Areonians

Areonians

Colonists of Earth brought to the planet Areon by an Elshar named Asha and Earthan Olin Runge, married to Maria Metzger, from Cleveland, Ohio in the 1840's. It coincides with one of many cholera epidemics, common at the time. A hundred families leave on Asha's cargo ship with their animals and crops, including live trees, plants, cattle, chickens, riding animals, birds, and seasoned wood. They also collected exotic animals from other continents, since Asha's ship could go anyplace, and he could run stasis.

Unfortunately for the colonists, the Bisillips who terraformed Areon never visited Earth, so they did not know most of the living things they brought would mutate or die. Asha traded for tech from the Bisillips as he could, but he was the colony's only trader, at first.

Some of the plants mutated and remained edible. Children wandered into aandat marshes and stopped dying of disease so aandats became a major trade item of the early colony. It also saved the cattle, and the few other animals still living by this time, because they wandered into the marshes looking for water. Other animals were kept in pens and mostly died of disease.

Butterflies and wasps mutated and became huge. But, wasps avoided people because they sensed fear. Butterflies enjoyed playing with children. People called them swallows because they were the size of large birds. They called the wasps Bea~ as the Yeff did, because they pollinated the giant flowers and all the plants on their farms like bees once did. All the bees died, and they missed having honey. Bea~ do not produce any. They make their nests out of jewel-like minerals and reuse them year after year, in caves.

The other animals were too few to survive because they were too closely related. When the colony split into Kleideu, the farmers, and Lilmerica, the scientists, they sent the little zoo with the scientists for them to enjoy until they died, with caretakers. People of Eicken made parks for each kind of animal. Holos of natural environments made them think they were still on Earth, except for the light gravity. Aandats helped them live very long lives. Some reproduced but genetic defects made for shorter and shorter lives with each generation. A variety of plants were also sent, with the same result. Few of the original plants survived as they were. But, some plants and animals were imported until people were afraid of imports. The Rads fought against any trade with Otherworlders.

Berger.

A Kleideu family interested in politics.

Anna Berger, Scientist of Eicken. After five visits to DF and The Therapy, lived in the Eicken Hospital. Daughter of Johann. Now lives on Ye~ – Home Is Areon

Johann Berger, Leader of Stuttgart on Areonic Council. Isabel Metzger is his wife. Tanda is their daughter.

Tanda Berger, Scientist. Married Kol Weiss. Worked with Adia. Sister of Anna. She and husband Kol moved to Ye~ to care for Anna.

Braun.

Minister Braun, Security. First to know of Adia's lab accident which caused an explosion. Minister Mar investigated it. He knew where the ANW lab was and Minister Mar did not.

Firs.

Leherr Firs, Leader of Safety, Eicken. Vonn reported the error in Prog One's 1000x containment field to him, and knew it was tampered.

Gelb.

A family of Kleideu who recently moved to Lilmerica.

Derek Gelb [Gelp, g as in gun]. A Kleideu [Kl-eye-doy] boy Adia Rayaline liked at 16.

Liam Gelb, Scientist, Weapons Research. Inmate of Eicken Hospital. Brother of Marelei. Married Neli Wilnes, who was trained to injure him, when he found out she was trained. She was also in the hospital, victim of genetic contamination that gave her cat traits. Erma Koch injured Neli. Trained him to marry her. They had three children together. She injured their daughter Lianna at age 5 but faked an accident. She was put in stasis in the Eicken Hospital. Their son and his wife married at 16 and became ship techs, but had an accident in space that killed them long after his accident that landed him in the hospital. She was automatically divorced after his admission. She was executed after the Rads lost power.

A healer brought a trembling man to him. “Here is Liam Gelb. He tried to go to Kleideu by porting from the Barrens, and had The Therapy. I am Toras, his healer.” Very gently, the Yeff put a leiwege in the sand and bent it to hold him sitting up.

Cevit Ion sat in the sand and held his hand. Waited.

“Liam?” Mother sat by him, as if seeing a ghost. “Liam, it is Mari.”

Slowly, he turned his head. “Mari. Vonne Wilnes. Stopped me from Leader Sau.”

“Evonne hurt you?”

“Yes. Weapon. Hospital. She hurt you!”

“She did not hurt me. There was an accident in my lab. She was experimenting with genetic material. It spilled on her. They took her to the hospital.”

Another healer brought a woman barely recognizable as a woman. She had fur on every exposed skin surface. One hand resembled a long-toed paw. One foot had animal toes and pads. Her nose resembled a cat's. When she made a sound, it was more of a yowl. The last cat on Areon died long before my parents were born. They still had genetic material from them? “Our Science Council studies how to help this woman, and sixteen others afflicted with animal or plant genes. They are evidence of experimentation on unwilling subjects. There is evidence to suggest that this one repented of what she did and decided to interfere with experiments. One caught her and exposed her to their work, unwillingly. She is unable to speak and shall die soon if our Council cannot reverse these mutations. Her name is Neli Wilnes, and Erma Koch did this to her. We have evidence that Erma trained her with slaver herbs to attack people.”

He looked at her. “Trained? Oh, sorry.” He put a hand on hers.

She cried.

“Not wish this on you. Erma jealous. Wonder much how you change. Oh, Nell. Mari, Nell!”

