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 the ground [Sil] continued to half heartedly try and struggle free from the bonds. For several moments the brute did nothing but watch her, his head cocked to the side as he went through some primitive thought process.

Huffing in annoyance [Sil] turned away from him and watched the other class C animals as they meandered around the field. The fat one was still wielding [Fred]’s weapon occasionally fired it off into the air and at branches or rocks blowing them apart. Each explosion would further distract the men worker as they shouted and applauded the destruction. The fat class C would revel in it for several moments before shouting again.

[Sil] kept her eyes on the weapon as the class C waved it around, it was like watching a child play with a gun. A child that deserved to shoot itself in the foot a few dozen times.

So far little in the way of actual work had been completed, assuming the goal was to tie additional ropes around the escape pod. The excitement of the Imperial technology to much for them.

To [Sil] it was a surreal sight watching a blue skinned harry class C wield one of the finest weapons that had ever been created by the Empire. [Fred]’s weapon didn’t look terribly different from the normal guns used by most Imperial personnel, but given her position it was the most reliable weapon in the Empire.

Glumly [Sil] estimated that it would take a few decades of misuse at the hands of the class C before it failed.

Once again the number of unlikely things which had to occur for her to even watch a class C wield [Fred]’s weapon with her dead on the ground was absurd, from the very beginning the chances of a ship the Empress of the Empire was on suffering a failure was close to impossible. The fact that the tachyon beacon in the system that the ship had dropped out of FTL in was inoperable another incredibly unlikely event.

Finally, the odd behavior of the class C’s.

It had taken [Sil] several minutes to place it, but the class C’s knew what her weapon was. They hardly looked to be using anything more complex than a bow and arrow. Meaning they had seen the technology before. The fact that they were not fearful of her different appearance, of her alien craft, of what she was, it all added up into one possibility.

Her saboteur intended for her to land on this planet, and the class C at the very least knew something of the Empire. Their had been experiments in the past, at the dawn of the expansion period. Species C14 had been at a level of technological development barely higher than stone huts and primitive metalworking. The Imperial agents had introduced themselves as gods and demanded tribute.

The resources had been paltry, but the intent had been to breed a subservient class C race that could be utilized in war.

The difficulties with the project and the fast based development of orbital weapons and other systems had quickly made it to costly. Abandoned by their gods the C14 race had killed themselves in primitive wars. The planet had been colonized without incident for the past 1,000 years.

Something similar had happened here, but judging by her own treatment and she was not a god in their eyes.

[Sil]’s blood ran cold, and her skin lightened. If someone wanted her to suffer, then this species was more than likely something they had specifically in mind for the task.

[Sil] was violently pulled from her thoughts as one of the brutes stooped down and pawed at [Fred]’s body.

“Stop!” shouted [Sil].

The aliens glanced up over at her and then quickly looked at the fat class C.

The fat class C barked several things in quick succession, and stomped towards [Sil].

The Empress straightened as he did so, and glared up at the brute. She was very much aware of the fact that her own height put her at barely mid chest level with the creature, and it was hardly the tallest specimen, it was easily the fattest though.

The fat class C leaned down a lecherous grin on it’s face.

“!Tessop xiu sov eralutsop anevda!”

“Do not touch her!” growled [Sil] lowering her voice to the tone she used when addressing the military commanders of the Empire who would hardly be cowed by soft words and tones. How her husband had dealt with those men on a daily basis she had no idea. The stress would have contributed to an early natural death if he had not been attacked.

The alien holding her ropes said something in a far calmer tone of voice and the fat one glanced at him taking his eyes away from [Sil] and straightening up, his hand lashed out and [Sil] found herself on the alien dirt, the side of her face on fire and a bruise already developing even as she touched it.

Whimpering in pain [Sil] curled up to avoid any further attacks.

The fat class C laughed and raising the gun into the air fired it once. The men save for the one holding her ropes all laughed along with him. Turning back around the fat alien shouted something at the men around [Fred]’s corpse.

[Sil] opened an eye in time to see the class C try to cut the clothing away from her, the knives they used having absolutely no effect on the advanced armor that was designed to look like a normal suit. For several moments the larger aliens stabbed at her suit to no avail.

For several moments the aliens manhandled her corpse stabbing at it with their knives before apparently realizing it wad going to have little effect. Changing tactics, the men tentatively began to paw at the body.

