The G’lander kids

By Moutushi Ghoshdeysarkar

Earth – many centuries hence


Giti Gitu and Gito had come to that part of the prairie where they were not supposed to be. It was a restricted area. They weren’t there because they were naughty, but because they were lost. The only relief was that there was light. Ample light, to find our way back home, thought Giti, the eldest of them. They were not siblings but in their biome G’land, everybody’s name started with G.

10 yrs old Giti was a smart chap. It so happened that after school, Gitu (8) and Gito (7), who lived in the same housing complex as that of Giti requested him to take them home by a detour he had quite often spoken off.

The detour was a small one, hardly a couple of fathoms more than the usual way home. It was bordered by a line of very tall bushes.

So it was first two lefts then a right and a slight right and a left again to reach home by this detour. Giti knew it as good as the table of 5. And yet it happened. He got lost and with him Gitu and Gito too.

“Must have taken a turn we should not have.” Gitu said aloud. True it is, but which one? thought Giti.

Beyond the tall bushes, Gito spotted a lamb and showed it to the others. Giti gestured to keep quiet. The lamb was happily jumping around unaware of their presence, suddenly it turned to face them and with a start jumped back and ran as fast as possible. The children ran after it but soon lost it.

The mystery

Gito was exhausted and sat on a pile of dry grass with a thud. Giti and Gitu were about to join when they saw Gito rolling down into a pit as the dry grass started caving in. He had accidentally touched a lever that opened up a sort of thatch. Gito started screaming and the other two ran towards the opening. Gito was standing on firm ground, not very deep, hardly about their height into the earth in a squarish enclosure. Giti and Gitu jumped in.

The three walked towards the interior of the enclosure and found a door. A little push opened the door ajar and they walked into a room that was walled with glass. Giti placed his palm on the wall and started walking around the room, the other two followed. Suddenly Giti could feel a portion of the wall moving outward. It was a door. The trio pushed and entered another room, much smaller and filled with many narrow chambers like phone booths that they had seen photographs of in their books.

They got inside one and found that it had a lot of buttons. Gito started pushing them but nothing happened. The kids rushed out and started checking the other equipment. There was a big box that looked like a washing machine or dish washer. that they had seen at home. Gitu and Gito started pushing all the buttons and before Giti could warn them one of the booths started glowing. The children ran towards it and went inside. The door shut almost immediately. A voice started saying, “Initiating protocol for descend. Please take your seat” The kids sat down on the bench and a belt came around their waist. A sweet smell filled the chamber and the kids felt sleepy and before long were snoring aloud..

Giti woke up first. The booth door was ajar. The belts were no longer holding them. He shook Gito and Gitu out of their slumber. The trio moved out of the booth and came into the room. Giti said, “Guys I think we slept off and it must be quite late, lets head home, our parents must be very worried.” The other two agreed and they ran out of the room pushing the doors. They came into the enclosure where the hatch had opened, but the hatch was closed now. The kids started looking around and shortly found a lever sort of thing. On pressing it the hatch started to cave in.

Giti put Gito on his shoulder and stood up. Gito climbed out easily. Next out was Gitu and then Giti climbed out. They stood there dumbfounded. Where was the priory? There was sand all around.There was ample light so they could see afar. But with sand all around and no known landscape, they didn’t know which way to go.

Giti said, “I am completely out of my wits, what do we do guys?” Gitu and Gito looked at each other. Finally Gitu said, “Lets start walking.” The three started walking. After a very long walk the kids saw a white tent and a few people moving about it. One of the men spotted the kids and came towards them.

The kids were very exhausted by now and passed out. The man called out for a few others. They picked up the kids and took them into the tents. Made them lie down. After quite some time Giti woke up. One man was sitting by his side. He slowly spoke to him but Giti could not understand. He then punched some buttons on his watch and gestured to Giti to speak. Giti said, “I am Giti.”

The man looked at the watch and a wrinkle formed on his forehead. He again punched some keys and this time the watch repeated after he had spoken, “Are you lost? You seem to be from G’land. How did you reach D’land?”

Giti gave the complete account of their escapade after school. He then inquired about Gitu and Gito. The watch translator said that they were in the other tent. Soon after the trio were given refreshments and they felt revived. Now they wanted to go home. The men from the tent told them that they were far out from the city. Giti asked inquisitively, “What is happening here?”. “We are replacing the water pipes. It has to be done every 20 – 25 yrs to keep any contamination at bay,”

Apparently, the kids came through an elevator but according to the men there wasn’t supposed to be any elevator nearby. This was a remote location meant only to facilitate water circulation throughout the different biomes. Children coming from Grass(G)land to D(Desert)land meant a lot of trouble on a global scale. It meant unauthorized entry to a different biome, through an unauthorized shaft dug without official knowledge and definitely with a malicious intent.


Next morning the kids were taken to the nearest habitation – a beautiful township complete with hi-tech facilities just like the one where Giti, Gitu and Gito live. One of the official routes to traverse between the Lands which the tourists, officials and scientists used was nearby.

Giti Gitu and Gito were taken to a building with beautiful gardens around it, it was a striking feature in a otherwise sandy landscape. They were thoroughly examined, decontaminated and then taken to a room which had a couple of vertical cylindrical metallic elevators just like the ones that the kids had seen and traversed by but much more sophisticated and comfortable.

Urbanization and extreme technological development had seen the surface of the earth made into a city planet – The Ecumenupolis, It had nothing natural about it any more. It had turned into a typical business center – only huge, humongous. Trade happened on an interplanetary scale(Read the account of K’ Rell Suga – a business traveler from L’Orgrehi, a very distant planet).

However the apex living beings of Earth, the humans felt the need to preserve the beautiful biomes(habitats) that the planet had once been adorned with. They wanted their children to know the beautiful and bountiful nature. But they wanted to create a layered Earth where each habitat or biome will be preserved and their unique biotic and the abiotic factors will not interfere with the other biomes.

