Snippet 5: Evolution, Ghost Squadron #3

 


Alpha-line Q-Ship, Federation Border Station 7 Airspace, Lorialis System
“That’s the Omega-line? It doesn’t look any different than this Q-Ship,” said Lars from the copilot seat.
“That’s kind of the point,” said Eddie. “The differences are on the inside.” He pulled the controls to the side as Julianna maneuvered the other ship, the one Hatch had just created, up next to them. “Strong Arm,” he said, using Julianna’s call sign, “you wanna show Carnivore what that baby can do?”
“I thought you’d never ask,” said Julianna over the comm. The Q-Ship she was flying punched out at breakneck speed, leaving the other behind.
“Whoa, it can definitely move,” remarked Lars. “I’ll admit that’s impressive, but I thought the new line had some out-of-this-world features?” The Kezzin gave Eddie a sideways glance that showed his disappointment.
Eddie activated the thrusters to send their own Q-Ship racing after Julianna. “Just wait. There’s another feature you have to see in action.”
“Carnivore, did you just say ‘out-of-this-world’ while we’re racing through space?” asked Julianna.
Eddie snickered. “He’s been sheltered, so give him a break. We’ll teach him some fun references.”
A laugh echoed across the comm. “Don’t learn your lingo from Blackbeard.”
“Hey, I know things!” argued Eddie.
“If you three are done shooting the breeze, our target is ahead,” said Pip.
“’Shooting the breeze?’” asked Eddie, activating the second thruster to catch up with Julianna.
“Yes, it’s one of the many weird things about his new evolution,” said Julianna, a sudden edge to her voice.
Eddie shot Lars a look and raised his eyebrow but said nothing, and Lars returned the glance with a slight shrug.
“Target spotted,” said Lars, checking the radar. Julianna, as planned, had made an arc around the upcoming Black Eagle.
“That puppy is slow. It must have been kept in a rusty garage since it was decommissioned.” Eddie sent the Q-Ship toward the flying target, doubling his speed.
“Strong Arm, we are approaching and will be in position soon,” Lars informed Julianna.
“Fifteen seconds,” supplied Pip.
“Almost there,” muttered Eddie.
“Target’s fuel reserves are low. Engines have failed twice,” Pip informed them.
Lars flipped two switches overhead before adjusting his microphone. “Defiance Trading Company, we’ve determined that your spacecraft is in distress. We’re a Ronin tow craft, and we offer assistance.”
There was no answer over the static-filled comm, but the gray Black Eagle immediately spun in the opposite direction. For a moment it looked like it would stall, but the engines kicked back on and it shot forward.
“We’ve got a runner,” said Eddie, sitting up.
“Your engines are failing, Defiance. We can help you. We mean you no harm,” said Lars over the comm.
Another voice finally answered. “I don’t need any help. I’ve got a rescue craft already on the way.”
Eddie sent the Q-Ship after the Black Eagle and quickly caught up. The craft in front of them came to an automatic halt, causing Eddie had to swerve the Q-Ship around it. He overshot it by a short distance before doubling back and hovering just in front of the old craft.
“Fuel levels on Defiant ship are nearly depleted,” said Pip.
“How long could he idle?” asked Eddie.
“Three hours, roughly,” said Pip.
“I don’t have three hours to hang around here,” remarked Eddie. “This idiot needs to realize we aren’t the bad guys.”
“Unless he turns out to be an enemy, and then we’ll fuck him up,” said Julianna.
“There you are, Strong Arm. What say we end this already?” Eddie and Lars were only thirty meters from the other ship, close enough for a visual, and Eddie leaned forward to look into the Black Eagle. The murky dust covering the windows made it impossible to discern a figure, though.
