Romance Suspense Science Fiction



Gaína was the center of the so-called Intergalactic War. It’s nearly barren of vegetation and its fauna is feral and aggressive. Gaína is the only known source of the metals and minerals necessary to build vessels strong enough to tesser in.

Gaína’s only so-called rational race are locally called Sestry. Outside their planet they are known only by the name of said planet, as are all other intergalactic travelers.

The Gaína as a race are incapable of emotion and empathy. Their unnatural intelligence enabled them to build the first tesseract and travel across the five galaxies of the Confederacy, to plunder, to murder and to abuse the ten member races of the Confederacy and their planets.

Gaína are born with a negatively charged exoskeleton, which only weapons manufactured during the War are able to pierce. Its weak spots are: the center of the trunk(over the thoracic vein between the central skeleton plates) and the seven eyes. The Gaína’s touch is capable of reducing or even eliminating stress and anger, two natural emotional responses that produce substances which enable each race to confront and overcome danger.

-         Excerpt from the New Age Intergalactic Atlas

“I want this one.” She says.

She is a pretty thing; and Tori don’t usually tolerate Gaína like me. But she is Tori, and she tolerates me. She likes me, in fact. Likes me so much that we’ll be Sworn in less than three black moons, by the Gaína calendar.

Her name is Jaya. She’s really pretty.

Jaya has many mouths and many voices, all of which I like-and like to kiss. Three of her soft, flexible limbs carry her across the market. She advances in a circular motion, what the humans call a cartwheel. This is because she’s very excited. The market looks better with her here, like a clean, gray-white piece of moon with colorful clothes of dye and tinkling metals, as the colorful market hides the white rock underneath.

She stands by the shop, swaying lightly on her five limbs as she looks over the wares. The shop is large and squat, and it sells finely worked stones, minerals and metals from Earth.

“Come look at them, Ono!” She grins, skipping up and down the rows of ornaments. “Aren’t they beautiful?”

I walk a couple steps closer to the shop.

“They would look good,” I admit. “If you wore them.”

“Don’t be silly.” She laughs. “Come here. Look.”

She takes my arm and drags me there- I almost bump into the table.

This market, called the Mond, takes place once a year, on the rock that the Earthans call Thebe. It’s colorful and bright, full of wares and creatures from across five galaxies. It takes up the entirety of the rock we stand on and every square tenget is crowded to full capacity.

Jaya loves this market-she used to be part of it, every year, setting it from the ground up. She’s an Intergalactic, born on one planet and shifting endlessly throughout the galaxies to meet other creatures. For fun.

I may not understand it, but Jaya met me-Jaya likes me-precisely because she’s an Intergalactic.

“This is the one I like.” She says, pointing. “See?”

It’s a small, metallic yellow circlet, about the width of one of Jaya’s curly locks. The circlet is carved with curls of Earthen script, and a clear mineral stone is set in its center. I take the ornament and a strand of Jaya’s hair, and slide the one into the other.

“I like it.” I say.

“Stop, Ono.” She laughs her shy laugh. “Don’t just take things without asking.”

“I don’t take.” I tell her.

I pull my pack up over my head and rummage inside it for the funny electric chips that are the Mond’s common coin. My mandatory gloves make it harder to find them, although my ten fingers go through the contents of the pack with efficiency. An Earthling hand slams on the table of wares as I put the chips on it. The hand curls into a fist over the payment and throws it at me, where the chips die out in a chain of cracks and bangs.

I look up.

“I don’t sell to your kind.” The Earthling woman snarls.

Why? I don’t say. I look at Jaya and she mouths the words.

The War.

The War. I forgot.


Opal, the fifty-year-old merchant, didn’t want to come to the Mond this year. The Gaína are allowed here, for the first time since the war. Opal knows the race of monsters should be forever confined to their planet; if it were up to her, she would have them all killed.

But she is just a human, one of trillions of creatures abused and traumatized by the Gaína.

She hadn’t seen a single one of them, and was starting to think she could actually get through the day. Then this one came to her shop. Her shop.

