• Animarium

    Animarium

    Melissa Starr | Linktree

    Animarium – Melissa Starr.pdf | DocDroid [ONLY AVAILABLE FOR A LIMITED TIME]

    Animarium (lulu.com)

    calibre – E-book management (calibre-ebook.com) [CAN BE USED TO CONVERT EPUB FILE TO PDF FILE]

    Melissa Starr | Spotify

  • Follow my New Twitter @MelissaLStarr – Also, here’s a new blog 🙂

  • #WritingCommunity #BloggingCommunity #notbatmanyet PLEASE READ THIS!

    Taken from @autumnleesnews on Twitter.

    I know it's difficult for some to believe that "Sam" isn't real. #notbatmanyet @notbatmanyet

    It's also difficult to believe anyone would just blindly believe "Sam" as though "he" is a cult leader.

    What do we have to gain, the ones telling the truth?

    #GoogleJackieOverton

    The truth remains –

    There is NO REASON a group of unrelated people would say the same thing about one person.

    Not everyone saying this about "Sam" knows each other, and we all get harassed by Jackie's cult because WE TELL THE TRUTH.

    I'm not trying to ruin someone's life here – on the contrary!

    If you knew THIS is who was CROWDFUNDING, would you send money to ANYONE SHE RECOMMENDED?

    I mean how do you know it's not just going right back into HER POCKET?

    Come on! THINK!!!

    Jackie also has favorites she recycles frequently.

    Keep an eye on them – they are complicit.

    https://screenrant.com/sister-wives-closer-look-meris-infamous-catfishing-scandal/

    Originally tweeted by Åutumn Lee (@autumnleesnews) on 19 Jun 2022.

  • #WritingCommunity #Blogging Community My Twitter Account Was Hacked

    I’m getting set up somewhere new. I’ll be in touch soon.

    x

  • The Conquistador, part 6

    The Conquistador, part 6

    >>>Previous blog<<<

    The group decided they needed to begin to actively explore and understand their immediate surroundings, even though they were led to believe all had been investigated prior to the Conquistadors’ arrival on the new planet. Collectively, they were of one mind, and believed now that after Sheri’s death, they may not have even left Earth at all, and could be in some torture chamber, after being drugged and brainwashed to believe they had been transported to some other planet.

    Being the most impulsive of the group, Raymundo offered himself up as an experiment to test the theory of their true isolation on the planet, or if they were even on another planet. Given that he recently lost his life partner, Sheri, he was not ready to face going on without her. Raymundo decided if the experiment didn’t last, he would be okay with it. The group protested based on Raymundo’s reasoning, but ultimately, understood what he was trying to convey. They really felt the same; if this was some final game the Astari Foundation was trying to play on them, it might as well go quickly, because it was becoming something they were slowly feeling they wouldn’t end up surviving after all.

    The experiment involved Raymundo sleeping outside for the next few nights, to try and lure out whatever killed Sheri. He could, of course, have shelter from the elements, just in case of sand storms, or rain, which did not occur often, but when it did, would surely cause discomfort if sleeping outside. Raymundo and the rest of the Conquistadors helped him create a makeshift tent outside, about six feet away from the space craft, on its own. Raymundo brought along a container of food, a portable shitter, and a container of water. Opting not to install a bed or camp roll, Raymundo said he would only be outside for a couple of days. It didn’t matter to him whether or not he slept in that time; he really didn’t hope he lived through it.

    The group shook their heads in disapproval, but ended up leaving Raymundo to it. He could have just as easily stayed watch for two days in the space craft, he thought, thinking Nate was trying too hard to assert his dominance within the group. Raymundo never liked to get involved with the politics of it, but it was obvious Nate and Roslyn thought they were better than everyone else, given that they were the first to be allowed to marry and were chosen as the leaders of the group. It was almost like, after Sheri died, Nate and Roslyn acted as though it was a personal affront to their pride, and Sheri’s death posed some sort of risk to their continued leadership, as if that even really mattered to anyone except Nate and Roslyn.

