Arekan: So the scribe is still writing the trash that “pays the mortgage” but since it seems to keep her in coffee and milkshakes, I won’t complain too much, though I’ve heard there a bit of clamor for her to finish the Arekan’s War Series.
Rastan cleaned his body in the sonic shower, while Arekan stood at the door preventing any of the curious crew from entering. The fact was Rastan, or the alias he used, Pepin, the new crew-member they had picked up illegally, was too pretty for a group of hardened criminals to resist. Arekan worried about this and feared for the day when the riffraff would storm them both. This worry grew the closer they drew to the Kyn border.
Arekan had four causes for worry here. One was the illegal turbo-ramjet batteries that Captain Etharin stored in the engine room. The irony was that the turbo-ramjets made up very little of the ship’s actual propulsion capacity it lifted the vessel off planets but did nothing else. But they weighed heavily on Arekan’s mind. Captain Etharin illegally recharged batteries never meant to be so, and they were extremely unstable. Each time the ship jolted in and out of Null Space, Arekan was sure they’d blow and ignite the fuel in the two large tanks of turbo-ramjet fuel. When they passed the Kyn border, they’d drop out of Null Space, triggering another opportunity for disaster. Read More —>
Interviewer: We are here today with Beth Turnage, the author of Forced Labor and the sequel No Free Lunch, and the protagonist of those stories Arekan Mor’a’stan. Welcome, both of you, though, I must say it is unusual to have a fictional character sit in on an interview.
Arekan: What the hells are we doing here?
Interviewer scratches head. So Beth, tell me. You are writing a series of books of what you call the Mor’a’stani Universe. How did you decide to develop these stories?
Arekan: She got bored in geometry class.
Arekan: Well, it’s true. You started writing that first piece of trash in that geometry class and then when you finished that you started on Kelleen’s, that’s my daughter’s, story. Forty years and she’s still not done. Continue reading Interview With The Author
“Arekan,” says the scribe. “Why has your cat moved in with me.”
“I don’t have a cat.” Truth is I dislike those nasty little furballs. Hate me if you will, but they are entitled jerks and keep the humans wrapped around their tiny paws. Come and go when they please. Whine for their dinner. Gets all annoyed when you don’t clean their litter boxes. No thanks. I’d rather have a wife.
In other words, not going to happen.
It seems the culprit of the scribe’s question is the thing in the little box in the corner. She calls him Twix, which makes no sense. He is, she says a Bengal, which means that some generations back his great-great grandsire was an Asian wildcat. Humans have been cross breeding them ever since to achieve the perfect mix of domestic temperament and wild characteristics in coat, facial shape, and body structure.
“So what is it about this cat that makes you think he’s mine?”
“He attacks everything.”
Apparently, there is a fail in the breeding program.
“Even the rabbit.”
“You have a rabbit? And you haven’t eaten it?”
“Arekan, please. It’s a pet. And you kinda proved my point right there.”
“So you have a wild cat living in your house, and a pet rabbit (rolls eyes) and you wonder why there is a problem? Where did this thing come from, anyway?”
“My son found him locked in his toolshed.”
“Then you should have taken the hint.”
(Scribe sighs) “I can’t talk to you about anything.”
This week’s chapter is another of Chuck Wendig’s flash fiction challenge this time titled Ten More Sentences; Round Two. That’s self explanatory. You should be able to read this as a stand alone, but let me know if you can’t. 🙂
TO FORBIDDEN PASSENGERS
In the end, they ran. The group of them, now four, when before they were three, were spotted by one of the slavers as they slipped from the maze of cages that had held their prize. This was the young man they had stolen to conscript as crew on their ship.
The young man they “rescued” stayed close, his legs pumping as hard as theirs under the blazing white sun of a planet who life expectancy was comparatively short. But humans resided on it now, low and crass as this class was, and they only cared about the air, water and sunlight on it. It was a haven in the vastness of a Universe that served up few of the necessities of life.
But right now, Arekan’s and his fellows necessity was to make their ship, board it, and hope to hell that the captain or the pilot could make way before an Oshijian Empire war cruiser could shoot the pirate ship out of the black.
But the run was difficult. It was hot, humid and the air a touch too thin for physical exertion. But more than that the predations of life aboard the pirate ship—his ship, thought Arekan regretfully—took a toll on his body. He gasped for breath as his legs pumped against gravity that was a full half gee above what the captain set for gravity on the ship. And that little economy move, Arekan realized now, weakened his body.
No wonder the others didn’t want to leave the pirate ship.
Pain accompanied every movement as Grokin pushed him up the ladder that led to the engine room.
Arekan stared stupidly at the long cylinder of the null space displacement unit that ran through the center of the compartment. Except for a few class tours on his home ship, he’d never seen one. But this piece of equipment as everything else on this tub looked in disrepair. Its paint cracked and peeled along its casing, and the rust brown of corrosion marked the unit’s seams. Arekan grew queasier at witnessing the poor condition of this major aspect of the propulsion system.
The engineer whipped his head toward Arekan and Grokin and frowned. Tinnen was extremely lean and white-haired. A deep scar cut into his cheek running from his ear to his jaw, which deepened with the scowl he gave both men.
“This is who you brought?” said Tinnen incredulously.
Here is the last cover for Arekan’s War. I’m not printing the blurb yet because there are too many spoilers to Book 3, Tour of Duty. But in book 4 Arekan finds out the hard way that “no good deed goes unpunished.” Suffice it to say he is placed in a situation where he has to make some very uncomfortable decisions to satisfy matters of honor. Can he swallow the exigencies and imperatives of command and lordship even if they go against everything Arekan believes? Will he sacrifice his integrity to kept his promises? And can his heart bear the ultimate price of his compromises?
I took the morning to finish up the covers for the Arekan’s War books. Below is the one for book three which is written but needs one more good going over before I release it. But here is the blurb.
Tour of Duty
Arekan’s first days in the Windshadow Complex are so disastrous that both Santir and Captain Raden Irlu agree its best for everyone if Arekan puts some time and distance between him and the Mor’a’stani lords. Irlu, who quickly became Arekan’s best friend in the complex, persuades Arekan to go with him on the last patrol before the snow flies, a tour of duty that spans part of the vast Windshadow vale. Here Arekan learns about the life of the people of the vale, long thought to be the staunchest supporters of the Mor’a’stani. He finds a people very much split on the whether the Mor’a’stani are their saviors or their enemy. At the same time he takes an interest in the young woman, Katlia, that Raden sees as his, but hasn’t made a formal offer of marriage.
Can their friendship survive Arekan’s meddling in the private life of his best friend?