Hey guys its been a very long time coming, but my book is out tomorrow. You can preorder it here now:
I am leaving it at 99 cents for the opening price, its a very long scifi story so check it out and leave any comments if you actually pick it up!
Hey guys its been a very long time coming, but my book is out tomorrow. You can preorder it here now:
I am leaving it at 99 cents for the opening price, its a very long scifi story so check it out and leave any comments if you actually pick it up!
The short cycles of the planet had given way to day as they trudged forward with no resistance, back to walking on the razor grass sawing slowly in the sunlight. They marched forward with four of them still fully ‘armed’ in the limb sense of the word but at this point met no enemies.
Everyone knew what was coming before they actually rolled onto the bare ground, based on the loud roaring starting to filter through the trees. Though Leio and Ziko were both reduced in combat efficiency, their squad was still in fairly good fighting capacity. They made it through the surprise of the night, and still had four people capable of shooting larger weapons. However, this new challenge they were coming up to was going to prove trying.
“There is no way we are making it across that,” Ziko said. He knelt down to let Leio off of his shoulders as she sat down on the ground so he could better look over the edge of the cliff. They stood next to some rocks and a tree, using the light cover as they looked over the shear corner of the massive cliff to the rumbling water hardly visible through the mist below. On both sides of them the deep gorge was cut through the rock with no easy way down, and the height did not get any less extreme anywhere close that they could hike to make the descent easier.
“The two of them could not hope to swim across that water,” Agrest said, keeping his head turned upwards most of the time for any drones that might come flying over the tree tops.
“I have faith they could, but the risk is too great.” Raist looked up and down the escarpment they were located on. “It’d be better if the two of you stayed here to cover our escape.”
From where they were, the tip of the peak was barely visible against the tall trees of the other side of the river. Their goal was close, but in every way seemed farther with every step they took.
“From here you guys should be able to build a pretty good choke point in the rocks over there. The three of us are going to do a sprint to the target, and come back. There is a good chance we will need as much cover fire and a clear path as possible on our way back.”
Agrest pointed to the rocks. “It’s a good plan, since I’d hate trying to descend and climb back up with things shooting at us. If you two have this locked down, it should help our escape.”
Raist finished, “Ziko, I am going to need you well-rested because as soon as we get here, we are running back to the extraction zone. I do not want to be in the forest again for another night. The three of us should be able to handle AKRA, and I know you are strong, but we cannot be slowed even if you are carrying Leio.”
The problem was they had to make it back out of anti-air range to call their shuttle down. Even if it was capable of firing, with how defended their target was, calling it anywhere close was risking being trapped here.
The group worked for a bit, positioning rocks and checking sight patterns so that the two staying behind would have clear cover fire on the three advancing members, both on the descent, the swim, and the climb before they disappeared into the other side. Natural rock walls covered their backs, and a few shots through the rocks gave them some gun holes to fight anything that did come from the forest. The three advancing soldiers dropped all but one weapon here so they could move faster now that the mission had become one of a sprint.
“Goodbye, Raist,” Leio told him as they embraced. Raist was having to hold her up. “I hope I see you again. I really do.” Her foot was realigned, but the large section of meat missing from her calf was something he tried to not look at.
“I’ll be back soon.” He gave her butt a light squeeze as he turned away from her. They spiked their rappel systems into the rock and Agrest and Philira already jumped over the edge. Raist was preparing to do the same when a strange thought came to him.
‘Look at her one more time; it might be your last.’ He turned to face her, and she did a small wave, smiling at him, the normalcy making him think he was over-thinking again. He turned back towards the cliff and crouched and launched off.
Raist! He shook his head slowly as his eyes focused on some light coming down from the trees above him.
He shook his head, thinking about that girl – spilled out on some planet in his past, serving her fatalistic destiny without complaint. In time his bleeding wounds would heal, but there were some wounds that never healed, those that were too deep to see.
