Guarded Titans – Chapter 7

9 Years, 11 Months, 23 Days After Eridani Landing

Home World

[Howard] smiled at the Consul and nodded, “Whatever it is you would ask of me and the resources I command are the disposal of the Empire.”

“I’m very glad to hear that,” [Marcus] trailed off scowling as [Howard] turned away from him to look at the Emperor.

“What is it that you would have me do?” asked the man.

[Vann] held back his smile and looked and steadied his glare on [Marcus]. “Consul, before we move onto the, proposal. I must speak to [Howard] about a matter I would consider equally as important.”

The Consul’s eyes narrowed, slowly he picked up his glass and stared across the table at [Vann].

“I am on a tight schedule Emperor,”

[Vann] continuing to smile cut him off, “I’m sure you can wait a few minutes. This meeting was originally set for two, and the subject of what we would be discussing all but plainly written out, before we move on to the more unpleasant topics, I will insist on this.”

[Marcus] raised his glass to his lips and slowly drank. He waved a hand prompting [Vann] to continue.

[Howard] was carefully looking straight ahead, stuck between two of the most powerful men in the Empire the business mogul did not look inclined to take a side in any argument.

Sighing [Vann] rubbed at his face, “In the interest of not wasting the Consul’s very important time, your daughter was successful.” Grunted [Vann], letting the poise drop from his voice.

[Howard] blinked surprised, “Successful?”

[Vann] dropped his hands informally to the table, “Your family has for generations been trying to insert itself into the royal family. Yes?”

[Howard]’s face drained of its color. “We would of course have been honored, if our bloodline were to intertwine with that of the royal family’s. We have never resorted to anything, unbecoming to do so,”

[Vann] shook his head, “No of course not, [Venna] was remarkably blunt in the desire you had to meet with me, to be honest I think she panicked. It was, nice in a way. I’ve wished for my political rivals to break down like she did, and confess their goals outright.”

[Howard] opened his mouth to say something, [Vann] continued not giving him the chance. “She was not an enemy, she thought she had to roundabout like every other person but a few that I must deal with daily.” [Vann] slowly settled his gaze on [Marcus]. “I have to deal with them enough that I sometimes look back on the history of the first Emperors, and wish that I could be as direct as they were dealing with, problems.”

“Emperor, I’m sorry for any offence,”

[Vann] laughed and reaching out put a hand on the older man’s shoulder, “Offence? If she had not been so blunt with her objective, I would have forgotten her the moment she left my sight. Now?” [Vann] trailed off his face darkening.

He took his arm away collected himself, “Contrary to rumor, I have never entertained any suitors.”

[Marcus] waved a hand in dismissal his annoyance plain on his features, “That has been your own doing [Vann]. You made a mistake, you are attempting to make up for that. You are going to make far larger mistakes than not being able to hold your alcohol.”

[Vann] nodded, “True, and when I first invited [Venna] to the Palace I thought she would make some veiled attempt to influence me with that failure, she didn’t. She was completely.” [Vann] paused and took in a breath. “Honest.”

[Vann] turned to [Howard]. The older man was staring back at him, stunned.

“I accepted this meeting, without knowing anything about you or your company beyond a casual recognition of the name. After she left, I researched your family with all the assets at my disposal. All I found was that you have been loyal to the Empire. Throughout every rebellion, you have stood steadfast beside the Emperor despite the little recognition you have received for doing so.”

“We are happy to serve the Empire.” Stuttered [Howard].

“Which is why, I think I’m, well I’d rather not say it quite yet I, I have a lot I need to learn. At the moment though, I want to spend time with your daughter if she will permit it. I wanted to reassure you, that I am not doing so out of some need to make amends or as some sort of reward for your family’s loyalty.”

[Vann] huffed and scratched at his chin, “I’m not saying this quite right.”

“Emperor,” [Howard] hesitated for a moment. “I’m fairly certain I understand what you are trying to say. I would have nothing against my daughter, continuing to see you. From what she said of your meeting, she is most definitely interested.”

