The Deathworlders – Chapter 57: Cat and Mouse – Hunter and Hunted Part 3

Date Point: 16y4m AV
Folctha, Cimbrean, the Far Reaches

Allison Buehler

Tristan and Ramsey had a lot they shared—they liked much the same music, TV shows and videogames, and they were so remarkably up-to-date on fashion that Xiù consulted them before buying anything…

But they had their differences, too. Ramsey was definitely turning into more of a jock than his brother, for instance.

It wasn’t that Tristan didn’t like physical pursuits well enough, but he was definitely the quieter, more introverted of the two. And unlike his brother, he needed no persuading to pick up a book now and then.

So, while Julian and Xiù took the marginally older twin to martial arts practice after school, Allison had stayed behind and was introducing her littlest sibling to the basics of aerospace engineering.

Honestly, it was nice to hang out one-to-one for a change.

“So…” she finished scribbling down one of the most important things she’d ever memorized. “This is the Bartlett Field Equation. You use this to figure out the energy needed to form a warp field based on the field’s curvature…” she circled the relevant bit, “the total mass it contains and how fast you want your apparent linear velocity to be.”

“What’s that symbol there?”

“That’s Lambda, the cosmological constant.”

Tristan sighed and put his pencil down. “…This is a bit more advanced than I’ve done in class, Allison.”

Allison laughed. “I bet. But you said you wanted to know what being the flight engineer on Misfit was like, and I used to play around with this equation all the time.” She smiled fondly at the memory. “…Funny thing is, I used to hate math in school. I thought I’d never be any good at it. And to be honest, it still wasn’t my favorite part of the job, but… when I put my mind to it, I got pretty good at it.”

“You said we were gonna start with the basics.” Tristan pointed out.

Allison shrugged, grinned, and retrieved the little case of electronic parts she’d fetched from the workshop earlier. “I know. It’s just the basics of what I do is, like, several steps up. You need to start right at the bottom, which is why I put this together for you.”

“What is it?” He asked, taking it.

“Basic electronics. How about I show you how to build something simple, like, hmm… How about a fire alarm?”

“That’s simple?”

“Really simple. Let me show you…”

Date Point: 16y4m AV
Tactical Fitness, Folctha, Cimbrean, the Far Reaches

Julian Etsicitty

Never in a million years would Julian have guessed that Christian Firth of all people would open his own martial arts academy. Or, in fact, that he’d be such a good and patient teacher.

Or that people would flock to his classes despite that he stood over seven feet tall, had shoulders about half that wide, and was possessed of a superhumanly dense physique whose subtlest movements rippled with untamed power. Firth was one of the very few people alive that could make Julian seem tiny by comparison.

Which, now that he thought about it, went a long way toward explaining why Julian had ended up helping teach, whenever he had the chance.

Firth’s classes were studies in contradictions. The man was pretty much literally the size and weight of a champion bull and much stronger (and more aggressive) to boot, yet most of his students were gangly children and mousey types who’d never once thrown a fist in anger.

They flocked to him, still.

Stranger yet, he didn’t pretend to any higher spiritual or ethical purpose with his teachings. He had a no-nonsense martial ethic forged pretty much entirely of murder, one he’d earned from years of personal experience. Everyone knew it, and there really wasn’t any disguising it.

And yet, he had to turn clients away.

Today was mixed martial arts for Firth’s special projects. Ramsey was one. So was Julian. The price he paid for that esteem was being effortlessly tossed around to demonstrate the principles.

Firth wasn’t gentle. At all. But Julian was a big boy these days and he didn’t really mind. Heck, it was kinda fun really, especially when he got to turn the tables and hip-toss a man that huge across the mat. Repeatedly, so the students could see from every angle.

For science, of course.

Adam owned several buildings these days, having carefully managed his finances until he was a bit of a Folcthan real estate baron. Early on he’d built a second apartment building identical to the first on the far end of the street, then slowly bought up all the property between them that wasn’t owned by the rest of the Lads. Firth had invested early and snagged the top apartment for his own, and decided to exercise a purchase option when the original ground-floor business owner had gone bankrupt.

With that, Firth opened Tactical Fitness. A pretty blunt name, to be honest. What he taught was how to fight and he taught all comers, with special classes set aside for women’s self-defense, and another for kids. He didn’t have time to teach every day of course, in fact he only did three classes a week, but all martial arts were welcome in his dojo, and he was merely one teacher among a colorful and cheery roster who rented out the space when he wasn’t there.

Xiù had found room in her schedule to help out too. She was tough and fit and strong as ever, but there were some things she just couldn’t and shouldn’t do while pregnant, so for now she contented herself with wrangling the really tiny human kids and Gaoian cubs whose parents found Firth and his instructors a little too formidable.

Firth didn’t personally put much stock in Taiji and Gung Fu, but Xiù had made her case calmly and simply that, even if the mysticism and spiritual side were stripped out, that still left behind a solid core of exercises that taught precision, poise and physical awareness. The kind of thing, in short, that developing young nervous systems needed to form a solid foundation for the more vigorous stuff.

Whether Firth found that persuasive or not wasn’t clear, but he was the kind of guy who, even innocently, tended to lose eighty IQ points and nod a lot when a beautiful woman was trying to persuade him of something.

Julian might have thrown him just a little bit harder than was necessary, a few times.

…For science.

Tonight, though, they were watching Ramsey enjoy his first class. He was a surprisingly scrappy kid considering his upbringing. And like all boys his age his bones seemed to be made of rubber. He was having a whale of a time, bouncing off the mat and making friends.

…And beaming with pride every time Julian put Firth on his ass, even in a demonstration.

“A’right! Line up! Now we’re gonna show ‘ya a couple’a practical things. I’m just gonna be a regular dude mindin’ his business, an’ Julian here’s gonna be some loser with a knife who wants my money. Watch closely!”

Julian chuckled, “Hey!”

“Can it, pretty boy. Go git ‘yer knife!”

The “knife” was a foam thing made out of a cut-down pool noodle. Julian got in position, and the class watched intently as Firth sauntered up the room, whistling tunelessly. On cue, Julian advanced on him and Firth…

…Turned and ran away as fast as his legs could take him. He even crashed through the double doors at the far end of the room and vanished from sight. Laughter shot around the room.

“Don’t be a hero,” Julian grinned at the distant, heavy sounds of the big guy slowing to a halt halfway up the stairs. “Do you kids know what’s better than getting stabbed?”

Firth came jogging back. “Not getting stabbed! Trust me on that, I know.”

He let the smiles and chuckles fade before seriousing up himself. “But sometimes, ‘ya can’t just run away,” he added. “You gotta be able ‘ta–oof!”

Julian decided that Firth needed to be on the floor. And he needed to be on the other end of the gym. Strictly for demonstration’s sake, of course.

Firth barely felt it, naturally. He just slid to a halt laughing. “Ha! Exactly that!” he roared. “Now I’m pretty good at this but even I gotta take a moment to git up. And that gives Julian time ‘ta run away! See?”

He kipped himself up explosively onto his feet, which never failed to awe the kids. “If ‘ya know what ‘yer doin’ then size don’t always matter as much. I’ve seen little hunnerd-pound gals send three-hunnerd pound drunken fools over the moon with that, and there ain’t much better way to gentle an idjit up and get away. Why do we wanna get away?”

The kids choroused as one, “A smart fighter doesn’t fight at all!”

“Ha! Good! But our time’s up ‘fer this week…”

Groans all around.

“Yeah yeah. Don’t worry, we’ll do more throws in next week’s lesson, okay? Y’all kicked…uh, butt today, so let’s get cooled down and stretched out…” Firth clapped his huge mitts together loudly. “Find a partner and git ‘er dun! Go!”

