Jun 19, 2020

Chapter 9 - The Killer Awoke Before Dawn

Poison Well was crowded as usual. There was no hour on the ship's schedule when the Poison Well did not cater to the workers moving from shift to shift. The small bar's 24/7 operations often did a number on the management that kept changing, but the quality of the drinks remained abysmal even after multiple management changes. It was often said that in the Poison Well, you did not buy a drink, you merely borrowed it for a while. Which was actually true. The water filtration systems in the urinals worked well enough to recycle enough water for next batch of brew. 

X2 knew all this and he was still getting drunk on beer that must have passed through his own body in the past. He looked at the remaining credits in the app in his HUD and cringed. He only had enough for a single meal every other day till he got paid next week. He didn't feel like it mattered and he ordered another beer from the menu on his table. 

His empty glass got swallowed by the table and a new one popped up, filled to the brim and sweating off the cold vapors. X2 picked up the glass and gulped down half of it. Every drop felt like acid in his belly, and all he could see in front of his eyes was his hand on her ass and his tongue inside her mouth. It made his heart ache and his head hurt with the pent up rage. X2 wiped off a stray tear that leaked out of his eye and gulped down the rest of his beer. The alcohol was getting to his head and he knew he was going to make decisions that he would regret later. 

His credit app pinged and now he was in red. One meal every two days now. 

He ordered another beer. 

When X2 woke up next morning. He had no memory of how he had reached his hub. The pain raged in his head like there was an army of goblins hammering away inside his skull and his belly ached for a different reason. He raised his hand to his head to massage away some of the pain. The sticky feeling made him wince and he opened his eyes. Panic flared up in his chest like a plasma flame. Blood on his hand, but he was not hurt. Whose blood was that? The toolbox was there by the side of his bed. He opened it up with his foot. The screwdriver inside was the color of dull rust, drops of blood and flesh congealing on the metal. 

The door to his hub slammed open. 

She was standing there. The girl from missile control. Shock and horror writ large on her face. Her overalls splashed with red like some artist had played a prank on her. 

"It's him!" She screamed as a hand reached forth and grabbed the girl, pulling her away and the hulking form of a military police officer appeared in the door frame. The officer took one look at the blood on X2's hand and the blood on the screwdriver in the open toolbox. 

He shook his head. "You fucked up, kid. You fucked up big time."

The taser prongs slammed into X2's chest and as he convulsed under the jolts of electricity, he smiled thinking of what he had done.

Jun 18, 2020

Chapter 8 - Meat Grinder

The first thing Raster noticed was the silence. The animals all around him were watching him. Waiting for him to move as the large animal ground the spear deeper into his mech's shell. The searing heat from the point of the spear was uncomfortable at this range but Raster had been through worse.

If only he had his gun here, this would have been over in the blink of an eye. But now he knew he would have to do it the old fashioned way. He put a hand on the face of the animal that was now slobbering against his face shield and pushed. Next, he got his leg on the torso of the huge man and shoved him off his mech. The spear went with the man and Raster was looking at the fallen form of the beast staring murder at him.

He should have stepped on his head and ended it right there. But sometimes, you have to make an example. He snatched the spear from the man's hand and grabbed the shaft in his hands. The servos in the joints of his suit whirred and the wood splintered like it was made of clay. A collective gasp went up from the crowd of tribals gathered around them.

Then the animal was on him again. His big fists punched into the shell of the mech, his fingers reaching in and pulling at the plates of the shell, his animal growls of hatred and anger fueling his efforts to dismantle the mech with his bare hands. Raster tried to grab the moving shape of the animal but he was all over the mech, almost as if he had a sixth sense to pulls and dismantle the mech in places that might be the weakest. And the bastard was fast.

Raster grit his teeth and a sliver of pain from his injury reached him. The suit compensated by adding more painkillers to the mix of chemicals in his veins. He heard the beginning of a slow chant going up in the crowd gathered around him. They were slowly moaning in their animal tongue and the chant was picking up speed. It was an uncomfortable and grating sound to hear and for a moment, Raster got confused. He took a step sideways and slipped in the gore of two animals that he had pulverized through his jets when he had jumped here.

The mech started to fall. The gyros in his suit worked to stabilize him. Raster didn't panic. He moved his sword hand, slamming the steel point first to act as a crutch to stop his falling form. He knew that once he was on the ground, it might get a little difficult to get back up again. And he did not plan to get on the ground.

He tracked the animal clambering all over him, pulling and punching his mech. So far, he had not been able to do any damage, and his punches to the shell were only irritating. There was no pattern to his movements, only guided by some inner compass, he kept the attack going on.

Then Raster activated the jets in his boots and his mech shot forward into the crowd of tribals that went down like bowling pins. The sword in his hand cleaved many in half, blood splattered his suit like pouring rain. The suit stabilized itself and then the animal on his back slipped. Raster's hand shot out to grab the man by his leg. He lifted the man high and slammed him face down into the ground. His sword fell in another swoop, taking off the man's hand from his wrist with a meaty crunch.

