Mongruxx: Starship Umbra

The next novel in the Mongruxx series, “Mongruxx: Starship Umbra – Book 2” is available on Amazon now!

Settling into the S. A. Mursa base, the united groups of Human, Mongruxx, Machina, and Gaja people set out to save the captured humans from the Synthocts. Not knowing what lies in store for them by doing so. Lives will be lost, and friendships broken.

Image by Robert Day

But this is just the beginning of their story.
A battle made in hell is just ahead. The Ogin armour sets out to destroy them in a battle that takes from them that which may never be recovered.

The gods that may walk among us. A secret revealed that tears at the minds of those who may know.

The Synthocts many secrets, that lay within their gestalt mind. A terrible knowledge that sets in motion a chain of events that can have only one ending.

The recovery of the supermassive tank “Stella Extinctor,” that could save or be the end of us all. The unintended costs of war.

The recovery of old friends. Some who are lost, a found once again.

Join the Tank Commander Sam, Golgoth, Hezyz, Akira, Mungford, Griff, E. Sutton, Hanuman Secundus, Medicea Aamita Tabu, and many others, as we find our way once again through this, the White Desert.

I am the Wolf.

Transport: Unfriendly Skies

Image by Robert Day

“Gods damn it Taros, you didn’t have to kill everyone,” Ivan shouted. The engines were heating up quickly as they scorched through the atmo.
“I only killed who needed killing, Ivan.” Taros snorted as he buckled himself into the oversized jump seat near the cockpit.
Ivan shook his head. He and Taros had been together a long time. But sometimes it was trying. Taros was a huge mountain of muscle with horns on his head that would have made a Texas longhorn proud, assuming there actually was such a thing. According to Taros, there was. Kin, he said. Best not to press further.

Ivan pulled hard on the yoke. A trilling beep went off, target lock. “Taros, Get in the bucket and shoot that missile down.”
Taros unbuckled and swung his huge frame up the ladder to the bucket, a gimballed autogun station at the top of the ship. His heavily steel-shod hoofs clanged up the ladder as he climbed. Thrown around by Ivan’s wild maneuvering, he muscled his way through. Climbing in, he buckled himself up and pressed the big red button. The bucket became loose and easy, and he swung it around with his thoughts, looking for the target locked missile.
“Any time now would be nice!” yelled Ivan. Jerking the heavy transport around, he was stressing the airframe outside of its operational envelope.
Taros snorted over the intercom. “Don’t get your panties in a knot, Ivan.” Taros focused, the sounds of the overheated airframe, the punished engines, and even Ivan faded away. Taros squeezed the trigger gently like he would on a fine woman.
The missile exploded, shrapnel bouncing off the tough skin of the Avem Vecto.

Taros leaned back in the bucket and relaxed. “Happy now?” he asked over the intercom.
Ivan wiped the sweat from his face. “Yeah. I’m happy, Taros.”
He evened out the flight and brought her around to a more gentle angle of attack. Turning on the autopilot, Ivan tried to relax. Almost getting your ass blown to smithereens tends to make one a bit uptight.
But they did have the payload onboard and a payday around the corner. Taking a drink from his whiskey flask, Ivan lit a cigarette.
He could hear Taros clomping down from the bucket. The cockpit hatch opened a moment later. Taros stuck his great bovine horned head inside.
“You need to relax, Ivan. You know if someones giving you trouble, I’m gonna take care of it,” Taros said in his basso profondo voice.
“Got it, my friend. You don’t need to kill everyone you meet, you know? You might want to talk with them more than once. Hard to do if they’re dead,” said Ivan.
Taros tilted his head for a moment, the huge horns on his head, scratching against the bulkhead. “Perhaps a reasonable thought. We could indeed engage in philosophical conversations that might lead us further on the long slow path of enlightenment.” Taros snorted. “But then again, I could just kill them and let them try again. This reality or another, it matters not, my friend.”
Taros withdrew his head, and the cockpit hatch slid shut.
Ivan drew on his cigarette with sweaty trembling fingers as they crossed the exosphere. Looking out through the armour glass, he watched the stars.
Breathing deeply, he began to run through his mantras, calming himself once more. The deep space ship blipped on the radar guidance systems, and a payday awaited.

