Survivor Audio Book

August 6, 2016

Jake Salnen awoke to find himself trapped under a pile of debris. He managed to free himself only to to discover the remote surveying compound where he worked had been attacked, and all his fellow personnel are now missing. Injured and alone, Jake searches the abandoned camp for answers, but may be unprepared for what he’ll find.

 

Unearthed

April 13, 2016

Reptilia Droc:

Unearthed

Two figures, dressed in white spacesuits, went speeding down the circular stone tunnel on a pair of hoovering skimmers. At thirty feet in diameter, the immense passage was lit by a trail of glow-tubes, embedded into the walls every thirty feet or so. The mounted lights created a hypnotic, strobe-like effect as the skimmers whipped. They also served to highlight a pair of large, flexible pipes that stretched off into the distance and gently bobbed in the absence of gravity.

After another few minutes at top velocity, the skimmers began to slow as they approached the opening to a small cavern. Foreman Rankev, and his engineer, Benzo, parked their transports in front of a large, mobile drilling platform, which filled the recess from floor to ceiling, with the pipes, marked red and blue, connecting at its base.

Floating in the small gap, between the rig and the cavern wall, were a pair of furry Dorchens. Also dressed in space suits, the workers used safety lines to secure themselves to the huge machine. Once the riders locked their skimmers in place with grip-pads, they used the small thrusters built into their suits to navigate towards the drilling rig.

“Alright, Orretz, you got us down here.” the foreman said over his suit’s COMM. “Now what’s so v’leking important that you and Zeri held up production and made me leave my nice warm ship to come a mile and half down inside of an asteroid?”

The male Dorchen replied, “Well, sir, we had just finished up in sector fifteen, and we were about to move onto a deposit of iridium over in sector eighteen. The initial scans showed only ordinary igneous rock up ahead, so we were going to cut through there as a shortcut, but then we hit something harder than the surrounding sediment…” He began to trail off. (more…)

Hide’N’Seek

October 25, 2015

Reptilia Droc:

Hide’N’Seek

That evening, Katherine was sprawled out on the sofa after a late dinner, still recuperating from a grueling day serving mediocre food to ornery customers, for an overbearing boss. She was thankful that her energetic, six-year old son had eventually settled down and was playing with his toys nearby on the living room floor. Now, finally Katherine was free to watch some dramas she had recorded on the holoprojector.

The only problem was, she got less than halfway through the first show, and Katherine could already feel her eyes getting heavy. The last thing she remembered was thinking, I need to get up and make some coffee before I pass out.

Good intentions aside, Katherine never made it to the kitchen before succumbing to drowsiness. The next thing Katherine knew, she was violently awoken by a sound so thunderous, it caused the walls of her tiny apartment to shake. Katherine let out a yelp of surprise, her sudden start causing her to roll off the sofa, and knock her head against the coffee table on the way down.

“Ow, crite!” she cursed, resting one hand on the coffee table for support and rubbing her aching head with the other. “What was that? Sam, are you alright?” she asked. However, the only reply came from the holoprojector, mixed with the blare of sirens somewhere off in the distance.

Staggering to her feet, Katherine scanned the dimly lit living room, only to discover she was alone, except for Sam’s abandoned toys. OnBoard, she thought to her AI assistant. Where’s my son?

Sam is currently located in his bedroom, a male voice responded from within her head.

Katherine hurried down the short hallway to the boy’s room, and stopped in the darkened doorway. Lights, she commanded, her neural connection illuminating the room to reveal a child-sized bed, with colorful posters on the walls. Toys were scattered across the floor, but there was no sign of the boy. (more…)

Thrill of the Hunt

September 15, 2015

Reptilia Droc:

Thrill of the Hunt

Maso Dubar was lounging in the back seat of an open-air rover, with an expensive, custom-ordered hunting rifle propped up against the vehicle’s door. As the gray-skinned Nazdole relaxed, a comfort bot hovered overhead, blasting him with cool air to provide some relief against the planet’s twin suns.

Dubar wished he had thought to equip the machine with bug repellent as another three-inch long, winged insect buzzed past his face. “Damned bugs!” he cursed, swatting at the creature with his hat. “I can’t stand the bloody things.” Dubar noticed the other being, seated in the front of the rover, glance over at him. “Present company excluded, of course,” he added with a smirk.

“As you say, Pon Dubar,” replied the Amothie, a tall, thin insectoid being with a brown exoskeleton, yellow, bulging eyes, and large, serrated mandibles. Seyroon returned to his binoculars, peering through the curtain of tall reeds which hid their vehicle from sight. The pair had spent the last few hours watching the parade of animals quench their thirst at a watering hole some thirty yards away.

