The battle had grown distant, now no more than the echo of far-off thunder and occasional vibrations up from the ground. It was almost poetic, Miyamoto thought idly, the motions of the air and earth and fire that swirled through the city hours ago and were now but shadows of that fury.
The wind was a soft whisper of sighs, kicking up dust and the distant smell of smoke and oil. The swordsman kneeled, back straight and sitting on his carefully stacked ankles, with his hands relaxed on his legs just above the knees. His long, loose hakama was smooth, tucked in at the sides, and his loose robe was adorned with a pattern of pink flowers from a tree he had never personally seen. His sugegasa, a modern metal reproduction of an ancient farming hat, was low over his closed eyes.
In the dim sunlight
The colours and scents of war
Seem so far away Read More
Katya strode towards Juno through the ruins of the obstacle course she and her Antipodes had just demolished.
Juno hated Katya so very, very deeply.
“Dear Juno,” Katya said, her eyes mirthful over the top of the bandana covering her lower face. “Don’t be upset. You did very well for somebody from USAriadna.”
“Thanks,” Juno responded. “Wait. What?” Read More
Meko’Ah could hear the voice of the Ah Clan family matron in his mind during the firefight. “There are ten Commandments of war,” she had said, years ago when Meko’Ah was no longer a fry and was ready to move into the wider world. “They are sacred, they are absolute, and they are without exception. You will remember them at all times, and you will live and die by them.” Read More
“Somebody brought you a gift, boss,” said Angela, her voice proud. “One of those Japanese sex toys.”
Angela, Bartok, and a dozen of the crew were in the main loading bay of their ship, the corvette As Certain As Taxes. The final crates of payment from the colony were being loaded, most full of ores and minerals mined from the asteroid they were docked to. Heading towards Bartok was a woman who walked with the confidence and beauty of a rising sun. Read More
Captain Aki Wallace sat ramrod straight, his uniform the image of perfect military precision. Bright eyes danced over the displays, his attention focusing on the victory unfolding before him. Read More
The sensors on the HMS Atalanta showed the results of his strategy in satisfying detail. The enemy, as he had predicted, were responding without military discipline but with great enthusiasm. Aki had to admit that enthusiasm counted for a lot.
Specifically, it counted for almost half of the total casualties Aki’s small fleet had been able to inflict.
"Everything will try to kill you until something does so successfully," stated Mr. Mudder. "Let's get that straight up front and centre before we go any further, Ms. Chang." Read More
Jess gave the grizzled man her most charming smile. "Mr. Mudder, I'm here to draw new colonists to Haven. I'm not sure that's the best rallying cry to draw citizens to the frontier!"
"So you're here to do another one of those puff-pieces?" he spat. "Haven doesn't need to draw people out here with more lies, Ms. Chang."
“The key is loyalty,” boasted the Supreme General, his chest swelled so far with pride it seemed liable to burst. The military parade, an elaborate sabre-rattling to display the military and industrial power of his new empire, crawled past below.
Gray said nothing, merely thinking how much easier it would make his job if that muscled torso would explode. Read More