And here we are with a new month’s update for The Hungry Stars, shifting our focus from the Black Veil and the meeting between the League and Red One’s forces to narrow the scope a little. Nasham has learned that Grace survived her apparent death and is taking it about as well as
Wesley did when Illyria possessed Winifred you’d expect. Even a bug jittering on a hot plate can make some poignant observations though, and Nasham has been very motivated the last few years.
In the meanwhile, we also check in on Rally and the Bequeathed investigation. Agent Peter Barnswell has learned some facts pertinent to his current investigations and has questions of his own. Questions that he promised Charles Proctor he’d be back to ask.
Let’s see how this plays out, shall we?
In this snippet below, Nasham is attempting to share his findings* with Vinsea. For the full chapter and story, check out the links above.
*or ‘creative interpretation’/’conspiracy theories’. They all work.
“I have been thinking,” Nasham told the woman. She waited for him to continue, the silence stretching several moments. She was just opening her mouth to prompt him to continue, when he did. “About anomalies.”
“Yes. It occurred to me that de Vries and Proctor surviving is an anomaly. I began to wonder about other anomalies in our mission. Things that couldn’t, or shouldn’t have happened. Triarchs know we’ve encountered enough of them already, but it’s the ones we think we’ve solved that caught my attention. Those are the ones most likely to turn in our hands and bite us.”
“What,” Nasham said, turning to face his guest. “Do you know about Delacore?”
Vinsea blinked both sets of eyes. “That was one of the incident sites, I believe. Encounter… 163, wasn’t it?”
“Yes,” Nasham agreed. “One-six-three.” Delacore had been a service world. Home to nothing but primitive single-celled organisms like algae and lichen, it had been very rich in heavy elements. A colony on the planet had been established for surveys, mining and preparations for eventual planetcrack. Unbeknownst to them, the planet had already been settled by something else.
He stepped forward, touching one of the flimsies on his wall. It began to play a video record from some kind of Ground Force vehicle. An entire army had mustered on a white-sand beach as the water churned and boiled. Emerging like a gargantuan cetacean from the sea came the human abomination. Water and the burning fuel from ruined derricks and ocean mining platforms poured down her flanks. Missiles and point defence turrets sparked and blazed, reaching up into the sky above or swatting the gunships and aircraft that dove down on her.
The army fired, throwing everything they had into the flame-coated leviathan, but she was built for void combat, to endure firepower that would kill worlds. Even without screens, nothing short of starship weaponry would do more than annoy her. With deliberate slot, she turned in mid-air, an anti-grav cradle under her hull holding her immense bulk up. Beneath her, the ocean was a steaming vortex as thrusters and anti-gravs churned and boiled the water into superheated mists.
Finally she came about, her three-pronged prow facing the army attacking her. A long few seconds passed, almost an eternity for the men and women firing upon her, doing nothing to her dark silver hide. Then a single beam licked out from her hull. It struck the army’s left flank and swung across the beach. Men and women were turned to cinders, vehicles melted to nothing, or popped like firebugs as their fuel and munitions ignited. A single, negligent flicker of attention and she obliterated an army. The beam swept over the recording vehicle. There was an infinitesimal flash of static, and then the screen went black.