Anyone there!? A desperate female voice came through on his ICS, but there was no identification marker or avatar associated with it. What was going on? ICS was nearly flawless, local range could reach substantial portions of the planet.
Yeah, I’m here. I can’t get an ID on you. I took a pretty hard fall and was out for a while there. – Raist
Philira speaking. I ended up on the ground okay, but I worry about everyone else. I’m glad at least one person is still alive. – Philira
Well, we need to meet. Unfortunately, this foliage is way too dense to get a vantage point on. – Raist
Raist put his hand behind him and pushed himself to a sitting position, but just doing that hurt his hand. He lifted his hand to find small cuts over it, and rapidly realized the ground he was on was composed of a grass-like plant that its sharp edges literally were serrated. He grabbed a blade of the plant and realized it was structured so that it would stab inwards deeper and deeper, but had small anchors that prevented it from easily coming back out.
In the corner of his eye his system was pinging a warning, and he activated it. His system told him that medical and suit synth capabilities have been reduced to 84% after healing him from the fall.
Normally that wasn’t too bad, but his system also warned that given the harsh condition of travel, expect high levels of loss while maintaining suit integrity as it increased thickness to stop the plants from getting at him.
He unrolled the suit off his hand to touch the plants without the armor protecting him, gently rolling his finger over it. Just the soft touch left a thin line of blood on his fingertip before his internal nanites quickly sealed the cut and recycled the blood.
Philira, be careful of the terrain. The area I found myself in is composed of extremely sharp objects. We should be okay with our suits, but if those break down we are in for a lot of pain getting through here. – Raist
Shout a few times, if you would. – Philira
“Philira! Hey! Anyone out there?! Phil—” He heard some crashing behind him, and shot up into a crouch, pulling out his Gauss-Limiter rifle.
There were many weapons that were used by individuals that were also used on ships, only in changed capacities. Agrest’s Rail Rifle was based on the ship weapon of same name that was a long-range rail gun designed to pound out space stations, and with very good tracking and computers could blow smaller ships apart. Raist’s Gauss-Limiter was similar to the ship’s in that it launched huge numbers of tiny projectiles at hyper velocities.
“It’s me,” her voice came through. He didn’t even see her; the camo was still working completely.
He disengaged his own cloaking slightly, and she followed suit so they could see each other. They ran up to each other and gave a quick hug, grateful to see someone after the crash. Even though he was dating Leio, he had a soft spot in his heart for Philira. He never pursued it meaningfully because of emotional scars he had over Laiun, the last Scout whom he seriously liked, that selflessly gave her life away for him. They were vastly different in many ways, beyond that they were both completely sacrificial for the Leader. He shook his head to get off the dark train of thought he was on.
“How lucky that the Scout was the one that crashed close to me,” he smiled warily.
“You were actually pretty far away, but this forest is strangely quiet right now.”
“You ran here? Isn’t that risky with all these plants?” Raist asked the young Scout.
“Just reinforce your boots, and the rest is just being careful where your body is.” She held his eyes for only a moment longer before going back to scanning the forest, holding her Plaz-Shot down by her hips.
“Yeah, already on it. Was I the only one you heard from, on ICS or sound?”
“Unfortunately, yes. I couldn’t imagine we are particularly dispersed, but I should definitely be able to hear them, regardless of the ICS malfunction.”
Raist was completing a quick check to make sure none of his gear had fallen out on the crash. “Has to either be something with the planet, which I doubt, or our enemy has an interference device. That had to be what caused the crash. If we get you up that tree, any chance it might help?” He was pointing to the biggest ‘tree’, if you could call a starburst-shaped trunk a tree.
“Completely. It might take a bit to climb though.”
“Let’s do it. I’ll guard down here.”
The two of them made their way over to the spiked ridge. He crouched down, ready to boost her up to one of the knife-branches, when she shook her head ‘no’.
He raised an eyebrow at her, but then she showed him her gloves which had taken on hooked appearances while slightly spreading out.