“Any sign of our critter?” Dubar inquired.

“Nothing yet, but this is a good spot to watch–lots of ba’tuu prey. Chances very good we find one today.”

“You’ve been saying that for the last three days.”

“Must be patient, Pon Dubar, not so many ba’tuu as used to be. Not since ba’tuu become big trophy for off-worlders.”

“Well, on the plus side,” Dubar smiled, “scarcity will increase the value once I bag it, that’s the basic rule of supply and demand.”

“My life mate say you can’t put value on ba’tuu. It very important in Amothie religion.”

“Uh-huh,” Dubar mumbled, pulling his hat down over his eyes, losing interest.

“She give me much grief, that I track Ba’tuu for off-worlders. She think it very bad maak’wa, or you say, luck.”

“Don’t worry, everyone has a price. She’ll forget old superstitions once she sees the paycheck you bring home. Presuming you deliver a ba’tuu, of course.”

As Seyroon continued to make small talk, Dubar used his neural connection to check on the probes he sent toremotely scout the area from above. The machines were intended for surveillance, but he had their sensors customized for Bat’uu bio-algorithms. So far, the probes came up negative, but with some refinement, he hoped to eventually do away with native guides like Seyroon. (more…)

Survivor

June 7, 2015

Reptilia Droc:

Survivor

With a groan, I slowly came around to a pounding headache and a searing pain in my leg. The sensation was compounded by the chill of cold metal against my face, and a crushing pressure on my back.

“Jake!” I heard a familiar female voice call from within my head. “Thank goodness you have regained consciousness. How do you feel?”

I tried to open my eyes, but could only manage to blink, regardless, I could now see a transparent, green sphere taking shape in the blackness. It was soon joined by the various stat panels forming my heads-up display.

“OnBoard?” I thought back via my neural connection. “What the hell happened to me?” I willed my eyes to open, only to find I was lying face down on a floor littered with dirt, spilled equipment, and chunks of debris. The room itself was dark except for a few beams of sunlight, suggesting that there was now a hole in the ceiling.

The green sphere in my vision pulsed as it replied. “There was an explosion on the east-side of the building. I’m afraid the resulting concussion caused a supply shelf to collapse on top of you. I sent a distress alert to Operations. However, no one has responded, as of yet.”

With a grunt, I tried to lift myself off the floor, but the effort sent a sharp jolt of pain through my leg, while the pressure on my back refused to yield. “V’lek,” I cursed and slumped to the ground in defeat.

“Jake, please do not exert yourself,” the artificial intelligence said with concern. “Your body has sustained multiple injuries.” OnBoard produced a Human anatomical diagram, highlighting five areas in red and data on the specifics.

“I’m fine. I’ve been banged up worse on the job,” I assured the program.

“I do not have a record of such an occurrence. Can you please clarify?”

“Forget it. How long was I out for?”

“Eight hours and twenty two minutes.”

“And nobody’s been by or answered the COMM at Ops this whole time?”

“Correct, but there was an alert posted on the network shortly after you lost consciousness.”

The AI displayed a red and yellow popup in my vision, which read, ‘The compound is currently under attack by unknown assailants. Non-security personnel should remain locked indoors until further instructions are given.’

“Gree Ra’desh,” I uttered the saint’s name in surprise. “If it’s been eight hours, and the alert still hasn’t been cleared, that doesn’t bode well.”

(more…)

Volume 1: Scavenger

July 16, 2012

scavenger-cover__Chris-Trefz_Reptilia-Droc

 

Illustrated Novel
7 1/2 x 101/4
Status: Inprogress

Summary

Derrich Lorn built space freighters on a Corporate shipyard, until selling company equipment on the side landed him in prison. Newly released and in need of work, Derrich finds himself on a freelance salvaging crew operating in the dangerous Outer Territories. Their mission, to salvage Reptilia Droc technology from recent battle with the Corpoarations. A mission that could leave them set for life. If they survive it.

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Over a Meal

July 1, 2011

Reptilia Droc:

Over a Meal

Summary: In deep space, three crew-members narrowly escape the destruction of their ship by a powerful, unknown force. But over a meal, they discover that they aren’t out of danger yet.

Author Note: “Over a Meal” is one of my earlier short story experiments, as such the writing is a little rough. Also, the Droc do not appear in this adventure, instead the threat is a hint towards a future opponent.

* * *

Three crewmen sat huddled around a small dining table, in the dim, flickering light of the shuttle cabin. Two humans, and yellow skinned, fish-like being made up the group. They all wore heavy coats, shivered, and grimaced as they ate their meals of cold, canned rations.

“Damn, it’s freezing in here. If we can’t turn up the thermal units, can’t we at least heat up our rations?” Birks, a young man around twenty four, complained.

“I told you, the main generator is shot,” Zanik replied, glancing at his with large, green glassy eyes. “All we have is reserves. As long as we’re stuck out here, we can’t spare any power away from the thrusters. We’ll have to make due with the minimum life-support.”

“Just our luck, stranded on a short range shuttle with no frigg’n hyperspace out in the middle of the Outer Territories.” Birk continued.

“We fared better than rest of the crew still trapped on the Galldonna. Or the ones who tried the escape pods.”

“Do you think any of the pods got away?” Asked Sora, a woman in her early thirties.

“I don’t think so.” Zanik replied, “The pirates had too many ships. The pods that didn’t get snatched up by tractor beams were getting shot down by their fighters.”

“What do you think they’ll do with the crew?” She wondered.

“I don’t want to think about it.” Zanik shook his head. “One almost got me in the corridor. I’ll never forget those eyes. It four of them, they glowed green. When I looked into them, there was nothing there. Just… Soulless. All in all, I think we’re damn lucky to have made it this far in one piece.”

“Lucky?” Birks disagreed. “Those fighters blew the crite out of us! That’s why we’re sitting here in the dark, wearing freeze gear, and eating cold slop. Remember?”

“I know, Birks. You keep reminding us. Maybe you should spend less time complaining, and more time trying to fix the com-link, and getting us picked up.”

“What for? Random ships don’t just come wandering by, not out this far out. Maybe if you knew how to fly this tin can, the Korb wouldn’t have shot us full of holes!” (more…)

The Tombs

June 1, 2011

Reptilia Droc:

The Tombs

Summary: Engineer, Alec Phirth, requested a transferred to a starship in hopes of finding adventure. However, his enthusiasm quickly disappears when Alec is assigned a solitary position among the ship’s dark and aging maintenance level. The situation worsens when he begins to suspect there’s something else stalking the silent halls.

Author Note: “The Tombs” is one of my earlier short story experiments, as such the writing is a little rough. Also, the Droc do not appear in this adventure, instead the threat is a hint towards a future opponent.

* * *

Alec Phirth stared down the bleak, dim corridor as he meandered to his next assignment. He served as an engineer on the Star Grazer, a cargo freighter transporting construction materials for the Gal Zinge corporation.

He used to work in a shuttle Bay on the planet Kaltorra, doing maintenance on small transports. The work was fine, and it paid okay. But he felt like something was missing, like his life had plateaued. He wanted something more exciting in his life. He wanted to travel the stars, and see different worlds.

Alec made the decision to ask for a transfer to a star-ship. He requested a position on either a battleship or pleasure cruise. Excitement or exotic locations, either one would work for him. What he got was the Star Grazer, a run down old cargo freighter that went back and forth between the same three worlds, towing the same damn cargo.

On top of that, he was a new crew member without seniority, and with nothing amazing on his resume, he was assigned to the ship’s maintenance level. Technically it was an important position. All the ship’s power, computers cables, water, and air channeled down the length of the ship through his level before being routed to its destination on the upper levels. It was similar to the trunk of a tree splitting off to it’s branches. The functions of the whole ship depended on him. But all the same, it was a job no one wanted.

The maintenance level was made up of a single mile long corridor. The walls and ceiling were hidden by a stream of conduits, pipes, and ducts. There were no rooms except for his office, a few supply closets spread along the length of the ship, and hatches leading to more pipes and machinery.

He worked alone on the maintenance level, so amenities were kept to a minimum. This level was not brightly lit, and clean like the levels above. There was one light every few feet, the bare metallic walls were gray and grimy. It was cold too, the heat on this level was kept low to conserve power, or conserve money more specifically. There was no one to talk to, and it was silent except for the thrum of the ventilation fans, the drip of leaking pipes, and the crackle of flickering overhead lights. His only company were the vanta rats that managed to sneak on board along with the cargo.

It was for all these reasons the maintenance level was referred to as “the Tomb”. Alec hated the tomb. Hated the silent, windowless tunnel that had become his world. Hated the solitary, repetitive nature of his work. He desperately wanted to be rotated to the upper levels of the ship, a world he only got to glimpse in his off hours. But it would be at least 6 months before he was eligible to rotate part time to the upper levels. (more…)