Rising Titans – Chapter 40

9 Years, 6 Months, 13 Days After Eridani Landing


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 as he punched and kicked at the door.

Quickly looking around the room Diana spotted the vent leading into it, grabbing the bed she had been on and ripping the sheets and cushion material from it Diana strode over to the vent. Reaching down and punching her hand into the thin metal bending the grate Diana tore the thing from the wall.

Shoving the material from the bed into the vent Diana stepped back.

“I’m really hoping you’re not using neurotoxins,” said Diana, although it came out slightly garbled.

Turning back to the scientist Diana looked at the two of them, both were now staring at her horrified expressions on their faces as if she were some sort of wild animal.

“You guys going to unlock the door?” she asked.

“Someone get in here and shoot it!” said the woman panic in her voice.

“I am speaking in your language, are you idiots?” asked Diana.

The man swallowed, “You’re class C!”

“I am,” Diana stepped up towards the two, the man quickly moved in front of the woman.

“I’m class C, and unless you move and open the door I’m going to beat you to death with my hands and then break down the door.”

The man shook his head, “I can’t open it. The security personnel on the other side can. Not even a class C with an abnormally high strength index will be able to break the doors.”

“Like I wasn’t supposed to break from the restraints?” asked Diana, reaching forwards she put her hands on either side of the mans head.

He flinched, and drawing his own fist back lashed out.

Diana stepped to the side avoiding his blow and plucked the helmet off of his head as he went sprawling onto the floor. Reaching out she quickly removed the isolation helmet from the woman’s’ head as well, and spreading her arms quickly brought the two together smashing the clear material out of the front of them.

“See when class C’s build isolation suits, they make them combat ready, and don’t put glass in the front of them. A sheet of metal and a camera will work fine.”

The woman slowly slid down against the door staring at Diana in horror.

“Why?” she croaked.

“Your species and my own are at war, why not?” Diana paused and looked at the helmets, “Oh, these. Well I’m hoping it will be further discouragement to pump anything dangerous into the room. Now, move.”

Diana pointed at the other side of the room.

The woman scrambled forwards on her hands and knees desperately making her way over. Diana looked back at the door and analyzing it frowned, if was anything like a human medical isolation room then it was sealed, and the frame was set into steel, the door something that would swing inwards making it that much harder to break down.

Still the Empire liked their fancy automatic doors, and these were split down the middle something that would obviously slide to either side to open or close.

Meaning the locking mechanism was either in the middle, the middle top of middle bottom of the door. Or the locks were in the wall, holding the door in place.

Frowning Diana noticed the ache from her right arm for the first time and looked down, seeing the small bump on her skin for the first time. A dislocated shoulder.

“One of you want to help me put this back?” asked Diana.

Neither class A scientist responded.

Rolling her eyes and reaching across her chest Diana grabbed her arm and twisting it out and up popped the shoulder back into place.


The class A’s simply stared at her.

Turning back to the door and winding back her arm Diana slammed her elbow into the metal, it groaned and bent but otherwise remained solid. Moving her arm back again Diana repeated the assault.

A dozen times Diana slammed her arm into the door, but after the initial bending of metal it didn’t move.

Grunting on the thirteenth attempt Diana looked at the blood that was falling to the floor from her elbow and with a sigh turned to look at the two class A’s.

“Well I’m not getting out that way.”

Moving back towards them Diana sat in front of them, her back to the door.

Closing her eyes Diana assumed a meditative pose and closed her eyes.

For several minutes nothing moved.

“Don’t.” said Diana.

The woman froze, the arm she had been moving towards the medical cart falling back to her side.

“How?” she asked.

“I heard you move; I don’t need my eyes to know where you are in the room.” Said Diana exaggerating her abilities slightly.

“I’m waiting, either those outside the chamber will continue to pump gas into the room, and I’ll know since it’ll effect both of you first in which case if it doesn’t kill you, I do before the gas effects me. If they plan to wait then I win, I can go for four days without sleep, four days without water, an entire month without food.”

Diana smiled and opened her eyes, “So either the other class A’s kill you to kill me, or they open the door at some point and try to subdue me. I don’t think this floor is electrified,” Diana glanced down at the floor.


“Electrified?!” asked the woman.

“Yep. I don’t see how you guys are going to be able to contain the rest of us if all of your prisons are like this.”

The man huffed, “This is a specimen examination room.”

“I’m holding at least half of an intelligent conversation. Is that not proof enough of my sentience?”

“You’re intelligent, but inferior. Multiple studies have been performed to verify this.”

Diana sighed, “Alright then.”

She closed her eyes and waited.