‘Scout trick,’ he thought. She jumped at the ridge, slamming her hands into the strange object, punching her hooked claws through the tree as her spiked boots likewise punched their way through with slight ‘tings’ as she flew up the tree, crystal fragments falling down as she ascended. She cloaked herself fully once more once she was actually climbing upwards. If somehow the ‘tree’ had resisted the repulsion field in her climbing tools, the microscopic suction cups would have propelled her up anyway.
Hey guys I am part of a big scifi giveaway this week. I am giving away Project: AKRA if you have not picked it up yet. Lots of new talent to check out.
I am still hammering away at trying to be an author, so something like this could help big!
Enjoy if you check it out.
2nd to last post for the story, I hope you guys are enjoying it.
“The ship’s security card is over there.” She pointed to a building that we walked towards.
“How the hell are you doing this?”
“You remember asking about my Chrono Psionics? Well, even the most developed on the physical plane fall fairly flat with ours. Now that the time fracture is gone, all the various pathways in front of us are clear. I am just choosing, and telling you, the correct ones.”
“Isn’t that kind of powerful if you can see all the options time could take, and I am able to act on it?”
“Quite so.” She nodded turning around to look at me for a moment.
“A limitless actor, who is given perfect information…”
A guard had opened a door in the back of the building and turned away from us, propping the door open with his foot while he went to the bathroom.
Proud nodded to me. “It’s the red one with an orange stripe.” I slipped in behind the guy, hoping I could see the card easily, which I did, and grabbed it painfully in my mouth, slipping back out and around the corner.
“Unbelievable,” I said between closed teeth, shaking my head, holding the exact card she said I would find.
I was about to walk in front of the guard’s shack when she grabbed my arm, shaking her head. “He is going to see this regardless, and a lot of other paths are converging here. We just have to run now. The ship is the silver one with the red trim on its tail fin. I gave you enough energy that you should be able to manage it.”
I nodded and we started running. A bit later I heard yelling and a few shots exploded across the pad. Twice Proud physically pushed me to one side or another while a round hit exactly where I once was. I held the card up and the ship responded, then we both jumped in as the door closed. I was breathing hard, holding the ground, then lifted my body up and started laughing before she joined in on my jubilation.
“We did it!”
“Not yet,” she said coldly. I looked at her with worry. “Start the ship, then we will be okay!” She laughed at what was probably a joke to her.
“Right.” I nodded and went to the bridge, starting the ship with a few pushes of my chin and hitting a random coordinate in it. Suddenly the ship was taking off. The ruins of the ReCorp building were visible as we gained altitude. “Do time fractures happen often?”
She shook her head, frowning. “Unbelievably often. Just about every space faring race runs into this at least once through their various particle accelerators trying to ‘understand’ the universe. They never realize they will not understand anything that way. It only leads to destruction.”
“Thanks for coming to save me. Seriously.” My head went back and forth a bit, maybe trying to shake itself free of everything going on in it. “But now, is that it? You are off to stop another time fracture? Are you going to leave me?”
“Only if you want me to.”
“Hardly. I’d love you to stay with me. If I could be so selfish to request it.”
“Well, then I will!” she stated loudly, hugging me.
“Isn’t it your job to stop the fractures?”
“It was. Perhaps you do not understand. I was created to stop that fracture, and now it is stopped. So in a way, I am without a purpose. You felt purposeless, but I am much more so. You were born, in the physical sense, and I was born in a different sense, with my sole purpose being to pair with the most responsive physical element, that’s you, and stop this local time fracture. So now my purpose is complete. It is like the immune system of your body, the task is complete now I am adrift.”
Hey guys Proud Infinity is going to be free on amazon tomorrow in ebook format so be sure to pick it up, and if you do, please rate it, rating help huge for new authors! I will continue the story here though. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MTB19WD
“Show some faith,” Mitreah said as she stepped up, stabbing her blade hand into the door. I saw the muscles in her arms flex hard as a piece of steel came pulling out of the door with her appendage vaguely like a mutated hand. “Try it now,” she said with a smile.
