Adventurer: Pannar Problem
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by R. Richard
Category: Science Fiction/Mainstream
Description: James Aquila is now in the merchant adventurer business. The space travel device that James used in Adventurer -- Simulation Problem is now powered on at least once a day, for testing. One day, something comes out of the space travel device when it's powered on. The something is a job assignment for James Aquila, from the Keegor. The job involves a planet where an advanced people, the Pannar, have conquered the most advance civilization on the planet. The Pannar are holding any number of people as more or less slaves. The most advanced civilization on the planet in question is at the stage of castles and heavy, armored cavalry. All James Aquila has to do is to fight his way through perhaps a thousand armored knights, then dispatch two or three dozen giant Pannar and then destroy the space travel device that allows the Pannar to send some medicine plants back to the Pannar home world. (Later, the Keegor may have some really difficult tasks for James Aquila.) He's sent into the alien world with a high tech sword and knife, a meteor hammer Kung-Fu weapon, a bow and arrows. He also has his brain. He's gonna need everything. The only way that James can succeed is to get help from the natives of the planet. The only way that James can get help from the natives is to show them that he and they can defeat the Pannar. It's non-stop adventure.
eBook Publisher: Club Lighthouse Publishing USA LLC/Club Lighthouse Publishing USA, 2012 2012
eBookwise Release Date: February 2012
2 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [203 KB]
Reading time: 138-193 min.
AS A RESULT OF MY adventures with a space travel device and a little talk with the President, James Aquila (me) and Janice Smith, my Senior VP, are now in the merchant adventurer business.
The first thing I do when Janice and I get back home to the Marine base, is to set up a corporation with the name Merchant Adventurers (clever name, huh?)
During my first adventures, I met some very advanced civilization people who call themselves, 'Keegor.' The Keegor gave the people of an alien south seas island called Vaakia, a root crop. I managed to secretly get a chunk of one of the roots. The stuff will grow in poor soil, grows fairly rapidly and provides complete nutrition for the people of Vaakia. (I later find out that the stuff isn't quite complete nutrition for the people of Earth. However, it's way beyond anything else available.) I planted the small chunk of root behind a Marine gym and it grew. I now dig up the plant and go and talk with the government agricultural people.
The government agricultural people grab my plant, replant it in isolation, and then tell me, "James Aquila, you're a complete idiot! Do you realize that the bacteria in the plant you brought back could wipe out all life on Earth?"
I think on the matter briefly and say, "'Scuse me." (Actually, no it didn't go over too well with the agricultural people.) After the nastiness dies down, I point out to the agricultural people that all of the other plant material I brought back from my adventures was benign and much like Earth equivalents.
Well, the government agricultural people finally do agree to grow the plant(s) in isolation. Assuming that all goes well, they will then try the root crop on human volunteers. If it passes all of the tests, the government agricultural people will clear it for use. If it does what the Keegor claim it'll do, there will be major agricultural companies lined up to bid. Merchant Adventurers will make a ton of money and I can fund even more adventures.
The Marines, after quite a bit of interrogation of Doctor Smith, know how to operate the Doctor's (actually Keegor) space travel device. Actually the Marines now know better than Doctor Smith how to operate the space travel device. They have done a little experimentation with the space travel device when I was exploring the alien world. Also there are any number of scientists now involved with the space travel device and they're apparently learning a lot from examination of it.
The space travel device is now powered on at least once a day, for testing and whatever. One day, something comes out of the space travel device when it's powered on. The something is a job assignment for James Aquila, from the Keegor.
I and any number of PhDs go over the assignment with considerable care. The assignment is to travel to a new planet and solve a problem that people called Pannar are causing on the planet.
I remember the Pannar all too well. They're large, grey skinned aliens who tried to kill me during my visits to the first world to which I travelled.
It would seem that the Pannar have found a primitive planet where the natives grow some sort of plant that has a medical use, even in an advanced culture. Apparently the soil, the plant and some sort of insect produce a result that even the Pannar's advanced culture can't duplicate, or maybe can't duplicate at a reasonable cost. So, the Pannar have sent in a crew that has conquered the most advanced civilization on the planet. They're now holding several groups pretty much as slaves in the supply chain from the desert location, where the plant grows, to the castle where the Pannar send the plant stuff back to their home planet.
