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Dragon Ascending Part 7: Brand New KDG Read

Happy Friday everyone!  I  hope last weeks reading highlights for March gave you some great ideas for fabulous reads. As always I’d love to hear from you if you find a great read and you want to share. This week, however, it’s time for another episode of Dragon Ascending. In our last longer bonus instalment we had a reunion with Fury, Mac and Manning. This week Fury and his crew come to the rescue of a ship and discover the crew has been up to something sinister. I hope you’re enjoying Dragon Ascending, the sequel to Piloting Fury, as much as I’m enjoying sharing it with you. As always, I love it when you share my work with your reading friends, so feel free. In the meantime, enjoy!

If you missed the previous episode of Dragon Ascending, follow the link for a catch-up. If you wish to start from the beginning, of Dragon Ascending. Follow the link. 

Dragon Ascending

On a desolate junkyard of a planetoid, scavenger Lenore Felik, disturbs something slumbering in a remote salvage dump and uncovers secrets of a tragic past and of the surprising role she must play in the terrifying present she now faces.

Robbed of her inheritance after her tyrannical father’s death, Tenad Fallon is out for revenge on her half-brothers, one who happens to be the sentient ship, Fury. Fury, with his human companions, Richard Manning and Diana McAllister, has his own agenda – finding the lost sentient ships and ending the scourge of indentured servitude in Authority space.

 

 

Dragon Ascending Part 7: Damages and Consequences

“There’s a ship coming in fast.”

“Shit!” Manning said. “Another Jaeger?”

“It is not,” came the reply. “And it is alone. It is sending a distress signal.” He put the other ship and it’s message on screen, but Fury and his compliment were cloaked and invisible to anything but another SNT.

The ship was tiny, an older starling class, battered and clearly not well cared for. “No doubt smugglers,” Manning observed. “Probably down on their luck come to Taklamakan Major to steal from the salvage dumps.”

The pilot was a scruffy man, who looked like he could use a bath. Mac wrinkled her nose at the thought. He was speaking the common tongue. She glanced at the telemetry. “They’re venting oxygen, and there’s a radiation leak. Ship’s in worse shape than some of the junk in the yards.”

“It will crash onto the planetoid if I do not tractor it,” Fury said.

“Do it,” Manning ordered. “And ‘tran the crew into the cargo bay.” There was no real need to tell Fury any of this, but there was a routine they had fallen into, and it comforted them all when they were together for the long haul, without seeing another being for endless stretches of time. Not that they were ever bored, nor did they ever have cabin fever, not with Fury, but for each of them to fulfill a role, was the maintaining of a structure on which their lives were now built. Manning was the captain, Mac was the pilot and Fury contained them, maintained them and cared for all three of them.

“I have them in the tractor beam,” Fury said.

To which the captain of the smaller vessel responded, “what the fuck?”

“You’re being ‘tranned into our cargo bay for radiation treatment until we access and repair your ship,” Fury responded.

“Wait a minute, ‘tranned? Are you fucking crazy? No ‘tranning! There’s been -” The crew of three were ‘tranned mid-rant.

 

 

“They sound charming,” Mac said. “Though I suppose considering that molecular transport is illegal and not nearly sophisticated enough for human transport, you can’t really blame them.”

“There is little choice,” Fury said. “Their ship is not safe for humanoids and I cannot fix it with them on board, nor will I risk any of my compliment to treat them under such dangerous circumstances.”

“Can you fix it?” Manning asked.

“I can. It should not take long. The repairs necessary are not complex, only the ship’s crew cannot manage the task on their own, and they have not properly cared for the vessel.” The sharp edge is Fury’s voice at the poor maintenance of a ship made his disapproval clear, but then with Fury’s mix of tech and biology, he could not keep from being sensitive to what he viewed as mistreatment. “I already do not like these men,” he commented. Both Manning and Mac nodded agreement.

“Let’s get them treated and sorted and out of here ASAP,” Manning said.

A sudden sense of static ran over both their skin and they shivered. “What is it, Fury?” Manning asked. “What’s wrong?”

“There is the scent of sex on all three of these men, one woman, and there is the scent of her blood. It was not consensual.”

