Received confirmation today that “Whoever Is Not For Us” will appear on the Mysterion website on July 8th, but for supporters of their Patreon it is available NOW.
Here is an excerpt, just to whet your appetite:
(Sorry for the lack of paragraph indents, but WordPress is particularly stupid in that regard).
Whoever Is Not For Us
The sparking hell of Main Engineering shuddered and rang like a cymbal under the blows of magnetic grapples impacting the outer hull. Marine Captain Manuel Stolz spared a single glance for Commander Ellerbee and her mate frantically working on the drive bomb.
“How long?” he said. His voice echoed in his combat suit helmet, unnaturally loud.
“A couple of minutes,” grunted Ellerbee. The Navy engineer’s hands were moving too fast for him to follow.
Too long. Stolz switched to his Marines’ channel. “Perimeter check.”
“Conrad, hatch secure.”
“Olivett, hatch secure.”
“Plekhanov, hatch…” The lights went out with a photoflash and Plekhanov’s voice was swallowed by a roaring hiss. The boarders were through the stern perimeter, moving with a precision inhuman and terrifying. Their lasers strobed the compartment. Ellerbee’s suit sprouted holes: superheated air and flesh jetted out, knocking her body back into Stolz, smashing him into the bulkhead. Conrad slammed the butt of his rifle into the helmet of the attacker that appeared suddenly behind him. Then he leveled it at the thing’s belly. He and the alien fired at the same moment. They exploded apart from each other.
Stolz’s reflexes and enhancement took over. Riding the tailored hormones like a roller coaster, he tucked and bounced off the bulkhead, rolling back to fire his puppetcutter. The focused EMP seared through the Brainsucker’s circuit-neurons, severing the connection between host and parasite, and his target spasmed and went still. Then Stolz was through the hatch, into the weapons bay. Scanning. His bulky gun’s screen showed nothing. He sealed the hatch and moved again, bouncing from wall to wall. His back itched, but no infinitely hot finger reached out to stab him between the shoulder blades.
They wanted him alive. Wanted them all alive. It was their way.
He dogged the hatch behind him and turned forward. Then he heard the shout. “Manuel, stop!”
He stopped. He didn’t remember letting the gun go, but it hung before him in microgravity.
Numb, he reached for his holster. So even this prayer would be denied him. He’d had nightmares about this moment, had planned for it. And prayed it would never happen. The weight of the weapon filled his hand with heavy and final comfort. He focused his eyes on it, and the comfort drained away.
His laser sidearm was burnt clean through. He’d never noticed the hit. And the hatch behind him was beginning to glow red. The Brainsuckers were burning through. He was trapped, with Zanne on the other side, coming for him, and he could not kill himself.
2 thoughts on “Short Story Release: “Whoever Is Not For Us.””
Mysterion has been sort of my “Holy Grail,” if you’ll pardon the expression, but I have a feeling my “religious” stories are too “pro-Jewish” within the early Christian context.
Don’t count on it. There have been a couple of Jewish-aligned stories I can think of that they’ve taken.