Causal Results – Chapter 9

Ruck, Willinkree

Year 3042 Day 37

[Sil] guessed that it was one of the more ornate chambers the class C had. Hand stitched rugs covered the stone floor, the bed was stuffed with something the class C probably considered soft, and most importantly to [Sil] the chamber had an extremely large hearth with a roaring fire.

The heat from it had been inconsistent, but exhausted from the day of walking and nearly frozen from the harsh atmosphere of the planet [Sil] had welcomed even the primitive source of heat. The blankets on the bed were by no means clean, and were scratchy beyond belief, but they were warm.

As much as she loathed to admit it, the accommodations had been sufficient within the means of the primitives. They had been comfortable, until the woman had barged into the room when the first rays of sunlight had peaked out from behind the nearest mountain.

“What?” growled [Sil] as she sat up in the bed, not caring that the class C had no hope of understanding her.

The woman looked at [Sil] for several moment’s and the Empress stared back at her. The woman was dressed simply but with what [Sil] could tell they were expensive materials for the class C. She was a servant of some type and the first female specimen of the species [Sil] had been able to see up close.

Eyes flicking around her [Sil] noticed little difference beyond the general morphology that obviously made her a woman. The blue skin was perhaps a little darker than any of the class C she had seen, the growths of hair covered her entire body and were more ornately trimmed and thinned on the woman’s face but otherwise still present.

The woman bowed her head and muttered something, she gestured and several other women dressed in identical attire stepped into the room. One with a tray of food, the other with a large jacket of some sort.

The tray was set down on a small table and the woman carrying the jacket looking as if she were going to shake herself apart slowly set the jacket down.

“Leave now,” said [Sil]. The class C all looked at one another but did not move.

[Sil] raised her hand pointing and repeated her words. The two additional woman glanced at the first and slowly stepped towards the door. Slowly the last woman exited, muttering something under her breath as she did so.

[Sil] frowned but ignored it.

Ignoring the icy cold of the morning [Sil] stood up and picked up the jacket. It was something much closer to her own size than the thing that Piral had given her, and seemed to be made of both cloth and animal furs. A hood with extra padding was sown onto the back and [Sil] only debated for a moment before slipping it on.

The suit was wearing was durable, and the shoes were keeping the cold away from her feet but without the gloves and the helmet the exposed portions of her body were at the mercy of the elements.

Flipping the hood up [Sil] looked at the small tray of food, ignoring all of it but the fruit [Sil] picked up something that looked like an orange [apple] and bit into it.

Walking around the chamber and glancing at the dying embers of the fire the Empress walked over to the large window covered by heavy curtains. Unlatching the heavy thing she swung it inwards and ignored the blast of cold air.

Taking a bite of the sour fruit [Sil] looked out at the city.

The class C appeared to already be up and moving in most respects. Dirty looking men and woman moving through the streets carrying baskets, pulling carts, or burdened by heavy bags. The same animal that the Duke had been riding were slowly lumbering through the streets as well, pushing pulling and carrying even larger materials and loads.

I was a city, one that [Sil] knew from the history of the Empire very much like what the Capital had once been nearly [11,200 years] ago. A civilization that was developed enough to have order, but still primitive enough to need beasts of burden and lower classes.

The largest difference were the walls, and the men posted on top of them. [Sil] hadn’t noticed them entering the city but looking out at it now she could see the massive array of defenses present. Every [two hundred meters] a high wall that was barely large enough for two of the class C to walk side by side. From what [Sil] could see the walls were something that had been added, there were buildings divided in half by the wall in places.

“What do you think?”

[Sil] whipped around to see the class C king standing in the doorway of the room.

“You speak my language?”

“I do.”

Goorge stepped into the room behind him. The young man was now dressed in robes that had intricate gold threaded designs in it. Spiraling psychedelic patterns that looked like they were moving on their own.

“Why is Goorge here? Why did he take that name yesterday? He wouldn’t give me a name when we first met.”

The King paced the room for a moment, glancing at the fire he gestured towards it. Goorge calmly picked up several logs from the stack next to it and tossed them into the wide cavity watching them only for a moment as they lit.

“Goorge had not yet earned a name, bringing you here and removing the incompetent Guide’s before him he earned a name,” Olita sat down and picked at the food on it, “He took the name of one of the Humans. Took the name of an enemy.”

“Do all of your people have to earn their names like that?”

