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Tarizon: Shroud of Doom
by William Manchee   

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Books by William Manchee
· Deadly Dining
· Desert Swarm
· The Prime Minister's Daughter
· Disillusioned, A Stan Turner Mystery Vol 9
· Unconscionable, A Rich Coleman Novel
                >> View all

Category: 

Science Fiction

Publisher:  Top Publications Type: 
Pages: 

466

Copyright:  January 2013
Fiction

William Manchee's Website

Coming in 2013, Shroud of Doom a Prequel to the Tarizon Trilogy

In this prequel to the Tarizon Trilogy the lives of three important leaders are chronicled, Rupra Bruda as the father of the Purist Party, Ramel Garcia as the champion of the Supreme Mandate, and Threebeard, the leader of the millions of mutants living outside the domed cities of Tarizon. Interwoven in the story of these influential leaders is the rise of the rhutz, Nanomites and Seafolken as sentient life-forms on Tarizon and the clash between the Purist, who want to enslave them all, and the Loyalist, who believe they are protected by the Supreme Mandate.

While all this is happening Tarizon is rocked by a series of super-volcanic eruptions that kill millions and enshroud the planet in a blanket of toxic haze. While most on Tarizon are just struggling for survival, the Purist see this horrific event as an opportunity to seize control of the government, revoke the Supreme Mandate and rid the planet of all inferior life-forms. As the volcanoes finally fall silent and the population begins to dig itself out of thick layer of volcanic ash that has covered everything on Tarizon, they enlist the help of the Nanomites to begin rebuilding thousands of structures that have collapsed as a result of nearly two thousand tremors associated with the volcanic eruptions. Unfortunately, the intentional fumigation of thousands of swarms of Nanomites and Central Authorities' unwillingness to appropriately punish the human responsible, sets off an unconventional war between the humans and nanomites that throws the planet back into chaos.

     
Excerpt
Prelude

Tarizonís historical manuscripts claimed there was a much larger and greater human civilization far away in another galaxy. It was said that these humans occupied a planet call Pharidon and that their civilization was so advanced that people there sometimes lived nearly a thousand cycles. Consequently, Pharidon became overcrowded and the planetís natural resources could not support the growing population. When the situation became critical explorers began searching for other inhabitable planets where their citizens could relocate. One of these groups of explorers came to Tarizon and another to Earth.

It is believed that these settlers brought many animals, plants, insects, and other organisms from Pharidon to Earth and Tarizon. They were raised and nurtured by the first settlers and then released to live and evolve on their own. Although Earth and Tarizon were settled about the same time and brought with them Pharidonís advanced technology, their civilizations developed quite differently. At the time of Tarizonís Unification it was the early twentieth century on Earth. While Earth was about to experience its first World War, Tarizon had already endured seven world wars and was about to embark on one last war that would destroy 80% of the planetís population.

Tarizon had been divided into thirty-one separate nations prior to unification. These nations had been fighting amongst themselves for thousands of cycles. In the twenty cycles before the adoption of the Supreme Mandate millions of soldiers and civilians had lost their lives and much of the infrastructure of the planet had been destroyed. From out of the rubble a peace movement was born led by a charismatic holy man named Sandee Branh. Sandee had been elected Chief Minister of Lyon, the largest nation of Tarizon. Sandee claimed as a child that God had chosen him to save Tarizon from self destruction.

When Sandee was a boy he lived with his parents in Lecton which is part of northern Azallo. They were poor farmers who barely survived in the barren land that is characteristic of that part of the world. Sandee was eleven years old and had no brothers or sisters. He had to hike many kylods every day to go to school and when he returned home in the afternoon there were many chores to be done before he could have dinner and go to bed.

It was a time of near anarchy in Lecton. It was at war with its neighbor Serie. Soldiers from both sides often raided each otherís territory and plundered and pillaged everything in their path. One day the Brahn farm was overrun and Sandeeís parents were murdered. Sandee himself would have been killed except that he was on an errand for his father when the soldiers came. When he returned home, heíd lost everything that was precious to him.

Unknown to Sandee the soldiers had left two men behind to be sure theyíd taken everything of value. When these men saw Sandee they vowed to kill the last witness to their murderous venture, but God had other plans. Upon seeing the men Sandee fled along the river trying to outrun them, but they were stronger and faster and soon overtook him. This is when the rhutz appeared. He came out of the brush and nearly ripped off one of the soldierís legs. The other soldier tried to shoot the rhutz but couldnít get a clear shot. He finally decided to flee while he had the chance, but after the rhutz finished off the first soldier he went for the second. The second soldier never had a chance.

