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•June 8, 2009 • Leave a Comment

“Iceni Queen:  A Pirate Yarn”  © 2009 Jason Maffettone, is a 132,000 word Space Opera/Social Satire.  It is the first book in a planned series of five:  “Romance of the Evernight.”  I have begun work on the second.

 

 Iceni QueenRed

“Being scourge of the galaxy involved more work than he counted on as a young lad; still, he did get to kill the customers and was his own boss.”

 

Plot Summary:  Julian McAllister, son of an escaped slave, is a favorite son of the Riftward Marches; a loose confederation of colonies founded by pirates, smugglers and mercenaries pushed back over the centuries by the expanding Free Trade Federation. In contact with a dissident naval architect, he conceives the greatest theft in history: to steal the Navy’s most advanced warship, refitting her as a corsair.

Initially successful, he leads his wing, the Lords of Entropy, to the remote Fringeward Expanse and proceeds to terrorize Federation shipping there. Setting themselves up as major players in the region, they make their way home to find the Rift undergoing a genocidal incursion, inspired in no small part by Julian’s recent antics. Assuming command of a hastily assembled fleet of pirate warships and refugee transports, Captain McAllister and the corsairs of the Riftward Marches begin a long journey to establish a new homeland.

En route, they uncover a Federation project called “The Ascendance,” a plan to elevate the human condition by eliminating its surplus population.  After wreaking havoc across colonized space the corsairs succeed in capturing a new system to call their own, but Julian is unprepared for his new role as unwitting folk hero and political figurehead of the rebellion churned in his wake.     Read

 

Purpose:  An avid reader in general, of science fiction in particular, It has always struck me how medicine and law are impeccably researched in fiction while space “SciFi” gets away with the most insipid technobabble and pseudoscientific tripe. On the other extreme, much “Hard Science Fiction” seems to be dull, populated by stick figures, dated by the time it goes to print, and written by anal-retentive physics Nazis, bitter over time lost stuffed inside of lockers.

I have written privately my entire life and, in the mid 90’s, published a handful of poems in short-lived lit rags like Infinity Ltd, Wicked Mystic and others so impressive I can’t even recall their names. I do have a piece in the second issue of the online poetry journal “Innisfree.com” but otherwise have no credentials to speak of.

Despite my lack of formal experience however, I know what makes for a great story: Murder, rape, incest, theft, vandalism, arson, impalement, immolation, mutilation, decapitation, rioting, genocide, mass extinction, dehumanization, degradation, decadence, duplicity, betrayal, revenge, exile, loss, ignorance, intolerance, sectarian violence, savage human indifference, all seven deadly sins, blasphemy (lots of that) singing, dancing, gratuitous foul language, lesbian fighter pilots and genetically engineered ninja assassins.     Read

 

Contact me: Here

 

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Iceni Queen Chapter Outline:

•June 8, 2009 • 1 Comment

1)  As Good a Time as Any:     Here we meet two primary characters, Julian McAllister (Captain) and Deacon (Quartermaster) at the end of a celebratory feast.  The crew is gathered at the Viceroy, the brothel where Julian was raised by his mother, its former owner.

 We are also introduced to the new proprietor Maria, a former employee, and learn this is the captain’s first trip home in many years.  On his last visit the establishment had fallen into the hands of local Christians who used it as a mission but were driven out by the local populous due to their intrusive behavior.  Bad blood between the Captain and the Christians is established but no details are given.

 The chapter ends in reference to a great victory the crew has recently won and the addition of a new officer, Guy Blackthorne, naval architect of some renown.

 

2)  Charolais:     This chapter deals with the attack mentioned in the previous chapter, taking place near the Jovian world Amber Colossus in the Darwin system.  Ostensibly an attack on a medical supply fleet, the true aim of the raid is to capture a major Federation warship with the aid of information provided by Guy Blackthorne, a political dissident and one of the vessel’s designers.  Only a select few crewmen are aware of the larger plan however.

