Short Story – Origins : Pico

And here’s a small sample of the opening text. The story is being typeset at the moment. As soon as it is back and ready I will post it on Book Funnel and re-post the link here.


Chapter 1

The dawn doesn’t gently break on Aurelia, instead the sun hurls itself up into the sky smashing shadows to oblivion and chasing darkness under trees and tables like a dog after a rat.

This initial lurch of light, this dazzling brightness would be enough to blind any human observer but no human has ever been nearer than a million light years from Aurelia…


Pico is already up and springily stepping his way down the ramp and out from his dwelling. He’s a young male, tall at two metres and, as common with all Aurelians, orange skinned. The orange lightens in tone across the tauter part of the rounded tops of his muscles and darkens towards the base. This highlights his musculature perfectly, and being strong, wiry and physically fit, Pico is a truly perfect specimen.

Pico throws the strap of his day pack over his shoulder and once out onto the track immediately looks up at the sun. Since ‘The Spotting’ happened, looking at the sun in the early morning, and feeling slightly sick in the process, has become the national pastime.

He turns left and trots along the wide flat track, kicking up little brown dust clouds with every footfall until he reaches the corner, then he stops and takes another look up at the sun. Pico is an older teenager by Human standards, and by his age shield lenses in the eye socket are fully formed, he can now look directly at the sun without burning out his retinas. The sun is already 25 degrees up from the horizon, only half an Earth hour from dawn. Pico can see the black dots silhouetted against the sun; the fleet, they are gathering, threatening. Pico’s hearts both skip a beat and he feels a knot in his throat, the sense of foreboding is growing in the city, indeed on the planet. Each day, more black dots on the sun, an ever increasing silent threat. Since ‘The Spotting’, when the first ship was seen, there are now just under 100 different sized dots, not just a fleet anymore – an invasion fleet.

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