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Authors: Damian Shishkin

Tags: #Fiction, #Action & Adventure, #Science Fiction, #Adventure

Ghosts of Lyarra

BOOK: Ghosts of Lyarra
9.81Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

Ghosts of Lyarra

Damian Shishkin

Table of Contents





Sagittarius A*,: Lyarran Research Station

Lyarran Vessel: Dark Light Imperial Shipyards of

Orbit of the Guild World

Inner System Solar Power Relay Station; Project

Inner System Solar Power Relay Station; Project

Lyarran System; Guild Planet Ryas, Temple of Divine

Sol System; Lyarran Vessel Dark Light, Neptune Orbital

Tokyo, Japan; Ningyocho

Himalayan Mountains; Mount Kailash,


Lyarran Vessel Dark Light; Neptune Orbital

Lyarran System; Zyan Station Entry

Imperial Docking Port;

Guild World Ryas; Temple of Divine

Lyarran Throne World Havyiin; Imperial

Lyarran Throne World Havyiin; Imperial




To my wife Jamie, who has kept my feet firmly on the ground, while letting my imagination soar amongst the stars.


“Compassion hurts. When you feel connected to everything, you also feel responsible for everything, and you cannot turn away. Your destiny is bound with the destinies of others. You must either learn to carry the universe or be crushed by it. You must grow strong enough to love the world, yet be empty enough to sit down at the same table with its worse



In my head rages a war, but not the kind most would realize. It is a war fought between two very different parts of me; where the real world crashes down on the creative world I love so much. I have a very creative mind, which serves me well to think of unique ways to do my full time job. As much as I think of it as an asset, it sometimes becomes a curse when push comes to

Some days my creative side makes it difficult to do my work; to concentrate and think analytically rather than roam outside the box. For the most part I can only quieten the creative side, but there are days when it just cannot be silenced. It is like a never ending raging storm in my mind; the great red spot to the Jupiter of my mind; and it will not stay quiet when I am not

So there starts the war, to preoccupy myself with things to do during the day to keep the beast at bay lest it know I have time to pay attention to its ramblings. I have learned to keep a pen and paper close by for those moments where inspiration interrupts work, but soon I tame the lion and return to the day to day profession. For the most part it will let me carry out my work as long as I allow it time to play at night, though it does threaten my sanity some

Now its ego has been fed by all the emails and reviews from those who have enjoyed the Rise of Aen. It has been met with great praise and calls for the next chapter in this epic tale. Well, here it is; here is the second part of a dream that has haunted me for years upon years, and it begins to expand on the characters introduced in the first book. This is a different tale than the first book; a continuation of what has started with the events on Earth. To me it is the perfect part to both carry on from Rise of Aen and carry forward to the next chapter in the saga. I have thoroughly enjoyed writing it, and can’t wait to get the next part done as

Some have asked if Aen is a representation of me; or in some part something I have based loosely on myself. To this I chuckle and answer a resounding “NO!” He is just a great character thought up in a wild and entertaining night’s sleep. I do not romanticize immortality the way other writers do, I see it as the ultimate curse causing more emotional trauma than any other benefit. In all our lives we suffer loss as death is the only real constant in life. It is heart wrenching to lose a part of your life like that, but it does offer insight to the pain of true

Imagine outliving everything and everyone you love; watching them grow old, suffer from illness or suddenly cease to live. Imagine being afraid to share yourself with anyone new in fears of going through it all over again and suffer the unimaginable hurt that comes with watching them fade away as well. Imagine having eternity to dwell on each loss and the memories they carry. For a species that glorifies and searches for ways to live forever, we do not take the time to step back and think of the consequences such a life would bring. An eternity to be haunted by the ghosts of your past; it sends a chill down my spine as I write this and is a true background of the entire

Though many would say that love is nothing to be feared, I contend that it is the thirst for love that would be the fearsome part. Despite what anyone says, we all strive for it and seek it out desperately; it makes this arduous journey we call life tolerable while at the same time makes it all the more painful. In my life I have loved and lost; and each heartbreak still resonates deeply within me. It is that rooted sorrow that I draw upon to help fuel my writing; to give it substance and meaning instead of just useless drivel. It’s what makes me who I am and it is what keeps me dreaming of stories that reach so far away but seem to hit home to all those who read

