Archive for the ‘Aliens’ Category

So, what have I been watching?


Alien 3

I love these movies and enjoy watching them again whenever I get the itch for a good scare. Sigourney Weaver was such a badass. I’m sure you remember this line – “Get away from her you bitch!” LOL

I miss movies like these. It’s hard to find a good alien movie these days. I also enjoyed watching Ghosts Of Mars and Dreamcatcher again. And caught the newer release, Life.

John Carpenter's Ghosts of Mars  Dreamcatcher


Have you seen all of the Alien movies? How about the Alien VS. Predator ones? I liked those too and plan to watch them again.

And I’m always looking for more movies. Got any you recommend?


Do you spend hours in front of the TV, maybe days? Did you ever want to chat with other Binge Watchers or ask people for suggestions or maybe just review the season you watched. Books, Movies, Reviews, Oh My! and Because Reading had the perfect idea, why not get all of us binge watchers together? BUT, we want this to be unique so there is no template, no set way to do it. You can do the post however you want. Here are a few examples of what you can post about.

  • Did you just Binge Watch a series and now have book recommendations?
  • Make a poll to have others pick what you should watch.
  • Write a review of the season you watched or an entire series. You can even do one episode at a time.
  • Make a post that tells people what you plan to watch, what you already watched and what you are currently watching.

The choice is yours be unique, different and do it however you want THEN come back to either Because Reading or Books, Movies, Reviews, Oh My! and link up your post EVERY OTHER WEEK. This will be a once every other week post. That gives you time to binge watch and not have to come up with a post every week, especially if real life got in the way and you weren’t able to binge watch anything. Don’t forget to visit other peoples posts, you never know if something they watched will be your next favorite show.

Also make sure to use the Hashtag #Bingewatchersclub so we can chat on twitter too.


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For a list of my reviews go HERE.

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To see all of my giveaways go HERE

Lara Larue
(Galaxy Alien Warriors, #2)
Publication date: January 18th 2017
Genres: Adult, Romance, Science Fiction

She’s a captive. He wants her to be a queen. Will his passion be enough to change her mind?

Keira wishes she could return home. After being kidnapped from Earth by aliens, she’s fiercely determined to make it back to her planet. The absolute last thing she needs is a love interest. What Keira wants is an ally…

Sekkol is heir to the throne of Jupiter. As a highly-trained alien warrior, he’s probably the last creature in the universe who should help Keira. But when he lays eyes on her, he knows: she is his mate, and he’ll do anything to protect her.

As Keira warms to Sekkol’s presence, she wonders if her own feelings will keep her from returning home. Sekkol remains patient, protecting Keira from his own mating urges… until she’s ready to let him in.

Sekkol is the standalone second book in a series of sexy sci-fi alien romance novels. If you like feisty heroines, intense action, and sexy romance, then you’ll love Lara LaRue’s Galaxy Alien Warriors series.

Goodreads / Amazon





Author Lara LaRue

Lara LaRue is a romance author who lives in New York City. She loves writing sizzling, sexy stories.
To learn more about Lara LaRue and her collection of romance novels, visit her at

Website / Goodreads / Facebook


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ABeginnersGuideToInvadingEarth Banner copy

I’m very excited to share A Beginner’s Guide To Invading Earth with ya’ll.

  I have a an interview with the author, along with my review.

And don’t forget to enter the giveaway!


Interview with Author Gerhard Gehrke

Thanks so much for taking time out from your busy tour to answer some questions. Let’s get started, shall we?


  1. How long did it take you to write A Beginner’s Guide To Invading Earth?

Two years before editing was complete. It still feels like I didn’t spend enough time on it but if I ever wanted to move on, I had to stop tinkering and let it go so people might actually read it.

  1. What is your target audience?

The book should be accessible to non-science fiction fans and be right up the alley of those comfortable with the genre. It is not overly grotesque or graphic and is appropriate for younger readers. There’s some disrespectful language and mild violence. Three aliens get accidentally impaled with a kite, so be warned.

  1. Could you share with us a favorite part you enjoyed writing?

My editor insisted on a new first chapter where the main character would be introduced and we just spend a few moments with him before the aliens show up. Here I got to reintroduce Jeff Abel to the story and was able to describe him in his mundane element working as kitchen help at a restaurant, while touching on the fact that he used to be a computer programmer who developed a distrust of technology, paranoia, and chronic bad luck.