    It made Raymundo start to think about whether or not they were involved with the Astari Foundation after all. Maybe they were fakes; maybe they didn’t actually go through the torture at the camp or wherever they were, before. Raymundo didn’t know what to believe in anymore. If he continued down this train of thought though, he might as well believe that Sheri was still alive. If he believed it, maybe it would make it real.

    All of a sudden, there she was, her nude body hovering just above the water, the moons high in the sky illuminating the path Sheri floated toward Raymundo. It seemed like time slowed down, like everything started going in slow motion, and as Raymundo stared he saw that Sheri was no longer alive, but he was not afraid. He knew she was a ghost, coming to him from beyond, coming to him even in death, because her love for him was strong enough to transcend the bounds of life and death, and knew nothing as final as the latter. He stared, and she came closer still, closer, until she was right in front of him, hovering about two inches above the ground, looking down at him as he sat, Indian style in his tent, a soft rain started pitter pattering down on the top of the tent. The raindrops seemed to go right through Sheri. She stared at Raymundo and her mouth opened as if to speak. In an instant, time sped up and Sheri’s dead face was right next to Raymundo’s hissing, “You’re gonna die, Ray, you’re gonna die, Ray!”

    “Ugh,” Raymundo shook and woke up from a nap he didn’t even realize he was taking. Looking out at the ocean, he saw that the overcast skies covered up the two moons that were usually visible at night. A quick glance at the water didn’t reveal Sheri’s ghost floating toward him, though he didn’t know if it would be entirely unwelcomed, or scary. He missed her terribly. The dream though, Raymundo was certain, was a warning. He felt Sheri’s essence in the dream, and her words seemed very careful and deliberate. Her voice sounded the same, and there was just an authenticity in her message that Raymundo found it hard to deny. Not that he was really worried about dying, but he was worried about how he would die. No one knew what happened to Sheri, and it didn’t seem like she was too afraid of her surroundings, so whatever killed her was either invisible or made her feel safe enough to get close enough to do that to her. Sheri wasn’t an easy person to get close to, so that would not have been any sort of simple feat.

    Raymundo’s thoughts drifted back to Nate and Roslyn, and how they may have even had something to do with Sheri’s death. Of course they would have had to, if they were involved in the Astari Foundation after all. Maybe the Astari Foundation made promises to them that they weren’t willing to promise the others, so Nate and Roslyn turned. Maybe Sheri was a sacrifice. Fighting back anger and tears, Raymundo turned his gaze from the ocean to the space craft where Nate and Roslyn slept. If they betrayed Sheri, they would betray any of them. They must be stopped.

    Before they were stopped, though, Raymundo thought, they needed to be questioned. The others needed to know what they were in for. Raymundo settled back in his tent, staring out at the ocean and thinking he saw something flying off in the distance, but it was dark and cloudy, so he was fairly certain his eyes were deceiving him.

    …WILL BE CONTINUED…

  • The New World

    The New World

    >>>Previous commentary<<<

    ***SPOILER ALERT FOR ALGORAB***

    Hello out there!

    It’s been a while since I’ve done a commentary, and it seemed a good time to pause after <The Conquistador, part five>

    While I have not yet named the new planet, it is still the same planet that was referred to as “Algorab,” in <Animarium>

    I felt like that was worth noting. I have been busy building the fantasy world, and creating its wildlife population. Please see the following blogs:

    <About the Lircy, “The Tides at Dawn”>

    <About the Spuftuik, a.k.a. descendants of the Lircy, “As Above, So Below”>

    <About the Iphymoly, “Iphymoly”>

    <About the Nashishi Tribe, “The Nashishi Tribe”>

    The region in which the prologue to “Algorab” has taken place has been named “Uryphis” but the planet itself has yet to be named. It is also worth mentioning I got most of these names (with the exception of Nashishi) from <RanGen>, an amazing fantasy world building tool I discovered one day. Click the link and check it out!

