• Streaming + Download

    Includes high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more. Paying supporters also get unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app.

      name your price



The prison cell was maddeningly quiet. Sheer, noiseless surfaces, a single barred window for ventilation, and a toilet. The cell was unoccupied save for a rough-hewn man in his prime, pale from lack of exposure, sitting on the toilet with a look of intense concentration on his unshaven face. His mind was racing. He had spent the last two quarters of the previous day thinking of plans to escape. He couldn’t think about these things for too long, though; The thought-tracking implant in his head would register the thoughts as abnormally non-compliant and he would be sedated again. He had to rest his mind for a moment and think of something else. He looked down at his only garment, a jumpsuit, wrapped around his ankles like some kind of primitive shackles tying his hairy legs together, and relaxed.
It’s incredible that toilets are still a fixture of human culture. Toilets are the cornerstone of the anthropological history of every recorded planet, and allegedly existed in primitive human civilizations on EARTH_0 for thousands of years before space travel was even a concept, let alone a survival necessity for humans (and a handful of other parasitic life forms that can’t seem to sustain themselves on their planet of origin). Think about how absurd a toilet is. It’s a hole in the ground that you shit into, and the shit gets sent to another part of the structure or community you occupy. The shit’s method of transportation was the only thing that had changed since the ancient water-based toilet systems you learn about in schooling documents when you’re a child. Washing away ancient shit with water wasn’t much different from washing modern shit away with dark matter.
The man on the toilet pressed the clean-up button and was greeted by a faint gurgling sound. Confused, he stood up and looked down at the hole in the ground. A clicking noise followed by another faint gurgle. Something was wrong. Modern toilets don’t make noise. Something was under him. Beads of sweat began to spot his face. He’d heard of this sound before.
Mak was a native of the DELTHON_ system. He grew up in the crime-infested streets of Sector A, only two city layers below the Grim Gargyr, an infamous dive known for hosting some of the notorious criminals of his generation. He had already met a handful of people whose logic-defying tales of escape from the DELTHON_7 prison system did little more than discourage him from the mere thought of his future freedom. The sweat on Mak’s face was the result of a singular excerpt of one woman’s story.

. . .

Clemence sat at the gloomy bar of the Grim Gargyr, smoking a xebacco-leaf cigar and sipping a Grey Ape (a cocktail made with honey, starshine liquor, Martian water, and cardamom, a spice from EARTH_0 that nearly became extinct at one point in history due to its overuse as an active ingredient in hyperdrive fuel). She was about average in size for a human, but her piercing gaze, chiseled physique, thick ass, and devilish sense of humour could have any human on his knees in a matter of minutes. Hell, she could seduce a Gargyr if the need arose. Mak approached her. He had very little to lose, and was used to having nearly anyone he wanted. He was good looking, charismatic, and you couldn’t help but notice his rippling muscles through his tattered clothes.
Clemence was surprisingly compliant, but he had no idea what he was getting into. Within minutes, he wasn’t sure if he had approached her on his own, or if she had called him over and he had been compelled to obey. She was in complete control.
‘Another Grey Ape,’ she said nonchalantly to the bartender.
‘As ya wish, babe.’ said the bartender, as he began to pour her drink.
She gave him a dirty look and swiped her wrist over the payment scanner and chose the “No Tip” option. He scowled and made no effort to hide the flaccidity of the drink he was fixing for her.
‘Anyway,’ Clemence continued, ‘I heard this odd click and a gurgle from the toilet, and not the kind of click or scuffle you hear when they rotate the prison cells. Within seconds, tentacles were groping around the room. It was fucking disgusting. Gynathagar have been feeding on the dark matter that the prison uses to dispose of all the inmates’ shit. Fucking things look like big floppy dildos covered in tar. And ugh, the smell!’
Mak made an earnest attempt to retain his ingenuine interest in her story, only to be foiled by an entirely feeble attempt to conceal his disgust. He’d heard of Gyanthagar before. They were among the most feared subjects of the kind of stories human parents use to emotionally scar their children in the more gullible phases of development. They’re the kind of monster you get if you take a cephalopod out of the water, give it more teeth, a pair of horns, and dip it in a bowl of fecal matter. They’re unstable because they feed on dark matter, but apart from occasionally slamming things out of the way with their sloppy tentacles, they’re surprisingly harmless to humans and similar life forms.
‘After that,’ Clemence said excitedly, ‘The toilet collapsed on itself and the Gyanthagar slid into the cell with me. First time I ever saw one. Hopefully the last time, too.’ She nudged him when she said this. A bit of his confidence returned and he felt like he might get laid after all.
She had the attention of a few more patrons at this point, but made no attempt to exclude them from her story. ‘I didn’t even have time to think. I just jumped into the hole and ran. I guess that Gynathagar ate enough of the dark matter that I didn’t get crushed, and I ended up falling out of a vent in the impound section of the prison. Nyx was right there. My fucking ship, in one piece, that close to my cell. I felt like it must have been some kind of a setup, but I made a break for it and got out in one piece. The odds of me getting past the unstable energy field of a Gyanthagar were already one in a million, but to end up reunited with Nyx and unscathed? Un-fucking-believable. I flew it straight over here and wiped the system. Took me a week to restore everything, but they can’t find you if you do it right.’

