Jewels Of Ooombis Sample


This picture of me shows the narrowest doorway I've ever passed through. It's the entrance to a small cafe in Tainan, Taiwan, and I would recommend it to everyone who wants an interesting photograph of themselves followed by a refreshing cup of something hot and wet.

As threatened elsewhere, I've decided to treat you one and all to a sample chapter from my mammoth Jewels of Ooombis so that potential purchasers may get a taste of joys that lie ahead of them. I have removed one small passage from this first chapter because I considered it to be inappropriate material for a public Internet site because it's about affection or love rather than hatred or war. One day I suppose I'll learn, and pick up a sword instead of a pen!

I know that The Jewels of Ooombis is not for everybody but I enjoyed writing it and rewriting it over the twenty-odd years that it took (in between cooking and cleaning for four active children). But it contains scenes of a sexual nature (inevitably bearing in mind the main thesis of the plot) as well as some violence. Oh dear: what am I like? But fear not: it's a vehicle that you, dear reader, can use in order to escape such mundane realities as conflict, local yobbos and The Weakest Link - so treat it well!



Being The First Part of The History Of


Chapter One

The planet rotated lazily as it encircled its sun in much the same was as it had for uncounted millennia. Any stranger who chanced to visit that corner of the galaxy might have noted its towns and villages, green and verdant pastures, woodlands, cultivated fields and orchards, and concluded that all was very well indeed.

But all was far from well.

Something was going to happen. Something dreadful: something unbelievably destructive.

And the planet’s inhabitants knew all about it.

An ambitious plan had been made and preparations were well advanced.

Situated in a huge and fragrant garden was particular building. It was obviously new and from the care that been lavished on its balmy environs it was clearly precious.

From time to time young people could be seen walking with nervous determination down its main gravelled path, between rows of red, pink and mauve flowers that moved to the gentle rhythm of a precious breeze. They were always in pairs and those pairs always consisted of one male and one female.

They were an essential part of the plan.

One pair was hand-in-hand, nervous, and he pushed his way through the main door whilst she followed. Once inside they stood there for a moment, looking around. A disembodied female voice, gentle and sympathetic, broke into their thoughts and welcomed them. It directed them to a particular room, and they found themselves walking down a long corridor.

When they were at the destination planned for them the voice invited them to pass through a door and into the room beyond.

The door led into the Crystal Room.

“This is it, then,” whispered the male, Grobbim, looking nervously at the female, Ingmar, as they made their way arm in arm through the door.

“I love you, Grobbim.” Ingmar’s eyes were wide open, giving her the appearance of a fresh-faced porcelain doll.

Grobbim swallowed. Although he knew that he loved all of Ingmar, as far as he was concerned those eyes were the windows onto her soul, and he loved that very much indeed.

There was a scented breeze, incongruous for the interior of the building, drifting towards them from nowhere. It reminded them of other days and other times, of running down hidden country lanes, of tumbling together, breathless and wonderful, onto grassy turves by trickling streams, of making wild love beneath a blue sky through which little white clouds seemed to drift like so many cotton-wool boats on a dead calm sea.

But they were in an anteroom. Everything had been thought of. Their privacy, the anteroom suggested, would be sacrosanct.

“Are you ready?” whispered Grobbim, squeezing her fingers with a nervous gentility.

“I’ll always be ready for you, my love.”

A door from the anteroom opened silently, automatically. The room beyond it was small, intimate, designed for lovers.

“Now that we’ve come to it, it all seems so … so false,” sighed Grobbim.

“It would be, but… It’s got to be done, my love: for the future. Yours and mine: all of Ooombis’s.”

“I know what you mean. As you say, needs must.”

“Come on, then.”

The only furniture in the small room was a huge, inviting bed, but the two young lovers paused half way between door and bed.

“What do we do?” whispered Ingmar.

“Get undressed?”


“Why not?”

“It’s not … right. Not like this. I can’t … not to order, not like this.”

“We must, Ingmar my love.”

“I know. I know we must … but isn’t there a better way?”

“They must know best.”

“They! They! They! That’s all we hear about. They must know best. They make all the plans. They take our lives and….”