“There’s a problem,” said Pip over the comm.
“Of course there is. Wouldn’t be a party without one,” said Eddie, not at all deterred.
“Fuel level is rising,” informed the AI
“How is that possible? You said it was near zero,” said Lars.
“It shouldn’t be possible,” said Eddie. “Maybe there was a malfunction with the gauge.” As soon as the last word left his mouth the rogue Black Eagle zoomed forward again in another attempt to get away. It wasn’t going to work, but the last-ditch effort was kind of cute. Eddie flew straight after it and kept pace.
“Have you guys been looking for me?” asked Julianna. Eddie couldn’t see her out the window, but a quick glance at the radar told him that she was hovering just above the Black Eagle.
“There you are!” Eddie chuckled. “Lars, tell this guy we’ve got him surrounded. You’ve got a nice voice, so I’m sure it’ll sound comforting.”
Lars shot Eddie a strange look. “’Comforting?’ Do I really?”
“Like an old grandmother,” Eddie assured him.
“If she had smoked for forty years,” added Julianna.
“Are you sure you want me to say we have him surrounded?” asked Lars. “We only have two ships.”
Keeping his hands on the controls, Eddie nodded. “Just do it.”
Without another question, Lars flipped a switch. “Defiance, we have you surrounded and we mean you no harm. Allow us to tow you from here.”
“I’m not falling for your bullshit. Just leave me alone.” The voice crackled through the staticky comm.
“Testy little tyke, isn’t he?” asked Eddie. “Strong Arm, we’re ready for you to graduate to the next phase.”
“Copy,” said Julianna. “Initiating. Be ready for next phase in three, two…and one.”
In front of the racing Black Eagle another Q-Ship appeared, and Lars’ eyes widened with shock. Eddie had wanted to tell him about this part beforehand, but he had also wanted it to be a surprise. He wagered there was no danger in that.
Lars whipped his gaze to the radar. Another ship had appeared behind the Black Eagle and almost at once the fleeing ship slowed, stalling once more before coming to a near-halt. A second later two more Q-Ships materialized on each side of the Black Eagle.
Lars flicked off the comm, disconnecting them from the Defiance ship. “I’m guessing those aren’t enemy ships, based on the smile on your face.”
“Those aren’t even ships,” said Eddie proudly.
Lars stared at the vessel just in front of the Black Eagle. “Huh? They look like ships.”
“Holograms are funny like that,” said Eddie.
“Holograms?” sputtered Lars. “Strong Arm, are you doing that?”
Julianna answered right away. “Yes, they’re projections. After the right modifications, Hatch was able to make them appear as actual ships on the radar too. Just one of many upgrades to this Omega-line Q-Ship.”
“Damn, that’s remarkable,” said Lars.
“Looks like it’s time to bring this guy in,” said Eddie. “Finally.”
“Finally?” questioned Julianna. “This took a whole five minutes—you’re so impatient. But yes, let’s bring him in and end this.”
Lars nodded, flipping the comm switch. “Defiance, we’re sending out tow cables. Cooperate, and you will not be harmed.”
There was no reply as Eddie fed out the cables and locked them securely into place. After they had been reinforced, Eddie signaled Julianna. “Strong Arm, we’re all set. Meet you back at ArchAngel.”
The Q-Ship projections disappeared from around the Black Eagle. “Copy,” responded Julianna. “I’ll be waiting with a welcome gift for our guest.”
“Freshly baked muffins?” asked Eddie, mock hope in his voice.
“With fucking crumble on top,” said Julianna.

