Vron, Queen of the Stars

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Featured Review on this writing by PoeticMe♥

Veronica (Vron for short) is not your normal, run-of-the-mill human being. "Who wants to be normal?" she would think. Not her, that's for sure.
Let's see how she gets on tackling some of mankind's problems, what she will be up against and where it leads her.

 

 

 

VRON, QUEEN OF THE STARS

 

 

 

 

 

"So dad, who's behind this virus business? The global pandemic." The girl ran over to the fireplace and poked the embers into flame, for dramatic effect. The reddish glow flickered off her shining black hair and eyes as she did so, and shadows danced about the walls.

"And been stirring up all this hysteria and stuff?" 

"Oh, I don't know. Same old, same old story I suppose. Or maybe not.” said Mike, sounding tired.

"I'm so glad to hear such a revealing and definite answer", said Vron. 

“How would you like to learn something about how to analyse information and do investigations and things like that? And then you can find your own answers to your questions.”

“Sure Pop”.

Next morning Vron awoke to the sounds of her mother in the kitchen. Looking about for her father led her outside into the fresh, cool air. She panned her gaze across the fields, down to the misty valley below.

He’d gone down there, to the river, so her mother had said.

“No, you’re not going down there on your own.”  Mother had warned.

“Oh, I’ll just go half way to the river then” Vron had replied.

With dog in tow, off she went.

A dark shape soon materialized down there in the mist. It grew clearer until it became a man. A man carrying a bag over his shoulder, walking casually up the hill.

“What on earth are you doing up this early Vron?” asked Mike as they drew closer.

“I was about to ask you the same question”.

“Well, I went fishing”.

Vron burst out laughing. “The only fish you’ll catch down there are pirahnas. What did you do dad, bump someone off?”

She eagerly tried to look in the shoulder bag. “Is that a gun you’ve got in there?”

“It’s fish”, he smiled.

She laughed and laughed,“fish my arse!”.

Holding the bag up over his head now, while Vron tried to grab it, Mike laughed with her. 

"It's my bag, not yours! I don't go gawking in your bag!"

And the dog added his comments.

They carried on walking back up to the house.

"Veronica, I'm going away for a few days on business again. You look after your mother while I'm gone won't you?"

"Oh, when are you ever going to take me with you Pop?" she asked. 

"Probably soon, I think".

"Heard that before", she sighed.

 

Breakfast was eggs, toast and coffee.

"We oughta clean out the chicken coop and shed, fix the holes in the fence and start raising chickens" suggested Vron. "Then we can have real eggs".

"And get a couple of cows, couple of lambs, resurrect the vegetable garden, fruit trees ...". Her voice trailed off as she exited the kitchen and entered the lounge room.

Mike helped his wife with the cleaning up, then went for a walk with the dog around the place, pointing out to him where some things were, including the dirt road up to the house, the gates, windows and doorways. 

When he came back he ambled into the lounge room, while rolling a smoke, and noticed that Vron was sitting in the big leather armchair, computer on her lap and earphones in her ears. He made his way around behind her to see what she was looking at.

Some music video, with the lead singer looking like he hated everything and was about to strangle the microphone stand. Mike reached down slowly and pulled out the earplug jack to have a listen.

"Geez, who are they?" he asked.

"H Bomb. Doin' 'Fall Out'. .. I'm gonna forrrrrrrrrrl out on you babe. I'm gonna fall all over yoh!" Vron sang along with it for a bit. "Not one of their better numbers. They've got a new single coming out though, called 'Global Inoculation', sounds interesting ". 

"I can't wait".

Vron kicked at his shins playfully.

"Oh," said Mike. "I just remembered. I'll be back in a minute".

Out he went, then came back with an arm load of books, dictionaries and maps, cigarette between his teeth.

"Here you go", and Mike plonked them down on the coffee table by the armchair. "See what you can do with that lot. And I want to see how you're progressing on your school work too when I get back". 

"Right".

 

 

Next morning, just as the sunlight was starting to glow over the Andes, Mike headed down toward the river. Down through the mist. Soon he came to a clearing by the water's edge. He reached into his shoulder bag and grabbed hold of something, pulled it out, looked down at it and worked his fingers over it. But the strange thing was, you couldn't see what it was.

Mike watched the river, saw a section of water bulge upward slightly, and ripples appear, radiating from a central point.

Soon there was a huge, strangely shaped water bubble rising upward, growing in size, it's water running and dribbling back into the river. Then, as though the river had  somehow given birth to a miniature, dripping rain cloud, the thing rose about ten feet above the river and drifted through the mist. It manouvered over the river bank and slowly came down onto the clearing near where Mike stood. It squashed some patches of grass here and there and sat there like a huge, transparent, glass sculpture, frosted in the morning dew.

