Category Archives: Part 1

Part 1 Quick Links

Chapter 1: Medical Attention
Chapter 2: The Dionysian
Chapter 3: Escape
Chapter 4: Questions
Chapter 5: Answers
Chapter 6: Breakfast
Chapter 7: Armed
Chapter 8: Negotiations
Chapter 9: Torian
Chapter 10: Defenses
Chapter 11: No Time Like The Present
Chapter 12: Bringing Back The Dead
Chapter 13: A Ship
Chapter 14: Fearless Leader
Chapter 15: Coming and Going
Chapter 16: The Rusted Anchor
Chapter 17: A Job Done
Chapter 18: Encounters
Chapter 19: Revelations
Chapter 20: The Gala
Chapter 21: A Real Trickster
Chapter 22: Eavesdropping
Chapter 23: Tonight’s Entertainment
Chapter 24: Into the Ring
Chapter 25: Seventeen
Chapter 26: A Choice
Chapter 27: Obnoxious At Best
Chapter 28: Love and Friendship
Chapter 29: Meaningful Relationships
Chapter 30: The Fabulously Wealthy
Chapter 31: Out of Options
Chapter 32: Day Five
Chapter 33: Mutiny
Chapter 34: Aftermath
Chapter 35: Another
Chapter 36: Ancient History
Chapter 37: Crossed
Chapter 38: Monsters
Chapter 39: Flesh And Blood
Chapter 40: Fighting It Off
Chapter 41: Paraven
Chapter 42: Seeing Stars
Chapter 43: Interrogation
Chapter 44: Impossible
Chapter 45: Other Arrangements
Chapter 46: Cheap Gin and Low-Grade Explosives
Chapter 47: Giving In
Chapter 48: Boarding The Baltimore
Chapter 49: Finding Ren
Chapter 50: Defeat
Chapter 51: Saving Fiearius
Chapter 52: Homecoming

Chapter 52: Homecoming


With widened, bloodshot eyes, Cyrus watched as the buildings and lights of Paradiex sped past the train window. His heart was still banging against his ribs after their mad dash through the city streets. Horribly, the Beacon was twenty minutes away, but they’d escaped the HQ; they’d made it as far as the city transit.

And they had Dez to thank for that.

Rifle in hand, Dez had led them out of the HQ, barking orders to turn left, turn right, down that alley. With Fiearius’ arms thrown over their shoulders, Cyrus and Leta had followed, crossing breathlessly through the city to the temporary safety of the PIT train. Shockingly, no one had questioned them along the way nor even spared a passing glance. Apparently the librera Dez wore engraved into his arm was a powerful detractor.

Now, Dez stood at the doors, regarding the transit map thoughtfully as if leading escaped convicts was as routine as taking a lunch break.  At Cyrus’ side, Leta looked tense enough to spring up at any moment. Fiearius slumped between them, his eyes half-lidded, still mumbling Society propaganda nonsense under his breath. Continue reading

Chapter 51: Saving Fiearius


Only tense silence filled the bridge as the Beacon began its landing sequence to Satieri. Finn was seated at the main navigation console, putting his military-pilot skills to use as he quickly operated the controls, muttering madly to himself. Behind him, Corra paced the floor, throwing anxious glances in his direction. Meanwhile, Cyrus simply sat in a chair, his eyes on the main window.

At last, a jagged skyline crept into view, as the capital of Paradiex unfolded before their eyes. It was a fast-paced, overpopulated city in the heart of a hot sandy desert, known as the leader in technological advancement and, of course, the proud founding place of the Society. The scenery was so eerily familiar, it was like he’d never left at all.

For the first time in four years, Cyrus had made it home. Continue reading

Chapter 50: Defeat


All at once, Society agents flooded the hallway, grasped Leta by both arms and dragged her into their fold. Dez strode ahead of them, swinging his sword at his side with an air of utmost casualness. Beside her, agents seized Cyrus and Ren too, and Leta’s mind raced with one thought: please don’t let us be separated, please don’t separate us, please don’t …

For better or worse, all three of them were marched down the long hallways and through the same metal black door marked TEMPORARY CONTAINMENT UNIT. Inside, the walls were sterile and cold, the pure-white floor filled with chairs and metal benches. With a jolt of her heart, Leta saw one of the chairs was occupied.

Fiearius. Continue reading

Chapter 49: Finding Ren


Whatever distraction Fiearius was pulling in the hangar, it seemed to be working: this long sterile hallway was empty of armed Society agents as Leta sprinted after Cyrus, her heart pounding in her chest. They were so close to Ren’s cell that she could barely breathe.

The interrogation bay was one deck below, a half-set of metal stairs that ducked downward. Leta’s feet swallowed the steps two by two, her gun gripped tightly in hand. Down here, the hallways were swept with silence. This bay was clearly set apart from the rest, as if they were underground, beneath the ship, held away.

For the worst detainees. Continue reading

Chapter 48: Boarding the Baltimore


“The Baltimore? We’re actually going to board the Society ship?”

“‘Course not, ‘cause it ain’t possible — “

“ — watch your mouth. Cap’n says we can do it, then we can do it.”

“Yeah, right — “

Conversation swirled right past Leta’s ears. She barely heard the chattering crew as she breathlessly pressed through the mess hall and down the corridor with one destination in mind: the bridge. If this ship was really and truly headed to the Baltimore and to Ren, then she needed to speak to its captain.

Leta stalked right into the bridge, frenzied as a tornado.

“Fiear,” she demanded shakily, “what the hell is going on?” Continue reading

Chapter 47: Giving In


It was a single four letter word that greeted Fiearius’ tired and hungover mind that morning as he rolled over in bed and laid eyes on the empty whiskey bottle on his floor.  So last night had actually happened then, he realized slowly. Leta had actually spent a good part of the night sharing drinks with him and a small part of the night sharing something else. Sometimes her presence was so frustrating, he wasn’t sure if he wanted to kill her or kiss her.

Last night, it seemed, he’d finally given into the latter.

By the time he lowered into the hallway, some twenty minutes of shame and guilt later, their shared bottle of whiskey was in shards littered across the floor and Fiearius was sure he could fix this. Continue reading