“If anything I know will help, I will do it!” Mother added her hand on theirs.

A man in ScSv purple came for her, and all vanished in a green swirl.

Marelei Gelb. Married Joleon Rayaline and moved to Lilmerica. Derek Gelb is a very distant relative. She researches biology at Eicken and made lectsims, speaking animals that warn attendees when one is to begin a presentation. They retain their programming through five generations.

Nef Gelb. Father of Marelei. Exposed to an accidental discharge of a Kajarian weapon. They brought a healer who said he would have to be told what to do for life. He sat and stared. Died in the Eicken Hospital years ago at the time of Home Is Areon.

Grun.

A farming family of Kleideu.

Petunia Grun, 24. Formerly married to Dietrich Koch. Her daughter, Sanna Koch, 5, stays with her on Ye~.

Ursula Grun, 35, and her daughter Minsa, 13. They are cousins of Petunia.

Pas went to one who had a teenaged girl with her. “Kira and Lasana, will you come? Here is Ursula Grun, and her daughter Minsa. You may live with them, if you like. Pin, will you live with them?”

A young healer came to them. Bowed at the waist like Areonians do. “I am happy to help! Lady Grun, I am your healer.”

She gasped and tried to back away.

“No, Mother, he is a good healer. He is kind. Look. Will you heal me, kind sir? Mother is afraid of healers but she had bad ones in the hospital.” Very gently, the girl put her hand under Pin's and lifted it up to her head. He looked over her points and wept. “O, you had many injuries!”

“Mother needs healing. I can wait.”

Another healer came to her. “I can be your healer. I am Nasun.”

“Nasun, I am Minsa Grun. Pleased to meet you.” She gave a curtsy and nearly fell! He caught her.

The mother pulled Pin's hand to her head. “My head hurts.”

He smiled, though she bruised his hand! “I am happy to see you.” He waved up a leiwege and put her on it. “Rest, while I see you.”

Nasun did the same for Minsa, and she smiled and put her head back. “Oh, pretty sky, Mother. Did you ever see such a beautiful pink? No clouds to hide it. There's Areon, and Beautiful, and Tri~e. They are all up.”

Her mother looked, and smiled. “Where's Ye~?”

“We are here, on it.”

“Oh.”

Jons.

[Yons]. This family of scientists moved to Eicken Spaceport when it was created to be the center of Areon's technology and science.

Derees [De-rees] Jons [Jons, j as in ya or German ja], Scientist of Eicken. Adia's co-worker. Patasia is his wife. Their children are Puret, 9, Donn, 7 and Wisper, age 5. Cah is born on Ye~ in Home Is Areon. She is Elshar, so he gave permission for Pas to do gentle genetic mods on the children for their health. They are now fully Elshar. Pas taught Puret to help his siblings when Derees is not with them, since his mother believes they, and she, are Areonian, and is mentally unsound. Elshars have stronger bones, so they are safer from her now.

Kipna.

A family of Lilmerica interested in politics.

Leader Kipna of Lilmerica, on the Areonic Council before and after the Rads. Only one of three who remained loyal.

Koch.

[Koch, och like Scottish loch] The Koch Family moved from Kleideu to accept posts in Eicken Spaceport. Most of this large family was found to have trained high officials to violate Areon's Law to keep Eric Schwer and the Rads in power and give them more power, while hiding their illegal activity from the Alliance that violated its charter. Death penalty after the Rads.

Brun Koch. Former scientist of Eicken, he worked for the Trade Office, then Detector Force as an Interrogator when not sitting on the Lilmerican Council. He had three red marks. One was from Director Geniveve Schmidt, who was director before Pragate. One was from Otherworlder Authorities. The last was from Detector Force. The date was four years ago. Death penalty after the Rads.

Dietrich Koch, Scientist. Brother of Brun, who became Leader on the Areonic Council. Death penalty after the Rads.

Erma Koch, Scientist. Daughter of Brun. Second wife of Dieter Wilnes. Death penalty after the Rads.

Evonne Koch, Scientist. Daughter of Brun. Harmed by her sister, Erma, she lived in the Eicken Hospital for years. Pardoned after the Rads. Divorced first wife of Dieter Wilnes.

Josha [Josh-ah] Koch [Koch, och like Scottish loch], Pilot of Eicken. He fought the Rads. Ossy's brother was a fine pilot. After his funeral, he was placed in stasis in the family burial plot. Perhaps he can be revived someday, when healers learn new healing.

Oskar Koch saw the changes in Per Wilnes and worked with his daughter, Kara, whom he later married, to help him.

Ossy [Oss-ee] Koch [Koch, ch like Scottish loch], Scientist of Eicken. Worked in Fuels Research with Adia. Ossy, the younger son, got a position with Fuels Research, where he met Adia, and her sister Maia [May-ah]. He dated both of them for a while, then decided he liked Maia better. Maia refused his courtship request. His father is Brun Koch and works in Otherworlder Authorities.

Finally, Leader Sau had them bring Ossy Koch before him. “Ossy Koch, you did evil. But, a healer claims you were trained to do this. He claims he has untrained you. I see your Petition of Loyalty. Tell me why I should not have you executed for the attempts on the lives of Adia Rayaline, Derees Jons, Vonn and Tan Links, Per and Finia Wilnes, Evonne Wilnes--” He named people for minutes.

