A groan came from the walls of the room. Simeon was thrown across the lobby as the door splintered. With a distressed scream it buckled under a blow from the other side. He landed badly but found himself propped against one of the alternate exits. A thick, knee high, black gel oozed its way into the room. From it came the sound of jaws snapping in anger.
Simeon scrabbled upright and turned the handle. The door pulled open turning all his hope to ash; the doorway revealed the bricked up space of a severed corporate connection. Whoever had built this place had also thoroughly abandoned it. Desperate now, he ran to try two of the other doors, only to find each was cut off from the rest of the Cloud as well. The ooze reared up to head height, spread itself out from wall to wall, quivering with tension as it held itself up.
“David, if you get this. Stop what you’re doing; leave them alone. All they want is to leave us behind and discover the cosmos. We’re so small, so stupid. They’re not like us.” He cut the call. Staring at the ooze he wiped unbidden tears from his eyes. His hunter paused, as if sizing him up, then engulfed him in one smooth, silent rush.
Title: A Family War
Author: Stewart Hotston
Genre: Science Fiction
Helena is one of the Oligarchs, genetically-enhanced, centuries old families who rule the world. As a new world war begins, she is ordered to find a boy who could save the human race from genocide. Yet all is not as it seems; Helena’s finds enemies on all sides, intent on bringing about the war with all its horrific consequences. To make matters worse, Helena’s own integral AI, accidentally freed from its constraints, challenges both her motives and her identity, yet she has no choice but to accept its treacherous aid if she is to have any hope of surviving those who need her dead
Stewart works in the city but was once a quantum physicist who always liked his science fiction to have actual science in it as well as the thrills and characters that make great stories. Oh, and he likes fighting with actual steel swords.