Causal Results – Chapter 1

Dorvakian Home World

4 Years 3 months 8 days Before C1764 FTL Jump

Looking across the grounds for several moment’s Silnersalkara tapped the table in front of her. The data controls embedded in the device quickly shut off and the hologram above its surface died.

“Kermarcus, I’m aware of the situation. The opposition’s been attempting to push this through for years. They are only proposing it publicly now because of the Emperor’s death. I have half a mind to call them on their despicable actions.”

[Marcus] looked at the Empress for several moment’s, “I would advise against that, they are taking advantage of the situation yes. We can do the same, their rhetoric statements are attempting to paint you as distraught with the Emperor’s passing. We simply need you to make a speech in a month reaffirming everything the Emperor had on his agenda. It would be a tragedy if in his passing those objectives were not fulfilled, that should cow the Opposition for at least the next several years. Attacking you after such a statement would be counterproductive.”

[Sil] let out a disgruntled sigh, “It is a blatant and disgraceful grab for power [Marcus]. My husband has been dead for only a week; the Empire is still in mourning. I am of half the mind to declare them traitors and have them executed.”

[Marcus] thinly smiled the humor not reaching his eyes, “As much as that would solve, it would only cause greater problems.”

[Sil] sighed and raising the small flute to her lips emptied the full glass in one smooth motion. “I can dream [Marcus]. It would be so simple.”

“[Rerald] and [Linel] in particular are the largest problem, they are the public face of this crusade, having them taken up on trumped up charges or even suffer accidents at this point will only give their movement further legitimacy. As much as it pains me, we should assign them extra security to ensure that such accidents do not occur.” [Marcus] took a more conservative draw from his own flute and set it back down on the table.

“We’ll not make a move against them outside of the Senate Chambers [Marcus], but I’m not going to give them anything, much less Imperial security. If they can’t protect themselves that’s their own fault.”

[Marcus] inclined his head, “Then I would suggest we fall back onto precedence. The Empire and the royal line has been blessed, this situation has not arisen in the last two thousand years. Or at least, not when the Emperor has been so young.”

[Sil] sighed, “[Marcus] you need not dance around the issue. The fact that my son is young is not contested, the fact is that I am not of the direct line. For me to rule in his stead is the main issue the opposition wishes to contest. I was a direct decedent like Empress Buenkara they would not be doing this, the fact that I have been active in my husband’s politics is what they fear. I will continue to promote his policies, and will not be easily dissuaded from doing so.”

[Marcus]’s lips twitched slightly in a small smile, “Indeed. There has not been such an active Imperial spouse since Emperor Ronval. His reign after the death of Derhekara is still credited to this day as one of the most prosperous, but he ruled as an advisor to his daughter. She was nearly [13 years] old when her mother died, your son is still an infant. He ruled through his daughter, she was the public face. Everyone knew he was helping her but the façade was enough to calm the purists.”

“It would not matter if [Vann] were older [Marcus] they would still be doing this. It is because of the new policies that both I and my Husband were promoting that they are doing this. Any drop in my ability to influence policy is a victory for them.”

[Sil] stood and bowed her head slightly. “I am tired. We are both talking in circles, thank you for aide [Marcus] but I am tired. We will reconvince and attempt to solve this once we are both rested.”

The man stood and quickly saluted placing his hand over his eye, “It is my pleasure Empress. I will return to the city proper and continue to try and rally additional support. At this point I’m going to have to call in some favors.”

[Sil] inclined her head, “Thank you.”

The man keeping his hand over his eye for another moment picked up his data tablet and walking away from the table motioned towards the servants whom were standing in the shade of the Palace awning.

[Sil] sat as two handmaidens dutifully approached and quickly refilled her flute. Looking across the grounds again as the sun continued to set the Empress of the Empire slowly tried to clear her mind.


The woman opened her eyes to look at her bodyguard, “Yes Il-Fredyit?”

“Your son has woken from his nap, and is making it very apparent that he wants you.”

[Sil] glanced at the setting sun, “So no one in the wing will be getting much sleep tonight.”

[Fred] smiled slightly and tapped her communicator, “I doubt it, if the young Emperor retains this lung capacity to adulthood I have no doubt he will be a great orator if that is any consolation.”

[Sil] nodded in agreement, and standing took a deep breath. “How is your nephew fairing?”

[Fred] barked out a short laugh, “I think he might be the only one who has had less sleep than you Empress, I fear I might have to sedate him. We have served the royal family for generations, but I cannot recall one who has been as highly strung as my nephew. He is vigilant and overprotective to a fault, I don’t think any of the staff have avoided his security screenings, I might need to temper his enthusiasm.”

“I’m not complaining.”

[Fred] nodded, “Not yet, I give it a month perhaps until you are a suspect for some convoluted assassination attempt on your own son. The boy is young and eager to prove himself.”

“I’m hoping he won’t need to.”

[Fred] opened the door leading into the Palace and nodded, “Not while on the grounds no.”

The Empress put a hand on the bodyguard’s shoulder, “Thank you, for everything these past few weeks. It is your duty but I am appreciative. You lost your Father, that is something that will need time to heal as well. If you need a break,”

[Fred] shook her head, “We have been protecting the royal blood line for as long as it has existed. I don’t think anyone in my bloodline can relax without having the Emperor and Empress in a bunker surrounded by the entire standing army. Then only enough to sleep with one eye closed.”

[Sil] patted the woman once more on the shoulder and walking down the hall of the quickly found herself once again alone with only the professional staff, [Fred] pulling her usual disappearing trick. [Sil] motioned at one of the handmaidens.

The woman, who had been dutifully waiting along the corridor stepped forwards towards the Empress. Her skin tone was marginally lighter than that of her Dorvakian ruler, and her head was shaved instead of naturally bald.

“Inform the kitchen that I’ll be having dinner in my office.”

The woman bowed her head, “Yes Empress.”

Continuing through the halls of the ancient building [Sil] heard the cries of her child from several rooms away. Resisting the urge to quicken her pace, mollified only by the fact that she could identify the different cries of the infant [Sil] walked towards his room. The infant was seeking attention, and despite the little time she had able to give him since his birth and the Emperor’s death following only weeks after his birth she was still the only person who could truly calm him when he was particularly fussy.

[Sil] took some pleasure from that fact, despite her own lack of attention the infant still knew his Mother.

Opening the door to the infant’s chambers, [Sil] was treated to the sight of the Il-Reece snapping to attention his hand moving to the weapon at his waist. His hand already on the weapon even as the door opened the young protector quickly moved his hand away and remained otherwise impassive.

The protectors were not expected to make any greetings, bowing or saluting would mean dropping their vigilance. The Handmaiden tending to the young Prince glanced up far more slowly than the trained protector and let out a small sigh.

“Empress, I’m sorry he is,”

The young child in her arms and in a disheveled green tunic with a small amount of bile on it let out another wail signaling to all his displeasure with the current situation.

[Sil] held her hands out and the Handmaiden quickly deposited the child in her arms. Almost instantly quieting [Sil] rocked the child.