    Recently, I’ve focused more on writing the story of a group of humans who explored the region known as Uryphis as a means of foreshadowing; a sort of dark expectation setting for the experiences <Cassie and the others sent by AI are likely to have> once they have had more time to explore the planet. The Conquistadors were guinea pigs, obviously by now, and were deceived into thinking they were actually doing something to save the Earth from impending doom. The true purpose the Conquistadors served was to provide validation for what the Astari Foundation (the original AI) already knew about the planet through their extensive research. Communication between the Conquistadors and the Astari Foundation was achieved through their computer in their space craft, which was much like Pip is to Cassie, but lacked the artificial intelligence and required human input in order to operate effectively. Once Sheri was murdered, the rest of the Conquistadors lost trust in the Astari Foundation, and cut off communication with them immediately after burying Sheri’s severed head. At this point in their journey, they are still unsure that what killed Sheri was not human, and they do not yet know if the Astari Foundation sent more people to this planet, or other location (real or otherwise). They are completely oblivious to the other life forms in the region, largely because they have had ample food and other survival supplies, and only needed to venture out when they realized they would eventually need to live off the land.

    The story of the Conquistadors is in its infancy, and there will be a few more blogs to come detailing their adventures in the new world before I resume Cassie’s, Jim,’s and Ruben’s stories. The fate of the Conquistadors is important to analyze going forward in Algorab, because there will be many aspects of it that will foreshadow events throughout the story.

    It’s like a big Easter egg basket full of all the eggs.

    Until next time. x

  • The Conquistador, part five

    The Conquistador, part five

    >>>Previous blog<<<

    Submitting to a sort of malaise, Sheri found herself frozen, unable to move. Still sobbing, still terrified, she stared and could do nothing as the female Lircy she ran into retracted her legs and scuttled toward her, the others in the group beginning to create rather large dust devils with the rapid twisting motion of their legs, their bodies unmoving. No longer focused on the intruder, the others left to find mates.

    Closing her eyes, Sheri felt the Lircy began to pick her up from the water using her protective shell, then bringing Sheri to her very small nose, audibly smelling her, turning her at different angles using the bristly protective interior of the shell. Sheri was powerless to stop this, and though she could cry, could not close her eyes completely. The Lircy first put Sheri’s legs into her mouth, the acid-like spit starting to immediately dissolve her flesh and bones. An inhuman sound escaped Sheri like a howl, but she could not open her mouth to make it completely able to hear. The Lircy continued to feed herself on Sheri’s flesh, until only her head remained. Using her protective shell, the female Lircy placed Sheri’s head on the steps next to the space craft, then scuttled to find her own mate.

    When the others woke up, they were mortified to find Sheri’s severed head at their doorstep, and tried to imagine ways this could have happened to her. The craft door had been open when they woke up, so she must have come outside. What would so violently kill her, and have the bravery to leave her head at their feet, almost as though they were marking their territory? What or who?

    Was there someone else out there? Were they not truly alone as they were told they would be? This sort of animalistic violence and intelligence was not something that the Conquistadors were led to believe existed on this new planet. They were told the planet had been explored and there were no threats to be found. They were told all they had to do was create the new world, and they would be taken care of from then on. Was this the Astari Foundation? Were they lying to them for some other reason?

    The Astari Foundation could have sent more pioneers; prisoners or other people no one really wanted around. Maybe that’s what this was after all, a sick test to see who could really survive. It could be another level of torture they employed to control the minds of the Conquistadors; it wasn’t real. None of it was real, maybe they weren’t even on another planet after all, perhaps they were drugged and had been brainwashed to believe this was real. The abuse and experiments conducted on the Conquistadors was so horrific, and with the ample time they spent away from the Astari Foundation, the more they realized that it was not normal. It was as though they believed somehow to feel empathy for the ones who tortured them provided the Conquistadors with some sort of respite.

    Deciding collectively among the group, the Conquistadors buried Sheri’s severed head behind the space craft, and created an onyx headstone for her. Still in shock, the group vowed to get to the bottom of this, and take revenge on whoever did this to Sheri. From that point forward, the door was always barred, and one would stay up all night to ensure no one else got the same idea and attracted whatever this was.

