The Way Things Work January #BlogBattle-Dynamic

Out There Navigate

He awoke like wading through jam. There was that rhythm of a brightly delivered  knock on his quarters door.

‘Compositor. If you please,’ and there was the high cheery voice.

After the customary reflex swear word Sylan opened one eye.

‘Yeah. On my way ’ the gruff bark was acceptable in the situation.

As the door slid open a slender face, bright yet with some concern looked up at him, at the caller’s side a large dog stood tongue out, tail wagging. Sylan scowled at both.

‘Lady Ensign Croí Eadrom,’ he said being as civil as possible.

‘This is my dog. Reluctance,’ she said in mock sincerity ‘Thus you can see I am disturbing your precious rest with great Reluctance,’

Sylan pinched the bridge of his nose. Irrespective of her superior lineage, exasperation begged he should empty the nearby jug of water over her. Thankfully her  whimsicality stilled the urge.

‘We have an issue?’ a fatalistic question. This was the problem with serving on a scout corvette, no room for two shifts of Compositors.

She grimaced remaining wide-eyed, again comic

‘A cluster of titchy Depressions. A light year out and closing. Popping in and out. C’mon,’ she said to both Compositor and dog and they followed, Sylan not sharing the carefree easy canine gait. How and from where?  In the meantime he had to consider those fist size version of black holes, darting out of the Four Dimensions seeming not to be adhering to The Speed of Light.  Corvettes could dance away from them, the larger the ship, the greater the time and space needed to steer away from them; hence corvettes, a wide gossamer, scouting ahead, seeking these, the latest unexpected  and broadcasting the warnings.

When it came to the welfare of the World Craft, five hundred myles long and an irregular width at maximum of a hundred myles, warnings had to be  multiplied to scales of years of time to react. Initially all on the shoulders of a few. He supposed that was how it worked. He only dealt in figures, not ramifications.

The Ensign as usual chattered away about how she loved the corvette, the stars, the mysteries of The Universe. She made the whole vista of danger seem, so natural, to be met and respected.

Lorgaire Thall captain of the Corvette Gealbhan was again reading It Doesn’t Work Like That. A somewhat bold treatise on The Ethereal by controversial theorist Maighdean Ardea. Nonetheless he oft referred to it for perspective. Unknown and Unexpected being the trade of The Avant Squadrons. The constant challenge of matching the Four Dimensions with depths of The Ethereal.

‘I maintain this is more evidence of White Hole possibility Captain,’ said his navigator handing him the summary ‘This clutch of Depressions did indeed just appear. Flung out as it were,’

‘The Ethereal was enough of a trial upon The World, Navigator. Out here in the Cosmos these seeming spontaneities would have us believe travel between stars   near impossible,’

‘As we journey we learn Captain,’

‘Indeed we do Navigator. At one Inspiring and Humbling,’

‘Once long ago, around and on The World we The Ard Tiarnai thought ourselves knowledgeable above all. The High King did warn us,’


Captain, Navigator and Lieutenant of the Watch all turned. Compositor Sylan, typical of his race could not match their physical elegance, yet his eyes bright and manner alert indicated the dexterity so common amongst The Fiontraíoch folk. Woe unto any of the Ard Tiarnai who thought the Fiontraíoch to be lesser folk.

‘I regret having to disturb your rest time. Master Compositor,’ Captain Thall said.

‘The Cosmos is no respecter of our comfort,’ Sylan replied ‘We should be grateful we got this far,’

‘I respect the gloom of your long-term forecasts Compositor,’

‘It would be nice to be wrong on that score, but I suppose Captain, the more persistent we are the more we reduce the possibility. How may I assist you with these Depressions?’

The Navigator laid out the chart and the information dutifully printed from the Assessor machines, and he appraised Sylan of his own estimations. Naturally Sylan listen attentively. Not his place to interrupt a Navigator.

‘May I sit Captain?’

‘Of course Master Compositor,’

Seated he surveyed the evidence, then with all due respect asked the Navigator to repeat his own estimations. The three officers accepted this; novice ensigns were ever lectured not to ever question a Compositor. Sylan set down his thick pad of paper and with an ancient pen began to write. As he did he spoke. His gruff basic accent falling away as his tones turned to a slow steady litany.

