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Michael Lingaard
Pax Magellanica


At the end of the twenty-first century, various nationalistic groups sought freedom from the squalor of an exhausted Earth and commissioned four, colossal, colony ships to populate the new planet and habitats around Barnard’s Star.

            One of those ships, the Northern European one, became lost. In a worm hole — trapped for two years, before emerging in a place that was unimaginably distant, imaginably familiar — the thick, rich star fields of the Larger Magellanic Clouds. Searching for the perfect world to settle was the unenvious job of Captain Peter van Diemen, and weight of the survival of the entire star ship Thorn was his and his alone. But the stars in the ‘Cloud were thick and close and planets were habitable; opportunities abounded; the lost Thorn found the perfect resting place.

           In the four-hundred years following settlement, humanity expanded and prospered in the generations following settlement; many families became rich and powerful and reached out to other stars, fragmenting in their haste to claim and populate them; a diaspora of greed and power and opportunity over the new centuries — mini fiefdoms in the making, that would, over time assume semi-regal powers. Four great families emerged to control all the trade and politics of the burgeoning empire of man.

            But there are signs of another species having passed through the same stars long ago, and, unknown to man, they are coming back from the inner region of the ‘Cloud to reclaim them.

            The second evidence of sentient life is discovered; a small, white, unoccupied world is discovered; but this world is a Gaea-like entity that informs the humans of the return of an aggressive and prolific species that seeks the death of the Gaea-world in its bid to reclaim the worlds it so desperately needs. These worlds are now inhabited by man, yet the vast fleets of the hordes are already on the journey of their mission of reclamation.

            Despite the powers of the four families, humankind is overwhelmed in the face of the hordes invading the outlying worlds. And soon, a one-sided war ensues. Mankind is fragmented, with little cohesion between the groups, thwarted by suspicion and greed. Losses mount. Refugees flood safe worlds. The human world zeitgeist is crumbling.

    One group of disenfranchised military officers from all the great house meet to decide if there is way to fight back, without the internecine warfare that four houses bring to bear. A way is desperately needed, and luckily, there is a political genius who knows exactly what is needed. He offers a solution that delves into racial memory, military history, myth and legend to forge a new political paradigm. This causes brutal, internal turmoil within the families, but eventually the new order prevails— and a new Reich is born.

            Now man can fight back, and the resources of the remaining worlds are used to create sixty very special bio-ships. Ships that use human brains to operate the vast complexities of the new drives and weapons.

            Axel van Diemen is chosen as a pilot. Privileged and talented, he is taken from his wife and family by the fortunes of war; trained and partnered with his ship, he embarks, with sixty like-minded and talented pilots, on a journey of instruction. But, somewhere in the cracks between programming and performance, he discovers his ships’ brain is that of a young girl and Axel’s world, and the course of the war, change.

            Despised by the pilots from the four houses, he and a few loyal friends lead the first attack on the gigantic generator ships that seek to destroy the Gaiea-world — and pays a price. Only thirteen of the sixty survive, dying from the corrupted radiation from the enemy’s ships; radiation that corrupts flesh. 

            At the moment of death, they are saved, harboured and healed by the Gaeia-world. Now the Gaiea-entity shows Axel and the others the way to destroy their enemy once and for all. In anger, the survivors fall upon the world of the horde, destroying the religious symbols of a race. A genocide of sorts, for which they are reviled and persecuted by their own people when they return.There is another legacy that sets Axel and his friends apart; to cure them, the Gaeia-world halts their ageing process. This fact sets society against them, and leads to a confrontation where the surviving bio-ships and their pilots oppose the might of the Reich — a stand-off is reached that must be resolved if the fledgling Reich is to survive.

            A way is negotiated for Axel and his fellow survivors to lead the way into the future; they will seek a way to cross the galactic gulf to the Milky Way and find the original home of man — they will become symbols of the path to the future. 

            The van Diemen line ends with Axel; his wife dies, his family dies; the only one, other than the other pilots, that are constantly with him are his ship, and the Gaiea world. His future is now the path across the galactic gulf — back to the Milky Way.