    Also to see if they were really alone or not after all.

    …WILL BE CONTINUED…

  • The Conquistador, part four

    The Conquistador, part four

    >>>Previous blog<<<

    As the next few days and nights passed, something in the atmosphere changed and there was a sort of tense thickness about it. Complimenting the palpable energy, the weather was humid and sticky, not clear and dry like it had been in prior days. The Conquistadors had lived on the new planet for a few months now, in terms of their own concept of time. Though they didn’t know anything at all about the planet they occupied, they felt pacified by their surroundings, being that they were so seemingly serene. This drastic weather change was causing a small panic, since none of them knew anything at all about meteorology.

    There was a scent in the air accompanying the humidity that was very sweet, albeit musty and damp. This caused the group to believe that maybe there were plants nearby that were in bloom, since the smell was so strong where they were. At night, the winds would pick up, they could hear it from inside the space craft, sometimes blowing so strong the entire craft would shake. One night, when one of the group, Sheri, heard a storm coming through, she decided to get out of her bunk and look out the window to get a better view of what was going on outside.

    At first glance, nothing was amiss, there were no clouds in the sky, no rain falling, nothing. The craft still seemed to shake violently over something, though, and Sheri strained to see if she could find out where the storm was coming from. The group had yet to find any animals to hunt, though they hadn’t really been pursuing hunting with much vigor given they had sufficient rations. Pensively, Sheri opened the door to the craft, careful to be quiet about it so as not to wake up the rest of the group. Peering outside, she still did not see the source of the wind, and the air was completely still. It didn’t make sense. Why was the craft shaking so much?

    Leaving the door slightly ajar, Sheri walked outside toward the coast, looking out toward the sea for an answer. The waves weren’t crashing, the sky was clear, there was no wind blowing at all. The smell, though, that sweet musty odor was so strong Sheri had to breathe through her mouth so that she didn’t have to smell it. Trying her best to wave it away, Sheri decided to walk around to the back of the space craft to have a look at what could possibly be going on in that area.

    Careful to step quietly, even though she was walking in sand, Sheri didn’t want to risk alarming an animal if that is what was causing all the movement. She was alone and unarmed, and just really curious to find out why the space craft was shaking so much, not really concerned with fighting something should she happen to see an animal.

    “Maybe this was a bad idea,” Sheri whispered under her breath, still stepping in the sand, ignoring her gut instinct. Finally arriving at the back of the space craft, she saw nothing at first. Just the trees that were there before, the sand, and the little picnic table she set up with Raymundo weeks ago, oddly not knocked over, even with all the wind. How was that possible?

    Deciding she was being paranoid, Sheri walked toward the coast again to sit and watch the sun come up. Despite the humidity and the sweet smell, which actually seemed to be fading now, it was a nice night, the sky was full of stars. The two moons were huge in the distance, and no matter how much she stared at them, she could never get used to the fact that she now lived somewhere that had two moons. Lying back on the sand, she looked up at the sky, the shooting stars, the moons, and just took a deep breath, in awe of her surroundings. Sheri never considered herself to be special, but she felt like she must be one of the luckiest people alive to be where she was right at that moment. It was a sort of euphoria she used to have to get high to achieve. Now all she needed to do was step outside.

    Closing her eyes, she began to hum softly to herself, noticing the sweet smell starting to get stronger, and pretty soon she saw the sun starting to rise in the slits of her eyes that were still barely open. The dawn approached, and she didn’t realize how long she had actually been outside. Opening her eyes, Sheri looked up and saw the stars were starting to dim, meaning the sun was going to come up fairly soon. The humidity was too much for her to take, and that sweet smell was awful, so she decided to go back to the space craft. Standing up and brushing the sand off of her leggings, Sheri took one last look out at the ocean, and noticed the waves starting to look more choppy. Looking to the skies she noticed storm clouds coming in, and something moving out on the water. Curious about it but not willing to investigate further, Sheri was satisfied she discovered the reason for the wind and thought it to be intermittent tropical storms. It didn’t explain the smell, but it was enough to keep Sheri from thinking any more about it. She started to walk back toward the craft until she was stopped dead in her tracks by an unseen force, like an invisible barrier.