So they dug into the Earth and created a unique biome for a couple of thousand kms supporting it with pillars and complete with artificial sun and all other natural elements as required with the help of advanced nano bots tech.

The ecumenupolis was followed by the grass-land, the desert-land, the forest-land and the ocean-land.Beyond that was the mantle and core of the Earth, which kept it going – no messing up there!

The kids were given a small drink and asked to sit for a while. While the adults could handle the travel between the habitats, it had never been tried on kids, they were not even made aware of the existence of the other biomes till 16 years of age, after which they could travel freely between the biomes. The light music and ambiance made them feel sleepy and they slept off.

Gito was thrilled to see his mom as he woke up. “Mamma, I went to another earth, it had a lot of sand and no grass. I didn’t want to go there. We were just taking a detour and then…” Mom gave him a patient hearing although she knew everything, the officials had briefed the parents earlier while the kids were still under the effect of the sleep inducer. The three little G’lander kids were very excited about their adventure. But there was a lot more to find out !!!

A Tour of Earth from L’Orgrehi

By Anoushrayan Deysarkar

Earth – many centuries later

“Entering Realspace in 5 minutes.”

The automated voice greeted K’Rell Suga as he exited cryostasis. He quickly got into his anti-inertial luxury couch and strapped in. The deactivation of the warp field and the sudden stop caused by the ship entering Realspace was nauseating, but the couch should help.

K’Rell was going to Earth(as in The G’lander kids), for a business deal. He was travelling in his one-person frigate, upgraded with state-of-the-art security and a powerful FTL engine. He had heard many stories about Earth, and how beautiful it was, both its urban side, and the Biomes. K’Rell was not impressed. Surely it could not be more beautiful than the great cities and vast natural parks of his home planet, L’Orgrehi?

“Entering Realspace in 1 minute. Please strap up your belongings.”

K’Rell didn’t have to worry about that – his belongings were safely stowed away. He simply waited impatiently for the moment when the warp bubble would collapse and he would enter, ‘Lagrange Point 2, Earth-Luna System, Sol System’, as he had been informed.

“Entering Realspace. Warp bubble collapsing in 3, 2, 1… Warp Bubble Deactivated. Enjoy your trip!”

K’Rell deactivated his harness and stepped out to the window. Earth’s moon, Luna, obscured the view of the planet itself, but his ship was moving and soon he’d be able to see –

K’Rell gasped. He had just had his first view of Earth. The entire planet was covered in a single city. He knew the term for this – he had learnt it in school. It was a – Ecumenopolis? Yes, that was the term. A city planet. Beautiful.

But where were the Biomes? Most people who visited Earth refused to tell anybody else about it, saying that they needed to visit it themselves. As a result, K’Rell had heard about the Biomes, but he had never got any real details about them. Either way, he’d get to know, soon.

His ship took an hour to land on Earth’s surface, courtesy of their space elevator, and another hour to check in out of the spaceport. Once he had all his baggage ready, he chartered one of the local automated ‘flying taxis’ – why not use pods, he didn’t know, but the locals just laughed when he asked them, murmuring something about a ‘fifth element’ – and then checked into his hotel. He was on the 56th floor, one of the lower ones.

The next morning, after breakfast, he got to Juk-Rai Market Nexus, and attended his appointment with the CEO of Verision Industries. The deal was successful, and now a lot richer, K’Rell decided to explore this planet.

He chartered an automated gyro-pod – at least they had those – for the entire day. Then, he started his tour.

He went to entertainment parks. He went to shopping malls, holo-cinema halls, and to restaurants. He rode roller coasters, bought souvenirs, and tasted dishes from all over the universe.

When he heard that there were interesting and unique heritage sites, preserved for more than a thousand years, he decided to visit them. He chartered a supersonic bus to carry his gyro-pod to the heritage site of Burj Khalifa. The tower, constructed in 2009, had been the tallest tower on Earth for a long time. Now, of course, it looked tiny, compared to the 5-kilometre-tall skyscrapers rising around it, and the even larger luxury condominiums.

He visited the ancient mega-cities of Tokyo, Beijing, Singapore, New York and London, now absorbed into the Ecumenopolis. He visited museums and exhibition centres.

At the end of the day, he returned to his hotel, tired but happy, having explored the entire planet. However, he still hadn’t found the Biomes, though he had seen several advertisements for them. He had originally planned to stay for only a day on Earth, but now he decided to extend his visit by another day.

The next day, he went to the hotel management, and asked them to charter a trip for him to the Biomes. 1 hour later, he was on a personal supersonic carrier, travelling to the nearest ‘elevator’.

K’Rell wondered what that meant. Was he going to a space elevator? Were the Biomes in space? Well, he would find out, soon enough.

K’Rell arrived at what looked like a reverse space elevator, leading downwards instead of upwards. His carrier docked onto one of the Hubs, labelled Outer Earth, which didn’t make any sense to him. He then followed the instructions on his holo-ticket to a door labelled ‘Murmila Biome Tours’. K’Rell flashed his ticket at the reader, and the door opened. One quick DNA scan later, he was led down a corridor by a human guide.

K’Rell was taken to an elevator, and told to strap in. The couch was comfortable, and clearly inertially damped. The guide checked to make sure he was comfortable, and then gave a signal.

The elevator started moving down, speeding up until it was moving downwards, through solid rock, at breakneck speed. K’Rell, was getting nervous, when suddenly, the rock fell away, and the sight under his feet – because only now did he realise that the floor was made of a transparent material – struck him speechless.

Below him, was a vast grassland, spreading out in every direction.

It took them half-an-hour to reach the hub at the bottom. The guide led him to a gyro-pod for 2, and then proceeded to take him on a tour of the Grassland Biome, colloquially known as G-Land.

They toured the G-Land for the next 2 hours, and finally returned to the Hub.