“He has just been fed,” warned the woman as she started to quickly reorganize what little had been moved out of place in the last few minutes as she tended to him.

“Thank you for the warning.”

Raising the now content child up slightly holding his head even as he tried to look around for himself the Empress continued to rock him back and forth. Barely fussing the infant slowly settled onto his mother’s chest and need for attention apparently fulfilled promptly fell asleep again.

[Sil] smiled down at her child and slowly walked out of the room that was his and keeping away from the last rays of light streaming in through the windows of the long hallway made her way to her office.

[Reece] moving as silently as his aunt carefully opened the door for her and stepped into the room first. His eyes quickly sweeping the room the younger bodyguard slipped into the shadows of the room and settled into his ready stance.

Swaying and offering the infant a small coo at every jostle the Empress slowly settled into her chair and for several moments only continued to rock her son back and forth. Letting her façade drop slightly [Sil] clutched at the child more tightly and let out a long sigh.

She had always been in the higher echelons of power, always known she was going to be making important decisions. Always knew that she would have to play the political games that were as dangerous as any battlefield.

The last few years, since the end of the last civil war. Had been a whirlwind of activity and changes. She had expected to perhaps meet the Emperor at social events, perhaps even get to know him on a personal level. The prospect of becoming the Empress though, had only ever been a fantasy. Not that her own family didn’t encourage it. The last crossing with the royal family had been centuries ago and had been at the height of her families power.

Even so, the proposal, the marriage, the child, the Emperor’s death it all still seemed like a dream horrible and fantastic at once. She knew what she was supposed to do, what was expected of her. That did not make any of it easier.

A soft knock on the door stirred her from her reverie.

“Your dinner Empress,” two Handmaidens as quietly as possible rolled the small cart of food into the room.

“Come back in an hour to collect it.”

The two women picking up on the dismissal quickly paid their respects and retreated from the room. Reacting to the noise and done with his nap [Vann] blinked and looked up at his mother. She looked back down at her son, keeping him in her lap as she pulled the latest economic reports up on her desk.

Dorvakian Home World

4 Years 3 months 6 days Before C1764 FTL Jump

[Sil] stepped out of the transport and looked at the crowd of her subjects lining the path to the Majestic Light.

“The Imperial will be complete in three months Empress; you can reasonably postpone the tour until then. It could be her maiden journey.”

“[Marcus] it is only [two weeks]. You and the other Senators like to think you wield all the power, but you and I both know that the Regents control the outer sectors. This tour has been scheduled for [five years]. I have mourned, I will not let the Empire fall apart because of this. We have faced greater hardships in the past,” [Sil] paused and looked at the man, “If you are so concerned you could accompany me.”

The Senator gave her a thin smile, “I have nothing packed for a trip. Believe me I would be happy to shake hands and pose for appearances. You could stay her and handle the senate.”

[Sil] paused, the entourage around her paused as well. Turning she put a hand on the man’s shoulder. “I do appreciate your work [Marcus]. You have always been more adept in negotiations; I need you here more than ever now.”

Stepping back from the man the Empress briefly raised her hand to her eye, [Marcus] quickly snapped into a mirrored salute.

“I will work to ensure your faith is not misplaced.”

[Sil] lowered her hand.

“Check in on little [Vann] as well if you have a chance. I loathe to leave him here,”

“The royal family is already in precarious enough a state as it is, having the both of you on a single ship even with the rest of the fleet in tow would be dangerous,” said [Marcus] looking apologetic.

“I know. I am a mother though, and I have no intention of leaving the entirety of my son’s education to the staff. The Emperor was similarly dedicated. He rarely saw his own parents and I similarly only interacted with my Father when it suited him. He and I promised one another to never do that to our son.”

[Marcus] nodded, “It is the pattern, I approve of it with young [Vann]. My own father was busy, but like what you are trying to do he always ensured he had time for me. I’m only sad I didn’t avail myself of his council while I had the chance.”

[Sil] nodded her head again, “We either want to be our parents, or nothing like them.”

“May I quote that in about a [decade] when our young Emperor is beginning to gain autonomy?”

[Sil] winced, “You do that and I’ll make sure you get to be a Regent for the next planet we clear of class C.”

“Might be worth it.”

[Sil] let out a noncommittal grunt and moving away from the man continued down the carpeted path and past the citizens who were collected on either side watching as she moved towards the ship.

The crowd’s volume grew as she approached the ramp leading up into the vessel, and the Empress carefully waved at her subjects as she calmly walked through them. To many this would be the only time they saw her in person, the population of class A citizens of the Empire was near 90 billion. Most could not expect to ever even catch a glimpse of the Royal family. Much less the nearly 600 billion class B citizens within the Empire’s domain.

The Captain of the Majestic Light saluted as [Sil] stepped up to the airlock of the ship. She was old, nearly 200 years old at this point which was why the Imperial was being slated to replace her. The Captain was old like the ship, but he and his crew had served with her husband.

“At ease Captain.”

The man slowly lowered his hand, “We will be ready to depart on your order Ma’am,” he hesitated, “I offer condolences for the death of your husband.”

[Sil] placed a hand on the man’s shoulder, he remained still.

“Thank you Captain. He always spoke highly of you and your crew, please pass that along.”

Taking her hand away from him and turning to the crowd now slightly below her [Sil] raised a hand and waved at her subjects before stepping into the airlock and through both open doors into the ships corridors.

The Captain quickly followed along with [Fred] and [Sil]’s other aides.

“As soon as we are safely able to depart Captain.”

The man bowed his head slightly and palming his Comm began to quickly issue orders.

[Sil] carefully walked to one of the corridor high windows as she felt the slight pull of the artificial gravity activate and the inertial stabilization systems came online. It felt like a small static charge was building up, but was otherwise unnoticeable.

The Majestic Light slowly began to rise away from the crowd, [Sil] stood at the window watching as the thousands of faces were quickly reduced to a smattering of color on the planet’s surface. Looking to the [West] [Sil] caught a faint glimpse of green, the Imperial estate. Watching it even as the ship began to accelerate towards orbital velocities and the green patch slipped below the horizon the Empress continued to carefully examine the planet.

Her entire life had been about gaining power, if not becoming Empress than becoming wife to a powerful Senator. It was what her family had been doing for generations. Despite the power she had, and the influence she wielded. None of it compared to the calm of holding her son.

The ship shuddered and the starlight was smeared across the blackness of space in spattering’s of red and blue as the twisted space around the ship compressed and expanded the space around it.

“Empress?” asked [Fred].

“I’m fine.”

[Sil] turned and looked at one of the handmaiden’s who was also silently waiting behind her.

“I want a meeting with all of the staff in [twenty minutes] we need to start going over the dossier for the first Regent.”

“Yes Empress.”

Majestic Light

4 Years 3 months 2 days Before C1764 FTL Jump

Relaxing into the tub of warm water [Sil] let out a groan.

“This was a horrible idea.”

[Fred] sitting in the corner of the bathroom glanced up, “You miss [Vann]?”

