Tag: Mentor the novel

2011 Day 18 a Servo from Upper City in my novel “Mentor”

| November 17, 2011 | 1 Comment

2011 Day 18 a Servo from Upper City in my novel "Mentor"
2011 Day 18 a Servo from Upper City in my novel “Mentor”

Servo a small utility hover craft that responds to the voice commands of the person who has activated it. Servos can be made of components and schematics normally available at any replicator outlet if there is also sufficient bio synth available.  Components can be swapped out for other components. Servo components can also be modified through modification of the schematics, creating a new schematic. Only tech class citizens have the proper identification protocols to use a Servo, as without the necessary instruction they could be dangerous.

Servo components include laser modules that can be fine tuned by degree to range between high out put for boring holes in metal, to low out put for use as a pointing device, or a safety beacon. In the case of the safety beacon the component can be detatched from the main body of the Servo an placed where needed. It is not advised to do this however until the piece has been keyed down to low level, wide beam laser.

Another potentially dangerous component in a Servo is the sonic burst. If set too high it has the capability to rupture delicate biological parts as well as sensitive electronic equipment. Although it is rarely considered useful a microwave attachment can also be replicated for this device.

Servos can be created with varying classes of artificial Intelligence, Class A being the highest and most autonomous. Class E will follow instructions to the letter and will never make executive decisions in the circumstance where it’s owner has lost the capacity to do so, though this never occurs under the watchful eye of the MAICS.

Servos utilize standard rechargeable power packs, but have the access to othe components to pwer them. These are 1) a small extendable land line with AG 291b power connector, and 2) any number of solar collection devices (see Document LZ429006: Servo Schematics and Components).

Servos can range in size from six inches (used for comm and memory tasks) to thirty-six inches in diameter(for heavy manual labour, such as remodelling walls and hauling components and other equipment. The largest  Servos require that the operator be a Tech Class C or higher. Apprentices do not have the appropriate protocols and may not engage the use of the larger  (class E or D) servos, for their own safety and the safety of others.

Often, a high level Apprentice Tech will be given a specialised servo upon reaching  a high standard of excellence in the profession. This is usually at the descretion of the Master Tech, and is a source of healthy competition among apprentices. The servo as a prize for excellence is a valuable incentive to maintain highest standards of workmanship and safety.

See the list of Servo Schematics and Components available to the various Tech classes in Document LZ429006: Servo Schematics and Components.


2011 Day 16 “Ranor A’tai Denala” of Upper City from my Novel, “Mentor”

| November 16, 2011 | 1 Comment

2011 Day 16 “Ranor A’tai Denala” of Upper City from my Novel, “Mentor”
Ranor A’tai Denala, the world’s foremost Synthetic DNA Designer

Money was no object to a family whose ancestors made planetfall here, and they agreed in secret to hire the world’s most foremost Synthetic DNA Designer, Ranor A’tai Denala. He was a most difficult man to work with, slightly mad most people said.  And what would you expect from a man who got top money for creating designer pets and designer people for the dependent, declining society of the Upper City on the planet T’rest.


2011 Day 15 “a’tannattal” of Upper City from my novel “Mentor”

| November 16, 2011 | 1 Comment

2011 Day 15 "a'tannattal" of Upper City from my novel "Mentor"

a’tannattal is the name on the certificate of ownership. the young lady whom he is destined to serve, calls him “Natti” though such informality is frowned upon. He is of the Non Class known as Synth Droids, his designation being U-AM7 z3t48L 426000. That is the alphanumeric code found on all documents pertaining to a’tannattal right back to the original synthetic DNA design sheets.