One reached down along the suit and on accident hooked a finger into the neckline of the suit violently pulled, the clasp somewhere inside of it gave and the suit partially opened exposing her red skin as well as the smaller electronics and weapons under her suit that were in contact with her skin.

Biomonitoring and subdermal communication equipment if [Sil] had to guess.

The alien’s let out excited cries and the fat Class C shouted something again and brandished the gun. The others slowly backed off, collapsing to his knees the fat class C finished ripping the suit off of [Fred] grabbing the internal electronics up the class C unceremoniously began to pull the bandages and the rest of [Fred]’s clothing away looking for more of the technology.

[Sil] opened her mouth to shout again, to demand that the class C’s treat her with respect when a blue four fingered, foul smelling, hairy hand was suddenly over her mouth.

The brute who had tied her wrists and was holding onto the bindings was stopping her from shouting! Angrily [Sil] bit down on the hand. The class C ignored it for a moment his eyes widening slightly, moving with deliberate speed he jabbed [Sil] in the side knocking the air out of her lungs.

Gasping [Sil] released his hand and he slowly drew it away. [Sil] noted that despite the force with which she had attacked his skin only s light indentation showed on his digits.

“I will speak!” growled [Sil].

The class C winced and the fat one glanced up his eyes seeming to tear away from the technology in his hand with difficulty.

“?atsurf allets mae tibadun te!”

Her captor winced again and slowly spoke several times his words echoing through the silent clearing. [Sil] despite not understanding the language froze feeling the tension rise to a level that several moments ago would have seemed impossible.

The fat class C spoke his words again, his voice icy as he slowly straightened up.

Dropping the rope to the ground the brute holding her bonds walked over to one of the packs around the clearing and rummaged through it. [Sil]’s eyes darted to the dropped rope, her own wrists and then the other aliens around the clearing.

For a moment she considered bolting for the woods, making a run for it on the alien planet. So long as she got away from the class C’s she would be better off, if that meant having to deal with the animals of the planet so be it.

She was going to live, that much [Sil] knew. The Empire would survive without her, but she wanted to see [Vann] again.

Taking the blanket from the pack Piral turned around to see the star woman was where he had left her, although she looked like a young mount ready to bolt. Her eyes were darting in every direction, her thoughts plain as day.

Piral slowly approached, the dropping of the ropes had been strategic in his mind. The woman apparently spoke none of the proper language, and as much as the Duke shouted at her it was unlikely to communicate the message needed.

“Duke could you bring some of that star metal over here?” asked Piral as he slowly approached the star woman the blanket held out towards her.

“She will take it. I am not risking that.”

Straightening up and shoving the small second skin the injured star woman had been wearing as well as the star metal into the voluminous pockets of his jacket the Duke raised his star thrower towards the star woman.

“Your star metal, where is it?”

The star woman’s eyes were locked on the Duke, or rather the tip of the star thrower. If Piral had to guess she probably knew more about the amount of damage the celestial weapon could do. Even at the best of times the Duke did little to scare most

“Duke she has no understanding of our language, speaking to her isn’t going to work.”

The Duke used the star thrower and a small burst of light arced through the air over the star woman’s head. She winced but otherwise remained still staring back at the Duke challenging him.

Stepping between the two Piral raised the blanket. The star woman shifted her gaze to him and he slowly picked up the binding’s again. She stiffened but said nothing her eyes warily watching him as if he might suddenly jump and attack.

Reaching out Piral slowly put his hand at the neck of the woman’s second skin and tugged, predictably the star woman jerked away from him and began to shout in her own language. Piral waited several moments before tugging on the ropes around her wrists.

She fought and Piral held the rope steady.

Again he reached out and took the hem of her second skin in hand, pulling on it the thing gave after a moment splitting along some invisible seam. More of her strange red skin was exposed to the air and above her Piral looked down the star woman’s back.

“She does not have star metal underneath this,” said Piral only taking a moment to marvel at the oddity of no hair.

“Is the second skin like the first one?” asked the Duke.

Piral quickly drew his knife and the star woman stopped struggling for a moment her eyes on it. Looking down at her bound arm’s Piral managed to quickly pinch up a small amount of the second skin, stabbing his knife into it the Tamer had to marvel at the invulnerability of the material. It was soft like cloth, but it felt like he was trying to stab through metal.

“It is.”

“Take it off her.” Demanded the Duke.