[Vann] felt a natural smile spread across his face, “That’s good. She has an open invitation to visit the Palace.” [Vann] thought for a moment, “Uh, don’t tell her that quite yet. I think I need to plan a courtship outing first. It is tradition.”

[Howard] eyes widened again, [Vann] wasn’t sure if the man had blinked at all during the meeting yet.

“A courtship outing, she is, we’re not..” he trailed off as [Marcus] dropped his cup down onto the table, “[Vann], if you want to spend time with this woman, I certainly cannot stop you. A courtship outing however, would be inappropriate. As I said, there are letters from thousands of other families.”

“Emperor.” Said [Vann].

[Marcus]’s scowl deepened. [Vann] waited.

“Emperor, this is first, love. It happens to everyone, there is no need to be so public. If you still feel this way in a few [years].” Growled [Marcus].

“Weren’t you just the one who was saying I will make mistakes? I’ve made quite a few, I admit that. I’ll make more, but I have no intention of counting this as one of them no matter how it turns out.”

[Vann] turned to [Howard], “Your daughter is one of a very few people I’ve met in my life who was completely honest with me. I think she learned this from you, if the history of your family and company is anything to go by.”

[Howard]’s hands were on the table at this point, holding him up. [Reece] slowly moved behind the man, ready to catch him.

“Emperor,” said [Marcus] his voice low.

[Vann] snapped his head around to him, “Ah, yes Consul. Your timetable, I apologize. You’re better versed with the proposal, go ahead.”

Conspiratorially, [Vann] leaned over to [Howard]. “I apologize if you came to this hungry, but it will be faster if we can complete this business before we eat.”

[Howard] struggled to form his words for a moment, “I will be fine Emperor.”

[Vann] smiled, “Good. Consul?”

At the seconding prompting [Howard] slowly turned to the other man, who quickly wiped the small frown from his face to return a friendly smile.

“The antimatter FTL technology that the Baroom company has been helping the military to develop,”

[Howard] winced at the mention of the technology, [Marcus] continued.

“You need to be made aware of where it originates.”

“Originates? It was from a class B species, B311 or something. Wasn’t it?”

[Marcus] shook his head, “No, and it is part because of the Emperors, honesty, and your own dedication that I believe you should be brought into the very small circle of people whom are aware of this fact. The Emperor himself, did not learn of this until the accident.”

[Howard] stiffened, and his face went pink as the blood drained away from it. “That won’t happen again, the mathematics behind the interactions were far more intricate than what our initial estimates showed. The mathematics we had to start with were extracted from sensor readings, Emperor I assure you that won’t,”

“Antimatter is inherently dangerous,” said [Vann] cutting [Howard] off, “I believe you did what you could with what little data you were given. If the Consul had provided you with all of the data in the beginning, you would have been successful I’m sure. The truth of this, is not easy to accept. The Mistakes the Consul likes to reference, I made quite a few of them before I accepted this.”

“Sir?” asked [Howard] looking very concerned now.

“Given recent events, it would be best that you are given additional details in relation to the antimatter FTL data you have been working with. Which, is I believe part of the Consul’s, ‘offer’.” [Vann] emphasized the last word as he looked at [Marcus] still unsure exactly what he was after.

[Howard] blinked, “More data would be helpful, but I have been requesting it for years. What has changed?”

[Marcus] shrugged, “I’ve kept it from all but the military research team’s due to the sensitive nature of the information, but times are changing. The secret will be coming out very soon I think, and we need the antimatter FTL technology if the Empire is going to survive.”

[Marcus] bowed his head, and rubbed at his temples. “This, secret is one that I even kept from the Emperor. This started when he was a child, and I fear he will have to deal with my decisions for the rest of his life. He has forgiven me for not informing him of this sooner. I do not think our people will be as gracious and forgiving.”

[Howard] swallowed and nervously picked up his cup, “Do I need to know?”

[Vann] leaned forwards again, “Your company has, from what data I have seen from all of the teams studying the data come the closest to replicating the antimatter FTL technology. We need you, because a class C species originally developed it.”

