Warriors: Part 5

I couldn’t know that, of course, but if I thought in terms of the Ascendency’s situation and resources, it seemed reasonable. Our main protection was the caverns’ size in combination with the decoys and traps the colony’s techs created.

If the Ascendancy had genetically modified technical geniuses, they’d be throwing them up against that. That’s what I’d be doing anyway.

I hoped the colony’s techs were as good. Continue reading Warriors: Part 5

Warriors: Part 4

Jadzen waited as everyone sat at the table. “As we’re all too well aware, Maru died while fighting Ascendancy forces today. While I find a new assistant, I’m going to have Kals take over Maru’s role. She might not want to continue in it for the long term, but right now she’s familiar with everything I need her to know.”

“Meaning,” Kals sent to me via her bracelet, “she knows that everyone in the colony knows me and she knows that the group of you like me and don’t like her.”

I sent back a feeling of amusement via implant. Continue reading Warriors: Part 4

Warriors: Part 3

The Caverns, Hideaway

Maru didn’t make it. Even as Jaclyn carried him away, I didn’t think he would. Despite having advanced alien tech, it’s not realistic to expect that they’d have the ability to handle disembowelment combined with massive blood loss in a colony’s medical center.

“If we’d been at home,” Iolan began, “I think I could have saved him.” Continue reading Warriors: Part 3

Warriors: Part 2

Castle Rock Compound, Colorado, Earth

Rachel woke.

She’d been dreaming of flying through space, the stars blurring and stretching as she flew. She’d dreamt of this before but this time it felt real. The cold of space didn’t hurt her while intangible, but she knew it was out there waiting for her or anyone else who made the mistake of phasing into reality.

That was one of the other differences from past dreams. In the past, she’d suspected that others were there too and even thought she’d heard voices but this time she knew it for sure. The voices were as clear as anyone’s she’d ever spoken to. Continue reading Warriors: Part 2

Warriors: Part 1

Agent 957, Hideaway, Landing Starport

It had been an utter disaster. Agent 957 couldn’t see it any other way.

The sun beat down as he stood at the edge of the field, outwardly supervising the marines and the few spacers who’d survived as they ransacked the ships, trying his best not to let anything show.

If the marines had lost respect for him, he didn’t see it, but helmets covered their heads so it wasn’t as if he could read their facial expressions. Besides that, Ascendancy policy was to keep soldiers as compliant with authority as possible. They could be screaming inside and he’d only know it if he deliberately asked.

The spacers were allowed a little more agency, but not much. Continue reading Warriors: Part 1

Release the Hounds: Part 12

Moments like that cause you to rethink what you’ve been doing. I’d left 60 bots out of my calculations. In addition to the others, I had 20 observation bots, 20 spybots and 20 EMP bots. I’d left out the observation bots and spybots because they weren’t much use in a fight and the EMP bots because I’d been assuming Ascendancy soldiers would be using equipment hardened against EMP bots at my tech level.

When I considered the question in that moment, the implant gave me the Ascendancy equipment’s known specs and I compared them to my bots.

Instants later, I fired off ten of the 20 EMP bots, targeting all the nearest soldiers. On Earth, I might have used one, but now I knew what would work here. Continue reading Release the Hounds: Part 12

Release The Hounds: Part 11

Then I let go of his other leg and stood up, leaving him stuck to the ground.

I checked my HUD for threats, seeing more Ascendancy soldiers dropping in from above. One dropped off to my right, clearly expecting that I wouldn’t be ready to fight yet. I didn’t hesitate. As he turned to rake me with his claws, I punched him in the chest—hard. The armor gave and he flew backward, tumbling a few times and not getting up off the street.

I turned my attention back to our group, finding that the townspeople had retreated into Tikki’s globe—which had expanded a good ten feet in diameter. Continue reading Release The Hounds: Part 11

Release the Hounds: Part 10

I sent everyone a picture of the troops jumping from one eggshell to another along with the thought, “Are we upwind or downwind of them?”

It wasn’t as if I could feel that inside the suit.

“No wind,” Cassie sent back, pointing her gun upward and shouting, “Incoming!”

My bots showed the Ascendancy troops two rows off from us, but that didn’t matter. They knew where we were and they were leaping between the houses in the nearest row to get at us. Continue reading Release the Hounds: Part 10

Release the Hounds: Part 9

“Do it.” The turret popped out of the bottom of Crawls-Through-Desert’s pot.

Asan and Sian ran toward the nearest force field pole and the nearest section of wall stopped glowing. We all ran inside and the blue glow appeared behind us.

The plant waved a branch toward the hill. “Run into town. Once we get out of sight we’ll decide where we want to come out. Don’t go into any buildings without my permission.” Continue reading Release the Hounds: Part 9

Release the Hounds: Part 8

I couldn’t do anything about the death and destruction now and I reminded myself that we’d done this because we didn’t have the ability to meet them in a fair fight without losing a lot of civilians.

Looking past the force fields, I saw that not everyone had died. One hundred, maybe two hundred of the Ascendancy’s people had run out the other side of the field and were watching as the last of the creatures ran across the field and out towards the forest and fields on the other side. Continue reading Release the Hounds: Part 8

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