The King chewed for a moment on the small bit of food, “No. Only those who want to earn the more important names.”


Walking away from the window [Sil] sat down in the chair opposite of the King.

“I would imagine much of this food is unfamiliar to you, the cured Inilit is my favorite,” said Olita as he picked up another piece of the meat.

[Sil] rolled her eyes and quickly ate a piece of the meat, ignoring the overly salty flavor. She had to at least maintain the persona of interest.

“It’s fine.”

The King nodded his head and reaching into his own robes produced a second ancient tablet.

“This is something I’m hoping you will be able to better explain to us, it has for generations been a curiosity. Many of the words we cannot understand, and even our best Guides can only make guesses at what it all means.”

[Sil] glanced down but did not move to pick the device up.

“I’m not sure if I can explain it. I am a ruler, not a scholar.”

Olita leaned back in his chair, “I’m sure you would understand it far better than us. You are from the Stars after all.”

[Sil] picked up the device, “True. If I tell you what this all means I want to see the ship, the first vessel that the Star people before me had.”

“Of course, the plan was to show it to you in any case. I do not know what from it would be an appropriate wedding gift.”

[Sil] smiled, “Yes…”

Ignoring the man, she tilted the tablet, noticing that it was far colder than normal. The energy harvesting for the device desperate enough to be pulling heat from her own body to power itself.

Goorge picked up another of the logs from the stack in the room, and turning his weapon on the wood began to experiment with the settings on the side of the gun.

[Sil] glanced up, but the flashing lights seemed to be distracting both class C.

The tablet contained the mission logs and the entirety of the crashed ship’s data. What Goorge had told her was factual in most respects, although embellished somewhat to make the surviving Ensign out to be some deity or prophet for the class C.

The patrol vessel had encountered an anomaly, something that had pushed them out of their tachyon jump at the edge of the star system and had forced them to abandon their patrol vessel and try to land in the ground shuttle. Although that too had been damaged, which had led to the deaths of all the crew except the Ensign. The C1764 samples which had been in cryogenic stasis survived the impact much more readily.

Ensign Dauntalsala had been an average officer, one who desperate and alone on a planet of class C had broken from protocol in a drastic manner. The logs were clear enough, the change from the professional and precise facts from the Captain to the desperate and shaky reports written by the Ensign were obvious enough. The patrol had been the first tour for the Ensign, not that it justified many of the actions the boy had taken in [Sil]’s opinion. The fact that he had even contacted the class C and convinced them he was some sort of god were absent from the reports, which cut out just a few days after the crash.

The most interesting thing was the amount of data on the tablet in regards to C1764. The Captain had prioritized it over almost everything else in the data storage unit, creating an array of redundant data files.

Absentmindedly [Sil] picked up a piece of the meat, and chewed on it as she continued to read through the tablet and the sun climbed up into the sky. She did not notice that both Olita and Goorge were now silently watching her.

Species C1764 was stuck in a genetic flux of some sort a trait which had attributed to the many varieties within the species that Goorge had pointed out. Different skin coloration, different hair types, blood types, eye color, general intelligence, the species covered nearly all the normal variations seen in the wide swath of class C by itself.

The variety had not degenerated their species though, somehow continuing to advance with a condition which when observed in other species, and by only a very small amount led to natural extinction. The normal Seed genetics not something that were so malleable once set by the conditions of a planet.

Changes to C1764 were easy to implement, and they would within only a generation or two fully integrate the change. Even with the older genetic manipulation technique’s available to the survey crew 400 years ago, they had seen the potential.

The Captain of the patrol vessel had determined that the information was too valuable to transmit back to the Senate and the Classification board at the time. The Captain mentioned several events that [Sil] remembered from her own history classes as events that had led to only a minor Separatist movement.

As a consequence the potential gains from the manipulation of the C1764 genome had been lost.

Curious [Sil] read the preliminary experimentation, one experiment had been too advanced the Genetic Correction virus, which was normally leveraged to convert the class B citizens of the Empire into class A.

The results had been nothing short of amazing, even in that preliminary test. The genetics of nearly any class B species would have been corrected in only two generations or so with only one injection of the virus.

[Sil] glanced up at the King.

His blotchy blue red skin clashing and spotted in places were evidence of the virility of the modification. Several generations past the initial injection, without additional genetic correction doses and the changes were visible.

Slowly [Sil] set the tablet down.

“Olita, the name you bear is passed down correct?”

“It is, why?”