“Fucking hell,” Mac cursed. “And she’s not onboard.”

“She is not.” The static of Fury’s anger rose.

“Then blow the bastards out the airlock,” Manning said.

“No wait.” Mac laid a hand on Manning’s arm, and the other against Fury’s consol. “If she’s still alive, she may need help.”

Manning blew out a sharp breath and nodded. Fury cursed, something he seldom did.

“Then we shall question them severely. I will do it myself.”

“Let me do it,” Mac said.

“No!” Both of her men said at the same time.

“What? You don’t think the two of you can rescue me if three men with radiation poisoning in our tight little cargo cabin get stroppy,” she used the term cargo cabin loosely. Where the men were was the place maintained to isolate certain types of humanoids from the rest of Fury’s compliment and from seeing what was not meant for them to see. In essence it was a jail when need be.

“Of course we could easily rescue you from these wastrels, dear Mac. It was our concern that this task shall be difficult for you, Mac, after what has been done to you.”

“But it will make me a helluva lot scarier than either of you could ever be.”

Manning rubbed his chin and nodded. “I’ve seen you scary, Mac.” She could feel Fury giving the SNT equivalent of a nod.

“Then I shall keep a lock on you at all times.”

“I’d expect nothing less,” she replied.

“And I’m coming with,” Manning added.

“Fair enough. I’ve seen you scary too, Manning,” she said.

“And if the two of you are not scary enough, I reserve the right to be terrifying.”

“We reserve the right to let you,” Mac said. She knew of nothing that frightened her more that the lengths to which an SNT would go to protect his compliment.

 

 

OUT NOW—Safe and Sound (The Dreadnoughts Book Three) by Lucy Felthouse (@cw1985) #reverseharem #rh #rhromance #whychoose #ku #kindleunlimited #thriller #superheroes

Safe and Sound is the third and final book in The Dreadnoughts series. All three books are currently in Kindle Unlimited, but will be withdrawn in August, so if you’re a Kindle Unlimited subscriber, make sure you read the books sooner rather than later! I would hate for you to miss out.

Blurb:

Kim is within touching distance of her goal – but is it already too late?

Kim Medhurst, ex-British military intelligence officer turned scientist and climate activist, is in a race against time. With help from her four men, she’s researching how to make the ygrene – the mysterious power source she retrieved from a remote Scottish island – a viable alternative to fossil fuel. An unexpected visitor recently bought them a little extra breathing space, but they’re painfully aware it won’t last forever.

Despite their hard work, the whole thing looks set to crash down around their ears when the greedy megalomaniac they’ve been desperate to avoid shows up on the Greig twins’ doorstep. While Kim and the gang would happily lay down their lives to stop the ygrene getting into the wrong hands, Kim would prefer to steer clear of violence. Their latest visitor claims he only wants to talk, but he’s brought goons carrying hardware, and Kim wouldn’t be Kim without a backup plan.

Will good prevail against evil, or have all the gang’s efforts and sacrifices been for nothing?

Buy at Amazon, read in Kindle Unlimited or purchase the paperback (audio coming later in the year): https://books2read.com/safeandsound

Enjoy the other books in this completed series. It’s highly recommended you read them in order—it won’t make a lot of sense otherwise! These two books are available in eBook, paperback and audiobook formats.

Book one, Search and Rescue: http://books2read.com/searchandrescue

Book two, Cut and Run: https://books2read.com/cutandrunlf

*****

Author Bio:

Lucy Felthouse is the award-winning author of erotic romance novels Stately Pleasures (named in the top 5 of Cliterati.co.uk’s 100 Modern Erotic Classics That You’ve Never Heard Of), Eyes Wide Open (winner of the Love Romances Café’s Best Ménage Book 2015 award), The Persecution of the Wolves, Hiding in Plain Sight, and The Heiress’s Harem and The Dreadnoughts series. Including novels, short stories and novellas, she has over 170 publications to her name. Find out more about her writing at http://lucyfelthouse.co.uk, or on Twitter or Facebook. Join her Facebook group for exclusive cover reveals, sneak peeks and more! Sign up for automatic updates on Amazon or BookBub. Subscribe to her newsletter here: http://www.subscribepage.com/lfnewsletter

Release blitz organised by Writer Marketing Services.

 

My Reading Highlights for March

Hello Reading Compadres! Read any good books in March? Do tell! As for me, while February was characterized as a ‘meh’ month reading-wise, March more than made up for it. A long-awaited pre-order came out, and it most definitely did not disappoint. And best of all, what every reader lives for — I discovered a new author who totally rocked my month to the tune of an awesome, and quickly devoured, trilogy.

 

If you’ve been following my monthly reading blogs, then you will know that V.E. Schwab has recently become one of my very favorite writes. While her Darker Shade of Magic trilogy had been on my radar for a while, it was her runaway best seller, The Invisible Life of Addie La Rue that completely converted me to Schwab and had me binge reading all Schwab, all the time J That being the case, it should come as no surprise that I had pre-ordered her latest YA standalone, Gallant several months before its release. While written for a slightly younger audience that the YA I usually read, I would wholeheartedly recommend  Gallant to any age reader. Gallant is the story of what makes family and home told from the point of fourteen-year-old orphan, Olivia. Olivia is mute, and yet her character is one of the most eloquent and well drawn I have recently read. This novel is not to be missed, no matter how old you are. It has convinced me once again that Schwab is a goddess in her realm.

 

 

The other highlight of my reading month was the discovery of dark fantasy author, Jen Williams. OMG! Where has this author been all of my life. While at loose ends looking for my next read, I downloaded a sample of Williams’ The Ninth Rain, the first novel of The Winnowing Flame series. I didn’t stop reading until I had hungrily devoured the whole trilogy and ended up with big book- bereavement. Jen Williams has definitely not gotten the press she so well deserves. The Winnowing Flame series ticked every box and some I didn’t realize needed to be ticked. A middle-aged woman who is the head of a family of vintners, teams up with a drunken Eborian (think Fae who isn’t really Fae) running away from his dying land and a fire witch escaped from a notorious institution that exploits her kind team up to save their world from another wave of off-world invaders that are a nightmare mix of Borg and Heinlin’s Bugs. The characters a vibrant, well drawn and beautifully flawed. The chemistry between them is effervescent. Forced to work together, their mistrust is replaced with true friendship. The plot is nail biting and electric, with that delicious blend of fantasy, scifi and horror. If Williams didn’t already have me with this smorgasbord of reading delights, she brings in the dragon!

 

 

If you’ve not read anything by Jen Williams, do so without further delay, but don’t expect to sleep until the last book is finished. This month’s best read has to be The Winnowing flame trilogy.

 

In other news, I’ve just returned from another fabulous writing retreat at Northmoor House near Exmoor. I spent most of my time preparing for Camp NaNoWriMo coming up in April, so the reading will probably be sharply curtailed next month, but I’m all set to tackle another thirty day write-athon.

 

Next week there’ll be another episode of Dragon Ascending, so do check in. In the meantime, happy reading! If you have a book you think I absolutely must read, drop me a message.

 

 

OUT NOW—Love You Wrong (Love You, Maine, Book 0 – Prequel) by Julia Kent (@jkentauthor) #romance #contemporaryromance #romanticcomedy #romcom

Love You WrongRelease date: March 28, 2022

Genre: Romantic Comedy, Contemporary Romance

Cover Designer:  Najla Qamber, Qamber Designs (https://www.qamberdesignsmedia.com/)

Audiobook Narrators:  Erin Mallon and Teddy Hamilton

Tropes/Themes:  Small Town, Enemies to Lovers, Grumpy/Grumpy, Slow Burn, Missed Connection, Fish out of Water, Lumberjack vs. City Slicker, Standalone

*****

Blurb:

Two young do-gooders working to change the world find friendship and maybe more in a cutthroat business, but when the stakes are higher than they ever imagined, will a betrayal bring them together—or ruin everything?

Kellan “Kell” Luview is a new man. He left his tourist-trap small town and his dad’s business behind in rural Maine for a position at an environmental policy think tank in Washington, D.C. More comfortable climbing trees than talking about them, he’s determined to stretch his wings as he builds a new life with an ambitious girlfriend and smart friends who are just as dedicated as he is.

Despite his love for his work and the excitement of D.C., he feels pulled in too many directions when his girlfriend Alissa starts acting weird, his best friend Rachel needs an embarrassing, public rescue, and his mom hints that things are not going well at home in Luview–“Love You”–Maine, where every day is Valentine’s Day.

As a shocking betrayal shakes the very foundation of everything he believes in, Kell must decide who to trust, who to challenge, who needs him most—and figure out fast whether Rachel’s warnings about his girlfriend are credible.

Or yet another tactical maneuver in a city founded on them.

Unraveling the mystery of who to believe pits Kell against Rachel in a battle where the truth is uncertain and hearts are just collateral damage as ambition rules over feelings.

But Kell’s had enough.

More than enough.

Time to decide what kind of man he is—and who to trust.

Love You Wrong is a prequel, introducing New York Times bestselling romantic comedy author Julia Kent’s new Love You, Maine series. If you love rom coms about friends who are meant for more, deep intrigue, big misunderstandings, tests of loyalty, and small town/big city clashes, then pick up this prequel and try out a new-to-you series.

Buy Links: 

Amazon US:  https://www.amazon.com/Love-You-Wrong-Friends-Romantic-ebook/dp/B09W1M5HTW/

Amazon UK:  https://www.amazon.co.uk/Love-You-Wrong-Friends-Romantic-ebook/dp/B09W1M5HTW/

Amazon AU:  https://www.amazon.com.au/Love-You-Wrong-Friends-Romantic-ebook/dp/B09W1M5HTW/

Amazon CA:  https://www.amazon.ca/Love-You-Wrong-Friends-Romantic-ebook/dp/B09W1M5HTW/

Apple Books:  https://books.apple.com/us/book/love-you-wrong/id1615312374

Kobo:  https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/love-you-wrong

Nook:  https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/love-you-wrong-julia-kent/1141249770?ean=2940160945507

Google Play:  https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Julia_Kent_Love_You_Wrong?id=cCNlEAAAQBAJ

Print:  https://www.amazon.com/Love-You-Wrong-Friends-Romantic/dp/1638801150/

BookBub:  https://www.bookbub.com/books/love-you-wrong-friends-to-lovers-office-romance-romantic-comedy-prequel-by-julia-kent

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/60688183-love-you-wrong

Audible: https://www.audible.com/pd/Love-You-Wrong-Audiobook/B09WB591SD

Amazon Audio:  https://www.amazon.com/Love-You-Wrong-Friends-Romantic/dp/B09W9YQMKL/

Apple Audio:  https://books.apple.com/us/audiobook/love-you-wrong-friends-to-lovers-office-romance-romantic/id1615840178

Other Books in Series:

Love You Wrong (prequel)

Love You Right (Book 1)

Love You Again (Book 2)

Love You More (Book 3)

Love You Now (Book 4)

*****

Excerpt:

They all burst into derisive laughter that hurt Kell’s heart a little.

All except Rachel. She didn’t laugh. Instead, she tilted her head and studied him.

Aha. An ally.

Until she opened her mouth and said, “I think that a tourist trap in the middle of backwoods Maine, where everything’s red, white, and pink, all heart-shaped gooey schlock, is so environmentally wasteful.”

Oh, great. Here it came again. They’d been arguing about this all year.

“She has a point,” Alissa said, but this time, something deep inside Kell couldn’t take it. Maybe the beer hit him wrong, or the stress of waiting for job offers was getting to him. Perhaps Alissa’s mixed signals got under his skin. Or maybe he just was tired?

No. It was definitely Alissa’s mixed signals.

Instead of arguing, he stood and tossed a twenty on the table, feeling the tight smile on his face.

“I gotta run. More job applications, you know.”

“Come on, Kell. Don’t be like that,” Alissa insisted, grabbing his arm.

He gently extracted himself. “I have to FaceTime with my niece in an hour anyhow.”

“You’re leaving happy hour so you can babble at a baby?” One of Alissa’s eyebrows had risen with so much judgment, it clinched his decision.

“Bye, all.” He kissed the top of Alissa’s head. “Text me.”

And he walked off toward the crosswalk, not quite angry, not quite hurt, not quite… anything.

Except confused.

*****

Author Bio:

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Julia Kent writes romantic comedy with an edge. Since 2013, she has sold more than 2 million books, with 4 New York Times bestsellers and more than 21 appearances on the USA Today bestseller list. Her books have been translated into French, German, and Italian, with more titles releasing in the future.

From billionaires to BBWs to new adult rock stars, Julia finds a sensual, goofy joy in every contemporary romance she writes. Unlike Shannon from Shopping for a Billionaire, she did not meet her husband after dropping her phone in a men’s room toilet (and he isn’t a billionaire she met in a romantic comedy).

She lives in New England with her husband and three children where she is the only person in the household with the gene required to change empty toilet paper rolls.

She loves to hear from her readers by email at julia@jkentauthor.com, on Twitter @jkentauthor, on Facebook at @jkentauthor, and on Instagram @jkentauthor. Visit her at http://jkentauthor.com

Social Media Links:

Website:  http://jkentauthor.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/jkentauthor/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/jkentauthor

Newsletter:  http://bit.ly/2PIBi9n

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/jkentauthor/

BookBub:  https://www.bookbub.com/authors/julia-kent

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3238619.Julia_Kent

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Julia-Kent/e/B00A99V268/

Release blitz organized by Writer Marketing Services.

 

Dragon Ascending Part6: Brand New KDG Read

Happy Friday everyone!  Today’s episode of Dragon Ascending is a longer bonus read to reintroduce you to some old friends and make a few connections. Last week we left our derelict ship trying to safe the life of the mysterious desert woman. This week, in his efforts to outrun authority hunter ships, Fury senses something on Taklamakan Major very much out of place. I hope you’re enjoying Dragon Ascending, the sequel to Piloting Fury, as much as I’m enjoying sharing it with you. As always, I love it when you share my work with your reading friends, so feel free. In the meantime, enjoy!

If you missed the previous episode of Dragon Ascending, follow the link for a catch-up. If you wish to start from the beginning, of Dragon Ascending. Follow the link. 

 

Dragon Ascending: Book 2 of the Sentient Ship Series

On a desolate junkyard of a planetoid, scavenger Lenore Felik, disturbs something slumbering in a remote salvage dump and uncovers secrets of a tragic past and of the surprising role she must play in the terrifying present she now faces.

Robbed of her inheritance after her tyrannical father’s death, Tenad Fallon is out for revenge on her half-brothers, one who happens to be the sentient ship, Fury. Fury, with his human companions, Richard Manning and Diana McAllister, has his own agenda – finding the lost sentient ships and ending the scourge of indentured servitude in Authority space.

 

 

Dragon Ascending Part 6: Something that Should Not be There

Diana Mac sensed Fury’s drop in speed more than felt it, and so did Manning, who struggled up from sleep next to her. Both felt the lack of Fury’s immediate warmth. Being an SNT ship, he was quite literally everywhere, and yet he usually shared their bed with a presence as nearly physical to them as their own, and both of his humanoid complements felt his absence when he withdrew. That was a part of the bond they shared.

As they felt his absence he felt their wakefulness, and they sensed something more than a random fluctuation in his normal functioning around them. It could only be defined in human terms as excitement laced liberally with tension.

“There is something in this sector.” He said before they could ask. “Something that should not be here.”

“Something like what?” Manning asked slipping into his trousers and heading for the deck, with Mac not far behind him. Being connected as they all were, they could have simply accessed his thoughts. But Fury had stressed to them early in their relationship the importance of compliments and their ship maintaining boundaries for the sake of sanity. He had said it so matter of factly, as though sanity were something that came and went like body odor or bad breath. Mac smiled at the thought. Perhaps that was the case with sentient ships. The data was still out she supposed, and if it were true, then they could be heading into either a wild goose chase or a shit storm.

On the deck, they looked out to find pretty much empty space, minus the dust. There was a fuck ton of dust in this sector for some reason. The only thing not completely obscured by the dust was a medium sized yellow star, and even it looked pale and anemic through the haze.

“I am certain I felt someone.”

“What someone?” Manning rubbed sleep from his eyes and squinted at the view screen. “You mean like an SNT? Out here?”

“I experienced a flash of power, of anguish, like nothing I have felt since the time of my own painful birth. It happened so quickly, even by SNT standards, and then it vanished.”

Mac was already checking the sensor logs. “I don’t see anything here.” She said.

“You would not.” Fury observed. “It was over too quickly. Nevertheless, I am certain.”

“So what you felt was an SNT in distress?” Manning turned and headed up to the map room and Mac followed. The three had only been together as a triad for a few months, but they were fully bonded and they worked as one unit. “Let’s see what we have in this area.” He pulled up the 3D map, “other than a whole lot of nothing.”

Mac squinted at the image until she saw nothing but spots. There were dozens of medium sized asteroids orbiting the star they had seen from the view screen. For some reason the perfect star for the evolution of rocky planets and human life had never managed more than two planetoids and a sporadic lacing of asteroids orbiting around it creating a series of thin rings of dust and ice for several astronomical units.

“Both planetoids are habitable, though just barely,” Manning observed. Taklamakan Minor is little more than a block of ice. The only permanent structure is a science station. The data says it was automated after the last attendant died. It’s operated now by a loose organization of scientist from the Outer Rim Alliance. At the moment, it’s visited once every galactic year-ish.”

“Taklamakan Major, on the other hand is a desert. According to data, it’s only real use is as one giant salvage yard. There are three small outposts on it. Fuck knows why. “Sunward, Windward and Sandstorm, all placed strategically on the edges of the most frequented salvage yards. Except for Sandstorm, it’s right smack dab in the middle of the biggest salvage dump. It’s called Sandstorm because it shifts periodically. Well every night, actually. Something in the gravitation and the prevailing winds results in hellacious sandstorms every night It’s the most isolated of the three outposts, in the opposite hemisphere from the other two.

“The only reason ships come here is to sell salvage or because they’re caught out on a long haul and need replacement parts. The whole place belongs to the Outer Rim Alliance. A bastard stepchild kind of place. Almost no association with the Authority.”

“That makes it a holiday destination in my book,” Mac said, as she scrolled down through the database.”

“Sounds delightful,” Manning commented with a chuckle.

“I will pack our bags immediately.” Fury said. “We are long overdue for a vacation.” Fury claimed to need work on his sense of humor, but Mac often thought on the long hauls when they saw no one but each other, it was his sense of humor that kept the enormity of the task set before them in perspective. The responsibility had fallen on them to follow what slim leads they could find on the whereabouts of SNTs that might or might not still exist, while remaining as unobtrusive as possible. That task was made all the more difficult when said SNTs definitely would not want to be found if they did still exist. They understood only too well that you did your best not to be discovered when the Authority would hunt you down and destroy you if they knew you existed.

 

 

When Mac was shanghaied onto Fury, she had not known that he was an SNT, SNT1, in fact, the pinnacle of sentient ship technology, and as far as they all knew, the last survivor of the sixteen sentient ships that had been bonded to humanoid compliments and sent out to make life better for all species everywhere. They had been funded by the Free Universities, who refused any involvement of the Authority. They were ultimately designed to put an end to the Authority scourge of indentured servitude.

Their mistake was in assuming that the Authority and the Conglomerates wanted to do away with indentured servitude. People were now born into the debts of their families and even some areas of the Authority were breeding indentureds. The wealth of the Authority and its conglomerates was built on the backs of indentured workers, and it was not ready to give that up.

Somehow Abriad Fallon and his cronies managed to engineer a virus derived from the one that was contained in its inactive form in every indentured’s shackle to reassure they could never escape without dying a long and horrific death. They then sabotaged the sentient ships with reengineered virus designed to infected the brains of the SNTs. Two went berserk and killed millions before the rest of the fleet discovered what had been done. Of the fifteen, nine were destroyed, literally disintegrated. Three gave themselves up and were decommissioned, their compliments either killed or indentured and sent away to hard labor in the triaxium mines. Those ships were hidden away in remote Authority space docks. The fate of three others was unknown. Some were believed to have escaped beyond the Outer Rim.

Fury was not among these fifteen. His birth was far more complicated and much more advanced scientifically. He was to be the flagship of the next generation of SNTs until the world fell apart. Then he barely escaped as a fugitive, the only one who knew the truth.

Fury was no longer alone, though. Due to circumstances Mac could have never imagined, he now had three brothers, though one was Gerando Fallon, Abriad’s eldest son. Mac still battled to get her head around those details. He was the only humanoid among Fury’s siblings and was now bonded in a strange sort of way to Griffon and Commander Ina Stanislavsky. With help from Fury’s core material, the third ship in his new family, The renegade Dubrovnik, had been reborn as an SNT ship as well. Yes, Fury had three brothers and they were all fugitives at the moment. Though Fury was a damn rich one, thanks to quick thinking on Gerando’s part that meant Fury inherited a huge fortune from their monster of a father, Abriad Fallon, which he managed to liquidate into accounts beyond the Rim before the rest of Abriad’s monster brood could contest the will and find ways to prevent it’s execution.

Yes, they were all fugitives, but not without their purpose. Finding the SNTs was now the three ships’ mission, well two of them at least. Dubrovnik was a flying fortress born of an orca class freighter the size of a small city. It was home to the scientists, researchers and residents from Plague 1. Plague 1 had been one of the two Plague planets, where those indentureds who were suffering from the virus were sent to live out their miserable lives. It just so happened that it was on Plague 1 that the cure had been discovered for the virus that made every indentured’s subdural shackle a living nightmare. Fury was to seek out the SNT ships from beyond the Outer Rim, and Griffon was to seek out the SNTs that might be hidden away in forgotten space docs in Authority space.

 

 

“Taklamakan Major would be an excellent place for an SNT to hide,” Fury commented. “While it is only loosely claimed as a part of the Rim Alliance, it is too far away to gain the Authority’s attention. And certainly it has nothing of interest for them. It is a very long way from almost anywhere.

From what we can tell, there are two, possibly three, ships that might be hiding out beyond the Rim and three in Authority doc yards we know of. Raven and Quetzalcoatl we know for sure escaped beyond the Rim, though we do not know what happened after their escape. Possibly Ourobos escaped as well. We know nothing of her.” Fury always listed the ships as if Mac and Manning didn’t already know, as if they hadn’t gone over that list a hundred times. And yet each time he did, it was as though they listened to the reading of a sacred family tree because to Fury, that was exactly what they were, and both Mac and Manning knew better than anyone else just how much family meant to Fury.

Fury continued. “Apollo, Aurora, Valkyrie have been decommissioned and are hidden in remote dock yards spread throughout Authority space. Merlin, Phoenix, Orion, Archangel, Calypso, Nautilus, Hebe, Terrebonne and Dragon were destroyed.”

They all knew the assumed fates of all the SNT ships in the aftermath of the virus outbreak onboard, but none knew better than Mac, except for Fury. For Fury repeating all of their names and their fates was a naming of his dead and of those missing in action. They were his family, family lost to him before any of them had a chance to fulfill the bright destiny for which they had been created, and Fury mourned their loss, just as Mac still mourned the loss of her father and his SNT, Merlin. To speak those names out loud was to honor their memory, was to promise every effort of reunion with those who survived.

“There should be no SNT ships hiding on Taklamakan Major,” Manning said.

“While we are beyond Authority space, in a sector that no one would have much reason to visit, this is far from where any of my family disappeared,” Fury said.

The truth was they were now fairly well off their own course for traveling to the areas of the Outer Rim where it was most likely that Quetzalcoatl, Raven and Ouroboros had gone into hiding. As expected the Authority, and especially the worst of the Fallon clan, did not take kindly to Fury’s inheriting the family fortune, nor to the loss of possible SNT tech from right under their noses. Oh, none of them mourned their father’s loss. They were all a bunch of rabid dogs waiting to devour each other at first opportunity. Tenad Fallon, daddy’s eldest daughter, was taking the loss of the Fallon fortune very personally, and it had only been in the last two galactic days that they had shaken her Authority Jaegers. But perhaps this was exactly where they needed to be.

“There’s a ship on long range scanners coming in fast.”

 

 
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