The Deathworlders – Chapter 60: The Calm and The Storm Part 2

Date Point: 16y8m3w AV
Folctha, Cimbrean, the Far Reaches

Ava Ríos

“I’ll just need a minute to set up the recorder.”

“Take your time. I mean, we haven’t seen each other in a while anyway, it would be nice to catch up, not just be all business.”

Ava shot Xiù a sorry smile and stopped fussing with her gadgets. “You’re right. Sometimes I forget how to set my work aside.”

She had to admit, mothers and babies looked good. Xiù and Allison had come to her, in part on the Byron Group’s request, to do a little girl talk interview for the ESNN magazine.

They made for a striking couple, Ava thought. Firmly in each other’s orbit as well as Julian’s, they’d always seemed very much in tune. As the old joke went, they finished each other’s… sandwiches.

But there was something more to the glow of good health surrounding them, Anna and Harrison than just a happy, harmonious home. Something unstoppable, untiring, almost-superhuman in the way neither mother seemed sleepy or stressed and neither seemed to weary of holding a baby or two, despite both babies being fat and focused and well-developed for their ages.

They reminded Ava of the HEAT, somehow. Though, it was hard to put her finger on exactly why. Something similar in their indefatigable, unboundable energy.

“Ugh, tell me about it,” Allison agreed. She was feeding Anna on the couch. “I’m lucky it’s such a long drive out to Chiune Station, it gives me plenty of time to kinda mentally reset and switch from work mode to home mode, you know?”

“That sounds useful,” Ava agreed, thinking guiltily of the way her idea of a good evening involved getting some editing done while Derek played videogames next to her.

Then again her passions were writing and photography, the same things she’d built her career around. Did she need a third hobby to take a break from her career? Did the occasional weekend at a clothing-optional beach with her friends count?

…Probably yes and probably not, respectively.

“What do you do for fun?” she asked.

“I tinker,” Allison smiled self-effacingly. “You should see some of the crazy gizmos in the garage.”

“Like what?”

“Uh… well, my friend Clara is really into cosplay. She just started on this classic ‘60s Star Trek costume, so I’m making a prop phaser for her with all the bells and whistles. I’m even trying to mod a forcefield emitter to get it to shoot a beam.”

Xiù gave her a surprised-delighted look. “You never told me about this?!”

Allison shrugged and gestured at Harrison. “I mean, Chungus there came along and I kinda forgot everything else for a while.”

Xiù’s giggle at the nickname was infectious, and Ava caught it easily. In fact, it took her a few minutes to recover, and her cheeks ached by the time she did.

“Ahh… I really should ask about that,” she said. “I mean, he’s huge!”

“Yeah. Too big,” Xiù gave her son a complicated look. “I mean, I looked it up and he’s not quite a record-setter or anything. But he was definitely too big for me to handle.”

“You had a C-section?”

“Had to.”

“You’re doing really well! It’s only been, what, four weeks? I can’t tell you’re recovering at all!”

“Thanks. I had some, uh… special help. I’d rather not go into it, you know?”

“That’s fair… and I guess we’re in interview mode after all, huh?” Ava sighed and shook her head, amused and exasperated at herself. “…Shall I start?”

Xiù and Allison glanced at each other, then nodded. “Sure, go for it,” Allison said.

Ava nodded and started the recorder. She glanced at her notes again, picked up her camera, and rose from her chair to walk the room and find good angles for pictures.

“So… Congratulations! Was having your babies so close together part of the plan?” she asked.

Allison nodded. “It was Xiù’s idea.”

Xiù bobbled her head with a wry look. “Yeah, I had this romantic fantasy of being side-by-side in the maternity ward… In the end, Julian and I needed to keep trying for a couple more months.”

“Those were a fun couple of months,” Allison chimed in, and Ava’s camera captured the exact moment Xiù’s face went pink. Probably a little too candid for the magazine, but whatever.

“Was it hard to hold down your career and have a baby at the same time?” she asked Allison.

“…Mmm…. Yes and no.” Al shrugged her head from side to side. “Like, it didn’t take long before I couldn’t wriggle into the tight crawl spaces any longer, so I had to start delegating that side of my job, but after that… I mean, I mostly work with schematics and checklists and stuff anyway. I’m mostly able to do my job from right here, but I prefer to be there actually working on the ships as we build them, you know? I’m too hands-on to feel happy with just reading and signing off on a work report every night.”

“So you’re eager to get back to work?”

