them together and mixed them up really nicely as the materials become azure stars shining in a light tan sky. This kitchen was my reluctant universe as I created planets of pancakes, galaxies of gyros, and solar systems of skillets to make sure that the mealtime macrocosm was in order. I put the mix into a new pan as it was over the igniting red circle floating below my arms and the delicious planets I was creating. Minutes later, I ensured that the texture was all right and that it had that twenty-four karat golden brown look with the sweet sapphire specks rounding out this breakfast masterpiece. Perfect. I sent it to the dish deck and it vanished from the kitchen and into the proximity of whoever ordered it. I hope they enjoyed the work I did for them and all these people around me.
A few hours later I was almost done with my shift. I could tell the workers were not as diligent as before since it was close to closing time. Surely half of them were going to get some whiskey and beer after they clocked out. I finished up a Kyvariz Club sandwich on rye. It had pork, avocado slices, and some Nesotaurian lettuce which has an orange hue. I shipped it up to whoever wanted it as it teleported away from me. One of my co-workers who was done with everything talked to me.
“Yo, Izzy, Did you not see that note that was over by your station?” He said to me.
“There was a note for me? Shoot, why didn’t anyone tell me about this? Am I in trouble or something?” I frantically asked.
“Relax, it wasn’t that bad.” He assured me. He passed me the note.
It was made out of pink rice paper and black ink flickered on it. The ink in question had to have been that photon stuff since it tends to glow for long periods of time when one writes with it with those pens. I held it up so my glasses could catch the nuances of this handwritten piece of thin frilly paper.
The note said. “Hey, I heard that you made those blueberry pancakes. They were quite incredible. Thanks, ISJ.”
“Who is this ISJ?” I asked my co-worker.
“Beats me, but that ISJ person must like you as well as your pancakes. Wait…could this be some kind of girl that has a crush on you? Damn, looks like I gotta step my pancake game up if I ever want to score while I’m in the kitchen.” He jokingly stated.
“Oh, please, It could just be a happy customer that likes something I prepared for them.” I replied to him.
“Sure…” he said sarcastically. “Maybe you can finally get a girl for once.”
“Look, if I wanted dating advice, I would talk to my buddy Carmichael. He’s got more game than my awkward self.” I asserted myself to him.
“Isn’t he that one guy who works at the local bridal shop?” He asked.
“Yup, that would be him. He’s quite the character, but he knows how to act professionally whenever he’s on the clock.” I responded.
“Whatever, man. You’ve never had a girlfriend in your life, so why don’t you start macking on those chicks?” He teased.
“Dude, shut up.” I said with tension in my voice. “My job is my biggest priority right now, and I need to focus on that before I can start getting in the dating scene. Seriously, it’s guys and girls like you that are part of the problem by wanting to get married let alone getting laid before you hit your mid-twenties.” I took off my apron and hairnet, then stormed out of the restaurant and headed straight for the parking lot. There was my dark blue Neptune K-series with the numerous bumper stickers waiting for me. I opened the door to get inside my little car.
“Good evening, Mr. El-Amin, How are you doing?” The automated voice said to me. It was calming and very feminine. My grandparents told me that some people from a country called England had a similar accent to my car’s voice when I had to drive them around town.
“Same old, same old…Just working like usual, dealing with tyrant bosses and some douche bag co-workers. I’m sorry for telling you about my typical crappy days, Karlotta. I’ll be heading home now.” I said to the digital voice.
“Affirmative, Mr. El-Amin. Destination to five-six-one Crow Street Apartment four B confirmed.” Karlotta said in her machinated, yet still human sounding inflections. “Drive safely, Mr. El-Amin.”
“You’re too polite, Karlotta.” I said smugly as I pressed the button to start the engine.
The vehicle levitated about a couple of feet as usual. A holographic map pinpointed my destination on the windshield, but I tapped it to make it go away.
I took a deep sigh and then said, “Turn on the classical underground archive station, please.”
The radio turned on in my car and started playing obscure music from hundreds of years ago. It played some light acoustic music that soothed my nerves. I didn’t recognize the song per se, but it sounded like it was made at a time when recording devices were more commonplace and cheaper for people to buy. I drove back home as my car floated around the country roads until I saw my apartment. I parked my car in the apartment lot and got out of it. My little K-series landed on the ground before I walked away.
“Have a good night, Mr. El-Amin.” Karlotta said to me.
“I’ll try.” I said right back as if my own transportation was a friend of mine.
I headed up the stairs to reach my home. The stairs were dark green illuminated rectangles that hovered step by step with a floating black-lit handrail that was parallel to them. I sighed as I walked up to my room. I then unlocked the door to my humble abode and of course…he was there.
“Yo, what’s up, Izzy? Ready to hang out and hopefully pick up some ladies while we’re at it?” Said my roommate. This man that shared an apartment with me was none other than Carmichael Klein. He was a tall blonde haired self-proclaimed pretty boy dressed to the nines in a navy blue three-piece suit with a white tie. Both ears were pierced with silver studs.
“Sure, why not?” I said to my much more enthusiastic friend. “I’ve got nothing better to do. So are we going to hit up Father Sea’s tonight?” I asked him.
“No duh, Izzy.” He quickly responded. “How many bars and clubs do you know outside this town?”
“Good point, Carmichael. Can’t say I know too many other establishments or people outside of Kyvariz.” Truth be told, I was sure not many people knew any other souls outside of this rural township. Carmichael and I headed downstairs to my K-series. Whenever the four moons lit up the night sky, it was his time to party and I just happened to tag along with him for the ride.
Kyvariz is property of C. M. B. Bell