The Deathworlders – Chapter 50: Counterattack – Trigger Part 5

Date Point: 16y AV
Camp Tebbutt Biodrone Internment Facility, Yukon–Koyukuk, Alaska, USA, Earth

Hugh Johnson


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 two that had already accumulated since October, but by lunchtime, well…

Fat flakes were landing in such numbers that they made a soft white-noise hiss as they settled, and the thick cloud cover had cast them into a kind of flat twilight at noon.

At this rate, it’d be pitch dark by mid-afternoon.

The camp internees were used to weather like this, of course. They’d seen plenty of heavy snowfalls and outright blizzards over the years, and even though everybody’s cabin was well-insulated and well-heated, some instinct always made them huddle together in what Hugh jokingly called the “town hall.”

That was the cafeteria, in more mundane language. The folding tables, when pushed aside, exposed a smooth wood floor with the line markings for different sports picked out in yellow, blue, red and green under the varnish. Right now, though, a kind of carpeted island had been assembled in the middle with rugs and couches borrowed from people’s cabins, and a big TV. Probably they’d just take it down again when the weather cleared but hell! It was something to do!

Hugh had spent the late morning helping to move couches and beds. Tonight would be kinda like a sleepover, really, and a heck of a lot warmer and cosier than bedding down alone only to wake to a snowed-in cabin.

The camp’s staff didn’t seem to mind the change of pace, either. Most of them were on good terms with the internees even though their job, ultimately, was to keep a couple of dozen innocent people confined.

Not even Zane, mooching around at the edges and being typically antisocial, could spoil the atmosphere. In fact he even reluctantly pitched in to move a few things.

By mid-afternoon, Hugh’s prediction that it’d be dark outside was vindicated. The clouds were scudding along so low that they were actually lit by the camp’s outdoor floodlights, and the air bit like a scared dog. The gossip from the guards and other camp staff was that a huge mass of arctic air had come down from the north and they were probably going to be stuck with it for a few days.

By early evening, Zane was missing.

The result, as soon as somebody mentioned it, was of course a manhunt. The guards checked his cabin first, then used their powers to search everybody else’s cabins too. Then there was an argument of some kind. Curiosity got the better of Hugh, who managed to “innocently” get close enough to overhear it.

He had to angle his head slightly to hear properly over the bustle and conversation, but a few sentences stood out.

“No sir, it doesn’t work that way. If I send the drones up now, they’ll just get lost in the snow and crash.”

And: “—can’t fly VFR in this. My helo’s FLIR will be blinded by the snow, too.”

And: “—late now. He’ll either come back or he’ll freeze out there—”

And, echoing his own thoughts: “—cking idiot…”

On an impulse, Hugh braved the flakes and chill outside on the pretense of grabbing some stuff from his cabin. Sure enough, when he checked around back of the cabins he found a line of widely-spaced footprints making a bee-line for a stretch of fence where somebody had flung a rug over the razor wire.

Still, it was hard to believe. That was a tall fence, and there was an electrified outer fence as well. He couldn’t possibly have really managed it, could he? And why? Not even the guards and their dogs were braving the weather.

…But of course, by the time they could, Zane’s trail would be long gone.

It was still insane: There was nothing out there but the prospect of freezing to death. Nothing at all. Zane must have known that…Which was why Hugh was certain that the surly bastard must have had a plan for surviving it. As impossible as it seemed, he had a gut feeling like the world wasn’t rid of Zane Reid yet. On some level, he even wished him luck.

He bustled back to his cabin, grabbed his Playstation, and headed back to the “town hall.”

Prison or not, he’d rather remain where he was.

Date Point: First Contact Day, 16y AV
Folctha, Cimbrean, the Far Reaches

Martina Arés

Watching the HEAT recover after a mission was always educational. Marty could have written a paper if it wasn’t all classified.

