The Garatron Chronicles

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Spencer
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Re: The Garatron Chronicles

Post by Spencer » Tue Apr 21, 2009 6:32 pm

Epic story is truly epic. This is incredibly well written. I'm pretty sure I have officially become addicted to this story.

*wants more*

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Re: The Garatron Chronicles

Post by capnnerefir » Tue Apr 21, 2009 10:11 pm

Quite simply put, I could not have written this better myself.

*waits patently for update*

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Re: The Garatron Chronicles

Post by Ellimist » Wed Apr 22, 2009 8:10 am

Excellent!
capnnerefir wrote:*waits patently for update*
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Re: The Garatron Chronicles

Post by Qoheleth » Fri Apr 24, 2009 7:49 am

Author's note: This chapter, and several that follow, are less effective than they ought to be on this site, because of the forum's "automatic correction" feature. Apparently it is impossible to double-space between words without the site software "fixing" it for you, so the speech of the adult Andalites, as Garatron reports it, doesn't quite suggest the Ent-like ponderousness that I intended. I apologize for this, and I will keep my eye out for an alternative site that doesn't have this problem, so you can see the text as it was originally intended. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy what I did manage to retain here.
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Chapter 2

Andalite legend, I understand, suggests that I hated the Selicar Refuge as soon as I laid eyes on it, but this is quite untrue. When my parents took me to my new home on my third birthday, my immediate reaction was one of sheer wonder. I had never realized that such places existed; my parents had kept me in small, walled-off spaces for most of my early life, and the Selicar Refuge was my first glimpse of that vastness and openness that is so deeply rooted in every grazing creature’s hearts.

Selicar, my grandfather said, was located on a part of the Northern Continent over which great sheets of ice had traveled in the distant past, during the age of the Voiceless People. That was why it contained such an odd mixture of rocks and minerals: the ice-sheets had gathered up pieces of all the lands they had covered, and had deposited it wherever they had happened to melt. There was even one region, he told me (though this was far to the south of the Refuge proper), where a boulder the size of a small hill had been laid to rest on an otherwise perfectly flat valley.

This, of course, was exactly the sort of notion that enchants a young male. <I,> I would tell myself, as I ran across the rolling valleys during my morning feeding, <am absorbing the soil of a multitude of lands, gathered together by wandering mountains at the very dawn of time.> (2) It was a pleasing thought, and I frequently found myself pitying the healthy Andalites who could not share it. Let their tails have three blades each, I was still richer than they.

Indeed, life in the Selicar Refuge offered many opportunities for pitying those Andalites who lived in the southern grasslands. What did those poor, benighted throngs (nearly 100 people in a single square mile in some places, they said) know of cool mornings in early spring, with the mist draping the hillocks like a wedding hood, and not even the scampering of a morrimil to disturb the silence – a silence so vast and immense that it seemed to have existed from the beginning of the world? Or of late autumn afternoons spent reclining beneath my Guide Tree, the jamblyha that I called Inmalfet, which unlike the southern therants and quilfins did not go dormant in the later parts of the year, so that even on the last day of the Frost Month I could lie underneath it and bask in its silent, solemn affection? And all this had been given to me and me alone – as though I were the son of one of the ancient kings, and my father had set aside a chunk of his realm as my own private playground.

Not, of course, that I was the only young vecol who was destined to spend his youth in the Selicar Refuge. The notion of a vast area where their offspring could grow up together was one that the parents of the other mutated Andalites found quite attractive, and many of them exerted all their efforts to secure a place there for their misbegotten sons or daughters. None of them were as well-connected as my grandfather, of course, and so for a number of months I had the Refuge to myself, but eventually there came a day in the early summer when I was summoned to the edge of the stream Nithra to meet the first of my new companions.

< Gar - a - tron, > said my father, in the slow, ponderous way that the healthy Andalites thought-spoke, < this is Li - milt - Zal - a - ran - He - ge - ti. He will be liv - ing in the Ref - uge with you from now on. >

I looked critically at the young male who was standing beneath a nearby zimar tree, leaning against its trunk with an air of studied indifference to everything around him. The first thing I noticed about him was his size: I had thought that I represented the limit of Andalite dwarfism, but Limilt-Zalaran-Hegeti was half a head again smaller than I was. Yet he bore himself with the pride of a war-prince, as though the grotesque deficiencies of his body were merely a temporary inconvenience, or an enchantment out of an old story. So must Prince Gamatol have looked when the Ellimists bound his soul to that of the djabala.

