“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men."
-Lord Acton, British Historian
Originally part of a letter written to Bishop Mandell Creighton by British Lord Acton in 1887, the above and widely known quotation highlights a tragic aspect of human rule: the pursuit of absolute power. The insatiable desire for absolute power by various political rulers has known few bounds. Centuries of human rule by some of the world’s great empires such as Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Greece (Macedonia) and Rome attest to this indisputably grim reality. Hans Morgenthau, considered by various leading authorities to be among the world’s most renowned political scientists, expounded in his critically acclaimed book Politics Among Nations: The Struggle for Power and Peace: “At the bottom of disputes that entail the risk of war, there is a tension between the desire to preserve the existing distribution of power and the desire to overthrow it.”
Throughout human history, many among the world’s powerful elite have employed nefarious and brutally repressive methods-in addition to political, economic and military action-in their attempts to achieve absolute power, as well as to remain in power. Sadly, the vanquished in many of these military conflicts, which at times comprised entire populations, were afforded only two choices: obedience or death. Often, those who were in positions of great power had adamantly claimed that such actions-despite the insidious brutality of these actions-were ultimately for the “good” of these vanquished people. Evidently, those who were at great risk of losing their freedoms, land and ultimately their very lives for this so-called goodness concluded otherwise. As history has often attested, oppressed people, with fierce zeal, fought back against their brutal and merciless oppressors. This unfortunate situation is just as pervasive in other inhabited regions of the galaxy. Deadly Artifact, a time-progressive novel, confronts this troubling issue at various social and political levels. In essence, the actions of two individuals will form the underlying basis for this unfolding and highly emotional drama. Slovas Theamas Larian is this first of these two individuals. Eminently skilled, Slovas is employed by the most powerful corporation on his home world.
Strikingly handsome, highly educated, exceedingly articulate and fiercely aggressive, he is considered by many people within the scientific community to be the most brilliant physicist in his field. Slovas’ in-depth knowledge of quantum physics has made him highly esteemed among his colleagues, as well as the absolute envy among other physicists throughout the world. Presently, he is heading one of the most revolutionary and highly perilous experimental projects that the scientific world has ever known. The successful implementation of this experimental project, via Slovas’ expert direction, will enable the military to become the most powerful force in the galaxy. Interestingly, the second individual, a female exoplanetary archaeologist, is determined to stop Slovas. In time, a fiercely contentious struggle between Slovas and this young female will trigger worldwide social-political turmoil.
The root cause of this bizarre situation gives us a compelling reason to step back, as it were, and examine closely some of the key historical events that gave rise to this present situation; a situation that will inevitably become one of the most devastating conflicts in this planet’s entire history. As such, Deadly Artifact involves numerous multinational, multilingual, multicultural and multiethnic planetary civilizations located throughout the galaxy. As you progress in this story, you will encounter unusual situations. During certain scenes, you will be transported into the distant past while in other scenes; you will be transported into the distant future before being brought back into the present. Yet, these past, present and future scenes are all part of the very same story. Bold-lettered date markers will indicate where and when you will be in the stream of time. Thus, you will “engage” in conflict with the akerians of planet Mewau. You will “establish” diplomatic relations with Surăvian government officials of the People’s Union of Surăvia, one of 160 nations located on planet Akrosia. Be aware that some officials within the Venquost United Delegations Complex have given dire warnings about the Surăvian military.
Located on the planet Harcon, Akrosia’s interplanetary neighbor, the Venquost United Delegations Complex is a government agency created to maintain interplanetary peace, a most difficult venture to say the very least. Speaking in behalf of these concerned individuals, Arrak Naluras, the Pratovian or supreme ruler of the Harconian nation of Eusoria, have warned that unsuspecting individuals who had chosen to become close associates of Surăvian military officials had somehow “disappeared.” Continuing tensions between planets Akrosia and Harcon, due to a previous interplanetary military conflict, are decidedly major factors in Pratovian Naluras’ warning.
Therefore, good prudence is highly suggested when “dealing” with Anapov Grugor Morvanyic, the Tasurian (supreme ruler) of the Akrosian nation of Surăvia. Fortunately, not all political rulers, whether located on or off world, are malevolent individuals. Thus, if you are into interstellar trade and commerce, feel free to “shake hands” with the ilari, the indigenous biological species of planet Xendira. A socially progressive and very friendly people, the ilari, under the benevolent leadership of Kwame Namumsa, are always in search of new technology and other goods. At times though, the ilari have had to prove-militarily speaking-that friendliness is not necessarily a sign of weakness. Namumsa’s supreme ruling position as the Kaaria becomes a critical factor in future interstellar commerce. In stark contrast, though, you may want to be extremely cautious around Ashumu Saguto.