Raster flipped the man over with his foot and raised his sword high to take off his head. Still, there was defiance in those dead eyes and grin to shame the devil on that face. Raster felt his anger solidify like a block of fire in his belly. He grinned back and his sword hand moved on its own.

"Stop." Tiberius' voice halted his hand with the blade an inch from the animal's neck.


"Leave him. Kill the rest of them."

Inside his suit's dented shell Raster grinned.

He would get to make an example after all.

Chapter 9 - The Killer Awoke Before Dawn

Jun 10, 2020

NEW BOOK -- Sea Dreams and Other Mistakes

Hello, my one or two constant readers. I have compiled some of the stories on this blog in this collection. These stories are old, new,  heavily edited, and pasted right from the drafts as well.

There is a total of seven stories in this book. Short, but not too short. You can get done reading in an hour maximum.

I have tried to refrain from my usual juvenile tone in writing fiction and tried somewhat of a serious tone. No doubt, stupid and silly fiction will always be at my heart, but these are serious times. So.

Anyway, as always, if you can buy it, that's great. The amazon link is here

If you want a PDF, an ePub or a mobi file, drop me a line in the comments with your email and the format you want, or use the contact form on the website to send me a message.

I'd really appreciate ratings, reviews, or even addition to your reading list on Goodreads. The Goodreads link for the book is here.

Appreciate the support!

Now back to the usual fuckery!

Jun 7, 2020

Chapter 7 - A Mountain of Flesh and Bones

"Fucking animals" Raster snorted on the common channel as he smashed his fist into the ground to make space for another poison pod. 

Tiberius III saw the tribals come running down into the valley where his team was sweeping away signs of life by throwing poison pods deep into the ground. They needed to clear it all so that the machine engines could be planted here instead of the vegetation. They had seen the tribals coming for them quite some time ago. But they did not care. The insects were easy to  crush under their steel clad feet. 

"I think I can take on about a hundred of them, easy. Without even spending any ammo." Raster's grubby voice spoke through the common channel. 

"I am betting a tenner if you don't spend a single bullet and take down a hundred." Said Nysha, one of the three female marines in the squad. 

"Say goodbye to the tenner then, Ny. I am switching off my bullet feed. This would be a good warm up."

"Keep the chatter to a minimum, team." Tiberius spoke on the common channel, "we need to clear this area for the machine seeds. I don't want the higher ups breathing down my neck for any delay on this."

"Got it boss, just a little bit of fun." Raster didn't sound apologetic or ashamed at the minor rebuke from their team leader.

"I am adding a tenner to the bet, too" Tiberius said, with a hint of a smile in his voice. 

Raster raised his arm up in the air and unlatched his primary machine gun from his left arm brace. He let the gun fall to the ground, along with the spare magazine to reduce the weight on his person. From his back, he unhooked the large piece of steel that only he carried out of the whole team. 

"Oh, fuck," Nysha whispered. Someone else whistled and they heard sound of laughter from another marine. 

"I'd tell you good luck, Raster." Nysha said, "but I don't think you will need it."

Raster activated the jets in his shoes and took an almighty leap toward the hoard of tribals heading for him. 

Just flesh and bones, he told himself as he reached the apex of his leap and started to drop, right towards the center of the big flood of humanity that was coming for him. 

He landed on two of the tribals that were staring at him with their mouths agape. They were pulverized under the force of the jets from his feet. Raster slammed into the ground, digging deep furrows in the dark brown mud. At once the tribals were around him, shaking their spears at him and barking in their unintelligible animal tongue. He turned around in a slow circle, the long steel in his hand, and found out the biggest and tallest of the tribesmen. The man did not reach Raster's height in the mech suit, but the animal was nearly seven feet of height and built like a small house. Raster knew that for all his size and height, the animal would not be fast enough. But he needed to kill the biggest of them, and this one would have to do.

Raster pointed his makeshift sword at the man and called him forward with his other hand. There was no fear on the man's face and Raster quite liked him for it. Not many men stood in front of a mech-suit and not shit their pants. But this man moved like a panther, parting his tribemates like a jungle of brown and green. His spear tip seemed to glow and there was a deadness in his eyes. Raster let the feed from his optics go to the shared com channel, and at once the rest of eleven were with him, watching this tall animal advance towards him. He walked tall with his shoulders back, not a hint of fear or hesitation in his demeanor. 

They might speak different languages. They might worship different gods. Their weapons might be different. But some things were the same between men past the pages of history and time. A fight was a fight. Even if they were grossly unmatched. All Raster wanted to do was make an example and then slaughter the rest of them. Maybe once he got done with the tall tribal, rest of them would scatter. He knew he would hate to chase and hunt them one by one. 

Skiz walked out of the crowd of his tribe as they all moved aside to give him space. The metal clad god that had jumped in midst of them called him forth. For once in his life, Skiz felt no fear, his blood ran cold in his veins and his eyes could see deeper into the metal that the god was wearing. How the plates of metal overlapped each other. How lightning raced in different parts of the suit. How there was a suit within the suit and then the man who hung in the shell like a fruit, ripe for taking. His naked feet on the earth told him of every vibration that took place in the great machine shell. He saw the huge length of metal that the god held in his hand. He knew that it would be dangerous, only if it got close. 