  1. Where is your favorite place to write?

I have a messy desk with a desktop. Here I have room to adjust my keyboard, my multiple notebooks and Post-Its, and sit at ergonomically horrible angles while pecking away at the keys. Usually one of my wife’s cockatiels is sitting on a knee or foot.

  1. Are you currently working on anything new?

I have a follow-up to A Beginner’s Guide to Invading Earth that is now going through editing. Also I have a post-decline of civilization novel I’m writing where a young girl escapes from a secret sanctuary only to discover that the world outside is a much more complicated place than she had ever imagined.

Five fun shorts.

You are an alien on earth:

  1. Can I take your spaceship for a spin? If you’re telling me you can actually see our ship, then Zn’Fordell is going to get an earful about his ‘foolproof’ cloaking device.
  1. What is your reaction the first time you see a human? “Look, Gurgl’inada, these look just like the natives of Epsilon Eridani 4. Maybe we should be more careful this time.”
  1. Do you have a favorite TV show or movie? We do. Mostly our own shows. But to get good reception on this planet we will have to obliterate your moon as Zn’Fordell forgot to plug in the TiVo.
  1. Are you going to eat my cat? Well he did start it by eating my navigator. Unless by chance you’ve trained your cat in advanced astrogation?

What came first? The chicken or the egg? The egg enjoys deflecting attention to the chicken in order to obfuscate its true diabolical parentage which currently grows under your own city streets. Go ahead, eat the eggs. What doesn’t kill you makes you ours.


A Beginner’s Guide To Invading Earth

by Gerhard Gehrke

ABeginnersGuideToInvadingEarth book cover

Genre: Science Fiction


My Review

I expected some humor in this story. The title sure suggests it. As does the fun cover art.

There’s a whole lot of laughs here. The author’s choice of casting his main protagonist as your average Joe makes it mysterious and fun.

And the aliens. What can I say. You’d expect them to be intelligent, right? They come from galaxies far, far away. They must be smart to be able to conquer space travel.

Well, that’s not the case here. They seem completely unaware of how scary they look to us humans.

The first few attempts at contact fail dismally. One alien gets run over by a truck, several get shot, and many more meet sticky ends. And when you see the story from their point of view, you’ll shake your head at just how inept and clueless they really are. I wish I could share some of their attempts with you, but don’t want to include spoilers. I may have a warped sense of humor, but I had to laugh, a lot, at how some of the aliens met their ends.

Jeff has no idea he’s been chosen as the person of first contact with the aliens. Why would he. He’s nobody special. When contact is made, he’s soon embroiled in alien politics and conspiracy. He has some help from an outcast alien and a woman with her own agenda. It’s crucial that he discover the reason behind all of the alien deaths before Earth and humanity becomes a target.

I laughed at the beginning, and the laughs just kept coming. The aliens were kind of gross, in a funny way. They smelled. I mean really smelled. And they acted more like children than intelligent beings.

An action/adventure science fiction story for all ages. With loads of laughs and fun characters, and plenty of adventure, this is one I’d recommend to all readers. It has something for everyone. Sure kept me entertained for a few hours.

4 Stars



What would you do if you found a dead alien on a lonely highway?

Was it an accident, sabotage, or murder? And why is everyone blaming Jeff?

The extraterrestrials aren’t waiting for answers. They want revenge. And Jeff isn’t ready for company.

His only hope is an outcast mechanic from another world and a woman who might do anything to get off planet, including selling out her own kind. Jeff has to get to the bottom of why there are so many alien bodies piling up and who is really responsible.

A science fiction adventure novel, A Beginner’s Guide to Invading Earth tells the story of a reclusive ex-computer programmer who is the unwitting central figure of a plot to keep humanity from ever making first contact.


Enjoy this glimpse inside!

First contact with the humans wasn’t going as planned, as was obvious by the rank smells that choked the air of the alien visitorsʹ craft. But no one called them aliens where they came from.

Seven little Greys, short bipeds with large heads and big eyes and delicate limbs, sat in the flight seats of their ship’s crew compartments and listened as the Mission Commander lectured them from the Command Module. The harangue lingered in the air, not as words or even sounds but as a smell, a ripe one replete with pheromones and scent packets that the Greys used to speak with one another. A new string of curses from the Commander’s glands smelled of licorice. The Mission Commander composed itself. It wiped sticky sweat from its hairless frontal lobe.

The lights and displays in front of the seven crew members blinked and flashed. No one would so much as touch a button until the Commander was finished addressing the crew.

