Illegal Aliens is a collection of six short science fiction stories with a unique dose of adventure, darkness and humour that only Toby Bain can bring.
Love Machine (Approx. 7,000 words) You think you have problems? Meet Sian Plexico. She’s arrives on planet Vorgas with noble intentions. However, she hasn’t arrived alone. The demons of her addiction are her baggage. Unfortunately, Vorgas – the birthplace of virtual sex machines – is a demon’s paradise. From the moment she arrives the honourable purpose of her visit is under threat. As events continue to conspire against her, an unlikely source comes to her rescue, giving Plexico’s virtual sex life exactly what it needs: a reality check. The Trials of Malakite Sta’Finder (Approx. 17,000 words) Malakite Sta’Finder is that rarest of breeds: a Humble with ambition. However, only when he meets the rebellious and beautiful Cynazra does he think there may be more to life than mediocrity and struggle on planet Zeti. However, his adventurous attempt to prove himself and change the fabric of Zetian society takes an unpredictable turn, resulting in his arrest. Far from being the hero he envisioned, Malakite must fight for his life and defend the lawlessness and chaos caused by his actions. Robot Girl (Approx. 6,500 words) Relationship guru Harry believes in win-win situations when it comes to the ladies. So when a routine visit to see a childhood friend becomes an intriguing chance to perform a favour, he is stunned by his reluctance. Who in their right mind would turn down the chance to ‘test drive’ a walking talking beauty like Xena, his friend’s robotic invention? After all, what’s the worst that could happen? Harry and his friend find out that this robot girl not only has a mind of her own but she isn’t afraid to use it, whatever the consequences. Breathless (An Art Black story) (Approx. 7,000 words) When humans are the most hated species on a planet, it doesn’t augur well to work for the most hated agency. Art Black works for Cryton City DEA on the colonised planet of Bhara, where enemies include Native Aliens, drug cartels and corrupt law enforcement officers. In a place where DEA agents have a bounty on their head, Black’s work is both breathless and thankless. When an attempt on his life by the notorious Amarillo Cartel goes awry he wrongly puts it down to the perils of the job. However, behind this close call is a web of deceit that when unfolded makes Black realise that the only way to truly engender cooperation with the natives is to trust them. Game of Life (Approx. 10,000 words) Nominate. Play. Die. That’s the motto of the Game of Life, the most popular show in the United Sectors of America. The game used to be fun for Ronald Tusk, until something untoward happened: he got an ‘invite’ to play. Under the spectre of certain death, and with just a week to use his influence to extricate himself from the game, a desperate Tusk risks everything to free himself and find out who betrayed him. With time running out, he realises the game exposes not only a broken society but the harsh truths of modern life. Can Tusk save himself from the hypocrisy of knowing that the number one show in the nation is a bloodbath that everyone wants to watch but no-one wants to participate in? Illegal Aliens (Approx. 11,000 words) Every five years a portal opens for a week allowing travel between two planets – Earth and Audia. Shayne and Gadook are Audians entrusted with a mission to retrieve valuable resources from Earth. However, the two aliens bring with them two agendas. While Gadook is strictly there for the glory of the mission, Shayne wishes to find her brother Jorde who vanished when he took the same journey ten years ago. The resulting adventures not only jeopardise their mission but could result in a most frightening prospect: having to remain on Earth for another five years until the portal reopens.