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Authors: G. D. Tinnams

Tags: #Fantasy, #Science Fiction, #Adventure

Threshold Shift

BOOK: Threshold Shift
8.96Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub


Published 2012

© 2012 by G.D. Tinnams

Design by G.D. Tinnams

image © Algol |

right of G.D. Tinnams to be identified as author of this work has
been asserted in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents
Act 1988.

Rights Reserved

No reproduction, copy or transmission of this publication may be made
without written permission.

All the
characters in this book are fictitious and any resemblance to actual
persons living or dead is purely coincidental.


would like to thank
for editing this novel.

would also like to thank Rick Fiore for getting me started.

of all I would like to thank my wife Karen for believing in me.

of Contents




















No More - Excerpt

the Author




of the Uprising


couldn't sleep. Just an hour before, he had been immersed in an
Espirnet total simulation. The sunlight on his skin, the taste of
moisture in the air, even the smell of trees, had all been so vivid,
so real. He had been lead sniper in a team of five, hunting down a
superior Threshian force with unerring military precision. The
Threshians were reptilian, bipedal, both stronger and faster than any
human, but nowhere near as smart. His team had been winning until his
mother locked him out, insisting he get some sleep. How could she
understand that there was no way he could sleep now? The excitement
of the game, of the kill, played out in his mind's eye again and
again. He had no desire to sleep, his only desire was to return to
that jungle and kill more Threshians.

a restless sigh the boy turned over in his bed, pulling the covers
close, burying himself deep inside of them. Even so, he could still
hear the tapping of feet downstairs as his mother moved anxiously
from room to room. She was pacing again, he could tell by the pattern
of her steps. She always paced when his father was out on patrol. Jon
couldn’t understand it. She knew his father was the most
capable Marshal the colony had ever known. No one would dare to lay a
finger on him, so why worry? But she worried all the same, no matter
what he or his father said. She had that sort of temperament, as if
the worry made any difference. Of course it didn’t.

rolled over in his bed once more, picturing Jacob Klein as he walked,
hand poised over sidearm, through the centre of town. The humans
greeted him fondly, as a friend, while the Threshians watched him
furtively from the shadows, too afraid to go anywhere near. The
fantasy brought a smile to Jon’s face. One day, he mused, one
day that will be me, keeping the peace, keeping everyone safe from
the Threshians. With that thought sleep finally overtook him, and he
dreamt of concussion bolts and burning trees.

mother shook him frantically by the shoulder. “Jon, wake up!”

flickering eyelids he saw smoke billowing in from the open doorway.

For a brief instant he thought he was still dreaming. “What is
it?” He mumbled, noting the dirt on her white night-dress, her
long red hair untied and flying everywhere as she slammed his bedroom
door shut.

she rasped. “Move it!”

awake, Jon sprang from his bed and rushed to the window, typing in
the combination that would open it. With the whirr of an internal
mechanism, the window opened and the fire escape unfurled itself in
one rapid motion. With his thoughts still cloudy, Jon wondered why
the alarm hadn't sounded. The window and fire escape should have
activated automatically, but they hadn't. Why not? His mother took a
tight hold of his hand and led him quickly though the window and down
the fire escape's cold plexifibre steps.

the staircase behind, they ran the length of the garden, pausing for
breath only when they reached the far fence. Jon looked back at the
house, his gaze met by orange flames licking eagerly at the
plexifibre frame. It wasn’t a large house, just two floors
square, a triangle tiled roof, but a home, his home, and it was being
eaten away.

happened?” He asked.

don’t know,” his mother replied, almost breathless. “I
couldn’t sleep and there was a noise. I thought it was your
father, but... I saw the fire. I felt it.”

the security system, the alarm, what happened to the alarm?”

Klein gritted her teeth. “It didn't work."

found himself staring at the house with newfound fear. He could have
died. His mother held him close, shivering even in the heat of blaze.
He looked up and saw a tear streaming down her cheek, dimly
reflecting the fire’s glow.

or minutes passed, he was not sure which, when the Beachams arrived.
Their property was just on the other side of the fence.

the elderly Mrs Beacham said. “Are you all right?”

mother smiled bravely. “We’re fine, Jane. But the house,
the house is gone.”

felt a large hand clasp his shoulder with the promise of support. It
was Ed Beacham. “Come inside,” the old man said.
“Standing here isn’t doing any good.”

nodded absently, but her eyes were still on the house. Mrs Beacham
took her by the arm and gently led her towards the gate in the fence.

took charge of Jon, and he felt like he was asleep again, barely
aware of where he was going, only that he was happy to let Ed take
him there. A sudden explosion of movement changed everything.

