Category: Excerpts

Listen to Chapter One of: Evolution (Book2 of The Hyperscape Project)


Long awaited sequel to The Awakening. Will Nick Bannon stop the Mok’tu before the galaxy falls to their evil plans?

Resistance forces have pushed the enemy back against seemly insurmountable odds. But it doesn’t take long for the biomechanoid race known as the Mok’tu to stop the Resistance dead in their tracks when they discover a way to neutralize the only effective weapon against them.

Join the crew as they discover the true origin of the Mok’tu.

Nick’s Dream

Wonder what Nick was dreaming in Book Two when Karg woke him up?

This is a missing chapter of the second book. It had more impact before being removed from the book because you didn’t know that Nick was dreaming as you read it. That was only revealed when you got to the end. But alas, here it is anyway. Enjoy.

*Update. I’ve now put this chapter back in the book.

📑 Download PDF Version Here

Nick’s Dream

Karg and two Meth crew members hammered away at the massive outer door in hopes of freeing the stuck mechanism.

“Karg!” Nick yelled over the noise.

The big Rakozian stopped his two right hands in mid-swing and turned to look in Nick’s direction, a pipe wrench and large hammer still raised high in the air. “Huh?”

“I have an idea.” Nick yelled down the bay. “Stop that and come here a minute.”

“Did they get the power back to bay one?” Karg asked, wiping his hands on a rag as he walked over.

“No, I just came from there. The power conduits need a complete overhaul. But I was thinking… we have the module, right? So what if we opened a tiny jump-point and sent a transmission through it? The Resistance would be able to pinpoint our location and send help.”

Karg’s face crumpled up into the strangest look Nick had seen yet.

“I thought you told me you couldn’t open a jump-point from within the bay?”

“I can’t. At least I can’t open one outside. But I think I can adjust the range to more like a hundred feet or so.”

“You want to open a hyperspace window inside the ship? Are you wonkits?” Karg boomed.

“If we position it to open in the dead-space of the hangar, and make it small enough, we should be able to avoid placing too much stress on the hull.”

Should be able to? Dead-space is right. That’s exactly what we’re going to be! I like to have jump-points outside, in space, where they belong.”

“Karg, we open tiny jump-points within containment vessels all the time, in our hyperspace beacons.”

Karg scratched the top of his head. “Oh, right. But I still don’t like it,” he said, looking downright nervous.

Nick pointed to some nearby crates. “Come on, we need to slide these crates under the module.”

“You make less sense every day, ya’ know that?” Karg replied, shaking his head.

Nick sighed. “Just trust me on this.  I have to point the nose up a bit so the window forms up there, far enough away from the floor and walls.”

Karg looked over to where Nick was pointing. “Got it.” He gave the crate that Nick was leaning on a quick shove. Nick stumbled over onto the floor as the container slid out from under him. Karg shoved the crate under the module and turned around to head for the second crate, when he glanced down at the human on the ground. “Shouldn’t you be programming that thing?” he muttered, gesturing back at the module.

Nick shook his head. “Yeah, right.” He jumped to his feet and clambered into the cockpit. He was still hoping he could actually get the hyperspace generator to focus close enough, and small enough, to do what he planned. Hyperspace beacons were designed to keep a miniscule hyperspace window open within the tri-tanium casing. But rigging the module to do it was a whole different story. He’d never be able to get the diameter down to anywhere near the tiny diameter in the beacons. Spatial distortions grew exponentially with window size, so he would have to be damn careful. Too large of a jump-point could be devastating. In fact, it was the weapon of choice they had been using against the Mok’tu. And a damn scary, powerful weapon it was. Nick tried to shake the thought from his mind.

“Now what?” Karg queried, looking into the cockpit.

“If you take the weight off the rear, I’ll pull up the rear landing gear.”

Karg walked to the rear of the module, grabbed the back of the delta-winged craft with all four hands and yanked it off the floor. The sound of moving hydraulic actuators echoed throughout the still bay, and then came to a stop with a clunk.

