When they came in, they always came in fast. They skid low across the atmosphere like silvery stones, flushed with coldness and dawn. It seems like they had been coming for a few years now, and perhaps observing for some time before that. We knew what they had been doing for awhile, but due to the scale of the previous conflict their depredations went unnoticed. Unnoticed at least by nations and armies. The inhabitants of a remote farm would go missing. Bandits, of course. A fishing vessel might disappear, just before dawn on a clear calm night. Drift mine, most likely. However, the disappearance of all the human inhabitants from certain remote island chains seemed harder to explain.
As things were rebuilt, one missing person became ten, then a hundred, then a thousand. A sort of harvest was suspected. It took radar and collective will to finally see them clearly. Silent, swift, and hungry. We almost never saw them at all. We never found any trace of their victims. They came o
Reckless Tactics-Part 1The human platoon relaxed in the forest clearing, unaware that they were being watched. Not too far away was a small group of alarian troopers, all clad in full body armour and helmets.Reckless Tactics-Part 15 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Heret Varride, the group leader, was analysing the present situation. "Now, we have a large number of UEC troopers in that clearing", she quietly explained to her fellow troopers, "plus some tanks. And there may well be more hidden in the nearby woods. Now, it would be foolish to just go rushing in there. What we should do is...No, Seyana! Don't!"
Impatient as always, Seyana Sen had gone rushing into the clearing, ready to fight some human soldiers. A feeling of terror swept over the UEC troopers, as they were met with the sight of a fully armoured alarian trooper charging towards them, the ground shaking under her massive footfalls. Caught unawares, they fumbled with their weapons to get into battle. In the short delay, Seyana managed to destroy one of the tanks before the soldi
The Soft War - Chapters 1 and 2The Soft War - Chapters 1 and 22 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Staccato bursts echoed among crumbling brick walls, then faded to silence.
"Freaking neurots," he grumbled.
"...a small band of renegades escaped the quarantine area this morning and managed to make it into the Buffer Zone. They carried ancient projectile weapons, but were quickly apprehended before they could enter the city. No citizens of Shore were harmed..."
With a sideways finger flick, Torbin muted the holographic projection hanging just in front of him. There was a light pressure against the finger, as if pushing a lever.
He continued to monitor a dozen news channels nearly simultaneously, periodically changing the volumes, or pausing some to concentrate on others. The movements of his hands and fingers were merely a blur. He felt vibrations, textures. Images coalesced, to be stored...somewhere. There was little distinction between mind and global library.
A pulsing hum in his ear indi
Down to EarthChapter OneDown to Earth4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Glados was talking to herself again. Atlas and P-Body shifted nervously as she continued to debate.
"I deleted you. Goodbye Caroline,"
He tried to save me from becoming you...
"That metal ball? That moron. I would have remembered."
You didn't remember where I lived inside you. I remember Wheatley. He tried to stop me being downloaded into you...
"He is in space. I fixed him,"
He tried to fix me. Alone, out there, is too cruel...
"What do I do with a stupid moronic metal ball? He was programmed to make stupid desicions. He cannot be trusted with MY facility."
You can fix him. You can save him. Atlas and P-Body have found the remaining test subjects. Remember how excited you were?
"For science. Ha. Ha. Ha."
"I know which chamber to use. My hobby was going to be re-animating the dead. Now I can see
Solitude: ch 1Roaring from the friction upon hitting the mostly Helium atmosphere, the meteor burned red, then orange, then white in mere seconds. It fell with the intent of leaving its mark on the moons surface and struck it with such incredible force it could have annihilated a populated city and lay waste to the surrounding area.Solitude: ch 16 years ago in Fantasy More Like This
Fortunately for everyone, this moon was barren as could be. The Helium atmosphere and lack of natural resources short of the silicon in the soil which gave it it's yellow coloring from space didn't really make it a prime location for terraforming. Another feature of the moon was an irregularity in its magnetic field, which drew a vast majority of the asteroids and meteors that came near straight to it.
In an underground compound on the planet, some 200 miles from the impact site, a red light blinked in harmony with a chirping alarm. The base was originally a meteorite examination facility with the purpose of gathering samples and learning what they could from them. Built
Miss Twist: PrologueEast Berlin, December 14th, 1965. 8:30 PMMiss Twist: Prologue4 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
It was snowing on the wrong side of the Berlin Wall.
The woman in black burrowed deeper into her coat and rubbed her hands together beneath her fur hand muff. It couldn't be warmer then fifteen degrees Fahrenheit, and the harsh, blustery wind made her face numb and stiff. No wonder the lovely lads in the press department called this the Cold War.
She turned down a narrow, dingy alley, her boot-heels clicking briskly on the cobbles. Something vaguely human was huddled beneath a pile of white-dusted rubbish. She made the effort not to look too closely at it. She couldn't afford pity. She was on the clock.
The alley opened onto a street. Across the way was a local bar. Its small-paned windows were too frosty and fogged up to see inside, but two drunks slumped by the front door, singing boisterously in German. Best to move now, before they saw her and wondered why the pretty lady was skulking in the shadows. The woman in black twitched her s
Heartless Automaton - A Love StoryCombat Mechanoid 732 of the 3rd Armoured Battalion - though he went by the name Al in casual conversation (something easy for the fleshies to remember). During service he had dragged his ferrosteel body from the flaming wreckage of a particle tank on four separate occasions, once going back in to recover the memory core from a crushed comrade's skull. He dedicated himself to the cause not because of the propaganda or idealism, but because it was his job (and unlike the fleshies he knew how to do his job without whining, or stopping to rest every couple of days). But now the war was over (with both sides claiming victory) and Al was to be sent into civilian life.Heartless Automaton - A Love Story3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
The press releases had been careful not to suggest that mechanoids were considered alive in any way (because that might make someone begin to consider things like their rights and privileges), but instead focussed on how they might benefit the human (fleshie) population. They were told that the mechanoids would offer valuable a