Concentrating on everything around her Diana began to count, her ticks on the proverbial count were usually accurate to within one second on a day scale. It was something she had only done as a distraction while in school though, maintaining it otherwise was pointless.

The woman was the most uncomfortable, fidgeting and barely remaining still for more than ten seconds. He clothing, the fabric beneath the isolation suit was a constant rustling sound in the room.

The man was quieter, only moving once every few minutes. His eyes were locked on Diana.

Diana waited and almost meditating let her heartbeat slow, and breathing become more regular.

The man turned his head slightly, and slowly. Diana heard his skin move against the ruined seal of the suit and his weight shift.

“It’s asleep, the inactivity and lack of stimulants in it’s blood have allowed the sedatives to take hold again. Open the door.”

Diana remained still not reacting, she hadn’t noticed any sensors on her, meaning something in the room was passively reading her or a more dangerous possibility something had been implanted in her which was broadcasting medical data.

The sedatives were producing a dull throb in the back of her head, but they were something she could easily ignore. It was one of the more basic genetic modifications, a resistance to most drugs, not an invulnerability but a resistance.

It made hangerovers, much more difficult to remove, and much more difficult to achieve considering the massive amounts of alcohol needed to even feel buzzed.

Diana heard a small hiss as the door opened slightly, and she reacted.

Reaching into her reserves for speed and strength that she rarely exercised Diana leapt backwards her eyes snapping open and analyzing everything as adrenaline in higher doses than could ever be natural was dumped into her bloodstream.

A soldier in armor and holding a gun was peeking through the door weapon raised and ready to fire. Had he been someone who had actually had to use the thing in a life or death fight before he might have reacted quickly enough.

Having only ever fired it on the range, and never in an actual brawl besides crowd control he didn’t move with anything close to enough urgency to even try and block Diana.

Snapping her hand out and breaking his hand Diana grabbed the weapon and spun it around, she sunk two quick shots into his head and stepped forwards. The rest of the men in the next room, all of them class A judging by the red skin and bald heads were moving weapons up to fire.

Jerking her own weapon around and simultaneously dropping to the ground again Diana fired at each man, hitting all four in the head, while only hitting the fifth in the shoulder causing him to jerk back and fall onto the console behind him.

Diana felt the muscles in her right arm ripple, the cartilage and bone creaking in protest. The speed of her movements were far beyond anything that human biology was built to handle. Things broke, and Diana grimaced. It was one of the disadvantages of her genetic construction, some things could only be pushed so far biologically speaking before they hit an upper tolerance.

Shifting the weapon to her left hand Diana stalked up to the man.

“Security access now!” said Diana as she pressed the hot end of the weapon up to the mans neck.


Diana moved the gun down and fired it into his foot.

He let out a howl of pain and his eyes screwed rolling into the back of his head before he fainted.

Diana looked at him and raising the weapon up quickly killed him, shooting his head twice. Checking the room Diana saw nothing was alive, and turned back to the isolation room.

“Both of you out here, right now!” she shouted.

For a moment everything was silent and Diana detected no movement, stepping up to the frame of the door Diana stared inwards and leveled the gun.


The man slowly got to his feet and walked forwards.

“The data, all of it that you have on me. Where is it?”

He opened his mouth to say something and Diana quickly put her own hand up, “I know when your lying, I can smell it.” She tapped her nose, exaggerating her abilities far beyond what they were capable of.

He hesitated and swallowed, “I transmitted preliminary data to the offices of the Military an [hour] ago. The more detailed data is here,” the man pointed at the computer consoles behind Diana and one which the body of the guard was laying.

Diana nodded, “I want that and the rest of any research data you have in those computers put onto a Comm.”

The man hesitated, “I can’t do that.”


He drew himself up and looked around the room, “No, the disclosure of classified information to anyone not higher than Admiral in the military or part of the Senate must be approved through my chain of command.”

Diana blinked and looked down at her gun, “You do realize I’m threatening you, give me the information or I shoot you.”

“Then you won’t have the information.”

“Or I can shoot your assistant,” Diana turned the gun towards the woman who had only taken a few hesitant steps forwards. She froze as the gun was pointed at her.

The man blanched, “You, she does not know anything!”

“Neither did the nearly 12 billion of my own species who you killed, I’m not going to feel bad over killing two of you!”

Diana fired off a shot, hitting the woman’s left forearm.

She let out a wail and dropped to the ground.

“Fine! Just stop!” shouted the man as he stepped forwards his hand moving towards the weapon. Diana quickly swung the butt of it around hitting his hand away with a solid smack.

He brought the three fingered hand back to his chest and wincing slowly moved to the computer console.

“How do I know you won’t kill us after I give you what you want?”

