Background to”G1: The Guardians” #6

Sub-Continental Nations Defence Union (SCNDU)

The negotiations which ultimately led to the establishment of SCNDU were extremely protracted, with the plenipotentiaries* involved being changed several times, especially by India and Pakistan, whose long history of enmity almost proved too great a stumbling block.  However, the invasion of Tajikistan two years into the process focussed minds on reaching a Treaty with minimal further delay.  In fact, the announcement that the Treaty of Lalitpur had been signed and ratified by all concerned nations shocked the world, who had been convinced that no agreement could ever be reached.

SCNDU comprises India and Pakistan (the ‘superpowers’), together with Bangladesh, Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, Afghanistan, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and several other small countries.  Each contributes a single Delegate to the Great Council, a  top ranking military officer to the Defence Committee, and a top ranking police officer to the Internal Security Committee.  In the event of an external threat, the Great Council consults with the Defence Committee until such time as military operations become unavoidable.  If such military action becomes necessary, the Internal Security Committee becomes an active adjunct to the Defence Committee.  Since creation, no such emergencies have occurred, which is seen as validation of SCNDU.

* Plenipotentiaries were used due to lack of genuinely secure communications.  The Delegates to the Great Council also hold plenipotentiary status.

Global Council of Nations (GCN)

The successor to the United Nations, which proved ever more ineffective in a rapidly changing world, particularly with the bias towards countries no longer of great significance politically or militarily.  The power of veto enjoyed by such powers led to a mass resignation of members, who established the GCN instead.  With no other option open to them, the veto holders terminated the United Nations and eventually applied for membership of the GCN.

The structure of the GCN is less convoluted and relies far less on administration than on action.  While the GCN will act as arbitrators in international disputes, they refuse to maintain military or paramilitary policing rights or duties.  They do, however, have extensive powers in dealing with criminal activities, including the power to either work with or supersede national police forces when dealing with international crimes and criminals.  The concept of extradition treaties between nations has been largely eliminated as the GCN has immediate global jurisdiction when a crime or criminal crosses national borders.  This role was a fortunate inclusion when Interpol was wrecked in the collapse of Europe some six years later.  The GCN Criminal Division consists of the Investigations Bureau and the Global Courts.  The Investigations Bureau maintains a network of offices worldwide, overt agents and covert operatives.  The Guardians maintain a close relationship with the Criminal Division, in a policy designed to minimise the risk of international difficulties, thanks to aides attached to the Ministry and the reputation of the Director.  Terrorism, drugs, and other major criminal endeavours have been severely damaged thanks to the Criminal Division.

Several international disputes which could have led to war have been successfully arbitrated by the GCN.  This success is thanks to the fact that the Arbitration Bureau is trusted by all nations.  The fact that no nation has more than a single voice in the General Council, and the GCN enjoys full financial and political autonomy has made it far more honest, with the historic excessive influence exercised by the superpowers eliminated.  Its headquartering in Switzerland has also eliminated distrust of American influence.  Committees are formed by a strictly secret ballot for membership, held within just two hours of the ballot announcement, which diminishes the risk of secret deals being made prior to voting.  Members found to be in contravention of any anti-corruption regulations are subject to exclusion from all but the obligations to the Criminal Division and to emergency relief operations.  They may reapply for membership after five years.

Global Sports Protection Federation (GSPF)

Replacing the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and numerous other international sports governing bodies, in the face of ever increasing allegations of corruption, and an increase in politically (and even partisan) motivated terror attacks on sports teams and individuals, the GSPF has proven a far more effective body.  Coordinating with the GCN’s Criminal Division has seen most terror attacks eliminated and corruption, especially involving global gambling consortia, has been almost completely crushed.  Athletes in all sports are now free to participate in their sports without fear.  That said, athletes found to be in violation of regulations governing drug use and other forms of cheating can expect to be treated extremely harshly.  The growth of enhancement technology (mostly implants created to help persons suffering disabilities) saw a brief flurry of ‘tech cheats’ but these were quickly identified and banned for life from all sports.  In addition to governing sports (including rules oversight), promotion of sports individually and collectively (such as the continuation of the Olympic Games),  and protecting athletes and sports, the GSPF also guarantees a fair income for all athletes, by subsidy where necessary.