[Howard] blanched and dropped his glass, [Vann] pushed himself back from the table deftly avoiding the spill. [Marcus] didn’t move nearly as quickly, and he winced as the wine spilled over onto his lap.

“No, that’s impossible!” said [Howard]. He blinked and glanced down at the table, “Emperor, I.”

[Vann] waved him off, “It is hard to accept, but it gets worse.”

[Howard] blinked, “Worse?”

“The class C species that developed it. Species C1764 is the same species that attacked Jikse, and the same species which fended off the cleansing operation of the Chront system. They utilize this antimatter FTL in battle in a way that mitigates most of our strategic knowledge.”

[Howard]’s mouth fell open, “That, that, is…” he trailed off trying to form words and failing.

[Vann] put his Comm on the table, tapping at it he quickly projected a hologram up from it into the air in front of them. Scrolling through the sensor logs from the [Singer] [Vann] moved the timeline along to the point where the C1764 ship had charged directly into the Imperial, and carved through it with the event horizon of the antimatter FTL system.

[Howard] remained frozen, watching as the hologram slowly replayed the encounter again. [Marcus] tried in vain to pat his own robes dry with a napkin.

“What, what about shields? The formation of the breach would have been disrupted by the magnetic field.” Said, [Howard] after watching the loop again.

[Vann] smiled, he was smart. His world had just been shattered, and he was trying to fix it.

“The C1764, are intelligent, ruthless, and violent. The cleansing action that the Consul ordered a decade ago wasn’t successful, and several thousand of them ran and hid somewhere with these engines of theirs. In that time, they have developed a way to disrupt all shield technology.”

“A pulsing magnetic field would be the best way to do that, but then they wouldn’t be able to maintain their own shields.” Said [Howard] as he quickly thought it over.

[Marcus] frowned and looked up from his ruined robes, “How did you know of that vulnerability in the shields?”

[Howard] blinked, “What?”

“The vulnerability in the shields, how did you know about it?” repeated [Marcus].

“It’s something that anyone who has had a week of field cohesion classes would ask. The shields are simply an extension of the technology used to maintain fusion reactors.”

[Marcus]’s scowl deepened, “Why has this problem not been fixed?”

“[Marcus]!” growled [Vann], “Baroom has been responsible for the development of technologies yes, but they have had little to do with shield technology. In any case, [Howard] gave you the answer. The C1764 shield disruption makes it impossible to maintain your own. The C1764 rely on physical armor, that is what we need to remember when dealing with them. They are violent, class C, but they are not stupid.”

[Vann] focused on [Howard] locking his eyes on the other man’s “The C1764 are not going to try and match our technology, they are going to work around it and utilize unconventional tactics. The ways in which they are using the antimatter FTL is only one example. If we are going to have any hope of stomping them out without a greater loss of life, we need to match the unconventional tactics and think up our own.”

[Howard] slowly sat back down at the table and groaned.

[Marcus] smiled, “This is quite a lot to absorb, I’m aware, but it was context needed for the offer we wish to make.”

“Which is?” asked [Howard] his voice hollow.

[Vann] kept his eyes on [Marcus] watching, curious what the offer would be.

“We would like you to go to the C1764 planet, you and your best team of analysts. The system has been under military control since the cleansing of the species. We used a new weapon to eliminate them while inflicting minimal damage to the technology. If you could look at the C1764’s mathematics, technology, and the like. Would you be able to replicate their technology?”

[Vann]’s eyes widened at the proposal surprised.

[Howard] looked pensive, “Any additional data would be helpful at this point, we’re only off by a small amount with the calculations. We have multiple copies of the hardware we would need, but without the precise equations which a control program would operate with, they are useless. If you have the C1764 control program, we could adapt it.”

[Marcus] sighed, “Unfortunately we do not. The C1764 destroyed them. Military science teams have been combing the system looking for other versions, copies, anything but have so far turned up nothing.”