    Tumbling back onto the sand, Sheri looked up at where she was stopped and saw nothing there. It felt like she had walked directly into an arcadia door or something, but there was nothing there. Quickly taking a look around to see if there was a rock she missed that she tripped on, Sheri saw nothing, only the sand and the space craft off in the distance. Shaken, she stood back up and tried again to walk back to the space craft, and again, was stopped by this invisible wall in front of her, causing her to fall back into the sand.

    Now thoroughly terrified, Sheri sat, motionless, staring at nothing, wondering what it was that prevented her from returning to the space craft. Questioning why she even got out of the space craft to begin with, Sheri started to cry and got up again, almost afraid to walk to the space craft. She thought to scream, but if there was some threat close by, it could put her in danger. She thought to run further away, but refrained, too terrified to go too far away from the space craft by herself. She thought to just stand there, waiting for the group to wake up.

    As Sheri contemplated all of these things she thought were viable options for her, the female Lircii sat, crouched, staring at her, hidden by their camouflage. With the sun rising, they would be easier to see in a few moments, and as they started to come into focus for Sheri, she lost sight of the space craft; the sheer number of female Lircii between Sheri and the space craft created a wall that stretched for a mile on either side of her.

    Sheri stared into the single eye of the female Lircy she ran into and started shaking.

    Letting out a bloodcurdling scream, Sheri pissed herself with fear as the hundreds of female Lircii started to stand up in front of her. Stepping back toward the sea to hopefully put some distance between herself and the Lircii, Sheri continued screaming, shouting the names of her comrades, wondering why no one was coming to help her. The Lircii appeared stoic, yet defensively began to scuttle their feet, collectively, in a sort of macabre river dance. Their feet getting faster, the Lircii started to twist their legs as they prepared to mate with the males they smelled behind the space craft.

    Before they would be able to mate, though, the intruder had to be removed.

    …WILL BE CONTINUED…

  • The Conquistador, part three

    The Conquistador, part three

    >>>Previous blog<<<

    “The idea is to die young as late as possible.” – Ashley Montagu

    Eventually, the day came when the invaders got as much onyx as they could transport and needed to return back to the space craft. Deciding to leave the temporary camp hut they created that was a bit closer to the onyx mountain side, they made their way back to the space craft to store the onyx, planning to use this batch to strengthen their huts and their furniture.

    The Nashishi family that had been watching them decided to journey to the hut they left behind to see what they could find out about these mysterious invaders. Finding nothing of value in the hut, the Nashishi did not believe the invaders would be returning any time soon, as there was nothing to indicate they planned on doing so. Their scent left behind would attract the gang of Iphymoly that had already targeted the group, so it was a debate on whether or not the hut should be burned. The Nashishi did not want to venture too far from the Castle by the Sea, and they were not sure if the invaders had another hut they were returning to. There was no way to find that out for certain without following the group, and that was not something the Nashishi were willing to do.

    Deciding to burn the hut, the family gathered around it as they did so, muttering a mantra under their breaths in their native tongue, a sort of enchantment. They were vocalizing their collective desire that the group of invaders not return to their part of the island. As the hut burned, the Nashishi noticed the gang of Iphymoly in the sky, and watched as they circled around the rising smoke from the burning hut for a few minutes. The scent of the human invaders was undoubtedly pungent enough to attract the birds of prey, but because it was now a burning smell, the Nashishi hoped they would not return. After they circled a few times, the gang of Iphymoly retreated, flying back to their treehouse home.