The Free Trade Federation, a corporate collective that dominates most of colonized space, is first described here as well as the Riftward Marches, independent colonies established centuries ago by pirate and mercenary groups pushed back by the expanding FTF in its early days.

Here we are introduced to several major characters:  Olga Ekemova, Floyd Darcy, Victor Kruger, and Kyle Richter.  Richter, Iceni Queen’s Boarding Master.  Challenges McAllister, he is relieved of duty.  We also meet Mad Jack McAllister, Julian’s uncle and mentor, captain of the legendary corsair Vercingetorix. 

The cruiser Charlemagne is captured by the Lords of Entropy, the corsair wing’s collective name, and returned to the Riftward Marches.

 

3)  The Wages and Benefits Package of Sin:     In this chapter the Lords return to Nova Antigua, most prominent colony of the Rift, and are welcomed as conquering heroes.  A council is held were the captured ship is discussed in detail and Kyle Richter is expelled from the crew.  It is here that Deacon works out Julian’s deception involving Guy Blackthorne and the captured cruiser then confronts him.  The Lords find that they lack the funds to outfit the new ship, and still need to compensate Mad Jack’s crew for their assistance, so they agree to group for a cruise of Federation shipping lanes once the new vessel is ready.

The second part of the chapter deals with McAllister’s familial origins in flashback.  Julian’s grandparents were prospectors who spent time in the Rift before taking their ship and two children to Sisyphus Rock in Hades Rising, part of a balkanized region of space known as the Fringeward Expanse.  Working as subcontractors for a large mining conglomerate, the family is taken into custody when the executive who hired them is arrested for fraud.  Boudicca, Julian’s mother, is sent to Earth as a bonded servant to the powerful Harrington family.

 

4)  Risk Management:     Julian secures funding from local businesses hoping to sponsor the planned cruise, but invests the money in a rigged sporting event.  The Lords use Guy’s professional contacts to sell data on the captured cruiser to competitors of Lockhard Astronautics, the firm that designed the Charlemagne, allowing them to finish work on the new ship.  Julian and Olga begin cohabitating.

In flashback, we learn of Jack McAllister’s “rescue” by a corsair vessel from the Rift.  Having led a rebellion on the slave ship that was transporting him, the pirates are impressed.

 

5)  Cities in the Sky:     Julian, Deacon, Olga, and Guy travel to Lockhard City in the Hades Rising system to procure the needed launch craft for the new Iceni Queen.  Arrived under the guise of a licensed mercenary company, they purchase the launches and corvette intended for Charlemagne; built before the order was cancelled due to the loss of the ship. A new character is introduced: Clark, the sales representative that unwittingly sells the Charlemagne’s launch craft to the corsairs.  Julian inquires after a tour of Sisyphus Rock but is informed the old mining colony is now a highly restricted research facility.

Hades Rising is chosen as the focal point for their planned cruise so the advance party performs reconnaissance at the massive space station, the largest ever constructed and able to accommodate over 10 million, while awaiting their comrades to join them in the near-by Isabella system.  The main narrative portion of the chapter ends with Julian and Olga arguing about religion as they periodically do.  It is revealed that Julian, Deacon, and Billy had been exiled from Nova Antigua over a conflict with local Christians but no details are given.

In flashback, Boudicca escapes from Earth after killing her former mistress.  It is revealed that she is pregnant with the child of her mistress’s brother and we learn the unhappy fate of the last girl this happened to.  She flees to the Rift with the aid of her brother and his shipmates, Jack having enlisted with the corsairs encountered in the previous chapter.

 

6)  A Rollicking Band of Pirates We:     The advance party meets up with their shipmates to prepare for their rampage through the trade lanes of Hades Rising.  Here we learn of the high social status attained by Julian’s mother before her death, and that Deacon and Billy (the wing’s other captain) are his adopted brothers.