Allison shook her head. “Right now? Not even if they doubled my salary,” she said, and Ava unconsciously snapshotted the moment she glanced fondly down at Anna. “…But give me a few months and I’ll be glad to get back to it.”

“Are the ships selling well?”

“That’s not really my department, but… yeah. Turns out a tough little punchy cutie like Misfit has lots of uses. I can’t talk about what AEC are gonna use theirs for, but we have other buyers who wanna use them as couriers, tugs, asteroid tractors… and MBG are still doing the whole deathworld exploration and survey thing. I think our girl’s gonna be around for a long time, especially ‘cuz we update each new one with the latest tech every time.”

“So the Misfit line is still a prototype?”

Allison nodded. “The tech’s advancing so quickly at the moment. By the time we got back from the first mission, our Misfit needed a major upgrade. Sooner or later we’ll standardize the design and switch to mass production, but right now we’re selling a bespoke made-to-order product. Not, like, the spaceship version of a Ford.”

Xiù nodded. “My first takeoff on that second mission was my worst ever. Everything was just that little bit different!”

“You both sound like you remember it fondly,” Ava said.

“Of course we do!” Allison said. “We lived on a spaceship and did the whole ‘boldly go’ thing for real! It was a great time! Sometimes scary and crazy and emotional, but… I’m glad we did it. We won’t go back, we have other responsibilities now. But…”

“But we’ll always remember it,” Xiù finished for her.

“You both had pretty crazy lives even before then. How does motherhood and a normal home life compare?”

“They… don’t.” Xiù adjusted Harrison in her arms as he started to gripe at her, and he fell asleep again. “You can’t compare them.”

“They’re rewarding,” Allison said. “You can say that for both. I mean, I didn’t think being abducted was that great at the time, but looking back… I mean, I wouldn’t be where I am now if it hadn’t happened. Honestly, my life probably woulda been a train wreck, but instead…”

There’s a caption, Ava thought to herself. She’d captured the exact expression that crossed Allison’s face when she made that confession, too.

“…Instead I met two people who complete me,” Allison finished after a second.

…No. There’s the caption.

Time for a change of subject. “…Two of you hold the weird distinction of being honorary members of other species…” Ava said. “So, a weird one for Allison: if you could be an honorary something, which species would you be?”

They laughed, looked at each other, and Ava watched their faces as they had a whole conversation without saying a word.

“…Wow. I… don’t know!” Allison admitted after a moment. “I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love the Gao and Ten’Gewek, but I don’t think I’d be a great fit for either, you know?”

“What makes you say that?”

“Well… ‘Shoo’ here has this history with them. And a sort of zen for the whole thing that just… works. ‘Jooyun’ is doing what he’s always done, just amped way, way up. He’s got a talent for cavemonkey work, for, uh, various reasons. Me?” She shot Xiù a mischievous grin. “…I’m the normal one! So honestly, I think I’m pretty happy being one hundred percent unadulterated human, thanks.”

Xiù just rolled her eyes and smiled.

“…I was sorry to hear Mother-Supreme Yulna’s news,” Ava said. “I know you two are friends.”

Xiù sighed heavily, looked down at her baby for a second, then up at Ava. “…Yes. It’s been… hard. Yulna was there for me at the Wi Kao commune when I couldn’t even speak the language. She taught me a lot about Gaoian life, she helped me find ways to fit in and be useful… She doesn’t deserve this. She deserves more time.”

“You’re the only human with a vote in the Clan of Females’ election, and it’s widely reckoned that if you were to openly support one candidate or another it would make a difference.”

Xiù shook her head. “Maybe in any other election, but I don’t think there’s any doubt that Naydra will be Yulna’s successor, even if I were to oppose her… which I don’t.”

“There’s already talk about ‘Great Mother’ Naydra,” Ava said.

Xiù nodded. “Yes. A queen to sit on the throne alongside Daar.”

“Do you approve?”

Xiù tilted her head as he considered that. “…I mean… really, I think it’ll just be a case of making formal what was already true, you know?” she said. “I believe in democracy, myself. But according to the Gao, they need something else and I won’t disagree with them. I respect Naydra a lot, and I think she’ll be worthy of the title.”

“ETs do things their way, not ours,” Allison added.

Xiù nodded. “And the Gao especially do things their way. The thing is… the Great Father might be a dictator, but he’s the most benevolent dictator you could ever ask for. And Naydra is one of the strongest souls I’ve ever met. So it doesn’t matter what I think. What matters is that they’re in good hands. Or, um, paws.”