Ossy sweated as he stood there. “Because I was trained by Citstasia Wilnes to do this.”

Sanna Koch, daughter of Dietrich. Lives with her mother, Petunia Grun, on Ye~ after the Yeff took all the unwell from Eicken Hospital. Dietrich divorced Petunia.

Links.

Another scientist family.

Tan Links, Lawyer of Lilmerica. He enjoyed defending people put in the Eicken Hospital until he supposedly died of a stroke. Later he was found in the hospital and taken to Ye~, where he married Lili Wilnes, also an inmate of the hospital.

Vonn Links, Lead Scientist of Fuels Research.

Mar.

Minister Mar, Security. He is the one who investigated Adia's accident in the lab. He should have been first to know of the explosion, not Minister Braun. He also should have known where the ANW lab was, not Braun.

Metzger.

One of the original Kleideu farming families.

Gustav Metzger, also a relative of Adia, found all records of the Detector Force of interrrogations and proof of the Rads' evil. He planted hologenerators so all of Areon could hear the government's reorganization in the streets. Because of him, Kleideu had names of every victim, and searched for all of them. Father of Isabel.

Isabel Metzger. Married Johann Berger. Parents of Tanda, who married Kol Weiss.

Maria Metzger. Married Olin Runge before they emigrated to Areon with Asha.

Pragate.

[Prah-gaht] A scientist family of Lilmerica. Named for the Pragate Valve, part of a ship engine that was very useful in its time.

Ado Pragate. Director of Eicken Project. He was a scientist before becoming an administrator.

Rathaus.

[Rat-house] German for governmental house or house of advice. A farming family of Kleideu who moved to Lilmerica to farm when land became too scarce in Kleideu.

Hans Rathaus, Farmer of Lilmerica. Married Mina, who was put into Eicken Hospital. Moved to Ye~. He became a trader.

Another woman clung to a man and a healer tried to make her let go. “Hans! Don't leave me!!”

“I am not Hans. There is Hans!” He pointed.

A man startled badly. “Mina. Mina?? They told me you died!!” He ran to her.

She let go of the other man and stumbled to him. “Hans! Take me home!! Please, take me home!!”

He swept her off her feet and held her. “I can't. Rads destroyed our home. I don't know what to do--”

Ryee touched his arm. “If you wish, you may come to Ye~. I will provide your needs. Housing, foods of Areon, clothing formers, education--”

“Can you teach me to trade? There is much talk of new trade now that the Rads are gone! I do not want to go back to Lilmerica. If I can trade, we can live here by my grandparents, Walt and Fern Rathaus! They are old and need me.”

“If you wish, they may come also, or you may stay a short time, learn trading, and return here. You have many choices, my friend.”

Olin and Gerta Rathaus. Farmers of Lilmerica near the Barrens. Parents of Hans. Moved to Ye~. His parents, Walt and Fern Rathaus stayed in Kleideu at first, then moved to Ye~.

The man smiled and waved to an elderly couple. “Will you tell my parents? They are Olin and Gerta Rathaus. Mina's are dead many years.” Hans kissed her cheek as he held her up.

They did not want to leave Kleideu. “Here is green and pretty. There is a rock with sand! No pretty flowers. No water.”

The man looked sad. “Father, your house is near the Barrens. You are not able to grow flowers. Now I have no work to support you. Please, Father. Your land will not grow things. We cannot go back to Lilmerica. I must save up trade for land here in Kleideu, that can grow things.”

Rayaline.

The Rayalines were among the first to move to the new state of Lilmerica. They changed their family name from what it was to Rayaline because it became a new tradition to adopt scientific names as the second name. Rayaline was a new fuel for ships.

Adia Rayaline, Scientist Of Eicken [Ay-dee-ah Ray-ah-leen] – Eicken [Eye-ken] gathers Areon's finest scientists. Areon [Air-ee-on] is the homeworld of Adia Rayaline, and she was one of them. Her discovery of NZTZ solved the problem of fuel shortages on this shipbuilding world.

Ay. Shortname of Adia Rayaline, given by Ryonne~ [Ree-OH-nuh-EE!] on Ye~.

Cis-adia [Sis-ay-dee-ah]. Cistasia Wilnes' shortname for Adia.

Aronna [Air-on-na] Rayaline. Adia's little sister. She is seven years old at the time of Home Is Areon.

Beth Rayaline. The baby Marelei lost when Adia and Maia were 7. Healers saved her on Ye~ before the Rayalines came back to Areon in Home Is Areon.

Joleon [Joe-leon] Rayaline [Ray-ah-leen]. Adia's father is 46 at the time of Home Is Areon. A brilliant young scientist of 16, he was on the Molecular Mill project built on his ideas, that led to the loss of the Areon Hub. The Yeff rebuilt most of their massive databases, but Areon decided to store data in objects, such as clothing, and Ye~ built the current information Hub networked with all worlds of the Unified. For Alliance trade, Areon, Ye~, and most colonies in this sparse area use the Ishah Hub which serves the major Elshar worlds. Most trade is information.

Jo’le [Joe-leh]. What Marilei [Mare-eh-lie] Rayaline calls her husband, Joleon [Joe-lee-on]. She was a Gelb.

Maia Rayaline, Info Scientist of Areon. Adia's sister works at home and also tutors younger sister Aronna. Her main skill is writing progs. Her work is also called Prog Instructor in ScSv.

Runge.

The Rayaline's family name. Those who moved to Lilmerica took the name of Rayaline, and those who stayed in Kleideu kept Runge.

Leader Klaus Runge. Leader of the Kleideu Council. Grandson of Olin Runge.

The man stood and bowed to all of us. He also had white hair, and a great beard of white curls. “Joleon Rayaline came to me on visits with his wife, and kept me informed, as did many others, of the Rads and their plans. He worked with Brun Koch and Eric's son, Selik, and the Kochs, Erma and Evonne. Also on the Fuels Research team was Berta Wilnes, whom he almost courted before he fell in love with Marilei, who was a Gelb. Her father Nef died in the Eicken Hospital years ago and she will not talk to us about it.

“I had many meetings with Leader Sau in secret. I and my Council, and our members on the Areonic Council, all debated at length to know what to do to save our people. All of our combined wisdom could not find a solution. We consulted Ryonne~, because he has the ear of our Emperor. He came to me with many histories of many peoples. Often, when a society becomes so restrictive, a planet destroys itself. We are not a planet with natives, but a colony. There are not many of us to try to solve these differences. Today, we need to try. Today, we need to embrace our brothers of Lilmerica and become a new Areon Colony, where our people can live safely. I wish to say on behalf of all Kleideu, we are against the Rads, but not against anyone of Lilmerica. Any of you who wish to renounce the Rads are welcome here. We hope to have a unified government without the Rads. Leader Sau, I support you and your fine Council of Areon, those who are not with the Rads.” He bowed and sat.

Keefer Runge, Joleon's nearest relative, sent with five men to find the Rayalines, by Leader Sau, during the Rads War.

Leon Runge, Adia's grandfather, came to Lilmerica to become a shipbuilder, and he made many innovations over the old Elshar designs. He used to joke about Runge ancestors who made wagons, and often repeated a joke his father Olin used to tell.

Olin Runge used to build ladders for all the shopkeepers he knew, even though he was a carpenter and joiner. He said their family name of Runge was prophetic about all the rungs he cut for ladders! He and his friend Asha, an Elshar, gathered colonists for Areon in the 1840's, a colony Bisillipians wanted to establish. Great-grandfather of Adia.

Sia [See-ah] Runge, Healer of Kleideu. Adia's aunt refused to migrate to Lilmerica when the others left Kleideu. Because the Lilmerican government had a dispute with Kleideu when Joleon married Marelei, Sia can only visit when needed as a healer. By treaty, the family visited must pay the border fees, since Kleideu are not allowed to use the Lilmericans' virtual currency, MeriTrade. This makes a visit expensive. Her husband, Trader Kar Lir of D'sharr, was exiled by Governor Heim Schwer. Governor Sau welcomed all exiles home in Home Is Areon.

After the Rads were deposed, families could visit without permits or fees, and healing was provided under basic needs for everyone on Areon. Sia brought healers in a steady stream to train under Healer Pas' ennead, and Zheien Healing became common on Areon, to balance trade for aandats. Unfortunately, aandats left Kleideu healthy and often became unhealthy or died in the Spaceport on the way to Ye~. Because of this, Sia trained a lot more healers than the Treaty called for.

Terry MLX Runge, Sia's son and Adia's cousin, trained Kleideu's troops with tech he got on Elshar worlds. He brought arms, at risk of his life. He led the coup against the Rads. Many of Lilmerica and Eicken joined him. The DF records gave the names of everyone who helped the Rads. Leader Sau ordered his men not to kill them, but give them a chance to fight the Rads. He believed many of them did not choose to serve the Rads willingly.

My cousin looked old. Silver, straight hair like Dad's hung in his eyes as he brushed it away. His arm was bandaged. “People of Areon, we are free! I want to apologize publicly to my mother, Sia Runge. She tried her best to raise me when Fahie was exiled, but he is a good man and trades endlessly for the cause. I am happy to say he is here now and wants to trade for Areon!” He held out his good arm and put it around a large Elshar man, who had very light eyes. He wore the cobalt blue robes like M'Naga had! “Mother, please come talk to Father. He has been faithful to you all these years and suffers much persecution because he is a fair trader. Healer Pas on Ye~ saved his life, and he has lived in hiding all these years on Ishah. People of Areon, here is my fahie, Trader Kar Lir of D'sharr, returned from exile.”

Schmidt.

This family moved to Eicken and had management talent.

Geniveve Schmidt, Director of Eicken Spaceport before Pragate.

Schwer.

This family was very interested in politics. They moved to Eicken because one son had talent as a scientist. The majority elected the father, Heim Schwer. He was aged when The Molecule Mill tragedy happened. His son, Eric, became Governor after him. Most of this large family was found to have trained high officials to violate Areon's Law to keep Eric Schwer and the Rads in power and give them more power, while hiding their illegal activity from the Alliance that violated its charter. Death penalty after the Rads.