K’Rell smiled, and told the guide, “Thank you, young man, that was a wonderful tour. I’ll be sure to write a good review.” The guide looked at him strangely and asked, “What are you talking about, sir? This is only the beginning!”

And then, he took K’Rell down another layer, to the Desert Biome. And then to the Forest Biome, and then the Ocean Biome. Each layer seemed more beautiful than the last.

K’Rell spent the entire day exploring the Biomes. At the end of the day, he returned to Outer Earth – that name finally made sense – and got his baggage out of the hotel. 7 hours later, as K’Rell prepared to go into cryostasis for the journey home, he knew he would be leaving Earth with not just a successful business deal, but with extraordinary memories of the planet and its beauty.

# Biomes – a large naturally occurring community of flora and fauna occupying a major habitat, e.g. forest or desert.

# Cryostasis – process of freezing a person, in this case – while on a long planetary travel.

Short Story: C for Choices

Anoushrayan Deysarkar

What would you choose?

This is a story of long ago, when I was a boy, barely a teenager. It is the story of choices, options, and where we can go in life.

One day, long ago, I was sitting at a desk, doodling, instead of studying. I was quite intelligent, and I arrogantly believed that I could probably handle whatever tests and exams I had to give with a minimal amount of studying. Deep down, though, I probably knew that I had to study, and immerse myself in academics, if I wanted to succeed in life. Still, I lazed about and enjoyed myself by doing pointless things.

And then, suddenly, I was gone from my house. I was on a plane, and there was a parachute with me. There were empty junk food boxes, and discarded soft drink cans. There was a huge gaming system and a powerful computer with me. I panicked and called out for help. Suddenly, a man appeared in front of me. He stared straight at me and opened one hand. He said, “This plane is going somewhere. You can stay here and enjoy the ride. Whatever you want will appear here. You will not have to do anything.”

He opened the other hand, “Or, you can take the parachute and jump. It will not be an easy jump, but once you land, you can go wherever you want. You can reach whatever destination you want, using whichever path you want.”

Then he turned both palms over. “But choose quickly”, he said, “Because a storm is coming, and you will not be able to jump once it does.”

I mustered up my courage and asked, “Where is the plane going?”

He shook his head and said, “You already know.”

And I did. I already knew, but I didn’t want to know. Somehow, my mind kept resisting the idea. I didn’t want to jump out of the plane. I knew it would be difficult, but I also knew, somehow, that the man would help me. Still, my mind desperately wanted to stay on the plane, to enjoy the ride.

But I knew, very well, where the plane was going.

Because I had gotten on to this plane, a while back, knowing in the back of my mind where it was going, but not willing to accept it, because the plane’s interior had been so comfortable. I had searched around for things to do, and I had found the plane, but I had not stopped myself before I could embark on this journey.

The parachute was ready, but still my traitorous mind rebelled. “What if it’s a hoax? What if the plane really is going somewhere good, and I’m just missing the opportunity? What if the man is wrong, and I can get to where I want to go using the plane? And anyway, there’ll be time to jump out later.”

But I knew the truth. The plane wasn’t going anywhere good. It would drop me into a hole worse than the one I had come from, and then getting out would mean doing things much harder than jumping out of a plane with a parachute and a guiding voice.

I had to jump. But my mind, my treacherous mind, was fighting me, every step of the way. Getting up from the huge bed I was on – and yes, I was on a huge bed, took so much effort, I almost turned back. Every step made me feel heavier. Thousands of voices, doubts and fears, crept up behind me. The plane itself started telling me to turn back.

But I didn’t stop. I walked towards the parachute. The old, patchy parachute. A new set of doubts rose in me. Would the parachute hold? Maybe I would just fall, and fall, and fall. The effort to get out of that hole would be just as much as that of the plane’s destination. Maybe I really should turn back.

But I didn’t. I fought the voices of doubt, of greed, and of complacency. I trudged onward, and fastened the parachute. Then, I opened the plane door.

The plane pleaded with me. “No! Don’t go! It’s safe here, don’t go!”

But I had to leave it behind. I took a deep breath, and jumped.

As I left the plane behind, my eyes closed, and I reappeared in my room. Then, I put away the piece of paper I was doodling on, and started studying.

Even now, the old regrets sometimes haunt me. Should I have stayed on the plane, where it was relaxing? But deep down, I know, that what I did was right. I know, that the Plane of Comfort was leading me on a self-destructive spiral. And I know, that the hard path, was the right one. The path that I took, took courage, and willpower, but it was, indeed, the right path.

And I wouldn’t change it, for anything.

Short Story: B for Botticelli

By Moutushi Ghoshdeysarkar

“How to say Botticelli? Is it ‘ke’ as in ‘kettle’ or ‘se’ as in ‘sell’?” asked a confused Ranganathan.

“Google it man,” answered Hari who was busy solving a problem.

“Why don’t you oblige him Anurag? Pronunciation is your forte!” Padam said laughing out loud.

“What did you say? Its ‘ge’ so say like you would in ‘page’ not like ‘se’ as in ‘revise’, Padam you are impossible!” Anurag said in an irate voice.

“Tell me how does it matter?” Padam got serious.

“It shows your class my dear good man.” Anurag said with an air of supremacy.

Hari saw the onset of an eminent bull fight between Padam amd Anurag and chipped in, “I have a splitting head ache guys, can we have this rather serious discussion tomorrow please.”

Ranganathan smirked. He knew Hari the pacifier too well.


While in class the four roommates sat in a row, however opinionated they might be, it was hard to find them apart, as if bound by the weak nuclear force.

The English language teacher was reading an excerpt from ‘Hamlet’ by Shakespeare. Anurag was very pleased with their teacher, as his pronunciation was impeccable. Padam on the other hand found it too dramatic and unrealistic. Ranganathan was very confused as it was totally out of his radar. Hari just went with the flow and was neither overwhelmed nor at a loss.

Soon it was time for the annual break and the four went home. As they came back their rooms had been shuffled and they got separated.


