These posts combine scenes from The Predator Space Chronicles (and a few from other novels) and AI art which was generated using that text. Enjoy!
FROM Well of Furies, Prologue:
“You are human,” the Rinneret said, in poor Galactic. It waved ten of its arms, writhing.
“So my mother told me,” Amir Tarkos answered in English. The Rinneret, Tarkos knew, would have no English language translation program available. Humans were just too new to interstellar civilization, and too primitive, to earn that kind of interest. Tarkos added in very precise Galactic, “You are very observant.” It was the closest he could come to sarcasm in the formal lingua franca of the Galaxy.
The two of them stood on hard-packed sand, surrounded by black spires of rock. No other life graced the landscape but a few scraggly plants that crept like vines over the dry ground. The air was mostly nitrogen, with only a suffocated hint of oxygen, and even less of water. The sun above, Qualihout, glowed dimly through a thin layer of meager clouds. This planet, as yet named only Qualihout One, was a Neelee ecoforming project, in the very beginning stages of seeding. In high orbit overhead, Neelee robots crushed huge blocks off of a captured comet, readying boulders of ice to drop on the dry world. The planet had been evacuated in preparation for the bombardment, making it a good place to commit a crime.
Tarkos wore a light spacesuit, but without the helmet. The spacesuit was far too large for him, and he wobbled and tottered around in it, arms held out to his sides. The Rinneret did not seem to notice the strange awkwardness of his motions. And why should it be able to tell? Tarkos was probably the first human it had seen in person and up close.
A simple breather covered Tarkos’s mouth. He squinted at the blowing sand, blinking tears as the parched wind scoured his eyes. The Rinneret instead had scurried into their meeting place mostly naked, a single pipe feeding oxygen into its mouth from a pack on its long back.
“Humans are a servant race,” the Rinneret said, seeming to hack and cough up each word. It resembled nothing of terrestrial origin so much as a centipede, three meters long, and with a carapace of dirty green. Its hard black eyes fixed Tarkos in severe inspection. “You were savages, without fire, twenty thousand years before this day.”
Tarkos did the math in his head. Assuming the Rinneret meant twenty thousand Rinneret years, that would mean about thirty thousand Earth years. Tarkos discovered with disappointment that he couldn’t really say with confidence whether humanity had mastered fire, thirty thousand e-years before. So he settled for, “I’m sorry you feel that way.”
“You are like a fungus, compared to us. Twenty thousand years ago, we had mastered fusion and interplanetary travel and the secrets of artificial minds.”
“And look where that got you,” Tarkos said in English. “Exiled from Galactic Civilization, not a world of your own outside your home system, and about to get your chitin-covered ass busted by a savage human out of uniform.”
Well Of Furies is free at your favorite book store