Children of Heaven, Chapter 20

“Energy surge from all around us! Defences activating!” Turrets rose smoothly from the floor and descended from the ceiling of the massive hangar, stitching the debarked Marines with heavy fire. Seven soldiers were killed in the opening volley as the survivors scrambled for cover and returned the assault, blasting four of the automatic defences apart. Leibowitz crouched behind Ranger Three’s hull as one of the energy guns fired on his position over and over. “Leibowitz to support – what the hell is taking you so long?” “Debarking now, sir.” The rear ramps of two of the Warhawks lowered as League battle tanks ground out, squat and massive on their treads. Dark Lord – Wraith Two – spun its turret around and stitched the ceiling with railgun fire, ripping the defences there to pieces. Last Hope – Wraith One – took precise aim at the main doors that led out of the hangar and blew them inwards. From the other Warhawks, defence drones, heavy weapons pallets and man-mounted gun pods floated down the ramps, the assault boats lifting off to return to Liberty and load themselves with runts – the second wave of the boarding action. It was not by The Book, but The Book had never imagined this kind of clusterfuck; to take Necromancer, they’d need every man and woman that Liberty could spare.

All the Little Lost Boys and Girls, Chapter 70

As voted for by my patrons, this month's second update is a continuation of our science fiction horror series, All the little lost boys and girls. The final tale of Captain Alexei Ragnikov continues as he scours space for hints of the Imperium's most secret research facility. Meanwhile, aboard said space station, Director Everett Hayes… Continue reading All the Little Lost Boys and Girls, Chapter 70

Children of Heaven, Chapter 19

Dozens of unknown ships were descending upon Cemetery. From the images the recon unit had managed to lift before it was blown to pieces, they were no more friendly explorers than the Lefu were. They were clearly killers, but they lacked the predatory grace of the Lefu warships. There was nothing to the newcomers but ugly steel and sharp edges. Most of them, at any rate. There were a half-dozen ships in the heart of their formation, larger than the rest by half. They lacked the bloated-U profile and the sharp angles of their kin; their ‘core’ was a simple rectangle five kilometers long that bulged with massive protrusions on all facings. Goldstein’s first thought was that they were carriers, but there were no visible hangars on those ovular structures, only windows. Not even troopers, then – colonizers. He was looking at the species that had murdered the world beneath him, come to claim it as their own.

To the Victor, the Spoils: Chapter 7

Chapter 7: Verona couldn’t sleep. She was too wound up from the excitement of the day, thinking too many thoughts. Her bedroom was on the third floor, across the hall from Lady Vipress. Normally, she would have taken a place in the servant’s quarters until and unless Alexandra sent for her. It was... presumptuous to… Continue reading To the Victor, the Spoils: Chapter 7

Children of Heaven, Chapter 18

Abigail leaned forward in her chair as the mass of Lefu HAVOCs opened like an unfurling flower. Some of them were braking hard, still on approach to the planet. The rest were shifting ranks as they came about on a course that would take them right to her pilots. What in hell are you playing at? Humanity’s experience with the Lefu was not what one might call vast, but they had the range to slag Hyperion Secundus from thousands, if not millions of kilometers away. Why did they need to decelerate in order to…. Oh. “They’re preparing to break atmo,” the wing-captain realized.

To the Victor, the Spoils, Chapter 6

Capricorn City was, by pre-War standards, not a terribly large place. Its population was less than a tenth of Minneapolis... had anyone still lived in its crumbling wreckage. Many major population centers were dead and had been for decades. Only places that the Hegemony had prioritized in rebuilding like Garamond gave some semblance of human civilization returning to Earth. Five billion people died. Some starved as crops were poisoned and stores ran out. Others fell to disease; many through the filth of war but others from the Hegemony’s bioweapons. Riots, civil wars, radiation sickness – the ways that humanity had used to tear itself apart were both many and varied. After Johannesburg, when the Coalition’s last, desperate chance for victory had failed, the killing had truly begun in earnest. No... not killing. It had been too sterile, too clinical for that. Culling. The eradication of defiant populations and anyone who could pose a threat to the Hegemony and their damned High Human Culture. And that bitch upstairs was the one who had made it all possible. Why couldn’t she have just died? It wasn’t an angry thought. If he’d seen Savoy revelling in this new world, it would be easier to find that hatred. Instead, it was almost despondent.