Tag Archives: Crawls-Through-Desert

Warriors: Part 7

The plant’s fronds waved. Through my implant, I heard, “Drop the tunnel on them. You can do that, can’t you?”

The techs concentrated. Some of them closed their eyes. The screens in the air changed from black screens to new sections of the tunnel and not all of them the same section. Each screen was numbered, starting from 927 through to 978, but with a seven screen gap in the middle—the screens that had gone blank. Continue reading Warriors: Part 7

Warriors: Part 6

Sian and Asan looked at each other. Asan said, “We need to go downstairs. It sounds like the Guard just showed up.”

“Showed up?” I kept on talking as they turned toward the stairs and motioned us to follow. “I wasn’t aware they’d gone missing.”

Sian turned to look at me. “We’ve been watching them since they left or we’ve been trying to. The Guard have chameleon tech. It doesn’t make them invisible to the eye if you know what to look for, but they’re invisible to sensors. After they left the tunnels, they disappeared. We’ve got visual sensors on the outside, but the better they are, the bigger they are, and the easier they are to detect. So we’ve got other sensors for longer distances, but chameleon tech can fool those.”

We all walked down the stairs. Continue reading Warriors: Part 6

Warriors: Part 5

I couldn’t know that, of course, but if I thought in terms of the Ascendency’s situation and resources, it seemed reasonable. Our main protection was the caverns’ size in combination with the decoys and traps the colony’s techs created.

If the Ascendancy had genetically modified technical geniuses, they’d be throwing them up against that. That’s what I’d be doing anyway.

I hoped the colony’s techs were as good. Continue reading Warriors: Part 5

Warriors: Part 4

Jadzen waited as everyone sat at the table. “As we’re all too well aware, Maru died while fighting Ascendancy forces today. While I find a new assistant, I’m going to have Kals take over Maru’s role. She might not want to continue in it for the long term, but right now she’s familiar with everything I need her to know.”

“Meaning,” Kals sent to me via her bracelet, “she knows that everyone in the colony knows me and she knows that the group of you like me and don’t like her.”

I sent back a feeling of amusement via implant. Continue reading Warriors: Part 4

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 9

“Do it.” The turret popped out of the bottom of Crawls-Through-Desert’s pot.

Asan and Sian ran toward the nearest force field pole and the nearest section of wall stopped glowing. We all ran inside and the blue glow appeared behind us.

The plant waved a branch toward the hill. “Run into town. Once we get out of sight we’ll decide where we want to come out. Don’t go into any buildings without my permission.” Continue reading Release the Hounds: Part 9

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 7

As the creatures gained speed, I realized that I could hear their feet hitting the ground from the air. It was the sound a thousand bass drums might have made if they’d been played by elephants with a poor sense of rhythm, a cacophony of thumping noises that overlapped each other.

I’d worried that Cassie’s gun or my sonic weapons might warn the Human Ascendancy’s forces of our attack, but it didn’t matter. The creatures’ running drowned out everything we could have attempted. Continue reading Release the Hounds: Part 7

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