Tag Archives: Cassie

Unhidden: Part 11

She took a long breath. “I’m not in the best of shape. Don’t get me wrong, I can still fight, but I’m burned all over. The new costume did some good but it didn’t stop everything. If we’re going to fight these guys more often, I’m going to need better protection against heat and light.”

Marcus cut into the conversation. “Me too. I nearly died a couple minutes ago.”

The volume of Jaclyn’s reply made the speakers crackle. “What? Nick, you need to watch him better.” Continue reading Unhidden: Part 11

Unhidden: Part 10

In a little while, I turned around to find Marcus standing, his costume fully repaired. Tikki stood beside him. They were holding hands and looking into each other’s eyes, all but glowing. I didn’t see any hint of regret or anxiety in her smile, meaning that Kee had submerged herself into Tikki again, or that she was too good an actor for me to read.

When you considered that Kee predated the human species and possibly our universe, she’d had billions of years to gain the skills necessary to fool me. Continue reading Unhidden: Part 10

Warriors: Part 3

The Caverns, Hideaway

Maru didn’t make it. Even as Jaclyn carried him away, I didn’t think he would. Despite having advanced alien tech, it’s not realistic to expect that they’d have the ability to handle disembowelment combined with massive blood loss in a colony’s medical center.

“If we’d been at home,” Iolan began, “I think I could have saved him.” Continue reading Warriors: Part 3

Release the Hounds: Part 12

Moments like that cause you to rethink what you’ve been doing. I’d left 60 bots out of my calculations. In addition to the others, I had 20 observation bots, 20 spybots and 20 EMP bots. I’d left out the observation bots and spybots because they weren’t much use in a fight and the EMP bots because I’d been assuming Ascendancy soldiers would be using equipment hardened against EMP bots at my tech level.

When I considered the question in that moment, the implant gave me the Ascendancy equipment’s known specs and I compared them to my bots.

Instants later, I fired off ten of the 20 EMP bots, targeting all the nearest soldiers. On Earth, I might have used one, but now I knew what would work here. Continue reading Release the Hounds: Part 12

Release the Hounds: Part 10

I sent everyone a picture of the troops jumping from one eggshell to another along with the thought, “Are we upwind or downwind of them?”

It wasn’t as if I could feel that inside the suit.

“No wind,” Cassie sent back, pointing her gun upward and shouting, “Incoming!”

My bots showed the Ascendancy troops two rows off from us, but that didn’t matter. They knew where we were and they were leaping between the houses in the nearest row to get at us. Continue reading Release the Hounds: Part 10

Release the Hounds: Part 8

I couldn’t do anything about the death and destruction now and I reminded myself that we’d done this because we didn’t have the ability to meet them in a fair fight without losing a lot of civilians.

Looking past the force fields, I saw that not everyone had died. One hundred, maybe two hundred of the Ascendancy’s people had run out the other side of the field and were watching as the last of the creatures ran across the field and out towards the forest and fields on the other side. Continue reading Release the Hounds: Part 8

Release the Hounds: Part 6

The shouting didn’t do anything.  A few of the giant elephant/rhinoceros things looked over at us without much interest. The ones nearest the dog made grunting noises and began to sniff the wind, a good idea except that we were upwind. Then a few began to move forward, away from the barking, swinging their heads around to look for the noise.

When they saw the dog, one of them made a deep noise somewhere between a growl and a roar. Some of the smaller ones bolted away, but the large one turned toward us.

We weren’t intimidating enough, and why would we be? Judging from the Rocket suit’s readouts, the nearby creatures ranged from two to thirty tons. Continue reading Release the Hounds: Part 6

Release the Hounds: Part 5

Thirty minutes later found us outside in the warm sun, standing upwind of a field that was inland and slightly to the north of the settlement.

The creatures in the field reminded me of both elephants and rhinoceroses. They had grey, wrinkled skins, tusks like elephants, but with the long, wide snout of the rhinoceros and a small horn on the top of the snout. Their upright, triangular ears made me think of wild boar. Their wide legs made me think of tree trunks.

They had all of an elephant’s size, and maybe more. I wasn’t sure how tall elephants were, but the smallest of these creatures had to be taller than 30 feet at the shoulder. Continue reading Release the Hounds: Part 5