“The Friendly Ambassador” is a long story that comes in at about 470,000 words. It is spilt it into four parts that have been published separately and in chronological order:
The Beginning Of The End
A Gathering Of Angels
Walking With The Enemy
As a reference, all the parts of “The Friendly Ambassador” have been published on the Internet on my website at www.booksandstories.com. They can be found on the List Page and can be read online or downloaded as simple HTML documents. Booksandstories.com was established on the Internet in May 2000, and the first part of “The Friendly Ambassador” was uploaded to the site in 2003.
Long ago, an alien race called the Tun-Sho-Lok visited Earth and made contact with the civilisation of Atlantis. Their purpose was purely benign. All they wanted to do was to expand their knowledge and study the rich blends of alien societies and civilisations across the galaxy. They did this by allowing a connection to the Ring, a form of three-dimensional Galactic Internet, where each planet has it’s own portal connection that allows physical transfer. In return for access to our world, the aliens gave the Atlantians equal connection to the Ring to roam the galaxy.
The Atlantians accepted this invitation and soon various aliens from other civilizations linked to the Ring began to visit Earth, and the Cyclops, Centaurs and other sentient creatures that came also journeyed far from the shores of Atlantis. When people who were unaware of the truth saw these strange alien visitors it led to fanciful stories and eventual legend. Many of the Titans of Greek myth were also either aliens, or the mighty ships of the Atlantian fleet, such as their flagship, the Kraken.
The relationship not only worked, but also allowed the Atlantians to master the wonders of modern technology. With this new knowledge they forged a powerful trade empire that spanned the known world and dominated all the surrounding civilisations. And although they developed a powerful fleet to control their empire at home and in space, they remained basically peaceful. But soon after their connection, a war between their alien benefactors, the Tun-Sho-Lok, and a much more warlike race called the Keruh causes the Atlantians to take sides with their new friends. This has disastrous consequences and will eventually lead to the most famous legend of all, that of the fall of Atlantis itself.
By the time we enter the story Ares has become the Atlantian general, known as the God of War. His previous successes in war and battle has also led to the Atlantian people calling him the Stamping Horse of Atlantis. But his current strategy has taken a long time to reach fruition, and the Atlantian Senate are worried for their safety. But they have good cause, as their enemy is fierce.
The Keruh are insect-like beings that live in a hive society. They have fought inter-hive wars for thousands and millions of years since their evolution. Now access to the galaxy through the Ring has widened their horizons and forged them into a single nation. They have won victory after victory, and now the Atlantians virtually standalone. Only the Klysanthians, a Matriarchal race whose world has already fallen to the Keruh, stand with them. Even the Tun-Sho-Lok have perished, the last survivors of their race quietly leaving the scene in individual suicide until only one is left.
In the twilight of their existence, the Tun-Sho-Lok have bred clones from the genes of both their allies, the Atlantians and the Klysanthians. These clones are now turning the tide of the war against the Keruh. Ares has given the clones their name. It is a name that befits their purpose. The Keruh warriors are all males, their females never leaving the Hive, so Ares has named the clones the Androktones: The killers of men.
The Tun-Sho-Lok have their genetic laboratory in an Atlantian stronghold at Ephesus. It is here that the Androktones are born. Vicious and remorseless killers, they are “without heart” (A-mazos – without breast), but they are also the daughters of Ares, the Stamping Horse of Atlantis (Ooma Zyona – daughters of the horse).
In the story, the Androktones are clones produced for war that can mate with any reasonably similar race in order to increase their numbers. They can also separate part of their spine and cerebral cortex and use it to form any weapon –they are in effect shape shifters. Once separated, their “other selves” can take on a monstrous and huge form, devouring all in their path. The Keruh call them Assassin-Drones. The Androktones are extremely cruel and without remorse, mainly because they have been deprived of the mental capacity and understanding to know any different. They are basically children, friendly, polite and kind together, but devastatingly violent to anyone else. The instincts that have been programmed into their brains are powerful and unswerving. They must follow the Purpose: To kill all those who are incorrect. That means anyone who does not match the genetic benchmark they have been provided with. And that means practically everyone. They are also programmed to watch each other. Any deviation is met with violence. It is the changes that affect these alien Amazons that form the backbone of the story. They are irrevocably bad, really bad, and yet, not evil. They just don’t know any better.