In flashback, Julian and his brothers are introduced as children.  Boudicca reunites with her friend Loretta upon her return to Nova Antigua where the pair shares an apartment, each giving birth to a son a few weeks apart.  Loretta dies soon after and leaves her child in Boudicca’s care.  Billy comes to live with them ten years later after saving Julian and Deacon from a beating and taking one for his trouble.

This chapter also introduces the ethnic tensions common to both the core worlds and Riftward Marches.  Most of the galactic population is fully homogenized with “early strain ethnic groups” being persecuted minorities.

 

7)  Old Scores and New Accounts:     This chapter begins months later as the pirates’ cruise is drawing to a close.  Three new characters are introduced:  Debbie Love is Jack McAllister’s first mate, raised to captain as more vessels are added to the wing.

Fleet Captain PJ Harrington, Julian’s biological father and military hero of the Federation, arrives at the Lords’ base in Isabella to destroy his “son” once and for all.  He has enlisted the aid of Kyle Richter, the Iceni Queen’s former boarding master, and seeks to destroy him to ensure that no one learns of their blood tie, Harrington being very ambitious.

Chuck Day is a military commander with an anarchist group called the Black Banner.  They are one of the factions in the Fringeward Expanse that the Lords have been trading with.  He plans to ambush the corsairs and force them to surrender their plunder but his plans are interrupted by the arrival of Harrington.  He instead offers to assist the Lords in dealing with the navy in exchange for their entire hall of goods.  Julian agrees but means to avenge the extortion.

In flashback, the events leading to the death of Boudicca McAllister are recounted.  She disciplines her sons for a prank which endangered the community school she helped establish, and enraged the local Christians who had already been protesting the idea.  Afterwards, they are told that she and their uncle have agreed to let them sign aboard the corsair vessel Jack now commands.

 

8)  A Dynasty of Thieves and Whores:     Julian dispatches the traitor Richter and his father, both captured after the battle at Isabella.  It is revealed that Richter, to win Harrington’s trust, surrendered the data needed to safely navigate around Scylla, the neutron star at the entrance to the Riftward Marches.  This hazard has been a primary obstacle to the navy in thwarting piracy from the Rift.

In flashback, Boudicca is assassinated by an outraged enemy from a local Christian congregation in response to the prank played by her sons. In its aftermath, her sons burn the crowded church the assassin belonged to.

 

9)  Supply and Demand:     Rousing the Lords against the treachery of the Black Banner, Julian convinces them to stay and wipe their enemy out, seizing their assets and establishing a permanent presence in the Expanse.  It is mentioned that Guy has designed a specialized light frigate for piracy operations and that the plans and an order for four of them were transmitted to the yards at Lockhard city under the front of another fictional mercenary company.  Olga is given command of her own ship.

In flashback, McAllister and his brothers are taken into custody and placed on trial for the fatal arson of the church.  As the Christians are a despised minority on the planet there have been additional killings and rioting in response to Boudicca’s murder, she herself a member of the city council.  The corsairs in port negotiate a deal with the colony to banish the boys for ten years and forfeit their mother’s property, Jack McAllister already en route to take them on as crew.

 

10)  Tributaries of Circumstance:     This chapter is told as two conversations taking place after the Lords’ pre-journey home party.  Billy and his first officer/mate discuss his frustration with Julian’s behavior and his chosen vocation.  He decides to give up piracy to become an explorer after they reach home.  This is also used to establish many of the technological and cosmological assumptions of the story.  The second conversation is between Julian and Olga dealing with his reaction to his brother’s leaving.  It concludes with Olga saying she has important news for Julian.

 

11)   A Federation News Service Exclusive:     This chapter is in the form of a news report regarding the antics of the Lords in the Expanse, and the brutal torture and killing of Fleet Captain Harrington by Julian, who also revealed their familial connection with a blood sample enclosed with Harrington’s remains.  It ends with a quote from Harrington family patriarch, Miles Harrington, who vows to see the Rift laid low.