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Dec 19, 2017 | Posted by in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Snippet 5: Evolution, Ghost Squadron #3

Snippet 3: Evolution, Ghost Squadron #3

Chapter Two

Officers Lounge, QBS ArchAngel, Lorialis System

“You’re kidding me,” said Eddie, pulling back his arm and launching the dart forward. It whirled through the air, sticking hard into the board, a few centimeters from the bullseye.

Lars took the position where Eddie had been. “I’m not kidding you. Marilla says these aliens are telepathic. Isn’t that bizarre?” He threw his own dart and it landed on one of the numbers that bordered the target.

“I definitely don’t want to meet any those guys,” remarked Eddie. “I don’t need some alien in my thoughts.” He picked up a dart and twirled it in his fingers. The idea of having someone in his head, like Julianna had with Pip, was a bit strange. Sure, there were the obvious perks to it, depending on the circumstances, but Eddie wasn’t sure how he’d feel about an AI listening to the things that went on in his mind, let alone an alien.

Maybe that’s why Julianna had gotten rid of her last AI, Ricky Bobby. Eddie had been silently investigating the whole thing for a while now, ever since Pip became sentient. Julianna acted happy about the evolution, but there was something else going on. He could sense it in little ways. It wasn’t so much what she said, but what she didn’t say. When Eddie discovered Ricky Bobby’s existence, it came as a shock. For as well as he knew her, Julianna had never spoken about her former AI companion, despite how long she and Ricky Bobby had worked together.

Eddie wanted to approach her about this, but had yet to do so. He wasn’t sure why. Maybe he just didn’t know if it was his place.

“Yeah, I know,” said Lars. “One or two telepaths is one thing, but an entire species boggles my mind.” The Kezzin soldier watched as Eddie took his shot. Again, he narrowly missed the bullseye.

Lars didn’t bother lining up for his next shot. He haphazardly threw the dart, and it didn’t even make it on the board.

Eddie whistled through his teeth. “Damn, I’m glad you fly better than you shoot. Otherwise, you’d have been wasted by now.”

Lars shook his head. He realized he was being sloppy. It had been like this in recent weeks during his down time. That was the only opportunity that he had to let his mind wander, and it always shot back to the Brotherhood. Seeing the army that Commander Lytes had put together overwhelmed Lars whenever he thought about it, and he couldn’t help but dwell. Maybe he didn’t know those soldiers, but they were still his fellow Kezzin. They were his brothers.

He wondered about his family, too. Had his brother been required to join, once Lars had left? He didn’t like to think about that, but it was difficult to control his thoughts. Doubts and fears were tricky things to control. The moment you thought you had a handle on them was the moment they consumed you.

The screen on an adjacent wall flickered on, Chester’s pale face looking out at Eddie and Lars. “There you are, Captain,” he said, beaming. “I have something I think you should take a look at.”

Eddie, unflustered, pulled back his arm and released it with the dart. It stuck straight into the bullseye this time. Casually. As though he had planned this, he turned to the monitor. “I’ll be right over. Have you paged Commander Fregin yet?”

“Yes, she’s on her way here,” said Chester, running his hands through his spikey blond hair.

“Very well.” Eddie slapped Lars on the shoulder as he turned to leave. “Keep practicing, brother. One of these days you’ll be able to beat me.”

Lars smirked, showing his razor-sharp teeth. “Challenge accepted.”

Evolution releases December 21st.

Dec 13, 2017 | Posted by in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Snippet 3: Evolution, Ghost Squadron #3

Snippet 1: Evolution, Ghost Squadron #3

Chapter One

 

Defiance Trading Company Headquarters, Planet L2SCQ-6 in Frontier space, Unnamed System.

Felix Castile listened to the loud breathing of the Kezzin behind him. Commander Lytes must have had a deviated septum. It was the only plausible reason for his constant sniffling, always interrupting the silence.

Or maybe it was just a physical trait of the Kezzin. Felix hadn’t taken much time to learn about the species. He knew these lizard-type aliens could stop breathing for an extended period of time, but that was about it.

Felix prided himself on his ability to accumulate and use information, but only when it was useful. If it didn’t earn him additional power or prestige, then he didn’t seek the data out. Currently, his relationship with Commander Lyte existed solely to further his own plan—the complete and absolute destruction of General Lance Reynolds. The moment the Kezzin stopped being useful would be the moment Felix cut him loose.

All that Felix Castile did was for the goal. Every action, every day.

And that was exactly why he was here in this awful place, staring at a group of black market merchants.

The leader of the Defiance Trading Company, a rogue operation that stockpiled weapons and sold them on the black market, looked up from the pad in his hand. “We have loaded everything into your ship that you requested. I have yet to see the transfer of funds come over, though,” said the man, his voice raspy, probably from years of smoking or hanging out in filthy warehouses like this one. The man, Mateo, had a thick scar that ran over his left eye and down his cheek. Living outside of Federation space hadn’t been kind to him. That much was clear.

Felix surveyed Mateo’s crew. There were roughly a dozen men stationed around the warehouse, most of them with their guns at the ready and grimaces on their greasy faces. Felix had Brotherhood soldiers on each side of him, outnumbered by Mateo’s guards. No doubt, the arms dealer felt safe with all his people to protect him.

