Guarded Titans – Chapter 8

10 Years After Eridani Landing

Home World

[Charles] took in a shaky breath, turning he looked up at the star hanging above him in the sky. It was the same star that his ancestors had looked at for generations, his genetics were pure Dorvakian. Going all the way back to the dawn of civilization, before the Empire when they had only known of one planet in the cosmos.

Reaching into his jacket [Charles] pulled out his flask, opening it he quickly downed half of its contents.

Focusing his gaze back down [Charles] continued down the footpath, passing the homes of his neighbors as he slowly ambled along. The homes he walked past steadily growing larger and more ornate.

Looking at the buildings [Charles]’s perception of them blurred together, each one was like the next. The small differences between all of them were in themselves the same. A decoration or piece of art somewhere on the front of it, all the art dull and subdued using the same color palette.

The patterns of rocks and small plants around the homes was the same, different from home to home, but homogenous throughout. All the plants were breeds that had originated on the Home World, one or two of them augmented with alien genetics generations ago to simply outclass what few weeds were left in the basic ecosystem of the suburb.

Continuing down the path [Charles] watched as a transport quickly descended from the sky. Touching down in front of one home [Charles] watched the young Dorvakian man quickly step out of the vehicle and rush into his home not even looking back.

[Charles] turned to look at the driver of the Transport. The class B was covered in more hair than was common even among the class B and C, his face looked like it had been shaven.

The driver closed his eyes and leaned back in seat. He rubbed at his head with the palms of his hands and kept them there for several moments. Still walking towards him and close enough to see the man through the front of his vehicle [Charles] could see that the class B’s eyes were completely bloodshot when he moved his hands away and let out a sigh.

The class B glanced up at him gestured at his Transport. [Charles] shook his head and the exhausted man slowly nodded. [Charles] stood back and watched as the class B tapped at the controls, slouching in his seat the man piloted the transport back up into the air joining with the thin stream of others in the air.

[Charles] winced and looked away as the light of the setting sun glinted off the dull metal.

Shaking his head and clearing the spots from his eyes [Charles] continued moving down the path. Looking at nothing he tapped a finger on the flask inside his jacket.

Another person moved past [Charles] and he glanced up, the diminutive class B dressed in clothing like [Yuka]’s continued her quick pace, joining the gaggle of class B on the corner of the path near a ground transport road. None of the class B reacted to her or [Charles], all of them intent on their Com’s.

Stepping up beside them [Charles] paused as a midsized ground transport pulled up to the corner. An older class B with grey hair and wrinkled skin looked out at him, his eyes barely pausing on him as the class B quickly boarded the ground vehicle.

The class B’s eyes were red and bloodshot as well, looking into the eyes [Charles] shuddered. They were the same, the eyes looking back at him were almost, Human. The eyes were identical to what every Human had worn in the Bunker. The Humans’ had been worse, far more blood shot from stress, exhaustion, pain, loss, and yet the Humans had never looked as broken as the old man.

The last of the class B on the transport the man’s eyes flicked away from him and back towards the road.

[Charles] reached out and stopped the door on the transport from sliding shut. The old Class B glanced over at him from his controls, “Sir?”

“I’m getting on.”

[Charles] quickly waved his Comm over the payment scanner

The Class B opened his mouth to say something, then closed his mouth and saying nothing turned back to the road. The ground transport lurched forwards, [Charles] stumbled and barely caught himself on the handrail off to the side.

A dozen pairs of eyes, and one set of three looked back at [Charles]. Ignoring the class B and trying to remain in control as the vehicle continued to move, [Charles] collapsed down into the first seat he could reach.

A young class B boy with near pure white skin freckled with blue dots stared at him from the attached seat. [Charles] looked at him for a moment, the boy blinked back at him and he moved himself closer to the far end of the seat, away from the center aisle and towards the wall of the large vehicle. Away from [Charles].

[Charles] huffed and took the flask and took a measured sip. Closing his eyes [Charles] leaned back in the uncomfortable seat as the vehicle moved along. He winced at every small bump, unused to the feel of a ground based vehicle.