Piral winced and glanced back at the man, “I’m not sure that is wise, she is skittish enough as is, like an East Yaral woman.”

“Now Tamer!”

With a sigh Piral turned and brought his knife down on the woman’s bindings cutting them. She blinked stunned for a moment, and Piral took advantage of that. Pulling at the second skin around the neck again he quickly managed to pull half of it down the woman before she could fight.

The star woman let out a yelp, and slapped at Piral her red arms flailing in the mid day sun. Most of the men still working paused to look at the odd sight of the red skin as it was exposed. Piral ignored her weak attacks, compared to the impacts the young mounts could inflict they were nothing.

The star woman continued to struggle even as the garment tangled in her arms for a moment, like one of the more complex robes the Tamer had worn on occasion the garments sleeves were tight and difficult to remove by force. It would have been far easier to cut them off, but that seemed to be impossible.

Piral calmly put his hand around the star woman’s throat. She froze, her eyes locked on him. Piral hadn’t tightened his grip, but it seemed like the implied threat was enough. Still glaring hatred, the woman stopped struggling long enough to Piral to pull the rest of the second skin off.

It collected at her feet and Piral noted that her red face was now a slightly paler version of what it had been several minutes ago as she shouted. Small undergarments remained on her, covering her sex and oddly enough her chest. Quickly looking the woman up and down Piral noted no other star metal pieces.

“She has none,” grunted Piral.

Duke Frin sigh in frustration and lumbered forwards. Piral ignored him and held the blanket out to the star woman. She scrunched up her nose for a moment, and then hesitatingly took it. Her eyes flicked back to the Duke and she quickly draped it over her shoulders hiding much of her red skin again.

Stooping down the Duke grabbed the second skin pulling it out from under the star woman. She yelped and fell to the ground.

“I would have thought the star women would be as strong as their men.”

“The other one was, were she not injured…” Piral trailed off not saying the rest of the thought. The stance and the demeanor of the other woman had been like that of the King’s guard. With the star thrower and even a fraction of the skill the King’s guard portrayed he had no doubt the Duke would be dead.

The Duke laughed, “Tamer I would have thought you of all people would have a firm hand.”

Piral smiled as he stooped down next to the woman, she was curled up in the blanket on the ground now, her face in the dirt. She was crying as far as he could tell but was at the same time trying to contain the sobs. Not wanting to leave her in distress over her situation Piral stooped down and wrapped the length of rope over her wrists again tying the knot with practiced ease.

She would at least no longer be thinking of escape on anything but an abstract level. Taking the option to simply run away was kinder than leaving her thinking she could attempt it at any moment and have a chance of success.

“A firm hand is needed to be a Tamer, Duke but a firm hand does not mean being unnecessarily cruel. Some animals respond to the reward far better than the whip. It goes doubly so for most slaves,”

“The star woman is not a slave,” said Duke Frin his voice flat.

“No, but she does not know our tongue like the slaves from the East. I do not know precisely what the Merchants do with new slaves to teach them, but it cannot be that much different from what I do to train the beasts of your estate.”

The Duke pondered this for a moment as he stuffed the second skin into his jacket.

“You think you could teach her to speak? That would make her presentation to the King all the more impressive.”

“Not in the few days we have no, perhaps a phrase. She will not understand the words.”

“A pity. Very well if she is able to recite her marriage vows that would be for the best.”

The Duke turned back to the men who were for the most part watching the star woman as she tried to cover herself up with the blanket.

“We’re not making a camp tonight! Finish!” shouted the Duke.

The men turned and as one continued about their task of levering the metal star piece out of the ground.

Piral noted that the star woman tensed as one of the men unceremoniously picked up the corpse of the other one and dragged it to the side away from the workers. Unconcerned he dropped it into the underbrush of the trees to rot.

Piral frowned and hoped they would indeed be breaking camp before night fall. Leaving something as tempting as a corpse for the animals to scent was an idiotic thing to do. Most of the men in the Duke’s party were farmers and laborers comfortable to trust town defenses and that the animals had learned to approach.

The red woman took several steps forwards, towards the corpse. Piral tightened his hand on the rope halting her progress. The woman drew herself up looking like one of the King’s consorts, haughty but easily cowed when they had nothing to back themselves up with.

The woman tugged at the rope again.

“No.” Growled Piral using the same voice he used with the young Mounts.