Maybe she’s starting to go batty after ten years of not setting eyes on one-but this Gaína seems bigger and taller than anything she’s seen before. He looks at her with those soulless eyes that still haunt Opal’s nightmares, and Opal starts to tremble.

Its weak spots are: the center of the trunk(over the thoracic vein between the central skeleton plates) and the seven eyes.

Its weak spots are: the center of the trunk(over the thoracic vein between the central skeleton plates) and the seven eyes.

Its weak spots are: the center of the trunk(over the thoracic vein between the central skeleton plates) and the seven eyes.

Opal starts to hear the screams of her friends and family as they were experimented on. She remembers the roundups the Gaína operated periodically, religiously, when the human population got ‘out of control’. Opal had never married, never had children of her own-she refused to bring life to the Gaína’s world.

It had taken decades for the first creature to steal a tesseract, and decades more for the Intergalactic Army to form and assemble.

Opal forces herself to take a breath and stare the creature in its two frontal eyes. The Gaína eyes are concave and perfectly circular, roughly the size of a centennial. Its irises are a bloodless white and square-shaped, like a goat’s.

The monster is a foot taller than Opal. Its black armor glints in the festival’s lights and its huge, ten-fingered hands just touched and fouled one of Opal’s best rings.

She grips the obsidian knife she snuck past the Mond’s Peacekeepers.

Its weak spots are: the center of the trunk(over the thoracic vein between the central skeleton plates) and the seven eyes.


Tori are not the only race that don’t tolerate Gaína like me. The sentiment, I’ve observed, is spread across the five galaxies of the Confederacy, even though it’s been more than ten years since the Intergalactic War ended. Every Gaína invasion leader has been killed-Gaína herself is now impoverished because of restitutions. But non-Gaínian creatures will hold on to their feelings of hatred for a long time.

This year is the first year Gaína are allowed to attend the Mond. I came because Jaya wanted to come; but now that I think about it, I haven’t seen a single Gaína yet.

“You destroyed my payment.” I tell the Earthling.

“It’s not my fault you are what you are.” The Earthling says. “It’s not my fault you kill everything you touch.”

Jaya slips her cool hand into mine. “Let’s go, Ono. Let’s look somewhere else.”

“I am not the only creature here with a charged exoskeleton, merchant.” I don’t move. “What you’ve done is wrong-and if you don’t pay me back, you’ll be breaking the laws of the Mond.”

The Earthling’s arms fold. “Eat me, you filthy cockroach.”

“Ono-“ Jaya pulls harder at me.

“You want this ornament, Jaya.” I protest. “Don’t you?”

Jaya shakes her head energetically-but I can see her eyes lingering on the clear mineral stone.

I turn back to the merchant. “I am certain we can resolve this in a civil manner.”

The merchant scowls at me and presses a button beneath her showcasing table-calling, I assume, the Mond’s Peacekeepers.

“Come, let’s get out of here, now.” Jaya mutters.

But it’s too late-the Peacekeepers, more than anyone except the Gaína, have mastered the art of the tesseract: folding the fabric of space between two places. They and their neutral blue uniforms materialize in front of the Earthling’s shop.

The Peacekeepers are trained from every corner of the five galaxies, and each team is made up of members of different races. A Filir, a Jot and a Voni integrate this team of three-all of them imposing, physically powerful races.

“What’s the problem here?” Says the Jot.

The Jot race is made up of limbs-they have no trunk, just a face as their center, just limbs upon limbs of a pale blue hue, like a moving bindweed. They’re quick, versatile. I’m almost mesmerized by the way the creature’s limbs move, framing the market-now curling over a shopper a few meters behind it, now pointing unconsciously toward a stall, now shrinking back from creatures who might step on it.

I open my mouth to speak-Jaya jerks on my hand.

“Nothing, sir.” She says, in the softest of her multiple voices. “Just a misunderstanding-we were about to leave.”

“Is the Gaína bothering you, ma’am?” The Filir asks, his slit-like eyes on me.

“I refused to sell my work to it.” The Earthling says from behind me. “It started to intimidate me.”

“The merchant threw my payment back at me.” I explain, when the Filir turns to me. “It is destroyed now. I requested a restitution.”