I decided that I liked this Limilt – but he was still intruding on my private sanctuary, and I felt obligated to make some pro forma complaint. <Why does he have to live here?> I appealed to my mother. <Isn’t there some other place where he could be away from the others?>

< This is the place that the Coun - cil has ap - poin - ted for all the mis - born ju - ve - niles, Gar - a - tron, > said my mother. < It is his as much as yours. Be - sides, sure - ly the Sel - i - car Ref - uge is big e - nough for both of you to live in with - out nick - ing each oth - er’s tail - blades. >

I decided not to point out that we couldn’t very well nick each other’s tail-blades if neither of us had one. <Well, maybe,> I said, <but still, it just won’t be the same if there’s someone else here.>

<And, pray tell, how do you think I feel?> said Limilt suddenly. (He had heard this whole conversation, of course, since I was not yet at the age of mastering private thought-speak.) <Here my parents have been telling me for months that I will meet other youths of my own stature at this Selicar place, and then I get here and find no-one living here except this big galoot from the Island beyond the Warm Current.>

I turned and stared at him with my two good eyes. <What?>

<I mean, look at you,> said Limilt. <Just a big lump of undifferentiated muscle. I’ll bet that when you cut your tail, it takes three days for the pain impulse to reach your brain.>

My first thought was that Limilt was mentally unhinged. Granted that I had five or six inches on him, I was still nowhere near being "a huge lump of undifferentiated muscle"; and the bit about my nerve impulses was absolutely ridiculous. Had his mutation somehow affected his mind – caused it to malform in the same way as his body, so that it exaggerated even the smallest difference into something absurd?

Then, suddenly, I realized. Limilt-Zalaran-Hegeti. Zalaran… Wasn’t Mitubal-Zalaran-Ositak that famous poet who was always receiving accolades from the Artistic and Cultural Sub-Council? Limilt was probably her second child – which meant that he would have been raised with all the disciplines of the most avant-garde modern artists, particularly…

<Humor,> I said. <That was humor, wasn’t it?>

<It was supposed to be,> said Limilt. <Why, is that a problem for you?>

<No, no,> I said hastily. <It’s just… well, I’ve heard of humor, of course, but I’d never actually met anyone who practiced it.>

<Ah,> said Limilt. <No, I don’t suppose you would have. Living out on that island, with nothing but botanists and kerrit vines within a thousand miles: you’re probably as ignorant as a lumib about nine-tenths of the achievements of modern culture.>

<How do you do it?> I said, ignoring the jibe. <Does it just come over you, like a fit, at odd intervals? Or do you actually have to train your mind to see everything as not quite what it is?>

Limilt laughed. <It’s not as hard as you think, Garatron-Sitek-Shaveer,> he said. <In a way, it’s just the logical reaction to being me – or you.>

I must have looked puzzled, for he continued. <The idea behind humor is that a sufficiently absurd viewpoint can render even the most poignant situations emotionally innocuous. They did tell you that much, at least?>

I nodded.

<Okay, then,> said Limilt. <Now, maybe you never felt this, since I don’t suppose there are all that many juveniles on the Island beyond the Warm Current, but when a person grows up among the herds that graze the Ilarda, he has a lot of opportunities to notice what a freak he is relative to his peers – and he can either spend the rest of his life feeling miserable about that, or he can find a way to make it not seem so important to him.>

I frowned. <And that’s why you took up humor?> It was a strange idea to me; I had never thought that the literary theories of Sufet-Ilganor-Ofeel could serve as a school of courage.

Limilt flicked his tail in an Andalite shrug. <My mother likes to say that a person’s life is like a fable,> he said. <It can either bring pleasure or grief, depending on how the person tells it.> His eyes twinkled. <And I never much cared for tragic fables, myself.>

I laughed aloud. Yes, I definitely liked this Limilt.
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And thus began what I still think of as the golden period of my youth. I introduced Limilt to every corner of the Refuge, from the till piles at the northeastern edge to the freshwater spring that fed the Nithra from the south, and it was as though I was discovering it myself all over again. And no sooner had he become a full native of the Selicar than we were called back to the southern boundary to meet Shisken-Atomal-Breecai, a regional governor’s daughter whose eyes blazed like fire from her dome-shaped face, and the adventure began again with her as the novice and Limilt as my co-master. Then came Berel-Thorondor-Suparit, a quiet, enigmatic young male with no parents in particular – and after him a dozen other juveniles whose names I could never remember all at once, but all of whom looked up to me as a sort of Dean-Alpha of the Selicar Herd. Every so often, I would hear one of them refer to himself and his fellows as "the People of Garatron", and I would blush with embarrassment mingled with pride.