“That’s quite a phrase. ‘The most benevolent dictator you could ask for?’

“Well…the thing about the Gao is they’re extremely social. Daar in particular is unbelievably extroverted. That, and, well…he has a reputation with the Females…”

“And what would that reputation be?” Ava pressed.

“He’s, uh…let’s say he’s…. His biggest personal incentives are to be liked, and to sire cubs. Say what you will about him, he’s got many noble qualities, but…”

“He’s a horndog,” Allison chimed in. “In, ah…the best possible way.”

“I might have gone with ‘passionate,’” Xiù sniffed.

“Oh sure, he’s definitely passionate. Have you heard the gossip at Ninja Taco?”

Despite herself, Ava giggled. She very much had heard the gossip. Gossip about aliens was, after all, an important part of her job. Sister Leela had made quite a reputation for herself, as the girl who turned down the Great Father. Sometimes the comments were scandalized, sometimes they were confused, sometimes they were awed…

Privately, Ava suspected that the Great Father very much enjoyed a female who said no to him. But unless he came back to her for another interview at some point, she knew better than to ask him about it. She’d earned a place in Daar’s good books after what everyone called the ‘Laid Bear’ shoot, but that could easily be squandered by intruding on his private time.

And the good graces of a figure like him were not to be wasted by any sensible journalist.

“So what exactly are you saying?” she asked. “What does being ‘passionate’ have to do with being ‘the most benevolent dictator?’”

“I’m saying… I’m saying he didn’t choose to be what he is,” Xiù explained. “The Daar who visits Folctha to flirt with small business owners and lift weights with his buddies, that’s the real Daar, and he never pretends otherwise. I’m not his personal cheerleader, but we both had plenty of time to get to know and trust him before. His essential nature is playful and pragmatic. He just…isn’t a schemer.”

“And if somebody were to suggest that absolute power corrupts absolutely?” Ava checked.

“Is it the power? Or the wanting the power?” Allison retorted. “Anyway, we were discussing Naydra weren’t we?”

“Yes we were,” Ava agreed. “Do you think she’s the same as him?”

Xiù shook her head. “No. Naydra is… She represents something that Gaoian females don’t often get to do. She gets to be a devoted lover. That gives the Clan power over the Great Father that you can’t underestimate. Or, at least…it gives them a voice.”

“Is that why she’s doing it?”

“I don’t know. I don’t think so. Or… I hope not. I like to think that two very… pure… people happened to meet in the middle of something awful and are doing their best. You know?”

“I’m more cynical than she is,” Allison added with a self-effacing shrug. “But I gotta admit… that does sound nice.”

“So… I guess I she is the same as Daar,” Xiù backtracked. “She’s doing something different, but… yeah. For the same reasons.”

“How exactly did they meet?”

“He rescued her. From a self-styled warlord who tried to set up his own little kingdom during the war, complete with a harem. We probably shouldn’t go into the details out of respect for her privacy.”

Which said a lot, all by itself, but Ava didn’t make that observation aloud. Instead, she nodded and asked the first other question that came to mind.

“…What happened to the warlord?”

“…There’s video of Daar’s sentence. I’d not watch it unless you have a strong stomach.”

Ava nodded, and decided that there was nothing more to be gained from that line of questioning. She mentally rewound, checked the notes she’d scribbled as they talked, and nodded.

“You’ve had the privilege of knowing two—possibly three, soon—Mother-Supremes. There’s been a lot of focus on Yulna recently, but of course she was endorsed by her predecessor Giymuy, and there’s been a lot of speculation as to why.”

Xiù nodded, then shushed her son as he complained faintly. Comforted, he baby fell asleep again and she addressed the question, “Yeah. Yulna was a surprise choice. Until Giymuy’s endorsement, she’d been a respected Mother in the Wi Kao commune, but not much more than that.”

“So why pick her, do you think?”

Xiù had to consider that one for a long time. While she did, Allison quietly stood up and took Anna into another room. The baby came firs t, always.

“Giymuy was… a very shrewd judge of character,” Xiù decided, eventually. “She sized me up the second we met, and I could barely speak a dozen words of Gaori at the time. She probably had Yulna picked for a long time before she died. By reputation, by meeting her…”

“What trait made her such an attractive choice?”

“Yulna was… she always knew what the right thing was. Not just practically, but morally too. I remember the cubs being in awe of her, ‘cuz they always knew exactly how much they could get away with around her, and that when they crossed the line she’d be very… fair. Not nice, but fair.”