Suddenly a thin, vertical line of light shone from it and then widened rapidly into a rectangle, revealing a dimly lit interior. Mike stepped into it. The rectangle of light contracted. The thing rose, to the soft sounds of little pieces of dirt, grass and mud falling from it.

Out into the middle of the river it went, slooshed the mud off its bottom, and vanished, leaving only a swirling wake of morning mist.

"Morning Lance" said Mike.

"Mornin" replied Lance. "Where are we going today?"

"Oh, ummm - how about Central Australia. That's out in the middle of nowhere".

"Well, alright, but we just passed the moon."

"Yeah, I know. I'm just goin' for a blat around the block first. I don't like being cooped up inside all the time. It's healthy to get out and about you know."

"True that".

Mike parked the ship on a smallish asteroid, put his feet up, and took in the view for a moment. The coffee machine whizzed to the console and set down coffees for both of them, then whizzed back to the kitchenette. 

Silence, except for the soft hums and clicks of computers and gadgets, and the soft sippings of coffee.

Earth was a little ball down there, half lit, looking quite pretty really.

"I'm sure feelin' socially distanced", commented Lance.

"Yeah."

"So Lance, how's things?"

"All systems operational. No drama. I actually had a good snooze down there last night."

"Oh, good."

"Well, I s'pose we'll head back".

 

 

 Soon they were cruising over beautiful, patterned landscapes.

"Have you ever seen Aboriginal paintings Lance? Some of them look just like that."

"Interesting". 

Mike parked high up on a rocky ridge. He got changed into his other clothes, took the device out of his bag, touched it in a couple of places, put it back in the bag which he then slung over his shoulder.

"All clear" said Lance. 

They got out. Lance stretched and yawned. Mike rolled a smoke each.

"Hell it's hot out here. Like a bloody oven".

They both ambled over near the edge of a cliff and urinated there.

"I've got an idea", said Mike, and between drags on his smoke, he continued.

"The boss wants us to solve the plastic problem next, right?"

"What plastic problem?"

"You know, the great - blob of it - out in the middle of the ocean, and all the rest of it."

"Oh, that. Yeah."

"Well, we oughta make it worth money to clean it up and recycle it. Make it into a big gold mine out there. Entrepeneurs, engineers and so forth could organise big barges to go out there, collect it, crush it up on the barge like they do cardboard boxes and cars, and bring tons and tons and tons of the stuff back and sell it to recyclers. No-one need lose jobs if it's phased over sensibly. and .... and kids can make good pocket money picking it up from parks and that, and dumping grounds could be mined for it. ... And sure, some items like medical and scientific tools could still be plastic, and ....

And arid inland areas - like what we're looking at right now below us here - can be turned into crop growing areas and forests just by letting in water via channels or other means. And you'd have enough paper Lance - enough paper to wrap up your fish and chips in for the next million years."

"I don't like fish and chips ".

"Well, that's your problem."

Mike went on a roll about the virtues of flax and cotton and wool and glass ... and how it's the individual person who is important, and about increasing production and prosperity in the face of adversity.

"Yeah, everybody knows that Mike, but...".

"Well it doesn't hurt to keep saying it".

"Needs a PR campaign" Lance suggested. "And get some big celebs in on it. Artists. That's the ticket."

Yeah, aesthetics. Extremely powerful.

Time to go".

"Oh hell! Where's the ship gone?!!" yelled Mike in alarm.

"Oh heavens!" yelled Lance.

Then laughing at their old, pat joke, they wandered over to where the ship was parked, put their hands out like blind clowns, feeling for it, and got in. Mike sat his bag down, and surveyed the control panel. Lance started running checks on the most recent incoming signals.

"All good", said Lance.

"So, how's Vron settling in at the new place?"

"You mean, the old place. She knows things Lance. She recognizes a couple of the places in my grandmother's photographs from the forties, for instance. And some faces. She says she feels at home. Don't tell her, but I think she's one of the family."

"Ours, or theirs?" asked Lance with a sideways look at Mike.

"Well, if she's theirs she's an extremely accomplished actor, as well as a mindreader. No, I think she's ours. I'll soon know for sure."

The pair settled down to work on their various projects, examining the production trends, working out plans and so on.

"Its a pity they didn't go for the force fields" said Mike. "We need to get them thinking beyond this ball of dirt, and beyond this system for that matter.