He was short-sighted. Only fools underestimated Felix. The arms merchant would soon understand that.

Felix cleared his throat. “You sold me three nukes. How many more do you have here?”

Mateo’s scar moved when he lifted his eyebrow. “Not sure why my inventory is any business of yours. I’ve supplied you with what you’ve asked for.”

“That you have,” Felix said, pulling his hat down over his eyes and taking a step back.

Mateo eyed the pad again. “Like I mentioned, the transfer hasn’t come through. We can’t let you to leave until that happens. It’s simple business. I’m sure you understand.”

Felix smiled darkly. “About that…”

He took a few steps back, his soldiers stepping in to shield him.

“Didn’t you hear me?” asked Mateo. “Hey! I’m talking to—”

Shots fired from above. Men yelled. Some tried to return fire, but they were quickly silenced.

Felix turned in time to watch Mateo clutch his chest as the bullet pierced the arms dealer’s flesh. Disbelief and betrayal rang out in the man’s eyes before he fell to his knees, finally collapsing forward.

Each of the men stationed around the warehouse lay in similar positions, blood puddling around them. None had stood a chance.

Stationed overhead were a dozen Brotherhood soldiers, each one assigned to take out their specified targets on the ground. The timing had been perfect.

Felix glanced up to the rafters, a proud look in his eyes. “Have your men load the remaining weapons into my ship.”

“Yes sir,” said Commander Lytes, his eyes lingering on one of the dead bodies for a moment. He hadn’t liked the plan and said there had to be another way. Lytes was wrong and must have seen that now. Perhaps next time he would trust in Felix’s plans from the beginning.

The door to the exit swung out in front of them. A man with a short black Mohawk and a leather jacket that had seen better days froze at the threshold. His eyes scanned the warehouse, falling first on Mateo’s dead body and then the others that were strewn all over the facility. His gaze snapped to Felix, standing roughly ten meters away. They’d missed one of Mateo’s men.

“Get him!” barked Felix.

The soldiers darted forward, right as the strange man reversed, heading back the way he came. Gun shots rang out from the hallway, echoing loudly in the warehouse.

Felix looked at Commander Lytes. “Have your men search the building. I don’t want anyone left alive. Do you understand? No witnesses.”

Commander Lytes nodded, hurrying off to where his men were gathering in the middle of the facility, having climbed down the rafters where they were stationed.

Felix’s eyes briefly rested on Mateo’s dead body. Perhaps he would be happy, knowing that his weapons would be used to end a long-standing battle. A fight that would shake the very foundation of the galaxy…of the Federation, itself. What better use could a man like Mateo have than to be useful? What better purpose could there be than to alter the status quo? Had Mateo never come to this warehouse today, he might never have realized his true destiny. He would have gone on living his life, worthless as it was, and died without ever truly mattering.

But Felix would make him matter. Felix would give Mateo’s life purpose. That would be his gift to him.

Soon, everything would be in place to make General Reynolds pay. Felix had figured out the best way to punish him for what he’d done all those years ago.

Break the Federation…and General Reynolds would be broken, too.

Evolution will be released December 21st.

Dec 8, 2017 | Posted by in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Snippet 1: Evolution, Ghost Squadron #3

Snippet 5: Exploration, Ghost Squadron #2

Exploration: Ghost Squadron, #2

Snippet 5

Julianna slammed the door to the interrogation room upon exiting. She had to get out of there before she did something she’d regret to the dumb Trid. He wasn’t talking, almost like he wanted her to rearrange his shark face. Ever since seeing those imprisoned by the Brotherhood, she had a new passion to stop them. Julianna had seen it all, but that didn’t mean seeing children starved or families separated and imprisoned was something that didn’t faze her. She was human after all.

Well, kind of.

Julianna pulled back her fist and launched it at the wall. The force of her punch should have hurt. Would have made a normal person flinch with pain. Julianna only considered doing it again to further relieve the frustration.

“Some things never change,” said a voice at her back.