“Even if he was not perfect at least an infant will only cry, these Regents are grating. Ruling over their little planets they are hardly subtle in their lusts for more power, the Senators are at lest intelligent enough to mask their ambition.”

The Empress raised her hands and shook them in frustration.

“They have control of one planet, and they think that gives them the right to become Senators. Regent [Tollins] tried to bribe today at the parting dinner, for a seat on the Senate! He did not seem to grasp that as much as I would wish it I have no control over the Senate! And even if I did that I would not appoint him!”

[Fred] smiled and leaned back in her chair, “The outer planets are always like this Empress. Forgive me, but the type of leader who can turn a primitive class B into something civilized within a [century] is different from those who serve on the Senate. Doubly so for the class C worlds.”

[Sil] groaned, “There is a difference between confidence in leadership and arrogance. You can be a perfectly competent leader and not be a gemig!”

“That is something few in the senate have learned. Don’t pretend this is a problem inherent to the Regents,” the bodyguard tapped her lip several times thinking, “It is confidence, take our ship’s Captain for example.”

“The largest gemig of them all.”

[Fred] smiled but continued, “True but in a difference sense. He has the confidence of those he commands, and it shows. Few Regents ever earn the confidence and approval of those they bring into the Empire. The Captain knows he is right, and is not afraid to tell you. Would you rather he try to bribe you?”

“He still could have made the detour for the nebula,” grumbled [Sil].

“It was not on the flight plan, and his ultimate duty is ensuring your safety while you are on board. If you feel the need to have him demoted because of this I don’t think he will complain. He also knows that if he does deviate from the flight plan I will emasculate him at the very least.”

[Sil] chuckled, “You’re both the same type of gemig then. My title doesn’t scare you like it does with the Regents. As powerful as they wish to think they are, they have only a single planet.”

“Correct. Do you know the history of Hessal?”

[Sil] sat up in the tub slightly, confused by the change in topic. “Fourth world brought into the Empire, other than that the last [hundred] years of policy and economics. Why?”

“Before the citizens were class A, they were on the cusp of becoming class C. The first eight Regents were assassinated in a span of less than a [decade]. It nearly derailed the early expansion of the Empire.”

“Really?” [Sil] had difficulty thinking of one of the oldest and most prosperous worlds of the Empire rivaling even the Home world as ever being anything less than such. True it had been a few thousand years, but it was difficult for her to imagine.

“Those early days were difficult, there was no option to brute force the development of the planet. So, the Emperor at the time, overruling the Senate placed one of the class B in charge of the planet. He gave the man five [years] to show improvement. Within less than [three] the man had most of the objectives complete. The man had no built himself somewhere comfortable to rule from. He was in fact still living in the refugee camp at the end of the allotted time. His people were still poor, the world still developing. However, his people were all at the same level. No one was in luxury, no one was in poverty. The man had never requested military aide, and within another [decade] the planet was beginning to contribute to the Empire.”

[Sil] was silent for several moments.

“So, the Regents the Senate picks are bad choices? We should appoint class B’s in charge of bringing their own worlds into the Empire?”

[Fred] chuckled, “It’s been tried, most end in rebellions from the class B or the same situation as with the Class A Regents. As selfish and nepotistic as the Senate’s picks are do you see any of the Senator’s sons’ and daughters inciting active rebellion?”

“No,” [Sil] thought and with a sigh stood up and moved out of the tub and the lukewarm water. Pulling a robe onto herself she strode into her bed chamber.

“So let the spoiled brats enjoy their fiefdoms, they eventually get things done.”

“More often than not, some planets do end up so mismanaged they stagnate but that is rare. Even a stagnating planet offer’s no threat of rebellion and will eventually improve when someone competent is given control.”

[Sil] lay down on her bed, “Any attempts to assign competent rulers to the outer worlds and the Senators sabotage it. Any attempts to funnel additional resources to the outer planets and the citizens rebel. All while the class B’s on the outer worlds struggle to meet their own taxes. The only ray of hope most of them have is that I take personal interest in their particular world and funnel what resources I have indiscriminate control over to them, or a competent Regent is appointed to their world.”

[Fred] settled into her preferred chair in the corner of the room.

“It is an issue, and one that has been expressed for several generations.”

[Sil] growled out several curses, “I’m starting to understand why some of the Royals retreat into doing nothing but ceremony. Nothing I do in my life is going to make any impact, and I’m supposed to be the most powerful person in the Empire!”

“Then you do what your own parents did, make sure your child can finish your work.”

[Sil] gave the bodyguard a quizzical look.


“When you were first assigned to me I thought you were going to be like every other bodyguard my Father had ever assigned to me. You’re actually smart.”

“My family has been protecting the Royal family since before we left the home world. A solider can rely on brute strength. A protector must be able to prevent harm. That requires some intelligence.”

[Sil] chuckled, turning she dimmed the lights in the cabin and settled in to try and sleep.

Dorvakian Home World

4 Years 2 months 27 days Before C1764 FTL Jump

Stepping out of the conference room [Sil] rubbed at the sides of her head to try and alleviate the headache the was building.

“Do you need anything Empress?” asked one of the handmaidens trailing her.

[Sil] weakly smiled at the girl, “Believe it or not though running an Empire of 3,023 planets is somewhat stressful,” [Sil] paused as the girl returned a weak smile.

“A cup of that tea from the last Regent gifted would be nice.”

The girl turned and quickly disappeared.

“You hated that tea,” said [Fred] from beside her.

“I hated the taste. It was a stimulant and quite a strong one at that. If I’ve got this headache and it’s not even lunch. Ughh.”

The ship shook and [Sil] stumbled to the floor.

“Captain report!” growled [Fred] even before [Sil] had collected herself enough to see the bodyguard offering her a hand to get back up.

“We are experiencing slight engine trouble. We’ve switched to auxiliary engine control, and there is nothing,”

A loud whine echoed through ship and the artificial gravity fluctuated for a moment, [Sil] and everyone else who had never experienced space combat felt their stomachs performing uncomfortable flips. The communication channel connected to the bridge remained open.

“Drop us out, now! Nearest beacon I don’t care what it’s labeled as!”

The Majestic Light once again shuddered, and the red blue streaks of light outside the porthole momentarily blinked away. The modified field of space-time allowing the ship to skirt the laws of physics strained to its limits nearly pinching off from reality.

The stars snapped back into shards of brilliant relief in the next moment a blur as the ship continued to spin.

“Report! Weapons? What!”

“Captain Report!” snapped [Fred].

“Abandon Ship, get the Empress off this ship now! Get her off now! Eject the reactor, cut the power, stop charging the weapon capacitors!” shouted the Captain.

[Sil] eyes wide and only having just recovered to get back to her feet looked at the bodyguard.

“I’m not,”

The bodyguard stalked forwards, and grabbing the Empresses upper arm dragged the woman towards one of the hatches on the outer perimeter of the corridor.

“You are.”

[Sil] opened her mouth to argue, the conference room she had exited only moments ago exploded spraying shrapnel and bodies into the corridor. The crew members directly across from the door were thrown against the walls of transparent metal of the hull producing gut wrenching crunching sounds on impact.