“I’ll hear no more of it,” the Commander said. “We’re on the human world. We go forward. Probability calculations for success show at 100%. The computer will be trusted.”


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

ABeginnersGuideToInvadingEarth author pic

Gerhard Gehrke studied film at San Francisco State University. He wrote and produced several shows for community television. His Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror short stories have appeared in several publications, including an Editor’s Choice-winning short story at A Beginner’s Guide to Invading Earth is his first novel.

You can connect with him at these links

Website / Twitter / Facebook / Blog

Purchase links: Amazon / B&N


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iRead Book Tour Logo Medium

I’m always excited and sad when I reach the end of a series. This is the fifth and final book in the Aoleon The Martian Girl Saga.

Thanks so much for stopping by as I say farewell to these lovable characters and their fantastic adventures.


Book Title: Aoléon The Martian Girl: A Science Fiction and Fantasy Saga – Part 5: The Great Pyramid of Cydonia, written and illustrated by Brent LeVasseur
Category:  Middle-Grade, 130 pages
Genre: Science-fiction and Fantasy
Publisher: Aoléon Press
Release date: February 1, 2015
Available for review in:  PDF
Will send books: Internationally
Tour dates: May
Content Rating: G
My Review

This is it. The fifth and final book in the  Aoleon The Martian Girl Saga. I’m excited and sad at the same time.

This author built a fantastic, vibrant world with characters that charmed you and adventures that were literally out of this world.

As with the other books, the illustrations are almost 3D and so visually brilliant you feel you could step into them. You’ll wish you could.

All of the characters come together in a grand finale to stop the evil plot to invade Earth and to save martians and humans alike.

In this end to the series, all questions are answered, secrets you didn’t even know were secrets are revealed, and there are many surprises and all the action and adventure you can handle.

I’m going to miss Aoleon and Gilbert and the entire cast of unique characters and creatures.

I like to imagine the author dreamed about this world he created and it’s wonderful characters. I hope he dreams up some thrilling worlds in the future.

5 Stars

Book Description:Aoléon, Gilbert, Bizwat, Helios, and Zoot make it to their final destination – Cydonia where Aoléon’s parents are being held captive. They infiltrate a secret underground base and are confronted by a small army of sentrybots.Bizwat lends Aoléon and Gilbert some of his advanced combat skills via a psionic brain dump. However, this may not be enough to save them from overwhelming hostile forces that will do anything to stop them.They finally meet Pax – the Martian who originally set them out on the mission to discover the truth about the Luminon and his plans to invade Earth. However Pax is not who he seems to be, and through a turn of events, they uncover the true power behind all that has been happening on Mars.Will they be able to rescue Aoléon’s parents and save Earth from invasion?
Read part 5 to find out!
Enjoy this awesome book trailer!

Buy The Book:

Aoleon Single Album

Buy The Martian Girl Song!

Another World – Single

Featuring Élan Noelle

Download on iTunes


Meet The Author:
Aoloeon 4 Brent LeVasseur
Mr. LeVasseur enjoys crafting good stories based on lovable characters designed to translate well to multiple media formats such as books, games, movies, and toys. He lives in New York when he is not commuting between Southern California and Olympus Mons, Mars. His hobbies include writing, 3D animation, musical composition, and intergalactic space travel. He also enjoys various sports such as skiing, running, and exospheric skydiving.Connect with Brent:   Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook  ~  Aoléon: The Martian Girl


Click on the covers for my reviews of the first four books.

23874411  24485092




Until the next time…..

Thanks so much for visiting fuonlyknew!


Welcome to this week’s M9B Friday Reveal!

This week, we are revealing the cover for

Ashes In The Sky (Fire in The Woods #2) by Jennifer M. Eaton

presented by Month9Books!

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

Ashes In The Sky

After inadvertently saving the world, eighteen-year-old Jessica Martinez is ready to put adventure behind her and settle back into the familiar routine of high school.

Though when she’s offered an opportunity to photograph the inside of an alien space ship, Jess jumps at the chance. After all, she’d be crazy to turn something like that down, right?

Spending time with David on the ship has definite advantages and the two seem to pick up right where they left off. But when Jess discovers a plot to sabotage David’s efforts to establish a new home for his people on another planet, neither David’s advanced tech nor Jess’s smarts will be able to save them.

ASHES IN THE SKY is an action-packed, romantic Sci Fi adventure that will leave readers screaming for more.