“Evil Under The Circle (Being Part 2 of G1: The Guardians)”: New Release!

Yes, folks!  The 2nd Edition of Evil Under The Circle has been released, in ebook formats, with a great new cover by Chris Graham.  This Edition corrects some errors and introduces some minor changes, as well as the new cover.  The new cover brings the look into line with that of the other books, with the sole exception of The Sigil of Ahriman, which  won’t be altered as I honestly believe that the existing cover of that book simply can’t be improved on.  I’d like to give my public thanks to Chris for his excellent work with the cover.  The paperback will be updated as soon as possible, though there will be a delay as my wife and I are going away for a few days.

The revised edition of the ebook should be available through Smashwords and Amazon, and other online stores when they catch up.

You may also be interested to know that there is a new novel in the process of being written, taking Team G1 on another extraordinary adventure!  This new tale will hold some surprises and deepen a mystery that began at the end of A Darkness in Amazonia.  But, as you all know by now, I’m not in the habit of revealing things, so I’m going to tell you nothing more…

Articles and Guest Posts

This has to be fairly brief, to fit between episodes of narcolepsy and other difficulties.  Please, don’t take this to signify that I am back or even active!

I have, from time to time wondered whether there is a difference between an article appearing on a third party’s site and a guest post.  I guess now is not a good time for me to resolve such a knotty problem… you need an effectively operative brain for such things.  That aside, I have, from time to time, written whatever they are.  Unfortunately, there’s no hope of tracking them down unless prompted by those who hosted such writings. ramblings or whatever they should be classified as.  However, prior to the loss of ability to process even simple thought, I was kindly asked to write a Guest Post for the blog of thriller author Eric J Gates.  By some happy foresight, I actually wrote the piece in time to miss the current bout of pea-souper fog afflicting my alleged mind!  As a result, this piece will, at least for the time being, appear on the following list of Articles/Guest Posts:

Hopefully, this list will grow!  This post will drift down the blog page but, you will be able to locate it through the top menu/side menu, under Works by Steve K Smy–>Published Works—>Articles

That’s it for now…

An Interview With Jack Pellari, Member of G1 (Dept G)

This has to be regarded as the greatest privilege barring actually obtaining an interview with the Director of the Guardians himself.  Jack Pellari alone almost equals the phenomenal powers of that great man, but the likelihood of ever obtaining an interview with Siribahta Dhal equates with becoming genuinely immortal!

I tried to persuade Jack to meet me in the same hotel setting as when I interviewed Matt Carter but he refused, being acutely shy of public places.  Instead, by special permission, we’re in a small but comfortable sitting room of a cottage.  Due to the security methods employed, I have no idea where the cottage is located.  I’m not even sure of how long it took to arrive here!

Jack is nervous, wary.  I suspect that this will prove to be a difficult interview, despite all my special training…


*[EDITED FOR GENERAL DISSEMINATION – ALL CLASSIFIED MATERIAL REMOVED BY ORDER OF THE MINISTRY]*


Thanks for agreeing to this interview, Mr Pellari.

No thanks are needed.  I’m under orders.

I see.  I apologise if that makes you uncomfortable…  Can I begin by asking when and where you were born?

‘When’, I’ll keep to myself, but it was a long time ago.  ‘Where’?  In London, in a small cluster of homes surrounded by the expanding Docklands.  It was an ugly place to live, especially if you showed any hint of difference, or strangeness.  I only had to suffer it for two years, though, as we moved away as soon as my parents could manage it.

So your talents were revealed when you were very young?

Yes.  I’m what’s referred to as a ‘Brumby’, after the wild horses of Australia, meaning a wild talent.  Most Psychs learn to hide their powers but Brumbies can’t, with their powers best described as ‘volcanic’ – erupting unbidden and often at highly inappropriate times.  I have three brothers and two sisters who  are all Psychs, but I’m the only Brumby.  I ruined all their lives.

That’s a large family.  Where do you come in the order?