Diana reaching out with her injured right arm pulled the man she had killed off of the console and onto the floor, trying to ignore the solid sound of the corpse hitting the ground.

“You don’t, but I don’t like killing people. Still like I said, you murdered nearly my entire species. I might shoot you just out of spite. You can be sure though I’ll kill her too, do this for me and I’ll promise she lives.”

The man glanced back at his assistant and sitting down at the computer console quickly began to work going through a dozen different screens in the blink of an eyes, Diana watched every movement as he worked.

He pulled out his own Comm from a pocket in his isolation suit and setting it down Diana watched as he began to move data into it.

“If you encrypt anything,”

“I don’t have clearance to decrypt everything. I had most of the class C data loaded since I was going to request that a High Scientist unlock it all when they came to investigate you.”

“Load it anyway.”

The room was silent and Diana glanced back at the woman, she had propped herself up on the wall and was holding her arm.

The man shifted in his seat, and leapt towards the gun.

Diana stepped back and brought it down onto his head, she heard something crack and he went limp. Pushing him out of the chair Diana sat and looked at the data transfers, adding several more requests to it pulling anything else that looked interesting form the computer network Diana picked up the medical kit on the table next to her and walking over to the woman avoiding the pools of blood, knelt down next to her.

Popping open the kit Diana looked at the medical supplies for a moment, “What do you need from here?”

“What! You’re the one who shot me!”

“Now I’m helping you, you want me to or not?”

The woman hesitated, “Those green pills, and the gauze strap.”

Diana picked the items out and holding up the gauze strip motioned for the woman to extend her arm. She grimaced but did so. Diana placed it over the wound and watched as it tightened itself around it and covered the cauterized flesh from the weapons burst.

“How many pills?” asked Diana as she opened the bottle.


Diana extracted the medication and held it out, the woman hesitantly took it and popped it into her mouth.

Diana patted her on the head and smiled, “See, you don’t try to kill me and I won’t kill you.”

Going back to the computer Diana stood in front of the hologram and waited for it to finish, once again she let herself drop back into the almost meditative state listening to make sure that no one else was approaching the room. It had to be soundproofed if no one else had checked in on them yet, the Empire weapons weren’t loud like a gunshot but they produced a twang that was audible.

“How many of you are their on the planet?” asked the woman her voice trembling.

Diana opened an eye, “On this planet? About a thousand. We’ve got more on the core worlds of your Empire. A million on your home world.”

The woman gasped, “What!?”

Diana nodded, “Yep.”

She struggled for air and then closed her eyes letting out a strangled sob.

Diana didn’t pay much attention to her as the computer finished transferring the files. Picking the Link up Diana frowned, “where did my stuff go?”

She was dressed in a medical smock, which like the Human equivalent was exposing most of her back.

The woman continued to sob. Diana sighed and raising the weapon fired a shot into the ceiling of the isolation room. The woman jumped letting out a small squeal.

“Where is my stuff?” repeated Diana.

“it’s in the lockup for building security, that’s all I know!”

“Damn, well looks like I’m stuck with laser pistols then.”

Diana looked around at the men she had shot and the rest of the room.

“Nothing for it then,”

Picking the smallest man out of the group, the second man she had shot after breaking out of the isolation room Diana quickly stripped him of his armor and shoes.

Everything was a little large, and covered in blood on one side but it would work. Tightening all of the straps on the armor Diana looked at herself in the reflection of the hologram projector. She looked like a small child playing dress up after dad had been in a gunfight, her skin not dirty and the uniform large and bloodstained.

“Don’t leave this room for an hour, or call for help. If you do that I’ll end up having to kill people.”

The woman quickly nodded, and for good measure Diana moved the corpse of the first man she had killed away form the door to the isolation room and sealed it.

Turning back to the computer and raising the weapon Diana quickly fried it.

Pulling the belt up around her waist again trying to settle it into a position where she would be able to easily move Diana looked at the door which was presumably leading out into the rest of the hospital, unless she was only in another observation room.

The Empire as callous as it was towards class C, and B’s did not seem to throw away the lives of the class A’s however. If it was a ruse it was a costly one.

Leveling the weapon Diana hit the release on the door. A brightly lit corridor with windows on the other side of it was exposed, winching in the light Diana tentatively looked out and around both sides, an empty corridor was the only thing greeting her.

Pulling the Comm out Diana quickly ‘dialed’ [Orin].

She picked up after only a second, “Who is this?”

“It’s me!” growled Diana as she began down the corridor to the left.

“You’re alive!? We took you to the hospital, and we’ve had a tail on us ever since! We’ve been doing what you told us and are simply circling the city in the transport lanes, but the same transport is still following us.”

“Understandable. How long has it been?”

“Only about [six hours], what do you want us to do? You told us if someone followed us for this long we had to create something big enough to distract them and then get away and destroy our transport. Or kill those who were following us.”

“I’ll handle the distraction; I need you to come to the hospital you dropped me off at.”

“That is restricted airspace!”

“Like I said I’ll make a distraction, just meet me on the roof in [twenty minutes].”

“Alright, why are they following us? Do you know?”

“You dropped a class C off at a hospital, and that class C was then stuck inside a very complex medical isolation and examination chamber. That class C is also very pissed off about that but will deal with the issues later, right now it’s waiting for that pickup in [twenty minutes]!” hissed Diana.

The line was silent for a moment, “You’re really a class C!?”

“Yes I’ve been telling you that, now come pick me up!”

9 Years, 6 Months, 13 Days After Eridani Landing

Bellona Colony, Nest

“I, am sorry to hear about the death of engineer Ben,” said Alpha his voice low.

Megan nodded, “Thank you, his death is not why I am here though.”

Alpha slowly looked up at her, “You don’t want to talk about it? Humans are almost as social as us, to suffer a loss of someone so close would be damaging.”

“It is; I’m dealing with it. We have work to do, and crying about him every day isn’t going to help.” Snapped Megan.

Alpha ignored the outburst and slowly crawling out of his nest settled onto the floor next to her, “Then why are you here?”

“I’m going to be chief engineer on the Russia for as long as I can last, James is being put in command, Red will be the pilot for the ship I think, Yern’s going to be helping in engineering, and that kid Tom’s being assigned to her in some capacity as well. The only position that’s not been filled is the station of XO, second in command. We want you to fill it.”

Alpha let out a small whistle, “I have only begun my learning again on Human military command. Taking the position while being unable to fulfil the role correctly will only cause strife.”

“We have an opportunity here Alpha, the Council is off balance and I’m able to steamroll over them at the moment, their feeling guilty about what happened to Ben and how they almost let your entire race die. This is a feeling that will fade, and once more politicians fill in the missing seats we’ll not have this opportunity again.”

Megan paused and slowly sat down on the metal, leveling herself with the alien.

“Are you going to throw away human or Tanuin lives without cause?”

Alpha let out an indignant squeak, “No!”

“You can command then, and learn on the job. Hell I’ve been getting dozens of Tanuin volunteers for the ship. You guys are insane at picking stuff up quickly, I’ll send you a few manuals but don’t let the regulations hold you back from this. We’re not going to get another opportunity like this for years, if ever!”

“What about Night?” asked Alpha.

“He’s young, but he can learn. I’m thinking he’ll be the one to take a commission, go through all of our accreditations and be officially a part of our military.”


“Humanities, and the Tanuin’s if that’s alright with you. We need to work together, holding oen antoehr at arms length is only going to slow us down, and like said I’m able to steamroll the Council at the moment. You’re best instructors, send them up to the Fort and we’ll have them start teaching Humans and the Tanuin.”

Alpha was once again stunned, “This is all very reactionary, is it not? What if humanity does not appreciate this, already one of your own leaders tried to eliminate us. Is that not a hint that some of you cannot trust us? Why force it?”

“Humans are like that, there are humans who hold onto the past until their last breath desperate to never change and continue to hold up bigotry like it’s gospel or tradition. Humans have had to kill and remove them in the past, and we will so in the future. They’re useful to make sure we don’t change to fast don’t damage ourselves. When we need to survive though, when we need to change to continue living? They’re a vulnerability.”

Alpha slowly began to walk around in small circles, “Then I will take the position, under one condition.”

“Name it.”

“We as the Tanuin, do not wish to remain isolated here in this building. We want to integrate with humans to a greater degree, live within your nests and learn from you. It is a hope that you might alos learn from us. We are aliens to one another, but neither of our species wish to die. As you have said, we are stronger together.”

“I think we can do that.”

Alpha stopped pacing, “Good. Very good.”

“Will you be able to fly when the Russia is ready?”

“I will be if we don’t allow any doctors to check me.”

Megan chuckled, “that’s the spirit.”

The two were silent for a moment.

“When we crashed into the ice near your colony, did you think it would ever end up like this?”

“No, I had hoped we would be able to beg food from you, warmth perhaps. Humanity though, or at least you and Ben, you inspired us to ‘go for broke’?” asked Alpha

“You used it right.”

“We were going to die on this planet, it is cold and although we could have perhaps survived indefinitely hibernating, that was not life. We would either die slowly in our sleep, now we will at least die fighting.”

“Not confident we can win?” asked Megan.

“I said at worst. At best we will now flourish alongside humanity.”

“Let’s bet on that one.”

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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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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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