Naturally, Ramsey wouldn’t stop chattering excitedly on the way home.

Date Point: 16y4m AV
Folctha, Cimbrean, The Far Reaches

Allison Buehler

Talking with Tristan as their electronics project came together had turned up an interesting fact about their mother’s recent behaviour.

The divorce had come as a surprise. Divorce in LDS circles was huge, a real event. And scandalous! Maybe Allison was just being cynical, but she suspected that Jacob had sent the preliminary papers to try and scare Amanda into bringing herself and the kids back to Earth. It seemed like the sort of power play he favored.

God only knew how he’d reacted when he’d found the signed papers in his mailbox. And now it turned out, Amanda had done something else that was very un-LDS, on the same day.

“She drank tea?”

“Yeah. Iced tea.”

“Huh.” Allison thought about that one. She’d never really been big on the family faith anyway, and had dropped it pretty much the second she’d run away to Boston on her eighteenth birthday. Hell, she’d gone totally reactionary and blown most of her first paycheck on coffee, cigarettes and cute underwear. She’d quit smoking pretty quickly, but the coffee and cute underwear had stuck.

Amanda on the other hand had always seemed to take the proscriptions of her church very seriously. “I mean, I know she lost her temple recommend and now there’s the divorce too, but I thought that stuff was still important to her…”

Tristan shrugged. “I don’t understand Mom,” he said, quietly.

Of course, he and Ramsey had both been raised as good Mormons too. And Allison had promised not to interfere, there. The boys were both members of Folctha’s tiny branch, and the only members of its Young Men organization. She briefly wondered what kind of private, quiet crisis of faith they were going through—or even if they were—then put an arm round him and gave him a sisterly hug.

“That makes two of us, li’l bro,” she said.

He smiled a little sadly, then stuck his tongue out in concentration as he soldered the last component of their fire alarm into place, then conscientiously turned off the soldering iron and returned it to its stand. Allison had driven home how hot the thing was by burning some scorched dots in a block of wood, and he was respecting the hell out of it as a result.

“…Is it ready?” he asked.

“Let’s find out!” Allison grabbed a lighter and waved it gently back and forth under the PNP transistor that was the core of the circuit. Tristan held his breath and watched intently, waiting… waiting…

The relay actuated with a satisfying click, and Tristan made an excited gesture with both fists as the buzzer sounded insistently and the red LED started flashing.

Allison gave him a high-five. “Pretty cool, huh?”


Their celebration was interrupted a knock at the door. The authoritative, heavy kind of somebody who knew somebody was home and was going to talk with them come Hell or high water.

Allison glanced at her brother, then shrugged, stood, and went to answer it. The door cam revealed a black-suited man waiting outside, flanked by a Folctha police officer in her distinctive high-vis yellow jacket.

She opened the door. “…Can I help you?”

“Allison Buehler?” the man in the suit checked.


“Special inspector Foster, colonial security.” He said, showing her ID with the CCS logo and motto on it. “May I come in?”

Well, he didn’t have a warrant or he wouldn’t have asked. Obviously he didn’t have a warrant, Allison couldn’t think of any reason he might. She’d certainly not done anything illegal, and there was no way Julian or Xiù had either.

But after being stung by Folctha’s legal system once already, she wasn’t inclined to invite him inside if she didn’t have to. “We can have this conversation outside, I think,” she said, and then turned to call back into the living room. “Tristan? Go hang out in your room for me, okay?”

Tristan nodded and retreated upstairs, casting wary looks at the cops as he went. Allison put on her garden shoes and stepped outside, shutting the door behind her.

“Alright, what’s this about?” she asked once they were alone.

“You’re the mother of one Alex Hamlin?” Foster checked.

“…Oh, God. What’s he done now?”

“Have you had any contact with him recently?”

Allison shook her head. “I tried writing to him, but I never heard back. His dad told me he just deletes my emails and burns my letters…”

“You know Zane Reid?”

