Hughy Terson, midshipman aboard the commerce raider Aquila, has charge of the prize crew aboard the captured passenger liner Princess. He’s an outlaw in the eyes of the Oligarchy, but the Confederation was merely the first to revolt in an inevitable process of trade liberalization. Getting Aquila to a safe haven is challenge enough. The beautiful and enigmatic Griffa Kathria Marte is another problem. Only a fool would trust her, or fall under her spell. A short and gripping space opera of the not-too-distant future.
Louis Shalako is the founder of Long Cool One Books and the author of eighteen novels, numerous novellas and other short stories. Louis studied Radio, Television and Journalism Arts at Lambton College of Applied Arts and Technology, later going on to study fine art. He began writing for community newspapers and industrial magazines over thirty years ago. His stories appear in publications including Perihelion Science Fiction, Bewildering Stories, Aurora Wolf, Ennea, Wonderwaan, Algernon, Nova Fantasia, and Danse Macabre. He lives in southern Ontario and writes full time. Louis enjoys cycling, swimming and good books.
The Nike and other Fleet units are convoying a small fleet of civilian ships to Cancri system. When one of their number goes up like a flashbulb, it quickly becomes clear that the enemy has developed some new and very stealthy little ships. The civilian vessels can run and scatter, but flagship Nike's duty is clear. The one thing they will not do is turn their backs. A short story.
Watching with a baleful eye
A black scavenger,
Sentinel of the sky
Looking for a weakness,
Looking for a chance
Looking for an error,
Young lovers, caught up in the dance
With a shriek and a pounce,
He seizes on his prey
And another newborn baby
Is safely stole away
Lurking in the darkness
Clutching a branch so cold
Raven has the desperation of youth
And the sour wisdom of the old
In spite of all the raucous noise
In the end he is alone
And when I look out through his eyes
I can see why he is so bold
For the world is a big and empty place
And the nights get very cold.