Tuesday, January 5, 2016

The Fourth by Floyd Looney

Release date: December 12, 2015
Subgenre: Dystopian, Space Opera 

About The Fourth


Tara is "The Fourth".

She woke up inside of a cylinder in an underground chamber with no memories. She is told that the world has been devastated by war, disease and mutations. Humankind had evacuated Earth and fled to hundreds of different worlds far away. A quarantine was declared, but this did not prevent pirates and slavers from raiding the villages of the remnant left behind.

Tara feels strangely compelled to "fix" Earth, knowing this could take decades and generations. She is "The Fourth".

Greyson was born and raised as the only child of a high government official on the world called Roma, which modelled itself after the Roman Empire. The women of Roma are created artificially and have no rights. Thus, Roma is a pariah among civilized worlds.

As a young man Greyson is framed for a crime and his own father exiled him from his home world.

Tara wants to find out what it means to be "The Fourth" and to bring Earth back from the dead. Greyson wants to go home and clear his name. Their paths are destined to cross.

Apprx. 44,000 words 



They heard shouts and saw someone running down the hill, pointing to the sky. They left the tarp and saw lights dashing through some of the low dark clouds. “The weather is on their side.” Rik said and rubbed his chin “but at least we don't have to make it easy.”

Have the civilians sent to the bunker.” Tara told Gax, he ran off. Then she turned to Rik “Protecting the people is more important than fighting, Rik, don't forget that.”

I will protect you.” Rik said “We can't lose you like Sara.”

Yes, you can!” she said, “None of this depends on me anymore. You and Gax and Dellum and everyone I met along the way, you can do it. You guys are civilized, you guys can move Earth back to what it should be. Even if it takes generations, it needs to happen. I am expendable!”


Yes. Listen to me. There will be a fifth, and a sixth and so on. We aren't going to rebuild Earth by ourselves, that isn't the mission. The mission is to prepare you to do it for yourselves. I think that mission, that particular mission is accomplished!”

Rik stood and stared at her. “Sara said much the same thing.” he said hanging his head “I just do not want to see the slavers take you. Sara must have fought them tooth and nail and died for it. I don't want it to happen again.”

Whatever happens. Make peace, lead the people to civilization. Rebuild. This is the way of being human.” she said “If they take me, I will continue to fight, one way or another.”

Rik opened a crate under the tarp, one he had used as a chair. He pulled out some plasma grenades and handed two of them to Tara. “These might come in handy.”

One of the laser turrets on a hill began firing at a slower moving light in the cloud, others joined in but the missile launchers weren't locking on to anything. She could see Gax and others shepherding old men, women, children and people too debilitated by deformities to fight into the bunker. They had began moving faster when the shooting started.

There were several lights moving in the sky and suddenly a bolt shot out of the cloud and one of the laser turrets exploded. Missiles launched but some of them failed to launch properly, one of them exploded on the launcher.

This is bad.” Rik said picking up another grenade and running towards the hut and barn where many of the armed men were stationed. There were some small arms firing into the sky but the enemy concentrated on the turrets and missile launchers. Finally, the last one exploded and everything got quiet.

Gax came to where she was sitting. “I should take the turret on the hover-tank.” he said, but she put a hand on his arm. “Wait.”

Now there was just one light in the sky and it was not moving, it was staying in the same spot over a clearing. It was ignoring the small arms firing at its position.

I think if you climb on that turret, you'll die for nothing.” she told him.

What do you mean?” he asked, she held up a hand. “They aren't shooting, right? Because no-one poses a threat to them. These are definitely not ordinary slavers.”

It's that man Gray I bet.” Gax spat out “He is looking for you!”

She nodded. “Probably.”

The hovering vessel lowered itself from the clouds and the small arms fire dwindled and then ended as everyone saw that this was pointless. Instead of a shuttle, a much larger vessel was hanging in the sky above them.

Are they landing?” Gax said and looked back at the armored vehicle with the turret.

You try and get on that and it'll be blown apart, you included.” Tara told him “If they are really coming for me, I want to hear what they have to say. You and Rik tell everyone to hold their fire.”

The large vessel lowered landing gear and settled down onto the surface. Exterior lights were bright and could probably be seen for miles around. Whatever they wanted, they weren't being subtle about it.

Tara let the weapon hang over her back and she walked toward the vessel, Gax and Rik saw this from their positions and rushed to join her. The three of them stopped about forty meters from the ship, in a spot that was lit up pretty well. They saw a hatch on the vessel open and a single person left the ship.

The man walked right up to them, but he only looked at Tara. “You look just like her.” he said. She knew this must be Gray, or whatever his name was. “You could be Sara's younger sister.”

My name is Tara.” she told him

The Fourth.” Greyson said with a nod “I know. My name is Greyson.”

You killed Sara!” Rik said and began to take a step forward but Gax put out an arm to stop him.


About Floyd Looney:

Floyd Looney is born and raised in Texas, now in his early 40's has been reading and writing for his own enjoyment since childhood. Finally deciding that some of this stuff should be published now that the Internet makes this easy.

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