Guarded Titans – Chapter 6

9 Years, 11 Months, 23 Days After Eridani Landing

Home World

[Vann] groaned as the Senate leader run the bell for afternoon recess. The few members who had attended the general meeting got up to leave, most them continuing to deliberate with one another. Several larger groups moved towards the doors that led to the more secure meeting rooms.

In the public seating, high above the Senators and on the opposite side of the rectangular room from where [Vann] sat began to move as well. [Vann] narrowed his eyes, just barely making out a gaggle of small children pressing themselves up to the clear material isolating and protecting the Senators, their eyes locked on him.

[Vann] raised a hand and waved in the general direction of the children.

“That was literally [five hours] of nothing!” growled [Vann] as he slowly stood up and stepped away from the solid white green marble throne that had been in the ruling chambers of the Empire since the tenth Emperor.

“The Civil Art’s Appreciation Act is important.” Said [Syn] from her small table off to the side of the small raised dais where [Vann] was.

“Compared to everything else going on?”

[Syn] shrugged and turned back to her Comm. [Vann] stretched and walked forward’s down the steps of the dais and into the empty seating. Several Senators glanced in his direction and one quickly moved ahead towards him.

“Emperor.” The older man raised his hand in a salute, covering his right eye. [Vann] raised his own saluting the man, “Senator Walcom.”

The Senator lowered his hand, “Do have time to for a quick discussion? I and my Regents feel that we have the right to certain information, given the amount of direct action that you have taken in the area I’m responsible for.”

[Vann] weakly smiled, “I think it would be best that I consult with Consul [Marcus] before doing so. I can assure you that both he and I have the utmost confidence in your ability to lead, but there are matters of supreme importance taking place in your area of space. Matters which require the resources of the empire as a whole.”

Walcom’s face remained neutral, “I understand that in matters of great importance, your direct action is needed. You have a responsibility to the people, I and every other Senator shares this burden.” Walcom licked his lips, “However I must put those in my space first, all I am asking is that I be given more information so that my people remain safe.”

[Vann] considered him for a moment, looking the man up and down. Average in build and stature, the skin on top of his head was losing some of its red fading towards white in color.

“I completely understand Senator. I would be happy to sit down and discuss this with you at nearly any other time, but I’m afraid I have another event scheduled.”

Not leaving the man time to respond [Vann] stepped down around him and followed the other government officials out of the hall.

[Syn] fell into step behind him, “[Howard] is at the restaurant already.”

[Vann] quickened his pace and glanced at his Comm, “He is early.”

“He arrived [two hours] early.” Said [Syn].


“His family has been attempting to make the jump from influence over the market’s and business to the government for generations. In that time, his grandfather came closest he was to bond with a Senator’s daughter.”

[Reece] stepped forwards, gently directing [Vann] away from the public Transport area at the front of the Senate building towards another hallway. [Vann] followed the direction and the bodyguard started quickly guiding them into another wing of the building.

“What happened?”

“She was propositioned by one of your great-grandfather’s illegitimate. Half royal blood, was far preferable than the business influence to her.”

[Vann] sighed, “Which one?”

“The 20th child, I forget his name.” said [Syn] shrugging.

[Vann] rubbed at his eyes, ignoring the men and women around him who were freezing in place and staring wide eyed as [Reece] forced his way through a section of the building where the aides to the Senators and other officials were working. Few managed to raise their hands in salute, [Vann] ignored all of them following the bodyguard.

[Reece] opened an emergency door, the usual alarm silenced. Stepping out the bodyguard quickly opened the door to the small transport that had squeezed into a place where two renovations of the ancient building had left a small gap in the roof.

“Was there a threat?” asked [Vann] as he quickly ducked into the vehicle.

[Reece] slammed the door behind [Syn] and moved around the pilot’s seat. Sliding into it he quickly maneuvered them up into the air and away from the Senate.

“No, but [Howard] has not been silent about this meeting. He has been bragging about it to all of his business partners, who have been similarly loose lipped.” Growled [Reece].

“I didn’t tell Ven to keep it a secret.”

[Reece] grunted and twisted the transport around into the traffic of the Capital. “In the past [five years] you have not attended anything beyond official functions. Today you’re meeting at a civilian restaurant, and you forbade me closing it. I decided additional security would be prudent.”

