Sunday, November 25, 2012

Conspiracy Theory

“I did not know human ships required so much care.” Eleya was still sitting at navigation, fingers tapping out a slow beat as she waited for Alex to be done shutting down the ship.

“Not the newer ones... but this is a classic. Gotta be careful with these systems so they don’t get damaged.” He reached out and clicked some buttons that were already off, dragging his feet on purpose. They’d been sitting on the landing pad for the better part of fifteen minutes now. “Most of the parts are out of production, after all.”

Friday, November 9, 2012


“It is just over here.” Eleya gestured to a ship tucked away at the back of the hangar. It was small, sleek and low on the deck, all sharp angles and languid curves gleaming in the overhead lights. The paint was as black as space itself with tiny flecks of mica shining like stars and fiery red lines tracing back from the nose that pulsed slowly. “A Masamune shuttle. I thought it would be nice for you to have your own ship, something you could use around the system in comfort. If you approve, we could take it today.”

Saturday, October 27, 2012


One thing that Ed had successfully imparted to Alex, outside of piloting skills, was to be early. Particularly when military or various government types were involved. If five minutes early was their ‘on time,’ show up ten before that.

So, Alex had arrived a solid twenty minutes early to meet the Empress, all decked out in the fanciest human-style clothing he could get. His tailor - no getting used to that - had even gone so far as to produce a full three piece suit, eetaleeahn cut with a pretty good approximation of a tie. That was too much for him, though. He’d skipped the tie, vest and jacket entirely.

Saturday, September 29, 2012


Eleya clung to Carbon tightly, a hug that was just about to outlive its welcome when she broke it off, holding Carbon by her shoulders. She whispered something and Alex thought that, for just a moment, it seemed like Eleya might have had tears in her eyes.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Good Graces

“So, you’ve spent the last few years in the outer colonies. That’s got to be pretty exciting. New frontier and all.” Alex cracked open a spider leg and sucked the meat out. His mouth worked against him, trying to push everything he ate over to where he didn’t have teeth right now. It was frustrating, but he was still full of painkillers. They took the edge off most everything.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Like Crystal

“Now how about... Mm, how about ku- No wait, that wouldn’t be in your dictionary.” Alex leaned back in his chair, shaking his head. He and Eleya sat in the low, plush seats of what was apparently the fanciest restaurant on board, alone except for a waitress just outside of earshot. She still watched them like a hawk and the Empress had yet to finish a glass of wine before it was refilled. 

Eleya gave a disgruntled snort as Alex came up short of more words to try out. “Surely it should be.” She derived quite a bit of enjoyment from testing the limits of her translator implant. Initially she had just prodded Alex for more obscure words and phrases, though that eventually turned to swearing. As it turned out, Eleya was quite a connoisseur of cussing.

Friday, August 10, 2012


“Why are you still here?” Alex almost froze mid-step when he saw Eleya sitting in the waiting area of the dentist’s office. She was picking away at a tablet, foot tapping along to the music playing quietly from hidden speakers. He sniffed the air and squinted at her. “Where’d your escort go?”

Saturday, July 28, 2012


“Wait, really? You agree with me on that?” Alex nearly dropped the empty hypo cartridges he had been collecting. He had been channeling quite a bit of anger a few moments ago and swearing just didn’t seem like Eleya’s thing. For that matter, he wasn’t even aware that there were swear words in his translator.

Sunday, July 22, 2012


Alex paced back and forth across the confines of the elevator, the cane he had appropriated clicking in time with his steps. Things had gone as well as could be expected since the fight. The two that had attacked him were being taken to sickbay, the two that had stayed with his father-in-law’s zeshen were heading to the brig and dear old “dad” was flanked by soldiers in the back of the lift.

Thursday, July 12, 2012


“Okay. Oh-kay. Gonna keep on living.” Alex’s heart pounded in his chest, lungs burning, icy dread clutching at his mind as each breath felt like it wasn’t bringing in enough air. He rested against the wall of the shuttle bay, panting and dripping sweat onto the deck. He slid to the ground, arms propped up on his knees. The doctor who installed his translator had been right about exercise being more difficult with implants crowding his organs.