[Fred] grunted and turned, her hand still on [Sil]’s upper arm.

Reaching the first emergency hatch [Fred] slammed her hand into the control panel above it.

“Transmit the reports! Damn it all, kill the power! Then destroy it!”

The hatch opened and [Fred] unceremoniously pushed the still reeling Empress into the small vehicle.

“Protector, maximum acceleration! Someone has activated all weapons on my ship, they will detonate in twenty seconds!”

“Understood Captain!”

[Sil] running on autopilot, moving through the motions that had been drilled into her from birth was strapping herself into the acceleration chair of the small pod. The designs were standard across the Empire and harkened back to the earliest days of spaceflight. Small cramped, but tough and efficient.

“[Fred]! We can’t!”

The bodyguard leapt forwards, and pulling up the cover on the control panel of the vehicle hit the emergency launch.

The small chemical charges holding the pod in place beneath the hull of the Majestic Light detonated, the ancient solid rocket motors holding the craft in place ignited.

The Empress was pushed back into the acceleration chair as the craft rocket out of the tube at nearly ten g’s the pod. [Fred] not in one of the other acceleration chairs slammed into the rear of the small pod as it accelerated into the space she had been occupying.

Untrained [Sil] quickly lost consciousness as the more conventional rocket engines flared to life and added to the acceleration.

[Fred] conscious only due to her training, and already knowing she was moments from passing out in any case saw the explosion reflected in the clear metal of the pods cockpit.

Unable to do anything else the bodyguard joined the Empress in unconsciousness.

[Sil] winced and opened her eyes to the blaring lights and alarm inside the small craft. Realizing that she was floating it took the Empress and ruler of the Empire a moment to orient herself.


Twisting in the air [Sil] turned towards the small back half of the escape pod, where filling what little space was available in the small vessel was her Protector. Her usual pristine armor was cracked burned, blood was drifting in the air around her.


Grabbing the medical kit that was strapped to the wall the Empress pushed off the small seat and into the back half of the vessel.

“Where are you hurt, we need to stop this bleeding.”

“Ma’am, you are injured as well. We must treat your own wounds.”

[Sil] frowned and glancing down at her own tunic, a small blotch of blood on her shoulder the only evidence of injury. Reaching into her clothing [Sil] felt at the wound and wincing slightly shook her head.

“It is nothing. Now, stop moving and let me look at you.”


“Are you going to disobey the Empress, Protector?”

A smile twitched at the corner of [Fred]’s face for the briefest moment before it was replaced by a grimace of pain.


“Then shut up and let’s see how much emergency training I remember.”

Ripping the package apart and fishing out the emergency clotting agent [Sil] glanced up, “I’m going to have to remove your shirt,”

[Fred] grabbed at the hem of her uniform and quickly ripped it where the cloth was embedded in the wound pulling it away from the wound. She flinched but otherwise remained silent, her features flushing as she restrained her cry of pain.

[Sil] grimaced at the wound, examining it for only a moment before she pressed the clotting agent down on it.

“You’ve got something embedded in your abdomen.”

Grabbing [Fred] by her shoulders [Sil] quickly spun her around in the air and frowned at the smaller splotch of blood on the back of her uniform.

“Which has gone almost completely through you.”

“Remove it, and pump as much rapid clotting agent we have in that kit into me. I’m going to pass out when you remove the object.”

[Sil] grimaced but turned her gaze up, “I thought you were taught to handle pain.”

“I was taught to withstand torture. The object during such activities is to not let a subject pass out, they don’t feel anything when they’re unconscious.”

“Lovely. I’ll remember that next time I feel the need to torture a Senator.”

[Fred] looked at the Empress for a moment her hand quickly snapping out to stop her, “You do know that this wasn’t an accident,”

[Sil] slowly nodded her head, “I’m not a starship engineer, but I did think it incredibly unlikely that the FTL system would suffer a quadruple failure and the weapons systems on the ship all overcharged at once. That was the sound, right? And the only thing that could have cause those explosions were overloading capacitors.”

“You’re not an engineer?” asked [Fred].

“I was curious as a child. The explosions from combat logs were particularly interesting. I couldn’t tell you any of the math behind the explosions, but it’s easy to identify the source of most. Had that been an explosive we wouldn’t be here. The capacitors for as much power as they hold remarkably do not want to explode very much.”

[Sil] wrapped her hand in a piece of the guard’s torn uniform and reaching to her abdomen carefully placed her hand around the object and braced.

“The Empress, able to identify the different types of ship explosions. That is not,”

[Sil] jerked, interrupting [Fred]. The trained woman let out a gurgled keen before going limp as [Sil] quickly examined the piece of metal before tossing it away. Grabbing at the kit and extracting one of the sealants the Empress quickly pressed it to the hole in her Protectors abdomen sealing the wound.

Spinning around to the other side and pressing the sealant to her back [Sil] let out a small breath of relief. Breathing for several minutes trying to calm herself the Empress looked around the pod.


Translation Note: Gemig Asshole, Renf Fuck

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Mother Earth. She’s a bitch. A hard ass bitch who tortured every form of life that she brought forth onto her surface. Every life form on her surface had to fight, feed and fuck. After that she didn’t care about what happened, only that they had improved on themselves perhaps a little bit. Life on

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Nyx fired off another shot from her rifle and the Prod nearly 800 meters down the street jerked and ducked into an ally. She frowned and sharpened her gaze on the point where the purple mass had disappeared, looking for the telltale red fragments on the pavement. “More of ’em?” asked Iyo, he was whispering

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Adam, Artemis, Atlas, & Icarus Part 2

The data streams slammed into me. With practiced ease, I pushed them aside and forced myself to view the data from afar. To not see it as billions of lines of code, but rather as the small white room that any other human would see. Floating in the center of that white room was Artemis,

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Adam, Artemis, Atlas, & Icarus Part 1

0 days Adam “You’re insane.” “Your point is what?” She rolled her eyes and tightened the straps holding me to the chair. “The point is that someone who can’t move shouldn’t really be this snippy.” She gestured at the plethora of medical equipment around us. “I’m sure I can do some interesting things with all

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Waters of Babylon – Tikkun Olam Part 1

For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper and of the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his pinions, and under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and a bulwark. —Psalm 93: 3-4 Date Point: 14Y 3M AV Office of Rabbi Uwriy Walden New

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Causal Results – Chapter 6: Squeaking By

Bellona 9 Years, 7 Months, 28 Days After Eridani Landing “We can do it!” Bemusement. Tinner cocked his head from his potion on the foot of her bunk. “We failed during the simulation, and that was with the entire class. How will the two of us complete the simulation alone?” Mary rolled her two eyes

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Date Point: 14Y 2M 1W 5D AV The Thing, Folctha, Cimbrean Sister Naydra It was with some trepidation that Naydra attended a Meeting of Mothers. By all accounts, this was a continuation of a previous Meeting, which wasn’t so unusual—such Meetings were rare and never called for simple reasons that could be easily resolved. What

