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
Excerpts From the Interstellar News Network:
New Developments in the Issakass War
The Issakass First Fleet that had been attacking the Hardor Imperium appears to be in disarray following the destruction of its flagship. The flagship had been directing an attack on Hardor Prime when it turned and rammed another battleship of its own fleet. Continue reading Between: Part 1
“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
Soon after we reached the inter-asteroid train, Jaclyn called us. A transparent picture of her appeared in my vision along with her name. We answered and with the obligatory greetings made, she said, “How far are you from us?”
“Don’t know the distance, but it took us about thirty minutes to get here,” Marcus began. Then he glanced over at me. “Does that sound right?”
“Yeah, I think that’s how long it took,” I said. “I bet it’ll be about the same on the way back—plus or minus traffic.” Continue reading K’Tepolu: Part 7
I became conscious of her brown eyes watching my reaction. Running still sounded like the wisest choice. I stayed still and didn’t say anything.
After a pause, she said, “Was it the King? The Queen? The Warlord? The Wise Ones? The Schemer? The Beauty? The Traitor?”
I tried not to show anything more than curiosity on my face. “Are there more?” Continue reading K’Tepolu: Part 6
We spent the next hour talking about jump, blink, and near-space physics and how they related to drive design. As we talked, it became obvious that she didn’t just know more than I did, but that her knowledge eclipsed mine. At the same time, she never talked down to me. It felt like the better sort of independent study. She asked questions and I answered, but from my answers she somehow noticed knowledge that I was missing and explained it to me.
The longer we kept talking, the more faster than light drives made sense. It felt like talking to my grandfather, Dr. Nation, or anyone who could talk about technical issues at exactly the level I needed to understand them. My mind burned as connection after connection fell into place. Continue reading K’Tepolu: Part 5
I’m also fairly sure that decorative plants don’t give people “the frond” when someone cuts in front of them on the way out the door. Being no authority on rude galactic gestures, I might not have noticed, but the Xiniti implant was.
Marcus laughed as the door shut and the train silently pulled away from the station. “I wonder what it thinks of vegetarians?” Continue reading K’Tepolu: Part 4