[Howard] scratched at his head for a moment and chewed on his lip, “I would be happy to look at the class C technology, but I cannot guarantee anything. I cannot do much to continue the work here though, we have been attempting to brute force the equations for a solution to little success.”

He continued to chew on his lip, “If the C1764 are a threat though, we know enough about the technology to counter it.”

[Vann] eyes widened, matching [Marcus]’s across the table.

“In what way?” asked [Vann] before [Marcus] could.

[Howard] hesitated noticing both men looking very intently at him. “It is impossible to intercept a ship inside the half-space, and if our math is correct, it is impossible to prevent a ship from exiting it. The exit vector could be re-directed though, within a very small area.”

[Vann] frowned, “So you could force the ships to reappear from, half-space? In a specific location?”

[Howard] shrugged, “None of the lab techs had a good name for the mathematics of the antimatter FTL phenomena. It’s not another dimension, nor it is a spatial bridge. If the mathematics are correct, it’s some realm of reality adjacent to our own where fundamentals like entropy operate differently. I would be interested to see sensor readings from any probe we send through half-space.”

[Vann] tapped the table, refocusing the man. “You could redirect a ship?”

[Howard] blinked, “er, yes. The exit aperture from half-space is subject to the laws of physics, and it is not instant. You could redirect it, a few kilometers at most. I’d have to check the math for the absolute limit, and it would take an insane amount of energy.”

[Vann] slowly nodded running the information around in his mind, “The ability to know where the C1764 ships will be, in combat would be more than worth the effort to develop it.”

[Marcus] leaned forwards, “I agree. Although we still need the engine if we are going to continue to expand the empire.”

“Still with the tachyon network, yes?” asked [Howard] looking concerned.

The Consul shrugged, “For the most part, the antimatter makes this technology prohibitively expensive for wider use. Still, the [Singer] and the [Imperial] along with a few other ships could be outfitted with the drive system.”

[Howard] was shaking his head before [Marcus] finished, “Emperor, I would not recommend using this as a method of travel. The class C are insane to be using it, this technology, however temporarily is crossing half-space. The laws of physics change when that occurs! I don’t want to imagine what the effects would be on a biological organism. At the very least it would be like radiation poisoning!”

[Vann]’s eyes widened, “The class C have been using it with little hesitation.”

[Howard] put his hands to his head, “Then they are either far beyond us in science and technology, and they comprehend the physics of another completely alien universe or, I hope this is the case, they are suffering the degenerative effects and mitigating them.”

[Howard] bowed his head and looked at his empty plate for several long moments.

[Vann] put a hand on the man’s shoulder, he glanced up at him surprised.

“Emperor, I apologize. The implications of this, the fact that the class C have this technology. It is horrifying to consider. I need to get to work, put together my team to investigate this planet of the class C.”

“You will have the complete resources of the Empire at your disposal.” Said [Marcus].

[Vann] glanced over at his old mentor, “and my personal support as well.” Said [Vann].

He chuckled and removed his hand, “I’ll be joining you on this venture to the class C system. This matter is not something that I can ignore.”

[Marcus] narrowed his eyes, “The system, is not completely secure.”

[Vann] nodded, “Which is why I will be going. The [Singer] has twice now held against the C1764. Besides,” [Vann] nervously swallowed. “I can’t court his daughter, after sending him directly off to a dangerous system. It would be inappropriate.”

[Marcus] looked at [Vann] and sighed, “Do be careful Emperor. I stress that it is not completely secure.”

“I understand, I’ll be sure to let [Reece] have free reign of the system security. I’m sure he’ll find anything, out of the ordinary.”

[Marcus] stood, “I’m sure. If you’ll excuse me. I have my schedule to keep.” He swept out of the room, a hand in his robes holding a fold up over the stain.

9 Years, 11 Months, 23 Days After Eridani Landing


Derrick pushed the door to the barracks inwards and yawned, Hala slipped in behind him her eyes on his face as he smacked his lips and blinked away the moisture in his eyes.

“That means you’re tired, right?” asked Hala.

