Her lungs burned, her skin felt stretched too tight and raw all over. When she opened her mouth, Aderyn found that her throat was thick and swollen. She gasped for air and found that it came raggedly but at least it came.
To strike one of the Blood when you were not one was an act punishable by a public whipping and humiliation. She knew that, but as her hand struck him, she could not have pulled the blow to save her life. If she died here, her dignity would remain.
She stepped back and pushed passed him, suddenly unable to breath. The whole viewing platform was silent, all eyes turning to follow her. Mouths were left agape and women moved from her path. Men reached for her but she ducked beneath their grasps. Running now, she found the airlock and went through it, out into the open air of Zennir. Continue reading →
Knights rode in on their metal steeds, their etherlances held at the ready. The tips of each lance ended in two feet of glowing Ether. She saw her brother Redrick, looking radiant in his dark power armor traced with white lines of Ether. His lance’s tip was the same color. His Spark was like any other Medani. Caden would be there as well, but she did not look for him.
House Querra had arrived as well. Their Ether was a brilliant green. She saw a dozen knights on their steeds, all of them beating with that powerful light. It was beautiful to look on them. A knight was a powerful position even if they held no starkeep of their own. She would never marry a knight. Continue reading →
For a long moment, no one spoke. Sir Loran simply looked patient and awaited orders. Outside, Aderyn could see ships moving in on the moon. Destroyers and her father’s Carrier had taken up a perimeter around the moon as if for bombardment. Finally, her mother sighed. “Very well Sir Loran, best bring us in.”
Aderyn found Zennir beautiful. Small seas brushed up against high-rising mountains. Those mountains swept down into lush, green valleys and plains dotted with Groundling settlements. She saw strange beasts that moved on four legs as they flew low across the landscape. The sky was red with the gas giant Querra looming overhead. Its rings cast rainbows of light down across the waters and shimmered through low hanging clouds. Aderyn had never seen anything like it. Continue reading →
They walked through the sitting room. Aderyn’s cheeks were still hot but she tried to push away her frustration and irritation. Her mother never changed. Her children were assets or liabilities, just like good soldiers to her father’s fleet. If one was not pulling their weight, they were reprimanded or discarded. She needed to be strong.
“I have secured us a place next to the Nevans, a minor House with only a single world to their name, but growing wealthier. They’ve discovered two Jump Nodes in their system that lead directly to Orion. I’m sure Lord Kellen will move quickly to secure them, so an alliance with Nevan would mean an alliance with the Orions. You understand, of course.” Continue reading →
Aderyn Medani turned in the projector, seeing how the dress looked from the back. Her image moved and six copies of herself surrounded her, all wearing the dress. Yes, the ivory one is perfect. It would please her mother, as she would not be wearing the House colors, yet would not be far from it. It befit her station as a Null-Blooded.
“The ivory,” she said to the floating image behind her. The keep’s artificial intelligence Icon nodded its head and the holographic dresser blinked off. She stepped off the projector and covered her nakedness with a silk sheet while the AI’s robots came in to collect her clothing. Continue reading →