Saguto, of planet Tibrak, is of the indigenous biological species called rabanian. Born in Yashani, a country located on the continent of Temir, Ashumu Saguto is one ambitiously proud and fierce individual. She is also her government’s imperial warlord. At length, you will come across the technologically proficient and highly militaristic thaons of the planet Meiros. At times, thaon high military officials offer their interstellar neighbors an “interesting” trade deal. Thaon officials will offer you your life in exchange for your planet. Obviously, many people would scoff at such a seemingly ludicrous trade proposal. Be aware, though, that the thaon high military possesses exotic weaponry to “persuade” potential clients of this once-in-a-lifetime offer. Moreover, thaon military high officials do mean once. Along with this, many people are concerned over a rumored and ominous threat that is causing considerable fear and apprehension to spread among the inhabitants of numerous planets located throughout the galaxy: the emergence of a central galactic empire. Many others, however, regard the notion of a single military power subjugating the entire galaxy as the very height of absurdity. Despite persistent rumors to the contrary, various military analysts contend that the success of such an enormous endeavor would be impossible.
Most likely, many people would favor this consensus in lieu of various published estimates regarding the galactic population. According to the most conservative of published estimates, the number of known inhabited planets within the galaxy range approximately from three to four million, while inhabited planets orbiting stars outside the galactic periphery are deemed as far too scattered and insignificant. Regardless, two diametrically opposing concepts, the fight for justice and the so-called right of conquest, will form the first of several major aspects of this story.
Deadly Artifact will present this first aspect from various social, ethnic and cultural perspectives. The central location of this burgeoning conflict between Slovas Larian and the female archaeological student is Dabenar, a planet orbiting Abraleon-Sul. One of many typical medium-sized stars, Abraleon-Sul is located within the galactic habitable zone. Ranging approximately 23,000 to 29,000 light-years from the galactic center, the galactic habitable zone is where all the necessary chemical elements for supporting complex biological life forms are found. In addition, supernova explosions play a considerable role in enriching the interstellar medium with higher mass elements, particularly carbon, oxygen and iron. With its eight continental landmasses, Dabenar is the planetary home of a technologically and highly advanced and ethnically diverse race of over 7.2 billion people whose indigenous biological species is selothian.
Like many other worlds within the galaxy, Dabenar possesses sufficient gravity, abundant life-sustaining water and a breathable atmosphere. This includes beautiful land areas, lush forest, prodigious amounts of plant, animal and marine life, huge oceans, tall mountains, majestic cities and one inhabited moon, Oberion. With its multinational, multiethnic and multilingual civilization, Dabenar comprises a number of highly diverse cultures dating back to antiquity. In addition, this industry-rich world has long been a major center of interstellar trade and commerce throughout various inhabited regions of the galaxy. Among the various languages and dialects spoken by Dabenar’s diverse inhabitants, Ethrosian, Lacocian, Eucosian and Umanjii are among the principal languages. This language situation was primarily brought about due to a series of major events that dramatically altered this planet’s history. As indicated earlier, a brief and concise summary of these devastating historical events can thus shed significant illumination on the present day situation. To begin, let us travel just over 4,200 years into the past. At this time in history, Dabenar’s entire civilization comprises two hundred nations. A considerable number of these nations are fighting among each other.
Nearly unimaginable worldwide change, however, is on the horizon. The year 2027 U.E. (Udician Era) will mark the beginning of a period of social-political upheaval the likes of which Dabenar’s inhabitants have never seen before. The catalysts for this upheaval are two very powerful rulers, Emperor Teranus Accasior of the nation of Perasia and Emperor Omarus Clasian of the nation of Udicia. These two emperors are the very best of friends. On the hot summer evening of 23 Ithar 2027 U.E. during the course of a stately dinner, Emperor Accasior makes a stunning proposal to Emperor Clasian.
“My fine and wonderful friend,” Emperor Accasior begins, “many nations are in a state of severe crisis. Come! Let us join our forces and together we will bring peace, security and prosperity to all. We will unite the world! Our world!” A few seemingly long seconds pass before Udician Emperor Clasian fully understands Perasian Emperor Accasior’s unique proposal. “My fine and very wonderful friend,” Emperor Clasian replies with a profuse smile and enthusiastic laugh, “let us do just so.” Emperor Accasior is ecstatic with his best friend’s reply. The foundation for vast worldwide change has been laid. Militarily, Perasia and Udicia, located on the southern continent of Coradias, are the two most powerful nations on Dabenar. In addition, Coradias and Prosias are among several continents that are located in Dabenar’s western hemisphere. By the early autumn of the year 2027 U.E., Emperor Accasior and Emperor Clasian have formed a powerful military alliance.