No, certainly I did not start out by hating the Selicar Refuge. I had to learn to do that – and I doubt I would ever have done so, had it not been for Kirinar.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
(2)

<You mean the dawn of man,> said Tobias. <Or the dawn of Andalite, or whatever.>

<No, "the dawn of time" is correct,> said Ax. <According to Andalite philosophy, time is a mode of existence that requires a sentient mind to perceive it, and therefore it did not exist before the first Andalites.>

<Oh.> Tobias sat for a long moment, digesting that. <Okay, then, go on.>
Last edited by Qoheleth on Mon Oct 25, 2010 12:13 pm, edited 7 times in total.

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Re: The Garatron Chronicles

Post by Spencer » Mon Apr 27, 2009 1:14 am

*is officially addicted to the story*

This just keeps getting better. I love how you andalitized (or is it garatronized?) Marco's funny/tragedy viewpoint. I definitely like this Limilt too.

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Re: The Garatron Chronicles

Post by Elfangor » Mon Apr 27, 2009 1:29 am

Great chapter! I love the way you write this!
You all have guns
And you never put the safety on
And you all have plans,
To take it



Don't Take It

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Re: The Garatron Chronicles

Post by capnnerefir » Mon Apr 27, 2009 5:42 am

Another great chapter.

And as for doublespacing, you can accomplish that by putting the desired text between these tags:

Code: Select all

[pre]Doublespaced text here[/pre]
This text is doublespaced.
This text is not.
<Ga-ra-tron,>
said my father, in the slow, ponderous way that the healthy Andalites thought-spoke,
<this is Li - milt - Zal - a - ran - He - ge - ti. He will be liv - ing in the Ref - 
uge with you from now on.>

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Re: The Garatron Chronicles

Post by Qoheleth » Fri May 01, 2009 8:28 am

Chapter 3

It was in the year 12327.9, on the first day of the Leaf Month. Shisken and Berel were out in the northern brizanec groves, gathering fronds to weave into iloner for the upcoming Utalen Meca festivities, and Limilt and I were walking along the Nithra’s western tributary, debating the merits of a new technological innovation – something called a "book".

<I’m telling you, Garatron, it’s the beginning of a revolution,> said Limilt. <The whole concept of information retrieval will have to be modified once it catches on.>

I smiled deprecatingly. <That seems a rather ambitious claim to make for a collection of plant-matter sheets with writing on them.>

<If you could look beyond your provincial prejudices in favor of mineral technology,> said Limilt austerely, <perhaps you would be able to see the justice in it. Work it out for yourself: if you want to retrieve some particular datum via computer, how long, on average, does it take you?>

I considered. <About five minutes, I would say.>

<Exactly,> said Limilt. <Whereas, if you have a book, all you have to do is turn to the appropriate page, and there it is. Instantaneous retrieval, Garatron: how can you say that isn’t going to change the world?>

<Wait a moment,> I said. <How do you know which specific page to turn to? You said that an average book generally contains at least three hundred.>

Limilt waved a dismissive hand. <Of course, you have to be familiar with the plan of the book,> he said. <The same way you have to learn how to use a computer. The issue is, once you know the ins and outs of both devices, the superior efficiency of the book is simply overwhelming.>

<Maybe,> I said. <But what about capacity? You can’t tell me that you can fit all the information on my grandfather’s computer onto three hundred sheets of… of whatever you call that substance.>

<Paper, Garatron,> said Limilt. <It’s called paper. And, no, of course you can’t use a single book to substitute for a computer – but who said anything about restricting yourself to one book? The whole point is to have a collection of books: maybe fifty or sixty of them, all gleaming on the wall of your family scoop.>

I snorted. <Sounds like a racket to me,> I said. <And how are the manufacturers going to get permission to cut down all the trees that you’d need to make that much paper? I’m just guessing here, but I suspect that the Andalite people value their forests a little more than efficiency in information retrieval.>

<They don’t need to cut down any trees,> said Limilt. <Do you know how many trees get blown down in the great forests during the winter storms? You could make a thousand books from the felled wood in the Shimarut alone.>

<Of course that’s how it would start,> I said, <but how can you guarantee that it would stay that way? Once people developed an appetite for books, they would start demanding more than the winter storms could supply – and, once that happened, the sanctity of the forests wouldn’t last much longer.>

A sad laugh sounded in our minds. <Yes,> said a gentle voice with a curiously alien quality about it. <Ancient reverence rarely stands a chance against modern innovation.>

We turned around, and saw a small female standing behind us, her hands folded in front of her as though she were attending a lecture. Considered as a Misborn, there was nothing especially striking about her: rounded face, fused eyestalks, missing tail-blade, the usual things. All the same, Limilt and I were both a little startled when we saw her; neither of us had expected to meet a Green Andalite in the Selicar Refuge.