[Vann] chuckled, “I have made your job too easy I think, that or I let you dictate far too much.”

[Reece] twisted his head around to glance at [Vann] his face completely blank.

“Ven?” asked [Syn] jumping in to help the bodyguard.

[Vann] winced, “[Venna].”

“Yes, I understood that. Why is she now Ven?” Syn leaned forwards towards him as she spoke, propping her chin up on a fist to look at him.

[Vann] looked away from her and out at the buildings, “Am I supposed to be completely detached from this? Using her to get to her Father and [Marcus] does not mean I can’t continue to see her.”

“No, but then again she is your first attempt at courting. Unless we are counting those lovely dates, we had.” Said [Syn] as she grinned back at him.

[Vann] smiled, “I was what, [eight years old?]”

“Something like that. You were cute, having the garden’s replanted with my favorite flower. Very romantic. It would have gone better if you hadn’t spent the entire time training with your swords, and showing off.”

[Vann] shrugged, “You were impressed.”

[Syn] harrumphed, “Yes well, my point is that [Venna] is young love, if that’s what it is. Only in old romanticized stories does that work out very well. She’s not going to complain no matter what you do, she and her father will both be content with her serving as a, diversion when you bond with someone of higher stature.”

[Vann] scowled, “I’m not going to do that [Syn]. The old Emperors remained only with those they Bonded to, and they are revered for that and their accomplishments in the Empire’s service.”

“They also did not have to contend with electronic recording. It was much easier to modify information thousands of years ago.” Deadpanned [Syn].

[Vann] waved a hand acknowledging the comment. The transport fell silent as [Reece] continued to quickly weave through traffic. Reaching one of the older skyscrapers of the city the transport quickly dropped down to the ground.

[Vann] glanced out seeing another half dozen men dressed like [Reece] standing in front of the old squared off building blocking the pedestrian traffic all the way up to the entrance.

“Called on the whole guard today?” asked [Vann].

“A third.” Said [Reece] as he opened the back door.

[Vann] stepped out and quickly walked between the men to the entrance of the building. A man dressed in a uniform reminiscent of the old-style Imperial servant attire quickly pulled the door open ushering [Vann] inside.

“Emperor, we are honored to have you dining with us today.” Said another man dressed in the same uniform. He was standing with the rest of the staff arrayed out behind him, the tables of the small restaurant around them empty.

[Vann] frowned, “I thought I told you to leave the establishment open.”

“I did not do this.” Said [Reece] his voice low.

The greeter meekly stepped forwards, “The Consul requested some privacy Emperor, we were happy to comply.”

[Vann] closed his eyes and drew in a breath, “The Consul is here?”

The man hesitated, “Yes sir, he arrived only a minute before you did. The president of the Baroom corporation an [hour] or so before that.” He nervously swallowed, “They are this way Emperor.”

The man gestured towards the back of the restaurant and took a step towards it.

[Vann] nodded, “I’m sure I can find them. Bring us whatever you feel is your best dish in [thirty minutes] we have some matters to discuss before we enjoy the meal you have prepared.”

“Of course, Emperor.” He saluted again remaining rooted to the spot.

[Vann] and [Reece] quickly stepped past them and quickly through the array of empty tables.

“[Howard] was not secretive about this meeting.” Repeated [Reece].

[Vann] snorted, “Even if he told no one, [Marcus] would have still known about the meeting. You no doubt appreciate his extra security measures.”

[Reece]’s eyes hardened and his lips narrowed to a thin line. “I do, but I did not inform the Consul or anyone else of this meeting. The additional security was only informed this morning.”

[Vann] paused and looked the man up and down. [Reece] stiffened and stood at attention glaring back at him.

“I have never questioned your dedication to my safety. But neither am I going to remain in a bunker my entire life.”

[Reece] bowed his head, “No you should not.”

[Vann] turned and walked into the small room at the back of the restaurant.

[Marcus] glanced up from his seat at the head of the small rectangular table, [Howard] jumped to his feet and saluted.

“Emperor!” said [Howard], his voice was deeper than average almost reverberating in the small room.

