the cosmos seems to have taken pity on me.  or, at least, become heartily sick of my self-indulgent whining.

tonight–which, incidentally, is also World Book Night–i switched on the pooter with the intention of seeing if i could poke my muse into some sort of action.  the cosmos appears to have handed me a stick, in the form of a post at The Graveyard, by the inspirational Gary James, and a challenge at Rebirth In Buffalo, by the gorgeous and adorable Aisling Weaver.  please take a few moments to read both, and you will understad what follows.

i took a moment to analyse the pictures presented, and what they meant to me.  i admit i didn’t go for deeper meanings anywhere here, since my concentration is shot to ribbons and baby steps are required (thank you, Gary! ;).  but here is what i knocked out in a surprisingly short time once i’d nudged and shuffled the images arond until they sort of fitted together:


these are the story cubes that inspired what follows. they are, however, inanimate - the blame lies entirely with me

It was a desperate gamble.  They all knew that, but they had signed up for danger, for adventure, and for the thrill of the unknown.  And to help avert the worst.  They came from so many different places, so many, many differing backgrounds.

One had left behind a grand country estate.  The memory of its fountains glittering in the morning light of a midsummer day would come to give sustenance through the dark days ahead.

Another had come from rich lands in the rolling hills of his home, except from the other end of the spectrum.  The patient chewing of the sheep–now minded by someone else–would provide a good example as the monotony stretched into days, weeks and months.

Still another had come from the roaring lines of diesel locomotives that split the lands of the former two; one from another.  The shape of their present craft and home would provide a constant reminder of the former cradle of being – the rushing, rattling, swaying conveyance mirrored by this rushing, silent, seemingly stationary one.

Unbelievably, the invitation had appeared in the form of a letter.  Of all things, that outmoded and dying form of communication was chosen as the disguise for the message that changed all of their lives irrevocably, and held those of the entire human race in the balance.

Their faces lit by a solitary lightbulb hanging above, they stared at each other in apprehension – each thinking the same, holding the same holographic face in their minds.  The face that had been projected from a cunning device hidden in the envelope, activating upon opening.  The face that had, in each recipient’s own language, delivered the fateful message:

“We have studied your race, and you have been chosen as a candidate for an intergalactic mercenary force departing in three weeks for Andromeda.  Should you accept this generous invitation to see new worlds and face exciting challenges, all training, food, clothing and financial rewards necessary will be generously provided.  Should you not, you will only see the mercenary force once, in the sky, followed by bright, bright light.”

They had all understood the message.

What choice did they have, really?


so…  not a great start, but it is at least a start.

let’s see what happens, shall we…?