Friday 26 September 2014

Alpha #32

(the story so far)

part 32

“I hate magic,” Thunder grumbles.

“You supers always do.”

Previously unseen, a woman sits on the high end of a chunky see-saw. There is no counterweight, yet up she remains. She has dark wavy hair and elfin features, fashionable jeans with a Condition Red T-Shirt (Alpha thinks they are a band). She could be mid-twenties, but her eyes say older.

“Nimue,” Alpha says, finally recognising her. She has always been older, before.

She smiles, pleased; turns serious, “Magic is taught. It has rules. We know the places and planes it flows from. Can you say the same of your powers?”

Friday 12 September 2014

Rise #39

(the story so far)


She crossed the basement, the fluttering heart in a body of tremulous torchlight. Pillars loomed in the gloom and were swallowed again as she passed. Her footsteps carried a soft echo, just enough to make her wonder. Black stains streaked the floor, but she encountered little else.

She recalled George saying something about ‘the abandoned.’ Them. The building. Her, maybe. No, she couldn’t believe that. That was paranoia and exhaustion gnawing on her sanity.

No one left behind. No exceptions.

George valued life. Of that she was certain.

The endless basement ended. A wall, green with damp, stretched both ways.

Friday 29 August 2014

Cosmic Discord #18

(the story so far)


Doc’s console pinged, insistently, once a second. Restrained, yet urgent.

Sentiment echoed by Harriet. “Talk to me, Doc.”

My own console started pulling combat telemetry from a new source. Somewhere other than the three assault ships on our tail or the distant capital ship that had launched them, the Dismal Outlook. Somewhere in front of us.

Doc looked up, fearful, “Downspace rupture in-system.”

Harriet voiced the conclusion I found myself rapidly arriving at.

“It’s a trap.”

The assault ships were missing us on purpose, driving us.

From the star’s gravity well, a second capital ship tore upwards into real space.

Thursday 14 August 2014

Cosmic Discord #17

(the story so far)


This is how downspace was explained to me: Imagine existence as an onion. The top layer is ours, vast and slow. But you can shortcut through lower layers, where physics, time and space are not the beasts we know.

Mass – gravity – stretches the skin of the universe. Find a weak spot and punch through.

The ordnance splashing around us intensified. Quantum missiles with antimatter warheads. Viruses riding wide-beam static. Anything to shut us down. They felt their quarry slipping away.

Hunched over the shield console, tension biting my shoulders and burning down my spine, I dared not be so optimistic.

Friday 8 August 2014

Rise #38

(the story so far)


The brothers disappeared into the yawning depths of the basement, leaving Olivia alone. The surrounding dark became an ominous substance, a looming hungry ink barely held at bay by the wavering torchlight.

The faintest scent of machine oil provided some comfort, evoking memories of the workshop, of papa.

Every so often distant mechanical noises rattled overhead.

She had no idea where George was. Didn't even know where she was. She had no plan, but any move at all seemed more attractive than standing still, slowly sinking into her own mind.

She took the torch, a timid firefly in the night.

Thursday 7 August 2014

Cosmic Discord #16

(The story so far...)


“An impassioned speech, Doc. Inspiring, even. So let us win free. But thereupon we require a plan. Something beyond flee, hide, flee, hide, etcetera, etcetera.”

“But for now: flee?”

“Yes. For now: flee.”

It seemed to me their jousting lacked substance, empty smoke drifting in lazy circles, though in truth there was little else to do as we dashed in-system for the nearest planetary mass. We needed the gravity well to drop us into downspace.

I suspected Cameron and Blake were also quarrelling below decks. A far less attractive prospect than the cabin’s benign banter. There were probably knives involved.

Thursday 31 July 2014

Alpha part 31

(read from the beginning)


“The bubble continues below London,” Quake says. “Also, it is impregnable. I cannot pass.”

Quake moves through and disturbs solid matter. He travels underground, amongst deep roots, fossils, and buried history.

This is his home turf. His parents, Russian emigrants, wanted a life of finance for him, of old school ties and a political future. They named him Quentin, cruel fuel for public school bullies. He renamed himself Quake.

“So,” Alpha takes stock, “it’s resistant to physical strength, to phasing and to teleportation.”

“Effectively muzzling us,” Thunder says. “Alien tech?”

“Like none we’ve encountered. We’re in England. I’m guessing magic.”