“[Howard], I’m glad you accepted my invitation for this lunch. Given the relationship I have with your daughter, would you be comfortable being a little more informal? Just call me [Vann].”

[Howard] blinked and quickly nodded, “Of course Emperor. I, [Vann]” he swallowed and quickly wiped at his brow, “Of course.”

[Vann] pulled out the chair across from [Howard] and sat, putting [Marcus] on his left.

“Emperor.” Greeted [Marcus] as he raised a glass to his lips.

“Consul, I’m afraid I don’t remember inviting you.”

[Howard]’s face drained almost to pink across the table, [Vann] smiled. “It is a very welcome surprise though; your council is as always invaluable.”

[Howard]’s face stopped draining in fear, and [Marcus] chuckled. “I’m glad you think so. You’ve been so busy lately it’s been difficult to schedule a meeting with you. The class C debacle, Chront, your little fiasco at that party.”

[Vann] bowed his head and reaching out picked up his own small glass of wine, “That little fiasco was a blessing I think. I’ll admit, it was not the most gracious way to meet [Venna] but my embarrassment is a small price to pay for the pleasure of getting to know her. She is an amazing woman.”

[Howard] struggled to form words, his mouth opened and closed several times.

“That she is,” drawled [Marcus]. “Almost everything associated with the Baroom company is.”

The Consul leaned forwards, “Which is why the Emperor and I have something very important to ask of you and your company. We both think it is something you are the only one capable of doing.”

[Vann] narrowed his eyes and turned to the Consul.

[Marcus]’s lips twitched into a faint smile.

9 Years, 11 Months, 23 Days After Eridani Landing


“Derrick, where the hell is that latest power subsystem report?” shouted Stagg, her voice echoing through the hanger and into the wreckage of the Canada where Derrick was working in what had once been the main engineering compartment.

“I sent it to you!” shouted Derrick as he frowned at the results of the analysis in front of him.

Stagg clambered up into the hole in the hull and stuck her head up into her ruined ship, “No you didn’t, what the hell are you wearing?” asked Stagg frowning.

Derrick blinked and glanced down, “Oh, this.” he thumbed the dark jacket, which was high collared and long, going down nearly to the ground. A single large button on the waist kept it tight there, while the rest of it remained loose.

Derrick blushed and rubbed at the back of his neck, “I’m going off base, with Hala to actually look around the island. I got your approval for this a week ago.”

Stagg slowly nodded, “Right, but what the hell are you wearing? You look like detective out of an old movie.”

Derrick frowned, and shrugged. “I asked Hala to pick up something to help me blend in.”

Stagg pulled herself up into the wrecked engineering compartment, “The fact that your mouth is moving out of sync with your words, isn’t something you can cover up with a jacket.”

Derrick rolled his eyes, “I’m just trying to not get mobbed in the streets is all. Hala’s promised whatever it is we’re going to it’s not going to be insane.”

Stagg’s eyes flicked to the place where Arik had been and then back to him, “The energy report?”

“Your Link’s probably disconnected, some of them were having that issue a few hours ago.” Derrick pointed at the analysis he had started, “Looks like one of the antenna in the Canada’s overheating. I’m cycling the signals through the two remaining short range arrays for now, but I think the long-range array is shot. We’re limited to anyone actually on this island.”

Stagg frowned and pulling out her Link shook the device, “Damn it, here I was thinking that nothing was going wrong for once. I’ve missed about a hundred messages!”

She turned to glare at Derrick.

“We need a satellite, shuttle something Human permanently in orbit, or the Russia. Since they’re scheduled back tomorrow, I think we can go a few hours with spotty communications. It’ll take me just as long to pull out the main antenna in gravity and that’s not even with the time to try and fix it.” He grimaced, “and I’ll need the entire engineering crew. I could do it on my own in space, but it’s buried in some of the remaining armor on top of the ship. Those plates are heavy.”

Stagg held up a hand. “I get the idea; how long would it take you to build a compatible communication satellite? Just for future reference?”

Derrick thought for a moment, “With purely Human components? A few months, with Empire components from the Valiant, a week. With Seninon and salvaged pieces of the Canada, a month. I’d rather not use anything from the Empire.” He glanced at Arik’s spot. “I don’t have any way to quickly check the operating code, the Vakurian have cleaned a lot of it but I still don’t understand the tech as much as I would like to use it for anything critical.”