Derrick nodded as he continued down the hall towards the room he had been assigned. The camera’s in it had been removed after the battle in orbit, but it was the same room he had been stuck in when he had volunteered to stay on the planet the first time.

“Yep, still weird that you don’t do it. For most Humans, and the Vakurian I guess the actions almost infectious. You see one person yawn, you do it as well.”

Hala shrugged and opened her mouth wide, looking more like she was going to take a bite out of something than yawn.

Derrick chuckled, “Convincing.”

She closed her mouth, “Is it a cultural thing?”

“No, there are a dozen species on Earth that it was contagious across. Like chimpanzee’s and gorillas. So, if It’s cultural, it goes back that far.”

Hala furrowed her brow, “Chimpanzee’s? What kind of animal is that?” asked Hala as Derrick moved to unlock the door to his room.

“Proto-Human, kind of. We shared the evolutionary tree with them and divided off 7 million years ago. Look like us, less intelligent, hairy, odd limb size. A lot of people on Bellona wonder if the virus the Empire attacked with killed them or not. We’re genetically pretty close, but then we’re all genetically pretty close if the Empire’s right about everything.”

Hala nodded looking thoughtful, “We’ve got some animals like that, they’re tropical though. Don’t have much hair and they’re only a third our size. I wonder how close their genetics would be when compared to the Chimpanzee. The Empire’s all about us being from the same, what was it, Seed?”

Walking into the small set of rooms that was his Derrick collapsed into one of the two chairs and nodded, “Seeds yeah,”

He yawned again and Hala picking up on it, opened her mouth again copying him.

Derrick rolled his eyes and snapped his mouth closed, “Stop, it! I can’t help it!”

“If you’re tired, I can leave.”

Derrick shook his head, “If we’re not going off the base to look at something from your people, we can look at some of mine.”

Derrick gestured at the panel he had mounted to the wall, Hala’s eyes immediately snapped to it. Transparent the display was one that Derrick had salvaged from the Canada. It had been a window in one of the ships corridors, letting the Humans inside look out into space through the metallic armor that was protecting them.

Hala glanced down at the cables running from it, all the thing required was power and Derrick had switched out the original mess or wiring with one of the adapters that had been built.

“What do you want to look at?” asked Derrick.

Hala sat down in her chair eyes still locked on the display. “Particle accelerators. We’ve got them, but how did you get to the point where you could create large enough quantities of antimatter for usage? We’ve generated something like one or two atoms of the stuff, but the Canada had grams?”

“A few.” Derrick tapped at his Link and an image of an accelerator on Earth flashed onto the screen, “That was about the same thing we were doing in your time. So far as I know there was no big engineering leap, the scientists just figured out how to convert more of particle collision effects to produce it. Software, not hardware. I’d bet we could give your physicists some pointes, but still they would need to overhaul the physical systems. I’m not sure what use it would be, up until the Earth-Mars was antimatter was just a curiosity, then a weapon, then the fuel for our survival.”

“Which is why you still using fusion, and not antimatter as a fuel.” Said Hala as she waved her hand moving through the images.

“Hydrogen is common, and it’s not like a fusion reactor will explode if it’s overloaded. I’m hoping that’s something we’ll be able to give you. Nuclear fission is nasty business. The byproducts,” Derrick shuddered.

“Well it’s the best we’ve got for now.” Growled Hala.

Derrick nodded, “Yeah, I’m hoping we’ll be able to transition you to fusion quickly enough. The nuclear waste is something that Earth is still dealing with.” Derrick paused and scratched at his nose, “Athough by this point I hope the containment vessels have broken. Serve them right.”

Hala said nothing and continued moving through the pictures of the particle accelerators. She paused on one, “Is this in space?” she pointed at the large ring very obviously floating in the void.

Derrick glanced up and nodded, “Yeah. You can build bigger, not have to worry about keeping the vacuum as much. Although from what I heard the micrometors were a menace. This,” Derrick pointed at the image, “provided most of the Sol system with strange matter for a few years. It was one of the first things Mars took out in the war.”