She quelled slightly but after a moment her face hardened and she repeated the gesture. Piral turned and stomped towards the corpse dragging her along. That was enough to confirm that despite her demeanor their was some tenacity behind the star woman. If their was to much of it she would get herself killed before to long.

The Duke was tolerating her only because she was a bargaining chip unlike any he had ever had the opportunity to acquire. If that value dropped, or was ruined in some way she would be killed out of spite if nothing else.

She could also very easily be his own. The Duke was an easy man to fool, Piral had simply never had an opportunity as good as the one in front of him to betray the man. Re-entry into the King’s favor was guaranteed if he provided him with a star woman as a bride.

Piral was torn from his musings as the star woman stooped down next to the corpse, Piral watch curious as she greeted death, she had no fear of the body even going so far as to lay her hands on the brow of the dead one.

The star woman muttered for several minutes before standing and turning away from the body spat onto the ground. Piral shook his head, it was the oddest death ritual he had ever seen. Perhaps the people from the stars knew how to defeat death?

[Sil] winced as the class C, ‘Piral’ dropped her into the wooden stall, not a prison cell. The rough stone floor and heavy wooden logs made it as impenetrable as any cell guarded by energy shielding though given that the only technology she had from the Empire was her undergarments. Not something that could help to escape from any type of prison cell.

“I am not sleeping here!” growled [Sil] her voice hoarse and dry.

The class C looked at hr for a moment considering.

“Erenam!” said ‘Piral’. He pointed at the floor, “Sil, erenam!”

The blue alien knelt and once again cut the bonds from [Sil]’s wrist. Standing and not looking back the man walked out of the stall and grabbed the heavy wooden door, pulling it shut behind him. [Sil] heard something mechanical fall into place.

Knowing it was locked but unwilling to let any opportunity slip by [Sil] slowly pushed on he door, which did not budge. The wood was harder than any she had ever seen and seemed to be compressed.

For several moments the Empress tried to process everything that had happened. She had at the beginning of the day been inside of an escape pod drifting towards a planet that was at the very least habitable.

She was never supposed to even see the class C brutes that inhabited it. Even if they were close [Fred] was supposed to ward them off. Now she was in a wooden, pen. Like some sort of animal.

The blue aliens had dragged the escape pod back with them to some sort of primitive estate, the lighting had been dim when she had been carried through it. The sun already setting and with only torches providing illumination.

The ‘buildings’ were constructed of wood and not much else, even the largest of which was the size of the Lead Servant’s of her own Palace. By the time they were at the estate [Sil] had stopped trying to fight out of Piral’s grip. For the first few hours slung over his shoulder she had struggled, but unable to break the brute’s grip all it did was give her bruises. She had managed to keep the blanket on though, if that was an accomplishment [Sil] was not sure, it smelled of animals and sweat none of which was remedied by soap of any kind.

The distance traveled had been only [five kilometers] at most but on the class C’s shoulder it had not been a comfortable one and it had taken the rest of the day. It was only made more uncomfortable by the fat class C constantly yelling instructions and whipping the backside of the six legged creatures as it and the other men slowly pulled the escape pod with them through the terrain.

[Sil] had picked up on the class C brute’s name. It had been one of the repeated phrases, and as loathsome as it was to learn anything from the class C bound and unable to fight [Sil] had to resolved to at least listen. Playing politics to her advantage was difficult if she knew nothing of the relationships.

Even observing them, it was plain that the class C were brutes, barely able to string sentences together. When the sun had begun to dip below the horizon the class C had paused to let the six legged animal rest. Food had been pulled from roughly made leather bags, and consumed with no grace or manners. The food itself looked like scorched meat and lumpy bread, Piral had offered some to her but [Sil] simply pushed it away disgusted.

The fattest class C, who [Sil] was sure by now was the leader given his better clothing and food had consumed what looked like an entire animal’s rib cage and a loaf of the disgusting bread the size of his own head.

The rest of the brutes had spent the break, spitting, scratching at themselves, and sporadically breaking into raucous laughter, the hair was the worst thing. The follicles were everywhere on the creatures! It stuck out at odd angles on their bodies and was for most matted with dirt and twigs of grass and other things woven into it. The only cutting of the disgusting growth that most seemed to do was around their faces, if only to ensure they could see and eat.

Shivering [Sil] drew the rough blanket closer. It was as disgusting as the creatures, but the planet was cold.