It started with the strongest, most physically capable men alive feeling as weak as kittens. That passed fairly quickly, thanks to Crude and the HEAT’s absolutely cutting-edge understanding of their bodies and how to properly use and abuse them, fuel them, and care for them.

This had been a particularly long deployment for them, too, which was why Powell had called her in; she was a “dirty, war-profiteering” civilian contractor these days, after all.

She was making more cold hard cash than Adam did these days, even with his monthly stipends and bonuses. She’d teased him about it too, to which he’d pointed out his property empire, homesteading bonus payment…

Teasing him like that never got old. And it always made their private moments better too.

Grampa Gabe, meanwhile, had been more than happy to babysit, while Marty babysat a bunch of groaning Operators.

All of them came out of their suits pinched, bruised and sporting the early beginnings of pressure sores. Which was honestly a little terrifying, since their extensive training had given even the smallest among them bodies literally as hard as teak.

In any case, recovery proceeded as it always did. The more savvy and experienced techs wore dust masks for the moment when the suits came off; the Lads all been marinating in their own stink for over a week, and the resulting aroma was foul enough to turn even the most hardened stomach.

While the suits were taken away to be sanitized, there were long, thorough, steaming hot showers for the Operators, a veritable feast of easy-to-digest meals, full doses of Crue-D… and rest. They’d all piled into their rooms, human and gaoian alike, and fell into the restful almost-comas of men who had given it their all.

Twelve hours later, they’d begun to stir. They weren’t quite as happy as they might normally have been, given the loss of Genshi, but there was no power in the galaxy that could completely damp their enthusiasm. In any case, Genshi would rather they had fun instead of moping all over the place, or at least that had been Faarek’s opinion.

From there, recovery training beckoned. This was “light” activity, mostly meant to get their blood moving and pump the fatigue toxins out of their enormous muscles. It took a lot of exercise to do that, and inevitably some of their usual attitude returned… by the three day mark, when they started slotting back into their readiness training schedule, they’d more or less bounced back. There were a few trips to the chaplain, Adam went and had one of his chats with Commander Mears…

Marty had always been very proud of him, there. A lot of men in Adam’s position might have treated mental health as a weakness they were supposed to “man up” and ignore, but Adam’s definition of manning up meant fixing whatever was troubling him, not sweeping it under the rug. To him, the base counsellor was basically just another training specialist whose job was to help him stay in peak condition.

…Overall, that attitude seemed to rub off on all the others, too. Between Mears, the chaplain, and the wisdom of Champion Gyotin, the dents and scuffs in the team’s morale were soon polished out.

Regaari re-joined them about a week after they returned from Rvzrk, escorted in person by the Great Father who gave him an enthusiastic personal recommendation. That was a class act on Daar’s part, but it came with a tacit message: firstly, that all was forgiven, and secondly, that it would maybe be best if the two kept their public lives at an arm’s length, to avoid any future conflicts of duty. If it ever happened again, things wouldn’t end so happily for either of them and everyone knew it.

By the end of the month, the whole unit was back at fighting readiness… just in time for the new guys to arrive.

Walsh practically swaggered through the Array, so goddamned pleased with himself it was almost impossible to bear…. Though after basically obliterating his pipeline competition from start to finish, who could blame him? Fortunately, the HEAT knew exactly how to tame him: combatives with Murray, who had a way of humbling men twice his size.

Walsh was a good sport about being put in his place, at least. The new team members who arrived with him were good-natured about it all too, and were fairly geeking out about the group they now found themselves in. Gaoian ninjas! Left Beef, in person! Right Beef, in the flesh!

Firth took a little longer to warm up to, of course, but he won them over when it turned out three of the cherries were avid Warhammer geeks themselves.

Throwing a First Contact Day party was Jack Tisdale’s idea. They’d had an influx of new techs accompanying their Operators of course, and that meant a lot of names to learn, a lot of new stories to hear, and a lot of embarrassing anecdotes to share, so they may as well throw in some drinking and feasting to go with it.

