Jovian Shadows : Episode 6

Completely forgot to post this one.

Jones felt the rumble under her magboots.  She knew what it was.


She ran as fast as she could to her quarters.  Everyone else was running to the arms lockers and strapping on their gear.  The soldiers were on automatic.  They were doing what they were trained to do.

And so was she.

Jones locked the door behind her and walked over to her bed.  She sat down and took off her jacket.  She took out her knife and jabbed into her wrist, and drew the blade up her arm.

The com-code was embedded into a tissue graft.  Tearing it out was agonizing but the situation had gotten out of hand, and there was no longer any choice.

She slapped the bloody gristle down on a table before using some first aid glue to seal up the wound.  She would have to wait to mop up the blood.

She put her radio on top of the extracted flesh.  It pulsed and quivered like a frightened worm before wrapping itself around the machine and impregnating it with the codes.

Jones snapped up the radio and pressed the link.  She wasn’t sure if they could hear her or not- this was a one way, one time signal.  But she had to try.  “Base, we have a problem.”
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Jovian Shadows : Episode 5

Just too exhausted for words, which is why this particular episode is shorter than the others.

Strathmore pulled himself along the rungs of the core as fast as he could. He tried to fathom what could cause the captain to call an alert. They were still at least three days out from Jove. There was no way the rebels had a ship that could intercept them this far out.

They may be traitors, but they’re not idiots. The JKP may be on its last legs, but it’s got one hell of a bite. It would chew up the traitor ships like peanut shells and spit out the remains into the sun.

They’ll turtle up as best they can. They have a well armed station that even the JKP couldn’t take on its own. So far, Home Office has not given the order to wipe that station out. Probably too costly. These boats aren’t exactly cheap, and the new ones like the FDR are stacked with as much chrome and shineys as to bankrupt Africore.

Strathmore entered the front engine bay, magboots clinking as he locked himself down. “What’s up, capitan?”

Broadsky was bent over, looking down an access tube. A tech was buried deep inside like a tick, feet just jutting out the end. “Somebody tried to sabotage the engines.”

“What?” Strathmore walked over to the tube and tried to look in as well. “Who?”

“You vetted these men, Strathmore, you tell me.” Brodsky was still trying to look past the cursing, wiggling tech.
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Jovian Shadows : Episode 4

Here’s the fourth installment in my #scifi #flashfiction  series, “Jovian Shadows.”  I’ve been serializing the story on my g+ feed.

Castaneda stood at attention in front of Strathmore’s desk in the ready room.

Strathmore took a seat and said, “At ease.”  He took a few deep breaths, calming himself from his encounter with Harmon.  “Now.  What is this all about then?”

Castaneda said, “It is standard for a bridge crew to only be composed of commissioned officers, aware of the chain of command.”

“You might have noticed, commander,” Strathmore said, “this is not a standard ship.  Nobody wants to serve on the JKP’s final mission.  When we get back, this thing is retired, or turned to scrap.”

“But the bridge crew-”

“Let me stop you right there, Castaneda,” Strathmore said.  “This ship is filled to bursting with combat soldiers.  The mission is a drop and load.  We’re taking apart the rebellion’s source of wealth at the source.  A lot of those men aren’t coming back, and they know it.”


Strathmore continued, “We need as many grunts as we can get.  And if a handful of NCO’s can back up the autopilots, all the better.”

“But they’re not obeying orders, sir,”  Castaneda said.

Strathmore sighed.  “You gotta be tough with the Flying Wolves.  They only respect strength.  That’s why they respect Big Dog.”

Castaneda put her hands behind her back.  “Sir, permission to speak freely.”
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Jovian Shadows : Episode 3

Been a little crazy recently, with the storm and whatnot. Hopefully I’ll be able to post a little more frequently now.

Here’s the third installment in my #scifi #flashfiction series, “The Shadow of Jove.”

Initially published at Google+

Broadsky was in the rear engine control, and he was livid. “Tell me again, Tech, in language that doesn’t make me want to bludgeon you with this here spanner.”

Technician Alphonso swallowed. “The rear attitude thrusters have been sabotaged, sir. Enough juice and,” He clapped his hands together, “boom. No thrust from the rear.”

Broadsky folded his arms and rested them on his bulging belly. His his black and gray beard trembled with his rage. “How could this happen? Who has access? I need names!”

Tech picked up a small silver box with wires that protruded like legs from a dead bug. “This thing could have been placed only by my crew, or a flag officer. They’re the only ones with the code keys.”

“Biometrics!” Broadsky leaned closer to Tech, “What about the fucking biometrics?”

“Sir,” Tech put the metal bug down on the engineering console. “The contractors never finished the security systems. Keys only.”

Broadsky took a deep breath. “What kind of boom are we talking about, Tech? Super-atomic?”

“No sir, it would just cripple us enough to keep us steady. The next time someone corrected course, the thing would blow, and we’d be sitting ducks for boarding, unless we could re-route power to the front engines in time.”

“How long would that take?”
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Jovian Shadows : Episode 2

More #scifi #flashfiction I whipped up on my way to work this morning.

Maybe this sort of thing would work as a youtube reading or podcast or something.

Strathmore pulled himself along the ladder heading towards the old bridge of the JKP.  The shift from .8g to .01g was always stomach bending for him.  He thought he would get used to it, but he never did.  He never complained of course, but at the same time, never asked if he was the only one.

The closest he ever came to complaining about it was when he asked Big Dog why they hadn’t moved the bridge to the spinners when the ship was retro-fitted.

“Too expensive for a shitbucket like this one, X-O.”  Big Dog always had names for the JKP, but he loved his ship all the same.

Al-Aziz looked over his shoulder to see if Strathmore was still behind him.  “It’s Chief Harmon, sir.”

“Of course it is,” Strathmore thought.  Harmon was a good NCO, and loyal as a tumor, but he was a wolf, and had a serious problem taking orders from someone he didn’t respect.  Didn’t help the fact he was a juicer.

They made it though the access hatch to the neck of the long ship and were able to activate the mag-boots and walk the rest of the way.  The white walls of the ship were clinical, like a hospital ward.  Rails for the infirm, or the gravitationally challenged, like anyone on this bucket, were along the walls.  Port windows broke up the white with circles of pitch black.

Strathmore never figured out why they put those windows there.  You couldn’t see crap anyway with the stars so dim and the glare of the white lights washing everything else out.

They reached the door to the bridge and Al-Aziz waited for Strathmore to enter the access code.  The door swung open and the two walked in.

PVT Strankowiz stood up from his station.  “X-O on the bridge!”
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