There is a clear comparison between the Androktones and the Keruh. Both are vicious killing machines, but both are without the capacity to know any better. In appearance they are complete opposites, but inside they are exactly the same. The result is that the Keruh are matched in combat for the first time and begin losing the war. Unfortunately, the war has turned into a running battle, with the Keruh attacking world after world, stripping it bare and taking all that can be eaten back to the hives on their home world. The Androktones attack each harvest world captured by the Keruh, only for their enemy to escape through their portal connections and attack again elsewhere. But each attack by the Androktones is quicker than the last and begins to limit the amount of sustenance retrieved for the hives each time, and the Keruh soon face starvation.
The last of the Tun-Sho-Lok is the Ambassador on Eden, and it is on this world that the war is destined to end. It is Eden that will be the next Keruh harvest world, carefully arranged by Ares through strategic attacks and withdrawals. The Keruh take the bait because they have no choice. In space, two mighty fleets collide, literally, and on the ground the Keruh Host begin their locust like stripping of Eden.
One of the “visual” centrepieces to the story is the clash of the combined Warrior Host of the Keruh and the entire Androktone army on Eden. The battles and the murderous creatures that take part in them are a welcome and frightening change from sanitised robots in the Star Wars vein. The Assassin-Drones, nightmare dragons that grow and change shape, are nasty and the battles are brutal and bloody. They bring a dark element to the story. The other centrepiece is the space battle that rages in the Eden planetary system where ships ram one another using large armoured fins in true Greek and Roman style. But there are multitudes of characters on both sides that give the story depth and complexity.
For the Keruh, the Dominant of each Hive must always be watching the First and Second who would take his place. The First of the Mysan’Taf knows this well, as he must soon question his Dominant’s wisdom. For the Combined Dominant the survival of the Host is more important than any individual. But for the Host to survive, and for the alliance between the four Hives (Belol’Fan, Orly’Ank, Mysan’Taf and Telen’Gal) to continue, food must be found, and found quickly, as civil war would result in cannibalism.
The Seventy-Ninth of the Telen’Gal has known his place in the Hive and believed in their way of life without question: Survival of the fittest. But now he is isolated and must face the truth. The Keruh are not the fittest or best, and it is the milder Edenites that prove to be his superior as he finds out when trapped amongst them.
For the Atlantians, Ares must both win this war and keep the Senate on his side. Aetolus is his chief adversary in the Senate. He sees Ares as his challenger for the future Presidency, but he also worries for his people. President Aegina also worries for the safety of Atlantis, but she knows that failure would not only bring disaster to Atlantis, but to the whole world. She sees the end that faces them in her nightmares and fears the worst.
Memnon, the captain of the Kraken, has to face a space battle far from home. He dreams of ships at sea and his wife in Atlantis while he is encased in a steel urn. Other captains in the fleet have similar thoughts. Telephus fears for his brother, and Aeolus hopes to save his crew and his damaged ship, the Prometheus. Peleus is trapped in a lifeboat with Lysippe, a Klysanthian he has already begun to fall in love with. But she loves another, and fears that her love has perished. They find solace with each other, but both know it can’t last.
Only Zeus, the captain of the Olympus, is confident and brash. For him there can be no failure, only success. He revels in the battle and seeks the glory of victory and everything that it can bring to him. Involved in the evacuation of Atlantis, Zeus is tasked with the job of taking the Klysanthian Queen Otrera and her Royal Household to safety. He lands the Olympus on a high plateau in the mountains where the rarefied air is more suitable for the Klysanthians.