Nearly four years later in the spring of 2023 U.E., the Perasians, led by Supreme Commander Belshacian Nazzar, and the Udicians, led by Supreme Commander Zucabien Sulaceas III, embark on a military campaign of world conquest that would last for thirty-two years. The first to fall to Perasian-Udician forces are four smaller nations located in western Coradias; Macedia, Thessonia, Stolitica and Corathias. Within one year, all four nations are subjugated. Knowing that resistance is futile, a few other national rulers sue for peace and relinquish control of their national sovereignty. The Perasian-Udician military campaign comes to a near completion twenty years later in the late summer of 2003 U.E. Thus, one hundred and ninety-three nations have been brought under Perasian-Udician rule. For Emperors Accasior and Clasian, total world domination is within reach. Only one obstacle remains.
Enter the Sarcatian Empire. Comprising seven nations, this mighty empire is this last remaining and highly defiant obstacle to Perasian-Udician world domination. Unbelievably distressing reports from distant nations around the world regarding Perasian-Udician military conquests had been reaching the Sarcatian people many years earlier. However, only within the past several years have Sarcatian military rulers come to learn of the devastating extent of the Perasian-Udician military campaign. Subsequently, Sarcatian military rulers had long begun preparing for what they knew was going to be the largest military invasion that they would ever face. Respectively, Perasia and Udicia are the first and second most powerful nations on Dabenar. Sarcatia is Dabenar’s third most powerful nation, a fact that quite a few Perasian-Udician military commanders have known for quite some time. Still, this fact does not deter Perasian-Udician military commanders from completing their goal.
When the enormous Perasian-Udician naval armada enter the territorial waters of the Sarcatian Empire, Perasian-Udician naval commanders dispatch three highly courageous representatives to Sarcatian naval commanders. The Perasian-Udician ultimatum to Sarcatian military and government officials is unmistakably clear: surrender peacefully or face the alternative. Enraged by this ultimatum, Sarcatian government officials have two of the Perasian-Udician representatives put to death. One surviving, yet wounded Perasian-Udician representative is allowed to return to deliver the Sarcatian response: prepare to die. Sarcatia, Sohay, Unasia, Swahea, Uguma, Monomo and Akumu, the seven nations that make up the Sarcatian Empire, are located on the eastern continent of Afarika. Together, these seven nations make up North Afarika. Sarcatia is the undisputed ruling center of this centuries-long mighty empire.
Among the many languages spoken among the Afarikan people, Kutu, Xitsonga, Swati, Setswana and Umanjii are the dominant languages. Warrior Queen Asantewaa is Sarcatia’s sovereign ruler. Queen Asantewaa and her people have vowed to fight, to the very death, the invading Perasian-Udician armed forces. A brilliant military strategist in her own right, Asantewaa takes the lead in battle against the one million-strong Perasian-Udician army. For the next twelve years, Queen Asantewaa leads her military forces in this offensive and defensive battle. The fighting between Sarcatian forces and Perasian-Udician forces is on a level unseen in Dabenar’s entire history. Like streams of water, blood flows freely. Employing the most deadly and sophisticated weaponry of that historical period, Sarcatian warriors deal a humiliatingly crushing first blow to Perasian-Udician military forces. In the first few days of this battle, 60,898 Perasian soldiers and 35,689 Udician soldiers suffer an ignominious death at the hands of these highly skilled and fierce Sarcatian warriors. The number of Sarcatian deaths amounts to 5,654.
Initially, Perasian-Udician military commanders were confident of a quick and easy victory over an entire people whom they had ostensibly labeled as primitive and uneducated savages. Such overconfidence, however, had in time proven seriously flawed. Perasian-Udician military commanders came to the hard realization that they had wholly underestimated the sheer resolve and determination of the Sarcatian people to resist subjugation. In the face of these devastatingly bloody losses, Perasian-Udician military commanders had come to despise Queen Asantewaa, as well as respect her. Still, Perasian-Udician military commanders are highly adept in adapting their battle strategies in the face of these difficult challenges.
