We all wore uniforms based on my current stealth suit technology—that’s to say thin armor that could shift into normal looking clothes as well as uniforms. Changing colors and mimicking some textures was part of the package.
For this mission, our default setting was silver with a Xiniti symbol—five orbs in a circle—on our chests. The orbs were supposed to represent both planets and clans at the same time.
For me, the uniform still acted as a flight suit for the rest of the Rocket armor, so I stepped into my room, stood on a block of ceramic, tapped out the activation sequence on my palm, and waited as my armor reformed around me.
It wasn’t the classic Rocket suit. Continue reading Hideaway: Part 3
When Hal finished, the gun said, “IT’S A GAME OF COMMERCE. INTERESTING.”
Keeping her voice low, Tikki asked, “Does it always shout?”
“I don’t know,” I said, “but my bet is yes.”
The scene changed. It was just like before in that Tikki, Cassie, Jaclyn, Marcus, Katuk and I were together in a room, but now we were around a dark stained wooden table. A Monopoly board lay in the middle of the table. Beyond the board, table, and chairs though, nothing else looked real. Continue reading Hideaway: Part 2
Agent 957, H’Spar System
Agent 957 couldn’t find them. He’d set the fighter’s computer to run simulations to find out where they could have gone. None of the simulations made any sense. Agent 957 knew why. The ship used a standard hull, one commonly used to create groups of small gunboats for planetary defense.
Nothing else about the ship was standard. Continue reading Hideaway: Part 1
Jadzen blinked and her mouth tightened. I guessed that people didn’t argue with her under normal circumstances. Before I could say anything, Jaclyn started talking.
“We don’t want to argue, but we’ve got our orders. We’re supposed to escort you here, but we’re also supposed to stay until reinforcements come. My understanding is that they’ll come soon.”
Standing straight and looking Jadzen in the eye, Jaclyn acted as if this were a meeting of equals instead of whatever Jadzen thought it was. Continue reading Between: Part 6
“Monopoly?” Jaclyn raised an eyebrow and looked at me. “Seriously? Why?”
I shrugged. “To kill time. We’ve got a week in jumpspace and as you can see,” I pointed toward the infinite gray outside the window, “it’ s not very interesting. Plus, I was joking a little too. We probably ought to come up with ideas for how we’ll handle it if we have to defend the colony. There’s no question they’re being followed.”
Jaclyn shook her head. “Skip the Monopoly then. Let’s get prepared.” Continue reading Between: Part 4
Frowning at the goo, I decided that Crawls-Through-Desert could clean it up and wondered how I’d make that stick. Meanwhile, Jaclyn had thought of something.
“Seven of us in one room? For a week? That’s going to be interesting and by interesting I mean, it’s going to be interesting if we’re still talking to each other by the end of it. But that’s not all, do we have food for a week?”
Marcus held up his hand. “I’ve got this one. Yes. We’ve got food. The ship’s got a machine that takes biological matter and converts it into food bars based on its profile for different species’ nutritional needs—“
Jaclyn’s eyes narrowed and she stared at Marcus. “Whoa. Wait a second. Where’s this biological matter coming from? Because there’s only one place I can think of where we’d get spare ‘biological matter’,” she glanced at the bathroom in the back, “and I don’t want to eat it.” Continue reading Between: Part 3
No one waited for us when we came out of blink space this time. On the other hand, bearing in mind that we weren’t using the jumpgate system anyway, I didn’t feel the need to follow the standard paths through space.
I’d taken advantage of our speed in jump space to allow us to blink in a spot that allowed us options that jumpgates didn’t because they were still too close to planetary gravity wells.
We came out in system 2411 within Edge sector. The numbers instead of a name meant that it had no populated worlds and hadn’t ever had populated worlds during any recent civilization. Continue reading Between: Part 2
“I…” I thought about it. Did I trust some random plant I’d just met? I didn’t know him. On the other hand, he’d taken Tikki’s side.
Tikki’s eyes widened. “Of course you can come with us. You helped me. It’s the least we can do.”
Thinking about it, I knew that we had at least three jumps before we got to the their colony. Maybe he’d be willing to get off earlier? Continue reading K’Tepolu: Part 10
I fired the sonics at both waroo on the theory that sound would hurt anything with ears and it turned out to be a good theory. The waroo’s charge stopped and they tried to cover their ears with their front paws.
I kept the sound on them, hoping they would run away, but suspecting they’d charge me to make it stop.
Contacting Marcus through our implants, I asked Marcus, “Can you grab her and fly away? I’ll keep them off you.” Continue reading K’Tepolu: Part 9
The sheer size of the open market worked against me. One thing worked for me though—racial prejudice. The Abominators had used humans as their superpowered stormtroopers before the Xiniti destroyed them. Even though humans and aliens seemed to interact peacefully here on the edge of both human and Alliance space, the aliens gave humans extra space.
It hadn’t been so obvious on the trains where different cars were designed for different species’ needs (chlorine atmosphere, for example, or chair sizes), but the aliens gave humans enough space for three. I didn’t blame them either. Many of the humans here weren’t normal. They looked like supers—whether it was due to glowing eyes, bulging muscles, or wings. Whatever their looks, the humans here wore pistols on the belts, rifles across their backs, and wore armor. Continue reading K’Tepolu: Part 8