A Message from Carole Gill
I write stories of the paranormal, horror, and love. I'm the creator of Louis Darton, a strong vampire with a dark, tortured past. Come journey with me as I help Louis find love and fight his ultimate nemesis, the evil, demonic Eco.
Know what I want to do? I want to take gothic romance where it's never been! I want to shock and thrill you and leave you wanting more.
The battle between good vs. evil is central to my fiction and there is no fudging over the evil. Evil is evil. There can be love as well or even just the hope of love, but whatever there is, my fiction is never predictable. I don't think fiction should be.
If readers want darkest gothic horror with romantic elements, then look no further!
Saturday, 18 August 2012
DEADWORLD: WILL YOU BE READY?!
13-May-2271 A.D. 12:01 EST
Mission: Utima 10 Exploratory.
Utima Crews were all volunteers. None of them had family to worry about. How could they? They were part of the Millennia Program. Deep space travel took up to a thousand years. Families complicated things unless they had a Methuselah enzyme which these guys didn’t have.
All they had were themselves with their own ways of dealing with things. The Commander for instance was okay if you did your job which was fair enough, Harris supposed.
Ah but Harris supposed a lot of things. He and Gallo were emotional. Commander Dib Hunter knew it and dealt with it as best he could. Gallo wasn’t as dramatic as Harris but they could still louse up the mission.
Not much of a big deal mission really, just routine star mining and some interplanetary exploration. After completion they were to return to earth in deep hibernation.
It was like a long dreamless sleep with sonic music bits playing, relaxing them into their womblike state.
Hunter thought of it as a pre birth experience he always had.
As for the crew they had to be selected carefully because of the time element. Hunter had lost his wife years ago in one of those climate extinction blips that weren’t supposed to be happening any more.
The climate was controlled as everything else was. They even had tree sensors that worked along the lines of building and edifice sensors. Talk about a brave new world. Earth had been as high tech as any sci fi writer could have dreamed. That’s what Hunter thought.
He also thought Lorke was the best person for the mission because he never panicked. No matter what kind of climatic experience they encountered on any star, he remained focused and helpful.
Naturally they had all the data chips to re-watch. These stars had been fully evaluated for exploration previously. There were to be no surprises.
Their mission was to document and assess mining opportunities. It was called scientific feasibility. Actually all that meant was the corporations (and yes they ran everything) wanted to know just how much could be gained from exploration. They always wanted to know.
The stars were grim, desolate places with howling winds and metallic-based black rain that fell so hard it ripped up a lot of their equipment. That was why they always had spares of nearly everything.
Their destination was the MS System. Mega Star System dominated a lot of smaller stars. It was the granddaddy of the intra-stellar mining loops, kind of the Wizard of Oz for deep space mining and worth going to.
They had discovered innumerable ore veins throughout its crust. Not only iron and tin but new compounds, stuff so new they called it Nova-ore.
They spent two earth years there. The time went by fairly quickly only they got kind of cabin fevered, in that they started snapping at one another.
Harris was the worst. He was ratty almost from the moment they landed. Lorke thought there was something playing on his mind. He tried to talk to him about it but he received a lot of abuse instead.
Hunter had to take Harris aside in order to try and reason with him.
"Get a grip John; we’re not going to baby you. If you get too weird I can hibernate you early. So you’re out of everybody’s hair!"
Harris blanched when he said that and apologized.
It wasn’t until much later Hunter put two and two together and came up with a tragic explanation for Harris’ behavior.
Things went fairly well for the longest time after that. They worked hard and coped well. But then they decided to leave.
13-May-2273 A.D. 14:01 EST
I.G. StarshipMission: Utima 10
Hunter checked everything out himself. He always did that. Once he was satisfied he brought Lorke on board to go through everything in more detail. Lorke had been a special ops chief on earth. Hunter valued his expertise.
Gallo and Harris checked supplies. They had more than enough for ten missions.
Harris looked peculiar just before lift-off but didn’t say anything.
Lorke said there was an air of tension about the ship and he was worried. But that was strange because everything checked out. Despite that Hunter and Lorke did a recheck on everything just to make sure.
Their ship had automated repair systems in place that kept everything operational. Any damage to vital systems was repaired. But something broke down. They realized it when they left hibernation. It was unexpected just like death is sometimes—like death and nightmares.
22 October-3223 A.D. 12:40 local time
The landing was as smooth as Hunter had ever known a landing to be. Everything worked with the exception of that one pod—the death pod.
Their stasis pods had functioned for most of them--for three of them. Harris wasn’t so lucky. His pod had ceased functioning 1000 hours into the flight.
They found it uncomfortable to look into the face of death. Harris looked nothing like he had in life. His features were blurred as if some evil corruption had laid siege to his handsome face.
Each wanted to remember him as he once was.
Hunter noted the time. Gallo and Lorke were badly affected by Harris’s death. Lorke so badly, he had to be treated—lasered, medicated--everything. The two had once been close. Lorke often thought of him as a brother.
"He had a premonition, right? I mean it had to be. We should have helped him. You know we could have put off…"
"What, death?" Hunter asked. He didn’t know what to say really. What he was thinking was that Harris’ pod should have been checked and rechecked. He wouldn’t say that though. What good would it have done? As it was Lorke and Gallo looked shaken.
Gallo wanted to know if Lorke would be alright, Hunter wanted to sound confident:
"Who Lorke? Yeah, I’ve given him a med joy. Do you want one, don’t be stoic. No reason not to have one. There’s plenty."