Despite suffering further bloody losses in subsequent years, Perasian-Udician military commanders continue to refine their battle strategies, which enables them to eventually to gain the upper hand in this war. The turning point comes in the year 1993 U.E. during Andar, the first summer month of the lunar calendar year. Near the base of Mount Atieno located in Northwestern Sarcatia, Queen Asantewaa’s warriors suffer their first major defeat. Afterward, the tide of battle begins to turn in favor of Perasian-Udician armed forces. Regrettably, Sarcatian warrior losses continue to mount. Thus, the Sarcatian Empire has entered its last days. Despite her fierce resolve, Queen Asantewaa finally suffers defeat in 1991 U.E. in Nithra, the first of the three autumn months. Although losing a substantial number of her own people, her forces had slain 340,890 enemy soldiers, just over one-third of the Perasian-Udician army.
No other foreign ruler, a female one especially, had given the Perasian-Udician forces such unusually fierce and bloodied resistance. Nevertheless, by 1990 U.E., Dabenar’s entire civilization is under total dominion of the Perasian-Udician World Empire. More than any other major historical event, the fall of the Sarcatian Empire will dramatically impact international politics for many centuries to come. The enduring legacy of this historical event will have a profound effect on the social attitudes of many cultures. “Peace and security for all!” Emperor Accasior and Emperor Clasian shout in grand unison before a throng of 25,000 Perasian and Udician subjects. “The Perasian-Udician World Empire,” Perasian Emperor Accasior proudly boasts, “will unite all nations and peoples under a single world government and thus usher in an era of peace, security and prosperity never before seen in this planet’s entire history.” In agreement with their beloved emperors, the crowd shouts in grand approval. The passing of time, though, reveals a far different outcome than what either emperor had originally predicted.
Internal strife, bitter contention, power struggles, numerous social-political and armed military conflicts between succeeding Perasian and Udician emperors, as well as their subject nations, wreck continual havoc, ruin and destruction throughout the Perasian-Udician World Empire. This turbulent situation comes to a devastating head 1,451 years later on 12 Vophar 539 U.E. In a nighttime surprise attack, Udician General Cybrus and his 50,000-member attack force descends upon the Perasian capital city of Barsathius during the Perasian holiday of Harmagdon; a day of grand festivity accompanied by wild revelry, live music, heavy drinking and licentious behavior.
Obviously, inebriated Perasian soldiers are not particularly well prepared to fend off a major military invasion. In just one night, Barsathius, the mighty Perasian capital falls to her former military ally. In compliance with Emperor Ahasuerus’ direct command, Udician military commanders hang Perasian Emperor Azian Belshasus III from a fifty-foot pole. Due to many other well-coordinated attacks by various Udician military commanders, Perasian fortified strongholds located throughout the world suffer a similar downfall. Nearly three years later on Thuan, 15 Vagien 536 U.E., this devastating military conflict between Perasia and Udicia ends. The Perasian death toll is truly horrific: 8,365,654 soldiers. The Udician death toll comes in second at 6,276,432 soldiers. Even more disheartening is that over 4,200,000 civilians had perished horribly in this cataclysmic worldwide war. “Brutal war,” as one historian later lamented, “respects no one.”
By the autumn of 535 U.E., the Udician capital city of Carsathia reigns as the supreme capital of Dabenar’s newest world power: the Udician World Empire. This time, though, no one dares to utter any promises of peace, security and unity. Socially and politically, the legacy of this devastating military conflict will have a major and lasting impact on world history. From 535 U.E., we fast-forward 2,862 years to the present day Betracian Era (B.E.). The year is 2226. Dabenar’s modern day government is vastly different from her ancient form of rulership. The selothian military is among the most powerful military forces in the galactic region. The former and ancient capital of Carsathia is now merely one of many popular tourist attractions. Lethasius is Dabenar’s present day planetary capital. A major metropolitan city, Lethasius is located in Gothian, a country situated on the west coast of the continent of Prosias. Alonias Lesamius Gandrien is the Aprincior, in essence Dabenar’s supreme ruler. He is also the commander-in-chief of all land-based, sea-based and space-based armed forces. Although Aprincior Gandrien wields great power and authority, his executive powers is by no means absolute. Aprincior Gandrien shares his power with two other agencies of the government, the Ahira Legislative Body and the Kijorian Judiciary Assembly.
Various other alien planetary governments, such as the aforementioned akerian government of planet Mewau and the Iotian government of planet Valasus, are highly distrustful of the selothian government. Selothian political and economical influence has become a pivotal factor in interstellar relations, as well as tensions. Unfortunately, the people of Dabenar are undergoing a major crisis. The aforementioned female exoplanetary archaeologist, whose name is Quafeira Ta’ahnn Sibekk, has become the central focus of this crisis.
