Tiger sniffed his hand and leaned in to lick Jeremy’s face. Tiger had a large tongue, adding a layer of slobber to Jeremy’s right cheek and the side of his nose.
I’d have been worried that I’d just contaminated Jeremy with alien bacteria, but the Xiniti had already worked that out. We’d stopped by the Xiniti space station next to the Earth jump gate for debriefing and decontamination after we entered our solar system.
Bearing in mind that the Abominators terraformed the planets where they settled humans to use Earth species, the Xiniti had procedures for moving humans and animals from one to another without causing epidemics or dietary deficiencies. Continue reading For His Own Good: Part 9
“Okay,” I said. “I suppose I should ask what the name of the company I’ll be interning at is then.”
Lim grinned for a second. “No kidding. I like to think I do a better job briefing people than this, but here’s the basics. It’s called ‘Higher Ground’ which is both a reference to a song the founder liked and to the business’s mission—getting humanity into space no matter what that takes. It’s a startup that gets money from several sources, Hardwick Industries being the largest investor, but there are others. It’s also getting money from the Defense Department in addition to the alien technology they and other government agencies have collected.”
I rested my hand on my chin, thinking about that. “Why them? Why a startup? I’d half expect that they’d go to GE or some big firm.” Continue reading For His Own Good: Part 8
Tara nodded. “I hope so. At first, when you got back, you didn’t have any enthusiasm for anything but going to your lab. You did everything Lee asked you to, but only just enough. And you left as soon as you could after the class ended.”
I remembered it from another angle. After we’d gotten back, it was hard not to see our fighting lessons for what they were—a way to keep us alive and take the other guy out of the fight.
If you’d asked me before I’d left, I would have said the same thing, but at the time I hadn’t seen people die because they’d made a mistake or felt how close the line was between death and survival. Continue reading For His Own Good: Part 5
And like all of the True, Tara stood out a lot. Unlike most superheroes, she had the physique women have in comic books—thin but with larger than average breasts, a look few women have in real life without plastic surgery. Female martial artists, for example, tended to be thin everywhere—though the ones that did look like Tara got a lot of attention online.
All of which is a long way to say that if I had to bet, I’d bet that the True’s designer was a straight guy.
On the other hand, I supposed that if the men were just as attractive, the designer might have been a gay man or a straight woman, making a female True’s appearance accidental. Continue reading For His Own Good: Part 4
“They’re okay with that?” It seemed like something I could ask. The Galactic Alliance requirement that we couldn’t copy their technology had passed into general knowledge.
Dr. Strazinsky nodded. “The aliens aren’t as concerned about the math as the technology. I like to think that I’m exploiting a loophole in the system. Don’t tell anybody. The administration might get nervous.”
I thought about that. I’d heard of people doing that kind of thing in STEM courses. Our scientists and engineers seemed to be more bothered by the Alliance’s version of Star Trek’s Prime Directive than your average guy. Continue reading For His Own Good: Part 3
Jump Space, Waroo Huntship, Great Bounty
Rrr’graka knew that he wasn’t flying through space in body like the all-powerful gods, but he enjoyed the illusion. He could feel the cold of jump space on his snout and smell the trail almost as he might in real space. Implants—some of his people saw them as unnecessary, others as unworthy of warriors, but he saw them as what they were—tools.
They made operating a huntship easier, practically an extension of his own body, as much a part of him as his own snout and eight furred limbs. No, they were damned useful for a huntship traveling far from Waroo Free Worlds. They’d been low on cash at K’Tepolu, their ship needed repairs, and they had no clan to take them in. The only other waroo on the station had been merchants, none of them with any need for mercenaries. Continue reading Reap: Part 1
Tara grinned, and when she did, I was reminded that whoever had designed the supersoldiers she was descended from, had obviously been designing for looks too. Not for the first time, I wondered why. Still, she was in a good mood, and considering the memories I must have brought up, that wasn’t a bad thing.
“I hope you don’t think I’m telling you he’s a bad person.” She paused but didn’t give me time to respond. “He’s not. It’s just…” She stopped. “You know that I grew up in Infinity City. I grew up on the run from the True, the supersoldier group my parents left. They worked as muscle all over the city, training me the entire time because they knew the True would want me too.
“When we came here and I enrolled in the Stapledon program, the guys didn’t first of all think of me as a soldier. They thought of me as the new, hot girl. Some of them had a betting pool on who could ‘score’ with me first. I didn’t think anything of all the attention at first, but when I thought about it, I put everything together. After that, I got angry.” Continue reading Everybody’s Got One: Part 8
I raised my hand. “That makes sense, but I’ve got a couple questions.”
Amy raised an eyebrow—which I suspected meant, “You’re raising your hand? No one else did.” I put it down as Samita said, “Yes, Nick?”
“You mentioned that you were looking for confirmation that it was the same creature and not an alternate. Did you get that from the book?” Continue reading Everybody’s Got One: Part 7
I clicked on the email.
All it said was “You know what to do,” and underneath that sentence there was a link to a Dropbox folder. I hesitated for a moment and then clicked on it. It opened to a web page that listed only one file in folder. It was called “Exposure.mpv.”
I’d heard of the video format. It only ran on the associated player and only worked once. No one knew who had designed it. The Double V forums were certain it was a known tech genius, but couldn’t agree on who.
Daniel’s bed creaked, and I heard him walk up behind me as I sat at the desk. “Maybe we should get Izzy. It’s only going to play once, and she’s got a great memory for sounds.” Continue reading Faerieland: Part 48
Wait, I thought back at him. The teachers aren’t always in the dining hall anyway. Are you sure it’s not just chance?
Pretty sure, he thought back.
Behind me, Tara had been walking with Camille and Haley. As we stepped into the dining room, Tara stopped chatting with Camille and said, “This isn’t right.”
To me at least, nothing about the dining hall seemed in any way strange. Students talked and laughed at the tables. The upperclass students mostly stuck together while the first year students took up half the room, mixing a bit with my year. Continue reading Faerieland: Part 4