Sunday August 28, 2005
Book 7: Emperor Pius Dei — Part I: Big Schlock, Little Schlock, What Begins With Schlock?
Note: Qlavo is a binary star system. The preternaturally temperate world of Qlaviql (pronounced a lot like "clavicle") orbits the G-glass star Qlavo, which in turn orbits the much larger red supergiant Suur-qla. Twenty million years ago, just a blink of an eye in geologic time scales, galactic rotation brought Suur-qla and Qlavo close enough together that they began to interact gravitationally, and Qlavo entered a fairly circular orbit. This was fortunate for the evolving life on Qlaviql. A highly elliptical orbit would have roasted them before slinging them out to be frozen. Instead of calamity, they got beautiful sunsets.

If you think sunsets on Qlaviql are pretty NOW, just wait a few million years when Suur-qla finally fulfills its destiny and goes supernova. Hopefully someone on Qlaviql will remember to bring not only sunglasses, but also colony ships to the picnic.

Addendum to Note:: The pronunciation of "Qlaviql" is not a subtle reference to the author's recently separated shoulder. No, it's not subtle at all.


Narrator: Meanwhile, halfway across the galaxy, a fleet of warships teraports into the Qlavo system.
Narrator: They emerge in an unswept strand of Qlavo's Kuiper Belt, ten light-hours from the blue-green jewel Qlaviql, a pastoral paradise that is home to fifteen billion slender, blue-skinned people.
Narrator: The people aboard the warships have no particular quarrel with the people of Qlaviql. . .
Narrator: They just want to kill them all and have the world for their own.
Admiral Tebbir: All ships, all power to launchers. . .
Narrator: A few thousand depleted uranium projectiles, each no larger than a roll of Terran toilet paper, accelerated to 250,000 kilometers per second, should do the trick.
Admiral Tebbir: Plot Targets, and fire when acquired.
Narrator: In twelve hours these bullets will begin striking the arcologies of Qlaviql, whose orbital defenses have been stripped away in months of skirmishing.
Narrator: That's the plan, anyway. When the inactive qlavo wormgate becomes active again, things start going wrong for the attackers.
Tohdfraug Lieutenant: Sir, I'm detecting massive gravitic activity. . . The projectiles have been deflected.
Admiral Tebbir: Locate the source. There's obviously a point defense we've missed.
Tohdfraug Lieutenant: It's gone now, sir. And. . . Um. . . So is the Qlavo system.
Tohdfraug Lieutenant: Sir, do you think we used too much uranium?
Petey: That's on my list of "things you did wrong," yes.