Adam Murton (aka Vardos Cadix) has his own Antares fiction blog where he has a number of continuing stories. We’re delighted he wrote a few pieces for us about the new panhuman heads that are coming out for the Concord. Here is the first, a short piece about the Hantale, a geneered people who were given a third, multi-spectrum eye…
The Unseen Threat by Adam Murton
Fog rolled across the Concord base and Squad Leader Rysheen could feel his heart beating faster. He forced himself to focus on the service readouts from his Interceptor bike and slowed his breathing. He had hoped no-one would notice, but Beka leant in and whispered in his ear. “After all these years, even on a completely different planet, the mist still affects us, the Hantale.”
Rysheen said nothing. Instead, he checked the Interceptor himself. He squinted with his large third eye, checking the infra-red heat signatures and the ultraviolet radiation for any sign of flaw or weakness. Then, he concentrated harder and pushed his sight into the Rontgen range.
Beka continued undeterred, “My grandfather still refuses to leave the house during the fogs. Nanna chides him that there hasn’t been an attack for decades. And that’s back home on Chifte. There have never been any mistwings here on Qurum, but still we feel the fear.”
“Speak for yourself.” Rysheen tried to sound confident and brave.
Beka chuckled. “You know you aren’t fooling anyone. You’d rather waste time trying to use ambient Rontgen radiation to examine your bike. That won’t work here, Qurum’s background count isn’t high enough. We’re not still on Oss. Just, tear your gaze away for a minute and look into the mist. There’s nothing dangerous flying around out there.”
Rysheen knew she was right. There were no mistwings here and there never had been. And even on Chifte, the days of unseen terrors attacking from the mist were a thing of the past, before the coming of the IMTel. He straightened and opened his three eyes to drink in his surroundings across the full Hantale visible spectrum. It was why his people had been changed, why they had a third eye. It was part of their history, but that’s all it was: history. No, there was nothing to be afraid of out there, nothing at all. He slowed his breathing again.
Gunner Chamesse appeared from behind one of the geodesic habdomes. She seemed unaffected by the mists, but then she hailed from a different world. Or maybe she was just better at hiding it. They had been waiting for Chamesse to collect the plasma cannon and now a compactor drone floated alongside her, no doubt containing the weapon. Chamesse barely broke her stride as she hopped on to the seat of her interceptor. Quickly, Beka mounted up too. Rysheen wished he still had their energy at his age, but took a deep steadying breath, pulled on his helmet and clambered on.
With a whoomph of reaction thrusters, the three skimmers accelerated away, mist swirling around them. Within seconds, Rysheen could see neither the base nor the ground below. His visor showed the bearing of the target Isorian patrol direct ahead, apparently unaware of the Interceptors bearing down upon them. Once more history came to mind and Rysheen allowed himself a smile. “Beka, you’re wrong: there is something flying around in the mist to be scared of… us!”
There are details more about the PanHuman heads and the Hantale in the Concord PanHuman article on the Nexus.