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Date point: 14y 9m 2w 1d AV Trail hiking, Lakebeds National Park, west of Foltcha, Cimbrean Hayley Tisdale Julian had been quite firm that he wouldn’t do a sweat lodge or anything like that. She understood, there was some controversy about cultural appropriation and all that nonsense, and Julian seemed like he’d rather not be

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Causal Results – Chapter 5

Ruck, Willinkree Year 3042 Day 35 “No! Let go of me!” shouted [Sil] as she struggled to break the brute’s hold. The class C stared dumbly back at her, glaring at him [Sil] pulled at her bonds and sat down on the ground unable to make them even budge in the large alien’s hands. On

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Waters of Babylon – Tzedakah Part 2

Date Point: 14Y 1M AV The Thing, Folctha, Cimbrean A Meeting of Mothers was much like a Conclave of Champions, and it was only coincidence that both terms alliterated nicely in English. Neither was terribly common, and both were typically invoked by their various constituencies to deal with an issue bigger than any one constituent

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For He will instruct His angels in your behalf, to guard you in all your ways. They will carry you in their hands, lest you hurt your foot on a rock. You will tread upon the lion and the viper; you will trample upon the young lion and the serpent —Psalm 91 Date Point: 14Y

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Good Training – Survival Part 9

Date point: 14y 9m 1d AV Planet Akyawentuo, The Ten’Gewek Protectorate, Near 3Kpc Arm Meeting of Given-Men Yan Given-Man “When will Jooyun return and take the Rite of Manhood?” Yan mopped some of the sweat from his crest and loosened up his crushing grip on his challengers. “Soon,” he said confidently. “Soon.” Fall was almost

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Causal Results – Chapter 4

Species C543 System 4 Years 2 months 23 days Before C1764 FTL Jump “Ma’am.” [Sil] tried to turn away from the noise and tried to remain in the blissful realm of unconsciousness. “Ma’am!” [Sil] forced her eyes open and let out a low groan of pain. [Fred] was next to her on the ground, her

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Good Training – Survival Part 8

Date point: 14y 9m 1d AV Total Combat Fitness, southwest Folctha, Cimbrean Mid-morning Dr. Marc Tisdale Marc was, at heart, a gentle man. He had love for most everyone he met and refused to hold anger for anyone or anything unless they had truly, irrevocably earned it. That said, he was still a man and

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Causal Results – Chapter 3

Species C543 System 4 Years 2 months 27 days Before C1764 FTL Jump [Sil] looked at the controls for the pod and slowly shook her head, “This is not good.” [Fred] only able to operate because of the minimal effort needed to move around in zero-g drifted forwards, “I would agree, but what is the

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 56: Dataquake Part 5

Date Point: 16y3m1w Memorial Concourse, Old Commune of the Clan of Females, City of Wi Kao, Planet Gao Mother Shoua There were days when Shoua missed the old commune, at the other end of the city. The new commune was larger, more modern and much more secure of course but… …But the old one had

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 56: Dataquake Part 4

Date Point: 16y3m1w Folctha, Cimbrean, the Far Reaches Ramsey Buehler Ramsey didn’t think he’d ever get used to being one of the cool kids at school. Actually, just going to school was kinda weird after all the home schooling he and Tristan had had back on Earth, but whenever he and his brother had got

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Henosis – Chapter 4

“Hey, that’s my suit!” A naked Gaoian fell on the Hunter from the tree above, landing on the sextupedal predator’s back. The impact was enough to stagger the creature, and Keegi was nearly thrown off. The claws of one paw extended, sinking into the Hunter’s glossy flesh as he held on as hard as he

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 56: Dataquake Part 3

Date Point: 16y3m6d HMS Sharman (HMNB Folctha), Cimbrean, the Far Reaches Technical Sergeant Adam “Warhorse” Arés “Firth, I gotta ask ‘ya something.” Per Colonel Powell’s standing orders, they had the rest of the day off for individual training time after a mission. Adam always took maximum advantage, but some of the other operators might use

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Causal Results – Chapter 2

First Landing Earth, Florida, Launch pad 39A April 12, 2033 “Ignition Sequence start, five, four, three, two, one, lift off!” The crowds several miles away from the historic launch pad watched as the craft slowly began to move up into the atmosphere. Almost an homage to the craft that had taken Humans to the moon

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Good Training – Survival Part 7

Date point: 14y 8m 2w 2d AV The Dog House, Folctha, Cimbrean Late afternoon Julian Etsicitty Agony. If Adam had a singular talent that stood out, it would have to be his supernatural ability to give his training victims some very dramatic results by inflicting insane amounts of pain. Julian both dreaded and eagerly anticipated

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Henosis – Chapter 3

Virtrew had been relaxing in the starboard docking array. He’d been feeling inspired and creative for the past ten-day… it was too late to alter the structure of the current station, but he had ideas for the next. He was off-shift, so he’d picked up his data tablet, a bowl full of Vzk’tk salad, and

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 56: Dataquake Part 2

Date Point: 16y3m6d η Ithacae, 94.9° 12-GERBER-UNARY G2V III, “Heafield” Technical Sergeant Adam “Warhorse” Arés Every now and then, Adam had a day where every little thing went so well and he found himself firing on all cylinders so perfectly, he could feel right in his big ol’ slab of a chest that exact same

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 56: Dataquake Part 1

Date Point: 16y3m5d AV Hierarchy/Cabal Joint Communications session #1772 ++0010++: Proximal’s continued absence is a source of concern, and investigating has been forced to take a low priority by other operations. His last known activity was in an Irujzen-1-adjacent sub-lucid volume. ++0004++: Irujzen? Why was he all the way out there? That’s a backwater! ++0022++:

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Henosis – Chapter 2

The mess hall on the station was a cavernous space on one of the mid-decks in the core, overlooking the long central shaft. It was a temporary arrangement… once the station was near-complete, a merchant or restaurateur would be enticed into setting up a proper dining area, whereupon the space would be converted in whatever

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 55: Reinvention Part 5

Date Point: 16y3m5d AV Planet Rauwryhr, The Rauwryhr Republic, Perseus Arm Ambassador Sir Patrick Knight Rauwran Great Trees were… They were quite a thing to behold. Each one was as thick around at the base as a cricket ground, and soared up and up and up until their canopy was an invisible dark haze high

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Henosis – Chapter 1

[2yr 1m AV] Trrkitzzkt L’tr’brtrk’tr quietly filed away the video files of the interviews he’d completed, queuing a copy to be sent via the station’s normal data exchange to his personal archive, in addition to the backup copy he kept on his personal data tablet. Both were encrypted with the strongest algorithms the investigator had

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 55: Reinvention Part 4

Date Point: 16y3m AV Planet Akyawentuo, Ten’Gewek Protectorate, Near 3Kpc Arm Yan Given-Man “I like these Core-tie.” “You do? Why the change of heart?” When the ‘del-a-gay-shun’ had returned, there was of course much eagerness to learn the news. Yan was very happy to tell everyone they would be getting vack-seens from the Core-tie as