[Sil] glanced back down at the tablet again, “The first King born after the Star People first crashed. What did he look like?”

The King’s eyebrow’s rose and he slowly leaned across the table.

“So our interpretation was right? You took pieces of your enemy, combined them with yourself, and that is what changed my bloodline? Made us to be like you?”

[Sil] slowly nodded, “Explain what you know, I will fill in what I can. This is not my expertise though, but what I can understand the changes are fading. The first Olita born had skin that was more than half red right?”

The King leaned back in his chair a frown on his face.

“Were you not from the stars, what you just said would be tantamount to treason. You are right though, the first Olita born after the Star People were here was completely like them, only his hands were still like ours. The lack of anything visible, has been something of a point of contention for my bloodline.”

[Sil] looked the man over, “In what way?”

The King smiled, “The red skin, and the traits of the Star People signify that I have the right to rule.”

“The traits will continue to fade with each generation. It is a miracle it has lasted this long,” said [Sil].

“Can it be returned?”

[Sil] slowly nodded, “It can be, but I need access to the ship they landed in if we want to improve the bloodline to what it should be. The shuttle has equipment for that.”

King Olita frowned, “That can be arranged. After you fix that, we need to discuss the wedding arrangements.”

Olita smiled and stood, “You came at a very advantageous time, I was preparing to marry in a tenth of a year. She was my second cousin, not the healthiest of wives to have.”

[Sil] restrained her grimace, “Yes. I suppose that is true. Could you please show me the shuttle? It will take some time for me to fix the bloodline.”

King Olita stood, “Goorge, take the Empress to the Shuttle. Let her have full access, it is more hers than either of ours. I have wedding preparations to make, and she seems eager.”

[Sil] swallowed keeping her face impassive. Attempting to correct the class C now would only cause further issues.

“Of course,” the young class C holstered the weapon.

Standing [Sil] hesitated for a moment.

“I am also curious, the creatures you have on this planet are foreign to me. I want Piral to show me those that you have.”

The King’s eyes hardened slightly.

“That can be arranged of course, but the Tamer who replaced him can much more easily do so.”

“Piral will do so, and his position as your Tamer will be restored.”

Olita was silent for a moment.

“Why are you helping this man?”

[Sil] had been composing the answer to this, knowing it would come up.

“I am not, he is being rewarded. He was the only man within Duke Frin’s cohort who recognized me for who I am and informed you. The rest of his men, and the Duke himself were looking only to use me for their own ends,” [Sil] paused letting that hang for only a moment before continuing. “I have found that rewarding such loyalty is far more advantageous in the long run.”

Olita’s lips twitched but the King bowed his head, “A wise policy.”

“Then he will be here?”

“He will be.”


[Sil] turned to Goorge.

“The shuttle take me to it now.”

The building holding the shuttle was odd compared to the rest of the class C architecture. Smooth and flowing, but composed of solid stone the building that contained it was a half dome. Metal and other materials spidered in regular patterns along it’s surface apparently holding all of it together.

“All of the pieces have been stored here, it took nearly a decade to move theme here and then another two to construct the dome to protect it,” said Goorge as he swept his arms about.

“Why the dome?” asked [Sil] still looking at the building as they approached. It was so out of place compared to the squared off structures.

“Is that not what you store such vessels in?” asked Goorge.

[Sil] blinked, looking at the construction again she realized that it did have the rough proportions of a ground based hanger on the home world. Those were built to house hundreds of the ships on multiple platforms however, and most shuttles were in space for the entirety of their useful lives.

Slowly she nodded, “It is, the ones we have are far larger.”

“Made of the same metals as the shuttle I would guess, it is incredibly strong. A king two generations ago tried to make a sword out of the metal from it.”

[Sil] glanced at him, “He did not damage the shuttle I hope.”

“No, the smiths ordered to construct it could not work the metal. The forges at most could make the metal they worked burn red hot, even then the metal would not bend or deform. The smiths gave up and were killed.”

[Sil] said nothing for a moment absorbing the casual brutality.

“The ships are designed to fly through atmospheres…” [Sil] trailed off. The class C would not understand anything about orbital mechanics or the heats and conditions involved. For a moment, she tried to think of a way to describe it but quickly dropped the subject. I was not important.

“The stars are hot, I would think the metal should survive that,” said Goorge as he motioned at the Guards in front of the building. The men began to pull the curved wooden doors apart.

“Exactly,” muttered [Sil] as she craned her neck to look inside.

