Blue is the fourth of ten planets, orbiting an orange dwarf star at a distance of about 120 million kilometers. It is an earthlike planet, with twin moons and a vast ocean of deep indigo seawater. There are polar icecaps, and a plethora of islands with purple vegetation dot the seascape.
Living on the planet are Bluwans, subaquatic humanoids with light blue skin. Their physiology and gender dimorphism is mostly identical to that of humans.
The Bluwan body is mostly hairless. The head is the only area where hair grows, but a Bluwan cannot acquire facial hair. On either side of one's neck is a curved slit, a gill, which is also an erogenous zone.
The six-chambered heart, on the right side of the chest, pumps copper-based, teal blue blood throughout the body. The hands and feet are webbed.
With their dense musculature, Bluwans are stronger than humans. Their three-lobed brains permit them psionic powers like telepathy and psychokinesis.
Three hundred light-years from Blue is the planet Earth. The year is 2030, and a renegade faction of Bluwans has overtaken the island of Portyard, slaughtering its eponymous king. The leader of the renegades is Valkoya, a Bluwan male claiming to descend from two emperors of that name.
Not far from Portyard is another, more remote island. Living here is another group of Bluwans, descendants of the first ones to come to Earth millennia ago. Fortunately, this community of people is benign.
Chieftain Taro Urtu is a direct descendant of the Lost Elder, the female Ort Ynyt. Urtu senses the mad Valkoya's evil intentions and uses his telepathy to contact another descendant on Blue.
Thousands of years ago, Bluwans and sea animals coexisted undersea. Desiring to explore the universe, the Ten Elders, Bluwans with superior psionic capabilities, built a subaqueous shrine. Its architecture focused psionic energy, allowing the creation of interplanetary energy thresholds via psychokinesis. However, only the Elders and their descendants could create them.
For a period of time, Bluwans and animals alike used the thresholds, traveling to frontiers anew. The Elders guarded the shrine. Unfortunately, an extremely violent volcanic eruption forced the Elders and others to flee. However, the youngest Elder, Ort Ynyt, along with some others, could not escape. They had little choice but to use a threshold, as the shrine collapsed.
After the disaster, the remaining Elders, their families, and followers, went their separate ways. Over the millennia, the Bluwans emerged from the ocean to settle on the islands.
In Blue's tropical zone, on the equator, was a six island archipelago. Modr Ged, a descendant of Supreme Elder Yk Kamaran, along with his family and followers, came to settle on the central island. Over time, other settlers came to occupy the remaining five.
Many centuries passed, and the islands became one nation dubbed the Empire of the Six. In the Empire, each island's eponym was its most abundant produce. The islands' names were Fruit Island (the capital), Vegetable Island, Electricity Island, Fresh Water Island, Grain Island, and Nut Island.
Ged became the Empire's first emperor, and the Empire prospered.
Emperor Tera Reknara was a kind and fair ruler. Descended directly from Modr Ged, he would be the "Last Emperor of the Golden Age." He sired one heir, Prince Tera Valkoya and assigned to him a bodyguard, the female Balba Kora, age 15.
Valkoya grew up to be unruly, to be full of greed and lust. Kora and he had much in common, becoming lovers. Kora coaxed the somewhat reluctant Valkoya into letting her assassinate his father.
After Kora viciously slew Reknara, Emperor Valkoya took reign with Empress Kora at his side. Valkoya took Kora's surname, Balba.
Valkoya and Kora were ironhanded despots. Their sickest pleasure was to have men with families killed, taking their wives, daughters, and sons as their concubines. Sons also became Kora's training fodder. They had most of their concubines sterilized.
However, Valkoya had his way with Omun, one of his many concubines. She later gave birth to a baby girl, calling her Rikyo, which means "revenge." Valkoya personally executed Omun after Rikyo's birth. He was not so heartless as to kill a child though, so he took in Rikyo.
The twins, Prince Valkoya the Second and Prince Robar, were also born to Valkoya and Kora around this time. Valkoya and Kora raised the twins and Rikyo as siblings.
The arrangement concerned Kora. Once Rikyo's extrasensory perception developed sufficiently, she would realize that Valkoya killed Omun. It did not help that the fledgling rebellion called the "Army of Salvation," continued to grow.
