Tag: space pirates

One week later: Riph holds a wooden cup of wine between himself and the abyss. It’s not all that melodramatic. There’s a vacuum lid over the wine, and he’s wearing a suit. He’s not longing for death—just preparing himself for it. Himself and his dear little family. Even after seven days of thinking about it, that idea still makes him want to cry. Look up, Riph. Look up. He looks up, and it keeps the tears from forming in the…

Read the Chapter{18} Riph

To anyone who doesn’t know better, Fray assumes, she looks like she’s relaxed: knees and head dangling over the arms of the captain’s chair, eyes half-closed, mouth betraying nothing. But she knows it’s obvious to the three Damn Shames in Falcor’s cockpit with her that she’s trying to contain an explosion of energy. This is how she looked before battles or missions with the 383rd. This is how she looks before she blows something up. She’s mad. Her head hurts.…

Read the Chapter{17} Fray

Dog knows exactly what the unheralded wrist-grab will do to Maude, so they’re ready when she opens her mouth to scream. Springing up to their full height, they clamp their hand over her mouth and whisper, “It’s me. It’s Dog.” Every nerve in their body is on edge, so they’re infinitely grateful when Maude relaxes immediately. She jerks her head free. “What the hell?” she whispers, glaring down at them. Maude’s stronger than they’d guessed, and Dog makes a mental…

Read the Chapter{16} Dog

The Starfarer’s hold is sour with gasoline and oorhund fear-sweat. It’s giving Maude a serious headache. She thought she’d been clever, heading back down to the cargo area to find some solitude. Already, the number of people in close proximity is driving her a bit mad, so she’s posted up against a metal box amongst the cargo. Three heavy ‘hund heads rest on her crossed legs. Her fingers twist Rivet’s long, silky ear as she stares off into the blur…

Read the Chapter{15} Maude

You don’t really get to claim much for yourself in space, when you’ve lived on the edge of the law your whole life. So, normally, Rahab guards her dignity jealously. She doesn’t give the others any opportunity to make her look the fool. She saves face with vicious comebacks and cruel digs, enough now that the core Shames are gun-shy about mocking her. In other words, today can go fuck itself up the ass with a branding iron. Everything is…

Read the Chapter{14} Rahab

This time, it’s going to be different. Dragon grits her teeth and flares her nostrils at the pair of oorhunds. Their gold drool and laser eyes don’t impress her much anymore. After staring at them for thirty-some minutes, she’s decided Qi and Qat are not so much intimidating as bizarrely comedic—big, shaggy ursanine babies determined to get off the Starfarer and back to the soft ground of Lahmu. She doesn’t blame the oorhunds for their primal desires—but if the crew…

Read the Chapter{13} Dragon

Sometimes Kin gets feelings. He’s not sure if he should chalk them up to instinct, or observation, or premonition, or some convoluted combination—but he trusts them. And right now, his stomach’s at his feet and his heart is whirring, and he knows something is very wrong outside. He jerks his head up sharply to scan the shop for threats, and in doing so, sees that Dog is on the same page as he is, tight-lipped and narrow-eyed. They’ve stepped protectively…

Read the Chapter{12} Kin

In the end, desire carried the day. As it should be, Dog thinks, resting one hand behind their head, against the wall. Their other hand is tucked around Dragon like a safety harness, holding her close to them. Their heartbeat has finally stabilized, but they still aren’t over how close they came to losing her. Again. Dog’s own myriad desires kept their mouth shut while the Damn Shames bickered back and forth a while, before Riph finally said “rich heroes”…

Read the Chapter{11} Dog

It’s not often Riph’s compass spins so wildly. He’s finding it hard to concentrate on anything but the way Fray’s hair is spilling off the operating table. It’s less disorienting to focus on the exact curve of each individual strand than to focus on the fact that a complete stranger is operating on his Regent’s brain out in the middle of nowhere. Some part of Riph knows he should be thinking about being Regent instead of Proxregent. But he’s not…

