Cover art for “Transient”
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Transient: A Tech Noir Novel (2016) by Zachry Wheeler isn’t your ordinary vampire tale. In fact, when I first started reading it, I had no idea there were vampires involved.
It’s set in the future by quite a few years or decades.
Jonas is a transient, a human being who has infiltrated Eternal (vampire) society, in this case, Seattle. He was sent by the last remnant of humanity, hiding in places on Earth the Eternals can’t or won’t visit. He’s a spy who uses subterfuge and drugs to pass as in Eternal, suppressing his body heat and his aging.
Much of his story and the history of things are told in journal entries about the past.
Once the Eternals were the outcasts living on the fringes of humanity, but they were able to expand, to wage war, to take over, to cast out humanity when they were unable to turn them via the virus that creates the vampire state.
But as you might imagine, Jonas, having lived for five years among the enemy, has started to understand them, to admire their rather idyllic society, to make friends and the most forbidden act…to take a lover.
Image: Google Images Labelled for re-use.
They all came into The Obscene Khrelan’s Saloon to see Jara dance. It would have been more flattering if Khrelan’s wasn’t the only “watering hole” within a thousand kilometers of Julyen’s lone spaceport. Besides the incessant sandstorms and malevolent rock worms, the only thing Julyen had to offer was Cethuitium, an otherwise rare mineral that could be refined into a power source, with applications from rejuvenation treatments for wealthy Consortium lords to advanced jump drives.
Khrelen’s, was named for something that resembled an old Earth rhinoceros, but with a body twisted so it could pleasure itself with its own horn. The place was, as the expression goes, jumping every night of the week, crowded with drunken and horny miners and freighter pilots, and that’s where Jara came in.
No one knew or cared about the red and black strips as her lithe, supple body undulated nude in the dance cage. She was a marvel to behold and every patron all but wet themselves at the thought of possessing that astonishing body (and some even did), even for an hour.
The dance lessons were not working. First of all, he hated to dance. Of all the things he was good at, dancing wasn’t one of them, in spite of the fact that he was at least adequate at several sports.
Secondly, she hadn’t noticed him. Hardly surprising since he was one of the worst students in their jazz dance class. He only joined so he could observe her without arousing suspicion, but he needed to get closer, and that meant interacting with her.
Their instructor Raoul could be bought, which was how Edison managed to land a spot in an already full class to begin with. Each student was supposed to choose a partner next week and he needed to be hers. A little more flirting with teacher and a stronger hint that he might be interested in some “personal tutelage” after hours would probably do the trick (he’d have to convince the little French tight ass that he was “bi”).
They were sitting on a mat facing each other, legs open, soles of their feet touching as they stretched.
“With a ‘C’, yes. Can’t you stretch more than this? You’re not really flexible.”
Oh, terrific. She’s snobby and critical. He’d hoped she’d be the type to take pity on one of the less accomplished dancers and offer a few pointers.
“I know. I need to work on it. Name’s Edison.”
Actor Colin Salmon as Charles Robinson in the 1999 film “The World is Not Enough.”
“Who are you, where am I, and where the hell is my solicitor?”
“Right now Ms. Parker, my name and your location aren’t important and frankly neither are your so-called rights. Our records indicate you are guilty of virtually every computer crime we have a law for, so you might want to be a bit more civil.”
The African-British gentleman, for that’s the image he had so carefully crafted, was sitting across a metal table from his prisoner, a young woman in her late teens. The most obvious aspects of her appearance were dominated by black attire, tattoos and body piercings.
“I want my solicitor.”
“This isn’t Scotland Yard, Danae.”
“I don’t care if it’s fucking MI6, I want my solicitor and I’m not saying a damn thing until I see one.”
© Sue Vincent
A warm summer breeze blew from one end of the passageway to the other. Raisa Hewitt could feel it gently caress her face and flow like fingers through her long, dark hair. She could hear the friendly chattering of birds from outside the arch ahead of her, the rustle of leaves in tree branches, she inhaled sweet almond and jacaranda blossoms. The scene was supremely idyllic and she realized she couldn’t be in more danger.
She’d dressed casually like a tourist, an American on holiday taking in the ruins of Spanish castles and churches. Soft canvas shoes made not a whisper as she padded like a cat across the flat stones beneath her. Jeans over a black leotard and a light cotton shirt afforded comfort and mobility. The Springfield XDM Compact in the holster at the base of her spine offered both maximum portability and stopping power. She hoped she wouldn’t have to use it.
© National Geographic
The Sixth Story in the Adventures of Ross Murdock
The modern city of Dover had been inhabited since the Stone Age, so by the advent of the Bronze Age, it was a thriving community, one which the three agents from the future were determined to avoid. Ashe, Murdock, and McNeil, or rather Assa, Rossa, and Maka, in the guise of Beaker traders, stayed away from the well-used trails that led in and out of Dover in search of a mystery.
This was circa 2,000 BCE and they had been sent back in time by Operation Retrograde to recover technology and perhaps even the location of a spaceship left behind by the alien race they called the Forerunners. However, their outpost, disguised as a Beaker trading post, had been destroyed by time traveling Soviet agents using weapons from the present, leaving the trio fugitives, not only from Red spies, but from the local clans who believed they were cursed by the gods. Their only hope was to hold out until the extraction team aboard the nuclear submarine USS Thetis returned just under two weeks from now and they could be transported out of Britain and back to the time gate at their base in the Arctic.
From the Flight Log of Freighter Pilot Camdon Rod
There are monsters living in hyperspace and they’ve sent spies into the Consortium. Okay, maybe they’re not monsters, but they definitely aren’t like any sentient life form known in our little corner of the galaxy.
Oh, my name is Camdon Rod and I’m the owner/operator of the jump freighter Ginger’s Regret. Ginger is the other half of the partnership and in fact, she is the ship, well sort of.
Due to a bizarre accident she had over fifty years ago, her corporeal body was vaporized as the Regret entered hyperspace but everything else she is, personality, spirit, force of will, became somehow fused with the freighter. I used to think she was a ghost, but speaking of monsters, that thing that had been posing as Calderon Zg convinced me otherwise.
You remember Zg. In my previous log entry, I mentioned how he held Ginger hostage and forced me to perform a hyperspace jump while he was outside the ship. I’d like to think he was just vaporized and that’s all there is to it, but at the moment of the jump, Ginger was able to sense what he was thinking.
They’re watching us, those things from hyperspace. Zg or whatever it was, went back home if you can call hyperspace home, but Ging said there are more of them here in our universe. We’re safe as long as we don’t discover their realm and how to enter it. If anyone does, the very least they’ll do is change hyperspace somehow so that jumping will become impossible. No more interstellar travel…ever.
And if that’s the least they can do, I hate to think of what the worst might be.