Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Nanite Warrior

The Nanite Warrior launched yesterday on Wing ePress webpage.
It is a sequel to Home World Aginfeld. It's about genetic tampering and super soldiers.
The recreation dome had ancient trees growing near where she wanted to visit, but too many Agin’ers lingered. Here too, heavy shadows fell. As dinnertime approached, many left. Discovery of her escape loomed, so timing became imperative. She furtively made her way to her selected tree, slung her line across her body and with cautious sensitivity to surveillance equipment, also noted on her many runs, began her ascent. She briefly thought of Enforcer Rosly standing outside the apartment’s door, but put it aside. By the time she reached the top, darkness had fallen, and there were no lights except that reflected from the planet’s moon. She moved from the tree to structural beam, crawling and climbing through and over it to the airlock. The latch was stiff from disuse, but using the blade with which she’d pried out her tag, and with several powerful tugs, it opened. She entered the small airlock, closing the aperture behind her. Setting off an alarm somewhere? Probably.

Two minutes later, the outer aperture opened, and she crawled out onto the apex of Abode Habitat with a sense of exultation. Far to her left, dusk lingered, casting colorful light and shadow on the landscape. The land laid ruggedly sharp, angled and barren, appealingly alien, colder than she expected, and smelling of a harsh mineral scent. A wind blew, not anywhere near gale force, but strong. She knew the atmosphere was breathable, the oxygen content lower than humans preferred, but livable. It had a tangible feel, too, like slithery silk. She brushed her hand and felt a slight gritty feel the wind left.

She stood, observing the environment and savoring her achievement. For the first time in over two hundred years, although they felt like twenty-six, she was totally free of restraint. She laughed and spread her arms wide before the moon while bending backward in an arc in a sense of triumph and achievement.

She looked down. Far below she saw the floor of the habitat where people walked, but no Enforcers gathered. She smiled.

Sections of the fretwork of the habitat glowed with a very soft green phosphorescent glow. Sometime long ago, line anchors showed Agin’ers climbed here. A thin walkway made its way around the dome below her, and an access ladder led down to it, but not in the direction she wanted to go. Her eyes quickly adjusted to the dark, showing her everything as if at midday.

She double-checked the anchors, which seemed sturdy in their solidness. My equipment hasn’t been checked in a long time either. This is crazy. I grabbed it for a quick getaway, not for safety. Go or not? She looked around her, remembering nanites renewed the structure in predictable cycles, and  confidently prepared her rappel line for descent. She began a slow trip down and over the rounded top.

The trickiest part was her planned trail over various tubes to the place where she wanted to place her feet on Aginfeld. Little soil existed yet, just sand, gravel, and rock. She kicked off from the side of the dome and swung, floating in a wide arc to her right where she saw her intended tube. Before she could make the next descent, she retrieved her line and placed a cam between the structure’s framing for her line. She slowly lowered herself toward the top of the tube. All would have been fine, except the structure failed and collapsed.

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