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Tales From The Sword And Scroll Tavern - Sven's Tale

I think I may need to expand the ending some. Opinions?

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Some members of the Kindred had been contemplating emigration since before I was born. Some sought a less technology dominated life, others, my parents included, wanted their children to grow up somewhere where being religious . . . being a true theist, not just paying lip service to ancient rites . . . wasn't regarded as being backwards and primitive.

Sweets had been discovered by a Union scout ship a few years before I was born and had ever since been a popular place to move to for Terrans -- Hell, for anyone -- who sought to live his life in his own way. One member of the Kindred, Angelita Lang, had a friend who'd emigrated to Sweets shortly after first contact was made and had quickly become enamored with it. Finally Angie decided to go see Sweets for herself. She came back with tales of a world where everyone lived by the principle "Do whatever you want, just infringe on no one else's freedom." A world where that principle was practically the entirety of the law. A place where you might have all the advanced technology money could buy, but your nearest neighbor might hunt for meat and grow his own vegetables and not even have running water, not because he couldn't afford it . . . the government saw to it everyone could afford the basics, but because that's how he wanted to live his life.

Most of the Kindred thought it sounded like, if any place in the galaxy would still be tolerant of about one hundred Terrans who worshipped the old gods still, it would be Sweets. Within a month passage for all of us was booked on a ship headed for Contar III and from there on a ferry shuttle to Sweets.

The first leg of the journey was just like any other space flight I'd been on. I had a feeling as soon as we neared the ferry shuttle that I was in for something totally new, though. It didn't look anything like any ship I'd ever seen before, and I saw more species in the boarding area with us than I'd ever thought existed. I saw Mugdarans, Tylanians, Vildoths, and more that I didn't yet know the names of. I saw beings that spoke only in growls. I saw felinoids. I saw insectoids. I saw beings I still don't have words to describe, over thirty years later. I was, to put it mildly, completely and totally overwhelmed.

My next younger brother and I were too overwhelmed to do more than just stare, and the youngest two of my siblings were clinging to my mothers for dear life, but my middle two siblings were running from being to being asking them what they were, and driving my fathers to distraction.

The shuttle finally took off, and I was momentarily distracted from looking at the passengers by looking out the viewport. Regardless of how many times I've been in space, I always relish that moment when you first pass from the world's atmosphere to space. After that moment, I turned my attention back to the passengers and my book . . . until the pilot announced we were about to enter hyperspace.

I was a child of the Union. I'd learned warp theory at a tender age; I'd learned that hyperspace was a non-existent concept, originating in 20th century Earth speculative fiction. Everyone knew that. I was looking out the viewport as I thought that last part, when suddenly, space itself seemed to twist.

"We have just entered hyperspace. ETA at Lus Ville, Sweets, spaceport is 1700 local time."

I was speechless. Hyperspace travel? What was next? Time travel being convenient and affordable?

My first view of Sweets was through the viewport on that small, cramped ferry shuttle. It looked like I imagined Earth must have centuries, hell, millenia ago. I saw a planet the same size as Earth, with the same general appearance, but with an acute lack of the marks of millenia of habitation.

It looked too beautiful to be real.

This is a good start for a

This is a good start for a series of tales. In fact, the only thing I'm hesitant about 'Sven's Tale' is whether it might be better to make it a later chapter. If he's the co-owner of the Sword and Scroll, maybe you'd want to save his story, just to make him more mysterious. Just a thought.

Regardless of that, I thought this was a believable account of a grown man remembering how overwhelming the experience of emigration had been for him as a boy. Nothing really to critique that I can see, other than I hope you'll be posting more of his story so we can find out how well (or not) the Kindred adapted to life on Sweets.