The Green Andalites are a sort of sub-species of the Andalite race, found mostly on a large, isolated island in the Southern Ocean. Besides their color, there are a number of things that distinguish them from ordinary Andalites: their fur is shaggier, for instance, and their eyes are yellow instead of green, and their bodies tend to be more thickly built. (Their tail-blades are also straighter, but in this female’s case that was scarcely an issue.) What really distinguishes them, though, is not precisely anything about their bodies, but something in their manner. They are, they say, the oldest of Andalite peoples – older even than the Voiceless People who lived when the ice-fields covered the Selicar Refuge – and they also say that, because of this, they have special privileges and responsibilities that ordinary Andalites do not share. Whether this is true or not, I do not know; certainly my grandfather did not think so. I had heard him assert numerous times that the Green Andalites themselves did not really believe their traditions of ancient favor – that it was merely a convenient excuse to avoid acknowledging the High Council’s full authority over them. But now, looking at this young female, I wondered.

It was not that she was particularly beautiful. At the time, I don’t think any of us Selicarites considered any of the others to be really beautiful (we were still too much under the influence of traditional Andalite standards), and, in any case, her Green-Andalite features were unlikely to have any great appeal for me. Nor was it exactly that she carried herself like the daughter of an ancient bloodline: she did not seem regal at all, but, on the contrary, distressed, uncertain, and a little afraid. Even in her fear, though, there was something strangely pure and noble, as though her soul was a gemstone and her fear only a discoloration within it. It was rather intimidating, and for a moment I stood motionless, uncertain of what to do next.

It was Limilt, of course, who rescued me. <Well, Garatron, what are you waiting for?> he whispered, giving me a gentle kick with his right hind hoof. <Go ahead and give her your little Welcome-to-the-Selicar-Refuge speech.>

Realizing the sense of this, I stepped forward and straightened my upper body, trying to project an air of venerable authority. <Hello,> I said. <I am Garatron-Sitek-Shaveer, son of Hilanal-Sitek-Parshini and Ethalan-Povis-Tilagren; this is Limilt-Zalaran-Hegeti, son of Korid-Ikumal-Allidor and Mitubal-Zalaran-Ositak. On behalf of this community of separated ones, we welcome you to the Selicar Refuge.>

<Thank you,> said the Green female.

I waited for a moment or two, but she said nothing more. At length I had to prompt her. <May I know your name?>

<I am Kirinar,> she said, and fell silent again.

Once more I had to prompt her. <Just "Kirinar"?>

She sighed. <The Mainlander governor assigned me the cognomens of "Olmit" and "Zapalresh",> she said. <You may address me by them if it makes you more comfortable.>

I winced. I had forgotten that tradition. The Green Andalites, from time immemorial, have used only single names; many of them believe that the "Mainland" Andalite government, by assigning them triple names for record purposes, subtly undermines their status as an Autonomous Culture. Whether Kirinar was one of these, I could not tell from her tone (not that I have ever been especially good at telling anything from anyone’s tone), but I could certainly see that I had made a rather serious faux pas.

Nor did Limilt’s distinct lack of sympathy help to mend matters. <Bravo, Garatron,> he said. <I knew I could rely on you to put the wrong hoof forward.>

Before I could reply, he had stepped forward and dipped his tail toward the new Selicarite. <Please excuse my companion, Kirinar,> he said. <He has little expertise in the art of social intercourse, but his hearts are in the right place.>

<I have no doubt of that,> said Kirinar. She glanced at me with a smile in her eyes, and I felt a sudden, uncomfortable tingling in my hooves.

