“War has been the breeding ground for some of our greatest dreams of accomplishment.”

Holtzman, The Butlerian Jihad.
Image Source: Pinterest


Chapter 16

BY Kyle Gray
The Warrior: Be fearless and stand strong
The Knight: Be brave and honest
The Shaman: Trust in higher forces
The Sky Father: Trust in the unknown

Arousing Thunder ䷲

Infinitesimal darkness outside the command center of the ESS Orca seemed like the ocean back on Eos on a moonless night. The stars floated in the dark, little beacons of light affording the universe depth and form. The Void was Admiral Ramos’ backyard where he roamed as the Captain of his ship and master of his fate and the fate of his 5000 crewmembers.

The command center was a plaza of activity. Monitors and gauges flashed their information as the command staff worked feverishly to ensure the wounded ship’s safety and security. The Admiral watched his dashboard panel of essential performance indicators progress from red to amber and finally green. He issued orders, and the staff distributed tasks and priorities to the crew stations.

Ramos recalled in his mind how The Orca had sustained crippling injuries in the battle over Manila. Orca had advanced to earth in search of Captain Rae and her ship, Aurora. On their approach, they detected a Western Alliance fleet over the earth’s horizon. The battle was joined with Orca giving more than she got, scattering the Western Alliance fleet and sending many of their expeditionary vessels crashing into the earth’s atmosphere, burning like stars in the Void.

Hypervelocity missiles rose from Manila just as Captain Rae’s AI had warned earlier. The Orca, outgunned, escaped to land on the dark side of earth’s moon to repair the ship and take care of the dead and wounded. It was what each person had signed on to accomplish. They all knew the risk and accepted it. “For Eos,” Ramos thought. Death here kept the awful burdens of war away from the homeland, so it was a worthy fate.

“G4, how are we on supply, The admiral asked his maintenance and logistics chief.

“All supply classes are green for 30 days operation, amber to return to EOS,” came the reply.

“What is the estimate for return to operational combat status? Ramos asked.

“Two weeks local earth time.”

Apprehension spread through the staff like the shrill tone of an attacking Eosian hawk. Admiral Ramos was planning his next move, and they would all have a front-row seat. Apprehension gave way to a subtle eagerness to take it to the Western Alliance for trying to colonize their ancestral homeland and recover one of their own. As fate would have it, the odds were stacked high against them. Just the way they liked it.

“Secure the bridge for war counsel,” the Admiral commanded. 

“Bridge Secured, Sir.”

Ramos collected his thoughts, turned to his staff, and let them in on his plans. “I want to attack the Western Alliance and at a minimum cripple their colony with the objective of as near-complete destruction of their remaining fleet as possible. We will use the attack as a screen to attempt a rescue of Captain Rae undetected, Ramos said. I want to execute this plan within three days.” 

The staff remained silent except to acknowledge the order. Each officer knew the Admiral’s famous father disappeared in the exact location as Captain Rae when Ramos was just a kid. To the staff, it was their duty to rescue Rae. To the Admiral, it was personal.


Sgt Hughes and Carter kneeled in the water, laughing under their breath, trying not to make a sound and failing. The remaining squad secured a perimeter around the two men, who appeared to have lost their minds.

“Sgt Hughes, What in hell is going on over there,” one of the crew asked.

“See for yourself,” Sgt Hughes replied while Carter wiped the tears from the side of his face.

The team gathered around and looked at the bloody water lizard in the spacesuit.

“Damn, those Eosians are ugly,” the astonished team member whispered under his breath. The squad lost it, trying to remain quiet in this god-forsaken jungle that demanded noise discipline to keep them from giving themselves away to anyone that might be close by and unseen. To their advantage, the jungle absorbed their noisy presence and gave no hint of the danger heading toward Ezra and Rae.

“Whoever belonged in that suit appears to be long gone now, Sgt Hughes said. Saddle up, ladies; we have a date with destiny up ahead. Let’s get after it.”

The team took up their positions, and Carter, still trying not to snicker at their folly, felt his energy renewed as he hacked his way up to the gigantic waterfall ahead. 


Zara made her way upstream and picked a place to swim across the river. She angled downstream and caught the current, rocking her shoulders from side to side, reaching and pulling with her arms as she moved through the water without leaving a ripple. Her long ponytail undulated from side to side like a snake.

At the far bank, Zara grabbed for a root and dug her toes into the slick mud. Reaching higher with handholds and toe holds in the roots, Zara was able to slither up the bank and into the forest. Kneeling and listening, she sensed she was alone. The newly freed half-breed moved as fast as she could toward the makeshift ladder the two natives had constructed to descend into the bowl of the waterfall.


Rae rolled over on her side and pressed herself against Ezra. He was warm and had a certain softness in his relaxed state that Rae loved.


This story is deepening and has that adventurous, wild vibe that can make any reader get so absorbed and hooked, like I, who feel strongly connected to the characters’ thoughts, especially Rae’s. Ah, I love the chills and warmth i felt simultaneously from reading this chapter. Written by a genius, written from a heart that knows. Thank you, Hyperion for writing this story 🥺😍

MALIYA | Ground Zero (An excerpt)

My head is aching. I don’t know what to think. What to do. Just trapped inside this unknown feeling of nothingness—if there’s such a thing. Like feeling nothing because you can’t label what it is, so maybe the word “nothing” will do. And nothing sounds like a fool. A zero. A beginning or the one before it begins. And there are no stages or rules here. It’s a zero. Nothing. And perhaps to feel nothing is a gift. To care less about what’s happening. To worry less than usual, than how i used to. To become less crazier, to come from a point of nothingness. A point where something should click in before it could begin. Like waiting for an AHA moment or maybe there’s no such thing, and it’s okay. Coz I’m at my zero. Wait, what the hell am i thinking?

“Is there something wrong? Are you okay? You haven’t touched your breakfast and you kept on drawing a circle with your finger over and over again,” Mother said, while giving me a look that I couldn’t label.

But I’m used to it. She usually throw me lines of sarcasm everytime i get lost in my thoughts. Oh yea there’s the label, it’s sarcasm. I didn’t answer. I responded with a faint sigh and three sudden blinks.

She just ignored it.

I got up from my chair to grab a glass and poured water in it. I watched the cold water flow freely ‘til it’s half-full. My throat just needs something to wake it up, i guess, and water is a good idea. I sipped and drank it faster than usual. I don’t wanna hear more lines from her, let alone a word. But the speed of my drinking isn’t too swift enough. She said something and my heart skipped a beat. Yes i heard it, but i pretended that I didn’t.

“I said we’re leaving. We’re leaving this house and your father. I can’t go on living like this with that lunatic. Did you hear me, Maliya?”

A deafening silence filled the dining room.

“Are you listening to me? Or you’re lost in your world again? I can’t do this anymore, i can’t… i have tried. Too many times. I have given him chances. But no, he hasn’t changed…”

She kept on delivering her lines like the lead star on a television series who plays the victim for the most part and doesn’t really learn. Lines I’ve heard a few months back, a year ago, and the years before that. For Christ’s sake I’m nearly eighteen.

Her voice is now becoming a distant emergency alarm that echoes, and i still feel nothing. I’m still holding the empty glass in my right hand but my throat still couldn’t find the ease it needs to speak.

I need more water.

I turned around to get more water. And from behind i suddenly heard her burst out in tears. She was holding it in but she lost and now having an outpour of pain.

Now it’s clicking in. From nothing to something. Ground zero to a breakthrough. Or more like a breakout. I’m now feeling it. The screams from my insides that no one else could hear. And i hate that about me. I feel too much and I’m too soft for her. I love her very much that i hate her for it.

I turned back around and put down the glass on the table and gently held the back of her head to rest her face against the surface between my chest and my belly while she sits there, helpless, full of agony.