Heim Schwer, Governor of Lilmerica. The majority elected him. After the Molecule Mill tragedy, he felt that new, restrictive regulations should be in place, but didn't want to enforce this with new tech captured from Kajarians who tried to covertly assassinate him. The attempt left him injured and feeble. Heim was prone to hostile outbursts after his injury. It was at this time, 30 years before Adia met Ryee, that scientists warned oxygen would run out in 20 years on Areon. The Yeff offered help to genetically modify the population to breathe nitrogen instead of oxygen. Heim Schwer feared that Elshars would come to Areon, with their typically violent means of resolving trade differences. Anytime Zheien offered help to Elshars, Elshars tried to enslave them. Heim feared, with the colonists' similarities to Elshars and history of intermarriage, that his status as Governor and his family's rule, would be threatened. He saw a way, through the genetic mods, to bypass the elections and stay in power. Pas suspected, after healing him, that he was being reinjured by the device. He feared to confront Eric, knowing Eric would be well able to sever diplomatic relations with Ye~. When he reported his concerns to Ryonne~, he and his Council decided it was best not to let the Rads know that they had suspicions. They felt that their aid to Areon might be vital to the Areonians' survival after the Molecule Mill. Without their scientists' help, the Areonian scientists might not find the answer in time. So, Ye~'s government remained reluctantly silent. They were able to improve upon the tech Areon had so people given the new mods through their terminals would hardly notice any discomfort while their bodies evolved. Children only took five years to completely change so they absorbed nitrogen and breathed out oxygen. They had improved health. But many elderly, including Heim Schwer, died.

Governor Eric Schwer [Sch-ver] of Lilmerica, Areon Colony. There was a lot of support for his Rads Party, which had genetic mods and sacrifices as its platform. People were afraid. Eric used his father's infirmity to get help from Ye~ in secret. He also brought healers from his home Kleideu for his father. Among them was Sia Runge, Joleon Rayaline's sister. She was a very skilled healer, and had been treating Heim after his injury. Scientists dismantling the weapon thought that it might have beneficial uses. Eric demanded that scientists in his secret governmental division use the device on his father. It made him docile and open to suggestion. Eric used this method to get his father to sign very restrictive documents that his friends in the Rads Party would approve. First, he got approval for the Captured Tech Division to continue their experiments on the first casualties from the War.

Then, he obtained help from the Yeff to heal his father, against Sia's opinion that she could help him recover enough to keep ruling Eicken. Eric felt the innocent Yeff wouldn't know their physiology well enough to know what he was doing.

After his father's death, the Rads tried to take power. Other parties protested, but an election put Eric Schwer in power. People were used to long years of strict governance because when the colony was new, obedience and cooperation meant survival.

Kleideu were long considered simple-minded and their rural existence, wasteful of precious oxygen. The Yeff gave the mods to the Kleideu at the same time they gave them to the Lilmericans. Many Kleideu didn't use much tech. Trade with Lilmerica dwindled as the Rads claimed their existence threatened theirs!

The Yeff knew this was false, as the Kleideu's agricultural practices actually put more oxygen back into the atmosphere than they took. Kleideu kept its membership in the Alliance's vast trade network. Their children got an education in Sigan Mas and learned the latest techniques for growing food and contributing to solving the lack of oxygen. Their plans to conserve their land's use by importing different crops and animals to replace the ones dying from lack of oxygen horrified the Rads. Kleideu finally severed diplomatic relations with Lilmerica and officially became Areon's second colony. Lilmerica kept relations only to augment their dwindling food supply. New regulations limited contact between the two populations.

Eventually, Eric Schwer noticed that the new tech from increasing Kajarian incursions included databases of observation devices new to Areon. He decided, if he restricted expression of emotion, he could keep control of his people. So, the people had to endure yet another restriction... Emotion Detectors. Floating devices installed above the walks of Eicken and all over Lilmerica, even on the few farms. At first, they merely whispered warnings when a person was using nitrogen.

Many people complained about the ED's. Those people suddenly changed their opinions, and their relatives suspected injury by captured devices. Out of fear, people heeded the warnings. If they didn't, they were subjected to 'interviews' with the authorities. Compliance increased, yet stricter measures came.

By the time of Home Is Areon, Lilmericans began to fear true mind control. Many sought work offplanet, which was traditionally considered giving up on the colony and disgraceful. If anyone even joined Science Service, a branch of the Alliance, they had warnings they would not be welcomed home for family visits. Families were warned not to send their children to Sigan Mas, but for them to attend Areonian schools in Lilmerica. They were not allowed to rejoin the Kleideu or visit relatives.

Those that visited in secret learned the truth: Kleideu's methods replenished the oxygen in Areon's atmosphere. The mods killed their elderly, not lack of oxygen. Eicken tampered with the Yeff mods and blamed the Yeff, so Lilmerica severed trade with not only Ye~, but the Alliance and the Unified, except for the most necessary items. Kleideu found the means to trade through the Yeff, and developed tech to hide the ships so Lilmerica did not know that they visited. Lilmerica built ships after Elshar designs. Their scientists had no idea of the capability of Zheien ships, and refused trade of Zheien ships. Ye~ would have shared their tech.

Ironically, Eicken insisted that captured Kajarian ships went to Ye~, not to Areon. There were rumors that these ships could destroy a world, and might be rigged to do this with a faked capture. The Yeff scientists, after capturing multiple ships, discovered safeguards that were unlikely to let a weapon destroy anything, because Kajarians feared the destruction of worlds they enslaved for resources.

