April 5, 2020

Free Fiction Friday: Solar Winds-Scorpius Cell Part 1

Here it ’tis: our weekly Friday installment featuring the start of a brand new tale. This one is set in our Solar Winds universe, which fans will remember from our The Hunt for Beagle tale. This also begins the saga of Andrea Makati as an adult and the adventures of Scorpius Cell. We’ve been working on this story line for about the past decade now, and it is ready for prime time. the First two installments are  up on our Amazon author page,  and number three is forthcoming soon. We envisioned Solar Winds as a fast-paced serial installment, with a space opera-theme that’s Star Wars or Dune-sized in scale, but with the sensibilities of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Gravity—or the lack thereof—works in the Solar Winds universe, and the laws of physics must be obeyed. And hey, you might just spot a dash of a Legion of Superheroes vibe in the tale as well.


Solar Winds: Scorpius Cell


David Dickinson


“Every trumpeted beginning brings with it the muted promise of an end.”

Hanna Jillian Sweeten,

The Violet Integer (2215, Old Earth Time)


The pressurized hatch protested then finally hissed open, revealing the three figures to the inner bowels of the ship. Finally, we are actually doing it, Andrea thought to herself.

She cleared the maintenance access hatchway and slid into the forward chamber. Everything looked just as The Shrink’s diagrams said it would.

“Gravity should be taking over,” Karl whispered to them. He slid down out of sight.

Andrea could just make out the room sliding perpendicular to her vision ahead. The gravity was spun up to about a third of a G, a nice and comfy environment for a Mars girl like herself.

Gathering in the abandoned maintenance bay, they stripped their entrance gear and hurriedly checked their sonic pistols. At close range, these guns could pack a deadly wallop.

“There’ll be a small security team, strictly rent-a-cop.’ Karl continued, “This mission will be conducted in radio-silence, no comm-links. We don’t want to be detected, and we don’t want to be recorded.”

“How will we notify Gemini Cell?” Andrea protested.

Professor Mingus broke in. “Once the ship and the cargo are secured, we’ll use encoded laser pulses to signal an awaiting Gemini ship in the shadow of Uranus’ outer moon, Oberon.” The Professor, “The Shrink” as he was affectionately known, held up a portable laser pulse generator strapped to his left wrist and grinned. Since meeting him, Andrea realized that there was no end to the wisecracks or nicknames that The Professor sought to bestow upon himself.


Karl’s military training took over. “The trick is to hit them fast and hard, and they’ll think a goddamn Legion Brigade has crashed down on top of them.”

As they made their way down through the luxury liner’s deserted corridors, Andrea marveled at the spacious opulence afforded to passengers. Our whole training quarters could fit into one of the common areas, she marveled. Although these types of pleasure cruises were common in the inner solar system, they were a novelty out here near the orbit of Uranus. Still, it felt good to finally be part of something. After months of plundering robot scout ships and mining drones, Scorpius Cell was finally going after big quarry.

They proceeded undetected. The Shrink’s electronic blanket served them well. To any snooping sensors, they were merely a set of maintenance ‘bots moving through the sleeping corridors. Andrea glimpsed the emerald green disk of Uranus hanging out one of the portals they slid past. Within a few hours, the tourists would begin to awaken. The human staff should be starting to man their posts, as planned. Karl preferred negotiating with flesh and blood.

The three of them pulled up short as they heard voices ahead. “Holy Jove…” Andrea choked off as she peered at the lit panel reflection coming from across the hatchway. Six men were standing in the ship’s small armory. Shift change, as they had expected. They could knock out the ship’s small security force and seize what weapons they had, and the fight would swiftly be over. What alarmed her were the maser rifles the guards were brandishing.

“State-of–the-art stuff,” she whispered. Her team was already outgunned. “Nice…” Karl said, admiringly. “They’re arming rent-a-cops well these days.” They had no alternative; Andrea knew that they had to continue with the assault. Their trip in on the routine supply ship was one way, and there was only one way out, which was to carry out their mission.

“I’ll handle this…” Andrea said, un-strapping her bandoleer. “Those guys just look lonely.”

“Andi, what’re you…” Karl cut off The Professor. He nodded and braced his sonic pistol for action.

Slipping her boots off, Andrea drunkenly staggered into the armory bay. Raised in Martian gravity, she was tall and lithe by Terran standards. Her shock of shoulder length jet-black hair gave her a disheveled look, and her jumpsuit accented the cleavage of her breasts. To these recently awakened guards, she could’ve easily been the Space Siren of their dreams.

“Where am I?” she cooed. “Where is my Martian Love King?” The first guard grabbed her as she stumbled. “Ma’am, what are you…” The others burst with laughter.

“I think she is sweet on you!” one called out. Amorphous feelings were not uncommon after a long hiber-sleep, Andrea knew. She was just playing the properly aroused space tourist.

“Soldier, escort her back to her chambers,” a bearded man ordered. Immediately, three things registered to her; this was no routine security detail, but a military contingent. The bearded man had to be their leader. Finally, Andrea knew the Cell had to face more than six. Hopefully, Karl had just picked up on that, too.

Andrea twisted in the guard’s grip. Her space-black jump suit gave just enough to help her pry herself free temporarily. Spying a set of green and red buttons on the wall, she quickly thrust her fist thru the panel. Instantly, the deck was plunged into darkness. Andrea went into action. She knew she had maybe three seconds before the emergency lights flickered to life. She sprung across the darkness with both legs outstretched, aiming for the Sergeant’s skull. Her aim was met with a sickening crack under foot. That had to have been his spine, she thought. Her Infra-Ocular implant had served her well.

To be continued…

Read Solar Winds: Scorpius Cell in its entirety, and check out more original scifi tales from David Dickinson.



  1. [...] dosage of free science fiction with Solar Winds: Scorpius Cell part 2. Be sure to start back at part 1 here. Let’s get right in to the action transpiring out in orbit ’round [...]

  2. [...] Part 3 of our ongoing space opera set in the Solar Winds universe. Be sure to start back at Part 1, or read the tale and others like it written by yours truly in their [...]

  3. [...] tale is the first in our ongoing space opera saga set in the Solar Winds universe. Start back with chapter 1, or read Scorpius Cell and other works of science and speculative fiction in their [...]

  4. [...] Fiction Friday’ offering straight out of our Solar Winds universe. Be sure to start back with chapter 1, or Read the first two tales Scorpius Cell and The Cloaked Promise on our author [...]

  5. [...] Cell and the first of several tales to come from our Solar Winds universe. Be sure to start back on Chapter 1, or read Scorpius Cell and other sci-fi tales in their [...]

  6. [...] week, we though we’d give you a short tale between Solar Winds adventures… so short, in fact, that it fits into just one short 1,000-odd word post. You can [...]

  7. [...] our Solar Winds universe. This tale is Part 2: be sure to read the first chapter of Part 1 entitled Scorpius Cell here. Can’t wait? You can read ‘em all in their entirety including The Cloaked Promise on [...]

  8. [...] Be sure to check out this week’s installment, or if your new to the series start back with Chapter 1 of the first story Scorpius Cell or Chapter 1 of The Cloaked Promise or hey, you can read em both [...]

  9. [...] the penultimate chapter to part two of our solar system-spanning tale. Be sure to start back with story one chapter one, or read ‘em all and more original tales [...]

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