- Released: April 8th, 2016
- Pages: 22
On board the prisoner transport ship “Nemesis”, a full-scale riot kicks off a desperate struggle for survival.
Things look bleak for the crew and the prison settlement on the ground when the Nemesis is set on a collision course to Mars’ moon Deimos.
Nemesis Rising is a 4000-word short story set in the near future where the worst of Earth’s criminals are sent to the prison moon Deimos, never to set foot on Earth again.
History of Nemesis Rising
This is a story I originally started writing back in 2012, way back before I started spending a lot of time on my writing, so ultimately this one died after a few chapters. I dug it out a few years later and looked it over and found it wasn’t in that bad of a shape. It needed editing and a bit of cleaning up, but what I had written translated well into a standalone short story.
In the original version I’d envisioned it being a long and involved story line, starting at the riot aboard “Nemesis”. The original name for the prison ship was “Lag Time”, but I ended up repurposing the name and using it for a prison ship in Storm View.
With the main characters (Ivan and Eliska) flung far out into the solar system, they were to get picked up by an expedition heading to beyond the Oort cloud where a new civilisation was being formed around the hypothetical star Nemesis, which is where the title originally came from.
Since I didn’t want to reuse “Lag Time” for the ship, I renamed it “Nemesis”, which fit in well since it is now about an uprising on the Nemesis.
The background of Ivan and Eliska isn’t explored in the short story, but in the original draft I had expanded on them a little. I make no apologies for the following, it was cut-and-paste straight from the draft, and comes to you without any editing. You do get to find out Eliska’s surname though. 🙂
Captain of the prison ship that made the trip between Earth and Mars was Ivan Bagrov, a former General in the Russian Special Forces. Before the World Government was established (back when countries still held their independence and maintained their own defence forces), he was known throughout Russia for being the hardest of the hard; a survivor of an unprecedented amount of campaigns, and an even greater number of assassination attempts, all which earned him the well-deserved nickname of Iron-Fist Ivan.
There was only one person in Solar System who Ivan had complete trust in, a former citizen of the Czech Republic. She was in charge of the European division of the Earth’s defence forces (the arm of the World Government tasked with keeping its citizens safe; everything from policing to defences forces against rouge states that refused to join the rest of the world in peace). She had worked hard her entire life to get to the position she now held and was possibly the deadliest person on or off the planet.
She was incredibly beautiful and when she wasn’t kicking arse and taking names, she would conduct herself with grace, civility, and aplomb. She was known by many as Eliska Sokol, and by those who had trained and fought with her, as The Velvet Hammer; having the appearance of being soft and refined while retaining the ability to crack your skull open. And if she didn’t then her husband Ivan certainly would.
The de-mat and re-mat machines were in-part responsible (in the first incarnation of the story) for the expedition to Nemesis. They were spinoff technology of teleportation hardware (de-materialise and re-materialise). People started using the re-materialisers as the ultimate in piracy, as all you needed was to scan an object once (in the de-mat), which would give you it’s energy signature file. You could then use that to clone as many copies as you wanted (in the re-mat).
What follows is a brain dump from the initial draft. Again, it hasn’t been edited for readability so again I make no apologies if it offends your eyeballs. 🙂
Energy signature piracy became the scourge of corporations worldwide. Alcohol and drugs (both legal and illegal) were the first to appear as downloads, followed by food products, and then finally everything that had ever been made was scanned and made available for download as larger de-mat machines were created.
Initially the companies behind the brands tried everything from lawsuits through to threats and intimidation of anyone that made their product available for download, but like the music and movie industries before them it was a losing battle. Society underwent a major shift in consciousness; people were no longer driven by the pursuit of wealth. No longer did people need to work to earn money just so they could live, they could live their lives and create for the shear sake of creation. There were plenty of naysayers quick to argue that mankind would no longer evolve.
They were quickly proven wrong. While the idea of the sovereign nation state did collapse (along with every monetary system on the planet), it was replaced by the World Government, run by people who wanted to run the day-to-day affairs of the world. So the water kept running, the power stayed on, people stayed safe with people to protect them, and society kept on running. There were millions of volunteers world-wide who were ready to do whatever was needed by their community to ensure it continued.
Mankind advanced at a rapid rate. New medicines were developed for diseases that were previously deemed “not cost effective” by the pharmaceutical manufacturers. Through a combination of gene-manipulation and nanotechnology breakthroughs, mankind essentially became immortal. The aging process was halted in its tracks; a person could set their body to stop aging at any point they wished. The clock could even be turned back for the older generations so they could become youthful again.
This of course brought a new problem. Without people dying a natural death the planet Earth would soon be too small, so mankind looked to the stars. With their new found life-spans, the prospect of space travel became much less daunting to people. Earth’s moon and the planet Mars (as well as her moons) were the first to host the off-world colonies of man. A brief while later, the moons of Jupiter were reached and more colonies were established. Atmospheric processors (enormous machines roughly the same size and shape as the great Pyramid of Giza) made the environments habitable and mankind could breathe easy in the knowledge that what was done here in the solar system could be replicated infinitely into the inky black abyss of the universe.