“So do you often check the pronunciation for different words?” Jayesh asked.

“Not really, I try to imitate. I hear renowned people speaking often.” Nitin answered.

Anurag was about to say it is pronounced as ‘offen’ without the ‘t’ and not ‘of-ten’ but he just didn’t feel like.


“How do we say ‘schedule’? is it ‘she’ or ‘ske’?” Ranganathan was always confused.

There were no answers as his roommates were not bothered about such silly things.


Padam was reading a novel, engrossed in its story but he could not but ignore overhearing Ishan saying aloud, “On Wednesday we are going for a picnic!”

The emphasis on ‘D’ made Padam uncomfortable, he had been warned by Anurag many time to omit the ‘d’ in Wednesday, ‘its just Wenz-day’ he would say.

But Padam was in no mood to correct Ishan or any body for that matter.

Hari the pacifier was also in the same sorry state as the others. With none to pacify, his life was dull too.


It was just before the winter hols that the four got an opportunity to meet up and sit for a good time together. They shared their experiences and Padam made sure he made mistakes intentionally. Anurag corrected him to his heart’s content also doubtful that the mistakes were somewhat intentional. Ranganathan took out his notebook to clear all his doubts which were eagerly entertained and Hari overwhelmingly fired the discussions to heat up only to pacify them.

After a while, the discussion turned to ‘why were they not able to have the same fun with the other roommates?’

Ranganathan started speaking in his horrid English but none paid attention to it, as what he said made perfect sense, “We are friends first, second comes language and third comes pronunciation. At heart we want to talk. We make big talk out of small things.”

Anurag was ecstatic, “Well said my friend! After all said and done language is to communicate. We may try to perfect it, we may try to master it in order to be called elite, but without friends, without the people we care for and who care for us even the most beautiful language loses its sheen.”

With that they all screamed in unison as if they had rehearsed but in reality it came out spontaneously – “Botticelli”

Though Botticelli would have turned in his grave had he been subjected to hear his name in the weirdest possible pronunciations!  

Short Story: A for Achievement

By Moutushi Ghoshdeysarkar

…growing a life is an achievement…

The things we have to do in the name of achievement. Sharat and Ritu were fond of each other. They have been in the same college for the past four years. Both being toppers they shared a special bond, the duo would chat offline and online – most of it regarding marks and studies and sometimes about their thoughts and dreams and fears and likes and dislikes.

Campus day was closing in and both were getting weary. They were both eyeing a particular company and a position. Sharat asked Ritu, “How far are you willing to go to get this position?” Ritu was prompt, “I could kill you.” They both had a hearty laugh and yet deep down they knew it was true. It would be the greatest achievement of their lives; the culmination of the four years of battle. One will emerge winner. Sharat said, “I don’t think I’ll be able to talk to you ever again, if you get the job.” Ritu said, “Same here Sharat. I will never forgive you.”

The D-day came; Ritu and Sharat were waiting outside for their turn along with the other candidates.

By the end of the day both had been selected for the next round. Tension was mounting up.

“How was it beta?” Sharat’s mom called at night. “Great mamma! I am sure I’ll ace it in the next round and snatch the job from Ritu. Today we both got selected for the second round,” said an ecstatic Sharat. “I too have achieved something great today baby,” mom was equally enthusiastic. “What?” Sharat was surprised. “I could touch my toe today!” mom sounded like she had bagged a million dollar contract. Sharat felt happy, maa always wanted to touch her toe but could never reach beyond her ankle.

Ritu called later at night. “Did you check aunty’s FB page?” Ritu was laughing out loud. “No… what?” Sharat had not checked his mom’s FB posting. “Aunty could touch her toe today… and that is her greatest achievement she says… and you know what? my parents agree. I mean these guys are above 50, have seen life, have accomplished so much and yet they think… being able to touch your own toe is an achievement?” Ritu was flabbergasted.

The morning was bright and sunny and the two aspirants got on to their best foot. Ritu was looking for Sharat as she waited for her turn outside the auditorium. Sharat appeared and said, “Wish me luck Ritu, am going for an interview which was taken yesterday but they didn’t find the right candidate so there is an opening. I think ‘I am’ what they are looking for!” He winked and scurried off.

Ritu was called just then and she didn’t quite get to react to Sharat. She was eager to meet him and as soon as the interview ended she rushed to the cafeteria and called him. He didn’t answer. Around 5pm Ritu got a call back from Sharat. He asked her to meet immediately and she rushed.

“What happened? Why didn’t you come for the second round? And where did you go instead?” Ritu was impatient.

“Ritu I decided yesterday night that my greatest achievement was not getting this job that we were ready to kill each other for, after all it is just a job, from where we are sure to move on… as such I plan to quit in two years and go for my masters.” Sharat gave a pause. “My achievement is to be able to share the joy of getting a job with you… my friend!”

Ritu could not agree more. An achievement is that happy feeling, which we have gained with sweat and grit and passion and diligence… over a long period of time:

  • the ability to touch your toe! …
  • the ability to understand what to let go!…

Derean and the attack on Fraglior

By Anoushrayan Deysarkar



10 billion years ago, in the galaxy ZMY3, a nebula condensed into a star. The rest of the dust and gases formed planets, and one of them was Fraglior.

Like all other planets, it was very hot at first, but then, after a few billion years, it cooled down. It was one of the few planets in the universe that had water. An alien civilization, the Manergitea, noticed this and sent out a ship carrying the basic seeds of life, along with all other components required for life. The ship was unmanned and dived right into one of the oceans on the planet and blew itself up.

The contents of the ship were protected in strong, airtight containers. The containers carrying life opened in the ocean, but the others opened in the air, or what was present like it at that time. The blast was necessary because it sent a shock wave which would eventually help in forming land. But, for the time being, life evolved in water. Several million years later, it emerged on land, and 300 million years later, the first intelligent life had formed. And that is where our story begins.

