Four Hands looked into the camera or whatever he was using. It might just as easily have been an image captured from his brain by his implant.
He paused, giving all of us viewing a chance to look at him. Though I’d peg him as being in his late 20s (only a few years older than I was), he had bags under his eyes. I supposed that leading the Ascendancy forces after they’d been destroyed by us, followed by taking over the Ascendancy’s flagship, might be tiring and stressful.
“If any of the Cosmic Ghosts are listening, I ask you to save as many of my people as you can as you destroy the Ascendancy fleet. We’re not in charge, and we’re as susceptible to motivator commands as any human in the Ascendancy.” Continue reading Trees & Shields: Part 35
Four Hands, Bridge of the Human Ascendancy Flagship: Glorious Victory
Four Hands could have followed the progress of the battle in full immersion through his implant, but didn’t need the distraction. The flaghip’s admiral had summoned him to the bridge even though full immersion could have handled that as well.
Knowing the Human Ascendancy, Four Hands knew that this could be because the admiral wanted to see him killed in person. They knew he’d met with the human Xiniti recruit. He’d included it in his report, if only because he knew the soldiers would.
On the other hand, the admiral might want to congratulate him personally. It wouldn’t be the first time he’d turned treason into a commendation. Continue reading Trees & Shields: Part 1
“What did you do for them?” He asked as I put the disc into a pouch on my belt.
I looked up. “We fought, but I paid for the medical bills of one of their people. I didn’t know that they knew. If anything I was expecting them to want to hunt me down.”
He gave a quick nod. “Why did you help them?” Continue reading Unhidden: Part 18
Into my helmet, I asked, “Why?”
Cassie paused before answering. “I don’t know. We don’t really know this guy. He’s buttering you up, trying to make a connection because his people do tech stuff too?”
“To be fair, I did kind of ask him to butter me up.” Then I turned my attention to him. “Can you prevent your people from going after the colonists?” Continue reading Unhidden: Part 17
For a moment, I heard silence as Jaclyn processed that. Then, “As long as you’re not being attacked we’re coming out ahead of what we expected. Keep us in the loop.”
“I’ll broadcast the conversation.”
“Okay.” Continue reading Unhidden: Part 16
“I don’t need to hear you out. The Human Ascendancy is horrible. They literally mind control their people, implant suggestions in their heads, force them to watch and betray people they care about… I literally saw someone’s head explode because she’d been manipulated by them. I don’t want to help you guys take over all of human space. I mean, honestly, that’s about the last thing I want.”
Even as I said it, I knew that that wasn’t the best answer possible. The best answer possible was one that would keep the conversation going indefinitely while everyone got into position. This answer amounted to shouting, “I’ll never join you!”
Shortly after that line, Darth Vader revealed himself to be Luke’s father and Luke jumped down an air shaft.
Um… Sorry for the really old spoiler? Continue reading Unhidden: Part 15
That blindsided me. It shouldn’t have. When you looked at it from the outside, it was logical. We used tech that looked like Xiniti tech, but if you were a techie, you’d notice the small details that would cue you into the fact that this was homebrewed instead of mass-produced.
Bearing that in mind, the question was whether denying it or admitting to it would lead to a more distracting conversation. I went with admitting to it. Talking shop with the guy might run the risk of telling him more about my armor than I wanted him to know, but the same was true in reverse. Continue reading Unhidden: Part 14
Whatever I might think about this universe, though, I had a duty. I kept walking. As I walked away from the caverns the icons showing Cassie’s, Jaclyn’s, and Marcus’ presence turned inactive. They were going deeper in and meeting up to follow a tunnel that opened up out of sight on the other side of the field.
I’d run calculations with assistance from the implant and given the distance and probable speed, they ought to get there the same time I reached Four Hands and company. I’d have to stall for them to make it the rest of the way, but who knew? Maybe Four Hands wanted to surrender for real. It wasn’t likely, but it was possible. Continue reading Unhidden: Part 13
Agent 957, Hideaway, The Caverns
He didn’t know where he was in the endless caves around him, but his implant had kept track of his every step, so he had a limited map. The soldiers within range fed their information into his implant as per instruction, giving him an overall picture of everything within range.
He open up a communication channel with the soldier at the front of the line. “Are we close to them yet?” Continue reading Unhidden: Part 1
Agent 957, Hideaway, Landing Starport
It had been an utter disaster. Agent 957 couldn’t see it any other way.
The sun beat down as he stood at the edge of the field, outwardly supervising the marines and the few spacers who’d survived as they ransacked the ships, trying his best not to let anything show.
If the marines had lost respect for him, he didn’t see it, but helmets covered their heads so it wasn’t as if he could read their facial expressions. Besides that, Ascendancy policy was to keep soldiers as compliant with authority as possible. They could be screaming inside and he’d only know it if he deliberately asked.
The spacers were allowed a little more agency, but not much. Continue reading Warriors: Part 1