For the Klysanthians (the ancestors of the Amazons), the loss of their home world hangs heavy on their shoulders. They continue to fight on, but as refugees on Earth they already know that their future is lost in eventual assimilation into the Atlantian race. But even this has its problems. Only the females of their race are fully sentient, and because of this they have developed powerful methods of physical attraction to entice their males. Most of their males perished when their home world was lost, so the Klysanthians begin to seek alternative liaisons. They have a very low moral threshold when it comes to sex, and it is a way of life they cannot shake off. This has caused friction among the Atlantians, and both Queen Otrera and President Aegina have to come to terms with their forced coexistence in Atlantis.
In space, Bremusa leads the Klysanthian fleet in the bombardment of Eden, while on the surface Anaxilea has to try to save the remaining survivors of her crew, a difficult task when their ship, the Furnace Of Charity, has been shot down and has crashed amid the Keruh Host. She fears for all, but particularly for her daughter, Phoebe; lost in the death and confusion that quickly ensues when the Host envelops them.
Scyleia is also trapped on Eden, but with her ship, the Gate Of Heaven, intact. She has seen the Keruh devour her own world and her memories haunt her, particularly the images of the Androktones commanded to fight and die in the defence of the Klysanthians during their final evacuation. None of the Androktones escaped with them at that time. They were ordered not to. With the same hectic evacuation facing her on Eden, Scyleia refuses to allow the same thing to happen again. And when she sees Tai-Gil, a tragic fixation develops.
For the Edenites, all hell seems to have broken loose. Trapped between opposing sides, and hoping to keep neutral until the last possible moment, they have accepted an alliance with the Keruh. Now they are suddenly on the wrong side of everyone. The Keruh break their treaty and attack almost instantly, the Klysanthians begin bombardment, and the arrival of the Host leads to the Gathering, when everything that can be eaten is snatched away.
Gusta and Didi Albatus worked in the Tun-Sho-Lok Embassy. They had planned to flee from Jutlam City with their children, Breda and Tipi. But they are apart when the Keruh attack. Now they must find each other and attempt to escape. But Breda and Tipi are caught up in the mass exodus from the capital while their parents are left behind. The trauma of the attack and the devastation that follows changes all of them.
Li-Sen-Tot is the Tun-Sho-Lok ambassador to Eden. The story gets its name from him: “The Friendly Ambassador.” Rather than leaving, he has stayed behind on Eden to await the arrival of the Androktones. His calm and friendly exterior hides a bitter and broken soul. He has returned for the final moment not to die with the people he has lived with for many years, but to exact his revenge on the Keruh for the destruction and sacking of his most favourite world: Klysanthia. But even he cannot cut himself off from the events around him. And it is through him that Gusta and Didi gain the help they need to find their children. And the Edenites quickly learn that the Androktones Li-Sen-Tot has commanded to help them are even more horrendously violent than the Keruh they have been bred to defeat.
El-Quan, Tai-Gil, Soo-Fam and Ann-Ra are Androktones that know only that they must follow the Purpose, they must kill anything that does not match the genetic code they have been given as a benchmark. It means that having to stay close to the Edenites and Klysanthians is offensive and disgusting to them. But it is also extremely interesting. They become curious, questioning their own genetic and mental integrity, and many are damaged because of it.
The main thrust of the story is the exploration of all the different races and characters and how they begin to relate to one another when all thrust together against their will aboard the fleeing Gate Of Heaven. The Keruh are hated by all, especially by the Klysanthians whose world they have consumed, and yet they both end up occupying the same ship together with the Edenite survivors from the capital. The Androktones are commanded to protect those they must kill: Gusta and Didi and their family who have Embassy status. The Edenites extend that protection to the Klysanthians and even to the Keruh Warrior, the Seventy-Ninth of the Telen’Gal. He in turn has given his word to be a non-combatant, nobility being the rule. And being confined together aboard the Gate Of Heaven without being able to do what they want to do leads both the Androktones and the Seventy-Ninth to realise that they are seriously flawed, that they are lacking in a sophistication that the more human Edenites and Klysanthians possess. This sophistication covers fear, love, stubbornness, bravery, hatred and grief. All learn something new as events overtake them and are changed by the experience.