“It’s life or death, Ingmar.”

“Life or death … yes, I know that. I understand. Which means we must. I know that. It’s just that … it doesn’t seem right.”

“You sit down, here, on the bed. I’ll get undressed. You’ll see it’s all right.”

“You’d think there would be wires all over the place, wouldn’t you? “

“They’re hidden, Ingmar. They have to be. They’d put us off if we could see them - that much is certain!”

“I’m put off anyway.”

“Don’t you love me, darling?”

“Of course I do! As if you needed to ask!”

“Then watch me get undressed. See if it makes you feel better.”

She nodded and sat on the edge of the bed. It felt so soft to her, so temptingly soft.

It had been designed that way. Everything had to be right. Their love had to be complete so that the Crystal Inducers could measure it and preserve it in crystal for all eternity.

He pulled his clothes off. Not slowly like a stripper in a club might but in an ordinary sort of way, like she’d seen him many times before.

“You’re beautiful, Grobbim,” she whispered.

“Hey! I’m a bloke and blokes don’t like being called beautiful! It’s you who’s beautiful, not me! I’m just outrageously handsome!”

She grinned. “Is there anyone watching?” she asked suddenly.

“Goodness me, Ingmar! They might be keen on getting the jewels right but, for God’s sake, they’re egg-heads, not voyeurs!”

“Are you sure?”

“Of course I am! The instructions were simple enough. We stay here for as long as we like. Food and drinks will be made available if we need them. Anything we want, in fact, even dirty books or porn discs. All we’ve got to do is give them our emotional output so that the jewels are exactly right for us. And that doesn’t need any peeping Tom, does it?”

“Nor porn discs,” she said, frowning.

“Poor little Ingmar.” He sat next to her and put one arm gently around her shoulders. Her eyes were still huge and doll-like as she gazed at him and he couldn’t resist her any longer. Slowly, as if in wonderful slow motion, he moved his lips towards hers.

That was the beginning. The room and their reason for being in it were forgotten as they found themselves ignoring everything except their love for each other. And it was deep, was that love. It had grown over the years, grown from a moment of first meeting and been nurtured by hours of closeness. And now in the Crystal Room it was blossoming into a timeless experience, one that was being captured by sensitive and specialized micro-electronic circuitry and funnelled into the atomic structure of a jewel known only on Ooombis. Any last doubts were filtered out, and the resultant pure and unadulterated love they felt for each other was trapped in jewels designed to last forever, even though stars and worlds may die.

“Love me, darling,” breathed Ingmar.

“Like this?” he asked, and she gave a delighted little squeal.

“It’s funny,” she whispered.

“What is, my love?”

“How it’s always been like this for people. And yet … it’s so magical it seems as if we’ve just invented it!”

“And so we have, my precious.”

“Do it now, my darling. Do it hard, like you’ve never done it before!”

“I love you, my darling Ingmar. I won’t hurt you. Not now, not ever.”

“Just do it! For Heaven’s sake, do it as if there’s not going to be any tomorrow!”

And that struck the chord for him. For the very fact that one tomorrow soon was destined to be the last day of Ooombis was the one single reason why they were doing what they were right then.

Ooombis was doomed. There was a huge object hurtling towards it through the emptiness of space. Yet, despite that emptiness it was calculated that the two bodies, Ooombis and that other thing, were on a precise collision course. Ooombis was doomed, and there was nothing that science, prayer or hope could do about it.

The only solution was escape. Hundreds of tiny space-cruisers were being built and the brightest and ablest of the young were to be sent into the skies to search for another home. It was hoped that at least one of the crews would succeed. But many would have a long and fruitless search: that too was known.

That was where the jewels came in.

The tiny cruisers, or micro-ships as they were sometimes called, were to be manned by teams of two: one male and one female.

Committees of experts had debated for long hours before the final decision had been taken. It had been obvious from the outset that the small ships would be alone in space for years and nobody was quite certain what such isolation would do to the minds and spirits of the crews. After much soul-searching the experts had decided to recruit young compatible pairs in the hope that physical and emotional closeness would go some way to reducing the tensions that possibly years of inevitable boredom would unavoidably cause.

