I have now completed the fifth rewrite of my satirical Sci-fi novel.
Here’s an extract. All comments welcome!!
Brrrad lounged back in her luxopexi in the heptagonal room of her personal quarters in the State Building. It was so hard being the director general of a system the size of this. So many thousands of planets to care for that it was daunting if you ever stopped to think about it. Not that she ever stopped to think about it much. She did not like feeling daunted.
What was even more irksome was having to be elected. The trouble with an electorate is that they were either stupid or not stupid enough. Democracy could not be trusted. Whoever thought of electing a director general every five years was a complete fool. There had to be a better system – one that kept her in power without having to waste all this time and energy. The only thing that gave her any semblance of reassurance was the knowledge that she controlled the purse-strings of all the media companies. They were beholden. That had to give her some advantage.
She sipped her juice and topped her tumbler up from the servor. She was impatiently waiting for Tryyxx, her chief advisor and propaganda minister, and Tryyxx always kept her waiting. She suspected it was deliberate.
Over many thousands of years Trutian civilisation had evolved to ensure that truts were not manipulated, controlled or coerced. That would be deplorable. For, as in all intelligent life, there were those individuals who craved power, control and wealth – even in this utopian world of plenty. They were called politicians and often pitied – their personality defect ridiculed – their power carefully curtailed and their practices carefully regulated. Politicians were held in the contempt they deserved but were tolerated. Somebody had to be in control. Society did need to adapt and evolve. They were a necessary evil. The craving for power was treated with scorn. It was a disease. But it had its uses and was consequently well-rewarded.
Brrrad was the epitome of a politician. She constantly looked for ways to manipulate, control and coerce and not be caught doing it. She saw that as her job.
She loved power.
While she waited she jiggled her optics in time to the Olllppa tune she had playing in the bacground. One of those popular ditties. It was an aural worm. She critically studied the undulating walls with their oscillating colours and savoured the waves of haze that were flooding her brain. Very nice. She was not so sure about the walls though.
‘Sorry I’m late,’ Tryyxx murmured as she swept into the inner sanctum, checked the portal was firmly shut and security sealed behind her, helped herself to a tumbler of juice and slid slinkily into the luxopexi opposite Brrrad. She sipped and focussed a few optics on the director general, her face remaining impossible to read. That was the thing about Tryyxx; you never could tell what she was thinking. It left everyone feeling nervous. The talk was that she practiced it.
‘What ho,’ Brrrad said brightly, ignoring the lateness, leaning forward in her pexi conspiratorially, ‘much to talk about.’ She took a big gulp of the hazy laced juice, dipped her yellow optics and beamed across at Tryyxx.
Tryyxx sipped and watched impassively.
‘Nice drop of the old juice, what?’ Brrrad enthused. ‘Straight out of the juggulan orchards – real juice laced with the very best Inji haze. Top class stuff. You can’t get hold of this stuff for unnnx or injert.’
Tryyxx took another sip. Her features did not change. It was hard to tell if she was impressed or not.
Brrrad looked around at the kuuundr designs that made up the undulating interior of the heptagonal room. The colours were exquisite. It was a priceless work of art freshly installed and designed to impress when she entertained dignitaries. ‘You don’t suppose our fellow truts would object to me carrying out another renovation, do you?’
Tryyxx raised a couple of eyestalks quizzically. ‘Again?’ She swept a few optics around the sumptuous opulence of the interior design. ‘You only had this kuuundr put in a short while back. It cost a fortune.’
‘I know,’ Brrrad said, pulling a face. ‘It’s just that it gets on your nerves after a while. It’s never still. A bit jolly overpowering.’
Tryyxx nodded her optics noncommittally but somehow still registering despair. Brrrad was renowned for her extravagance at the expense of the Trutian public. ‘I would remind you that it was probably criminal to have such an expensive artwork installed in the first place. To have it ripped out and replaced might push it beyond the limit.’
‘Yes, yes, quite,’ Brrrad muttered, casting an annoyed glance over at the psychedelic walls. ‘But, that isn’t what I needed to talk to you about.’ She pulled her attention away from the irritating flowing colours, took another big slug of juice, recomposed herself and focussed all her optics on Tryyxx. ‘As you know we have another election coming up soon and I would very much like to retain my possession of this rather salubrious dom with its extremely pleasant accoutrements.’ She gestured to the prestigious servor. She eyed Tryyxx with a degree of concern. Tryyxx was always an unknown quantity but she invariably came up with the goods. ‘I think we need to pull something out of the berk for this one Tryyxx. I’m relying on you to come up with something good.’
Tryyxx sipped her juice and remained inscrutable.
‘Of course,’ Brrrad blustered, ‘as is only right, I’ve taken the liberty of increasing your stipend by 40%. I trust that will assist the old brain cells to fire away.’
Tryyxx did not seem particularly enthralled, but then she never did. She sipped and nodded with partially extended eye pods. ‘I will see what I can come up with,’ she answered noncommittally, retracted all her optics, sank deep in thought. Finally she exhaled loudly then turned her optics all on to Brrrad. ‘I think this one is going to be extremely difficult. Gyrra and her crew are well organised and are a good twelve points clear. They will fight hard. It will be a war.’ She watched Brrrad for any signs of reaction. She could tell she knew it was going to be extremely difficult from her feigned indifference. Truts had woken up to how appalling she was and Brrrad knew it. Brrrad was widely considered to be lazy, inept and particularly dithery when it came to actions. She was thought to be entertaining and fun but a bit lacking. ‘They’ll be looking to bring you down.’
She studied Brrrad intently for signs of some understanding. There was none. She knew Gyrra was going to find her an easy target. Being a mere twelve points down was flattering to Brrrad. She would have to come up with something extraordinary to close that gap. With a resigned shake of the optics she said – ‘All things are possible in war. We’ll need a big issue to focus on. Something really big.’
Brrrad laid back looking unconcerned with just two optics focussed on the brooding Tryyxx. She wasn’t going to worry about it. That’s what she employed Tryyxx for. No doubt she would come out with a plan to get her back in the running.
Tryyx was an inordinately long time thinking. Finally she raised her optics and spoke – ‘Sex – sex is the big issue. That is the arena to slug this one out in.’
‘Sex?’ Brrrad queried. That hardly seemed at all relevant. She couldn’t see any connection to politics and elections – but she had to hope that Tryyxx knew what she was doing. A war with sex that sounded good.