TRATHH and other science fiction stories
UK USA CDN AU
Trathh and Other Stories is a very unassuming title of which this collection of stories is most definitely not.
Author David Scholes, a long time BMU contributor serves up some tried and true and a lot that is new, and it is a great mixture. read more on Beam Me Up… Excerpt of Review: By Paul Cole (Editor of Beam Me Up Pod Cast site)About the Book
The book comprises a collection of 21 fast paced, action packed science fiction short stories.
The main story Trathh is based on a story arc pod cast on the Beam Me Up Pod cast site during 2012 and 2013. A powerful alien prisoner, innocent of all charges against him, survives the crash landing of his prison star ship on Earth only to be hunted by the Earth military.
In The Young Old War the ineffectual middles passively tolerate a world wide trend of increasing violence against the elderly by roaming feral youthpaks. In Nerdforce the meetings behind closed doors of a small group of nerds can have consequences beyond our Earth.
In The Streamers, aliens detectable only by their manipulation of human emotions and their ability to stream have our best interests at heart. Or do they? A Multiverse war pitting the gods and mystical powers against the cosmic powers has led to no winners and few survivors, yet somehow life finds a way.
In Treldron an enigmatic alien from an unknowable alternate reality shows that humans don’t have a mortgage on courage and nobility. In Forgotten Soldier, an alien soldier programmed for zero tolerance to crime gets accidentally left on Earth.
About the Author
In the 7 years I have been writing speculative fiction I have written more than 120 speculative fiction short stories.
My publications include six collections of short stories and two novellas. All of which are on Amazon. My most recent publication is “Daughter of the High Lords and other Speculative Fiction Stories.” Published in July 2014.
I have been a regular contributor to both the Antipodean SF and the Beam Me Up Pod cast sites and am fast becoming a regular to the Farther Stars Than These site. I have also been published on a variety of other sci-fi sites including Bewildering Stories, 365 Tomorrows sites, and the former Golden Visions magazine.
I have written two sci-fi series: the 12 part “Alien Hunter” series for then Golden Visions Magazine in 2011/12 and the “Trathh” series for the Beam Me Up Pod Cast site in 2012/13.
I am currently writing a new (as yet unnamed) collection of speculative fiction short stories and also a “Human Hunter” series (the first four stories in the arc have been published) for the Beam Me Up Pod Cast site.
TRATHH and other science fiction stories
UK USA CDN AU
Some time in the future
“We think it was a prison ship,” said the computer analyst “we are not sure for how many. Maybe just a few.”
“Tell us something we don’t know,” was the impatient response.
“We’ve had some success in translating the computer records and among them were a list of what has to be criminal charges,” was the reply.
“Go on …,” insisted the Navy Seals Officer.
“It’s a pretty horrific list,” continued the computer analyst.
* * *
The physicists and the engineers had been among the first on board the crashed star ship. They had reported it badly damaged but not, apparently, from external attack or from its rapid uncontrolled descent into Earth’s atmosphere. Rather the damage had been administered internally.
Whoever, or whatever, beings had been held here, their restraint had only been achieved by the most formidable of internal prisons. Heavily re-inforced internal walls and bulkheads, heavy duty manacles and other forms of constraint and evidence of machineries that may have powered stasis fields. A number of such prisons were located about the ship. None of them close together. “Looks like they were all in solitary confinement,” concluded one of the engineers. The military had agreed. Though they realized not all of the prisons may have had inmates. Also some prisons looked as though they would have been much more formidable than others.
The contorted, twisted, at times even shredded, star ship metal was clear evidence that some of the prisons had ultimately proven inadequate. Later the chemists detected evidence of what may have been very hard drugs. Though this was hard to say. There was a variety of damaged portable items aboard. Some of it appeared to be disabled weaponry and there was speculation that some of it may have been instruments of casual and not so casual torture.
Even to the most hardened of Earth military that saw it, the inside of this star ship had been a grim and grisly place indeed.
* * *
Why go to such trouble? pondered the Navy Seal if those aboard had been as evil as indicated in the list of crimes, why not just kill them? Why go to the trouble of transporting them from lord knows where to lord only knows where, across the depths of interstellar space?
The Seals Officer knew that things probably hadn’t been looking too good for the alien visitors anyway. Yet now, that sickening list of criminal charges all but guaranteed how Earth authorities were going to react to those who survived the crash. Especially since those who were in all probability their jailers were very, very dead.
* * *
“The locals didn’t make any attempt to communicate with us,” telepathed Rull to his two companions “just started shooting at us first from those slow moving aerial drone things and then from everything else they could throw at us. From the air and from the ground.”
“At least there was nothing from under the ground,” shuddered Yurrle, oldest of the three recent prisoners, remembering when they had crashed on the more militarily competent world of Rraldron 5, what seemed like a very long time ago. One way or another we’ve been prisoners for a long time he thought.
“Have you ever known it to be any different?” replied the biggest of the three aliens “anywhere that we have been? When it comes to unexpected alien visitors the indigenous races usually shoot first and ask questions later. And if the aliens are shown to be criminals, then they don’t even ask the questions later.”
“They didn’t hang around for long once you started shooting back though,” chuckled Rull. “Happy to dish it out, not so happy to receive it. I’m guessing they’ve never come up against any one like you, hereabouts.”
Trathh didn’t respond to the intended compliment.
“It was kind of fun to watch them run though,” chuckled Rull persisting “I guess right about now it’s dawning on them that they are not as tough as they thought they were. Not that tough at all.”
“They’ll be back,” said Trathh somewhat resignedly “with everything they can possibly dig up to use against us.”
“If they’ve got any sense they won’t,” replied Yurrle, “we smashed up a lot of their crude equipment and we stunned a lot of their soldiers senseless, but, despite the provocation, we didn’t actually kill any one. If they stop to think about that for even just a moment then it should tell them something.
“It won’t make any difference,” responded Rull confidently. Then he fell silent. All too conscious that he was the smallest, slowest and the weakest of the three of them. Slower than Yurrle, much slower than Trathh. These two could only move at his relatively pedestrian pace. Of course it was all relative. When Trathh let him at a small group of the ground soldiers that had attacked them, Rull had made short work of them. The locals seemed slow, soft, sort of flabby, and their crude personal protections and transportation devices next to useless. Yet their translators had picked up a reference to elite soldiery. If that was their best then the Universe help them thought Rull.
Still, unaided, Rull knew he could not outrun or otherwise evade the crude aerial weaponry or the fastest of the ground transport that had already been brought to bear against them. He knew though that the mighty Trathh would not leave him in this place. Neither would the ageing Yurrle.
Trathh was resourceful and Rull knew he would soon repair the light body armor, they had acquired from their former custodians. Then, utilizing the armor’s exo-skeleton implants and other technology, they could move swiftly, silently, and hopefully undetectably far away from this place.
* * *
Rull’s spirits were up as he looked across at Trathh. They were making good speed across the harsh desert environment. The little alien smiled. Trathh had gotten the light body armor operational. As fast as they were moving though, he suspected that Trathh wasn’t even using the exo-skeleton implants in his light armor. The big alien was just enjoying stretching out a little bit.
It felt good thought Rull. Like old times, when the three of them were star troopers together, before their world was destroyed. Yet even this moment of joy, this brief period of exhilaration, proved all too short.
* * *
The locals targeted them again with all manner of air and land launched missilery and smaller explosive projectiles of all shapes and sizes. Which with the light armour operational should have troubled them not at all. Except that Rull had been slow to activate his light armour’s quasi shields and also that just a few of the units, among the huge numbers of missiles and smaller projectiles launched against them, were armed with fissionable materials.
The use of the extraordinarily crude fission weapons, what the locals described as “theatre” or “tactical” “nukes” was an unexpected development.
What manner of race would use such devices on the surface of their own world? Yurrle would later ask himself and when their ground troops were in the general vicinity.
Even Trathh with his capability to sense danger in advance had not anticipated this form of attack. The big alien reasoned that the long period of imprisonment with only the periodic temporary escapes had surely dulled this capability.
The vaporization of Rull from an unthinkably crude near direct hit atomic attack would be a watershed in the relationship between the alien prison ship escapees and the world they had crash landed on. After that Trathh’s gloves were definitely off. In fact the big alien went out of his way to take out anything in the air or moving along the surface within the range of the just over the horizon capabilities of his Tolden light energy rifle. When the superlative unit ran low he finished the job with his own hands. Pieces of burning wreckage thrown with the strength, speed, and unbelievable accuracy of Trathh’s hands proved utterly deadly to anything in their way. Even high altitude was no escape.
At the moment of his death, Rull’s thoughts had been of Trathh. Would it have made any difference if the local savages knew Trathh was innocent? Innocent of all charges manufactured against him? Probably not. The current situation was probably a dilemma of a type this world had never faced before. How to deal with marooned convicted alien felons. There were protocols, of sorts, among more advanced worlds. Though judged from their recent actions it seemed unlikely the locals had heard of them.
Trathh and Yurrle finally left the area. By then there was nothing moving along the ground or flying anywhere near them.
The two aliens surveyed the enormous destruction. They had picked up radio transmissions and their light armour’s translators had interpreted some of it. There had been various references to: Apaches, Raptors, JSF joint strike fighters, A10 Thunderbolts, Marines and Special Forces soldiers, Abrams tanks, Bradley AFV’s, MRLS systems and heavy artillery. There had also been the heavy duty lasers. Trathh and Yurrle had given these priority.
With one last look around, then with suits in stealth mode, quasi shields at full strength and with even the mighty Trathh using his light armours exo-skeleton implants the two former prisoners departed the area of the battle at blinding speed. Neither of them looked back.
* * *
Trathh and Yurrle ran deep into the night putting ever more distance under their belts. Not from the field of battle but rather from the crashed starship. Or perhaps from both. The darkness and altering terrain no impediment at all to the technology of their light armor.
Yurrle realized their attackers had been lucky, catching Rull with his quasi shields down. Trathh was another matter, had they really expected to take out the best star trooper he had ever known, with that assortment of antiques and garbage? Catching the essence of Yurrle’s thoughts, his companion just shrugged.
Yurrle’s main concern now would be for the two of them to keep well away from the locals. It seemed inconceivable to him that the savages would attack a third time. At least any time soon. Even if they could locate their quarry.
Trathh thought dark thoughts. A very justified bitterness at all of the evil and at times just plain bad luck that had befallen him over time.
Yurrle knew the two of them only needed to keep out of the way until the recovery prison ship arrived and, distasteful as that was; it was their only way off this world.
Quellers would be sent with the recovery ship in order to subdue Trathh and, if they didn’t send enough, there was always the chance the two of them could take over the ship.
Either way there was no doubting the recovery prison ship would come. Trathh was far too important to be left here.
As they came finally to a halt both knew their run had been nearly transcontinental taking them to the other side of the comparatively largish continental mass. Trathh was much calmer. The long run had helped. They would rest now, one asleep and the other on watch, for a while. During this time they had an unexpected visitor that was in some distress.
* * *
Soon after daylight the three women on the remote farm watched the men approach from a distance. Realizing, as they approached closer, that they weren’t men at all. In fact the women knew exactly who the aliens were. There had been more than enough coverage in the media.
One of the aliens, the big one, was carrying their family dog that they had presumed dead, nursing it gently.
“The animal will be all right,” he said without ceremony. “I had to use a part of my life force to heal it, but it will be well.”
As the women went to query this Trathh responded “Do not regard this as any great thing that part which I gave of my life force, will renew quickly. A type of healing power possessed by every member of my race.” He could have said by every surviving member of his race, but that would have been unnecessary.
“Dearest God,” said the eldest of the three women as the aliens departed, “I think we’ve made a very serious mistake. Your Dad and his colleagues, the President, everyone.”
“We are going to regret it, aren’t we Mum?” said the woman’s daughter “if we don’t leave them alone, especially the big one, we are really going to regret it. We are all going to regret it, I can just tell.”
Trathh neither knew nor cared that happenstance had brought him to the home of his enemy, in a manner of speaking. The eldest of the three females being the wife of the greatest military commander on this World. The chairman of the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Trathh had other worries. Even this short period of freedom had revitalized his ability to sense danger in advance and it wasn’t the locals. They were still in the process of licking their wounds.
He turned to his ageing yet venerable companion. “They are nearly here, I can feel them.”
He didn’t need to say more. Yurrle shivered at the thought of the recovery ship and the Quellers.