War: Chapter 16

“Do you think he’s right?”  Gabriel looked up from washing his face to catch Michaels’ eyes in the mirror.

“I don’t know.”  Michaels folded his arms as he leaned on the post.  If this Merlin fellow new about Gabe, then…  “You can’t go to meet Merlin.”

“I wasn’t planning on it.”  Gabriel shook his head before grabbing a clean shirt.



War: Chapter 15

Gabriel stepped back as Lidia nearly pushed Matthias down in her rush to get to her son.  Adam looked shell-shocked as she threw her arms around him.  “Adam.  Adam.”  Her voice broke into sobs.  “Oh, Adam.”

It took a moment for Adam to put his arms around her.  “Mom…”  His voice was thick.  “Mom, you shouldn’t be here.”  He took a deep breath.  “You have to get out of here.”


War: Chapter 13

She walked over to join Tomer as he headed to meet the foundation’s representative.  Ash fell into step with her, and Magda smiled at him.  He caught hold of her hand and smiled back.  “You’re not with the students?”  Bridget had spent the last couple days showing him how to use the machine that analyzed soil samples.  Stephan, Matthias, and Michaels had been planning the operation now that they could get closer looks.  The rest of them had settled in to help out in the dig.


Silverfish: Chapter 27

Leon started to lean back, then his communicator chimed again.  He stared at it for several seconds before sighing and touching the screen.  “Let me guess…”  He nodded at the image of his father.  “He’s figured out a way to blame someone else but wants you or I to recapture them.”


Silverfish: Chapter 26

Jerin sat down at his console and pulled up Kyle’s personnel file.  At first glance, it showed him exactly what he expected to see.  Kyle was top rated in hand to hand and considered a good soldier, though lacking in the qualities that would get him moved up in rank.  Little ambition, no leadership skills, and minimal ability to improvise.



The colonists on board The Habria found themselves cut off from all their sister ships and alone in space.  As they reached the last of their supplies, they found a habitable planet.

Unfortunately, the planet was already inhabited.  The native population was humanoid, but primitive.  They had a life span of only about ten years.  Humans settled on only one continent in an attempt to preserve the native populace.  The native populace, for their part, welcomed the newcomers from the stars hospitably, making Habria one of the few recorded instances of a wholly peaceful first contact.

The natives, affectionately dubbed ‘elves’ due to their delicate features, befriended the humans.  And humans, being human, well, it was discovered that the two species were capable of cross-breeding.  Rather than proving sterile or mutated, the offspring proved to heavily benefit from hybrid vigor.  Rather than inherit the shorter lifespan of the native population, these hybrids proved capable of living twice as long as humans.  Many also displayed signs of possessing psychic powers.

As time passed, both the native ‘elves’ and the original ‘humans’ vanished from Habria in favor of the hybrids.  The hybrids began to spread through their section of the galaxy and eventually made contact with humans.

Homo Infernal

Resian IV is a harsh and brutal world.  It freezes at night and cooks during the day, both of which last nearly four months.  The native flora and fauna are hostile to human life.  Its gravity is nearly twice that of most other colonized worlds.  It was used as a prison planet and military training and testing facility.

Then contact was lost.  Resian was left with no ships capable of interstellar travel.  For the first year, the abandoned held out hope that relief would come.  After that, hard decisions were made.

The military personnel and the surviving prisoners banded together for survival.  When it became clear help would not come, the society segregated along gender lines.  The comparatively few women moved into the caves and tunnels that had housed the prison and research facility, while the men went to the surface to find food.

Due to Resian’s nature and the lack of medical care, pregnancy and childbirth took a toll on the female population.  At first, maternal mortality rates were one in five.  For this reason, breeding became strictly controlled.  As time passed, breeding rights became something the men had to compete to earn, ensuring only the strongest and best passed on their genes.

Culturally, they are tribal.  They have no use for weakness. Due to the harsh realities of their world, they have no stigmata against cannibalism.  Those who could not provide became provisions.  What little government it has is matriarchal, ruled by a council of women that have survived into old age.  They function as teachers and protectors of the young with their focus being on providing the children with the training they need to survive the brutal world.  At sixteen, males go to the surface, and females join the breeding program.

This artificially enforced evolution combined with the slightly higher mutation rate forged the population of Resian into a subspecies of human.  They are still fertile with homo sapiens, should they choose, yet have marked differences.  Their vision is more acute, allowing them to also see into the infrared and ultraviolet spectrums, and they have enhanced night vision.  They are extremely strong and hardy, capable of withstanding greater environmental extremes.

When Resian was rediscovered, first contact did not go well.  This lead the explorers to dub Resian an hell planet occupied by the infernal.  Despite the best efforts of level-headed scholars, the name ‘homo infernal’ stuck.