The People of the planet Owds are ruled over by a royal family who justify their rule purely by might. Perhaps at one time they gave some justification about being divinely chosen or whatever, but if so, that is lost to history. Now, the fact they are the most powerful is reason enough. If you don’t agree, why don’t you do something about it?
The Owds People conform to most of the standard humanoid features. One difference, though, is their two mouths. While the Owds People do stand upright on their hind legs when still, they move around on all fours. Commonly, if they are moving and want to hold on to something, they will place it in their lower mouth to hold it.
Vethew Tekh is a high-ranking member of the Owds’ secret police service. Tekh’s identity is so secret that no record of his existence can be found outside of his own files and the memories of those who are allowed to know. If a citizen learns that Tekh and the secret police are there, it is already too late for that citizen. Tekh has beaten seventy-three people to death in service of the Empress, and has enjoyed it every time.
Ezbrick Doi is a scientist working for the royal government on a secret reality-warping project. The project, the translated name of which would be something close to “The Godseyes”, is a set of goggles that allow the wearer to modify anything they can see in any way they can imagine. Obviously, this is a lot of power, so only test subjects who are extremely loyal to the royal dynasty can be used to test it, lest they use the power in some way against them. It has not been easy to find subjects loyal enough to trust, and the first nine tried all died in horrific ways. Ezbrick is certain, though, that the Godseyes will be ready for the Empress before too long.
And Iswin Heheka is the average suffering citizen of Owds. Living in a port city, Iswin is employed as a ship-builder. Iswin keeps a low profile, as all Owds people do, because they are always reminded to report any suspicious behavior to the guards. In her own time, though, Iswin composes beautiful music that she does not get to share.
A Fact About Owds People: The biological waste that Owds people produce is vomitted out through their lower mouths. For the species to have existed like that for so long, it is no surprise that they take sanitation very seriously. Owds people (and all the animals on the planet closely related enough to have the same system) expel their waste daily, after which they take baths in the highly acidic ponds that are naturally abundant on their world and are useful sanitizers. It has not been unheard of for Owds people to expel waste on enemies in battle, but… it’s rude, obviously.
Picking up where my last report on my health left off, let’s see how my month has been going.
Friday April 28
This was, overall, a typical day until my daily antibiotics treatment, during which the nurse was unable to get anything to move through the PICC line, so I had to go to the ER to get my treatment. There was a wait of a few hours at the waiting room, but once I got in it took almost no time for them to get me going. I was out once I had my stuff pumped into me.
It was, however, this day that I had to admit to myself that I was coughing a lot. More than I ought to be considering I was supposed to be getting better.
Saturday April 29
I woke up this Saturday with a distinct taste of blood in my mouth and the coughing continued. Considering my medical history of the last few months, I thought maybe I ought to get that looked at. I went back to ER. It seems that the triage people didn’t think it was all that important, because even though I had the symptoms that had left me hospitalized weeks earlier, with the addition of the tastebloods, I was the last person to get in. Every person who had been in the waiting room before me, as well as every person who came in while I was waiting, got in until I was the last person in the waiting room. When I did finally get in, they did an x-ray that showed my lung had fluid in it again! That was annoying. They arranged for my next clinic appointment to be pushed up to…
Thursday May 4
I went to an appointment at a busy clinic where my doctor told me they would push up my next scheduled CT scan to check on the fluid. It seemed like a good plan, so I went home with that knowledge. Meanwhile, the cough continued to worsen.
Saturday May 6
I don’t know if voiding the contents of my stomach because I am coughing too much is actually the same as regular vomitting. I mean, I admit that it probably still counts as vomitting, but it felt different to me when it happened this night. Still, I guess I need to count this as the new marker when measuring my next vomitless streak. I feel like I’m not going to get another decade-long one of those any time soon. Anyway, the cough continued to worsen.
Tuesday May 9 to Saturday May 13
The cough reached a point where it was as bad as, or possible worse than it was when I first got hospitalized. Being me, I was just waiting for the call about that CT scan, but enough people finally convinced me I needed to get looked at more urgently that I was soon back to the ER. This time, though, triage determined that I had a fever I was not even aware of, so I got in pretty quick. As they gave me my daily antibiotics (I had left home before getting them) and treated my fever, it was soon determined I would be staying in hospital again. Indeed, I was soon transferred* back to the very room I had stayed in before (though not the same bed). The news I got was that the fluid in my lungs had actually receded since the last x-rays that told me they were refilling. That was good. The bad news was that my immune system was in terrible shape, with white blood cells about as low as possible. They ran a whole battery of tests on my blood and found not much. As they treated me, the white blood cells started coming back and eventually I was allowed back out, though now I have to get weekly blood tests and the length of time for which I will be getting daily antibiotics has been lengthened by a couple weeks after which they will decide if it will go further or not.
*This transfer was my first ambulance ride in my life. Any enjoyment I got from that was mitigated by the fact I had an extreme coughing fit that last pretty much the entire five-minute trip. I have no idea if this fit was triggered by the ride, or if it was a coincidence, but it sure happened.
Tuesday May 16
After a few days back on the regular antibiotics routine, I noticed that I am actually breathing better. I had barely noticed when I was breathing worse, but today I could tell that I was breathing better. And the cough was lessened as well. Let’s hope this trend continues.
The Advit Empire
The Advit Empire is native to a planet called Nodlia. They are an upright-standing, bipedal, fur-covered, horned species that stand in the average about two metres tall and have long tails. Long ago, in their history, the species called itself “Nodil”, and “Advit” was just a term to denote a native of the nation called Advi. But the militant Advit Empire conquered the world and wiped out any opposition, so now the species bears that name.
Since entering the age of space travel and developing the means to reach other worlds, the Advit Empire has discovered life on other worlds, and they aren’t all too thrilled about it. As long as the species found on other planets are willing to submit to Advit rule, there are few problems, but if they aren’t, the Advit go to war without regret. Just recently, for the first time, the Advit have encountered another space-faring race, the Ugder. This has caused tension, to put it mildly.
Iart Hyee is part of the Emperor’s court, serving as a security specialist in the Imperial Palace. Positions like this are assigned by the rulers themselves, so they are often made up of those close to the royal family, but Hyee is an exception. Hyee gained fame as a competitor in the Power Games, a sporting event held regularly on the homeworld that consists of events similar to what we’d call vehicle racing, javelin throwing, and hide-and-seek. Hyee’s performance so impressed the royals that the security position was offered as soon as Hyee aged out of the games.
Fraylar Yeer is the overseer of the planet Eiyoker, home to the Graaimer, the first species that was conquered by the Advit Empire. The Graaimer are a small reptile-like species, only forty centimetres tall, so Yeer towers over them. Yeer has little respect for the natives of Eiyoker, and treats them as slaves and toys with their lives by having them fight to the death as entertainment.
Nyat Hayn is an armored soldier, wearing the finest warriortech that the species has created. As with most soldiers privileged enough to wear this stuff, Hayn has not been given the chance to develop much of a personality, but has been indoctrinated since birth and shaped into a sort of dull-witted thinker, but skilled reactor on a battlefield. The arms of the battle armor are permanently grafted to those of the wearer, but can be attached to modularly-designed weapons that will then react to the wearer’s thoughts as if they were a natural limb. When the Advit conquer a “lesser” species, they will reward some of its members with suits of this style as long as they act as a sort of police force on the conquered worlds, protecting Advit interests. Aliens in that role are called “Loyal Soldiers”.
A Fact About the Advit Empire: The Advit Empire has a sort of religion, based on fire-worship. Almost all homes keep a lit torch, not for light, but as tradition. The bodies of the deceased are cremated.