“That’s it, now set it back down nice and easy on that crate.” The rear of the module lowered slowly until the nose faced the ceiling at the far end of the bay. The sturdy crate creaked and crunched as the module came to rest on its surface. Much like it did when Karg sat his massive weight on it. “Perfect!”

Nick looked around.  “Karg, it will take me a few minutes to make the final calibrations. You should probably clear the bay.”

A loud whistle burst from Karg’s giant mouth as he signaled the workers to evacuate. Nick’s rear left the seat as the shrill sound split the silence. He threw his hands up to protect his ringing ears. “Christ, Karg! It’s a damn good thing I‘ve got a strong heart. Give me some warning next time.”

With the bay cleared and the ringing in Nick’s ears finally subsiding, it didn’t take long for him to finish his calculations. “I sure wish I could test this first,” he muttered to himself as the cockpit canopy closed and latched. He reached into the neck of his shirt and pulled his lucky amulet out by its chain. He held up the golden pendant and watched the light reflect off its elaborate surface as it twisted between his fingers. He brought the amulet to his lips, gave it a quick kiss, then reached over and flipped the switch.

A small jump-point formed right where he had planned, hovering in the center of the huge bay. Nick released a huge sigh of relief. No major catastrophes yet. The tiny halo of the hyperspace window glowed softly, illuminating the bay with its distinct bluish hue. Nick stared in silence. It wasn’t often that he stopped to consider the sheer beauty of the space-time rift. How things had changed. He’d started out as a pure scientist, only interested in learning and bettering mankind. Now, out of necessity, he had become the very thing he despised—a military leader using the technology for mass destruction.

Something suddenly caught his eye, a movement from within the tiny hyperspace window. He peered harder, trying to determine what it could be. A blob-like shape  squeezed its way through the dimensional rift. The long, glowing, translucent form continued to wiggle its way out, until it finally sprang from the window and hovered momentarily before zipping off.

Nick’s mouth hung open in utter shock. What the hell was that? He fumbled for the switch and the window abruptly collapsed. And where the hell did it go? Nick peered out from the cockpit canopy for some sign of the elusive creature. Creature? From hyperspace? He swore the thing looked like a large, flattened snake with long fins that rippled down its sides. From the quick look he was able to get, the creature seemed to be using the ribbon-like fins to fly through the air, like a fish swimming through water. His gaze panned around the bay. “Come on, little…flying…um…snake…creature. Where are you?” He watched and waited for a few minutes, but still no sign of the slithery beast.

He blinked hard a few times. Could it be him? Could the close proximity of the window forming within the ship have affected his mind somehow? Did he just imagine it all? A side effect of breathing coolant fumes, maybe? He’d never had a hallucination in his life, except for that one time he drank too much of—whatever the hell that was—at his buddy’s bachelor party. No, he couldn’t have imagined it. The damn thing had to be real.

Nick slid the pistol from his hip holster and laid it in his lap. “Wouldn’t you know it, the one time our comms are down and this shit happens.” Peering watchfully over the edge of the cockpit, he carefully pulled the latch. The canopy swung upward with a harsh sounding click.  Feeling supercharged and anxious, Nick sat motionless, watching and listening.

The open cockpit made him feel even more vulnerable.  He began to second guess his decision to open the canopy. Maybe he should just stay put. Who knew how dangerous that beast could be? Minutes ticked by. Still nothing. Crap, he was going to have to get out and take a look around.

Cautiously, Nick climbed from the craft and down to the deck. With all the weird things he’d seen lately, he wasn’t about to take any chances. His hand grasped the pistol tighter as he peered around the bay. A strange sound from somewhere behind him drew his attention. He spun toward it. The creature floated in the air about twenty feet away. Its movements reminded him of a Chinese dragon at festival time. The thing undulated one way, then the other, and then it turned towards him, releasing an unsettling growl. Nick whipped his gun up and fired three rounds. The creature sped away across the bay. “Crap, missed it.”

Thump…thump…thump. “Nick?” Karg roared as he ran up. “I heard gun fire!” He spun to look around the quiet bay, and then turned back to face Nick. “Didn’t I hear gunfire?”