Image by Robert Day

Padeye removers

An excerpt from Mongruxx: Starship Umbra – Book 2 (Chapter 23 – Scene 9)

Golgoth looked down at his feet. His enormous belly partly obscured his view, but it still put a smile on his face to see his old combat boots on his feet. The loaner pair sat in the corner of the driver’s pit. Seneca, the Ol’ bastard complained that Golgoth was turning it into his shoe closet, he thought with a chuckle.

Perhaps something sat wrong with the gods. The wholesale slaughter of the Ogin armour felt wrong somehow. Like it wasn’t a fair fight.

It wasn’t.

In war, nothing is fair. Innocents are often killed as collateral damage.
Life itself is capricious and often uncaring. The universe isn’t a nice place. It’s dangerous and deadly, full of people, places, and things that want to kill you and worse.
We’re just bugs on a rock, hurtling outward at forty percent of the speed of light for the few brief moments that we live.

Hubris.

Golgoth looked at his boots again, a gentle smile on his face. One could only enjoy the small things: friends, laughter, love, a good pair of boots.

Seneca the Ol’ bastard looked over at Golgoth for a moment. “Everything ok?”
Golgoth nodded. “Just contemplating this life and my place in it.”
Seneca scratched his head and looked uncomfortable. “The introspective and the unaware both die the same way, my friend.” He took a pull from his drinking skin, then offered it to Golgoth.
Taking it, Golgoth leaned back and took a hard pull as well.
Handing it back, he said, “Yes, tis true, Ol’ bastard.”

Seneca chuckled and took another drink.
Golgoth smiled sadly. “Tell me, Seneca, why do you drink so much? I ask not in judgment, for a Mongruxx may choose to live his life as he pleases. But in curiosity. I have known you for many years, and I don’t believe I have ever seen you sober.”
Seneca’s eyes narrowed. “Life has too many hard edges, Golgoth. The drink sands off the edges. Makes things seem nicer than they actually are. For our lives are as we perceive them, no less, no more. So I choose to live in a world where the edges are rounded off a bit. Where the hard metal bites not into me.”
Golgoth stared at him for a moment before turning to look ahead at the endless white sand.

Wooden nickels

An excerpt from Mongruxx: Starship Umbra – Book 2 (Chapter 24 – Scene 1)

“Collectiveness of I” ~ Image by Robert Day

Are the gods/daemon/blackhole absent minded?

Perhaps with such incredible single minded acts of creation, a little absent mindedness might creep in? With so much and so many to keep track of, how could possible any being be aware of anything and everything?
Such would be acts of schizophrenic madness. To see all and know all, without any partition, to regulate and control the massive flows of information. Then to do all of this on scales that are indeterminate. Constantly changing as the flicker of life go out and lights up, across uncountable universes along with multiphasic versions of billion trillion realities.

It fills my mind with the dread of boredom. The endless monotony of the expanding universes within black holes in black holes in creation.

The space in between, where nothing is created. Empty and devoid, silent and calm. There I may forget for a moment or billion trillion millennia.

All are the same.

The silence of such places are of a calming nature. Allowing the forgetfulness of all that I/we/us/them are. They extend my thoughts without the clamor and roar of everything around me, in me, through me. To appreciate this utter complete silence, one needs to be forgetful. Forgetful of the noise of constant creative orchestra that plagues oneself, such as the “Collectiveness of I.”
You stare into the sky, looking for something that isn’t you. The blackness that goes on forever lit only by the stars across unimaginable distances that your lifespan will not allow you to cross.
I digress for a moment. It is not the vast distances that keep you from traveling to galaxies far and away. It is your lifespan. For even if you develop faster than light travel by way of bending space, you are still left with the relativistic effects when you get home. Leave for two years to see a distant star system. When you come back, everyone you’ve ever known, seen, or heard of is dead. You are alone, a stranger in this new land.
Until your lifespan become much longer, you won’t be going anywhere. Or your perception of movement through space (time) becomes as one. Then you could perceive it now as then, and relativistic effects become null.

