Shard Seeker. (Part 5)

Comments and critiques are welcome and encouraged

As the sun began to reach its peak on the desert planet, Andromeda made her way to the east end of the trading camp.  She glared at the ground as she walked.  There were many more important things she could be doing than a stupid duel.  But, if it got her out of the tight spot she found herself in, she would give it a shot.

On the plain several make shift stations had been set up for shard seekers to test their skills.  She passed a rifle range where several men were showing off.  Three men stood side by side holding rifles nearly as long as the men were tall.  Their targets could not be seen in the distance but each concentrated as they aimed through the small scopes attached to each rifle.

A brief whir broke the silence followed by the deafening ring of de-atomized matter.  The sound coincided with a brilliant flash at the muzzle of two of the rifles and two brilliant streams of energy that blazed into the distance.

“What the,” the third man shouted sounding somewhat inebriated.

“Helps if you turn the shard field on,” one of the others called to him chuckling as he loaded a steel bearing down the barrel of his rail-gun.  He and his companion laughed while the misfiring drunk grumbled and checked his equipment.

“I’ll go check the targets, maybe he actually hit it with the bullet itself! HOLD FIRE!” the third man cackled and shouted as he charged his tach-fields and skimmed off down range.

“Morey, didn’t your A.I. tell you your field was off?” the remaining man asked the drunk.

Morey grumbled something about ‘turning the damn A.I. off’ and continued to check his gun and shard harness for some imaginary defect.

The other key property of the fields generated from the radiation of shards was the way in which they altered matter and energy.   In a peculiar trick of physics energy moving into certain field towards the shard would be absorbed and converted to matter.  Conversely, matter pushed through differently tuned field, away from the shard, could be converted into pure energy.   These were the fundamental principals by which all weaponry, both defensive and offensive, were based.

“How’s the weather Daniel,” Andromeda spoke into the air as she continued on.

“The space currents are strong today, and blustery, you can probably generate a de-atomizing field of fifteen percent before you start to get pulled by the tachyon currents,” came the reply of her A.I. that only she could hear.

“It must be very blustery; I’ve notice you’ve been having trouble maintaining a steady gravity sim’.   This is going to make flying and fighting at the same time tricky,” she commented back.

“Agreed,” replied Daniel, “I will try to keep you steady by tuning your fields focused by your suit itself, but you will have to use the tach-rod fields with skill to keep upwind and get your shots off without being pulled off course.”

“That’ll be tough if the currents keep shifting,” Andromeda adjusted a setting on her goggles, and observed as the sub-atomic currents were visually represented to her vision.

“I’m glad you decided to show-up Ande’,” Donnavan’s voice disrupted her assessment.  She turned to see the seedy rep from Charles Gateway making his way towards her followed closely by Aaron.

“So where’s your guy?  You don’t expect that kid to take me, do you?”  Andromeda motioned toward her intended apprentice.

“No, no my dear,” Donnavan replied.   He turned to a crowd of rough looking shard seekers gathered on the edge of the nearby dueling field.

“Five hundred credits to whoever can best the young woman here!” he shouted.  Several heads turned and men began to come forward.

“I’ll take her down for three hundred and a keg!” shouted a rider from the back of the group.

The crowd parted to reveal a dark haired man, average in build, in a worn and battered shard harness.  He was well known to Andromeda, who cursed under her breath.

“Ah, very well Mr. Hawkens, 300 credits and the finest beer I can find!  We have a deal,” Donnavan smirked.

Donnavan and the others moved back as Andromeda and her challenger approached the field.  Each leaned their long rail guns against a nearby rock, close to the crowd.  Andromeda checked her belt to ensure she had enough ammunition.  As expected, every spare inch of her belt not holding a satchel or holster held a tapered metal bolt.  Hawkens meanwhile reached to the quiver on his back and quickly counted the long needle like arrows it held.  He shrugged, apparently satisfied with the number and spoke to Andromeda in a low tone as they both made their way out into the field.

