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 problem?”

“I can’t get the beacon to respond. Even if we had dropped into the inner solar system by some manner, beacons are never more than [8 light hours] away from the stars they mark correct?”

[Fred] slowly nodded, “Yes. Perhaps we are on the opposite side of the system from the beacon? There has not been enough time for the message to get back to us?”

The Empress gave her bodyguard a withering look, “So we were forced out of tachyon warp, and didn’t drop out near the beacon, or inside a local gravity well? I don’t know the math [Fred] but the chances of that happening are zero or some infinitely small number. Errors in warp always dump you out at the nearest gravity well!”

[Fred] groaned, “I am attempting to reassure you. You have been transmitting with your authentication codes yes?”

“And my old ones like you suggested several [hours] ago.”

[Fred] was silent for a moment thinking, “I have been drifting in an out of consciousness?” she slowly asked.

“You have. The blood loss and the zero-g. Earlier you guessed that it was causing uneven blood flow and your brain was sporadically getting less blood than required causing the fainting spells and short term memory loss.”

“Then I suppose I also insisted on saving the stimulants and other medicines for landing, the pod must have determined if there are any inhabitable planets yet.”

“The star system is logged, and the planet’s catalogued. The fourth planet in this system is inhabited by species C543.”

[Fred] winced, “Letting the Empress even drop out of warp in a system with a class C planet would normally be something I would never allow. Given that we have,” [Fred] looked at the main console, “Only four days of life support left however and the rest of the planets here having nothing even close to a sustainable atmosphere.” She trailed off very clearly not happy.

“I’ve set the computer to scan some of the outer planets, I’m hoping that we can refresh the atmosphere on this class C world and move on to a habitable moon.”

“Empress, that will not work.”

“Why not?” asked [Sil] as she crossed her arms.

“This is an escape pod, once we land on a planet with more half a standard gravity or a livable atmosphere we will not be able to get back to orbit. Much less be able to get to any other planet within the time frame of the life support system assuming it can even refresh.”

[Sil] blinked, “Oh.”

[Fred] drifted to settle into the space between the escape chair and the control panel of the ship. Tapping at the console she brought up the data on the planet they were approaching and began to quickly scroll through it.

“[Fred], what are you doing?”

“If we are unlucky enough to actually have to land on the planet I would rather be prepared. Knowing the particulars of the local class C’s will help if for some insane reason, we must interact with them. I would very much suggest we try and land somewhere uninhabited. With the survival equipment, here, and my own skills we can survive indefinitely. I cannot promise the same accommodations as the home world however. Much less the accommodations of the palace.”

[Sil] put her hands on the console over the bodyguards making her pause, “We don’t need to pretend like this was an accident. The likelihood of my ship suffering a malfunction in warp, having faulty weapons, and on top of that dropping out of warp in a system with a beacon that will not respond to my access codes or any standard communication? It’s got to be one in a hundred billion.”

She lifted her hands away.

“Your husband, and now you. I do not think there has ever been such a failure in my family. When you return to the Empire, you will need a new bodyguard. First however you will need to survive this, and I very much intend to make sure you do.”

“[Fred]…” [Sil] trailed off.

“You should review the information on the class C’s as well Empress. Continue to send messages to the beacon, but we must now prepare to land on a planet of primitives and survive until a search and rescue party can find us. Start making tight beam transmission to the other nearest beacons as well.”

“[Fred] we’re on the edge of the Empire. Out here the closest beacons are to one another is thirty light years! If the beacon in this system is not transmitting, and assuming the distress signal does not fade into the background across thirty light years’ distance!”

[Fred] said nothing and instead tapped away at the console again, bringing up a small hologram of the planet and the class C species on it saying nothing else for the moment.

[Sil] turned to look at the things, more curious than frightened. The stories of what class C aliens were like had always struck her as being blown out of proportion. They were sentient creatures, albeit so far gone from the Class A genetics that it was a mercy to put them down. Most species received the classification due to a number of factors, genetics being the largest.

Even the most deformed class B’s could be brought into line given enough time though, and what usually separated the class C’s were their violent tendencies. Some were eliminated for their prestigious birth rates or other small factors, but behind actual violence was technological innovation. Any class C or B that was advancing towards a state where they might be able to access the beacon network had to be eliminated.

