A New Direction (Adventure) - Uxel Herum Saga 5

Uxel starred blankly at the walls of her small nest, lost in thought.  Her life had come to a crossroad and she was going to have to make a decision.  As much as she loathed to admit it, the human had been correct about her.

She was a bac, a race considered by most to be inferior.  She had always been a nobody and used money and information to feel powerful.  But she realized now that being a weapon merchant had gained her money but little else.

But the human had made her an intriguing offer... one that offered a true chance at the power and recognition that she so desperately craved.

"Have you heard of tuners?" he asked.

"Yes, yes I have," she had said.  "But I always thought them to be more myth than fact."

"No.  They are very real.  Few in number, yes.  But real.  I think you have it in you to become one, my feathered friend."


"There has never before been a bac tuner.  Most of your kind are too skittish to take on such a task.  But I see in you ambition and drive.  Plus, I believe that your genetic makeup will give you advantages."

The human smiled.  "You must take my word on it and find out for yourself.  I want you to meet someone on Gemshorn if this interests you."

"Gemshorn!" she had asked, startled.  She had heard stories about the planet through her line of work, none of them good.

"Yes.  I'll send word so he'll be expecting you.  You shouldn't have any trouble making contact.  Just think about it."

And so Uxel had been thinking about it ever since.  This would be an incredible risk on her part.  Many  beings never returned alive from Gemshorn.  But if she had learned anything as a merchant it was nothing ventured, nothing gained.

She got up off her perch.  This prospect was too tempting to resist.

Edim Rifle (Weapon)

Creators: Ramea on the planet Gemshorn

Power:  9
Range:  1
Accuracy:  3

Summary:  An extremely powerful short-range rifle.  Originally designed to be a pistol to help miners get through especially dense ore, the ramea quickly discovered that the blasts were too powerful coming from such a short-barreled weapon.  So the Edim was modified into a rifle, making it slightly more accurate.

This rifle is still primarily used for mining.  Though it is rather effective at blasting away inconvenient walls if one has a mind to do so.

Training Day 142 (Adventure) - Reuben Calloway Saga 13

Reuben cracked his eyes open despite the throbbing behind his temples.  Somehow he was in his bunk.  Straining to recall how he got there he remembered being on the training mission... going after one of the ambushers... and then nothing.

The barrack door opened and Ruben struggled to an upright position to see who approached.

"Sergeant!" he began to push himself up off the bed to issue a formal salute.

"At ease, cadet.  I know the stun setting on those V7s pack a pretty serious punch.  The first time I got hit with one I was unconscious for three days.  You've only been out for a few hours.  You got lucky."

Reuben collapsed back onto the bed.  "Yes, sir."

Bamtrob crossed his arms the way he always did when he was about to issue a serious lecture.  "That was a pretty crazy stunt you pulled out there, cadet.  It was reckless.  You should have spent far more time surveying your attack position, your distraction tactic was childish and you got yourself knocked out in the process."

Well, there goes the rest of my career in Special Assault.  "Yes, sir."

"But you got results and I can't argue with that.  You alerted your squad to the ambush in time and they managed to successfully complete the objective.  You can wipe that 'vertin grin off your face because it's not like you were even awake to see the victory."

Reben tried and failed to assume a sober expression.

"The higher ups liked your little stunt even though I said you're still too green.  But they wanted to give you a promotion.  Congratulations, cadet.  You're third degree.  Don't make them regret this decision."

Reuben saluted from his prone position.  "Yes, sir!  And thank you, sir!"

"Yeah, whatever.  Let's just hope that reckless streak doesn't get you killed on Gittern."

Training Day 141 (Adventure) - Reuben Calloway Saga 12

The darkness began to lace with shades of pink and orange as the sun rose.  It would have been a beautiful morning if Reuben hadn't had this mission to think about.  Despite it being his turn to sleep, he could only lightly doze.  His nerves kept him semi-alert the entire night.

The scouts had returned, reporting that Bamtrob and six others were holed up in a bunker not too far from their location.  That made the the fight an easy one-on-one.  Reuben was immediately suspicious.  There was no way Bamtrob would make this this easy.   One of the first things he had been taught was know your enemy.  And he knew that Bamtrob probably had backup waiting in ambush somewhere.

"Did you do scans of the area?" he asked one of the scouts.

"We did, sir.  The only sentient life forms detected where in that bunker.  If the sergeant has backup they would have to be flown in or take at least twenty minutes to arrive on foot.  As far as we can tell, they're just waiting to shoot it out."

"Hmm... well, it would be foolish to do a direct assault.  Too many unknowns.  What's the terrain like, cadet?"

"Rocky.  Some cover from larger boulders but not much."

"Well, that makes things tricky.  All right, we're going to have to use diversion rather than brut force. Listen closely..."

It was nightfall again when Ruben settled into his position.  In exactly three minutes the attack would begin.  He was counting on the fact that there were reinforcements hidden somewhere.  But his scout had been correct in that they probably wouldn't arrive by air.

Therefore, their first job would be to draw them out.

Unhooking his V7 from his back, Reuben turned on his visor and adjusted his scope at the bunker.  The first phase of his plan was somewhat simplistic.  He and the other cadets had positioned themselves just out of their accurate distance range.  The point was create commotion rather than hit targets.  Plus, it would make counter-attacks difficult for Bamtrob.

The three minutes were up.  Reuben looked through his scope, aimed as best he could and began to squeeze off shots.  The energy bolts (set to low power so no one was killed in the exercise) hit wide.  Soon a rain of bolts came from seemingly all directions as the other cadets began to fire at random.

There was return fire from the bunker but their attempt at deception seemed to be paying off.  The random spread made it difficult to tell exactly where the shots were coming from.

Reuben checked his scanner and blinked into surprise.  It was now detecting three sentient life forms.

'Vert!  They must have faked their life form signature as they waited in hiding.

Thinking quickly, he got up from his position and headed to the closest one on his scanner, using the darkness to cover his movements as best he could.  The main objective was to advance on the bunker.  So he would let the other cadets continue their assault as planned.

There was a flutter of movement that he caught out of the corner of his eye.  Without thinking, he whirled and fired.

The man dropped to the ground in an unconscious heap.

One down...

The other cadets continued their assault, as ordered.  They all continued to fire while one of them advanced forward a few paces.  Then another one would advance a few more paces, slowly closing in on the bunker with cold efficiency.

Reuben noticed on his scanner that the two other sentient life forms were starting to move in on his squad.  He would have to work faster.

He sent a warning signal for his squad to be on the alert for ambushers.  Then began to sprint to the next target figuring they were already aware of his presence.  He should be coming up on the target soon...


Ruben took aim... and a stinging sensation washed over his body.  His body stiffed and he felt himself crumple into blackness...