I was the youngest.  Things were really hard and my mother was badly malnourished while she was pregnant with me.  In fact, I spent two weeks being cared for by a nurse and my mother was in bedridden for nearly as long, after I was born.  They thought I was unlikely to survive.

If you were a ‘Brumby’, I suppose you had to move often?

Yes, almost every year.  The last time was to a house in the middle of nowhere, up in County Durham, Healdy House.  We had hopes of being able to finally settle down there.  My siblings would go to the local school but I was registered as being what’s called ‘special needs’ now, requiring home care and unable to learn.  I was about ten.  We were there for six years when there was another incident.  I’d wandered too close to the village, about seven miles from home.  A bunch of local youths knew me from rare glimpses.  They started throwing insults, and when they didn’t work, they got physical.  I left them rolling on the ground, blubbing and clutching their heads, and ran for home.

So another move was likely?

No.  My family decided to tough it out this time.  Four of my siblings had married and gotten homes of their own, and good jobs.  My father had been hurt in an accident and couldn’t get work, so finding the money for a move would be almost impossible.  The rest of us unmarried kids were supporting the family as best we could, and my mother had established a good seamstress business locally.  When this incident happened, though, there was real fear of what would happen, especially after the village policeman visited and warned of dark consequences – especially for me.

What happened?

Well, it seems that, even way back then, Siribahta had Psychs who were constantly scanning for psychic events.  They detected the spike when I lost control.  Two days later, Siribahta himself arrived at the house!  He offered to help.  He had an academy, far away in St Osyth, down in Essex.  He said that he could sort out things with the local policeman, mollify the families of the youths, and help me learn to control my powers.  Of course, it meant I’d have to go away with him and live in St Osyth Academy.  My parents, especially my mother, were arguing against it, my siblings were less defensive.  In the end, though,I begged to be allowed to go.  I couldn’t stand the harm I was causing them all!  After half a day of it, my parents finally gave in and consented.  Siribahta  went to the village and returned the next morning.  He’d sorted it all out, but we had to be away before noon.  It was a terrible wrench, and I saw my father cry for the first time in my life.  The excitement of the adventure, though, was growing inside me.  We left a few minutes before noon.

What was the Academy like?

St Osyth Priory It was a rambling old building, full of peculiar nooks and crannies.  If I’d been younger, I would have had a wonderful time exploring it!  It wasn’t far from the ancient Priory that St Osyth is apparently famous for.  And St Osyth is close to the coast, with the option of going to the seaside (at Seawick, Jaywick or Clacton-on-Sea) or to the broad reach of the River Colne, or even down to Flag Creek or Brightlingsea Creek.  There were regular unauthorised jaunts but I only went on supervised trips to populous places, fearing an incident.  St Osyth itself was a beautiful place back then, but I’ve heard that even there has suffered over the last sixty odd years, with blockhouses being built and even some of the historic buildings being bulldozed to make way for those vile places.  I understand that there’s a District Internment Facility at Jaywick, too.  And is it true that the pier at Clacton has collapsed into the sea?  [I nod and he looks very sad.]  I hate to think what has been done to St Osyth…

Anyway, the Academy had Psych ‘Coaches’, who trained us in handling our powers, from helping to bring out borderline latencies to teaching control to us Brumbies.  It was damned hard work, too!  I remember four of the students losing it and rebelling.  They caused total havoc and three of them ran off.  That is, two ran off and one just vanished- teleported away right in front of us!  The fourth was still hurling stuff with telekinesis and was about to do some serious damage to the Coach when Siribahta appeared, though none of us noticed his arrival until he was stood right in front of the kid.  In seconds, he’d calmed her down and she was sat sobbing on the floor, with Siribahta crouched beside her, soothing her gently.  She stayed to complete not only the General Course but  graduated with honours from the Advanced Course.  She was younger than me by at least two years, but she was well ahead of me in the Academy teachings.

What happened to the ones that ran away?

One just disappeared, never to be heard of again.  Another was shot down by police about twenty years later, when he was involved in a bank robbery.  The other one had to be dealt with by G5, some twelve years ago, when he *[TEXT REMOVED FOR SECURITY REASONS]*

How long were you at the Academy?

