(Author’s note)… We are going to be meeting a lot of new alien races in this chapter, as well as some new members of races you would already know about… you know… if you have read the first three novels in my action/humor science fiction series: The Otherwhere Chronicles… available over there—> in my sidebar—>
One challenge of writing science fiction is coming up with new ideas for aliens. There is so much science fiction out there now that this presents a real challenge. I had to invent dozens of races and hundreds of characters for these books. I think I did okay. Occasionally, I resorted to some silliness, such as with my alien race called the Morlans, which I describe as; ‘your basic original Star Trek series aliens, short, blue, with little brow ridges’. This is the race of tech wizards to which our friend Gup belongs, and we are meeting a few more of them now… which brings us to another challenge of science fiction writing… making up cool alien names.
I might get around to posting the list of alien races. They give a little description of each race, their main physical features, and some details on their temperament and outlook and so on. Or I might not, since very few people are reading this. I will, however, post some more of the pictures I made of some of the aliens.
As Arthur sat in the ward room drinking a cup of coffee, he took stock of his Captains as they entered the slightly-too-small room. He was struck by an interesting fact; no one, as they went about their daily lives, looked remotely like they did when they were going to war. Take the average nineteen-year-old kid you have known. Now picture him in a helmet, with camouflage paint smeared on his face, and a haunted, feral look in his eyes. He is dressed in combat gear complete with body armor, festooned with grenades and rifle clips and a large knife. He is carrying a weapon designed to kill in his hands, and looks more than prepared to use it as he surveys the battlefield around him. Would you even recognize him?
Well, the same holds true for most races, it turns out. Aliens that Arthur had always thought of as peaceful and friendly he now came to see in a whole new light. The first to arrive were two pairs of Helper-Friends. There were two Brain-Friends and two Scout-Friends. The Brain-Friends looked very similar to Mr. Toad, being one and a half-feet-tall, and bright blue. And the Scout-Friends definitely reminded Arthur of his friend Gollum, being three-feet-tall, pale green, and very thin. But the four little beings were certainly not dressed as his friends were prone to dressing.
To begin with, they were all carrying side arms, energy pistols of some sort, in flapped holsters hung on belts covered with full-looking pouches. They all wore armored shirts that covered their arms and torsos. These shirts had a camouflage function that mimicked the background colors, as did the sturdy helmets they all wore.
The two Brain-Friends hopped over and saluted Arthur. “Our Masters have sent us as their emissaries. We hope you do not mind,” said one of the little blue warriors. Did I mention that all four of the Helper-Friends were wearing long, thin swords at their sides? If so, I apologize. Arthur knew it was difficult for the Slugs to move quickly without the ignominy of being loaded onto sleds. He told the Brain Friends that he appreciated the efficiency of this plan.
“May we speak to you quickly on a personal matter, Admiral?” asked the other Brain-Friend. Arthur told him to go ahead. “We would not bother you with something so trivial at such a time, but since we are waiting for the others…” The Brain-Friend gestured around the almost empty room and Arthur nodded for him to proceed. “We wish to thank you for the honor you have done the Helper-Friends. You have given us the chance to have our own names, our own identities, and there is no gift greater.”
Arthur was touched, and determined not to make a big deal out of it, but then one of the Scout-Friends blurted out, “We know you have befriended our kind. Please, is it too much to ask, would you give us our own names now?” The two Brain-Friends cast scathing glances at the Scout-Friend for his rudeness, but then they turned back to Arthur, looking pathetically hopeful and bobbing their heads up and down.
Arthur felt tremendously honored and just a little cheesy, but he meant it seriously when he said, “Noble Brain-Friends, I name you Merry,” he said to one, “and Pippin,” he said to the other. Then he dubbed the pair of Scout-Friends as Sam and Bilbo. And he told them to give the names Legolas and Gimli to the two Hand-Friends he knew would be back on the ships with the Muccasim Captains.
“You honor us greatly to choose names from the same great work of human fiction as you chose for your friends,” intoned Merry. All four nodded solemnly and Arthur joined in.
At that point, they were joined by two Vaccurians. Truth to tell, Arthur had always found the eight-foot-tall silver insectoids rather intimidating, and he certainly would never have wanted to make one angry. His friend Skip, the cargo chief on the Hub, was a pleasant and polite being, but Arthur had seen him lift a crate the size of a storage shed and weighing 8,000 pounds, in his four frontal arms, and it hadn’t seemed at all difficult. These two Vaccurians were downright frightening.
Since Vaccurians already went through life wearing natural armor, the armor these Captains wore seemed almost excessively redundant. But Arthur did think the extra spikes were a nice touch. The helmets they wore over their shiny, multi-eyed heads looked both modern and ancient, as if someone had crossbred a knight’s helmet with a fighter pilot’s. There were also armored boxes over both Captains’ forward shoulder joints that looked to contain missiles and energy weapons. If the Vaccurian ship captains were this well armed, Arthur could only speculate on what their assault soldiers must be packing. The Captains introduced themselves as Wallaparmondiosus and Fallagamisstorypop, respectively.
Following close behind the formidable Vaccurians were four figures that almost caused Arthur to leap to his feet and yell for the Marine security detail. In marched a quartet of fearsome Gomai, to come to attention before Arthur and give him a salute which consisted of shoving their tightly-clenched right fists straight up into the air. Arthur realized that he didn’t even know the makeup of his allied fleet, though he recalled being told that there were eleven races and thirty ships. I didn’t even know the Gomai existed in our reality, he paused to consider. He forced himself to calmly meet the disconcerting gaze of their crystal-clear eyes as he returned the salute in the human manner.