Thursday, July 5, 2012


“You were pretty quiet in there.” Alex hooked his arm into Carbon’s and pulled her along down the hallway away from the labs. There had been a few tables askew and a bent stool that matched a dented locker in the main lab on the way out, but he wouldn’t mention them directly. “Sort of.”

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Spy Games

"I wish this program hadn’t been used in such an invasive way." All of Alex’s hardware was clean except for the two programs that had been running surreptitiously in his Amp. From what they had been able to determine so far, the ARGUS program used a low level AI and his microphone network to collect information passively. When it had been run in a separate instance of his Amp’s OS he hadn’t been able to take advantage of it, but now... "Because this is actually kind of cool."

Thursday, May 3, 2012


Alex spent the rest of his night sitting in the eye of a storm, activity swirling around him. A dozen Tslao engineers had gathered around by the time they had adjusted the chair enough to fit him and he was pretty sure there were more by now. He couldn’t be sure, as he was staring at the floor through a heavily padded headrest.

Friday, April 6, 2012


“First Sergeant. I assume you have a good reason to point that rifle at the Prince, but I would like it if you did not.” Carbon had that look about her, the one she gets just before she engages in violence. Her voice carried that as a promise, hard and low.

Thursday, March 22, 2012


“Hey. How’d the meeting go?” Alex leaned against the wall next to the designers office, waiting for Carbon. She had arranged to briefly meet with Colonel Lhenan, looking into how legitimate having the Sergeant appointed to him had been. He had taken the opportunity to further familiarize himself with the layout of the ship, successfully navigating his way there without the aid of any translation.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Lesson Plan

“It looks fine, right? Right?” Alex held his arms out, showing off his outfit to Neya. He’d opted for human clothing today, a black t-shirt over black pants. “Toss the jacket on over this. Done. Easy.”

“It looks... Strange. Discomforting. The collar is too high and sleeves too low.” She wrinkled her short muzzle at him, eyebrows pulled low. She may have been holding a slight grudge because the prospect of a real breakfast had been dashed an hour ago by a message from Carbon, requesting that he come and dine with her back near Engineering.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Fitting In

 “Hey.” Alex laid his hand on Neya’s shoulder and shook her gently, barely awake as he tried to get her attention. “Hey, wake up.”

Neya didn’t respond immediately, still whimpering and twitching violently in her sleep. Her body went stiff when she came to, a yell strangled in her throat. The pale Tslao panted quietly, limbs spasming with less and less force as she started to relax.

Friday, February 10, 2012


Alex could have asked for directions when he left Eleya’s quarters. He should have. It would have been the smart thing to do, but pride kept him from that. He ought to know his way around the ship as well as anyone else who spent a large portion of their time there, but nothing in that section indicated where on the ship he was. All the doors were labeled, but none of the corridors were. At least he knew where to find the linens now.

Friday, January 27, 2012


Alex stood in the back of the lift, Eleya just in front of him and her security detail posted on either side between them. She apparently had her very own elevator that ran down to most of the meeting areas, formal dining rooms, one of the smaller hangars. Not surprising, given her station.

He hitched his thumbs at the indistinct forms of the guards he was standing behind. “So, can these guys even understand what I’m saying?”

Thursday, January 12, 2012


A trio of Senators were the first to depart the meeting, two males that Alex didn’t recognize blowing right past him and the Sergeant. They both looked unhappy, though the second appeared to be just short of enraged. Senator Kshana trailed them, stopping to talk and happy as she had been last time Alex had spoken to her.

Monday, January 9, 2012


As some people may have noticed, I have not been updating weekly like I used to. It's been quite silent over here for several weeks now. Life has gotten pretty busy, what with the baby about to be born and trying to move all at the same time. This has left me with a lot less time to write and with a newborn around, it will probably continue like that for some time.

I haven't given up on the story. I am still working on it, just at a much slower rate than before. I'm going to try to post about every other week, but I'm not making any guarantees about that just yet.