Yet the success of the mission was of paramount importance. This was no experiment, no scientific evaluation of the effect of isolation in space over a fixed period of so many years. No: it was a desperate search, and failure was unthinkable.

So the crews had been selected from pairs of lovers, young people who were so close that it seemed likely they would remain as true lovers until death did them part. But that wasn’t considered to be good enough. After all, the heart can be a fickle thing and nothing within its confines necessarily has a permanence that outlasts the moment. In addition even the warmest, closest relationship can end up in tatters under the strain of the sort of isolation that years in the vastness of space can produce. So all of the youngsters were given their jewels.

By a process that had long been known on Ooombis, those brainwaves that contain excitement and devotion to each other, especially during moments of impassioned togetherness when the physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual facets of individuals are temporarily welded together by a shuddering orgasm were recorded and imprisoned in the crystalline structure of a rare and beautiful gemstone. Those stones not only accepted the complex emotional configuration, but released it when they were excited by the gentle touch of a living finger.

Although the existence of the stones had long been known, they were so rare and valuable that their use for so frivolous a purpose as enhancing the love-making of a couple whose appetites had become jaded by a surfeit of experience had never before been considered to be economically reasonable.

But values change, and now it seemed perfectly acceptable to use them for that purpose. But then, the lives of everyone on Ooombis were at stake. It mattered little that the cost of including the gemstones exceeded the total cost of all the rest of the armada.


It was little more than mere days later. Ingmar winked nervously at Grobbim, and he winked back. They were standing by the bottom step of their tiny space-cruiser surrounded by the pomp and ceremony of a desperate people needing a wild success.

Ten years of frantic effort had come to an end. Thousands of young hopefuls, soaked in a dream, stood by their tiny craft and awaited the order to embark. But first there would be the ceremony, the blowing of trumpets and the beating of drums, the banner-waving and endless cheering. Then the speeches would begin; for the people of Ooombis delighted in pomp and ceremony, rhetoric reminding them of the desperate purpose behind their effort

The cost had been high: for ten years each and every one of them had known that Ooombis was doomed, a world with no future despite the undoubted glories of its past. At first, a decade or so ago, a planetary-sized object had been detected deep in space, and it had soon become apparent that it was closing in on them all the time, hurtling directly towards the planet of Ooombis. Since that first discovery ten years of effort had drained the planetary economy - and the enormous assembled fleet of tiny cruisers was the result.

Ingmar and Grobbim were just two of the youngsters standing proudly by their tiny craft. And the way they winked at each other was more to do with nerves than a wish to be disrespectful.

“I wish it was all over,” whispered Ingmar with a shiver.

“What? The search?”

“No. All this fuss.”

“Me too. But hush. The President’s getting to his feet.”

The President was the most renowned man on all of Ooombis. Unlike many other worlds where there were usually national boundaries and a host of different tongues, Ooombis was a united planet with a single planetary government headed by the President.

He had risen to the occasion, working tirelessly towards its completion, and if there were to be success, then much of it would be his. The hundreds standing by their tiny craft hushed in expectant silence.

Then there was a solemn trumpet-call, an echoing brazen sound that flooded across the enormous field and was carried beyond it by hundreds of loudspeakers. The President stood immobile until the last shredded echo of that majestic salute faded into silence.

He looked up and slowly surveyed the huge crowd.

Then, “men and women of Ooombis,” he began, his voice booming out across a space-field so vast that it merged with the horizon, ++++ “We are gathered here today to wish success to the young men and women of our race who are taking our hopes and dreams for a long future into the depths of the unknown. Upon their shoulders is the heavy burden: to find another world for us, and let us know where it is.

“Find that world for our babies, suckling in their mothers arms, breathing their first breaths and hoping for long lives.

“Find that world for our children, who play and run, strong limbed and laughing, that they might reach with their hearts into tomorrow, and know that it will be there.

“Find that world for the lovers left behind, that their moments of union and unity may not be made bitter by their own mortality: for they are too young to weep about such matters.

“And find that world for those who have grown old, who see the setting of the sun in the evening as a foretaste of the fading of their lives, that they may have hope for the generations they have themselves created.