Fraglior: The planet of the Feredoctiles


Derean sluggishly walked, or rather, crawled towards his house on the cliff. He had just gone to the serambora to get his gerapod checked [1]. It had been looking sick for the past few days. The serambora told him it probably had feratitis[2]. Before that, he had gone to work at the demalor [3] mines.

Derean was a feredoctilis, a dragon-like intelligent creature that inhabited most of Fraglior. Feredoctiles can breathe fire and were resistant to fire.

art by@candraagustianx – pinterest


[1]A gerapod was a kind of living creature that looked like a giant rhinoceros with two large frills instead of the nose horn. They were also very colourful and lacked the several bony plates of a rhinoceros. Instead, they had a single piece of continuous body armour. The large frills usually lie flat, but if the gerapod wishes, it can inflate its frills. This is possibly a mating ritual. Feredoctiles use gerapods for transportation.

[2] Feratitis is a disease of gerapods in which their body armour starts flaking and finally falls off. A serambora is a kind of doctor

[3] Feredoctiles needed Demalor, a solid chemical at room temperature that melted at 50 degrees Celsius. They melt it and drink it. Demalor produced something like what we call Vitamin E in feredoctile bodies. They had lost the ability to produce it, just as we have lost the ability to produce Vitamin C.


The Letter

Derean’s house was on a kind of wide space near the bottom of Mount Pheleros, the tallest mountain in Fraglior. The wide space ended sharply in a steep cliff that ended in a wide gorge. At the bottom of the gorge was a swift river. The road on which Derean was travelling ended in the gorge. This strange geological rock formation is thought to have originated about 78 million years ago, when a huge earthquake cracked open the land, forming the gorge. The earthquake also caused a huge part of the mountain to fall off, causing the creation of the wide space. The part of the mountain that fell off was broken down by the aftershocks. Mt. Pheleros, though the tallest mountain on Fraglior, could be and had been climbed by many people. Of course, that was because most people didn’t start from the bottom of the gorge, which is the actual bottom of the mountain. (In fact, The Geological Survey of Mountains in Drugnein West {GSMDW} reports that Mt. Pheleros is only the tallest mountain on Fraglior if its height is calculated from the bottom of the gorge to the top. Otherwise, if calculated from the end of the wide space where Derean’s house was, it ranked only 11th.) Most people climb the mountain starting from the end of the wide space (Which is, actually, Derean’s courtyard) and thus have to pay some money to Derean.

Derean stopped a little way from the edge. He then broke into a run, and just as he reached the edge, he jumped and flapped his great wings hard. In a moment, he was flying. A few minutes later, he landed on a little patch of grass in his courtyard. He crawled up to the door, raised himself on his hind legs, fumbled around a natural pouch on his leg, and took out a little key. He unlocked the door, opened it and entered. He then turned around and closed the door. He opened the windows and spotted a little letter addressed to him, and a package. He opened the envelope, took out the letter, and read it. This is what was written: –

The Mealdrow, Denkor Cliff,

Red Setar area, Cambola,

Drugnein West


Dear Derean,

Are you still adventurous? If you are, then I have an adventure for you. Meet me at the top of Mt. Pheleros at 26:85 tomorrow. I am sending three bottles of Energiser for the broken portion. Hope you are well and good luck. You’ll need it.

Your friend,


You might be a little shocked upon reading the date and time. There are 70 seconds in a minute, 100 minutes in an hour, 48 hours in a day, 90 days in a month and 20 months in a year on Fraglior. The current year is 4359. As for the broken part, it refers to a broken portion of the road up Mt. Pheleros. Feredoctiles can fly up it of course, but their energy level starts decreasing the higher they go. Energiser is a fluid which gives them energy. Thus, the mysterious letter-writer had sent three bottles of it.

The Meeting on Mount Pheleros

Derean read and reread the letter to make sure. He thought hard and decided to follow the instructions. He opened the package and found the three bottles. It was getting late, so he kept the bottles on his bedside table and went to sleep. The next morning, he woke up and did all his daily duties on a holiday, because if I have not mentioned it before, that day was a holiday. He whiled away his time till 26:00, and then packed the bottles and other necessary items into his natural pouches. Then, he started on his journey. He stopped a few times and drank a little of the first bottle of energiser. Now, to understand what happened next, you must understand that the road up Mt. Pheleros is made up of curves, like the thread of a screw.

Derean finished his first bottle and stopped one curve below the curve on which the broken portion was. He then drank, in one gulp, his second bottle, and started running. Just as he reached the end, he jumped and started flying. He landed one curve above the broken portion and stopped. There were only a few more curves left. He started crawling up the road. Derean had to stop only once to drink energiser. When he finally reached the top, he could see a feredoctile who turned his back to him. Derean said, “Um, Hello?” Instantly, the feredoctile turned around and Derean exclaimed, “Professor Gregory!” The feredoctile smiled and said, “Hello Derean. So, you received my letter.” Derean said, “So that was you. But about your sign, GFH?” The professor laughed and said,” Do you remember my full name?” “Of course, I do”, said Derean, “Gregory Feglin Herecor.”  “Wait a minute”, he said, “G for Gregory, F for Feglin, H for Herecor. GFH. Gregory Feglin Herecor. Oh!” Derean laughed. Then he said, “What about that adventure, eh?  The professor smiled and said, “Come, let me show you.” Then, he pressed a tiny button on the ground, and instantly a trapdoor opened.

Below it, a staircase went down. On the walls, there were glowing bulbs. The professor started going down the staircase. Derean followed. Soon, they came to the bottom of the staircase. They were in a large room, made of some sort of metal, and in the middle of the room there was a giant aeroplane that looked like a fighter plane, only it had far larger thrusters than a normal fighter plane, and it was made of the same strange metal. On its side was printed: Gerelon 2000. Its door was open.

