Undeserved Pardon by Reuben Rivers

Undeserved Pardon Reuben Rivers The benches were covered with gloom and dust. The smell of feces filled the air, filling each prisoner’s nose and mouth, a symbol for their sorry situation. Dim orbs hung in the air, casting light upon the room’s inhabitants, revealing…

Episode 2: The Monster’s Trail

The sparse oaks of the foothills gave way to thick stands of highland cedar. The air was tinged with the fragrant scent of the conifer forest, and Cole stopped to take in the high-country air. He and Eleanor had gone three leagues before the…

The Curse-Wrought Beast

Episode 1: The Curse-Wrought Beast Burnt grass crumpled under the tracker’s boot sole as he picked his way past the stockade. He brushed a hand against the charred cedar stakes, and it came away covered in soot. The sights, the smells in this place,…

Heading Home

Summer: 17 years at the Monastery, one week after the duel Several loudspeakers blared over the general noise of the Space Port. “Boarding call for Passenger Liner Excelsior. All Excelsior passengers holding blue passes, please report to boarding gate three.” Sunar stood, a little…

Epilogue by JM Williams

Vott grunted in desperation. It wasn’t supposed to end this way. All his experience. All his training. To be undone by such an amateur move. “You got to be kidding me!” Vott shouted. “What sort of pimple-nosed peachick tries a 5-9 split in a professional…

The Prize

The man with braided hair had gained a fair lead by the time Frige got outside, but the gambling boss did not have her legs, nor her keen sense of the geography of Marudal’s streets. Spotting the trail of destruction the terrified man left…

End Game

The whole thing was going better than Vott could have dreamed. He’d beaten three other worthy opponents to make it to the final round of the tournament. All on his own. He hadn’t needed Jari in his corner, whispering strategy in his ear. He…

Final Positioning

“Just hear me out,” Jari was saying. He had to get Vott to understand. Every player had their blind spots. “I’m not saying you shouldn’t be confident. You’ve got the basics down, yes. But you need to be prepared for anything, Wissian.” The two…

Ringing Bells

Summer: 17 years at the Monastery, six weeks after the assassination attempt Sunar walked down the hall with his friends. Last bell had just sounded, and the Temple was beginning to settle down for the night. This meant, of course, that the Titans had…

Defensive Strategy

The west watchhouse was as silent as it had ever been, at least in the many years Vott had called the place a second home. Of course, silence was all part of the plan. Vott needed to think, without the constant bickering of the…

The Talk

Summer: 17 years at the Monastery, just after the assassination attempt Lenar had insisted on driving the car after their shift. He didn’t mention why, but Sunar knew. They had started to give their report to the next security shift and been waved off…

Reckless Advance

“How about you let me go in first?” Wolf said, his hand on the door of the small, ground floor apartment. “What makes you think I’d let you do that?” Frige replied, a hand on her hip. “Rouda told me what you’re like. If…

First Try

Summer: 17 years at the Monastery. The strong light of a summer’s mid-day sun greeted Sunar as he stepped from the pub. He closed his eyes and turned his face to it for a moment as he walked, reveling in the warmth against his…

First Move

“So you’re married, eh?” Vott asked Jari. The pair were maneuvering through a packed backstreet. Market Street, Marudal’s main thoroughfare for highbrow commerce, was only a few blocks away, but one wouldn’t know it from the look of the narrow road they were currently…

Choosing Sides

“I’ve got little patience for your games today, Rauda.” Watch Officer Frige Dalgaard held the scrawny fence up by a fistful of his shirt. It was an empty threat, she knew. There was only so much she could do to someone like Rauda, someone…

Soft Promises

Winter: 16 years at the Monastery, Second morning after snow ski bet. Feet forward into a modified mule kick, wings back for support. Level flight. Barrel roll in place, GAH! too far. Correct, come out facing the sky. Negative-dive, pearl-on-water, NO! that was three…

Drunk in the Afterlife by Michael Ehart

Drunk in the Afterlife Michael Ehart There was a shout, and then darkness. There were things to be known. I was cold. Very cold. It was dark, dark in a fuliginous black-beyond-black, there would never again be light in the world kind of dark….

Fear’s Hold

Summer: 14 years at the Monastery, Spring, four months after attempting to fly Water cascaded down the not-quite vertical face of the Babbling Wall. Sunar’s stomach clenched almost painfully as he stood in one of his favorite spots; on the path which led up…

Defiant Anticipation

Sunar moved slowly through his morning katas, keeping his motions synced with the rest of the children. They stood in the Dawn Court, moving from position to position in unison, setting their tempo by the adept’s walking staff as he tapped out a rhythm…

Discovery

          Sunar ran a hand down the edge of each wing, and pushed against them with his hands. He felt a tiny bit more resistance, and a little more resilience, than last week. It had been six months, an entire six months, since he’d…

Sunar

     Master Ikathan knelt in the small gazebo atop the Four Peaks Temple and watched the sun set over the plains. The distant whine of a turbine made its way to his ears and tried to disturb his meditation. He ignored it, continuing to…