“Rare earth minerals, several fortunes in heavy metals, and more M’tait artifacts than anyone has ever seen, let alone had a chance to get their hands on without them turning explosive,” Troop Captain Nikoilo said. “No wonder they tried fighting us over it.” “It was still stupid,” Vakolo growled. They were standing in the entry chamber that the Caractacans had cleared. It was now the Sparatan groundside command post, with Sparatan troops on security at the various openings, some descending into the pits to explore the nether regions of the base. Vakolo himself was in combat armor, standing next to the troop commander at their hasty command and control station where a portable holo tank had been set up, updating the base layout and troop dispositions as reports came in. “They were vastly outnumbered and outgunned. They should have had the wit to surrender immediately.” “I have yet to meet a pirate who would qualify as a great thinker, Strategos,” Nikoilo said dryly. Vakolo just looked at him, but the Troop Captain’s helmet was as faceless as his own. He just shook his head. He should take the man to task for the remark, but if any of his men
I originally wrote this as a newsletter draw for the separate The Unity Wars newsletter. Since I’m folding the series into my main author “brand,” I’m going to serialize it here. Trakan System Tyrus Cluster 4,400 hours since the fall of Oram Prime Seventy-five starships hung in the black, only the faint starlight reflecting off their hulls. Ahead, the star designated Trakan on most starmaps was little more than a slightly brighter pinpoint of light amid dazzling myriads. The largest formation of ships was made up of angular, chisel-nosed battlecruisers, painted a bright blue, with the wreathed Sigma emblem of the Sparatan Space Force only dimly visible in the star glow. Nearby floated two dozen broad, dumbbell-shaped star cruisers, their hulls a deep red that almost looked black in the dimness of deep space. The characters etched on their flanks were alien; tehud symbols spelled out each ship’s name and its place in the Vergsegeilith Task Fleet, out of Bilbissari. Two ships didn’t fit with either group. The three-sided, coppery arrowhead bore no markings whatsoever, but was immediately identifiable as belonging to the Order of Shufa, one of the most secretive and rarely seen of the galaxy’s Military Brotherhoods. The silvery
Just got home from Life, The Universe, and Everything in Provo, Utah on Sunday. It was a great weekend; got to hang out with Larry Correia, Jim Curtis, and quite a few others. The panels might not have been that useful; it was the conversations around the panels that were enlightening. Several new projects came out of it, including a Maelstrom Rising project that I’ll keep under wraps for the moment, but it’s going to be cool. For today, this is a bit of a blast from the past. Since I mentioned in last week’s post that I’m delving into some Fantasy and Science Fiction again, I thought I’d put some of my short work up. This story appeared in an anthology by Superversive Press entitled Tales of the Once and Future King. Since Superversive folded recently, and the book is out of print, the story rights reverted to me, so here it is. Taliesin’s Riddle The spring rains had cleared away, and the morning of the tenth day after Pentecost was bright and green when Ercwlff, son of Cadwgan, rode out from his father’s holdings astride the horse he had received when he had taken arms at the Feast of the Resurrection.