“Zane? We knew him, but we, uh… parted ways with him a long time ago. Honestly, seeing his face on the news was a huge surprise.”

“Did you ever introduce Zane Reid to your son?”

“No. Never had the chance even if I’d wanted to.”

“When you say you ‘parted ways’ with Reid, what exactly do you mean?”

“This was, uh…” Allison thought. “…Six years ago. From my perspective. Eleven, I guess, ‘cuz we were in stasis for five of those years. When my partner Julian and I were on the starship Sanctuary, rescuing stranded abductees. We found Reid, and took him along… our next stop was the planet Aru, and he assaulted us. He hit me in the head and knocked me out, badly wounded two of our ET friends, and tried to kidnap Xiù. We overpowered him, kicked him off the ship and left him behind. I don’t know how he got off the planet and back to Earth.”

“He lost his arm in that incident?”

“Yeah. One of the ETs, Kirk, had a fusion blade. Zane took him hostage and Kirk used the blade to break free.”

The man nodded. “Are you familiar with Wilhelmina Briggs-Davies?”

“Never heard of her.”

“Your son never mentioned her? She’s known to go by ‘Bill.’”

“Like I said, my son doesn’t talk to me.” Allison folded her arms, and tapped into the reserves of calm she’d learned to build up when under pressure in the Box back at Omaha during her Misfit training. The cop’s questioning felt a lot like the kind of relentless unpleasantness the MBG assessors had used to test them.

Foster nodded, as though ticking off something on a mental list.

“…Mister Hamlin is missing, Miss Buehler,” he explained. “And as you know, he’s under surveillance due to his involvement with the terrorist group who call themselves the Alien Protection Army. WIlhelmina Briggs-Davies is a known APA member and an associate of Zane Reid. She’s on the FBI’s Most Wanted list in connection with the MBG bombing in Omaha and possible Hierarchy collaboration. They’re believed to be working together.”

Allison didn’t have a name for the emotion that dropped through her like lead weights landing on her shoulders. She just… sagged, starting with the top of her head and working down.

“…Well… fuck.”

“If you know anything at all…” Foster prompted, not unkindly. “Where he might go, who he might talk to, any friends he might have…?”

“…I’m sorry. I wish I did. But Alex hates me, and I’ve never heard of this Briggs character. I can’t help you.”

Foster nodded, and again she got the impression of him closing a notebook and putting it away, even though his hands were empty. Instead, he fished a business card out of his pocket and handed it to her. She took it numbly.

“If he does contact you—”

“Inspector, if he’s working with the bitch who bombed the AAAF and killed my best friend’s dad, you bet your ass I’ll help you,” Allison told him fiercely. “If he contacts me, you’ll know.”

“…Thank you. Have a good evening, Miss Buehler.”

Allison considered that a deeply unlikely prospect at this point, but she nodded and shook his hand. “…Good luck.”

“Thank you,” Foster repeated, and… was gone. He and the officer climbed into a Folctha Police marked SUV and vanished with a whine of electric motor.

Allison retreated back through the door, and… let go.

She slid down the wall into as tiny a miserable ball as her pregnant belly would allow, her fingers knotted themselves up in her hair, and spent a minute or so feeling alone, and a failure, and responsible for everything.

Tristan pulled her out of it. She didn’t hear him come back downstairs, but he sat down next to her and did his awkward best, despite never really learning how, to be comforting. Maybe he just knew what to do by what he’d have wanted, in her position: A hug.

It helped. After a minute, Allison was ready to take a deep, cleansing breath and let go, a little.

“Its not my fault,” she reminded herself, aloud. “It’s not.”

“What isn’t?” Tristan asked. Allison sighed, and sat up straighter again. She leaned back against the wall, slid her feet out in front of her and rested a hand on her new baby.

“…I couldn’t be there for my first kid,” she said. “And he’s… he didn’t turn out so great.”

