A Rake by Starlight

A Rake by Starlight - Chapter 26

Submitted by C B Wright on
WHEREIN Outside Forces Invite Themselves In

Velis Enge leaned back in her office chair, blearily rubbing the sleep from her eyes as she forced herself to finish reading the mission debrief. She thought back wistfully to her days as a field agent, complaining about having to write them. She smiled briefly—relishing the irony—then forced herself to pay attention to her work. When she finished, she placed the data tablet down on her desk with a sigh and reached for the lukewarm cup of coffee on her desk.

A Rake By Starlight - Chapter 25

Submitted by C B Wright on
WHEREIN Offers Are Made, And Refusal Is Not Up For Consideration

“Captain Vindh!” Yidoc Messhik, crime lord of the Tyrelos Barony and other principalities, beamed through the video link at Grif’s scowling face. More accurately, he appeared to beam, strictly by human standards, though his facial spines—an integral emotive component for every Invagi Grif had ever met—hardly so much as twitched in place. “I confess I didn’t expect to hear from you so soon. On the other hand, I didn’t expect someone to try to assassinate our Baron, either.”

His smile faded slightly. “If you had any dealings in that, Captain, I’m afraid we have no business worth discussing. The Baron was very good for business, and I’ve no interest in rewarding either her brother or Lord Sonim for foolish ambition.”

A Rake by Starlight - Chapter 24

Submitted by C B Wright on
WHEREIN A Lack of Good Options Makes A Bad One Look Better

“What exactly is going on out there?”

It was the seventh or eighth time Morgan had asked the question. In that space of time, he’d moved from irritation, to anger, to confusion, and had finally settled comfortably into a state of utter bewilderment. Grif couldn’t blame him. The repetition was starting to wear thin, but it was a legitimate one to ask. Station Authority wasn’t making any sense.

“No clue, Morgan. The best I can come up with is ‘general bureaucratic incompetence,’ but I’m pretty sure that’s not what’s going on.”

A Rake by Starlight - Chapter 23

Submitted by C B Wright on
WHEREIN a Business Partner Transitions Into a Very Expensive Client

Baron Tyrelos stared at the Station Authority newscast, taking in the images flashing by: the remains of the Second City Bellows, the gritty particulates of the incinerated debris hanging in the air, Station Authority forces cordoning off the area, and one brief image of Lord Sonim Makar and Chancellor Muringyne being ushered into a secure area by Station Authority units. That last image was, she knew, standard emergency protocol—she’d signed and authorized it herself—but it made her angry. Angry, and more than a little frightened.

“Adyt!” She heard her voice, but didn’t quite recognize it. It sounded calm, in control, and revealed nothing of the seething mess of emotions she was trying to force her way through.

The Lieutenant immediately stepped forward. “Baron.” He was all business. He knew what this was, and had been chosen for her personal detail precisely because he could be trusted when the time came.

And that time is now, the baron thought. Damn it all to hell.

A Rake by Starlight - Chapter 22

Submitted by C B Wright on
WHEREIN a Business Partner Experiences an Unwelcome Change in Status

Amys walked into the Wardroom to find Grif and Baron Tyrelos locked in the middle of renegotiating their business relationship. This renegotiation consisted of Grif and the baron trying to drink each other under the table: so far, two bottles of Varkavian Whiskey and half a bottle of Stellis Blue had been sacrificed on the altar of Trying To Get the Upper Hand.

Grif looked up, saw Amys, and raised his glass in salute.

“Apparently,” Amys said, voice dry, “today was a bad day to go out.”

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