The technology is there to do it. 'Harmonic resonance' or something they call it. Apparently the pyramids were rigged up with it at one stage to fend off attacks, or so I'm told. Setting up a planetary protective field is the same principle on a larger scale. Same could be done for the moon, Mars and other planets.

I guess we could cook up some bull about some invaders from outer space on their way here soon - I mean different ones - not the locals. That might scare them into getting interested in the project. Or better still, get some actual evidence together and present it to them.

What do you think Lance?"

"The plan does have some merit" said Lance. "What's this harmonic, what's-a-name?".

"Resonance, like in musical instruments. For instance, a guitar string vibrating on it's own isn't very loud or powerful, but if you vibrate it in the vicinity of the big wooden body of the guitar, the vibration causes the big wooden body and air to vibrate with it and the sound becomes bigger. A really good violin is probably a better example. And then there's electronics and other factors."

"So the ancient Egyptians used to play their lutes so as to get rid of their enemies? Geez, they must have sounded real bad ".

"I'll explain it further on the way to the ocean Lance".

Mike took off, flying low, and pointed out how the terrain below used to be under the water. "And see down below there now? And see our height above sea level at the moment? How about that?"

"Hmmm", noted Lance, nodding.

They went on a short tour of possible future water pipelines and canals, and lakes, and what vegetation could be grown where. Then, Mike gunned it up and over the Great Dividing range and out to sea.

"Hang on, are we in the right ocean?..." Very soon they arrived at the great blob of plastic, looked it over from various angles and distances, recorded these observations and decided, since Lance hadn't eaten anything since yesterday, that they should have some lunch soon - or dinner - or whatever meal was befitting whatever time zone they'd land in.

Mike put down on a deserted beach, about three pm by the look of the position of the sun, and got his fishing rod out and rolled his trousers up above his knees, took his shoes and socks off, and headed off towards the water's edge.

"See if you can find some coconuts or something to have with the fish Lance", he called out.

"Ouww, that sand is hot!" 

Then Mike busied himself digging for pippies, with his feet. He looked rather like he was doing the twist, or some other dance by the water's edge. When he got one of the little creatures out from under the sand, and out from inside it's shell he baited his hook with it and tossed the line out. Then resumed dancing for more pippies.

Lance got some rocks and wood and fashioned a makeshift fireplace, collected some nice- looking seaweed, a couple of fallen coconuts, and some supplies from the ship.

It was dinner time by the time they got it all together and cooked.

"Well, I must admit, those fish cooked straight out of the water tasted alright", said Lance.

"Yeah, real food", agreed Mike. "And if we don't handle a few things around this place we won't be able to have any soon, the way things have been going."

"Yeah".

As the sky was turning a darker blue and clouds were painted crimson, Mike and Co tidied up, kicked sand onto the glowing embers of the fire, and headed off. As they rose skyward, and westward their little, lonely, green island shrank smaller and smaller until it was a tiny dot. Then it was gone.

Chasing the sun now, they watched it rise in the west, like a motion picture played backwards. And by the time they were finishing their after-dinner coffee, it was a mid-day coffee with the sun blazing down.

"I forgot to show you something", said Mike, as he brought the ship down to just inches above a roaring torrent of water. "This river here is much fuller in the wet season, and just a few hundred miles over here - " as he whipped the ship back up again, over a tall cliff face, and downward again, "is a natural bowl in the middle of a desert".

Mike put the ship down on a flat rocky area overlooking miles and miles of virtually uninhabited land.

"I saw this was Africa as we were coming over it", said Lance. " So this is another future lake or dam for irrigation purposes I take it."

"Yep. And there's something else interesting about this spot".

"All clear?"

"Yep".

Mike grabbed a bag, and Lance grabbed his detector, and they got out. Mike proceded to pick up some samples of rock and bits of dirt and, spending quite some time to look for them, broke off some pieces of vegetation. And they got back in.

"All systems operational. No threats." reported Lance in a bored tone. "So what's this something else that's interesting?"

"Well, I'll show you the results of some tests that can be done on these here specimens, but suffice it to say - "

  "We've been detected!" said Lance. He'd immediately activated the escape launch before he'd finished the statement. They were clear of the shell and miles away in the space of a couple of seconds.

The flash was intense. They saw the bright yellowish reflections of it off parts of the landscape up ahead. Seconds later they were many, many miles away, hiding behind a very large rock.

Hearts beating fast, concentrating on screens, listening intently, they sat tight.

"What was that?" Lance broke the silence.

Frowning now, while reading data scrolling down his screen, Mike looked worried. It was very unusual for Mike to look worried.

