This is the first in a series called Enestera Chronicles: The Weeping Coffers. It is a sci-fi story set on Enestera,a fictional literary paradise planet modelled after Naijastories. Some characters in the series might seem familiar but they are entirely fictional and bear no semblance to any humans dead or alive.
The Weeping Coffers – Part 1.
Queen Myna studied the graphs and charts in the large observatory with a frown. She was at the Galactic Exchange Office (GEO) for a surprise visit and she was not entirely pleased with her observations. Actually she wasn’t pleased at all. As she examined the giant screens showing all the activities of the planet in the previous season one thing was clear; beneath the cloak of festivity and prosperity the planet wore, trouble was brewing. The monitors for travel and new immigrants showed a robust boom. In the past month 52,345 had visited and over 345 had taken up residence on the planet. Publicity indices were also fine, with a daily mention in at least fifty blogs in addition to the planet’s Twitteratti and Facebooshi accounts. One thing that had plummetted was production,not the quantity but the quality. Not that submitted works were lacking ,in fact they abounded.
Each day a host of works assailled the Production unit from all over the planet. Many of the works were dismal pieces scribbled without much thought or care. Ever so rarely there would be that typo-free, painstakingly written,brilliantly edited, profoundly inspired work of fiction or poetry submitted for review, but they were scarce and unpredictable.
Over the years she had found herself relaxing the strict publication requirements to boost output. Crashing word counts, waiving nudity and vulgar language ,anything thatwould keep submissions flowing. The galaxy was hungry for more – more poems, more stories, more series,. Competition was fierce amongst planets vying for relevance in the Googloic litterati rankings and devotion from ever fickle, ever critical, galactic surfers swift to label a site dated.
In the process her standards had dropped, she became more intent on getting new voices, new writers, new posts.
Each day she wanted to put up new things for offer so the planet would stay relevant, fresh, innovative, exciting…
Enestera, land of the bold and free, harbour of the weary writer. She loved every bit of the planet she had discovered and nutured from scrap to celebration. She had always desired a place where her own people could write in peace and freedom. That is why Enestera was formed. The planet itself was as old as time but it had taken time energy and talent to craft it into the galactic paradise it now was. An afropolitan naijapolitan planet where all could come and practice their craft or enjoy the gifts of others.
In doing so, something had died. She had lost the confidence of some of her most trusted artists. Many had left quietly, boarding the inter-planetary space ships at night never to be seen again. Others had grown restless pledging allegiance to other Kingdoms in other domains , giving the planet a pittance to keep up appearances while their true treasures were displayed elsewhere. Thre they were, forgetting that they were the reason the planet existed, they were the reason Enestera thrived….
Queen Myna sighed. She was suddenly very tired. Each day she poured out herself to serve the people and now it seemed her sacrifice was all in vain. If the trend continued their existence as a sovereign entity would be threatened. Wordprensa the regional Warlord, would not tolerate that. They would be offerred colonialization or extinction. Myna couldn’t bear the thought of that. Something had to be done to stop the quality drain, something had to be done very quickly.
But what? She asked herself.
It was difficult to force people to create. Even more difficult to force people to polish their works till they truly shone , till a third, fourth, seventh draft was done. She did all she could within her resources to keep her people productive and happy . She was one of the first nobles in galaxy to offer her citizens compensation for their works. She asked no tax from the settlers who sought citizenship on her land. She charged no fee for the services provided by her government such as storage, safety,communication,publicity, encouragement,camaderie and more. All she asked was that the create their best writing and submit it to the planet Yet that little was too much. Maybe it was all useless, maybe they were better off extinct.
Never! Her spirit responded. It was too late to give up. There must be a way round the problem, there had to be a solution.
She knew what must be done.
She had to summon The Council.
She lifted her Z30 and called her secretary
“Convene a meeting of the council for Tommorrow evening. Tell them it is Code Black. Venue and time are as usual. Absence and Lateness ll be fined a million and half a million nestras each.”
“Yes Madam, shall I copy the Regional Secretariat?”
“No, just The Council. And tell Mena to send down my masseur”
“Yes Ma, immeadiately.”
Fremai dropped the call and sat swivelling in her seat for a moment. Without hesitation she lifted her personal phone and dialed a secret number, quickly, she relayed the previous conversation to the person at the other end.
“Hmmm” A rich male voice replied “It seems all is not well with the beloved planet …. Very well, record the proceedings and send me a copy once they are through. I ll be putting a little something in your account by morning. Call it a thank you note. Keep this up and you ll be retiring earlier than you dreamed. I am already looking for a contract for you with some of the bigger planets. Just keep the information coming”
“I will sir.. Thank you so much. ” Fremai gushed, but the line was already dead.
In ten minutes an electronic message was sent to all the Councillors.
Chemkai, Kakai, Subla, Tokai and Kyla.
The summons were brief and urgent. Each councillor called to the defence of the planet, that they had once sworn to love. Different reactions met each missive for the love they had once sworn was sorely tempted and tossed. Soon they would have to choose , to prove their love to the planet they all called home.
To be continued….
This is my first attempt both at sci-fi and at writing a series. I know i still have much to learn about both. Please give me your sincerest comments, and please make the corrections as gently and as humanely as possible. Thank you for reading and thank you for visiting naijastories.