In the past when elements of class C races had escaped they proved extremely difficult to eradicate. Like vermin you could destroy most of a population, but leaving behind even a few hundred and they would pop up again in a few hundred years.

It was an annoying cycle. Species C950 was one of the most annoying ones and still a thorn that had to be dealt with on the outskirts of expansion. Still given the number of commandeered ships that had been destroyed fifty years ago they were not going to be a threat again for some time.


[Sil] looked at the hologram as an image of the C543 male specimen from the scouting mission appeared. The term alien was hardly useful when it came to describing class C and B species, but still it was the only thought in [Sil]’s mind for a moment.

The creature was blue, a dark almost black blue. A stark contrast to the Dorvakian species red skin. Like many of the class C races the C543 was covered in hair, almost literally.

[Sil] had seen many class B’s with the growths on their heads, and sometimes faces in the case of many males and some of the females.

The C543 male had hair on its head, face, and trailing down onto its torso only thinned slightly on the appendages. Glancing at the hands [Sil] noted that the species had four small fingers and not the normal three.

“What’s interesting?” asked [Sil] still looking at the image.

“They’re stagnant. You don’t usually see the warlike ones stagnate like this, they tend to advance in at least war technology which drags most everything else along. Records indicate that this species has been in a developmental standstill for nearly [1,000 years].”

“Some class B worlds do that, don’t they?”

[Fred] nodded, “Yes but it’s almost unheard of in class C’s.”

[Sil] flipped the image on the hologram looking at the female specimen, and frowned. It was nearly identical to the male with as much hair covering it. It had breasts like nearly all Seed females, but the only other physical difference was the average heights, the females were about two thirds the size of the males who were by themselves nearly the mass of two Dorvakian males.

“Anything particularly dangerous about them?” asked [Sil].

[Fred] was still looking at the physical specifications for the species, “Not particularly. They are strong and violent, about the only thing besides their appearance that is odd is the internal bone structure around the torso. They have bone growths between all their ribs. As well as an extra set of them.

[Fred] continued to scan through the data.

“This is possible due to their atmosphere being more oxygen rich than normal, they don’t need lungs as large as standard. So they don’t need rib cages that are as flexible, the growth would better protect internal organs.”

[Sil] looked at the bodyguard, “It is a deviation, not an advancement.”

[Fred] shrugged, “It would be advantageous in a battle, although in most modern conflicts more bone would hardly be useful. Even at their primitive development I doubt the additional bone growth is helpful.”

“What stage?”

“Stage three.”

[Sil] pursed her lips, “Well no chance of detection then. So long as we land somewhere isolated we should be able to avoid them correct?”

“Correct. The largest obstacle besides my own injuries will be finding such a location. This pod has population data for the planet that is nearly [500 years] out of date. It does not have more than passive sensors, and we will not have the environmental resources to maintain an orbit. Our life support will be down to [hours] by the time we reach the planet, that window barely affords us the luxury of choosing where we land.”

“Then we select one of the more unpopulated areas from the previous scans and hope they have not moved much.”

[Fred] moved through several additional screens of data faster than [Sil] could comprehend them and again shook her head.

“There is a reason this species has so much hair. The planet is barely habitable, and they have adapted and developed almost exclusively in the equatorial region of the planet. If we land in the uninhabited regions our best option is a freezing desert. We do that, and we are only extending our survival by a few days and assuming a rescue ship will be here soon.”

[Sil] winced, “So not an option.”



[Fred]’s lips twitched, “My thoughts as well. I will look for an unpopulated location on the equator.”

Species C543 System

4 Years 2 months 23 days Before C1764 FTL Jump

The planet was now clearly visible in the forward compartment of the escape craft, it was slightly smaller than the home world, but only by about five percent. It was not strange to see a planet without artificial lights on it’s surface, many of the outer planets were devoid of artificial lighting except in one location or city.

The odd thing about this planet were the ice caps, on a normal world the phenomena at most covered 10 to 15% of the planet’s surface area. On the planet below the ice caps covered almost halfway to the equator of the planet.