In her basic suit [Sil] had barely noticed the temperature of the planet, able to ignore the biting feeling on her face and hands. When the brute had ripped it off, and taken it. [Sil] was quickly reminded that the planet had almost zero tilt and that the only habitable environment was the equatorial region giving the poles large and dominating ice caps.

Slowly sitting down in the far corner of the pen [Sil] shivered as tear once again threatened to flow. She was the Empress, but this was far outside of her realm of experience. Class C’s were supposed to be only a statistic, a number that was to be slowly whittled down. Like the bad dreams of a child, they were never real.

To suddenly be in the middle of such a bad dream, nearly naked and at the mercy of a class C species. She had trained and prepared for kidnapping, death threats, any other possibility that might present itself in her course of a ruler of the Empire.

Curling up the Empress let her thoughts drift to her son.


If nothing else she was going to live so she could see him again. After ordering every weapons test on the planet she was on. It would burn as she comforted her son, one less class C for him to worry about.

Duke Frin leaned back in his chair a smug smile on his face.

Behind the man a large fireplace held an almost impossibly hot fire. Piral even on the opposite side of the room in another of the large chairs was almost to hot. A rare feeling, and not a comfortable one.

On the small table in front of the man were the star pieces from the dead star woman, as well as several others that had been pulled from the star egg. Several of the metals were blinking on and off, one had even made noise when the Duke had poked it.

The star thrower was in his lap though, the man had not let it further than an arms reach away since acquiring it.

“I think this is a voice thrower.” The duke poked one of the wide flat pieces of star metal.

Piral said nothing, and simply sipped at the alcohol that the Duke had ordered for himself. Other servants and men were around the outside of the room quietly watching the man as he poured over the items.

Few had every had an opportunity to see even one piece of the star metals, the King’s inner staff only the ones who saw them regularly. On holidays one device would usually be brought out for the masses to see, but in recent years such events had become rare.

“Have you discovered anything about the star woman?” asked the Duke hardly glancing up from his spoils.

“I have not had time to do anything Duke. You insisted that I accompany you here.”

Frin glanced up and frowned, “You carried her the entire afternoon, that was not enough time?”

“Proximity does not grant me understanding with my animals, I do not think it would be any more effective with people. I need to interact with her if I am to train her to be a gift from you to the King.”

Duke Frin sat up straighter, bumping the small table with his stomach. The Duke hesitated to steady the table, but was saved any actual interruption as the doors to the fire room opened with a bang.

The Duke stood his face twisting in anger for only a moment before going wide.


“Duke Frin!” shouted the Guide, in a voice much higher than what Piral had expected. Turning in his chair the Tamer winced. The man was a Guide, his gray robes, hairless body, and red painted skin evidence enough. The man was also barely more than a boy, his face still possessing youthful paunch.

“You have transgressed against the King, and the guidance of the stars!”

In the young guide’s hand a piece of star metal flashed a brilliant red, like a beating hear it pulsed on and off. The Guide held it up in the air breathing hard his flush visible even beneath the paint on his skin.

Piral inwardly groaned but said nothing.

Duke Frin blinked and took a small step back, “Guide?”

“You have a star woman in the Pen’s of your Tamer! You have also taken star metals and even a star thrower as your own! These are transgressions against the King of the highest insult!”

The room’s silence was complete for only a moment.

The gray robes of the young guide rustled and a small creature crawled out of a hidden pocket, looking around for a moment the flyer let out a small squeak and leaping into the air drifted through the warm currents of the room to latch onto Piral’s pants.

Letting out a small chittering the creature crawled up to his shoulder and squatted waiting.

Piral closed his eyes and keeping himself calm, it was not the creatures fault. Pulling the remaining treats from a pocket Piral held them up to Green flyer. The creature greedily pounced on the treats and shoving them into it’s mouth crawled down and disappeared inside it’s pouch on Piral’s belt.

Duke Frin sputtered for several moments, and then his eyes widened.

“Tamer! You, you, what did you do?”

“I informed my King of something I thought he would like to know.”

Duke Frin’s rage was visible to everyone in the room, save for the young Guide whom seemed oblivious to the tension.

“The older Guides were unwilling to travel here Duke Frin, the guiding metal flashed briefly this morning during my watch, but no one believed me. The guiding metal has never acted like this before! I was told I was imagining thing’s, but as you did Tamer I reported to the King almost exactly as your message came through.”

The Guide held up the metal which was still flashing.

“Tamer.” Growled Frin.

