Read Alutia Rising, Anniversary Edition (Alutia Rising Series, Book 1) Online

Authors: Craig Gerttula

Tags: #romance, #drama, #adventure, #space opera, #intrigue, #science ficiton

Alutia Rising, Anniversary Edition (Alutia Rising Series, Book 1)

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Alutia Rising

 

By Craig Gerttula

 

Anniversary Edition

 

Book One of the Alutia Rising Series

 

This is a work of fiction.

 

Copyright © 2013 Craig Gerttula. All rights
reserved.
Cover Image - Asteroid Belt and Earth Images
courtesy of NASA/JPL, who in no way support this work, and used
under the Creative Common Attribution 3.0 License.

 

Published by Sky Hoshi Publishing
Smashwords Edition December 2013

 

 

ISBN-10: 0988465574
ISBN-13: 978-0-988465572

 

Publisher Contact Information:
www.skyhoshipublishing.com
[email protected]

 

 

To my mother,

 

Thank you.

Preface

 

First, I’d like to thank each and every one
of you for taking the time to read this work. I hope you find as
much enjoyment as I in the world, characters, and story of Alutia
Rising...and if you do not, I thank you for giving it a chance.

It’s been a long year since Alutia Rising was
first released, and during the months since, I’ve felt myself drawn
back countless times, feeling an attachment to the first work that
I quite literally put years of blood, sweat, and tears into as I
developed the story and universe. On rare occasions, I would find
myself reading through chapters I know by heart, wishing I could
take my experience, my growth, since the work was first completed
over two years ago, and somehow improve on the way I tell this
story that I love so very much, so that you, the reader, could
wholly experience that same enjoyment.

So when I sent book three of the series off
to my editor, with my dog Hoshi’s stamp of approval of course, I
asked if she would mind me taking a few months to revisit book one,
to give it a once over, even if only a year has passed since its
initial release. She was reluctant at first, though understood my
yearning to improve on my work, even after its official release. So
in the end, I was provided permission, but reminded the time spent
on it would be my own and should not interfere with the agreed upon
future release schedule (...jokingly of course...).

What I present to you within these pages is
the anniversary edition of Alutia Rising, which was initially
planned as just a revision, but snowballed into a significant
rewrite. Though you will not find a radically changed story,
additional chapters, or differing characters, but instead, what I
hope you will find is a story whose flow has much improved,
characters who feel more alive and developed, with an overall
consistency of writing that should match the sequels in grammar,
substance, and style.

So to those of you new to the world of Alutia
Rising, I welcome you with open arms, and to those who may be
giving the work a second chance, I honestly hope you do enjoy the
changes made...and if not, I again thank you for giving it a
chance.

 

Humbly and Respectively,

 

Craig Gerttula

Prologue

A bitter breeze swirled from the fading
darkness high above, biting at Emperor Yuloo Origin’s flesh with
its glacial fangs. But little did the 298th hereditary ruler of the
New Universal Empirical Human Alliance pay it heed, knowing its
origin intangible, manifested from the burden of rule swelling
ceaselessly upon his aging shoulders.

Yuloo let slip a sigh, hunching ever deeper
within his throne, its power built upon the bones of the many who’d
come before him. Though little did it assuage the ache of his own
bones; the chill that crept, unrelenting, through the fur laden
cape he wrapped ever tighter about his chest.

A calming melody, telling the story of the
first Sons of Yu, reverberated across the cavernous, dimly lit
chamber known as the Great Hall of Humanity, a place of awe for all
those who may set foot therein. But for Yuloo, it felt a prison. He
being forced by tradition to sit atop a raised pedestal in its
core, encircled by 203 exquisitely crafted steps, each representing
one of the galaxies currently under his dominion.

“A foolish notion of a tired, tired man,” he
muttered, knowing well the great hall his central seat of power,
providing a majestic example of his authority for those over which
he ruled, and may consider questioning that standing.

He raised his weary eyes to gaze upon the 203
statues of kings and queens lining the four Great Paths of the
Emperor, each standing over a kilometer tall, like eternal
guardians waiting to judge all who dared enter his presence. They
were works of wonder, reaching half the distant ceiling, with
swirling galaxies cradled in outstretched hands and specks of pure
lights dancing over their flowing surfaces.

At the base of each statue, lining the gem
infused pathways, stood ever his Emperor's Elite Guard, adorning
full reactive combat armor of the unique livery of the galaxy king
or queen whose likeness towered above them, ready to fall upon any
who may threaten the sovereign of this great hall.

In years past, these posts were held by
actual members of the Royal Guards of each galaxy, a sign of
loyalty to the emperor, and in turn, a sign of trust in the kings
and queens. But as years past, and more and more galaxies fell
under the NHA’s sway, the ambitions of its many rulers deemed such
a practice a significant risk that the Blood of Yu, those emperors
ruling from Planet Origin, could no longer allow.

Unless, of course, I remove these
troublesome kings and queens
, Yuloo considered for a moment,
knowing the idea one that many a past emperor had also measured.
Except, like most, he knew it wasn’t a viable option, the risk of
full-blown rebellion and total collapse just too great.

With an alliance the size of the NHA, the
common moniker used when referring to the New Universal Empirical
Human Alliance, it was all but impossible for him to rule his
holdings directly. So it was decided, during the founding, that
galactic hereditary kings and queens would be appointed to rule
each galaxy in his stead. He still held control, of course, his
proclamations, known as Emperor’s Proclamations, alongside the NHA
Founding Charter, the unbreakable laws of the universe. But beyond
these laws, the kings and queens could rule their galaxies as they
pleased; each galaxy being, for all intents and purposes, sovereign
states.