"Come and have a look at this Lance".

Lance did so.

"But that can't be." said Lance, scratching his head.

"Well it is", said Mike. 

"That didn't originate from around here, it's too - too unlike anything from these parts."

"Right."

Mike lightened up a little from his worry. "Funny, isn't it? I wanted some evidence. And here is some evidence."

"Well yes, fabulous. We came very close to being killed instantly by an unidentified energy beam from an unknown source. Which leaves us with some questions begging for urgent answers, before we do get killed instantly by another unidentified energy beam from ...".

"You're right again Lance. So what's the plan?" 

Lance was silent for a moment.

Mike sent the ship back into the air and headed off at high speed.

"We're going to eye-ball the site of that strike. Then we're going to get the hell out of here and back home, and lay low as plain ordinary citizens until I've nutted this thing out. Maintain signal silence."

Mike circled over the site. There was an enormous circular ring of charred rock and dirt, about the size of a horse-race track. Heat waves were rising off it. And some bits of something were still burning. And there, almost dead center inside the ring, untouched, sat their outer shell! Plain as day it could be seen down there - and in one piece!

"Readings? Safe?" asked Mike.

Lance soon nodded.

Mike landed invisibly right beside their outer shell. And, clothed in protective wear he got out and collected some more samples of dirt and rock and plants, this time from the charred ring. He looked and looked for any sign of tracks or footprints inside the ring. None presented themselves. Then he examined more closely the shell. The escape hatch was still open. No sign of any tampering or booby trapping.

"Better not risk it though" he thought to himself.

Mike got back in the pod and took off. he headed back to base, reported in to the boss, handed over the pod and all relevent information.

Getting back to South America was slightly unusual, due to the virus lockdown, but special passage was aquired on a military craft, which set down Lance and Mike about a mile from their new country property.

"Oh, by the way you will be  'Uncle Lance' now, OK?" said Mike as they walked side by side up the dirt road.

"OK".

"Yes, they'll take care of the shell. They've probably already picked it up by now. So don't worry about that. The thing is, I'm still not sure if that was a warning shot, or just somebody playing a practical joke on us. Or, maybe something else. 

Obviously an accurate little weapon! I imagine they'd have a use for such a gun in protecting downed craft. I bet they can adjust the area of impact as well as intensity.

 But who? And why? And how were we detected? We haven't been detected before, at least as far as I know."

As they rounded a bend in the road Mike was relieved to see their house. Even though he'd been watching it via satelite a number of times, up until they left the base a few hours ago, watching Vron and Esmerelda fixing the chook yard fence, hanging out the washing, and such, and everything seemed to be alright,he was feeling uneasy. He'd had a nightmare last time he slept where the whole hill was bombed and obliterated and devilish aliens cavorted around cackling with laughter. He felt a shadow of that nightmare now.

The pair walked off the road and through the rocks and tufts of long grass to the barbed wire fence, bent over and cocked their legs up and got through the fence, then started walking up the hill. They soon met the dirt track which led up to the house. 

It was too quiet up at the house. Mike quickened his pace and Lance followed, puffing. Forty yards to go and suddenly Sandy appeared and came bounding down the hill toward them. He pulled up about twenty yards out and threw his head to his left. And again. The dog's mouth was moving and he gave all the appearence of barking - but no sound! Then ran to the left a few yards and stopped. Mike got the message and followed the dog around to the back of the house, and enterd the old brick shed. He picked up a rock and tossed it out in front of him. It hit about six feet in front of him, in mid air, and bounced back and fell to the dirt floor. Esmerelda was standing on the other side. She reached out to a panel on the brick wall and urgently beckoned them. Mike grabbed Lance by the shirt and pulled him through.

The sound of barking and voices mingled with an electronic hum after Ezzy flicked a switch on the panel. 

"This was installed only a couple of hours ago, while you were on your way. We couldn't risk communicating. Come and get briefed. We don't have a lot of time," explained Ezzy.

Inside the house Vron was sitting at the kitchen table with a stranger, a nice-looking fellow, about twenty or so.

"This is Manuel" said Ezzy.

Mike and Lance nodded a greeting as they sat at the table. Ezzy got to back to the business of readying a frightening- looking assault rifle and  assorted ammunition.

"Well Pop, I dare say they'll take your plan more seriously now - the planetary force shields that is. Friends of ours shot up the country-side around and about yesterday, including around your ship" and she laughed her sweet twelve year old laugh.

Serious again, she continued.

"I needed you back here pretty quick. Things are on the move. The Morada are preparing to attack." 