Tristan didn’t understand, she could tell by the way he looked at her. So she sighed and gave him a squeeze. “…That was the cops. Alex is… It seems like he’s hanging out with an actual card-carrying terrorist. And I just… I mean, that’s my son. I know it’s not my fault, but I still feel like…”

“You need a cup of cocoa,” Tristan decided. Allison laughed and tidied her hair out of her face.

“…Sure. Cocoa’s good.” Honestly she needed something a lot stronger than that, but she’d take it.

So, that was how Julian and Xiù found her when they got home ten minutes later. Sipping hot chocolate with red eyes while talking Tristan through a circuit that would detect incoming cell calls. They knew instantly that something was wrong, of course.

She left Tristan to follow the circuit diagram while Ramsey watched with interest, and the three of them retired to the living room where she explained everything.

Julian summed it up perfectly.


“Yeah. I’m… trying not to blame myself, you know? I didn’t raise him, I’m not responsible for how he turned out.”

Julian’s answer to that was a tight hug, and a nuzzle to the top of her head. Xiù of course had curled up next to her right away and wasn’t letting go.

Allison sighed at the drying brown crust at the bottom of her mug and set it aside. Truthfully, the cocoa had helped, probably more than a hard drink would have. Especially with the marshmallows. But still.

“You know me. I hate feeling useless.”

“We all do,” Xiù agreed. “But you’re not.”

“…Yeah. I know.” She decided to move on to a different subject. “So. Back to Akyawentuo next week?”

Xiù nodded. “Yup. Tilly says the ‘Bawistuh—’” she grinned at the Ten’Gewek mispronunciation, “—is basically ready. And that Brown One keeps probing the forest near Torf’s village, looking for a way in. It definitely wants another shot at the People.”

“Please tell me you’re not gonna hunt that thing with spears and bows if Vemik’s ballista doesn’t work,” Allison begged Julian.

He shook his head. “No, we already agreed. If it doesn’t work, we back off, repair it, and try again. Yan can keep the Given-Men in line for a few attempts. But Tilly says it’s working, and I trust her.”

“You’re free to come with, right?” Xiù asked, suddenly. “I mean, it’s not like you can squeeze inside EV-13 any longer…” she tapped Al’s baby bump, which was a lot more pronounced than her own. They were about eight weeks apart, and the difference showed.

Allison thought about it. “I guess I could!” she realized. “I’ve been doing office work and stuff for a while now anyway… If I can clear it with Clara, I’d love to be there.”

“By drone,” Xiù clarified.

“Well, yeah. But still.”

“Just so long as you don’t pop early and have the first human baby born on Akyawentuo…” Julian muttered.

“You worry about not getting eaten by an alien monster, I’ll worry about not giving birth in a tent,” Allison instructed him. “Deal?”

He chuckled, sat down between them, and held them both. Exactly what Allison had needed to finish what the Cocoa started.

“…Deal,” he agreed.

Date Point: 16y4m AV
V1661 CYG 23.3° 83-EIW2Y4-BINARY K3V-1, Deep Space


The Entity was aware of certain facts about its new “body.”

There were obvious facts that the ship reported directly into the Entity’s consciousness, such as mass, thrust, the ratio between those two, the peak output of its hydrogen fusion reactor, the total storage of its capacitors, the peak draw of its systems, the range, tracking speed, granular finesse and direct kinetic energy of its single weapon, how much ammunition it had…

But there were other, less obvious facts to take into consideration as well.

For instance, courtesy of the Mrwrki Station library, the Entity was intimately familiar with Ted Bartlett and Claude Nadeau’s declassified papers on warp fields and spatial distortion. It was therefore aware that the rarified atoms of the interstellar medium, upon being caught in a warp field, were pulled into, through and around the edge of the field where they would become ionized, losing electrons into the field and being ejected out as a “wake” of positively charged plasma.