There aren't a lot of Pannar on the planet in question, but they control the throne of the most advanced civilization on the planet. Thus they also control the most powerful army. The Keegor have made it impossible either for more Pannar to travel to the planet, via a stolen Keegor space travel device, or for the Pannar now on the planet to go back home. However, for some reason that I don't understand, the Keegor can't (more likely don't want to) completely shut off the space travel device. Thus, the Pannar crew now stranded on the primitive planet can still send at least certain amounts of the medicine plant back to the Pannar home world.
There are two problems the Keegor want solved. The first is to get through the army that guards the castle where the medicine plants are sent back and disable the space travel device that the Pannar are using. The second is to get rid of all of the Pannar on the planet.
The most advanced civilization on the planet in question is at the stage of castles and heavy, armoured cavalry.
All I have to do is to fight my way through perhaps a thousand armoured knights, then dispatch two or three dozen giant Pannar and then destroy the space travel device that allows the Pannar to send the medicine plants back to the Pannar home world. (Later, the Keegor may have some really difficult tasks for me.)
Even the Keegor can't transport me to the planet with much metal. Thus, I have to figure a way to kill off the Pannar with local weapons. Or, at least that's what the Keegor think.
The next day, the space travel device is powered back on, as per usual, and I manage to get some more information from the Keegor.
As I have been told, the most advanced civilization on the planet is at the stage of heavy, armoured cavalry. An average knight is maybe five feet eight inches tall and perhaps a hundred eighty muscular pounds. There are farmers and forest dwellers along the path that the medicine plant must travel from where it grows to the castle of the advanced planet civilization.
The forest dweller males are about five feet two inches tall and the farmer males an inch or two taller than the forest dwellers.
The weapons that the knights use are lances and iron swords.
The lances are hardwood shafts tipped with iron points.
The iron swords are at the stage of being hammer hardened, instead of quench hardened and they're rather primitive weapons.
The knights wear mostly chain mail, rather than the later plate mail.
The forest dwellers and farmers sometimes carry daggers, but swords are reserved for knights.
The forest dwellers use bows and iron tipped arrows, mainly to take game. The forest dweller bows and arrows aren't strong enough to pierce even chain mail armour, except at very close range.
The Pannar control several castles that formerly belonged to the most advanced planet civilization. The Pannar operate out of the castles and patrol the road along which the medicine plant is delivered to the castle where the Keegor space travel device is kept.
The Pannar knights carry local iron swords, small shields and wear thin iron breastplates. Apparently the local metal workers aren't up to producing plate armour or even the very large chain mail outfit a Pannar warrior would need, at least not yet.
I can see how to defeat the Pannar and earn some new technology for Merchant Adventurers from the Keegor.
The Keegor are much more intelligent than I am. However, as strange as it might seem, I'm smarter than the Keegor. Thus, the Keegor rely upon their intelligence to solve problems in the long term. I have to use smarts to solve problems in the short term. I also have to risk my life. That's why I earn the big bucks.
(Okay, you went to school. You think you learned history. You memorized the date when Columbus 'discovered the new world.' You also learned the George Washington could not tell a lie and he chopped down a cherry tree. Both items are total lies. Neither item will ever be of any real use to you. However, you treasure the 'learning experience.' Why is that?)
(Let's review some useful history. Many times, in the past, warriors have conquered other peoples, mainly by using new technology or ideas. Once they conquered the people, the new local rulers then antagonized the conquered people until the slaves arose and destroyed the conquering forces. Why did the conquerors send in blithering idiots to run their newly conquered lands? Because no one wants to go and live among the despised, lower class conquered people. Thus, the conquerors chose stupid, greedy people who went and oppressed the newly conquered slaves until the slaves revolted. An enterprising merchant adventurer is about to speed up the process of the slave uprising.)
(In the ancient world of the oriental East, there were priests who were forbidden to carry weapons, but still found it necessary to travel bandit infested roads in the course of their religious duties. Thus, the priests developed unarmed combat systems that enabled them to defeat an armed bandit. However, several armed bandits at once still posed a problem for one lone priest. Thus, the priests developed 'non-weapon' weapons that got the job done. One of the non-weapons is called a 'meteor hammer.' The meteor hammer is just a couple of weights at the end of a longish rope or chain. The meteor hammer isn't obviously a weapon, but an old time priest, after much training, could use his meteor hammer to defeat a skilled swordsman or multiple, less trained opponents.)
