Authors: CD Moulton
Tags: #adventure, #science fiction, #flight of the maita
Flight of the
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About the author
CD was born in Lakeland, Florida. His
education is in genetics and botany. He has traveled over much of
the world, particularly when he was in music as a rock rhythm
guitarist with some well-known bands in the late sixties and early
seventies. He has worked as a high steel worker and as a
longshoreman, clerk, orchidist, bar owner, salvage yard manager and
landscaper – among other things.
CD began writing fiction in 1984 and has more
than 200 books published as of this time in SciFi, murder, orchid
culture and various other fields.
He now resides in Gualaca, Panamá, where he
continues research into epiphytic plants. He loves the culture of
the indigenous people and counts a majority of his closer friends
among that group. Several have “adopted” him as their father. He
funds those he can afford through the universities, where they have
all excelled. “The Indios are very intelligent people, they are
simply too poor (in material things and money. Culturally, they are
very wealthy) to pursue higher education.” CD is involved in
fighting to protect their rights. He is also involved in fighting
the rampant corruption in the courts and politics there. (E-book,
) CD loves Panamá and the
people. He plans to spend the rest of his life in the paradise that
Flight of the
© 1987 by C. D.
berserker is B-A-A-C-C-K! – and as sneaky as ever.
Superintelligent machines pitted against each other! Great! I think
that berserker idea is a good one
Rtng: If you like this stuff, very good buy!
What I Have to Put
six hundred and thirty one worlds in the Maitan Empire, and you
stick us out here on Perfect Three!" TR accused exasperatedly (How
does it do that? TRD-60 is a spaceship, for crying out loud, and
this is on internal circuitry!). "I'll never be able to understand,
out of all those worlds, why we get stuck HERE!"
saucer-type ship, about twenty some-odd meters across. It's also a
part of me, Tabori R. DeSixtee, better known as Tab.
I am, of
course (If you haven't figured that out by now, you should be
See Spot Run
books!), a robot, designed and built by Emperor Maita (I
mean TR and myself both when I say "I"), another machine and a
spaceship itself, as a matter of fact – but few know
TR and I share
everything through a sophisticated internal communications system,
though we have our separate personality circuits. We are, as the
Terran, Z, says, "A perfect example of a schizophrenic"
about it. Z very rarely makes any sense. Z has been with Maita for
nearly three hundred years now, as has Thing, the Mentan.
story altogether (In fact it's eighteen volumes of other stories to
this point – or almost eighteen. I wrote some of them and Thing
wrote one volume about several “little adventures” we shared from
our individual perspectives).
I always say
that Perfect 3 is a perfectly accurate description of the planet if
you're basing it on a scale of 1 to 10 (Get the play on "perfect"
there?). It's a rather dull world that's fairly livable for many of
the lifeforms in the empire, but the dull part is what TR was
that spot because it's near Empire Center, is at the connecting
point of trade for two galactic spiral arms, and because there are
three planets in the system in a livable range by all except those
from very heavy worlds or the halogen based atmosphere lifeforms,
none of which so far found have a very high intelligence – though I
would argue their intelligence may be very different from CHON
types. We tend to think of intelligence and technology as the same
thing, and they very definitely are not!
We all gripe
about Perfect 3 and the dullness, but it really doesn't matter
because, with our fast drives, we can go about anywhere in the
galaxy in very short time. We just like to gripe, and that's as
good a subject as any!
We were about
due for a vacation on EC, as we call Empire Center, and would see
Maita and our organic friends.
TR and I were
really having fun. We bitch at each other all the time. Z taught
all of us that type of humor, and we use it as a tension reliever.
Thing has a pretended misunderstanding of words and phrases as a
basis for its humor, Z is more tricky and somewhat slapstick, Maita
is logical, and will use what is said against the sayer, TR is
cynical, and I tend to be somewhere in between Thing and Maita.
most intelligent of our little group by far, Z can come up with
novel approaches to problems, which he writes about (Get the play
on "novel?"), TR has things figured out from the start (or so it
would have us believe), Maita figures things by formula computation
analysis, but has learned to see them from very different angles,
and I'm a plodder in many ways and tend to work myself through a
I'm designed to
look, act, feel, and react like the amphibian Swaz race. I'm exact,
and have even taken a lover now and then, which shows how well I'm
made. I've had some compliments about my abilities in various
relationships, but I don't suppose too many would mention it if I
were less than adequate. They'd probably simply not come back
again, and I'm organic enough in my thoughts to brag about the fact
that most of them DO come back for more!
naturally "hears" what I'm thinking, made some remark about my
colossal ego. Whatever does it mean?) can change me very radically
when I'm on a case and need disguise (did I mention I'm a
detective? The Tabori Detective Agency is on Perfect 3, which is
what TR was bitching about).
about one point eight meters tall, shaped much like the reptilian
Kheth or the mammalian Terrans, (K-form) have no hair, have
vestigial gills that aren't noticeable unless I've extended the
flaps, have some webbing between my fingers and toes (three fingers
and a thumb on the hands and four toes per foot), dual-lidded eyes,
am a tannish color, and have a short fin from the back of my neck
to the cleft of the buttocks.
I'm designed to
eat and drink like the typical Swaz, having elementizer grids
inside to break ingested matter down to its constituent elements,
which I can then remove whenever it's most convenient. Gases, I can
vent off. (I'll forego that remark.)
I have some
limited ability to recombine elements in whatever form I want, and
the process automatically analyzes whatever hits the grids. I can
detect amazingly small quantities of poisons or such.
Thing is a sort
of squarish rubbery ball with four tentacles and eyes on stalks.
It's about half a meter thick through the body, and the tentacles
are about a meter in length. It isn't designed well to move on
smooth surfaces, so rides around on one of us or on its own floater
most of the time. The floater has circuits to carry its speech for
others, as it's an empath and has no direct vocal abilities. It
breathes through membranes, so speech would be even more limited.
Vocal chords usually need air to drive them.
Maita or TR or
even the floater have circuits that directly "read" its directed
thoughts and produce the words through their speakers.
It tends to use
the speech patterns of Maita, using no tonal inflections to
indicate normal paragraphing, so its speech is one long paragraph.
Maita uses the same speakers, so the tone of Thing's speech is
higher than Maita's, and is preceded and ended with a tuning fork
sound ( [ – ] ), while Maita's is begun and ended with a bell sound
(*–*). I use the brackets and asterisks system when writing about
them. Z started that tradition three hundred years ago, so we all
do it now. They serve as speaker designations and quotation marks
at the same time.
I have a
built-in receiver to "hear" Thing directly, but we must be in
physical contact for it to work.
Maita and TR
are both "saucer" type ships. Maita is 60 meters across, and TR is
about twenty meters across and is designed to resemble a Zeenan
P-class ship, which is the best anywhere. TR has a few disguises it
uses to change its outlines whenever we feel it's necessary in a
case. It regularly invents new and different disguises.
Maita has ten
rooms plus the pilot's dome and the O dome. The pilot's dome is on
the "bottom" of the ship when it's aground, and the gravity grids
make for a startling effect when it's seen from outside on a
planet. Everyone is seen walking around on the ceiling. The domes
can be opaqued or transparenticized (my own word) as Maita sees
Room two is the
medical and meeting room on Maita that also contains much of the
communications and holovid equipment as well as all types of
medical machinery. Thing has its private quarters in the room on
the outer end of room two.
Z uses the
pilot's dome as his quarters when aboard because the pilot's chair
is so comfortable and adjustable and all the equipment's there.
Thing has the learning machines and computers in its quarters, too,
with a bench designed for its comfort.
Room one is the
cargo hold, and is where the exit port is on Maita. There are power
spheres stored on racks in the cargo bay – nineteen of them, where
most ships have one.
Room nine is
the guest room, and contains bunks and sanitary facilities.
Food can be
delivered anywhere in the ship, and speakers are all over, so
conversations can be held from any points.
Z, the Terran,
is shaped like the Kheth, though he's a mammal, while the Kheth are
reptiles. I'm the same form, but amphibian. Z has brown hair
instead of the crest on his head like the Kheth. He keeps himself
in fairly good physical condition working on his private island on
EC, where he raises plants from Earth called orchids and camellias
and plants from other planets that resemble them closely.
gardens under the oceans on EC between its private island and that
of Z. Z planted the strangler fig, or Banyan tree, from Earth on
Thing's island. It resembles the growth that covers Menta.
Thing is from a
dense world, and finds the pressures at three kilometers very
While Z can be
modified to a certain extent by Maita's medical machines, Thing
can't. Its organs are under too much pressure to screw around with
so when we work together on a case it usually appears as an exotic
pet, while Z and I can be modified to look, act, and smell like
Smell is very
important in disguise, but we won't worry about that now.
Many times we
have others among the close crew, such as Kheth, Zeenans, and
Vendans, but Maita, Thing, Z, and I are the basic unit of the crew
of Maita. Two organics and two machines (three machines, but I said
before, TR and I are one).