As casually as moving his hand to swat an irritating fly, Raster moved his arm and swung the steel to cleave the tribesman. Skiz saw the huge piece of steel swing for him and time slowed down. He could feel the vibrations of the air molecules. The heartbeat of the god was a tinny sound in his ears. He took a breath, released it, and the steel was still years away from him. The point of his spear glowed bright in the slow timeline. 

On the collective feed, Tiberius felt it in his gut that something unprecedented was about to happen as he saw Raster swing the sword. 

Skiz moved. 

One step forward and he was inside the swing of the sword. He angled his spear where he knew the plates of metal covering the god were the weakest. The glowing point of the spear was almost painful to look at now and he buried it deep inside belly of the machine god. The spear went through, shearing through the metal like it was termite eaten wood. 

Time returned to the regular speed and Raster had just a fraction of a second to move his head sideways as something bright and hot came for his face, slicing through the skin and bone of his face, scraping an eye socket and searing his right eye, effectively blinding him. The suit's emergency medical program kicked in, pumping Raster full of painkillers and adrenaline to keep him from passing out in shock. 

Raster opened his remaining eye and saw the tribesman's face right next to his face plate. The man's eyes were still dead, but there was a grin on his face. 

Raster grit his teeth. 

This was going to be interesting. 

Far away, a worried Nysha loaded up a thermal missile on her arm and aimed for the position where Raster's mech stood impaled by the tribesman's spear. 

Her com channel chirped and Tiberius' voice was serious in her ear. "Stop. I want to see where it goes."

Then, on the common channel, "Stand back everyone. We will only watch this."

The wolf gene in his DNA rebelled against his warrior ethos on seeing hurt inflicted on a pack mate. But Tiberius squashed it down. He was going to see this to the end.

Jun 2, 2020

Chapter 6 - That Girl in Missile Control

X2 checked out the readouts on the screen. Their team had made landfall and they were going to clean up the local populace soon. Nothing he had not seen before, nothing he would not continue to see as time went on by. He swiped away the battle report screen and switched to the shipwide intranet to check the duty roasters. 

He saw her name on the list. She was due for duty at her station at 0100 Ship Time. X2 blinked to focus on the time in his retinal implant. It was 1247. Thirteen minutes. If he was fast enough, maybe he will catch her in the lift. 

He ran out of his hub, picking up his toolkit on the way and strapping it across his back.

With the toolkit on him, he would at least have a valid reason to be in the same lift as her. His mind raced to calculate how much time it will take him to reach the lift that would take her to her station. Then he had to make his way to his station as well. 

It was going to be close and he could not afford a strike on his record. Under no circumstance could he be late to report to his station. But he wanted to see her too. If only for a minute. Only a glimpse. Even a breath in the air where she passed would tide him by. 

X2 knew he was cutting it really close. But he also knew the ship like the back of his hand. At least the areas where he was allowed to go. He almost crashed into a passing cart as he ran, but at the last moment he moved to the side. His momentum carried him into the wall. He slid across the surface and pushed off into the direction where he might have a chance of seeing her. Someone waved at him, probably another crew member from his shift, but he didn't stop to see who it was and raised his hand in a wave back. The ship's galleries became a blur around him as he ran. His lungs cycling the fetid, recycled air, his arms and legs pumping as hard as he could move them. He risked checking the time again. Eight minutes to 0100. He guessed, she would be at least few minutes early for her check in. He would make it. 

His mental map told him that he was close. He turned a corner at speed and almost froze in his tracks. An Alpha stood there, motionless and still as a statue. Fear crushed all thoughts of seeing the girl from X2's mind. His throat went dry, his heart beat even faster than it was beating earlier, and sweat erupted from his face. 

The Alpha moved his face an inch to look at X2. "Move, worm," he spoke and it felt like X2 got another lease of life. He walked fast and then ran like a scared rat. 

An Alpha in his part of the ship? They never came down in these sections. He realized he had lost precious 30 seconds in his encounter with the behemoth. It felt like a week while he was frozen in fear. 

X2 licked his lips and reoriented himself towards the lift section. Another corner and he could see the lift. Had she already taken the lift? Was she going to come to her shift today? Would he even be able to see her? Tension curled around his guts like heavy smoke. He closed his eyes and breathed in deep. The tension did not go away. 

He opened his eyes and there she was. 

Tunnel vision and the rest of the ship disappeared around him. He was hanging there in empty space, orbiting her like a satellite, trapped in her gravitational pull. She came closer and X2 felt like his heart would tear out of his chest like a missle and explode at her feet. 

She moved for the lift and X2's feet moved of their own accord. Then he was with her in the lift. There were others in there too, but they did not matter. He was breathing the same oxygen as her. He felt like he would die right there. The lift reached its destination and she brushed past him, leaving a residual smell of ink and cheap perfume in her wake. 

X2 stood there, watching her as the doors of the lift closed. As she walked into a man's open arms. As her lips met that man's mouth. As his hand snaked around her waist and gave her ass a squeeze. As she smiled and punched him playfully in the shoulder. 

The lift's doors shut. 

The universe ended.