Julianna straightened, tightening her jaw. She turned around, knowing full well who was speaking. “What’s that supposed to mean?” asked Julianna, running her eyes over Jack Renfro.

The spymaster for the Federation hadn’t changed a bit. Still the same muscular physique and discriminating expression covering his face.

He smirked. “It means, you’ve still got the same fire I remember.”

Julianna allowed herself to grin, her shoulders relaxing. “Some things never die, about like you.”

Jack chuckled, a warmth spreading over his features. How long had it been since she’d set eyes on him? A long while, no doubt. “The same could be said about you.”

“What brings you aboard the ArchAngel?” Julianna asked. One reason she hadn’t seen Jack for quite some time was that he had been sent on a series of unclassified missions. This was a guy who fixed things. Made shit happen. Everyone respected Jack, and those who didn’t never stuck around for long.

“I’ve taken on a new assignment,” he responded.

“Oh? General Reynolds hasn’t disclosed anything to us,” said Julianna, referring to her and Eddie. The ArchAngel was in their command and, therefore, anything happening on it should be of knowledge to them.

He nodded. “That’s why I’m here. I’m taking over for the general.”

Exploration Releases December 4th.

Nov 30, 2017 | Posted by in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Snippet 5: Exploration, Ghost Squadron #2

Snippet 3: Exploration, Ghost Squadron #2

Exploration: Ghost Squadron, #2

Snippet 3

 

Evidence Locker, QBS ArchAngel, Axiom System.

Eddie and Lars were back aboard the ArchAngel, stowing the weapons cache they’d collected from the warehouse.

There were at least two hundred small and medium arms, not to mention enough grenades to blow up a small city.

Eddie shoved one of the crates with his foot, pushing it into its designated spot. These still weren’t Federation grade weapons. Soon they’d have to steal some advanced guns off of a dumb pirate. It would be a win-win situation. Shiny new weapons taken from evil aliens. “You think any of these guys got into the whole gun trade thing because they just liked guns?”

“I’ve never found much success in trying to understand the criminal mind,” admitted Lars.

Eddie entered a security code on the crate’s lid, locking it down. Then he secured it with a large harness in order to ensure it wouldn’t budge later on. “I think most of them are in it for the money, but I bet there’s like one or two guys who just enjoy a good gun, you know? Just a couple of halfwits who like to blow shit up.”

“You’re talking about yourself, aren’t you?”

Eddie grinned. “Tell me you don’t like it.”

“Violence has never been something I take pleasure in,” Lars countered. “Though, I will say, there is a certain satisfaction in delivering justice.”

“Like today?”

“Especially so,” agreed Lars. “We confiscated enough weapons to wage a small war, arrested a dozen criminals, and—”

“And found our target,” finished Eddie. He glanced towards the door. “Which, if I’m not mistaken, Julianna is interrogating as we speak.”

Exploration releases December 4th

Nov 26, 2017 | Posted by in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Snippet 3: Exploration, Ghost Squadron #2

Snippet 1: Exploration, Ghost Squadron #2

General Lance Reynolds’ Office, Onyx Station, Paladin System.

“Chief? You there?” asked General Reynolds.

“I’m here. Comms out here aren’t secure, but I don’t have to tell you that,” said Chief Jack Renfro.

“I’ll keep it brief,” said General Reynolds. He stubbed his stogie out, a slight smile on his face. He’d taken to Jack early on. There were very few you could trust when everyone was out to serve themselves or have the Federation serve them. However, Jack Renfro didn’t do something to get something. He’d passed up many promotions because they didn’t make sense for his real ambition. This was a man who wanted to serve in the right position, not the one that got him a better title and more money. At the core, he had always been a servant to the cause.

“I’ve got a job for you,” said Lance.

“When and where do I need to be?” asked Jack.

“You haven’t even heard the details yet.” Lance laughed.

“When did that ever matter between the two of us? If you need my help, then I’m there.”

“I wouldn’t normally ask, but I have a squadron that needs some oversight. I was taking care of it, but I’ve been pulled away for more…pressing matters. I’m sure you know why and by whom,” said Lance.

“I believe I do,” responded Jack.