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Title: Ashes In The Sky (Fire in The Woods #2)
Publication date: September 1, 2015
Publisher: Month9Books
Author: Jennifer M. Eaton

Available for Pre-order:
amazon B&N


Jennifer M. Eaton

Corporate Team Leader by day, and Ranting Writer by night. Jennifer M. Eaton calls the East Coast of the USA home, where she lives with her husband, three energetic boys, and a pepped up poodle.

Jennifer hosts an informational blog “A Reference of Writing Rants for Writers (or Learn from My Mistakes)” aimed at helping all writers be the best they can be.

Beyond writing and motivating others, she also enjoys teaching her dog to jump through hoops—literally.

Jennifer’s perfect day includes long hikes in the woods, bicycling, swimming, snorkeling, and snuggling up by the fire with a great book; but her greatest joy is using her over-active imagination constructively… creating new worlds for everyone to enjoy.


Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads




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Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!
Title will be sent upon its release.

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To see all of my giveaways click on the lucky horseshoe below!

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iRead Book Tour Logo Medium

How could I resist this book. I adored the first one and couldn’t wait to find out what these two galactic friends were cooking up next.

It’s a wild, fantastical adventure of galactic proportions.

Please enjoy my review and check out the spectacular illustrations and cover art.


Book Title: Aoléon The Martian Girl: A Science Fiction and Fantasy Saga – Part 2: The Luminess of Mars, written and illustrated by Brent LeVasseur
Category:  Middle-Grade, 90 pages
Genre: Science-fiction and Fantasy
Publisher: Aoléon Press
Release date: February 23, 2015
Available for review in:  PDF
Will send books: Internationally
Tour dates: February 2015
Content Rating: G
Aoleon  2.
My review
This is the second book in this series and I won’t reveal anything the blurb doesn’t tell you so there will be no spoilers.
Our young co-conspirators, Gilbert and Aoleon,  are becoming fast friends and having a blast on Mars. I wish I could be there. It looks and sounds like such fun.
The space ships flit by overhead and the streets are crowded. To keep his identity from the martians, Aoleon has Gilbert paint his skin blue and cautions him to not draw attention to himself. Her parents are nervous about having a Terran (human) in their home but any friend of Aoleon’s is welcome.
After getting to know these two characters, it came as no surprise they couldn’t stay out of trouble for long.
They are plopped into the middle of a resistance and Gilbert notices something strange going on with the Luminess, the Luminon’s mate. Ah, the plot thickens.
It’s no longer fun and games for these two as they run from the Mars leaders and their Paladin Guards.
As with the first book, this one is filled with exciting illustrations that leap off the pages with spectacular colors. They are almost 3-D and such fun.
Some things are different yet similar on Mars as on Earth.
The pets are odd and I’m still trying to figure out if they are supposed to be dogs and cats.
There are gangs on Mars just waiting for an opportunity to rob you blind. And there are bullies too. Gilbert gets to meet Aoleon’s tormentors up close and personal like.
Spaceships zoom by overhead displaying advertisements., kind of like how New York City uses their buildings.
And there’s pizza! It’s not the same as ours, but not too bad according to Gilbert. They call it a Galact Platter and it looks like pizza to me.
Gilbert gets a surprise when he learns the martians fear us  humans. They are mind readers and, as such, can’t tell a lie.  When the Luminess reads Gilbert’s mind he also reads hers. I see why they might fear us. No secrets stay secret for long.
Something’s brewing on Mars and the target is Earth and our cows.
Let’s hope Aoleon and Gilbert are up to the task.
I enjoyed this second adventure as much as the first and will continue reading the series to it’s conclusion. A whole lot of fun and such amazing art work. I hope to one day have these as print books so I can really enjoy the illustrations. And while this is a book for young readers, adults will love it too.
5 Stars

Book Description:

Aoléon and Gilbert receive a special mission from PAX, a wanted criminal and leader of the Martian resistance movement to investigate the Luminon of Mars, who he suspects is planning an invasion of Earth to steal its milk cows. Gilbert has an encounter with the Luminess (the mate of the Luminon) and discovers something strange about her during a procession, and the duo are chased by the Royal Paladin Guard. 

At Aoléon’s home, Gilbert meets Aoléon’s family, her sister Una, mother Phobos and father Deimos as well as her overzealous pet Zoot. He is also introduced to Bizwat, a covert operator and Procyon Commando, who uses his Saturn Pizza delivery job as a cover. 