. . .

Mak braced himself and waited. Four seconds felt like eternity, but eternity tends to be enough time to pull your pants up and make sure you’re a few feet away from a toilet before it explodes. The rest of his time as an inmate in the DELTHON_7 prison was a blur. The tentacles came out, and this Gyanthagar was unstable.
A rogue tentacle swiped out of the hole in the floor and attached to Mak’s left arm. He hit the ground with a sickening thud, and the beast picked him up and slammed him against the wall like a domesticated carnivore’s chew toy or some gorey rag-doll. The tentacle-bound human’s trajectory narrowly avoided the slippery beast’s horns, and the last thing he saw before losing consciousness was a flash and the hole in the floor of his cell. Just before he was thrown into the hole, he heard a gunshot.

. . .

A middle aged, grizzled man was holding a space-shotgun in his bandaged left hand and dragging a limp prisoner down a cramped, smelly corridor. He was accompanied by two others- a woman of about the same age and a younger man. Mak woke up, and groaned.
He had no idea what had happened. Had these three people been hunting Gyanthagar in the sewers of a prison, somehow undetected by the security measures? Who were they? Bandits or pirates? From the way they were dressed, it was clear that they weren’t employees of the allegedly corrupt establishment, but that didn’t exactly put Mak at ease. He pretended to remain unconscious, but his groan had given him away. They were looking directly at him. Reality faded again.
The next time Mak’s eyes opened, he was on a torn mattress in a sort of dirty punkish stoop connected by three openings to the sewers of the DELTHON_ system. The three mysterious humans were huddled around a fire cooking soup.
Real food smells angelic when you’ve spent the last few weeks of your life living on nutritional injections in a prison. Mak thought about his childhood history classes and remembered learning about some forgotten civilization on EARTH_0 where prison fare had more flavor and nutritional content than the meals fed to the children at primary education facilities. He smiled wryly and choked out a silent laugh, glad something had changed for the better in the last thousand years or so. His three saviors (or captors, depending on one’s perspective) looked over and acknowledged his consciousness. He introduced himself.
Raia, Alisanders, and Jonileth. Not exactly the names Mak would have initially associated with heroes, but he decided he should take what he could get.
‘We broke you out of DELTHON_7 because we need your help,’ explained Raia. ‘We’re bounty hunters, and we’re looking for somebody you know. I think you know who she is.’
Mak couldn’t believe his luck. He knew exactly what Raia was talking about, and he was glad to help. Clemence was the reason he ended up in prison in the first place, and now he had three bounty hunters who needed his help to catch her. He was going to make that space-bitch pay for what she had done to him.
After breakfast, they boarded Jonileth’s ship, Pallantides, and took off.


Hairs on my neck
Standing erect
Fear grips my heart
And I climb below deck
Tentacles twist
On this prison ship
Slime creeps down my arm
Drip drip drip drip

Dripping with tar
Enters my cell
Slinks through the bars

If I don’t escape then this will be my final entry
A meal for this gyanthagar, a sloppy way to die
And to whoever reads this and to anyone who gives a damn
I will burn this notebook if I make it out alive!

If I can swim
Through this shit I’m in
I’ll come out in Sector A
Yes that’s the only way
I will survive
Or be petrified
Frozen in the icy stare
Of this gyanthagar

If I don’t escape then this will be my final entry
A meal for this gyanthagar, a sloppy way to die
And to whoever reads this and to anyone who gives a damn
I will burn this notebook if I make it out alive!


released August 14, 2016
FRANCIS - Guitar, Vocals
ARUS - Synths, Programming

Music, Story, and Lyrics by F. C. Roberts




ARUS California

ARUS is a pulp sci-fi power metal project about space pirates.

contact / help

Contact ARUS

Streaming and
Download help