Kora's concern extended to her husband. He recently told her how raising children gave him cause to reexamine his life. He even released his concubines, and spared men with families. It disgusted her greatly. She took her anger out on her concubines and training fodder.
Her methods of training were more brutal, as she became more partial to dismemberment. More blood painted the walls of her training room, with many more body parts littering the floor. The palace custodians stopped even cleaning the room because of the gore.
Her concubines fared little better, for she was more sadistic than usual. The guards of her "pleasure den," though they did not watch, still had to listen to the concubines' pained cries. The screaming echoed in their heads long into their off time.
Princess Balba Rikyo was born blind. Her mind compensated for her blindness, letting her gain full ESP (extrasensory perception) by age seven. Most Bluwans gained full ESP at age 14, the age of adulthood. The seven-year-old Rikyo knew that her father killed Omun, her mother, and that Kora was merely her stepmother.
She and her brother Robar were very close, holding no ill will toward their father, whom they loved very much. Valkoya had become a better person. The same could not be said of Kora, whose mental state was slowly deteriorating.
Valkoya the Second spent most of his time with Kora. She sensed that he would grow to be much like his father was before his change of heart. She groomed him to be the ultimate tyrant and had him join her in her training sessions.
Valkoya the First pleaded with Kora to stop and see the light. She snapped and went into a violent rage, maiming him to death until he was barely recognizable. In her madness, she sought to slaughter Rikyo and Robar as well.
Robar and Rikyo sit and play with dolls in the playroom. Robar has short red hair and purple eyes, and Rikyo has long brown hair. She wears a white blindfold. Kora keeps her mind closed as she slowly approaches the slightly open door. She holds a dagger with a pale blue blade and a jewel-encrusted, silver hilt in her left hand. Her short blonde hair is untidy. Within her red eyes is a murderous madwoman. Rikyo stops playing.
"What is wrong, Rikyo?" Robar asks.
"Kora, she murdered Father, and now she approaches."
"How do you know this?"
"I can sense it. She thinks she can hide her thoughts from me."
Kora then hears Rikyo in her head.
"I forgive you for killing Father, but your attempt at closing your mind is futile. Your mental barriers have weakened in your madness."
Kora responds telepathically, "It is time that you both ended."
"Robar, listen with care, roll backward on my signal," Rikyo instructs. Kora yells. Robar looks toward the door.
"Laka, Rikyo," he swallows nervously. Kora then bursts into the room, diving for the kill.
"Yun!" Rikyo yells, and she and Robar roll backward. As Kora finishes her dive, the dagger stabs a doll and lodges in the floor. Kora screeches like a wild animal. She removes the dagger, stands, and moves toward Rikyo. Her teeth are clenched in an insane grin.
Suddenly, a woman with long red hair and golden eyes tackles Kora. Kora bashes her head on the toy box, which knocks her out. The other woman is Robar and Rikyo's lady-in-waiting, Kanta.
"Are you uninjured?" she asks. Rikyo and Robar both touch their respective right shoulders.
"Zut, good," Kanta pants slightly.
Rikyo feels Kanta open her mind and is surprised to learn, "You are a reconnaissance operative of the Army of Salvation."
"I am, and I promised your father that I would take you from here. If you do not wish to leave, I will not force you. However, Kora will not stop until she destroys you."
"What of our brother, Valkoya?" Robar inquires.
"He refuses to leave; he no longer even claims you."
Robar looks at Rikyo, their body language indicating disappointment.
"Make haste with your decision. We do not yet want her to regain consciousness," Kanta leaves the room.
"Can we trust her?" Robar asks.
Rikyo answers, "I sense no deception. I suppose that it would be best to accompany her. Staying here would be foolish, considering that Kora just attempted to kill us."
Rikyo sighs, "However, I will miss living here, and I will miss Valkoya and our father," the siblings sigh together. Robar then begins to cry, and Rikyo embraces him.
Valkoya the Second, at the age of eight, ascends to the throne after Kora has a nervous breakdown. She is committed to the palace dungeon.
After years of unsuccessful attempts at suicide, Kora finally succeeds on Valkoya the Second's 14th birthday. In his mad grief and anger, he slaughters some of his servants, and sends the Imperial Army to indiscriminately murder innocent people.