The cloud of smoke Lance blew out filled his office, making it appear gray. “Anyway, I wouldn’t trust anyone but you to handle this group. They have an incredibly important mission, and I’ve handpicked them myself. I’m sending over the details of the team right now, along with their previous mission assignments. You’ll find that they’ve been quite busy.”

“The report is just coming through. Give me a sec,” said Jack, a shuffling sounding over the comms. “Holy shit, General. You can’t be serious?”

Lance chuckled. “I’m completely serious. See, I thought you’d have fun with this.”

“Those two working together?” he asked. “I’m impressed, boss.”

“I’m glad you think so.”

“And you’ve given them the ArchAngel?” asked Jack.

“They have an important mission,” said Lance.

“Damn, and you even brought back Hatcherick, I see. Damn impressive, sir. Haven’t seen a team like this since…well, you know. It’s been a long time.”

“Just wait and see who else I have lined up for this crew,” said Lance.

“Don’t leave me hanging, boss. Send over the report.”

“Does that mean you’ll oversee them?” asked Lance.

“I already told you I was committed, and that was before you gave me the details,” said Jack.

“I knew I could count on you, Chief,” said Lance. “Sending you the rest of the report now. Good luck, Jack.”

“Thank you, sir,” said Chief Jack Renfro. “It’s always an honor to serve.”

Exploration releases December 4th! Get book one here.

Nov 17, 2017 | Posted by in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Snippet 1: Exploration, Ghost Squadron #2

Snippet 5: Formation, Ghost Squadron, #1

“Weren’t you on the ship with us?” asked Eddie. “How’d you make it back here so fast?”

Lance dabbed his cigar into an ashtray. “I took a shuttle before you docked. They make you wait too long when you bring a cruiser in. I had shit to do.”

“Perks of being the boss,” mused Eddie.

“Pretty much,” said Lance.

“Are the reports ready?” asked Julianna.

“Not yet,” said Lance. “I need to review the latest intel before I hand it off to you. I’m thinking tomorrow morning. We’ll be able to get you both situated soon.”

“Understood.”

Eddie scratched his chin. “Sir, if you don’t mind me saying so, I haven’t agreed to anything yet. I’m only here because you asked me to listen.”

The General chuckled. “Of course, you’re right, but let’s wait and talk about that tomorrow. I’ve got a presentation lined up that I think you’ll want to see. In the meantime, why don’t you two go and have some fun? You can show Julianna around the station.”

“How do you know I’ve been here before?” asked Eddie.

“Do you really need to ask that question?”

Eddie smirked. Of course, General Reynolds, because of his intelligence chief, Nathan Lowell, probably already knew everything there was to know about him. His parents, favorite foods, ex-girlfriends, former residence. “Right.”

“Anyway, you’ll be happy for the extra downtime, if you decide to sign on for this job. Trust me. You too, Julianna.”

“Yes, sir,” she answered.

“Yeah, I get the feeling she could use a break,” remarked Eddie, glancing back at Julianna, who was still standing at the door.

“I’m perfectly fine,” she said.

“Still, go have a drink,” suggested Lance. “Bond, for shit’s sake. You’re about to be partners.”

“If you insist,” said Julianna.

“I’ll be happy to drink,” grinned Eddie. “You covering the tab?”

“Why not?” asked Lance. “Enjoy yourself.”

Eddie strolled into the hall to wait.

Julianna drew closer to the desk. “Sir, is this really necessary? It might be a better use of my time to assist you with the reports.”

“Not this time, Commander Fregin. Try to enjoy yourself, for once.” Lance puffed on his cigar and dabbed it one more time on the tray. “That’s an order.”

Formation releases November 13th

Nov 9, 2017 | Posted by in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Snippet 5: Formation, Ghost Squadron, #1

Snippet 3: Formation, Ghost Squadron, #1

Passenger Lounge Six, QBS Atticus Finch, Lorialis System.

Eddie sat with his hands at his sides, watching as the QBS Atticus Finch—home to the Trill Mining Co. and the Five Trees Bar—departed the system.