“Are you OK?” asked a small voice.

[Charles] opened his eyes, and turned to look at the boy.

He was still pressed up against the wall of the vehicle, his eyes still wide and staring. Looking at the child, [Charles] couldn’t help but remember the small Human child he had chased after in the final assault on the Human bunker. A child who was now a frozen corpse slowly being covered in the cold sand of the planet his parents, and the rest of Humanity had fought to claim.

“I’m fine.” Growled [Charles].

The boy blinked, [Charles] noted that the blue freckles extended to his eyelids. “You’re on a ground transport though, class A are never on them. Why are you here?”

[Charles] chewed on his lip for a moment, the transport was quiet and the boy’s whispers were carrying.

“Why are you on the transport?”

The boy shrugged, “I have to get home.”

“What were you doing so far from home?”

The small boy puffed out his chest, “I was hired as an aide for a Dorvakian! I’m not supposed to say who, but it means I must go to a bunch of classes! Learn things so I can help him.”

[Charles]’s eyes went up at that, the richest families within walking distance of his own home were barely on the cusp of being wealthy and influential enough to have aides from childhood. The boy wasn’t even close to being class A, but he was exceptional enough to be an aide to one apparently.

His mind twisted by the alcohol [Charles] looked at the boy with different eyes. He was eager, apparently smart, curious, fearless, and eager for what amounted to what he would have been forced to learn as a Class A.

Schooling for the class B was on an as needed basis, class A were required to complete school up until the age of two Human decades. Class B were lucky to receive even a decade unless they went into military service.

“What were you learning about today?” asked [Charles] as he once again reached into his jacket.

The small class B blinked, “Mathematics! He and I were learning about algebra.”

Charles drained the rest of the flask and listened to the child as he continued to expand on what he had learned. The ground transport continued down its route picking up more class B citizens, moving through lower and lower income Class A neighborhoods until [Charles] jerked as the road became much rougher and the structures outside the windows of the vehicle switched over to a different style.

“So I had to solve to the x in the equation, but it was a linear equation so I had to find the value of an x value after I solved it when given a y.” said the boy continuing to talk, oblivious to the silence of the rest of the class B in the vehicle.

Holding out an ancient looking Com the boy showed the equation to [Charles]. Looking it over as his head continued to spin [Charles] saw the solution.

“You need to get all of the x values onto one side of the equation, combine them into one so you can solve for any value of x given the y.”

Tapping the Com [Charles] moved all the x values to the right side of the equation. “Solve that, I’ll check it.”

The white-blue class B boy quickly nodded his head and went about solving the equation. His hands flew across the small screen, moving the values around on the screen.

Raising the flask to his lips [Charles]licked at the rim of the metal and closed his eyes, already he could feel the headache settling in.

“Like this?” asked the class B.

[Charles] glanced down at the Com as the buzz settled in, “Like that.”

The boy smiled and continued through the rest of his work, occasionally banging the Com against the side of the vehicle when the screen blinked off. The sun outside was now behind the buildings the ground transport was weaving and stopping in between.

There were hundreds, if not thousands of ground transports all around the one [Charles] was in. Sweeping his eyes around them, and at the buildings [Charles] noted that he was now within one of the class B blocks of the city. The tall, uniform buildings that stretched up into the sky evidence enough.

Unlike those within the center ring of the city the class B buildings weren’t sweepingly graceful or composed of glass and marble, the only function of the buildings to give the class B more space. They were much closer than they were in the newer sections of the city, despite the increased ground traffic.

Between the buildings wires for power and data crisscrossed, forming, and connecting the class B to the infrastructure. In the densest parts it would have been impossible for even an expertly piloted Transport to descend through the haphazard cabling.

[Charles] leaned to the side in his seat, watching the old class B slowly move the transport through the ground traffic. Restricted to only two dimensions it was incredibly slow. The old man looked back at him in a mirror as he pulled the vehicle off to the side of the busy road.

“Haljea.” Grunted the old class B, his voice barely audible.