The Army of Salvation, now rivaling the Imperial Army, engages the Imperials to protect the citizens. Emperor Valkoya the Second declares war on the Army of Salvation. The War of Salvation begins.
At the Battle of Balba Palace, the Army of Salvation desperately tries to hold the line. Bovedeka Btok (second colonel) Lota's unit is late. In his unit is Buvudaka Btok (third colonel) Balba Rikyo, his second-in-command, and one of the Army's best soldiers.
Rikyo wields a pair of aosansarg, circular swords about 23 centimeters in diameter. She uses them to cut through swathes of enemy soldiers as if they are little more than fog, and she does so very elegantly, as if she is dancing. This is how she earned her nickname, "Ansaka re Rynesakkun" or "Goddess of Death."
Lota dies of a fatal wound before they can rendezvous with the remaining army at the palace. He field-promotes Rikyo to bovedeka btok with his dying breath, and she becomes the leader of the unit.
The battle is won when her unit slices through enemy lines and storms the palace. They emerge in the throne room and corner the emperor.
Valkoya the Second and those loyal to him are exiled to the sea. The Empire of the Six is dissolved, becoming the Federation of the Six. The conversion to democracy was done to avoid further tyranny.
Rikyo becomes the first president of the Federation, with Robar becoming her vice president. The old Imperial calendar becomes the Federative calendar on 1 Kamaran, where the year becomes 1 F.C. (Federative Calendar).
There are ten Federative days in one Federative week and ten Federative months in one Federative year. Each month is eponymous with the given name of an Elder based on their rank in ascending order. The Supreme Elder was Kamaran, so the first month is named Kamaran since that is his given name. Ynyt was the lowest ranking Elder, so the last month was named Ynyt.
The days of the week work the same way except the Elders' surnames are used instead. Kamaran's surname was Yk, so the first day of the week is Yk, and Ynyt's surname was Ort, so the last day of the week is Ort.
On 34 Saranana, 4923 F.C. on Electricity Island, Malana Kokyge died in childbirth. The newborn was a baby girl. The father, a thin man with lean muscle, took the child, wrapping her in a blanket.
"Isa," he named the child.
His name was Malana Yarsg, who unfortunately died of blood cancer on 10 Nod, 4933. Isa was adopted by a family friend, Sadf Lona, and she took his surname.
On 24 Aet, 4933 on Fruit Island, Lasd Domena gave birth to a baby boy, Lasd Robar, who was named for the Federation's first vice president. His father was Lasd Reknara, who was named for Emperor Reknara.
On 32 Sert, 4956, Robar and Isa married on Fresh Water Island, and Robar assumed Isa's surname, Sadf. They had a son, Soba, on 10 Tutuod, 4957. Osya Zaeta the Second and Osya Mak had a daughter, Zaeta the Third, on Fruit Island on 20 Kamaran, 4959.
Soba and Zaeta the Third married on Fruit Island on 1 Dedorya, 4972. They later had four daughters: Idera, Raetu, Raeko, and Kiraesen.
On 28 Ynyt, 4999, Soba went missing after receiving a telepathic message. He was presumed dead. A volcanic eruption uncovered the ruins of the ancient shrine. Being descended from the Elders, Soba opened a threshold, per the message's instructions. Soba entered the threshold and was carried to Earth.
It is now 37 Ynyt, 4999. It is the last day of the year.
Osya Idera was born on 23 Kamaran, 4973. She is a gentle, optimistic, and accomplished child instructor who lives in Sea Fox Town, Fruit Island. For three consecutive years, she received the Instructor of the Year award from the Sea Fox Town Children's School. As evidenced by her profession, she loves children. It is common to hear laughter coming from her classroom because of her humorous teaching style. It is hard to find her without a smile, and she inspires many with her positive outlook on life.
Osya Raetu was born on 21 Tetn, 4975. She is an eloquent, intelligent, and professional astronomer. Raetu lives in Sea Turtle Village, Fruit Island, working for the Fruit Island branch of the Electricity Island Star Union at Fruit Island Space Center. She recently discovered a planet in the habitable zone of a yellow star, and she had her findings published in a scientific journal. However, many of her colleagues are skeptical about the possibility of life forming on a planet orbiting a yellow star.