‘It bears repeating sirs, if the opportunity arises, you should visit the hub of the Engines of World Craft. Of course Compositors and our like have to witness this majesty. The many chambers, five miles underground set in catacombs so grand in dimensions that if empty a squadron of  battleships of the fleets could dock in each. Therein are the devices. The towering grey obelisks inscribed with external wiring like long forgotten runes. Their companions, the shimmering black towers, plain, implanting in an observer the feeling they are watching them with hidden eyes. All connected by intricate patterns of piping veins for miles of secret wirings, and leading far beyond to deeper places wherein lie the vast dangerous machines. Heavy and looking deceptively ponderous as they churn, or slowly spin or grind away supplying the World Craft with its atmosphere, tides, weathers, days, nights, shielding from the uncaringly hostile universe, and by magnificent ingenuity its movement at speed belying the bulk,’

Two pages were by then inscribed with figures, small neat script starting in the horizontal, then veering at occasions into vertical, and back again to level until the script became patterns within patterns.

Sylan stopped and slumped a little over his work, from one alcove on the deck appeared the Lady Ensign Croí Eadrom a raven on her shoulder up in a light steps she moved to Sylan and upon reaching him set her hands gently upon his shoulders, in response he absently patted hers. She and her bird looked to her Captain. Before she could speak, he said, with a sigh.

‘Yes I know Ensign. You come with Grave Concerns,’

At mention of  its name the bird inclined its head. The Captain treasured these irreverences of hers.

‘As you wish you may take Compositor Sylan back to his quarters where he may be allowed to resume his rest. Thank you Compositor,’

Mute and now smiling Sylan rose and once more patting the ensign’s hands left the deck. He knew he had been at work, but right now, even though recently formed, the memories were evasive, he would shepherd them in after he rested. The bird hoped onto his shoulder. Her menagerie. Ever the mystery.

On the deck the Navigator examined the figures.

‘Captain. I will need to verify by examination through my two auditors and Assessor machines, but it would seem we need swift evasion of the squadron, alert the sub-fleet on station to act as necessary and to pass this back to fleet command with a strong recommendation they report onto World Craft Naval for them to alert Council and High King that the World Craft should take prompt oblique course from current,’

‘That is indeed a heavy work load Navigator. You must attend without delay,’

Permission given The Navigator left.

‘Lieutenant of the Watch,’ Lorgaire Thall said ‘As we cannot burn up any time waiting, I will be in my quarters drafting the introduction to my final despatch, a task which will take some time. Corvette Gealbhan is now within your charge. Ensure those Depressions are observed for the slightest deviation in path or alteration in speed. Therein will be the only reasons for you to interrupt me,’

Lieutenant of the Watch gave out the necessary orders to all crew on observation duties. In addition to make sure nothing was missed he allocated extra crew to the task. All matters attended to he took his stance, gazing outwards, not action of any use of course; yet you could not help but be drawn to the immensity, a craft had to have its share of viewing ports. No amount of devices could make up for the urge to physically see.

Being alone he allowed himself the luxury of a sigh. There would be no rest for the next five, even ten watches. Any information which suggested The World Craft would have to make even the slightest change in direction would end up being a converted to a political decision. Not just propulsion or direction, but environmental adjustments would be made, even shifts in populations to compensate. How many of the thirty millions he wondered. And there would be those subsequent affects on the productions of support, the shepherding of floral and fauna.

Decisions to be taken upon the entire Dynamics which would start with the information from one speck of a craft. Although the responsibility now weighed upon all of the crew, he was glad to he out here and not back upon  the World Craft locked into the entirety of the administrations levels likely to be tasked with coping of any changes.

A door opened, there were soft skipping footfalls. 

‘Ensign Croí Eadrom’ he said, without turning ‘Is our Compositor settled?’

‘He rests,’ she said drawing alongside, no bird nor dog in sight, in a most  unconventional action she whistled soft ‘How is it possible someone can produce so many figures, so precisely, so quickly, ahead of any machines?’  

‘I am sure I do not know. In any case it is not good manners, nor productive to question the nature of any race, nor why within each race some excel at one discipline or another. There is no room for such,’

‘That’s true. Just curious,’ she quipped joining in his gazing ‘We all have our tasks,’ another soft whistle ‘Makes you think though, dun it?’ he winced at he mangling of language ‘I mean. Here we are, all in a flurry over titchy things,’

‘Depressions can carve through a planet’s surface if they strike. The damage to something as delicate as a World Craft is ghastly to imagine. Solid objects we can handle,’ he gestured to the depths, the unseen ‘Those Depressions are unstoppable. All necessary actions must be taken soon,’

‘Yer,’ she continued ignoring the requirements of acceptable speech ‘We’re not so grand are we? We have to keep on our toes,’ one hand drifted into a pocket of her jacket and she brought out a small brown and white rabbit, which she proceeded to cuddle and stroke. ‘Always keep alert I say,’

The Lieutenant had been waiting this, she always did this at some stage, but he’d caught her out, surely.

