Kristof aimed the escape pod at the largest building on the dock and then abandoned it. Bouncing across the sea at high speed, he slowed just in time to witness the resulting explosion. It was impressive, the pod having retained more than half its fuel, and the wave of heat it produced quickly forced him beneath the water. Even the biotech he wore would not have survived.
Metres below the surface he waited impatiently for the worst of it to pass. It was there, with the world muted and discoloured, that he wondered at the wisdom of his actions. The explosion would disrupt whatever human authority was on the island, and it would undeniably keep local law enforcement and emergency services busy, but it might also cause the Marriot and Ketch families to desert their home for parts unknown. He needed to get to them before that happened. He needed to finish this.
And then what?
That question haunted him. He could neither eliminate the human population nor destroy the Ochre. He was just biotech, damaged biotech, with no ship or weapons to back him up. The best he could hope for would be an opportunity to contact the Hierarchy and let them know his situation. But that way also led to disgrace, an admission that he had been tricked by a less advanced Hunter into a trap. Deep inside he knew such feelings should not affect his decisions. It was pride, another by product of the biotech nervous system he was so ill-equipped to deal with. Logic dictated that he put aside this need for revenge and locate a long range communications array that was adequate to his needs.
Logic be damned.
There was no such array on ‘The Blue Island’ and he knew that. The only such array on the planet existed within Government House on the mainland. An installation almost certainly controlled by rebels. He was in the wrong place.
Allowing himself to surface, Kristof decided it didn’t matter. Logic and reason were suspended for the time being. He would do what he came here to do and what happened afterwards was of little consequence. He would simply find a place to go, and he would go there. It was as easy as that, and after all that had happened, after experiencing such loss, he needed life to be easy.
With renewed purpose he swam towards land, his hand catching the last rung on a ladder leading up to an undamaged section of pier. Wrenching himself out of the water, he climbed hand over hand, a fire on his left blowing close enough to prickle his skin. Reaching the top he steadied himself against a railing, the acrid air burning deeply and painfully into his lungs. He coughed hoarsely for too long before gritting his teeth and running headlong for the sea wall, shouldering through flames and clearing widening gaps until he landed hard on a bed of compressed stone and concrete.
Gasping for clean air, he heard screams of pain and agony, and smelt the cooking meat of the dead and the dying. He ignored them all. They were just humans, and humans died all the time. What did it matter when there were always more of them?
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.
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