“But it will not be so simple. They know, do our explorers, young of heart and thrilling at the faith we have in them that many will perish in the void while others will know the terrible pain of failure - and maybe only a handful, if any, will find a world for us.

“Yet, whilst they are gone, we will redouble our efforts, making the toil of the last ten years seem little more than mere kindergarten play in comparison as we construct the macro-ships in Ooombis orbit so that every man, woman and child on our world can leave for safety in the greatest exodus of all time. It will be our own diaspora, and we have but two decades and we must be gone. Another twenty years and this planet will be witnessing the birth of its own destruction. The seas will rock the very fabric of the land as wave upon wave is drawn by a gravity warped by the stranger in the heavens. And still it will be coming ever closer, and we will know in that ending, if we are still here, that those boiling seas are a mere herald of its power.

“So, pilots of hope, I charge you in your hundreds. Take with you the best wishes of all mankind and go into the depths of the unknown and find a place for us to live. We will be waiting by our receivers for your messages, ready to point the giants that we will have created with our sweat, our blood and our tears, forged by us in the skies, to the coordinates you send us.

“And may each and every one of you take, in your hearts, the gratitude of a people wounded by the promise of a doom we cannot understand even though it is upon us.

So farewell, I say, and may the luck of all creation go with you all.”

He sat down. There was a moment or two of the sort of silence that is almost tangible, and then the trumpet played once more, its brazen haunting a tribute to the future, a solemn lonely melody with wailing notes that told of the grief in the hearts of those living on a doomed planet. Then the youngsters in their pairs mounted the steps that led into the tiny compartments of their ships, and more than a thousand doors hissed silently shut as the most complicated countdown in the history of space-travel anywhere in the Galaxy was started.

For maximum safety the ships took off in waves of a dozen or so at the time, and hours had to pass before Ingmar and Grobbim received the final orders of their own countdown. It was a time of waiting, with nerves stretched almost beyond endurance. They sat there, strapped to their seats and with pressure-rests behind their heads, silent even to each other, waiting and listening to the mechanical voice droning away the seconds, unable to trust themselves to say anything. The console before them gleamed, and its polished metallic stillness seemed to be part of their silence, echoing the tension in their hearts.

Then they were off, suddenly after all the waiting. The micro-cruiser was automatically piloted, and they had virtually nothing to do until sensors indicated they were approaching a planetary system that looked promising. But that would be a long time off, for the distances between the stars are huge indeed, and they both knew that there would be years ahead during which they would learn the meaning of boredom.

As he felt the pressure build up, forcing him back into his seat, pulling his face grotesquely out of shape, Grobbim concentrated on some of the details of the plan. This kind of thought, roaming mentally over what was already imprinted on his mind, helped in a strange way to ease the discomfort.

One consideration had been the possibility that crews might be in space forever, journeying further and further away from the doomed system that was home and never finding that elusive world where mankind could put down his roots and live once more in peace. It was agreed that the time might well come when the sterile quality of life on board the micro-ships could become so poor that the crews might seek death as a preferable alternative to just continuing. It was with this in mind that the controls were constructed so that the activation of one switch would cause the atomic motor to slowly build up to self-destruct. It was a switch that nobody thought they would ever touch, and one that nobody ever mentioned. They just knew that it was there, and why.

To a man and a woman they knew they would never have the will to touch that switch.

On a more hopeful note, it was known that, whereas one of the little ships might locate a suitable planet in less than a decade, it would take considerably longer than ten years for the giant macro-ships to make the journey. Out of a sense of fairness to the two-man crews they were issued with capsules containing enzymes and chemicals intended to stave off the aging process almost indefinitely. Thus their youth would, in some measure, be preserved and they could hopefully be active and still virile participants of the rebirth of their people even though the count of their years might suggest the opposite.

Finally, all the twosomes had been made sterile, for unwanted pregnancies on a journey that was as important as this one would be a threat, and no unnecessary threat could be tolerated. Grobbim frowned as his mind explored such thoughts whilst both he and Ingmar rose on a column of fire into the Heavens. It comforted him to know that every possible detail of their expedition had been dissected, analysed and questioned. It was because of such attention to detail that their mission was likely to succeed, or so he hoped and believed.