This is when God appeared to Sandee who was lying on the bank of the river in great shock and sorrow over the death of his parents. God told Sandee that heíd been one of many victims of the evil that was choking Tarizon. He told him He wanted him to bring peace and justice to Tarizon and that He would give him the strength and power to do it. Of course, this eleven year old boy was shocked and confused at this and nobody believed him at first when he told them God had spoken to him, but the rhutz stayed with him and became a constant companion. This odd and wondrous sight of a small boy protected by the savage rhutz gave many pause. There were other miracles too and within a few years it was clear that God was indeed with this boy and he quickly became renowned for his intelligence and wisdom.

From the day He first appeared to him, Sandee devoted his life to spreading Godís message of peace and unity. Sandee told his followers that the petty national governments should be scrapped in favor one worldwide authority. Since so many were weary of war and feared the destruction of civilization on the planet if something wasn't done, Sandee's movement gathered momentum until there was enough support to call a World Council.

At the World Council, representatives from all of the thirty-one nations hammered out the Supreme Mandate and then called for a worldwide referendum to ratify it. All of the nations agreed to abide by the decision of the people. If the Supreme Mandate was ratified by a majority of its citizens, each nation agreed to subject itself to the World Council and abide by the Supreme Mandate. The World Council set the referendum date off six cycles to allow plenty of time for debate. On the day of the referendum nearly seventy percent of the population voted and the Supreme Mandate was ratified by sixty-one percent of the popular vote.

The government was called Central Authority and it ruled in accordance with the Supreme Mandate which guaranteed the right to assemble, to speak freely, to vote, and a fair trial for those accused of crimes against the public. It abolished slavery and provided many other civil liberties as well.

Unfortunately, Central Authority had initially only been able to maintain order in the major cities of Tarizon. Huge domes had been constructed over the large cities so water and air could be filtered and purified. A controlled environment allowed the urban population to go about their daily lives without protective clothing and fear of radiation poisoning. Some areas outside of the domes were governed by local town councils or regional governments who were pledged to uphold the Supreme Mandate but only loosely controlled by Central Authority. Much of the rural area had no government and a state of anarchy persisted.

The dominant populations of these rural areas were mutants who hadnít enjoyed the protection from radiation that the domes provided and suffered the consequences. Whereas there were some mutants in the cities, the vast majority living under the domes were human pure-bloods. Two political parties emerged during this time, the Purists and the Loyalists. The Purists represented the pureblood humans who believed they were superior to all other life-forms on Tarizon and should rule over the mutants, Seafolken, Nanomites and Rhutz. Their opponents, the Loyalists, considered themselves loyal to the intentions of those who had written the Supreme Mandate. They believed all life-forms were protected by the Supreme Mandate and should be treated equally.

The Seafolken are a race of humans on Tarizon that adapted to life in the sea. A full blood Seafolken has a tough light green skin, feet and hands that become webbed while in water. They are amazingly strong, fast runners, and can communicate telepathically. The quarter breeds can look almost like a normal human except for the gills. Female Seafolken were known for their beauty and sexual allure.

In the past the Seafolken were a peaceful life-form without political ambition. They only ruled the sea to keep the ruthless ocksharks from taking control. The ocksharks were an evil species who delighted in killing and murdering all living things. Luckily the Seafolken were invincible and even the Ocksharks dared not challenge them.

Many humans considered the Seafolken as inferior beings and held them in contempt. Seafolken were often hunted down, captured and enslaved. It wasnít easy to enslave them as they were so strong and bullets couldnít penetrate their thick skin. But technology finally brought the Seafolken to their knees when scientists came up with the bulletbomb, a bullet that is really a combination bullet and bomb. The front of the bulletbomb is a traditional bullet and fires normally. The bullet lodges in the target and then a tik later the other end of the bullet explodes. The Seafolken were so quick they sometimes could pick out a bullet that had lodged in their skin and cast them aside. It was the great volcanic eruptions that finally drew them out of the sea.

The Nanomites are a microscopic life-form living in solid objects. Their swarmmasters are highly intelligent as evidenced by their building and engineering skills and their ability to communication almost instantaneously. They live in swarms. Each swarm is controlled by a swarmmaster who communicates and controls all of the individual Nanomites. They are very small by themselves but together in a swarm they can be quite large. Still, you couldn't see them with the naked eye.

The swarmmaster communicates with the swarm in a similar manner as the human brain controls the cells of our body, except the Nanomites donít have to be connected. They only have to be in the swarm field to be under the control of the swarmmaster. This gives them the ability to avoid barriers and slip through cracks and voids in an object they are penetrating.