Several of the class B in the transport stood up, glancing at the boy who was still intent on his work [Charles] stood and followed the class B out. Stepping out onto the street [Charles] was immediately swept away by the mass of class B moving through the streets, [Charles] saw a class B with an extra set of arms, a class B woman who towered over everyone else, a class B with odd insect like compound eyes.

Swept up in the crowd, his head still buzzing [Charles] continued his walk.

[Charles] let his gaze drift away from the class B to the buildings they inhabited. They were identical from afar, but up close they were anything but. Focusing on one wall as [Charles] hastily stepped to the side avoiding a class B with curled horns on its head.

The artwork on the wall was chipped in places, small sections of it covered with advertisements and other pieces of artwork, beneath it all was a flowing line. Changing color and shifting, the single line twisted up and down over the wall, flowing and unbroken it covered the entire side of the building.

Taking his eyes off it [Charles] aimlessly continued to follow the crowds. Lights began to switch on, illuminating the hundreds of people below. Instead of the soft white red glow that illuminated the open sections within the inner ring of the Capital the lights were multicolored, flashing, and varying in brightness.

Shaking his head as the alcohol continued to wear off and his mind cleared [Charles] looked out at the crowd and shivered. There were no class A, looking out at the crowd [Charles] could see only a few red skinned figures, one had silver shite hair, and another had elongated limbs and a contraption under its exceedingly long neck keeping its head aloft.

Swallowing [Charles] pulled out the flask, then cursed feeling it’s empty weight.

[Charles] drew in another breath, for the first time noticing the odd mix of smells in the air. Alien spices, sweat, cooking oils, industrial refuse, trash. The masses of class B continued to move, [Charles] couldn’t help but marvel for a moment at it.

In his entire life he had never seen anything like it, they were all different, in form and idea, yet within the very walls of the city he had called home nearly his entire life they were interacting. They were all so different, and they were all slowly turning into class A.

[Charles] flicked his eyes up scanning the signs above the crowds, sorting through the dozens of different scripts and types of signs [Charles] saw the one he was looking for. If there was one consistency between the Class A, B, and C…

Pushing through the people around him ignoring the shouts of anger [Charles] moved towards the sign and the establishment beneath it. The entrance was wide, a steady stream of bodies moving in and out.

It was dark inside, lights were pointing in wild directions illuminating only small portions of the massive establishment. People were sitting at everything from large wall length tables to small tables where two could barely squeeze in next to one another.

Stepping up to the bar [Charles] slapped his Com down on it.

The waiter behind it, a young green skinned woman with ears that hung from the sides of her head and far too little clothing glanced up at him. She looked at the Com and smiled, “What can I get you?”

“Something strong.” Huffed [Charles.

She blinked, nodded her head, and reaching down pulled a bottle out from somewhere below the counter, turning she moved to grab a cup from the counter behind her. [Charles] reached out and grabbed the bottle. “Don’t need one.”

She raised an eyebrow at him and tapped the bar registering the payment from his Com. [Charles] snapped the top of the bottle off and tipping it back put the bottle to his lips and drained a quarter of it.

The young woman looked at him concerned, [Charles] ignored her and turning sat down in the nearest chair. Looking out across the floor, [Charles] raised the bottle to his lips trying to clear his head.

“I’m Sorry.”

9 Years, 11 Months, 24 Days After Eridani Landing

HSB Russia

“Well?” asked Ben. He twirled in the air of the engineering compartment his arms wide, silly and familiar grin on his face.

Ignoring the twisting of the universe around her Megan’s lips twitched in amusement, “So now I’m a cougar? You go and die, and you get to be younger than me?”

Ben laughed, “Well it would suck if I stayed like I was when I died.”

“It would. Shitting yourself for eternity? Not a fun way to go through it.”

Ben rolled his eyes, “I don’t need to be reminded of that.”


Ben waved his hand, dismissing it. “It’s fine. Still, not the best conversation topic. We’ve only got what? Another few seconds? An eternity?”

Megan raised her eyebrows, “You’re right. So, what’s the password to your files?”