It was, however, still impossible to rule
effectively in this manner. The interpretation of the NHA Founding
Charter and Emperor’s Proclamations something not to be left to the
kings and queens pleasures, who could easily misinterpret these
laws to provide themselves greater power. So a system had been
developed that allowed the emperor to, in a sense, oversee all the
ruling nobility.

He glanced to the floating, fluidic sphere
that hovered a few centimeters above the gem laden bracelet he
adorned, rippling and constantly shifting its coloring. The sphere
represented a Proxian Reliability Oversight God Reaction and
Analytical Mind Module, or Program as his subjects more commonly
referred. Artificially created, these super intelligent beings were
responsible for overseeing the ruling nobility and reporting their
actions to the emperor.

“Approval of new trade regulations between
galaxies 29 and 136...” A monotone voice, bereft of all emotion,
emanated from the sphere, stating that an approval had been
provided in his name and informing him of the details.

The Programs were, in fact, the shadow rulers
of the NHA galaxies, having final say over all galactic impacting
decisions the ruling nobility may face. So they acted, or were
suppose to act, as if they were an extension of the emperor's mind,
laying down judgment in line with the Emperor’s Proclamations, NHA
Founding Charter, and, most importantly of all, the emperor’s
thoughts.

He found this was generally true, but
occasionally the Programs would make decisions based on tradition;
ancient, archaic tradition. It happened so rarely he normally let
them pass without direct intervention, though even at times when he
wanted to overturn a decision, the Programs would find a restricted
or sealed clause of the NHA Founding Charter to justify their
verdict.

The Programs themselves were enigmas. The
science behind their creation and existence, sealed for eternity.
But Yuloo, having been in the intimate presence of Programs since
his youth, had learned a few “restricted” details over the past 79
years.

Each Program was unique, even though they
sounded alike, responding differently to the same questions. When
needed, a new Program would appear without any human intervention,
being created through a means unknown. Though there appeared to be
restrictions on their existence. They were only able to subsist
within starships, structures, or other objects that included gorian
alloy, an ultra rare precious metal. Though once within, they were
capable of “possessing” all matter attached to, or within a set
distance of, their housing. Meaning, a Program that was integrated
into a central planetary matrix system, with a gorian core, could
oversee everything happening on said planet. Or so he assumed. The
actual details restricted. He was more optimistic about their
methods of communication, which he believed to be instantaneous,
appearing on the surface to go against all known standard universal
and black hole physics. But Yuloo, through skilled questioning that
could only be honed through years of dealing with men and women of
great power, had learned it had to do with manipulation of the
“second” universe, or recondiverse.

“Counter incursions reported on all fronts of
Walodiss Aggression Limiting Line in NHA Galaxy 189. Emperor's Wall
Fleet reinforcements are being recalled from Fleet Bases AZ-111FV,
YP-820NM...” he listened intently as the Program listed off the
response that the high-admirals in charge of the Emperor’s Wall
Fleet had decided, noting that these forays of AH-Zec, the
cranillium ruler of the Anti-Sapien Unification, or ASU as most
referred to them, were becoming much more frequent.

The ASU, whose mandate was to annihilate the
NHA, since the NHA had attempted, and failed, at annihilating the
cranillium, the lead race of the ASU, were of little threat. They
controlled only a tiny sector of galaxy 189, 378 light years at its
widest point, about half the size of a standard NHA Duchy. So even
with the industries race of schnac’lasis on their side, who
themselves originated from a distant dwarf galaxy and were the
reason the NHA’s cranillium conquest had failed 413 years before,
were no match for the NHA’s enormous fleets. The Emperor’s Wall
Fleet alone, the force responsible for patrolling the Walodiss
Aggression Limiting Line, or Wall for short, which surrounded ASU
controlled space, stood 150 million starships strong. Meaning that
the NHA currently held an immense advantage, and he found little
reason to pursue the war as it now stood.

But the ruling nobility had become restless.
Many wondered, few openly, why he was allowing the ASU to continue
to survive, not pursuing their extermination as was required by the
NHA Founding Charter.

“For I am a human first,” he wanted tell
those of who had long forgotten that fact; looking to the ranks of
the Emperor’s Elite Guard standing at attention far below, knowing
with one word he could order an invasion, sending them, and
billions of other humans, to their deaths in an attempt to destroy
the ASU.
It would be such a waste of precious life,
and
since the Programs had yet to question why he was allowing the
stalemate to stand, he saw little reason to pursue the issue
further.

He frowned, noticing Zing's fluidic sphere
undulating wildly, knowing there were other, more pressing matters
that required his immediate attention.

“Planet Zuulica was destroyed by Duke Telimen
Evilonia in galaxy 45 due to possible insurrection.” Emperor Yuloo
tensed as the monotone words sunk in, his anger seething towards
the surface.

The Programs had one glaring flaw. They were
unable to directly intervene in decisions that had not been
previously deemed within their programmed responsibility. This
meant the Programs were unable to stop a ruling noble from throwing
away human lives based on indiscretion or delusions, which happened
more frequently then he thought possible. The emperor could, and
would, act after the fact, removing the troublesome nobles, and
possibly a king or queen if he found justification.

“Zing, send for my knight high-admirals,” he
ordered, knowing that it was unorthodox to provide a name for an
individual Program, they themselves preferring to be referred to as
just; Program. But it was his only companion for much of the day,
besides his pet catillian and his daughter Yukie, allowing some
semblance of civility in their constant communications.

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