Causal Results – Chapter 8


YEAR 3042 DAY 36

[Sil] took the water from the class C, Piral and holding her breath to avoid the smell of the bag the acrid tasting liquid was in took a few quick gulps choking them down as quickly as she could. She had yet to have any of the food from the planet yet, and was predicting that it would be similarly barbaric.

[Sil] handed the water inside the leather back to the brute, he slowly took it and slipped the thing back onto his belt. [Sil] sniffed and drew the primitive and roughly hewn leather jacket around herself, the day was clear and the alien sun was shining brightly, it was cold.

The two aliens had only exchanged brief words after dragging her from the animal pen. As far as [Sil] could interpret, they were not friends. If the body language was anything to go by the two were ready to kill one another at a moment’s notice.

“How long will it take to get to the ship?” asked [Sil]. The ancient crashed patrol ship was her only hope if the emergency beacon did not work. At the very least she hoped to be able to take the thing up into orbit and get away from the class C.

The red painted and younger looking class C glanced back at her, “King meet first. Prove Senior Guides wrong.”

[Sil] suppressed her grown.

“How long to the King then?” repeated [Sil].

“A walk day,” said the Guide.

It was the same answer that he had been giving since they had begun the trek just before dawn.

[Sil] scrunched up her nose in annoyance at the vagueness, but then they were more than likely primitive even when it came to time scales. She had seen nothing to indicate they had even started mechanical engineering.

Slowing her pace and dropping in behind the red painted alien as he led the way through the winding wooded path, [Sil] one more glanced back at the first alien. Piral had a hand up near his face, and was making odd clicking noises.

A small creature pocked a head out from between the class C’s hands and let out a near identical clicking. Small and furry the small creature’s eyes locked with [Sil]. The two small ears on the head perked up and the creature went silent regarding her.

Piral noticed as well and raised his own eyebrows at the small thing.

“Heralki,” said Piral, and he opened his palm.

The creature leapt from Piral’s hand and drifted through the air for a moment extending two flaps of skin from its sides. The flaps were supported by small boney protrusions that appeared to curl into its back when it was not in the air.

[Sil] only managed a single step backwards as the creature glided through the air towards her. Landing on her head [Sil] and the creature both let out yelps of surprise as it landed on her head.

[Sil]’s dignified, and the creature’s animalistic fear as it scrabbled on her alien head for grip, not familiar with anything being bald.

[Sil]’s hand’s shot up and quickly closed over the creature which quickly let out a pitiful squeal of distress.

“Manka!” shouted Piral, his own hands coming up towards the creature.

“Cease!” translated the Guide whipping around at the sound of distress.

The small thing scrabbled at [Sil]’s hands for a moment, slowly her own eyes locked on the giant of a class C [Sil] lowered her hands containing it. Piral’s eyes remained locked on her hands, watching as she brought the creature down in front of her.

[Sil] noted that the creature wasn’t biting at her hand’s even as it’s claws scrabbled against the inside of her hands. Hands in front of her [Sil] locked eyes with the small thing as it let out a pitiful chirp and stared back at her from its improvised cage. It was always amazing to see what could arise from the Seed. Creatures were catalogued and samples were usually stored before they were eliminated if determined to be too far from the norm.

Unlike with the class C, the variety of the less sentient creatures was tolerated to a degree. The less complex creatures were never more of a threat than any other animal, and their oddities had led to varying scientific discoveries and medical advances within the Empire.

Piral quickly but gently snapped his hand over [Sil]’s, startled she didn’t resist as the class C pulled her hands apart and retrieved the small thing. Chattering the creature shot up Piral’s arm and disappeared into the folds of his clothing.

Piral muttered several things under his breath and backed away from [Sil] his hand over the small lump as if to protect the creature should [Sil] lunge at him.

Huffing in annoyance [Sil] turned to the bemused looking Guide. “Tell me about the other Dorvakian’s. The other Star People.”