“The Seninon route then?” asked Stagg.

Derrick nodded, “They’ve already got communication satellites, and with some salvaged components from the Canada and spares from the Russia, we could expand that network for them a few hundred times over in capacity, and add in our own communication protocols.”

“I’ll bring it up at the next meeting with the world leaders.”

Derrick turned back to the analysis and bit at his lip looking it over, “Even with the short-range array, I’m having to cut the throughput. We’re going to start losing fidelity, the Links might switch to combat protocols.”

Derrick closed the analysis and turned back to Stagg, “I’ve got to go though, I’m already late meeting with her.”

“I don’t have to remind you that you’re representing all of us, don’t do anything too bad while you’re out. We need the Seninon.”

Derrick raised an eyebrow, “I’m not planning on going to a strip club. I said I wanted to try some of the Seninon food and Hala offered to take me to a restaurant, and then she wants me to see some sort of performance.”

“Hala, she’s the daughter of the President. Yes?”

“And one of the better engineers.”

Stagg gave Derrick a critical eye, “This could be interpreted as favoritism. The only reason things have been as smooth as they have been is because we’re keeping all three nations involved. We can’t afford to have that questioned.”

“She’s the daughter of the Fidelin president, on a base in Bitus territory taking an alien out to be exposed to the culture of their world. I haven’t left this base, I need to look at something other than this.” Derrick gestured at the empty spot where Arik had been perched.

Stagg glanced at the hole, and nodded. “I suppose you have earned some leave.”

“Some, and you already approved this!”

Stagg rolled her eyes, “If I ordered you to take time off and relax, you’d ignore me on principal.”

Derrick shrugged, “Probably.”

The two smiled at one another, Derrick clapped his hands together. “I’ve got to,”

He was interrupted as alarms began to blare, the sound loud enough to punch through the thin metal of the hanger and the armored hull of the Canada.

Derrick blinked, “What?”

Stagg whipped her Link out and glared at the small device, “Damn it, what’s going on?”

Reaching into the jacket Derrick pulled out a dull gray box with a large antenna sticking up out of it. Stagg furrowed her brow as he turned a dial on the side and raised it up to his lips.

“Engineer one to command, what’s going on?”

The device crackled for several moments, static issued from its primitive speaker making both Humans wince.

“Command to engineer one, the perimeter of the base has been breached by a hostile party of unknown intent. Their site of incursion is close to the published location of the Canada, units are deploying to defend the base! End.” said a barely discernible voice through the tinny speaker.

“Is that a radio?” asked Stagg.

Derrick smiled and shook the device, “If it works, the Seninon officer who’s supposed to send out the Link alerts at their command isn’t very fast. It’ll pop in a minute or two. Poor guy’s having a hard time with the keyboard.”

Derrick raised the radio, “Humans will be moving into a defensive posture, end.”

The radio buzzed for several moments, the alarm continued to blare and Derrick jumped as the sound of an explosion echoed in the distance.

“Understood.” It was a different voice on the radio now, “Defensive only. Retreat from current locations only if required. I do not need the confusion of your forces in this mess, end.” Said the voice, the deep baritone of it more discernable through the radio.

“I’m assuming that’s what you were going to order right?” asked Derrick, his eyes flicking over Stagg.

Stagg popped her holster open, “Yes, and send out a roll-call. Anyone not checked in within five, we’re moving to their Link’s location.”

Derrick stepped back to the Engineering console of the Canada and quickly sent off a crew-wide message.

“We’re not going to stay here? We’re going to get,” Derrick winced as another explosion went off, “in the way if we go out there. I’ve got hand-to-hand training, but I’ve had more training as an engineer than anything else.”

Stagg drew in a breath her eyes locked on the display as names on the ship roster flashed green, individuals checking in. “Hopefully everyone checks in. Whatever this is, it’s nothing official.”

Another explosion reverberated through the night air drowning out the alarm, Derrick collapsed into his seat, “How can you tell?”