    Unbeknownst to any of them, the group was surrounded by 1000 male Lircii that congregated in the area, determined to drive the group out or kill them, whichever came first. By grouping together, the male Lircii emitted a scent that would attract the females. This was a mating tradition – the males attracted the females that were ready to lay their eggs. Once a female Lircy produced enough eggs, she would search frantically for a mate, often as a part of a large group of other female Lircii which were doing the same. As the females followed the scent released by the males, they would pick up speed, causing little dust devils across the desert. As the females grew closer to the scent, they would extend their legs, all six of them, creating huge sand storms around them. The more female Lircii there were in the group, the worse the sand storm became.

    Upon their return to the Castle by the Sea, however, the Nashishi family faced a more horrifying fate, at least to them. Having discovered their outing, and finding out about the different language they were speaking, the Tribal Prefects reported the family to their King, the Tribal Dictator. It was a great crime to leave the Castle by the Sea without permission, and since the Nashishi family were learning a new language, it was suspected that they might be planning some sort of coup d’é·tat. The Nashishi King looked like a cross between a grizzly bear and a human man with elephantitis. He became Nashishi King after displaying his bravery in fighting and defeating an Iphymoly that attempted to scout the Castle by the Sea when he was just a small boy. When the Nashishi family went before the King to stand trial, the King gave them three choices.

    The first choice was to marry their youngest daughter to the King, and this would preserve some amount of their honor. The second choice was to be enslaved for the remainder of their lives. The third choice was to be banished from the lands, never to return to the Castle by the Sea on pain of death. Sadly, it wasn’t much of a choice at all for the Nashishi family. They opted to be banished, and had to make their way in the world without the protection of the Nashishi Tribe. It was the only way they could stay together and maintain any sort of dignity. There was no way the Nashishi father was going to marry his daughter to this dictator, even if it meant they had to live off of the land, she would be in better hands.

    …WILL BE CONTINUED…

  • The Conquistador, part two

    The Conquistador, part two

    >>>Previous blog<<<

    “In times of fear and pain, we separate ourselves from who we are so that we can compartmentalize it; we want to look at it in a more abstract manner. Instead of using the word ‘we,’ we use the word ‘they,’ as though it changes the fact that we are still who we are. It’s like cutting our pain into bite-sized, chewable pieces we can digest more easily.” – Melissa Starr, 03/30/2022

    Scuttling about their homes, the Nashishi family discussed at length what they were witnessing, and were unsure how many people they should tell. They saw an opportunity in what these foreign invaders were doing, and thinking if they were too candid about this discovery, it might be to their own disadvantage, opted to remain silent and just observe. The outsiders spoke another language, but the Nashishi listened keenly, making mental notes of their voice inflection, tone, body language, and stature. These invaders hardly seemed capable of withstanding some of the dramatic changes in weather here, and it was questionable whether or not they even realized where ‘here’ was.

    Looking to the skies, one Nashishi boy noticed a lone Iphymoly soaring high above the clouds, likely observing the pack of invaders happily chipping away at the onyx cliffs that surrounded the Castle by the Sea. If these invaders were not more careful and aware, the problem appeared that it may resolve itself. The Nashishi hunted the Iphymoly on occasion, and presented enough of a threat that they typically didn’t bother them, but with the fresh scent of meat under the hot sun, a scout must have ventured close by to investigate. Watching a gang of Iphymoly feast on their prey was nothing short of a bloody horror show. The Nashishi family watched intently as the single Iphymoly circled the area in the clouds above the group of invaders, and they didn’t appear to notice it. Eventually, it flew toward its treehouse on the coast, not returning that day, but again a few days later.

    The Nashishi watched the invaders as they mined their onyx, every day they came and seemed to be enjoying themselves, laughing and talking in the sun. The youngest of the Nashishi family quickly learned the language they spoke, and started to attempt to translate it to their own so that the family could learn. It was the day the little Nashishi girl started translating English that the gang of Iphymoly came flying high above, beginning to circle the area around the group of foreigners, still oblivious to their presence.