Gradually, most Areonians learned of these things in whispers. They feared to discuss them, but they knew them. They waited for an opportunity to overthrow the Rads. The Rads, however, were becoming afraid of the Schwers' tactics, since they, also, had to abide the restrictions. There was talk that the ED's might replace the Rads once their artificial intelligence tech evolved enough.

Eric Schwer, Dietrich Koch, and Fritz Starren worked on a project to dismantle Kajarian weapons, among others. A friend, Nef Gelb, was exposed to an accidental discharge of one of them. They brought a healer who said he would have to be told what to do for life! He sat and stared. A decision was made to develop this weapon to use on prisoners. Per Wilnes led the team who made the first prototype. I was shocked! This man was once my friend. The boastful man who announced the new way of reforming prisoners did not sound at all like him. I think they used it on him to alter his mind. We were all afraid, those of us who knew him. He now is a high official in the Detector Force, that evil organization that began using tech developed for enemies, on our families!

“These three scientists decided to use it to control ordinary people. They found that if they used a much lower charge, they could influence them. In the lab, they exposed their coworkers to it and no one noticed any difference in them. After several exposures, they could influence them to do things for them. If they protested, they had an accident in the lab. Healers had accidents when they tried to tell anyone that scientists were injured. They made smaller versions of this weapon. Carried them with them.

“When Heim Schwer was governor, he had an accident. He became a violent man. I think these scientists used this weapon on him before they perfected it in that lab. Several of the hundreds of scientists in the lab became violent when they were good workers before coming there. People became scared to use healers. Their families noticed changes in people who needed a healer. Rumors circulated that Elshar herbs were dangerous and there was a lot of suspicion of Elshars. It is common knowledge that Elshars keep slaves. When Governor Heim Schwer ordered that Elshars without family were to be exiled, there were less incidents of people suddenly changing from their normal, obedient selves. But, it was harder to obtain any Elshar herbs. Healers had always altered Elshar herbs for us, and certain ones were still allowed, but they became a lot more expensive. Lilmerica forbade healers in the prov, and so we have many and Lilmerica has none.

“These scientists experimented on Heim Schwer. They found that the devices created a lot of damage in the brain, and affected the intelligence of people they used it on. They became docile. Suddenly, Heim Schwer signed many documents into law that we protested. But, to market our foods, we had to agree to many things we did not like. For a time, we declared ourselves independent. But, our trade suffered too much, even with help from our Yeff friends.” He waved towards Ryee, who gave a deep bow to him. “They worried that Lilmerica would die out, all of our families and friends, and so would we. We needed the shipbuilders to survive, to have enough trade in our Region to protect ourselves from slavers. Especially with the War moving closer. On advice of King Eanne~, we reluctantly unified our governance under the Rads. We did not know the things I just told you. We could not foresee what they planned for all of us.

“After we sent Council members to Eicken to rule with Lilmerica, many had injuries and deaths. There were threats, as you know, to our families in Eicken. Many of us were startled at devices warning us to control our breathing, when we visited relatives, and we did not visit as much.

“Then, thirty years ago, scientists invented the Molecule Mill. There was a lot of fear then, that this new tech would have problems. Our oxygen shortage forced us to alter our bodies to use nitrogen instead of oxygen. Genetic mods killed many of us. We were a more docile people afterwards. I think with what I know now, they exposed all of us to those infernal machines! Many blamed the Yeff, who sacrificed much to try to help us. They never asked for even onetrade.

“Suddenly, there were new laws in Lilmerica to prevent us from visiting without many permits. When we visited, many of us were injured by these infernal machines, that accused us of wasting breath when we had upset or even joy!

I have a wife and five sons and three daughters, all grown with families, and all were taken from their homes in Lilmerica. I sent Keefer Runge, who is Joleon's nearest relative, with five men to find your family. My friend Gustav Metzger, also a relative of yours, found all records of the Detector Force of interrrogations so we have proof of the Rads' evil. He will be planting hologenerators to play them in the streets. Because of him, we have names of every victim, and we are searching for all of them. Terry MLX, Sia's son and your cousin, trained our troops with tech he got on Elshar worlds. He brought arms, at risk of his life! He leads the coup as we speak. – Leader Sau

Eric Schwer received the death penalty after the Rads.

Selik Schwer, Scientist, Eric's son. Death penalty after the Rads.

Schiff.

A family of Kleideu interested in politics.

Leader Schiff of Kleideu, on the Areonic Council before and after the Rads.

Starren.

This family supported the Rads.

Fritz Starren, Scientist. Worked dismantling Kajarian weapons. Father of Johann.

Johann Starren [Yo-hahn]. Adia dated this boy for a while. He was Lilmerican. Later, he helped defeat the Rads.

Umbridge.

A farming family of Kleideu that likes scientific methods of farming. Some went to Lilmerica to be scientists.

Karl Umbridge, Scientist. Inmate of Eicken Hospital with his son, Kraus. Both have shakings from falling on rock in the Barrens, he says. Actually, Kraus had shakings and he got hurt trying to keep Kraus from falling. They ported back to Eicken and enemies put them both in the Hospital. His wife was Erma Koch but she wanted to be divorced. She trained young Ossy to injure her son and suggested the camping trip, then put them in the Hospital.