The Guide continued, “The metal voyager is new, the last star people descended from the sky in a metal room, much larger than the one in your courtyard. The King will be overjoyed to have new star metals.”

“The star metal is mine.”

The young Guide let his smile fall, “Duke?”

“The King may have the star woman, but the star metal and the egg appeared in my hunting grounds. By all rights they are mine.”

The Guide slowly raised his hands, the flashing star metal held up.

Piral moved forwards, Duke Frin jerked towards him his eyes going wide. He raised the star thrower in his hand and it went off lighting the room for a moment as the small star streaked and hit the far wall.

Tackling the Duke to the ground Piral knocked the star thrower away and stood. Several distressed chattering’s came from his belt and Green flyer pocked his head out. Duke Frin groaned and slowly tried to get to his feet.

Another three small stars briefly ignited the room and three bodies hit the ground.

The young guide had one of the older star throwers in his hand, and three guards lay dead on the floor their weapons on the floors next to them.

“You sent the Flyer, who are you?” asked the Guide.

“Tamer Piral Gallin”

“Gallin? The one who?”

“Yes, that was me,” said Piral cutting the young man off not wanting to hear of his failings yet again.

The Guide looked at him for a moment and his star thrower twitched towards him. Piral raised his eyebrow’s.

“If I am going to be killed, can it at least be at the King’s order?”

The Guide slowly lowered his arm, the star thrower disappeared into his robes. Letting out a sigh the young man nodded, “very well.”

Piral noted the red paint on the ground underneath the man, as well as a few red tinged hairs. He was apparently making water and loosing hair. Piral glanced at the guards and then the young Guide. They were probably the first he had death greet.

“Duke Frin the King thanks you for your service.”

The Guide picked up the star thrower and it too disappeared into his robes. Piral stayed away from the table as the young man stooped down and quickly collected the various pieces of star metal and placed them in a pouch.

“The King will be very, disappointed if the star voyager is missing when he sends for it.”

The Duke sitting on the floor grumbled several things under his breath,

“Duke Frin, you should be very proud. Few of the King’s subjects have ever contributed this much. You will no doubt be well rewarded.”

“I serve the King.”

The Guide smiled, “Tamer, the star woman?”

“I will show you to her.”

The Guide followed as Piral swiftly exited the fire room. The cold of the night snapped back around the two and for not the first time Piral wondered how the Guides managed to remain warm without their hair. The young man seemed unconcerned though as he led him out of the Duke’s estate and to the paddocks and his own quarters.

“You are playing quite a game Tamer,” said the Guide.

Piral smiled, “I ultimately serve the King, did I do anything uncouth contacting him? I was sure the Duke had already sent a message of what had occurred.”

“While out in the field? Did the Duke have another Tamer and a Flyer?”

“I was given no orders, and I must admit I do not know everyone on the staff.”

The Guide chuckled and the conversation died as they stepped into the wooden structure that was Piral’s home.

Collecting and throwing his personal effects into a bag Piral carefully picked up the cage containing the other Flyers of Green Flyers family, as well as the cages containing the Rutnarodo all of whom let out disgruntled growls at being disturbed from their slumber. All of the other creatures including the Mounts were rightfully the Duke’s. Taking them now would only antagonize the man.

“The Star woman?” asked the Guide impatient.

“This way.”

[Sil] let out a yelp as the door to the pen was violently opened. A cold gust of air followed, curling up further into the blanket and the foul smelling straw the Empress looked up.

“Greeting is!” said the red, creature. It was a class C like Piral, who was standing behind him. The class C was painted red, some of the paint on it’s face was missing exposing the blue skin. It was also bald, which made it look disturbingly like a class A.

“What?” asked [Sil].

“Greeting are!” said the class C in such mangled Base that it took [Sil] several moments to understand.

Her eyes widened, even if it was poor communication, the class C might understand her!

“Let me out of here! I demand to be let out!”

The class C listened for several moments and frowned, turning back to Piral he said something in the alien tongue again.

“King to meet. You wife of sun and star. Special ceremony binding of soul and spirit! Meet king and Guides!”

[Sil] hesitated, not sure what to make of that.

“I am meeting the King?”

The red painted class C thought for a moment, “Yes. Apologize, not know language of star. Young. learning.”

Again it took [Sil] several seconds to understand that.

“Am I a prisoner?”