“Yeah. Basically. Always level, always seeing the bigger picture, always… somehow, always knowing the right thing to say or do, even when she wasn’t at her best. That’s Yulna. And I think that’s why Giymuy chose her. Because she knew one thing above all else about Yulna,” Xiù said. “She knew that come what may… she’d do the right thing.”

“And did she?”

“…Yeah. I think she did.”

Ava smiled. “You know what? I think that’s an interview,” she said. “Remind me to hang out with you two properly sometime. I swear I can leave my work behind…”

“Bullshit, hun,” Allison teased her. “But it’s fine. Good timing, too, I think this little germ’s about to get all cranky…”

Sure enough, Anna was stirring and scrunching her face up in preparation for a good howl about something. Ava stood up. “I’d better let you be moms, then,” she said. “I’ll email you the finished article before we run it, ‘kay?”

“Sure, thanks.”

Ava smiled to herself, and let the two distracted mothers be mothers. She let herself out, and stood on the sidewalk while she ordered a cab. She was already writing in her head.

There was just one problem, really, from what her contacts on Gao had to say. She hadn’t wanted to raise it, though she was feeling a little guilty that she hadn’t. But the fact was…

The fact was, she was pretty sure she was writing Yulna’s obituary.

If so… she was going to make it a flattering one.

Rather than go home, she went back to the office.

Date Point: 16y8m3w1d AV
Alien Quarter, Folctha, Cimbrean, the Far Reaches

Julian Etsicitty

Julian liked Nofl, Vemik and the Singer, though he’d had some nerves and concerns about putting the three of them in the same room… which had largely turned out to be unfounded, leaving him feeling a bit guilty. Something about Vemik in particular had Julian consistently underestimating the big hyper cavemonkey, which wasn’t exactly fair. Vemik knew the boundaries. He was just…really good at going right up against them.

Still, Julian was going to have to do this several more times with other Ten’Gewek, and that was a harrowing prospect. Vemik and the Singer were the well-behaved ones with the strongest handle of what was expected from visitors to civilization, having done it more than any others. Bringing their cousins, tribe-members and Given-Men along later, though…

People were still talking about how Ferd had climbed the post office to scout the land. And their night of fun at Tempest, the nightclub closest to the youth hostel.

Which was why the plan was to do it in twos or threes at the most: that was about his limit for cavemonkey-wrangling. And it was also about Nofl’s limit for doing a full body scan, workup and all the other arcane medical science involved in… whatever he was doing.

He was, in a new development, humming as he worked. And somehow, he was doing it just artlessly enough to leave Julian with the nagging suspicion that he recognized the tune, but not quite able to put his finger on it. Which was probably deliberate.

The Singer, of course, was ignoring the borderline insult to music out of sheer fascination with the realities of cell biology and advanced medicine surrounding her. She’d even weedled a peek down Nofl’s microscope out of him, and was staring in fascination at the sample. “This is what blood looks like very small?”

♪“Hmm hm-mm hm hmmm-m-m…♫ Mm? Oh. Yes. Yours, anyway. Mine looks rather different.” Nofl indulged her and called up a side-by-side comparison. Julian leaned forward too, out of interest. He’d never considered what Corti blood might look like on the cellular scale.

It turned out to be rather dilute-looking. The equivalent of a red blood cell was more of a purple-blue color and shaped like a bad case of sickle cell anemia, and there was nary a white cell to be seen.

“…Your blood is not red?”

“I really don’t have the time to get into hemocyanin versus hemoglobin…” Nofl said, nearly apologetically. He resumed his almost-identifiable humming and returned to his work. The Singer, thwarted, turned to Julian.


Oh boy.

“Uh… Blood has metal in it, believe it or not. Ours has iron and that’s what makes it red. His has… copper?” Julian checked.

“Copper,” Nofl confirmed, not looking away from whatever it was he was staring into.

“Anyway, the iron in our blood is stuck to something called hemoglobin. It’s like…it’s one of the countless kinds of super tiny machines that make your body work, way smaller than what you’re looking at. What it does is take that iron into our lungs, which rusts when it touches the air. Rust is actually iron and oxygen coming together, which is the stuff in the air that your body needs. Later on your body uses energy it gets from your food to pull the iron and oxygen apart, so it can use it for whatever it needs. Iron is just…better for this than copper.”

“However,” Nofl said, “My hemocyanin doesn’t require special cells to transport it. It can just float freely around the body. Which means a reduced metabolic impact and lower nutritional needs.”