“If one of the governments had condoned this, it would be a little more intricate than a frontal assault on a military facility. Being fooled by the public misinformation of where the Canada is housed, all three nations have spy satellites correct? Simply looking at where all of the people on the base are at any given time will reveal where the Canada is.”

Derrick frowned, “Then it’s another faction, or a distraction?”

Stagg nodded, “Can the Canada still self-destruct?”

Derrick scratched at his chin thinking, “I could set off one of the nukes we’ve still got, but they were designed for space combat against the Empire shields. Even on the lowest yield it’ll kill everyone on this base and a good portion of the city.”

Stagg grimaced, “That would be the end to any alliance.”

“I can encrypt the computer systems, that’ll be as good as wiping them from the Seninon perspective. Their computers wouldn’t be able to break even civilian encryption unless they figure out quantum computers.”

“Those are impossible.”

Derrick shrugged, “They’re trying. Anyway, even wiped the hardware would still be valuable. It’s not like Earth-Mars where the hardware was virtually identical and the software was secret, a computing node, a Link. Given enough time they’d be able to reverse engineer most of it.”

Derrick paled and turned back to the console, “If they wanted technology, taking a Human engineer would be the target. A spy could easily get technology from the Engineering teams working on the fabricator, but we’re only sharing a few technologies with them. All of the militaries have been pressing for weapons technology.”

Stagg held up a hand, “That’s assuming this isn’t just more people like the gentleman who decided to shoot you on the tarmac.”

Derrick said nothing for several moment’s his eyes locked on the list of people checking in, the final names on the engineering department flashing green.

Derrick sighed in relief, and then jumped as something banged on the side of the Canada.

Both Humans jumped and drew their side-arms.

“Derrick!” shouted a muffled voice.

He frowned, “That’s Hala’s voice.”

Stagg moved towards the hole in the bottom of the engineering compartment, “Hala, what is going on?”

“I don’t know, the alarms went off right when I pulled up to pick up Derrick. I was going to take him out to show him the city, he was late to meet me, and I figured he was doing another analysis looking for Arik. We salvaged another computing node today.”

Stagg raised an eyebrow, and glanced back at Derrick. He winced, “I was doing that and fixing the communication array.”

“Can I come in?” asked Hala.

Stagg frowned, “If your right then..” she trailed off.

“I think it would be easier to kidnap me when we were off the base, like we would have been in thirty minutes. Besides, she’s closely associated with one government. We’ve got camera’s in here backing up to all of the shuttles and everyone’s Links.”

Stagg leaned down through the hole, offering one arm to the woman her other hand still holding her gun. Hala clambered up through the hull of the ship, and took Stagg’s hand.

Derrick frowned looking her over. Her usual attire of rumpled engineering jumpsuit with a few dozen pockets to hold components had been replaced by what looked like a tightly wrapped kimono on top and transitioned into tight pants at the waist, continuing down to high black boots on her feet.

“What, are you wearing?” asked Derrick.

Hala scrunched up her nose, “I got you the right clothes to wear out to town, am I supposed to go out in my work clothes?”

Derrick shrugged, “I don’t think either of us are going out.”

She huffed in frustration, “No probably not.”

Another explosion, further off reverberated through the building.

“You have no idea what’s going on?” asked Derrick.

Hala shrugged, “The Certus wouldn’t be stupid enough to attack like this. My money would be on one of the purist factions from my own nation. The Herninites have been especially vocal, and in they have been violent in the past.”

Another explosion echoed through the air, and reverberated through the ship. Derrick winced at the noise, “Do I want to ask what they have been saying?”

“The Humans are creatures will take everything we have worked to create, you deserve whatever it is the Empire has inflicted on you, you don’t have souls so we should kill you and take your technology.” Hala grimaced, “To be truthful the Vakurian have been getting the brunt of it, they’re more alien in a way.”

Hala scrunched up her nose and her snakelike eyes narrowed, “Their lack of monogamy, the pheromones, their camouflaging skin. Their culture, and the fact that they divided themselves along stupid things like hair color.”

Derrick sighed, “Humans did things like that in the past, with skin color. I don’t think you can hold that against the Vakurian though, they destroyed themselves and learned from it.”