‘That’s a rabbit,’ he pointed out with solemnity. ‘I would suggest there is not even any lerts,’

‘Rabbits,’ she replied with a dignity so heavy as to be comic ‘Are always alert. Hence her name,’

‘Alert?’ he replied sensing defeat.

‘Quite so,’ she said, and with the rabbit settled on one shoulder popped upon a large pocket, the heads of two mice mouse appeared. ‘These are the Concern Sisters,’ she explained ‘I need discuss with the observation crew their morale, I will explain I have small concerns,’

He shared the rest of the crew puzzlement on how she managed to inspire cheerfulness, or level out tensions with such humour. No one of course discussed just why she was here. It was unspoken. To do so might upset the entire system; each unto their own, on this journey vast to them, but a speck to the Universe.

One slender thread in the pattern of Survival. From here on a corvette to Council of The High King on the World Craft. It was how The Dynamics worked.


26 thoughts on “The Way Things Work January #BlogBattle-Dynamic

  1. Very Star Trek in the explorations in space Roger. I can see Kirk and Spock discussing some new anomaly that appeared in their path already. I do like the command structure too. It flows well even if the urgency of these depressions seems to miss a few characters. Sylan aside there though. His calm delivers the right bit of eye rolling as matters move to political decisions and course changes. Not quite a Kirk response as it were. One might argue probe despatch might be useful here to relay telemetry on these depressions. I’m pretty sure a scout ship would carry such yes?

    Its titled January too so is this going to be a BB 12 part story?

    “five hundred myles long” this paragraph had two myles related to distance. Is this a new made up one for a subspecies or a typo as “miles” appears later?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Gary.
      Glad you found it ‘SF’ because the origins were ‘Fantasy’ but moving into the ‘SF’ part of the Cosmos.
      The top folk ‘The Ard Tiarnai’ work at a different pace, it’s a somewhat alien elegance ‘thing’. And of course there are always ‘The Command Structure’ channels.

      Anndd…fudge. There should have been some punctuation between ‘The Way Things Work’ and ‘January’…..Don’t you hate it when you can’t blame the computer programme 🤨.

      Anndd (2)….. Another slip by me. These tales take place in one ‘History’. In the three books I wrote the word ‘myles’ = ‘miles’, but not exactly the ‘mile’ we know (I never did get around the measuring it!). Hence, without thinking I wrote ‘myles’….’miles’ was the typo- sorry ’bout that too.
      The World Craft is about the size of mainland UK- On reflection maybe I should have emphasised it might actually be a large chunk of land- never mind folk can imagine what they will.
      I should have finished this one earlier and spent five days proof reading. 🤨

      Meanwhile somewhere else nearby in another part of an anomaly
      ‘It’s Physics Jim. But not as we know it,’
      ‘Och nae. Ye cannae change the laws of physics,’
      ‘You argue it out yourselves. I’m overdue for another poignant, yet doomed love affair. See you later,’
      Cue: ‘That’ beloved theme.

      Liked by 1 person

      • At least you own up to an error lol. Most seek to push blame elsewhere!

        I saw World Craft and my first reaction was to insert War Craft. It has me roaming dungeons and wondering if Ozzy Osbourne was about to whack crap out of me!

        Being interstellar travellers could myles have more to do with that? A kind of light year type inference. I.e. a space distance unit?

        As for changing laws of physics… true providing we’ve got them all right. Who’s to say Scotty that different civilisations more advanced haven’t cracked things we’ve not yet discovered.

        Or in my case, different planes use different laws for their particular dimensions.

        Enter the possibility that event horizons hold all universal information… ponder that as it would imply all history has already happened 😯

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’ll blame a computer programme with the best of them! 😀But on this occasion I too wrapped up in images to take care of detail 🥴
        Funny you should mention Ozzy and thus Black Sabbath, because this story has a nascent beginning back when Paranoid came out and the most un-Black Sabbath song and my very favourite:

        I got hooked on the image of a planet travelling through the universe, by some unquantifiable power of its inhabitants.

        And 50+ years on I finally got to write something of that!😀
        Too excited to take time to craft it….
        Ah ’twas ever thus.

        Onwards ever onwards, our imaginations our sails.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I do that too. Hunting through Pixabay and losing track of time. Then mucking about in Canva and ending up not naming files so they get some weird hieroglyphics I’m supposed to hunt them down again with later.

        Have to admit to the last bit too. Decades ago someone said try writing… I even put that tale on my about page haha.

        Seems that link you gave says Video not available too. Gremlins at work again methinks.