Kraus Umbridge is nine and they have been in the Hospital four years in Home Is Areon. He was one of Adia's playmates at school and was hurt in an accident at the playground. A brilliant student who took classes with her even though he was very young to be there, at 5; she was 14. Ossy found him injured and brought his teacher. Joleon Rayaline knew about it. Adia thought the family moved to Kleideu, that is what they were told.

Weiss.

[V-eye-ss] A scientist family. Tanda Weiss worked with Adia.

Tanda Weiss worked with Adia. She is married, so she can wear ankle-length dresses and lace. Her husband trades hard so she can wear it. She was a Berger before she married.

Kol Weiss, husband of Tanda. They moved to Ye~ to care for Tanda's sister Anna Berger.

Wilnes.

A scientist family who also likes politics. Many of them were dishonest.

Berta Wilnes, Scientist, worked with Joleon Rayaline. Aunt of Citstasia.

Citstasia [Sis-tay-see-ah] Wilnes, Scientist of Eicken [Eye-ken]. Her work in the Fuels Research Department was merely routine, so she never contributed to the journals. She was Adia's co-worker. Her father Per works in Detector Force as an investigator. He also holds a seat on Areon's Council representing Lilmerica, Eicken.

Citsa [Sit-sah]. Adia Rayaline's shortname for Cistasia Wilnes [Will-nun-s].

They brought Citstasia to stand beside him. “He trained me!! It was his idea to attack people--”

Leader Sau glared at her. “You were not trained by anyone. I have the signed statements of three different healers who said you tried to bribe them to say you were. They found no evidence of any slaver herb damage in your brain. Your penalty is death. Administer the herb.”

“No!! No!!” A healer put an herb in her mouth and hummed. She slumped. They waved her to stasis and her family cried.

Dieter Wilnes. Married Evonne Koch at 16, but they were 17 when Erma Koch injured her and he was told she died. Their legal status is divorced now. He was a Rad but signed a Loyalty Declaration. Healers found damage to suggest he was trained against his will. He went with Vonn's group of 30 to get TS status, as did Ossy Koch.

Erma Wilnes, formerly Erma Koch. Wife of Dieter. Death penalty after the Rads.

Lili Wilnes, Citstasia's older sister. Citstasia injured her and Tan Links, then took them to the Eicken Hospital and left them. They married on Ye~.

Leader Murr Wilnes, Scientist, Weapons Research in Eicken. Inmate of Eicken Hospital. Stands and gives fight speeches with pretend weapons but can describe his work to scientists and it is valid. His son, Vin, stays with him on Ye~. His wife, Kina Koch, who injured Per Wilnes, divorced him.

One man stood up. “Victory or death! We shall fight the Kajarians--” Then he looked around, turned very red in the face, and sat harshly on the grass. He still had a trembling fist up.

A little boy rubbed his fist until it relaxed. “Good speech, Father, but they aren't here yet.” He tried to pull him over onto a pillow, but just pulled his head onto one. A healer moved him.

That man stood. “Victory or death! Every man, woman and child needs a weapon so when the Kajarians come, we are ready to--” Again, he turned a striking red and sat harshly in the purple sand.

His son hugged his arm. “I'm ready, Father. They will be, too.”

“Where's my--” He dug in the sand.

“Here. A 740.” The boy pretended to pick up a very heavy rifle.

The man took it and hefted it. “Now, I am ready. See any yet?” He made motions as if to load plasma from a cylinder. I had not seen many of the new weapons, but his loud thoughts suggested he was a scientist working on them.

M'Naga came near. “A 740, my friend? Tell me of it.” His gray eyes opened very wide. He still wore his cobalt blue trader's robes. That color marked him a Master Trader in any world of the Alliance. Vonn watched him with the man and smiled. So did Derees.

He went into great detail about how it worked and his design changes they did not accept. M'Naga had great interest in weapons, from Ryee's memories, and very good aim! The man seemed very normal as they talked. Another man in purple coveralls sat with them. Science Service! They waved up many holos of weapons and the man suggested improvements.

Cevit Ion went to the man who interrupted his speech. “Leader Murr Wilnes. I knew of your work in Weapons Research.”

The man looked up. “We will fight.”

“Eae, we shall. The Yeff Science Council tells me your mods are very well, my son. Thank you.”

“I will help, I will fight. New weapons.” He nodded.

“Will you show me what happened to you?” Gently, he put a hand on the man's forehead.

I was worried about the new modification. Prog One had failed me in my last test, and I burned my hand. Carefully, I checked some of the code but checking it all would take all day. Bram Koch had been in my work area earlier. I did not trust him. He argued over my direction of research. Some of his seemed to be for Detector Force, though he tried to keep that secret. My colleague, Phineas Wilnes, feared him. Last week he entered the hospital after an accident with this very weapon. Without his ideas, I could not do as much.

I ran tests all morning without incident and made some progress. Suddenly, the containment expanded and I was inside! Just like Phineas--

Healers gave me herbs and I tried to refuse. I refused food. Will they poison me? I will fight!!

The woman in the holo frowned. “Murr, I thought I was rid of you! Vin, I want you home, now!!”

Cevit Ion looked at that one. “Madame Wilnes, Vin chooses to stay here by his father. By Areon's Law, he may stay.”

“Then I am done with both of you. Areon's Law granted me a divorce.” She waved the holo off.

“Kina made us mis'ble. Vin happy me. I happy him. She Koch always want presents.” He shook his head. “Train Per he change.”

Cevit Ion's blue eyes turned black. “Kina Wilnes did this?”

“Kina Koch she divorced. Not my name! Wilnes poisoned by Koch false friends!”

“I will tell them, Mr. Wilnes. I will try to clear your name.”

Neli Wilnes, Scientist, Genetic Research. Worked with Adia's mother. Trained to injure Liam Gelb. She was also in the hospital, victim of genetic contamination that gave her cat traits. Injured by Erma Koch.

Nell. What Liam calls her. Erma was jealous of their love.

Another healer brought a woman barely recognizable as a woman. She had fur on every exposed skin surface. One hand resembled a long-toed paw. One foot had animal toes and pads. Her nose resembled a cat's. When she made a sound, it was more of a yowl. The last cat on Areon died long before my parents were born. They still had genetic material from them? “Our Science Council studies how to help this woman, and sixteen others afflicted with animal or plant genes. They are evidence of experimentation on unwilling subjects. There is evidence to suggest that this one repented of what she did and decided to interfere with experiments. One caught her and exposed her to their work, unwillingly. She is unable to speak and shall die soon if our Council cannot reverse these mutations. Her name is Neli Wilnes, and Erma Koch did this to her. We have evidence that Erma trained her with slaver herbs to attack people.”

He looked at her. “Trained? Oh, sorry.” He put a hand on hers.

She cried.

“Not wish this on you. Erma jealous. Wonder much how you change. Oh, Nell. Mari, Nell!”

“If anything I know will help, I will do it!” Mother added her hand on theirs.

A man in ScSv purple came for her, and all vanished in a green swirl.

Ye~'s Science Council had help from ScSv and scientist Marilei Rayaline to reverse the mutations in all the people affected. Neli Wilnes was found to be trained, and innocent. Yeff couple Netalta, Tapestry Maker of Ye~, and his wife, Sian, Musician of Ye~, both 25 take care of Areonians Liam, 47, and his daughter Lianna, 5. Liam married Neli Wilnes, 45, and she moved into the household. She is still unwell but has happiness with her family.

Per Wilnes, Leader of Areonic Council for Eicken. A decision was made to develop this weapon to use on prisoners. Per Wilnes led the team who made the first prototype. The boastful man who announced the new way of reforming prisoners did not sound at all like him. I think they used it on him to alter his mind. We were all afraid, those of us who knew him. He was also a high official in the Detector Force. – Leader Sau, once his friend. Citstasia's father. His wife was Finia, who died years ago in the Eicken Hospital. His daughter Kara, who married Oskar Koch, fought to free him of slaver training. After treatments by healers, he was freed of slaver training but unable to work, so he, his daughter, and Oskar Koch moved to Ye~ so he could have better healing.

Phineas Wilnes, cousin of Murr, worked with him in Weapons Research. Inmate of Eicken Hospital before Murr. His son Jon and wife Bellphine live with him on Ye~.

“Phin! Where?”

“Here!” A man sat by him. “Murr! Friend!” He hugged him. “We got out!!” One thin arm swept to indicate the Commons. “Son?” He startled.

A boy ran to him. “Father! I--” He tripped and fell. Several Yeff children picked him up and ran with him so he could hug his father. The boy trembled.

“Jon! Oh, Jon, I missed you!”

“I was with you, Father, I stayed—oh, I was at school.” He shivered. “I sneaked into the hospital, me and Vin, did we, Vin?”

“Yeah, we would not give up, just like Father said.” The boy hugged his father. “I am glad these people let us stay with our fathers! We can help them, can we, Jon?”

“Yes! I wish Mother would come. She thinks Father is dead.”

“So does my mother.” Vin sighed.

“We can contact them. Eae Areon eae Frau Phineas Wilnes.”

The lady was cooking and dropped her bowl! “Phin!! Oh, Phin!! Jon, too?? They said both of you died in the Hospital!! Phin, I want to come there!! Oh, have we got trade for a portal?” Frantically, she waved, and cried when she saw the bal.

“Madame Wilnes, I can send a portal for you. Here, you may be Yeff citizens as well as Areonian, and all healing, foods of Areon, housing, all is included!”

“We can? Oh, please, send it now!!”

“Wish you to take your possessions? Think of them, and I run packing.” She looked around, and all of it, even her flour spill went back in the cup and all of it floated into a green cube. That lowered into her hand. Then she stepped into a swirl of green that opened.

Phineas Wilnes held Jon and cried. “My dear wife! Bellphine! She comes. Still loves me!! Oh, Murr, sorry.” One hand reached for his shoulder. Murr took it. His wife wanted a divorce, but he got to keep his son, who wanted to stay with him!

I touched Phineas Wilnes' shoulder. “Do you think Ossy trained Citstasia?”

“No. Citsa evil! Did willing-ly. Hurt Per.”

“Citstasia Wilnes harmed Per Wilnes?” Minister Cevit Ion's blue eyes turned black.

“Yes. Gave him more training.”

Vin Wilnes, son of Murr, stayed with him on Ye~.

Zimmermann.

A Kleideu family interested in politics.

Leader Zimmermann of Kleideu, on the Council of Areon, before and after the Rads.