At about that time a siren started wailing. “Attention all personnel, we are under attack. The agent is located at Block Six. Exercise extreme caution. Repeat, hostile agent located at Block Six. All combat personnel deploy immediately.”
Oh man, I forgot they have a security force. That’s how I got killed so fast a long time ago and it made me stop trying.
“Hope you are close to the target,” Proud said as I pushed the door and it slid open on an emergency track.
The door opened, and in front of us was a voluminous room with a long blue mechanical tube stretched far beneath the small walkway we were on. We were running on the thin walkway when a shot from below us exploded above my head on the roof.
“Damn!” I dropped into a tightly compacted crouch as we crept forward. “Is this it!? Is this what we need to destroy? Do I just drop the bomb here?”
Though I suppose neither of them knew the answer.
“There they are!” Across the walkway a squad of three people appeared in the opening doorway, kneeling to take firing positions. Rifles. They were going to hit me way before I lucked a pistol round downrange to hit them.
Behind me I heard more noise. With a skill I had developed over a long time I turned and expertly fired. Three rounds tore into one guy’s chest, and the next two were into the other’s head. Taking the two of them out required little thought or effort.
Turning back to the farther squad, I realized Mitreah was already halfway to them. The loud explosions of their guns reached me long after I saw a few sparks of light fly off her body, the rounds hitting metallic substrates. She stabbed her blade-arm straight through one of them, twisting and slashing the second one in half before stabbing her way through the final one and was already running back towards us before I could even realize we had to keep moving.
“Hey, are you okay?” I nodded to the holes in her chest and arms that were leaking a dark blood. It had not hit her deeper substrates yet.
“I can take way more before I am compromised.”
At this point I had never made it this far, so no longer ‘knew’ what to do. All I had was my skills, which were substantial. I saw movement below us and with a single shot killed the guy sighting us with his rifle. My skills were far past what it took to be an expert marksman.
We hurried along the walkway, an occasional shot from below us hitting the walkway or the ceiling. The walkway was a ‘T’ shape and we took the left instead of the straight path where the dead guards lay. Below us the huge machines hummed ominously; the bright blue energy from the glass cylinder did not look very good at all.
The walkway ended at a door Mitreah front kicked off its rolling ridge, quite an impressive feat. Inside were three scientists and a computer mainframe. We entered quickly and soon the three of them were holding their hands up, begging to not be killed.
“Where is the center of the particle creator?!” I yelled to them. One of them pointed behind him where beyond the computer was a railing overlooking something radiating light. I was walking towards it, unhooking my satchel, programming the time charge on the bomb.
“Don’t do it! Do you know how much research has been put into this?” someone behind me cried.
Hey guys hope you are enjoying the story. For those that missed it, here is the link to the first part of the story where you can read everything up till now: https://vayneline.com/2017/01/16/sample-of-my-next-story-proud-infinity-stuck-in-a-time-loop-with-only-a-god-to-keep-him-company/
I spent a lot of time with Proud. I had come to like her in a way no one else ever before. We were utterly alone in this. I could say any right move to manipulate anyone. But every cycle, every loop it was the same. Not with Proud. She was the only one who kept her consciousness through the resets.
I might have gone crazy actually if I had to ‘re-meet’ her every single time.
“Hey Proud, let’s take a walk,” I said, looking down the bar. Everyone else stared at me, holding the door open for an invisible person. These people stopped seeming real to me a long, long time ago.
“I am really impressed with you so far, Tre, you are making great progress.”
We took a walk over to a small park, where there was a fountain jetting upwards and a bench overlooking the pond. We sat down. I didn’t expect to do much this time period, mainly used it just for a break.
I turned, smiling at her briefly before sighing as I turned forward. “The Emotion Field sure isn’t perfect for what is occurring here, is it?” I asked. The Emotion Field I eventually learned was the term that referred to a dimensionality our experiences, especially the strong ones, are laid down on. The somberness of graveyards was the easiest example.
