dinsdag 9 december 2014
During the first ten minutes immersed in the tank Roger desperately wanted to vomit. His mouth and stomach having been filled with the most foul tasting substance imaginable. Obviously Keith had failed to warn him this would happen. Perhaps he had even taken pleasure in it. He rephrased, of course Keith had taken pleasure in it. He used the resultant anger to sustain him, imagining the punishment he would mete out when this was over. A hammer blow to the head would be nothing compared to what he would do next.
Slowly the anger subsided, and the gagging reflex with it. His body had acclimatised to the liquid, and while the experience was less than pleasant, it was not intolerable. In fact he may have even slept for a short time. He wasn’t sure, his eyes had become very heavy and the hum of the ship’s engines had become nothing more than a distant monotonous vibration that lulled him through the plexifibre material of the tank. As minutes surely turned into hours, he flexed his fingers, digging the nails into the palms of his hand, trying to use the pain to stay alert. In the back of his mind he was aware that he was being drugged. The contents of the tank were designed to preserve and nourish the biotech subject but not to keep it conscious. There would be no point, not when that consciousness was elsewhere. It made perfect sense to him, and he realised that in a few more hours he would have no more say in the matter. No amount of will or pain would keep him awake. He would be in a vegetative state just like the biotech units in the other tanks.
Keith must have known. He must have. Roger gritted his teeth. The renewed anger was not as strong as before, but somehow it allowed him a few moments of clarity. If he didn’t stay awake, then his world might be lost, and his family with it. He had to concentrate, he had to fight. He vaguely recalled the klaxon of the first airlock alarm sounding ever so silently in his ear, the nutrient liquid having made it nothing more than a shrill distant repetition. What if he had missed the second alarm? What if it was already too late? He kicked his legs in panic, his arms flailing along with them. In a frantic motion he reached up, hoping his hand could break the surface. But there was no surface to break. He needed to get out. Get out!
The manual release button, he remembered it now. He could press it and be free.
The sudden whirr of machinery distracted him, the lights above blinking into life as something loud and heavy grinded overhead.
Through the thick green liquid he saw the rough shape of a three pronged metal pincer descending from its housing. Had he been discovered? Was it all for nothing? No, the pincers were positioning themselves over one of the other tanks, the hatch opening. With unerring precision the pincers reached down and closed around the female body within, lifting her out. For a brief moment she hung in the air, and then, like a bullwhip, an overhead cable snaked down and connected itself to the base of her neck.
For a few seconds she writhed within the pincer’s grip, her limbs askew in all directions, then, as abruptly as the process had begun, it completed, the cable detaching and retreating whence it came. Very carefully, Josella was lowered to a metal draining grille and released, collapsing onto it prone and exhausted. As Roger looked on, helpless to move, she struggled to her knees and vomited violently. With a growing sense of dread he waited, knowing that when she looked up, she would see him...
About The Book
Title: Hunter No More
Author: G.D. Tinnams
Genre: Science Fiction
The Hunter Class Spacecraft designated ‘The Amberjack’ disappeared during a routine mission to Seek, Locate and Destroy the enemy Machine Mind contingent known as ‘The Ochre’. Conclusion: It was either destroyed by the Ochre or went rogue for reasons unknown. If sighted, approach with extreme caution.
On the planet Borealis, a violent revolution forces Samantha Marriot and her parents to flee their home for the relative safety of ‘The Rainbow Islands’. Once there, Sam discovers a secret her father has been keeping from her all her life, a secret that will change everything.
Meanwhile, The Machine Mind Hierarchy of Earth dispatches a ship to rid themselves of the planet’s troublesome human population. The only hope of a defence lies with a damaged binary Hunter unit that has long since abandoned both its programming and weaponry.
In order for the unit to succeed it must call upon the aid of an ancient enemy, and prove, once and for all, that it is a Hunter no more.
G.D. Tinnams has worked as a barman, a call centre operator, an IT support analyst, and a software tester. But during all this time he was also an insatiable reader of science fiction and fantasy books like Susan Cooper’s ‘The Dark Is Rising Sequence’, Orson Scott Card’s ‘Ender’s Game’, Robert Charles Wilson’s ‘Blind Lake’ and Greg Egan’s ‘Permutation City’. He is very fond of weird, mind-bending stories and decided quite early on to try writing some. ‘Hunter No More’ is his second novel.