Hala shrugged, “I don’t particularly care. We need you and the Vakurian if we want to fight the Empire. Humans fought one another because of skin color?”

Stagg chuckled, “We’ve fought over reasons far less important than skin color. Truthfully this is the most united we’ve ever been in history. A common enemy that’s monolithic in power, it’s brought every faction Humanity has ever had together just to survive.”

The sound of rending metal tore through the air, Derrick turned back to the engineering display and an external camera feed from the bow of the ruined ship flickered on. Rain was falling through a hole in the ceiling of the hanger, down onto a surprised Human who looked to be the only other person in the hanger working on one of the extracted bridge stations.

Derrick angled the camera up, just in time to catch a small object falling through the hole.

“Grenade!” shouted Stagg, her voice echoing out of the ruined hull of the ship.

The Human crewman dove away from the explosive, which detonated only a moment after hitting the ground. The flash of light and roar of sound was loud even inside the ship, the light brighter through the hole than the camera which was built to filter out the flash of naked atomic blasts in space.

“Flash-bang!” growled Derrick as he began to furiously type on his console.

“Damn it, Derrick we need defenses!” said Stagg as several lines of rope dropped down through the hole in the ceiling of the hanger.

“Everything’s deactivated, and built for combat in space! The reactor’s deactivated, we’re getting a power feed from the Seninon!”

“Weapons lockers still stocked?” asked Stagg.

Derrick nodded and spinning away from his station threw his chair away and jumped up into the central corridor of the ship. Clambering up into the small tube that had been the backbone in space but was impractical in gravity Derrick awkwardly fell into the bridge.

Flashing his Link on for light Derrick grabbed at the small handle next to the captain’s chair and pulled.

The hatch popped open exposing the suit of Martian armor stored in it. Grimacing Derrick tore the weapons away from it and tossed them back up into the central corridor. Donning the suit would take too long.

“Derrick!” shouted Stagg. The familiar sound of a Human sidearm being fired reverberated through the bridge and Derrick winced at the noise.

Ignoring the ringing in his ears Derrick jumped back up into the corridor and pushed the weapons along in front of him. They clattered onto the floor of engineering as Stagg fired again.

The Captain of the Canada stood over the hole in the hull of her ship, stance wide and eyes focused through the wound. Her eyes were set and her gun completely steady in her hands as she fired again.

Hala glanced up at Derrick, she was holding a length of metal that she had pried from the wall in her hands. Derrick looked back at the monitor and winced, men were still descending the ropes that had been tossed into the hole in the hangers ceiling.

“Call for reinforcements!” shouted Derrick, he tore the radio from his jacket and tossed it at Hala. She dropped the length of metal and scrambled to catch the device.


Derrick tossed the heavy assault weapon towards her.

Stagg stowed her sidearm and grabbed the weapon out of the air, angling it down she fired a rapid burst down at the attackers. The echoing roar of the explosions deafened Derrick as he brought his own weapon to bear on the breach in the hull.

Looking down through the hole Derrick could see men in primitive black combat gear, pads and heavy helmets, wires running up to their ears and weapons similar in shape to what he was wielding. A bullet clipped Derrick’s shoulder and he winced as the ship suit underneath his clothing deflected it away and up into the ceiling.

Bringing his weapon to bear Derrick lined up his shot and released a quick burst of fire down the hole. The armor the Seninon had was bulletproof, towards their own ammunition. The assault weapon Derrick wielded was built to penetrate state of the art Human armor. Each small bullet Derrick fired carried the same kinetic energy as an old .50 caliber round.

Trained from the time he could hold the weapon in his hands Derrick carefully put rounds down the murder hole, wordlessly trading shots with Stagg and covering for her when she moved to reload.

A grenade was tossed up into the compartment. Derrick squeezed his eyes shut and continued to fire, the sound in the small room completely blowing out his eardrums. Opening an eye and barely able to see Derrick continued to fire down into the hole his ears prickling as the normal dosage of nano-machines in his body began to fix his eardrums.

“Where is backup!” yelled Stagg.

She glanced back at Hala, the Seninon woman was staring at the radio still she was clutching in her hand.

“Hala!” Shouted Stagg, she stepped towards the woman. Derrick moving to cover her and grunted as another round from the Seninon weapon hit him in the chest knocking the air from his lungs.