“I sympathize with you. The fact your recollection is imperfect is a testament to your fortitude and determination.”
I laughed. “The words are nice, but the situation isn’t. Thanks anyway, Proud. So you remember everything? Is that even possible from a memory point of view?”
She was twirling a piece of her hair and her ribbon in her fingers. She acted like such a girl at times, it was endearing. “You act like we have to play by the same rules. What is it like for you?”
“Sucks,” I said, sprawling out on the bench, my arm was around her back. She giggled, and leaned into me. She nuzzled her head against my shoulder. “I very rarely remember anything specific. It’s mostly this endless overpowering vagueness. I know that doesn’t make full sense. But I come up to situations, and on this unclear level I remember how to do things. I remember how to aim, how to fight, how to dodge, how to say things specifically to manipulate people.”
I stopped, pointing at two girls that were walking by. “I don’t seem to know anything about the blonde, but the dark hair one, I get hit with these thoughts that she likes vanilla cake, likes showing off her flexibility, and is lonely. Also she’d fall for my ‘come with me if you want to live’ gambit.” I looked down, pulling Proud away from me for a moment. “Then later I really get to see her flexibility in action…” I hit her with a sly smile.
Proud playfully hit me. “You’re bad.”
“I joke, but in truth it really messes with me. I start to forget what I know ‘for real’ compared to remembering from back fractures. I have essentially given up on thinking that maybe I am just projecting or making up things like what I said about that girl and simple roll with that I have found all those things out in the past. It is this disturbing thing where I ‘know’ so much, but can’t remember how I know any of it.”
“I am sorry, Trego.” She was sincere. “Is there anything I can help you with right now? You know you only need to ask.”
I didn’t have any requests; simply being with her was enough.
I am working on my first paperback, and it will probably be out in the next 2 weeks or so. Here is the cover art
Of which Proud Infinity is a part of!
Anyway on with the story as Trego is navigating his way through the time loops:
I walked over to the space port, spending more time with the android, Mitreah.
I waved when I walked in and she gave a friendly wave back, but did not know me from anyone else at this point.
“Oh hello! I don’t remember your name. Have we met?”
‘A few times…’ I thought to myself.
“Mitreah: Farewell Fallen Sword,” I stated cryptically. Her face went blank like it always does, before her bright eyes returned.
“Override confirmed. What are you orders?”
I waved my hand. “Nothing major, I simple want to talk to you a bit.”
“An odd request, but certainly.”
I spent a long time talking to her. Unlike the old man, she was much more fun, but I learned less. There was not as much applicable to me due to her combat android form and background. She could teach me so much about fighting, but not as much about the world.
Before the end of this loop I wanted to fight her more to train my combat ability. That was perhaps the biggest boon from her, other than eventually using her to break into ReCorp.
To her, my words were novel, “Mitreah, I want you to train me to fight. I want to use my pistol, and anything you can teach me. Execute training protocol number 2.”
She smiled at me. “This is so much more fun.”
She left to go get some training supplies she had in her personal locker. I had never figured out why an ex-combat android ended up here, I could never get it out of her. The best I could figure is that she was injured slightly, or had served long enough she got to retire.
Mitreah came back with a training pistol that would fire visible lasers that did not actually do anything but would respond if I hit her and she could react appropriately. Combat androids could fight with guns, and melee weapons, but there most signature weapon was their arm would form into a very sharp blade, essentially like a nano blade. Something like this would kill my obviously, so it was more like a blunt bat I was struck with.
She tossed the training pistol to me like always. I caught it and started firing at her dashing form.
Probably an old Aelisha combat android based on Solarian form, evidenced by her dashing style was leaning super far forward: the same way Aelishas ran. She slashed at me with her blade arm, I blocked with the pistol and dodged, firing at her. I knew her moves well enough at this point I could end it easily. My main goal at this point was to build up my own reflexes, not to use known paths.
