A Rake by Starlight - Chapter 14

Submitted by C B Wright on
WHEREIN Familiarity Breeds Aggravation, and Strong Desire to Drink

Garinon Station was the primary port of call in the Garinon System. Before the Tylaris Barony had joined the Alliance, it served as a major hub for goods coming out Trade Baron space. Its fortunes dimmed a little when Rolis Tylaris brought his barony into the Alliance, but it had done its best to adapt by diversifying its interests. Politics had become its latest product—specifically, services catering to political think tanks. Garinon Station had created an entire industry around hosting conferences, debates, conventions, lectures, and forums around the most important issues of the day. It appeared to be working: almost overnight the Garinon System was the place to go if you were a think tank or political group.

It was the perfect place, Velis thought, for a bunch of spies masquerading as diplomats to meet.

A Rake by Starlight - Chapter 13

Submitted by C B Wright on
WHEREIN Our Hero Survives, Though the Condition is Assumed to be Temporary

Amys woke up to see Grif’s semi-blurry face peering down at her.

“Urgh,” Amys said.

He grinned. “That was pretty much my reaction when I woke up, too. Except I also threw up a little.”

“Urgh,” Amys said again.

“Short version: apparently we’re not dead. The bug pulled it off.”

Amys decided against saying “urgh” a third time and tried to sit up instead. An unpleasant wave of vertigo washed over her. She tried to keep her balance, but the room felt wrong.

“Whoa.” Grif grabbed her arm and helped her sit. “Yeah, the vertigo is really annoying. The good news is, drinking helps.”

Why I Love (and Hate!) the Wheel of Time

Submitted by C B Wright on

If you're not familiar with the Wheel of Time, the series created by Robert Jordan and finished by Brandon Sanderson, this article won't mean a whole lot to you. I'm writing this primarily for other people who have read the series, primarily because I'm curious as to whether they can see the same things I see, or if it's just me. If you've never read it… well, there are probably spoilers.

I never managed to finish the Wheel of Time. I'm frustrated by this, especially since the story has been finished, and I'm invested enough in the story, even now, to want to know how everything works out. But even wanting to know hasn't been enough to sustain me. I'm one of those people who feel like the WoT dropped off in quality, pretty severely, somewhere around the middle, and I always wind up giving up. I don't think I've ever made it to book ten. I'm pretty sure I've never finished reading book nine.

Project Recall: Part Four

Submitted by C B Wright on

Robert's office has been transformed into a miniature auditorium.

Rows of chairs fill the first two-thirds of the room—six chairs on each side with an aisle down the middle—and Jenny recognizes almost none of the people sitting in them. She vaguely remembers the faces of one or two of the people who were present at their arrival, and she catches a glimpse of Alihmah Mahmoud, the president of Thorpe Industries, sitting in the very last row. Everyone else is wearing a Thorpe Institute badge. The first row is reserved for her and her companions: Twelve chairs, each with a nametag. Curveball. Zero. Regiment. Red Shift. Street Ronin. Vigilante. Scrapper Jack. Dr. Artemis LaFleur. David Bernard. Alan Grant. Lijuan Hu. Peter Travers. At present, the only chairs that aren't filled are Vigilante's, Jack's, LaFleur's, and Bernard's. Jenny remembers something about David being in the infirmary for some reason.

Project Recall: Part Three

Submitted by C B Wright on
Somewhere Else

David Bernard sits cross-legged on the cracked stone floor in the not-dream of the old dojo.

The old dojo still sits in the endless grassy plain. The sky is still a canopy of clear, deep, blue. The alien power that dwells within him still murmurs occasionally, slithering through his mind, but it hasn’t actually done anything since it tried to break him earlier. He doesn’t remember how long he’s been there, methodically sifting through Artigenian’s memories, suppressing his revulsion as he examines each in turn, a menagerie of remembered horrors. The lore that Artigenian remembered teaching a younger Artemis LaFleur was nightmarish in itself, but the lore that Artigenian had decided not to teach him—the lore he’d decided his pupil wasn’t ready to accept—that was far, far worse.

He closes his eyes, forcing himself to learn, forcing back the bile that rises in the back of his throat as the knowledge stains him. He sees exactly how Artigenian had been trying to reshape LaFleur’s perceptions, nudge him down a path of nihilism and self-destruction—where he had succeeded, where he had failed, and how, when the opportunity had presented itself, he had set the would-be monarch on a path that would end in the world’s annihilation…

…and how he had, ultimately, failed… which was fortunate for everyone in the world, except the doomed citizens of Esperanza.

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