As the ship activated its FTL (Faster Than Light) drive, slipping into warp, the planet became an instant blur, fading into the void like a pebble into the sea. It had been several years since Eddie had been aboard an Etheric ship like this one. He’d been out of the service for almost a full decade, never spending much time on any of the core planets, and typically hitching rides on cargo ships. It was simply too difficult to be around these types of vessels and not be actively involved.

Even now, the memories flooded him, reminders of a better time, back when he was still useful.

Not the wandering exile he’d since become.

What could General Reynolds possibly need a man like Eddie for? Didn’t he have enough soldiers at his disposal to do the job? What could one guy with a drinking habit and a bad haircut do that no other person could?

He scoffed, rolling his eyes. Don’t be an idiot, Eddie. Your hair is fucking phenomenal.

Eddie had hitched a ride on this cruiser all because a man claiming to be the head of the Federation had asked him to.

Maybe this was all a giant mistake, but Eddie didn’t think so. He had a feeling that everything the old man had told him was true—that humanity was under attack and it needed to be protected. After traveling across the outer rim of the galaxy for the last decade, Eddie could tell there was a stink in the air, a certain level of unrest building against the original Empire and the rest of the core planets. Pirates and smugglers had appeared in larger numbers; raiders were becoming more prone to attacks. The people were afraid, and no one understood why.

But something told him that General Reynolds knew the answer to that question, and, right now, Eddie was willing to follow him to find out. Even if it was all bullshit, the truth was worth taking a chance on. It was worth uncovering, if only for his own curiosity’s sake.

The lights of the passing stars whipped by in a mesmerizing display, relaxing Eddie as he sank into his seat. He watched them fade in and out like falling raindrops, disappearing back into the darkness from which they came.

Formation releases November 13th.

Oct 31, 2017 | Posted by in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Snippet 3: Formation, Ghost Squadron, #1

Snippet 1: Formation (Ghost Squadron, #1)

Five Trees Bar. Trill Mining Colony, Lorialis System.

T’turk played with his drink. His four shipmates were rowdy and occasionally bumped him, so he had to be careful not to spill his alcohol.  He looked around Five Trees, the only damned bar worth visiting, in his opinion, for five systems.

That wasn’t saying much, of course, since the only people living out this far from the Etheric Empire’s territory were pirates, miners, and smugglers. Bastards, all of them.

“My kind of people,” he muttered to himself, smiling as his shipmate Fr’ling caught the eye of one of the girls.

Fr’ling wouldn’t be leaving this space station with much money. Hell, neither would the other three. By the time the night ended, they’d each spent most of their earnings.

Nursing his drink, he looked around the establishment, blinking with his yellow eyes. There were a lot of Kezzin in the bar tonight, including himself. Their red skin gave off a familiar glow in the artificial light. T’turk’s homeworld wasn’t far from here, so it was common to see his people on many of the stations in the neighboring systems. He liked it that way. The rest of the galaxy was far too crowded with non-Kezzin species, like humans and the other Etheric Empire scum. He couldn’t stand any of them.

It was unfortunate, then, that he saw a man sitting on a stool with his face planted on the table. A human male who didn’t belong here.

T’turk smirked. Perhaps he’d have a little fun today, after all.

“Hey, you,” grunted T’turk as he got up from his table and walking to where the man was sitting. “Human.”

The man had his face on the table—probably passed out from too much alcohol. “Look at this guy,” said T’turk. “Typical human. Can’t even handle his drink.”

The man moaned, shifting a little.

T’turk leaned over him and examined his equipment, hoping to find some money or possibly a key to a ship. The bastard wasn’t holding much except for a gray bag on the seat next to him. T’turk reached for it.

“Don’t,” said the human, slowly looking at him.

T’turk could never tell one human from the next. They all looked like a bunch of slugs to him, ugly and spongy. This one was no different.

“What are you trying to hide, human? Got yourself a secret stash?”

The man said nothing.

T’turk laughed. “That’s what I thought. Too bad you were stupid enough to come in here.” He reached for the bag.

A hand grabbed his wrist, surprising him. “I said don’t.”

T’turk paused, glancing at the man again. “Do you have a death wish, meat sack? Back off before I kick your ass.”

“No can do,” replied the stranger. “That’s my stuff. I need it more than you do.”

“It’s mine now, unless you want a bullet in your empty head.” T’turk shook his wrist free, then took the bag and began emptying it. A pad fell out, hitting the counter, along with a handful of unopened soda cans, one of which rolled and hit the floor, breaking and hissing.

T’turk stared at the contents of the bag, confused. “What’s all this trash?”

The stranger looked at the soda on the floor as it sprayed chaotically. “Mother fucker,” he muttered.

T’turk threw the empty bag down by his feet. “You better have something on you, human! I’ll rip you a new one right now. You know how many of your kind I’ve killed just this week? You’re all a bunch of mushy pieces of—”

“You killed humans?” interrupted the stranger, raising his brow.

“Over a dozen in four days!” bragged T’turk. “Ain’t that right, boys?”

His crew cheered. “We raided a ship on its way to Nexus Colony,” announced Fr’ling. “Killed half and saved the rest for later.”

T’turk grinned, revealing a set of razor sharp teeth. “That’s why we’re here celebrating.

The human let out a sigh. “All I wanted was a drink and some food, but you just had to go and bring that up like a fucking jackass.”

“What’s he saying, T’turk?” asked Fr’ling. “Tell him to speak up! It’s hard to hear humans. They’re too tiny.”

T’turk laughed. “He’s scared. He knows he’s about to die.”

The door to the Five Trees opened, and in walked another human. A woman, perhaps, but T’turk couldn’t be certain. They all looked the same to him, ugly and pathetic.

She took a seat at the bar beside the male, motioning to the barkeep. “Whiskey,” she requested, turning away from T’turk.

“You,” he said, puffing his chest at the female. “You’re interrupting us.”

She didn’t answer.

T’turk was about to raise his fist to the woman, when the male got to his feet. “Let’s leave the lady out of it. This is between you and me.”

“Between us?” grinned T’turk. “Finally.”

The man turned to the female. “Hey, wanna do me a favor?”

She shrugged. “Depends.”

“Just watch my drink while I take care of this idiot, would ya?” He slid his glass over to her. “I’m Eddie, by the way.”

“Whatever,” the female answered, still not bothering to look.

The human male turned back to face T’turk. “All right, then, big fella,” grinned the little man. “Let’s see what you can do.”

Formation releases November 13th.

Oct 30, 2017 | Posted by in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Snippet 1: Formation (Ghost Squadron, #1)

Someone Dropped Me Off Here… Oriceran Has Been Unlocked

People keep asking me what I’ve been up to. But it’s not the casual, “How are you?” It’s the one where they stare deep into my eyes with a bit of caution. “Sarah, where have you been?”

The short answer is that I got pulled away, figuratively and literally.

Man, I loathe when people say that and I just did it.

Anyway, I’m ready to really share what I’ve been up to. It’s not a secret as much as I’ve been too busy to tell you.

Several months ago a friend recommended an author to me. He said this author, who is incredibly talented and successful, was inviting other authors to write inside of his universe.

“I don’t write real sci-fi,” I had said. “I only write the soft stuff.”

“Doesn’t matter. There’s a new universe for you. It’s called Ori-something,” my friend said.

So I arranged a call. I spoke with a stranger. He told me of his plans. I told him I wanted in… and the rest is history.

Fast forward three months.

I’ve been working relentlessly, writing books in a brand new world. It’s the world of Oriceran. It’s a different planet full of magic and the gates between our world and that one only opens every several thousand years. But what happens in between is where the stories really take place.

I never thought I’d leave the Dream Traveler universe, but I’m kind of glad I have. It’s been crazy to stroll through the Dark Forest and happen upon a gnome in my imagination. Apparently a pixie lives there too, and a whole lot of other mythological creatures.

So now to answer the question honestly. What have I been doing? I heard about an opportunity and I took it. I jumped down a rabbit hole, hoping that the stories I weave on my way through are something incredible.

Welcome to the world of Oriceran. It’s connected to Earth, and nothing like it.

 

Sep 12, 2017 | Posted by in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Someone Dropped Me Off Here… Oriceran Has Been Unlocked