Just because yesterday’s story was pretty much a fizzle: As a consolation prize here is a scene from “Valleylon”.
Valleylon is an alien world peopled by humanoids (in fact quite humanoid), of seven planets circling a binary star. Six of the seven are inhabited by “Vaughhi”, the humanoids whereas the closest to the suns is considered “unhabitable” – a home to dense jungle and wild animals, with temperatures comparing to Earth’s tropics.
More to the point, the Vaughhi have been interfering with humankind for ages, unseen and unheard, by way of abducting humans from Earth and relocating them to Valleylon. (“Valleylon” is a Vaughhi word and essentially means “home”. They have been space raiders for a long time.) But this time, the Vaughhi are at loggerheads with each other – and their renegade Crown Prince has just set out on his own agenda, defying the governing powers-that-be of the warlord who is currently running the place in the place of a High King.
Princess Arlesienne pulled the hood down lower over her forehead. If any of the servants recognized her now… She waited in the shadows until the guards were distracted with shift change, then crept past the heavily guarded outer gates and hid in the shadows again.
Through the muddy roads outside the moat she sneaked, narrowly side-stepping one of the moat-gators that snapped at her ankles. They had these in large, on Planet Earth, so she had heard.
Valleylon’s darkness was not enough. Vaughhi had highly developed night vision, having evolved on planets that were in a permanent state of at least semi-dark. For the sake of too many Vaughhi having mixed blood by now – it was not traceable how long humans had been bred to this ancient race – the towns had added lights. But from her brother’s reports, the light on Earth had to be absolutely phenomenal.
He had told her in high excitement about his “find”, that day; the two young Founders, on their way into the Deep Void, whom he’d been able to stop in time and bring back. They had escaped from the clutches of the Great Vaughn; their captain had claimed them back before Galamer could go through with his own daring plan to return them to Earth. This had resulted in Galamer’s bottomless admiration for that man who had gone through space with the pitifully limited means of Earth, for weeks, to retrieve his Founders. Galamer had been most surprised to see how short he was; but it had sparked only greater hero worship.
It was easy to be big and strong and a hero, he’d explained to her. But to be small and scrawny, and pathetic-looking and yet a hero, that was amazing. It indicated a spirit far greater than in a larger man.
She didn’t necessarily agree with all her little brother’s warblings; but she knew he’d gone back to Earth to launch himself into the war zone there and shoot down Earth’s enemies, so he could prove himself in battle and be worthy of serving that Keeper character. Serving! It had strained her thinking. He was the son of the Hero King, and of the High Queen of Valleylon. The Crown Prince, the next ruler in whose hands Valleylon would remain for, if all went well, ten thousand years. He had to bow down to nobody!
She had received word that he was comfortably serving on the ship of Earth’s Planetary Ruler, at this point. And she wanted to call him back. It didn’t behove a High King in waiting to serve!
But nobody backed her in this. Galamer, who but for his unique character would have been the most spoilt brat on all seven worlds, did what he liked. Nobody interfered with him. So it was up to her personally to fetch him back; and to get past these forsaken guards, because as much as she was the daughter of the Queen, she had nothing to say.
She was at the harbour now. She found an unattended space shuttle, boarded and took off.
The harbour guards wanted her to identify the vessel; she gave the Royal codes, and they presumed she were her brother, and let her pass. Arlesienne vaulted through the portal.