Gallo shot him a sad smile. "That’s good to know."
"Hey kid, that’s a bit negative. Don’t think like that."
Hunter’s religious upbringing was kicking in; suicide was frowned upon.
Suddenly Gallo called. "Look! The San Andres Mountains. We’re in New Mexico."
He sounded happy but then his voice changed. He shook his head. "Something’s wrong, though, I can feel it."
"What do you mean?"
Gallo shrugged. "Don’t know. Just a feeling."
Hunter ordered air quality tests just in case earth had gone off its nut and lethally infected itself. Gallo did the reading. "It’s okay. It’s safe to breathe."
"Well let’s go then. Disembark, gentlemen."
They stepped outside. It was hot like an oven but other than that everything seemed alight. Key word: seemed.
"Hey!" Gallo saw it first. It was a special operations air vehicle--definitely third millennia made with fancy body work and multi leveler engine mounts—they had all studied the new designs.
"What do you think they want?"
Hunter smiled ruefully. "As long as they don’t speak Arabic, I think we’re okay. Yeah, but I bet the world’s changed a lot—nothing stays the same. Yesterday’s enemy--!"
The craft touched down and the pilot got out. It was a woman. She saluted and they returned the salute.
Hunter answered. "One dead. Stasis breakdown."
Lorke stepped forward and looked at the Lieutenant. "His name was Second Lt. John Harris, he was 28."
She looked sympathetic. "Thank you," she said punching something on her portable comp unit. "What are your plans now?"
The three of them tittered even Lorke did. After all it was a funny thing to say.
Gallo said what the others were thinking: "What are you kidding me, we just got out of a millennia of hibernation and you think we want a return voyage? No way babe." He thought she’d laugh or get pissed off, but she didn’t.
She only looked frightened. "Look I’m telling you for your own good, don’t stay here! Get out. I’ll take your crewman, that’s no problem, but leave please—it isn’t safe."
Hunter scowled. "I’m sure it’s safe enough. Look, what we need is rest, Lieutenant! We’ll be alright."
They eyeballed each other but neither one was prepared to back down. Finally she spoke, "Alright, I’ll take you to base. You can rest and eat there. We’ll even throw in a medical and dental."
"That’s kind of you," Hunter smiled.
She didn’t return the smile but gestured toward the transport. It looked too high tech inside, Hunter didn’t like it.
"Hatch closed. Ready?"
Hunter sighed. She was an officious little so and so. He watched her snap some high tech switches and they travelled 20 miles in a little over 30 seconds.
They were just beginning to relax, but that’s when they saw the mist.
She started to tremble. "Oh no, there it is! That’s the second time this week!"
"Oh no what? What is that stuff, it isn’t toxic is it? We didn’t pick up any danger readings…"
She shook her head. "It’s worse than toxic, believe me!"
"How could it be worse?" Hunter asked teasingly but then he looked worried because the mist was thicker now. It was a hell of a lot thicker and there was something else--something that had begun slipping out of it and was sweeping across the white sand.
"What is that?!"
She didn’t answer.
"Come on what is it?!"
She took a deep breath. "Look, something happened. Shortly after the Inter-dimensional Research Program was closed down—it happened. Only closing it down then was like what is that expression, ‘closing the barn door after the horse escaped?’
"Well go on!"
"It’s like this. It started slowly. First there was one opening and then another so that now there are several openings—here, over Europe and Asia."
"What kind of openings?!"
"Ways in—apertures that lead to--!"
"To what for Christ sakes?!"
"To other dimensions!"
"Other dimensions? You’re kidding."
"I’m not kidding."
Gallo was pointing. The shadows were moving their way. "Look!"
"Hang on; we’re getting out of here!"
Once again they were airborne. No one said anything. Not even after they landed. At last she turned toward them. "The point is the spirits of the dead are coming through more and more. And not just one or two, loads of them And there’s nothing we can do about it!"
Suddenly Lorke cried out. "Over there! Oh my God!"
The others looked. There was no doubt about it. It was Harris, not as he looked when they last saw him. He was different—he looked more like a shadow but with features and he seemed bigger, much bigger.
The Lieutenant shook her head "That your man? They all look like that. The thing is none of them have made contact yet. Of course it’s early days yet…!"
Hunter was no longer listening. He was looking in the opposite direction. "Look at it now!"
The mist had changed. Now it covered everything for as far as the eye could see. They watched as Harris was immediately absorbed into its vast dark mass.
"Did you see that?" Lorke’s question which no one answered, there was no need.
If they had seen shadows before they now saw one immense tidal wave of shadows—a great, dark sea of the dead moving at break neck speed like a weird Tsunami of the dead.
Lorke burst out of the vehicle. The shadows seemed to ebb for a moment. Lorke started to laugh and wave his arms and shout. "It’s going! You see, it’s going, God damn it! We’ll be alright! See? Nothing to worry about. Old Lorke knows!"
Hunter shouted. "No! Lorke, get away from there!" Even as he said it Hunter knew it was no use, already he could see the mist swallowing up his man. Lorke was gone in an instant.
They all just stared until Gallo spoke: "There are no holes anymore. We no longer have…!"
"Our world to ourselves. The dead are here for us."
They waited patiently--almost calmly--for they had somehow accepted the unacceptable. There was little point in fighting it. Their world was being swept away and they within it.
Soon there would only be the darkness and the mist and the shadows and deadworld.
copyright carole gill 2011