I dove awkwardly a few times just to get off any previous path I would ‘remember’. I felt blind once again which I liked. Mitreah could easily take me out given her superior programming and speed but limited it during the training.
I fired a few times at her, impressed by how my own skills were coming along; she had to dodge which slowed her assault down.
She got close, swiping at me hard and connecting. Her blade arm of course was dull for training, but in real combat I would have lost my arm. Regardless it gave me a strong shock that made it numb.
I dove to the ground, grabbing the pistol out of my numb arm, turning around rapidly and hitting her in the chest. A spray of the laser beams struck home, and if it was a strong enough weapon she would have been killed. My aggressive push of not running and doubling down on the attack was enough to win.
“Uh…” She moaned in pain from the ground a bit before standing. We helped each other up.
“Dang, that was fun.” We with standing there, hugging each other for support. I was breathing hard.
“How are you so good? I had to go to the very limits to even catch you.”
I stepped back. “I’ve done this before.”
“Who was your teacher?”
“You.” I pulled out my real pistol, aimed and reset.
I hope you guys are enjoying the story!
The more loops I endured, the easy it was to accept it was happening. What I meant by that is that I would not be crippled by existential terror of the situation, or of the acts I had taken.
There was a degree of random-ness of what exactly was remembered and why. To me it was a bit akin to learning a new language by reading a complex book. It often meant nothing to me but I would start to see patterns. Many times the patterns were wrong, but again with enough failures these too would be refined. Consciously it was tougher to explain than on a subconscious or intuitive level where I’d remember things on a ‘déjà vu’ type experience.
Had I always known the android girl, Mitreah, at the spaceport was the highest level combat android available? Or how about that the android girl’s override phrase was actually three words long? And it wasn’t just words: a big key was I had to say her name before the words. A lot of these key facts were slowly extracted by practically begging, ‘How could I prove to you that I know you?’ And so slowly would she tell me, ‘Well if you can tell me X about myself,’ to which I’d spend cycles and cycles trying to figure out one little fact just so I could further advance the true search of finding her code word.
Every time, it would be the same with slightly more info. I would tell her of battles she had fought in, what her favorite food was, where she lived, what number she was thinking of. Silly things like that was what it took to get more vital info out of her, all for the eventual end of unlocking her control code.
Damn androids, not easy to deal with in a time loop; so much harder than Solarians, ironically. This was a large reason why I bothered, it was part of a challenge. I could figure out people a few cycles, but her programming was resistant which was so problematic.
How funny that the first cycle I felt embarrassed just standing there shouting things to her, but how fast my embarrassment died to grim necessity.
That took forever just to get to three words, except once I after busting out about two thousands words, I think I was around, ‘Mitreah: nanite uhh…Mitreah: nanites’, to her in the empty port she laughed and said it was three words long. Considering I had not told her any of her secrets during that reset, I was surprised she volunteered the information. Maybe in some little way was something of hers becoming implanted into the Emotion Field?
I asked Proud about it, and she could not answer like usual but said things work in ways I would not understand. It was quite curious regardless, that this perfect programming may actually be affected by the Emotion Field. It made me think that part of Mitreah’s body, the Solarian part, had an element of some type of ‘soul’ that so many would refuse to believe.
‘Mitreah: Farewell fallen sword’. I found out eventually through thousands of cycles of dedicated attempts. I think I skipped straight from ‘farewell fallen swift’ straight to ‘sword’ on a gut feeling. Living in this cycle over and over, it was amazing to find out just how powerful intuition was. Because I literally could try every path, the path my intuition would pull me on, and compare it to just about every other one.
I have no idea what ‘intuition’ is anymore, but it went far beyond anything simple as some might think. This was one of the biggest examples. Such a random thing as words, but it had saved me so much time. I truly believed intuition was likely low levels of Chrono Senses manifesting.
Oh, I of course realized I did not possess any sort of Chrono Sense in a large scale like I thought once upon a long time ago. The only reason I ‘knew’ what was coming is because I had died thousands of times to it.