The Deathworlders – Chapter 60: The Calm and The Storm Part 6

Date Point: 16y10m1d AV
Starship Silent But Deadly, Hell system, Hunter Space

Tooko, Brother and Stud of Clan Firefang

To Tooko’s mild surprise, Ten’Gewek did not, in fact, stink. Oh, sure, they had a certain… physicality that extended to their aroma, but it wasn’t unpleasant. Just…

Well. Strong. Strong enough that the scent still lingered in the main cabin even though most of their cavemonkeys had been safely in stasis for a couple of weeks. It had quickly become apparent to Tooko that carrying them as cargo was best for everyone’s sanity: They did not respond well to being cooped up indoors for prolonged periods. All they did was eat, wrestle, lift, and sleep. And eat. Ample stores or not, nobody had quite figured on just how much food they’d go through in a routine like that, so…

Ferd was up and about, though. He wanted to be, for this bit. And it was an opportunity to learn.

“We don’t have to be quiet?”

“The ship is being quiet for us. All the sound stays inside.” Tooko had taken a strange shine to Ferd. Teaching him was a fun challenge, something like a young eager cub who had an adult’s quickness of mind. He couldn’t fit his shoulders through the cockpit hatch, but Ten’Gewek had excellent eye-vision, so he could see everything Tooko was doing.


Tooko debated whether to tell him that it was kind of automatic that sound didn’t propagate through a vacuum, but decided against it. Too much groundwork involved. Instead he duck-nodded and indicated the instruments above him and to his right that comprised the cloak panel.

“It’s even more clever than that,” he said. “If you were outside the ship right now, you could touch it but not see it.”

“Yeah, why is that?” Wilde asked. He was in the copilot chair, not actually doing anything but content to listen and chat. “It’s not like we’re getting within visual range anyway…”

“The cloak makes us transparent to nearly all of the EM spectrum, and the visible wavelengths are a tiny, tiny part of that,” Tooko said. “It’d be more work not to include them.”

“Wave-length.” Ferd muttered, clearly memorizing the word.

“The color of light,” Tooko translated. “It’s just that there are way more colors than anyone can see. My people can see some colors, Humans can see more. Yours can see at least as many as they can, but machines can be made to see all of them.”

“Maybe, we see more. We notice, some fruits Wilde not see difference. And sometimes, we see in water what he not see.”

Tooko shot a look at Wilde. “Put that in sky-people-speak for me?”

Wilde grinned and winked at Ferd, who grumbled in a placid, satisfied sort of way. “They might be tetrachromatic and maybe even perceive polarization. We don’t know yet. Possibly that’s why they’re so sensitive to bright light. Might be why their pupils are slotted, too.”

“I like my Oak-leys,” Ferd declared, happily. “Keep too-bright shimmer out of face!”

“They have words to describe different kinds of shimmer, which is why we think they might be able to see polarization. That and the water trick…” Wilde shrugged. “Damn useful, at any rate. Too bad they don’t much care for wide open skies.”

Tooko duck-nodded and glanced up at his in-system map. “…Three minutes to the debris field. Frasier, you ready?”

Frasier was on the upper deck, watching SBD’s sensors. His voice floated down the ladder. “Aye!”

“Just like we discussed, I need a low-power ESDAR pulse for debris tracking, three minutes.”

“Already set it up!”

“Thank you!”

Ferd, of course, had questions. “Ess-star?”

“ElectroStatic Detection And Ranging.” Tooko slowed their warp approach. He had a rough estimate of the Ring debris field’s scope and boundaries from the passive telescopes, but flying into it was not on his to-do list. Yet. “You know forcefields?”

“What they do, yes. The magic is many paths away to me.”

“Fine. Well, one of the things they can do is ‘feel’ things a very long way away. Even quite small things.”

“…Space, have no up, no down, no gravity. And everything black, black, black. Small things, can’t see, don’t fall down.”

“Well… no, but they do move. And so do we. And we move fast enough that if we hit one then…”

“Like Base-ball throwing baseball. Very bad for Ferd.”

Wilde chuckled, and Tooko chittered. Ferd really was very clever, in a very Humanesque sort of way.

“Something like that. So the ESDAR lets us see things and avoid them. Speaking of which… Frasier? Stand by for my mark.”



Frasier had done a decent job of following the settings Tooko gave him. The pulse was brief and low-powered, and hopefully therefore short-ranged enough to go unnoticed. Active sensor pings were always a calculated risk, but sometimes they were absolutely necessary. Especially when maneuvering into the glittering remains of a smashed megastructure.

Okay, the pieces were still hundreds of kilometers apart, but it paid to know where they were. Ferd’s analogy had been a long way short of what would actually happen to them if they hit even a modest chunk at orbital velocities.

Tooko found one of the bigger bits and matched orbit with it, trailing by about seventy kilometers. The local gas density was marginally higher than vacuum, which was perfect for their needs.

“Rees? Launch one.”

Rees was in the cargo bay. His voice came over the comm net. “Launching one.”

There was a loud BANG through the hull as a pressurized air cylinder blasted a spy satellite out of SBD’s rear. Ferd jumped and looked around, tail lashing in alarm.

“We’re playing a strange game of hide-and-seek,” Wilde commented for Ferd’s benefit. “Remember how space has no air? That bang just now? It’s air that can be seen, so Tooko’s put us somewhere where that wouldn’t be noticed.”

“And, big enemy can’t hear?” Ferd seemed suspicious.

“Naw mate, hearing things is like stones rippling in water. You need air or something for sounds to ripple through.”

“So…no air, then no sound.”


Tooko accelerated a little, pushing them into a slightly higher orbit. It wouldn’t take much: they could actually launch the spysats quite close together and then just let orbital dynamics play out to spread them across the whole of Hell’s sky.

But speaking of which… the first satellite was already giving them some good telemetry. And Tooko had never imagined a planet could look so sick before.

“Gour’s stolen nose…” he muttered. Wilde just let out an ‘eeurff’ sound and shook his head.

“…Is bad?” Ferd asked.

“Guess that’s what a nuclear winter looks like…” Wilde muttered. “Uh… we know lots of things fell down on this world. It must have put lots of dust in the air. Enough dust to cut the ground off from the sun a little, make everything colder.”

“And a lot of what fell would have been deadly poison, too,” Tooko added grimly. “It’s going to be a long time before life gets back on its feet down there…”

“…Daar did this?” Ferd asked, quietly.

“He delivered the weapon that did it himself. And fired it. So… yes.”

“…Godshit. He killed a world?”

“Not killed,” Tooko said, feeling it was his duty to stick up for the Great Father. “But it is very, very sick, yes.”

Ferd stood and watched the diseased yellow continents and the leprous seas for some silent moments. His whole body had gone uncharacteristically still—Ten’Gewek rarely stopped moving when they were standing. Now, he was a statue.

“…I was wrestled by a god. And lived.”

“The Great Father is not a god.”

Ferd looked down at him, suspiciously. “…You sure?”

“He’s wrestled me and I lived. Barely. Also, I don’t imagine a god would be quite so fond of fart jokes.”

“Or bloody stupid songs about digging a hole,” Wilde added.

Ferd didn’t look perfectly convinced, so Tooko sighed. “He’d say he isn’t,” he said. “And the Great Father doesn’t lie. Good enough?”

“…If he’s not a god, then this is people-work,” Ferd fretted. “Can… can people really kill a whole world?”

“All too easily, mate,” Wilde told him, grimly.

Ferd’s tail twitched, once, then he turned away and returned to the back of the cabin. “…I think,” he rumbled. He slumped down onto the floor matting next to the beds, pulled a blanket over himself, and thereby gained some privacy to be alone with his thoughts.

Tooko traded a worried look with Wilde, then a mutual shrug, and decided that the time had come to launch the second spysat.

A few hours and several more compressed-air hammering sounds later, their flyby of Hell was complete, and Frasier had come up empty on the one thing he’d been specifically looking out for: any evidence of sapient-made fires. Their presence would have indicated even rudimentary settlements or dwellings, but it was pretty clear after several orbits and plenty of observation that If anyone was alive down there, they didn’t even know how to light a campfire.

As far as Tooko was concerned, that was enough to write Hell off as a graveyard.

The spysats did return some signs of life: Hunters, picking over the wreckage of the Ring for salvage and materials. They weren’t trying to be stealthy, but their presence made Tooko even more cautious in his egress than he had in his approach.

Only once Hell was a long way behind them at the fastest warp he dared set did he breathe more easily and rise from the pilot’s chair. Their next destination was a few days away in a straight line, but he’d chosen an evasive course rather than the direct one. He wasn’t willing to get them all killed out of laziness.

Wilde had fallen asleep in the copilot chair. Tooko left him alone, wandered back down the cabin, and sprang onto the bed next to Ferd.

“…You okay?”

The blanket shifted. For a second, Tooko doubted he’d get a reply, but after a second Ferd twitched it back from his head, down around his shoulders. “…Big thinking.”

“I bet. Play a game to take your mind off it for a while?”

“Hmm… No.” Ferd shook his head. “I want to lift.”

Tooko chittered resignedly. “Of course you do…”

“No hunt, no trees, need to keep strong.” Ferd loudly slapped his ridiculous abdominals, then suddenly turned his full attention on Tooko. “You should do like us! Work hard, so body always ready! You not do anything but sit, play Ta-shen, eat like lazy bibtaw!”

He stood, and a hand like a leather-upholstered hydraulic clamp closed around Tooko’s wrist. “Come, we do workout now.”

“Now?!” Tooko complained.

“You sit too long, no move! Have twig for arms, no meat on ass! Need to hunt more, like me!”

“You know that’s not how our culture works…” Tooko objected, knowing full well it was futile.

Sure enough, Ferd was having none of it. “You teach me many things, very smart-strong. I teach you this. Maybe, help you fuck many pretty women!”

“I do that anyway!!”

“Always room for more!”

And with that, out came the cleverly hidden-away resistance training equipment that folded up and slotted into the walls and floor, and Tooko was subjected to the indignity of being educated by an iron-age tribesman on how to work very hard and very long at doing nothing.

He got wrestled by Ferd, too. That was mostly an education in just how many ways the giant cavemonkey could squash him like a bug, tie him in knots, or pull him apart like tissue paper. To his credit he seemed to know exactly how strong he was, and exactly how strong Tooko wasn’t. That also meant Ferd knew just how far he could push things, and how painfully.

He even let Tooko turn the tables now and then. Somehow, that didn’t feel at all patronizing. Surprisingly, getting tossed around by a stone-hard and floor-bendingly heavy cavemonkey wasn’t quite as awful as he might have worried. It was…playful. Well-meaning. Fun, even. He’d ended up irrevocably marinated in Ferd’s sweat, and his everything was going to be sore…but he couldn’t dispute the point. These long missions tended to bring out his lethargy a little too much. He’d be quite content to just curl up and hibernate while he waited for the next time he was needed, but there was a certain satisfaction to using his body. Even if he admitted it only grudgingly.

Ferd had also decided to provide Motivation, or at least his idea of it, anyway. Motivation, in this case, meant showing off his preposterously huge muscles whenever Tooko took his turn exerting himself, whenever Ferd could stand up proudly and flaunt his Keeda-tale brawn like a guileless brownie…

Tooko tried very hard not to enjoy himself, and failed. Ferd’s cheery attitude was infectious.

That evening, the Given-Man decided not to go back into stasis. Instead he built himself a nest right in the middle and pulled Tooko close, wrapping him up not-quite-uncomfortably tight in those thick legs, arms and tail. It was a gesture simultaneously friendly, protective…and one that would brook no arguing. Pecking order inescapably established, it seemed.

Wilde gave him a grin, and curled up on his own sleeping-spot. Humans were a bit standoffish about sleep, but they all bed down pretty close together anyway…

Tooko was the last to fall asleep, even despite Ferd’s rather fierce body heat doing its best to lull Tooko into a deep slumber. He usually lay awake for a while before sleeping anyway, putting his thoughts in order, and today had come with more mental filing to do than most. Foremost of which was an honest appraisal of his own… happiness.

It was a strange thing to feel, when he was the only one of his kind on a ship full of aliens, hurtling stealthily through the most fearsomely dangerous region of space in the known galaxy, under the very real threat of immediate and hapless death… But Tooko was forced to admit to himself that he truly was happy with his life at that moment.

It was only once he accepted that fact and curled up a little closer to the giant brute he’d unexpectedly become friends with that he finally fell into a deep and restful sleep.

Date Point: 16y10m1d AV
HMS Sharman (HMNB Folctha) Cimbrean, the Far Reaches

Jack “Two-Seventy” Tisdale

Jack had a hangover.

That part wasn’t new, really. He never listened to good advice about drinking some water before he went to bed. And it wasn’t a bad hangover this time… a four out of ten. Mild headache, dry mouth, feeling… fragile.

…Naked in not his bed, with his best friend cuddled up to him, also naked.


Well…apparently, yeah. Fuck!

Rhi had finally got her way. Said the right thing, plied him with enough drink… he didn’t remember exactly, though memories slithered into his awareness as he blinked blearily at her face and tried to put the events of last night in order.

So: What had Jack learned?

Well, firstly, that practice did, in fact, make perfect. She’d been very understanding. And then he got better. Apparently he got pretty damn good at it, after the first couple of tries!

The second, was holy shit he needed to piss.

The third was that he was a lot closer to the edge of the bed than he’d thought, and the floor wasn’t very friendly.

He groaned, rolled across the carpet, and lurched up to his feet. The loo. Yes. Where was it?

Rhi had woken up in response to his crashing exit from her bed, and blinked at him: her expression looked like he felt for a second, but then it warmed. She lay back down again and stretched, and Jack forgot his pressing need for a second.

“Hmm…mornin,’ studlet.”

“Hmnngh….” he shambled zombie-like towards the loo. “Why does that feel like a backhanded compliment?”

“‘Cuz you’re cute as hell and insecure as fuck. Which is a weird thing for a guy who’s been out-lifting ‘two-seventy’ for a long while now…”

Jack had never been good with any kind of compliment, really. He blinked at her, then blundered out of the room. If he was gonna think, he needed his bladder to stop screaming at him.

She got out of bed and went to the kitchen while he was enjoying the best piss ever, and he heard the sound of pans and plates. He drank a few cupped handfuls of water after washing his hands, shook them dry, and then wasted a couple of minutes searching around her bedroom for all his clothes. He found his jeans, socks and underwear easily enough, but his T-shirt was…


Sure enough, his T-shirt was clinging wonderfully to Rhi’s curves when he checked.

“…Uh…” he began.

“Mine now.” She shot a grin at him, then nodded her head towards the table and a bottle of orange juice.

“What about me?”

“What about you? This way, I get to look at your abs, hottie. Now go make me coffee.”

Jack, being much too tired, too tender and too lost to argue, just blinked at her and then did as he was told.

Bacon, eggs, coffee, juice and toast took the edge off last night’s alcohol, and freed Jack’s head up to wonder how the hell he even started the conversation he wanted to have.

Then again… Rhi was a boisterous and cheerfully straightforward personality, but she knew when to get serious when it was important. She let him eat for a minute, then leaned forward over the table.

“…You’re quiet. C’mon Jack, think out loud. You’ll just over-think if it you keep it in.”

Jack sighed and put his fork down. “…Last night was great. I keep wondering when I’m gonna get scared or nervous about… I don’t know. I don’t think I’m thinking, really.”

“Well, that’s about as clear as mud,” she smiled, then scooted her chair around to sit next to him rather than opposite. “Seems to me like we work well enough. There’s no need to think too hard about it. Just… enjoy. That’s what I wanna do.”

“…I’ll try.”

“That’s all I’m asking for.” She leaned up, kissed his cheek, and that… seemed to be that. Why overthink it? Jack kissed her, she made a pleased noise, and then they ate breakfast. It… really wasn’t as complicated as he’d worried it would be.

She did give him his t-shirt back so she could get dressed and they could go to work, though. They jogged up to the base, which was a shorter run from her apartment than from his house, signed in, and Jack tried to mentally put the whole subject of them aside in a different box for the day.

He failed for one simple reason: the walk of shame was impossible to avoid.

All the HEAT were in for alert today; intel had been skittish lately, so they were crowded together in the barracks at THREATCON 3. That was Jack’s downfall, because there was something…irredeemably primal about the Lads. They knew, before he had said anything, before he’d even taken two steps into the building—

“Eyy! Two-seventy finally got lucky!”

Godsdamnit, Adam.

“Mi amigo,” Adam grinned. “Finally got your brain to work, huh?”

“Pff,” was about all the retort Jack could muster.

“More like got his dick to work,” Coyers rumbled happily. It wasn’t high wit as far as Jack was concerned, but it got an avalanche of well-meaning jeers from the others.

That would have been bad enough, but of course the Gaoians had noses like dogs—better, in fact—and were immediately sniffing out details that frankly defied belief.

“Oh, you were up late last night,” chittered Thurrsto amusedly. He’d chosen to stand watch for this first go; Gaoians led from the front, he’d said. “Putting that strength and legendary human endurance of yours to the test, eh?”

Jack wanted to sink right through the floor. Especially because Rhi thought shame was for other people, and happily caught the ball that Thurrsto threw.

“Oh, my little stud here sure did! We had hours of fun, didn’t we, Jackie-boy?”

“Yeah, but no tacos for dinner?” Regaari asked. “Smells like you just had cheap kebab! From the bad vendor, too! What kind of uncivilized savages are you?”

“Says the man who keeps replacing his robot paw even though he could get a better living paw in about an hour…” Akiyama commented. “One o’ those days you’re gonna regret that.”

“My robot paw can do things that flesh and blood can’t, thank you!” Regaari retorted, primly. “Besides. The Females love it.”

“Why, does it vibrate?” Rhi asked.

Regaari instantly flattened his ears; the truth was out, now. A flurry of laughs, chitters and rapid Gaori that Jack couldn’t quite follow flowed from every be-fanged mouth in the room. And plenty of the Human ones too.

With the shame now firmly transferred, he took the opportunity to escape into the locker room and change into his uniform. And grab a quick shower.

When he emerged a few minutes later, Rhi had changed too and the Lads had swung into one of their disturbingly well-coordinated and efficient inspection-order cleaning blitzes. ‘Horse and Coyers simply picked up the (probably) bomb-proof Couch and hoisted it overhead so Sikes could vacuum under it. Shim and Ergaan had their sticky-pad gloves and footwear on, and were using them to walk along the cinderblock walls and clean the light fixtures. Blaczynski vanished in a blur of a dead run to deliver the garbage bags to the dumpsters around the corner.

Murray was dusting. Quietly. Ninja-dusting.

“What’s with the sudden barracks party?” Jack asked.

“Update from Powell. Intel’s gotten way nervous, and First Fang’s leadership is going to be showing up pretty soon. That probably means our favorite VIP is gonna visit, too.”

Sure enough, not fifteen minutes later…he showed up, trundling up the stairs with his usual floor-shaking happiness. And before they could even see him…

The Great Father chittered somewhere in the infrasonic, “Eyy! Smells like two-seventy finally fucked his first Female!” he boomed as he rolled into the room, all swagger and smarmy amusement. “‘Ya didn’t break ‘em too much, did ‘ya Miller?”

“Not for lack of trying!” She traded a high-five with him, then massaged her hand and grimaced once he’d moved on.

“So yeah! Anyhoo, business first. First Fang’s packin’ up in the warehouse next door. An’ I’m here with ‘em on a full deployment, so you know intel’s gettin’ jumpier an’ jumpier…”

“They do that, though. Worrying is what intel people do.”

“Fuck, it’s what they’re for—”

The alert went off mid-sentence. It was basically a fire alarm, high on the wall, but a different colour. It did the exact same job of letting everyone know to get up and get their arses in motion, though.

“…Gods, I must have a fuckin’ superpower,” Daar grumbled, as well-practiced motion exploded around him. The Gaoians flowed over the couch and furniture and were out the door first.

Jack and Rhi were the slowest. Of course they were, anybody would be versus a team of supermen and muscled-up alien warhounds. Even at a dead run, they were left behind as they pounded down the hall to the suit room, but they were among the first Techs to arrive, and pounced on Moho’s station and started the pre-wear checklist on his suit as Deacon, Doyle, Hargreaves and all the others piled in around them. On the other side of the room, the operators stripped single-use undersuits out of their packaging and got changed.

“Thank fuck we shaved down yesterday,” Adam grumbled as he stepped into his undersuit. Like always, his needed to squeeze the hardest and was a little bit past too small for him, but the material was just strong and stretchy enough to stand up against his body’s demands.

It’d be fine once he was properly suited up.

Jack always listened to the briefing when he could. It told him a lot about what kind of action his friends would be going into, and that usually helped him pick out a few little things that Moho might want tweaked on his suit.

Powell was suiting up too, this time. Powell, The Great Father, Champion Thurrsto and Fiin, in the other building… And Daar’s huge, wolf-like ears were very, very still as he listened intently to what one of his aides had to say.

The seriousness of it hit Jack suddenly. And Rhi too, to judge from the way she paused for just a second. Of course, these weren’t just operations any longer, were they? This was a war, now.

Not that it had ever not been a war. But… it was hard to put his finger on, but there was a feeling down Jack’s spine like things had maybe shifted up a gear.

Over by the lockers, Powell kept the briefing quick.

“We’re scrambling to assist an aid convoy en route to that Guvnurag planet I can’t fookin’ pronounce,” he said. “Hunters are hittin’ ‘em. Hard. The Guvnurag need that convoy, an’ there’s a lot of good people on those ships. We’ll be boardin’ the freighters first to save civilian lives, the broodship second. Boarding and capture is all per SOP, you know how it goes.”

Daar jumped in once Powell had said his bit. “I’ll be with First Fang aboard th’ Destroyin’ Fury. Our primary focus is gonna be an offensive smash-an’-grab against th’ Hunters. Rescue’s a bit o’ a more ‘delicate’ kinda can-opening, yijao? First Fang’s mebbe not quite the right asset ‘fer that. Fleet command’ll be mine, Powell an’ Fiin are in charge of y’all.”

Powell nodded. “Suit up. We jump to Cally as soon as you’re sealed and checked.”

And that was it. Straightforward.

Getting Moho into his rig was a well-practiced dance for Jack and Rhi now. They were a “sub-two” team, capable getting their operator suited, booted, sealed and heated in under two minutes. They flew through the checklist with both speed and precision, missing nothing, and were the fourth or fifth crew to call clear.

As usual, Doyle and Hargreaves, Adam’s techs, finished first, even if squeezing him into his undersuit took longer than anyone else. But they had the advantage that their operator was absurdly strong enough to take on half the hard work all by himself. That advantage was dimmed a bit by all the extra kit the Protectors wore, and him in particular: additional armor plates, medical equipment, heavy weapons and so on.

Moho was pretty straightforward. Moho carried things that went boom. That was why Rhianna was on his crew: she’d been an ammo handler before transferring to the SOR.

So, while she grabbed Moho’s grenades, C4, breaching charges and all the other party tricks, Jack sealed up the toolkit and “travel pack.” Most of what they needed was up on Caledonia already, but there were always a few things—calibrated tools, up-to-date data, the day’s intravenous package freshly delivered by Medical—that had to go with them.

Jack and Rhianna wouldn’t be going with. The HEAT didn’t need all the suit techs along for the ride, and space was at a premium on Cally anyway. So once they’d delivered their Operator and his luggage… that was it. Their work was done. They’d clean up and reset their station, and after that they’d be on alert and on base until Coyers came back.

Adam had a spare moment for Jack before he thundered out of the bay with the rest. “Yo. You take care of Miller, got it? I think this is gonna be a rough mission. For everyone.”

It was more a gentle command than anything else, but it came from a man who towered over nearly everybody, and who was encased in a personal armor system so heavy and effective, he was more a living tank than anything else.

Jack nodded, a bit nervously. “I will.”

Adam gave him a smile. “I know you will. You’re in the fight, too. Remember that.” And with that bit of encouragement he was gone, shaking the building with his every step.

The Great Father was the last to leave. He’d watched the exchange, flicked an ear in a gesture Jack couldn’t interpret, then stampeded off with even more ground-shuddering speed.

From the moment the alert sounded to the moment the building thumped faintly in sympathy with the Array firing to send them off, fewer than ten minutes had elapsed. The silence was… heavy.

Rhi broke it. “…Whew.”

“Yeah,” Jack agreed.

“You’d think we’d be getting used to this, huh?”

“Some things, you don’t get used to I guess…” Jack indicated the bench. “Let’s clean up.”

She nodded, and started slotting her tools back into their rack. “You gonna cast a spell for ‘em?”

“I always do. You gonna pray for them?”

“I always do.” She paused, then looked at him. “…You ever cast one for us?”

“…I think I might have to change it now.”

“Heh. Yeah.” she laughed softly, then stooped to take an inventory of the single-use items they’d expended. “Uh…can I help?”

…Yeah. They were going to be great together. Jack smiled at her, and finished cleaning up his half of the workbench.

“I’d like that,” he said.

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 *