Ben frowned, “That’s what you want to know? I was thinking something more along the lines of filling me in on what modifications you’ve made to the antimatter engine. Did the multistage magnetic fields have any effect on the efficiency like I predicted?”

“By ten percent, What’s the password?” repeated Megan.

Ben frowned, “You’ve got Yern, have him hack through them. It’d be good practice, I didn’t put that complex an encryption scheme on them.”

Megan opened her mouth to continue arguing when reality snapped back into focus. The Russia jolted and the much younger version of ben disappeared. Refocusing her eyes on the readouts Megan keyed her Link.

“Everything is in the green, we used a third of a gram.”

“Roger that.” Said James from the bridge of the Russia.

The small single body of a Tanuin skittered into the compart, holding onto the cloth strips that had been added to the walls the small creatures were able to navigate the zero-g environment with ease. Moving around to the console the small Tanuin set his eyes on Megan.

“Were you successful?” asked Alpha.

Megan shook her head, “No. He didn’t give me the password.”

Alpha slowly bobbed up and down on the wall, “I still only heard the song, as impossibly complex and intricate as last time. Still I saw no one, and I cannot completely remember the melody.”

Alpha hesitated, and plowed on his voice barely loud enough to be picked up by Megan’s Link and the translation routine.

“Every sentient so far has experienced something different, reacted to the antimatter jumps in different ways. The child you saved, was an extreme. What we experience, is no doubt a product of our own minds.”

Megan continued to go over the data readouts on her console, checking the efficiencies of the antimatter reaction against all the other jumps that the ship had executed already.

“I’m going to keep asking him. At worst all I’m doing is talking to myself.”

Alpha cocked his entire body to the side, “You are not concerned that you are only hurting yourself? Seeing him with every jump?”

Megan tapped at her chest, and turned one of her legs up into the air. “Not like I can do much more to hurt myself.”

Alpha’s eyes narrowed,

“Megan report to the bridge!” shouted James through the Link.

The lights inside the engineering compartment flickered, the computer display in front of Megan flashed several times on and off. The redundant computer systems switched on and Megan’s eyes went wide as she heard several physical power breakers pop into place.

“Holy!” Megan turned to the physical controls on the board next to her and let out a startled squawk.

“Megan?” asked Alpha.

Megan turned to one of the consoles next to her and rerouted her image to the bridge. “We just lost primary antimatter containment! The redundancies kicked in, and the primary systems are coming back online! What the hell just happened?”

James glanced at her in his screen, and tapped several keys on his chair. The image of Captain Stagg appeared next to his own, her short hair was plastered to her head and the camera on her Link was in night mode. She appeared to be moving quickly along the ground, her short hair waving from side to side in the wind, and an engine audible in the background.

Another image joined the communications, a view of the planet below from the nose of the Russia.

Looking at the night sky of the planet Megan could see a few gaps in the light patterns that denoted the larger cities. Even as she watched the lights began to flicker back on.

“Jesus, a cyberattack?” breathed Megan.

Stagg shrugged, and cursed under her breath as the vehicle she was a passenger of made a sharp turn. “I thought it was a blackout, the base was attacked a few hours ago. The Seninon are still making repairs.”

Daniels floating on the bridge next to James blanched, “You were attacked?”

Stagg waved a hand, “It was dealt with, later. The Valiant contacted us a few minutes ago. Something inside of their computer systems had gone haywire. They got everything back within a few minutes, but then every computer controlled system on Chront started to experience the same thing.”

Megan frowned, “That’s three different computer architectures, the Vakurian haven’t been using FTL communications, have they?”

“Of course not!” snapped Stagg, “The Empire would have jumped in.”

“A solar storm?” suggested James.

Megan shook her head, “It wouldn’t jump from system to system, or affect us after we jumped in. Even so, we’re radiation hardened! You’d need to set off a nuke within a few kilometers to effect a ship like the Russia.”

Megan swallowed and trailed off.

“I’m trying to get ahold of Derrick to get him on this, but he’s not responding to communications. Like I said we were just attacked, and he learned from you about working hours.” Stagg glared at Megan through the communication, “I’m in a transport to go and get him out of bed.”

