Lights Out by Kayelle Allen
He can save mankind. After he does one important thing. Die.
Join the Ghost Corps, they said. You’ll live forever, they said. You’ll save mankind, they said. They didn’t say that to do it, first he had to die.
When Tornahdo signs on the dotted line, he puts his life into the steady hands of the mighty Ghost Corps. Three grisly deaths and three agonizing resurrections later, he’s assigned duty on the space station Enderium Six.
He’s facing his most dangerous mission yet, the very reason the corps exists.
Do they expect him to win? Fat chance. Tornahdo and his team are already dead and this mission is codenamed “Lights Out.” No, there’s more to this than he can see.
To discover the truth, he must face an unbeatable, unkillable enemy, and this time–somehow–find a way to keep himself alive…
Lights Out part of the Science Fiction/Space Opera anthology The Expanding Universe Vol 4, edited by Craig Martelle.
Go behind the scenes with the world and characters of Lights Out in a free downloadable illustrated book filled with inside information, exclusive character insights, and links to the author’s research.
The air reeked of antiseptic and starch stiffened the pillowcase. If only the mind-numbing jabbering would stop.
Tornahdo pried open his eyes. The flattened blood bag above him, stenciled equipment and gray walls screamed military hospital.
He’d died. Again.
Spanish curses slipped out. His abuela would’ve taken a switch to him. He made the sign of the cross and kissed his fingertips.
After yanking the tube out of his arm, he pressed a thumb over the entry point. Thankfully, this time, he wasn’t writhing on the floor in agony. Well, not yet.
A faceless android in a Ghost Corps uniform loomed over a bank of equipment displaying Tornahdo’s name and vitals. First impression was right. Military hospital.
The weapons-grade yapping continued.
“Did you hear?” a youthful voice bragged. “He killed six of ’em last night.”
“Yeah, but they don’t stay dead. They never do.”
“If Ultras didn’t come back to life, their plasma wouldn’t bring our own people back.”
The transfusion of enemy blood healed the hole in Tornahdo’s arm in seconds. He thumbed off the red smear and rolled over on the gurney.
An open door led to a sink and toilet built to let gravity do its work. Which meant this was a planet. You hadn’t lived until you were in space, floating in zero gravity while your body’s final twitches sent your corpse spinning.
Notices on the wall confirmed this was San Xavier in the Colonies of Man. Same place he’d bought it the first time.
This was getting old.
Kayelle Allen writes Sci Fi with misbehaving robots, mythic heroes, role playing immortal gamers, and warriors who purr. She is the author of seven books, three novellas, and multiple short stories. She’s also a US Navy veteran and has been married so long she’s tenured.