At the BioSynth Technologies Corporation he is simply known as U-AM7 z3t48L 426000. The M in a’tannattal’s number tells us that he is a mentor droid. The A that he is A-class, or that is he checks out as near as perfect as one could hope for from what is both an art and a science that tinkers with the basics of life itself. And the U? Well that is really important. The U means that the design of his synthetic DNA is unique. One of a kind. Which of course means that the DNA from that design can not be used for another Synth Droid of any type unless the present U-AM7 z3t48L 426000 has been destroyed. The original Synth DNA is kept locked away at the Bio Synth Technologies Corporation labs.

a’tannattal knows this. He made it his business to know, since, well, it is his business to know. He has the sole responsibility in this household for the tutelage of the daughter of the Governor of the Lakes District of T’rest. And a thirsty for knowledge young lady she is. He knows, but what he thinks about it no one has ever asked him, with the exception of his precocious pupil. And to her he gives no answer. They both know it is improper for her to ask him personal questions. And this meets with a’tannattal’s approval, since there are things that he thinks of which he would rather not speak to the humans.

He was brought to her the very hour she was born. He remembered that day as well as if he’d borne her himself. That day he fell deeply in love with the child. He couldn’t help it. It never occured to him to help it. It was the way his DNA was designed, and that was that. He was bonded to the child for life. Both hers and his. And though she often tried his patience to the limit. He loved her now no less and no more than he loved her when he first held her in his arms, smelled the fresh baby smell of her, imbibing the natural pherimones that were uniquely hers, cementing the bond that been designed into every fibre of his existence.

He had been told how he came into existence. The Lady Renala and her sister’s husband, the child’s father,  had wanted  to give the child’s mother, Deira, a perfect birthing gift. An older wiser companion who would be all things a growing child would need: A second mother, a protector, a teacher, a playmate, and more.

Money was no object to a family whose ancestors made planetfall here, and they agreed in secret to hire the world’s most foremost Synthetic DNA Designer, Ranor A’tai Denala. He was a most difficult man to work with, slightly mad most people said. Of course they would never say that to a Synth Droid, but rumours got around.

a’tannattal still marvelled that a full grown synthdroid could be grown in a vat in less than a month, while a human child took over nine months to get to a point where growing outside their mother’s womb would commence. Most of his learning had taken place in the holotubes where he was drilled incessantly about social protocols, natural history, social history, planetary and galactic history, basic mathematics and up and up  beyond quantum mechanics so that he would have everything on tap that his young protege might require.

And yet… How could one being be all that another could require, designed or not? He knew to his great sorrow he had failed her. Some flaw in his design? Or in hers? Perhaps if her mother had not died when she was still a babe. Perhaps there were no real answers to those kinds of questions. Or perhaps, when he found her… perhaps then he would know.

2011 Day 14 a scut, creature from UnderCity in my novel “Mentor”

| November 16, 2011 | 1 Comment

2011 Day 14 a scut, creature from UnderCity in my novel "Mentor"

A scut

Scut:  an arachnoid creature with ten to twelve legs holding suspended a fleshy flattened ovoid cylinder of a body. Bulbous glossy black eyes on short stalks on top of the body draw the attention away from the  cutting  jaws and sucking mandibles underneath.

The body itself is fairly soft but the legs are hard chitin and can be pulled up and over the soft body to protect its self. Scuts will not attack a moving target. They are scavengers really but they have been know to attack the wounded, basically to feed on them.

They prefer to nest in the higher reaches of Under City laying their trap webs to catch the unwary Flitbirds that also nest up there. In turn the Flitbirds often feast on the flesh and ichor of  the scuts. Turn about being fair play in the war to survive.

Often one of the multitudinous scuts will fall off their high nests to the ground very very far below. If they can get their legs into the defensive mode they may even survive the fall.

The scut pictured has been attacked by a predator and has lost some of its limbs, which are now regenerating. Often an injured scut will not survive, especially if it is immobilised, as its brethren will make short work of it.

Nothing goes to waste in the UnderCity.

Gibbi of UnderCity from my Novel, “Mentor”

| November 14, 2011 | 2 Comments

2011 Day 13 Gibbi of UnderCity from my Novel "Mentor"

Her full name Gibbil’ananat means ‘left by the gods’, as Gibbi was found as a newborn along with her dead “Lost One” mother. It was  a miracle the child was alive, for there are many things in the shadows of the Under City that would relish the taste of such a morsel, and had many times in the history of the people. It was thought that the mother died form wounds received protecting her babe. The miracle child was still strapped to the mother’s breast and able to keep itself alive on it’s mother’s milk for days. The proof of this was the amount the child had defecated by the time she was found. The people often teased her about her origins in the tribe by calling her Nissi, which is short for a’lini’sanis. Which means born from the shit of the gods.