I don’t seem like a complicated guy; though I am the perfect contradiction once you get to know me. I am a friendly and outgoing person; not the typical writer type I admit; but yet am fascinated by astronomy and scientific theories. It took a long time for many to accept that I wrote a book. In their minds I am still the sports maniac and video game fanatic who turns quiet in large crowds. But as they have read the book, they began to see the world which I wove for them and began to understand me a bit more than before. As I mentioned in the first book, I believe there is life out there and if they know we are here I hope they stay far away. Humanity is volatile and hesitant to accept change; if we thought the world changed with our economic and social issues imagine what first contact would do. It would rock the foundations of everything we have built so hard, that it would be felt for generations to

Throughout all of this I still gaze at the night sky and wonder if anything is looking back at me. I wonder if they have made the same mistakes as we. I ponder if they stumbled and fell as they grew to stand tall. I am still amazed at the sheer beauty of the night sky as it flaunts its majesty on us, night after night. Light from the beginning of time; stars that shine so brightly which no longer exist bring a sense of joy and wonder to even the smallest child. We obsess about going back in time, yet all one has to do is look up and travel back billions of years in one blink of an

The future of the human race is amongst the stars, for at some point we will have to search for a new home, as overpopulation or extinction will force us to. Imagine the wonders we will see out there; oh what I would give to be amongst those who get to experience that first hand, though hopefully that won’t happen until I am long gone from this life. So I will be content to sit on my back porch and let my imagination do the travelling as I stay comfortably here on Earth. I will let it roam free amongst the wonders and nightmares that wait out there, and then reel it back down so I can share the tales with

I still struggle to sleep; the gerbil on the wheel in my head has found roller skates and a jet pack now. It now goes wild with characters and storylines for not only this series, but other books I have yet to write. To all those who have enjoyed my book, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I hope you enjoy the second chapter in this tale and let it distract you - at least for a short time - from the craziness going on around us. So step right up, make sure your tickets are in your hand and take a seat. Welcome back to my world; please keep your hands in the car at all times for safety and enjoy the ride. I promise there is much more to


Wind blasted him from every direction as he stood at the mouth of an ice cave. It wasn’t the strength of the wind that kept him so off guard as much as it was the bitter and gnawing cold that it hit him. Every inch of him hurt from the constant barrage on his body; even the modest environmental suit he wore had taken more than it could handle of this inhospitable place. There was no doubt in his mind that this was a place that held tightly to its secrets and visitors; burying them deep beneath the ice and snow to never see the light of day

Bryx looked upward and towards the distant star whose light barely touched this barren wasteland anymore. It was a white dwarf star at the center of this system; a long dead remnant of a sun that had sloughed off its outer layers as it died. Like so many other systems he had seen over his long lifetime, the inner planets were gone. They had burned away as the bloated star enveloped them as it closed in on its last days. All that remained orbiting the white dwarf were the gas giants; the largest of which held this joyous place as one of its satellite moons. With a slight turn of his head, he looked over at the monster that dominated the sky; its purple gas clouds whirled away on the surface as the immense gravity of the giant was the very root of the hellish winds that never let up here. He thought of cursing his selection on this mission, but in doing so he knew he would be cursing the Goddess herself for it was her that secretly sent him

There was no one else she could trust; he had been her trusted guardian for the majority of his eight thousand years of life. Bryx was proud of his posting; there were many worse jobs then babysitting the Empress of Lyarra. It wasn’t a too harsh of a term after all there were many times he did babysit her. Iana was full of wisdom and knowledge, but was also rash and impulsive. Most times he protected her more from herself than outside threats. But he could see the shadows looming; the days of her being untouchable, were soon coming to an

It had started with a whisper - these things usually did - and now had risen to a quiet roar. There was dissent in the ranks of the Council over her handling of the Terra Sol incident. More specifically, there was displeasure in the fact that she had allowed the asset of the Harbinger to be lost. Knowing as she did, Bryx understood there would be no controlling the creature or stopping him from sacrificing himself to destroy the Husk. So the mighty Aen had fallen, and with his disappearance the Council was now at odds with the Empress for the first time in history. They wanted their weapon or a body, without either their lust for his power grew each

That was why he was here; that was why he had travelled out to the very tip of the spirals of the galaxy to this icy tomb. To find and recover Aen before anyone else became aware of him having been here as well as to destroy all evidence he was ever here. A huge gust of wind brought him back to his senses and made him aware that it was time to retreat into the cave he had found for shelter. The storm was worsening by the hour; even a J’Karin would have trouble surviving out here. His kind were hearty and adaptable to any environment - hence their use as slaves in the time before the formation of the Empire - but this was too much to withstand. All the sensors in his suit were either on alarm or malfunctioning. It was time to pack it in for the night. To stay outside would be to welcome death upon