Read the Chapter{10} Riph

“Chalcedon maps usually have those distinct purple lines, like cabbage dye, but made from the bioluminescent pigments of tropical flowers pounded to pulp. You can see the veining, there, near his thumb. That’s an indication of age, because the ink bleeds about two microns a year, and it’s moved pretty far from its original daubing position by now. And the silver, that’s a foiltrace, something high-end clients would ask cartographers for when they wanted to keep their projections obscured from…

Read the Chapter{9} Maude

There’s a beast of a storm cloud boiling over an isolated clump of trees. It spits angry blades of rain onto the ground and onto her face and arms, so sharp they sting like insect bites. The cloud is marbled brown and grey, hunched in on itself like a cat poised to pounce. Someone is holding her and running at full tilt across the murky grassland. That someone smells like Dog. That’s good, at least. Because Dragon doesn’t really remember…

Read the Chapter{8} Dragon

She knows Kin’s trying to be gentle, but being jolted in his arms while he sprints down a smoky hallway, dodging debris and corpses—not exactly the kind of ride Fray generally prefers. Although, she muses, trying to ignore the pounding against all sides of her skull, this isn’t the first time. She knows how badly the blast hurt her. She was so unprepared. She wants to curse herself, a real curse, but she doesn’t have the strength. She can only…

Read the Chapter{7} Fray

Rahab’s first thought is: This’ll all go faster if I just blow his brains out now. She’s only a little sorry for thinking it. It’s only Tarsus buried in that rubble, and her stomach is already churning thanks to…gods. Devith. Froggy. Those assholes should have had the courtesy to die in a less grotesque way, so she can get some sleep tonight. Rahab sheds the grim thoughts and rests her arms at a 90-degree angle—one pistol pointed at the door,…

Read the Chapter{6} Rahab

Kin loves stories. He always has. They’re part of his fabric. His older brothers spent hours crammed in their tiny childhood home, trying to outdo the others’ wild tales, while little Kinnon listened wide-eyed and absorbed every word. Teenaged Kin could hear through his bedroom floor as his father roared out raucous tales of his galactic exploits to his drinking buddies. Even now, adult Kin saturates himself with stories. They’re his escape. They’re how he spends his precious twenty-minute calls…

Read the Chapter{5} Kin

No matter which way Riph turns, there’s a beautiful girl. It’s an improvement over a few minutes ago, when there was only one beautiful girl. Said beauty seemed very interested in taking him back to her private tall grass island, but casually dropped a line about summoning her friends to make it a party, if Riph was willing to wait. Oh, Riph was willing to wait, and it’s been almost an hour now. He sits sprawled in a luxurious armchair, and…

Read the Chapter{4} Riph

Dog and Dragon exchange a look and a grin. Together they turn their collective smile at Fray. She seems slightly unnerved. “What exactly did you think we were?” Dog laughs, leaning intimately close to this stranger-celebrity who just offered them a place at her side and who smells, well, delicious. Dog is stalling for time, buying them enough time to assess this offer, decide if it’s for the best, and converse about it with nothing but their eyes and tiny…

Read the Chapter{3} Dog

Fray watches her pack scatter like crows to a feast, and she chuckles to herself. She’s glad to see that none of them glance back to see if she approves; she’s relieved they’ve lightened up, finally, even on the run and under extreme pressure. In a darker timeline, without her to mother them, the Damn Shames are, to this day, a flaccid arm of the Navy with a stick up their collective ass. But in this reality, Fray’s aggressive push…

Read the Chapter{2} Fray

Rahab loosens her nails from the grooves they’ve made in the leather of her seat, though she hasn’t hit the release yet. She’s still trying to convince her skittish brain and body that the Starfarer is on the ground, that the raggedy ship and its raggedy crew are under the sway of the reasonable gravity of a habitable planet. It’s a long process—the landing and the convincing. Slowly, Rahab unfurls from the turret chair. When she lets out the breath…

Read the Chapter{1} Rahab