Category Archives: Part 3

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Chapter 1: Five Years
Chapter 2: Purpose
Chapter 3: Catching Up
Chapter 4: Request
Chapter 5: Up In Flames
Chapter 6: The Hunt
Chapter 7: The Library
Chapter 8: Clues
Chapter 9: Preview And Demonstration
Chapter 10: Rising Conflict
Chapter 11: Clinic
Chapter 12: Agreement
Chapter 13: Caught In The Act
Chapter 14: Interrogation
Chapter 15: Dinner Parties
Chapter 16: Still Here
Chapter 17: The Bunker
Chapter 18: The First Councillor
Chapter 19: Misrepresented
Chapter 20: The Spirit
Chapter 21: Extraction
Chapter 22: Fundraiser
Chapter 23: Investigation
Chapter 24: Confined Spaces
Chapter 25: Making Plans
Chapter 26: Public Property
Chapter 27: Reconciliation
Chapter 28: Substitute
Chapter 29: Interview
Chapter 30: The Gatekeepers
Chapter 31: The Catalyst
Chapter 32: Ellegy
Chapter 33: The Tower
Chapter 34: Plan A
Chapter 35: Reality Check
Chapter 36: Decisions
Chapter 37: Research
Chapter 38: Descent
Chapter 39: Familiar
Chapter 40: Direct Hit
Chapter 41: Council
Chapter 42: Bad Taste
Chapter 43: Motivations
Chapter 44: Arrival
Chapter 45: Traitor
Chapter 46: Heights
Chapter 47: Ark
Chapter 48: Beam
Chapter 49: Refuge
Chapter 50: Eighteen Months

Chapter 50: Eighteen Months

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There couldn’t have been a more perfect day for a wedding.

Well, maybe there could have been. Back on Vescent, one of Leta’s long-term patients had relapsed in her absence. There had apparently been a violent riot on Ellegy, the first in nine months. And someone had been shot to death outside of Paradiex’s city hall.

But those were all things that Leta easily pushed from her mind as she watched Cyrus and Addy Atelier walk down an aisle of their friends and family, hand in hand, smiling so bright they shone. And in that moment, things were perfect. Continue reading

Chapter 49: Refuge

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Leta grit her teeth and steadied her hand as she pushed the needle through the flesh and expertly tied it off. “There you go, all done,” she told the little girl who opened one tear-filled eye to peer down at the stitches in her arm. “You were very brave.”

The child sucked in a breath, her father provided Leta a word of thanks and the two of them headed out of the shelter into the camp just as Daelen, carrying a huge box of supplies that covered his face, walked in.

“You should be resting,” he told her, not for the first time, as he slid the boxes on top of the spent ones.

“I’ve rested enough,” Leta shot back without hesitation, already hovering over the crates before he even opened them. “Did you bring me more gauze? I’m running low.” Continue reading

Chapter 48: Beam

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Leta had never forgotten the day they lost Archeti. The feeling of the planet quaking beneath her feet, the dark storm swirling overhead, the sickly glow cast over the city that felt like a poison had spread through every brick, every slab of concrete, every breath of air. It had haunted her dreams on cold, lonely nights when the rain had battered her windows on Vescent. And as Cyrus landed E’etan’s ship in the middle of a deserted street of Paradiex and Leta peered out of the missing door, she was living it again. Only worse.

Wind whipped at her hair as she took in the scene. It was as bright as daylight in summer, but the wrong color entirely. Debris littered the street and tumbled along the pavement, driven forward by the constant shake of the ground beneath her feet. Moments before, her ears had been filled with the boom of the ark’s cannon and the high-pitched whirrs of Carthian fire. Now, below the clouds, all she could hear was the crack and crumble and churn of the Nautilus and the sound of her own blood pounding against her eardrums. Continue reading

Chapter 47: Ark

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Leta hissed out a pained breath and seized her throbbing arm. It was badly bruised already, probably broken and, like the rest of her body, hurt like hell. Two times today she had fallen out of a moving ship. Two times she had crash landed with nothing but her own body and surprising luck to protect her. Gods, who had she become these past few years?

But existential crises weren’t important right now. She’d survived the fall onto the surface of the Nautilus by some miracle (or perhaps the will of the dov’ha? She was on Satieri now. How did the Ridellian gods work again?), and damned if she wasn’t going to use it. Leta allowed herself a few seconds to fill her lungs before she kept moving down the Nautilus’ hallway again, one hand on a railing for support. Continue reading

Chapter 46: Heights

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Leta gripped the edge of the chair and held on as Cyrus banked the late Councillor’s ship right to avoid a stray blast from the firefight above them. Standing over him as he twisted the controls, she’d seen in coming. Fiearius, however, in the navigator’s chair beside him, his eyes locked on the console he was using to send out commands to the various fleets he was juggling, didn’t.

Dov’ha ti’arte, Cy, could you fly this thing any rougher?” he growled as he righted himself from where he’d slid off the chair. Continue reading

Chapter 45: Traitor

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Silence blanketed the room as Fiearius stared at the sight before him. Leta, here, on Satieri, standing in E’etan’s doorway, hand grasping the frame to support herself, breathing heavily and looking like she’d been trampled on by a surging crowd. Her clothes were ripped, half a sleeve entirely torn off. Her braided hair stuck out at all angles. Tiny streaks of blood covered her skin.

Leta stared back at him, her eyes wide and filled with worry, maybe relief and behind them, a thousand questions. Gods, it was good to see her. But at the same time–

“What the hell are you doing here?” he finally breathed. Continue reading