Icarus – January 25th, 2089 (Part 1)

January 25th, 2089 (Part 1)

I said goodbye to everything ten hours ago.

When we boarded the Icarus, I never saw the ship. There were no windows, no monitors, not even a still image to show us our new home. There was only a white hallway and men in white sterile suits. We were in our mission jumpers, similarly white but on our sleeves was a single patch: NAS Icarus 2089. It showed a streak of blue passing over a white crescent moon.

We entered through a hatch that looked like some old bank vault, as white and sterile as the rest of us. When we stepped through, I expected to feel something different, an equilibrium change maybe, or a buoyancy like you do on a water-based boat. There was none of that. I stepped from solid metal plating onto solid metal plating.

From there we went straight ahead through another hatch that was the same as the first. Inside was a round room filled with a number of Extra-Vehicular suits. This was a Ready Room of sorts for preparing any of the crew to go outside in vacuum should there be need. I’d been briefed and trained on the suits which were not what I expected. They were tight-fitting and moved with surprising ease. Ceramic platting was attached to the outside of the suit which gave it the look of futuristic plate mail armor. The helmet was a clamshell affair with a 270-degree field of vision. You could see just fine out of them as long as you were looking side-to-side. Looking straight down was impossible, the helmet simply didn’t move.

We sat and had our last briefing from Colonel [DELETED] and Doctor [DELETED]. Then they handed us each our full assignment details, all of which we’d read before, and a complimentary box of snacks. It was a small box. The least they could do was give me a few years’ supply of Swedish Fish but it wasn’t in the budget I guess. They shook our hands and left.

Then the hatch closed on us.

Advertisements

Darkest Hour – Chapter 3

As one, we rose against the coming darkness with blade in hand. One by one we fell, each life like a star snuffed out of the night sky. Those who remained huddled in prayer with eyes closed and hope so frail that one word might shatter us all.

– from The Cycle of Rebirth, Chapter 13, Verse 1

Chapter 3

Jump Zero, Five Years Prior

“What do you mean she’s problematic?”

“Mister Wolfe, I assure you we did everything we could to make it as easy as possible-“

“Again, what do you mean she’s problematic?”

The doctor stood in the doorway, his gray hair perfectly in place, his features flat and unreadable and his clothes unrumpled. I found it unsuitable that a man fresh from two hours of surgery should look so pristine and unworried. They won’t let me see her.

He sighed. “Are you family, Mister Wolfe?”

The question angered me even more. “What? No I’m her friend-“

“Then during visitation hours you will be able to see her all you want. Now I really must get back to work.” He turned to leave but I grabbed his arm. Immediately, two solders pulled me away but my biotics flared to life. I drew it in, felt its power grow in my pores, within my very blood as my adrenaline kicked it into overdrive. I reached out and Pulled. All I managed to do was draw the doctor’s pen from his pocket. It floated uselessly toward me. Continue reading

Next week’s stories

Now that The Squire has made its full run, it’s time for something new! I’ve got some big plans for the coming weeks and I hope you (and all your friends who you’re going to tell, right?) will enjoy it. I’m returning to Science Fiction full time with two new stories. One is fan fiction again, this time featuring Bioware’s Mass Effect universe and the second is an original.

Before I get into the stories themselves, I’ll be updating 3 times a week: Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I’ll be taking the weekend off, though I’ll still be writing. A writer’s job never rests.

Fan Fiction Mondays

Every Monday I’ll be posting the newest chapters of my Mass Effect story, Darkest Hour. In the event that I’m unable to post on that Monday, I plan to feature someone else’s fan fiction for your enjoyment.

Wednesday and Fridays

On Wednesdays and Fridays will be updates for my original Science Fiction story Icarus.

Now to tell you about the stories themselves:

Darkest Hour is a brand new piece of Fan Fiction set in Bioware’s Mass Effect Universe. For those who have played the games, it takes place during the events of Mass Effect 3. For those who haven’t played the games, giant, sentient, synthetic machines are invading and mankind is on the verge of extinction. If it sounds a little like the premise of Battlestar Galactica, you’re not half-wrong. 

Synopsis

Lieutenant James Wolfe is having the worst day of his life when the world decides to end. His girlfriend refused to marry him, his mother has announced that she has an incurable form of Eezo infection and his sister’s mental condition is worsening. When the Reapers land in the city of Philadelphia, he joins the desperate and futile attempt to fight back. Despite overwhelming loss of life, hope remains when the local resistance receives a strange transmission stating it contains vital information on defeating the Reapers. Unfortunately, no one can crack the security code the plans are concealed in.

No one except Kylie, Wolfe’s sister.

With a little help from an eccentric infiltrator and the powerful biotic who refused to wear his ring, James must carry this transmission into the rural reaches of Pennsylvania. The group must evade Reaper forces and mercenaries gone rogue in the vain hope that Kylie will be able to crack the mysterious code during Earth’s darkest hour.

Read new installments of Darkest Hour every Monday!

Icarus is a brand new, original piece of Science Fiction about mankind’s reach for the stars. Ever since I was a kid, I would look up at the night sky and wonder what existed out there beyond the distant lights of Deneb, Betelgeuse or Altair. In this story, I try to explore that sense of wonder through the cynical eye of a writer who accepts a dangerous assignment to travel where humans have only dreamed.

Synopsis

NASA’s prototype deep-space science vessel, the Icarus, is going to Alpha Centauri and William Shriver is not the kind of man you’d think to send.

He doesn’t know the first thing about the Time-Vortex Tunnels or how a star drive works. He doesn’t even read Science Fiction books, but when the pay and opportunity to spend ten years away from Earth comes up, he can’t help but volunteer. As a writer, his job will be to experience the trip and write down his observations in the hope that once he comes back to earth, he will have one hell of a story to tell.

Hell could be the story he brings back.

Written in the form of Shriver’s journal entries, Icarus tells the story of mankind’s first journey through the mysterious Time-Vortex Tunnels. These fluxes in space-time allow a ship to travel a great distance in a fraction of the time. It will take the Icarus approximately four and a half years to reach Alpha Centauri, but an extended stay in cramped quarters with a group of strangers isn’t the only problems awaiting the crew of the Icarus.

Like the fable, will the Icarus fly too close the far-distant star, daring what mankind should never dare?

With new entries coming every Wednesday and Friday, Icarus will feature short entries that you can easily digest in a few minutes, the perfect thing for when you have an itch for fiction but not a lot of time to read. Be sure to check it out and if you enjoy it, tell your friends!