The planet Antelos was lush, vibrant, and full of life. Its atmosphere was made of an earth-familiar mixture of gases, with one uniquely alien exception: halivium. Halivium was not toxic, not initially, and not for everyone. But in a certain percentage of the population containing a particular gene sequence, halivium could at some point in their lives become poisonous.
“You’re fired,” said Jeremy. He shrugged and spread his hands in apology. “Sorry.”
Her hands had never failed her before. With them she’d wielded the jegun blade in battle among the stars. With them she’d climbed the falling trees of Dong’ea Sulai, felled a shrieking falcon, and plucked maika wool. She’d always trusted her hands.
My dad named me Puke when I was born because I was so ugly that he wanted to vomit all over me. That’s the story, anyway, and it gets my dad roaring. Every time he tells the tale he laughs so hard that the metal barbs in his neck twitch like reeker bugs. Makes me want to throw up. But a lot of things do. My sis, Avarice, says I was born on the wrong planet. She’s got that right.
Solia Faris slammed on the brakes of her armored jeep, released the seat harness, and launched herself out the driver’s side door. She tumbled down a steep grade, bounced, rolled, and then slammed to a stop against a pillar of goraxian rock. Solia spat blood from her mouth and scrunched into a ball.
“We’ll hijack the ship and fly it back,” said Zufi. “It’s the only way to get home.” Alika stared at him, her eyes wide and white in the half dark. The two of them huddled side by side, bracing their hands and feet against the roof and floor of the vibrating tunnel. Goosebumps crawled across…
Quadrant 24b has been giving me trouble. It is difficult to manage a ten-pound core sampler with a bent spinner head while dangling from a harness and ripple cord at a height of 5 meters in the baking hot sun.
All I’ve got is muscles and rage. If you don’t believe me, ask my knuckles. They’ve tasted more jawbones than average, blued more eyeballs, cracked a dozen ribs, and busted more cheeks than I can count. There’s more teeth embedded in my fists than bone.