“Karg! There was this creature thing. It came through the hyperspace window! It looked like a big snake. A big…flying snake! It growled at me!” Nick replied, all flustered.

Karg’s brow lowered. “Right. A snake creature.” His gaze panned around the open hangar bay. “Flying around.” Karg glanced back down at Nick.

Nick caught Karg’s odd expression. “I’m not crazy! I saw it. At least I…think I saw it. Karg, could the translator nanites cause hallucinations? I mean, if they can show visual translations in my eyes, then maybe they can do this.”

Karg cocked his head. “I…don’t know. Never heard of that kind of thing before. But then again, you are awfully alien. Still…no, I don’t think so. Maybe you should go to the lab so we can check you out, just in case.”

Nick was frozen, staring off over Karg’s shoulder.


Nick pointed into the air behind Karg. “I’m seeing it again. Look.”

Karg turned, surprised to actually see something hovering some distance away. He pulled the pistol from his holster and raised it to take aim. The creature slithered toward him slowly. Karg paused, gun at the ready, while he studied the beast. “Why can I see through it?” he said quietly out of the side of his mouth.

“I have no idea.” Nick said shaking his head. “Holy crap, I must have punched through to some alternate dimension! That’s the only thing that could explain…that thing.”

“But we’re in hyperspace. Isn’t this already an alternate dimension?” Karg replied as he watched the creature approach.

“It is. But this life form must be from an alternate…um, alternate dimension.”

“Oh.” Karg rolled his eyes. “Of course.”

Without any warning, the slithering beast bolted in Karg’s direction. Karg flinched and fired a burst of rounds as the thing gained on him with lightning speed. The plasma bursts did nothing to slow it down. The glowing, transparent entity hit Karg square in the chest and then disappeared. Karg shuddered, then suddenly convulsed in some sort of weird seizure. His body shook violently as his four arms flailed about uncontrollably.

Nick took a few quick steps backward. “Karg? You okay buddy?”

Karg’s head twitched and jerked and finally slowed to a stop. A grin formed on only one side of his mouth as his gaze turned to Nick. He had that same murderous, spy nanite stare that Arya had had on her face that day in the hangar. Dark, cold, not like Karg at all.

“Karg, buddy? Talk to me.”

“Nick,” the massive Rakozian answered, in a strangely different voice. His mouth quivered as he spoke, looking like some bizarre, out-of-sync puppet.

Nick took a few more steps back. His mind was now working on which way he should run. He would never be able to make it past the big lug to reach the exit and escape.

Karg raised his pistol toward Nick. “Shit!” Nick bolted for cover as a stream of plasma blasts sprayed the hangar right behind him. He dove over a nearby crate and landed on his nose, one arm awkwardly pinned under his body. Nick rolled over onto his back, painfully aware of his broken nose. Thump…thump…thump. Karg was coming for him. He popped his head up and then quickly ducked down again as plasma blew chunks from the crate. He was pinned down. What the hell was he going to do? He couldn’t shoot back.  Karg was his best friend. “Karg! It’s me, dammit!”

More debris rained down on his head as Karg blasted away at the crate with another burst of rounds. The behemoth was getting closer. There was no more time.Nick had to do something. Now!

Nick took a flying leap toward another crate, landing on his left side with his weapon aimed squarely at Karg’s chest. He only had seconds to react as he slid across the slick floor, watching the stream of rounds from Karg’s pistol quickly gaining on his position. That’s when he came to a horrible conclusion. It was either Karg or him. If he didn’t stop Karg, he’d be dead. Nick instinctively made the split-second decision to save himself. He fired four rounds into Karg’s chest as he slid to a stop.

Karg faltered backward, his pistol still firing into the air. The huge Rakozian stumbled back, dropping the gun from his hand as he fell to the floor, smoke pouring from his wounds.

Nick was frozen, staring down the barrel of his pistol at the spot where Karg had once stood. A wisp of smoke rolled from the barrel of the gun and drifted upward. Oh, God. I just killed Karg!