The Guide blinked and nodded, “Good story. Have told lots of times. You not know it?”

“It was a long time ago, wasn’t it? The Star People have had to fight many times. I do not know all of the stories.” [Sil] decided that using the same language as the class C’s would clear up some of the translation difficulties.

“C1764, is still a threat?” asked the Guide.

“Yes, they are a threat,” prompted [Sil]. The C1764 were only another class C race, but letting the alien tell the history from their twisted perspective would be the fastest way to get the information she needed.

“Still fighting?” questioned the Guide looking sad.

“Winning,” insisted [Sil].

The Guide’s expression brightened at that.

“400 years ago, Star People fell the to ground. The people were afraid, they had after all fallen to the Earth from stars. Nothing had ever fallen from the sky except in old myths about useless and vengeful gods who did nothing but sate their own amusement with mortal lives.”

He forced a chuckle, and [Sil] got the distinct feeling that the red painted class C had told this story many times before. It had a rehearsed feel despite the poor grammar.

“We were foolish back then, not knowing the truth. The Star People traveling home, from another star another point of light in the sky. They were scouting, ensuring that the stars were safe for their Empire. A rule that had not a thousand, not a hundred thousand, but a hundred thousand, thousand, thousand people! So many that they could not remain on one sphere or dirt in the heavens! They braved the dangers of the stars, an ocean so deadly that it can kill in an instant, a place where even light can kill! To find new patches of dirt and Earth where they settle. On one star, they found a horror. Evil creatures, that were twisted versions of the Star People themselves.”

[Sil] winced at that and opened her mouth to correct the class C. He continued before she could interrupt and [Sil] shut her mouth. The Guide’s speech was improving confirming to [Sil] that the tale he was repeating was one he knew by heart and from someone who spoke the language far better.

“These creatures though, were far more twisted than the Star People, further from the path than we are. C1764 is the name the Star People gave them, the name they gave themselves.”

The Guide paused and glanced around as if looking for eavesdroppers in the middle of the roughly hewn wooded path.

“Human. They look like us and the Star People, but they are sick in the head. They have unnatural skin colors that change from generation to generation, ranging from pure dangerous black to vicious unnatural white. Their hairs are different color as well, from a normal white to blood red and everything in between. The star people described them as a race that had made no decisions, and were violent for it.”

[Sil]’s eyes widened at the description. Trying to sort through the badly translated words and phrasing and recall as much as she knew about the Class C species in general as she could. Most of them were aberrant in only one fashion, odd genetics that twisted their minds or appearance. Class C of the same species homogeneous in relation to one another. For a species to have large differences on its own planet pointed to a very large genetic drift from the Seed.

“The Humans broke the Star Peoples ship, blown by the wind of the stars the Star People landed on our ground like you would land a ship. The Humans broke free of the ship and attacked, there were only ten of them. Those ten Humans destroyed two entire kingdoms, wielding weapons they stole from the Star People themselves. The first Guide was one of the few people to survive the Human’s tirade across the world. Desperate and suicidal the first Guide investigated the Star People’s ship and found a survivor.”

The Guide paused for emphasis.

“Dauntalsala. He was the lowest in rank of the Star People, a vassal of the Captain.”

Dauntalsala was wounded, and slowly dying. Desperate to see that the Human’s did not lay claim to another sphere in the heavens Dauntalsala taught the first Guide. He taught his language, the ways of the people of the stars, the great threat of the Class C creatures like the Humans.”

“Dauntalsala died, twenty rotations later. He only survived a total of sixty on the ground away from the stars. Unsure who to pledge his loyalty to and with no Kingdom to return to the first Guide gave a star thrower to each of the Kings who were left, and promised to serve and teach the one who killed the most Humans about the Star people, and what they had that was far more powerful than a star thrower.”

The Guide smiled and pulled out his own ancient gun, “With these to use the King’s sent out their greatest Hunters and Warriors. Within another sixty rotations King Olita had killed seven Humans. The first guide showed him the power of the star people’s ship and every other King quickly abdicated, accepting King Olita’s bargain to become his Duke’s and rule their kingdoms under him.”

“Than the King we are meeting is one of his decedents? He has all of the Star People’s gifts?”

“Except for small things, like these.” The Guide held up his weapon.

[Sil] glanced at the ancient weapon, it was still lethal but not something she needed, “Good.”

Slowing down she fell back into line behind the Guide. All she needed was the patrol vessel, hopefully not even that. The emergency beacon was still broadcasting.

The saboteurs whoever they were could not knock out communication to even the cursory nodes of the Beacon network for very long. The infrastructure and the investments in it was far too expensive to allow any of it.

Piral stepped past her and [Sil] jerked away briefly before settling.

“Guide, what were you talking about?” asked Piral in his native tongue. The young man glanced back, “She wished to know the story of the first Star People here.”

“She did not already know it?”

The Guide chuckled, “The sky is vast Tamer. The Star People’s Empire cover’s almost all of them. We cannot believe ourselves to be so important that ever single Star Person knows of us.” Piral frowned, not liking the condescension in the boy’s tone.

“I understand the number Guide, but this Star Women looks at us oddly,” he paused sorting out the words.

“She looks at us as if we are vermin. She fears us at moments, as if we are violent animals that might suddenly decide to attack. This is not how allies would look at one another.” Now the young Guide was scowling.

“Tamer, you are presuming we are important. We are not powerful enough for the Star People to care about us. They are fighting amongst the stars against C1764 and other threats. We can hardly move across our planet with any speed. Your talents to tame beasts of the land can hardly give us the power to wonder the stars like they do.”

Piral grunted in affirmation but said nothing else. Arguing with someone who had dedicated their life to being a Guide was never productive.

The trio was silent for several long hours, the two-alien’s pausing every so often to allow the Star Woman to rest. The path to the Capital was not particularly hard but it was uphill for most the trek, going between two mountain passes.

[Sil] was cursing when the two men paused at the crest of a hill. She glanced at the two and then looking down the hill saw the torchlights in a valley below the mountain she had just climbed. Evident within that large cluster of firelight was one large artificial light. It was shining up into the sky, a solid shaft of white light.

“Is that the ship?” asked [Sil].

“It is,” said the Guide.

[Sil] nodded, and began down the path for once not pausing to rest. The two alien’s followed watching her as she stomped down the path.

“We should cover her, before we enter the city,” said Piral as the Capital one again disappeared beneath the trees only the large light visible.

“Lest some quick footed messenger inform the King before we can?”

Piral glanced at the young man, the vibe he was giving off was that of a dangerous but caged animal. Something that would attack if it could get away with it.

“More so she does not get mobbed. I doubt the King would appreciate blemishes on her skin.”

“She would be mobbed wouldn’t she.” Moving quickly the Guide pulled off his ornate robes and held them out to [Sil] leaving him in only his simple tunic.

[Sil] almost gratefully took the cloth as he handed it to her, the night on the planet was cold and it would be another hour or two of walking before they reached the Capital.

Shivering the Empress vowed to destroy the planet the first chance she got. It was far too cold to be of any use.

Entering the Capital [Sil] frowned.

The class C were slightly more advanced than she had initially given them credit for. The city was not a cesspool, buildings were arranged in a fashion so that the centermost buildings were tallest making them easy to defend. Their were cart’s and other primitive amenities. The road was straight and in good condition, made of compacted bricks.

It was reminiscent of the oldest parts of the Empire’s capital which had been excavated and preserved. Every civilization went through the developmental stage. Given another few hundred years the class C might produce some useful technology. Not that [Sil] was planning on leaving the planet intact once she was rescued.

“Hurry.” Whispered the Guide glancing back at her as several more aliens’ moved through the street.

[Sil] planted her feet on the ground, “Why?” the two had not been in a hurry as much as she had been for the entire journey. Despite her inability to keep up with the two, they had never looked as frazzled as they did now.

Piral grabbed at the back of [Sil]’s robes and lifting her up continued forwards half dragging her along through the city.

[Sil] scrambled back to her feet and started to walk again as the two continued to rush her through the city.

“Not enough protection, fool might look for name a you with.”

“look for a name?”

Her question was cut off as the Guide stepped up onto a small stone footbridge. [Sil] looked up to see a crude stone wall as well as several hundred small flames, torches mounted to the wall of what looked like a palace.

Stone had only gone through a short amount of usage on the home world before it had been replaced with more civilized construction methods of plaster and carved marble. The stone castle was barely visible in the darkness, [Sil] had no doubts that the thing dwarfed anything made of stone the Empire ancients had constructed. Although she loathed to admit it, the construction was also far more ornate. Arches and domes made of stone evidence of the exacting construction.

An artificial light flared on, and [Sil] winced recognizing the concentrated beam of light as the search light that would be on a standard patrol vessel.

“Guide?” asked a voice up near the light.

“Open the gate!” demanded the Guide as he strode forwards through the bright light unfazed.

“The King is not in court! It’s nearly midwatch!”

“Wake him then Fraank!”

The man laughed and the white light shook slightly.

“What do you have to say that is so important?”

Piral cleared his throat and [Sil] jerked as he pulled the hood down.

For a moment, there was silence.

A scream came up from somewhere behind and [Sil] glanced back to see another woman, the first of the blue skinned woman she had ever seen staring at her in shock, a small bundle she had been carrying on the ground.

“I’m opening it!” shouted the man.

Piral pushed [Sil] forwards and The Empress nearly stumbled again at the force of the blow.

Hurried into the primitive castle The Empress saw few other class C until she and her two erstwhile companions were ushered into a small chamber guarded by two men even larger than Piral.

The guard’s eyes widened slightly as they took [Sil] in and she was similarly shocked looking at the two men.

“Sit!” the Guide pointed at a small cushioned seat, he similarly took the one next to it and began to say things in his language to the guard [Sil] hesitantly followed the order unsure what else to do. At the moment the Guide was the only one with any ability to understand her and until some other means of communication was a available he was indispensable.

The door to the small room opened and [Sil] whipped around to check the newcomer.

It was a woman, who was undoubtedly a servant or handmaiden. [Sil] knew enough of them, the demure behavior, the ornate but well worn clothing, the general mood that a servant gave off. Like the men the class C woman was hairy. Her long hair was intricately braded on her head keeping it out of the way, the hair on the rest of her body was not nearly as thick as the men’s but was well trimmed and combed where exposed.

The servant barely flinched as she similary took in [Sil]. Trembling slightly the woman bowed her head slightly and shuffled into the room a small tray in her hands.

[Sil]’s stomach growled as the smell of the food quickly filled the room. Most of what was on the plate, was identifiable in a general way. Bread, fruits, some sort of cured meat. A pitcher of brown liquid in the corner.

Alcoholic in some fashion, not that [Sil] was worried about diseases. She was immune to anything that had developed on the planet. It was a staple of how far off from the genetically correct path the species was in a twisted fashion. Biologicla agents needing to know exactly how to breach a given species defences to be effective.

The Guide walked over to the servant and took the tray from her with hardly a second glance. The servant stumbled and quickly still bowing left the room.


The Guide set the platter down on the small arm of the chair keeping it balanced.

[Sil]’s stomach growled again.

Steeling herself, the Empress picked up the bread and hesitating for only a moment bit into the substance. The thing was rough, the grains barely broken up, salty to the extreme as well.

Swallowing mouth dry [Sil] picked up the pitcher and once more steadying her resolve drank. She nearly spat the liquid back up, whatever fermentation it had gone through was primitive in the extreme.

Still, she needed to eat. Starving herself would do nothing to help her.

Leaving the meat untouched [Sil] quickly ate.

Piral looked on with some concern and asked something of the Guide. The man gave a clipped response and did not translate.

One of the guards spoke and [Sil] stopped eating as he opened the door.

“Meet King!” said the Guide.

[Sil] stood. The two class C who had been with her the entire day were momentarily stunned as she began to exude confidence in command and a regal attitude.

Sweeping past the two she stepped into the hallway. Piral and the Guide glanced at one another and quickly followed the Star Woman not sure what had caused the change in her demeanor.

Sweeping into the throne room [Sil] did not pause even as every instinct screamed that she was in danger. The room was packed with class C, all of whom looked exceedingly unhappy to be roused from sleep. Only the man sitting in the center of the room looked unfazed.

[Sil] nearly tripped over her feet as she took in the man, he was built like the class C, and he had hair to match. His skin though, was a blotchy red-blue pattern. He was not painted like the Guide, his skin was naturally red in places.

“I am Empress Silnersalkara.”

“Manana keril hanig nofkl!” shouted a man who pushed himself forwards in the crowd. He was dressed in robes like the one’s that the Guide had been wearing.

[Sil] frowned at the interrupting man, “Translation?” she asked not turning back to look at the Guide.

Smoothly stepping up beside her the young man translated, a look of predatory glee on his face.

“Why were the elders not told?”

The Guide turned back and contused to speak in the Imperial language.

“I am fulfilling my role as a Guide to the people and those of the Star people.”

“For that grateful,” said the King.

The man bowed his head. Every other person in the room quickly emulated his gesture.

“King Olita, greeting Empress Silnersalkara. Welcome!”

“Thank you.”

The King turned to the Guide, [Sil] blanched at the dismissal.

“Young Guide, I was informed of your departure. I was however told that your monitoring of the artifacts was in error. Your quest even more so. I am overjoyed that it was not.”

“As am I your Majesty.”

King Olita straightened his robes and looked at the other Guide, “I think this is perhaps an occasion where a Guide may be given a name no?”

The elder Guide grimaced, “Yes, it is. Assuming that this is really a person from the Stars.”

The young Guide smiled and reaching into his robes pulled out the ancient tablet, as well as the very new star thrower.

“The largest artifact she brought to the ground with her will need to be moved by at the very least a contingent of Men. I took a seeming of the object, you may see that on the informer.”

The young Guide held the tablet out. The older Guide bustled forwards sweeping past [Sil] to grab at it. For several moments he stared at the picture.

“Project,” ordered [Sil] unable to see the image.

The ancient display crackled and the image popped up into the air as a hologram.

Shouts went up in the room and the older Guide fumbled with the tablet nearly dropping it in surprise.

King Olita and everyone else in the room stared at the image of the crashed escape pod.

“I am convinced of her authenticity.”

“Then I may have a name?” asked the young Guide.

“You may.”

“I have waited for the people of the stars, and my faith has not wavered. I will take the name of one they defeated. Goorge!”

The King smiled, “You have earned the name and more Goorge, you are the elder now.”

The older Guide blinked, “King!”

The King raised his hand, “You have been enjoying far too much power I think. You did not even have the will to take action when a new Star Person appeared on our world. You were complaining to me about you acolyte running off, weren’t you?”

The Older Guide gasped for several seconds not sure what to say, King Olita glanced at Goorge.

Goorge leveled the new Star Thrower.

Piral only caught a glimpse of the star as it arced through the air, slamming into the old Guide, and burning clean through his chest.

The man let out a dry cough and collapsed his eyes wide and words dead on his lips.

[Sil] let out yelp, but she was ignored.

King Olita smiled as he took the weapon, “An amazing demonstration.”

“I live to serve.”