Hunkering down to a squatting position, the giant squeezed into the cave opening and shuffled down to the more widened cavern a few feet down. Here, the ten foot tall giant Bryx was able to sit up properly and could even stand upright if he wanted. From here, the wind was nothing more than an annoying sound; he was safe inside this shelter. Reaching inside his pack, he produced a small elliptical device; a small fusion heat generator. It would keep him warm while not overheating the environment around him to leave him at the mercy of the unforgiving elements outside. Propping it up on a metal stand with three legs, he turned it on and resumed rummaging in his pack for some

He removed his helmet, and for the first time since his arrival his leathery skin felt the sharp cold of his surroundings. His face scrunched up - he looked like a mixture of a hairless bulldog without all the wrinkles and a warthog - his tusks rose from his lower jaw and extended just beneath his squinted eyes. His flat, pug nose sniffed at his so-called meal, but regardless Bryx made short work of the meager survival rations he had on him as he shook his head thinking of how little progress he had made today. His ship was an unmarked and untraceable small cruiser; it could not land close to the crash site due to unstable energy fluctuations from the fractured drive cores of the two downed craft. Instead, he was forced to land three miles to the north and walk the rest of the way to find his quarry. To his frustration, he had only mustered just over a mile of distance in one day due to the weather. It almost seemed that the moon was giving its all to prevent him from finding Aen; it wanted to keep its newfound prisoner and was unleashing hell to do

Waiting until the morning, proved to be wise as the wind had tailed off some. The bitter cold remained however, and along with the never ending snowfall he was greeted with much the same as the day before. He felt as tired as he had last night. After tunnelling his way out of his shelter, Bryx stretched his stiff muscles and began to survey the surroundings. The picture of yesterday remained, most of what he could see was white. Snow covered much of the landscape, although the wind kept it from completely covering everything. Drifts piled high while the plains remained mostly clear and barren. His path was swept clean by the very thing he cursed

Pointing himself in the right direction, Bryx marched on in a steady pace towards his destination. He was careful not to over exert himself and made sure to leave a nav. point marker in the cave so he could easily find the shelter upon his return, should the weather turn once more. No one knew he was here; no official orders or reports were filed for this mission. She had spoken in his mind only, as she was careful to make sure no one else knew Aen was still alive. For two years after the battle for Terra Sol, there was nothing as she searched high and low for Aen. The Empress spent many an hour in her meditative trances as she searched for him with her mind, but to no avail. Then, out of the blue and when it was least expected, it was Aen that reached out to made contact. When she gave the order and destination for his search, she had cautioned her protector that although she knew where he was, she did not think he was in his right mind. His mind was fractured as it touched hers; his memory was broken and searching for answers it could not

So Bryx became more cautious as the haze of nothing broke and the wreckage of the Husk harvester came into view. Not only was his quarry unstable, but so could be the ground beneath him. There was no telling how much tectonic stress had been placed on the moon’s surface by the impact of the enormous craft. The leaking drive cores prevented any type of ground-penetrating scan to be done to show him safer routes. The snow and ice crackled under his weight from the moment he left his ship so that those sounds held less alarm than normal. He was left with his senses as well as his intuition, and little else to solve the riddle unfolding before him. Where in the miles of twisted metal and ice was

He approached the craft along the route in which it landed as he used the scarring of the ground to guide him inwards. Everywhere he looked there was destruction. Only the aft portion of the Husk ship had survived the crash as recognizable. He thought back to the last time any of them had seen the ship; the time when Aen had used the Amarra to blast a hole and ram it before igniting the jump space engines to obliterate it. While his intent had failed, the result was just as catastrophic. This system rode on the very outer tip of the large spiral arms of the galaxy; any further away from any type of civilization and it would be in another galaxy. The cold was so deep here, it left the thick, hardened metal, brittle and fragile. But as he waded through the maze of destruction, he noticed something missing; there were no

Even though the Husk had launched all of its ships into Terra Sol’s atmosphere, there were thousands of beings tied together forming the Hivemind and there was no trace of even one of them anywhere. Sure, some would be buried in the ice and snow, but even more would remain in the open or partially uncovered by the constant wind. More and more he pushed inwards through the wreckage, and the more he did so the more the lack of the bodies bothered him. He had been through warzones before - many more than he had ever wished to see - and though he had seen carnage and death, he had never witnessed emptiness such as