The room seemed to be lit with a strange light given off by bulbs that were much brighter than any Derean could remember. “Welcome”, said the professor, smiling, “to the room of GFH. The plane you see here is my latest invention, the Gerelon 2000. It is a spaceship, and I want you to come with me on an adventure. An adventure to explore outer space!” Derean was surprised but was also a little curious. “Professor”, he asked, “how will it take off? Rockets usually use a huge amount of power, right? The professor laughed and said, “Ah, my dear boy. It’s a good question, and you are right. Rockets do use a lot of power. And my spaceship does the same. Do you want to know how? Well, do you see those thrusters? They channel all the power required.” Derean asked, “But how will it channel all of the power without melting the room? And how will it exit? I thought we were inside the mountain.” The professor laughed and said, “Well, you’re right again. We are inside the mountain. And any ordinary metal would melt under the heat. But rimonosterin, the material this room is made of, is not an ordinary metal. Come, I’ll show you.”

The professor walked across the room to a table at one end of the room. On it, a container was kept, that seemed to be holding some sort of metal. The professor asked, “Derean, I believe you are a mineral checker at the demalor mines?” Derean replied, “Um… well, yes.” The professor said, “Would you mind checking this metal for me?” Derean replied, “Of course! Um… do you have a magnifying glass?” The professor handed him a magnifying glass. Derean peered through it at the metal for a minute and exclaimed, “Amazing! This is Töp – Nötch steel! Where did you get it?” The professor replied, “I bought it from Zaxinom. Now, look. This is a flamethrower. I have set it at the lowest temperature. I am going to aim it at the steel and keep the trigger pressed for one minute. Let’s see what happens. Oh! I nearly forgot! Wear these protective glasses to protect your eyes.” He handed Derean a pair of glasses and put on one himself. After Derean had worn his glasses, the professor pressed the trigger. A minute later, he released the trigger.

Once the flames and smoke had floated away, Derean took off his glasses and was amazed to see that the Töp – Nötch steel was completely molten. Professor Gregory told Derean to follow him. He walked up to a wall, set the temperature to the highest option, and pressed the trigger for five minutes. Once the smoke had cleared away, Derean couldn’t believe his eyes. The wall was completely solid! Professor Gregory turned to face Derean and said, “Well, now you know the strength of rimonosterin. As for being inside the mountain”, he pressed a button and then spoke again, “you can see for yourself how we will get out.” As soon as he had pressed the button, the wall in front of the nose of the ship had started opening up. Derean was amazed and said, “How can you control the mountain?” The professor replied, “This wall is not a part of the mountain. It is just a rimonosterin wall which I have covered with rocks on the outside, to make it look like a part of the mountain. Anyway, let’s get into the ship.”

The Journey – to Outer Space!

Derean followed him into the ship. Inside, there were four seats divided in two rows and a large, complicated control panel. The professor sat down in the left-hand side seat of the first row. He told Derean to sit beside him. Derean was supposed to control the coordinate system. Professor Gregory closed the door with a button. He then pressed another button. Instantly, seatbelts strapped them to their seats. Professor Gregory told Derean, “In five seconds, the thrusters will activate. When I shout ‘Now!’ you must press the yellow button. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1… Now!” Derean pressed the yellow button.

The metal straps holding the plane to the ground let go. The thrusters had activated, so the ship instantly shot forward. In a minute, they were speeding forward at 50,000 km/h (0.005 % the speed of light). A minute later, they had passed the atmosphere and were in space. They were not yet in orbital range but were expecting to be there in 8 seconds. The professor had already told him what to do when this happened. He pressed a red button and the ship changed direction. Nearly instantly, the primary thrusters stopped, and the secondary thrusters came into action. Derean hadn’t noticed these thrusters before. There were 4 primary thrusters. They were arranged in two rows, with a gap of a metre between the rows. The secondary thrusters were located in 2 rows of 3 in this gap. Till now, a white light, coming from the primary thrusters, could be seen near the back, as there was a window there. Now, the light became a softer, blue light. But Derean had hardly realised this, when he saw an amazing thing.

They were orbiting in a tilted way, and through the windshield, or rather, spaceshield, he could see Fraglior beside them. It looked glorious from that height. It was a mixture of reds, greens, yellows, and mostly, blues. They were orbiting above the dayside now. In a few minutes, they were orbiting over the last bit of the day side, now they were over the dusk side, and now… they were over the night side! As they orbited, Derean could see the lights of several major cities, shining like several tiny dots of light. Meanwhile the spaceship straightened up. Then, looking at the other side of the window, Derean saw Nenthutos and Gramitos, the twin moons of Fraglior, shining in the distance. Suddenly, the ship changed course.

He looked at the professor and saw that he was steering the ship using something that looked like a joystick. They were heading straight towards Nenthutos. Now they were getting attracted towards the moon. A moment later, with a tricky little movement, they were orbiting Nenthutos. In front of them, they could see the next 4 planets, Helmol, Egromil, Lamirma, and Frendiso in front of them. Suddenly, a dark shadow moved across Helmol. It covered the planet almost completely. The professor wrinkled his forehead. He said, “That’s strange. I don’t think it’s one of Helmol’s moons. They wouldn’t be so big.” They swerved out of orbit to get a better look. The shadow certainly wasn’t one of the moons, because it stayed there for more than a minute. That is, part of it stayed there for a minute. The shadow just became a little thinner. Then it became fat again, covering Helmol completely.

The professor directed the ship towards the shadow. He pressed a button, and six pairs of cameras and projectors activated. The camera on one side captured an image of what was in front of it, and the projector on the opposite side projected the captured image on that side. This made the ship kind of invisible. Then the professor slowly steered the ship round the front end of the shadow. He steered very far to the side and saw the beginning of the shadow. And then, they both let out a gasp, because the ‘shadow’ was actually a ship. A giant ship. And they were staring at its front.