These Gomai wore armored coats of fine chain mail like the assassins did, but they wore armor leggings, boots, and helmets as well. They did not carry weapons as far as Arthur could see. The four Captains went to sit at the table without saying a word.
The next to arrive were a Tinnjjee and a Tarry. The Tinnjjee also wore armor over his already-armored crustacean body, and a helmet as well. He also wore an energy gun on a clip at the side of his armored vest. His repulsive mouthparts moved like power tools as he said, “Herro, Admirar, I am ship reader Rorrander. Now we fight the Keerar, eh?”
With the crab-like Tinnjjee was a Tarry. Arthur’s friend Mof, the head cook at the saloon, had always maintained that he had been horribly burned to the point that his people considered him to be hideous. But the Tarry Captain, who also looked like a five-foot-tall, hairless, fat and orange melted Buddha, had nothing about him to suggest that he hadn’t also been the victim of some tragic conflagration. This was Arthur’s opinion, not mine, and it was more a matter of human taste than anything else. This Tarry, however, instead of an apron, wore a complete protective suite of the same bright orange color as his skin.
Four Bats followed these Captains. You are familiar enough with the Trexes that I will not bother to describe nor introduce them by name. Though I suppose I could go far enough to say that they were wearing very medieval chain mail and breastplates decorated with gold scrollwork and precious stones that matched their helmets and shields. They also carried long fencing-style swords and guns at their belts. The little group consisted, not surprisingly, of two Princes, an Earl and a Duke, and they were all sure that Arthur was thrilled and honored to have them fighting at his side.
Next in the parade of captains came a Morlan, short and blue like Arthur’s friend Gup. He wore a body suite of color-shifting material that reminded Arthur of a light show, but did make the fellow very hard to focus on. He also had a belt and crossed bandoliers loaded with gadgets and weapons, and there were strange goggles perched on his forehead. He introduced himself as War Officer Gorap.
Gorap was followed by two Wasp Whips. These tall, thin individuals wore no armor, but they carried energy rifles strapped across their backs and belts holding large cleaver-like knives and what looked like grenades. They introduced themselves as Captains Corallor and Bayol, and launched immediately into an apology for the antics of the teen-delinquent pirates. Arthur politely told them to forget about it.
Into the room trooped six beings of a type Arthur had never seen before. They looked at first and even second glance, like four-foot-tall fish that walked upright, balancing on two rear fins and a finny tail. They had scales of iridescent bluish-purple and huge, round eyes below and to either side of a round, puckery mouth that rested near the top of their heads. They wore chest plates of black scale armor and carried bizarre boomerang-like weapons on their belts. Their short forearms had thin, webbed hands that had once obviously been fins as well.
“We are the Skalarin,” informed one of the Captains in passable English. “We come to fight with six of our hunter ships.”
“An honor,” returned Arthur, not bothering to listen too carefully to the six names because he knew he wouldn’t remember them anyway. He was, as he liked to say, good with faces and bad with names.
The Skalarin were followed by three Reavers, one of whom was female. Arthur exchanged the war hand signs with them because it was useful for transmitting information quickly and efficiently. The three patrol ship leaders were named Toovo, Rudis, and the female was Rovan. He greeted them in their own language. The Reavers wore no armor. They didn’t believe in armor. They believed in weapons and training, and they were well equipped with those.
Captain Browne alerted Arthur that the Xxo fleet had arrived and were sending their representative.
Four new aliens entered the room, aliens with which Arthur was completely unfamiliar. They were all close to seven-feet-tall, with short legs, two of them each, and very long torsos. They all had four arms, the bottom pair being short and strong, and the upper pair being long and thin. Their two blue eyes were set very close together on their round heads above very tiny noses and mouths. They wore no armor or indeed any clothes at all. But what really set these beings apart was the fact that their bones were on the outside of their skin with the pink and white flesh and muscle visible between them as if they had been turned inside out. Small strands of pink and white crept over their bones, and the whole effect was rather disturbing, like watching skinned hogs walking about in a butcher shop. Their only adornments were purse-like bags slung over their shoulders.
The newcomers introduced themselves as the Forthisa and gave their names, which Arthur proceeded to forget even more rapidly than he otherwise would have, because of the four new figures that entered the room to stand, one behind each of the beings who had preceded them. These beings, only half the size of those they stood behind, were fur covered, friendly-looking fellows, with heads that reminded Arthur of English Bulldogs. They wore only loincloths, and were all burdened with parcels and bags strapped about themselves.
Arthur waited politely for an introduction, but none was forthcoming, so he finally asked the Forthisa Captains who their companions were. One of the Captains admitted, reluctantly, that the Chasa, the newly arrived individuals, were their slaves.
“I thought slavery was universally frowned upon by all civilized races,” Arthur said in some surprise.
“Well, yes,” explained the walking anatomy lesson, “we have been trying to free them for centuries, but they simply will not have it. They say they don’t want the responsibility.”
Arthur leaned to one side to establish eye contact with one of the slaves, who nodded enthusiastically and gave a snaggletoothed grin with a mouth that, though large, didn’t seem quite big enough to hold all its teeth. “Very true, my Lord,” said the fellow, who was so cute Arthur wanted to go scratch him behind his droopy ears. Arthur was trying to decide if he should make some sort of comment when the Xxo Battle Commander arrived and the moment just passed.
Since Arthur already knew the Xxo, whose name was Ooo, from his meeting with the Council, their greeting was brief. So now was the time to go into a strategy and tactics briefing combined with a unifying pep talk. Arthur walked to the head of the conference table, thought about what to say, and realized it was time to admit the truth, at least to himself. He had nothing.