Sci-Fi "Further Yet" launched now. Read the whole of "Not Exactly" in one minute.
A week earlier than planned (I pressed the wrong button) here's Book Five in the New-Classic Series "Further Yet"
‘Species?’ I heard the voice, somewhere above me in the hovering blackness…
‘Human,’ I heard that as well. Who’s speaking? Are they speaking, or am I just hearing them within?
‘Alive?’ The tone sounded more tick-off-enquiry tone than concerned.
Something poked me – my chest. I’m lying down?
I remember. We were fighting. Our combat group – eight humans and two helmish scouts – was in a skirmish against a troop of ghasres we’d ambushed. We had every intention of wiping them out – except for a couple to spit-roast and eat, and a couple for the interrogators.
Another poke. In my ribs this time. ‘Yes, it’s alive.’
My eyes are opening. Swirling dark stinking smoke writhing round.
But they were a decoy group, heavily armed; with triple the numbers we expected. I’d been hit and gone down, ferocious hand-to-claw fighting all round me. In and out of consciousness; I couldn’t move a muscle.
Something looming and moving. Coming closer, clearer. Huge eyes. A face. It’s a ghasre. Smiling to expose razor-teeth, warm eyes – hot eyes, near glowing. It wavered and reformed like a spirit-wraith… as if tuning itself to my vision. ‘Oh, God,’ I said.
‘Not exactly,’ the words came to me. The face was still reforming – the eyes becoming brighter red, gleaming hard. The smile broadening to a grimace that split, revealing reddened teeth… as sharp as the claws that were forming…
‘Not God,’ it said. ‘In fact, quite the opposite.’