        Of course you have now reminded me of Moonbase Alpha and Space 1999… remember that one? 😯

        Liked by 1 person

      • I do like mucking about on Canva (Then inventing ‘artistically’ enigmatic titles- the reason for which I then forget)

        Oh depend on You Tube and WP not to be talking to each other!
        The song Gary was ‘Planet Caravan’.

        Space 1999- I’ve forgotten that one, I often wondered since the Moon had gone far away, what was happening on Earth without tides, no moonlight and maybe other environmental impacts? Begged another series. ( Excuse me Professor Cox? 👋 Have you got a minute I’d like to ask you a question about the Moon?).

        Liked by 1 person

      • Same here. I find it’s biggest advantage is custom sizing to match theme featured images which vary depending on which you’re using. Saved my bacon after a theme switch recently as I had (am) currently re-sizing all my post images.

        Lol. Yes Space 1999. Was it Commander Koenig? And some bloke called Allan. I reckon we’d be pretty knackered if the moon disappeared. Mind you try researching moon conspiracy theories. Apparently it’s hollow, created by aliens and cunningly at the right size and placement to allow perfect solar eclipses… others, less adventurous, have it made of cheese… but not what kind 🤔

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’ll have to try that on Canva, chancing on the transparency icon kept me entertained😃.
        It’s hollow?
        Of course. How else would all that cheese be stored by the Illuminate , enabling them to control the price and supply of cheese and thus rule Humanity.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Apparently even NASA was in WTH mode as it gave a resonance a solid object shouldn’t. Obviously that requires deeper searches as much on the stuff they “can’t” explain seems to get blanked out or go “missing.” Probably to hide they’re really siphoning out the liquid cheese core for faster than light fuel 😂😂

        Or…it fits with Hitchikers and, being run by mice, obviously they require heady food reserves…although trapping them works better with Cadbury buttons in my experience. Tom and Jerry at play with subliminal falsehoods methinks

        Liked by 1 person

      • Liquid cheese a faster than light fuel…Of course! That explains how those mice were so adept at being trans-dimensional! Tom is certainly trans-dimensional, look how he keep coming back from life-changing injuries.😃
        Personally I with you Gary; Chocolate Buttons have far more potential on the Human Scale.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: #BlogBattle Stories: Dynamic | BlogBattle

  3. I’m so used to your fantasy it took me a few paragraphs to realize (and believe) this story involved space travel! 🙂 And yet the fantasy element was still firmly established. It reminded me of some of the Celtic legends, and I liked the quaintness of Sylvan using paper and pen instead of tapping something onto a screen. The first sentence about awakening feeling like wading through jam was a great simile, and I see Gary beat me to the question about ‘myles’ and ‘miles’. The Ensign and her appropriately named menagerie made me wonder if she possessed some element of magic, or if she was just an animal lover. Lots going on here!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Abe…Sorry for the delay in replying. Or to be precise I did reply and press ‘send’ but then WP either forgot or decided in could not be bothered to send my reply…….’Oh bother and gosh’ I said, adding ‘I am so very vexed’

      As I said (or something like). It’s a short story in ‘the future’, when one of the races on my world build has set off to seek….err…a new world…..going cautiously. Although the entire population of inhabitants / crew/ colonists/ whatever are of a few races (they all come from Human stock….long story). I guess, therefore it’s SF / Fantasy.
      The whimsical Ensign like everyone else in the tales has an affinity with ‘The Ethereal’, an aspect of Nature which I based on mixing up Dark Matter, Dark Energy, Superstring Theory and concluding there is ‘stuff’ out there we just don’t know about…yet. I tried to avoid ‘The Force’ analogy, and rather envisaged it as something which emerges from time to time out of one of the possible 20 or so dimension as advertised in some Quantum Theories and attaches itself to a world, and folk.
      Our ‘Ensign’ being whimsical and charged with maintaining morale turns up with animals just to aid her task, where she gets them from and how she maintains their comfort and room is between her and the Ethereal…..she hasn’t told me yet.

      Anyway, thanks for stopping by, earlier…
      Perdition upon WP’s foibles.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Totally relate to your vexation! I’ve got into the habit of making a copy of my comments (especially the longer ones) before clicking the Post button because some of them have disappeared into the ether as well. WP also used to follow me around like a puppy when I visited different BB contributors’ sites, but for the past several months I’ve had to sign in on every one. I think the concept of Improvements isn’t what it used to be…. Ah yes, I remember other characters of yours who had a relationship with The Ethereal, so I see it hasn’t been lost in ‘the future.’ Fantasy and SciFi do seem to blend well together, and both have elements of other genres like Westerns and Thrillers. Such fun!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I do the same…If I’m sounding off.
        But this seemed such a shortish comment.