Gilbert then gets to visit the Martian Space Academy (Aoléon’s school) where he encounters Aoléon’s nemesis, Charm Lepton and her friend Quarkina, as well as receiving a history lesson on the Martian people by Plutarch Xenocrates. After class, Gilbert and Aoléon get to train in zero-G and Gilbert is treated to a Psi-ball match between Martian Space Academy and Martian Science Academy.
Buy the Book:
Pre-order your copy today!

​  ​
Buy The Martian Girl Song!
Aoleon 2 Single Album

Another World – Single

Featuring Élan Noelle

Download on iTunes
Meet the Author:
Aoleon 2 Brent LeVasseur

Mr. LeVasseur enjoys crafting good stories based on lovable characters designed to translate well to multiple media formats such as books, games, movies, and toys. He lives in New York when he is not commuting between Southern California and Olympus Mons, Mars. His hobbies include writing, 3D animation, musical composition, and intergalactic space travel. He also enjoys various sports such as skiing, running, and exospheric skydiving.

Connect with Brent:   Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook  ~  Aoléon: The Martian Girl



The Martian Girl

Part One

Aoleon 2 The Martian Girl PART 1

My Review

This story is so fast paced I was dragged along like the flying cows. When you read it you’ll get the thing about those cows.

Gilbert is woken up from another weird dream . This one about killer robots. In no hurry to return to that dream, he goes over to look at the night outside through his telescope.

Spotting strange lights in his neighbors farm, the one where the strange crop circles kept appearing, he slips out to investigate and literally bumps into adventure, in the form of Aoleon, a martian girl

The bright lights also catch the farmers eye and he discovers Gilbert and Aoleon, the martian girl, chasing them to her ship where they take off to the skies.

It’s a laugh riot as Aoleon pilots her baby blue space craft around the world, giving Gilbert the ride of his life while she dodges the USAF fighter jets that pursue them.

I received this book in my dropbox and chose to read it there. The illustrations are black and white on my kindle and don’t do them justice.

Excellent descriptions compliment the exciting illustrations, so brilliant in colors they explode off the pages.

Young and older readers alike will be enchanted by Gilbert and Aoleon and this authors world.

I understand there are four more adventures in this saga and an iTunes album.

I plan to follow these adventures. You’ll wish you had a friend like Aoleon, and envy Gilbert as he explores his dreams of space.

An out of this world delight.

5 Stars


Aoleon 2 Extra Image


I hope you enjoyed the adventure and

thanks so much for visiting fuonlyknew!


Welcome to this week’s M9B Friday Reveal!

This week, we are revealing the first chapter for

Lifer by Beck Nicholas

presented by Month9Books!

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!


Asher is a Lifer, a slave aboard the spaceship Pelican. A member of the lowest rung of society, she must serve the ship’s Officials and Astronauts as punishment for her grandparents’ crimes back on Earth. The one thing that made life bearable was her illicit relationship with Samuai, a Fishie boy, but he died alongside her brother in a freak training accident.

Still grieving for the loss of her loved ones, Asher is summoned to the upper levels to wait on Lady, the head Official’s wife and Samuai’s mother. It is the perfect opportunity to gather intel for the Lifer’s brewing rebellion. There’s just one problem—the last girl who went to the upper levels never came back.

On the other side of the universe, an alien attack has left Earth in shambles and a group called The Company has taken control. Blank wakes up in a pond completely naked and with no memory, not even his real name. So when a hot girl named Megs invites him to a black-market gaming warehouse where winning means information, he doesn’t think twice about playing. But sometimes the past is better left buried.

As Asher and Blank’s worlds collide, the truth comes out—everyone has been lied to. Bourne Identity meets Under the Never Sky in this intergalactic tale of love and deception from debut novelist Beck Nicholas.