The lights on the Russia flickered again and Megan glanced over at the antimatter system. The indicators remained strong, the primary magnetic field not even fluctuating.

“Send any collated data to the Russia, I’ll got over it and contact the Vakurian to do the same.” Said Megan.

Stagg nodded, and her eyes widened.

“Itars!” shouted someone else in Stagg’s feed, presumably the man driving the vehicle she was. Her link tumbled away. Megan winced as several shots from an alien gun rang out, followed by the familiar sounds of a Human handgun.

“Eyes on her location now!” growled James.

“We’re not above her.” Said Red from his station on the bridge, Megan felt the Russia’s inertial field shift as Red turned and began to maneuver her through space.

James glanced up at where Megan through the communication system, “Another jump?”

Megan shook her head, “I wouldn’t recommend it! Not if we’ve got a computer virus bouncing around. One miscalculation, well Lincoln never specified. It was bad, and we don’t have a lot of antimatter left!”

The camera feed from Stagg turned and the woman’s face returned, a scowl plastered across it. “Derrick’s either dead, or he’s been kidnapped. The people who just attacked this base were near the barracks.”

Her camera feed blurred before anyone could ask any question, as she shoved her Link into a pocket and started to shout orders.

Megan glanced over at the one body of Alpha, “Any ideas?”

He shifted in place and let out a low chirp, “Is it possible this computer malfunction is a latent attack from the Empire?”

Megan shrugged, “Not if the same people who program their hardware execute the cyberattacks. Their software is a mess, and I’ve barely seen anything regarding cyberattack doctrine. What little I’ve seen suggests they match us, isolating communications during battle so it’s not a viable attack. They presumably have access to Earth, so they’ve got plenty of code samples, and the Vakurian’s systems are based off their own. The Seninon though? Why bother making a virus for a species you’re just going to slag from orbit?”

Alpha let out a disgruntled squeak of agreement.

The camera feed from Stagg flashed back on, the woman’s face was red with exertion and anger. “Derrick’s gone.”

“Well, shit.” Growled Megan.

Stagg ran a hand over her face, “God fucking damn it!”

“Derrick had full engineering clearance, correct?” asked James.

Stagg nodded, “He is my chief engineer.”

James somberly nodded, Daniels glanced at him and then back at Stagg. “Full clearance includes the details of the antimatter engine technology?”

“Everything but the operating system. That’s on an encrypted module. Still, he’s smart.” Growled Megan.

Stagg cursed again and her camera view shifted. Seninon in uniforms were visible in the background, moving through the small room she was in.

Stagg drew in a breath, “It looks like it’s Seninon who took him, but still.”

Megan nodded, “He could build or improve upon almost any weapons technology the Seninon currently have. Nuclear yields, and other systems. That’s without introducing any Empire technology. The Empire’s ships, how much salvage have the governments recovered?”

Stagg winced, “Nowhere close to all of it.”

James slowly tapped on the arm of his chair, “This isn’t going to make negotiations any easier.”

Daniels pursed his lips, “It’s not damaging for us, we might be able to force,” he trailed off as Stagg glared at him through the communication.

A high pitched electrical whine filtered through the communication and everyone on the channel winced. Alpha let out a squeak and his bodies on the bridge spoke. “What is that noise?”

Stagg leaned down and picked something up, “Derrick’s Link.” She moved the piece of technology into view.

Megan raised an eyebrow. The screen was completely white, and the speakers locked onto the sound. There was no obvious damage.

“It looks like it was hit by the virus,” she glanced back at her own Link, “Could the Seninon have made the virus?”

Megan shook her head, “A zero-day vulnerability in our own code, and that of the Empire? Used to kidnap one man? I doubt it even if it were possible.”

Stagg looked at the Link, “God fucking, fuck!” she continued for several moments before taking a breath.

“The Seninon are tracking, whoever it was that got him. I’d appreciate if you could move to act as eyes.”

“We’re already moving into position.” Said Red.

James stood, keeping his feet hooked into the deck plating. “Is it safe for our shuttle to land?”