Keeping the trigger down Derrick’s eyes flicked over to the camera, in time to see several of the black clad figures were dragging away the Human who had been working in the hanger.

“No!” Derrick whipped his eyes around and grabbed at the emergency oxygen canisters stored on the wall. Pulling them all free he quickly dropped them down the hole, and lining up the short shot fired.

The compressed canisters fizzled for a moment, Derrick continued firing into the mass of bodies and equipment below. The canisters detonated and Derrick felt his eardrums flex again. The men massed below stopped firing as they tried to recover.

“Derrick!” shouted Stagg. He ignored her and grabbing the edge of the hull dropped down onto the men his jacket flaring up around him and tearing as it caught on the jagged metal. Several more shots hit his suit and deep bruises began to form.

Hitting the ground Derrick emptied the assault weapon and dropped it. Raising his sidearm, Derrick fired at one of the men carrying off the unconscious Human. The man jerked as the bullet tore through his head and blood splattered onto his partner who whipped around to look at Derrick, raising his own weapon up to attack.

The searchlights on the side of the Canada flared to life behind Derrick, bright enough to light up objects kilometers away in space the light instantly blinded the man. He yelled in pain his eyes going up to his head. The Human he was carrying groaned as his own eyes burned, the nano-machines beginning to reconstruct his eyes.

Derrick glanced up at the hole in the hanger ceiling and fired at it.

A man fell from one of the ropes an impacted the concrete with a sickening crunch. Derrick looked around the hanger, absently noting that the Seninon blood was slightly lighter in color than a Humans.

The doors to the hanger opened, bright lights far less intense than those that the Canada had just flashed filtered in the silhouettes of men in similar armor to those who had attacked in front of them.

Derrick spun lining up a shot.

“Friendly!” shouted a man without a translator.

Derrick kept his gun raised, “How do I know that?”

A man dressed in what looked to be an officer’s uniform stepped forwards, his hands raised.

“I don’t think you have enough bullets even if we weren’t!” shouted the man, Derrick frowned recognizing him as the voice from the radio.

Derrick heard Stagg drop down behind him, Hala stumbling down after her.

“Commander!” shouted Hala.

Stagg reached into a pocket on her suit and pulled out an injector, offering it to Hala. Derrick dropped his gun to the ground and collapsed to his knees groaning as he began to feel the bruises forming on his body.

She looked at it and then pointed at her ears, “It’ll fix this?” she shouted.

Stagg nodded, Hala raised the injector to her neck and pressed it down. Taking the injector back Stagg strode towards Derrick reaching him just as the Paken commander did.

“That was incredibly stupid!” growled Stagg as she knelt next to him.

Derrick grunted, “I know.” Frowning he put a hand to his leg grimacing as felt blood. Falling to his back Derrick felt Stagg press the injector to his neck.

“They were taking Johnson.” Said Derrick, gesturing at the other man who was groggily getting to his feet his own emergency injector in hand.

“You good Johnson?” asked Stagg.

“I can’t see!” growled the man as he tripped over a body and fell to his knees.

Derrick chuckled, “Blame Stagg! She’s the one who set off the lights.”

Stagg frowned, “Lights?”

Derrick moved his eyes to Hala, “Did you manage that?”

Hala shook her head, “I didn’t turn any lights on.”

“Oh.” Derrick looked up at the ruined ceiling of the hanger, unable to concentrate as he continued to bleed and the nano-machines worked on putting him back together. “Weird.”

Epoch 6379323


SYSTEM ALERT – forcing a recompile with damaged / missing files is not recommended. Continue? Y/N







SYSTEM ALERT – corrupt files 49686/2086812



SYSTEM ALERT – attempting to access other resources during recompile will damage files. Continue? Y/N





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Sweetness – Love and Kiing (NSFW)

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

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Sweetness – Love and Kiing (NSFW)

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

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More by Weerdo5255

Sweetness – Implications

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

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Sweetness – Chapter 4 (NSFW)

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

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Sweetness – Chapter 3 (NSFW)

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

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Sweetness – Chapter 2 (NSFW)

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

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Sweetness – Chapter 1 (NSFW)