The professor slowly directed the Gerelon 2000 towards the larger ship. They tried to get a better look, but it was at that moment that the made their fatal mistake. The did not realise, that the ship might have enemy sensors. They had steered right into the heat sensor’s sensing field. Thus, though they were invisible, they were caught, as the sensors sensed their thruster heat. Instantly, a bright red light started beeping. There must have been some signal as well, because, in a moment, a hundred smaller ships had come out of the giant ship. They quickly surrounded the Gerelon 2000 and immobilised it by using some sort of electric field. The ships moved towards the larger ship, moving the electric field along with them. At least, Derean and the professor thought so, because they, too, moved along with the ships. In a few minutes, they were inside the ship. The ships moved farther apart and made a strange beeping light. The door closed, and one of the ships took their fuel compartment out. This shut off the invisibility mode.

 The ships then directed their ship towards the bottom. Once they were on the ground, the ship carrying the fuel compartment put the fuel box on a sort of conveyer belt, which carried it out of sight. Then, it opened their door using an electric bolt. The ship landed and opened its own door. A two-legged creature walked out. It had a white jacket, made out of some flexible metal, a pair of white trousers made of the same metal, and a strong helmet that was – well, you guessed it. It was made of the same metal and was, well, white. It had a black gun-like thing. It could see them through the front of its helmet, which was made of glass. The creature must have spoken, but the helmet had converted the voice into a robotic voice. It said, “Come with me, unless you wish to be blown to bits.” The creature moved behind Derean and the professor and activated another electric field. This one made their arms and legs stiff, and they found that they couldn’t move by themselves. The creature seemed to have pressed a button, or something similar, because at that moment their hands and legs began to move. They were being forced to walk down a white metal corridor.

They were made to stop in front of a large room. Its door was open. They walked inside, or rather, were forced to walk inside. There, they were made to stand against two metal poles, and tied with two metal chains. The chains were too thick to break. The creature shut off the electric field, and they could move their hands and legs freely again. The creature left the room, and Derean and the professor were left alone. The professor said, “How will we escape from this place? These metal chains are so strong!” Derean replied, “I’m getting the feeling that I know this metal. Wait, let me examine it closely.” Derean examined the metal closely for a moment, and exclaimed, “Why, this is Ionium! Now I know how to escape from here!” “How?”, asked the professor. Derean impatiently replied, “Don’t you remember the properties of Ionium? It becomes extremely malleable when heated. And feredoctiles can breathe fire and are resistant to fire! All we need to do is breathe fire on the chains and then push on them, and we can create a space wide enough to jump out of!” They did what Derean had suggested.

As he had expected, the Ionium became so malleable that they could create a space wide enough to jump out of by pushing the chains. After jumping out, they quickly went to the doorway and looked down both sides of the corridor. There was no one around. They quickly ran out and turned left. They thought that it would be safer to go that way, because they had come from the right corridor. The corridor joined another corridor after some distance. They turned right along this new corridor and started discussing where to go. “Look”, said the professor, “we need a ship to escape from here. I would suggest going to the dockyard and stealing a ship.” Derean said, “But to steal a ship, we need a disguise. Where will we get one?” “Hmmm… Why don’t we knock one of those creatures out and steal its armour? You can wear the armour and pretend that you were ordered to take me somewhere”, said the professor. Derean said, “But… they can track the ship, can’t they?” Both thought for a while, and then the professor exclaimed, “I’ve got it! You can say that you received orders telling them not to track the ship! Then you can board a ship and we can escape!”

Suddenly, they heard footsteps coming down yet another corridor that was joined by this one. Derean quickly pulled the professor into a kind of small room whose doorway was open. The room was completely dark. Derean quietly peeped out to see what was going on outside. What he saw was amazing. One of the creatures had removed his helmet. Around his head, there were 7 tentacles that were pink coloured, just like his head. They were hanging down to his shoulders. There must have been another one of the creatures who was hidden by the corner, because they started talking at once. “Largis”, said the one he could see, “go to the prisoners’ room and see that they are secure. Report to me later.” “Yes, sir”, said the other.

He started walking down the corridor. The one who had given the order walked down the other corridor. Derean quickly pulled himself into the room and waited till the other creature, Largis, had come close enough. Then, he jumped on him, wrestled with him, and managed to knock him out. Then, he pulled the creature into the room and removed its armour. Along with the armour, there were a few ropes and gags. There was a hook on the ceiling of the room. They tied the creature up and tied it in such a way that it hung two feet from the ground. Then, they found the creature’s tablet, and discovered what their plan was.

Escape – and Foiling the Plan

They wanted to capture Fraglior!

They had assembled a larger fleet of the giant ships and were holding it ready beyond the solar system. This ship would gather all the information they needed and finally, when they were ready, they would send a message to the larger ships to attack and conquer Fraglior.

After they had got all the information they needed, the professor hacked the computer and made it appear as if their bosses had ordered them to bring Gregory to the main ship, which was beyond the solar system. Derean dressed up like a soldier and got all the weapons ready. Gregory also ‘ordered’ the ship not to track their ship they would escape on. The professor then made an escape plan. The plan was: –

Derean would go to the docks, along with an immobilised Gregory and show the guards his ID and orders. Then, he would get into a ship, close the doors, put the highest security option and shift seats with Gregory, who would be able to move by himself, because the electric field would have been deactivated by Derean. He would get the ship out of the dock, and then would try to escape to Fraglior. Then they would try to work out a plan to protect the feredoctiles.

Derean agreed. Soon, he had activated the electrical field to immobilize Gregory. They walked down the corridor to the docks. There were two guards at the entrance. As Derean tried to walk past them, they said, “ID”. Derean showed his ID. Then, “Orders.” Derean complied. Once they were satisfied, they said, “You may proceed. All hail Hymanra [4].”

Derean entered the docks. There were loads of the aliens loading, unloading, taking off and landing. Derean headed towards an empty spaceship. He did exactly as they had planned, and soon, they were flying off. That was when disaster struck. An alert dock regulator noticed Derean’s ship flying in the opposite direction. He raised an alarm, and soon the entire fleet was after them. Derean, who had given the controls to Gregory and was sitting in the gunner seat, said, “Oh brother. Now how do we survive?”. Gregory spoke through his headphones, “Derean, try to take out how many of the ships as you can before that message labelled ‘Not Enough Power’ comes up. Then, you must set that detachment option to ‘Timer’ and set the timer to 10 seconds.

Before starting the timer, set the movement-after-detachment option to ‘Forward and Crash’. Then, start the timer and use the elevator to come up into the main ship. I’ll keep in touch.” Derean began firing. With one hand he held the gun joystick, used for moving the gun around. One of his fingers was on the fire button. To his amazement, the Heirabolan fleet did not seem to have their shields up. Every time his lasers hit the fleet ships, they blasted or half blasted. At the same time, their lasers were continuously missing Derean’s ship. Whenever a laser came too close, Gregory spun the ship around, dodging the lasers. But their luck didn’t hold for long. Suddenly, a laser came and hit the gunner area. It hit the bottom, so not much damage was done. Still, the gunner’s computer told Derean that target marking was not possible any more. Derean was busier shooting the enemy ships.

Suddenly, a laser came right towards him. But, instead of making him feredoctile toast, it was repelled by some mysterious field. Derean was taken aback for a moment, but then realised that the shield was up. He cried out, “Yoohoo! We’re saved.” But at that very moment, the message ‘Not Enough Power’ came up. He remembered what Gregory had told him and did exactly as he was told. Very soon, he was up in the main ship. He was going to greet Gregory, but instead of him, he found a white spacesuit-wearing figure. He stammered, “Wh..whh…whh…what are you?” The figure turned and spoke with a mechanical voice, “Derean, don’t you recognise me? I am Gregory. I put on this suit for a special purpose. Wear the other one, and I’ll tell you why.” Derean quickly put on the other suit.

Then Gregory said, “Derean, we have to think of a plan to save ourselves, and Fraglior, from these aliens.” Derean thoughtfully replied, “Well, if we could shut off their ‘Defence and Attack’ system, then we could shut off the entire ship’s guns.” Gregory exclaimed, “What a great idea Derean! Now, I know exactly what to do.” Derean thought to himself whether Gregory had gone mad when the professor turned the ship around and headed for the opposing spaceships. Suddenly the professor set the ship to automatic coordinate – based motion. The coordinates were set for – the Defence and Attack system area! Suddenly, Gregory spoke, “Derean, I am now going to set the steering to ‘Always-Above-Ship-Following’. We are now following an alien spaceship.

I am going to open the escape hatch on the floor. When I say ‘Now!’ we must jump onto the other ship. Then, using their top escape hatch, we can go in and take over that ship.” Derean agreed. The professor opened the escape hatch. Immediately, they were being sucked towards the hatch. Gregory shouted, “Now!” and both of them jumped. They were immediately sucked towards the end of the other ship but managed to hold on to something. It was the hatch. They managed to get the hatch open but were immediately pushed back again. Somehow, they managed to get inside and closed the hatch. Then, they repressurised the cabin and filled it with oxygen. Finally, the took off their helmets and prepared their guns. Then, after opening the door, they immediately shot the two Heirabolans sitting inside. As soon as they were dead, the two feredoctiles took over the ship.


[4] Hymanra was their great lord, the mastermind, the person who controlled everything from their home planet, Jugastanis 123. It was not actually their home planet, as they had already destroyed their home planet while mining. Since then, they had changed planets 123 times.

This was the last and most stable one. Now it is time to disclose some facts about their civilisation. They were called the “Heirabola”. This civilisation is notorious among other alien civilisations for destroying planets and turning their inhabitants into slaves. They are amazingly advanced. Now to start on their history.

A long time ago, 300 years ago to be precise, the most cunning chieftain they had ever known, Hymanra, arose. He took over the entire world over time. He managed to convince the people that they were destined for greater things and that if they united themselves, they could achieve things that they didn’t even dream of. The people accepted. Within the span of a century, the Heirabolans had conquered half the planets in their solar system. Meanwhile, Hymanra had employed his scientists to make an elixir of life. They finally succeeded in making the elixir and gave it to Hymanra. So that no other civilisation could make this elixir, he had all the scientists who made the elixir killed. He even destroyed all of their research papers.

Due to this elixir, he could live forever. 300 years later, they have a huge system of planets under their control. Hymanra controls this system with the help of his several commanders. His most prized possession is the Imperial Beam. All of the major Heirabolan warships had laser beams, which could destroy an area of about 17.1 million square kilometres with a single shot. The Imperial Beam was about 10,000 times more powerful than that. It could destroy the largest planet in the Fraglioran solar system, Lamirma, with a single shot.


 The Great Escape

After taking over the ship, they quickly switched off the tracking device so that their previously stolen ship did not continue to follow them. Then, they quickly steered the ship downwards so that they could go below the giant ship. Once they had gone below the giant ship, they quickly went across the giant ship and up the other side. Then, they went to the holding docks, where prisoner’s ships were kept. Meanwhile, another thing had happened.

While they were still below the ship, they heard a huge explosion and the entire ship shook from the vibration. At the same time, the fire option deactivated. This meant that the defence sector was destroyed. Once the ship reached the holding docks, they got out of the ship and entered the Gerelon 2000. They found that it had been adapted to run on the aliens’ fuel source. They also found that the ship had been re – fuelled. This made their escape easier. They quickly turned on the invisibility mode and started flying back to Fraglior.

Due to the defence sector being destroyed, the heat sensors were not active. Once they were away from the ship, they both breathed a sigh of relief. But at that very moment, a huge bit of destroyed ship parts collided with them. Both the Gerelon 2000 and the ship parts fell down thousands of miles, through the atmosphere of Fraglior, and crashed onto the surface. What happens next? Read on in the next book!