This Gibbi took with humour and equanimity like most things. But it was felt that she was marked somehow, and that the reason for this would show itself someday. And “Nissi” became even more apt when she began to play with muds and ichor from the beasts of UnderCity to make pictures on the stone walls around them. Strange pictures and sometimes portraits of the people. But by then she had been Gibbi for so long that no one insisted she change her name.

After she turned eight she was brought before the Seer, who  blessed her arts. And though the Seer said naught, she kept her eye on the girl and learned much from her picture making.

Lathanar, Advisor of Upper City

| November 14, 2011 | 2 Comments

2011 Day 12 --Lathanar, Advisor of Upper City from my novel "Mentor"

Even in a supposed utopia there are those who thirst for power and undeserved recognition, though telling them they were undeserving would fall on deaf ears. Those who suffer from the fatal flaw of believing themselves to be the entitled ones  in a world of serfs, rarely can be told much of anything resembling the truth.

 Lathanar is secretly covetous of the position currently held by the current governor of the Lakes District of Upper City by right of heredity and appointment of the Council of T’rest, which is the governing body for the planet. At least that is what they have believed for centuries.

Lathanar truly believed he could do a better job than the current governor, and that would probably be so if all there was to governing was devising policy and signing papers and accounting for incomes and expenditures. Lathanar is extremely good at those things, which is why he was appointed chief advisor in the first place. But this stroke of good fortune based on his very real and excessively helpful talents has only served to make him bitter, for why give him the whole pie, but not the filling, too? Being so close to the governorship and yet  not being the governor chafed him badly. So badly that he tended to unsconsciously grit his teeth a lot of the time. So much so that he developed the muscles in his jaw into small hard round knots at his jaw line.

He had the austere face of a saint, yet none of a saint’s better qualities. He was good at his job. He knew the rules and he followed them to the letter, made sure everyone knew it, and urged others –to their vast annoyance– to do the same. Nitpicking exactitude has never made one popular. Quite the opposite. But Lathanar believed that people were simply jealous of his high position, and never wondered why they all loved the governor whose position was even higher. They say there are none so blind as those who simply will not see.

“But Your Grace…”, Lathanar leaned forward eager to get his point across, “these papers must be signed today or the council will not be able to ratify the decision until another two weeks have passed. I have it on good authority that…”

“Yes, yes! Good authority,The Governore waved a hand interrupting his advisor. “Still, I have not made up my own mind about it and this case is one that requires cool assessment and a certain levening amount of compassion,” the Governor said.

Er… exuse me, my lord,” squeaked Lathanar, ” Compassion?”

“Lathanar, everyone makes mistakes.” The Governor sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose, tired and exasperated.

“But my lord… ”

“Oh, not you of course, Lathanar,” the Governor said. “But most mortals have pressures in their lives that they sometimes cannot cope with that will engender the making of bad decisions.”

He turned from the vast window that let him view the courtyard with it’s beautiful fountain and gazed wearily upon his aide, “Those of us upon whom fortune has smiled could do no better than to consider those upon whom fortune has not smiled.” And without seeing the irony in it he smiled briefly at his advisor and noting that his words had simply glanced off the severe man, shook his head sadly.

Tribal Mother/Seer from My Novel “Mentor”

| November 11, 2011 | 1 Comment

2011 Day 11 Tribal Mother/Seer of Under City from my Novel "Mentor"
Sorry, unnamed at this time, but is usually referred to as The Mother, or The Seer.

Metaphysical secrets passed down from one Tribal Mother/Seer to another, each generation adding to the store of lore and insight precious to the tribe. Held in great esteem, and with good reason, the Tribe does all it can to protect and nurture its Seer and her protege. Her legs have all but given out on her due to an attack as a child by one of the many savage beasts that hunt the Under City’s shadows.