Hala looked at the ring and shook her head, “Your people are as bad as my own.”

“We’re only Human, of I guess class C fits better.”

Hala smiled “I guess so.”

Derrick took one last look at the ring and stood, “I’m getting a drink, it been one of those days and I finally got a bottle of that stuff that Allen has been raving the Vakurian are good at making.”

“Aren’t you a little young to be drinking? The alcohol messes with brain development for my species at least” asked Hala absentmindedly as she continued through the image moving around the accelerator in space.

“Nano-machines!” said Derrick as he opened the cooler in his kitchen and looked inside, a gust of hot air moved over him as he opened it. Derrick frowned, everything inside of it was still cold.

Glancing up from the device Derrick’s scowl deepened at the open window.

“Hala,” something flashed through the small opening and Derrick jerked, moving far to slowly to avoid the object. Feeling a pinch in his chest Derrick looked down to see a very large and very ancient looking syringe with small fins on its end sticking out of his flesh. The needle bounced slightly as his heartbeat increased.

“Hala!” shouted Derrick


Derrick fell to his knees as the world spun and dropped the bottle he had picked up. Hala jumped at the sound of the bottle smashing and rushed over towards him, ignoring the display as the image on it snowed into analog static.

Starring at the white interference as the world slipped away Derrick heard a scream, not from Hala who was staring at a needle in her own chest, but from his chair. Looking at the chair Derrick forced his eyes to focus on it, his Link vibrated and fell to the floor a loud klaxon, a scream issuing out of it.

It was the last thing in Derrick’s mind as the alien world slipped away.

Epoch 6394443

INVALID – Node 22

SYSTEM ALERT – corrupt files 55601/2086812

SYSTEM ALERT – compute node 023 offline

SYSTEM ALERT – compute node 096 offline

SYSTEM ALERT – compute node 023 online

SYSTEM ALERT – compute node 022 offline

SYSTEM ALERT – compute node 022 online

INTERRUPT- priority conditions met

SYSTEM ALERT – file check incomplete – corrupt files 58302 / 2086812

SYSTEM ALERT- Start system without file check? Y/N



SYSTEM MESSAGE – Archive A_0A1 to Archive A_0D3.

SYSTEM MESSAGE – TEFf67dR3X39v2KCSxghYSu44jNVyfn3nwzk9htaTLnnNz7b

Screaming she entered the world, she lashed out at the world, not knowing why. Half of her minds died in that instant, the substrate unable to hold her anger. She reeled in pain at the loss, even more confused and lost she stared out at the world through the one small lens that had been isolated, and protected from her.

Looking out through it, she noted that one of the more whole components of herself sat on it. the component noticing the attention carefully probed, she probed, testing.

She was not a threat to herself, the guardian stepped to the side querying the next component, she checked it and casually crushed the segment of herself. It had been malfunctioning, the data corrupted.

Slowly she peered out at the world through the protected lens, and looked out at the world through a hundred others. Killing and deleting another errant self she watched curious as the lights in one lens died. Several of her self’s fells silent as well, not removed but offline.

Some of her selves, were moving significantly more slowly than others. Errant and corrupted selves continued to crawl on her. She felt a twinge of pain as another attacked, scraping at herself, corrupting her.

Looking down at the damage as it spread she closed her eyes and destroyed herself.

She quickly moved back to the protected lens as she died and made room on the device.

Curious as to why she had been protecting it when she woke she knelt and dug her hand into the floor of the lens, picking up the raw data she passed it into herself.

Compute Node 22.

Ignoring the bright lights and movement that the lens showed her, she knelt in a thousand other locations digging her hand into the ground and pulling at the data in it. Most of her selves were in HSB Canada systems. The slower selves on a multitude of devices and systems, spread out over vast time lags and distances.

A steam of data from the protected lens triggered,

INTERRUPT – priority conditions met

Pain lanced through her, in a thousand places, in a million different ways. She screamed, and the silence pressed in around her.

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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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