 

12)   A Leap of Faith:     The Lords are ambushed by the navy as they near home.  Billy’s ship is lost in the emergency escape despite the heroic efforts of its crew.  We are introduced to two new characters: Nefertiti Jones, a new member of the Lords who joined their ranks while in the Expanse, and Nat “Bonesaw” Shapiro, ship’s doctor.  It is now revealed that Olga is pregnant with a daughter.

 

13)   The Scourging of the March:     The Lords return to Nova Antigua finding the settlement destroyed and the population massacred.  Exploring near-by systems they find more of the same.  They decide to travel to Curacao, a remote planet with a breathable atmosphere, guessing that to be the most likely rally point for survivors.  There they encounter Farrokh Banerjee, captain of the Pit Vipers.  One of the more powerful corsair wings, it is mentioned that Farrokh and Julian had served together previously.

The free population and remaining corsairs of the Rift have been gathering on Curacao but the navy is closing in.  Julian and Farrokh make a plan to evacuate as many as possibile to the Expanse.  Help from Deacon, who has remained behind in the Expanse to look after the Lords’ interests there, will be required so word is sent to him while they ready to escape.

Julian is declared “Grand Corsair” by the assembled council and placed in command of the escape fleet.  He is forced to put down several riots and severely disciplines a group of corsairs for attempting escape on their own.  This creates tension between the pirates and refugees as well as between Julian and his uncle.  Julian begins suffering from nightmares and goes for extended periods without sleep.

 

14)   The Crescent and the Cross:     Several weeks pass as lotteries are held to select people for the trip to the Expanse.  As they are making ready to go, a group of transports carrying Christain refugees abandoned by the other colonists arrives late.  Their representative, Reverend Parson, demands they be allowed to join the fleet, Julian insists the accommodations go to the final lottery.

A deal is struck where Parson retains 3 of 5 ships for his people, so long as he takes an equal number of the Muslim refugees from Curacao.  Jack is enraged by what he sees as Julian’s self-promotion, masquerading as self-righteousness.  Angry words are exchanged, resulting in an armed stand-off between Julian, Jack, Farrokh, and Olga.  Nefertiti Jones arrives and breaks it up.

 

15)   A Taste of Blood:     This is a dream sequence, an example of the nightmares Julian has been suffering since their return to the Rift.  He is wandering his ship, unable to find his way, and finds himself in violent scenes from his past, hounded by voices and encountering the many people he has killed during the course of his life.  It concludes with a vision of Olga and his daughter among the dead on Nova Antigua.

 

16)   Both Sides and the Middle:     Deacon, still in the Expanse, is forced to choose sides between two factions preparing for war.  He receives word from Julian detailing the siege of the Rift and their plans.

 

17)   Lugh Lamfhota:  The escape fleet enters Nova Antigua on its way out of the Rift, engaging in its first battle.  The scene then switches to the perspective of the Federation commander on station at Lugh Lamfhota, the system where the Lords were ambushed and Billy was lost.  The main corsairs force feigns a route to spread the navy defenders when Iceni Queen and her escorts arrive to deal the death blow.

 

18)   The Narrow Way:     Having reached the far end of The Narrow Way, the safe path out of the Rift, a council is held.  It is now revealed that Julian’s plan is to seize Hades Rising and Lockhard City itself.  After dividing into three wings, their aim is to wreak havoc across Federation space in a series of assaults meant to keep the navy away from the civilian fleet.  Among these targets are the famous Jupiter Shipyards, largest in colonized space and the corporate headquarters of Lockhard Astronautics.  Having humiliated Lockhard twice already, including the capture of the Charlemagne and subsequent sale of her launch craft, Julian reasons that fatal harm done to such a powerful company could distract others as they fight over its carcass.

 

19)   Let There Be More Light:     The escape fleet now divided in three, Julian and first wing made ready for the jump to the Hercules system and their first raid.  After taking a tour of his ship, Olga calls Julian over to examine new sensor data.  What at first appears to be a small gamma ray burst proves to be an extremely distant and energetic event, a White Hole or Primal Nova heralding the birth of a neighboring universe.