First Contact Day was a holiday in its awkward infancy. There’d been a lot of different suggestions from all over Earth and Cimbrean about the best way to celebrate it, most of which were just gimmicky. Burning Hunters in effigy on a bonfire of hockey sticks, for example.

Tisdale cut straight through the bullshit and kept it simple: plenty of booze, a big fire, some music, and a roast beast. He got some good-natured ribbing over his pagan ways which went away when he showed up at the party with a fucking Werne wrapped up on a trolley and a smug grin on his face, embellished by a cast-iron refusal to explain how he got it.

Watching Firth’s surprise at the critter’s sheer weight was a priceless moment that Marty knew she’d cherish, and the meat was amazing once roasted over the flames.

They had plenty of reasons to celebrate. For the first time in HEAT’s history, they had a full team. Three Protectors, seven Defenders and ten Aggressors, with the newest Lads already trained and conditioned to a standard well above what the original team had reached for Capitol Station.

That inevitably provoked plenty of banter and figurative dick-measuring, with Blaczynski musing on whether the Walsh of today would have been a match for the Adam of six years ago. At some point it devolved into theorycrafting over how various fictional heroes would stack up if they tried to make it into the HEAT, and by sunset the original conversation had been totally forgotten in favor of writing up a list of who’d make the cut and who wouldn’t.

They didn’t stay up too late: the Lads didn’t really have the luxury of partying into the small hours of the morning. Training discipline aside, two of the new guys had brought families with them, Marty had Diego to get back to, and Freya was big enough now with her impending child that she was waddling rather than walking.

She was a towering, statuesque gal herself, and Firth was… well, he was Firth. That was going to be a monster of a baby when it arrived. Ninety-ninth percentile, which was… well. Marty certainly hoped her next child wouldn’t be anything like that big.

So, shortly after sunset, the couples started drifting away, the singletons either found somebody to go home with or headed off into town to continue the party elsewhere, and a handful stuck around to help clean up. The last to leave were Tisdale and Miller, with Miller still badgering her counterpart over where he’d got the roast.

The silence that ensued was a genuine relief. Marty had truly enjoyed herself, but the moment of peace felt like a weight off her shoulders, or like taking off a too-tight shirt after a long day. As soon as the door was closed and she could no longer hear Miller’s voice echoing up the stairwell, she turned and leaned against it with a sigh.


Adam groaned and stretched on the couch. “Yeah. Love ‘em all, but…”

“But I’m glad their gone,” Marty finished for him.

He chuckled. “Yeah. Ain’t had some actual quiet in…”

“Too long,” Marty agreed. On a slightly tipsy whim, she straddled his lap and sat down. “We should leave Diego with your dad more often.”

He chuckled and ran his mitts up her legs. “And do what?”

“Well…” she laughed as he goosed her and pulled her a little closer, and trailed a fingernail around the collar of his tank-top. “I can think of something we’ve not done in far too long…”

Adam gave a languid, goofy grin. “Uh-huh. Mighta forgot what I’m s’posed to do…”

His hands moved down, suggesting that was a lie.

She kissed his nose. “I’m sure it’ll come back to you.”

“Well, you know me…I may not be the smartest, but I’ll practice anything ‘till I’m the best!”

“You promise? That’s a lot of practice.”

Adam did that unfairly sexy thing where he moved so fast she didn’t know what happened until it was over. Marty suddenly found herself pinned against the wall with her fingers splayed over his chest. He nipped gently at the side of her neck and then made her shiver with a snarling whisper right against her ear.

“As much as you can take…maybe a little more.”

Perfect. Marty wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him.

Life was good.

Date Point: 16y 1w AV
*Ceres facility, asteroid belt, Sol

Adele Park

Adele hadn’t really appreciated just how close two straight men could be until she’d met Drew M and Drew C. Or so she’d thought. The two had always been rough with each other, trading the most vicious insults and mockery with a disarming grin that spoke to real affection.