<Tell me,> Limilt continued, <how does a daughter of Saprec come to be among the Misborn of Selicar? I was under the impression that our little club was only open to those whose parents lived along the Ilarda River.>

<At the time I was conceived, I was such,> said Kirinar. <My father is one of the elders overseeing our section of the Island, and, in the Topaz Year of the 30,977th Duodecade, he and my mother stayed for a time as the guests of Governor Bulennen-Atomal-Okari, who had been a great friend of the People during his term in office.>

Limilt cocked his head. <Governor Bulennen?> he said. <You mean Shisken’s father?>

Kirinar’s eyes lit up. <You know Shisken-Atomal-Breecai?> she said eagerly.

Limilt rolled his eyes. <Oh, yes,> he said. <Garatron and I have spent the past five years trying to keep her from killing herself on the Eastern Ridge.> (3)

<Wait a moment,> I said. <This Topaz Year of the 30,977th Duodecade – what would it be in our calendar?>

Kirinar hesitated, and I could see her ishimir – the triangular jewel that is bonded to every Green-Andalite female’s left hand on her sixth day of life – flashing in the sunlight as she worked out the calculations on her fingers. <It would be 12316.4,> she said after a moment.

<Then you were among the earliest of the Misborn to be conceived?> I said.

<I was,> said Kirinar.

<Then how does it happen,> I said, <that you have only now come to the Selicar Refuge? If your father is an elder of your people, surely he could have arranged for you to have sanctuary here much sooner.>

I was unprepared for the reaction with which my question met. Kirinar’s eyes narrowed sharply, and her face was darkened with something like rage (though not, I thought, at me). <I would prefer not to discuss that,> she said curtly, and the alien quality that I had noticed in her thought-speak seemed to have been distinctly heightened.

I took an involuntary step backwards. <Um… all right, then.>

<Thank you,> said Kirinar, and her expression softened again.

<Tell me,> she said, returning her attention to Limilt, <is Shisken still dwelling here? My parents returned to the Island before she was born, and I never had the chance to meet her. It would be pleasant to make her acquaintance.>

<She is here,> said Limilt. <About a half-hour’s canter north-northeast of this spot, gathering brizanec fronds with a rather dreamy-eyed male. I can take you to the place, if you wish…>

Kirinar waved a hand. <Thank you for the offer, Limilt-Zalaran-Hegeti,> she said, <but I feel sure that I can find it on my own.>

<Naturally,> said Limilt, dipping his tail again. <Well, then, urhen shamiku ne’tal.>

Kirinar smiled at his use of the ancient Green-Andalite farewell blessing. <The same to you, Limilt-Zalaran-Hegeti,> she said; then, turning to me, <And to you, Garatron-Sitek-Shaveer.>

I muttered something awkwardly, and she turned and headed toward the brizanec grove. She was a good canterer; in a few minutes she had reached the top of the nearby rise, and soon she had crossed over to the other side of it and vanished from our sight.

Limilt glanced at me, an impish smile in his eyes. <Well, Garatron?> he said. <What do you think of our new comrade from the Southernmost Island?>

I shrugged. <She seemed nice enough,> I said. <Though I wonder why she should have reacted so strongly to my question about her lateness in arriving here. It was almost as though I had poked my hoof into an open sore on her flank.>

<Oh, I wouldn’t worry about that,> said Limilt. <If she didn’t have inexplicable moods, she wouldn’t be a female. Nature designed them that way on purpose, so that we would have a healthy amount of mystery in our lives.>

I had become familiar enough with Limilt’s conversational style to know humor when I heard it, and I made the appropriate response. Despite what he said, though, there still seemed to me to be a mystery about Kirinar-Olmit-Zapalresh – and I determined to unravel it at the earliest possible opportunity.
---------------------------------------------------------
(3)

<That's not our years, is it?> said Tobias, with a twinkle in his eye.

<No,> said Ax. <Five Andalite years. That would be, let me see... about 6.3 human years.>

<Gotcha,> said Tobias. <So Garatron and his friends are older than you've been making it sound?>

<Distinctly,> said Ax. <And bear in mind that Andalites mature rather faster than humans in the first place. The eldest Garatrons, by this point, are very close to legal adulthood.>

<Okay, thanks,> said Tobias. <That explains a lot.>
Last edited by Qoheleth on Sun Feb 12, 2012 3:32 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: The Garatron Chronicles

Post by Spencer » Fri May 01, 2009 11:22 am

smiley.png
So. Much. Win.
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Re: The Garatron Chronicles

Post by Elfangor » Mon May 04, 2009 12:05 am

That was awesome I love the way the Andilite do the books/computers backwards. As always I can't wait for the next chapter.
You all have guns
And you never put the safety on
And you all have plans,
To take it



Don't Take It