He quickly holstered his weapon and hopped to his feet. He paused at the sight of Karg lying on the floor, smoke rising from the four holes in his chest. What have I done? Nick forced himself forward, scooping up Karg’s pistol as he approached the big Rakozian’s body. There lay his best friend, his four massive arms sprawled out on the deck. The sickening stench of burnt flesh filled the air, made worse by the fact that it was his buddy on the deck. The horrid sight was more than he could bear. A gut wrenching dry heave turned him around.  Feeling sick, he slogged toward the exit to get help.

A creepy, almost other worldly voice came from behind him. “That…was not…nice…Nick.”

Nick turned, half glad to know Karg was alive and half in horror over the realization that the creature infesting his body had survived.

Karg pushed himself to his feet and looked down at his wounds. From under his boney, lowered brow, his eyes widened. He looked back up at Nick, showing his large teeth through a growing angry sneer.

Nick didn’t waste any time. He raced around the nearby transport vessel and crouched behind a column, trying desperately to quiet his breathing. Shit, now what am I going to do, he thought. Normally four shots to the chest would have killed even a Rakozian. What is that thing?

A soft snort from behind and Nick’s blood froze. He had forgotten how stealthy the big lug could be. He turned slowly to face the alien entity inhabiting Karg’s huge body.

“You attack us.” Karg reached down and poked Nick stiffly in the shoulder. “We kill you…Nick…Nick….”

Nick was startled half-awake by the feeling of something big, hard, and harsh poking him in the left shoulder.   He automatically lurched sideways and slapped at the thing that was poking him.  He was prepared to fight off his attacker even though he was still battling grogginess and his eyes were barely open.  He could hear Karg’s voice, like some faraway sound echoing through his head as the last dregs of a very bad dream began to fade.  Was it the dream, or was it really Karg?

“Garg,” he muttered in his sleep.

“Nick!” Karg repeated.  “Nick, wake up.”

Nick peeled his eyelids open and felt another hard jab to his left shoulder.


He looked up to find a massive head leering down at him.  Nick jerked back and away, knocking over the cup of juice that had been sitting next to him on the desk. “Agh! No! Karg, don’t kill me!” Nick fell out of the chair and into the puddle of juice with a splat. He scrambled backward away from Karg, slipping on the wet deck beneath him.

Karg looked at him, puzzled. “I’m not going to hurt you. You were having a freking dream.”

Nick stared hard at Karg, confused over what was happening, and then rubbed his tired eyes. “Karg?”

“Yeah. Karg. Now, if you’re done…napping, we need you on the bridge.” Karg grinned and stretched out his arm to offer Nick a hand up off the floor.

Nick hesitated to take it. His eyes scanned the room. The image on the display above him jogged his memory. He was in his ready-room. He had been studying the data from their last encounter with the Mok’tu. He must have dozed off. He twitched his painful nose and rubbed it with his hand. Damn, he must’ve been sleeping face down with his nose smashed against the desk. A sigh of relief left his lips. “It was all just a…dream?

“Quite a dream, by the sounds of it. Why did you think I was going kill you?”

Nick reached out for Karg’s hand and pulled himself to his feet. “I dreamed that we were in bay two, and I had this hair-brained idea to open a hyperspace window inside the bay, and this long snaky creature came out of hyperspace and…well…it went into you, and you tried to kill me, and I tried to kill you, and….”  Nick broke off when he noticed the odd expression on Karg’s face.  “Um….never mind…long story. I’ll have to tell you about it sometime. What did you need me for?”


The Hyperscape Project: The Awakening (First 3 Chapters) Free Download

THP3D1clrEnemy activity had fallen into an eerie calm, but everyone felt the coming storm—a terrible storm, poised to unleash its fury upon the galaxy. It seemed as though the entire universe was holding its breath. Waiting. Whether waiting for the salvation of mankind or its demise was yet unclear.

“An action-packed, fun and intelligent adventure into the unknown.”

