QBS Shinigami, In Space, Location Unknown
The darkness was enveloping. The woman was transfixed in her nightmare, and the raw emotions roared out of the darkness and pummeled her body. She was twitching, half-frozen, half-thrashing against unfathomable pain as her raw nerves reacted to the subconscious agony.
WAKE UP, BETHANY ANNE! TOM yelled through their link.
His friend continued to thrash, unable to hear his screams as he sought to locate the places he could try to take over her neuro-transmissions.
She was beating the hell out of the bed.
>>This mattress is going to be sub-optimal after this.<< ADAM commented.
You mean it’s going to be fucked, TOM corrected.
>>You seem to be using more of Bethany Anne’s colloquialisms lately.<<
Yes, I’m cursing a lot more, TOM admitted. After this long as her closest organic friend, she has rubbed off on me. I like to think I’ve provided a modicum of restraint and mathematical understanding in exchange.
Bethany Anne’s arm swung, slamming into the bulkhead behind her head and denting it.
Well, shit. TOM mentally ground his teeth. I hate this.
>>What?<< ADAM asked.
BABA YAGA, WAKE YOUR ASS UP! TOM yelled through their connection.
The thrashing slowed over the next minute.
>>That is rather confusing and disconcerting.<< ADAM noted.
No shit! TOM sighed. I’m concerned we are losing her, ADAM.
>>She is still there, TOM, but based on my research into multiple personality disorders, she isn’t a classic case. She chose to switch to Baba Yaga, for better or worse.<<
Yeah, you can do all of the research you want, but we need to catch these seven Kurtherians or I could lose my best friend.
>>Her mental waves are coming out of REM, so she will be with us in just a moment.<<
What the hell just happened? Baba Yaga’s red eyes slammed opened and she looked around, taking in her room before speaking aloud. “Shinigami, turn on lights twenty percent.” The cabin’s lights came on and she looked at the bulkhead before looking at her fist. “Ohhhh, that left a mark.”
“Still wondering what happened here.” Baba Yaga turned over and looked around the room for additional damage before she made an ugly face. “This mattress is trashed.”
>>That is an understatement.<<
I’d say you probably produced the equivalent of a nuclear explosion in the Etheric. If you had been on a planet it would have been a challenge to hide the effect. I’ve no idea what it did throughout the dimension itself.
Baba Yaga reached down to the end of the mattress and started rolling up what was left. “Shame the mattress didn’t come with a warranty.”
You aren’t listening to me.
“I’m listening, TOM,” Baba Yaga admitted as she stripped the ripped sheets. “I’m just not responding to you. That’s different.” She padded out of her cabin carrying the remains of her mattress and linens. “Teach my ass to thrash around with claws on a cloth mattress.”
“We aren’t on a planet, nor are there probably any Kurtherians within a hundred thousand miles at the moment.” She took a right, and five steps later there was a place in the wall to shove the ruined mess so the ship could consume the debris and recycle it. She walked back to her cabin. “So what’s the big deal?”
TOM’s voice came over the speakers. “If you don’t handle the reasons behind these nightmares, you are going to scream loudly enough for something nasty to find us.”
Baba Yaga chuckled as she stepped back into her suite. “Like what, some creature large enough to eat our ship?”
“Yes, that’s a possibility.”
Planet N’Var, Non-allied Space, Industrial Shipping City of Cleerk, Two Blocks from the Spaceport
The alien had three legs, three eyes, three tentacles coming out of his head, and a nose about three feet long. The three eyes looked from Leath to Leath.
And counted seven.
“No way,” Jermom shook his head. One of his tentacles waved above his head, pointing at the Leath in front of him. “I cannot hide you, Levelot.”
“Why not?” asked Levelot, the prime Leath, as she looked down at the alien. “Our coin is good, even for someone like you.”
The alien looked across his desk at the prime Leath in front of him, then one of his eyes slid quickly to the left when two hushed voices hissed at each other under the hood.
Of the same Leath.
All three eyes focused back on Levelot. “I know who you are.” His other two tentacles lifted as they pointed to the seven aliens in front of him. “You were the gods of the Leath.”
“Then you should know to fear us, you insufferable little slug,” The male Leath who had introduced himself as ‘Behome’t’ snarled.
“I know why I fear the Witch of the Empire. She has killed many, including your people. Why should I fear you more when it is obvious you are running from her?”
Behome’t ground out, “We run from no alien. We are—”
Levelot cut him off. “Looking for a place to rest for a moment. Our people decided they would like to try another way, and after we allow them the chance to live with their decision for a year or two they will again be receptive to moving forward on the path which—”
A tentacle went up in a “stop” motion. “Won’t happen. You will be dead, and so will I.” He looked at the aliens. “Do you have any idea what the Witch of the Empire did back on Alchemist 441?” There was no recognition in the Leaths’ eyes as Jermom turned his head and spit into a dish on the floor before turning back.