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Title: LIFER
Publication date: December 16, 2014
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Beck Nicholas


Chapter One

I mark my body for Samuai.
My right hand is steady as I press the slim needle into my skin. It glints under the soft overhead light of the storage locker, the only place to hide on Starship Pelican. Row upon row of shelving fills the room. Back here I’m hidden from the door.
It’s been seventeen days since Samuai passed. Seventeen days of neutral expressions and stinging eyes, waiting for the chance to be alone and pay my respects to the dead Official boy in true Lifer fashion. With blood.
The body of the needle is wrapped in thread I stole from my spare uniform. The blue thread acts as the ink reservoir. It’s soaked with a dye I made from crushed feed pellets and argobenzene, both swiped from farm level. The pungent fumes sting my eyes and make it even harder to keep the tears at bay. But I will. There will be no disrespect in this marking.
My slipper drops to the floor with the softest of thuds as I shake my foot. I raise it to rest on a cold metal shelf. Samuai always held my hand when we met in secret, but I can’t bear to examine those memories now. The pain of him being gone is still so fresh.
The first break of skin at my ankle hurts a little. Not much, since the needle is nano-designed for single molecule sharpness, and it’s not as though I haven’t done this before. Recently. The tattoo for my brother circles my ankle, completed days ago, a match for the one for my father. My memorial for Samuai had to wait for privacy. The blue spreads out into my skin like liquid on a cloth. The dot is tiny. I add another and another, each time accepting the momentary pain as a tribute to Samuai. Soon I’ve finished the first swirling line.
“Are you mourning my brother or yours?”
My hand jerks at the familiar voice, driving the needle deep into the delicate skin over my Achilles. Davyd’s voice. How did he get in here so quietly? I wince, clamping down on a cry of pain. No tears though. Nothing will make me disrespect Samuai. I remove the needle from my flesh and school my features into a neutral expression before I turn and stand to attention.
“Davyd,” I say by way of greeting. Despite my preparation my throat thickens.
My response to him is stupid because he looks nothing like Samuai. Where Samuai radiated warmth from his spiky dark hair hinting of honey and his deep, golden brown eyes, there is only ice in his brother. Ice-chiseled cheekbones, tousled blond hair, the slight cleft in his chin, and his gray eyes. Eyes that see far too much.
But he’s dressed like Samuai used to dress. The same white t-shirt and black pants. It’s the uniform of Officials, or Fishies, as they’re known below. He’s a little broader in the shoulders than his older brother was—to even think of Samuai in the past tense is agony—and he’s not quite as tall. I only have to look up a little to meet his gaze. I do so without speaking.
I shouldn’t be here, but I’m not going to start apologizing for where I am or his reference to my forbidden relationship with his brother, until I know what he wants.
“Is that supposed to happen?” He points at my foot, where blood drips, forming a tiny puddle on the hard, shiny floor.
His face is expressionless, as usual, but I can hear the conceit in his voice. I can imagine what the son of a Fishie thinks of our Lifer traditions.
Today, I don’t care. Even if his scorn makes my stomach tighten and cheeks flame, I won’t care. Not about anything Davyd has to say.
“It’s none of your business.”
One fine brow arches. Superior, knowing.
He doesn’t have to say the words. The awareness of just how wrong I am zaps between us. Given our relative stations on this journey—he’s destined to be a Fishie in charge of managing the ship’s population, and me to serve my inherited sentence—whatever I do is his business, if he chooses to make it so. He’s in authority even though we’re almost the same age.
In order to gain permission to breed, Lifers allowed the injection of nanobots into their children. These prototype bots in our cells give our masters the power to switch us off using a special Remote Device until our sentence is served. At any time we can be shut down. I’m not sure how exactly, only that each of us has a unique code and the device can turn those particular bots against us. It’s an unseen but constant threat.
I keep my face blank and my posture subservient, but my fingers tighten around the needle in my hand. How I long to slap the smooth skin of his cheek.
For a second, neither of us speaks.
“Your brother or mine?” he asks again. Softly this time. So low, the question is almost intimate in the dim light.
I inhale deeply, welcoming the harsh fumes from my makeshift ink. The burning in my lungs gives me a focus so the ever-present emotional pain can’t cripple me. My brother and my boyfriend were taken on the same day, and I’m unable to properly mourn either thanks to the demands of servitude.
I can’t let it cripple me. Not if I want to find out what really happened to Zed and Samuai.
“Does it matter?” I ask. Rather than refuse him again, I twist the question around. He would never admit to having interest in the goings-on of a mere Lifer.
“No.” His voice is hard. Uncaring. He folds his arms. “But it’s against ship law to deface property.”