Grobbim leaned back in his seat and grinned nervously to Ingmar. “So far so good,” he muttered, indicating the screen that showed Ooombis as a gigantic sphere hanging in the black of infinity, familiar yet alien at the same time.

“So what do we do now?” asked Ingmar. It was a question asked merely for the sake of using speech. She was as familiar with the details of the mission as was Grobbim.

“Not a deal,” he replied.

“I know.”

“The computer’s in charge. I suppose we could look upon ourselves as supernumerary.”


“Supernumerary, my sweet little bird-brain.”

“It’s real now, isn’t it?” Her voice had become very small almost as if it reflected their status against the backdrop of stars.

“What is?”

“The mission. With us up here. The loneliness.”

“I’ll never be lonely while you’re around!”

“Not today or even tomorrow, but what about next year, or ten years from now?”

“There must be a million things for us to talk about. Then there’s the computer library. We could learn all manner of things. Why, we could become really quite knowledgeable about all sorts of strange things.”

“Even that’ll wear a bit thin,” she whispered. “Time’s going to be a cruel master, Grobbim.”

“But then we’ve got each other.” She recognized the lecherous look in his eyes, and smiled coyly.

“Not even that, all the time,” she protested. Then her eyes looked down at her own knees. “We’ve seen video images until we became fed up with them, but even so I never really understood,” she added.


“How big it all is … out there … and how small I - that is we - are.”

“You couldn’t have.”

There was silence again as each of them reflected on the hugeness of the vacuum around them and the magnitude of the endless chain of empty hours in front of them.

“We’ve got the jewels,” whispered Ingmar at length.

“I can’t see how I’ll need my ring for centuries!” joked Grobbim. “If ever,” he added, diplomatically.

“I can. Look out there, at the stars. They’re lonely too.”

“What’s that got to do with it?”

“I don’t know. It just seems … as if everything up here was made for loneliness, for isolation … you know.”




“Let’s go to bed.”

“What? Now?”

“Yes. Now. I’ve got this feeling in me that, somehow … all those stars and us. Make love to me, here, high above Ooombis, my love.”

“You mean it?”

“Of course I do!” She looked at him reproachfully. “Of all the cheek! You’ve usually got the prince of a hard-on at the least suggestion….” she added.

“It’s just that … we’ve only just taken off.”

“So what? There’s nothing for us to do. We’re superwhatsit. You said so yourself.”

“I suppose I did.”

The computer chose that moment to warn them that they were about to leave Ooombis orbit on a trajectory that had been programmed by men who had stayed behind. Grobbim took Ingmar by the hand and pushed her towards the tiny compartment where they both had to sleep. It was quite a squeeze, which heightened their mutual sense of closeness.

As they lay there they felt the sudden almost gentle surge as their ship started on its long acceleration to the stars. At last they were off on a journey that might have no end. It was very cosy in that cabin. Grobbim gazed at Ingmar, knowing that he loved her more than any man had ever loved a woman in the whole history of mankind, and even in those mysterious and long-debated years referred to in history texts as the Great Enigma, during which man must have evolved from primitive life-forms and yet had left no trace of that evolution anywhere on Ooombis.

Then he kissed her, his lips reaching for her and holding her. She clung to him, arms around his neck, pulling him ever closer to her, knowing what she needed above anything else in the enormity of space. Their lips parted and their kiss became more than just a kiss but an experience all by itself. Their flesh became united as tongues reached out and moved sensuously together, and their eyes closed.

And all the while the atomic motor hummed, thrusting them with steadily increasing speed towards the stars.

There you have, it, brethen. But, and don't castigate me for it because I think I had to, I've cut one small passage from the full text in order to preserve the innocence of any minors who may trespass this way. For the rest of you, all five volumes follow the journey of two alien gemstones through human history, and as can be seen from the above passage those gemstones contain imprisoned within their crystalline structure the warmth and depth of their original owners' passion whilst engaged in the act of love.

To go back to the Fiction page click here, or to find out more about this work click here