He set out to prove a theory. Now he’s racing to save the galaxy from his mistake.

Along with his newly found, rag-tag band of alien friends, Nick Bannon battles to keep his devastating technology out of the hands of the biomechanoid race known as the Mok’tu.

Nick is flung to a distant world when his hyperspace experiment goes awry. Technology can always be used for good or evil and now his peaceful experiment could become a horrific weapon of a malicious alien race. Every species in the galaxy is in danger of total annihilation and it may take one man’s greatest sacrifice to stop it.

This is the first three chapter of the full 86,000 word space opera novel!



Meral Mathews, the producer of the audio version, was kind enough to share a few bloopers with me. So without further ado, here they are:

The Ashok Was Her Ship Now


Make Pause

Hangling Delpless


Bointed Foot



The Hyperscape Project – Book One – Excerpt Four

The Grok’s First Officer turned from his position at the communications console. “Captain, Commodore Tawyk on priority-one channel.”

Captain D’rog released a low, raspy groan. “I’ll take it in my quarters, Lieutenant.”

The centrally located chair swiveled and rocked as D’rog stood and headed for the door at the rear of the bridge. As he approached, the pneumatic door swished open, revealing the Captain’s quarters. Its strategic location directly off the bridge was a design common to all Dragoran vessels. The feature gave the Captain quick access to command in case of an emergency.

D’rog made his way through the hot and humid room to his desk, where he sat down and activated his vid-link. The reddish glow of an overhead infrared light bathed him in warmth as he sat in his extravagantly decorated chair.

A strong, deep, computer-synthesized voice requested his security clearance. “Priority authorization required,” the voice prompted.

D’rog answered without hesitation. He was well accustomed to the routine precautions. “Hektura tok neth.” He stared at the monitor while the system scanned his large, scaly reptilian head.

“Voice print and facial identification recognized.”

The monitor displayed the image of an impatient Commodore Tawyk. “Why haven’t you secured my prize, Captain?” The Commodore’s sharp teeth showed through his sneer.

“Sir, they have eluded capture. They are—”

Commodore Tawyk interrupted with a guttural roar. “You mean they’ve eluded you! I’m not interested in excuses, Captain! I chose you because your records indicated you were the perfect choice for this mission. Was I wrong?

“No, Sir. I will capture that ship. You have my word.” D’rog’s posture straightened.

The Commodore’s lip rose on one side as he leaned into the vid-screen. A stream of saliva slipped from his upper teeth, falling onto his lower jaw as his lip quivered in anger. “You better, Captain. Your life depends on it, as well as the lives of your family. And you have my word on that!” The screen went blank, leaving the Commodore’s final angry words reverberating off the walls of the room. The remarks circled around in D’rog’s head as he sat staring at the blank screen. Anger and fear welled up from inside him until he was bursting at the seams with rage.

D’rog jumped up from his chair and swung his powerful reptilian arm. The objects on his desk went flying across the room, shattering into small pieces as they impacted the wall with intense force. “This small Resistance cell is cunning, but they will not embarrass me again!” he snarled.

The Hyperscape Project – Book One – Excerpt Three

Lying there, glowing eerily in the thick fog, was a corpse. The body almost appeared to move as the misty fog surrounding it danced through the light. The jaw of the corpse hung open in a terrible, silent scream―now forever frozen on its gruesome face. The alien’s stiff hands were reaching out into the inky blackness of the room as if it had been begging for its life in its final moments. From the look on its face, it had experienced a horribly painful death.

Arya stood up and checked her gun while the males surveyed the corpse. Karg circled the body, as if studying it from another angle would help explain why it was there.

“Why does he have that look on his face?” Nick asked, wincing at the sight. “I just can’t stand to look at him anymore. It gives me the creeps.” He grabbed a nearby cloth and threw it over the body. Despite his attempts to squelch it, a shiver raced along his spine and the hair on the back of his neck stood straight up. He hadn’t felt that since the night he’d hung out in the graveyard with his buddies. How old was he at the time? Fourteen, maybe? This had that same feel. Creepy.