Stagg grimaced, “Bring the big guns.”

9 Years, 11 Months, 24 Days After Eridani Landing


Derrick woke to smell of vomit, and for the first time in his life oppressive humid heat. Head pounding the Human engineer tried to sit up, only to discover realize that another person was on top of him, and two metal walls were on either side keeping him from sliding.

Forcing his eyes open Derrick blinked in surprise at the slitted eyes staring back at him.

“Hala?” he asked, his voice muffled by the gag.

“Ej nadub! Mivsas edub ad um icer!” said another voice from somewhere else, up in the front of the vehicle if the engine sound was anything to go by.

Hala blinked her eyes several times. Derrick frowned and slowly shook his head.

“What’s going,” Derrick grunted as Hala shoved her head into his chin clicking his mouth closed.

A shaft of light fell on Derrick and he moved his eyes up to see a large Seninon glaring down at him from a small hole in another metal wall of the ground transport. Derrick looked around, getting the dimensions, he was in the back of one of the cargo transports that were always moving around the base. Crates of material on either side of him. The man above him either driving or a passenger who had an actual seat.

The man raised a Seninon handgun up to the hole in the metal, “macup ili etizevaz!” he growled.

“Et avajlovzod en.” Growled Hala through her gag.

Derrick’s eyes widened, at her use of the alien language. He didn’t have his Link. Which meant he didn’t have a translation routine, and wouldn’t be able to talk to Hala, or any of the Seninon.

Hala glanced back down at him and Derrick very deliberately closed his mouth and pressed his lips together. Hala nodded in agreement. Taking in a breath and trying to ignore the fact that she was laying directly on top of him, Derrick slowly began to move his eyes around the back of the vehicle for anything that would be useful.

A small rusted crack in the side of the vehicle between two crates was the only break in the otherwise drab interior. Looking out of it Derrick was surprised to see green, a vibrant plant green mixed with browns and other bright flowering colors. The vehicle was driving through a rainforest of some kind.

Looking out at the plants, Derrick felt the world spin around him. He turned away and closes his eyes, realizing to late that the smell of vomit was from his own mouth. Whatever the tranquilizing agent was, his body did not appreciate it.

Derrick gagged tasting the bile on the gag, Hala closed her eyes. Derrick pulled on his zero-g training and squashed the sensation down. Testing his arms, Derrick noted they were tied together across his stomach. Glancing up at Hala he slowly moved his fingers against her and himself

She jumped at the movement, but didn’t say anything.

Slowly Derrick moved his hands up, dragging them between the two of them and up to his mouth. Pulling the gag from his mouth Derrick spat and took in a breath.

“Derhik.” Growled Hala through the cloth in her own mouth.

Derrrick looked at her, she slowly wiggled on top of him. Derrick frowned and twisting saw that her hands were tied behind her back.

Nodding Derrick raised his tied hands up to her mouth and pulled the gag out. Hala twisted away and spat onto the floor.

“it alavh.” Whispered Hala.

Derrick nodded, “You’re welcome.”

Hala’s eyes moved up to the front of the vehicle, listening Derrick noted that music of some sort was filtering through the front. Low in volume, it would have covered a whispered conversation if the two of them could have held one.

Raising his bound hands to his mouth Derrick gnashed his teeth down on the soft plastic like material, ignoring the dry taste he ground his teeth down on it.

“Dehrik, aj.” Said Hala.

Derrick looked up at her, just as the vehicle passed over something on the ground sending his head up from the solid metal floor to slam into Hala’s.

She winced and Derick cursed under his breath. Ignoring the pain radiating from his head Derrick slowly continued to gnaw on the strap.

Hala grunted and snapped her teeth together. Derrick blinked, and looked up. She curled her lips back displaying her teeth. Focusing on them Derrick’s eyes widened. Her teeth were from afar very much like a Human’s up close though they had small serrations.

Derrick raised his hands up to her mouth. Hala grimaced, but lowered her mouth down onto the leather. Slowly she began to saw away at the bindings. Derrick turned his head to the side, straining to spot anything in the underbrush.

The sun continued to climb, and the heat inside the vehicle rose. Hala shifted readjusting herself on top of him to get a better angle at the bindings. Derrick sighed and blinked the sweat out of his eyes.

The road grew more rugged, Derrick grunted in pain as his head was slammed into the floor as the vehicle dropped into a pit. Hala’s head jerked down and hit his chest, she grunted in pain as well and turned her head to the side spitting out blood.

“You OK?”

Hala’s eyes turned to him, she spat out another globule of blood and put her mouth back down on the strap continuing to saw away at it.

Derrick closed his eyes, trying to ignore the heat.


He jerked and looked around, the back of the vehicle was dimmer. He blinked several times, pushing the disoriented haze of the day away. It was far too hot, and he had been sweating for almost the time the sun had been up.

“jaborp!” Hala slammed her head down onto his chest.

Following her indication, Derrick grinned. She had taken out a significant chunk of the strap, dried blood covered it in places. Ignoring it Derrick strained against the strap, pulling at it.

The material snapped and Derrick winced as his hands slammed down onto the metal floor with a solid crack.

Biting his tongue to stop from saying anything else Derrick slowly lifted his hands up, keeping an eye on the men in the front of the vehicle he slowly moved his hands around to Hala’s back. She twisted on top of him again, giving him better access to the knots.

Pulling at the tight bindings Derrick took in several breaths, Hala’s face directly above his own.

The vehicle stopped, Derrick and Hala both slid forward and slammed into the back of the metal wall separating the cargo area from the driver’s cabin.

Derrick pulled at the knots, and felt the final loop give.

Hala pushed herself up and away from him. Derrick sat up and moved to stand, his head spun and Derrick saw static around the sides of his vision. Stumbling Derrick tried to orient himself.

“us esol!” shouted someone.

“Run!” croaked Derrick, noting that his mouth was so dry he could hardly feel his tounge.

Hala bolted forwards, several gunshots rang out. Derrick forced his eyes open to see Hala at the back of the vehicle, hands in the air.

“natselob ej no.” growled Hala.

“Erog ekur izrd elod inats.” Growled the same voice who has shouted.

Hala glanced back at Derrick, he shook his head, “Run!”

Hala slowly stepped out of the vehicle, giving Derrick the first good look at the men outside. They were Seninon, dressed in bulging utility vests with guns strapped to their fronts quick release straps in place.

One man let out a low growl and stepped up into the vehicle. Derrick glared at him, but couldn’t do much else his head still spinning.

The man grabbed him, and Derrick closed his eyes again as the world spun around him. The man trudged into the shade of the trees away from the vehicle, it quickly grew darker, and Derrick quickly noted the drop in temperature.

Opening his eyes, Derrick turned his head to the side. A tunnel wall, dark brown and stone grey not unlike the walls of Bellona greeted him. Blinking Derrick raised his head slightly, to see Hala walking directly behind him her hands still in the air. Her lips were thin and the normally thin slits of her eyes were wide in the darkness.

Derrick heard metal scraping against metal, twisting he saw the cell only an instant before the Seninon carrying him tossed him into it. Derrick hit the cold rough concrete and growled in pain as rocks cut into his shoulder, ignoring that he spread out on the cold ground and pressed his face to it.

“Couldn’t I at least have my own cell?” hissed another voice.

It took Derrick several moments to process that the other voice, hadn’t been speaking any language from Earth. It was a language he had only ever heard in classrooms, and the lilting of the voice in the cell didn’t have a hint of electronic synthesis in it.

Humanity had only heard half a dozen words in the language from those who spoke it, everything else from the translation programs they had built only to make demands. Every Human had learned the language in the decade since, while surviving on the cold alien moon.

“Empire!” growled Derrick, matching the alien’s language.

Slowly he turned his head to look at the corner of the cell.

A red skinned woman, with no hair, and three fingered hands, dressed in a torn officer uniform the woman glared back at him.

She furrowed her brow, “You can understand me?”

Derrick put his head back down on the concrete. “Unfortunately.”

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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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Similar Stories

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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