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Good Training – Survival Part 6

Date point: 14y 8m AV Residence of the Great Father of the Gao, Folctha, Cimbrean Sister Naydra The months on Cimbrean had been…therapeutic. She found herse lf greatly appreciating the Female presence on the Human’s first colony world, and everything it stood for: stability, acceptance. Survival. The Humans had done so much to support the

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 55: Reinvention Part 3

Date Point: 16y3m AV USS Robert A. Heinlein, Akyawentuo Orbit, the Ten’Gewek Protectorate, Near 3Kpc Arm Third Director Tran Some of the other Directors had expressed reservations when Tran had informed them he was taking Nofl along to the meeting with the Ten’Gewek. He’d invested some of their trust and patience by reassuring them that

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 55: Reinvention Part 2

Date Point: 16y2m3w AV Hierarchy/Cabal Joint Communications session #1722 ++0008++: In summary, the infiltration of Sol means the operation was a success, though not an unqualified one. We have four Injunctors on Earth, and a further two in the outer system, but the new Arutech biodrones appear to be an abject failure. The Cimbrean infiltration

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Rising Titans – Chapter 51 (End)

9 Years, 7 Months, 2 Days After Eridani Landing Chront Leaning down and putting her head to the table Stagg yawned. “Try the tea,” repeated Derrick sounding just as exhausted as she felt. The Captain turned to look at the engineer and then at the small pot on the table. “I did. Taste’s like mold.”

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 55: Reinvention Part 1

Date Point: 16y2m3w AV Folctha, Cimbrean, the Far Reaches Daar, Great Father of the Gao “Hey, this ain’t a bad little house at all!!” Daar followed in behind Gorku, who was carrying a completely exhausted Leemu on his back and had to mind his steps. “Humans know how to build houses arright,” he agreed. “Maybe

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 54: Here Be Dragons Part 6

Date Point: 16y2m2w1d AV Planet Akyawentuo, Ten’Gewek Protectorate, Near 3Kpc Arm Vemik Sky-Thinker One of the Human archaeologists was a metallurgist. Tilly was a strange and delicate name that didn’t suit her at all, Vemik thought. She had a sharp face full of metal piercings, skin full of bright pictures, and a half-shaven crest of

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Good Training – Survival Part 5

Date point: 14y 2m 3w 4d AV SOR barracks, HMS Sharman, Folctha, Cimbrean, The Far Reaches Meanwhile… Brother Faarek (Southpaw) of Clan Whitecrest–SOR “Are you sure you want to do this, Brother?” “Yes,” Thurrsto said with absolute conviction. “She’s the most beautiful Female I’ve ever seen and she’s hurting. I can’t bear doing nothing.” Faarek

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 54: Here Be Dragons Part 5

ESNN Magazine article: “Prisons In Their Head- an interview at Camp Tebbutt” Author and photographer: Ava Magdalena Ríos [Cover image: two men seated on a bench in front of a chain-link fence, with a stunning Alaskan vista behind them. On the left is a scruffy bearded white man with shaggy salt-and-pepper hair, and next to

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Rising Titans – Chapter 50

+15 Minutes The Canada “Can this thing fly?” Shouted Pankin as a rattling howl began to echo through the ship, the crew members on what was now the ceiling tightening their straps as objects that had been floating began to rattle on the floor as the ship dove deeper into the atmosphere of the planet.

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 54: Here Be Dragons Part 4

Date Point: 16y2m2w AV Weaver dropship, Rich Plains contact volume, Kwmbwrw Great Houses TSgt Timothy “Tiny” Walsh All throughout the ordeal of becoming HEAT and finally earning the Mass, the one thing running through Walsh’s head was that one day, he too would serve at their level. Do the mission like none other. Walk through

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 54: Here Be Dragons Part 3

Date Point: 16y2m1w5d AV Camp Tebbutt Biodrone Internment Facility, Yukon-Koyukuk, Alaska, USA, Earth Ava Ríos “You ever rode a helicopter before, Ava?” Ava jumped, and looked away from the window. She’d been enjoying the view. It was her first trip to Alaska, and the thing that struck her as she’d watched the landscape rolling by

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 54: Here Be Dragons Part 2

Date Point: 16y2m1w2d AV Gaoian embassy, Alien Quarter, Folctha, Cimbrean, the Far Reaches Daar, Great Father of the Gao There was shit to catch up with. Stuff to read, stuff to make decisions on, stuff to be briefed on in case he had to make a decision later… At first Daar did his best to

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Good Training – Survival Part 4

Date point: 14y 2m 1w AV Planet Akyawentuo, The Ten’Gewek Protectorate, Near 3Kpc Arm Singer “So, if we salt the roots in boiling water with some herbs, and use a very tight…what was the word?” [“Jar,”] Julian said encouragingly. “—And then we boil the whole jar with the lid on loose, so the bad spirits

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Rising Titans – Chapter 49

+10 Minutes The Singer [Vann] stood in the center of the bridge the three-dimensional hologram showing the entirety of his fleet as well as the surrounding space. The cubic formation was going to be tested now, up to this point the only gauge of effectiveness was how [Charles] had reacted to it in simulations. He

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 54: Here Be Dragons Part 1

Date Point: 16y2m5d AV Planet Akyawentuo, Ten’Gewek Protectorate, Near 3Kpc Arm Xiù Chang Yan was having to explain himself. It wasn’t that the men who’d come out to hunt the Brown One were disappointed, exactly. None of them had been looking forward to the battle at all. They all knew the stories of how many

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 53: The Wild Hunt Part 6

Date Point: 16y2m4d AV Planet Akyawentuo, the Ten’gewek Protectorate, Near 3Kpc Arm Julian Etsicitty Daar caught up with them about an hour after Xiù called ahead to let them know he was coming. A lot had happened in that hour. Yan had laid out his bibtaws in a kind of scent lure, some distance out

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 53: The Wild Hunt Part 5

Date Point: 16y2m3d AV Gaoian embassy, Alien Quarter, Folctha, Cimbrean, the Far Reaches Daar, Great Father of the Gao People who didn’t know Daar all that well thought he had a pathological aversion to Civilized pursuits. Not true at all! Daar had always enjoyed history, writing, and the more subtle arts of courtship, and he

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 53: The Wild Hunt Part 4

Date point: 16y2m3d AV Planet Akyawentuo, the Ten’Gewek Protectorate, Near 3Kpc Arm Daniel “Chimp” Hoeff Julian had a habit of singing in the woods. Not loud, exactly, and Hoeff wasn’t even sure he was totally conscious he was doing it, but loud enough to hear. Apparently it kept critters from blundering into them that might

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Rising Titans – Chapter 48

+ 7 Minutes 38 Seconds The Canada “Captain, your message?” asked Arik as her Avatar superimposed itself over the main monitor. “Surrender now, call off the fighters and we’ll let you live. Then we can begin to negotiate for an end to this pointless violence.” “That’s it?” asked Arik after a moment. “Unless anyone else

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Good Training – Survival Part 3

Date point: 14y 1m 2w AV “Clan Young Glory,” western unincorporated territories, Gao Sister Naydra Naydra and her fellow Sisters were slowly dying. The “Clan” that had “liberated” them from the clutches of what they now knew were biodrones had decided their honored guests needed “protection.” Their so-called protection consisted of imprisonment. Their “protection fees”

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 53: The Wild Hunt Part 3

Date point: 16y2m3d AV Planet Akyawentuo, the Ten’Gewek Protectorate, Near 3Kpc Arm Professor Daniel Hurt “What exactly did he say he’s fetching, anyway?” “An M107.” Daniel frowned. Although he’d learned more about firearms in general over the past few years than he’d ever imagined he would, there were times that the people who really “got”

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 53: The Wild Hunt Part 2

Date Point: 16y2m1d AV Chiune Station, Folctha, Cimbrean, the Far Reaches Allison Buehler Allison hadn’t slept well in a couple of nights. It wasn’t that she begrudged Julian and Xiù going offworld, not at all, but it did disrupt the sense of familiarity that made home, well… Home. If she didn’t have her brothers to

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Rising Titans – Chapter 47

+ 30 Seconds The Canada “The Empire ships are now in range of the ACE field!” reported Arik. Stagg grimaced as the ship shook “Activate,” “New contact!” shouted Arik interrupting. “What?” “IFF is identifying the vessel as the HSB Russia, they just exited a spatial rupture directly between us and the Empire fleet!” “Open communications!”

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 53: The Wild Hunt Part 1

Date Point: 16y2m1d AV personal sanctum, Dataspace. Cynosure/Six Data sophonts did not sleep, and thus did not dream. Nevertheless, Cynosure had a recurring nightmare of sorts. When his attention wandered, he found that it almost inevitably alighted on a handful of disturbing subjects. The details varied, as he worried at different aspects of the problems

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Good Training – Survival Part 2

Date point: 14y 7d AV Planet Akyawentuo, The Ten’Gewek Protectorate, Near 3Kpc Arm Later that day Julian Etsicitty It was approaching mid-day and the day’s morning work had been taken care of. The scouts had come back and reported that the nearby werne had just calved and would need to be left alone for a

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 52: Autoimmune Part 6

Date Point: 16y2m AV Folctha, Cimbrean, the Far Reaches Daar, Great Father of the Gao “Poor bugger hardly knew which way is up…” Powell grunted, once Wagner was gone. “Who can blame him? His whole crew going violently psychotic on him with no warning, only to be stasis-hopped right into a Corti’s lab being sniffed

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Rising Titans – Chapter 46

9 Years, 6 Months, 14 Days After Eridani Landing Jikse Diana blinked in surprise as the jungle was suddenly lit up by a fantastic reddish glow, glancing behind her towards the city Diana watched as another blast of energy, identical in color to the flash fell from the sky. Unable to see from her vantage

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 52: Autoimmune Part 5

Date Point: 16y2m AV Folctha, Cimbrean, The Far Reaches Julian Etsicitty The house was a mess when Julian got back, which was rare. Nobody in their household was naturally untidy—living on Misfit had driven Allison, Xiù and himself into an ingrained habit of orderliness, and the boys had lived in fear of their father’s belt

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 52: Autoimmune Part 4

Date Point: 16y2m AV Hierarchy/Cabal Joint Communications session #1536 ++Asymptote++: I have bad news. It would seem our new drones are detectable. ++0004++: <Dismay> you’re certain? ++Asymptote++: The force I sent to Cimbrean was captured immediately upon arrival. ++0007++: How? ++Asymptote++: Unclear. The Arutech drones don’t report as concisely as conventional biodrones. The connection is…

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 52: Autoimmune Part 3

Date Point: 16y2m AV The Thinghall, Folctha, Cimbrean, the Far Reaches Gabriel Arés Every civilization needed its icon of executive power. The UK had the black door of Number Ten Downing Street and, somewhere behind it, the Cabinet Room; the USA had the White House, and the Oval Office; Folctha had the Alien Palace. The

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Good Training – Survival Part 1

You may also want to read Pyrophytes in The Deathworlders series. Same story, different angles. Date point: 14y 7d AV Planet Akyawentuo, The Ten’Gewek Protectorate, Near 3Kpc Arm Professor Daniel Hurt “You want me to read it by next week?” Julian mopped the sweat from his face and bounced loosely in place. “What was it

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Rising Titans – Chapter 45

-7 Hours CHRONT THE CANADA “More contacts!” said Arik as she flashed every monitor on the bridge a bright red. Stagg glanced up at the monitor, “How many more?” “I’m counting!” “You’re counting!?” A grainy image of the approaching Empire patrol vessel was quickly displayed, a small box around it. Additional boxes quickly filled the

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 52: Autoimmune Part 2

Date Point: 16y2m AV Alien Quarter, Folctha, Cimbrean, the Far Reaches Nofl Leemu had become unresponsive. Nofl’s quarantine facility had alerted him after the patient had been anomalously still for twenty minutes, and the reason why became obvious upon a quick inspection of the cell: Leemu was sprawled on his back, staring blissfully up at

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Good Training – April Fool’s

13y 3m 29d AV One-Fang workhouse, Alien Quarter, Folctha, Cimbrean, the Far Reaches Sergeant Regaari (Dexter) of Clan SOR One of the best things about the humans was that they had a springtime holiday dedicated to mischief. Before them, only the Gao could claim to celebrate such a thing and it was one of the

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 52: Autoimmune Part 1

Date Point: 16y2m AV Alien Quarter, Folctha, Cimbrean, the Far Reaches Nofl Nofl’s lab was spacious, but inevitably finite. When it contained an alarming number of alarmed Humans, not to mention one particularly sculpted canine and a Gaoian brownie who was doing his best not to loom at everyone… well, there were times when Nofl

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 51: Anticlimax Part 5

Date Point: 16y2m AV Folctha, Cimbrean, the Far Reaches Allison Buehler After a lifetime of helicopter parenting, Tristan and Ramsey seemed addicted to every opportunity they could find to do something their mother would have scooted them away from. And who could blame them? Amanda had never managed to get her head around the idea

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Rising Titans – Chapter 44

9 Years, 6 Months, 28 Days After Eridani Landing Deep Space The Russia shuddered again as the engines slowly powered down and the ship slid out of the red blue haze that was the tachyon FTL corridor. James blinked several times trying to clear the haze from his eyes as the regular black background of

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 51: Anticlimax Part 4

Date Point: 16y1m AV Dataspace adjacent to Mrwrki Station Entity The Entity understood the concept of boredom in an academic, abstract way. It could even vaguely summon up Ava’s memories of being bored. But understanding the idea and actually feeling the emotion were two different things. The closest it could get was the sensation of

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 51: Anticlimax Part 3

Date Point: 16y2w AV Air Force One, somewhere over Asia, Earth President Arthur Sartori “…You want to give us a Farthrow generator.” Daar’s image was janky and low-resolution thanks to the vagaries of current wormhole comms, but the audio was a lot clearer now. Technology marched onwards. “It’s loaded up on a train and ready

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Good Training – Pecking Order

13y, 8m AV Operator’s Barracks, HMS Sharman, Folctha, Cimbrean Officer Regaari (Dexter) of Clan Whitecrest “I got an idea, Regaari.” Regaari flicked his ears forward in annoyance. “This again?” “Well, yeah. I gotta win that bet, Cousin!” Regaari duck-nodded wearily. Not long after Daar had received the SACRED STRANGER briefing, he’d sulked off to think

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Good Training – The Champions – Tidying Up

Messier 24 Mission day: 3 Sergeant Daar (Tigger) The third day was always when things settled into routine. Daar didn’t really know why, ‘cuz that was prol’ly some complicated psychology stuff (maybe he should read up?) but he did know how it worked, practically speaking. Daar always pondered morning thoughts like that when he was

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 51: Anticlimax Part 2

Date Point: 16y2w AV Weaver dropship, Gaoian space Sergeant Ian “Hillfoot” Wilde “So in all the excitement, we clean forgot about these things. That’s what you’re telling me.” Champion Meereo made a sound that was half a sigh and half a chitter. “…That’s more-or-less exactly right, yes. We had… well, bigger priorities.” Wilde had to

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Rising Titans – Chapter 43

9 Years, 6 Months, 28 Days After Eridani Landing Bellona “Ready?” asked Alpha from where he sat on top of the Captain’s chair. “I’m good!” said Red from where he sat at the controls for the ship. It hadn’t taken much to convince him to pilot the vessel. James glanced down at his own console

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 51: Anticlimax Part 1

Date Point: 16y AV Yukon–Koyukuk, Alaska, USA, Earth Zane Reid The cold didn’t hurt anymore. At first, it had been like forcing his way through a wall made of knives that cut through his clothes. Zane’s every breath had blinded him as it billowed and steamed in the air, and when he’d experimentally licked his

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 50: Counterattack – Trigger Part 5

Date Point: 16y AV Camp Tebbutt Biodrone Internment Facility, Yukon–Koyukuk, Alaska, USA, Earth Hugh Johnson Snow. Of course, snow in January in Alaska was hardly surprising, and this one threatened to be heavy. At first, Hugh had thought it was probably just an seasonable dusting that’d add a couple of inches to the foot or

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I had made my way through the tournament, but most of my matches had been won by the skin of my teeth, and I had only the advantage of being evolved from a pursuit predator to thank for it. Our great endurance had been the one boon that had kept me going, and I was

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 50: Counterattack – Trigger Part 4

Date Point: 15y 10m 1w AV HMS Violent, Rvzrk System, Domain Space The ground battle churned on for days. That was the problem with Hunters. There was no surrender involved, it was a kill-or-be-killed fight where smashing their will to engage in war simply didn’t achieve enough. Any Hunter left alive would just keep murdering

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Good Training – The Champions – Doom and Gloom Part 4

He awoke to a pleasant smell. “…Eggs?” Hoeff detangled himself from Natalie and the sheets and stumbled towards the kitchen. Daar was busy in front of the comparatively little stove and fridge, humming some terrible Gaoian tune to himself. Seriously, their music was like Chinese opera with extra pain. Some Humans liked it, though…but “atonal”

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Rising Titans – Chapter 42

9 Years, 6 Months, 15 Days After Eridani Landing The [Singer] The explosion hit and [Vann] watched at the lights on the main hologram and different panels flashed a blinding white light, before dying and plunging the entire bridge of the [Singer] into darkness. “What were we supposed to do?” asked someone near the weapons

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Day 1. I’ve made it on board the human trading vessel! They didn’t detect my presence, and I’ve managed to smuggle myself into their engineering bay, and disguised myself within a cluster of cables! My small, serpentine body makes me indistinguishable from a thin, grayish cable, and the Humans won’t notice my existence until it

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 50: Counterattack – Trigger Part 1

Date Point: 15y 10m AV Camp Tebbutt Biodrone Internment Facility, Yukon–Koyukuk, Alaska, USA, Earth Hugh Johnson Camp Tebbutt wasn’t actually a bad place to live, if you didn’t count the fact that it was essentially a prison for innocent victims. Hugh understood why he was there, and why he couldn’t leave… but after eleven years,

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Good Training – The Champions – Doom and Gloom Part 3

Firth Regaari chittered, “It is difficult to imagine you ‘humbled,’ Righteous.” “Heh,” Firth chuckled. “You do know most of my attitude is straight fuckin’ bullshit, right? Adam and John know why.” Regaari looked over at John, who shrugged massively. “He’s a scary dude. Being ridiculous kinda takes the edge off, y’know?” Regaari duck-nodded. He was

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Rising Titans – Chapter 41

9 Years, 6 Months, 13 Days After Eridani Landing Jikse Moving down the hallway Diana paused at the double doors, carefully she moved forwards into it’s threshold and they slid open. A woman in an orange smock looked up from her Comm for a moment, and then going back to look at it did a

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The Good Samaritan

I felt a white-hot pain in my back as I was stabbed. Once, twice and then three times. I fell to the ground clutching my new openings, and for a moment I couldn’t grasp what had just happened. I had walked through an alley as a shortcut back home, and then suddenly someone had grabbed

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 50: Counterattack – Homefront Part 6

Date Point: 15y9m3w AV Mrwrki Station, Erebor System, Unexplored Space Darcy “Does it seem… different to you lately?” “What?” “The Entity. It’s actin’ different, dude, I swear it is.” Darcy sighed and set aside her work as Lewis sat down. She was sitting drinking a Moroccan Mint tea in the station’s rec lounge, with its

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Rising Titans – Chapter 40

9 Years, 6 Months, 13 Days After Eridani Landing Jikse Popping the restraints off of her legs Diana swung herself off of the table, the two class A’s still in their isolation suits were pounding at the door of the room the three of them were in. “It’s out! Open the door!” shouted the man

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Good Training – The Champions – Doom and Gloom Part 2

Master Sergeant Christian (Righteous) Firth The end of the movie came and the ladies were fast asleep and prolly too tired to head home with any comfort. The other bros were asleep, too, and Firth was tangled up with them pretty good. Oh well, both ‘Base and ‘Horse were heavy-ass sleepers and only danger or

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Hell. It’s a completely Human concept. The concept of a realm of eternal torture, to which you are sent depending on the whims of one deity or another, is something only found in Human fiction. And it’s not an isolated occurrence. Almost every human culture since the dawn of humanity itself has had it in

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 50: Counterattack – Homefront Part 4

Date Point: 15y9m2w AV HMS Sharman (HMNB Folctha), Cimbrean, The Far Reaches Senior Master Sergeant Christian (“Righteous”) Firth “Hey, fuckers! Guess what hit the newsstand today!” Adam looked up from his needlework for a second and raised an eyebrow. “Imma guess Coombes’ centerfold spread with Ava?” Firth deflated, somewhat flummoxed that ‘Horse had stolen his

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