A few small windows somewhere halfway up the stone dome were the only source of light, and [Sil]’s heart stopped for a half moment at the sight. Even the dim light was enough, the Shuttle was in three distinct pieces and it looked as if someone had gone at it with heavy weapons fire.

Stepping into the dome the panic she had felt inside the pen that Piral had placed her in the first night came flooding back. Now though, now she had to maintain a façade on top of that panic.

“Leave,” breathed [Sil].

“I am not supposed to leave anyone alone within the dome,” said Goorge his voice neutral.

“Leave!” shouted [Sil] her voice cracking as she whipped around to look at the class C. The boy stepped back, and his eyes widened slightly.

“Now!” yelled [Sil]

Goorge bowed his head and turning stepped out of the dome.

“Close the doors, I will knock when I am ready to leave.”


[Sil] stood still her eyes locked on him as the doors swung shut.

Her heart beating at a violent pace, and her skin cold [Sil] turned back to the wreck. She had been holding out hope, not wanting to even think of the possibility that the ship wasn’t damaged. It was the only avenue of escape she had left, and it was worthless.

Slowly stepping forward’s [Sil] identified the cockpit of the ship.

It was sitting directly next to the main engine compartment, the main protective bulkhead the only thing that had stopped it from being torn apart as well.

Sitting down in the middle of the wreck, [Sil] stared at it not letting herself see.

It was impossible, it wasn’t possible.

She was trapped on the savage world, with only class C.

The beacon was not going to work, it was only another false hope. Whoever had sabotaged her ship, they had most definitely accounted for it. It was impossible to sabotage her ship to begin with, they would not leave an emergency signal to chance.

Perhaps even the Beacon itself had been destroyed.

The planet was at the edge of Empire space, and not important in any strategic way. The system was at least [ten light years] away from any other beacon, and with the low priority it would take [thirty years] at a minimum. Assuming the beacon had been launched as soon as her ship had been lost.

The tears of betrayal, loss, fear, and pain bubbled to the surface.

She was no longer an Empress.

No longer, a mother.

Her son, would grow up without a Mother or a Father. The boy, would be corrupted and taken in by the Senate. He would be a puppet, and nothing more for the men and woman who had no care but the expansion of their own interests.

He would never be an actual Emperor.

Tears flowing freely [Sil] looked around again at the wreckage, because of it she was now some sort of mythological figure to the class C.

The class C, she had been looking at as actual people.

They were brutes, primitive, useless creatures. She was stuck with them, doomed to live out the rest of her life with them.

Looking at a jagged piece of the metal that was her only way off the planet [Sil] for a moment debated if it would be easier. Would it have been easier if the assassination attempt had been successful?

If she were dead?

Reaching out [Sil] grabbed the piece of the wreck and pulled it towards her, disturbing the dirt it rested on and hadn’t been moved from in centuries.

the jagged metal cut into her flesh and [Sil] winced away from it. The pain, was too much.

The sun started to set and the light inside the dome faded.

A small chittering pulled [Sil] back to reality for a moment, slowly looking around she spotted the creatures on top of one piece of the debris, the one furthest to the right the most familiar and the largest of the group. The small flying creatures all cocked their heads to the right as [Sil] watched them.

“Go away!”

They didn’t move, [Sil] lifted the hunk of metal up and threw it.

The creatures scattered, and snapping their wings out as they continued to chitter to themselves drifted back down to land on her. Several of the creatures immediately took up residence in the fur lining of the jacket and clutched at it as they continued to let out pitiful squeals.

[Sil] watched for several moments and not able to even work up the energy to fight them off simply continued to cry.

Stepping into the same ruling chamber she had been in yesterday as the torches were being lit [Sil] stepped up to King Olita.

“I am not marrying you.”

Olita’s face hardened and the other men behind him quieted.

“Nervous over the marriage I think,” said Goorge.

The young man said something else in his native tongue and raised his stolen weapon. The other men in the room quickly filed out as they continued to talk to one another. [Sil] watched them leave and sitting down in one of the many chairs that lined the hall looked at the King.

A pitcher of alcohol sat on the small table in front of her, reaching out and pouring a glass of the foul-smelling drink [Sil] quickly downed it wincing at the acrid taste and the slight burn of alcohol.

“I’m dead.”

“Empress?” asked Goorge stepping forwards.