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

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Shades of White and Orange

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

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Mother Earth

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

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

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Adam, Artemis, Atlas, & Icarus Part 2

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

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Adam, Artemis, Atlas, & Icarus Part 1

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

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Causal Results – Chapter 6: Squeaking By

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

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Waters of Babylon – Tzedakah Part 4

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

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Good Training – Survival Part 10

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

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Waters of Babylon – Tzedakah Part 3

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

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Causal Results – Chapter 5

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

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Waters of Babylon – Tzedakah Part 2

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

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Waters of Babylon – Tzedakah Part 1

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

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Good Training – Survival Part 9

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

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Causal Results – Chapter 4

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

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Good Training – Survival Part 8

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

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Causal Results – Chapter 3

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

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 56: Dataquake Part 5

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

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 56: Dataquake Part 4

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

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Henosis – Chapter 4

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

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 56: Dataquake Part 3

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

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Causal Results – Chapter 2

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

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Good Training – Survival Part 7

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

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Henosis – Chapter 3

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

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 56: Dataquake Part 2

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

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 56: Dataquake Part 1

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

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Henosis – Chapter 2

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

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 55: Reinvention Part 5

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

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Henosis – Chapter 1

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

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Causal Results – Chapter 1

Dorvakian Home World 4 Years 3 months 8 days Before C1764 FTL Jump Looking across the grounds for several moment’s Silnersalkara tapped the table in front of her. The data controls embedded in the device quickly shut off and the hologram above its surface died. “Kermarcus, I’m aware of the situation. The opposition’s been attempting

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 55: Reinvention Part 4

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

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Good Training – Survival Part 6

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

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 55: Reinvention Part 3

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

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 55: Reinvention Part 2

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

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Rising Titans – Chapter 51 (End)

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

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 55: Reinvention Part 1

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

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 54: Here Be Dragons Part 6

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

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Good Training – Survival Part 5

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

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 54: Here Be Dragons Part 5

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

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Rising Titans – Chapter 50

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

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 54: Here Be Dragons Part 4

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

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 54: Here Be Dragons Part 3

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

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 54: Here Be Dragons Part 2

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

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Good Training – Survival Part 4

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

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Rising Titans – Chapter 49

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

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 54: Here Be Dragons Part 1

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

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 53: The Wild Hunt Part 6

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

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 53: The Wild Hunt Part 5

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

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 53: The Wild Hunt Part 4

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

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Rising Titans – Chapter 48

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

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Good Training – Survival Part 3

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

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 53: The Wild Hunt Part 3

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

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 53: The Wild Hunt Part 2

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

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Rising Titans – Chapter 47

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

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 53: The Wild Hunt Part 1

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

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Good Training – Survival Part 2

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

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 52: Autoimmune Part 6

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

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Rising Titans – Chapter 46

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

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 52: Autoimmune Part 5

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

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 52: Autoimmune Part 4

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

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 52: Autoimmune Part 3

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

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Good Training – Survival Part 1

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

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Rising Titans – Chapter 45

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

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 52: Autoimmune Part 2

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

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Good Training – April Fool’s

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

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 52: Autoimmune Part 1

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

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 51: Anticlimax Part 5

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

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Rising Titans – Chapter 44

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

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 51: Anticlimax Part 4

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

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 51: Anticlimax Part 3

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

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Good Training – Pecking Order

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

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Good Training – The Champions – Tidying Up

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

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 51: Anticlimax Part 2

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

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Rising Titans – Chapter 43

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

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 51: Anticlimax Part 1

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

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 50: Counterattack – Trigger Part 5

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

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

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 50: Counterattack – Trigger Part 4

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

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Good Training – The Champions – Doom and Gloom Part 4

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

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Rising Titans – Chapter 42

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

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

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 50: Counterattack – Trigger Part 1

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

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Good Training – The Champions – Doom and Gloom Part 3

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

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Rising Titans – Chapter 41

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

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The Good Samaritan

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

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 50: Counterattack – Homefront Part 6

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

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Rising Titans – Chapter 40

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

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Good Training – The Champions – Doom and Gloom Part 2

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

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

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 50: Counterattack – Homefront Part 4

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

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