In fact, their relationship had inspired Adele to think on several occasions that if the English word was lacking anything, it needed more nuanced variations on the word ‘love.’ Those two men had loved each other.

Now that Cavendish was missing and presumed dead… Drew M was a changed man. A grieving brother, bereft of a body to mourn. The fact that his name was completely cleared didn’t matter one bit now, he just needed answers… or possibly vengeance.

He’d taken to scouring the surface of Ceres with a fleet of survey drones until he collapsed at his desk, and only the intervention of his friends and colleagues would persuade him to look after himself. “Drew Watch” had become a thing, where somebody checked on him every hour to encourage him to take a hygiene break, drink something, eat something or… hell, to sleep.

At least he listened, even if he grumbled about it. So he was still clean-shaven and showered, wearing clean clothes. He ate, and hydrated, and all those little normal things had probably kept him just on the right side of sanity.

Adele could sympathize. She’d had to lock the door and cry in private several times over the last few weeks as the feds bore down on them over the nuke, as it settled in that Cavendish really was…

…Things had gone wrong. Badly wrong. And now all the walls around her, everything she’d helped build, it all felt wrong. Ceres was one of the human race’s crowning achievements, a towering monument to what people could do when they pulled together. Now it was a haunted house.

She was going to retire. Take all her years of salary, bonuses, investments and more wealth than she really knew what to do with, and get the hell out to somewhere peaceful where she had no responsibilities and no press would come knocking on the door.

Colorado, maybe. Somewhere with big open skies, and a view. She’d have a nice place with a porch, where she could drink tea and listen to the wind chimes.

…Assuming she didn’t go to prison instead.

Her daydreaming was interrupted by Drew Martin, who hammered on her door like he wanted to break it down and yelled through it. The door was thick, designed to soundproof Adele’s quarters and give her some privacy, so she couldn’t make out what he said… but it sounded urgent.

Grateful that she hadn’t changed out of her workwear, she opened up.

“You found something?”

“I found the bomb!” Drew declared. He was out of breath, like he’d just sprinted all the way from one end of the complex to the other. “Radiological signature, purified metals… the drones found it. It’s… a click or two north-east. Bottom of a crater.”

Adele grabbed her shoes. “Show me.”

She followed him at a brisk stride, which was nowhere near fast enough for Drew. He dashed ahead to summon the elevator, then dashed back when he saw she wasn’t inches behind him.

“Come on! Strewth, you’re slower’n a landie with a bad axle!”

“Save your strength, Drew,” Adele advised.

“You wouldn’t say that if you could see what I saw on that drone feed, Adele,” he muttered darkly, but forced himself to slow down.

“What did you see?” Adele asked as the elevator arrived.

“…Two bodies. Looks like Freeland’s suit and… and Drew.”

“…Shit.” Adele wasn’t normally prone to cursing, but sometimes she just had to. She reached out and put a hand on his arm, just above the elbow. “Are you okay?”

He shook his head, but put his hand over hers by way of a thank-you.

“The, uh… the bomb’s… looks like Jordan built some kinda rig-a-majig around it. Fuck if I know what it is, but—”

He never finished the sentence. From Adele’s perspective, what happened next felt like getting slapped sideways by a giant. She shrieked and fell to her knees as the elevator slammed on its emergency brakes and came to an immediate halt. The lights failed, to be replaced after a terrifying second of pure darkness by the dim orange half-light of the emergency illumination.

The noise though! It had been… it hadn’t been a noise. It had been a physical force hammering through the air, and it left Adele’s ears ringing. As they cleared, she became aware of external sounds penetrating their little metal capsule from outside: sirens. Alarms. People shouting.

Beside her, Drew staggered to his feet, shaking his head. “…Oh no. No, no, fuckin’ NO!”