        WP has certainly developed quirks..
        Like the occasions..never regular when I have to press ‘Like’ 4 times (not 3), then it takes me back to the top of the post and has me scroll back down….THEN I can ‘like’ and write my reply …..Go figure 🤷‍♂️.

        How true. Hard Sci-Fi is OK if the writer has a very strong grip on science, but otherwise….
        ‘It’s Physics Jim. But not as we know it,’
        As you say Abe…..Such Fun!😀

        Liked by 1 person

  4. “I am disturbing your precious rest with great Reluctance” made me chuckle. Well played. Grave Concerns. Awesome. And then it just keeps going. Lady Ensign and her pets were my favorite part. Would love to learn more about who she is, where she’s from, what’s her role and if the pets have superpowers…

    “…not good manners, nor productive to question the nature of any race, nor why within each race some excel at one discipline or another.” But whyyyyy?

    A very enjoyable read this was.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Sam.
    I’m glad to read you had chuckles from that. The scene is my tribute to my most favourite Charles Schultz’s Peanuts cartoon. Snoopy on his dog house writing another story: (approximation of the words Snoopy is typing out from the story)
    Panel 1: ‘I hate being left alone when you go on a business trip,’ she said to her husband.
    Panel 2: ‘I have a solution,’ he said ‘I will buy you a Great Dane and name him Reluctance,’
    Panel 3: ‘Then when I go on a business trip you will know I am leaving you with Great Reluctance,’
    Panel 4: She hit him with the waffle iron.
    I could not resist the opportunity.

    In the ‘universe’ this story takes place there is ‘The Ethereal’ something I came up with when thinking about Dark Matter, Dark Energy and multi-dimensional concepts encountered in String Theory. It just pops out from another of the 20 odd dimensions in the latter, and attaches itself to a world and the folk thereupon, everyone having an empathy in varying forms, some barely noticeable even to them.
    Lady Ensign Croí Eadrom whose role is to keep up crew morale (mostly by distractional humour) just turns up with various animals. Where she gets them from and how she maintains their welfare is something between her and The Ethereal, which everyone mostly accepts.

    As for the ‘whyyyyy?’. Now there is the problem with using ‘a universe’ you’ve written about in three books, trying to fit details into a 2,000 word short story. Basically one Human Stock- Ethereal Arrives- naturally there is a disaster- variations occur to adapt. One appears superior but it practical terms ‘It don’t work like that’. By the time of this tale and upon The World Craft everyone has mostly settled down to accepting ‘Different folks. Different strokes’
    On reflection maybe I should left out Lady Ensign Croí Eadrom and used the space for more details on the society……but…
    It was such a good opportunity to use the ‘Great Reluctance’ joke😀

    Thanks for dropping by, and your comments.


    • For some reason your comment didn’t post as a direct reply to mine but as a standalone so I did not see it until now when I manually re-visited the post.

      No, I think it was great that you included Lady ECE in that story. It gave it another layer, needed to elevate the scene(s). I suspected the answer to ‘whyyyy,’ but it was mostly said to express general interest in the tale and encourage you to carry on (if you’d choose to).

      I really enjoy humor in books and I’ve recently been reminded of it on a few occasions. It’s hard to come by, which is why I appreciate it so much more. Again – well done.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. This was excellent, Roger!

    A beautiful blend of sci-fi and fantasy. Kind of reminded me of Ursula Le Guin’s melding of the genres. I also liked the comedic undercurrent, too. Not so much to pull it into Douglas Adams territory, but it’s delightful. “I respect the gloom of your long-term forecasts Compositor”, cracked me up. The many unquestioned animals on the ship were lovely, as was their keeper.

    I also love the hint of darkness with the World Craft’s change in direction. For example, “…but environmental adjustments would be made, even shifts in populations to compensate.” The implications of that are kind of horrific!

    I very much enjoyed this piece—great worldbuilding!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much Joshua for your kind comments and observations. I’m glad to enjoyed it

      On reflection the story came from a whole mish-mosh of ideas and memories. (See the comments ‘above’)
      A classic Peanuts cartoon; Black Sabbath’s untypical ‘Planet Caravan’; part of the backdrop to my own series (which is more fantasy than sci-fi.) Come to think of it Ursula Le Guin might well have played a part. (And a bit of Jack Vance, toned down)

      The World Craft’s reaction. I guessed something the size of the UK moving along at maybe three-quarter’s light speed and basically made of land would take some manoeuvring. Then there’s the question of the effects on its own environment. At that stage my head started to spin a bit, so I kept the narrative ‘local’ in a small craft with its own dynamic.

      Thanks again for stopping bye.


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