The red painted class C blanched, “No! You are hero of stars! Star people fight unclean, star people fight Humans!”


The man reached into his robes and rummaged around. After a moment he produced an old extremely worn data tablet. Half of the display was flickering on and off but it was working.

“C1764. They are demons that crashed the star people’s star voyager! You fight yes?”

The image on the display showed yet another class C species, one that appeared to have a wide range of skin colors from a complete burned black to pasty white given the samples it showed. The report was the same standard type that had been inside the escape pod and really only showed the basics of the species none of which were important at the moment. [Sil] quickly paged through the rest of the data tablet looking for more information.

The class C painted in red blanched at this and moved a hand towards [Sil] She ignored him quickly scanning through the contents of the device. Numerous log entries from what looked like a crashed patrol vessel were its primary focus. A cursory glance showed that the crew had finished their analysis of a new planet and were homeward bound when something had happened.

The class C tore the data tablet away and it disappeared back into his robes.

“Sacred, not break!”

“The ship, the King has it?”

“Ship? Star voyager, flies between the stars? It is the most important relic of the King’s lineage.”

[Sil] saw her opportunity, if some old patrol vessel had crashed, even if it was close to [400] years old it would be more than what she had at the moment. It was her ticket off the planet, and once she was back in the Empire.

[Sil] smiled, “Take me to the King.”

She was going to burn the planet first chance she got. They were class C’s and for that alone they deserved to be squashed out.

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Sweetness – Love and Kiing (NSFW)

CopRit Empire, Halfil Sol 14 Of Race 4 Year 4958 Frostal Secondary, New Baltimore Sitting down in the chair across from the Principal’s desk I nervously swallowed and tried to calm my heart. The Principal could probably hear it, and smell my perspiration. Which was only making me more nervous. “Thoomaas,” squeaked the principal from

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Sweetness – Implications

CopRit Empire, Halfil Sol 25 Of Race 4 Year 4958 Monty Publishing House, New Baltimore Slowly gathering myself I stepped into the hologram chamber, the projection flickered and the simulation automatically paused as I stepped in. I quickly looked around to get my bearings, I appeared to be on a starship bridge enduring greatly exaggerated

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Sweetness – Chapter 4 (NSFW)

CopRit Empire, Halfil Sol 78 Of Race 3 Year 4958 Suburbs, New Baltimore I looked back up at the shopkeeper, the small Human was trying to appear unconcerned. Not that I could really blame ‘him’- glancing over at the human I checked the chest. It was a male, the chest did not protrude and there

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Sweetness – Chapter 3 (NSFW)

CopRit Empire Sol 77 Of Race 7 Year 4957 PackRat IV, 5 Months out from Halfil I slammed into to deck plating. Coughing, I rolled over onto my side and vomited on the floor, trying to get over the fact that everything was spinning around me. “You know, Humans have perhaps one of the most

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Sweetness – Chapter 2 (NSFW)

CopRit Empire, Halfil Sol 78 of Race 3 Year 4958 Athletic Complex, New Baltimore I jumped to the side, dodging the attack. I felt the breeze as the weapon passed my abdomen; it missed me by only a few millimeters. Twirling to the side, I brought my foot up. Reacting with amazing speed, my opponent

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Sweetness – Chapter 1 (NSFW)

CopRit Empire, Halfil Sol 78 Of Race 3 Year 4958 Divsion 3 Police Station, New Baltimore “What?” The officer frowned and pushed the circular data tablet across the table to me. On it was an image of the woman I had met at the bar last night. She had green skin, of a shade that

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Shades of White and Orange

Sneaking forwards Kalif slowly tilted his ears to either side and waited in the darkness. Not sensing anything he slowly crept forwards towards the statue, and the artifacts in its base. Slithering as silently as possible Kalif focused his eyes on the objects, as if afraid they might disappear at any time. Reaching the statue

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Mother Earth

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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Waters of Babylon – Tzedakah Part 4

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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Good Training – Survival Part 10

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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Waters of Babylon – Tzedakah Part 3

Date Point: 14Y 1M 3W AV HMS Sharman, Folctha, Cimbrean Toran and Tybal “Shhh…” “You shhh…. I’m already ssssh’ing.” The two cubs, having crept past the outer fence surrounding the base, slinked in behind a short hedge and remained motionless. It was late enough that the nightly rain had, overall, stopped, but early enough that

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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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Waters of Babylon – Tzedakah Part 1

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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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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