Loose the Hounds: Part 1

Hideaway, Landing Starport (Which Was Normally an Empty Field)

Agent 957 watched as the last of the ships from the Annihilation landed in the empty field the colonists used as a starport. Their fiery exhaust lit up the night. There hadn’t been enough room on the slope between Landing and the colonists’ next town for them to land much of anything. They’d filled the space with fighters, dropships and marines.

Ten shuttles left almost no room in the space within the shielded area. They’d considered landing outside, but they’d had seen footage of the planet’s native megafauna. Some of them were larger than a shuttle. It wasn’t worth the risk. Continue reading Loose the Hounds: Part 1

Reap: Part 10

Marcus flapped his wings and glided down the tunnel. “If we were in a movie, you and I would probably be okay.”

“And why is that?” We’d slowed to a point that I was mostly upright.

“Here’s the deal: you’re the guy who gathered everyone together. I mean, yeah, you didn’t try to, but in the movies that’s the main character. Pretty much all his friends die, but he’s okay. I’m okay because the gunfighter who falls in love with the local girl survives too. Jaclyn would be in trouble though because she didn’t get romantically involved. She got attached to a dog. In most versions, a gunfighter connects with the kids, but a dog’s close enough. She’d end up dying to defend the animal.” Continue reading Reap: Part 10

Reap: Part 9

They’d taken one of the better positions possible. They were far enough behind us that turning around and firing didn’t give us a good chance of hitting while being close enough that if they kept on firing, they might hit us in the rear where the shields were open for our engines.

I kept up evasive maneuvers, but since I was going back to the planet, I also didn’t want them to follow the ship down to the surface where I hoped to hide it. Continue reading Reap: Part 9

Reap: Part 8

At least I could take them in video games. Hal had thrown ships from the Human Ascendancy, the Alliance, machine race clans, various independent human groups from inside the Quarantine, and Abominators (just in case) against me.

I tried to think about fighting in near-space. It was weird because your weapons didn’t hit as hard because they leaked into other realities—including ours—in small amounts. You could fly through starships and even asteroids If they were small enough. Plus, you’d eventually be moving faster than light, allowing your battles to cross the solar system, while also allowing you to get close enough to planets to use their features to hide your ship—within limits. If you got too close, a planets’ gravity would pull you out of near-space and into real-space.

What was the practical application of all that? I flew straight toward the system’s gas giant. It had upwards of 10 moons. I hadn’t counted them all, but it was enough to hide behind. The only bad point about the idea was that we’d have to dodge weapons during the trip. On the bright side, it would only take us eight minutes to get there—longer since I’d be taking evasive maneuvers the entire way. Continue reading Reap: Part 8

Reap: Part 7

Knowing that most battleships had sensors that extended into near-space, and that my ship’s stealth was more an accidental product of the shields than intentional, I stayed in near-space until I was just past the Annihilation, flipping over when I was past the rear of the ship.

Marcus had started charging the main gun the moment the ship came in sight, so when I transitioned out of near-space and into real space, I felt the shields thin near the nose of our ship and the main gun released a blast of white light. Meanwhile, our other guns targeted the guns in guard position to protect the engine exhaust. Continue reading Reap: Part 7

Reap: Part 6

I walked to the front of the ship, sitting down in one of the chairs in the cockpit and connecting to the ship with my implant, feeling my surroundings as if I were the ship—the weight of the water around me, the lightness of the air above me, and the buzzing noise of encrypted communications between the battleship above and the ships on the ground.

I sensed Marcus come online, taking over the weapons and shields, leaving me with piloting, monitoring the engines, and repairing them if it came to that. Continue reading Reap: Part 6

Reap: Part 5

I held my breath for a moment, thinking about how it would work. “Here’s my idea. You know how near space extends nearly to the planet? No one takes advantage of it because anyone with any sense sets up near space mines around the planet. It’s cheap and easy to do for most planetary governments. But here’s the thing, it’s not cheap or easy for a small colony like this, so you never did it, right?”

Jadzen didn’t say anything at first, but after frowning, she said, “No. We couldn’t afford it. The mines around the Lagrange point were all we could fit in the budget.” Continue reading Reap: Part 5

Reap: Part 4

Sleeping in the Rocket armor wouldn’t be completely uncomfortable, but I didn’t want to do it. I clicked and the full Rocket suit sloughed off me, reforming into a block behind my legs, leaving me dressed in the current version of the stealth suit.

Overall, it was extremely convenient. I could sit on the block and did, leaning my back against the wall and looking out the rooms front window at the glowing lights and empty streets of the colony’s underground hideaway.

Cassie laughed. “Well, that’s nice. A built-in chair.”

I shrugged. “It should have been a built-in bed. Wake me up if I fall asleep.” Continue reading Reap: Part 4

April Fools!

Above Hideaway
I walked through the spartan hallways of the flagship under pale blue lights. End of the hall, a hexagonal automatic door hissed open. I stepped on the lift. A young woman in a command jacket moved over, smiled, called me captain. Long brown hair, blue eyes. The same as mine. That’s what I hate about coming home – hard to tell who I’m related to. Half the crew probably shares a little DNA with me.

“Deck seventeen.”

“Yes sir.” She pressed the button. Continue reading April Fools!

Reap: Part 3

So I said, “I didn’t know that you knew that we were the ones who killed him. We didn’t even know that you were his child until we got here.”

Katuk looked between Jaclyn and I. “The Xiniti view it as appropriate that those who freed someone from the shame of their parent’s actions be involved in his passage into adulthood. Do you have different customs?”

Jaclyn blinked. “Yes. Very different.” Continue reading Reap: Part 3

The Legion of Nothing: A Series of Online Superhero Novels (Updates Monday and Thursday)