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
Castle Rock Compound, Colorado, Earth
A figure stood alone in the dark on the edge of a small cliff. Leaning on the railing, she looked out on the houses, streets, and lawns. Except for the stone walls and mountains that surrounded the town on all sides, it could have been any suburb in the United States.
Haley brushed a lock of brown hair out of her eyes, wondering if she should go with a short haircut next time. It would be easier in a fight. Except then Night Cat would have to wear a wig since it wouldn’t be smart for both of her identities to get the same haircut at the same time.
Her eyes drifted upward, above the walls to the night sky and stars beyond. Continue reading Birthright: Part 1
I flew past the hotel, a thirty-three-floor needle of mirrored glass that stood near a parking structure to its left and a rust colored 19th century building to its right—though a path that led to an old bridge stood between them.
I might be ready to disappear to an alternate world, but maybe I could do something.
The dinos swarmed down the wide sidewalk overlooking the river, but without the enthusiasm, I’d seen before. A few of them pointed at me and shrunk closer to the building. Continue reading A Day in The Life: Part 20
The Rocket cocked his head. “Are there a lot of small details that you have to see?”
C laughed. “Or put another way, will my blindness kill you all? Don’t worry. I’m going to show Control, you and Two, how to operate it right now. It’s not hard. It was made to be used by people who don’t understand how it works.”
He gestured almost in the “starplate’s” direction. “Come on. Railgun, take Control’s station. The rest of you can do whatever you want, but it wouldn’t hurt if a few of you checked the spybots’ feeds. You never know what might appear.” Continue reading A Day in The Life: Part 14
A few people laughed, but Amy stopped moving, expression blank, finally managing to say, “That’s the plan.”
Samita stood up and walked up to the front. Dressed in a green blouse and khaki pants, it was one of the few times I’d seen her out of costume. With black hair and brown skin, she looked like she might be from southeast Asia, and her parents were. She’d been born in the US.
She stood in front of the group as Amy moved to the side and stood next to the wall. Samita’s eyes darted from one of us to another. In combination with the straightness of her stance, she gave the impression of a highly motivated student hoping for an “A.” Continue reading Everybody’s Got One: Part 6
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
A second look gave me a few clues I’d missed when I’d first seen what I’d thought was Adam. “Adam” had the same thin build and overall look, but he seemed taller than normal. It wasn’t by much.
Haley bent down, obviously getting a closer look. “Is she okay?”
Daniel stared at “Adam’s” face briefly. “I think so. There’s no way of knowing how she’ll take this later, but she didn’t kill anybody, or even hurt anyone. She relayed Artaxus’ orders to Hunter and the fae. That’s all. It’s not out of the question that being mind controlled might still traumatize her, but she didn’t do anything particularly terrible under his influence. She was more of a glorified gofer.” Continue reading Faerieland: Part 47
I wondered how she intended to distract him. I had ideas, but I couldn’t know for sure till she tried something. We’d have to watch outside for a chance to escape–preferably without looking Artaxus in the eye. Amy had agreed that that was a bad idea back in the hallway behind the store–and we were already under her protection spell then.
Standing next to the hatch that was normally on the mech’s roof, and currently on its side, Haley rested the particle accelerator rifle on her shoulder. “What did Rachel say?”
“That she’s going to try something, and we should run if we get the chance. Do you think you’ll be able to tell without–” Continue reading Faerieland: Part 43
A tap with my tongue accepted the private connection. I replied, “Artaxus grabbed us.”
“I’m coming.” Rachel didn’t give me a chance to respond.
I didn’t have time for that anyway. The mech had begun to make the kind of low pitched squeaks that made me think of houses settling or boats on the water, but with more strain as the body shuddered. Somewhere, something cracked.
I hoped it wasn’t important, and it must not have been. The mech didn’t fire off a major alert-just a few minor ones. Of course, that didn’t mean that I was going to stick around and find out if Artaxus could actually crush the mech. Continue reading Faerieland: Part 42
Artaxus pulled himself entirely on to the ledge before I’d worked out a plan for our dive. I knew I didn’t want to get in reach of the dragon’s claws or in range of his breath.
“Laser?” I asked Haley.
She muttered the word, “Aiming,” only barely loud enough for me to hear, followed by the crackle and hum of the laser firing.
It hit the dragon’s back like her other shots had, destroying the creature’s scales, and cutting into its hide, cauterizing the wound even as it made it.
Artaxus’ head whipped around and he blew flame at us, but we were too far away and moving too quickly for the fire to do any real damage. Continue reading Faerieland: Part 41