Authors: T. R. Harris
Tags: #Science Ficiton
The Human Chronicles Saga
The Tactics of Revenge
By T.R. Harris
by T.R. Harris and Harris Publications
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This is a work of fiction. All the characters and events portrayed in this book are fictional and any resemblance to real people or incidents is purely coincidental.
Also by T.R. Harris
The Tactics of Revenge
Adam Cain is an alien with an attitude.
His story continues…
The Humans caused all this…
As Poul walked quickly down the concrete walkway toward Lann Hall, he couldn’t decide whether he was happy or sad. In either case, tonight would be a life-altering time for him, and if one thing
for certain, he was glad to be out of his chamber – and away from the chattering of his mates.
Poul had to admit times were tough on Hyben. Ever since the Juireans had pulled their ships out of the maintenance yards and sent them off to confront the evil Human threat, his hours had been cut back drastically and what credits he did have in reserve had been quickly exhausted. And now his lumic-mate was badgering him constantly about the lack of mature food he was bringing into the chamber – with the nagging urged on by his two nin-mates. For their part, the females
doing the best they could, producing pups at a feverish pace. Yet even then, it was barely enough to keep the older offspring fed.
That practice – of feeding freshborns to newvins – was another problem for Poul, and one potentially greater than the financial difficulties he found himself in. The succulent meat of the recently-emerged freshborns carried within it all the essential chemicals and nutrients that his older offspring required. Yet as more of their diet consisted of freshborn-flesh, they risked addiction to the taste of their brethren. As adults, Poul and his mates could resist the urges, but not so the younger members of his pod. If he could not provide more mature meat for his family – and soon – then all of his offspring would be forever lost to the bloodlust of young meat.
As newvins, this practice was accepted, if frowned upon. But as adults, the killing and devouring of freshborns was strictly forbidden. If something wasn’t done soon, his older offspring would be hopelessly consumed by the desire for this forbidden flesh, and they would seek it out, either from his pod or from others. Already, there were reports of newvin attacks on outside pods. And now Poul – within his own chamber – was breeding a whole new horde of these potential cannibalistic feeders.
bad all over Hyben, and even though no formal battle had yet been joined between the Juireans and the Humans within Expansion space, the coming war had already had a devastating effect on his planet, as well as the Sector as a whole.
As it turned out, the rumors had been true, and the population of The Expansion soon learned the shocking reality behind the recent attack upon a planet called
– and the resulting destruction of the Juirean fleet. At first, many had refused to believe the stories, but now even the Juirean-controlled newscasts were reporting on the defeat.
Poul had found the news to be of considerable distress. It had been over four hundred years since the Juireans had first swept down upon Hyben, dispelling any disbelief in the existence of other life forms within the galaxy, and as the centuries passed, the natives of Hyben had become completely integrated into the Juirean Expansion. The planet now served as a major maintenance hub for most of the starships traveling throughout the nearby Sectors, with dozens of off-world species intermingled among its native population. If the Juireans were now vulnerable to defeat then the entire structure of The Expansion was at risk. And where then would that leave his planet, his race and his pod?
For his part, Poul had once been a very accomplished tech-installer, maneuvering expertly within the narrow confines of any number of major-class starships, working on various gravity generators, air purifiers, computer modules and more. It was this experience he was counting on to land him a well-paying position aboard one of the hundreds of new Class-5 warships soon to be coming out of the sectors beyond the Core.
Even now, the Juireans were engaged in a massive building frenzy, the likes of which had not been seen since the days of The Mass. Yet as they turned out dozens of new starships every month, the Juireans soon discovered a problem. They had the means of production and they had the material; what they lacked were the crews for all the new ships being built to counter the marauding Human invaders.
And that was the impetus for the meeting taking place that evening in Lann Hall.
If Poul could find work aboard one of these new warships, he would immediately gain two distinct benefits. First, he would earn enough credits to provide a better life for him and his pod, including mature meat for the newvins, sparing them the possibility of having to be put down by the authorities. And secondly, it would get him off the planet – and away from the constant berating from his mates.
So as Poul hurried to the meeting, he firmed his resolve to do whatever it took to gain employment with the Juireans – even if such employment did carry with it the danger of confronting the evil Human barbarians. But in light of his current financial situation, it was a risk he was willing to take.
Yet as he rounded the corner of Jun and Myyu Streets, Poul’s heart sank. There, in the dimming light of early evening, he could see a long line of Primes, snaking its way out of Lann Hall and wrapping around the entire building – at least a thousand other beings all there with the same goal in mind as he.
Dejected, Poul stepped to the back of the line, just behind two shorter creatures in black cloaks and hoods, and prayed to the Bello Gods that the Juireans were looking for more than just a hand-full of new recruits for their ships this evening. After all, he couldn’t face the prospect of returning to his chamber with bad news for his mates. If he did so, they just might set upon
in a feeding frenzy of their own.
As more creatures lined up behind him, each seeking their own ounce of salvation from the depressed economy, Poul produced a wry grin and thought,
If my mates did fill their bellies with my flesh, at least then my troubles would be over. I wonder what my flesh actually tastes like.
Nerves soon got the better of him and Poul began to chat with the other beings in the line. The native behind him was named Jyyl, and he had worked at the power generating plant in Muull until the workforce had been cut back six months before. He was an expert with containment chambers, and Poul agreed that Jyyl’s skills should be in demand aboard any decent-sized starship. Jyyl returned the encouragement to Poul.
The smaller of the hooded creatures in front of him was more talkative than the taller one. It was a female, and she agreed that the need was great for crews aboard the new Juirean ships, agreeing that there should be plenty of work for all.
So as the line moved inexorably forward, Poul’s mood began to improve. Even though there were easily a thousand applicants for the crews there that night – with more joining the line every minute – he was feeling much better about his chances.
Eventually Poul entered the hall and the line continued to wind its way toward the table where the Juireans sat. There were five of them, all green-haired Guards, looking serious – and bored. Poul had encountered numerous Juireans before aboard the ships he serviced, although he had never spoken with one directly. He was both nervous – and excited – at the prospect of having an actual conversation with one.
As he fixated on the Juireans, Poul couldn’t help but notice that the table they sat at was surrounded by eight very large and impressive looking creatures of a species he did not recognize. He knew the Juireans often traveled with bodyguards these days, a practice Poul found particularly disturbing. After all, these were Juireans, the
of The Expansion. The fact that they now required guards themselves meant that the Human threat was apparently much more serious than first believed.
Poul tried to put these thoughts out of his mind, but that became more difficult when he noticed the two massive electronic posters displayed on the walls behind the Juireans. Each showed the same larger-than-life Prime, with massive, muscular arms streaked with bulging blue veins. The creature was naked from the waist up, with bandoliers of Xan-Fi power packs crisscrossing his chest, and in his hands he cradled an evil-looking double-barrel flash rifle. The beast was displaying blood-dripping fangs and horns sprouted from his forward, just above the red, fierce eyes that stared down at all in the room that evening.
Above the image, and written in Hyben with letters standing two meters tall, were the words: “This is
Enemy. This creature will destroy your homes, your families, your way of life. Beware the Human Savage. Join the Juirean cause today and save your worlds.
Signing advance available.”
Poul swallowed hard, staring at the image. He could not understand Juirean logic; an image such as this did nothing to firm his resolve. Rather, it only made him question his decision to come here in the first place. After all, the Hyben were more pacifists than warriors. In fact, if it wasn’t for the dire financial condition he was in, Poul would have left the hall that moment and returned to the safety and security of his chamber, far beneath the warm, red soil of his homeworld.
Poul glanced around the room, noticing a number of additional tables set up where members from a dozen different species were all seated before Hyben bureaucrats, each busily entering data into computer terminals. Very few of the occupants in the hall were being turned away; it appeared the Juireans
taking all comers. Poul looked up at the menacing image again and then back at the tables where recruits were being enlisted. By now, he was only a few creatures from the Juireans, so it was now or never. If he was going to change his mind, it would have to be soon…
The two hooded figures in front of him moved up to the Juirean table.
“State your name and race,” one of the Juireans commanded, without looking up.
The taller of the beings spoke first. “I have a question: Do you allow mating pairs to enlist together?”
The Juirean glanced up. “That depends. Does your mate have any skills that would be of value?”
The female stepped a little closer to the table. “Yes,” she stated. “I have skills.” She then reached up and pulled the hood back from her head, revealing a cascade of long yellow hair. “I’m very good at killing Juirean scum –
In a flash, the female had produced a half-meter long double-edged sword. She displayed it momentarily before the widening eyes of the five Juireans seated at the table, and then with a push of a button on the hilt, the sword expanded out to a full meter in length. And then with a flick of her wrist, she sent the shiny blade in the direction of the Juirean who had been speaking; an instant later his head was separated from his neck, tumbling sideways to the floor.
Before the others could react, the female had severed the head of the Juirean to her right, while the other hooded creature produced a blade of his own, decapitating the other three Juirean Guards in a single, fluid motion of his sword.
Poul was sprayed with Juirean blood and he stood in shocked disbelief until he was shoved out of the way by a surge of bodyguards, all rushing forward to pile upon the two assassins. Poul fell back into the line of waiting recruits, starting a cascade of tumbling bodies that continued through at least twenty or more of the beings behind him.