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Länge:
111 Seiten
1 Stunde
Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
Nov 30, 2012
ISBN:
9781301501519
Format:
Buch

Beschreibung

Time traveller Drake visits Tritan, a planet where gladiatorial games thrill the masses. An information gathering exercise turns into a rescue mission. Sometimes sad, sometimes funny, often dangerous, there's plenty of action for the Viranian and his new found friend in this adventure.

Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
Nov 30, 2012
ISBN:
9781301501519
Format:
Buch

Über den Autor

Though the author was born in the UK she now lives in Queensland Australia with her pets. Her favourite genre is science fiction and all of her books thus far have a time travel theme. You may contact her through her website.


Buchvorschau

Alex - Frances Clark

DRAKE'S PROGRESS

ALEX

Frances Clark

Copyright 2012

All rights reserved

SMASHWORDS EDITION

CHAPTER 1

EAGLES AND SERPENTS

Annoyed at being disturbed, two large orange and brown galabrits chastised the Viranian with raucous cries as they flew up into the leafy canopy. The disgruntled squawking and flapping continued above his head as Drake walked past the old stone ruins and pushed his way through the tangled damp undergrowth. He brushed the leaves and twigs from his clothes as he emerged onto a well worn path. He was relieved Gillian was holidaying on Xyrania. After all she had been through on Nigma's world and the trouble they had encountered on Tarl, he was glad he hadn't brought her to Tritan. He found it astounding that he, a Viranian, actually missed the Earthling's company.

He glanced at his meldkey to briefly check his position then peered up the track. He was in luck. A few yards ahead, sporting eagle emblems on their tatty shirts, walked two men. The taller pushed a covered barrow, piled high with goods. The other carried a large bulging bag over his shoulder. An eagle decorated flag fluttered from the front of their creaking two wheeled cart. Drake's long legs quickly brought him alongside.

The red haired man pushing the barrow, silently eyed the tall well dressed newcomer. His black shirt, trousers, boots and grey vest with tools in front pockets suggested he was a techie-worker and not one of the idle elite. He studied Drake for a few more paces before deciding he was worthy of conversation.

Greetings citizen, are you heading to the games today?

Greetings to you citizen. Yes, I thought I might take a look.

What do you mean, might? You'll regret it if you don't go. It's Eagles versus Serpents. You don't want to miss it. The name's Eric by the way and this is Lucas. He affectionately slapped his smiling bald headed friend. We were just discussing this months line up.

Pleased to meet you both. I'm Drake. I take it you two are Eagles supporters?

Eric grinned and nodded. Most definitely. Wouldn't miss the action for anything.

Eric and I sell a few things on the food stalls before gates open, explained Lucas, heaving his heavy bag onto his opposite shoulder. Then we go in and join the others.

I take it, the arena's not far away.

No, it's just down here, onto the main thoroughfare, then along a bit, explained Eric. We take the barrow rather than the skimmer because we can skirt around any jams. It's a lot quicker.

The track opened out on to a bustling sealed road and by prior agreement, Eric swapped the barrow for Lucas's bag.

Traffic of every description headed one way up the polluted, noisy thoroughfare. Rough dilapidated hand made vehicles, skimmers, wheelers and hovers, all pushed and jostled, bumper to bumper with factory-mades and the occasional 28th century limousine.

Merging with other pedestrians, Lucas pushed the barrow onto the busy walkway beside the road and shouted to Drake. See what we mean?

Drake nodded. With so many people about, he was glad CC was safely nestled beside the ruins in the forest at the edge of the city.

They passed run down paint peeled houses and the remnants of a large 25th century prison complex, now taken over by squatters. Washing draped untidily over rusty railings and bedraggled flags bearing assorted symbols fluttered from flat topped roofs. A black limousine with an Eagles emblem on the side and darkened windows floated past and Eric and Lucas let out howls of delight. Their howls were answered by deriding calls from supporters of the Serpent loving opposition. Various rude faces and gestures in turn answered the calls.

Small patrolling orbs floated over the crawling traffic and gathering crowds. Occasionally, when supporters became too unruly they were gently zapped by the orbs.

Green light encompassed them, creating a localised calming effect. The results lasted a few minutes and by the time the offenders recovered, the trouble had usually dissipated.

Drake watched the orbs continue their crowd control. They were leftovers from the days Tritan was a prison planet. Following his usual routine when preparing for a task, he had studied up on Tritan's history.

Releasing the prisoners a century ago without proper laws or infrastructure, had meant the strongest and more powerful had formed gangs to survive. These gangs had gradually evolved into orders, headed by ruthless Barons. Large arenas had been built and now gladiatorial games were a monthly event in every city. The planet's leaders, when some were finally elected, more or less turned a blind eye to the many illegal goings on in return for kickbacks from the Barons. Patrolling orbs were a cheap way of keeping the citizens under control.

The aroma of hot meals greeted Drake and his two companions as they reached the busy pre-erected market stalls outside the huge arena. Lucas and Eric parked in a line of more than a dozen stall holders already open and doing business. They proudly hoisted their flag on the framework of their stall's canvas roof then quickly set up their fold out tables.

Bread, jars of pickles, large thick sausages, cheeses of all varieties and jugs of alcoholic brew appeared. Whatever a famished supporter needed to sustain them, they sold. Even before they finished setting up, the popular providers were inundated with hungry customers.

I may see you later, called Drake, over the heads of the noisy throng. The busy men nodded a friendly farewell.

Swept along with the surging crowd to the wall of many entrances, Drake managed to extricate himself from the tide outside the off world visitor's gates. Attending gladiatorial games wasn't the sort of thing he wanted to experience, but it was part of the information collecting process his occupation required.

As Drake walked through the gate, his meldkey automatically sent information about the arena and the size and make up of the crowd back to CC. His ship had been gathering data and relaying it back to the elders of his planet since their arrival on Tritan.

Drake joined the line of excited interstellar visitors, some humanoid, some not. He read the notice board for currencies accepted and reached into his pocket for some universal credits.

Eagles left, Serpents right, shouted a one armed man on the turn style.

Bustled along with the Eagles' crowd, Drake turned left into a graffiti daubed corridor then out to the arena's undercover seating.

Coloured banners draped from private boxes and many in the noisy audience waved their flags excitedly. Eagles' section was filling fast with fans of all ages.

First combat in twenty, called a voice and the crowd cheered and thumped their feet in anticipation.

Drake chose a seat five rows up at the end beside the gladiator's entrance. Open to the elements, the sandy ring baked in the sun. Beneath the seats at ringside were various grills behind which unfamiliar animals crouched and cowered.

Feeling the fear from the animals and sensitive to the negative energy emanating from the crowd, Drake didn't know how long he would last.

Performing animals and groups of acrobats came and went, entertaining the audience, building their excitement. Finally, trumpets blared and a hush fell over the packed arena. The crowd yelled with delight as the speaker introduced the first warm up fight.

Armoured gladiators from both sides jousted on small hover bugs, knocking one another off to excited yells. The size and danger of the fights increased, till Drake had seen enough. He stood up ready to leave when suddenly there came a terrific roar from the crowd. He turned back and was shouted at to sit down. Two men, one young, one older ran out into the arena from the Eagles' entrance.

The young man didn't appear particularly enthusiastic but the crowd urged them on. They wore no armour, just loincloths. Both carried shields and laser swords.

Two partially armoured opponents jogged out from the Serpents entrance to an equally loud roar. Obviously this

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