Ed shouted.

recoiled from a sharp sting to his neck and instantly fell down, his
legs no longer working. Ed had fallen too, the old man lying
somewhere beside him, still gripping his hand. He heard the faint
rustle of leaves, and then a reptilian face was bending over him, the
dark green scales clustered around features only vaguely analogous to
his own. He had seen the Threshians many times on the Espirnet
battlefields, even glimpsed them in the town, but he had never been
close enough to smell them. He felt ill, sick and realised with
growing panic that he could no longer move, could no longer even feel
his arms or legs.

a pity,” The Threshian male said through the silver vocoder
that hung around its neck. “I had hoped for the Marshal to see
your scorched remains. You disappointed me by surviving.”

found that he could not respond, his lips frozen, his tongue flaccid
and lifeless within his mouth.

matter,” the Threshian said. “I will finish you here. It
will not have the same effect, granted, but I’m sure he will
get the message.”

alien withdrew, and Jon’s vision was filled only with the stars
in the night sky. He wanted to cry, but found that even that was
denied to him. Even if he could move, what could he do? He was no
armed soldier in Espirnet now. He was just an eleven-year-old boy. An
eleven-year-old boy, he reminded himself, that was about to die. For
a time he waited, listening to the distant crackling of the fire.
Then the reptile face returned, something like a smile spreading
across its thick green lips.

will take you to my brother,” the Threshian announced. “Perhaps
you will prove useful as a hostage.”

still couldn’t talk, and he desperately wanted to. Not to shout
insults or defiance, but to beg for his life and for the life of his
mother. His mother, was she to be a hostage too? Or was she...?
Powerful arms lifted him from the ground, breaking Ed Beacham’s
grip and sending the old man sprawling. Jon’s head swayed
sideways and he saw Mrs Beacham in a heap by the fence. Beside her in
a wash of red hair lay his mother. In the fading glow of the fire he
could not tell if she was alive or dead.

she was so still.

was slung over the alien’s shoulder, his chin banging
constantly against a scaled shoulder blade as the Threshian ran
headlong into the night. All the Threshians Jon had seen in the town
had emulated humans by wearing clothes, but not this one. This was a
Threshian who had no interest in being on good terms with humans,
only with killing them. Again Jon asked silently, was his mother
alive? He dared to hope she was, but the despair in the pit of his
stomach threatened to overwhelm that hope. He needed to know.

continued through the fields of a nearby Jopo farm, the crops a
ghostly curved outline below Jon’s eyes. Then they leapt a
fence at least two metres high, the hard landing barely slowing the
Threshian down. Jon found himself wondering if the alien ever got
tired, or if it could continue forever. Would this ever end?

was perhaps ten minutes later when the alien slowed to a halt,
roughly throwing the boy to the ground as it struggled to slow its
own laboured breathing. Jon saw that the Threshian was leaning
against the plexifibre wall of a large building, light spilling out
from a nearby open door. They had arrived.

human,” the Threshian said as it hauled him up again. “If
I had realised you were so heavy, I would have left you.”

alien walked through the doorway, ducking down as it did so, the door
having been designed for humankind. Inside was one large room stacked
high and haphazardly with wooden crates. Jon realised they were in
some sort of warehouse.

a vocoder called, the timbre slightly deeper than the one owned by
his captor. “Why have you brought this creature here?”

fire did not go to plan, my brother,” his captor replied, lying
Jon down against a crate. “Klein’s female and child

saw another Threshian standing in the yellow glow of a lamp set down
upon a nearby table. This one was a few inches taller than its
fellow, dressed in faded blue mining overalls soiled by years of use.

you brought the child here?”

Threshian called Daniel raised its shoulders and lowered them just as
quickly. “It’s only a child.”

larger Threshian walked across to Jon, reaching down a recently
bandaged claw and raising Jon's head up by his chin. Jon looked
deeply into the Threshian's hourglass eyes and blinked. The paralysis
was beginning to fade.

aware of us,” The older Threshian said. “I don’t
like that.”

can use it to lure its sire into an ambush,” Daniel said. “The
humans are just as protective of their young as we are.”

older Threshian removed his hand and Jon’s head slumped

plan was for them to die in the fire,” Daniel’s brother
said. “There was to be no connection to us. The Marshal was to
be grief-stricken by a horrible accident, not hungry for revenge!”

way is better."

older Threshian struck his brother with a force that sent him
hurtling into a crate, the wood fracturing in his wake.

you see Daniel? They have proof we oppose them. You even used Haski
Darts rather than a human weapon.”

Daniel answered. “It is better that they know.”

other Threshian shook its head in disbelief. “What of the

regained his feet, picking the splinters from his scales. “I
couldn’t carry them both, my brother.”


I disposed of her.”

closed his eyes. No more, no more.

BOOK: Threshold Shift
8.96Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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