Mike sat silently, with his mouth open, in a somewhat shocked state. And in addition to that he was kind of confused.

"I knew where you were Pop, and as soon as you two got out of the ship in Africa, I alerted my friends, who then got into position and watched till you got back in your ship. They then sent a signal that locked onto you, Lance hit the escape button, and as soon as you were well clear they cooked a big doughnut around your shell. Comprehende?"

Mike, still with his mouth open, looked more or less just shocked now. 

"While you were wondering about my loyalties, I was wondering about yours. But the maps and riddle you sat down on the coffee table a couple of days ago, enabled me to settle my wonderings.Thanks for that Mike." 

"More on all that later. We gotta get going. We're leaving in half an hour."

Vron got up from the table. "I've gotta finalize a couple of things. Manuel will take over for now". And she strode purposefully into the lounge room.

Mike was wondering - was that girl, or that young lady, really his daughter? If she was, she'd certainly changed rather remarkably in the last couple of days. A number of possible explanations were running through his mind and it was with some annoyance that these thoughts were interrupted by this fellow Manuel, who was saying something to him.

"Please come with me".

He didn't sound right - funny accent. He didn't look right either. Fortunately, Ezz was there, and she looked and sounded as she normally does, on operations. And Lance was still Lance. So that was comforting. Ezz came over and kneeled down between Mike and Lance, who were still sitting at the kitchen table.

"Boys, it's alright. He's a friend. And Vron is still our daughter Mike; she's simply an extraordinary daughter." And she smiled.

With a loud sigh of resignation Mike got up from the table, and so too Lance, and both followed their new aquaintence into the lounge room.

Good heavens! A big, black, square hole in the floor, where carpets used to be. As they stepped down the steep stairway Mike recalled hearing about the probability of a hidden cellar under the house, slyly constructed during the Prohibition. Not such an uncommon practice back in those days to cleverly wall off about half  the regular cellar space and do a little renovation ... and voila! - secret bar and booze stash.

But that wasn't all. They followed Manuel past old bottle racks and entered yet another room, via another hidden passageway of course, which led into a large underground hanger. Someone, carrying a box, out in the middle of the floor, disappeared into thin air. Or so it seemed. They were loading a ship, Mike figured.

"Here, put these on", said Manuel as he shoved vests and helmets and boots at them.

"And take your pick of those", motioning to a stack of various weaponry.

"Just in case we run into unexpected trouble on the way, you know".

"On the way where?" asked Mike.

"Home".

Manuel smiled at that, waited till they were ready, and escorted  them into the ship. Ezzy and Vron came on board right on their heels.

"It's a shame we never got around to getting the chickens." said Vron, as they strapped themselves in.

"What about Sandy?" asked Mike.

"Oh, he's already here" said Vron.

They taxied out of the hanger, accelerated through the screen, out past the other side of the hill, and poured on the coals into space. 

 

(to be continued)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Submitted: May 02, 2020

© Copyright 2021 James McMahon. All rights reserved.

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Comments

Archia

When I read your other one I was left with some questions, and this answered all of them. Now that I've read this one I can see how that was such a condensed version of an idea which is actually very well thought out. Your idea is really creative, and there's so much to it. It has so many different elements and I enjoyed seeing how you brought it all together. I liked seeing their plans for helping earth, and then it took a very thrilling twist. Veronica didn't turn out as expected, which was an exciting spin on it all.
I really enjoyed reading this and seeing your expanded version. It definitely answers a lot of questions and it's really interesting seeing the whole story and the whole idea. You've left it open for more, and I'm sure you'd certainly take it down another interesting path.

Sat, June 6th, 2020 11:59am

Author
Reply

Thanks Archia. And I'm glad you enjoyed it.
I'll continue the story pretty soon. It might end up as a book actually, rather than a short story. I'll see where it leads me.
Cheers,
James

Sat, June 6th, 2020 6:42am

PoeticMe♥

I love the fantasy vibes for sure. The flow is nice and your wording allowed this to playout like a movie in my head. It's been so long since I've read something this new and creative on here, it's a nice welcome back to the site. I'm honestly looking forward to reading more. Sorry my comment can't be more insightful (it's really late here) but I wanted to get to your story ASAP so you know I'm not ignoring your writing.

Thu, February 25th, 2021 5:30am

Author
Reply

Thanks Poetic me! Glad to have you as a fan.
I particularly like that the story played out like a movie in your head - I wrote it with that in mind, for one thing. And your comment is very helpful and insightful. Thanks again.
James

Sat, February 27th, 2021 4:41am

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