She cried even harder. I still haven’t spoken a word. My shirt is covered with her tears and her arms around my body embraced me tighter. My mother needs me.

I need more water. Or maybe not.

“I’m going to drop out and find a job. So we can start all over. You, me and Diwata.” I said. My voice didn’t crackle. Now is the perfect time to save her. And i hope this time she has learned her lesson. Otherwise, i might go insane.

“No. You’re going to be a Lawyer, honey. You can’t drop out just like that.” Mother insisted as she released from her dramatic embrace and looked at me with a surprise on her wet face.

“You know i hate school, Ma. It’s always just tasks to finish and projects to accomplish, and I don’t even enjoy it. I’m almost eighteen and i can start working. I know someone who could help me find a job.” I replied, with a tone of i-dont-take-no-for-an-answer.

She looked at me, raised her right hand and warmed my cheeks with her palm. That look. It’s not sarcasm this time. That look is a look of trust. I hope she doesn’t change her mind.

Diwata, my eight-year-old sister suddenly came in and smiled at us while she rubs her eyes and said in her cute little voice, “I peed on my bed, Mama. I’m soooorrrryyy…”

My mother and I looked at each other and laughed. She got up from her chair and wiped some leftover tears from her face and carried Diwata like a baby. Well, she’s still our baby and her light is what i need to give me courage in this path I’m taking.

As they both have left the room, an excruciating pain started to kick in from my right wrist. A glow of yellow that sparkles made a cut from near my palm down the middle of my forearm. It cuts deep and it’s painful. There’s no blood but something magical is drawing its way to my body. Like a symbol of a mighty sword. A tattoo showing up once again. Out of nowhere. Clueless of its meaning. Victim of an otherwordly scene. While I haven’t deciphered the previous symbols, here i am yet again, left with more questions than answers.

Answers. I feel like i need to start looking for them.

To be continued…

The silent Mayhem of beautiful Minds

Never in his life, did he thought too much about romance, until he met this woman who made him wonder whether it’s hysteria or love. He debated his way out of this comedy in his head, thinking it’s impossible that it’s the latter.

No, how could it be?

How can someone you just met a few days make you feel heavy in your heart but ironically makes you want to feel the feel of it? He asked himself this question in his head while she talked about the book she was reading and threw some lame jokes he labeled as boring. Well, that’s just his way of teasing her—to battle against the strong wind that brings him closer to her, like she’s a destination. A place destined for him to live in, or perhaps maybe a home. But he fights it, he fights the urge to look at her more than just how he used to look at girls.

She rolled her eyes and turned her back as a sign of unspoken surrender of losing a debate with him. And then sighed a deep sigh for an ambiguous picture of a future together. With her right hand sandwiched between her right cheek and her soft comfy pillow, she looked past the window and wondered how many girls he had slept with. With his charm and wit, she bet he could’ve easily made his way through their hearts, like how he managed to do with hers.

But ofcourse she would never admit it, she was quite smart enough to know it’s wrong to tell him how safe and heavenly she felt sleeping next to him and observing how his soul of masculinity seemed to overpower his femininity—in the sexiest ways of humanness. No, it’s wrong, what if she scares him away?

She liked him, well, she likes him very much but she feared the idea that he doesn’t like him the way she does.

Little did she know, that he cogitated more than she did as he studies the artistic view of her naked flawless back when she turned around. He wondered how come he’s so drawn to her, not just with what her skin shouts, but more with the language her eyes speak that required neither words nor voice. He wanted to trace his fingers from the abstract beauty of her nape down to the edge of her spine to savor the perfection of it but hesitated for a split second because he thought he should just play it cool.

Or should he, really?

Would it hurt much if he would make an exception? He thought, maybe she wouldn’t mind so he stopped battling against it and moved as close as he can, spooned her with his warmth and breathed near the outlines of her left ear.

The hair of her skin stood like it’s being magnetized by a powerful invisible sense as he embraced her from behind. He whispered something to her but she didn’t mind listening—the beats of her heart was louder as it raced like there’s a zombie apocalypse, like she should run for her life, or should she?