Born on the spring date of 21 Naru 2113 B.E., Quafeira attends the Brasdean Educational Center in Pelepos, a large city located in Gothian. At 5’11”, the taller-than-average female has a slight medium build. Her dark amber-color skin accentuates her dark indigo hair. She had originally set her sights on traveling throughout the galaxy in search of ancient ruins located on different planets. By the time she reaches age twenty-five, dire circumstances compel her to put her archaeological career on hold. She becomes locked in a legal battle against Slovas Larian’s employer: Tavus-Alverand Corporation. This legal battle brings upon her physical, mental and emotional trauma that few females have ever experienced. In addition, this legal battle is triggering major social unrest among large segments of Dabenar’s civilian population. Law enforcement, government and military officials are also being drawn into this burgeoning crisis. Two major events have spawned this crisis.
First, the creation of a gravitic weapon of nearly inconceivable and planet-pulverizing power has raised profound fear among various other planetary governments. Second, the creator of this fearsome device, Daljik Ra’as, another brilliant research physicist employed by Travus-Alverand Corporation, had mysteriously disappeared while en route to a business meeting. Sadly, Daljik has never been seen or heard from again. Yet, there is an unusual twist to this second event. Daljik’s disappearance occurred six months before Quafeira was born. Thus, her deep interest in Daljik began to grow only after she became old enough to fully understand many of the turbulent events that surrounded his disappearance. At the tender age of nine, Quafeira became troubled over the fact that no one within her family would answer any of her questions regarding Daljik Ra’as. Unable to gather the answers she wanted, she began her own investigation to discover the truth about Daljik Ra’as. She began her investigative efforts on 21 Naru 2129, her sixteenth birthday; a day that would prove to be anything except sweet. In her quest to uncover the facts, the days turn into months. The months turn into years. The more facts she uncovered, the angrier she became. Many people who know Quafeira are bewildered by her acute interest, as well as her profound anxiety over the disappearance of this long-missing research physicist, that is until they learn a shocking revelation: Daljik Ra’as is her father.
Astonishingly, the missing, yet critical element to this crisis is located on a distant planet called Earth. Brothers Vernon and Ronald Clark and their best friend, Victor Williams, are residents of Anonwood, a coastal metropolitan city located in Northern California’s Humboldt County. These teenagers were coming up as younger children during the turbulent decade of the 1960s.
During that decade and later on, tens of thousands of young American men and women were protesting against various events such as the Vietnam War and the “secret war” in Cambodia. In their battle against racial discrimination and segregation, black Americans were fighting to obtain equal rights, better employment opportunities and decent housing. Along with their fight for equal status and equal pay in a male-dominated work environment, many thousands of women of all races were protesting against sexism and rampant sexual harassment. Fierce rioting, especially during the summer, would break out. Yet, despite the hardships and hostilities that these teenagers endure, they are ill prepared for the one encounter that will thrust them into the midst of the aforementioned alien conflict; a conflict that nearly tears their lives apart and plunges them into multiple life-threatening situations.
Their roles in this alien conflict begin shortly after they make a gruesome discovery: three skeletal remains in a long-abandoned cave. Two of the skeletal remains are of human origin; the third are the skeletal remains of an extraterrestrial being. In addition, these teenagers discover two alien devices of unknown functions. By meticulous research, the teenagers uncover a troubling link to their macabre discovery, a man by the name of Silas Jeremiah Baldwin. Born on 18 June 1812 at the start of what was called the Second Revolutionary War between the United States and Great Britain, Silas was a staunch southern loyalist who witnessed firsthand many of the violent and devastating events that ignited the bloodiest conflict in U.S. history: the American Civil War. Sadly, tragedy befell Silas nearly seven months before the 12 April 1861 Southern Confederate attack on Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina. In the early morning hours of Monday, 17 September 1860, Silas, after a brief encounter with a strange individual, is killed by an unearthly weapon. Silas’ untimely death initiates a series of unusually bizarre events that will last well into the latter part of the 20th century.
In essence, numerous human and alien individuals of various ages, nationalities, languages, ethnic cultures, professions and historical periods will become principal factors in this situation; a situation that will intensify the teenagers’ burgeoning role in this intergalactic conflict. Two processions of dark and tumultuous events running concurrently on Earth and Dabenar, two planets spaced over 13,000 light-years apart, will merge at a critical point in the distant future. The culmination of these events will be the catalyst for what could potentially become the galaxy’s deadliest conflict. Now, in part one of a triple trilogy spanning four hundred years-beginning in 1860-and involving numerous and diverse alien civilizations, an epic journey begins.