Daniel Arenson: The Heirs of Earth (Children of Earthrise Book 1)

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Daniel Arenson The Heirs of Earth (Children of Earthrise Book 1)
  • Название:
    The Heirs of Earth (Children of Earthrise Book 1)
  • Автор:
  • Издательство:
    Moonclipse
  • Жанр:
    Старинная литература / на английском языке
  • Год:
    2017
  • Язык:
    Английский
  • Рейтинг книги:
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THE HEIRS OF EARTH


CHILDREN OF EARTHRISE, BOOK 1


by

Daniel Arenson


Table of Contents

CHAPTER ONE

CHAPTER TWO

CHAPTER THREE

CHAPTER FOUR

CHAPTER FIVE

CHAPTER SIX

CHAPTER SEVEN

CHAPTER EIGHT

CHAPTER NINE

CHAPTER TEN

CHAPTER ELEVEN

CHAPTER TWELVE

CHAPTER THIRTEEN

CHAPTER FOURTEEN

CHAPTER FIFTEEN

CHAPTER SIXTEEN

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN

CHAPTER NINETEEN

CHAPTER TWENTY

CHAPTER TWENTY-ONE

CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO

CHAPTER TWENTY-THREE

CHAPTER TWENTY-FOUR

CHAPTER TWENTY-FIVE

CHAPTER TWENTY-SIX

CHAPTER TWENTY-SEVEN

CHAPTER TWENTY-EIGHT

CHAPTER TWENTY-NINE

CHAPTER THIRTY

CHAPTER THIRTY-ONE

CHAPTER THIRTY-TWO

CHAPTER THIRTY-THREE

CHAPTER THIRTY-FOUR

CHAPTER THIRTY-FIVE

CHAPTER THIRTY-SIX

CHAPTER THIRTY-SEVEN

CHAPTER THIRTY-EIGHT

CHAPTER THIRTY-NINE

CHAPTER FORTY

CHAPTER FORTY-ONE

CHAPTER FORTY-TWO

CHAPTER FORTY-THREE

CHAPTER FORTY-FOUR

CHAPTER FORTY-FIVE

CHAPTER FORTY-SIX

CHAPTER FORTY-SEVEN

CHAPTER FORTY-EIGHT

AFTERWORD

NOVELS BY DANIEL ARENSON

KEEP IN TOUCH

Illustration © Tom Edwards - TomEdwardsDesign.com



Win a beautiful poster of the cover art, signed by the author!


DanielArenson.com/Win





 


 


CHAPTER ONE


On a cold dark night, the angels of death came with fire.

Their starships plunged through the clouds, leaving wakes of flame. Their engines rumbled like hellish beasts hungry for flesh. Their wings tore the sky.

They found us. God above. They're here.

David stood on the rocky ground, staring up at the flaming shards of black metal, these chariots of vengeance. His breath died.

For years we hid. For years we cowered. For years we survived.

His chest shook. His legs seemed bolted onto the stony ground of this godforsaken planet. He managed to move his hand—it felt like bending steel—and grab his railgun.

But somehow the bastards found us.

The ships swooped, still blazing with atmospheric entry, shedding fire and ash like reptiles shedding skin. There were dozens. Maybe hundreds. As they drew nearer, doffing the last of their fiery cloaks, they revealed their true forms: black triangles the size of buildings. Red portholes blazed upon them like wrathful eyes.

To David, watching from below, they seemed less like starships and more like gods of wrath and retribution.

The hunters.

The bane of humanity.

The scorpions.

For so long, David had run, had hidden. Now his judgment day had come.

No.

David gritted his teeth.

I fled the war. But I'm still a fighter. I'm David Emery, descended of heroes from old Earth. He sneered. And I will fight.

He snapped out of his paralysis. He raised his railgun, a heavy assault rifle mounted with a grenade launcher.

He fired.

A grenade soared skyward at hypersonic speed. Even years after defecting, David's aim was still true. The shell slammed into a starship.

An explosion filled the sky. Shards of metal hailed onto the planet, hissing, digging holes through the rock. The wounded ship lurched and slammed into its neighbor. Both vessels careened, belching smoke and flame and a million sparks like cascading stars.

Yet hundreds of ships still descended, and more kept plunging through the clouds that forever draped this cursed world, and the sky burned.

David could not shoot them all.

He turned and ran.

He raced past his buckets of truffles and worms. He had been collecting the food for his family. Truffles and worms were the only edible things that grew on this world. David had chosen this place for its desolation. Harmonia was a distant planet, far from the front line, its soil barren of precious minerals, its sky forever wreathed in ash. A dead, forgotten world, useless to the great powers that fought among the stars. An oasis where he had hoped to survive.

How had the enemy found him? Had somebody betrayed him? Had the aliens intercepted their lone trading starship, captured the pilot, tortured him?

Right now that didn't matter.

Right now seventy-eight humans underground needed him.

Right now David Emery must do what he had always done. What all humans, their homeworld fallen, must do.

He must keep surviving.

As he ran, his amulet swung on its chain. The Earthstone. The memories and soul of humanity. Yes, this amulet too he must protect. This was a treasure that could not, must not, fall into enemy claws. The fate of humanity hung around his neck.

David reached the cave. He spun around to see enemy starships landing on the planet. Their hatches opened. The aliens stirred within.

David aimed his railgun and fired.

A shell flew into one ship. Flames roared and creatures shrieked. David spun away and leaped into the cave.

He raced down the dark tunnel.

"Scorpions!" he shouted. "Warriors, arise! Scorpions!"

Warriors? They were those who had fled the war. Cowards, some called them. Traitors, others said. But tonight they would fight. Tonight they would be warriors again. One last time—for humanity, for the remnants of this endangered species, hunted and dispersed among the stars. For a memory of Earth.

David kept running. Behind him, he heard the aliens scuttling in pursuit, their claws clattering down the tunnel. Their stench filled the cave. God, the stench of them—a miasma like burnt skin and ash and ammonia, the stink of piss on a smoldering campfire.

The smell summoned memories like demons, and again David was back there, fighting with the Inheritors, battling the aliens in their hives. Again he heard his comrades scream. Again he felt their blood spray him, hot and coppery. Again he saw the claws rise, tearing his brothers apart, and—

David shoved the memory aside.

You still have family, he told himself. Defend them. Survive!

"Warriors, rise!" David cried again.

And from the depths of the caves, they emerged. Twenty men in body armor, holding railguns. They were thin, haggard, hungry. They were perhaps cowards. They were those who had defected, had fled the war, seeking safety in darkness.

So let us now be heroes, David thought. One last time. If we must die, let us die with honor.

David joined his comrades. The cave tunnel was just wide enough for three men to stand abreast. David knelt, gun pointing ahead, and a man knelt on each side. Three more men raised railguns over their heads.

Before them, like demons surging from the abyss, they charged.

Shrieking.

Eyes blazing.

Hungry for the meals to come.

Here they were. Those who had slain David's brothers, who had slain countless humans. Those he could never flee.

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