Prior to unification, the Nanomites had never been considered an intelligent life form. Being extremely small, so small a human could only see them in a microscope, it was thought they were like plants with little or no intelligence or ability to communicate. But a scientist name Baldrige became interested in the Nanomites after World War VIII and went to the Nanomiteís desert homeland to study them. He estimated there were about five million swarms at the time. In the course of his study he discovered that their numbers had remained fairly stable since scientists had begun studying them shortly after unification under the Supreme Mandate. He wondered why their population hadnít grown and expanded. Was it that they needed certain chemicals and nutrients that only existed in their desert homeland, or did the desert climate have something to do with it? His finally realized it was both. The Nanomites needed a dry environment to build. Moisture slowed them down and made it impossible for them to work efficiently. They also needed a chemical called bacuum that was naturally produced in the desert where they lived.

Baldrige conjectured that the number of swarms would multiply almost geometrically if they were put in an ideal environment and given all the chemical ingredients they needed. When Baldrige asked his fellow scientists if they could reproduce bacuum in the laboratory, they assured him they could. This excited him since it meant he could take them anywhere on the planet to build, as long as he kept the construction site dry.

Of course, increasing the Nanomite population would do Baldrige no good unless somehow he could communicate with them and get them to build structures that would be useful to the government in the recovery effort. So, his study turned to figuring out how to communicate with them and get them to build structures that would be useful to the government in the recovery effort. So, his study turned to figuring out how to communicate with them.

In researching previous studies of the Nanomites, he learned that the swarmmaster, a loosely connected array of super-nanomites, acted as the brain of the swarm and controlled its members within a swarm field. Nobody knew exactly how the swarmmaster communicated with each of the individual Nanomites in the swarm field, but it was presumed there was some kind of common will within the swarm. This led Baldrige on a quest to find someone with strong telepathic abilities to make contact with the Nanomites. If that could be done he believed a partnership between the Nanomites and the human race could be quite rewarding.

The Rhutz, to an Earth human, would look similar to a wolf. But the Rhutz, besides being ferocious hunters, also had strong telepathic and telekinetic abilities which made them formidable adversaries. Fortunately, the Rhutz had always been peaceful and kept to themselves, but they were proud and had strong survival instincts and if they were pushed they would not only stand their ground but punish those who challenged them.

Since the adoption of the Supreme Mandate justice on Tarizon was truly blind. The rich have had advantage over the poor as every accused is provided a citizen defender at no cost. This was because on Tarizon a citizen did not have the right to obtain and pay for their own counsel. They had to accept the representation assigned to them. This insures that everyone is treated equally. The prosecution and defense each have the same budget, time constraints, and access to the investigative arm of the judiciary, the inquisitors.

The inquisitors perform all criminal investigations and they do so in the interest of justice and not for the benefit of the prosecution or defense. This eliminates the common problem on Earth of tainted evidence being ruled inadmissible. It is rare for any evidence uncovered by the inquisitors to be thrown out. The use of inquisitors eliminates the necessity of imposing a heavy burden of proof on the prosecution. There is still a presumption of innocense but the standard for conviction is simply the greater weight of the evidence rather than beyond all reasonable doubt. The careful use by the inquisitors of truth serums and sophisticated lie detection devices further insures that the truth will be elicited from every witness.

Assignment of prosecutors and defenders is made after a comprehensive analysis by Central Computer taking into consideration each counselorís background, experience, education, and track record; the nature of the offense; the circumstances surrounding the crime; and the harm inflicted on the victim. This insures that each accused gets a fair trial and a fair punishment if convicted.

For petty crimes one interpreter is assigned to the case and renders the final decision as to the guilt or innocense of the accused . For the more serious crimes a three to five interpreter panel is utilized. Juries are used in serious and capital cases only and consist of professional jurors selected by Central Computer from a professional jury panel. This computer selection insures that the jury is fair and unbiased. Jurors are well paid for their services so they will have a positive attitude about their work and will not be susceptible to bribery. On Tarizon jury security is considered fundamental to the integrity of the judicial system and therefore jury tampering is a capital offense.

Studies have shown that swift justice is imperative in order to deter crime. Accordingly, all cases must be closed within one cycle. Extensions of this timetable are rare. Judicial studies have also shown that in the last ten cycles 98% of all verdicts rendered were correct. This is an excellent achievement for our judicial system, but still not good enough since 2% of our defendants are wrongly convicted. For this reason all convictions can be appealed to the Court of Intervention and finally to the highest court on Tarizon, the Council of Inquisitors.

Itís now 25 AU (after unification) in the City of Vaceen, State of Tributon, continent of Lemaine Shane. Vaceen is a small city ruled by its Town Council.


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