I hold the dead chips out, so the Peacekeeper can see them.

 “Restitution?? If one of us owes restitution, it’s you-every coin in your hand is stolen, you parasite!” The Earthling spits in my direction. “I curse every creature who sells you something of value, and I thrice curse you and your people.”

“You don’t talk to my love like that.” Jaya growls.

The Peacekeepers do nothing. Around us creatures turn and look-emptiness begins to surround us, and it reminds me of a field being cleared for a wrestling match.

“No?” Shouts the Earthling, bright red. “I do, and I curse you too! I curse every youngling you give that monster!”

 I wrap my ten fingers tight around Jaya’s hand. She sobs-her eyes fill with angry tears, and she vibrates with rage. I hold her close to me; I have been taught from childhood not to respond to insults from non-Gaína, from those touched by the Intergalactic War. But Jaya could take hold of the Earthling’s cloud-like hair and lift her into the air screaming.

The Peacekeepers do nothing. They do not leave.

I want Jaya to enjoy our day at the Mond. I want to give her back her peace and her pretty smile-she’s waited years to come back here, because she said she wanted to go with me.

“I’ve worked for the Restitution ever since I could work, merchant. My planet has become a commonwealth for the good of the five galaxies, though those of us left on it never took part in the War. I was permitted to save money to marry my Jaya, by the Confederacy your planet sanctions. I gave you a part of this money; you must give me something of value in return. And you must apologize for insulting my Jaya.”

Creatures start to turn away. The Peacekeepers move slowly toward me, sealing me in.

“You should go, Gaína.” The Jot says.

Go? Go where?

Jaya breaks away from me-she starts to say something, but I shake my head. Further aggression will only make things worse.

“We can resolve this peacefully.” I insist. I start to pull off a glove, and take a step towards the Earthan. “If you would just let me-“

The Earthan throws something at me, something that looks like a pointed Earthen stone. I feel two flashes of pain; one is from the Peacekeeper’s positively charged mace, throwing me forward. The other hits in my center, between the two plates on my chest.

My eyesight blurs-I stop feeling my legs, and a series of thumps tell me I’ve fallen to the ground.

Jaya screams.

November 13, 2020 19:58

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Llind Kam
20:03 Nov 19, 2020

I wonder whether you created a galaxy in a week or have this world been in your mind for sometime? In any case, you have a fine imagination and you write with such clarity. I believe you have struck gold. I was curious to hear more stories about Tori, Gaina, Jot and the rest. I am nitpicking here: At the beginning, you write' Sworn in'. I do not know whether the upper case was intentional. If it was some kind of a ceremony, I would prefer quotes.


Sam W
20:21 Nov 19, 2020

Thanks so much! I have long wanted to create an intergalactic world, yes. But I usually make things up as I go along, and build up the world from the imagery in my stories. ‘Sworn’ was intended as the equivalent for marriage, I thought that would be cleared if I capitalized. Would you suggest I use “we’ll be ‘sworn’ in...”?


Llind Kam
21:00 Nov 19, 2020

I would suggest ' Sworn in', the first time time you introduce the concept. Subsequently, uppercase 'S' would be enough.


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Sam W
15:45 Jan 26, 2021

Hi! I wrote another story in the Intergalactic universe called “Electric “. If you’re interested, I’d love to know what you think:)


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Natalia Copca
19:07 Nov 23, 2020

I like how you portrayed their reality. Your stories really leave something to think about. Even though is nothing we ever lived or nothing alike our environnement, it does show up an example of adversity that we can end up witnessing.


Sam W
18:15 Nov 25, 2020

Thanks for reading Natalia💙💙


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05:51 Dec 02, 2020

What’s up peeps! I’ve written my first mystery and submitted it for this week’s contest. “Murder at Kasserine Pass” I’m looking for honest feedback. I’ll admit I’m kinda nervous. I had a few ideas but not enough space to put everything in this short story. Your opinions matter to me and I greatly appreciate you taking the time to read my work. If you have something you’d like me to read please reply back and I’ll check it out. Robert


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