WIZARDS OF AARALIN

David M. Garstang

"Any sufficiently advanced technology ..." Clarke said it best, but it bears repeating.

"Wizards of Aaralin" is the story of the second visit by humans to Aaralin, a planet whose natives possess a roughly Bronze-age technology. Human technology had so impressed the Aarali that they proclaimed us "Wizards".

But our enemies now have a base on Aaralin, and they attack and destroy the second expedition. The three human survivors dare not use "Wizard magic", for fear of attracting the bad guys' attention. They must ask for help from the Aarali to find "Wizardhome", the human base set up by the previous expedition, from which they can send a message to the Human military.

This is the story of Gregg, a cynical human who longs for attachment, but fears it more than anything else. It is also the story of Iraal, a young Aarali soldier's apprentice with an unhealthy reverence for authority, who must learn to trust his own judgment and act, even if it means defying the leader of his people and challenging the god-like Wizards of Aaralin.


PROLOGUE

From Land Beyond the Sun they came, 
            Across the void of searing cold,
Riding the Eternal Flame,
            As ancient legends had foretold.
The mighty Wizards felt no fear,
Not knowing Death was near

The Mediator reviewed the translation of his work, reading the printed words as the computer spoke them.

For Demons from their dark estate
            Crawled forth to catch them by surprise.
Filled with envy, pride, and hate,
            The Demons lurked in blackest skies.
They sent a bolt of sorcerous flame,
The Wizards' lives to claim.

It had been a struggle to explain his intent to the computer, but now, perhaps, he could share his work with the one for whom he had written it, in her own language.

It had all happened so many years ago. He was not yet an old man, but he had aged to full maturity since she had left. Yet he knew that she would yet be young, for time flowed differently in the unfathomable spaces between worlds. He did not understand it, but she had told him, so he believed it.

But three survived the savage blow, 
            Protected by their crippled bird.
They fell from sky to earth below;
            Their cries by young Iraal were heard.
He left the gates of Rangon-an
And to their aid he ran.

He sighed with satisfaction. The translation was finally coming out the way he'd intended. Tomorrow he would send it to her.


If you might be interested in critiqueing my novel-in-progress, E-mail me at garstang@electriciti.com for details.


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