By Sp’Rark Boson, Special Reporter for the Martian Muckraker
Malach Zyren of the planet Pyronia nearly cried when she saw her image being projected over the C’ruluian capital’s skyline after the Hoverboard Grand Prix. A mere five years ago her own family had told her she was “an utter disgrace to our family and to all Pyronia.”
“From a very young age I had what my people call ‘Lunar Syndrome,’ so called because it was believed to be caused by being born under an unlucky moon. A great deal many things can cause ‘bad luck’ on Pyronia…I grew up there and I still can’t keep all the rules straight,” Malach says.
An antennae imbalance is what underlies so-called “Lunar Sickness,” more frequently called Antennae Driven Sensation Seeking Syndrome. Those who have this condition–sometimes considered a disorder and sometimes considered a blessing–crave exciting or unusual bodily thrills and have a nearly endless supply of energy.
“I couldn’t sit still in class and would often get beaten for it. I hated myself because I just couldn’t stop,” Malach recalls.
One day a distant relative, Malach’s uncle, Viryks Zar, offered to teach her how to fly a hoverboard. “When I learned to ride…when my energy finally had a place to go…I felt so so happy…something I had not felt in years,” Malach says. She would spend hours trying to achieve maximum G-forces and master reckless tricks.
“Zar would give me free fuel (which is very expensive on Pyronia) provided I delivered these brown little packages for him,” Malach says.
On one of her trips, Malach was shocked when several Pyronian Peacekeepers started shooting at her on her hoverboard. Desperate, Malach lead them on a chase that lasted several hours and eventually looped through the busiest districts of the Pyronian capital. Videos and holograms of the hoverboard chase went viral across the galaxy.
Eventually, the Peacekeeprs forced her surrender and revealed that her Uncle Zar had been using her to smuggle medical grade ring dust for months. They then arrested her as an accomplice. She was given no parole.
“I was…devastated,” Malach says, “I so wanted to believe that Uncle Zar was teaching me how to ride for my own good. But he was just using me to smuggle. Because of my energy levels, I did not and could not fit the Pyronian mold. No one in my family seemed to care.”
Malach’s chase, however, caught the attention of a famous hover board athlete Zavk Ivrodite. He flew to Pyronia and dropped a major bombshell: he too had once been diagnosed with “Lunar Syndrome” and had fallen into crime. He made an impassioned plea for Malach’s release and started an intergalactic controversy over the treatment of people with antennae irregularities on Pyronia. Interplanetary pressure eventually convinced the King of Pyronia to grant Malach amnesty. Her uncle has since gone into hiding and has never been caught or charged.
For awhile Malach joined Zavk on the hoverboard course, but not for long. She soon applied her talents to became a chief pilot for The Martian Muckraker‘s fleet.
“My life was saved because someone told their story. That’s why I wanted to get into news. I was saved by a story, and I sincerely believe that when the right stories are told society will be it’s best self.” Malach has flown hundreds of missions for The Martian Muckraker including several photo expeditions documenting battles between the Venomites and Liz’vilians.
She is still not welcomed in most parts of her home planet, but she does not plan to let that stop her from reaching for the stars.
Business: The finding of new tachyon-active crystal deposits have sent the stocks of the faster-than-light engine industry soaring.
Arts: Martian Commission for the Arts passed a resolution saying that low-tech theatre remains “as relevant than ever, even in an era of holograms.” A new staging of The Opera of the Purple Nebulae is being planned for next year.
From the Earthling Press: Anthony Kennedy and the Privatization of Meaning
Pictured, a Cldrinian enjoys The Martian Muckraker while on a space walk.
Earthlings, Camp NaNoWriMo starts soon!
For Immediate Publication via Hyperspace Tachyon Transmission Protocol