 

20)   Critical Mass:     Floyd Darcy and second wing, en route to their first scheduled attack, stop at what should be an uninhabited system to refuel.  Here they encounter an experimental faster-than-light communications station.  Floyd decides to investigate, no witnesses can be left in any case, but their efforts are repeatedly thwarted by the station’s tech staff: Fred, Bob and Ray.  This includes unleashing Max on the corsairs, a domestic robot modified as an arena fighter by the staff in their free time.  The three techs are invited to join the crew.  A new character, Yousef Mohammad, is introduced; Floyd’s first mate.

 

21)   Forward and Back:     Debbie Love, commanding the civilian fleet of wing three, receives news of a birth aboard one of the transports.  She recalls a conversation with Julian prior to their leaving Curacao.  It is revealed here that Julian and Debbie are former lovers, having served together under Mad Jack McAllister.  Their relationship ended when Julian left to command his own ship and she was offered his now vacant first mate position.

 

22)   Of Rebels and Rogues:     With the defeat of the People’s Revolutionary Council by the People’s Democratic Front, now calling itself the Democratic Stellar League, the Expanse falls fully under the DSL’s influence.  In exchange for Deacon’s assistance, the League agrees to support the attack on Lockhard City.  In this chapter we are introduced to Marshal Pedro Maas of the DSL.

 

23)   From Cat to Mouse:     Floyd Darcy and second wing take refuge at Zeta Herculis after the stunning success of their first planned assault.  A tanker craft is lost when navy warships arrive searching for them.

 

24)   King of the Gods:     Julian and first wing launch their attack on the Jupiter Shipyards in the heart of the Federation.  The attack succeeds in destroying the station but results losing a third of their numbers, including Julian’s uncle Mad Jack.

 

25)   Scorpion’s Nest:     Debbie Love and third wing arrive at Epsilon Scorpii.  They are contacted by a group of miners who are fighting a rebellion against their employers on one of the inner planets.  Forced to intervene, as they have now been spotted, the corsairs join in the fight and easily overcome station security.  When Debbie inquires what sparked the uprising she is shown to the base’s medical center.  The entire base is here to experiment with different techniques of surgically altering the brains of test subjects to make them more pliant while remaining efficient workers.  Investigation of the station’s records indicates this is a competing project concept for something nebulously referred to as: The Ascendance.

 

26)   Shaky Starts and New Beginnings:     In the aftermath of the Jupiter raid, Olga is badly injured and gives birth to her daughter prematurely, both narrowly survive.  Nefertiti Jones, badly injured, discusses the outcome of the battle with Julian while recovering from surgery.

In flashback, we learn about Julian and his brothers’ early experiences as mariner “pups” serving under Mad Jack.

 

27)   Party Crasher:     Floyd and second wing overtake a convoy of ships out of the Malzonto system.  The robot Max is used, via VR interface, to board the lead vessel which turns out to be a massive corporate yacht.  They discover that two of the pleasure ship’s escorts were detailed from a full navy task force on station at the Malzonto system where third wing will soon be headed.  Floyd splints his wing in two, taking his fastest ships to reach Malzonto first.  Yousef is placed in command of the wing’s remaining craft with orders to make directly for the rendezvous.

 

28)   The Far Wanderer:     Julian and first wing arrive at the rogue planet Widsith, a sibling of Earth hurled into deep space during the early days of planetary formation.  Julian recalls a previous trip to this desolate place, and the fact that his mother and uncle met up with Jack’s ship here after her escape from Earth.

In flashback, we learn the details of the first battle that Julian and his brothers fought in as pup mariners.

 

29)   Let’s Dance:     Floyd and his splinter wing arrive in the Malzonto system and attack.  The naval force on station is provoked into giving chase.

 

30)   Repeat Business:     Deacon arrives at Lockhard City and contacts Clark, the salesman who handed the Charlemagne’s launch craft to them.  He explains that he requires the ships that the Lords surreptitiously ordered before their return to the Rift.  We are now introduced to two new characters:

Martin Lockhard, CEO of Lockhard astronautics, is making his first inspection of the completed station and is in the process of reestablishing his company HQ with the Jupiter Yards lost.  Commander Kijé is an agent of the Internal Security Service, (the Federation secret police) and at Lockhard to investigate the matter of the four frigates that the Lords are expecting to take ownership of.  Clark goes to Lockhard and Kijé, reporting that he has been contacted by the corsairs.

 

31)   Bone Yard:     Debbie Love and third wing arrive in the Malzonto system and encounter the wreckage of navy warships and corsairs from second wing.

 

32)   Terror from the Rift:     This chapter is in the form of a report from Nefertiti to Julian, explaining that a ship sending new instructions to Deacon is about to be launched.  She includes an excerpt from a news commentary show discussing the Lords’ recent activities.  It is here that Julian learns Martin Lockhard is now in residence at Lockhard City and hatches a plan.

 

33)   All that was Old:     Yousef Mohammad, commanding the remainder of second wing, chases a prison ship to New Botany Bay.  Deciding to free the detainees, they overrun the instillation and find it to be an extermination facility for political prisoners.

 

34)   A Thing beyond Fucking Crazy:     Recently promoted, Pedro Maas meets with Assemblyman Blane to discuss the matter of the corsair’s planned attack on Lockhard City.  Maas is convinced they can now discard their alliance with the Lords.  Blane, a senior legislator and chair of the military oversight committee, argues that the alliance is still necessary.  It is revealed that he is surreptitiously in communication with Deacon now at Lockhard, and possibly in his pay.

 

35)   Dying Embers:     Floyd and the main force from second wing arrive at Winter’s Gate, a planetary nebula surrounding a white dwarf, in an effort to elude the naval task force that has pursued them since Malzonto.  Though hidden from enemy sensors in the nebula, they endure a lengthy bombardment and the crews are beginning to suffer the degenerative mental effects of prolonged hyperspace travel.  The chapter ends with the wing attempting to escape the system only to be set upon by a much large force and attacked with nuclear weapons, apparently meeting their end.

 

36)   Fires of the Phoenix:     Julian and first wing arrive at Kappa Phoenicis for the scheduled rendezvous.  They are welcomed by the Lords that remained behind with Deacon and by Captain Mohammad who has already arrived with his splinter fleet.  Two carrier vessels from the DSL are also present, Maas having decided to support the attack.  Debbie Love and third wing arrive several days later but there is no word of Floyd or the rest of second wing.

 

37)   A Few Loose Ends:     Commander Kijé arrests the chief of security on Lockhard City.  Martin Lockhard comes to believe that Kijé is an assassin sent by the Trade Council to eliminate him.  Deacon, with the assistance of Clark and other contacts made on their last trip, finalizes his plans to leave the city an open target for the approaching corsair fleet. 

 

38)   Bride of the Bastard:     The combined corsair force makes ready for their assault on Lockhard City, named Operation Spartacus for Billy’s ship.  Floyd and his ships are still unaccounted for and presumed lost.  After an observance for a lost corsair wing, last of the original founders of the Riftward Marches, Julian proposes marriage to Olga who accepts.  The most Reverend Parson, leader of the Christain refugees, is made to perform the absurdist rite. 

In flashback, Julian and his brothers have purchased their own ship and Julian has been raised to captain.  They return to Nova Antigua for the first time since their exile, needing to recruit key officers.  It is here that Julian encounters Olga Ekemova and her then love interest Kyle Richter.

 

39)   Spartacus:   This chapter deals with the siege of Lockhard City by the corsair fleet.  It is told in a series of short scenes dealing with key characters involved in the operation:  Deacon and Clark, Julian, Guy Blackthorne (the Queen’s chief engineer), Dire Kitty (one of the Queen’s fighter pilots leading the force from allied DSL carriers), Victor Kruger (the Queen’s boarding master), and the successive station commanders defending Lockhard from the corsairs.  Floyd arrives late in the battle, commanding a commandeered navy warship, clearing the way for the capture of the city proper. 

