Brina didn’t remember what keelhauling was, but she decided she didn’t want to know. Many of the ship’s crew stared at their feet while others dragged her to the bow. “Do you think this a good idea?” she heard Devlin say to Brindley. “Suppose she dies? She probably will!” “Then we won’t be docking in Tasman.” “She’s only a woman!” “Shut up Devlin. Do it now!” The crewmen lowered Brina over the bow by the length of rope attached to her wrists while another sailor guided the other length of rope to the stern. He worked it under the moving ship’s hull and pulled it taught. “Ready!” he yelled from the stern. Six men lowered Brina to the crashing bow-waves, while three others hauled on the stern rope. Her feet touched the cold water, so she began to take deep breaths, taking her last a moment before her head went under. After that, she understood little of what happened, except that the sea battered her against the barnacle-studded planks of the hull and her lungs began to scream with the agony of asphyxiation. She held on as long as she could, feeling her chest convulse with its primitive urge to breath. The last thing she saw was a patch of light in the bottle-blue water behind her thrashing legs. “You’re a lucky bitch!” a male voice said. “The Captain wouldn’t have revived anyone else but you!”
“I need a shave.” “Let me show you. Take this off first.” She tugged on the collar of his jumpsuit. “Oh no! You’re not getting me naked that quick.” “Ha! You’ll see us naked before too long. Don’t be shy.” “No!” “Alright! Just strip to the waist then.” Omah unfastened the sticky front tab and peeled the smooth, metallic top down to his waist, rubbed his bare chest out of embarrassment and gave Archivist a lopsided grin. Now look in the mirror and say, “Shave!” “Shave! Hey! What’s this! I have a white mark on my chest. Like a key!” “Yes. I thought it was kinda cute when we were shown your body in one of our first briefings.” “Oh god! You mean you’ve seen me naked?” “Sure! All of it. And you’re quite a healthy man.” Omah blushed and replied. “But what does this mark mean? Do you have it?” “No. You’re the only one. We don’t know what it means. You had it when you came to u- … . Oh there, now you’re jumping the gun! Or making me! Let’s do the shave.” “But wait a minute! At least it’s something not blue! And Controller; he seems very emotionless and blank. Are you all robots?” Archivist’s laugh sounded like the delicate titter of a teenage girl. “It sometimes feels like it.” “Androids then? Cyborgs?”
— Omah learns about nano-generators, commonly called n-gens. —
“Ship!” he said out loud, not being able to remember the correct name of the intelligent machine. “Can you hear me? R19 or whatever you’re called. Ah, it had something to do with water. Now I remember. R1902, do you hear me?” “I hear you Omah. But my correct name is R19020.” “Sorry.” “It’s okay.” The ship’s voice was low, soft and soothing. But Omah couldn’t tell if it was male or female. “Can you put the light on please? I’m not sleepy.” The light came up to a comfortable day-time level. “Thanks! Also, I need something to eat. I’m starving!” “Your last century was the late 13th of the 6th Age. Do you recall it?” “Some of it.” “Do you recall microwave ovens?” “Yes.” “Now we have nano-generators. Some call them n-gens. They create almost anything, up to the size capacity of the generator, from a block of white plasma. To the right of your desk, above the bookcase, you will see its door. You may tell it what you want yourself by speaking clearly. But now I will do it for you.” “I see it.” “What would you like to eat?” “Roast chicken with bread sauce, mushrooms, carrots, sprouts and gravy. Followed by hot apple pie and cream.” “Coming right up!” “You sound like one of those vid chefs!” “When you see a red, flashing light, you can safely open the door.”
