A Rake by Starlight - Chapter 15

Submitted by C B Wright on
WHEREIN Our Hero, Safely Returned to Friendly Lands, Contacts a Business Partner of a Surprising Pedigree

The Tyrelos Barony was the poorest of all the Trade Baronies, by a fair margin. It specialized in mining and processing high-grade alloys and in ruggedizing equipment to survive in exotic and hostile environments. Tyrelos Metallurgics was a premier manufacturer of artificially enhanced starship hull alloys, and Tyrelos Environmentals had no competitors when it came to top-of-the line closed environment systems. Tyrelos Mining Endeavors was one of the top-tier mining endeavors in known space, and along with the high-quality equipment they sold to the industry at large, their mining expertise was sought after by worlds who had precious materials but lacked the resources to mine them.

All these industries were in high demand and very successful. At the same time, their profits were needed by the Barony to sustain itself. The Tyrelos Barony was unique among the Trade Baronies in that every planet in the Tyrelos System was uninhabitable, some of them aggressively so. All the technology and know-how from the various Tyrelos corporations was needed to create enclosed cities, protected environments, and artificially habitable zones for its citizens. This was an expensive process, and after expenses, the Barony enjoyed only a modest profit.

Of course, modest is a relative term: what the Tyrelos Barony considered modest was considered staggering to pretty much every other corporation that wasn’t a Trade Baron. But if total accumulated wealth could be translated into power and influence, the Tyrelos Barony had significantly less than its neighbors.

What it lacked in comparative wealth, however, it more than made up for in sheer ambition. And nothing captured this ambition better than Tyrelos Station, its capitol city.

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 of 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.

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