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HSAR

Joined March 2010 and calls The Flash of Silver home.

362 stories, 4 challenges, 832 comments, and 29 friends

Master of the Armory and Chief Nibmaker of Our Strange and Wonderful House. It’s a pleasure to meet you.

Like many others in this community, I have no qualifications for writing except a head full of ideas and a passion for good storytelling.

You can find me at shusamchen@gmail.com, or you may bump into me elsewhere on the internet as HSAR.

Stories

  1. Ascension: Rapid Response

    The Major met me inside the frigate’s shuttle bay, which fit only two transfer craft but was still cramped with a dense system of automated maintenance systems. A firm handshake and a short trip later, we sat down in a small briefing room. “...

  2. Ascension: Force Projection

    It was some time before I was able to extricate myself from their questions. The base personnel ran on whatever shifts suited them, so the canteen was always populated, if never quite busy. The large room overlooked the cavernous hangar bay, offering v...

  3. Ascension: [Redacted] all the way down

    “None whatsoever. See you soon.” Master Sergeant Hart watched Reckall walk away. A call blinked in the corner of his vision, which he answered with a flick of his gaze. “Does he know?” “I’d say suspect. He saw someth...

  4. Ascension: Analysis

    The research team welcomed me with open (mechanical) arms. In the embrace of the maintenance frame, manipulator systems uncoupled and removed sections of the suit, taking a few minutes to free me from its embrace. “The prototype was designed for ...

  5. Ascension: Clearance

    The two soldiers wielded their discipline and self-restraint as confidently as they did their weapons, but nonetheless there was a curiosity in the air that even the oppressive rumble of USNE equipment could not entirely suppress. There’s always ...

  6. Ascension: An Uphill Struggle

    His grip was firm, his gaze betraying as much emotion as my blacked-out visor did. “USNE Navy Boarding Team AR-7, sir. Sorry about the mess.” “Not to worry, son. You spend as much time out here as I have, you learn not to be too bothe...

  7. Ascension: Objective

    The flashbang exploded, the hostile slumped, the all-clear sounded. The security door leading to the bridge ground open, and I stepped inside to greet the captain. I saw something. A movement. Not invisibly fast, but fast enough that in my unprepared s...

  8. A Sealed World

    The dark, drafty old house was lopsided and decrepit, leaning in on itself, the way an aging possum carrying a very heavy, overcooked drumstick in his mouth might list to one side if he were also favoring a torn Achilles tendon, assuming possums have t...

  9. A Banana for Scale

    “Get down on the floor!” he roared, fighting to keep the gun steady. “Nobody needs to die today!” They were all on the floor now, looking frightened and helpless. God, it’s so easy. Sonya, next to him, did a very bad job o...

  10. A Rude Interruption

    The lights flickered and went out heartbeats before the explosions began. There was just enough time to hear the intake of breath, and then the air was filled with an almighty rumble – detonations blurring into one long pounding of the ears. The ...

  11. Ascension: Futility of Resistance

    Even as a veteran of hundreds of simulated operations just like this, I had to concede these guys were bloody brilliant. They were holed up in unexpected places, in positions not on standard plans, with blind spots and overlapping fields of fire. My in...

  12. Ascension: Onwards

    There was a long pause after I let go of the trigger. There was very little left of the end of the corridor, the explosive munitions having destroyed the armed crew, their barricaded position, and most of the closed bulkhead door behind them. I still l...

  13. Illusions (Mature)

  14. Ascension: The Moment Itself

    A running countdown snapped me back on-task. I checked the gun’s load, switched the safeties off and settled it into the crook of my arm. The boarding craft slammed against the hull of the freighter, instantly forming a seal against the airlock. ...

  15. Ascension: Preparations

    The others in the boarding party were all business. Bulked out with armour, helmeted faces unreadable, silently checking their weapons and strapping in. Except for maybe a trillion roubles in prototype equipment, we were exactly the same. The heads-up ...

  16. Staring into the Abyss

    “We have your test results here, John.” Silence. “It’ll be a matter of weeks. I’m sorry.” Silence. “Would you like me to call someone?”

  17. Ascension: Anticipation

    The first opportunity to put our preparation to practical use was surprisingly mundane. A long-distance hauler had been on departure from near-Earth space when a mutiny broke out, and the captain locked himself on the flight deck and hammered the distr...

  18. Swirling (Poem)

    One last strain of music plays And voices yet to come, they sing ‘fore sunset’s shining rays One last broken-hearted king And tales of battles lost, he tells ’neath stars and ancient rings One last peal from lonely bells And calls tha...

  19. A Fox in the Hen House

    A hungry fox moved into the courtyard and made his way into the hen house at the dead of night. He had been waiting for such a chance a long time, because the winter had been hard and cold. Tonight, however, the shadows were dark and the dog was asleep...

  20. A Sketch of Memory

    “For all of us, life is a challenge. It tests our morals and ethics, our determination and resolve, our kindness and love. He was a man who delighted in overcoming hurdles, no matter how daunting the task; never gave up on a worthy cause for the ...

  21. One Last Goodbye

    One of them pounced on me just inside the door of the next ruined building, knocking me back against the doorframe. I whipped out my knife and slammed it up under the jaw of my attacker before I even saw the familiar camouflage-pattern uniform. Once I ...

  22. Ascension: Tools for the Job

    One exercise in particular stood out to me even as we were preparing for it. As with many of the others, it was a highly abstract, theoretical exercise in contingencies. A kill/capture mission on rogue unit equipped with the same enhanced combat suit I...

  23. Lacus Curtius / Lima Charlie

    The Meadows of Asphodel looked especially hellish tonight. Above the rising palls of smoke, helicopter gunships by the dozen buzzed angrily, spitting fire onto our enemies below. I ducked as a huge explosion rocked the pillar I was hiding behind, the s...

  24. Desire

    If the other two Gifts had been intense, the Lady of Love’s drink was power divine. The slightest touch, a few pleasantries – with the three Gifts it was all mine. It was ironic, then, that once I could have anything (and anyone), I realise...

  25. Ascension: Rinse and Repeat

    I adapted to the equipment with disturbing ease. Suddenly it was natural to have an extra hand to hold a magazine during a quick reload, or to aim a tactical light in darkness. And when I wasn’t operating them separately, I could lift huge loads,...

  26. Love

    I was no fool. I wanted no part of the shambolic government. I set about it in a subtler way, whispering in ears at board meetings and socialite gatherings. He had not lied to me; it was almost effortless. A touch, a few words, and they were mine. She ...

  27. Power

    It was no lie. I became rich beyond imagining. My business nearly reached escape velocity in its rise through the Fortune 500 list. I bought cars and mansions, then boats and planes. It was around then, sitting in my office one afternoon, that he came ...

  28. Wealth

    I didn’t see her arrive in my office. “You there – you look a little thirsty. Care for a drink?” She passed me something – a tumbler, simply set with an elegant fleur-de-lis etching in the crystal. The amber liquid inside ...

  29. Ascension: The March of Progress

    Things moved very quickly after that. First a full-body topology scan, laser light making quick stuttering sweeps in random directions as it built up a map. Then came the rather more invasive procedure of upgrading my implant, using targeted anaestheti...

  30. Sorrows

    I remember this one clearly, but it is not a happy remembrance. He lay in the deathly white sheets, weighed down by far more than his years. A fragile husk in mind and body. He looked up at me, the shadows of my arrival already carved deep into his fac...