I get the Marines to obtain for me an advanced technology meteor hammer. The weights are very dense, very strong ceramic items and the 'rope' is a very strong synthetic that will resist being cut by the crap swords the Pannar knights will have. I also get a very thin synthetic cord of incredible strength and some infra red motion detectors.
I also get the Marines to obtain for me a ceramic breastplate and a ceramic helmet. The breastplate is lightweight, impossibly strong and even breathes a bit, so that I don't cook while I'm wearing it. The helmet is made of the same stuff as the breastplate and it's not only strong, but also makes it almost impossible for a viewer to see my face. The helmet also has a Keegor supplied light built in. With the light, I can see in the dark, while my opponents can't.
I buy a very nice, re-curved fibreglass bow and hunting arrows from a shop that specializes in archery equipment.
Finally, I get a simple, but special throwing star from a local Kung-Fu studio. I have the throwing star coated with a poison that government scientists obtain for me.
The last of the special equipment I'm going to need I get from the Keegor. The Keegor provide me with a very special sword. The sword consists of a composite material substrate, faced with a thin, very hard metal. The combination will slice through armour and the crap swords the Pannar have. Well, in the case of the crap swords, my sword may shatter, rather than slice, the Pannar swords. The Keegor also give me a knife, made with the same technology as the sword. Also, the Keegor give me a smallish vial of odourless, tasteless liquid, a few drops of which will, over a bit of time, render a Pannar unconscious.
I then outfit myself with a 'camping outfit.' My clothes are mainly top of the line synthetics that are rugged, but light weight and will let me survive days and nights in the open. I also have a little tent that will keep the rain off.
I'm now almost ready to go, but I need one more item. I dread the need, but I do what I have to do and I ask the Keegor for what I need.
(Okay, I have all of the equipment I should need. I have the training necessary to use the equipment. I have the physical conditioning to defeat a Pannar warrior, hand-to-hand. What else do I need? Let's review a previous statement of mine, "An enterprising merchant adventurer is about to speed up the process of the slave uprising." Thus, I have to have someone to talk to the slaves. For some unknown reason, the slaves don't speak good ol' American and I gotta have a translator.
The only person who'll be able to speak the slave languages and also American will be a university professor. Such people study 'primitive languages.' The more primitive languages they speak, the more status they have back at the university. Status is more important than the air they breathe to a university professor. I'm going to have to put up with status boy for at least several weeks. It don't get any worse than that.)
The Keegor give me a university professor from some unknown planet. The university professor speaks several of the languages used on the planet where we're to go. She also speaks American. (It just got worse.)
I talk at some length with the Keegor and manage to convince the better than university trained Keegor that I'm smarter than they are. They want to give me a micro-miniature communicator, so that I can contact a 'cloaked' ship they'll have in the area. The ship mustn't be seen by the local inhabitants.
I point out to the Keegor, "You want me to communicate with you, in secret, only if I have extreme need."
The Keegor tell me, "That's correct."
"So you're going to give me this handy dandy micro-miniature communicator that I can hide and use only in case of emergency. The locals will never see the micro-miniature communicator and thus will never know of the Keegor."
The Keegor tell me, "That's correct."
"And, the locals, if they ever do see the micro-miniature communicator, will be too dumb to realize that it's centuries ahead of anything they can produce. Also, the Pannar will be too dumb to realize that the micro-miniature communicator means that the Keegor are now taking action against them."
The Keegor contact guy sighs and asks me, "Would you like to try operating with no way to contact us?"
"Obviously not. That's why I need a magic wand that I can carry openly."
The Keegor contact guy thinks for a bit, then says, "Oh, a micro-miniature communicator disguised as a magic wand. The local inhabitants will be afraid of anything of magic. The Pannar will be too smart to bother with some magical fraud. You'll carry the communicator in plain sight, but disguised as something else and no one will ever suspect."
The Keegor don't understand.
"There was this man, here on Earth, called Edgar Allen Poe ..." The explanation takes a long time. I finally manage to convince the Keegor that I do need a 'magic wand,' but I don't need a raven.
Once again, I'm strapped to the waterbed that will keep my body safe and healthy here on Earth, while I roam the ground of another planet.