Moon!

Riesel Tales: Two Hunters: First (#1)

    The cabin of the Salona went silent for the rest of the brief journey. Runge kept his eyes fixed on the pallid and overly industrialized moon of Markieyl while Ramy's eyes wandered off to the right, catching the last few glimpses of the bustling ecumenopolis of Riesel before it drifted out of view as the ship passed through the planet's umbra.

    The planet was rather poorly lit for a place boasting a population of over twelve trillion, and that wasn't even close to its true capacity. The great patches of brighter and more up-to-date areas of urban sprawl were grossly offset by vast swaths of dim, ruddy cityscape that spanned thousands of miles, making the brighter areas appear as broken continents of only somewhat less-dejected beauty. The planet's ultra-tall towers were run-down and rusty, its skies highly polluted, and its population overrun with crime. To make matters even worse, it had no official governing body—the last one had been dissolved hundreds of years prior. The only form of authority was de facto: whichever faction had the most firepower. 

 
Riesel Tales: Two Hunters: Club Gig (#2)
 
 
      They grabbed a pair of sniper rifles from a locker near Runge's bed, though Runge decided to make sure Ramy knew that it was his turn to take this target out. “Dibs on this one, by the way. You popped the last one.”
 
     A click was heard as Ramy fidgeted with the settings of her gun. “I realize that.”
 
     “Or DID you realize that? Perhaps my reminder jarred your memory.”
 
     “No, I'm pretty sure I remembered.”
 
     “You didn't want to hog this one all for yourself?” Just like you polished-off my favorite ice cream in the fridge. Unforgivable.
 
     Ramy glared a star's worth of ire into the Sirukti's eyes. “Runge. Runge. I realize this is your turn to flip somebody's lid. There's no confusion on that.”
 
     “Or pop their top. Or make them think outside the box.” He widened his eyes dramatically. “LITERALLY.”
 
     Ramy's eyebrows furrowed. “I think you're getting too much enjoyment out of this.”
 
     Runge responded in a whimsical and melodic tone, “You're feeding the fire.”
 
Riesel Tales: Two Hunters: Reprisal (#3)
 
     Is this even real? Ramy kept her lupine ears pinned to her head in frustration as Sookaiya bellowed a long war shriek. This came just before the Binnikod arrowed the Carnivorous Summer Flower down into a wide urban gorge. The maneuver was helped by the ship's momentum counterbalance only marginally, as Soo preferred to feel more of her ship's movement when juking between buildings and other close obstacles. A corollary to this was the aggravation of Ramy's organs, particularly her stomach—she was used to a higher mo-co setting.
 
     Going further than the shock of the rollercoaster ride, Ramy looked at Cutolla with intrigue. She wasn't sure what sort of biological mechanisms the Fruburwha had at his disposal, but they were apparently allowing him to sit in serene comfort as his partner's cry resounded for the following five seconds.
 
     They leveled out just below the lowest line of sparse traffic and flew for a few thousand feet southwest along the length of the trench, then darted right back up again. This strategy was to break any early tracking locks by the base's peripheral defense systems, as a speeding warship would likely be quite suspicious. In the meantime, all Ramy could do was hold on for dear life, digging her thick fingernails into the armrests.
 
 
 
Riesel Tales: Two Hunters: Lonely Tenant (#4)
 
     Once Nhauh was equipped with a mop and bucket, she hurried to leave her janitorial station since it was really more of a closet that was not short on grime, and something inside made her skin itch after prolonged exposure. As she left the space, she almost bumped into her boss—a towering mechanical construct whose form was little more than a large metal sphere with arms dangling from either side; a thick, comma-like shaft that extended from the back to the floor; and a smaller sphere attached to the shaft's terminus
 
     The cybernetic Gatheeph floated motionless for an instant before projecting a square, holographic face ahead of what was otherwise just a collection of sensory lenses and lights. The face, being a simple pair of blue-white dots for eyes and a line for a mouth amongst a staticky, deeper blue medium, formed into a whimsical expression of joy with the mouth and eyes becoming half-circles—the eyes being positioned with the curve upright and the mouth as the inverse. “Nhauh, you are on time again! Good work! Excellent! Proficient!”
 
     She responded to his deep, tinny voice with a weak grin, but was cut off before she could speak. Her boss leaned forward, and those eyes flipped over while the mouth became a pencil-thin horizontal line. “Proficiency requires speed and diligence. The floors are dirty. Get to worrrrk.”

Riesel Universe and all associated content is copyright © 2012 Roystonn Pruitt