The Avali community contains many talented writers and storytellers. Here you may browse a selection of their short stories and tales. Have a piece of your own that you'd like to share? Feel free to add it in.
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Isolation Trial by James MourneEdit
System coordinates classified.
ADF Ranger Corps training camp.
Three years ago.
The chief instructor strode into the hangar, bringing the faint murmur that had reigned moments previously to a sudden end. The line of waiting young Avali Ranger trainees jumped to attention. The hangar doors were wide open, but this still provided only the tiniest hint of predawn light.
“Instructor on deck!” shouted her pack member and fellow instructor. Inwardly, the chief instructor smiled. The order had been given promptly, but the cadets had already been at attention. The fakes, the naïve boys and girls who had volunteered just because being a Ranger had sounded like fun, had long since been weeded out. Those who were left were the best and brightest. And they snapped to attention before their leaders could even give the order.
Her job forced her to be somewhat distant, the unquestionable authority on dealing death, saving life, and everything else it took to be a Ranger. It was her job to make sure that “good enough” was forever just outside the reach of her trainees. How else would they improve? Avali were predators from birth. Killing was natural. But the ability to kill didn’t make a soldier. Her own instructor had said it far better than she ever could when he had compared a skilled soldier to an artist. Her unapproachable demeanor now was part of a carefully calculated ploy to take the raw talent of her cadets, mold it, shape it, and eventually turn them into artists with war as their medium.
Nemesis by James Mourne and Reksanden
Reksalya sat huddled in the corner of her cell, quietly sobbing. No tears would come, and they never had. Despite the threadbare blanket entwined with her arms and wrapped around herself, she shivered uncontrollably. Her mother had been right, she could never trust them. She’d once trusted the Captain. Despite his scars and coldness and the mysterious lack of a pack that made her captors whisper to each other that he was strange in the head, he had never laid a hand on her or her mother like so many of the others had. Her mother had given everything to try to protect her from them as best as she could, but as Reksalya had matured, and as she had grown sickly, she had become less and less able to spare her daughter.
Then suddenly, they had just taken her mother away. Reksalya gave a muffled sob again as she remembered. She had been too terrified to move while her mother, as she was dragged away, resisted for the chance to give one last loving look and a desperate smile. They had sold her to someone, she had overheard one of the packs discussing. “About time we got rid of the sickly old hag,” Vaune had said. “I always have preferred her daughter anyway.” He had laughed then, a self-amused and malicious sound that Reksalya had learned to dread.
Reksalya continued to shiver. She wanted her mother. Wanted her mother to tell her stories of her old pack whom Reksalya was too young to remember. Wanted her mother to tell her stories of herself, Saiumi, and of Reksalya’s father, Tain. How they’d met as brave explorers opening up the frontier. She’d told her a new one only a few weeks ago, about how Tain had died trying to get the two of them to safety. Said she was now old enough to understand. Reksalya wondered how many other stories she’d never been told.
Nexus by James Mourne
Kyara awoke silently to a subtle feeling of disquiet. As she opened her eyes, her neural augment traced thin glowing sigils across the low-hanging nanocanvas above, informing her of the unpleasantly early hour and the stormy weather conditions outside the comforting warmth of her pack’s tent. She listened for a moment, picking out the quiet sounds of wind and soft rain against fabric and the faint humming of computers. Then she realized she couldn’t hear Jairn breathing to her right. Kyara uncurled from about her cushion and glanced around the room. Sike and Rhai were still asleep, breathing softly. To her right was a crumpled pillow where Jairn should have been sleeping. She reached out to touch it – still warm.
Kyara stood and softly padded over to the commons room. There was Jairn, sitting with his eyes closed, cables trailing to small ports in his legs and left arm. Kyara’s neural augment silently drew the symbols to inform her that he was busy running a simulation in the Nexus. She crouched next to him and inspected the thin dark seams where high-tech nanopolymers met flesh. The doctors had done a truly remarkable job with the procedure, considering how bad the injuries had been. He still looked as handsome as ever. It actually gave him a bit of roguish charm, she thought, with a smile.
Just he now had nightmares. Her amusement faded. She settled down next to him and sent him a message through the Nexus asking to join him in the simulation. It wasn’t right. She could still remember the desperation as she searched for him in the rubble moments after that all-rending impact. Finding him, armor smoking, legs crushed, arm badly broken and burnt. The focused fury that’d gripped her after he’d been safely pulled off the front lines, his wounds too severe for her to treat. He’d saved her life by throwing her out of that building, but now, she guessed, it seemed he had to do it again and again every time he closed his eyes. Continue reading here
Sundown by James Mourne
System coordinates classified.
ADF Ranger Corps training camp.