    Iphymoly were silent hunters, and the only way to know they even existed was to see them kill. Otherwise, it was unusual to even notice they were there. Once a gang was spotted either with a fresh kill or after consumption, they would frantically start flapping their wings yet not making a sound at all. This was an instinctive, offensive maneuver, communicating to its potential prey that it was silent, and that their prey would never hear it coming. From that day forward, any potential prey would look over their shoulders, to the skies, to ensure they would not be attacked from above. Some were lucky, but once a gang of Iphymoly marked their prey, it was a certainty that they would return to make a meal out if it.

    …WILL BE CONTINUED…

  • The Conquistador, part one

    The Conquistador, part one

    >>>Previous blog<<<

    “Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.” – Norman Cousins

    They were a group of 10, selected by the original version of American Intelligence, which was called the Astari Foundation. Roslyn, Nate, Raymundo, Lisa, Tara, George, Becky, Paul, Bobby, and Sheri. Nate was their captain, and was chosen by the Astari Foundation for his bravery while being tortured. The group had been sequestered in secret, hidden away from society after being kidnapped. They were the invisible people, the unknowns and undesirables from each of the cities where they lived. Nobody missed them, and that is what made them perfect subjects.

    Nate fared well during his tests, and was the strongest of the group. Subjected to horrifying methods of torture, Nate survived with minimal emotional trauma. Nate was not particularly intelligent, but he was determined to survive everything the two men put him through, and nothing else mattered. Nate was willing to go much further than his comrades, but would never hurt any of them. On the contrary, he protected them when he saw they could not protect themselves. Nate’s nickname became Nate the Brave among the group, who had become like a small family during their time in captivity.

    The women were mainly for breeding with when the group journeyed to the planet near Algorab. None of them had a formal education, and they were all quite young and impressionable, most didn’t have any sort of stable family life, and none had any sort of stability upon becoming adults. Roslyn became a sort of mother hen to the girls, and because of her leadership, was selected to become Nate’s wife.

    The group paired off one by one, but agreed to live under Nate and Roslyn’s rule once they arrived at the new planet. They were pioneers, and this journey would be the sum of all their ambitions realized, making them more important than anyone they left behind on planet Earth. They would no longer be nobodies, but heroes. It was like a dream come true for the group, who began to call themselves the Conquistadors, gathered together for one purpose – to give the people of Earth a new home when the planet eventually became uninhabitable.

    Of course, no one would ever know the Conquistadors existed, not for thousands of years. The only ones who even knew about the expedition were the members of the Astari Foundation, and only one of them went on to establish American Intelligence, or AI.

    Upon arrival at the new planet, the group stayed inside the space craft for days, surviving on the vast amount of non-perishable foods they brought with them. They were promised fortunes on their arrival, and the promises were kept. Each Conquistador was provided with complete debt forgiveness for their old lives on Earth, so that there was no reason for them to return, but they didn’t see it that way. They saw it as a golden ticket to becoming better than all the people who had put them down before. They were the chosen ones.

    When the group finally decided to venture out, they were amazed at how similar to Earth it was, and how beautiful the weather was. They discovered the ocean was made of fresh water, not salt water, and started to detoxify it for consumption. Using some of the plant matter they found on the land, they started to construct rudimentary housing; small huts with beds made of what seemed like wood. There was a hut for each husband and wife, and enough food to last them at least another five years, but there had to be something else on the land. They had to be able to hunt at some point.

    Nate led the Conquistadors on an expedition north, discovering the Castle by the Sea. Failing to realize it was occupied, Nate decided to mine the onyx outside of the castle, to craft weapons for hunting and building. Nate, Raymundo, George, and Bobby would mine the onyx every day, until they had enough of it to craft weapons, as well as cutlery and use it to strengthen their huts. For the first few months, the Conquistadors were falling in love with the new planet, in the area that was eventually named Uryphis.

    It was such a warm place. The group came from various, impoverished places across Europe, and this place was so much warmer than anything they had ever known before. They had all grown so comfortable they didn’t even think of all the perils that lay before them, some of them so close they could hear them breathe as they slept.

    …WILL BE CONTINUED…

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