Tag Archive: Zhaim

Homecoming coverLetter ZZhaim is Lai’s oldest R’il’noid son, and as long as he has the highest fraction of active R’il’nian-derived genes of any of the R’il’noids alive, he is his father’s heir – if anything happens to Lai, Zhaim will take over. He took this position from Derik (who was just as glad to be rid of the responsibility) when he came of age several hundred years ago, and has come to define himself in terms of how he will improve the Confederation when he takes over from his dowdy and senile (in his opinion) father.

Zhaim is quite handsome in his way, vain about his appearance, and very fashion-conscious. His complexion is dark bronze, like his father’s, and his hair is black. His eyes are almost clear with silver veining – “ice and silver” is how they are often described. His hobby is making “artistic” sculptures out of living things (including slaves) and he considers himself a great but misunderstood artist. He likes and admires cats, but is violently allergic to them.

He is an important character in both Homecoming and Tourist Trap and will continue in the trilogy. Here he is speaking from the Bounceabout, early in Homecoming.

The Bounceabout. Ha! The Nausea would be more appropriate. And twice in one day?

Damn the old man! He knows how those rough jumps affect me. And he damn near ordered me to come. Blast Derik. I should have been the one left on charge, not that soft-headed fool. He’s even older than my father!

And now my father even admits he doesn’t have the slightest idea of where he’s going. Just that some possible jump points feel more “right” than others. Well, I knew it was a useless quest.

Still, he has a habit of being right. And if there’s even a chance of other R’il’nai out there …. If one of them were female ….

Damn it, the R’il’noids are better than either race! We’re smarter than the Humans; more practical and creative than the pure R’il’nai. We don’t need the R’il’nai any more. But if the old man finds others ….

I’m his heir, the son who has inherited the most of his R’il’nian genes. He mustn’t have a child by a pure R’il’nian!

I’m doing my A to Z blogs from my books, both characters and background information. For characters I’ll introduce them quickly, say what point of time they’re talking from since their situations change drastically through the books, and let them talk. The format of background information will vary according to what I’m talking about. Bold type indicates that more information has been or will be available in another A to Z post. All of these blogs will be scheduled to go live just after midnight Alaska time.

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This starts directly after the last sentence from last week, referring to the physician, Nik Tarlian. It then omits about a page that would be hard to follow as an excerpt and continues the scene from Tourist Trap. As a reminder, Zhaim is treating his injuries after beating Roi. He is also in rather a hurry to make a planned Council meeting.

Helix NebulaThe man was a competent physician, but he was also a sentimental fool. He was very likely to spread the word that one of Zhaim’s slaves had managed to defy him, or even pick up the fact that Roi had been involved, and later on, when the bodies were discovered, that might draw attention Zhaim could not afford.

He reached for the synthetic skin spray and applied it to both hands, then pulled on a pair of thin black leather gloves. He would wear his black leather tunic and breeches today, he thought. The crested shoulder would hide his own swollen joint, and the sleeve cut, intended to emphasize that the wearer need never exert himself physically, would explain any stiffness in his use of the arm. Fashion demanded that he wear gloves with the outfit.

That’s all from Tourist Trap, as the published book is available. Next week I’ll go back to bits from the trilogy in progress, or one of the shorter pieces I’m thinking of putting on Smashwords – if I can figure out how.

Meanwhile, have a look at the other fine writers participating in Six Sentence Sunday – just click on the logo.

Here is the continuation of the scene I have been posting from for the last two weeks. This is from Tourist Trap, published last year and given the Garcia Award for best fiction book of the year. The “he” in the first sentence is Roi, whose arm has just been grabbed and twisted behind his back by his friend, Timi.

When he rolled with the pull, the shift in his weight allowed Zhaim to pull away and struggle back to his feet, shaking with fury.

Roi could hear the sob in Timi’s breath. Timi’s body, yes, but it was Zhaim’s will that twisted his arm so high that his shoulder joint screamed protest, and jammed Timi’s arm across Roi’s throat. The heavier boy’s body pulled him to his feet, and he managed to glance around as he was jerked up. The girls were sprawled bonelessly where they had fallen, their wet clothing plastered to their bodies by the rain. Then Timi swung him around to face Zhaim, and it took all his self-control to keep his head up and his eyes steady on his brother’s.

Zhaim’s face was contorted with rage, and the beamer was shaking visibly in his hand.

What’s Six Sentence Sunday? A group of writers get together each Sunday, under the hashtag #sixsunday, and post exactly six sentences from their work, published or unpublished. To see what other writers have posted, click on the logo.


Today’s snippet is from near the end of the first chapter of Rescue Operation, my current WIP. Zhaim has been arguing that he’s done the right thing in imposing slaving on Horizon, a recently colonized planet, as they refuse to pay their dues and are breeding people faster than their economy is growing.

Right if he wanted to make the Confederation into a military dictatorship rather than something that allowed over a hundred human-occupied planets to live in peace, if not harmony, Roi thought as he returned home. Not that there weren’t times he would have liked more power over individual planets, especially those that abused their own people. For that matter, he’d like more power over Central, to eliminate slavery there, but not at the cost of turning the Confederation into something people feared, instead of a protection.

Mark and Ginger, the latest of the slaves he’d rescued, adopted and educated for freedom, found him sitting in his office with his face in his hands. “Audi told me,” the young man said awkwardly. “Were you able to do anything?”

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