She glanced at him and laughed, “It’s pathetic how you think you’re important, you’re nothing! You’re a class C species! Vermin, twisted forms of the Seed! You don’t deserve to live in the same Universe as us!”

The two class C men glanced at one another saying nothing and [Sil] continued.

“The first Dorvakian’s who crashed here, were not divine! It’s a sign of how primitive miniscule and stupid you are. You can’t even imagine what the universe is like, you want to know something? We’ve been watching your species for a thousand years, looking to see if you might develop anything useful. In that time, you’ve hardly merited more than a few footnotes in our history, you’re so worthless that we don’t even feel the need to destroy you. Some class C species become a small threat to the Empire I rule! They are miniscule threat’s like children throwing rocks, you though? Your entire race can’t even pick up a [fucking] rock!”

[Sil] threw the metallic goblet at King Olita. It hit the man in the chest and he glanced down not moving as the rest of the drink dripped down his front.

“My Empire encompasses nearly five thousand stars, I rule over trillions! I will not take orders from a [fucking] class C! I’m only on your planet because I crashed here! When my ships find this planet, and my troops tear apart this pile of rocks you call a throne I’m going to enjoy watching your entire planet burn from the sky!”

[Sil] picked up the pitcher and drank her gaze set on the two creatures.

“I for one, am shocked,” said King Olita a smile on his face.

“My King, you are look stunned! As if you are going to collapse!” said Goorge a similar malicious grin on his features.

[Sil] blinked, “What?”

King Olita slowly stripped off his jacket with the drink on it and tossing the garment to the side sat down across from [Sil] pulling a chair out to match her.

“Ensign Dauntalsala said much the same thing to the first Guide. The arrogance the people of the stars has is apparently unchanged over the years.”

“That’s not what you said!” breathed [Sil] turning to look at Goorge.

“I lied, am I supposed to be too stupid to lie? Simply because I’m class C?”

Goorge put his foot up on one of the chairs, “I’ve spent my entire life studying the tablet, there are plenty of things I’m hoping you’ll be able to fill on for me in regards to the advanced weapons you have. Even so, the most amazing thing I learned of were the lies you tell yourselves.”

“What do you mean?” snapped [Sil].

King Olita leaned forwards, “The lie of the species classifications. You tell yourself that you are special because of your skin and hands, but we’ve studied you. The class A are no better, and if you really are the Empress it seems they have been lying for so long they don’t even know it.”

King Olita put a hand to his chest, “The lies I tell my people protect them, it is far better that they believe the people of the stars are helpful, and at least ambivalent towards them. If I were to tell them that you wanted to destroy us, and that you could do it with nothing more than a tap to a piece of metal.”

The class C pressed his hand down on the tablet.

“The chaos that would ensue, would be devastating. So, the first Guide, and the first King told the simple lie that the technology they had was from the gods. A gift.”

“We are not stupid [Sil],” said Goorge as he turned the weapon around in his hands.

“This is like a sword or crossbow, and so is the tablet. Made of infinitely small parts, only far more complex.”

He turned the weapon towards [Sil].

“Which also means we can kill you.”

“Goorge,” reprimanded King Olita.

“Just getting my point across, it’s on the sleeping setting. I tested it on some of the Tamer’s creatures.”

“I need her still.”

[Sil] frowned, “Need me?”

“We are to be married after all.”

“We are not getting married.”

“You are acting as if you have a choice. You do not.”

[Sil] shook her head, “I can tell your people the truth.”

“You cannot speak our language, the ones who can speak yours will not care what you have to say. You might be from the stars but you are still a woman.”

“What does my gender have to do with anything?”

The two class C looked at one another again, and Goorge visibly smiled. Slowly the young man held out his hand.

Grumbling words in his native language the King produced a solid metal key and threw it at the young man who deftly caught it the grin on his features only growing.

“Don’t touch any from my coronation year.”

“I wouldn’t dream of it.”

Goorge slipped the key into a pocket on his robes and turned to [Sil].

“Women, in your Empire are rulers and leaders? You understand military matters?”

“Of course, I do! Why would,” [Sil] trailed off connecting the information.

“Class C’s. Your sexist’s aren’t you!? Only two class C species have had any large difference in the intelligence of their males and females, and I am class A! I am more intelligent than the both of you put together! I am not some commodity for you to trade!”

King Olita slowly shook his head, “No you are not. You will soon be my wife, and the children we have will most certainly be red skinned and worthy of the throne.”