The Hyperscape Project – Book One – Excerpt Two

Arya walked down the corridor leading to the mess hall. As she rounded the bend, she heard Karg and Nick talking to one another over their morning meal.

“Your calendar is made up of twelve munse, your clock is divided by twelve, but your math and currency is based on ten? That’s the most backward thing I have ever heard,” Karg announced in his deep voice.

Nick scratched an itch on the back of his neck. “To start with, it’s months, not munse. And what else would math be based on? Math is math.”

“Yes, one plus one equals two, but basing it on ten is inefficient. We base it on twelve.”

Nick was still perplexed.

Karg looked at him across the table. “Look, ten can only be divided by one, two, five and itself. Twelve is divisible by one, two, three, four, six and itself.”

“Yeah, but—”

Karg cut him off. “What’s three quarters of ten? Seven and a half. A fraction. What’s three quarters of twelve? Nine.”

“Yes, but—”

“How much is that currency you carry?”

“It’s a quarter.” Nick pulled the coin out of his pocket and flipped it over in his hand. “This is an old one, from back when they still had some silver in them. It equals twenty-five cents,” Nick replied.

“Is that a lot?” Karg queried.

Nick laughed. “No, it’s not much. A penny is the smallest currency on my planet. This only equals twenty-five pennies. Why?”

“What is half of that? Twelve and a half. A fraction! See, your system is very inefficient,” Karg boasted.

Nick glanced up to see Arya standing there grinning. She had been watching their discussion from the side of the room. Arya raised her eyebrows and cocked her head as if to say well, he’s right you know. Nick just shook his head, trying to grasp the strange alien concepts.

“So, instead of a dollar being one hundred pennies, it should be ninety-six? And a quarter would be twenty-four?” Nick said, narrowing his eyes in thought.

Karg laughed and banged the table hard with his hand, causing Nick to jerk so abruptly that he almost fell out of his chair. “Now you’re getting it,” Karg said. “There’s hope for you, after all.” Karg gulped down the purple gorbin juice from his cup and stood up to go get some more, letting out a deep burp as he went.

“Well, Karg seems to be warming up to you,” Arya remarked, as she approached the table. “I came to tell you that Captain Argos wants you to answer some questions later.”

Nick nodded as he stared off into space. He’d known it would only be a matter of time before Argos would want answers.

Arya glanced down at Nick’s plate of uneaten food. “You okay there? Don’t like the karesh meat?”

Nick’s gaze panned over to Arya. “Oh, yeah, I’m fine, just didn’t sleep much.” He looked down at the not quite identifiable food in front of him. “The food is pretty good actually. What is Karesh anyway? No, wait…maybe it’s better you don’t tell me.”

Arya sipped some juice from her cup. “Have you tried the gorbin juice? That will make you feel better. You should get some before it’s gone. It’s not often that we have it.”

“Thanks, I will.” Nick poked around on his plate with the two-prong fork that came with his tray of food. “Can you tell me where I am?”

“You’re in a star system called Garanta Orionis. Some still call it by its ancient Arisian name, Back Of The Giant,” Arya answered. “Which, by the looks of it, is very far from your home.”

Nick stared at her for a long moment. “That doesn’t really help me a bit.” He sighed and scrubbed a hand across the back of his aching neck. “It sucks being lost and not knowing where the hell I am. I mean, I didn’t plan on being here. I’m really not supposed to be here at all. Wherever here is. Don’t get me wrong. If your ship hadn’t picked me up, I’d be dead. So, I am very grateful you brought me aboard. And you have been very kind to me, but my coming here was just an accident. I don’t even know how I got here.”

Arya set her cup down on the table. “I can see you are missing your home…. I too miss mine. It has been such a long time since I have been to my home-world.” Arya looked almost wistful as she thought about her planet. “I really miss the Sarlansis trees. There are huge forests of them. At least there used to be, before the war.” Arya lifted her gaze back to Nick. “Your home must be awfully far away for us not to have some record of your species in our databanks. You really don’t have any idea how to get home?”