Osya Raeko was born on 31 Ynyt, 4976. She is a playful and spunky dance instructor and occasional engineer. Raeko and her husband, Kobokar (born 14 Dedorya, 4974), married on 31 Ynyt, 4990. They both teach at Robar Beach Dance Academy in Robar Beach, Fruit Island. Their titillating dancing won them the Yosbane Award for Best Dancing. She and Kobokar's bond is nigh unbreakable, and they are rarely apart.
Osya Kiraesen was born on 15 Ynyt, 4977. She is a serious and strong martial arts instructor. Kiraesen rivals Idera in strength and is the most emotional of her sisters. She established her own dojo in Sea Fox Town called Kiraesen's Fighting School, which specializes in the sea fox fighting style. She lives with her sister Idera and meditates often to control her emotions. However, she is still prone to crying spells, even more so since she fell in love with one of her students.
Soba's daughters receive a telepathic message from him in their dreams.
They have the same dream in which rain pounds on the black asphalt of a dimly-lit street that stretches into eternity. Wind rushes through their hair, and they stand back-to-back, observing the alien yet somehow familiar scenery.
Of the seemingly infinite lampposts on either sidewalk, a lamppost on the right sidewalk is more brightly lit than the rest. A muscular naked man bathes under its soft orange light. Raetu sees him first.
"Father," she says softly. Her sisters turn to look.
"It cannot be. Father is dead," says Raeko.
"He was presumed dead," corrects Kiraesen. Idera remains silent but motions for her sisters to follow her.
The man is Soba. He has short black hair and dark green eyes. Raetu shares his eye and hair color, but her hair is long, flowing like a river in the wind. She is the first to step into the light, revealing the tears in her eyes. She embraces him tightly.
"Raetu," he says and kisses her forehead.
"Father, it is you," her tears fall, and she embraces tighter. He cannot help but notice how strong she is. He begins to have trouble breathing.
He chuckles, "If you squeeze any tighter, you may crush me."
Raetu releases her embrace, wiping away her tears, and Idera takes his hands in hers. Soba strokes her hair.
"That long dark blonde hair and those pale blue eyes, if I did not know any better, I would swear that you were your mother. How is Zaeta?"
"Mother is well; she misses you greatly."
Soba's eyes twinkle, "Does she also miss the way I kiss her neck?"
Idera giggles softly, "It is almost all she talks about."
"How about the children, the ones you teach?"
"They can be a handful, but I sense their bright futures, and you, of course, remember Babo, the oldest boy?"
"Babo is very special indeed. His future is brightest of all. Make sure to let your optimism rub off on him. There are too few people with your optimism."
"Yes, father," she smiles.
Raeko, who has very short dark brown hair and dark brown eyes, peeks from behind Idera, smiling.
Soba laughs, "Come Raeko."
Idera moves aside, allowing Raeko to jump into Soba's strong arms. Raeko gives Soba a big kiss on the cheek.
"Father, I am so happy to see you. I thought you were dead. To see you alive makes me want to dance."
"How is Kobokar?" he asks.
"He is well and misses you."
Soba's youngest daughter, the green-eyed redhead Kiraesen, keeps a distance, attempting in vain to keep herself from crying. She finally relents, bursts into tears, and gets on her knees.
Soba puts Raeko down, and he, she, Idera, and Raetu approach Kiraesen. They get on their knees and Soba hugs her.
"Oh, Father," she says and buries her head in his chest. Raeko rubs her left arm and Raetu her right.
"What happened?" Soba asks softly. Kiraesen looks into his eyes.
"I am in love with Nazk, one of my students at my dojo. One day Lakae, another student, accused me of favoritism. To prove her wrong, I had Nazk do the balance beam exercise over a craggy pit rather than inside the dojo. He fell and was severely injured. The doctors told me that he may never walk again. I feel terrible, stupid, for letting myself be pushed into making the one I love do something, which I would not make anyone else do!"
Soba cups Kiraesen's head in his hands, wiping away her tears with his thumbs.
"Do not be too hard on yourself, my daughter. Bluwans are not perfect. We all make mistakes that we regret. What is important is that we learn from those mistakes."