It takes a heartbeat, and then I realize I’m the property he’s talking about. My toes curl because my fists can’t. I see from the flick of his eyes to my feet that he’s noticed. Of course he has. There’s nothing Davyd doesn’t notice.
It’s true though. The marks we Lifers make on our bodies are not formally allowed. It is a price we pay for the agreement signed in DNA by our parents and our grandparents. They agreed to a lifetime of servitude, and their sentence is passed down through the generations for the chance at a new life on a new planet. I am the last in the chain, and my sentence will continue for twelve years after landing.
We Lifers belong to those above us, body and soul, but no Fishie or Naut—the astronauts who pilot the ship—has ever tried to stop the ritual. In return we are not blatant. We mark feet, torsos, and thighs. Places hidden by our plain blue clothing.
If the son of the head Fishie reports me, it will go on my record no matter how minor the charge, and possibly add months to my sentence. A sentence I serve for my grandparents’ crimes back on Earth after the Upheaval. Like others, their crime was no more than refusal to hand over their vehicle and property when both were declared a government resource.
I swallow convulsively.
I don’t want that kind of notice. Not when we’re expected to land in my lifetime. Not when I hoped to find answers to the questions that haunt me.
The first lesson a Lifer child learns is control around their superiors. I won’t allow mine to fail me now.
“Did you want something? Sir?”
If there’s a faint pause before the honorific, well, I’m only human.
He lets it pass. “The Lady requires extra help at this time. You have been recommended.”
His lips twist. “I was equally surprised. Attend her now.”
The Lady is the wife of the senior Official on board the Pelican, and both Samuai and Davyd’s mother. She’s a mysterious figure who is never seen in the shared area of the ship. I imagine she’s hurting for her dead child. Sympathy stirs within me. I’ve seen the strain my own mother tries to hide since Zed died, and I don’t think having a higher rank would make the burden any easier to bear.
It’s within Davyd’s scope as both Fishie-in-training and son of the ship’s Lady to be the one to inform me of my new placement, but I can’t help looking for something deeper in his words. There should be a kinship between us, having both lost a brother so recently, but Samuai’s death hasn’t affected Davyd at all.
“Who recommended me?”
He shrugs. “Now. Lifer.”
I nod and move to tidy up, ignoring the persistent pain in my ankle where the needle went too deep. My defiance only stretches so far. Not acting on a direct request would be stupidity. I will finish my memorial for Samuai, but not with his brother waiting. It’s typical that Davyd doesn’t use my name. I can’t remember him or his Fishie friends ever doing so.
It was something that stood out about Samuai from when we were youngsters and met in the training room. It was the only place on the ship us Lifers are close to equal. I was paired to fight with him to first blood, and he shocked me by asking my name. “Asher,” Samuai had repeated, like he tasted something sweet on his tongue, “I like it.”
In my heart there’s an echo of the warmth I felt that day, but the memory hurts. It hurts that I’ll never see him again, that he’ll never live out the dreams we shared in our secret meetings. Dreams of a shared future and changes to a system that makes Lifers less than human.
When I’ve gathered the small inkpot and put on my slippers, I notice a smear of blood on the slipper material from where I slipped earlier. It’s the opportunity I need to let my change in status be known below.
“Umm.” I clear my throat. Please let the stories I’ve heard of the Lady be true.
“What?” asks Davyd from where he waits by the door, presumably to escort me to his mother. The intensity of his gaze makes me quake inside. It’s all I can do not to lift my hand to check my top is correctly buttoned and my hair hasn’t grown beyond the fuzz a Lifer is allowed.
“My foot attire isn’t suitable to serve the Lady.” I point to the faint smudge of brown seeping into my footwear. It is said by those cleaners who are permitted into the Fishie sleeping quarters that the Lady insists her apartment be kept spotless. She’s unlikely to be pleased with me reporting for duty in bloodstained slippers.
Davyd’s jaw tenses. Maybe I’ve pushed him too far with this delay. I hold my breath.
But then his annoyance is gone and his face is the usual smooth mask. “Change. I will be waiting at the lift between the training hall and study rooms.”
He doesn’t need to tell me to hurry.
He opens the door leading out into the hallway and I expect him to stride through and not look back. Again he surprises me. He turns. His face is in shadow. The brighter light behind him shines on his tousled blond hair, which gives him a hint of the angelic.
“Assuming it’s my brother you’re mourning,” his voice is deep and for the first time there’s a slight melting of the ice. “You should know. … He wasn’t worth your pain.”




I always wanted to write. I’ve worked as a lab assistant, a pizza delivery driver and a high school teacher but I always pursued my first dream of creating stories. Now, I live with my family near Adelaide, halfway between the city and the sea, and am lucky to spend my days (and nights) writing young adult fiction.

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