[Sil] retched, “Class C, we are genetically incompatible!”

“Even with the modifications to my blood the first Star People wrought?”

[Sil] own blood ran cold at that, and both class C noticed the momentary flash of panic in her eyes. The class B who underwent the normal genetic correction, did not under any normal circumstances have intimate relationships with class A. There had been isolated cases throughout the years, species who were nearly through the genetic correction, who were almost class A and just barely still class B who formed those relationships.

They could have children.

[Sil] cursed C1764, and the first crew who had crashed on the planet. It was too horrible to even think about, but technically possible.

“I will die before I let you touch me!” hissed [Sil].

Olita raised his hand’s in offence, “My dear wife to be, it would be unbecoming of a King to force himself on any woman. If, however you do not wish to be married, well I suppose I can let you leave.”

Olita leaned forwards his eyes dark, “Of course, other’s might not be so appropriate. A man with red skin is the one destined to rule after all. It has been that way for nearly 400 years. The Duke for example, I’m sure that is what he had in mind with you. I suppose you could go back to him.”

“That won’t work King, the Duke suffered an accident sometime last night. We got a flyer this morning with the report.”

King Olita’s eyes widened, “Really?”

“His heart stopped in the middle of the night from what I understand. Just around the time the men you sent to retrieve her ship arrived at his estate.”

“A very odd coincidence.”

[Sil] hand’s shaking reached out and picked up the goblet of the foul drink and once more downed the entire cup.

She was dreaming, this was a nightmare. All of this, a nightmare.

She was still on her ship, still flying among the stars.

“Empress Silnersalkara, do you wish to call off the wedding?” asked Olita.

[Sil] ignored him, her hands shaking and head numb. It was impossible, it was a nightmare. Unbidden the political sense of the matter floated to the top of her mind. She was valuable to Olita, perhaps the most valuable thing the man had in his possession at the moment. His rule was being challenged due to a lie that his family had perpetrated for generations was falling apart.

He needed a son with red skin, to ensure his small Kingdom remained under his control.

“I could remake the genetic changes, like it was done originally.” Offered [Sil].

“You need C1764 flesh for that. There is none left, we are not stupid.” Growled Goorge.

[Sil] could not open her eyes, she could not say yes. To even consider it, what the class C was proposing, was disgusting, and wrong.

“Goorge, she needs time to sort this all out. For her own safety, would you show her to her new accommodations?”

“Yes sir, Empress?” Goorge put his hand on her shoulder and [Sil] jerked away from it.

“I can make my way back.”

King Olita stood and rearranged his robes.

“Different room, safer.”

Goorge’s grip tightened and [Sil] winced. Still trying to process everything she stood allowing the larger class C to guide her.

Slowly walking through the stone halls of the primitive castle [Sil] didn’t notice she was being led in a different direction when she slipped on one of the stone steps leading downwards. Hand’s flying out for balance [Sil] grabbed the robes of the class C and blinked.

“Where are, we going?”

Goorge’s grip tightened, and he pushed [Sil] forwards making her stumble. Nearly hitting the ground [Sil] yelped and looked around at the hallway they were now in.

“Your new accommodations.”

[Sil] stared at the metal constructs embedded in the walls, silver bars that alternated large and small were in the rock forming small cages.


Looking around at the familiar voice [Sil] saw the hulking class C Piral sitting in another of the small cells. He jumped towards the bar and said something in his native language.

Goorge said nothing and instead pushed [Sil] into one of the small chambers, unable to fight the class C [Sil] stumbled into it and turned around as he slammed the door shut and pulled a metal key from it.

“What, what is going on?”

“We’re giving you time to reconsider.”

[Sil] stood and glared at the red painted alien, “I’m going to destroy this planet. Make all of you burn!”

“That only happens if you can get off our planet and return to the stars. For the moment that is impossible. So, for now, I would suggest learning where you fit in Empress.”

Turning away the Guide extinguished the single torch in the room, plunging [Sil] into darkness.

The Empress of the Empire died that night.

The man in the cell next to her watched through the night as the change took place. Attuned to animals he felt the shift from abject hopelessness to determined lethality.

The woman who woke in the cell the next morning was no longer class A.

The woman who woke, was broken, beaten, and defeated.

The woman who woke would have nothing to lose, and everything to gain by being a Class C with red skin.

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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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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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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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+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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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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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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+ 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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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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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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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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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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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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-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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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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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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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 – 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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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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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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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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