The Queen’s Gambit: Chapter 13, Part 1

Part of the serial story The Queen’s Gambit


After a week in the med chamber, I was ready to escape. I’d been unconscious for most of the first several days and only remembered brief snatches of time. But the auto-doc had done its job well, and I’d woken up yesterday nearly healed. Despite my protests, Stella had put me under for another day, but that ended now.

I needed out.

Ari had given me brief updates in the short periods I had been awake, but she had been holding something back. And I couldn’t wrangle the information out of her if I was trapped in a med chamber.

“Twelve more hours would do you good,” Stella grumbled from the other side of the clear med chamber hood. “You nearly died a few days ago. If I hadn’t had the trauma-doc, you would’ve.” She scowled as she scrolled through my medical diagnostic. Continue reading “The Queen’s Gambit: Chapter 13, Part 1”

The Queen’s Gambit: Chapter 12, Part 2

Part of the serial story The Queen’s Gambit


In the last few minutes, more Rogue Coalition soldiers had shown up. We now had superior numbers to the Kos troops on the ground, but the hallway worked against us, too. The narrow entrance meant only a small fraction of our troops would have a clear line of fire.

“Where’s our next fallback point?” I asked. Ari had experience leading troops and planning battle strategies. I had experience flying solo, so I left the details to her.

The market sprawled to our north. It provided plenty of cover, but any troops stationed there would be cutoff from quick escape to the tunnels. They would have to go up and around through the main hangar which might be an attack point by then.

Ari must’ve shared my fears because she said, “On the other side of the market, at the hallway to the barracks. Soldiers are setting up a blockade, but we won’t be able to hold it long. It’s mostly to buy us time to get the last of the stragglers out.”

The tunnel entrance was twenty meters past that hallway intersection. If we lost the intersection, anyone left in the residential part of the base would be unable to escape. We needed to hold it as long as possible. Continue reading “The Queen’s Gambit: Chapter 12, Part 2”

The Queen’s Gambit: Chapter 12, Part 1

Part of the serial story The Queen’s Gambit


The main hallway echoed with the shrill cadence of the evacuation alarm. All of the fire doors were closed, narrowing my view to a small sliver of the long hallway. Around me, nothing moved. I did a quick sweep of the storage and utility rooms but anyone who had been over here had already cleared out.

I ran towards the center of the base. I burst through a set of fire doors, and ahead of me, Eddie Tarlowski emerged from the mess hall with a blaster in his right hand and a huge kitchen knife in his mechanical left hand.

He paused when he saw me running towards him. “Boss, what’s going on?” he yelled.

I slowed down as I caught up to him and he fell in beside me at a jog. “The Kos Empire is attacking. We’re evacuating through the western tunnels. Why are you here?” Continue reading “The Queen’s Gambit: Chapter 12, Part 1”

TQG Book Cover Ideas

Love it or hate it, we all occasionally judge books by their covers. A great cover can cause me to click through and read a blurb I otherwise wouldn’t, while a terrible cover will most likely make me chuckle and move on.

And while I don’t care about bad covers for my favorite authors (because they’re already my favorites), new authors don’t always get that grace.

Now I’m a new author. I need to tempt people into checking out the blurb and giving me a shot, which means I need a decent cover. Continue reading “TQG Book Cover Ideas”

The Queen’s Gambit: Chapter 11, Part 2

Part of the serial story The Queen’s Gambit


While I had an advisory council, I trusted Ari and Stella Mueller significantly more than any of my other advisors. I usually involved the council, but in the end, the Rogue Coalition was a monarchy and I was the final word. And in this case, the fewer people who knew Valentin was here, the better.

Ari and Stella let themselves in and joined me in my living room. Stella was several centimeters taller than me, with rich brown skin, dark eyes, and long dark hair. People mistook us for sisters, which I took as an extreme compliment because Stella was beautiful. She and Ari made a strikingly gorgeous couple.

I waved them in but stayed in my favorite oversized chair with my leg propped on a makeshift footrest. Stella took one look at me and pulled a med scanner seemingly from thin air. “Where are you hurt?” she demanded, her voice sharp with concern. “Let’s see it.” She slanted an irritated glance at Ari. “Why didn’t you tell me?” Continue reading “The Queen’s Gambit: Chapter 11, Part 2”