Nick shook his head no as he toyed with his food.

“Well, Captain Argos will have the final say, but maybe we can help you find your home planet.”

Nick stared down at his plate.

Arya leaned down to get his attention. “You should eat. You’ll need your strength. I’ll get you some juice. It’ll help your energy.” Arya left the table to round up a cup of juice, leaving Nick still staring at his plate, lost in his thoughts.

Moments later, she returned and plopped a cup down on the table. “Here you go. Taste it.”

Nick agreeably lifted the cup to take a sip. “Wow. That is really good. Kind of like fruit punch, only better. Thanks.”

Arya sat down and shoved some karesh into her mouth.

Nick glanced around at the almost empty room. In one corner, a couple of aliens were gathering some food containers. The two creatures were completely covered with what appeared to be spacesuits. He only caught a hint of their creepy faces through their masks as they turned to leave. They appeared to be four-legged with two arms and a bizarrely shaped head. The aliens were definitely odd, and it was even odder that they were wearing spacesuits inside the ship. It made him realize that overall he hadn’t actually seen many crewmembers. Only a handful since being brought on board.

“I’ve noticed that there seems to be a very small crew for a ship this size,” he said, still watching the two spacesuit-clad aliens exiting the room.


“What?” Nick turned to Arya with a befuddled look.

“We call them Meths. The two Coranii you were looking at over there. They’re methane breathers. Whatever you do, steer clear of areas marked with red and yellow ‘METH’ signs.”

“Oh, um, right. I’ll do that.” Nick’s brain was still stuck on the whole methane breather thing as Arya continued.

“The Resistance is spread pretty thin. We only have enough crew to run the ship. That way we reduce our losses if one ship falls to the enemy,” Arya explained through her mouthful of food.


“The Resistance is formed out of all the indigenous races in this sector. We have banded together against our common enemies. We are the ones that were lucky enough to escape the war between the Mok’tu and the Dragoran Empire. We were just in the right place at the right time to be spared. But we are few. The Resistance tries to rescue any survivors that it can. We stay in the shadows, attempting to fight the enemy any way possible. I feared our fight was a hopeless cause. But then you showed up with that ship of yours. You destroyed a Planet-Killer and a Dreadnought in one swoop. I knew then that the Divine One had answered our pleas. You are our salvation.”

The Hyperscape Project – Book One – Excerpt One

“Look out!” Nick warned, as another Mok’tu rounded the corner behind Arya. The huge mechanical soldier towered over Arya’s small frame. With her so close to it, Nick would never get a clean shot in time.

Arya spun around to bring her gun to bear, but she was too late. The enemy swung its powerful arm, sending her pistol flying across the bay, and knocking her to the ground. Without a second of hesitation, the metal soldier was over her.  It bent forward and grabbed Arya with its robotic arm, picking her up off the floor and raising her to eye level. Its long, cold, metal fingers wrapped all the way around to the back of her neck, clutching her tightly in an icy grip.

Arya was now face to face with the Mok’tu, staring into its unsympathetic visual receptors. As she hung there frantically kicking at it, she tried desperately to pry its huge fingers loose with her hands. It was no use, the metal monster was going to squeeze the life from her body and there was nothing she could do about it.

Nick’s finger was poised on the trigger, ready to shoot, itching to kill the bastard. But he hesitated as he assessed the situation. Arya was so close to the Mok’tu that the plasma blast from his pistol might kill her. But if he didn’t act quickly, the mechanoid soldier could snap her head clean off.

“Shoot!” Arya screamed, her muffled voice barely leaving her tightly clamped throat. “Shoot the freking thing!”

Nick squeezed off eight rounds in one rapid burst. As the rounds met their target, smoke poured from the Mok’tu’s metal skull, but the beast didn’t move. Nick sprinted toward the towering hulk, emptying another five rounds into its head as he drew closer. The Tac Soldier seemed unaffected.

“Why isn’t it dying?” Nick yelled.