The current Seer in Under City has not yet chosen a replacement. Some say because no one is worthy. Others that she desires to have Marnal (see 2011 Day 01 Marnal) as her protege, but Marnal pursues other interests. But The Mother is getting old. Very old and the people are concerned that she may leave them without a properly trained Seer. No one knows the will of a Seer of course until she makes it known, and she does have someone in mind. A least expected someone.

Renala of Upper City from My Novel “Mentor”

| November 10, 2011 | 4 Comments

2011 Day 10 Renala of Upper City from My Novel "Mentor"

Renala loves to dance.

Renala seems like a vague kind of person. The kind that sees all but wishes she didn’t and who emotionally sweeps things under the rug that she doesn’t want to deal with. She is thin and pale, her eyes are a very pale watery blue. She has almost a ghost like quality that makes people uncomfortable around her. She is apologetic to a fault, if that is at all possible, and she tends to move quietly often inadvertently sneaking up on people and startling them.

But she has a passion for literature, history, and the latest fashions (even if they don’t suit her very well). she tries to instill in her dead sister’s child a sense of propriety and the position of her father the Governor, but the girl goes her own way. Renala wants to control everything in her life so that it can’t hurt anyone.She feels safer knowing that MAICS and the Grid are always watching to ensure everyone’s safety.

The only time Renala loses her inhibitions a little is when she dances. She loves music that makes her body move and she loses some of her self-consciousness and her timidity.

She is so far the opposite of her more vivacious and outgoing sister that people often make jokes that they were actually cousins. Only in that context “cousins” can often mean “someone mated with a lesser being –probably a Synth”, and would be accompanied by a snicker.  Renala is not unaware of these snide put-downs of her mother by the petty snobs of society. And sometimes a hint of a more complex Renala surfaces.


Meldsen, Tech Master from My Novel “Mentor”.

| November 10, 2011 | 4 Comments

2011 Day 09 Tech Master Meldsen from my Novel "Mentor"


Meldsen is the Tech Master for Upper City in my novel “Mentor”. He plays a key role in that he is Phipp’s immediate superior, and that he alone is responsible for the smooth functioning of everything that makes  Upper City the sparkling vivaceous, comfortable and above all safe home of its human citizens. He’s even been know to go out of his way to repair areas of the City that are populated mostly by Nons and Synths.

He’s a gruff, no-nonsense old guy who still has a few tricks up his sleeve and he sees some things that others might not like to know he sees. But he also knows how to keep his mouth shut.

He dislikes the finery and pageantry  that people and the media and corporations keep trying to foist on him. He’s a plain man. He wears the robes when he has to, and weilds his magic when he must or when he has a point to make. But mostly, he and his boys wander in the Labyrinth that is the maze of tech tunnels all woven around and through the MAICS (the Master Artificial Intelligence Computer System) and the City itself.

Without his guidance, and the help of his heirarchy of apprentices there would be no more holos, replicators, food, clothing, and worst of all no more Grid. So when he begins to find anomalies in the MAICS code, and weapon grade lasers substituted for harmless pencil lasers in an exercise droid, he begins to count his assets, among them Phipp (see #8- previous sketch and writeup), and a handful of Synth engineers under his tutelage. Perhaps together they can cross the heaving social bounds and prevent catastrophe.


Phipp, Tech Apprentice, Upper City from my Novel “Mentor”

| November 8, 2011 | 2 Comments

2011 Day 08 --Phipp, Tech Apprentice Upper City from my novel "Mentor"

Phipp plays a key role in my novel “Mentor”. His technological skills border on the magical, even for the relatively computer dependent and decadent Upper City Citizens. He just has a way with computers and code, and inherited tools and skills passed down through his family for generations.

And a good thing, too. His family was responsible for the health and repair of the MAICS, the Master Artificial Intelligence Computer System, that controlled not only all services inside the bubble that was Upper City, but also the Grid which connected every one to everyone else.

Things have been going seriously wrong with MAICS lately. Anomolies showing up in the code, replicators not creating perfect copies, changes in communications. It was Phipp’s job as apprentice to see troubleshoot any physical problems with MAICS, but somehow these problems seems to be more than just a melted core, or a board crumbling with age. MAICS was getting old, yes. But… Could someone be trying to sabotage it?
When Phipps begins to investigate, he find much much more than he bargained for.

A Slither, a monster from my novel “Mentor”

| November 5, 2011 | 2 Comments

A Slither, a monster from my novel, "Mentor"


Mentor: A science fantasy adventure, by J S Rowe


These reptilian predators were thought at first to be those that escaped from the BioSynth transport container that was delivering a shipment of designer DNA “snakes”  to the Ancient Wonders Theme Park. That BioSynth container had been derailed by a small earthquake which opened up a large sinkhole that swallowed parts of two buildings as well as the part of the stasis tube that separated them. The container crashed through the tube and shattered itself on the ground, releasing it’s charges to the wilds. There were six “snakes” as they were dubbed, though no one had a description other than they would grow to be up to four feet long and eight to twelves inches in diameter. Thought to be engineered to be sterile, Ancient Wonders was sent another batch fresh from the Vats by way of compensation, and the lost snakes became no more than an entry in a ledger subtracting their cost in engineering and bio mass from the main stores and the profit and loss paras.

But as usual nature has its own commitment to keep regarding the viability of her creatures whether conjured through evolution itself or by the helpful hand of  intelligent monkeys. Some how  they did manage to breed, and along the way, grew legs and claws, four of them, and grew to a much larger size than predicted and spread themselves through out the Under City.

Under City inhabitants hunted them to keep their numbers down and found that their meat was very tasty as long as the creature was fully bled at its death, and as well, that it’s venom was a useful numbing agent for practical medical applications. Once a way was found to pierce the scales, those too were found to be useful for both ornamentation, and protective coverings.

The Slither prefers the darkness, hunting its prey by smell. The poison secreted from long sacs on either side of the head, paralyses the prey of the Slither instantly. Though it looks clumsy and somewhat comical, it is lightning fast and deadly. The unhinged jaw can open wide enough to swallow a fully grown Wamba bear, but it’s preference is for the tender flesh of  babies and young humanoids, and any other smallish mammals.

Day 01–Marnal of Undercity from my novel “Mentor”

| November 1, 2011 | 8 Comments

Day 01 -Marnal of UnderCity


Marnal is one of the main characters in my current Science Fantasy novel “Mentor“.  Mentor has been brewing on the back burner of my imaginative processes for at least two decades, perhaps longer. This will be my sixth novel.

Imagine a small world out on the Far Rim where human dependency on computers is absolute. If you are not “connected” then you no longer exist, and without connection you cannot access anything that would sustain your life. Food, shelter, clothing. All are replicated by the Artificial Intelligence  machines only at personal request over the Grid. No Grid, you soon die of exposure and/or starvation. And perhaps even die of grief over the loss. But accidents happen, though people turn a blind eye. Corruption in the code, metal fatigue in an ancient machine, great over-ruling System, MAICS, can drop a person off the Grid faster than the engineers and their trained apprentices can locate and repair any damage. And once a person is gone.. they are not even mourned. They have ceased to exist. But do some mourn regardless..?

This is the story of one person on one of the ancient Rim Worlds, who so far is surviving the terrible loss of connection, and of another who naively plots to be removed from the perceived restraints of the Grid. It is the story of those they encounter and gather around them on their disparate journies–one desperately trying to get home; the other with equal desperation trying to get away.  Woven through out is the story of the plight of the artificially created servants of the ruling classes–the caregivers and the mentors. As well as the story of another lost people, Marnal’s people, who are born off the Grid with only comforting distortions about it that have been handed down through too many generations. It is an adventure story of the ever present struggle between the Haves and the Have-nots, and it is a journey of both enlightenment and redemption.

It is also the novel I’m writing for NaNoWriMo this month.  Wish me luck!