Isn’t this moment something she would want to freeze if she could?



Wrote this at almost 2am here in Iceland, ugh I couldn’t sleep 😂

We are no longer in love


We are no longer in love. Something I have come to realise since we got sick of each other’s movements and scents. His scent became too familiar that it seemed my nose needed the presence of fresh coffee beans, it’s almost always ridiculous––when I think of it. Guess that’s just the way it is. When reality starts to bite, you will absolutely feel it, and ache for it. I wish I could think of romantic thoughts as I stare at him while he sleeps but hell I couldn’t.

We are no longer in love. But we choose to stay, nonetheless. The honeymoon stage was over, no more spice, no more thrill, no more extra hot scenes, no more remarkable positions to discover. Notwithstanding the death of excitement, I never regret choosing to stay with him. Despite the plateau of cycle under the same roof we’re in, I never thought of leaving him. And in spite of the thousands of fights and arguments and disagreements, I never imagined living life without him. For even if we are no longer in love, it didn’t mean I don’t love him.

He turned around and faced me, still with his eyes closed, he moaned a sensual moan perhaps due to a wet dream. He subconsciously pulled me from my waist, towards him and moaned yet again, in a whisper form this time that triggered some of my buried wild emotions. It’s been a while since he held me this close. Though his scent, like I said, was too familiar, the warmth of his breath was quite tantalising. The lines on his face was too vivid, being only a few inches away from his face, yet it made me smile. I couldn’t remember the last time I looked at him the way I am looking at him now. He’s still looking good, after all these years of a rollercoaster of marriage.

I wanted to kiss him. I wonder how those dry lips taste and if it will bring back nostalgic memories in my head. I have forgotten how his kisses taste but never the way they made me feel. It would only take me half a second to do it, but I stopped myself from doing so. The idea of it makes me overthink––what if he awakes and find it disgusting? We’re old and ageing. Like I told you, being married for so long was to blame for the absence of spice and thrill. What if the way I look at him now and the way he used to look at me when we were younger, was something he has already forgotten?

He moved his hand down from my waist to my hips and then stopped in my legs. He leaned a bit closer that the tip of his nose touched mine, I got a little claustrophobic. I got trapped in his dreamy self with no space to breathe but I didn’t want to leave. Guess his body’s telling to stop overthinking and just do it.

And so I did. I kissed him and put his hand in between my legs and closed my eyes. I began feeling his fingers gently penetrating me, bringing old hot memories back to life. I felt embarrassed with the roughness of my skin and the saggy baggy belly I carry with me but he owned me anyway. He owned me, touched me, and felt my bones crack in play. With his eyes open, he made love to me as tears start rolling down my face. We are no longer in love, but love still remained.






The irony of hot showers

She turned the heater higher, so the splash of the shower burns her skin to its numbness.

With her head down, eyes gently closed and her hands touching her breasts—she let the strength of the maximum heat of water embrace her raw self, her nakedness, her pained and tired body.

Did I just say tired?

Yes she’s tired.

Just like you, she feels very exhausted.

A hot shower is her way out, a treat, to make herself feel numb as she cries it all out, til she becomes empty, til there’s no more left inside.

Don’t we all need to sometimes be numbed?

For too much feelings are now stories in the past.

For too much analysis kills the protagonists and that some days it’s better to feel none.

For you need to sometimes let pain overrule and cling to you, til there’s nothing left as it burst out— a certain kind of nothingness that alleviates the state. Nothingness that rescues you from the dark.

Let the irony of hot showers send you cold shivers from your wrinkly palms down to your sore soles saying: You’ve been there for too long, you needed to get out.

Cold shivers despite its massive heat that remind you that that’s just the way of life. A cycle full of metaphors, riddles and fights.

Cold shivers that will now make you turn the shower off, because you’re done.

And this is the part where I hope we can all say we’re truly done and mean it.