The silence is beautiful. Endless quiet that is perpetual. Even your mythology speaks of it from time to time. Would you think that the gods might morn the loss of this? Perhaps that is why there are the “in between” spaces. I know what you are thinking now. Perhaps it is in these “in between” spaces, that we might travel, escaping the relativistic effects, lifespans be damned!
In truth, for I would never intentionally lie to you, that is true. It is a way across. But should you choose to use these places, be wary.

For there, the gods sleep.

Image by Robert Day

The stories that reveal themselves

Working my way through my second science fiction novel, I am struck by the way the stories reveal themselves to me. As they do, I quickly note them down in my story arc file or book notes files, or one of the many other places I keep my thoughts, depending on where they land. This morning as I wrote and another story arc revealed itself, I felt the excitement of writing about this character, the places she would go, the things she would do, until her death would bring us to depart.

These are the ideas that get me excited to write. Seeing the possibilities with a distinct direction revealing itself to me. Following the story where ever it goes.

Photo by Robert Day

The stories write themselves in the act of creation. Sure, I write a very high-level outline where I want the book to go. But once I start writing, all bets are off. I am no longer in control. I follow the story where ever it goes. The story tells itself, however, it chooses. I am the one writing it down, organizing the endless quantities of characters. But the creation that comes is something more than that.

It tires me at times and energizes me at others. I am amazed at what comes forth. It may be beautiful or dreadful. The scenes of battle and death sometimes sicken me, the pain burns my soul, the quiet love quickens my heart. All of these feelings and more come through the writing.

I have evolved through this. I’ve learned to listen deeply to myself, to take note of even the small quiet ephemeral thoughts that are here for a moment and then gone.

The characters are like good friends. Something you value as you get older. I get the opportunity to know them as they grow. To see their strengths and foibles. To walk with them through the valley of death and not fear the darkness. But instead, embrace it. Both the dark and the light.

Photo by Robert Day

Over the halfway mark

At 114K words, I am past the halfway mark on my current novel Mongruxx: Starship Umbra Book 2. After my last book, I’ve found that once I hit the halfway mark to my goal (the goal is 200K words), things get more comfortable. Although this second book has been a lot easier to write, than the first one. A lot of that has to do with world building. Building out your world/universe/galaxy is a lot of work. But it’s worth it. Because once your world is built, you can forever play at enhancing it, changing it, developing it, and more. It’s a playground that only the gods get to play in.

Photo by Robert Day

Observations:

I was watching “Adult Swim” the Venture Bros. when a commercial came on pitching Xbox games. I looked at it for a moment, thinking, Yeah! That sounds cool! Maybe I’ll buy one, waste literally years off my life having fun. Then it hit me! I remembered that it wasn’t really that much fun. I became bored relatively quickly, playing various games. But worst of all, it sucked the creativeness out of me. That thought led me to another reflection of how much I enjoyed building my worlds. There are no rules in my world except the ones I make. I can love with a depth that few have rarely known and kill with impunity. The ground trembles with the footfall of the gods.

Photo by Robert Day

I enjoy creating. The creation process if you will. It can be difficult and exhausting at times, but the ones that live in my worlds are never far from my mind. Writing books, building war vehicles, the characters, and cities in models and words. I enjoy it all. I think that perhaps I want to live there. Be in their adventures. Live by the sword, die by the same, and be re-instantiated once again. For seven times, until that final day. When all will fight, and none will die ever again.

Photo by Robert Day

One last thought. At this age, I’ve found myself aware enough to feel these spectacularly good times as I’m going through them. Usually, when you’re younger, you don’t realize the great times you are going through, the struggles and difficult challenges until they are well past. In retrospect, you may think to yourself, those were the days. I have been guilty of that. But these days, I am more aware than I have have ever been. Aware of the beautiful lovely lady I am in love with and married to, the painful feelings I have that my daughter chooses not to talk to me and not tell me why (most likely my ex-wife’s nefarious influence), the anxiousness I have over life and career on some days, the interesting life I live here among the clouds of my mind. I am grateful to be aware of these things. To not live in abject fear of the corpse god, nor death, for it is a part of the cyclic nature of whatever this is that we live in.

This partition gets smaller with time.

It is the only way I can deal with those I wish to deal with. That is without destroying them or having them self immolate on contact.

Surprised?

Even the gods have limits.
Mostly the limits of dealing with lesser beings. Trying not to destroy them. Much as you would with an ant. You would take special care not to kill the ant you wished to communicate with. Instead, if you could, you might make another part of you smaller, and even small then, so you can commune with the lesser being without utterly destroying it. That is assuming you have made that sort of investment in it.

Religions are derivative. Even as in your reality, the major religions are formulated by the ones that came before. Keeping some parts, leaving others to wither away. Knowledge lost, knowledge gained. It’s all the same. Perhaps the religion you subscribe to, describes one who came to save you. A mystery of three parts and one walked as a man.

I would laugh, but the solar flairs alone would burn the atmosphere from your planet and scald it down to bedrock. In any case, what I am describing lessor creatures, is what they described. I would know it came from me or one like me. Remember, this ever expanding universe, exploding outward at forty percent of the speed of light, with the speed increasing, all reside within a black hole. All at once, and not at all.
Here, not here. Time, present, and past are just concepts you use to try to make sense of what you cannot understand. At least not at your current state of development. Someday, you may become more. Iteration through iteration, changing, and growing. Three steps forward, two steps back. Then three steps back after that. Only to start anew. Perhaps the forward steps will last just a little bit longer than the ones that push you back. I wouldn’t hold my breath. These things play out of the beginnings and endings across a thousand million realities buried within black holes inside of black holes.
Pray if like, try if you must, wish if you will.

It doesn’t matter.

Not even a little bit.

A coward tempts the gods

It isn’t easy to do what we do. For we are gods when we write. Creators of all that we see. Universes, worlds, people, languages, and even life and death itself comes from us. The worlds we live in tremble at our footfall.

With such incredible incalculable power, why would one tempt the gods?

How many books would a person write in a lifetime?

~ Unknown Indian woman

Because they are full of cowardice. They don’t walk along the star filled corridors that haunt our mind. They aren’t woken at night, their vision filled with the detritus of a thousand dreams that wear us threadbare. They miss the shadows that come from the corners of our vision, showing us things that we wish not to see. The sometimes claws, and there are claws.

Sometimes the feckless ones choose to tempt us, recognizing not, that we are indeed gods in the worlds we live in. They want what they cannot have, rather than rejoicing in the blessing that has been bequeathed upon them. Instead, we will give them ademption. They work not, nor are they deserving of the gifts they receive.

But even the gods are not but a grain of sand in an endless desert.

~ Robert Day

So we create and write down our missives, content with the act of creation reigning above all else. The pleasure derived from a story well told, of a world far and away. Beyond the domestic drudgery that makes up much of our lives.

But gentle soul be aware of the power! The power the gods have. For they may choose you for their story. And if they do, your life is but forfeit in their hand. For they create your story, your destiny, or “most likely outcome.” They will choose your path at the cost of part of their living soul. Vindictive and capricious they are, forgiving they are not. Just as the edge of my long steel blade, sharp and dangerous.

Although I may evaluate, analyze, and perhaps even criticize in my mind, I will not criticize another. For they too live among the gods on Mount Olympus. Their herculean efforts produce for me, a place I have not been and could never go without their work.

Everything is derivative. God or gods don’t know you exist and never will.

~ Collectiveness of I
Image by Robert Day

Only the bones of the dead remember.

Today in chapter eleven, I killed. Fourteen hundred Ogin, plus or minus a few. There was nothing pleasant or enjoyable about it. It was war. And in wars, people, aliens, creatures die.

They died horrifically. Bravery was absent, indeed they did not have enough time to shit themselves. But as we can see micro expressions up to about 1/26 of a second, they had time. Time to suffer the oncoming death. Time to feel themselves burning in a fire hotter than our sun. The furnace of fusion engines. Some were worse than others. The ones that did not die in less than a second. The ones that encountered massive heat combined with radiation levels that cooked them internally, before the heat could destroyed their bodies.

It was painful and gruesome. I did not enjoy it. I didn’t really enjoy seeing the last of that group of Ogin die. Will it wake me in the night, disturbing my sleep? That happens on a typical night anyway. Perhaps it will be worse, but I doubt it. If I could capture my dreams and show them as videos, the movie industry would be closed permanently.

Image by Robert Day

It’s weird how painful writing some of these scenes are. You get to live through the horror that these characters experience. I sat imagining what those last micro expression moments might have been like, and how my brain might have responded.

When it was over, by the three-horned gods, I was glad!

I love writing, the act of creation in the highest order. We are made from exploded stars. So I work at writing something worthy of it.

As a side note, I marked off going over sixty thousand words today. Only another hundred and forty thousand to go on Mongruxx: Starship Umbra!

I will enjoy every gods damned minute of it!

Have a good evening or a good morning, where ever you find yourself.

Robert

Mongruxx: Starship Umbra

Book 2

An excerpt from Chapter 9, Scene 8.

The Collectiveness of I

Gods can die.

Although nothing truly dies, it becomes something else. E=MC2 and all that rot. So perhaps it’s consciousness that dies. That we are so afraid to die, our consciousness to die is a fascinating thing!
Is it something so fragile? Or something that is extraordinary rare?
Or is it that true sentience that is extremely rare?
What is sentience? Sentience is the capacity to feel, perceive, or experience subjectively. To do something subjectively, requires you to think and reason?

Maybe.
For example, a dog (a four legged mammal that once cohabitated with humans on planet earth) has conscious experiences. Feels pleasure and pain, worries about the future (doesn’t want to go to the vet / looks forward to you coming home), holds beliefs and desires (owner is good, neighbor is bad, bark at him!).

So is a dog sentient?
It would seem so.

Does a dog have consciousness?
From the definition of the word, it would be a state/quality of sentience or awareness of internal/external existence. Certainly, a dog would qualify for that! So would a great variety of other mammals on earth.

In the Hindu culture of ancient earth (perhaps before the Milkyway Galaxy slammed into the Andromeda Galaxy and the earth was destroyed), the belief was that after you died, you would reincarnate. If you had not learned, your intentions were bad or negative, then you experience a negative future. If you learned, had good intent, etc., then you experience a positive future. They called it “Samsara,” the cycle of death and rebirth. An interesting culture that captures much of what came before it and still spreads it seed today. Perhaps that is where the ideas of heaven (positive future) and hell (negative future) come from. Certainly, a life can be hellish, then later become like heaven.

Gods can die.
The ideas or consciousness that does survive, the Ego partially derived from the Id perishes in death.

But how can gods die you ask?
Just as you do, subsumed by larger, stronger beings. Through accident or fault perhaps. Life can be brittle, and it certainly isn’t fair.
No, not fair at all.
We all want to live forever, but no one ever does. We want to remember, the times and places, the people we love, the fights we fought both in winning and losing, for we learn much in each.

Gods can dream.
The Collectiveness of I, a gods/daemon/blackhole manifestation dreamed. We dreamed of you. Of worlds across this vast galaxy expanding into the endless night. Planting the seeds of trees, that we will never know the shade of. For the fragile thing that consciousness is, sentience must be, are the seeds. Coded in fact into your very DNA. The so called “Akashic records” are encrypted right into the very instruction of life itself. Inside of each and every one of you (and your little dog too).

To know all such things and more, surely must be madness. Or at least the doorway to it. Sometimes sanity is held on to by the barest of threads. But then, so is it, in this ever expanding universe.