— Omah isn’t disappointed when he finds out Archivist wasn’t inviting him to have sex. —
“You didn’t sound very certain back there,” Archivist told him as soon as they had left the Ward Room. “I’m certain of nothing right now!” “I meant your choice … . The tour?” “Oh.” “It wasn’t an invitation for sex,” she added. He felt the buggy’s pace quicken slightly, keeping pace with her. “I didn’t think it was. It just felt nice to hear somebody talking in a homely fashion. I guess it relaxed me.” “Homely?” Omah caught a glimpse of Archivist in a wall’s polished surface. He decided he preferred her dark brown hair to Soother’s black. He had to jolt himself out of comparing them both. “Yes. My mother used to say, “Bed for you,” as if it were a state of being, rather than a place. Just like you did.” “Oh. I don’t remember my parents. At least I don’t think so.” “Now you don’t sound so sure.” “No. You don’t understand … . Oh, it doesn’t matter.” “Sorry.” “It’s okay. They left most of your memory intact.” A picture in his mind gave Omah another jolt. “I think I just remembered my partner!” he cried out. “Her face!” “Was she beautiful?” “I guess. But I really miss her already. And it seems like only yesterday.” “I’m jealous.” “Sorry.”
— Sabrina reaches a camp in Wales and reads a strange story in a sleeping man’s notebook. —
I feel somebody is in the room so I try to open my eyes. But, as sometimes happens when your mind is awake and your body is still asleep, try as I might, I could not open them. I tried harder and harder, as I imagined footsteps approaching my bed. A voice, deep inside my head screamed: “Open!” But I couldn’t do it. In my dream, I levered myself out of the dirty sheets and dragged on my dirty clothes. I became aware of distant alarms and rushing feet in the corridors outside. When I opened the door, I saw panic in the eyes of those running. The hostel had its own infirmary and my legs dragged me there, for no reason I knew of. I pushed open the double doors and strode into the small ward. Empty I pushed open the doors to the operating theatre without considering my action. “Who are you? Get out!” screamed a doctor. I couldn’t help staring at the body on the table; it looked like the flesh of the man, if a man he was, had been sucked out from the inside. Luminescence. The body was no more than a husk. It was the alien’s alright, and I had to run. With a last, terrifying effort of will I opened my eyes and saw only an empty room. The other five beds were unmade and empty, all except one. A man, whose name I did not know, slept on.
Only the Vampire Priests understand the Blood Moon Prophecy: “A drop of His blood fills the cup and brings the Blood Moon Dawn.”
Water makes people forget.
For seven ages They have walked the Earth, seeking a cave of Vampire Priests. For only the Priests know the meaning of the riddle, believed to hold clues to an extremely ancient device that can restore purity to water.
The seventh age will be Their last chance.
Watch the YouTube video trailer below!
“Lots of cool action and drew me well in.” – AHF Magazine.
Just a reminder: Love Blade Runner? Download the 5★ Science Fiction novel FREE NOW on Amazon until 7 May: http://bit.ly/102Xt92. It’s currently #845 in Amazon Free kindles and #10 in Science Fiction (see screen grab below). If you don’t have one already, make sure you download a copy!
Too Bright the Sun is now in the goodread lists: Best Military Science Fiction Books (listed #65) Can’t Wait Sci-Fi/Fantasy of 2014 (#96) and Best Dystopian and Post-Apocalyptic Fiction so if you have time, please vote for it here: https://www.goodreads.com/list/book/17664602 by clicking on the list name at bottom of page and then clicking on the ‘vote’ button beside the book title!
I am soon to release World Like Dust, the next part of the Iron Series. In this episode, the Stamford Torus space station, J5 (looking something like the illustration below) has to leave the Solar System under it’s own power as a final refuge of mankind. I think it should have a new name for this voyage so I want you to choose one. All you have to do is download a FREE copy of Too Bright the Sun, comment here AND share a Facebook post or a Twitter tweet to win the prize of a free copy of Worlds Like Dust. It will be published as two, novel length books so it is a prize worth winning! in addition, your name will be used in the published book and you will also get an acknowledgement at the beginning of the book.
Don’t forget, the main difference between the station in this image and J5 is that J5 has a half-scale replica of the Golden Gate Bridge over a half-scale river, where Jake Nanden spent much of his youth.