Oh, about nine years as a student, for both General and Advanced Courses.  I then remained there as an Assistant Coach, until I was appointed as one of Siribahta’s Aides.  With more contact with the Master, I learnt much, much more.  I had been fond of him, for his rescue of me and for his unshakeable gentility and calm.  Now, I came to think of him more as my grandfather.  I confessed as much to him and it’s become a kind of standing joke for me to call him ‘Grandfather’.

When did the Academy close?

Who says it has?  During the decades of internal strife in Britain, we had to go into hiding.  The old Academy was attacked and ransacked but we had already gone.  The Academy is still active today, but I’m not about to reveal where.  Just accept that we found a safe sanctuary.

So how did you come to be a member of the Guardians?  I would have thought that you would have made an excellent teacher.

I did, too. [A flash of deep grief crosses his visage.]  I was very close to accepting a position on the Academy faculty.  Word reached me that my eldest sister, Hannah, had been killed.  I assumed it was in a riot or something.  I was very wrong.  I had my bags packed and everything when I was summoned by Siribahta.  It was then that I discovered why he was in the habit of being absent for odd periods, without explanation.  By some fluke of circumstance, Hannah and her family had moved to a small hamlet in Scotland just as a local coven of Dark Witches raised an ancient entity.  The moment the thing appeared, it detected Hannah and commanded the coven to destroy her and her children!  Hannah fought, and even tried to call for help, but she had been isolated and she wasn’t strong enough alone.  Her husband, Douglas, also fought, with mundane weapons, and even killed three of the coven, but it wasn’t enough.  The police found what was left of the family in a burnt out ruin.  I lost it then.  I started hunting for any hint of evil.  Twice, I was nearly killed.  The fact that Siribahta and his people had reacted as quickly as possible to the rise of the thing that had ordered Hannah killed, and had sent it, and the dark coven, into oblivion meant nothing.  But the rage couldn’t last forever.  I suffered a complete breakdown.  Later, I heard that Siribahta and the finest Psych healers worked on me then, healing me of the grief, the rage, everything.

Well, anyway, when Siribahta was made Director of the Guardians, it was just natural that I go with him.  The madness was gone, but some debts can never be repaid.  Besides, I opted to be a soldier rather than a teacher.

Have you ever regretted that choice?

Regretted it?  Of course, but I wouldn’t change anything.

I understand that you underwent some very special training with an unusual teacher.  Can you tell us more?

 *[ALL DETAILS ON MISSIONS FOR OR OTHER ACTIVITIES WITHIN THE GUARDIANS ARE CLASSIFIED.  TEXT TERMINATED.]*

Background to “G1: The Guardians” #5

The Life of Siribahta Dhal, Director, Dept G

Director of Department ‘G’, aka “The Guardians”

Born: Nepal, 1736

Parents: Pradhan Dhal (father) and Sirima Dhal nee Thom (mother)

Fifth son and ninth child of twelve.

In early adulthood (1752), Siribahta Dhal began training as an archer. He became a warrior for the local warlord in 1761, remaining with him until his death in 1798. Refusing the role for himself, Siribahta left Nepal and made his way south, entering Calcutta in 1803. He became a sepoy (native soldier) in the British Army almost immediately. He married Nasira Jairana in June 1815 (on the very day that the Battle of Waterloo was fought). They were to have seven children. Tragically, he lost his wife and all his children during a cholera outbreak, while he was away with an army column, suppressing unrest in northern Punjab. Grief stricken, he didn’t renew his enlistment. Also, it had become necessary for him to leave Calcutta, as his extreme longevity would soon be noticed. Continue reading

New Book Launch – Cover Reveal – Video Trailer

Yes, this is IT!  Today, I am very proud to launch my first self-published novel, A Darkness in Amazonia.  This is Part 4 of G1: The Guardians.  I owe a massive debt of gratitude to Chris Graham for his excellent artworks, Janice Spina for helping with the editing phase and to my son, Damien Smy, for his narration on the video trailer for the book.  I would also like to express my public thanks to Keith Plunkett at skoobebooks.co.uk for his unstinting helping the bringing to print this novel, in both paperback and hardback.  I should have included a proper acknowledgements page in the novel, of course, but I hope that this goes some way towards rectifying that oversight.  Please note that I haven’t included contact information for either Chris or Damien, at their behest!

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Released on 10th September, 2013, through various online sources. Available as ebook, paperback and hardback.

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A Darkness in Amazonia

by

Steve K Smy

Being Part 4 of G1: The Guardians

In the depths of the Amazonian jungle, lost for millennia, its location hidden by the local peoples from every explorer, lies a city – a city that shouldn’t exist.

Discovered by an archaeologist, Professor Hiram Leibowitz, despite every attempt to conceal its existence, the first revelations prove that this is a perilous site that the archaeologist and his dig crew are not equipped to handle. Fortunately, Leibowitz knows who is the right person to investigate this great mystery. At a safe distance from the city, Leibowitz contacts his old friend – Siribahta Dhal, Director of the Guardians.

A sequence of events is set in motion as Siribahta sends in his elite team: G1. It takes very little time to discover that the city is one of the most dangerous relics of a lost Age ever found. Protected by the slaves of an unknown power, hiding truths that prove that not all Evil is alien in origin, the nameless city will test G1 to the utmost. This will not be a battle – it will be a war…

The first novel and fourth tale in the series.

Follow G1’s adventures in the three previous volumes: the novelettes Shade of Evil and Evil Under The Circle, and the novella The Sigil of Ahriman, all available as ebooks and paperbacks.

Purchase details:

ebook from:
Smashwords
Amazon stores worldwide
The ebook will become available from other online bookstores over time!

Paperback from:
skoobebooks.co.uk  (n.b. you may order the paperback edition but please be aware that the normal delivery time may be slightly extended during the first week or two from the launch date).

Hardback from:
skoobebooks.co.uk (n.b. you may order the hardback edition but please be aware that the normal delivery time may be slightly extended during the first week or two from the launch date).

More information:

Author’s website/blog

Video Trailer:

More Information about the background of the G1: The Guardians series can be found here.

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Are You A Lucky Buyer?

If anybody chooses to purchase a copy of the hardback edition of this book, and they are the first to do so, then I will provide them with the whole set of four ebooks, in whatever format (ePub or Kindle) they desire, free of charge!  Any such order must, however, be made before the end of September 2013!

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Comments:

If you have any comments, observations or questions about this book or the series, which you prefer to keep private, please contact me on the special, temporary email address!

Poetry, Google+ and Pinterest

A Poem to a a Favourite…

I’ve added a short poem to the relevant section.  Hopefully you will read and, even more hopefully, enjoy it!  You may notice that the character of my poetry is as wildly varied as most things I do.

Those “Other” Social Networks…

I am on Google+ and Pinterest.  No big deal and I’m not begging you to rush off and connect with me on them.  In fact, there are times when I find them intensely annoying.  For example, Google+ defeats me more often than not, by behaving in ways that I just don’t expect.  And I seem to end up sending more messages as ’private’ than as ‘public’. and I have no idea why!

But Pinterest…!  There are two huge annoyances!  First, and the lesser of the two, is the lack of any direct messaging system!  If you need to tell somebody something, you have to do so publicly as a comment on a Pin,and hope they see it.  And then comes the huge annoyance!  The constant stream of identical Pins from the same people – I could name names but won’t.  They’ve got a book out- marvellous!  I’d be happy to be the first to congratulate them.  But, they send Pin after Pin after Pin after… all either identical or as near as it gets.  Fine, post in whatever Groups you belong to and who permit it.  Publicise when/if you have a special at some time and tell people when a new review appears (not some one-liner or just a rating!), but please, I implore you, stop Spamming the Group boards!  For now, I have decided to cease all “Liking” of unjustifiably repeated Pins.  I know that Pins gradually get buried by new Pins, but has it not occurred to you guilty ones that your behaviour is crushing new works, often by people who have only just published their first book?  To me, that’s not just unfair – it’s tantamount to cyberbullying!  It’s immoral!  And know this: as long as you maintain such behaviour, I will not invite you to enjoy the promotional opportunities this blog offers!