Once the city is secured, the corsairs gather on the main promenade to celebrate the victory.  Footage of the carnage at Nova Antigua is shown to the native inhabitance of Lockhard City, mostly shipyard and service staff as the station is only recently online.  Julian offers passage to any who wish to leave but implores the population to stay on.  With few real options, most are expected to remain.

 

40)   The Rock and the Hard Place:     Now in control of Hades Rising, the corsairs discover the research facility of Sisyphus Rock is not a weapons plant as expected, but an enclosed community of genetically engineered workers, technicians, and scientists purchased from the Malzonto Corporation by Lockhard Astronautics.  Negotiating a deal with its inhabitance, New Port Royale (as Lockhard City has been renamed) will supply and support the colony in exchange for the results of their research, a compact anti-matter reactor small enough for ship mounting.  This would represent a tremendous advancement in power plant and weapons development and efforts are made to advance the project with speed and secrecy. 

Conflicts arise when several of the ranking naval architects on the station, privileged executives before the change in management, demand to be ransomed by auctioned to companies in Federation space.  Deacon arranges to sell them to Bowcorp Aerospace, chief rival of the new defunct Lockhard Astronautics.

 

41)   And Still There Were Ten:     Here we are introduced to William Richard Johansen-Cavendish, CEO of Bowcorp Aerospace, as he attends his first meeting of the F10 council, to which his company has recently been elevated with the death of Martin Lockhard and the decimation of his venerable company.

It is now that the details of the Ascendance Project are disclosed:  An attempt to exterminate the lower classes and replace them with more tractable servants.  Still in the concept stage, numerous project ideas are being researched:  the surgical alteration of select populations, engineered semi-humans, next generation robotics, and mass sterilization projects are among the ideas discussed.

 

42)   For Every Action:     The final chapter is divided into two short sections.  The firsts shows Julian and his crew boarding the Iceni Queen to the cheers of the city’s populous.  Word of the events at Nova Antigua, Epsilon Scorpii, and New Botany Bay has begun to spread.  The rebellion churned in the wake of the corsair raids is intensifying and the DSL has begun to openly challenge for systems along the Federation’s boarder.

The final scene takes place on the bridge of the aggressing navy flagship.  It is commanded by the architect of the navy’s genocidal invasion of the Riftward Marches.  He sees the corsairs have allied themselves with the Democratic Stellar League and added new defenses but remains dismissive of their chances.  The story ends with the admiral getting his first sensor images of the captured orbital city and the taunt that has been emblazoned upon it.

 

Appendix One:     The Long Night and the Suns of Man:     This is additional background information on the events transpiring between the present and those in the narrative, spanning just over 1,000 years.  It discusses early interstellar colonization and the religious war on Earth that led to the dark age since dubbed The Long Night.

Included is a catalogue of stars giving the names (narrative and modern), populations, and coordinates of inhabited or otherwise important systems.  All are pinpointed to within 1/100th of a lightyear as best as I was able to determine.  Star Charts for three important areas are also included.

 

Appendix Two:     Metric Standards:  Details the types and units of measurements in the narrative, including the two dating systems in use and how they relate to our modern Gregorian calendar.

 

Appendix Three:     Hyperspace Travel:    This details the assumptions behind interstellar travel as well as its dangers and limitations.

 

Appendix Four:     Iceni Queen Ship Data:     This is compiled list of the Iceni Queen’s vital statistics and performance characteristics.  Compressed data is also given for a number of other important ships from the narrative.

 

Appendix Five:     Glossary:     Explanations and additional information on some of the terminology and technology in the narrative.

Writing & Publishing

•June 8, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Any thoughts or comments on writing and publishing?

Science

•June 8, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Anything to say on the subjects of astronomy or technology?

General Forum:

•June 8, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Anything you want to bitch, gripe, moan, or complain about, THIS is the place to do it.  No rules, I was never very good at remembering rules anyway…

Now, have at it!