Gannon Snippets

Marque of Caine – Snippet 41

Marque of Caine - Snippet 41 Chapter Twenty-Seven May, 2124 Glamqoozht, BD+80 238 Nlastanl was the first to realize that Riordan really did intend to remain silent. The Senior Arbiter raised a finger to still disapproving murmurs. "Perhaps there is a middle course, Caine Riordan." So, Nlastanl either has less disdain for humans or less resolve. "I'm listening." "Let us formally agree to an exchange of information. We shall answer your concerns regarding Elena Corcoran. In return, you will share what you know regarding the two locations we...

Marque of Caine – Snippet 40

Marque of Caine - Snippet 40 All four creatures walked calmly toward the disks that jockeyed lazily, endlessly, along the margin between the concourse and the slideway. Caine realized he'd been staring. "What . . . what are they?" "I am unfamiliar with two of the species. The last pair of quadrupeds are, however, are familiar to me from my perusal of--" "No, no: I mean, are they intelligent? Are they protected species?" Alnduul's narrow tongue made a buzzing sound against the inner surface of his lamprey-mouth. "They are not sapient. They are...

Marque of Caine – Snippet 39

Marque of Caine - Snippet 39 Chapter Twenty-Six May, 2124 Glamqoozht, BD+80 238 Alnduul closed the comm link to Glamqoozht's port authority. "We have just received permission to travel planetside, Caine Riordan." Riordan looked up from the equivalent of a "teach yourself Dornaani" program. It had been almost a month since they'd left Rooaioo'q, and his mastery of the language was still lagging behind that of an early youngling. Olsloov had completed in-shift to the regional Capitol exactly one year after Caine left Earth. Alnduul communicated...

Marque of Caine – Snippet 38

Marque of Caine - Snippet 38 "Exosapients. The ones you conjectured were watching over us. The ones who made it necessary for hostile aliens to resort to the subterfuge of the Doomsday Rock." Corcoran's eyes opened wide. "Are they, the aliens, here? Or are we on their world? Is there any way I can talk to--?" The HUD blanked; Nolan was gone. A warning appeared, flashing in an entirely different typeface. The bold orange text read: ALERT ALERT ALERT re: source-originated simulacrum "Corcoran" Memory and cognition parameters flash-relayed to...

Marque of Caine – Snippet 37

Marque of Caine - Snippet 37 Chapter Twenty-Five April, 2124 Rooaioo'q, BD +66 582 When Riordan re-entered the lab, Thlunroolt was once again seated behind the crescent table. His tone was less jocular. "My regrets for the delay, Caine Riordan. It took us four days alone to calibrate where you may safely reenter the simulation." Riordan nodded. And one more for getting everything ready. Although, according to Alnduul, who was reviewing a hologram of the amended script, they would not have been able to leave, anyway. Word had arrived from the...

Marque of Caine – Snippet 36

Marque of Caine - Snippet 36 Chapter Twenty-Four April, 2124 Rooaioo'q, BD +66 582 Alnduul approached Riordan, hands outstretched. "We simply terminated the simulation. There is no problem--" "No problem?" Riordan stalked toward the Dornaani, who stopped, retreated a step. "This whole simulation is a problem! An atrocity! Where--how the hell did you--?" Thlunroolt's voice was loud. "Calm yourself, human. I can--" "You can shut the fuck up, you smug bastard," Caine shouted, then closed with Alnduul. "Downing let you bury Nolan in space....

Marque of Caine – Snippet 35

Marque of Caine - Snippet 35 Riordan forced himself to take a deep breath. The voice, the face, the small gestures, the nuanced shift between facial expressions that were as unique to Nolan Corcoran as his fingerprints: Christ, how did they do this? "So, how. . . how about telling us something about yourself that we probably don't know?" Corcoran scratched his ear. "Well, to do that, I need to know what your readers are likely to know about my career." Riordan realized that he would get through this interview if he followed two strategies....

Marque of Caine – Snippet 34

Marque of Caine - Snippet 34 Alnduul had reached the craggy stone face. "That might be a closer analog," he agreed, just before he stepped forward, shifted quickly to the right. And disappeared. "Do not be alarmed," his voice assured. "The surrounding stone is cut to effect what you would call a trompe-l-oeil. What appears to be a dark vein of rock in the shadow of the closest outcropping is in fact a small, sideways passage." Riordan followed the Dornaani's voice, almost thumped his head into the ceiling. "Caution. And apologies: the passage...