Friday, September 30, 2011

Don't Forget


It was somewhere between two and three in the morning ship-time when they arrived back on the Sword of the Morning Light. More so than normal, it appeared to be deserted as Alex and Carbon wandered the dimmed halls back to their apartment.

They had finished the bottle of wine on the shuttle. Between the two of them it wasn’t enough to get drunk on - Carbon was particularly careful about how much she drank - but Alex found himself creeping towards a faint buzz. Probably because he had consumed about two thirds of the bottle.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Rock and a Hard Place, Part 3

Part 3 of Rock and a Hard Place. A little bit of a different viewpoint than I'm used to writing from, so I'm sure I screwed up all over the place despite having re-read this several times a day. Still, I'll let you be the judge of that. Nothing particularly shocking to warn about this time.


Stana lifted the compact teapot and slid it into a padded carrier, setting a short stack of cups and a few food bars on top of it before departing from the makeshift kitchen. It was late in the night and there was just the one older female running it. She smiled and thanked her for her trouble.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Broken Fences


There had been no further issues with the local police after that. The walk back to the shuttle had been quiet, Alex still knew his way around the Arcology well enough to avoid running into almost anyone else. It had let them both cool down before boarding the shuttle for the flight back to the Sword of the Morning Light.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Incident



“This was much better than I had hoped.” Carbon hung on Alex’s arm as they walked away from his parent's house. They were detouring from the direct path back to the shuttle, Alex intent on stopping by an old haunt before they went back to the Sword of the Morning Light. This part of the promenade was nearly deserted despite the sun having set not an hour before. There were faster ways around, but none of them had floor to ceiling windows with a view of San Francisco sparkling across the bay.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Rock and a Hard Place, Part 2

The second part arrives! Later than I wanted but still here. This one ran long and is full of swears, violence and a splash of gore... Not to mention a better look at some aliens and humans.

Lieutenant Thames' drop pod shuddered as it slid forward into the magazine. This drop was simple. No terrorists, separatists, insurgents, enemy combatants or freedom fighters. Just bugs. Of course, that did greatly increase their chances of being torn apart on some alien world.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Long Walk


“I’m really sorry about that. He didn’t mean anything by it.” Peter had been the first to return and looked like he was afraid Jason had caused some kind of intersteller incident.

“Do not worry, I have taken no offence.” She smiled and shook her head. “The young are often very excitable and not aware of how their actions could be taken by others.”

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Rock and a Hard Place, Part 1


Today, I bring you an extra... story... thingy. It is based in the Bridge Builder universe and takes place perhaps two years before BB itself starts. Read on after the break!

Friday, September 2, 2011

In-laws


It didn’t take Carbon long to arrive after Alex had called her. There had been hugging and crying and it hadn’t taken Peter or Alex’s father very long to abandon ship. Alex stayed around until the discussion turned to what kind of rings they should be getting and while they were on the subject of wedding related things, where would they be going for the honeymoon.

His mother had plenty of opinions on both of those subjects and Carbon was very interested in hearing what Audry had to say. Alex excused himself to go catch up with Peter.

“So, how’ve things been going with you?” He slid the door to the patio closed and leaned on the railing, looking out over the bay with his brother. “I feel like I’ve been monopolizing the conversation since I got here.”

“You have, but at least you have a good reason for it.” He smirked and laughed. “I can’t complain, still have a loving wife and kid, still doing what I like at work.”

“Yeah? How is the architecture business these days?”

“Remember when you asked me that before you left?”

“I do.”

“It’s the same as it was then. Well, the boss has been talking about trying to break into space stations lately. There are a lot of similarities between a station and an arcology, don’t get me wrong.”

Peter loved to talk about his work when the opportunity arose and Alex was inclined to indulge him. Alex didn’t usually understand what he was talking about when he dove into the finer points, but still found it interesting. “I think I hear a ‘but’ in there.”

“Oh yes, you do. Gaspari wants us to go in for a big contract - Vegas sized. If they wanted an arc on the ground, we’d be a top contender. We’ve never done a zero-g structure before, we have no personnel who are familiar with the building requirements.” He was starting to gesture out to the deep blue water, getting more emphatic as he spoke, his face flushed against the cool breeze. “He wants us to burn up thousands of man hours to get a prelim ready for first round of bidding in three months. I know we can do it, I just don’t think we should.”

“Damn. I’m guessing you tried to talk some sense into him?” Alex tilted his head to watch his brother, eyebrow raised.

“Tried. He wasn’t having any of it, though. Dead set on getting into stations. Thinks we can ‘bring an innovative look to stale affair of space living’ or some garbage.” Peter had never been fond of sentences that sounded like marketing.

“I bet you could. Can the company deal with that falling through?”

“Yeah, I checked with the CFO. We could not make a cent for a year before we’d have to start laying people off. He said Gaspari has actually been wanting to do space stations for years, built up a nice buffer of money before he tried.”

Alex shrugged. “That’s actually pretty responsible. Why so mad, then?”

“I’ve been working there for eight years and I had never heard a word about this until a month ago. Lots of talk about how we’re like a family, but big plans like this are kept secret. It just feels duplicitous.”

“Maybe he just didn’t want to get his own hopes up ahead of time.”

“Knowing him, probably.” Peter sighed and laced his fingers together. “Saying this out loud makes it seem less consequential.”

“I always was good at putting your life into perspective.” Alex smiled and patted his shoulder.

The smirk returned with a sharp laugh. “You were always good at being a pain in the ass, you mean.”

“Same thing, really.”

“Keep telling yourself that.” Peter shifted and jerked his head towards the living room. “I don’t want you to take this the wrong way, but... You really are good with her? There’s not some ulterior motive going on here?”

Alex gave him a dark look. “Yes, I really love her.”

He held up his hands with a grin. “Hey, look, it just seems strange that a princess would marry some slob from another race is all.”

“Hah. Nice.” Alex unclenched his jaw and smiled. “There are ulterior motives, though. Shit, with Eleya the ulterior motives probably have ulterior motives.”

“Who?”

“The Empress.”

“Ah. So she stands to benefit?”

“Yes. I think her primary concern really is Carbon... But she gets a symbol and a shield as well, at the very least.”

“Cryptic.”

“Yeah.” Alex looked over his shoulder at the sound of the doorbell going off. “Looks like everybody is here. I’ll explain more later.”

Peter nodded, sliding the door open again. “Sounds good.”

They stepped back inside and he exchanged a quick wave with Carbon. The front door closed and Jason started loudly announcing everything that came to mind. “We saw sharks today! They were cool!”

“Energetic as ever, huh?”

Pete laughed. “Yeah, it’s been crazy since he turned three.”

Audry came around the corner into the living room with Milly and Jason in tow and had just opened her mouth to introduce them when Jason noticed Carbon. His eyes grew wide and he bolted towards her, arms flung over his head in delight. “IT’S A PUPPY!”

Milly grabbed for his shirt and missed, the young boy launching himself onto the couch a moment later. He tossed his arms around Carbon’s neck and hugged her tight. “Mom, dad! It’s a puppy!”

Carbon hugged him back with a laugh. “He is quite energetic.”

Milly was extricating him from Carbon a moment later, apologizing about his behavior profusely. Peter gave Alex a sidelong glance and a nervous laugh as he went to help. “Let’s go tell grandpa about your day...”

Everyone disappeared from the living room seconds later, Jason’s protests quickly derailed by the prospect of talking about sharks some more.

“I am curious.” Carbon smoothed her fur out with a wry smile on her face. “What is a puppy and how offended should I be?”