“I heard about Ben.  You still searching the rim?”  Hawkens asked looking straight ahead as they walked.

“Whenever I’m not dealing with shit from Donnavan,” she sighed before continuing, “Your still a sucker for a keg I see.”

“What’s a boy to do?” Hawkens gestured his arms to the sides as he began to back away, pacing the distance to his starting mark.

“It’s nothing personal, ‘K?” Andromeda shouted across the field as she clipped a tach-rod to her feet.

“Never is Ande’, never is,” Hawken replied while attaching a cord to two of the opposing ends of his double tach-rod.  He gave the bow string a pluck and smiled at Ande’.

“Ready when you are Hun’.”


About jaurelguay

I'm a Research Scientist, a Husband and Father, and Published Writer. View all posts by jaurelguay

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Because, Unicorns.

Adventures in Parenting, Family Blending, Loving, and Living.

Theo Taylor

Theo Taylor is a writer, fitness freak and college student who has been published by Thought Catalog, Asimov's and Aphelion. He writes star spanning science fiction and monster filled high fantasy. His debut novel ROGUE COSMOS will release in August, 2015. If he's not reading or writing, check the gym. He's almost always in the gym.

Killer Kitsch

Art, entertainment and pop culture blog for the discerning geek & nerd

Kin S. Law

Steampunk & Sci-fi-fantasy author


Wherewolves the Novel


Official site for author JD Spero

Just another blog, a place to share my inspirations, my writing, etc...


Writing Stories on the Hearts of Children

Spark: A Creative Anthology

Spark is a quarterly anthology accepting Poetry, Flash Fiction, Short Stories, and Creative Non-Fiction. We encourage both established and emerging talent.

Under a Starlit Sky

Flash Fiction & Short Stories

Tony's Thoughts

My opinions, my views. Nothing else.

Anika's Antics

The Official page of Anika Arrington. I write things. Some of them end up here.

here + now

let's talk . let's drink. let's live.


Steampunk music and the people behind it

The Daily Wordforge

Wordsmiths, tell stories.


Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight uses statistical analysis — hard numbers — to tell compelling stories about politics, sports, science, economics and culture.

The Dream Forge

by Anders Blixt, SF author and game designer


Blowing minds, melting faces, and pissing off The Man since 2009.

Protect Young Minds

Kids Can Learn to Reject Pornography

Rave Reviews By Nonnie Jules

Reviews Make an Author's World Go Round

How do we feed the world's starving

We feed billions of people in need, this is how.

The English Major's Blog

A blog for Sheila van den Heuvel-Collins: writer, editor and tutor


science | philosophy | thinking

Silly Robots

Writing Science Fiction was always this fun

Planetary Defense Command

Defending the planet from bad science fiction

From Researcher to Patient

My fight against acute myeloid the lab and in my own life.

The Torn Page - A K Hinchey's Writing Blog

Where fantasy and reality collide...

All Five Sisters

All five of us - together in one place!

one cool site

WordPress blogging tips & tutorials

Ben Ireland Books

Books by Ben Ireland

Nelson Literary Agency

Just another blog, a place to share my inspirations, my writing, etc...

Marian Rosarum

fairy tale and literary fantasy author

Scenes and Sequels

The writing and ramblings of David Kearney

Lori Lesko - BLOG

Just another blog, a place to share my inspirations, my writing, etc...

graphic designer, bibliophile, spoonie


tell a redemptive story with your life. now.


The Science Of Survival

Airship Ambassador

Information for the Steampunk Community -


Just a shiny little place to dream.

Just another blog, a place to share my inspirations, my writing, etc...


Just another blog, a place to share my inspirations, my writing, etc...


Just another blog, a place to share my inspirations, my writing, etc...

Novel Conclusions

"We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master." - Ernest Hemingway

%d bloggers like this: