Chapter Five

Eric Florn hadn’t had a steak this good in a long time, certainly not back on Earth; there was only so much room for cows on a planet of thirteen and a half billion people. Furthermore, the interior of Ad Astra Lounge was much quieter than anywhere on Earth he’d been either. All around him…

Chapter Four

Twenty bunk beds lined the walls of the Zeal Unfettered’s trainee barracks. Valeca walked in with the other thirty-nine trainees carrying the same Fleet-issued duffel bag filled with the same Fleet-issued uniform. Other than the more ordered surroundings and much larger ship, it wasn’t too far removed from the kind of sleeping arrangements she’d seen…

Prologue

After nearly two weeks in transit from the Prosperity colony along Jupiter’s solar orbit, Interplanetary Resources Incorporated Flight PRO-2715 was now one hundred thousand kilometers outward on final approach to Ceres Station. Its two-hour deceleration burn was completed with plenty of fuel to spare, bringing the freighter cruising into position to enter the dwarf planet’s…

Chapter Three

“You sure changed your mind quick, didn’t you?” It had been only a few days since their last visit to Liberty Square, and now they were back again. Just as Valeca’s mind had indeed changed, so had the feeling between her and Aeje. She could sense that he was confused, irritated, maybe even feeling betrayed,…

Chapter Two

Four days and a series of course correction burns later, the FCS Gerard de Jen and its little battle group had now settled into a high orbit around Ceres. Admiral Suryawijaya had noted the rising stress among his crew, from the handful of men and women in the CIC to the over five hundred throughout…

Chapter One

For as long as Valeca could remember, her family had never eaten dinner without the holo-screen on; at least, not since her father had been elected to the Executive Council seven years ago. Eric Florn hadn’t really planned on the political career track back then, but he tried his best to follow the will of…