“That means he can get away with eating a lot less food than we can,” Julian translated.

“Everything is a tradeoff,” Nofl murmured, and turned away from his instrument to address a different one. “And every form of life adapts to its circumstances. Now compare Ten’Gewek blood to Human blood.”

He summoned another sample for comparison. Side-by-side the two were similar… but not identical, Julian could see.

“Your blood is thicker, and carries more hemoglobin than even a Human. But, they have something you don’t.”

He tapped his finger on the projection, indicating a white cell. “These are part of your ‘immune system’ which is how your body fights against disease. The Ten’Gewek have a strong immune system,” he said, prompting much pride and preening from both Vemik and the Singer. Then he wiped it off their faces. “The Human one is godlike.”

“…Dunno if I’d go that far with those particular words, Nofl…” Julian cautioned, but the Singer waved a hand.

“I learned a word. High-pear-bole-ee? But yes, be careful with gods,” she cautioned Nofl. “Always best to be careful.”

“…Fine, fine.” Nofl said, clearly deciding that discretion was the better part of avoiding awkwardness. “Fearsome, then. Aggressive, almost psychotic. Honestly, half of the worst diseases that Humans have are caused by their own immune systems getting too excited and figuratively smashing up the place.”

“Ah, yes. I know that problem well.” The Singer shot a toothy, teasing grin at her favorite boy, and Vemik’s tail lashed in the Ten’Gewek equivalent of awkwardly clearing his throat.

Nofl smirked, inasmuch as a Corti face could achieve that expression, and returned to his work.

“Yours is… just a tiny bit slower to learn,” he said, having apparently decided to abandon his atonal humming in favor of being a teacher. “Better with what it learns, but learning takes time. The Human immune system attacks, attacks, attacks, like a crazy swarm. Yours…”

“Is like a patient hunter,” Julian finished.

“Yes, that’s a good analogy. I think.”

“Which works better for you. You have very tough bodies, and I bet that means you can take more misery while your body figures out how to hunt the sickness.”

“Conjecture, dear.”

“Well, I’m not exactly a biologist. Hell, I was a lab technician and field assistant, not an actual scientist.”

“You are very good at bringing in interesting samples, though.”

“What does this mean for us?” Vemik asked. He was still scratching his crest watching the microscope imagery.

“For you, it means that a vaccine will likely have to be delivered in stages. Two, possibly three injections depending on the disease.” Nofl sat back and tilted his head back and forth. “…Which doubles or triples the expense, of course. And I fear the Directorate will absolutely be happy with that fact.”

The Singer pulled a face. Vemik just nodded resignedly.

“How long are the Directorate going to want samples for?” Julian asked.

“Deathworld studies is a rich and, ah, pertinent field for the Directorate right now. Samples from Akyawentuo aren’t going to lose their value anytime soon, darling,” Nofl assured him. “It’s a big and lush planet, after all, and nearly all of it is utterly untouched. I’m sure the Ten’Gewek won’t run out of cash any time soon.”

Julian nodded. “Still need us here?”

“Oh dear, are you bored of my company already?” Nofl gave Julian a sly look, then shook his head. “No, no. I have everything I need, probably. I’ll call if I need you to come back in. Go, enjoy your day. Eat tacos. It’s Tuesday after all!”

Vemik immediately perked up at the idea of a dozen tacos gurgling happily in his belly.

“Maybe some one-on-one Gravball practice later, big fella?” Julian suggested. He slipped his phone out of his pocket and messaged Al to see if she and Xiù wanted anything.

“I want to play too!” The Singer protested.

“Okay, why not? I bet the Lads would join us… oh no.” Julian paused as Nofl started humming again and the tune finally stuck.

He turned back and glared at the tiny scientist. “…Is that fucking Barbie Girl?!”

Nofl giggled gleefully and the widest troll grin a Corti face could achieve spread across his features. “Finally! I was beginning to worry!”

“…You’re a monster, Nofl. That’s going to be in my head all afternoon now.”

“What a shame. Enjoy your dinner!”

Julian snorted, and followed the Ten’Gewek out the door.

It was a nice day in the Alien Quarter, if one ignored the nauseating scent of Zrrks wafting off a market stall. The ETs gave the deathworlder visitors a wide berth, and they did the same out of due caution. The Quarter was carefully isolated to keep deathworld diseases from ravaging the occupants, and time spent beyond the wall was carefully logged, but it never hurt to be sensibly cautious.

Still. Behind the Zrrks were the scents of imported low-class flora. One of the flowering trees imported from a Vzk’tk core world was in riotous bloom, shedding yellow and white blossom everywhere, and the assortment of fruiting bodies, flowers, shrubs and other forms of life that slightly didn’t fit human classification planted all around gave the plaza outside Nofl’s lab quite a pleasant atmosphere.

A pair of twin Locayl artists had moved in a while back too, and promptly set about beautifying the otherwise rather plain concrete buildings. There were abstract murals and intricate “light sculptures” formed from the interplay of shadows cast by stretched canopies… They’d done a pretty good job of beautifying a part of the city that had otherwise been kinda dull outside of the two Gaoian enclaves. Those—the Female commune, and the Clan Starmind monastery—were now almost outclassed.

The copious advertising for alien products made it clear this wasn’t really a space for humans, though. No human was ever going to need hoof polish. Or… whatever that billboard was selling for Guvnurag consumption. Julian couldn’t read a word of their language.

“Makes me think,” Vemik said, uncharacteristically quiet as they headed back toward the checkpoint and its cleansing biofilter fields.

“‘Bout what, buddy?”

“Us. The People. When our children’s children are grown and learning their trade… will we be like this? Con-crete, and little trees kept in pots?”

“Some of us, I think,” The Singer said. “Others… Most of us, I think we’ll keep the forest. I had a vision.”

Julian raised his eyebrows. “You did, huh?”

She nodded. “I saw… sky-magic among the trees. Clean and white things, there to help but not change. Vack-seens keeping our people strong, but not taking what we are. I saw mothers coming here when the birthing goes wrong, or hunters being healed even when a Werne gores them. Men like Ferd coming to the sky to Give back, but down on the ground we stay who we are. I saw…” she trailed off.

“…Balance,” Vemik suggested.

“Yes. I think we can balance these things. Have all that is best in us and all that is best in sky-magic at the same time.”

“I’d like that,” Vemik agreed.

Before Julian could comment, his phone pinged. It popped the moment like a bubble, but made him smile when he checked the message from Allison, which Vemik craned in to read as well.

“X says if you don’t bring us a Shinobi Platter, you’ll be sleeping on the couch ♥ ”

“No you won’t!” Vemik blurted out. “You three fuck too much!”


“Okay, so firstly: rude. Don’t read people’s texts unless they invite you!”

“Oh. Yeah.” Vemik looked like that was the kind of thing he kept ‘forgetting’ in the hopes that everyone else would forget it too.

“Secondly, you’re hardly one to talk. You’ve got Singer and Tilly—yes, we all know what you two are ’sampling’ when you go off on ‘research trips’ big guy—”

“And every pretty girl when he visits other tribes, too!” the Singer added. She tickled Vemik’s ear with her tailtip.

“—Exactly. And also, you should know by now I’ve got no shame in my game these days. We’ll fuck however much we want! I expect better teasing from you in the future.”

“A challenge?” Vemik grinned an enormously fang-filled grin. “Hmm. Tacos first.”

He ambled forward with a redcrest’s thick-thighed bouncy swagger off toward the barrier, his tail twitching merrily while he energetically hummed a catchy tune.

Julian hesitated, and a cold knot of dread settled in his stomach. “No. No, no, you do not know that song!”

“Nofl teached me!”


“Don’t care!” Vemik ducked through the decontamination fleld. [“Hey Singer!] ♪‘You can touch my hair, undress me anywhere…’”♫

There were three things about it that disturbed Julian. The first was Vemik’s vocal power. He was LOUD. Loud enough that several nearby ETs cringed in discomfort, and it wasn’t from bad pitch either, because the second disturbing thing was how perfectly he could mimic the recording, highs and lows and everything in-between. It was horrifyingly uncanny.

And the third was that he was dancing to it; anything with a nice, bouncy beat could get the manic cavemonkey going, but this in particular seemed to have inspired him. Which was fine, but the thing with Ten’Gewek was that dancing was more or less as blunt an invitation to amorous activities as a man could possibly perform. He shook his big-ass…well, ass at the Singer, who in turn hooted appreciatively, clapped and whistled, and joined in. Thank God they’d be staying in the guest bedroom downstairs…

Julian took a moment to enjoy the relative peace as he was left alone on the right side of the wall.

“…I’m going to kill that little gray asshole,” he muttered. Traitorously, though, his face insisted on smiling.

He shook his head, sighed, and followed after them.

Hopefully, this was going to be the worst of his problems.

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

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 *