“Is it in an ice age?” asked [Sil] looking down on the world.

“There is not enough data. The planet has almost no tilt however, so I would hazard a guess at no.”

“Meaning no seasons either.”

[Sil] drifted away from the console and towards the back of the escape pod.

“This is insane [Fred]. Someone has tried to kill me, my ship exploded, my son no longer has parents, and I’m about to crash on an alien planet full of class C vermin!”

The bodyguard offered a weak smile, “It is Empress, but we have no options but to continue. I will be able to defend you against the class C’s provided we do not encounter to many of them. My injuries are going to be, troublesome in gravity however.”

[Sil] drifted forward to the other woman, “Are you in pain?”

“I have been in pain for three days Empress, but I can endure. I mean that in the absence of gravity I have more than likely not regenerated the blood I need, and no strain has been placed on my injury so it is not healing quickly.”

[Fred] hesitated, “I will be using one of the stimulants before we descend to land, to try and keep myself awake. I will not be able to guarantee your protection however as I recover. I will be able to offer safety, that is all.”

[Sil] snorted, “We’re landing on a class C planet! I understand the risk, like you said we have no choice. When we’re picked up I’ll move this planet to the top of the list, and be done of it.”

[Fred] tapped at the console, “You need to get strapped in. I am going to try and brace myself in the back of the escape pod. When we land, you will need to get out of the pod quickly.”


“There is only enough strange matter in this thing for a propulsive landing. So, we are going to make a partially ablative entry into the planet’s atmosphere. Landing will also be rough, with inertial damping systems operating only within a margin of two or three g’s.”

[Sil]’s eyes widened as she continued to explain and the Empress swore again under her breath.


“These are emergency craft. You are usually lucky to be alive if you manage to make it into one. They are also designed for space; planetary landings are an afterthought.”

Ruck, Willinkree

4 Years 2 months 27 days Before C1764 FTL Jump

Year 3042 Day 35

Piral raised the triller to his mouth and blew the recall, the high-pitched sound broke through the cold stillness of the night and echoed through the forest.

For several moments, nothing moved.

“Tamer,” growled Duke Frin.

“Give her a moment, she will not be dissuaded from a scent easily if she has one.”

The old Duke muttered several things under his breath but remained otherwise silent up on his mount.

The leaves rustled and Green Flyer drifted out through the cold night air. Flapping her sides she silently landed on Piral’s outstretched arm and let a small whine.

“There is nothing fresh Duke, she is not pointing.”

Duke Frin sighed, “Are you sure Tamer, I find it incredibly hard to believe that all game has left this area.”

It was not particularly difficult to believe, the nobles had been hunting in excess for many months now, the new King being particularly indulgent in his own expeditions into the forest. The wildlife had either been thinned to such a degree that Green Flyer could not scent them, or more likely the game had migrated elsewhere thought Piral. He did not voice his concerns but instead held Green Flyer aloft up to the man as she nibbled on the sap covering his glove.

“She is my best Duke, bred from the same line as the King’s.”

Green Flyer let out a chittering as the man leaned in closer, and Piral slowly moved his hand away keeping the small animal calm. The last thing he needed was the small thing deciding the Duke was an enemy and trying to take her sap.

“The other Nobles have been reporting as such. Still, I was hoping a night time hunt would prove more successful.”

Piral said nothing as the Duke continued to mull things over in his head. They had been out for nearly the entire night, and even the Duke who had not gotten off his mount but for a few breaks looked tired. The other men in the hunting party who did not have mounts, Piral included were simply trying to remain standing.

The Duke slapped his mount lightly with his cane, the large six footed creature slowly unfolded it’s stubby legs and began to move forwards along the worn path in the forest.

Moving Green Flyer down into the small sack the creature would sleep Piral and the rest of the Duke’s contingent began to move. Almost the entire estate was on the hunt with him, and the man seemed to be determined to find something worth taking back.

Idly Piral hoped that his apprentice was managing the stable’s well enough in his absence, the young boy was certainly energetic enough to handle the multitude of creatures, but his attention to detail was lacking in most respects.

Given a few years he would be a suitable replacement Tamer for the Duke, and Piral would have enough pay to purchase his own estate. Nothing a single room home and his own field to work, he and his wife would be able to raise children not indebted to the Duke. They would still be subjects of the King certainly, but there was little call for war between the kingdoms at the moment so Piral doubted he would be called to fight.

Green flyer let out a warning chittering and Piral frowned, reaching down to his bag he slowly patted it trying to calm the creature.

“Hold!” shouted the Duke.

Piral paused, creatures within half of the local forest had no doubt heard that declaration. Green Flyer continued to chitter.

The guard on a similar mount to the Duke leaned to the side, and Piral barely caught his words, “Sir? What is it?”


Piral blinked, and his hair which was nicely combed and laying relatively flat stood up at that making his tunic uncomfortable for a moment. Ignoring that he snapped his eyes up to the sky, near where the Duke had been looking and spotted it.

Piral, the Duke, indeed everyone else in the contingent had heard of Starfall. It was canonized legend, and were it not for the relics of the King’s they would be like every other fantastic tale.

“Starfall!” shouted a young pup behind Piral, the excited youth continued to repeat his statement voice growing shriller.

No one could calm the pup, the sun was rising in the sky and the darkness of night was fading with it. Even so the large conflagration of fire in the sky was what the legend described.

Everyone watched as the fire which had started in the far horizon approached with a speed faster than any type of flyer, faster than a bolt, impossibly fast. The fire died away and in the light of the gleaming sunlight a piece of the heavens was revealed, a shining egg or small star was still falling through the air.

Piral watched as it slowed, and within moments hung in the air. The object would have been easily mistaken as a bird, so far away it was merely a speck. Still, nothing in the sky gleamed like that.

Piral had to thank the stars for the luck of being on top of the mountain pass, everyone in the hunting party could clearly see the Star Fall slow above the trees in the valley far below before descending into them and disappearing from view.

“We are retrieving the Starfall!” shouted the Duke as he raised his cane into the air and brought it down on his mount’s side.

The creature let out a vicious roar and twisted around only hesitating for a moment before it dove of the beaten path and into the foliage making a straight path for the star fall.

Caught up in the moment Piral let out a whoop of joy as well, the rest of the men from the esate behind him let out similar yells of jubilation.

The last men who had claimed a Star Fall had become Kings, if they could claim it!

Stumbling out of the pod [Sil] collapsed onto the hard dirt and retching emptied her stomach of the emergency rations. Letting out a moan she rolled onto her back and looked at the alien sky.


There was no response.

Slowly lifting her head the Empress looked back at the small metal canister she had been inside of for close to [four days] and retching spit bile onto the front of her now filthy ship suit.

Ignoring it for the movement and rolling onto her stomach [Sil] crawled back to the pod.


The woman was at the entrance to the pod and still breathing. Summoning her strength, the Empress grabbed the bodyguards shoulders and briefly standing hauled her out of the pod. Something in the nose of the thing ruptured and [Sil] flinched away letting out a yelp.

[Fred] flopped to the ground limp.

The front of the pod was on fire now, [Sil] looked at her bodyguard for a moment and then at the small transmitter and beacon in the front of the crashed vessel.

“Damn it [Fred] I am going to replace you.”

Grabbing the woman again and resolving to ignore any other explosions [Sil] slowly dragged her away. She was bleeding, a streak of blood on the ground forming as [Sil] dragged her away.

The front of the pod was now conflagration of fire, acrid smoke was beginning to pour out of the back of the back hatch and up into the air. Dropping [Fred], [Sil] staggered back to the pod and grabbing the heavy hatch swung it back down on the entrance.

It slammed home with a resounding clang and the seals moved into place, [Sil] staggered and fell backwards onto the ground beside [Fred]. So long as the seal held, the fire would quickly die, given that the atmosphere had a higher than standard concentration of oxygen though if even a small gap were present it would feed the thing. There was nothing to do, [Sil] was not even sure if the escape pod was equipped with fire suppression systems.

[Sil] closed her eyes and felt an intense weariness in her entire body. Several days without gravity would not have degraded the musculature to far, but it was noticeable moving in gravity again.

Danger gone for the moment the Empress passed out.

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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

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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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