Day twenty-one of isolation training exercise. As the sun set, Rhai sat crouched in the center of a clearing he’d found, a thin, long wooden spike clutched in each hand. It had all started in the early morning, when he’d begun following a migrating pack of quick, agile herbivores, making do with nothing but his wits, his claws and teeth, and a tiny filleting knife he’d made out of a shard of rock. He’d been stalking one when a chance noise in the underbrush alerted him that something else was also stalking him.
Whatever it had been, it was patient. Rhai had tried shaking it from his trail, but with no success. Confronting a predator on its own turf was always dangerous, but Rhai didn’t see any other options available in the brief time he had before sundown. So he’d fashioned some sharp stakes from fallen branches, and now he waited.
He wasn’t sure that this was a good idea. Sike would’ve laid a deadfall trap with his parachute and some spikes, and Jairn or Kyara would’ve gotten up high to strike at the thing from above. But the thing had been growing bolder, and Rhai was unsure how much time he had left. He could hear it now, circling him. It was quiet and tricky, but nothing could hide from an Avali’s sense of hearing. He tasted the air quickly. The wind had died down now, and he could only detect the faintest hint of whatever the creature was.
The Survivor and the Prisoner by Sparrows
It wasn't quite a dark and stormy night, but it was getting there. Rain was hammering down in fat violet droplets, chasing the native fauna into their dens and hideaways. Underneath the sound of rain, if you listened closely...
"Look, I'm telling you - the Oracle wouldn't send us out here if there wasn't something to find."
The speaker was one of four - a small pack of avali, waiting out the storm under a makeshift nanocanvas tent. They clustered around a small fire that did little to stave off the bone-deep chill of the planet's night, cold enough that even the avali were having problems. But they were dry and it was relatively comfortable, so there wasn't much to complain about as far as the environment went.
Sunrise brought with it clear weather and brightening skies, and by the time the pack had uncurled from their sleepy pile, the temperature was beginning to inch up. Roren and Isa worked together to roll up the nanocanvas they'd huddled the night before, complaining loudly about it as they went. Reni was checking their supplies and arranging breakfast as she did it, and Jasura had taken point, keeping watch with her lance held at the ready; they'd encountered problems in the area previously with vicious wildlife springing out of the undergrowth while they were preparing for the day, and nobody was willing to take the risk and allow it to happen a second time.
Infestation by 0deneb0Edit
It wasn't often the leader of the Blood Wolf Dragoons was called in to deal with something, but this wasn't most occasions. Shade looked over the hastely put together portfolio, which detailed just what was going on.
As of eight rotations ago, communication had been lost with Corp labs' site Gamma. Recon team three "First Responders" had already been deployed. Shade thought the problem would be resolved, until they had called in for backup and then failed to check back in. Now he was in route to deal with an outbreak of god knows what.
Diary of a Lone Avali by GilliTheFox Edit
Location: Currently in orbit of an unknown planet Ship Time: 02:21 Log Entry #1: Nezun Skyfire
I've been stranded and separated from my pack. I have been set to drift over this planet by a raiding group of pale, monkey-like creatures. They possessed a high-intelligence level and the knowledge of how the Avali hunt. They somehow broke my pack's communication with a strange device that disrupted our hearing by emitting a low frequency noise and separated us one by one before finally taking me captive.
After a grueling struggle, I broke free from my bonds; although I injured my wrists in the process.
Once I worked my way to the cockpit through the darkness, I fired up the backup power. The blasted lights were way too bright so I had to turn them down. Curse these sensitive eyes, it's really hard to adjust to rapid change is light. Once the power was up and running, I had a conversation with the ships A.I. It's name was S.A.I.L., and had been offline for a really long time. After a few moments of checking the system for errors, S.A.I.L. opened the shutters to reveal that we were hovering over a frozen planet. A stroke of luck!...
Starbound: The Monsters Below by YellowDemonHurlrEdit
Humans and Avali have never gotten along. The gulf between them is old and runs deep. So when a human finds himself the only companion to a lone Avali warrior, conflict is inevitable. Brokering an uneasy peace, the two set out to return the warrior to his people and pack, unaware that the events they have set in motion that could prove to be the downfall of both their races.Continue watching here.
Bright-dull, Bittersweet by Sock of Retribution Edit
A black-and-pink-feathered avali hoisted the last of a rather large pile of weapons into its proper place in the armory while letting out a quiet grunt, instinctively wiping her forehead. She turned back to who must have been the owner of at least half the pile, showing a sly smile. "A little much for just a 'pack-strengthening exercise'?"
"Hey, I just brang everything I had!" The black-and-purple-feathered kit protested awkwardly, throwing up a shrug and fidgeting with his toe claws. "Don't discriminate w-within your armory, I say." Being around his friend's packmates was quite obviously making him nervous.
"I second that." A third avali by the name of Katuni chimed in, moving up to the anxious juvenile and patting his back - a movement which clearly surprised the latter. "Can never have too many boomsticks, am I right?" He put up a confident stance and showed a toothy grin.