This phenomenon had two practical consequences for the Entity. The first was that over time its ship-body gained an increasingly dangerous negative charge, and the second was that it left behind it a snail-trail of plasma that a ship with the right sensors could track.

The Interspecies Dominion devoted a lot of its tax income to maintaining spacelanes to overcome the former problem. Great fleets of industrial ships would clear corridors through the endless dark, sweeping them clean of the omnipresent interstellar dust and gas. Ships travelling along the spacelanes accumulated charge hundreds of times slower than flying through open space, meaning they didn’t have to stop every few dozen lightyears to discharge into a planet’s magnetic field

The Entity had considered making use of the spacelanes in its escape, but rejected that idea. The spacelanes might have obfuscated its wake and let it travel further before needing to stop, but the Hunters and the Dominion alike watched them closely. Using them carried an unacceptable risk of being intercepted.

Flying through deep space carried the certainty of pursuit, but the Entity had found that it preferred certainty to possibility. Certain pursuit was a controlled variable, something it could plan for.

Hence V1661 CYG 23.3° 83-EIW2Y4-BINARY. A smallish K-type and a largish M-type star, dancing around a shared center of gravity like an olympic hammer-thrower. They were doomed to part ways in a few million years, but for now they were home to five gas giants, each with an accompanying swarm of moons. The Entity picked one of the cold blue ice giants in the K-star’s orbit and smoothly inserted into the titanic cerulean world’s uppermost wisps of atmosphere. With a simple re-tuning of its shields, it got rid of the accumulated charge in a sequence of fat lightning bolts.

Unbidden, the Ava-memories offered the comparison of taking off a badly-fitting bra after a stressful day. There was that same sense of encroaching, barely-noticed and yet still overbearing discomfort being released.

No time to relish the sensation, sadly. As soon as the Entity determined that its structure was no longer overflowing with stray electrons, it boosted out to one of the ice giant’s smaller moons and took a good look.

The moon barely deserved the word, really. It wasn’t even big enough to pull itself into a sphere under its own gravity. But it had suffered a relatively recent collision—within the last few hundred thousand years—that had smashed off the loose dusty stuff on its outer surface and exposed a rich metallic core. The Entity barely had to glance at it to find copper, uranium, titanium and manganese.

Not perfect—the Entity really needed scandium and aluminium—but a good starting point. It launched its mining drones and then set out to investigate the other moons and larger asteroids for what it needed.

Time was against it, if it was going to be ready when the Hunters caught up.

Previous Chapter

Sweetness – Love and Kiing (NSFW)

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

Read More »
Next Chapter

Sweetness – Love and Kiing (NSFW)

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

Read More »

More by HamboneHFY

Sweetness – Implications

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

Read More »

Sweetness – Chapter 4 (NSFW)

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

Read More »

Sweetness – Chapter 3 (NSFW)

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

Read More »

Sweetness – Chapter 2 (NSFW)

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

Read More »

Sweetness – Chapter 1 (NSFW)

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

Read More »

Shades of White and Orange

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

Read More »

Mother Earth

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

Read More »


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

Read More »

Adam, Artemis, Atlas, & Icarus Part 2

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

Read More »

Adam, Artemis, Atlas, & Icarus Part 1

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

Read More »

Similar Stories

Waters of Babylon – Tikkun Olam Part 1

For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper and of the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his pinions, and under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and a bulwark. —Psalm 93: 3-4 Date Point: 14Y 3M AV Office of Rabbi Uwriy Walden New

Read More »

Causal Results – Chapter 6: Squeaking By

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

Read More »

Waters of Babylon – Tzedakah Part 4

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

Read More »

Good Training – Survival Part 10

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

Read More »

Waters of Babylon – Tzedakah Part 3

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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++:

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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.”

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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.

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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”

Read More »

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”

Read More »

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

Read More »

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!”

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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…

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »


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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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”

Read More »

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

Read More »


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

Read More »

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,

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »


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

Read More »

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

Read More »

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *