Once, when I asked my grandfather what Xiniti were like he said, “You know those science fiction stories where an explorer visits an unknown planet, discovers aliens that sneak back to Earth aboard their ship, and destroy the world? That’s what they’re like. At least, if you’re the Abominators. We managed to get off on the right foot with the Xiniti despite that.”
Staring at the Xiniti on the screen, I tried to come up with something appropriate to say. Not much came to mind. Continue reading Space Date: Part 10
The drone flew away, dodging the Xiniti ships by moving into the routes reserved for traffic coming out of the gate.
Even though most ships slowed down before using a gate, they didn’t have to, and could come out at theoretically any speed, so cutting across lanes wasn’t smart.
At the same time, the drone was freakishly fast, accelerating away from our ship in a blur. Continue reading Space Date: Part 9
I rushed into the back of the jet, and put on the Rocket suit. When I got back to the cockpit, I checked the screen I’d been using to read the conversation with the drone.
Nothing had been added. Apparently the AI didn’t feel any pressure to make conversation when it didn’t have anything to say.
I could think of a few people who could stand to learn from its example. Continue reading Space Date: Part 8
“WILL HITCHHIKE. REJOIN TRIBE/CLAN/CIVILIZATION. WE ARE NOMADS.”
So I digested that for a little while, wondering if it was true, or if it skipped a few steps. For example, the step where it turned us over to the civilizations of genetically modified humans who fanatically worshipped the Abominators, and might possibly hold a grudge against us for the way our grandfathers destroyed the last of their masters.
After which, it would go out and be nomadic. Continue reading Space Date: Part 7
After setting a course for Raptor’s position, I clicked through menus on the jet’s computer. I knew Grandpa had mentioned a translation program at some point. I’d never had a reason to use it.
After a few clicks I found it. Continue reading Space Date: Part 6
The League jet had cameras all around the body, allowing me to check out almost the entire hull without leaving the cockpit. I’d always thought that was cool, but as of that moment I could guess at the practical reason why Grandpa had installed them.
A long, black shell clung three quarters of the way down the hull. The fact that it had attached itself said a lot about it.
A depressingly large amount. Continue reading Space Date: Part 5
And then it struck me–the voice sounded familiar. I couldn’t figure out why at first, but his next line brought it back.
“And dammit,” he continued, “please tell me that Alex isn’t on your ship.”
I clicked the comm on speak. “Sorry, no. He’s not.” Continue reading Space Date: Part 4
Deciding not to think about the Xiniti’s stranglehold on space, I concentrated on getting us to the gate. And anyway, according to Grandpa, it wasn’t their fault.
Arguably, we owed them.
The blackness of space stretched out ahead of us. Amid the stars, one of the spots of light had to be the gate and the Xiniti warship guarding it. Even at the speeds the League jet could reach outside the atmosphere, L4 wasn’t close. It was the same distance as the distance from the Earth to the sun. Continue reading Space Date: Part 3
Half an hour later I’d gone through the League jet’s flight checklist, moved through the passageway into Grand Lake, floated to the surface, and took flight.
I flew it over Lake Michigan, and then started to ascend. After we hit 30,000 feet, I started pouring on the speed, knowing that we’d have to be moving extremely quickly to get into space.
I learned later that the ship could be seen on both sides of the lake (Wisconsin and Michigan) because of the trail of flame behind it. Continue reading Space Date: Part 2
When immortal soldiers, and sociopathic assassins are out to kill you, your friends, and your family, you lose track of the important things in life.
For example, I’d lost track of the fact that I had a spaceship in my basement. Continue reading Space Date: Part 1