The soldier just stood there motionless with Arya flailing around in its grip. Nick pushed his legs into a flat out run, planning on using the momentum and his own body as a ramming device. When he was close enough to the Tac Soldier, he lunged feet first into the beast, kicking it square in the hip in an attempt to knock it off its feet. The monstrosity didn’t budge. It was like hitting a brick wall. The impact jarred Nick’s spine and sent him bouncing off. He landed hard on his left shoulder. The impact pushed the air out of his lungs and caused him to bite his lip by accident. He barely missed hitting his head on the floor beneath him.

“Crap!” he cursed. The damn thing was solid as a granite mountain. No wonder everyone was so afraid of them.

Ignoring the pain in his body, he rolled nimbly and was back on his feet in seconds. With precision born of instinct and training, Nick aimed his pistol at the eight foot tall Mok’tu’s head and fired another burst of rounds. A stream of hot liquefied brains flowed out of the skull and dripped down the Mok’tu’s body. But the massive, silver hulk remained standing.

Arya still hung helplessly in the hulk’s grip, staring at the metal soldier’s expressionless face while steamy red liquid oozed down its neck and dripped onto the hangar bay deck. She struggled uselessly against the Mok’tu’s grasp as the beast’s metal legs began to buckle. The Mok’tu slowly collapsed to the floor with her neck still held tightly in its powerful mechanical hand. Pinned under the heavy, lifeless monster, she lay on the floor, fighting to get free. “Get this thing off me!” she screamed in a panic.

“I’m on it!” Nick pushed at the dead soldier’s torso.  He had to strain every muscle in his body just to push the thing off of her. It rolled over onto the floor with a metallic clank. Nick stared down into Arya’s frantic face. She looked up at him in desperation, still hopelessly trapped by the Mok’tu’s huge metal hand clasped around her neck. A tear rolled from the corner of her eye. She was scared.  She was actually scared. Nick was surprised by her sudden show of vulnerability. Until this moment, she had always been strong and in control. He’d never seen fear in her before.

“I guess we’re not so different, after all,” Nick mused.

Arya whimpered as she gazed up at him.

“It’s alright. I’ve got you,” he soothed as he bent forward to help her.

Nick pried the lifeless mechanical hand loose from Arya’s throat. As soon as she was free, she rolled away from the thing and lay gasping on the floor, struggling for air.

The sight and smell of the Mok’tu’s liquefied remains pooling on the cold metal deck was enough to make Nick wince in disgust. The choking stench was somewhat like burnt hair mixed with vomit. He pulled away, throwing his arm over his nose to block the stomach-turning stink. “Ugh, they even smell bad.” He wouldn’t forget that aroma anytime soon.

“What took you so long? It could have killed me.” Arya held her throat and coughed several times, still trying to get a good breath.

“I was af—” The sound of weapons-fire stopped Nick from finishing.

Concerned for Karg’s safety, they both jumped up to see where the shots originated. They peered over the crates. Two Mok’tu stood in an open section of the bay. One of the beasts fell immediately to the floor, its skull billowing smoke. The other swung its rifle around to fire at Karg who stood nearby.

Before his friends could react, Karg ran and leapt into the air, his feet flying in the direction of his adversary. The Mok’tu released a barrage of rounds from its rifle, trying to get a bead on the advancing target, but Karg’s amazing speed didn’t give it the chance. The shots flew under Karg, one barely grazing his leg as he soared through the air.

Karg’s foot landed square on its mark, forcing his prey’s head down to the floor. His massive weight smashed the Mok’tu’s armor skull against the hangar deck, crushing it almost flat. Red gunk squirted out onto the deck from under Karg’s huge foot as the Mok’tu’s brain was squashed like a watermelon that had been run over by a tank.

“That’s four,” Arya said. She quickly surveyed the hangar. “Where’s the last one?”

Loud metallic sounds echoed through the bay, like a huge metal door being unlocked.

Arya looked around, her ears twisting as she listened intently to the strange noises. “I’ve never heard the ship make that noise before.” As she turned back to Nick, her eyes widened. “I have a bad feeling about…this…. Frek! Run!”