“What—?” Adele began, but he broke the glass on the emergency door release and painstakingly opened it with four or five pumps of the handle. They were halfway between floors, but there was just enough room for him to wriggle down and under, out to freedom.


“C’mon,” he grunted, and helped her out of the elevator.

There was a pall of smoke in the air, and that was definitely the fire alarm. And the decompression alarm. Somebody was making announcements over the facility’s tannoy, sounding altogether much more calm than Adele felt.

“Damage control teams to Level 1: Fire in Hangar Two. All staff to your emergency stations.”

She looked around and got her bearings. They were on the same level as Central Operations at least, which was where she was supposed to go in an emergency. Drew led the way, and it turned out that with miners, admins and every other category of facility staff scurrying to get to where they were meant to be, the best place to be if Adele wanted to get anywhere was right behind him.

The smoke was present in Central Ops, too. The room wasn’t bedlam, it was much worse than that: it was the chilly competence of highly-trained people putting everything they had into a crisis that might kill them all.

Drew dashed across into his office, and she heard him curse loudly.

“Talk to me, Drew,” Adele reminded him as she rushed to her own spot and took a look at the facility map. She was seeing a lot of fire alarms, and an inadequate number of firefighting teams.

“I think the bloody nuke went off!”

Adele had figured as much. It was either that or a meteor had hit nearby, and the facility had several layers of weak shields designed as “speed bumps” specifically to detect and deflect such impacts. “Can you confirm that?” she insisted.

“All my drones are fucked…” Drew tailed off and when Adele glanced over, he had an awed look on his face. For once, he was silent.


He glanced at her, then beckoned her over. She trotted over and stopped dead when she saw what was on his screen.

His drone was orbiting a floating tableau of shattered rock and ice; Sharp, stress-fractured edges glittered strangely in the sun’s distant cold light. The pieces were tumbling slowly, having clearly been kicked aloft by incredible forces, and they were going to make a hell of a mess when the crashed with glacial slowness back to Ceres’ surface in a few minutes. For now, though…

She’d never seen anything like it. It was… terrible. And she felt awful for finding it beautiful.

“Oh God…” she muttered.

Drew sagged, and slumped down into his chair. He rested his forehead on his crossed arms and made a tortured sound of grief and loss.

Adele put her hand on his heaving back and crouched next to him. There was else to do, nothing to say that would help him. He’d just lost not just his closest friend, but any hope of a proper funeral.

She glanced over her shoulder. By some miracle, the firefighters were getting things under control, and the damage control teams were reporting that the major air leaks were all sealed. Hephaestus crews worked fast when lives were on the line. She ought to be proud.

But right now, all she felt was failure.

Date Point: 16y 1w AV *Hierarchy Injunctor -class starship, inbound to Sol


This was the last step, the moment when the plan either worked or failed. Either way, the results would be spectacular.

If the bomb on Ceres detonated on schedule, then the resulting X-ray laser that Sam Jordan’s makeshift rig had gathered and focused in the microseconds prior to its atomization would arrive at exactly the same time as any other causal indication of its detonation. In other words, Six would have no way of foreseeing if his plan had worked.

If it did—when it did—several things would happen on a time scale that organic life simply couldn’t perceive.

The timing was obscenely tight. In fact, the fleet’s margin of error was so small as to be fractal. Six would have given much to be able to warp faster and thereby widen the window of oportunity, but stealth warp was sharply limited in its maximum speed and he was forced to err on the side of caution. Humans were paranoid, tenacious and competent: he had to assume that the Sol system’s outer reaches were littered with sensor satellites.

Had he been corporeal, he might have paced, or bit his nails. He might have fidgeted and checked the nearest timepiece. He might have watched the countdown. He did the data-lifeform equivalent of all of those, and more.

This was… there was still time to abort. To not throw away whatever minor progress he might have made in building Human-Igraen relations. With Sam Jordan dead and his body and makeshift temporal accelerator all presumably reduced to plasma by the weapon’s detonation, there’d be no conclusive proof of Hierarchy involvement in this incident. And the Humans would surely never notice the intended consequence.