 ~ Steve

“Take a letter, Miss Jones.”

I was considering how many ways people use to record their thoughts, from long passages to quick notes.  We have longhand, shorthand (stenography), typewritten, digital and recorded voice.  Now personally, I use longhand (often illegibly!) and digital, these days.  I would use typewritten too, if I had a typewriter available.

When watching TV programmes or movies where a writer is involved, one thing is not infrequent – they have a secretary trained in the art of shorthand.  What a wonderful invention!  So much recorded with so much economy.  But alas, I never had the opportunity to learn any system of shorthand.  Or did I?

It struck me, in my pondering, that I had, in fact, learnt a crude form of shorthand quite recently, mainly thanks to my kids.  And now, there are those who raise their voices in objection to this new semi-shorthand system, predicting the demise of our language!  It is often portrayed as the enemy of good language, an evil infecting all levels of Society.  Yet, these paranoid fears were never voiced when shorthand was invented, even when it took the form of an automated system: the stenotype machine!  Why?  Is it the fact that shorthand was an utter mystery to everybody but the inventors and those who learnt to use it, while the modern semi-stenography uses recognisable letters?

What am I talking about?  Text Speak!  The rapid communication of longer words by contraction and even substitution.  Letters are left out – usually vowels – and some letter combination sounds are replaced with numbers that give a similar sound – the 4 and 8 being the most frequently used.  This quick means of creating messages has spread from not mobile ‘phones, as most assume, but from things like Telex machines, where operators used abbreviations to communicate at a more personal level when sending more official communications.  In fact, it may well date further back – to the first telegraphers!  Yes, it’s really not that new, after all.  Some of the codes and abbreviations are identical, in fact, like TTFN and C U L8R.

So you see, if I now climb down off my high horse of indignation, stupidly acquired through the mistaken belief that I would be condoning the corruption of my Mother tongue, I can safely begin using this shorthand that I have actually been able to learn!  I really don’t have to write everything out in full.  Heck, I can even adapt it to make my own abbreviated word forms – if I’m consistent enough.  Yes, I’ve accepted the modern world and will use so-called “text speak” in my personal notes!

~ Steve

Moving Onwards Monday

Relaunch of Skylord Approaching

The relaunch of Skylord is getting closer!  Naturally, it is going to be necessary to withdraw the current free edition of the ebook.  It will be replaced with the new edition when it is available.  The new edition will be fully illustrated throughout with black and white images, to reflect the fact that the book is most suited to the junior market.  I will also be looking into a print edition, though that may be subject to the size of the revised book, especially in terms of the page count.

If any of you have experience in self-publishing print versions of children’s books, I’d be very grateful for any advice or guidance.

Shade of Evil Now Fully Available

The paperback edition of Shade of Evil is now available from both CreateSpace and Amazon stores (Amazon.com and Amazon Europe only).  The links are available on the book page.  It also remains available through skoobebooks.co.uk.  At the time of writing this, the existing Amazon reviews for the book aren’t currently included under the paperback edition, unfortunately.  If you wish to read them, they can be found under the Kindle version.

Have You Joined the Event?

If you haven’t already done so, please do consider joining the new book launch event on my Facebook!  It’s a great place to discuss what’s going to happen, and to let me know what you think about the new book.  If you need a Facebook invitation, please let me know!  While you’re over there, perhaps you’d be kind enough to answer the post about sharing the good news.  The more feedback I get, the better the planning in future – I hope!  Also, any suggestions you may have would be gratefully received.  A blog is wonderful, but, by its very nature, discussions can be difficult to keep going.  Facebook event pages are much better for that.

Obviously, if you’d like to ask me any questions or make any observations on the event page, please feel free to do so!

~ Steve

Alternate Worlds

The Voice I came across a rather odd question, recently.  I will admit that I couldn’t quite understand why it was being asked.  On reflection, perhaps I was being unfair – making assumptions based on my own ways of thinking.  The question was, in essence: how do you write alternate histories/futures?  I hope that I can put right any fault my initial reaction might have revealed.

Continue reading