“Tell us.” Levelot pulled her robes tighter. “Let me understand why you fear this one being so much.”
“Me?” Jermom chuckled. “It isn’t just me, Levelot. If the Empress sends her Witch after you,” his tentacles pointed at them again, “and yes, she has sent her after every one of you, you either find a way to disappear forever or you die when she finds you.”
His tentacle stabbed a couple controls on his desk and a video screen blinked into existence in an orange frame, displaying a newscast showing a bunker of some sort. Black smoke billowed into the green sky as blue flames licked the air. “This was a group of Skaine that got in the way of some of her Rangers. They called the Empress last year, and she sent the Witch.”
A tentacle stabbed the hologram. “This was a very heavily defended base that most police would have negotiated with, or called in an air strike or kinetic round to deal with.”
“Kinetic wouldn’t have worked,” Levelot murmured. “You can see the berms and support effort.”
Jermom eyed the Leath; she wasn’t as clueless as he had thought. “You’re right, it wouldn’t have.”
“So,” Levelot looked at him, “how did she rain fire on their base and destroy it?”
Jermom shut down the newscast. “From the inside. It blew up from the inside and there was only one survivor, a child, and a recording of the radio chatter as they tried to find and kill the intruder.”
“How many did she have with her?” Behome’t asked.
Jermom looked at him. “Was I stuttering?” he asked. “There was one! The Witch herself.” He turned his head and spat once again before turning back. “That’s why you seven are wanted criminals that even we don’t want to touch. You are the walking dead, and you aren’t nearly scary enough to stop the Witch.”
Silence descended on the room as those in front of Jermom absorbed what he had said.
“There is no information that cannot be helpful.” Levelot turned to her right. “Terellet, it is time to separate.”
The Leath who had spoken to itself in two voices looked from Levelot to the alien and back. “Now?”
“Yes.” Levelot turned back to the alien, whose eyes were growing larger. His tentacles had frozen in the air. “You are trying to move and have just figured out you can’t.”
The Leath female leaned over the desk. “Baba Yaga may frighten you, but she isn’t the scariest thing in the universe, Jermom. Unfortunately you will only be able to enjoy this knowledge for the next few moments while your body becomes the new home of our dear friend Gorllet.”
The Leath known as Seventh of the Seven stepped around the side of the crowded room and walked behind the desk. She took off her robe and folded it, laying it on the table.
“Goodbye, Gorllet. May you make this transfer successfully.” The Leath sat down and reached around the alien, turning its face towards hers.
“Goodbye, Teret,” the same Leath mouth uttered, albeit in a darker and more sinister voice. “I hope you recognize how patient I’ve been while you hosted me. I will endeavor to remember your graciousness.”
“So it shall be,” she remarked, again in a female voice as she leaned forward to place her lips on the alien. Her body started convulsing.
Levelot turned away from the transfer. It would either be successful and they would be eight or it wouldn’t and they would most likely be seven again, but without the burden of a mentally unstable Kurtherian.
The math didn’t work out when the imaginary number she had to introduce for Gorllet was in the calculations.
The symmetry was flawed.
As glass broke behind the desk, Levelot looked at Behome’t and Torik. “We need to do something about that Empiric Witch and her people or we will never be able to rest.”
—MORE TO COME
>>> FROM MICHAEL – Holy CRAP five days from release of Capture Death!
We are working hard to bring you the first “Kurtherian Fans Write for Kurtherian Fans” book. A set of short stories that are non-cannon releasing next month – January, 2018 (basically 4 or so weeks away.)
I really want to say I appreciate the fans helping so damned much. Without your involvement, we couldn’t bring this book to you which means we wouldn’t have been able to give a few new fans their shot at doing something I did two years ago.
Two years ago, I wrote my first book Death Becomes Her… It was on my bucket list of “shit to get accomplished” sometime before I died. With this effort of KFWFKF, maybe now we will all help some of our co-fans accomplish THEIR bucket list item.
If nothing else, it will be damned cool for me to publish fan-fiction in a way that will bring a small amount of income to each of the authors for their stories in the book. This effort is more of a ‘what can I do for fans’ effort and another Indie Outlaw type of opportunity I’m testing.
Because, why the fuck not?
LMBPN Publishing is a legitimate and medium sized publisher. These authors who make it into the anthology of fan stories will be able to point to the books and BUY THEM… Order them online and have them shipped to themselves. They work together, learn together, and bring us readers new opportunities to live in the Universe.
It’s pretty fucking awesome. I hope it changes a few lives when they see their own words in a book and realize that maybe, just maybe, they had more in them than they thought.
If nothing else, they met new friends and are enjoying the hell out of themselves!
WANT CAPTURE DEATH AT THE STROKE OF MIDNIGHT?
If you don’t want to wait until the fan pricing change happens, and the email goes out then you can grab CAPTURE DEATH right now for $2.99 US (or different in your local currency).
Amazon pushes the books out to you at the stroke of Midnight (Pacific Time) Christmas morning.