But self-replicating automated devices were the primary threat the Hierarchy had always existed to counter. They were the very reason that Deathworld civilizations had been suppressed for all those millions of years. Deathworlders inevitably invented them, and their creation was the Hierarchy’s idea of a nightmare scenario.

Replicators were the twilight of life. They threatened the total conversion of all matter in the galaxy into more replicators. The existence of even one was unacceptable, and thus so was the existence of any species that would build one.

Six had truly hoped that the Humans were imaginative enough to foresee the consequences of such hubris. He’d honestly believed they weren’t so stupid.

He’d never been more shamefully wrong. And while his logic stood that one day they would need to find some Deathworlders with whom the Igraens could partner rather than exist in a state of perpetual antagonism… The Humans had proven they could not be that species. And they would surely drag the Gao and the Ten’Gewek along with them in their folly.

It would have made him weep, if that was an option for a dataform.

He’d toyed with many ideas for how to resume their Abrogation. The Hierarchy could, with effort, induce stars to go nova… if they were the right kind of star, which Sol was not. He could have lined up a particularly large comet from among the billions that orbited Sol, and accelerated it toward Earth… but the Humans had probably set up a few duplicate shields in low orbit around their homeworld as a hedge against just such a scenario.

As for infiltration? That required biodroning. The Humans knew all about biodrones and how to detect them, making effective infiltration at any meaningful level a practical impossibility.

And everything had depended on finding some way past that damnable shield the Guvnurag had put up.

So, he’d gone to the Guvnurag, locked away in safety behind their own shields. A team of pseudo-independent biodrones had been turned to the task of finding a weakness, any weakness no matter how tiny, in the Sol Containment Field.

They’d found one.

The shield emitter had been hastily wrapped up in its own creation. While this meant that it was indeed completely impervious to all harm that might come at it through three-dimensional space and conventional causality, it created an unexpected side-effect due to the interaction of quantum effects not yet known to human science: a building kind of resonance. If allowed to build for too long, the result would have been that the shield collapsed in on itself and crushed the emitter into a very short-lived black hole.

This being an undesirable trait in a system that was intended to last indefinitely, the emitter automatically purged the resonance on a regular basis, again via a quantum-mechanical process reversion as-yet unknown to Human physics.

If the right amount of energy was applied in exactly the right place at exactly the right time…

The countdown ticked down through the last second, and several things happened on a time scale that organic life simply couldn’t perceive.

First, the emitter entered its reversion phase. A few attoseconds later, the leading edge of an X-Ray laser pulse fired from in-system struck the crease in the Sol Containment Field where the shield twisted around the emitter.

Those high-energy photons didn’t—couldn’t—reach the emitter itself, which would survive this moment totally unscathed. But the result was that the whole shield convulsed violently under the unexpected load at exactly the most inconvenient moment. It rang like a gong, shivered, wavered…

…And a tiny hole appeared at the field antinode opposite the emitter as it stabilized. It lasted for a tenth of a microsecond before the emitter finished its reversion cycle, the excess energy was discharged in a massive neutrino burst, and normal operation resumed.

‘Tiny’ on the scale of a sphere with a radius of twenty AUs still meant a million kilometers across. And a tenth of a microsecond, to a ship at warp, was enough time to travel a few hundred meters.

The window snapped open and snapped closed at the very limits of what even an Igraen could perceive at maximum frame-rate, so that Six really didn’t have time to notice it happen at all. There was just the looming wall of the shield edge plunging toward his ship, and then it was behind and receding.

He felt a frisson of relief and anticipation that was almost physical, and allowed himself to relax. He’d done it. A quick check confirmed that the other Injunctors had all made it through as well. His plan had been an unqualified success, in the end.

The Hierarchy had returned to Sol.

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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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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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