We’ll be launching a new supernatural Mil-SF book tomorrow, but due to the aforementioned date, the author and I decided that it is time to formally announce that the creative deconvergence project I’d mentioned a few months ago is not only well in the works, but has now entered the editing phase. The first two novels will be published this summer.
An excerpt from FARAWAY WARS: EMBERS OF EMPIRE:
Not a day went by that Vel Exollar didn’t think about the war. His brief, but brilliant career as one of the Insurgency’s ace fighter pilots remained a source of pride to him. But after spending his youth flying from one hidden base to the next in between hit-and-run strikes against supply convoys, shipyards, and imperial weapons installations, he’d been very much enjoying the relative relaxation of life as the captain of Lady Haut-Estas’s private starliner.
Now he marched through his ship’s spotless white corridors, sumptuously carpeted in scarlet. The air smelled of fear, tension, and spilled wine. Flanked by a pair of ensigns as he ordered curious passengers who had ignored the ship-wide order to return to their cabins, Vel was forced to consider the unpleasant possibility that his current employer’s decisions might have spurred his old friends to new violence.
Vel trudged over the plush carpet lining the corridor as if it were a path leading to a gallows. He’d known perfectly well that Lady Jesla’s plan was not without risk. Some might have even called it rash, and once again he asked himself why he’d agreed to it. Had he simply grown restless after playing it safe for so long?
Perhaps she reminds me too much of her mother.
But regardless of whatever had inspired him to roll the dice one more time, the luck that had always sustained him before finally ran out at Koidu. A galaxy cruiser belonging to the Commonwealth had shown up just as what was supposed to have been a harmless demonstration had gone to hell, and now it appeared that even a single misstep could lead to a second civil war throughout the galaxy.
Despite his worries, Vel tried to remain focused on the task at hand. Hiding in Anat’s magnetosphere should buy them some time. The massive spacestorm would render them essentially invisible to the deep space sensors of any ship that might be following them. His priority now was getting Jesla to safety, then scrubbing every trace of her presence on board. He knew there was a science research lab on one of the minor moons that might serve as a temporary safe haven for her until she could be rescued. It would be risky, and it would cost him a ship’s boat as well as two or three of his best crewmen, but it could be done.
Deep willing, we just might pull this off!
A sudden shock that caused the deck to ominously vibrate derailed Vel’s train of thought. The two junior officers burst into action, casting about for threats and shouting demands for status reports into their comms.
The blaring of alarms silenced the men’s voices as wall-mounted warning lights flashed. A man whom Vel recognized as a minor dignitary raced down the intersecting corridor, leading his wife by the hand while carrying their daughter in the crook of his arm.
Vel pressed a hand to his earpiece and subvocalized to the ship’s A.I. on his command channel. “Ship, what was that?”
“Something hit us, Captain, at very low velocity,” the A.I.’s interface construct answered in a pleasant feminine voice. “Nevertheless, hull integrity has been breached.”
It wasn’t possible! How could a low-velocity impact breach the ship’s armored hull? The ship’s sensors might have missed some minor orbital trash or even a micro-asteroid in the space storm, but then the impact should have been at least consistent with the ship’s speed.
“Hull breach, Captain. Confirmed. It’s in the cargo hold.”
“Seal the hold! And lock down all security doors, now!”
“Sealing hold, Captain. Security lockdown in progress.”
A cold spike of dread rushed through Vel’s veins and sent him racing down the hall with the two confused ensigns trailing behind him. He knew it was already too late to get Jesla off the ship. As he ran, he could hear doors slamming down and iris valves sealing themselves shut.
“Ship security, this is the Captain. All squads, arm yourselves immediately and take up positions outside the cargo hold,” he barked into the comm. “We’re being boarded.”