Stepping into a clearing, he noticed the edge of the hole in the hull he had been searching for. Finally he had reached where the Amarra had torn her way into the side of her enemy for the final kill shot. Bryx remembered the view from his vantage point on the Lyarra’s Fire as they had just exited jump space in time to witness the Amarra disappearing inside before the epic explosion that sent the two to this unimaginable icy graveyard. At the time, he like all the rest, thought that was the last they would ever see of the fabled Harbinger. The entrance stood nearly ten stories above him, causing him to step back to get a better look. And that’s when he saw the first traces of anything having moved out

The bottom of the opening was laced with a snow drift - as was the ground by his feet - but the top the snow mound was uneven with a groove worn down in the center of the drift. Something had made a path through the snow and travelled multiple times to and fro past it. It was the first encouraging thing he experienced since arriving on this ice ball. Something was alive amidst all this debris and snow. Bryx was willing to wager anything that, that something was Aen. With his two fingered, massive hands, he punched hand holds in the frozen metal of the hull and began his assent to the opening

Slowly and carefully he climbed as the dull clang of the metal echoed around the wreckage site. There was no way anything alive here didn’t know he was coming at this point. Until now, the wind had more than likely masked his presence, but the ringing of broken metal during his climb made him feel exposed. It didn’t take him long to scale up the wall; with his size and strength the distance was closed quickly. Making sure he had a good grip on the ledge first by clearing away snow, he hefted himself into the clearing and onto the drift that led to the internal parts of the Husk ship. He was in. Now all he had left to do was find

Bryx quickly realized that the drift he stood upon was more massive than he could have imagined. It spanned not only the entire way down the same distance he had climbed but also kept a near forty-five degree angle the whole way. As large as it was, he was certain it wouldn’t hold his near thousand pound frame in a slow descent. He decided to use this vantage point to his advantage to survey the scene below before sliding down the drift quickly to avoid being trapped in soft

Scanning the scene with his eyes he tried to get a grip on the interior layout. The darkness below held its secrets close and gave away very little. Even with his hawk-like vision, Bryx could only make out a few shapes in the shadows but not much else. As he was about to give up and slide down, he noticed off to his right - towards the debris of the middle of the ship - came an eerie, dull blue glow. It was barely enough to permeate the darkness, but enough that his sharp eyes and trained mind noticed it didn’t belong there. He had found Aen! Without haste, he plopped down on his hindquarters and slid down the embankment. It didn’t take long for his momentum to bring him to the

Now amongst the deep shadows of the belly of the ship, Bryx stood still and let his eyes adjust to the light conditions. Being J’Karin meant being adaptable, and within a few moments he was able to see in the murky darkness that now swallowed him as well. Quickly he searched for the same dull glow he had noticed above. Within moments he found his destination; and something else entirely unexpected! The shapes he had noticed before but couldn’t make out were bodies of the Husk; purposely placed and

Those nearest to him seemed like a wall that lined a street; arms outstretched and pointing further down the path. Most were broken and missing parts, limbs, and some even lacked heads; but they were his guides to show him the way to the one he sought. Bryx was wary as he slowly walked the path lined with these grizzly corpses; the thought of walking into a trap weighed heavy on his mind as his eyes scanned back and forth to either side of the path. He would take a cautious step, wait, then take another as this display of the dead bothered him deeply. In all his years, he had never witnessed anything like

The path was long. A lot longer than he expected, but led to an open doorway of sorts that was ‘guarded’ by two large, dead Husk with their weapon arms held upwards at ready. As he peered inside, the glow became more prevalent and he could see this morbid display actually became more extensive. Stepping inside the threshold of the cavernous room, he stood on the only pathway he could see. Everywhere else, hundreds, if not thousands, of Husk corpses lay prostrate in perfect formation on the floor, all bowing to their master in the center of the room. Following the lines, his eyes were drawn to the point of all this dramatic imagery. In the center of the room and sitting upon a makeshift throne of ice was Aen. Bryx approached slowly, knowing full well the potential threat that sat before him and the fact that Aen was more powerful than any other creature he had faced before. But the makeshift king didn’t move, nor did he acknowledge the fact that Bryx was even there. He just stared straight ahead in an unblinking and unflinching glare. After a slow and cautious walk, Bryx now stood directly in front of Aen and slowly reached out to wave his hand before the statuesque creature to see if he was alive. As expected, Aen didn’t move. Bryx sighed, the first sound he had made since sliding down the bank, as he began to think he had come here only to retrieve a

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