I’m writing a new book! It’s a science fiction story (and i don’t want to give away too much of the plot here) so via my artwork; i shall introduce you to two of my side characters instead:
Commander Silco Holofax owns Nextron Space Station (a restaurant-inn for interstellar space travelers, and a refueling platform for cargo ships). A few years ago Holofax became aware of certain illegal activities taking place near the loading bay of his station:
‘What are you always doing out here on the balcony staring down at the loading platform? Not the best view…’ Sarah poked fun at Commander Holofax after joining him out on the restaurant’s viewing platform.
‘Mmm…’ Holofax replied in a contemplative tone, ‘…a lot of these space traders are moonlighting as bounty hunters. I heard the one was a slaver. I saw the cages on his ship…’ Holofax continued to peer down at the loading bay with distaste, ‘… I don’t approve of those hooligans and their shenaniganizing. They’ll give Nextron a bad name. Worse still; if this gets out; people will think i had a hand in it. For the sake of my reputation, and that of the station’s; i’m getting myself a watch dog…’
Several days thereafter Holofax headed out to the Aquatex Cluster (this open star cluster houses the largest concentration of water-worlds in the universe). Planet PhyQuid was the Commander’s targeted destination. It had a dense atmosphere of water vapor; and was entirely covered by an ocean and sparse distributions of large ice-sheets. PhyQuid boasted a diverse assembly of amphibious lifeforms. It was the Commander’s intention to adopt and domesticate one of these such lifeforms; and to have it take on the role of ‘sentry’ at the Nextron Space Station.
Unfortunately; PhyQuid and other similar planets in the cluster were victims of water-farming. Theft of this precious resource had been taking place for centuries within the cluster. Many of the species housed by these prized water-worlds used avoidance as their primary defense against the poachers.
Lochurn was an infant extraphalopod living within the deepest depths of PhyQuid when Holofax came to him. Being a multi-cellular extremophile; Lochurn is able to withstand extraordinary conditions (such as high pressures and freezing temperatures). The drastic environment of PhyQuid’s depths causes many of the species to live in a state of almost constant hibernation, or more correctly; they are in ‘auto-pilot’ mode (to slow their metabolism and conserve energy).
However, the vibrations of the water-poachers working on the surface of these planets causes the domestic aquatic lifeforms to stir in the deep. Many species are receptive to even the faintest shudder; regardless of the movement’s originating distance. They awaken in ‘hunt’ mode. Lochurn’s mother was killed by poachers after charging toward sinister vibrations on PhyQuid’s surface.
The abandonment of Lochurn was evident. Floating astray in the depths; forlorn and underfed; Holofax lured the extraphalopod into his titanic bathysphere with the promise of food. Lochurn received more than a simple meal from the Commander. It was the Commander’s empathy that restored Lochurn to full health and high spirits. On that day; a strange new friendship had formed.
✘ Hack It! ✘