“These are lighter than the others.” Noted the King.

“I believe that like our own weapons, the star people continue to improve their foraging methods. How they capture the stars I do not know.”

“We’ve improved our weapons quite a bit, this is a small one. The largest can destroy entire cities in an instant.” said [Sil] struggling to regain her footing in the conversation unsure what was happening and why the two were almost ignoring her. Goorge was translating, but not speaking to her.

King Olita frowned, “How does a warrior hold such a weapon?”

“It’s on a ship.”

King Olita slowly nodded, “Wrong words I think.”

“I will consult list. I apologize, older Guides might know more words,” said Goorge.

“Perhaps, be sure to consult,” said the King as he slowly turned the new weapon on Piral.

“You were warned about returning Tamer.”

Piral ignored the weapon, “I am a loyal subject My Lord.”

The King stepped forwards, “That is all you have to say?”

“My lord, Piral sent a Flyer informing the Guides that Duke Frin had found something from the stars. Along with what I saw in the artifacts, he is equal in credit for the discovery of the Star Woman. He was even taking care of her as best he could, without being able to speak the divine language.”

“That is enough to ensure he dies with honor, and that I will go as far as to kill him myself. These actions do not absolve him of his failures.”

[Sil] watched as Piral knelt and a twang of panic filtered through her. The class C was a brute, the blue skin ugly and mottled in places from half healed lacerations and his hair tied back in a rough knot. Still the alien was the only one so far who seemed trustworthy.

[Sil] had no idea what the politics were, but she could easily see the players. Goorge was taking advantage of her appearance to gain power more quickly than he would have otherwise. He was deferential to the King only because he was smart enough to not jump to quickly. [Sil] would have doubted even a Class A with his attitude would be content to retain his position.

[Sil] glanced down at the dead class C.

She was sure he would work to obtain more power. The fact that he had murdered someone who had apparently helped him without a second thought was evidence of that.

The large brute, had been gentle with the small creature. He had let her grieve, he was direct but had not yet been cruel. He was class C, he was violent and she would kill him and the rest as soon as she was safely aboard the shuttle.

She needed an ally. It was also an opportunity to test how much power the class C were placing in her. The scouts had convinced the brutes that they were gods of some sort. She could leverage that.

Striding forwards exuding the small confidence she portrayed when staring down the Senate [Sil] put herself in front of the King.

Goorge let out a yelp and the King quickly lowered the gun.

“Why?” asked the King as Goorge quickly translated.

[Sil] frowned and glanced back at Piral, “What has he done?”

The Guide translated this, and the King drew himself up to match the regality of [Sil]. Facing off neither monarch gave ground. The King spoke slowly, enunciating his words in a slow cadence as if expecting [Sil] to understand them.

Goorge slowly translated matching the King’s gravitas.

“The responsible Tamer death of the Prince with Mount. Agreed to leave, promise broken.”

[Sil] glanced back down at Piral and decided to force the issue.

“No killing.”

The King raised an eyebrow, and slowly nodded his head.

“You want him as disciple?”

[Sil] wasn’t completely sure of the translation, but there wasn’t time to ask for anything better.


The King muttered something to Goorge who chuckled. Olita holstered the gun in the ancient Imperial holster.

“A marriage gift then,” translated Goorge.

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

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Good Training – Survival Part 9

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

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Causal Results – Chapter 4

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

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Good Training – Survival Part 8

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

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Causal Results – Chapter 3

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

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 56: Dataquake Part 5

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

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 56: Dataquake Part 4

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

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Henosis – Chapter 4

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

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 56: Dataquake Part 3

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

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Causal Results – Chapter 2

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

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Good Training – Survival Part 7

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

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Henosis – Chapter 3

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

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 56: Dataquake Part 2

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

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 56: Dataquake Part 1

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

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Henosis – Chapter 2

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

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 55: Reinvention Part 5

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

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Henosis – Chapter 1

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

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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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