The next two chapters are available to our loyal readers. If you have received the previous chapters, we should have sent you Chapters 5 and 6 by now. If you have not gotten them yet (and want them), email us or leave a comment. If you are new to the party, leave a comment and we’ll get you caught up.
Chapters 7 and 8 will be ready by the coming weekend.
Enjoy and keep in mind that we value your feedback!
“Heya, Captain! What the hell’s up now?”
Walking across the melt-rock paving of the open concourse that connected the flyer park with the rambling eyesore of Saarland District Headquarters (formerly a school, a casino, and—according to local legend—a brothel), behind which rose the steep stone-dotted scarps that threw the heat of the blue-white primary down on Port Lux, Minerva Lewis turned at the sound of the familiar voice.
“Hi, Anders. Wish I knew. What’ve you heard?”
A short lieutenant with a gymnast’s build, her company XO, sauntered up. “Seems we’ve been amalgamated.”
“Yeah, they brought the what’s left of the company here. Just got in a few hours ago.”
“The 321st and a two platoons of the old 35th. They haven’t told you yet?”
“Nope. They sent this squirt around out of calling hours—too green to know you don’t pass out in a whore’s rack with your uniform on.”
“So he had seen a naked woman before.”
“Dunno. But he has now. Why?”
“They were still laughing about it when I reported to the new CO. Y’all made quite an impression, I gather. You’d think nobody ever pulled a gun on him neither.”
“Probably haven’t. Training ain’t shit these days.” …
Commander Trin Wesselby, Director, Pleiades Sector Intelligence Group, lay back against the mattress of a bed in a third-rate hostelry, located in the inaptly named Crystal City, and sighed. Nick Taliaferro, the retired Chief Inspector of the Nedaeman Bureau of Public Safety, lying next to her, emitted a self-satisfied chuckle. The tiny room, which existed for a single purpose and rented by the half-hour (with an hour minimum) was short on furniture, space, and everything else. The bed and a small lavatory niche took up most of it, and the appurtenances provided by the management were limited to three towels, one of which could be rigged across the niche’s entrance by guests with a yen for privacy. The floor would do as a place to put your clothes—if you wanted something more, you had no business being there. …