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INTRODUCING: INTO THE SILENCE

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The full version of INTO THE SILENCE will be available in print and ebook later this week. You can find it at all major online retailers.

If you’ve been reading the book chapter by chapter here on the blog, then you already know what it’s about. If you feel so inclined to purchase a copy for yourself, you have my deepest thanks. But if you prefer to continue reading here on the blog, never fear, the final chapters will be posted throughout the rest of December.

For the rest of you, INTO THE SILENCE is a novel about a drifter at the end of his rope who signs on for a long journey through deep space with a group of total strangers. It’s a long-haul trucking drama, but in space.

Full book description below the fold.

Continue reading “INTRODUCING: INTO THE SILENCE”

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Into the Silence – Chapter 47

Gator and I eventually did clean up Chief’s body. Once we’d finished dealing with our mutual suspicion of one another and agreed to actually do the work Cap had set out for us, we made it down to the galley and tended to the chore in short order. Chief was bulky, and larger than anyone I’d ever known — even Dox — but between the two of us, and with the help of Gator’s Farseer armor, we managed to drag it to the morgue and make it presentable for whatever kind of ceremony we might hold for him.

And Em, I mused. We still hadn’t really respected her memory yet. I wondered if we would, at this rate, or if whatever had killed Chief would hunt the rest of us down.

“Are we sure it can’t be a stowaway?” I said.

“Between my suit, the other three Farseers, and the ship’s own biometric scanner, there’s no doubt that the only lifeforms aboard this ship are our own,” said Gator. “Now, I suppose you could argue that the murderer might be a robot, but I still wager on one of the crew.”

“Why’s that?” I said, looking down at Chief’s body. The enormous gash up his abdomen was still hanging limply open, but most of the viscera had been cleaned off of it by Gator and me. Now he just looked sort of pale and small, compared to the big, imposing monstrosity he had been before.

“You’ve never seen Tic-Toc near another bot,” said Gator with the smallest of chuckles. “Nor Chief. He would have made short work of any would-be assassin robot.”

Continue reading “Into the Silence – Chapter 47”

Into the Silence – Chapter 46

I stared at Gator for a long moment before speaking.

“Well,” I said as reasonably as possible. “Let’s reason it out. Right? Apply some logic. We know Sys and Mearr couldn’t have done it, they’re both bedridden.”

“Presumably,” said Gator.

“I’ve seen them,” I said. “There’s no way either of them could have gotten out of that bed, and there’s certainly no way they could have overpowered Chief. Same goes for me, I’m just barely recovering from letting Sys energy drain me.”

“And for both of these facts I have merely your word.”

“Cap was there,” I said suddenly. “He’s tending to all three of us. He can confirm our whereabouts.”

Look at me, I thought to myself. I’m starting to talk like a bad detective novel.

“And was Cap within your sight the entire time?”

“Well, no. He’s the captain. He has things to do.”

“So, for all we know, it could have been our captain,” said Gator.

Continue reading “Into the Silence – Chapter 46”

Into the Silence – Chapter 40

I don’t know how long I stayed there, next to Mearr, while Cap examined Sys, nor do I know how much longer there was to go in the delivery process, due to what happened next. But at some point, long after I had lost feeling in my lower arm from the pressure and blood loss and had started repeating myself in the words and gestures of affection and encouragement I was offering to Mearr, Cap scuttled over to my side and pulled my attention away.

“What is it?” I said, somewhat blearily, as though waking from a trance — which, in a way, I was.

“Sys,” he said bluntly. “She’s in bad shape.”

“What’s wrong with her?”

“Hard to say for sure, but it’s something she can pull through, if she has enough strength.”

“What d’you mean?”

“Whatever is ailing Sys has her extremely drained of vitality. What you saw in the lower decks was just the peak of its effects on her. And from what you’ve told me, she could barely stand even then. Now she’s deteriorated to a near-catatonic state.”

“So, what, you’re saying she’s not going to make it?”

Cap steepled his fingers, closed his eyes, and then spoke. “I’m saying she needs help, hatchling.”

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Into the Silence – Chapter 39

My mind raced, though it knew not where it was going. I felt a dozen different things, all of them crashing into each other and vying for attention such that I couldn’t keep track of any of them. There was fear, there was rage, there was a heady, floating feeling as if I had consumed too much alcohol.

Everything was super-sharpened, as though my senses were enhanced, yet I saw it all as if once removed from reality. Looking at myself looking at the world. It was baffling.

“An hour ago?” I said, repeating what Sys had said. It was my first step back to immediacy from the rush of emotion that had filled me, and a rather feeble on at that.

She nodded, then shuddered again. This time, it was clearly involuntary.

Continue reading “Into the Silence – Chapter 39”

Into the Silence — Chapter 29

Guhle brought us around and into the hangar bay of the enormous, broken vessel. As we approached, it became clear just how devastated the battleship was. It had the same sleek structure of the scout ships we had encountered early on in our travels — an aesthetic to match the armor of its Farseer creators. But this ship was so beaten and battered that its elegance was almost unrecognizable. Jagged rips along the edges of its metal plating. Great, big holes dotting the surface where something had punched through it. And inside, though the sleek aesthetic was better preserved, piles of shrapnel, debris, and once-operational devices took away from that perception.

As we touched down, Guhle deployed our docking clamps — magnetic feet that held us down to the deck, even in zero gravity.

“Alright,” he said. “We’re latched on. Everybody suit up.”

And, as if to drive home the point, he lifted a pressurized helmet from underneath his seat and settled it over his head, fastening the clasps to the stiff collar of his suit.

Once everyone was fully prepared for the lack of atmosphere — some, like Cap and the Farseers, didn’t have to put anything on, since they were already enclosed in their own survival suits, and Sys apparently didn’t need any kind of atmospheric protection at all — Guhle lowered the gangplank and we all marched on down onto the hangar deck.

It was the first time I’d seen Mearr, or most of everyone else, in close proximity since the attack. I was somewhat startled by the change in her appearance. It was as though her entire features had ballooned out, along with her stomach. While she retained her feline grace and agility, there wasn’t any other word I could think of to describe her except…pudgy.

I made a note to keep such thoughts to myself. At all costs.

Continue reading “Into the Silence — Chapter 29”

Into the Silence — Chapter 15

Sometime later, I don’t know how long, but it was after I regained control of my limbs, I wormed my way up to where I could look Mearr in the eye. Some of the fur was creeping back onto her face, and her eyes had already regained their catlike shape and sheen. I cupped her head in my hands and just stared at her for the longest moment.

Then I kissed her. Disregarding the fur and the whiskers and the shape of her face, I kissed her.

Her pointed teeth nicked my tongue as it slid inside her mouth. Her own tongue was rough against mine, but I didn’t care about any of it. I just desired to stay close to her.

When we came up for air, I wrapped my arms around her shoulders, and felt her wrap her arms and tail around my waist, and we lay there just feeling each other breathe as we each recovered from what had just happened.

Eventually, I became aware of the cold, wet spot directly beneath us. Mearr had no doubt missed it due to the fur on her body, but it was an immense distraction to me. Rolling over, I stripped the sheets from the bed, which solved most of the problem, leaving us to lie naked on the bare mattress.

Continue reading “Into the Silence — Chapter 15”